Diese Liste dient nicht dazu, meine etwas planlose Gelehrsamtkeit zu demonstrieren. Sie ist eher als Einladung zum
Gespräch gemeint. Ich habe manchmal den Eindruck, die einzige Person in Tübingen zu sein, der sich für diese
Themen interessiert. Das Fehlen einer deutschaprachigen Diskussion zu manchen dieser Themen - oder meine Unfähigkeit,
diese Diskussion zu finden - erstaunt mich immer wieder vom Neuen. Sam Harris kann in den USA große Hallen füllen. Wer
kann das hier? Ich glaube, es liegt daran, dass der anglo-amerikanisch konservative Denkstil hier fast gänzlich fehlt. Ich
denke nicht immer so, aber ich denke immer mehr so und fühle mich zunehmend davon angezogen.
I include this lists of my favorite media "inputs" not as a display of my haphazard erudition, but as an invitation
to conversation. I have the impression - hopefully false - that I am the only person I know in Tübingen who follows
these trends and themes. They cover a rather broad swath of territory that seems to be almost completely absent
from German public discourse. Please get in touch if our interests coincide.
Wenn Sie sich mit Podcasts nicht auskennen, lesen Sie zuerst meine Podcastanleitung.
The first five in particular I would highly recommend as models of what discourse on politics, culture and economics should
be like. They have long, hard, but cordial conversations with people they disagree with.
Waking Up by Sam Harris. This was the first podcast I discovered and still my
favorite. Harris made his national reputation with two big books
attacking religion, but has since moved into other issues (which he had been working on before, but below
the radar) including meditation, neuroscience, philosophy, technology, violence, ethics and, since the rise of Trump, even some
politics. I think Harris has a sense of what the really important meta-issues of our time are, and connects them to the eternal
question of how it is we want to live. Harris's interviews are very good examples of where our discourse should be heading.
He invites people on and explores issues, agreeing and disagreeing as he goes, but pressing the issue and taking time - as much
as needed - to go into detail, while always keeping things polite and on track. This podcast has no pre-determined length. The
conversation takes as long as it takes - typically 90 minutes to two hours. Harris is strong when he is in his wheelhouse,
dealing with areas of his expertise (meditation, science, neurology) or where he is well read and well practiced in
discussion (religion), but gets weaker when his guest is from an entirely different area (climate change, politics). This
isn't so much because of the side he comes down on (usually the left). It is because he doesn't know how to press the guest
or follow-up on an answer in a critical way informed by a background in the opposing view.
The Rubin Report: These are one-on-one interviews with various entertainers, pundits,
authors and others with some (for me annoying) pop-culture references, but a lot about politics. His big issues are
free speech and exploring the meaning of "liberalism." If anything, the host here is too non-confrontational. He is a former
lefty and now calls himself a "classical liberal". He doesn't really press the issues with his guests when he
disagrees with them. I have stopped listening to every interview and now skip it if his guest is mostly going to talk about the
comedy scene, video games or pop culture. His religious, philosophical, media and political guests are far more interesting.
Econ Talk: This isn't just about economics. In fact, only a few episodes are narrowly about
economics at all. The guests are usually authors plugging recent books and the host explores the book with the guest. The host
often brings an economic line of questioning into the topic of the week, but even people with little interest in economics will
find much of interest here: politics, technology, science, education, history and ethics with sidetracks all over the place.
Disagreements here can be much more substantial that in the Rubin Report, but are not as rigorously pursued as with Sam
Harris. The podcast can be frustrating because it is exactly one hour and that is often simply not enough time.
Confessions: This is by Giles Fraser of
Unherd, which I regularly read. He is an Anglican priest and considers himself a "man of
the left", but many of his guests and some of his particular opinions are not "left". This podcast is also one hour. He
goes into the personal background of his interviewees in depth, exploring their childhoods and lifetime intellectual development.
John Anderson: Conversations: This is an Australian conservative who
invites various authors, politicians and commentators in for long-form conversation on their recent work. For a summary of
the conservative world view on today's problems (free speech, climate change, nowheres vs somewheres, Brexit,
anti-Semitism, mass migration etc.) I strongly recommend his two interviews with Melanie Phillips.
One I no longer listen to regularly, but which I can highly recommend for long-form, open-ended discussion is
the Joe Rogan Experience. Some of his subjects don't interest me much -
he does a lot of mixed-martial-arts commentary, for example. His interests are so broad that he is often pretty much at
the mercy of his guests, since he can't possibly prepare for their level of expertise. He is intelligent and curious, however,
and the conversations are the kind of discourse we need.
The CATO Institute's daily podcast: These are short interviews with in-house experts at CATO about
ongoing issues of government policy and court decisions at state and federal level. It is ideologically "libertarian", meaning
it is generally pro-free market, pro-small government and anti-interventionist in foreign policy. It is particularly useful on
the legal/constitutional side of issues.
The Spectator Podcast: When the Brexit vote hit I began
reading The Spectator, a somewhat conservative British magazine. I would highly recommend both. They have voices
from the left and the right, with a bit more of the latter, but without the foaming-at-the-mouth "alt-right" kind of polemics.
