Jimmy Guterman's blog

media, technology, management, and the rest of it

Media diet, summer 2014, part 1: podcasts

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podcast iconI’m trying, and half-succeeding, to read less and write more. I read more than enough. (You don’t want to know how many times I’ve been through Proust, for example — one of the good things about having a tablet is that it’s easier to hide my habits/obsessions.)

I’m trying to cut down my inputs dramatically so I can focus more on my output. But someone asked me earlier this year to be part of a media roundup she was assembling for some editorial people. I never got around to it, but I thought it might be useful, for me anyway, to write down want I’m reading/listening to/seeing this summer. I’ll start with podcasts.

Here are five I recommend highly. There are far more great ones than anyone with a job, a family, or creative aspirations could listen to, but here are five I listen to regularly every week with consistent pleasure.

Song Exploder, in which musicians take apart their songs and share how they put ‘em together in the first place. Not all the music is to my taste, but the discussion of what it takes to construct a work is engaging and sometimes inspiring.

Joe Bussard’s Country Classics, in which the legendary record collector (and Fonotone proprietor) digs into his bottomless pile of ’78s and reveals outstanding cut after outstanding cut of pre-WWII country, blues, and gospel, augmented by authoritative commentary, brought to you by the geniuses at Dust-to-Digital.

99% Invisible, a design podcast that digs deep into a topic every week, full of surprises and insight. And this uses the broadest definition of design possible: last week’s episode was all about the history of skyjacking.

TLDR is a blog about the internet, associated with On the Media. The producers are funny, share their wonder, and have a strong moral sense that doesn’t get in the way of entertaining.

On the Media is better known as an NPR show, but I listen to it on podcast just to make sure I don’t miss it when it’s on the local public radio station. I’ve listened to this media-news-and-comment show for years and still learn or am provoked by something new almost every week.


Written by guterman

June 26, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Posted in diversion, reading, worklife

Paragraph of the weekend (c/o Roddy Doyle)

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Jimmy hadn’t been accurate when he told Barry that there were only ten in the audience. There were twelve. But that figure grew to thirteen when the drummer left the band halfway through their crowd pleaser, ‘Your Happiness Makes Me Puke,’ but hung around for the rest of the gig so she could drive Barry home.

– Roddy Doyle, The Guts

guts cover

Written by guterman

June 8, 2014 at 9:58 am

Posted in ass-kicking, reading

My inequality essay for TED

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The good folks at TED asked me to write something about income inequality, a topic close to my (everyone’s?) heart.

My shortish essay asks and attempts to answer the question Why Is Inequality the Big Hot Issue Right Now?

Written by guterman

June 3, 2014 at 8:47 am

Posted in TED, writing

Revealed: the Flannery O’Connor/Lucinda Williams connection

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Lucinda Williams once chased Flannery O’Connor’s peacocks … When Williams was kindergarten age in the late ‘50s, she and her father, the poet Miller Williams, drove from Macon, Ga., to Milledgeville, Ga., to visit the great Southern Gothic writer Flannery O’Connor as invited guests. “She had a strict daily schedule when she was writing,” Williams said … “She wasn’t ready to receive guests when we got there so we sat on the porch until she finished writing. I chased her peacocks all around the yard. My father loves to tell that story.”

Lucinda Williams draws from where the spirit meets the bone (Tallahassee Democrat)

Written by guterman

May 25, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Best insult of a workplace environment buried in a profile of Spotify of all time of the week

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Aside from walls made from whiteboards, it feels like a place where people would go to sit around, smoke pot, and listen to John Legend.

Spotify Hits 10 Million Paid Users. Now Can It Make Money? (Businessweek)

Written by guterman

May 25, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Posted in journalism, reading

Favorite Dropbox error message of all time of the week

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dropboxI don’t enjoy it when Dropbox version control fails, but I do enjoy that doing so appends “Jimmy Guterman’s conflicted copy” to the name of the file. Instead of a technical error, it makes it seem like I’m conflicted about the copy I wrote or edited, which is sometimes often true.

Written by guterman

May 21, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Best premise for a science fiction story of all time of the week

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On Wednesday, Mr. Roth told the crowd that next week he would be getting an honorary doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary, “where I will be introduced by Mae West.”

Philip Roth Receives Yaddo Artist Medal — In Person (NYT)

Written by guterman

May 15, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Posted in ass-kicking, writing

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