Saturday, July 19, 2008


This is a podcast recommendation.

A few months ago, "This American Life" decided to promote WNYC's show, "Radiolab." They simply re-broadcast a Radiolab episode in hopes of attracting people to that show. Since then, I've been downloading the Radiolab podcast.

And Radiolab is a very interesting show. They do some unorthodox but interesting things with the audio editing -- things that could easily become gimmicky in other hands. But the creators of the show ensure that any quirks in the sound editing are in support of the material, not just something to make people go "Oooooh!"

This past week's episode is a rerun from a couple of years ago. The topic is "Emergence," the concept that
(according to Wikipedia) "the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions." For example, ant colonies building their nests in a way that their entrances stay above water level during floods -- something so intelligent that you couldn't expect from any individual ants, but which somehow occurs when the ants congregate in large numbers.

The episodes tend to come in clumps of five programs released in a row, then several weeks off, then another five episodes, etc. All the episodes I've listened to have been immensely interesting.

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