Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin formulate a five-minute warning tactic before discussing the reality of bringing change to your company, some patterns that work for startups, solving the right problem at the right level, why you can’t find the innovation button, and using PathFinder as a Finder replacement.
Tagged with “communication” (37)
We celebrated our one month anniversary a few days ago, so it seemed fitting to run with the very first episode that we produced back when we were kicking around ideas for getting the podcast off the ground. It’s a page out of Kevin’s research on the history of hacker culture, which turns to a meditation on the role of telephony and sound in our world. Enjoy!
The phreak who goes by Mark Bernay is a wonderful and gracious guy for talking with me and for lending me some of his audio to use in this episode. If you want to check out more of his recordings, head over to Phone Trips.
- “Real Love” by Delorean (0:00)
- “Imitosis” by Andrew Bird (2:32 & 8:14)
- “Dead Media” by Hefner (4:53)
- “Pick Up the Phone” by Dragonette (9:44)
TOPIC: One Operational Paper Towel; One Safety Paper Towel.
This week, Dan and Merlin discuss how to use a public restroom.
There’s some other stuff, too. But, yeah. Mostly Dan and Merlin discuss how to use a public restroom.
TOPIC: Superpowers, Madness, and the Pursuit of Interesting Problems
Dan and Merlin talk about the superpowers you have and can’t control as well as the demons and drivers that our heroes have and can’t control. How sometimes we find ourselves craving the screaming in someone else’s head. Because, we surely do love and revere our Beautiful Losers and Genius Lunatics.
Entered into evidence: Hunter S. Thompson, The Incredible Hulk, Sylvia Plath, Brian Wilson, Nightcrawler, Van Gogh, Tom Waits, Robert Lowell, Howard Hughes, and Corporate Stooges (n.b.: Dan said that; not Merlin).
The upshot? Try not to get too obsessed with someone else’s ether in the convertible or, for that matter, the cake in your own conference room.
Get excited about constantly releasing that "better version of yourself"—and make the world a happy beneficiary of your own particular madness.
TOPIC: Gut Churn, Pointing Arrows, and Recognizing Change
This week, Dan and Merlin talk at length about a recent article by Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad, called, "The Terrors & Occasional Virtues of Not Knowing What You’re Doing."
From the genesis of Radiolab through casting about for what comes next, Jad’s article reads like a Greatest Hits of Back to Work. Just terrific.
It all comes down working through the times you don’t know what you’re doing and making, then accepting that—even once you do know what you’re doing—you still have to push for change and evolution.
Working through the fear the make something awesome? Well. That’s Fine for Jad Abumrad.
5by5 - Back to Work #31: You Can Polish AC/DC All Day Long
With Dan on sabbatical, Merlin is joined by Jonathan Coulton to talk about traveling, horn sections, and Jonathan’s new album, Artificial Heart.
TOPIC: Confidence, Courage, and the Problem with Thinking
This week, Dan and Merlin talk about why we may or may not feel confident to do stuff. How do other people seem to get it so easily, and where do they find the courage?
Well. You walk through The Forum, you check the mics, and you never let thinking get in your way.
Too much thinking? UNACCEPTABLE!
Dungeon. Seven years. No trials.
TOPIC: Stressing Out About Stress
Dan and Merlin talk about what happens when stress meets stress, anxiety feeds anxiety, and 10 guys maybe try to jump you in the woods.
Which kinds of stress are simply unavoidable? Which ones are addictive? Which ones can be tolerated? And, yes, which kinds of stresses can be vanquished by firing your boss?
Author Brian Christian will talk on the subject of his debut book The Most Human Human a superbly engaging re-evaluation of what it means to be human in the light of breathtaking advances in artificial intelligence.
Brian Christian is an Author and Poet. He holds a dual degree in computer science and philosophy and an MFA in poetry.
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