Hello, you are listening to Streaming Audio. And if you're picking this episode up on the day it comes out, then happy International Podcasting Day. Yes, of course. There's a day for it. I assume there's some committee out there and they all get together and decide that September the 30th is International Podcasting Day. So I thought just for fun, let's do a random wild card episode. Let's do a quick international tour, speak to some old friends of Streaming Audio and ask them one question. What's your favorite podcast and can you teach us something that you've learned from it? Maybe that's one and a half questions, but you get the idea. Any topic, any podcast, as long as it sparked their imagination. Let's see how it goes. I'm your host, Kris Jenkins. This is Streaming Audio. Grab your frequent flyer miles and come fly with me. Okay.
For this international jet set tour, I think we should start with my first podcast guest. Let's go north of Washington, DC to Bill Bejeck. How you doing?
I'm doing fantastic. Thank you for having me, Kris.
Good, absolute pleasure. You're my first guest. You were it all began for me on podcasting.
Yeah, I know. It felt like it was just yesterday, but it's been several months now, because you've done a ton of podcasts since I've been here.
Yeah. I think I'm pushing on 50, which is a good number.
That is a good number.
So I have to ask you because it's International Podcast Day, I want to pick your brains on this very important topic. What's your favorite podcast and can you teach us something from it?
I don't know if I have a singular one. I've got a lot of ones that are favorites. Probably one that I've learned from the most is software engineering. I think, is it called software engineering... Software Engineering Radio.
Ah. Good name, good solid name.
Yeah, and it comes out about once a week. They're a little longest. They're typically over an hour, but really good. A particular one doesn't come to mind, but they have a lot of guests on the podcast that talk about distributed applications and distributed systems. So I always pick up a lot from that.
Oh yeah. It's always a perennially fascinating topic.
Yeah. But one of my other favorites is, its non-technical. It's Shane Parrish. It's called the Knowledge Project, the Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish.
I don't really know who Shane Parrish is, but he's got a weekly newsletter that goes out via email. He talks about interesting topics and his podcast does the same. And he had a guest. It was earlier this year, Matthew Walker, who is a scientist, I think a sleep scientist, but he was talking about the importance of sleep. I knew sleep is important, but I would definitely put myself in the category of, "Okay, I'm only going to get five hours of sleep, big deal. I'll just be a little sluggish the next day." A lot of people fall in that category. And then just listening to him, talk about the importance of sleep. It really changed my opinion so that it's gotten me to go to bed at much better times to get more sleep. And it's amazing what it's... Maybe this is trivial for a lot of people, but just an hour, hour and a half extra sleep, making sure you get that minimum of seven hours, really makes a difference.
Like a measurable cognitive functioning difference.
Absolutely. Absolutely. I'd have days where it's like, "Okay, maybe I can't think straight," or something like that, it really wouldn't occur to me that I was like that. And then when I started really focusing on getting more sleep and I noticed that I was sharper during the day and I felt more effective.
That's probably good advice. And you've raised three kids. So you've been through a long experimental period of no sleep, right?
Yeah. I remember with my oldest two are twins. When we got to the point where we could get four consecutive hours, that was a big deal. So yes, yes, exactly.
Yeah. Yeah. I'm not going to do dwell too much on my own personal memories of that time, but yeah.
Yeah, no, no, no.
That's a scar.
Yeah. And I don't want to sound preachy with the sleep thing because everyone has life circumstances and you have to do what you have to do. But for me sometimes it's okay. I'm binging something on Netflix that, you know what? The next episode of Peaky Blinders can wait.
Yeah. Maybe I should prioritize my mental health over-
Exactly. And that's more what I'm getting at. Not to besmirch Peaky Blinders, excellent show.
And one of my favorite theme songs of all time.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. The other music. The music makes it or part of what makes it. But yeah, that's probably what I've, from podcasts, this is like really stuck with me.
That's a good note. Yes. It's something I must remember to do more of for myself. Okay. Thank you for joining us.
We head off. I'm not sure we're heading in the world next, but thanks, Bill.
Sure. Thank you for having me again.
Yes, bye now. How about next we try Denver, Colorado? ### Nikoleta Verbeck. Are you there?
Good to see you.
So you know it's International Podcast Day. Do you have a favorite podcast?
I do. My probably number one favorite is Overland Journal Podcast from the Overland Journal.
What's the Overland Journal?
It's an old school magazine actually that does quarterly additions of itself going over the world of overlanding.
Okay. You have to back up a second. What's the world of overlanding?
Overlanding's basically kind of an extension of car camping, if you want to say it that way. Just kind of take car camping and mix it with offroading and you've got overlanding,
Right. You could see how that would be born in America, where you have enough cars and enough space.
Oddly, it's not quite known for in America. It's kind of two derives are South Africa and Australia. New-ish to the states. I mean, technically we've been doing it out here for a while. Just not really under the banner of overlanding.
Okay. And so what does one learn on the Overland Journal?
