Listened Mary Catherine Bateson Living as an Improvisational Art from

Krista Tippett speaks with Mary Catherine Bateson about her life, work and beliefs. The two discuss changes in our relationships over time and what ‘home’ means:

Creating an environment in which learning is possible, that is what a home is.

Maria Popova has also written a useful introduction to Mary Catherine Bateson and her book Composing a Life, in which she includes the following quote:

It is time now to explore the creative potential of interrupted and conflicted lives, where energies are not narrowly focused or permanently pointed toward a single ambition. These are not lives without commitment, but rather lives in which commitments are continually refocused and redefined. We must invest time and passion in specific goals and at the same time acknowledge that these are mutable. The circumstances of women’s lives now and in the past provide examples for new ways of thinking about the lives of both men and women. What are the possible transfers of learning when life is a collage of different tasks? How does creativity flourish on distraction? What insights arise from the experience of multiplicity and ambiguity? And at what point does desperate improvisation become significant achievement? These are important questions in a world in which we are all increasingly strangers and sojourners. The knight errant, who finds his challenges along the way, may be a better model for our times than the knight who is questing for the Grail.

Source: Composing a Life by Mary Catherine Bateson

“Doug Belshaw” in TB872: MCB and ‘being what we are willing to learn’ – Open Thinkering ()

Bookmarked The End of Vice | CYBER (

With the death of Vice, Matthew Gault, Emily Lipstein, Anna Merlan, Tim Marchman and Mack Lamoureux gather for a totally unauthorized, tell-all session that they pushed out on an official Vice channel.

“Cory Doctorow” in Pluralistic: Vice surrenders (24 Feb 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow ()

Listened From Little Things Big Things Grow from ABC Radio National

This is the story a song written by Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly around a campfire in 1988. What started off as a casually recorded folk number has become what Carmody calls “a kind of cultural love song”: a foundational entry in the Australian songbook.

This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is “For Our Elders”, so RN’s Rudi Bremer went to speak with Kev Carmody at his studio on Kambuwal Country to gather his recollections of From Little Things Big Things Grow as it started, the story of the Gurindji Walk Off that inspired it, and the many different iterations he’s performed and heard in the last thirty years.

Wik and South Sea Islander rapper Ziggy Ramo, Electric Fields vocalist Zaachariaha Fielding from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands and Adelaide producer Michael Ross, and Zillmere State School Year 7 Class of 2003 student Tonii-Lee Betts join Craig Tilmouth to talk about their interpretations of the song that Carmody says “belongs to everyone now”.

From Little Things Big Things Grow, as performed by:

Kev Carmody, Paul Kelly and the Tiddas from the 1993 album Bloodlines

Paul Kelly & the Messengers from the 1991 album Comedy

Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly live at the national memorial service for Gough Whitlam, 2014

The Waifs, from the 2020 album Cannot Buy My Soul: The Songs of Kev Carmody

Electric Fields from the 2020 album Cannot Buy My Soul: The Songs of Kev Carmody

Ziggy Ramo, from the 2021 single From Little Things

Zillmere State School Year 7 Class of 2003

Paul Kelly & Jess Hitchcock live in 2019 on the album People

You also heard Kev Carmody’s song Thou Shalt Not Steal from the 1988 album Pillars of Society, and the opening of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (‘Choral’), performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Wilhelm Furtwängler.

Rudi Bremer speaks with Kev Carmody about writing of his track From Little Things Big Things Grow with Paul Kelly and its legacy. The two explore the many covers of the track, including:

  • Ziggy Ramo
  • Electric Fields
  • The Waifs
  • Zillmere State School
  • Paul Kelly & Jess Hitchcock

Carmody compares the various covers to “the embers coming off the fire”. This is interesting to consider alongside Walter Benjamin’s idea of ‘the translation as a tangent‘.  Carmody also says that as a song it “belongs to everyone now.”

Liked Podcast AI (

Welcome to, a podcast that is entirely generated by artificial intelligence. Every week, we explore a new topic in depth, and listeners can suggest topics or even guests and hosts for future episodes. Whether you’re a machine learning enthusiast, just want to hear your favorite topics covered in a new way or even just want to listen to voices from the past brought back to life, this is the podcast for you.

