Sunday, July 19, 2009

Elucidations - philosophy podcast review

Two graduate students of the University of Chicago have a philosophy podcast named Elucidations (feed). They interview their professors about assorted subjects in philosophy. For listeners familiar with podcasts in the genre, their approach will seem extremely familiar to Philosophy Bites.

As opposed to Philosophy Bites this podcast apparently does not keep old episodes in the feed. The website suggests there were several previous episodes, but the feed delivers only one chapter, a talk with Agnes Callard about human desire and satisfaction. If somebody desires to catch the train to New York and finds he is late. He then runs to catch the train he sees leaving from the platform. He manages to jump on and while catching his breath he finds he has boarded the train to Chicago. Has his desire to catch the train been satisfied?

This case used to analyze the various ways to view desire and satisfaction. He wanted to catch the train and that he has managed, so his desire was satisfied. Or not, because he wanted to get to New York and now he will reach Chicago in stead. Callard proposes a different way of defining desire and satisfaction than either completely reducing or amassing the elements.

Philosophy Bites on this blog:
Michael Sandel,
Aristotle's Ethics,
Alternative Hedonism.

Brieftour-Pod podcast review

On Friday morning, I did exactly the right thing to optimize the experience of listening to the German podcast Brieftour-Pod (feed). I took a walk. Since the podcast is recorded with a 'Kunstkopf' microphone (dummy head recording), which basically means the podcaster (Michael Eggers) is wearing a stereophone microphone on his head and this records sounds exactly the way he experiences it.

Michael Eggers works as a mailman and makes his podcast while he is doing his rounds. Consequently, while I walked the streets in my Mediterranean home town, I was delivered the experience of Michael's Brieftour in the streets of Neumuenster, which is a small town north of Hamburg. It was like making two walks at the same time with undergoing street sounds of my town and his at the same time.

And while he does his round and makes us take in the surrounding soundscape, he talks about various subjects that come up. As to the content, this makes the podcast a personal audioblog. For example, the listener is made partner in the loss of Michael's mother. Also, he relates to the audience the recipes of his cakes and such. Somehow, the Kunstkopf aspect of the podcast gives the whole result a very fresh and impromptu quality.

More German podcasts:
Ersatz TV,
Volkis Stimme,
Schlaflos in Muenchen,
And more.