I have neglected this gem of a recurring post, haven’t I? If memory serves, and yes, I can go back and look but it’s far more fun to rely on memory, I only did a podcast review only once. Holy…I did go look it up. It’s been longer than I thought! I posted Podcast Roundup #1 all the way back in April. Why? I loved writing it and I love podcasts. I have plenty of notes from my listening time every week. Hm…consistency isn’t my strong suit. But here we are again, so let’s jump in!
Each week I spend a total of about four hours alone in the car driving down to the city to visit with friends. I decided a few years ago that it would be time well spent if I made a playlist of my favorite podcasts to listen to and it has been a wealth of greatness. On my last road trip with my husband, I introduced him to a few of my favorite economics and political podcasts and we had a blast listening, pausing, and heatedly discussing what was being said. Far more fun than simply listening to our favorite albums, especially since we have diverging musical interests.
This week’s podcast review includs Buddhism, statistics, an author interview, and some funny grammar.
First on my playlist was Secular Buddhism #8 – Problems with Terminology & Symbols.
The “symbols” part is what leapt out at me. Symbols are something I’ve seen people battle over and I never understood why. I still don’t really. It’s just a flag. It’s just a ring. It’s just a piece of bread. Symbols are used to remind us of something important, not to replace or represent an idea, person, or thing.
My wedding ring is not my marriage. It’s there to remind me of my promise. If I take it off and forget to put it on, if I lose it, I have not forgotten or lost my marriage. If I take it off and give it back, or throw it away, I’m using it as a symbol that the marriage is over. It’s the intent, not the action that tells the story. It’s the same with any symbol. Symbols are not sacred, they are reminders.
He went over some specific Buddhist symbols, so I made a note to look them up when I had some time. My favorite symbol is the meditation beads, many individual pieces connected to make a whole. I found an interesting site that explains some others at buddhistsymbols.com.
Next up was my first experience with Rationally Speaking. I heard the host, Julia Galef, interviewed on EconTalk last week and was so impressed with her that I wanted to hear more. This episode was an interview with Tim Harford about his book “The Data Detective.”
Yes, I’ve added The Data Detective to my TBR list, and used my new book tracking notecard file to record where I heard about it and why I want to read it! More about that in another post because I know you want to hear about it and try it.
In fact, I think we all should add that book to our TBR pile. It seems we could all use some help in that area so that the stats are less likely to be used scare us all into submission.
The thing he said that struck me was the question he hears so often is, “How do I get my dumb friend to stop being so dumb?” We’ve all thought that. Right? He says it’s strange that it seems no one wants to fix their own reasoning. Their reasoning is fine, just like their driving. It’s everyone else that’s a maniac.
This interview went right along with the ideas I’m reading in “The Righteous Mind” by Jonathan Haidt, who I saw she also has interviewed. Weird the connections that keep coming up.
One more thing from that interview. He said, “We think in stories not numbers.” I agree, most of us do think in stories that’s why it’s so easy for someone to look at the statistics, create a story to explain them, and then use it to get people to do what they want them to do. We all need to be aware of that if we are going to be better at thinking rationally.
Side note: I wrote “Bring Your Cup” in my notebook. Maybe I’ll remember next time, but I bought the most awesome travel mug at Target a few months ago and I keep forgetting to bring it to Panera! I bought it so that I could use my own cup when I went out for breakfast with friends and then be able to take a last cup for the road and not have it get cold in ten minutes. Bring your cup you silly girl, sheesh!
Grammar Girl is always a fun listen. The cadence of her voice is sing-songy and I can’t listen to it for long, but her episodes are short, usually pretty funny and filled with interesting tidbits. This episode was about particles and prepositions. Formal grammar is not my strong suit. I’ve tried to learn the rules and be able to sort out the how’s and why’s but it’s just not in me. My sons are brilliant at it, and they do it for fun. Nerds!
She went over the origin of a few words and the difference between “I was run over by the car” and “The car ran over me.” But my favorite was this line, “This is the kind of pedantic nonsense up with which I will not put.” It just struck me as hilarious, and I had to write it down.
And last, but certainly not least, I listened to CNF, the Creative Non-Fiction Podcast with Brendan O’Meara on the way home. I love this guy! Just about every week I listen to him interview an author and I find things to connect with, be inspired by, and things I never would have guessed would be interesting. Episode #264 Rachel Monroe Talks About the Things Writers Don’t Tweet About was an inspiring one.
My takeaway was, once again, I’m in the same boat as every other writer. “How do I have any authority to write anything?!” is a question we all ask ourselves. I’m not perfect. I’m not the master of anything. I’ve never completed a degree or have some certificate that says I know what I’m talking about. Who do I think I am?
I’m me. And I am the master of my own perspective. I have every right to share my experience the best way I know how. Right now, that means blogging here with you. The more I learn, the more I want to share. The more I share, the more I learn. It’s as simple as that. I’ll keep writing.
One more thing before I go! Do you support anyone on Patreon? I have in the past. I find it to be a great way to support individual creators for what they give the world for free. This week I finally (sorry it took so long Brendan!) went over and added Brendan O’Meara to my support list. I’ve listened to his podcast every week for years and never been disappointed. It’s time I gave something back. I hope it helps keep you on the air, man. You’re awesome.
There you are my friends, a second glorious podcast review! Do you listen to podcasts? When do you find time to listen? Do you have any favorites to share? Shoot me a comment and let me know. I’d love to try them out!
I making a solemn vow to do this podcast review more often, but I doubt it will come every week. Would every month do? I think so!