Thursday, November 27, 2008

Victor Davis Hanson - Hardcore History podcast review

The latest issue of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History is of an unusual format. Host Dan Carlin interviews historian Victor Davis Hanson, whereas normally the show consists of Dan Carlin retelling history in a very compelling narrative and ponder on it. It is interesting for the views expressed and for those who know Dan Carlin's work and want to understand a bit more of how he is influenced, but it is surely not representative for what Hardcore History is normally about.

The amazing talent Dan Carlin has in telling a story with contagious enthusiasm works slightly less in an interview. Dan's strength lies in how evocative he is, but an interviewer needs to be more in the background and cause the interviewed come out in a representative and coherent fashion. In this, Carlin succeeds less and so the quality of the show needs to be hauled in by Hanson and how his answers to Carlin's questions and remarks work together and make an impact.

Some subjects that are touched upon are, for one the importance of the classics for our culture and the impoverishment is caused by the fact that the classics are less known than ever. Another is a kind of nature versus nurture issue, translated to history: are people in the past significantly different, because of their profoundly different circumstances, or are people, just people and can we assume that they react to situations pretty similarly. The result is a good podcast, but not as excellent as the regular Hardcore History.

More Hardcore History:
Punic Nightmares III,
Punic Nightmares II ,
Punic Nightmares I,
Under the Influence,

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Geschichtspodcast - history podcast review

Here is a podcast in German I will be following as of now. Thanks to Volker Klärchen of the podcast Volkis Stimme I have finally been able to locate a history podcast in German: Geschichtspodcast from the history magazine and website Chronico. (feed)

A unique feature of the podcast, which sets it apart from English, Dutch and Hebrew history podcasts, is that Geschichtspodcast has two hosts (Marcel Schwarzenberger and David Maciejewski) and this makes it one of the very few that is actually a dialog podcast about history. In contrast with those few others that are out there, the dialog doesn't seem scripted and in any case, doesn't come out in an unnatural fashion at all. As a consequence, the Geschichtspodcast, is very accessible. Even if the dialog sometimes is minimal, as Marcel reviews a history book and David only chips in to read the quotes, the variation in voices is refreshing and pleasant.

The focus of subjects goes to the Middle Ages in about as wide as the definition can take us, from late Roman times well into modernity - Marcel and David are not very picky about this. The chosen topics are triggered by books, research, expositions, news items and upcoming reenactment events they announce and review. Consequently, apart from history, one will also learn about current events that deserve attention. In addition, there is always an item about historical music, some of which, where rules allow such, will be played on the show. In short, a full fledged, entertaining, informative, professional and highly accessible podcast about history.

More history podcasts with a reenactment attention:
All things Medieval.

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Chris Brogan - Meetings Podcast review

Spending a lot of mental energy on maintaining a blog and evaluating podcasts, draws my attention frequently towards technology in general and the rise of new media (social or not) in particular. I have not written a lot about it, because it is usually not relevant for the content of this blog. However, both my day-job and the maintenance of this blog make me very involved in the modern media and have me keep an eye on what's happening and what's hot.

A recurring name is Chris Brogan, who is a leading thinker and speaker in the world of social media and its application for business. Therefore, when he was interviewed on a podcast, I naturally tuned in and listened. He was on the Meetings Podcast, which is a business podcast that operates in the meetings and business events industry. (Meetings Podcast with Chris Brogan)

The hosts of the program and Chris Brogan are well acquainted to each other and that results in a very friendly atmosphere nearly closing out the listener. I had a feeling that maybe I missed out on a couple of inside jokes. Other than that, this was, in my opinion, a very typical business podcast: no very deep thoughts and theories but a lot of one-liners and indicative statements of what might be the trend.

See also:
Anne is a Man among Chris Brogan's 'Rockstars'

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German podcasts

I have not yet attempted a systematic search into German podcasts. Consequently, the material I have picked up, is what I stumbled upon. A bit of guidance I have begun receiving from Volker Klärchen of the podcast Volkis Stimme and so I hope to review some more German podcasts within my regular realm of subjects, beginning with history.

Until then, it may be interesting to note what it is I have ran into, by simply jumping from one train onto another. As Volker also noted, there seems to be a tendency among the German speakers to prefer the audio-blog. It is his observation there are mostly podcasts with people telling about their personal lives and indeed, those are the majority I have run into. The first, was the famous Schlaflos in München by Annik Rubens, but it was followed by the lesser known Leben und Überleben mit 45+ and Jungesellenblog. Leben und Überleben is a podcast by Frank Landschoof in which he relates his life after having recovered from leukemia. Junggesellenblog reveals the life of a student named Maxim who tries not to waste too much time on podcasting and watching TV and actually get some learning done.

My erratic search had to be stopped when I ran into Meiky (Micheal). He delivers two related feeds around his efforts in audio-drama. One is the podcast play per se and the other is the same alternated with interaction with his audience and fellow podcasters. Meiky points to so many of his colleagues, I overloaded and turned to Volker of Volkis Stimme for guidance. As to Meiky's Podcast Show it needs to be said we have a podcast that can not easily be pegged down in one category or the other, apart from being generally funny, a comedy show, that is thrown back and forth between the silly audio sketches and the hilarious interactions Meiky, or his alter-egos, engage in with the audience.

Volkis Stimme,
Schlaflos in München.

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