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Back to Work

Author: 5by5

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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.
540 Episodes
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541: Proprietary Escape Key

541: Proprietary Escape Key

2021-07-2701:24:51

A celebration of M1 devices, the benefits of learning how to learn, and considering when a new learning curve might be worth the climb.
540: Extreme Medical Sloth

540: Extreme Medical Sloth

2021-07-2001:09:501

Find the tool you need—but, keep asking yourself, "Soooooo…now what?"
539: Where the Ghosts Live

539: Where the Ghosts Live

2021-07-1301:19:111

Things get pretty silly, yet somehow land on some extremely Back to Work points about time management, compression, values, and moving your own goalposts. For some reason, McDonald's becomes an important controlling metaphor.
DISCUSSED: Dan begins a journey into new worlds of voice control and home automation.
DISCUSSED: Some ups and downs of living the smart speaker lifestyle. Also: the dramatis personae of The Land of Make Believe; feeding the demon dogs; and learning to be careful with the words we put in front of other words.
536: Fonzie Slap

536: Fonzie Slap

2021-06-2201:20:48

DISCUSSED: Merlin and his wife realize the moment they crossed a line; in Follow-Up, your hosts celebrate the late great Fred Willard; in further Follow-Up, the state of the union in smart voice devices is considered; and, finally, the long arc of calendar talk starts to wind down with some hard talk on disambiguation and actually really getting real.
535: Long-Term Play Value

535: Long-Term Play Value

2021-06-1601:24:50

DISCUSSED: Dan finally gets more three-six-five, and Merlin gets extremely deep in the stack. Also, just a little more calendar talk, including a model for deciding where something goes.
534: Manga and Others

534: Manga and Others

2021-06-0901:55:41

DISCUSSED: Merlin runs into some problems reporting live from the show floor; is social media making us as happy as we'd like to think?; thoughts on pro wrestlers and the films of John Carpenter; finding the triggers for action that you didn't know you needed; recommendations for videos and Firefox extensions; why we use the web browsers that we use; your hosts dive into their favorite announcements coming out of WWDC; how exactly do you decide where something should go?; Dan reveals he has become the third kind of calendar person; exploring the ineffable (but indisputably real) value of finding technologies and experiences that you actually enjoy; and, finally, Merlin shares a novel misunderstanding with a voice dingus.
DISCUSSED: Part one of a deep dive into calendars.
532: That's Not My Ghost

532: That's Not My Ghost

2021-05-2501:36:41

DISCUSSED: Merlin is full of beans this week.
531: Where Grog Got Eaten

531: Where Grog Got Eaten

2021-05-1801:13:42

DISCUSSED: A classic, old-school “Odds ’n Sods” episode that includes: Apple’s audio upgrade announcement; AirTags and the promising future of UWB; lots of thoughts on anxiety; caffeine weaners; tongue-rolling; and a salt and pepper of media recently enjoyed (and now recommended).
530: Nouns in America

530: Nouns in America

2021-05-1101:07:58

DISCUSSED: Merlin has been cracking nuts, and Dan is enjoying a beverage; in Follow-Up, Dan has made great progress with his new voice assistant; Merlin has thoughts on choosing a dingus ecosystem that’s right for you; words mean things, and often you want the right “procedure word”; Merlin has some good Back to Work-adjacent media recommendations; do we really want to rebuild The Embarcadero Freeway? Really?; and, Dan has some new scholarship on the films of Stanley Kubrick.
DISCUSSED: Dan is actively gaslighting Merlin, and this can be proven; please stop stealing focus; praise for Ferris Bueller in general and the knees of Sloane Peterson in particular; passing thoughts on fear, procrastination, impostor syndrome, and solving the right problem; Merlin is delighted to discover a much-improved Little Snitch; Dan has thoughts on his Ford’s weird button; in gadget updates, Dan has found some useful headphones and has thoughts on trying to use his new Google dingus; finally, just in general, try to keep your hands away from the dragon’s mouth.
528: Half a Parachute

528: Half a Parachute

2021-04-2701:30:52

Merlin has a whole new setup, and Dan has a whole new TV.
DISCUSSED: Merlin is reporting live from the show floor; sleep is complicated; food is complicated, too; Dan tries to build muscles the right way; he also has strong feelings about TV shopping; Merlin just wants someone to tell him which is The Good One.
DISCUSSED: some important movie follow-up; films (and other media) can be a powerful way to talk about things we aren't supposed to be talking about; Merlin has some links to help think about what comes next as we get back to ““normal""; plus, follow-up on Dan's Kindle journey, including some really useful tips.
DISCUSSED: fake southern accents lead to some movie talk; Merlin apologizes; Dan does not want to spend a night in The Box; please utilize the restroom that conforms to the color of your gender; a guardsman pitches Merlin's wife; Merlin goes off on a surprisingly long tangent on kung fu movies--especially the work of The Great Gordon Liu; Dan needs a syllabus to get Cash even more into Godzilla movies; there are some words on DC movies; your hosts begin a dive into the Kindle ecosystem that turns into a dive into ""The Kindle Ecosystem""; Friend-of-the-Show, Moisés, provides some beneficial real-time follow-up regarding the king of monsters; Merlin needs some movie backstory but also wants wants to make it extremely clear that he is very attracted to an English actress.
524: The Silver Linings Guy

524: The Silver Linings Guy

2021-03-3001:33:04

DISCUSSED: iOS has gotten really good; still, there's some Apple stuff we'd love to see get better; some Covid updates; anxiety and OCD in these fraught times; finally, Dan and Merlin need your advice for some networking upgrades.
523: My Fingers Know It

523: My Fingers Know It

2021-03-2301:22:23

DISCUSSED: DST and rebooting sleep; some quick documentary talk; a challenging H.R. Giger poster; updates on sane prepping, looking at some interesting sources for electric power; on rational prepping; oh, boy, fatbergs; and, finally, a quick dive into the joys of "The Everything Button" and the myriad benefits of learning the key commands.
Diving deep on the power of infrastructure. Yes, for you, too.
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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
Reply
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