“What is X?” Justin E. H. Smith has started a podcast

Justin E. H. Smith in his Substack Newsletter:

The show will be airing once a month, and I already have several episodes recorded. I am always interested in hearing pitches for new episodes, with guests who either have some weighty credentials in a given area (e.g., a biochemist who wants to address with me the question “What is life?”), or who have some demonstrable ability to speak about a topic in a compelling way (e.g., I’m recording an episode on friendship with someone whose credentials in this area are that he is my old old friend and I know him to be an excellent raconteur). [3QD Editor’s Note: the friend mentioned here happens to be yours truly—S. Abbas Raza]

I could say a great deal more about this project, but I think it’s enough to state that it is really fun and weird and a departure from the persona you might think you know through my writing. I’m not saying I can do anything like a good Terri Gross, but my goal in each of the dialogues is, to the extent possible, to “passer la parole”, to let the other person speak —ideally at least two-thirds of the time—, and otherwise just to enjoy the art of conversation while also leaving a record of it. The show will no doubt evolve in unexpected ways, and the first episodes will surely have a rough quality to them (that’s me playing the opening line on guitar, for example). But I gather no one listens to podcasts for their production value —if you want that you can listen to Rachel Maddow or whatever—, and I think I read somewhere that the number of “umms” and “uhhs” in a person’s speech is directly proportional to their intelligence. So I hope you will be generous in your listening. And please, do tell a friend. And please, again, listen to my first episode with the great Agnes Callard talking about philosophy!

More here.  [And click the link at the end of the paragraph above to listen to the first episode, “What is philosophy?”]