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.
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.
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
date('D, d M Y H:i:s O'); // returns "Wed, 02 Dec 2020 05:19:14 -0500"
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 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.
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!
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"
I had a conversation with portfolio careerist Carmen Chamorro for a new episode of Getting Simple. We talked about the benefits of working in different fields, managing multiple interests, and how recognizing a potential Renaissance-like profile might positively influence your career.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
? A month from today, I had a conversation with Matt Jezyk, who recently left Autodesk to go work with the the group that designs and builds the car and lithium battery "Gigafactories" at Tesla. I can't express how much I enjoyed talking to Matt.
? Matt talks about his rituals to slow down and stay afloat amongst all the things competing for your attention; embracing change and automation; techniques to be more creative; the rationale behind his ten-year life cycles; why he just transitioned from Autodesk to Tesla; and a lot more.
Take a look at the show notes and where to listen.
Last month, I had a conversation with Antonio García Guerra, who recently finished his PhD at the University of Oxford on nanotechnology applied to medicine. It was inspiring to hear about the physical, emotional, and informational activities that balance his life.
Listen to Craig Long on how life is in the moments you didn't expect, quieting your inner intensity, helping others achieve complex goals when they don't know where to start, remote working, and disconnecting from technology.
If you're enjoying the show and want to share it with your friends, take a look at How you can spread the word.
This summer, right before leaving Cambridge, I was extremely lucky to interview Ben Fry for the podcast at Fathom Information Design, in Boston, Massachusetts. Ben, together with Casey Reas, co-created the "Processing" programming environment back in 2001 (that's seventeen years ago), an open-source tool still in active development and used daily by thousands of designers, artists, researchers, engineers, students, and professionals from a wide variety of disciplines. Processing was a side-project Ben was working on while writing his thesis on Computational Information Design at the MIT Media Lab, which led him to found Fathom Information Design later on, a studio in Boston focused on understanding complicated data problems.
Who said that making art was easy? Today, I'm glad to invite you to see the world from the perspective of an artist and creative that brings her craft everywhere she goes, might it be painting at her studio or teaching youngsters how to use digital tools to formalize their ideas.
Listen to artist, designer, and educator Jiyoo Jye on the struggles of making art and choosing your projects; education at an innovation school as a creative; when to share your work and the role of feedback; media consumption and technology; and her approach to simple living and daily routines.
Ian Keough (@ikeough) is the founder of Hypar. He writes code from his garage to automate the generation of the built environment to help stakeholders make better decisions faster. Trained as a fine artist and architect—and known as The Father of Dynamo—Ian believes efficiency breeds quality and automation yields better, higher-quality products. This episode uncovers the Ian Keough beyond Dynamo—including his life habits, tactics to get into the flow state and avoid distractions, his new adventure to disrupt the architecture, engineering, and construction industry, and a lot more.
Andrés Colubri (@codeanticode) shares with us how he manages to do seemingly different things—such as art, computational biology, or open-source development—by connecting them around one overarching theme.