Thoughts of Geoff

Some writing by Geoff Petrie

Top Four Podcasts of 2014

I listen to a lot of podcasts on a bunch of different subjects. Architecture, math, music, philosophy, software engineering, art, news, history, civil rights – there is a wealth of information out there and it is amazing!

I have a bunch of podcasts that I can give a mention to, but there are four that stood out this year for me.

If you’re not listening to it, and many of you already are, Roman Mars’ 99% Invisible is fantastic. This is a series about architecture, design and how these things impact the world around us. I’ve been listening to this show pretty much from the beginning, and every year I continue to be more taken by it. It continues to be one of the podcasts I routinely recommend to people who are just interested in hearing something cool.

From 99% Invisible I found Song Exploder. This has rapidly made it to the top of my queue. Every episode is just so good. What you’re going to find here is a show about how musicians make music. We all know that artists all have their own style, but this series just brings that home in each episode. This may be my favorite show of the year.

I’m thrilled to hear Hrishi Hirway will be continuing Song Exploder into 2015. If you just want to try it out, all the episodes are amazing, but I would recommend Episode 24 with Tycho or Episode 22 with Nick Zammuto of The Books.

Doing what I do for a living, I listen to tech podcasts often, too.

My friend Shaun Ambrose mentioned that he had found a podcast on the philosophy of computing called On Computing by Grady Booch.

This series just sucks you in. I can’t describe it properly. It is part philosophy, part technology. It is liberal arts meets computer science. Booch offers so much in each episode. Every one of them is worth listening to multiple times. There are currently 14 episodes that run about 10 minutes per episode. You owe it to yourself, regardless of your profession, to listen to these shows.

The series comes up with a new episode fairly infrequently and it has been running since 2012. I’m hopeful that Grady Booch will continue to do more in the coming year.

Finally, thoughtbot started a new series in October called The Bike Shed hosted by my friend Sean Griffin and Derek Prior. I’m really enjoying this young series. Sean and Derek are taking us to a more technical discussion of software, and I’m grateful for that. I can’t wait to hear what they have to say in 2015.

So here’s the TL;DR.

My top four podcasts:

Roman Mars’ 99% Invisible
Hrishikesh Hirway’s Song Exploder
Grady Booch’s On Computing
Sean Griffin and Derek Prior’s The Bike Shed

Also: If you’re looking for a good way to keep up with podcasts for iOS I would recommend Downcast (@downcastapp). It is the absolute best podcast catcher I’ve ever used. And I’ve tried quite a few.

If you have a favorite podcast, I want to hear about it! Hit me up on Twitter: @geopet.