Can you hear it pumping on your iPod continues . . .

13 08 2008

More additions to my list of iTunes subscriptions. The tough part is that ever since my iPod Shuffle started to malfunction, becoming reduced in the process to a glorified thumb-drive, I have to trawl through Windows Explorer and add each episode of the podcasts I listen to individually to my girlfriend’s non iPod mp3 player. Baby Jesus gets his revenge!

Apologia: Hosted by Zach Moore, this is a very intelligent and very listenable roundtable discussion between theists and atheists, covering a range of philosophical, political, atheist and apologetics-related topics. As an English teacher, I’ve always found the panel discussion, as opposed to the formal debate, to be the best means of grappling with an idea or argument in a substantive way; one of the keys of Apologia’s success is, I think you will find, its adoption of this format. (Indeed, one of its worst episodes featured a debate between a regular panellist and a presuppositionalist; the show took a nose-dive when it became clear that the presuppostionalist was participating in the debate with his fingers firmly planted in his ears, waiting for his turn to repeat the same argument ad nauseam.) One of the panellists also co-hosts a podcast with William Lane Craig; in spite of this, he comes across as quite reasonable on Apologia.

The Bible Geek: I can’t get enough of Biblical scholar and skeptic Robert M. Price, when his audio is freely available, of course. Unfortunately, he’s one of these podcasters who, like the Infidel Guy, charges for much of his content. So those of you who, like me, baulk at the thought of paying for internet audio will simply have to make do with the 5-minute free samples he doles out here, usually in the form of responses to listener’s questions.

Atheist Talk: No, not that “Atheist Talk”! This is the cable TV show, also produced by Minnesota Atheists, featuring interviews, lectures and debates, minus the cheesy promotions, buffet-restaurant commercials and amateurism of the radio show. (Is there anything more frustrating, or awkward, than hearing a well-crafted line of thought cut off in its prime because the presenters have to cut to “Hey Bjorn! Hey Jeanette!”) I can’t see a feed on the webpage, but you can subscribe to the audio component of Atheist Talk (the TV show) through iTunes.

The Philosopher’s Zone: I can’t believe I haven’t added this one to my sidebar already, but I did mention it in an earlier post. The format of The Philosopher’s Zone is almost identical to that of Philosophy Bites, though each episode is almost twice as long. The fact that a radio programme like this would in all probability otherwise not be available is part of the raison-d’etre for having a publicly-funded national broadcaster.

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9 responses

13 08 2008
null

Cool, I’ve been looking for new podcasts since some of the older ones have fallen off the radar, and the Philosopher’s Zone sounds like it’ll fill the gap.

I’ve given up on the Minnesota Atheists’ podcast because it’s so badly produced and half of the time I can’t make out what they’re saying and, frankly, August Berkshire is simply impossible to understand to my sensitive British ears.

I do wish Bob Price’s episodes were longer, though: he’s got a great presence.

Thanks for giving me something to fill up my shiny new iPod touch with. 🙂

13 08 2008
AV

Oddly enough, August Berkshire is my favourite among the radio show crew. He was in top form against the KKMS Christian radio presenters when they were recent guests on Atheist Talk, as he was when he appeared on their show.

As a counter-apologist he’s pretty formidable. As for the other presenters . . . meh.

19 08 2008
Bjorn Watland

You should be able to find feeds here:
http://mnatheists.org/content/view/34/37/

The site is confusing. The problems with the radio show should be getting better. It is recorded live, and there is no editing, and we’re forced to rush segments because time is running out. If we were sitting around a computer, it could be more polished, but it is what it is. We keep the ads in because our sponsors are footing 1/3rd the cost of broadcasting the show, Minnesota Atheists is footing another third, and August Berkshire is footing a third. I think we have more downloads of our show then live listeners, and so far ads, even the cheesy ads have been effective, but I think we need to change them up a bit. No one is getting paid to do the show, and everyone has full time jobs in addition to volunteering, which is probably why the show is as bad as it is, that and no one has any radio experience.

Do you have any suggestions on who you’d like to have on the show? The benefit of having a real radio show, is that we can get better guests then if it were just a podcast.

19 08 2008
AV

Bjorn: I think your guest list has been just fine, and I don’t know who I would suggest that you haven’t probably lined up already. (Unless you are interested in an antipodean perspective, in which case I might suggest the broadcasterPhillip Adams, or Max Wallace, director of the Australian National Secular Association.)

I think the problems with your show are exactly as you’ve outlined: you’re trying to do too much in too little time. I think everyone appreciates that you’re a volunteer organisation and lack radio experience. I have no radio experience myself, and can only venture my unqualified opinions on how it might be improved. Basically: unless you can secure a longer period of air time, I don’t see why your programme needs to be a “talk” show, since there is such little time to take calls and read emails anyway. Advertising is obviously a necessary evil, but why—and I am doubtless betraying my ignorance of broadcasting in the US here—does the show have to be “live” at all? If a pre-recorded and edited product makes for a more polished product, why can’t the show be pre-recorded and edited?

20 08 2008
Bjorn Watland

My opinion is that it isn’t live at all. We rarely get calls or emails, and that kind of stuff doesn’t need immediate answers anyway, we could field questions based on who is going to be on. The whole reason for having a live show is to reach out an interact with atheists and others in the community, but non atheists have no interest in a show called “Atheists Talk.” Unfortunately, we’re on contract until the end of this year, at which time, I doubt it will be renewed.

On a side note, our TV show is also essentially live. There is only one take.

We need feedback from listeners, whether they are broadcasters or not, because we don’t know what the hell we’re doing. If we aren’t producing content that people like, we shouldn’t bother.

20 08 2008
AV

Well, I hope the show doesn’t get cancelled, and if it does, I hope you guys will be able to resurrect it as a podcast. I think you do have something different to offer than, say, The Atheist Experience or The Non-Prophets (as fantastic as those shows are), something that really shone through in August Berkshire’s interview with the KKMS presenters. I think the ACA’s Matt Dillahunty is brilliant, but he does tend to lose patience rather quickly with theist interlocutors, and he also tends to return again and again to the same talking points. August’s counter-apologetics, by contrast, are calmly and politely presented, and clinically effective. More August Berkshire, please! 🙂

21 08 2008
Bjorn Watland

I’m trying to get him and Matt on a show together.

21 08 2008
AV

I’m trying to get him and Matt on a show together.

That would be great.

27 10 2008
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