Podcasts have this incredible ability to transport me from the mundaneness of life to a place I never knew existed. I am a big fan of podcasts, and I have picked six which might help you in your journey to learn something.
They are of varying lengths. Some go on for hours, while others are shorter – but a duration of at least 30 minutes is the norm. Podcasts need your time and attention. So if you’re looking for quick one minute or two-minute podcasts, you might not be pleased with my recommendations.
I prefer long podcasts because I usually listen to them when I am walking or taking a break from my hectic life. Some of my favourites include:
- The Chernobyl Podcast: The series itself, a must watch from what I have heard, traces the devastating nuclear disaster that happened in 1986. Someone like me who is a little scared to watch such documentaries as they make me very upset, the podcast was a wonderful revelation. It is a series of conversations between host Peter Sagal known for another podcast on NPR, “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” and the series creator, writer and executive producer Craig Mazin. The podcast touches upon the tireless research undertaken by the team and the stories that inspired the miniseries. I couldn’t get enough of it! If you enjoy learning about how things are made, you will thoroughly relish this podcast.
- The Economist and The Journal: The Economist and The Journal have 15 minutes of news bytes and a summary of the top three news of the week. I don’t have access to cable at home. My wife and I took a joint decision to cut cable about six years ago, for the content was hurting our mental health. The news, if we can call it that, comprised people shouting at each other, and we decide we could do without the unnecessary chaos. Since then, I have depended on podcasts for news and the latest developments in the fields of my interest. I am not a big fan of politics, but I thoroughly enjoy business, technology, and entrepreneurship and choose podcasts based on these subjects. You can do the same, and learn more about the topics you like.
- How I built this by Guy Raz: Guy Raz is one of my favourite podcasters. He is so welcoming and respectful of his guests. Guy’s unique interviewing skills encourage his guests to open up and provide amazing information about their companies, struggles and achievements. He asks pointed, well-researched questions. As an entrepreneur myself, I find Guy’s podcasts particularly helpful. Each episode is upwards of 45 minutes and can go up to one hour and 30 minutes. But every episode is so heartwarming because you listen to the challenges of an entrepreneur and how they overcame those. These podcasts will inspire the entrepreneur in you to take the plunge. Guy has released a book too, and I will pick it up soon!
- Travels Through Time: I am a history buff, and this podcast helps me explore my love for the subject. The way the creators have designed this podcast is brilliant. Every episode, they bring an author who has written a famous book on history, and they take us, the listeners, back in time and teach us important lessons from that era. The podcast enables me to mentally travel back in time to anywhere from the 8th to the 14th century or beyond! In one of the episodes, renowned writer and historian William Dalrymple was the guest, and he discussed his latest book, The Anarchy, which documented the rise of the East India company. It was such a well-researched episode, and I learnt so much about my country through that one podcast.
- Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell: Probably the gold standard in podcasts, Gladwell’s Revisionist History is not only an important work, but it is also extremely well-researched, scripted and articulated. I have listened to his episodes many time over. He takes you through an incident that has happened in the past, dissects it with some good research, and provides examples and stories, helping you learn something new in return. It is a must listen!
- Trailblazers by Walter Isaacson: If you are a business enthusiast and want to understand history but from a very scientific and technical perspective, Trailblazers is brilliant. Each episode focuses on one industry like cryptography, space and rockets, among others. It does a great job taking a modern technological and scientific concept and tracing its origin through history. In every episode, we learn something new and exciting.
Many other podcasts deserve mention, like Hidden Brain by Shankar Vedantam, The Guardian Long Reads, and TED Radio Hour. Do check out my podcast as well, called Plunnge, which is available on Apple and Spotify. If you like podcasts as much as I do and would like to share your list of favourites, please contact me on social media. Let’s take this conversation further.
– Rakesh Godhwani, SoME Founder
Cover pic courtesy: Medium.com