Nono.MA

OCTOBER 16, 2021

Bytes — NFTs and Digital Art

Hi Friends—

It's hard to keep up with the fast-moving world of digital currencies and the new age of digital art.

In this new episode of Bytes, Aziz and I talk about non-fungible tokens (NFTs), blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and digital art.

Listen to "Bytes — NFTs and Digital Art"

OCTOBER 12, 2021

Machine Learning-Based Audio Editing, React, UI Libraries, NFTs, and COVID

Hi Friends—

Today, I bring you an informal chat with Nate Peters, a friend and former guest of the show—a conversation on the machine learning-based audio-editing solution this podcast is being produced with, web components, React and UI libraries, the effects of COVID-19 in our work lives, NFTs and cryptocurrencies, and the new informal catch-up conversation podcast format we're testing out.

We were screen-sharing during part of this conversation and no recording is available. But we've compiled a detailed list of episode notes, and the YouTube video includes a full transcript as closed captions.

Listen to "Machine Learning-Based Audio Editing, React, UI Libraries, NFTs, and COVID"

SEPTEMBER 22, 2021

Work or Walk podcast

Hi Friends—

Today, I bring you a two-minute episode on reclaiming our time with the help of automation. It's an audio version of a short essay I published on July 21, 2020.

Listen to "Sketches — Work or Walk"

FEBRUARY 1, 2021

Mike Gabour — Falling in Love With the Ocean, Dark Showers, Attention, The Sensorium, and The Contents of his Backpack

Hi Friends!

Today, I bring you an insightful conversation with Mike Gabour, a good friend of mine whom I admire and have been meaning to get into the show for a while. I love the attention he puts into everything he does and his peaceful and quieting worldview. Listening to him talk is soothing.

I hope you enjoy learning how Mike fell in love with the Ocean, his take on mindfulness, meditation, attention, and love, his experiments with dark showers, the Sensorium, a detailed commentary on the contents of his backpack (of which we'll share a video in the coming weeks), and much, much more.

Without further ado, let's dive into Mike's mind.

Listen to "Mike Gabour — Falling in Love With the Ocean, Dark Showers, Attention, The Sensorium, and The Contents of his Backpack"

DECEMBER 24, 2020

ALGO — Teaching, Live Streaming, Publishing Fear, Delegating, and Lessons Learned from 3 Years of Podcasting

Hi Friends!

Right before the turn of the year, I bring you a brand new episode that opens up the ALGO series—conversations between Jose Luis Garcia del Castillo y López and myself on topics such as teaching, coding, machine learning, and creativity.

It's been three years since I last interviewed Jose Luis, and I enjoyed learning how his life changed when he became a Doctor of Design, began teaching at Harvard, and started live-streaming his lectures online.

We also discuss the guilt of postponing things, the difficulties of delegating tasks and micro-management, the fear of shipping creative work, and lessons learned after forty podcast episodes.

Please enjoy.

Listen to "ALGO — Teaching, Live Streaming, Publishing Fear, Delegating, and Lessons Learned from 3 Years of Podcasting"

DECEMBER 10, 2020

Music or Podcasts? Commuting, Meditative Walks, and Solitude

Hi, Friends!

For the last episode of Getting Simple, I answered a question submitted by a listener: During your commute, do you listen to music or podcasts?

I'd love to hear from you. Ask a question.

Listen to: "Music or Podcasts? Commuting, Meditative Walks, and Solitude"

DECEMBER 2, 2020

Why Spotify kept removing my show

I fixed a bug that sporadically made Spotify remove my show, the Getting Simple podcast, from its platform without any logical explanation and, more worrisome, without warnings or notifications.


Some time ago, I noticed the podcast's RSS feed displayed episode release dates localized in Chinese and other languages. Something that, to my eyes, seemed random. Yesterday, I finally identified the issue.

The XML feed is cached for thirty minutes at a time — a duration I set to avoid overloading the server by re-generating the feed on every request.

