Podcast Madness: East, Round 1

Recap: 40 podcasts, single-elimination brackets — 1 winner will emerge!

Read the first post here, then come back for the first round.

East, Game 1:

In the East (top left of my podcast bracket),  I have the Truth & Justice Podcast vs. the Tim Ferriss Show. These are totally different types of shows, so it may be a bit of an unfair matchup.

However, we press on (or press play?)! Truth & Justice is a show where the host finds crimes where he’s convinced the authorities have the wrong guy, then deconstructs the crime and asks listeners for help in their areas of expertise. I listened to season 3, episode 1, about the murder of a Japanese-American woman (actually, I’m not 100% sure if she was American or just married to an American?). The crime was laid out for the audience in the first episode, and even from one episode I can see the puzzle. But I’ve only listened to the one episode so far.

While interesting, I’m not sure the presentation is quite my style. I wished they could have put the ads at the beginning and/or end, and not interrupted the tale of a brutal stabbing with an ad for Blue Apron. That was a little jarring. Plus, the narrator at the beginning sounded like he might be about to announce a wrestling match. So I’m not sure it’s for me.

The Tim Ferriss Show episode I listened to was episode 221: Mr. Money Mustache. Because, of course (in case you don’t know, in my day job I’m a wealth manager). Tim Ferriss had interesting questions to ask Mr. M. Mustache (Pete Adeney) about the way he lives his life, how he got where he is today, and tips for achieving early retirement. The short story is that Pete and his wife started out saving incredibly aggressively while they were young (at good steady jobs), retired when they had their son, and are living life, not working for pay to this day.

Tim and Pete talked a lot about “optimizing” their lives and how the key to retiring young really is to spend a fraction of what you make and to keep your goal in mind. The Mustache family lives simply, rarely drives, and are very DIY, but they aren’t tied to working for pay. They invested the money they saved, and now they’re doing quite well.

The interview was interesting, and I liked hearing about their philosophy of what the “good life” is, but there were a few times they veered into self-congratulatory “bro club” territory. I’m guessing their main audience is male?

Winner: The Tim Ferriss Show

East, game 2:

Next up was Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! vs. the NPR TED Hour.

Wait Wait is a current events quiz show, with a short interview segment with a guest of the week, as well as a panel. I listened to the March 4 episode with Jordan Peele. Some of the questions were easy, as I was familiar with the story they were referencing (hooray! I’m up on current events!) and others I had no idea about (boo, I’m ignorant about current events!). So maybe a good mixture.

Since it’s NPR, production value was high, and the hosts were clever, but I’m not sure that a quiz show is my thing, exactly. At least, I’d probably do better on geeky trivia than on some of these current events. There’s only so much time/ energy I can devote to keeping up, and I think I’d want to keep up too much if I kept listening.

The TED Hour seems to aggregate a few TED talks on the same topic and play clips of them while giving some backstory and connecting threads. I listened to the March 3 episode “Decisions Decisions Decisions,” which I thought appropriate to the podcast bracket exercise.

They told me decisions can be hard, and I should cut down on the number I need to make. Also, that marketers are geniuses who probably rule my life through product placement, and the way questions are framed can determine which answers are usually chosen.

In the end, I think I’m going to come down on the side of…

Winner: the TED Hour

This was fun! I’m looking forward to the Midwest next.

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