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



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Latest Episodes

#152: Warnings of Gales in Trafalgar

March 19th, 2021 · 91 minutes

John has questions about Merlin's use of the doc, and Merlin is confused about the challenge this week.

Merlin never got his nap, but John has thoughts in general about things being played at him. Which leads to an exploration of how your hosts differ in the role various sorts of audio play in their lives.

Should meditation be "relaxing?"…

#151: Fully Emptive

March 5th, 2021 · 101 minutes

Things kick off with some questions about Merlin's naps, then proceed to John's Follow-Up on accents, dialect, and pronunciation. John shares a historical artifact of 80s teen retail life, and this leads to nostalgic reminiscing about the classic arcade games of youth.

John has a toe update (sorry), and Merlin wants to learn about an anomalou…

#150: The Stands

February 18th, 2021 · 76 minutes

Merlin meets a new neighbor, and John still wonders whether he lives in the woods. This leads to a deep dive on clothes that don't fit. John has doubts about Merlin's reported height.

In follow-up, John corrects the record on the provenance of his family's Christmas tree stand. In what turns out to be an ongoing stretch of sematic satiation, th…

#149: Babysitting the Dragon

February 6th, 2021 · 89 minutes

"Friend" of the Show, Elliott Kalan, was on TV's Jeopardy. No spoilers, but his little buzzer hand was held high.

John is not doing intermittent fasting, but his meal schedule is all messed up. Also possibly his life schedule. Merlin likes a Snickers bar (or Kit-Kat) when he's on the road, but he doesn't like being fat and poopy.

A short…

#148: McLaren of Theseus

January 23rd, 2021 · 107 minutes

John gets quizzed on abbreviations as Merlin revisits his early career working for The Man. California has a lot of things you're not allowed to buy.

Then, there's some haircut updates plus some quick advice on knowing when to take a break. Merlin thinks just ""wearing a mask"" doesn't make you a good boy, and John thinks he's pretty good abou…

#147: Pan-Pan!

January 8th, 2021 · 91 minutes

Things kick off with a cameo and Merlin's abortive attempt to make a connection.

Next, John reeds Merlin the riot act on his unintentional use of red receipts. Merlin pleads nolo contendere but, as you can imagine, this does not dissuade John from explaining how he broke some cockamamie social contract. The complexities and risks of asynchron…

#146: Rogue Rice

December 24th, 2020 · 93 minutes

Things kick off with (surprise, surprise) some complaints about Skype, alongside ruminations on what might eventually replace it as the podcaster's app of choice. Also, please don't asterisk your first-person swears. It's unseemly.

In some important John-centric Follow-Up, the listener is brought up to speed on the status of his eyeglasses an…

#145: The Opposite Mistake

December 11th, 2020 · 87 minutes

Things kick off with John's dissection of Merlin's bespoke automated filler text. This leads to a fascinating discussion of Lorem Ipsum, type specimens, and lexical anomalies.

Which, of course, leads to a look at Tenet (available in cinemas everywhere now). John has some sports analogies, and Merlin found himself rewinding a lot (in the cin…

#144: The Other Side of the Owl

November 26th, 2020 · 98 minutes

Things kick off with some new hardware, an examination of hair hats, and a look back at a self-similar fast food clown.

John has questions about Merlin's projects.

In the extended members-only episode, John and Merlin talk about making art. Go to to become a member today.

(Recorded on Tuesday, November 17, 2020

#143: The Shape of Time

November 12th, 2020 · 95 minutes


(Recorded on Saturday, November 7, 2020)