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



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Latest Episodes

#189: The Cutting Edge of Technological Grievance

August 19th, 2022 · 100 minutes

In Follow-Up, John reminds everyone that RecDiffs listeners knew what’s bad about TV stands before any of the normals.

John also shares his Vacation Results—alongside some anthropological observations on the state of air travel in 2022.

Finally, your hosts dig in to the continuing saga of John’s TV.

(Recorded August 9, 2022)

#188: Ten-Year Cleanse

August 6th, 2022 · 65 minutes

This week finds both John and Merlin helping things leave their house.

In our members-only bonus show: John previews vacation planning progress.

Sign up today to get lots of extra stuff and to support our program.

(Recorded on Tuesday, July 19, 2022)

#187: Beauty Fades

July 22nd, 2022 · 91 minutes

Once John is ready, things kick off with a discussion of Merlin's increasing asymmetry.

Follow-up concerns pinned messages. Merlin thinks Marco still doesn't understand what a priority is, and John thinks skeuomorphism doesn't mean what it used to mean.

John graciously saves Merlin's sanity, and then your hosts express skepticism about the…

#186: QD-OLED Vaccine

July 8th, 2022 · 91 minutes

Things kick off with Merlin proposing a new title for himself which John immediately vetoes for cause.

In Follow-Up, John claims that he knows what month it is, plus there's some promising new data on John's TV project.

👉 Time is running out, so please consider buying our shirt.

The main topic concerns the qu…

#185: A Shirt’s Journey

June 24th, 2022 · 76 minutes

Things kick off with an immediate derail into Merlin's Apple Health data, with John noting that he never liked Statistics.

Next up, your hosts have—at least by their standards—a pretty big announcement. This leads to an appropriately in-depth exegesis into the process of making and selling a t-shirt.

Side topics include Scott Pilgrim, Jav…

#184: Back Door Preparation

June 11th, 2022 · 109 minutes

Telling strangers what you do for work, Merlin's life as a Ricky Montgomery dad, and How to Talk to People.

In our members-only bonus show: John has questions about Merlin's Bike Results, and Merlin has gotten religion about how we make cities.

Sign up today to get lots of extra stuff and to support our progr…

#183: The Pinching Opportunities

May 27th, 2022 · 111 minutes

Things kick off with a dive on the hacker mindset, black swans, corner cases, and the exception that proves the rule. Whatever that means.

This leads to a side trip into security, troubleshooting, and the difference between non-linear thinking and untethered madness.

Finally, in a conversation both sprawling and comically on-brand, your hos…

#182: Disapproval Has a Scent

May 13th, 2022 · 103 minutes

Things kick off with some discussion of food, which finds one of your hosts trying to prove with science that he tastes everything better.

Also, there is not a band or a sports team called "The Miami Giants."

Next up, John frog-marches Merlin through a check-in on his terrible sleep.

Finally, on the heels of releasing their annual [me…

#181: I Saw Your Wife

April 29th, 2022 · 135 minutes

Things kick off with an unexpected chalk talk from Merlin on the provenance of a favorite phrase as well as an even less expected history of his college's dorms.

In follow-up, John would like to clarify that he knows the difference between a TV show about pirates and a Southern California hardcore band. Merlin offers to make John a mix tape.

#180: I’m Doing a Lot of Stuff with Computers Right Now

April 17th, 2022 · 103 minutes

In follow-up, John has corrections for himself, but Merlin says he knew what John meant. Errors are so much easier to identify once everybody else has had a chance to see them too.

In further follow-up, both the listeners and John have some advice for Merlin on programmatically scooting Git files around on his Mac.

This week's mini-topic inv…