Podcast Episode Suggestions Jan 2024

I’ve been listening to a few different podcasts and here’s some of the episodes that I really enjoyed.

I’ve downloaded the subtitles of these from YouTube and then asked Claude.ai (Anthropic’s equivalent to ChatGPT) to summarise them.

Strategies for becoming less distracted and improving focus | Nir Eyal (author of Indistractable and Hooked)


Here is a summary of the key points from the podcast episode:

  1. Distraction is not caused by technology itself, but by our inability to deal with discomfort and emotions like boredom, fatigue, and anxiety. We need tools to manage these “internal triggers”.
  2. Becoming “indistractable” involves four steps:
    (a) Master internal triggers using techniques like the 10-minute rule and “surfing the urge
    (b) Make time for traction by scheduling priorities based on your values
    (c) Hack back external triggers like notifications and interruptions
    (d) Prevent distraction with commitment devices (“pacts”) like financial stakes, identity pacts, or effort pacts.
  3. To build an indistractable workplace, companies should provide psychological safety, a forum for employees to discuss distraction issues, and managers who exemplify focus. Techniques like “schedule syncing” also help.
  4. We should be careful about labeling normal technology use as “addiction”. Most people are not clinically addicted. Framing the issue as a personal responsibility and skill to develop is more constructive.

The key message is that we have more individual agency in avoiding distraction than we realize. With the right mindset and techniques, we can overcome impulsiveness with forethought and intent.

How to become a category pirate | Christopher Lochhead (Author of Play Bigger, Niche Down, more)


If you like that you should also get the books or at least listen to

How To Think Like A Category Designer | Category Pirates (Pocketcasts link)

What’s our problem?

I highly recommend the Book / Audiobook of What’s Our Problem by Wait But Why’s author Tim Urban.

The book explores political polarization and division in the United States, particularly around issues of social justice, through the lens of a framework called “The Ladder.” This framework categorizes thinking and culture as high-rung or low-rung. High-rung refers to open, truth-seeking attitudes while low-rung refers to rigid, dogmatic attitudes. The book traces how low-rung thinking and tactics have come to dominate parts of politics, media, and other institutions.

The book continues to use the “Ladder” model to analyze political groups and movements, focusing on case studies of extremism and polarization. It explores the rise of right-wing populism, analyzing factors that allowed more extreme factions to gain power in the Republican Party. It then turns to the left and progressive movements, distinguishing between moderate liberalism and a more dogmatic, illiberal faction the author terms “Social Justice Fundamentalism” (SJF).

Through various examples, the book argues SJF employs coercive ideological tactics akin to a religious fundamentalism. It spreads through institutions via moral justification and accusations of heresy, silencing dissent. The book raises concerns about SJF trends like restrictions on free speech, lack of due process, teaching divisive concepts to children, corporate trainings based on dubious science, and more. It aims to show how SJF differs substantially from mainstream civil rights efforts.

Ultimately the book concludes that extremism and dogmatism from all sides threatens liberal societies by eroding norms of free speech, science, and open debate. It argues self-awareness about our own biases and having the courage to speak up against illiberalism are important to reverse this breakdown of discourse and reason. But it tries to avoid condemning individuals, instead analyzing broad social and psychological patterns that pull groups toward the “lower rungs.”

By Michael Kubler

Photographer, cinematographer, web master/coder.

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