2017-07-23 The Command Line Podcast

This is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

I talk about the how frustration can be effectively channeled by building surprising tools, for yourself and your fellow developers.

You can directly download the MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. You can grab additional formats and audio source files from the Internet Archive.

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2017-07-09 The Command Line Podcast

This is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

I talk about the trade offs between dedicating to a single programming language or stack and embracing being a programming polyglot.

You can directly download the MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. You can grab additional formats and audio source files from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

2017-06-25 The Command Line Podcast

This is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

A long overdue episode on Internet exceptionalism and radical acceptance.

You can directly download the MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. You can grab additional formats and audio source files from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

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Correction: Minor technology podcaster

The morning after each podcast release, I give the episode listen for quality and correctness. During my drive this morning, I cringed as I heard myself say, “minority technology podcaster” when talking about how I think of myself with regards to a broader point in the episode.

I immediately realized that I very badly misspoke: what I should have said was “minor technology podcaster” or better yet “D-list technology podcaster.”

I have a very transparent online presence and it is easy to see that I am in no way a minority, quite the opposite. Not everyone has a reason or opportunity to check me in this way, hence the correction.

I do not want to mis-represent myself as that is at best wrong and at worst harmful. I will include a comment in the next episode, as well. The context of the remark was hopefully not problematic. I think it is worth being abundantly clear and honest when making mistakes like this. Misspeaking is a risk of doing an extemporaneous episodes, I hope my misstatement does no harm and that I can chalk it up to a learning experience.

2017-06-11 The Command Line Podcast

This is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

In another off the cuff episode, I share some thoughts on practice, mastery and goals.

You can directly download the MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. You can grab additional formats and audio source files from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

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2017-05-28 The Command Line Podcast

This is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

I offer a bit of a stream of consciousness on the state of the podcast, over a decade of history, and thoughts for the future.

You can directly download the MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. You can grab additional formats and audio source files from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

2017-05-07 The Command Line Podcast

This is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

I talk about the privacy rules repeal at the FCC and the fight starting to shape up again over network neutrality.

You can directly download the MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. You can grab additional formats and audio source files from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

2017-04-23 The Command Line Podcast

This is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

I share some thoughts on why it is remains important to be engaged as a digital citizen.

You can directly download the MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. You can grab additional formats and audio source files from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Back

A bit over ten months ago I said I needed to take a break. That was a year after I left my job at a think tank. I left that job due to burnout. After a year, I was still feeling burned out, specifically on technology and policy. The very subjects at the heart of this project. Writing and speaking about these subjects is demanding. It is rewarding, too, or I would not have spent a decade on them. But demanding, oh so demanding. Which is why I started The Command Line in the first place, to give myself the opportunity to dig into these topics far more deeply than I had been doing up to that point.

Working at a think tank at first seemed like a dream job. Ever have that feeling? How long did it last? Outside of an astonishing few, the answer is probably some variant of not long enough. I want to say that I learned a lot during my time there. The truth is closer to something like I learned a lot more after I left.

Here is the thing about technology, society and public policy; they are everywhere. Take a dream job and you may lose sight of that. Technologists make choices affected by and affecting policy every hour of the day in every circumstance where software is written, from free/libre/open source to internal corporate systems. As a member of modern society, everything we do is ever more mediated by some form of technology. The topics I hold dear still matter, as of course they would, despite the time I needed to take for myself. I still have so much to learn and to share.

I am in a better place than I was when I wrote about taking a break. I am in a far better place than when I left my think tank job. A lot of what I learned in the past two years has to do with being a better person, in a family, at a job, and hopefully in the world. Most of that time has been focused on the first and then the second. Technology continues to play trickster with this world. I think I am finally ready to return to my desk and my mic, to add my modest contribution to understanding how technology continues to unfold throughout our lives.

What does that mean for this site and the podcast?

To be honest, I am still figuring that out. I have been feeling for a while that I am ready to start things back up. By a while, I mean something like a bit over a month. The trick to starting, or re-starting, a thing is of course to simply do it. I had no grand plan when I started this venture over ten years ago. What was good enough then surely is good enough now. I do have a few specific topics for shows or essays. I am trying to finding a new research and writing rhythm that feels right. I am fortunate to have some long, long time supporters who never left and are happy to see things moving again.

Stay tuned. Or better yet, find me online, let me know what you’d like me to focus on, what questions matter to you. I am still all over the social networks and findable on many other tools, old (like irc, specifically #cmdln on Freenode) and new (like keybase.io.)

And, don’t forget–Hack your world.

Taking a Break

The time has passed to admit that I am burned out on reading and writing about technology and technology policy.

A few weeks ago, I pruned out some of the noisiest feeds in my news reader, especially Hacker News. This week, I found myself muting or unfollowing accounts on Twitter sharing thoughts and stories on these topics. Increasingly my reading, writing and enthusiasm has shifted away.

My podcast has been very hit or miss since about two years ago. Around that time I went went through some heavy stuff. At first I struggled tried to keep up with the writing and recording, though less regularly. I wrote or spoke more to help me in processing what I was experiencing than for any other reason. More recently I have been learning how better to cope and have been finding more spare time, to once again focus on other things. I tried to use that time and attention to keep the podcast going but that met with mixed results. My most recent podcast episode is now several months old.

I started the podcast out of a desire to better understand the various themes I addressed–technology news, technology policy, the practice and profession of programming. The more I read, wrote and talked about these subjects, the more interested I became. I still care about these subjects, just perhaps not to the same depth as I once did. I am not sure a podcast or a blog are the most valuable tools for exploring them right now.

Writing a story, as an essay or a podcast episode, takes a high activation energy and enough enthusiasm to see it through to a relatively finished product. At least for me, that is how it works. My recent track record shows I haven’t found the energy or the will to invest in these outlets. The pruning of my various feeds tells me that I don’t even want to spend as much attention on these subjects right now.

For the foreseeable future, I won’t be updating here regularly. After more than a decade podcasting here and even longer blogging, I think it is time for a long pause. Maybe it will be indefinite, I honestly don’t know yet. I may come back to these projects, I may even post the occasional essay or thought from time to time. It is nice to have a place to do so. I kind of want to keep the door open, for now, but want to be clear that my attention and energies will be invested elsewhere.

Will I still be around the social media sphere? Of course. At this point online sharing in the ways I have been doing is as natural, and in some ways as essential, as breathing. Many of you already know I have had another project going on, Of a Peculiar Character. You can still expect to see my short, weekly off the cuff podcast episodes as part of that site. I am considering what it would mean and take for me to increase my writing volume there too.

I am still reachable through all the means listed on this site. For now you will more likely find me talking about my other passions and focusing on other projects.

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