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Podcast Episodes to Listen to During Lockdown

30 March 2020

This quarantine period is a good time to get into podcasts. It’s a good way to listen to something interesting while staying active around the house, not glued in front of a screen.

However when getting into a new podcast, it’s hard to know where to start. Not all episodes are equally good, and listening to the latest one is usually not the best way to get into it. So instead of recommending an entire podcast, I’ll recommend specific episodes that I enjoyed.

Science, Design & Technology…

99% Invisible is a podcast about the small details of design and architecture. One episode I like is talking about the importance of concrete and called Built on Sand. Another one is Children of the Magenta and talks about how a plane crashed because the pilots got so used to have an automated system that they couldn’t react when it failed.

Radiolab has a lot of interesting episodes with great production quality, but if you don’t know about CRISPR you can have a listen at their take on the matter.

Recode-Decode can be a hit or miss for me, but it’s clear that there are some great interviews like Ash Carter, United States Secretary of Defense or Alex Stamos, the former Chief Security Officer at Facebook. There is also the discussion with Anand Giridharadas about his interesting take on billionaire philanthropy.

Society, Culture, History…

This American Life is a great podcast that most people know, but the quality can vary. My two all time favourites are Rest Stop, where nine reporters spend two full days at a New York State Thruway, and 129 Cars where they spend a month in a car dealership.

S Town, starting at chapter one. This one is a strange documentary about a man in a small town in Alabama and a possible murder.

If you’re into really long form podcasts and want a different take on history, then maybe take a look at Hardcore History. I’d recommend the one about Gengis Khan or Blueprints for Armageddon talking about World War I.

I don’t always like Joe Rogan episodes, but this interview of Glenn Villeneuve who lived alone by hunting and fishing in Alaska was really interesting.

More Perfect is a podcast about the US legal system, which is fascinating for a European like me who didn’t know a thing about it. All episodes have something interesting, but I’ll recommend The Gun Show focused on the second amendment.

🇫🇷 In French I’d recommend the episode of La Poudre with Anne Hidalgo which is a great overview of her career. I also like the episode of Émotions about imposter syndrome.

Management, Entrepreneurship…

If you’re into management techniques, I generally recommend listening to Manager Tools. To give you a sense of what they do, you can listen to No Second Emails or their episode about one on ones.

How I Built This is a podcast focused on the interview of an entrepreneur. I’d recommend listening to the episodes about Patagonia and Starbucks. The one about Compaq is also worth a listen.

I’m not a particular fan of this podcast, but I liked this interview with Jason Fried on The Drive where he talks about his view on success.