My New Found Love of Podcasts.

Despite my semi-regular blogging, I’m nowhere near as tech-savvy as people might think (indeed, I took some time to figure out the very WordPress system I’m currently utilizing).  I tend to adapt new technologies readily, but am unable to make the most of them until quite some time later. Podcasts are a case in point – I’d always heard of them but never really got around to checking them out, let alone downloading any. I tend to be the “streamlined” type – I don’t like a lot of gadgets, features, and other options I’d regard as fluff; I still use my phone as only a phone for example (not to insult any of you who’ve chosen to utilize them as hubs of various entertainment – to each their own after all).

But my obsessive lust for knowledge, combined with the mind-numbing boredom of work, drove me to look into what I thought was just a superfluous perk latched onto iTunes. If only I’d been more open-minded, and sooner!

It began when I was getting tired of the lack of stimulus to keep my mind going during the odd hours that I work – usually either early in the morning or late at night. I finally decided to look into what options were available from online, that great repository of solutions and data. Being as busy as I am, and consequently having so little time to absorb all the knowledge I wish to , I realized that I’d do best to condense the two: whenever possible – be it during commutes on the metro, working out at the gym, or working in-between closing hours at work – I would catch up with all the things I wished to learn about, without giving up either work or pleasure at one another’s expense. It was all about time-management, and being able to compromise my hectic schedule with my personal interests (no easy feat nowadays, and as I’m sure most of you know).

Long story short, I took a look at the podcast options on my iTunes and subsequently unlocked treasure trove of knowledge. Just about every topic and subject I could think of – and quite a few that I didn’t – were available, often with multiple podcasts addressing them to boot. I know all this sounds like some plug-in for Apple’s iTunes, but in all sincerity I’m just marveled by the usefulness of such technology.

It’ll never cease to amaze me how much knowledge exists out there, constantly being added to; it’s even more spectacular that it’s all so easy to access. Just logging on to my laptop – or on a device as small as the palm of my hand – can open me up to literally a universe of data, literature, ideas, and innovations. The internet, despite it’s many flaws and it’s amble amount of brain-rotting junk , is invaluable as a source of information. While many kinks still need to be worked out, and much sifting still must done between what is credible and what isn’t, it cannot be understated how important the web is to facilitating a broadening of one’s horizon, once it is utilized properly.

But I’ve gone on this digression before. If anyone is curious, the podcasts I’ve subscribed to so far include:

  • The History of Rome
  • The British History Podcast
  • American Freethought
  • History of the Normans
Yes, there is a bias for history, but that’s the first place I wanted to go. I can’t wait to explore other topics and subjects. I encourage my fellow autodidactics to explore other venues for knowledge, even those often underestimated as such. YouTube may be full of silly and strange memes – nothing wrong with some indulgence – but it also has a number of excellent documentaries, show clips, conferences, and independent educational work courtesy of the online community. There are also plenty of blogs about topics outside of one’s personal life and musings: look for one by your favorite academic or thinker.
Perhaps my post is a bit trivial – I’m not exactly in profound thinking mode right now – but I think it’s always good to stop and appreciate the enlightenment that properly-implemented technology can provide us with. I feel that we’re often quick to note the negative ramifications of our technological progress, without stopping to make the most of the good.
By the way, feel free to fill me in on any podcasts you all enjoy or might find to my liking!

2 comments on “My New Found Love of Podcasts.

  1. I have many podcasts on my ipod but few I really liked. I have been buying audio books and i love to listen to them while driving or working out. I currently have 267 podcasts at the ready. I have deleted the ones I listened to…so I don’t really have a name of anyone in particular.

    The Moral Theory is probably the next podcast on my list. I am currently listening to Thomas Paines Rights of man by Hitchens. My last book was Justice by Michael Sandel and before that the three Bart Erhman books…Misquoting Jesus, Jesus Interrupted and the Problem of Evil. Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne. John Adams by…I forget :p Origin of species, The Voyage of the Beagle, The Moral Landscape, Letter to a Christian nation, Greatest Show on Earth, End of Faith, God is not Great, A briefer history in time, LOR Trilogy, The Hobbit, Samuri fiction…WWII History stuff about pilots submarines battles, civil war stuff and revolutionary war. Plus I love the stories of Captain Jack Aubrey by Patrick Obrien. The best part is I can always go back to what I previously listened to or find a new podcast.

    I select History, Philosophy, Atheism, Religion, and Zombies usually 🙂

    I love the ipod because i can squeeze in hours of information where I would be doing nothing. It makes my time fly and I am better for it.

    • I must say Mike, you’ve got an impressive and diverse thirst for knowledge! Your list is very much what I’ve read or would like to read, and I’ll definitely look into those options I haven’t check out yet. It’s great to have a fellow luminary in all these academic subjects 🙂

      Yes, I have to say I’m quite in love with my iPod for the same reason. It’s great to be able to absorb so much useful knowledge during moments we’d otherwise be bored or unproductive. I don’t know how I’d get through the odd hours at work without it. Once again, it’s great that someone shares in this appreciations.

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