🎧 This Week in the IndieWeb February 10 – 17, 2017 (audio edition!)

This Week in the IndieWeb February 10 - 17, 2017 (podcast) by Marty McGuire (martymcgui.re)(Duration: P)
Audio edition for This Week in the IndieWeb for February 10th - 17th, 2017
Thinking about doing this as a regular thing, if I can get the production time down. Feedback welcome!

I just ran across this podcast and it’s totally awesome!

I’ve been thinking a lot since just before IndieWebCamp LA of creating a podcast for the IndieWeb movement, but sadly haven’t been able to carve out the time to make it happen. Things have been coming to a proverbial boil lately as I’ve been thinking about podcasts/IndieWeb more and listening to back episodes of fellow IndieWebber Jeremy Cherfas‘ excellent food podcast Eat This Podcast. The trouble is that he makes doing fantastic little podcasts seem all too easy in part because of how effortless his seem to be while still maintaining a production quality level of major content producers like NPR.

I had imagined doing a short interview version with individual people in the IndieWeb world to see what they’ve been up to, what they’re working on, and examples of how they’ve gotten things working. In some sense I also wanted it to be a mini-history that highlights the personal stories of the people based movement. (If anyone is interested in being interviewed, let me know and perhaps it’ll motivate me, and possibly others, to get it off the ground.)

But the ever-resourceful Marty Mcguire has obviously been thinking about the intersection as well. His take revolves around the weekly IndieWeb newsletter [subscribe] and covers not only the highlights, but he delves into the seemingly inconsequential individual changes in the wiki and to an even greater level helps to uncover some of the most worthwhile gems hiding within the growing number of links. What a fantastic resource! It doesn’t seem like it’s got a dedicated, subscribe-able RSS feed (yet), but the page does have an h-feed and Marty helpfully tags them on his site. As Aaron Parecki points out, one can also use Huffduffer to create an RSS feed if necessary.

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🎧 Podcast Directories | Why Can’t We … ?

Podcast Directories by Jason Irwin and Jeremy Cherfas (Why Can't We ... ?, August 19, 2016)
Every year there are millions of podcasts published by tens of thousands of people in hundreds of languages, yet there are really just three podcast directories where people are able to go and look for new shows to enjoy. The vast majority of podcast players will read a directory listing from iTunes in order to provide the most comprehensive search, but none seem particularly good at recommending shows. Given how just about every other service we use online has some sort of algorithm in place to show us music, movies, TV shows, advertisements, and social accounts we might be interested in, why is podcast discovery still such a complicated endeavour?

There are obviously a lot of problems with the podcast ecosystem, and primary among them is podcast discovery and curation. I really wish there were more people working on this problem. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an indieweb solution?

It also makes me wonder what happened to audio platforms like Seesmic, Audioboo.fm, and Cinchcast which made uploading audio pretty simple, though I suppose that there wasn’t much of an audience for that type of audio, in part because the production value and actual content often wasn’t very good. Perhaps things like Soundcloud or streaming video/audio services like UStream have replaced them, but for any kind of bandwith, the cost of hosting goes up, but this also has the economic value of making the quality go up because it requires a bigger investment in production too.

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🎧 Air-cured sausages | Eat This Podcast

Air-cured sausages by Jeremy Cherfas (Eat This Podcast)
Among the more miraculous edible transformations is the one that turns raw meat, salt and a few basic spices into some of the most delicious foods around.

Time was when curing meat, especially stuffed into a casing to make a sausage, was the only way both to use every part of an animal and to help make it last longer than raw meat. Done right, a sausage would stay good to the next slaughtering season and beyond.

The process relied on the skill of the sausage-maker, the help of beneficial bacteria and moulds, the right conditions, a great deal of patience, and sometimes luck. Luck is less of a factor now, because to keep up with demand the vast majority of cured meats are produced in artificial conditions of controlled precision. Here and there, though, the old ways survive. Jan Davison spent months touring the sausage high-spots of Europe looking for the genuine article, and shared some of her favourites at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cooking last year.

This tempts me greatly to consider decommissioning an incubator from science related use to food related use…

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🎧 Bog Butter | Eat This Podcast

Bog Butter by Jeremy Cherfas (Eat This Podcast, March 4, 2013)
Peat diggers in Ireland and elsewhere have occasionally unearthed objects, usually made of wood, that contained some kind of greasy, fatty material with a “distinctive, pungent and slightly offensive smell”. Butter. Centuries-old butter.

