200 Episodes

200 episodes. That’s the milestone Trevor and I hit this week on our Free Thoughts podcast. 200 hours, give or take, of conversation slightly fewer than 200 of the smartest people I’ve ever met. It’s an incredible privilege to get to do this show every week. Thank you to everyone who’s listened to us these last four years.

The 200th episode itself was a lot of fun. The show’s producer, Tess Terrible, took over hosting duties. She grilled Trevor and me about the history of Free Thoughts, our favorite sorts of episodes, how we prepare, and how each of us ended up at Cato in the first place. Tess did a great job.

It was weird being on the other side of things, though. Four years into this, doing Free Thoughts is pretty easy and largely unstressful. The only consistent point of anxiety, which happens every week, is a fear, during the first 15 to 20 minutes of recording, that we don’t have enough questions. That we’re going to run out of material way before the 50 minute mark. I don’t know why this persists, because it’s never been a problem. In fact, as we close in on each session’s 50 minute mark, the problem is without fail that there’s so much more we could talk with our guest about. Irrationality runs deep, I guess.

Anyway, it was odd not having that, with Tess being the one who had to worry about the questions lost. Odd, and I’m not totally sure I like it. Being a host is, in many ways, easier than being a guest. Fortunately, it’ll be another 100 or 200 hours before I have to do it again...

The other big news this week is the launch of the Encyclopedia of Libertarianism at Libertarianism.org. This was a huge project, but, man, is it an amazing resource. First published as a book in 2008, it’s hundreds of articles about the people, ideas, and policies of the libertarian tradition. The new Libertarianism.org edition moves it online and makes it all browsable and searchable. And this is just the start. The Encyclopedia’s original editor, Jason Kuznicki, has already begun working with authors to update articles, and he’s reaching out to new authors to expand what’s included. This is a living document and it will grow dramatically over time.

Aaron