How Doctors Die

Peacefully, with dignity, and not in hospital according to medical professor Ken Murray. Classic essay on the downsides to overly-agressive medical treatment.

How to Get Rich

I really enjoyed this set of podcasts by Silicon Valley tech investor turned philosopher Naval Ravikant. He's a smart guy with a lot of interesting things to say about the world. Admittedly, listening to him had zero effect on my net worth, but that's because I'm a uniquely spiritual individual. Less saintly types will no doubt find his advice more profitable.

The Fall of Rome Podcast

Patrick Wyman had just completed his PhD thesis on the late Roman empire when he recorded this podcast series and his expertise shows. Balancing scholarly rigour with entertainment is a tough challenge but he manages it impressively well. The series has 23 episodes in total, each about 40 minutes long.

End Games — Existential Threats to Human Civilization

Rob Reid's After On tech podcast is a series of in-depth interviews with smart, interesting people at the top of their fields. These two chats with Naval Ravikant on near-future threats to human civilization are among the best. AI, drone technology, and (most of all) synthetic biology are the main topics on the agenda.

The History of Rome Podcast

The granddaddy of all history podcasts, Mike Duncan's History of Rome was the first and it's still one of the best. Roughly 180 episodes, about 20 minutes each, covering the history of Rome from the founding of the city in 753 BC until the fall of the western empire in 476 AD.

Education as Signalling

Bryan Caplan's thesis: college degrees are valuable but not because colleges teach important knowledge or skills — they mostly don't. Instead, a college degree functions as a hard-to-fake signal for potential employers of an individual's pre-existing intelligence, conscientiousness, and willingness to conform.

The Shell Hater's Handbook

Ryan Tomayko's classic (and very funny) introduction to "thinking in shell". I found this talk genuinely eye-opening the first time I watched it.

Breaking the Spell — Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

Philosopher Dan Dennett on the natural history of religion. Thesis: religions are memes — highly evolved psychological viruses which replicate by infecting human minds.

The Birth & Death of JavaScript

Gary Bernhardt looks back from a post-apocalyptic 2035 to describe the 40 year saga of the rise and fall of JavaScript.

PHP — a fractal of bad design

The single most vicious takedown of a programming language ever written.

1177 BC — The Year Civilization Collapsed

Classics professor Eric Cline on the mysterious Bronze Age catastrophe that brought down empires and ushered in the first Dark Age.

The Year Without Pants

A talk by Scott Berkun about his time spent working remotely for Automattic, the company behind WordPress.


Gary Bernhardt on the strange, strange, strangeness of JavaScript.