But this feed re-generation used the requesting party's "locale." This code corresponds to the language and region configured in the system that performs a web request. For instance, the en-US locale represents a visitor or bot configured to use the English language and the United States region. A localized site — that can adjust its content to different locales — would display a date as Wed, 02 Dec 2020 for en-US visitors and as Mié., 02 Dic. 2020 for es-ES visitors.

date('D, d M Y H:i:s O');
// returns "Wed, 02 Dec 2020 05:19:14 -0500"

This date('D, d M Y H:i:s O') PHP method uses the operating system's language and region to determine what to display, but a localized website can adjust to the visitor's locale or even comply with explicit requirements.

App::setLocale('en-US'); // force locale to en-US

Item::formatDate(Date::now(), 'D, d M Y H:i:s O')
// returns "Wed, 02 Dec 2020 05:22:55 -0500"

App::setLocale('es-ES'); // force locate to es-ES

Item::formatDate(Date::now(), 'D, d M Y H:i:s O')
// returns "Mié., 02 Dic. 2020 05:22:55 -0500"

The issue was that the re-generation of the podcast feed was dependent on the requesting agent's locale when the cache expired, which could be any user or bot. Spotify was pinging the podcast and could load a feed generated by an agent that used a locale other than English in the past thirty minutes.

App::setLocale('en-US');
// Generate episode timestamps here

When Spotify found dates were not in English, it removed the show altogether—something that Apple Podcasts and other networks didn't do—and then added the podcast back hours later, when episode dates were in English again.

Spotify player showing a Getting Simple episode.

Spotify took its time to reload all existing episodes after forcing the localization of episode timestamps to use the en-US locale and re-generating the feed. Now all episodes and their stats are back. Hopefully, the show won't disappear again, and users won't hit this ugly, erroring embedded player.

NOVEMBER 18, 2020

Roberto Molinos — Plan for Failure: The Peace of Mind of Being Patient and Antifragile

Hi, Friends!

For the last episode of Getting Simple, Roberto Molinos highlights the benefits of being patient and embracing uncertainty and shares a series of techniques, theories, and books that can help you rethink your company, market your products, and have a 4-day workweek.

Listen to: "Roberto Molinos — Plan for Failure: The Peace of Mind of Being Patient and Antifragile"

NOVEMBER 6, 2020

Newsletterversary podcast

Hi Friends!

Today, I bring you an episode that celebrates a year and a half of weekly sketches and stories. At the time I published this essay on my blog, I was at fifty-three publications. But as I write these lines, I'm at seventy-one posts. Happy Newsletter-versary!

Listen to: "Sketches — Newsletterversary"

OCTOBER 26, 2020

Adam Menges — Lobe: Machine Learning Made Simple

Hi Friends!

For the last episode of Getting Simple, I had the chance to talk to Microsoft's Adam Menges, former employee at Apple and founder at Lobe.ai, a company that helps people build intelligence into their apps by making it simple and understandable.

Tune in to discover Adam's unconventional education and career, why he strives to have death present in his day-to-day, and his life hacks and daily routines, including custom-made clothing, note-taking and file-management workflows, meditation, and much more.

Listen to: "Adam Menges — Lobe: Machine Learning Made Simple" ↗︎

SEPTEMBER 16, 2020

Daniel Natoli — The Making of Sisyphus

For the latest episode of Getting Simple, I had a great conversation with director Daniel Natoli on his experience making Sisyphus, Getting Simple's first short film, which we are releasing online today.

It's easy to fall into the trap of mindlessly repeating the same routine over and over again. Every once in a while, we need to be reminded to stop and reflect; To meditate on whether what you’re doing makes sense; To find out how to get out of the loop and do what gives you joy. There’s no need to measure how productive each of your actions is—some of it should just be play.

That's exactly what, as I understand, happens in the Greek myth of Sisyphus, in which a man is condemned to repeat a useless task day after day.

Watch Sisyphus

Listen to: "Daniel Natoli — The Making of Sisyphus"

SEPTEMBER 1, 2020

Quantity or Quality Podcast

Hi Friends,

Here's a new episode on how generating lots of ideas might help you achieve originality from the Sketches series, a combination of two of my previous sketches post turned into audio.

"Many people fail to achieve originality because they generate a few ideas and then obsess about refining them to perfection." —Adam Grant, Originals

Listen to "Sketches — Quantity or Quality"

JUNE 26, 2020

JR — Insisting Simplicity, Frugal Practices to Achieve Financial Independence, and Permaculture Design

Hi Friends—

In these challenging times, I truly hope you and your loved ones can shelter in place and stay healthy.

