Podcasts to seek out
A terrific long interview with Anne Case on the FT Alphaville podcast – Dr Case has been making waves with a series of research papers with Angus Deaton studying the contrast between the mortality rates of 45-54 year old American whites (which are rising, or depending on the details, not falling) and mortality rates of African Americans (high but falling) and Hispanic Americans (low and falling) and Europeans (low and falling). Important topic, important interview.
More or Less is back on air, 4.30pm UK time on Fridays, Radio 4. The podcast is here – please send us your thoughts via email@example.com. We’ll be fact-checking the UK election campaign, of course, but plenty of other stuff too. (This week: who is the better mathematician – Kate Bush, Bob Dylan, or George Harrison?)
Planet Money had a charming podcast asking – who exactly invents “National Caramel Day” or “National Splurge Day”? The answer surprised them, and me.
Fictoplasm, my favourite lo-fi podcast, has just tackled Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea and asks what gaming ideas the novels inspire.
If you’re a fan of podcasts, do spread the word by telling a friend or two about a podcast you’ve enjoyed.
What I’ve been reading
Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea (US) (UK). Magnificent, of course – although the fourth book, Tehanu, does rather repudiate everything else. The second book, The Tombs of Atuan, might just be the most perfect fantasy novel imaginable.
Tyler Cowen The Complacent Class (US) (UK) – I wrote about some of the ideas in Tyler’s book here in my FT column, but there’s a lot more too it. Very interesting indeed, and original. It made me think about the world in a different way.
They’ve moved from the FT Magazine to the Saturday newspaper. Online, you can find them all here (subscription required) and I’ll be putting them on this website after a delay of a month.