Listened Mothers and Milk The ultimate short food chain; one person makes it, another person eats it. by Jeremy Cherfas from

A wet nurse (for that is what Hera was in all tellings of the story) created the Milky Way when her divine milk sprayed across the heavens. Today’s nursing mothers are not so blessed. Although women have a legal right to breastfeed in public across the United States and the UK (and many other countries), there are plenty of individuals who seem to think that they have the right to tell them to stop, and plenty of new mothers who are intimidated enough not to try. Why? How can this most essential of food chains possibly be considered shameful? And then there are the women who would dearly love to breastfeed their infants, but cannot. In this episode, experts on infant feeding discuss the history and current status of mothers’ milk and its various substitutes.

I never considered how much we take something like baby formula for granted. Having had a child failed to thrive due to a dairy allergy, formula with synthetic was essential in working through this.
Listened Listen to ‘The Daily’: Why Adnan Syed Was Released From Prison from

After decades of proclaiming his innocence and a podcast series dedicated to his case, Mr. Syed has been released from prison.

Michael Barbaro speaks with Serial host, Sarah Koenig, about why the case against Adnan Syed was overturned. Koenig talks about new suspects, the withholding of evidence and lose of other evidence.

So that’s the bulk of the state’s motion to vacate — new information about two potential suspects, important evidence withheld from the defense, renewed suspicion of Jay’s story, loss of confidence in the cellphone evidence. And while the Brady violation alone is enough for the state to cry uncle, all of it together, well, yes, overwhelming cause for concern. Adnan’s case was a mess, is a mess. That’s pretty much where we were when we stopped reporting in 2014.

Tara Jacoby argued that Serial was great storytelling, but also ‘shoddy reporting’.

How law enforcement and prosecutors wield their vast and often unregulated power is not a sexy story. Finding out who committed a heinous murder is way more enticing and perhaps more palatable. So Koenig focuses pretty squarely on the latter. That’s okay, I guess—this is her story, after all—but she can’t call it fair. How can you tell a story about a convicted criminal without talking about the system that convicted him?

Listened Persephone’s secret The Eleusinian Mysteries and the making of the modern economy by Jeremy Cherfas from

Elucidating the Eleusinian Mysteries is one small element in Scott Reynolds Nelson’s new book, Oceans of Grain. It looks at the many, many ways in which wheat and human history intertwine.

Jeremy Cherfas speaks with Scott Reynolds Nelson about his book Oceans of Grain. The conversations are broken up into the themes of transport, finance and empire. This series of conversations is not so much a history of wheat, but rather a history through wheat. It is fascinating to consider the impact that grain has had on so many significant historical events. I remember hearing Marilyn Lake talk about having a global perspective, this is a great example of this.

Listened from
Cameron, I really enjoyed your discussion of education not in the news. Really intrigued by the promise of an eight episode podcast series.

Also enjoyed Steven Kolber’s discussion of zombie data with Jennifer Clutterbuck and Rafaan Daliri-Ngametua.

We found excessive, purposeless and redundant data – ‘zombie data’. Those in the technology, economics, business, and “regtech” fields indicate an awareness that zombie data, while considered dead, ‘lurks around…waiting to be called to life again” (Datastreams, 2017). Such data has also been referred to as “huge waves of numbers without meaning or relevance” (Balleny, 2013) that create datasets “without any purpose or clear use case in mind” (Kaufmann, 2014 in D‘Ignazio & Klein, 2020).

Listened Chocolate—the world’s most seductive treat and its dark shadow from ABC Radio National

Chocolate is one of our most popular indulgences but there is a darker side to the industry – one connected with colonialism, the industrial revolution and modern-day slavery.

