Just a quick follow-up to a comment I made on Twitter. Over the past several years I have listened to dozens and dozens of podcasts, on a very wide range of subjects, with the result that there is now not a single podcast that I listen to regularly.
Podcasts, overall, are
(1) People struggling to articulate for you stuff you could find out by looking it up on Wikipedia (e.g. In Our Time);
(2) People using old-timey radio tricks to fool you into thinking that a boring and inconsequential story is fascinating (e.g. Serial);
(3) People leveraging their celebrity in a given field as permission to ramble incoherently about whatever happens to come to their minds (e.g. The Talk Show); or
(4) People using pointless audio-production tricks to make a pedestrian story seem cutting-edge (e.g. Radiolab).
The world of podcasting desperately needs people to take it seriously and invest real thought and creativity into it. There are a lot of not-so-smart people who invest all they have in podcasts; there are a lot of smart people who do podcasts as an afterthought, giving them a fraction of the attention they give to their “real work.” So far it’s a medium of exceptional potential almost wholly unrealized.
All that said, The Memory Palace is pretty good.