I’ve started listening to Tim Crawford’s Cautionary Tales podcast recently and aside from listening to enjoyable tales of design mess-ups and warfare losses, the most recent episode Bowie, Jazz and the Unplayable Piano has given me two of the things I love about great podcasts:
-they make me think
– they introduce me to something I’ve never heard/seen before
I had never heard of Keith Jarrett before (jazz afficiandos, please don’t hate me) – but the story of this jazz improvisist and how he recorded the Koln concerts was super enjoyable. The version there is slightly different than the one noted on the Grammy site. Moreso, it made me go to Apple Music to listen to the concert. I’ve used Carl Franklins’ Music To Code By but I found this album’s four pieces were just as wonderful, if not perhaps more inspiring (his stamping of the foot hit me right when I was struggling in code as well).
Another part of the episode dealt with Brian Eno’s oblique strategy cards. You can read more about them on Wikipedia but listening to the stories in the episode will bring a smile to your face (the idea of a virtuoso guitarist being asked to play drums). Here’s a link to a site that pulls out a random card every visit. So my most recent visit said simply
“Do the words need changing?”
Think about that for a moment. If you’re writing documentation, comments, articles or anything, simply stopping to think of this may make a huge difference.
So while the new year hasn’t started yet, it’s never too early to resolve to try new things – I’m visiting the site on a daily basis and see what other ideas it inspires.