Who buried it, and why, remain mysteries that motivated Ben Reade, an experimental chef at the Nordic Food Lab in Copenhagen, to make some himself. He brought some of his modern-day bog butter, still nestled in moss and wrapped in its birch-bark barrel, to share with the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery last year.

Notes:
Ben mentioned two plants that have been found around bog butter, hypnum moss (Hypnum cupressiforme) and bog cotton (Eriophorum angustifolium).
The Nordic Food Lab research blog details all of their astonishing edible experiments.
I found Seamus Heaney reading his poem Bogland at The Internet Poetry Archive.
Caroline Earwood (1997) Bog Butter: A Two Thousand Year History, The Journal of Irish Archaeology, 8: 25-42 is available at JStor, which has a new scheme allowing you to read up to three items at a time online for free.
Music by Dan-O at DanoSongs.com.

An awesome little podcast I found recently, so I’m going back to the beginning to catch up on all the past episodes. Science, food, heaps of technical expertise, great interviews, and spectacular production quality. Highly recommend it to everyone.

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🎧 The Problem with the Solution | Invisibilia (NPR)

The Problem with the Solution by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel (Invisibilia | NPR.org)
We are naturally drawn to finding solutions. But are there ever problems we shouldn't try to solve? Lulu Miller visits a town in Belgium with a completely different approach to dealing with mental illness. Families in the town board people – strangers - with severe mental illnesses in their homes, sometimes for decades. And it works, because they are not looking to cure them.

A stunning idea, and one that could do well not only for the mentally ill among our friends and families, but some interesting psychology for parenting and expectations of parents for their children.

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🎧 The Personality Myth | Invisibilia (NPR)

The Personality Myth by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel (Invisibilia | NPR.org)
We like to think of our own personalities - and those of our spouses, children and friends - as predictable and constant over time. But what if they aren't? In this episode, Alix Spiegel visits a prison to explore whether there is such a thing as a stable personality. And Lulu Miller asks whether scientists can point to a single thing about a person that doesn't change over time. The answer might surprise you.

Not explicitly said, but this episode points out the heavy nurture side of the nature/nurture question in relation to the stability of one’s personality over time. In some sense, you are who those around you expect you to be. This also makes me think I ought to go back to working for a larger company with more people around me.

Yet another great episode, though to me not as intriguing as some of their other prior efforts. Still overall, a stellar podcast series.

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🎧 Under the Radar 65: Getting Sherlocked | Under the Radar

Under the Radar 65: Getting Sherlocked by Marco Arment and David Smith (overcast.fm)
Preparing for and reacting to Apple implementing your app’s core functionality themselves.

Upshot: Cover the 3 sigma edge cases that the bigger corporation won’t bother to support.

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🎧 Our Computers, Ourselves | Invisibilia (NPR)

Our Computers, Ourselves by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel (Invisibilia | NPR.org)
In Our Computers, Ourselves, a look at the ways technology affects us, and the main question is : Are computers changing human character? You'll hear from cyborgs, bullies, neuroscientists and police chiefs about whether our closeness with computers is changing us as a species.

Possibly not as interesting to me because I’ve watched this space more closely over the past 20 years or so. Still it’s an interesting episode asking some great questions.

I can’t believe I flew through season one so quickly.

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🎧 The Power Of Categories | Invisibilia (NPR)

The Power Of Categories by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel (Invisibilia | NPR.org)
The Power Of Categories examines how categories define us — how, if given a chance, humans will jump into one category or another. People need them, want them. The show looks at what categories provide for us, and you'll hear about a person caught between categories in a way that will surprise you. Plus, a trip to a retirement community designed to help seniors revisit a long-missed category.

The transgender/sexual dysphoria story here is exceedingly interesting because it could potentially have some clues to how those pieces of biology work and what shifts things in one direction or another. How is that spectrum created/defined? A few dozen individuals like that could help provide an answer.

The story about the Indian retirement community in Florida is interesting, but it also raises the (unasked, in the episode at least) question of the detriment it can do to a group of people to be lead by some the oldest members of their community. The Latin words senīlis ‎(“of or pertaining to old age”) and senex ‎(“old”) are the roots of words like senate, senescence, senility, senior, and seniority, and though it’s nice to take care of our elders, the younger generations should take a hard look at the unintended consequences which may stem from this.

In some sense I’m also reminded about Thomas Kuhn’s book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and why progress in science (and yes, society) is held back by the older generations who are still holding onto outdated models. Though simultaneously, they do provide some useful “brakes” on both velocity of change as well as potential ill effects which could be damaging in short timeframes.

