When sifting through the long tail of news and analysis content on the web, you can find your expectations diminished in the face of a huge amount of mediocre material. I recently did a clean out of my RSS feeds because I realised that several of them had become more of an obligation rather than a source of good information.
And then, as has just happened to me, occasionally you find a diamond. In this case, not just a shiny rock that looks good against the background, but a real flippin diamond.
It’s Econtalk, the weekly podcast sponsored by Liberty Fund Incorporated, which sounds like the sort of doublespeak name a attack helicopter lobby firm would give itself. But Liberty Fund assures us that it is…
…a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals. The Foundation develops, supervises, and finances its own educational activities, with the goal of fostering discussion and thought on enduring topics pertaining to the creation and maintenance of such a society.
And having listened to the back catalogue of Econtalk podcasts over the last few weeks, I believe them. In their words the podcast…
…features one-on-one discussions with an eclectic mix of authors, professors, Nobel Laureates, entrepreneurs, leaders of charities and businesses, and people on the street. The emphases are on using topical books and the news to illustrate economic principles. Exploring how economics emerges in practice is a primary theme.
Sounds dry but in fact it’s awesome. If you fancy giving it a try, there are two back episodes that I keep going back to:
- A conversation with Chris Anderson, ex-editor in chief of Wired and now CEO of a robotics SME, on the way industrial manufacturing has moved to the desktop.
- Kevin Kelly talks with host Russ Roberts about measuring productivity in the internet age.
I certaintly don’t agree with many of the views of the guests on the show, but the podcasts are a rich source of good information and opinions from people at the top of their game.
Worth a listen.