I am just completed giving the very first intensive two-day podcast production workshop for philosophers. The focus was the production of narrative forms and we included discussions of writing for audio, genres of audio for communicating academic ideas, voicing, and intensive software use and production techniques. The department at Sacramento State University invited me out for this and it looks like their administration, if not the Cal-State system as a whole, is interested in alternative forms of communicating scholarship, teaching, and course material and is providing equipment and training (me) for their faculty. I hope to see a lot of content from them soon. If you are in academia and interested in your own intensive workshop and equipment list, and think you have a sympathetic administration, send me an email.

The local NPR affiliate morning drive show Insight also interviewed me about Hi-Phi Nation in between segments about the wildfires in California and talking to a world-renown concern pianist. Here is a link to that audio.

Greetings Hi-Phi Nation listeners! Its been a great summer for listenership so far. After great reviews from Slate Culture Gabfest, Huffington Post, and The Guardian, we are now halfway to our goal of 50K listeners per episode.

I am currently hard at work producing the second season, aiming for a late fall release date. You can most certainly help. I am currently looking for stories relating to a range of interesting philosophical issues. If any of this speaks to you, please send me an email, hiphination at gmail dot com. Revenge, addiction, free speech, numerology, weird art, mid-life crisis or conversions, becoming an atheist/leaving a religion or converting to a religion. Any other stories you think raise philosophical questions I also welcome!

Finally, we are the podcast spotlight this week at Discoverpods.

Out of all of the episodes I produced in Season 1, Episode 5: The Cops of Pop was the most fun overall, and it made me realized just how special the medium of audio could be for philosophy of music. I since sought out deeper thinking about music, popular and otherwise, and found episodes that really captured the spirit of thinking more deeply about the music we listen to, in a way that was still fun. I made a playlist for RadioPublic of those episodes, which I’m sharing here. If you don’t know about RadioPublic, it is a podcast app where you can listen to all your favorite shows, but it also contains playlists made by producers and curators of the best episodes of many podcasts you probably haven’t heard before. The playlists are done thematically, following an educational or entertainment theme of your choice. It is available on Android or iOS phones, and its free. You can download it from the link to my new playlist here, or from the website.

Hello everyone. I’ve gotten news through a producer that Slate’s Culture Gabfest will be talking about Hi-Phi Nation on their episode tomorrow, June 14th. I don’t know which episodes they’ll be talking about, or whether they like or dislike the show actually. Either way, its great that they took the time out to listen and talk about it! Here’s a link to the podcast.

RadioPublic is a podcasting app where your favorite producers create playlists to bring you content you like, but might have missed. My playlist on Hidden Conflicts is reappearing this week, and I will have a new one in the coming weeks.

The mods of /r/philosophy are pleased to announce an upcoming AMA by Barry Lam, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Vassar College and the Executive Producer and Host of philosophy podcast Hi-Phi Nation.

Barry will be joining us on Monday June 5th at 12PM EST to discuss his philosophy, podcasts and everything in between with a live AMA. Hear it from him:


I am Barry Lam, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Vassar College and the Executive Producer and Host of the Hi-Phi Nation podcast, the first story-driven documentary-style show about philosophy. I just completed production and release of the first season of Hi-Phi Nation as Humanities Writ-Large fellow at Duke University, where the first season covered stories and philosophy ranging from the possibilities of posthumous harm, the morality of war, the referent of religious terms in Christianity and Islam, the philosophy of music, the replication crisis in the statistical sciences, philosophy of gender, Kuhn and scientific realism, and the philosophy of love. I would be happy to talk about any of the substantive issues that arose from these episodes, as well as discuss any issues concerning doing philosophy in a story-driven way.

Here are a few select episodes on Soundcloud:

My own philosophical work has been in epistemology and the philosophy of language, particularly on the nature of epistemic rationality, and in experimental semantics and pragmatics. I would be happy to have a discussion about those topics. In the past two years I’ve set technical research aside to produce what I hope will be an ongoing series of narrative story-driven philosophy akin to the best productions we have for economics and the social sciences, such as Freakonomics Radio and Invisibilia. It is my hope that having a high-production story-driven show about philosophy will open up the field to lots of new people, as well as let existing fans of philosophy appreciate the way it connects with journalism, history, law, and nonfiction writing.


Please feel free to post questions for Barry here. He will look at this thread before he starts and begin with some questions from here while the initial questions in the new thread come in.

I was asked to give a talk reflecting back on my year at Duke producing Hi-Phi Nation, and so I decided to talk about something I’ve been thinking about the whole time, which is how I was supposed to think of my own voice as narrator of the show. Am I to be an impartial communicator, a bloviator, something in between? In any case, I didn’t realize this, but there was actually an audience of students, Deans, and media people, and they filmed and recorded the whole thing! Here it is if you’re interested, about a 45min talk and 15 min Q&A.