This podcast dives into the history of chocolate and its relationship with child labour. I was intrigued by the way in which some companies will purchase fair trade for a single product creating the false impression that all their products are made with fair trade chocolate. It reminded me of Jeremy Cherfas’ discussion of ethical coffee.
Listened Fairlight CMI – the sound you’ve never heard of from ABC Radio National

The Australian instrument that shaped the sound of the 1980s and forever changed how popular music was made

James Vyver explores the development of Fairlight in the 1980’s, a musical instrument that involved the ability an extensive sound library, a multi-track sequencer and a sampler. Vyver speaks with a number of those involved in the development of the instrument, including Peter Vogel, Kim Ryrie and Peter Wielk. MESS have also put together a great piece in conjunction with Google Arts & Culture, with links to a number of other resources, including Vox’s video on the origin of the orchestra hit.

It is amazing to consider that in its time, a Fairlight cost as much as a house. Whereas now I can purchase an app like Koala Sampler, and easily capture and create sample base music.

Listened CM 211: Liz Wiseman on Standing Out at Work from

If someone asked what they should do to succeed in their job, you’d probably have a quick response. You might say something like, just do what you’re asked, get your work done on time, or don’t step on anyone’s toes.

But what if the question wasn’t about how to succeed, but how to stand out as the best of the best?

These are the high performers Liz Wiseman calls “impact players.” They’re the ones who leave an indelible mark on their work and the people around them. Liz spoke with nearly 200 top professionals, and she uncovered 5 behaviors that set them apart. Her findings inform her latest book, Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger, and Multiply Your Impact.

In a conversation with Gayle Allen, Liz Wiseman talks about her new book Impact Players. According to Wiseman, impact players look to how they can make a difference, rather than just play a roll. Most people aspire to make a difference and have a contribution. She shares five characteristics of an impact player:

  • Useful – what’s important now
  • Step up and step back – leading without it being a land grab
  • Finish strong
  • Ask and adjust
  • Make work light – removing the phantom work

Allen and Wiseman discuss the questions to consider when trying to hire an impact player:

  • How do they handle messy problems?
  • Leadership problems?
  • Roadblocks?
  • Moving targets?

Wiseman explains that the book does not serve as a recipe, but rather the start of a conversation. WHat matters most is creating the right conditions.

The best leaders … create both safety and stretch.

Wiseman also discusses the current challenges of remote work. She touches on the breakdown of chains of impact, explaining that when we are apart we often fall into a habit of going from task to task.

We burnout not from too much work, but too little impact.

This all reminds me of something that David Truss recently wrote about improvising:

The world is your stage. The play is your playground. Improvise your roles as best as you can. And remember that others are improvising theirs roles too. Work with your fellow actors to create the best performance you can. But remember it’s all an act, and if you aren’t playing a role that works, change the role or change the way you act in it. All the world is an improv stage, and so you get to write the script as you go. Enjoy the performance, you only get one.

Listened from

James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) joins Lol and Budgie on this episode of Curious Creatures. Budgie and Lol discover that James knows all about the English Doom. They discuss the Power of newness. Limitations are good now, everyone thinks they’re cool. James says he loves Lol and Budgie (and they love him back). Later Lol and Budgie discover leather pants.

In an interview with Lol Tolhurst and Budgie on the Curious Creatures podcast, James Murphy discussed how when he started out, he would begin his sets with an instrumental during which he would do soundcheck. This made me think about Damian Cowell’s discussion of prog rock and the place of equipment in music.
Bookmarked The Party Room (

Want to know what’s really going on in Parliament House? Fran Kelly and Patricia Karvelas give you the political analysis that matters and explain what it means for you.

Along with Annabel Crabb’s politics newsletter, I find The Party Room a refreshing take on politics. Never sure if I am being played by marketing, I prefer to consume my content through a trusted lens.
Cameron Malcher speaks with Tom Greenwell and Chris Bonnor about Australia’s long history of failed reform. I knew there were differences in regards to the New Zealand education system, however I never knew that Catholic schools there were in fact fully funded meaning that they are unable to charge fees themselves.
Listened I Wish I Made That: John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats from NPR

I Wish I Made That is a segment where we invite some of our favorite voices in pop culture to dive deep into a work of art they did not make but they really wish they did. This time around we are joined by John Darnielle. John is a writer and frontman of the folk rock band the Mountain Goats. He recently released his third novel which is called Devil House. It is an epic story that touches on the true crime fad of today, the Satanic panic of the 1980s and a spooky home in Milpitas, California. When we asked John to pick something he wished he had made, he sent us a list of a few different things. After narrowing down the list, he eventually settled on Speak & Spell, the debut album by new wave legends Depeche Mode.

