What I read/listened to/watched — week 2

Week 2 and I’m already feeling some level of pressure, as I woke up Thursday morning and realised that — for various reasons (I have a job, a certain age and other issues), my week of “consumption” was not going all that well. To be honest, I really tried to pack most of my reading/listening and watching in the last 3 days of the week and I am now actively questioning whether this was a good idea at all :) But let’s stick with it.

What I listened to

Until the US Open finishes (which, thankfully is this weekend) you will hear me mention The Tennis Podcast. At this point I listen to it more than I watch the actual games, primarily because it it available at reasonable hours whereas the games happen at night when I like to sleep. I also listen to it because my brain has become accustomed to the voices and the episodes now have a strangely calming effect on me especially when I walk to work. The same used to go for The Blindboy Podcast which sadly, does not features in this week’s listening.

The second podcast I have listened to this week is one chronicling the life and demise of Heidi Fleiss, the Hollywood madam. It’s called Heidiworld and, while it made it to a bunch of best of lists, I am not loving it mainly because it’s a very wikipedia-ish account of the woman’s life, where every mention of a person or situation descends into a 10 minute account of exactly who that person or situation were (e.g. Heidi has a friend who introduces her to celebs but we also know all there is to know about the friend’s semi-celeb dad, who he was married to, how he died, why he got fired etc etc). I would have liked a bit more interrogation of motives and less genealogy but on we go with it. I am now on episode 3.

I gave Origin Story, the podcast where Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey try to decode the meaning of political “buzzwords” another try with their episode on Neoliberalism and as always, gave up mid-way, because I find it really hard to get lessons in objective meaning from two people who enjoy their subjective beliefs so much. I won’t give up trying but I’ve yet to make it through an episode.

What I read ~

This is a painfully short list because of all the reasons above. I struggled through two more articles in my Possible Minds: 25 ways of looking at AI book. It continues to be incredibly hard to read maybe because all the writers are PhDs in quantum computing and other such fields. I did find the article about deep learning interesting, as someone who in uncomfortable with uncertainty, I would prefer to understand how my AI comes to its conclusions.

Luckily, Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel is A GEM. And of course I have ordered her first one Fun Home and cannot wait until it gets here. I mean look at this one single panel ❤

Alison Bechdel, The Secret to Superhuman Strength

I also read a few article on mental health in the workplace, none really good to be worth mentioning and eventually stumbled onto a good one from 7 years ago (!!!) about our corporate obsession with mindfulness. This one is really worth reading so I’ll link it here and give you a taster below:

“Where brilliance and creativity had formerly reigned, there were, by the turn of the millennium, suspicions of pathology. Child psychiatrists began to drop “bipolarity” as a default diagnosis and turn their attention to attention itself. Too many children were deficient in it, just as their plugged-in parents were often guilty of “distracted parenting.” The switch from bipolarity to attention deficit disorder is hard to date exactly, in part because these conditions are now said to be frequently “comorbid,” or overlapping. But as we began to spend more and more of our time interacting with mood-less programs and devices, psychiatry seems to have turned from emotional concerns like bipolarity, which is a “mood disorder,” to cognitive problems like ADD and ADHD.”

This week’s newsletter from Haley Nahman — it’s called Maybe Baby and you can subscribe here, almost prophetically spoke about the quantified self and of course it gave me goosebumps because of the above mentioned qualms about not being able to read enough to satisfy my weekly roundup. I also read about a new device which helps women to breast tissue self-exams in more organised way which I thought was fab (the device, not the article).

Finally, I stumbled upon an article from MIT Sloan Management Review on whether design thinking can succeed in corporations which was an unexpected boon because I have a fair amount of clients who are asking this question every day. Read it here.

[Reading tip: so, I’ve taken Twitter off my phone and installed an RSS reader in the hope I will retake control of my thoughts and ideas. If I may suggest a tip in case you’re considering the same: do not put daily newspapers on your rss reader list. They’re only going to flood your homepage with 1000 articles every hour and you’ll spend more time marking them as read then actually reading.]

What I watched

Very slim watching week too :( We are slowly making our way through the Paul Newman Joanne Woodward documentary and I am still watching the new LOTR: The Rings of Power series. Considering starting Yellowstone but not sure I can do this many series at a time.

Spurred by Heidiworld I did watch 1 whole hour of The Decline of Western Civilisation: Part II The Metal Years. Seriously, I don’t know what those years were about and listening to Ozzy Osbourne, Brett Michaels and Steven Tyler’s musings about life, sex and money is not helping me find connection. Hence, probably, the title of the movie.

I expect we’ll crown the week with another Paul Newman classic. Dario wants to watch The Hot Long Summer after seeing Hud last week. I’ll maybe put that on next week’s list.




CX Strategist and Design Director. Recovering Internet lover. Write about technology, design and what I watch/listen to/read.

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CX Strategist and Design Director. Recovering Internet lover. Write about technology, design and what I watch/listen to/read.