Wednesday, June 27, 2007

TdF London - podcast

This year, the Tour de France is going to start in London. The prologue will be on July 7th and the next day, on Sunday 8th, the first stage will go from London to Canterbury. That is all TdF is going to see in England as from there it is going continental.

If you are looking for a podcast about the Tour de France, so far, not much is to be found. The British are excited on hosting the start and there is a Tour de France London podcast, but other than that, a search shows casts on last year, or even 2005. Maybe, the cycling podcasters still have to wake up, but last year's experience showed, after many searches nothing of note. Neither in English, nor in French, German or Dutch was there anything worthy of mentioning. Let's hope this year will be better.

The Military History Podcast

On the subject of the Military History Podcast as an educational podcast, I may be only mildly enthusiastic, but as a general podcast story, this is absolutely fabulous. This is the story about a kid named George Hageman who fell in love with military history and, as modern kids do, got all the hardware, software and tech knowledge needed for podcasting and simply started podcasting. He did so in 2005 and and by now, 2007, the podcast is still alive and kicking.

He has maintained the monotonous monologue, but added audio gadgets, sources and, early on, hauled in a sponsor contract. He makes 10 to 20 minute episodes on various subjects or battles in warring history. I am not particularly fond of the subject, neither of the format, but I admire the professionalism. Any historian could do this, but in practice they do not. George, therefore, stands on the forefront of modern history education and most likely, on his own, makes more people interested in history than many studied persons together.

A systematic discussion on Jung

The Jung Podcast is entirely about the psychology of Carl Gustave Jung. It is presented by the psycho-analyst John Betts who is a located in Canada, but received his education in Zürich, Switzerland. Betts gives a systematic introduction into the ideas of Jung and goes on to apply it in the various relevant fields.

I can recommend this podcast as a purely educational one. If you want to learn about Jung, this is an excellent point of start and possibly also a source of listening complementary to your studies. A little less appropriate it is for leisure audio and swift acquaintance with Jung. The casts are lengthy, exhaustive and carefully set up just as if they were university lectures. You have to be ready for the monologue, the low audio level and the studious approach of John Betts. If you are, this will be a great podcast. If you are not, you will be bored pretty soon.

Common Sense -- In Our Time

In Our Time opens with a couple of quotes on how philosophers generally lack common sense. Or so, at least is the common sense opinion, from non-philosophers. When philosophers themselves try to preserve common sense in their work, what comes of such an enterprise?

One such common sense notion that philosophers may want to preserve is what is known in philosophy as realism. This is the idea that there is an external world that we perceive through our senses. In other words: the world is real and we can largely trust our senses. One will want to try to defend this idea and rather not turn into a skeptic, one who is not sure and doubts the trustworthiness of our senses, or turn, god forbid, into an idealist, one who rejects the idea of an external world.

The project to preserve common sense ideas such as realism is, upon close scrutiny quite hazardous and In Our Time, while discussing among others Bacon, Descartes, Hume and Kant, show how even when one sets out to give a firm philosophical base to common sense, runs into much trouble. To find that even Wittgenstein is supposed to be an adherent of common sense philosophy confuses me as my former attempts at reading and understanding Wittgenstein have confused me.

Forty two and a half minutes of quality podcast, on the other hand, are quite the treat and making much amends.