Today, I bring you a conversation with JR from Insisting Simplicity—a blog about simple living, minimalism, and adventure travel in which he writes to celebrate life, our planet, and the richness of simple living.

Please enjoy this (remote) episode as much as I did. I learned a lot about financial independence, the FIRE movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early), and permaculture design.

Listen to "JR — Insisting Simplicity, Frugal Practices to Achieve Financial Independence, and Permaculture Design"

MAY 28, 2020

Kean Walmsley — Fun, Freedom, Flexibility, and Family

Hi Friends—

If you were to ask me who I'd like to be when I grow up, Kean Walmsley would be high on my list.

Kean has crafted a lifestyle that prioritizes fun, freedom, flexibility, and family, leaving room for traveling and working around the world, blogging, teaching, sports, research, and more.

Please enjoy this episode, its transcript, and its show notes.

Listen to "Kean Walmsley — Fun, Freedom, Flexibility, and Family"

MAY 10, 2020

Sketches — Stories Are the Answer (Podcast version)

Hi Friends,

Here's an episode in memory of Patrick Winston which opens the new Sketches series with a short piece on story understanding with artificial intelligence and my experience attending Winston's 6.034 lectures at MIT. "Don't just tell me it's a school bus. Tell me why you think it's a school bus."

I've sketched for the last 365 days. A year ago I decided not only to sketch daily but to write short stories and publish them online every Tuesday. The first story went out on July 2, 2019. And today is the first time I'm telling you one of those stories in a podcast, with my voice.

Please enjoy this episode, its transcript, and its show notes.

Listen to "Sketches — Stories Are the Answer"

APRIL 16, 2020

Scott Mitchell — Experimentation in the Arena

Hi Friends—

The world is forcefully slowing down. Wherever it is you are, I really hope you and your close ones are staying safe and healthy. For me, this is day thirty secluded at home, and I can't wait to walk on the beach, go for a run, and spend time with family and friends.

If you want to be part of a future episode on how this situation is altering the way we work and live our lives, I'd love to hear from you. Send me a voice message.

In words of Yuval Noah Harari, "we should ask ourselves not only how to overcome the immediate threat, but also what kind of world we will inhabit once the storm passes."


Today, I bring you an experimental episode with Scott Mitchell, in which he jumps in time to dissect his own experimentation life philosophy, his efforts to remove creative friction, and his worldview.

I loved to learn about Scott's metaphor of the arena, experiments he's carried out over the past years, and his current solo adventure.

Listen to "Scott Mitchell — Experimentation in the Arena"

FEBRUARY 6, 2020

A year of transformation

We're more virtually connected than ever before. But we're also more disconnected than any other civilization before us. We've created shallow ways of communication (say, email or instant messages) which generate a false sense of connection. It's harder to connect in deep ways with our closest friends—a brief walk, talking on the phone, or a video conference may suffice. But, surprisingly, we spend a huge amount of time learning about random details from the trendiest influencers that we don't even know from our closest friends and probably should.

Today, I share with you what I've learned and what's changed over the past year, and new habits that seem to be here to stick with me for years to come.


Listen to "A Year of Transformation"

JANUARY 15, 2020

Tatjana Dzambazova — The Art of Asking The Right Questions

In 2020, I'll bring you new episodes dissecting tactics, tools, and habits from insightful guests and from my own experiments to live a more meaningful, creative, and simple life.

Today, you can listen to a conversation with technology whisperer Tatjana Dzambazova recorded among the trees of Mill Valley, California. Tanja inspires and connects people—myself included—as she spreads ideas to make the world a better place.

Enjoy this episode on asking the right questions to avoid wasting talent, thinking different, and the myth of a better life.


Listen to "Tatjana Dzambazova — The Art of Asking The Right Questions"

DECEMBER 20, 2019

Nono's Daily Writing Process, Tools & Techniques

I believe the ultimate goal of writing is to touch others; to make our words resonate with our readers. Today my spoken words are for you.

