The Angular Momentum of Peas

Seven Day. The end of week out. And it never has sufficient speed for me. There are times when I wished time had a speed of more than one second per second. Television is a wasteland, reminiscent of an abandoned coal mining town in West Virginia or a rust belt factory town in Michigan. 

During the week I listen to podcasts at gym to divert my attention from the drops forming and flowing on my forehead. They make the wasteland recede except for the overly LOUD educationalists and the screaming grunts of the weight bouncers. The former are adamantine and shrill sandpaper on a black board, which are as notably absent from the schules as is education. The latter are punctuated and bear the stench of modern body corruption.

But on week out the gym is effectively closed and I have to make do with home effort and since that means, at best, an outside constitutional when I can listen to podcasts, or in high winter and summer, both of which seem to be expanding, an inside spin on a stationary bicycle. There I mostly make do with reading. The current book is a survey of the metaphysical foundation of “modern” science. It’s a Dover book which tells us it is both good and dated which we knew since such topics are beyond the capabilities of the contemporary. 

I also read TIME magazine, mostly during meals when FD SCP reads a bosom ripper. I read TIME to balance out my RSS feeds with some exposure to the Boggerate as portrayed by slowly failing journalists of incestuous mutual admiration. No, not in the sexual sense, rather like contemporary celebrities who are great and wonderful because they are celebrities. These are journalists who are great and wonderful because they are journalists. One of the articles in the current issue – 10 April of this year – is an editorial about the robotization of jobs. Strangely, journalism is not mentioned but dentistry is. One has to wonder why?

The issue also had an article about podcasts. I fell on this like a chicken falling on a bug. But I discovered the bug was one of those that squirts hydroquinones out its fundament. Burning Horror! The article featured 36 podcasts. The number of any interest at all? ZERO. It also pointed at an article [Link] entitled “The 50 Best Podcasts Right Now.”

I have been reading TIME for years. I started back in graduate schule to get a sort of intelligence briefing about what was going on in the imaginary world beyond the walls of grad schule. AFter grad schule I kept reading for much the same reason. One useful thing was their movie reviews. If a movie got a rating of five (the maximum) or one (the minimum) I might go to see it. The rest, two through four, were discarded. The system worked because of the prejudices of the reviewers. 

The podcasts TIME recommends are worse. Of there list of fifty “BEST” podcasts, I found none that I would investigate further or even download for a test. There are a couple, from NPR, that I have listened to in past but dropped because their quality is too inconsistent. Most of what is on their list is the same sort of mind rubbish and rot that is on the television networks. 

So what’s a good podcast? I am not sure. It’s like art. If I like it, it’s good. If I don’t like it, it may be good. And I admit that much. But for TIME to offer nothing seems suspiciously like a temporal erosion (cancer?) of their movie reviews. (That I quit paying attention to when I married.)

My good podcasts start with what I listen in gym:

One Day – CBC’s “The Best of Ideas”; it’s a bit bloody liberal but that’s a refreshing counterweight in Medieval Alibam;

Two Day – The Guardian “Science Podcast” and the BBC’s “Science Hour”. I used to listen to the NPR science snippets but they disappeared over the Solstice holidays for some reason. 

Three Day – The CBC’s “Quirks and Quarks”; this used to be number one in science podcasts but has lost ground to the Guardian “Science Weekly”

Four Day – The UK Ubuntu Podcast and the start of an episode of “Late Nite Linux” or “The Linux Action Show”

Five Day – The rest of that latter episode

In addition, we have the best American podcast, Garrison Keeler’s “The News from Lake WoeBeGone”, and the BBC’s “In Our Time”, arguably the best podcast period. The WIlliamsburg people used to have a good podcast but it became a long commercial for them and rotted. 

Two other comments: one thing the TIME people aren’t going to mention is that, in the main, Amerikans are stercus at podcasts. The Candanians and the Albions are much better. I can’t speak to anywhere else because I stick to podcasts in good English. In particular, the American news and entertainment media is abysmal when it comes to podcasts. Too many are built on personality first, last, and throughout and are treated as commercials for the media. Their learning value is negative, in the main. I haven’t sampled them all, obviously, but I have a confident standard deviation of zero.

The other thing is that the TIME people don’t know anything about podcasts either and they don’t care. Demonstration: in that article I mentioned? ZERO RSS links. People who like podcasts use podcast accumulators (TIME: whats that?) and that means RSS links. One more sign Amerikans don’t get podcasts very well.

Exceptions to the above: NPR and those podcast producers who do specialty podcasts like Jupiter Broadcasting. 

Other side of the EQUALS sign: don’t pay any attention to national branded media when you go looking for podcasts.