My Top 15 Podcasts

PodcastingI’ve recently seen a few posts by other bloggers that cover the various podcasts that they listen to, and perhaps ones that they’ve even stopped listening to. I really enjoyed reading these, and I’ve even done a “Sovryn Top 8 Podcasts” on my own science and tech podcast: Sovryn Tech.

But I enjoyed these lists so much, and I’ve discovered some new podcasts that I’ve begun to enjoy, I thought I’d do a fun post listing off my own podcast list. While some listen to A LOT of podcasts, I keep it pretty trim, as I also like to make sure that I listen to lots and lots of music (and how about that new Keith Richards album?), but I have–on average–about 15 podcasts per week that I listen to pretty much the instant a new episode comes out. Certainly, I listen to more than this from time to time (Free Talk Live, Freedom Feens, Tech News Today, etc.), but these are the “must listens”, and they are not really in any numerical order of importance.

1. Security Now

Okay, so this one is listed in order of importance. I can not wait for each new episode of Steve Gibson and Leo LaPorte’s decade-long tour de force of computer security to come out. And they even “geek out” from time to time on science fiction and other cultural matters. Steve Gibson is a personal hero of mine, and I don’t think you need a whole lot of technical knowledge to get something out of this show. In many ways, I modeled my own show Sovryn Tech (not that my show is all about computer security) around Security Now because it is so inspiring. While there are certainly other wonderful computer security and privacy podcasts out there, this one take’s the cake.

2. DH Unplugged

If you’re like me (meaning, you’re an anarchist), you are probably often confronted with a lot of commentary on economics. Of all ironies, most of this economic commentary in anarchist/libertarian circles is pure bullshit and has no basis in reality. DH Unplugged, hosted by the great John C. Dvorak and money manager Andrew Horowitz, delivers the reality-check that is much needed in economics…really anywhere. Not that DH Unplugged gets everything right, but you’re definitely getting some serious and data-backed contrarian viewpoints (as in, they’ll tell you the US dollar is not going to crash, which I completely agree with). And, the show is funny as Hell due to John C. Dvorak’s classic wit.

3. The Ex-Worker

While I don’t completely identify with the ideology of the anarchists that run this show (it’s from Crimethinc), I do consider it important to study and learn about all different arenas of anarchism. And The Ex-Worker gives you that opportunity. Also, you’ll quickly discover that there is a lot of real anarchist activism (even if they despise your beloved “capitalism”) going on all around the world that you would otherwise never hear about anywhere…even in what you consider to be “anarchist circles”.

4. The School Sucks Podcast

Brett Veinotte delivers the goods with this podcast, and I consider it the best “liberty” podcast on the planet that is still running. Concentrating on intellectual self-defense and learning in general, this podcast impressively covers a very broad range of topics, and I definitely feel far more knowledgeable after nearly every episode (which, what more could you want out of a show?). The ethics are solid, the philosophy is solid, and while there may be points where I disagree with some of the multitude of guests Brett has on, I still feel the conversations are rewarding. And it’s another show where sometimes they have a good amount of fun.

5. Puke and the Gang

This one is totally for fun. Do not take this podcast seriously. And also, to half-quote a classic film, no one can be…told…what Puke and the Gang is…you have to hear it for yourself.

6. Let’s Voltron: The Official Voltron Podcast

It’s Voltron. One of my favorite franchises ever in all of its incarnations. This show runs the gamut of discussion on the Voltron franchise, and is a total “geek out”. You really have to bring your “nerd A-game” to really appreciate what’s being talked about as sometimes the hosts expect you to already know who and what they’re talking about–and let’s face it, that’s completely fair considering how niche Voltron is these days–but if you do know what they’re talking about, it’s a fun podcast that keeps you up to date with the latest in the Voltron universe.

7. The Eddie Trunk Podcast

To say I’m a bit of a “metalhead” is a huge understatement. Heavy Metal has been a major part of my life as far back as I can remember (I was singing KISS’ “Crazy Nights” when I was 6 years old). Eddie Trunk has been involved in the scene for longer than I’ve been alive, and he gets the greatest guests from every spectrum of Heavy Metal, so it’s a must listen every week.

