An Assignment

Ok dear readers. I ask you a favor. I would like you to listen to two podcasts and then report back here in the comments section what you have found.

I listen to podcasts on my phone on my way to and from work and I’m kind of an addict. My favorite shows pretty much are This American Life, Radiolab and Common Sense followed closely by a few others. I highly recommend you stop wasting your time listening to music on your phone and iPods and instead listen to one of these shows. They are entertaining and you learn some amazing things. In the media today, you really don’t get much in depth, thought provoking stuff anymore. Listen to a good episode of This American Life or Radiolab (like the ones I’m assigning you) and you will be amazed at what you’ve been missing all this time in your life.

Ok. So the first assignment is a TAL episode called “Inside Job“. The first part (the part you need to hear) is about a hedge fund called Magnetar that figured out how to make money off of our recent great financial collapse. All legal, all brilliant and sadly one of the causes of the collapse! I know the subject sounds really boring , who wants to hear more about CDOs and markets, but they make it very easy to understand (no math involved) and the story is just mind-blowing.

The second podcast you need to here is called “Limits“. This tells the story of the physical and mental limits of the human body. The science and the storys in this program are pretty incredible stuff and just has to be heard.

So get to it. Download these and listen and report back to me. I’m waiting.

One thought on “An Assignment

  1. I guess an easy assignment for me since I pretty much listen to the same podcasts you do. I will also echo your exhortation to put down the tunes and pick up podcasts…if you have any sort of a commute you are wasting valuable time. You can learn a foreign language, or just increase your knowledge…all while sitting in the car/bus/train/plane doing nothing.

    Inside Job: Loved this, as it is evidence of something that has always bothered me about economic models. Which is that no economic model will ever be sound until it can account for conscious entities who will willingly push the system to the brink of collapse (or even over the brink) for their own personal short term gain. A completely free market is great in theory (and I am all about minimal gov’t interference whenever possible), but there needs to be someone who can blow out the candles before the house house burns down.

    Limits – Some scientific evidence of what I’ve always believed? Most often, the mind limits you much earlier than the body would!


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