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Back to Work

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Back to Work is an award winning talk show with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discussing productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more. Hosted by Merlin Mann & Dan Benjamin.
454 Episodes
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455: Talc Mandala

455: Talc Mandala

2019-12-1001:12:25

DISCUSSED: Drafts for Mac is out!; check out Damon Lindelof on The Watch; suggestions for HomeKit power strips; and responses to listener letters on rediscovering the joys of physical media and getting started with addressing chronic pain.
454: Enough Women Nation

454: Enough Women Nation

2019-12-0301:08:37

Discussed:the commercials you get in your headlistener feedback on music managementfirst results of Merlin's own deep dive on music management alternativesthoughts on the "safety" that ends up making us less safethe perverse magic of "ghoti"thoughts on Dan's cool new laptopgetting the shell you wantsometimes Daddy needs to go in the closet
453: Shoulder the Brunt

453: Shoulder the Brunt

2019-11-2701:19:11

DISCUSSED: Merlin has an email confession; Dan steps up with a shoulder; listeners have given your hosts a season of the show; praise for HBO's Watchmen; a discussion of curating media for kids; Merlin exercises Personal Privilege; everybody is different!; praise for the new MacBook Pro (and who it may or may not be good for); the beginnings of what could be an extensive series on reclaiming control of your own media; some Plex homework for both listeners and your hosts; a brief rant on the downsides and limitations of renting other people's music; Merlin is birthday-gifted with Planty II plus some awesome @pants materials.
updates on travel and packinga new notebook Merlin likesfinding a notebook that accommodates both your brain and the shape of your dayMerlin's bespoke six-block notebook methodDan struggles mightily with his hotel rooma notional badge for gauging lifetime exposure to a ubiquitous TV celebritysome more travel talk, including the promise for a future dedicated episode on travel updatesa suggestion for trying iOS Voice Controlfinally, in some detail, we return to Synology Corner
Our worst episode ever. Enjoy!
450: Slow-Motion Hypocrisy

450: Slow-Motion Hypocrisy

2019-11-0501:06:59

Dan is getting a Synology, Merlin has been making stuff, plus the return of "Cool Things I Learned This Week."
449: Tom Hardy Blindness

449: Tom Hardy Blindness

2019-10-2901:17:26

DISCUSSED: coincident birthdays; mathowie's gigantism and very online Ex Machina house; extensive actor and media talk; you probably hadn't heard, but, The Revenant was very difficult to make; Apple TV+ is getting…not great notices; success is a great deodorant, but could iPhone : 2010s Apple :: Windows : 1990s Microsoft?; hardware follow-up on Merlin's new modem and UPS setup; the value of always showing hustle, and why you should always run out first base; Dan's in a jam-up with his internet provider over a seemingly unnecessary piece of harware; further hardware follow-up from Merlin on spreading his wings with his Synology; Dan has a new keyboard he loves; praise for several Logitech products; and, finally, why Merlin just can't quit his MX Master Mouse.
448: Spaghetti on Spaghetti

448: Spaghetti on Spaghetti

2019-10-2201:20:35

This week, Dan and Merlin dive into the benefits (and fun) of a NAS project. Also, Merlin goes off about the horror show of letting old people determine the future. Also, also, hey, kung fu movies!
447: Mating for Life

447: Mating for Life

2019-10-1701:18:23

It's Infrastructure Week! Dan and Merlin start with California's power crisis and end up pivoting to phones, cable TV, and, of course, Apple.What happens when a resource we think of as a solved part of our infrastructure suddenly isn't so solved?And, what would Apple look like if it treated all of its services as seriously as it once treated the Mac?Also: lizard updates, but please don't Google "hornworms."
446: Charm Offensive

446: Charm Offensive

2019-10-0801:09:152

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about living in a world of hardware choices.How do you decide which device is best suited to a given task? Which ones do you find yourself preferring to use because they're friction-free—or just fun?And, in what ways do our previous behaviors, habits, and expectations end up unconsciously coloring our future decisions?
445: Hipster DMV

445: Hipster DMV

2019-10-0101:15:39

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about Apple's OS rollouts, changes in Apple retail, and week two with the new Apple Watch.
444: Seasoned Horologist

444: Seasoned Horologist

2019-09-2401:35:13

This week, Dan and Merlin focus on the new Apple Watch.
DISCUSSED: Merlin has a cool new voice from talking to friends late last night; Dan has an automotive collision anecdote, while Merlin has thoughts on how preparation fails us in extreme moments; in follow-up, Listener Steve has terrific advice on dealing with bad hotel room technology; your hosts love insider information from pilots and other category pros; Dan ordered a watch, and Merlin is apparently not actually wrecking a plane; the guys respond to listener letters about ages of people in movies, Dan's world-destroying Disney fact (that he can't remember), plus a listener's concern about company password hygiene; and finally, Dan has great news about refreshing an iMac, but less great news about household password hygiene.
Dan and Merlin discuss the upcoming big Apple event and why this one's potentially interesting. Also, dog anecdotes.
441: Boggle, Boggle!

441: Boggle, Boggle!

2019-09-0301:43:491

hurricanes!hyperactivityexposing kids to the canonical filmsthat weird, affected Hollywood accenta name for that time comparison phenomenonmaking your voice interactions more funcatching up on the Platinum Age of TVdealing with device charging at scale
Lots of talk about the changing media landscape, plus some odds and sods.
DISCUSSED: finding an actor's age and height; time analogies; Merlin needs help naming two critical phenomena; Dan is dissatisfied with how cars look; could Wolverine get a Caillou tattoo, and would it grow back, hmmmm?; Merlin is getting into plants (no, not sexually); the return of that time when Danny held the license plate; and finally, Merlin has a long stemwinder on an admittedly amorphous topic: the unimpeachable benefits of undoing most of the buttons we've clicked.
DISCUSSED: Merlin has a little visitor today. Dan has some thoughts on conference scheduling. This leads to a broader discussion of the sensitivities we may or may not have to other peoples' limitations and constraints. It's nice to meet people.For some reason, religion, churches, and clergy are discussed. "This is what Peter did say!"Finally, the guys answer a listener question about working from home. Merlin poses a challenge.
437: The Credit Section

437: The Credit Section

2019-08-0601:05:382

Dan and Merlin explore the complexities of personal style. Not personal style as in fashion, but as in preferences, identity, and modes of interaction. How do we let others know how we are?How do we derive a sense of what works best for us, and why is it such a shameful struggle to effectively communicate that to others? What do AirPods, Snapchat, and Bloomberg Terminals potentially have in common?And, would it be cool if I just listen to this podcast instead of talking about my blouse and the weather?
436: Better Than a Lipstick

436: Better Than a Lipstick

2019-07-3001:10:01

DISCUSSED: the admirable candor of B.B. King; the simple joys of the Ordinary Night; movies that are or are not dated and how that affects your enjoyment; how sci-fi seemed to mostly miss the internet; our embarrassment of media options; tech in media and what it means for plot stuff; technology adoption curves are definitely speeding up; doing everything you can not to use your phone as a phone; more generational stuff; how time and context changes our perception; should they take all the smoking out of movies and tv?; remember: you're not making errors—you're adding information; and, finally, Dan has an exciting announcement and a wet notebook.
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Comments (3)

mohsen noghly

Very good

Jan 9th
Reply

Deion Gonzales

make it loud

Oct 15th
Reply

Deion Gonzales

mucus loud

Oct 15th
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