Episode 43 - I Return Null
Topic: Asking questions in order to find better questions
This week, Dan and Merlin pick up their discussion of asking better questions and how sometimes the point of asking a question isn't to get an answer, but to get another, even better question.
How do you do this? Blundell Chains, hypotheses, the clackity noise, and iteration.
Initially Released November 30, 2011
Runtime 58 minutes
Episode Page I Return Null
Recurring Topics and Characters
|The Sound Guy||The show opens with Merlin talking about how you don't want to piss off the sound guy at a concert, Dr. Philisms, Marco being rich, and Merlin needing an Android phone.|
[00:00 - 05:30]
|Intro to Asking Better Questions||Merlin and Dan go into describing the questions that is the core of the ongoing discussion of the show: |
[05:30 - 07:55]
|Movie & Podcast References & Twitter Detour||Merlin and Dan go into movie references and then Dan interjects on how he has not listened to Roderick on the Line Podcast at all, Criticized lack of show descriptions, and Dan procedures for posting to twitter.|
[07:55 - 14:19]
|Asking Better Questions||Merlin starts examining the subject of asking good questions. He thinks that the potential role of a question is mostly helping you figure out what the next question is. Which is an iterative process. He then goes into an example of project estimation.|
[14:19 - 20:05]
Text Expander - Merlin explains how this is a must-have tool for him due to the large amount of shortcuts he uses which is over 200 snippets with some Dr. Philisms thrown in. He then mentions another product by the same company Smile Software called PDF Pen Pro which is a good way to dive into a PDF.
[20:05 - 32:45]
|On Writing & Themes with Asking Better Questions||The talk continues with Merlin describing on how writing is an iterative process. With needing a theme statement, writing out of order, and refining what you shape. |
[32:45 - 44:47]
Right before the break Merlin remembered where the first time he heard the line 5by5 which was in a Harrison Ford movie - Clear and Present Danger with the line being spoken by Willem Dafoe's character John Clark. With SquareSpace Merlin likes not having to battle the HTML to get what you want. But if you are a nerd there is the advanced Customization page where you can customize your elements. They also threw in some XMEN references and Dr. Philisms to round off the spot.
[44:47 - 53:00]
|Mind Maps to Help the Process & Wrapup||Merlin goes into how Jack Harts Mind Maps can help the process of finding your way in finding a theme. He goes into a cause-relationship map example of "I quit my job" which ends up track into being less happy. A SF Streetcar passes at 56:29.|
[53:00 - 58:00]
-Merlin, on how Buddha can't be laid down.
I'm not trying to say every question needs to be like a koan. Right? Except the ones that need to be koans.
Buddha's mad! Buddha's so goddamn angry!
-Merlin, clearly upset by Dan's ignorance of Roderick on the Line.