Interviews with the Host

Sometimes I appear on other podcasts. Links to those shows appear here.

The Accidental Engineer - Mark Weiss

Podroll Reviews

Here are some other podcasts I enjoy. I will keep this list up to date as shows move in and out of heavy rotation.

This Week in Startups

As they say, you can take the boy out of Brooklyn, but you can’t take Brooklyn out of the boy. Host Jason Calacanis is a refreshingly brisk breeze clearing the room in your head of all the smoke being blown by the usual cast of self-promoting VC optimists and the opinionless tech journo hangers-on who trail behind them. Jason is a cheerleader himself, a believer in the fundamental premise of going for the unicorn, but his self-awareness, honesty, lack of tolerance for bullshit and willingness to take a critical stance give the show credibility and bite. In the current media it’s hard to find facts you can trust, but it might be even harder to find opinions you can trust. You know where Jason stands, so you can calibrate for yourself, rather than the usual experience of trying to figure out how you’re being played. He’s also a skilled interviewer: funny, likable, a sympathetic listener and just very quick, with the sharp, forward-looking sense for business and social trends you’d expect from an extremely successful angel investor. Finally, Jason pulls great guests and gets unique takes out of many of them.

- March 2019

Talking Machines

There are a lot of ML and AI podcasts, and I’ve listened to a lot of them, and several are quite good. Talking Machines stands out for a unique, independent and agenda-free point of view. Unlike many other shows covering the domain, TM doesn’t go deep on algos or tech, it doesn’t focus on specific industry use cases, and it doesn’t take sides in terms of ethics or vendors. Instead hosts Katherine Gorman and Neil Lawrence cover the field from the point of view of topics and trends in the research community and in the research itself. Lawrence comments on a topic each episode and answers a listener question, Gorman interviews an industry practitioner or researcher (many guests are a mix of both), and both share an easy conversational rapport combined with a willingness to talk frankly about tough questions. As a bonus, Lawrence has ties in Africa and there is relatively frequent (and always fascinating) coverage of how ML and AI are being used in some countries there. Overall, TM is a great way to take a step back and get a non-commercial, low-hype perspective on an area of tech currently plagued by a breathless lack of perspective and an onslaught of commercial hype.

- March 2019

CoRecursive

CoRecursive is the only podcast about general computer science and programming that I make time for. Host Adam Gordon Bell favors functional programming, but the podcast is not pedantic – it’s a valuable and non-judgmental mind-expander even if you swear by OO or don’t write anything but C or Python. Bell makes the impression of a reasonably experienced professional software engineer with a college level of knowledge of CS theory, yet he ventures gamely into conversations about complex ideas with extremely accomplished guests. Always clear about what he comprehends and what he finds confusing (thus disarming our own imposter syndrome), Bell holds his own, renders challenging ideas accessible (on the radio!), and often even manages to weave a narrative thread through the interview. If this sounds like it’s hard to pull off that’s because it is. CoRecursive targets a very specific audience. If that audience sounds like you, this show is definitely worth your time.

- March 2019