Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: podcast interviews

I Need “Play Random” Button

Yes, you guessed it! Another sweet Podcast Roundup! I’ll admit this week’s selection was too quickly thrown into the playlist from podcasts I listen to FAR too regularly. I was struggling with time constraints yesterday. It makes me wish there was a “play random” button on my podcast player.

Let’s see here…meditation, lyme disease, Covid, and the state of humanity. Three hours of listening and I found nothing that made me squeal with delight. I suppose they can’t all be winners, right?

“Michelle, why are you sharing these if they didn’t inspire you? Why bother us with it?”

Well, my friend, for two reasons. The first being documentation! This is a record of the journey and wrong turns and false starts are part of the big picture. The second is because maybe they are what YOU need to hear right now. Who knows? So I throw it out there, see if it sticks!

Practicing Human – Is Desire Bad?

Is desire bad? Is wanting bad? Depends on what you mean by bad, I suppose. My take is that there are skillful and unskillful wants and desires. I desire the cookie, but I know it won’t lead me to the better health I’m working on. Then again, it’s really not the desire that is the problem, it’s the attachment to the outcome of that desire. I may want a thing, and strive toward it, but let go of ever getting there.

Quillette – New York Times Columnist Ross Douthat on His Hellish Experience with Lyme Disease

Here’s a thing I didn’t know. Doctors look askance at Lyme disease sufferers. What’s up with that? And it turns out that not everyone suffers the same way: short, curable illness for most, long-term chronic illness for others. Humans are so strange. How does a doctor diagnose it? Different ways. How do they treat it? Different ways for different people. It’s a crapshoot, like everything else. Irritates me. This guy wrote a book about his illness, and it sounds like something I might want to read in the future.

The Intelligence from The Economist – Hope for the crest: an Omicron wave hits India

I’m hesitant to post anything about Covid, but here’s this one. Listen in, make your judgments, decide for yourself. Unlike everyone else, I’m not going to tell you what to think, vote for a law or mandate, or otherwise make you do something to protect me.

Cato Daily Podcast – Rationality: What it is, Why it Seems Scarce, Why it Matters

I didn’t realize that this was another talk from Steven Pinker. I already heard him speak several times and I read his book, Rationality. Great stuff.

Rationally Speaking – Humanity on the precipice (Toby Ord)

Hmm…I liked this and then I didn’t. I think sitting around worrying ourselves crazy over global climate change and whether AI will destroy us is a waste of time. The individual has no control over these things. But then, if we don’t, who will? I just don’t know.

I do enjoy thinking on the future of AI. It’s fascinating, but I’m more in the camp of, if they end up smarter than us and take over, so be it. Evolution is a thing. He did say something that caught my attention and I have been thinking on it ever since. Frankenstein. Man creates a being, it scares him, he shuns it, the being hates its creator and tries to destroy it. Age old story that applies to AI as well.

EconTalk – Gregory Zuckerman on the Crazy Race to Create the COVID Vaccine

Yep, another Covid podcast. This one is about a book the guy wrote about the companies that created the vaccine. I listen to a lot of podcasts, read a lot of articles, watch a lot of videos about Covid and the response to it. I have a lot of opinions, but I typically keep them to myself in public (online). I’m not sure that’s all too healthy, and I have my reservations about that, but what can I do but sit back and watch for now?

That’s all I had time to listen to this week. I skipped the ends of a couple of these. I’d heard Steven Pinker before and I got bored with Rationally Speaking.

My podcast list is getting boring, people. If you have one you love, please share it in the comments. I’ve been running into that new-age problem of only finding new things that are related to things I’m already listening to. I’m in stuck in a feedback loop! Throw me a rope!

“Everything is F… – A Book About Hope”


I’m so far behind on book reviews that it’s just ridiculous. Should I just give up on the pile of just finished books I have here on my desk? Start fresh, so to speak, and simply review the one I’m currently reading when I’m done? That would be the easy way, wouldn’t it?

I think I’ll go ahead and do “mini” reviews for these books. I’ll pull out an idea or two from each and leave it there. Here we go.

I started to write a review for this over a week ago and realized I just can’t. First of all, I should have written it last month when I finished it. That would have been ideal, when the ideas were fresh. I sat here thumbing through looking at the words I underlined and getting a glimpse of the awesome

When I listened to the interview, he said the book would trigger anger in some people. His first book was gentler, this one goes for the throat, right to many people’s most sensitive spots. He got me too and I was prepared. I found myself thinking, “Hold on just one stinkin’ minute, Mark!” But then set it aside to wonder what it was he was really trying to say.

When you go to a doctor about a pain you have, say in your foot, he feels around that foot looking for the pain. He pushes on it in small increments until he pokes it right where it hurts most. “Sorry. I know that hurts. But now I know where exactly to put the medicine.” That’s what the author is doing here, I think.

To find a cure for what ails us, we need to look at all the pieces, all our life narratives, all the things we hold dear, to see which one, and then which part of the that one, is really causing the trouble.

This is one of those books that I’ll have to read again to get more meat off the bone. There was just so much to digest.

Here’s just one idea that I fell in love with!

“…why don’t we do things we know we should do? Because we don’t FEEL like it. Every problem of self-control is not a problem of information or discipline or reason but, rather, of emotion.

…emotional problems are much harder to deal with than logical ones. There are equations to help you calculate the monthly payments on your car loan. There are no equations to help you end a bad relationship.”

His caricature of humans as a consciousness car, driven by a feeling brain with a thinking brain in the passenger seat is just beautiful. Our feelings drive us, and our brain justifies and explains why we’re doing the things we want to do. That’s why we keep doing things we know are not logical. We eat when we’re not hungry. We throw tantrums instead of using our words to communicate needs. And we ruin our long-term relationships, knowing full well that we could navigate the waters a better way.

What can we do to fix it? He goes into some ideas and why they work. Some I’ve heard from my own kids. And some I’ve thought of myself. The big one being, sometimes we have to replace habits instead of kick them.

The book is just awesome. I was looking through my notes and found “How can one book have so many awesome ideas?!” I’d probably have written a thousand page essay about all the brilliant things he said if I had done the review last month when it was all fresh in my head, but instead, I’ll enthusiastically point you in the direction of it so you can read it yourself.

Don’t let the title and sarcastic tone make you think it’s a negative tale of doom. It’s not. Society, government, religion…all the forbidden dinner party topics, wrapped up in 232 pages. You won’t regret it!

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