The Return (sort of) of Penn Radio

For a while last fall, I was running so far behind in podcast listening that my laptop hard drive kept filling up. In the height of that time, I moved a bunch of files onto my external drive for safe keeping and then kind of forgot about them. Now that I’m actually kind of underloaded, I went back and looked in there to bring some back. I remembered moving a lot of the WREK shows over there. Because each half hour is 29 Mb and Personality Crisis and the Subgenius shows are each 5 files (because they usually run over the top of the hour they nominally end in), each instance of those was 145 Mb.

What I had forgotten is that I had moved over a lot of the Penn Radio shows at the same time. I have a full month worth of episodes, 20 of them, from October and November of last year. Whereas recently I was listening to two of them each cycle to catch up, now I’ll be sure and only put one on each time to savor them. When these are gone, I guess that’s it. Still, it was a pleasant surprise to find that I had this little pocket of unlistened Penn. The experience of listening is a little different after I heard the Skepticality episode where he was weird to Swoopy, but I’m still glad to have these nonetheless.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

3 thoughts on “The Return (sort of) of Penn Radio”

  1. jer says:

    Swoopy’s interview style all through her TAM interviews kept really getting on my nerves, as she’d go off on these huge statements that sorta-kinda ended up a question at the very end. Over and over. I suspect he was kind of reacting to that “hardcore investigative journalist” persona she was radiating.

    It has been a while, but it seems as if he tried to answer several times but she kept pushing, which would annoy me as well.

    He did seem to react strangely, but I’m not sure sute it was the content of the question rather than the asker/ the way it was asked that put him off. I dunno.

  2. dave says:

    Jer, as someone who has done hundreds of interviews, I always cringe when I listen back and wish I had asked more concise questions. I generally feel that way about other interviewers, too. I agree that Swoopy’s questions were expansive, but probably not that far outside of baseline. I do think what I heard from Penn was that when pushed on the idea that he might want to present controversial and unmarketable ideas, that he has enough money and the ability to go around the system and present them himself as a gift to the noosphere, rather than a work for hire. He seemed to find that notion unpalatable and backtracked to “I’ll do the best I can under circumstances that generate me a check”, which I found somewhat disappointing.

  3. jer says:

    The other thing I forgot to mention in the previous comment, is that this particular convention was a Skepticism conference, not a Podcasting conference.

    Penn’s Q&A was pretty open-ended, but the idea is to talk about things that relate to Skepticism. Swoopy pretty much went “you do lots of skeptical stuff, and that’s great… but… don’t you think you’d be better doing it the way I do?” It ended up taking up a bunch of time that otherwise could have been used to address somewhat more pertinant and entertaining questions.

    Granted, the topic WAS “skepticism and the Media,” but just saying “screw the Media” doesn’t really improve the media’s take on things.

    Also, I don’t mean to talk bad about Swoopy. I like her podcast, it’s just that sometimes the things she does irks me. A lot of people I like irk me sometimes.

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