Monday, November 28, 2016

Is this thing still on? Podcasting Done Right

Over the past few years I've become increasingly hooked on podcasts.  I listen while I walk, while I eat, while I do chores, and when I can't sleep.  Perhaps I'll have more to say, but want to highlight the recent episode of Slate Money.  In this episode (Episode No. 133: The Optimism Edition), the usual hosts (Cathy O'Neil, Felix Salmon, and Joran Weissmann) were joined by Laura Arnold to discuss various aspects of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.  Nothin too remarkable about that -- a post-Thanksgiving show focused on philanthropy seems pretty standard.  What made this remarkable was the presence of Cathy O'Neil in the discussion, and her ability to challenge the assumptions and highlight ideas otherwise skipped over, particularly in the realm of models related to the use of statistical models in the  criminal justice system.   O'Neil has real expertise in this area, and opinions supported by research and thought and contemplation.   This makes the conversation much more meaningful than so many other podcasts focused on some issue of the day that devolves into punditry.

Expertise is valuable.  Who knew?

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