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Farnam Street and Postlight

I recorded two interviews very far apart from each other, but which have surprisingly both come out today. The first is for one of my favorite sites on the web, Farnam Street. I was honored to be episode 100 on their Knowledge Project podcast. Knowledge Project is probably one of the podcasts I’ve listened to the most since it started. Please check out their other guests as well, they really do have the most interesting conversations with the most interesting folks.

Shane and I cover turnarounds, how environment affects performance, pros and cons of distributed work, uncovering your lacuna, mental models, and patterns of decision making.

On a completely different vein, I did a deep geek-out on technology and content management systems with Gina Trapani and Paul Ford, two of my favorite technologists, on the Postlight podcast. We covered a lot of tech history, my thoughts on Chromium and Mozilla’s Gecko engine, structured data, Gutenberg, and a lot more. If you’re a developer or a long-time WordPress community member you’ll enjoy this one, but it might be esoteric or technical if you’re not immersed in this world. Here’s a Spotify embed of the episode:

In both we do touch on my idea that, on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for all proprietary software drops to zero. (Hat tip to Fight Club.) Proprietary software is an evolutionary dead end. You can think of open source packages like genetic alleles that have a higher fitness function, and eventually become the fittest organism. The longer I spend watching mega-trends in technology, the more I see that pattern everywhere, from encyclopedias to cryptocurrencies.

4 replies on “Farnam Street and Postlight”

Matt – you discuss 5 levels of distributed working on the FS Padcast. Where can I read more about your thoughts on this?

Hi Matt.
I just finished listening to your conversation with Shane Parrish. It was inspiring to hear your story and thoughts. It is my favourite Knowledge Project conversation so far. You were indeed a very worthy milestone guest. I will re-listen on my way to work again tomorrow. I immediately jumped online and had a look at the Automattic web site when I got home as I was excited to see if I could work for you! Alas, I do not possess the technical skills required šŸ™

Oh well. I will work on learning more about myself, and contributing what I can in my current role with renewed vigour. I have shared your amazing work with my family and friends.

Thanks for sharing your story and working to make a better world, on and offline.

Jace – Tasmania, Australia.

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