Rethinking the Tools for Thinking Podcast

To build and nurture a community of practice around tools for thinking, as well as make good thinking more available in the world.

We're wrapping Season One of the Tools for Thinking Podcast. This page is to design T4T Season Two.

Season One got some enthusiastic responses from individuals, but we didn't light the sector on fire, nor did we build a very big audience (which may not be a thing we're aiming for).

We have an opportunity to make it better. Here are some thoughts.

Build a Hive Mind (vs a single podcast)

Have Multiple Podcasts and Hosts

We have one existing podcast, Tools for Thinking, which we can continue producing. That podcast could have multiple hosts, instead of just one.

We also have ideas for other podcasts with different focal areas. For example, a HyperTalk podcast could focus on the history of computing.

The idea is to be flexible and creative hosting a community of podcasts with multiple hosts pursuing multiple quests, intersecting and sharing resources a lot.

Use the Tools

Tools for Thinking ought to use Tools for Thinking! A lot! So let's.

In fact, let's leave behind layer after layer of useful materials, building atop the visionary documents that described the potential that computers offered us.

Simplify the Format

Let's take the production value down a notch (from Riverside recording back to Zoom, with less editing) and not worry about audience size, but instead about utility and accessibility.

Podcast Design Questions

  • What tools do we want to use to record, edit and distribute the podcast? To post about it? Other resources?
  • How should we coordinate?
    • Scheduling on Airtable? Notion? Other?
    • Conversations on Discord? Other?
  • What roles can people adopt in this community? (Ways You Can Participate)
  • Who is interested in participating?
    • Jess Martin?
    • Maggie Appleton?
    • John Underkoffler?
  • What organizations might be interested?
    • The Internet Archive
    • Open Global Mind
    • Computer History Museum
    • What computer literacy orgs might be interested?
  • Where is the common virtual ground? The Big Fungus? The Betterverse?
  • Build diversity in from the start
  • Instead of producing a podcast for people to get literate, how about involving them directly?
  • What templates/structures do we need so the podcast episodes build well?
  • Keep "Tools for Thinking"? Rename it HyperTalk? Something else? (here's a T4T Venn Diagram?)
  • Where does the main entity live? Who hosts it?

Potential Podcast Episode Topics (for Notion)

  • What parts of the early visions have been fulfilled? Which have not materialized?
  • How can the early visions improve what we're building now?
  • Why is computer history so white male? Where is the diversity?
  • How best to connect computer history to computer literacy?
  • How can computer history be made most available?
  • What is the curriculum for computer history? In what sequence should people tackle it?
  • How do we build a thriving ecosystem here, mixing businesses and the Commons?
  • What happens when startups fail?
    • Analyze HyperCard

Potential Podcast Guests (for Notion)

  • Dan'l Lewin, director of the Computer History Museum
  • Eric Rangell, who has been experimenting with Ted Nelson's ZigZag
  • Eric Eugene Kim, who worked with Engelbart for years
  • Adele Goldberg, creator of Smalltalk
  • Tech-historian bloggers and podcasters
  • Chris Aldrich, who knows this history well
  • David Vargas, SamePage
  • Sam Arbesman