Seeking YouTube Channel Recommendations

I am accepting YouTube channel recommendations. Below are the non-CF ones in my RSS reader. (I have some more subscribed on YT itself, but I’ve been trying to add the more important ones via RSS. Some are there for easy reference, though, and have YT notifications disabled.)

Broadly the pattern is I find it difficult to find watchable/acceptable content outside gaming, even though I’d like that. Gaming is pretty good at attracting smart people but there are other factors. One is humility: some gamers I watch talk about things they aren’t an expert at, like politics, but they don’t claim to be great at it. Confident, lecturey people being wrong is hard to watch. If Thunderf00t gets global warming wrong – while the tone and style of the video match all his other ones – that’s much, much worse than if Asmongold gets global warming wrong while admitting he doesn’t know much about it. (Thunderf00t actually did get global warming stuff wrong, but I don’t recall Asmongold commenting on it.) Thunderf00t presents himself as an authority while Asmongold does not (except about some gaming issues where Asmongold genuinely knows what he’s talking about).


From what you’ve said, I think you might like Lex Fridman’s podcast.

He mostly acts as an interviewer. He has interesting guests and asks interesting questions. Many of his interviews are with technical people. Tons of computer scientists.

He sometimes gets into philosophical stuff with his questions (and I think he’s fairly bad philosophically), but he is humble and non-lecturey.

Link an example clip you think I’d particularly like.

I noticed while looking for a clip that a lot of Lex’s guests probably do fit the “confident, lecturey people being wrong” description. Not all of them do, though. I was thinking of stuff like this:

Jim Keller: Moore's Law, Microprocessors, and First Principles | Lex Fridman Podcast #70 - YouTube

I don’t know exactly how long to make the clip. Start ~where I linked it and listen for at least few minutes.

You didn’t link to a timestamp.

for me, if i click on the title of the video, it brings me to youtube without a timestamp. if i click on the embedded video it starts at 31:27


Huh. So it’s a Discourse glitch. I fixed it by editing lmf’s post by adding a space before the link to prevent the YT preview.

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I think this channel has some good videos about exercise and realistic longevity strategies (related to heart disease and cancer). I think the interviews with the some of the researchers are interesting in showing the state of longevity research from cutting edge people within the mainstream. Very bad on mental health and sleep (Mathew Walker), so I skip those. I think the best interviews are the ones with Ron Kraus, David Sabatini, Jake Kushner and Keith Flaherty. Many early videos are audio only.

I was thinking about why I usually don’t like podcasts. Some reasons:

Two people is more disorganized, and it’s hard enough to find one good person let alone two. Most of what I watch online is a single person talking and controlling everything.

I tend to watch scripted, semi-scripted (e.g. a rehearsed conference talk that follows slides but doesn’t have an exact script) or highlights. Podcasts are like livestreams where people speak extemporaneously, but then the whole thing is used instead of just curated highlights. I pretty much stopped watching Twitch because I prefer YouTube videos from Twitch streamers over the live streams. (In general, short clips from podcasts are fine – they’re comparable to other videos.) Chess and esports broadcasts do have multiple people and live talking, but the focus is on the game more than the talking, and I tend to skip all the talking between games (I also skip ahead in chess broadcasts when someone is taking a long time to move and I’m done thinking about that position and the commentators run out of important stuff to say until another move is played). Oh also there’s sort of two people talking in reaction videos, but they don’t talk to each other. I generally only watch reaction videos if I like both things – the original video and the person reacting.

Someone who is good enough to write an article worth reading, or make a good video script, is usually not good enough to make high quality content in real time. Being good in real time is much rarer.

I’ve tried gaming podcasts, including from people whose other videos I like, and I rarely end up listening much. I have watched some Asmongold interviews recently which were better. Partly that’s because he keeps control over the interaction. Lots of podcast hosts or interviewers make each episode primarily about the guest. Asmongold keeps the focus on entertaining his stream and interviews people when he has some specific relevant stuff to ask them. It’s just an optional thing when convenient so there’s no need to force it to happen and try to book guests regularly. Also tons of hosts/interviewers are trying to ask/talk about stuff they don’t know much about, whereas Asmongold only ever interviews people to discuss stuff that’s close to his expertise.