February 16, 2016 at 4:00PM •
1 hour 44 minutes
TOPIC: Epistemology and Parenting as Dumpster Fire
This week, Dan and Merlin end up talking a lot about what they don't know and how they know they don't know it. The biases, errors, and frames that make us feel wiser than we probably are.
Sometimes it pays to learn how to be a dummy.
Also, Dan learns what a "film projector" is.
February 9, 2016 at 3:45PM •
1 hour 45 minutes
TOPIC: Feelings, Slide Rules, and The Franklin Test
This week Merlin hasn't had enough coffee and may have early-onset toxoplasmosis, so he and Dan respond to great feedback from listeners, mostly on feeling feelings.
February 2, 2016 at 4:00PM •
1 hour 34 minutes
TOPIC: Information, Context, and Courage.
This week, Dan and Merlin talk about the reaction to last week's episode about work and identity and respond to follow-up questions from listeners.
Also, Merlin buys a faucet.
January 26, 2016 at 3:30PM •
1 hour 37 minutes
TOPIC: Coder, Kayaker, Father, Person.
This week, Dan and Merlin talk about Dan's attempt to vastly rejigger his schedule in the interest of mental and physical health.
This leads to a long discussion of work, identity, expectations, and choosing which of the voices in your head to listen to and when.
January 19, 2016 at 1:45PM •
1 hour 46 minutes
TOPIC: Say something funny.
This week, Dan and Merlin talk about entertainment as a career and how difficult it can be to know whether you're suited for it.
Plus, discussions of X-Men, San Francisco's collapse, and the best way to get vomit out of the bathroom sink.
January 12, 2016 at 1:00PM •
1 hour 13 minutes
TOPIC: Budgeting the Primary Secondary Project
This week, Dan and Merlin do a deep dive on a very old and very thorny topic: managing time.
Thing is: this is not about bookkeeping—it's about accounting. Being honest, humble, and diligent in mindfully applying your time and seeing how it went.
(This is a good one.)
January 5, 2016 at 2:00PM •
1 hour 53 minutes
TOPIC: Elephants all the way down.
This week, Dan and Merlin do a deep dive on communication, perception, persuasion, empathy, and understanding, as illustrated by everything from The Force Awakens to Don LaPre to PR emails to Donald Trump to a variety of elephants—plus a famous photo of a man and the fake dead triceratops he supposedly killed.
December 23, 2015 at 3:45PM •
1 hour 47 minutes
TOPIC: Something something the things we own.
This week, Dan and Merlin talk about the way shopping changes how we buy stuff—and how buying is changing what we can actually shop for.
Then, there's a ruminative discussion of the Mast Brothers chocolate dust-up and what it might say about our sense of story, identity, and "authenticity."
December 15, 2015 at 2:30PM •
1 hour 27 minutes
TOPIC: Maybe quit being so "busy."
This week, Dan and Merlin drop a lot of science on the miraculous taxonomies of Judaica. Mazel Tov!
For the big topic, Merlin launches into an animated jeremiad on words meaning things, with a focus on being terminally "busy" versus being willfully "time-constrained."
December 8, 2015 at 3:00PM •
1 hour 57 minutes
TOPIC: Sunrise, Sunset.
This week, Dan and Merlin celebrate their 250th episode with an extensive discussion of McDonaldland and its horrific culture and citizenry.
The main topic addresses the ““sunsetting”” of the Mailbox iOS app—and what it highlights about deciding where to put our stuff, what apps we choose to use, and what contingency plans it's probably wise to have in place.