8. No Agenda

Adam Curry and the great John C. Dvorak–while not anarchists–do the best breakdown of the news, current events, and pop culture that I’ve heard anywhere. It has wonderful humor throughout, but also is loaded with direct evidence to what they’re talking about. Rarely does it go into the realm of unqualified speculation. “The Best Podcast in the Universe” is in its tagline, and in many ways, it really is.

9. This Week in Tech

Along with No Agenda, this is arguably the show that made podcasts into “the real deal” that they are today. Leo LaPorte and his bevy of various guests (including John C. Dvorak at times, are you noticing a theme here?) deliver the most important tech news every week with their varying insights. Leo has a great style, and while I often disagree with the conclusions of the guests, getting the tech news and some of those insights without having to read massive blog posts is really helpful. Phenomenal show.

10. Windows Weekly

This might shock some people, but most of my workflow requires the use of Microsoft Windows. And I’m also a serious gamer, which translates to: I have to use Windows (consoles are for chumps). So I like to keep up on what’s going on at ol’Redmond, and this show on the TWiT network is the best coverage there is.

11. This Week in Google

I listen to a lot of the TWiT network, I’m sure you’ve noticed by now. But I don’t listen to This Week in Google because I’m an Alphabet/Google fanboy. Oh no…I listen to this show out of self-defense. Because just underneath the governments and religions of the world, Alphabet/Google is probably the most worrisome organization on the planet to me. So, I keep tabs on them. Also, this show lately has rarely even been about Alphabet/Google, and has lately become “This Week in Tech 2“, in my opinion. It’s enjoyable in that regard.

12. Hak5

Darren Kitchen and Shannon Morse (Snubs) give you actual actionable things you can do with the latest security and privacy tech, along with some other fun tech things. This is one where you have to watch the video of the podcast, and not just listen to it, but it’s totally worth it in the end. If you want to become a hacker (in the heroic sense), this is the best place to start. And if you want to keep tabs on what’s going on in the “hacker world”, this is a must view, as well. Amazing content.

13. The Disciplined Investor

The podcast hosted by the aforementioned DH Unplugged‘s Andrew Horowitz, this is kind of a “DH Unplugged” bonus show, in my opinion, which makes it well worth listening to if you want some serious economic news. And Andrew Horowitz has had anarchists on in the past. Kudos to him for that.

14. Primal Blueprint Podcast

I’m very much into the Paleo–or Primal–lifestyle, and have been for years. Next to anarchism, nothing has changed my life for the better more than the Paleo/Primal Diet and the lifestyle that it promotes. While this podcast is largely daily and is usually a reading of blog content by the “Primal Godfather” Mark Sisson, there are sometimes interviews here, but even hearing the content from Mark Sisson is enlightening, short bursts of information in the Primal realm of health, exercise, and living.

15. Complete Liberty

While this show has ended, I find myself going back to episodes over and over again from the years that it ran, always gleaning new insights from Wes Bertrand’s opus of anarchist thought. When it was running, it was (and in many ways still is) the best liberty podcast out there, and really opens one’s mind to the true nature of freedom: personal liberty. There’s no other show quite like it, and Wes is one of the most brilliant people I know. If you were to choose any of the podcasts to listen to on this list, this is THE ONE to pick if you’ve never heard it before. You won’t find a better, more complete conversation on philosophy anywhere else. In fact, I can’t think of much that comes close. You don’t know liberty until you’ve delved into this gem that will be evergreen for decades to come, I’m sure.


Now, admittedly, I listen to most of these at about 1.8x or 2x speed, and with “silence” cut out, so the amount of time it takes to listen to these episodes is significantly less than normal. If I couldn’t do that, I’d probably listen to FAR less podcasts. So the ability to listen to things at faster speeds is an incredibly important technology that most don’t really stop to consider.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the list here. I firmly believe (and I’ve said it before on the ZOG Blog) that podcasts is the single most important advancement in entertainment and information in history. Nothing else comes close, not even YouTube.

And on a personal note, I’m honored to be a part of this evolution.

Carpe lucem!