Hanging Indent: Week of MLK, 2016



This week’s apotheosis from the sensorium.  My theme this week has been annotation, marginalia, scribbles, post-its, whatever you want to call them, they have been at the center of my work this week with Joe Dillon and Jeremy Dean.  Lots of doors creaking open both in and out of sight.

Music I’m Listening To —

Annotative accompaniment in Genius.

Article I’m Jonesin’ On

Looks like I will be “reading” Bryan Alexander’s blog post, “Fine podcasts for 2016: a mega-list of what I’m listening to“, for quite awhile.  Or should I say I will be living his listening life.  I am a huge podcast fan as well, but I have a problem–how do I unpack this?  How do make signal here out of what I consider to be an overwhelming mass of  beautiful noise?

I know some of these spaces,too.  Notably left off of Bryan’s list is Marc Maron’s WTF and the Berkman Center Fishbowl Series. I decided to do a little adhoc thinking out loud screencast on his post to see if could figure out a way to make sense of what Bryan has so thoughtfully provided.

Here is my takeaway, my attempt to fine tune his signal for my own purposes:

  • Create my own list over the next year.
  • Decide which podcasts give the best ROI and why I think so.
  • Describe how I derive better signal over noise as I listen more intentionally over the next year.
  • Get Bryan (and other podcast afficionadi) to articulate how they decide what to listen to.

Book/Story I’m Living With –

I am reading Yes, And…How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration by Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton of the Chicago improv troupe, The Second City.

I teach with two important principles in mind.  One is iconoclasty and the other is improvisation.  This book is full of lots of improv principles and applications that might really messify your classroom/office for the better. Here are a few of those principles boiled down in this marvelous list from the end of the book


And here is some fun I had with a quote from the book and my new best app friend Legend.

 Tools I’m Messing With

I am in the process of straightening my barn. One of the tools you need besides chains and nice, flat stones and battery powered drills is a farm jack.  Mine gave up the ghost recently so I went and bought a new one.  It was a knock off of my old one, every piece on it was engineered down to a less sturdy version all around, but it did the job.  It came from a Tractor Supply farm store.

 Almost everything in that store comes out of a Chinese container ship. I fear that container ships rule the global economy.  Is that the real reason we have such a large military, to make the shipping lines safe for oil and container ships?  If so, why are American citizens paying so much of that bill?  Why ain’t anyone else helping foot the bill?  I suppose the answer is that we all are paying and that because Americans benefit the most they should pay the most.  It is interesting that while I jack up my barn, I am connected intimately to the fate of the Chinese economy.  No one is an isolated jack handler unto himself. 





  1. // Reply

    Hi Terry,

    Once again you’ve inspired me with your own efforts. I looked at the screen cast showing Bryan Alexander’s blog and not only will I add it to the list of blogs in my library, but I’m tempted to create a similar article, showing the different categories of information I point to in the library.

    What inspires me by this and other work you’ve done, is how you demonstrate a new tool (the screen cast) and use it to act as a facilitator, helping anyone who reads your blog, and looks at the video, understand and appreciate the information Bryan has shared on his blog.

    In the discussions we’ve had, I’ve shown how I an curating a library of information and ideas that anyone in the country could use to build and sustain volunteer-based non school tutoring, mentoring and learning organizations helping kids in high poverty move through school and toward jobs and careers out of poverty. And I’ve suggested that others could not only help collect and curate the information, but they could also act as evangelist, teachers and communicators to draw more people to the information, and as facilitators, following your own examples, to help more people understand and apply the vast amounts of information that is available to them.

    Thanks again for the time you devote to doing this.

  2. // Reply

    Check your hypothes.is on this post for my commentary. Now I’ve got to experiment with that .gif tool you used to such great impact.

  3. // Reply

    Thank you for the screencast and blogging thereof. That’s a very generous response.

    To your various points:
    Education: I’m not sure why there are so few, especially given how many of us work in that sector. Maybe there should be more.

    Berkman: is this the source, http://blogs.harvard.edu/mediaberkman/category/audio/ ?

    Genre: without knowing what you like to read (mystery, science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc?), I can recommend two. Message is very, very short, and complete. It’s sf, and heads in some fascinating directions. Also, like I said, concise.
    In contrast Limetown sprawls into long episodes, and stretches (hopefully) into the future. But the stories are each so strange and unpredictable, and so well done, that it’s probably the best of the lot for someone not looking for genre.

    How I decide what to listen to? Great question, and I should have addressed that.
    It actually depends on setting. During daylight or business hours I look for the most recent nonfiction podcasts, which can add to my mental state heading into a meeting or talk. During off hours, fiction, but also depending on where I am. It’s unsurprising that I reach for horror after dark, especially when alone (driving across New England or walking through an airport), for example.

    How to get the biggest return on your attention? Partially it’s a matter of your taste. I found Serial to be predictable, repetitive, and uninspired, but I know it works for others. Nibble and see what suits you.
    Then look for what you don’t get elsewhere, through other media.

    Starting your own list: yes, please!

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