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?
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.
The first three 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: 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.
Commentary Magazine Podcast: The four main
journalists for Commentary Magazine chat for an hour about the news of the day - a
conservative, anti-Trump take on things and sometimes filtered through a Jewish lens.
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, 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 Spectator Podcast: When the Brexit vote hit I began
reading The Spectator, a somewhat conservative British magazine. More recently, I have traded the magazine for the
podcast, but 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. I also listen to
the other Spectator podcasts - Holy Smoke (on religion) and Coffee House Shots (on British politics).
NZZ Akzent: This is a short podcast in German that comes out several times
per week with interesting stories and interviews on various topics from the current news.
Indubio: This is the podcast of the German webpage
Achse des Guten. Conservative journalists and interview guests gab for an hour or so. Sometimes it is quite
dense in information and quite interesting. Sometimes it is more polemical and letting off steam.
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."
Ten Blocks: This is the podcast of City Journal, a magazine with a conservative to
libertarian take on politics, economics and culture with a focus on New York, but with lots of stories of national
and international interest.
I listen to three podcasts in the general orbit of National Review:
The Editors, the offical
podcast of that magazine which is similar to the Commentary Magazine podcast mentioned above in
that the writers sit for an hour and talk the issues of the day. I
include The Dispatch with Jonah Goldberg and other journalists
in the same category.
Lage der Nation: This is the best podcast on politics I've
found in the German language so far. The two hosts - der Journalist
Philip Banse und
der Richter Ulf Buermeyer - go over recent political
events. 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 on the news of the day is somewhat less interesting.
News and Commentary
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. It bills itself as a journal of heterodox journalism and I would say that is accurate. It is particularly
strong on free speech issues and giving a voice to those who have been "cancelled" in various contexts.
UnHerd is similar to Quillette in form, goals and writing - an all
online journal with long-form journalism on politics, culture and other issues.
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. The City Journal
is backed by the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank.
The Atlantic Monthly is where I go - albeit rarely, 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.