This episode is part of an experimental series titled Habits in which I share how myself (and others) do certain things and why, hopefully unveiling workflows, techniques, habits, and routines that you can make use of right away. Specifically, this episode focuses on writing and what's helping me write more consistently. I share the software tools and gadgets that I use on a daily basis to journal and write essays, posts, and episodes, and to review and edit my writing.


Listen to "Habits — Writing"

DECEMBER 18, 2019

You just made my podcast a real thing

Crazy. It's already been two years. Back then, Zach Kron (@ZachKron) described his daily job as "Banging digital tools with a stick to make them break." When I left the recording room, I remember telling Zach, You just made my podcast a real thing. And I'm so grateful to him for that.


Listen to "Zach Kron — Putting More Ideas Into The Things We Make"


Zach is now sharing his beautiful hand (and robotic) craft on Instagram at @kronzach.

DECEMBER 5, 2019

The Origins of Getting Simple

Hi Friends—

Time flies! It's already been two years since I released the first episode of the podcast. Thank You for being there.

I've had a blast interviewing dozens of incredible people and wanted to celebrate by bringing you a special episode in which tables turn. (Special thanks to Jose Luis for making this happen.)

Please enjoy this interview with yours truly on a tiny bit of my own story, the how and why I started Getting Simple, and the struggles and joys behind producing a podcast on simple living, doing less better, and crafting your own lifestyle.


Listen to "Nono Martínez Alonso — The Origins of Getting Simple"

OCTOBER 25, 2019

Sisyphus will screen at the Seville European Film Festival 2019

So happy to announce that our short film — Sisyphus, directed by Dani Natoli — has been selected by the Seville European Film Festival and will be screening on November 14, 2019.

OCTOBER 22, 2019

Sisyphus being released soon

Glad to be sharing with you soon some news about a new audiovisual experiment for Getting Simple I’ve been working on with Daniel Natoli—of Peripheria Films—over the last year, titled Sisyphus.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2019

Andrew Witt — Letting Ideas Grow

What does it take for a complex idea to develop? Ingenious ideas are often attributed to an inventive hunch, a sudden spark in someone's mind—think of Newton's apple—yet they commonly grow over the course of several years, if not decades.

Please enjoy this episode with Andrew Witt on the power of ruminating ideas, understanding complex problems, curating signals, geometric simplicity, introspective automation, and finding time for reflection.


Listen to "Andrew Witt — Letting Ideas Grow"

AUGUST 6, 2019

Scott Young — Ultralearning, How to Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career

On top of being an author and entrepreneur, Scott Young is an ultralearner. After learning MIT's 4-year computer science curriculum in less than twelve months, Scott taught himself four new languages in a year.

In his book Ultralearning—released today—Scott shares the principles and methods that he and other ultralearners employ to quickly master new skills, acquire knowledge, and become good at things that seem impossible to you right now.


Listen to "Scott Young — Ultralearning, How to Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career"

JUNE 30, 2019

Would The Amish Ride Electric Scooters?

Over the last months, I've been questioning why the streets of my hometown are flooded with electric scooters, at the same time that I keep asking myself if I should continue using social media and how.

In this essay, I briefly explain the way Amish communities decide whether to adopt a given piece of technology, and, hopefully, convince you that our modern communities—and ourselves as individuals—can learn from why and how the Amish do it.


Read "Would The Amish Ride Electric Scooters?"

JUNE 12, 2019

Panagiotis Michalatos — Slow Down From What?

Simplicity is an emerging trend; a luxury not everyone can afford.

For the last 10,000 years, human biology has barely changed — yet our lives feel more complex, accelerated, and stressful than ever before.

What are we trying to slow down from?


🎙 Listen to "Panagiotis Michalatos — Slow Down From What?"

APRIL 30, 2019

Opportunities to talk to people like Saba Ghole and learn about how they understand life and what drives them to do what they do every day, is what moves me to continue with the Getting Simple project.

"I had a chance to reminisce with Nono about what it means to get simple and embody a growth mindset on his very special podcast. Mixed in are bits about my childhood, my artistic pursuits, and my current love and passion, NuVu Studio." —Saba Ghole, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of NuVu Studio

If you're intrigued about how growth mindset can be taken to reality, listen to this episode and learn about how NuVu, an innovation school for middle and high school students, helps students build long-lasting core competencies and creative skills.


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