John Darnielle reflects upon Speak and Spell, Depeche Mode’s first album and only one written by Vince Clarke. He explains how groundbreaking the album was at the time as a stage full of guys with synthesisers and drum machines was not common. He also touches on how the success of the album and subsequent record contract allowed them to become what they did, even though you can hear in the following few records a band finding itself with Martin Gore taking over writing duties.

“Austin Kleon” in Trying not to spiral out – Austin Kleon ()

Listened Dave Eggers: How Can Kids Learn Human Skills in a Tech-Dominated World? from NPR

Fiction can serve as a window into multiple realities–to imagine different futures or understand our own past. This hour, author Dave Eggers talks tech, education, and the healing power of writing.

I am not necessarily sure if the podcast really addressed the question that got me in. However, it did provide an interesting insight into Dave Eggers that I did not know, including his work with 826 Valencia and giving children more of a voice in the world. A couple of observations that stood out was that often a memoir can feel like chaos in your own head, but look like clarity when written on the page. Also, he ended the conversation with a sagely piece of advice:

If you want to be a writer, start listening

Listened Who is Daniel Johns? The hit podcast untangling Silverchair’s enigmatic frontman from

Johns has had a difficult relationship with the media and is notoriously averse to interviews – possibly because the few he does are always such high-stakes affairs. Last time he was in the public eye he was being grilled by Andrew Denton on national TV; now he’s letting podcasters into his childhood bedroom to fossick through his teenage diaries. Kudos to podcast creators Kaitlin Sawrey, Amelia Chappelow and Frank Lopez for getting this level of access without some sort of elaborate heist.

Kaitlin Sawrey, Amelia Chappelow and Frank Lopez reclaim Daniel Johns narrative from myth and innuendo. It was interesting to get a different perspective of Johns’ music and some of the thinking behind it, including trashing the recordings of an early album. I was also intrigued by Johns’ lack of interest with technology.

Although I was intrigued by the conversations with Paul Mac, Natalie Imbruglia, Van Dyke Parks and Julian Hamilton, I felt that voices of Billy Corgan and Kevin Parker were a bit token. This is one of the things that I have enjoyed about Damian Cowell’s podcast, other than an episode involving Tony Martin, the names feel like context.

One of the funny things about this podcast is that I had to listen to it on Spotify. This then lead to a whole series of recommendations by Spotify around podcast.

Listened History Is Over from NPR

As the end of the 20th century approached, Radiohead took to the recording studio to capture the sound of a society that felt like it was fraying at the edges. Many people had high hopes for the new millennium, but for others a low hum of anxiety lurked just beneath the surface as the world changed rapidly and fears of a Y2K meltdown loomed.

Amidst all the unease, the famed British band began recording their highly anticipated follow ups to their career-changing album OK Computer. Those two albums, Kid A and Amnesiac, released in 2000 and 2001, were entrancing and eerie — they documented the struggle to redefine humanity, recalibrate, and get a grip on an uncertain world. In this episode, we travel back to the turn of the millennium with Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood and the music of Kid A and Amnesiac.

With the aniversary of Kid A and Amnesiac, as well as Kid A Mnesia Exhibition, Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei speak with Stanley Donwood and Thom Yorke about legacy of albums. The podcast traces Radiohead’s rise, the contrast provided and Zygmunt Bauman’s discussion of ‘Liquid Modernity’.

Around the same time, a Polish philosopher named Zygmunt Bauman published a book called Liquid Modernity. His big idea was that the anxiety and unease people in the West were feeling in the late 20th century was due to the fact that technology was developing faster than culture: We could not keep up with the lightning-fast advancements in communication, transportation and entertainment. Radiohead captured that feeling in Kid A and Amnesiac. Maybe it’s a testament to these albums’ prophetic vision that 20 years later, they feel just as relevant. Maybe we still haven’t caught up with that rapidly changing world.

In a different take, Andy Beta traces some of the sounds captured in the album, such as Tortoise, Aphex Twin, Autechre and Alice Coltrane.