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🎧 Entanglement | Invisibilia (NPR)

Entanglement by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel (Invisibilia | NPR.org)
In Entanglement, you'll meet a woman with Mirror Touch Synesthesia who can physically feel what she sees others feeling. And an exploration of the ways in which all of us are connected — more literally than you might realize. The hour will start with physics and end with a conversation with comedian Maria Bamford and her mother. They discuss what it's like to be entangled through impersonation.

I can think of a few specific quirks I’ve got that touch tangentially on mirror synethesia. This story and some of the research behind it is truly fascinating. Particularly interesting are the ideas of the contagion of emotion. It would be interesting to take some complexity and network theory and add some mathematical models to see how this might look. In particular the recent political protests in the U.S. might make great models. This also makes me wonder where Donald Trump sits on this emotional empathy spectrum, if at all.

One of the more interesting take-aways: the thoughts and emotions of those around you can affect you far more than you imagine.

Four episodes in and this podcast is still impossibly awesome. I don’t know if I’ve had so many thought changing ideas since I read David Christian’s book Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History[1] The sad problem is that I’m listening to them at a far faster pace than they could ever continue to produce them.

References

[1]
D. Christian, Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History. Univ of California Press, 2004.
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🎧 How to Become Batman | Invisibilia (NPR)

How to Become Batman by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel (Invisibilia | NPR.org)
In "How to Become Batman," Alix and Lulu examine the surprising effect that our expectations can have on the people around us. You'll hear how people's expectations can influence how well a rat runs a maze. Plus, the story of a man who is blind and says expectations have helped him see. Yes. See. This journey is not without skeptics.

Expectations are much more important than we think.

Is it possible that this podcast is getting more interesting as it continues along?! In three episodes, I’ve gone from fan to fanboy.

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🎧 Fearless | Invisibilia (NPR)

Fearless by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel (Invisibilia | NPR.org)
In "Fearless," co-hosts Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller explore what would happen if you could disappear fear. A group of scientists believe that people no longer need fear — at least not the kind we live with — to navigate the modern world. We'll hear about the striking (and rare) case of a woman with no fear. The second half of the show explores how the rest of us might "turn off" fear.

Our evolution certainly hasn’t been keeping up with our level of fear in the modern world. Even simple things like kids playing around their own neighborhood like I did as a kid in the 70’s and 80’s has changed drastically. How can we keep ourselves from being held back unnecessarily?

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This Week in Google 388: A Doctor in Industry

This Week in Google 388: A Doctor in Industry by Leo Laporte, Jeff Jarvis, Stacey Higginbotham, Kevin Marks (twit.tv)
Jeff Jarvis' report from the World Economic Forum in Davos. Artificial intelligences of the future. Google smartwatch with Android Wear 2.0 to launch February 9th. The most common passwords of 2016. Chelsea Manning's sentence commuted. Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery fires caused by... the battery, details to follow January 23rd.

Jeff's Number: 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer
Stacey's Thing: Stringify
Kevin's Stuff: Homebrew Website Club, Webmention, Micro.blog
Leo's Tools: The Nicest Place on the Internet, Astronaut.io, The Internet Archive

Word of the day:

A piebald or pied animal is one that has a pattern of pigmented spots on an unpigmented (white) background of hair, feathers or scales.

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🎧 The Secret History of Thoughts | Invisibilia (NPR)

The Secret History of Thoughts by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel (Invisibilia | NPR.org)
In "The Secret History of Thoughts," co-hosts Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller ask the question, "Are my thoughts related to my inner wishes, do they reveal who I really am?" The answer can have profound consequences for your life. Hear the story of a man gripped by violent thoughts, and explore how various psychologists make sense of his experience. Also, meet a man trapped inside his head for 13 years with thoughts as his only companion.

What an awesome little podcast Invisibilia is! Can’t wait to catch the rest of the episodes. Interesting to hear the quick overview of the three schools of thought on thought.

I had been hearing commercials for this off and on from other podcasts for almost a year; glad I finally downloaded to listen.

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This Week in Google 387: Mommy’s Special Shawl

This Week in Google 387: Mommy's Special Shawl by Leo Laporte, Stacey Higginbotham (twit.tv)
Stacey's LONG list of great IoT gadgets at CES. The Ara modular smartphone's rise and fall. The death of Google Hangouts API. WayMo makes LIDAR way cheaper. Marissa Mayer to leave Yahoo after sale. Bogus "inventor of e-mail" sues Techdirt. Aaron's Thing: The Onion Omega2 Stacey's Do Buy: truMedic Instashiatsu Plus Neck and Shoulder Massager Stacey's Don't Buy: GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Door Sensor Leo's Thing: Project Fi - A World of Thanks