They often invite two guests who disagree, but it is never a shouting match. A great source for following both British
politics and US and international developments. If you subscribe to the Spectator channel, you get all their podcasts -
all of which I can recommend: "Holy Smoke" on religion, "Americano" on US politics, their books podcast, "Coffee House
Shots" on the day-to-day of British politics and more.
In January of 2019 I discovered the Femsplainers podcast, a cheeky
quasi-feminist talkshow I have come to enjoy. Sometimes their banter can get a bit annoying as they talk over each other.
Lage der Nation: This is the best podcast on politics I've found in
the German language so far. The two hosts - the journalist
Philip Banse and
the judge Ulf Buermeyer - go over recent political events, focusing
mainly on Germany. Sometimes it is just a slightly more detailed recap of the usual political news. They are particularly
strong when getting into the legal or constitutional details of issues - their talk about how the recent German gay marriage
law was passed and their discussion of the recent changes to the German constitution were particularly good example of
this. The commentary is less interesting because is always predictably left-of-center mainstream and devoid of any real
disagreement or controversy. They could use a counter-voice on many issues. This is quite often apparent when they
comment at length, but even crops up when they comment in passing. Sometimes I want to shout, "Halt! So einfach ist das
nicht!", for example when they briefly dismissed constitutional originalism out of hand in a passing remark, as if it
were simply and obviously stupid and not - as in my view - a robust and fruitful approach to law. (And then go on to use
originalist arguments themselves in a later podcast.) I have tired of this podcast and don't listen to it regularly any more,
but it is the best comprehensive political podcast I know in German.
I recently (late 2019) discovered The Delingpod with James Delingpole. He
is an author at The Spectator and he is very right-wing as are most of his guests. This podcast shows
the far right at its most reasonable - pushing right-wing views uncompromisingly while stopping short of the lunatic fringe.
I have only heard a handful of episodes of CRE, a long-form German-language podcast for
interviews with experts in various fields. I was particularly impressed by the episodes on hunting ("die Jagd"),
machine learning (titled "künstliche Intelligenz") and civil aviation ("Zivilluftfahrt"). The episode on the 1968 generation
is also very good, but the listener should have some background in the material to follow along. Unfortunately, this podcast
is very irregular.
I recently rediscovered Dennis Prager with his Fireside Chat. His daily three-hour radio show
is too much. But his weekly 30-minutes are fun. He is very conservative in a friendly, liberal kind of way. I used to listen
to his radio show 25-35 years ago and, in the 1990s, read one of his books. At the time, I rebelled against his ideas. But they
make more and more sense to me.
The podcast The Portal with Eric Weinstein a mathematician and phycist. This podcast can get
very heady when it gets into those fields. But much of this is about a journey to discover new ways forward for individuals
and societies. His conversations cover math, physics, religion, history, technology, philosophy, music and culture.
People who know me might be looking for Jordan Peterson here. Yes, he has a
podcast. It has recently become a collection of the recordings of his
lectures. They can be good, but Peterson is best in interviews and discussions or in his lectures in a more systematic
academic setting. His lectures - pretty much "on the fly" during his recent lecture tours - are not as good and are rather
repetative. Some of the older episodes of his podcast where he interviews people are better. I have become selective here and
don't listen to this podcast regularly.
Writing on the News and Politics
Quillette This new all-online journal came out of nowhere for me when Sam Harris
interviewed a guy who had written for it. Since then, I have heard various commentators refer to it. They also have a podcast
in which they interview some of their authors on their recent articles.
City Journal offers alternative versions of some of the big stories and
issues of the day and is a good source for anecdotes and examples for my classroom teaching on politics and economics.
The focus of the journal is urban policy (education, policing etc.), but it ranges beyond that as well. They also have a
podcast called "10 Blocks" in which they interview some of their authors on their recent articles. The City Journal
is backed by the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank.
The Atlantic Monthly is where I go - albeit rarely in the
last few years, especially since I found Quillette - for lengthy, thoughful articles on various subjects. They
won me over in April 2015 with a great article on ISIS.
My only paper newspaper is the Schwäbisches Tagblatt. I have subscribed to the British
CATO - Magazin für neue Sachlichkeit. The latter
is very conservative for a German publication and sometimes seems to be trying a bit too hard to be intellectual,
but there are some useful perspectives, including articles on France, the US, and Britain. It is the only German-language
place I have found that takes the conservative side of the Anglo-American world view seriously. When I'm at the newsstand
and get something on the fly, I go broad but lean to the right and will buy Süddeutsche Zeitung, Spiegel,
FAZ, NZZ, Weltwoche, Tichys Einblick or even Junge Freiheit. With the exception of
Tichy, I read none of these very regularly. Tichys Einblick also has a
podcast, but it doesn't appear regularly and is sometimes a bit
too self-righteous in tone. I have recently found that FAZ and NZZ both have podcasts of lectures or readings
of their long-form articles, but I have only begun to explore these. The tone in both is very academic. They are not
conversations or interviews, but presentations/readings.