Year 2019 in Podcasts

That messed up the trajectory of my life

The Peter Attia Drive Podcast:

“Sam Harris, Ph.D.: The transformative power of mindfulness”

This particular podcast opened my eyes to Buddhism and meditation. It was one of those mysterious moments that things somehow just clicked. Since then, I was able to stick to a regular meditation routine, went to a 10-day silent meditation retreat, and have become mindful that I am still as mindless as ever.

This American Life:

“Umbrellas Up”


It was emotional that Ira Glass took his team to Hong Kong and talked to the various sides of the confrontation. No media in Hong Kong was able to or attempted to shed light on the various perspectives, and so when one of the best podcasts in the world decided to do it, the effect was riveting and liberating.

The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish:

“The Path to Perpetual Progress with Atul Gawande”

Atul Gawande is pretty dope. He is a renowned surgeon, New York Times best-selling author, New Yorker columnist, and a CEO. This interview gave me the confidence to quit my corporate job and commit to practice-based coaching. His saying, “Coaching done well may be the most effective intervention designed for human performance,” remains the motto of my endeavors.

On Being with Krista Tippett:

David Whyte, The Conversational Nature of Reality


Whyte tried to introduce poetry to the business world. As one executive said, “The language we have in the corporate world is far too small for the territory of relationship and collaboration we’ve entered.” He was absolutely right. Whyte’s work was extremely observant. He beautifully articulated the essence of the human realities through his words, which was surprisingly revealing even in the work world.

The Knowledge Project With Shane Parrish:

“Daniel Kahneman: Putting Your Intuition on Ice”

Well, the message was unambiguous — we are fxxked. Even Kahneman himself said he didn’t think he was better at fighting these biases. We can’t beat evolution. Good luck.

Ten Percent Happier Podcast with Dan Harris


Dan has an authentic, humble, and most down to earth approach to investigating meditation and Buddhism. He is a hell of an interviewer and would always ask questions to his guests I didn’t know I should know. He also dove deep into experiencing the various topics he explored, from meditation to spending months at a hospice to face death up close and personal. Lastly, he had a unique way of asking questions on behalf of the audience without sounding patronizing. I have learned a lot from the guests he had and also the way he conducted journalism.

Hidden Brain:

“One Head, Two Brains: How The Brain’s Hemispheres Shape The World We See”


Iain McGilchrist wrote the book “The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World.” He basically challenged the traditional definition of the left brain versus the right brain. This sparked me to learn more about the brain and discovered connections between meditation and neurology, or between cognitive biases and our instincts.

Recode Decode with Kara Swisher:

“Gro Intelligence CEO Sara Menker on ag-tech and the future of farming”


Menker was very candid, thorough, and very articulate. I knew nothing about the topic, but afterward I found myself inspired to learn more about shitty oyster, needy millennials, and taming audacity.

Tim Ferriss Show:

“Ken Burns — A Master Filmmaker on Creative Process, the Long Game, and the Noumenal”

During the interview, Burns went on multiple long rants- passionate and well-thought-out rants. After listening to this episode, I finally had a glimpse of the relentless desire and grit he possessed that allowed him to create multiple epic documentaries on the most perennial topics of our societies. The quote Burns had in his office, “It’s Complicated,” is now tattooed in my brain.

There was one thing that I tried to do in 2019 but failed. I wanted to explore a more diverse group of podcasters and experts. In 2019, in addition to Kara Swisher, I added three female podcasters into my rotation, namely Krista Tippett, Esther Perel, and Laurie Santos. Yet the majority was still podcasts hosted by white male. Similarly, the subjects of interviews remained mostly white male.

So in 2020, I need to work much harder to add color to my listening life. Podcast is a bro’s network. I discovered new podcast content and hosts mainly from podcasts. Since most of my existing podcasts were bros, I ended up with more bros. Therefore in order to actually make a difference, I need to intentionally stop myself from occupying my rotation with new bros, and make room for others. I will also need to actively branch out other topics that might lead to a more diverse group of people. I realized the topics I am interested in fit within bubbles of white dudes. I don’t know what these topics are yet, but I am determined to find them.

The reason why I want to continue this goal is because Krista Tippett exposes me to a very chaotic and beautiful world, Kara Swisher reminded me how wrong it was to use the word “bitch” to describe female assertiveness, directness, and criticality, and Laurie and Esther showed me why women were far more capable of healing the messed up mental state of the human race.






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