Favorite things, day 1: podcasts

Podcasts make me smarter. It’s that simple.

There is so much great information from so many smart people out there, on any topic you can think of.

My favorite podcasts are from experts who know what they’re talking about. Even better if they also interview smart guests.

Fortt Knox by Jon Fortt

Jon is one of the smartest voices on technology trends, the big tech companies as well as tech policy issues. He also interviews some of the biggest names in tech and business. I asked Jon what his favorite pods are. He said:

He is also a fellow refugee from the newspaper industry. Both of us made the right call there; both of us are sad about its state.

Slate Money with Felix Salmon

Felix talks about the global economy, finance and has been talking a lot about Brexit. (I’m guessing he’ll talk a lot about the disaster as it unfolds.) He also talks about technology companies. There are sometimes interesting segments on personal finance.

This is a very geeky podcasts, but I’m a geek, so that’s perfectly fine.

(I know I’m giving short shrift to his partners and guests, but I know Felix.)

Stay Tuned with Preet

Preet was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. SDNY has the most powerful and influential prosecutors in the world. Preet was famously fired by Trump for not returning his phone call.

Much of the podcast is focused on current politics, with impeachment dominating recent episodes and I imagine the months to come. The back half of the podcast is interviews with a stellar lineup of guests. My favorites are:

  • Ken Feinberg, who ran the 9/11 victims fund. Also known as the Master of Disaster, Feinberg is often called on to administer settlements and charitable donations. It’s an interesting look at how to assign dollar values to human life and suffering.
  • Edward Norton. I usually skip past celebrity interviews, but Norton just drew me in. Not only is he a terrific actor, he struck me as having genius-level knowledge. It was fascinating (and sad) to hear some of his anecdotes about structural racism. e.g. In NYC, they opened a beautiful beach to the public. But they built the bridges so low that public buses (relied on by African Americans) couldn’t fit under them.

Preet’s book, Doing Justice, has fascinating insights into our justice system and is a must read/listen for those who care about justice, holding white collar criminals accountable and the travesties inflicted by our justice system.

Disclosure: Jon and Felix are personal friends. I’ve never met Preet, though I hope to some day. Preet ducked a question I asked in an interview. I worked at Amazon, but was nowhere senior enough to meet Wilke. Affiliate link for Preet’s book.


About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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