LISTEN TO THIS | Anti-Poetry Deflector Shields

I’m a podcast junkie, and LISTEN TO THIS is a weekly recap my favorite tidbits, soundbites and short bursts of brilliance that I can’t help but share with anyone who will listen. This week, I digested over 12 hours of podcasts, and here’s the best 9 minutes from what I heard.


On Mac Power Users, David and Katie conducted a workflow interview with John Siracusa. At 2:37 in the podcast, John talks about the process of how he thinks things out in his podcast Hypercritical and compares it to the thinking exercise he goes through when writing a blog post. The two are very similar, but with podcasting he doesn’t have the opportunity or even the need to edit it down. He doesn’t say this directly, but the discussion is a perfect reminder that good writing takes lots, and lots, and lots of editing.


Next, check out the interview with Billy Collins on NPR’s TED Radio Hour. Billy’s exploration of the creative process is only twelve and half minutes long and quite stimulating, but if you’re short on time, start at 5:32 where he shares, “When you get a poem on a billboard or on the radio or on a cereal box or whatever, it happens to you so suddenly that you don’t have time to deploy your anti-poetry deflector shields that were installed in high school.” Billy’s presentation and interview reminded me of the incredible thought generating powers of poetry and the need to work a little more of it in my daily life.

“You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket.”

~ John Adams


Wow! Seriously, find an hour and listen to the WHAT HAPPENED AT DOS ERRES episode of This American Life because it chronicles the amazing story of one survivor of the 1982 Guatemalan military massacre of Dos Erres. WARNING it’s disturbing at times as it pieces together the events of the unthinkable genocide of an entire village, but if you can handle a deep emotional journey (yes, I cried), the payoff is well worth the trip. My favorite little nugget comes at 41:14 when an elder farmer reflects back to that day and explains how it led to him drinking.

“I thought I could drown all my sorrows, but then I figure out my sorrows could swim.” ~ Tranquilino Castaneda

When I posted this quote on Observation Paper, one of the most thoughtful guys I know, Joel Kidwell, shared that this is also a line in the U2 song Until the End of the World. Informal learning in action!

Podcasts Pickups:

After confessing my addiction to podcasting, my friend Ariadne came out and shared she suffers from a similar condition only she makes my 12 hours in a week look like chump change. So this week, I’m test driving a few of her recommendations:

  • Tech News Today
  • Get-It-Done Guy
  • Stuff You Should Know,

What about you? What podcasts did you enjoy this week and what do you recommend at I should try? Leave your favorites in the comments below.