John Siracusa and Merlin Mann try to figure out exactly how they got this way.



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#135: Clutch Foot

July 23rd, 2020 · 77 minutes

For a main topic, your hosts interrogate some additional axes for choosing media—especially the axis of available attention.

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Download: MP3 (70.96 MB)

Links and Show Notes

Things kick off with a huge thank you to everyone who gave Siracusa their money, followed by a survey of listener suggestions for the name of the member feed.

In follow-up, John shares some detailed updates on his chronically troubled toe. Merlin finds this content extremely challenging.

Merlin relates an upsetting Walgreens anecdote, and John shares his etymological research on when you learn the notes to sing. Merlin can't get his tween to one-ee-and-uh with him.

You really super-get this when you have a fresh baby. Legacy notions about the dangers of screen time are explored and debated. We can all agree that this is a tough time for kids and connection.

In the extended members-only episode, John and Merlin discuss the 2001 Satoshi Kon film, Millennium Actress. Go to to become a member today.

(Recorded on Tuesday, July 14, 2020)


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Syllables are assigned to the notes of the scale and enable the musician to audiate, or mentally hear, the pitches of a piece of music being seen for the first time and then to sing them aloud. Through the Renaissance (and much later in some shapenote publications) various interlocking 4, 5 and 6-note systems were employed to cover the octave.

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