In case you’re tired of reading me going on about the same topics and instead would like to listen to me going on about such topics, there are now two new options:

  • A couple weeks ago I did a podcast with the folks at the Rationally Speaking web-site, talking to Massimo Pigliucci and Julia Galef (their podcast site is here, direct link to my segment here). In the near future they’ll be doing a different podcast on the topic of the Anthropic Principle. Pigliucci is a philosopher of science and comments on this here.
  • Last month I visited Collin College in Texas, and they have a podcast up from an interview I did there. The site is here, link to interview here.
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    4 Responses to Podcasts

    1. milkshake says:

      I liked the podcast from Collin College better – the interviewer must have had the structure of the interview planed out in advance, she kept the questions short and to the point and she was not plugging her own observations. One of signs of professional interviewer is that she/he is patient and leaves most of air in the room for the guest.

      I had impression that it was harder to get your points across clearly in the Rationally Speaking conversation. Debates can be quite messy to follow when the subject is philosophy and there are several participants some of which are more eager to listen to themselves than to others.

    2. Peter Woit says:


      They’re just different. The Collin College one was basically just an interview, with questions discussed in advance, so I could just make points I wanted to make that I thought would be accessible to as many people as possible. The Rationally Speaking one was intentionally more of a conversation, and I think got into some more of the subtleties of the issues. It was recorded after we had dinner together and talked quite a bit, so ended up, for better or worse, being somewhat of a continuation of that conversation.

      Because some of these debates about string theory end up getting into significant questions about the philosophy of science, I’m always interested to hear what professional philosophers of science think about the debate. In this case, Pigliucci is a philosopher who has thought a great deal about these issues, and I was enjoying discussing them with him, not just putting out my own point of view.

    3. milkshake says:

      The Rationally Speaking debate felt a bit like split-screen pundits on CNN competing for limited air time, a style which made it harder for anyone involved in that debate to make their basic points across in a concise way, and then to elaborate them in more detail before getting cut off. It was somewhat ineffective format not because the ideas were discussed in more depth but because not everyone involved seemed willing to stop and listen what the others had to say, then formulate a good reply.

      By the way, philosophy of science is not such a inaccessible field, it has to do with practical usefulness of an idea and the scientific integrity, these are concepts that anyone can understand.

    4. Joe Joe Bob says:

      I prefer to read.

      Get to work, slacker. Hunt up interesting information and make more of a contribution to the market place of ideas, understandable or otherwise, provacative or mundane, original or mere reporting. With a kickback job like yours, having hours to ponder the deep and mysterious in your ivory tower office, surrounded by your yellow library of Springer textbooks and monographs, there’s no excuse for you turning into a slacker.

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