All kinds of actual interesting things. You get to learn a little bit of car history, like some of the old Land Rovers and Land Cruisers and FJs and the differences between different ones like the Helix with the Tacoma and Tundras in the US. And so you get a little car history there and you get to learn what some people are doing as they overland around the world. Some folks doing the Pan-American Highway, going all the way from the tip of Alaska, all the way down to the tip of South America and trying to figure out how they navigate by the Dairy and Gap. But you can do it. Well, you got to boat it a little bit, but verse also some folks that are doing through from the tip of Africa and the Southern end all the way up through, and trying to navigate through Middle East, up through Russia and all their sites and sounds we see and the people and it's kind of some fun stuff.
Yeah. So travel podcast, the hard, interesting way.
That sounds like fun. Well thank you for dropping in on our much easier virtual tour of the world.
We'll see you again. Cheers, Nikoleta.
See you later.
Next, I think we should go to the home counties of England. Ben Stopford, are you there?
I am here.
Welcome to International Podcast Day. Tell me, what's your favorite podcast?
Thanks. Yeah. Well first, thanks very much for having me and what an interesting celebration? So it's a wonderful day. Favorite podcast for me isn't actually a podcast. It's kind of a radio show/podcast, but I think it's quite unique both in terms of format as well as some of the things that come out of it. It's somewhat typically English. It's a very old running English radio show/ podcast, which is created by the BBC and it's called Desert Island Discs.
Desert Island Discs. I love Desert Island Discs. Not everyone's going to know how it works. So give us the low down.
Okay. So it's very, very simple. You basically, they get somebody on to Desert Island Discs and normally someone famous and they get them to nominate their top five favorite songs. So best tracks, their favorite tracks that they have. They then play those into a book. But they then play those tracks. Really some of those tracks during the show. And obviously they talk to the celebrity, both about music, but also about other stuff. It's about them. So you get this, it's sort of very informal. It takes little bit of a tangent, because normally they're not musicians, not politicians, et cetera, whoever they might be. And you just get some interesting chat and you also get some pretty interesting choices. So yeah, my thing, my favorite is actually one by a... Which was given by an English politician who, if you're not aware of him, he's called Ed Miliband.
He was an unsuccessful potential leader of our Labor Party. And the reason he is my favorite is because his choices, which were... You know what? I don't want it to sound like condescending or anything, but there's just like really genuine and really cute. So a lot of the choices that people make are a little bit contrived. So David Cameron, by comparison who was the conservative leader around the same time, he actually had a really good list of tracks on his, all stuff that I kind of loved. But it was almost too Polish. It was almost too perfect like he had a perfect circle by REM on there, which is what probably REMs best track, or one of their best tracks from a sort of musical perspective, but not really well known. So it was just kind of very, very polished. Whereas Ed's on the other hand, who's just very, very kind of like him. And he was just very genuine. He had an aha take on me.
I think I might choose that one.
Well, he had the song, he had Jerusalem, the-
Oh God, the hymn type thing, yeah.
On there and it was just really genuine. His book was it [inaudible 00:12:15] going to the galaxy.
And yeah, I think that was my favorite. It was just as a guy who I think he didn't make it. The press kind of killed him. But what I thought was really nice about this is that particular one is, you saw this very real side of him. It was very genuine.
You don't often get that with politicians, right?
No, exactly. And that really stuck with you and nothing to do with his politics. But that one, just on a personal level, that really stuck to me. And I think that's something... That kind of format, informal format, it's nice. It's nice. It brings out an interesting side of people, which I think is good.
Yeah. It's just that it catches them off their guard and they give you their favorite music and they kind of put their guard down and tell you who they really are.
Yeah, I think it's a bit more disarming. There's no questions that you have to dodge. You're just pretty straight stuff, which is great.
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I'm going to leave you with... They always end with one question on Desert Island Discs. So before I go from you, I'm going to ask you this question. If you were stuck on a Desert Island, Disc, Ben Stopford, what one luxury would you take with you?
Gosh, the one luxury I would take with me. Well, probably have to be some kind of a Walkman downloaded with the Streaming Audio Podcast.
Ah, I'll slip you a 10'er later. Thank you very much, Ben.
All right, Kris.
Now I think it's time for us to head over to San Francisco into the dark realms of Mountain View. Noelle Gallagher, are you there?
I am here. Can you hear me? Can you see me?
I can see you and hear you. It's nice because normally you're behind the scenes making this podcast happen, right?
Yeah. I'm one of the two, me and a wonderful editor named Kayla work on this. So we've been watching you for so long. We're big fans and now we're actually here talking to you. So this is so fun.
Yeah. I thought finally get you on because you're in nighttime. You're a YouTube star of your own book series.
You're a massive book worm. Right?
I love a book. I love a book and I love talking about them, any excuse I get, so.
We'll link to your YouTube channel in the show notes, but I have a question for you. You know what day it is?Do you have a favorite podcast? And can you tell us something you learned from it?
There's this podcast out there. It's called, Let's Talk About Myths, Baby. So it has a little play on words. It's really fun. And it just teaches you all about different Greek myths and the host, Liv, is just so funny, so personable and she's taught me a lot about Greek myths. I think as I'm getting my master's degree in literature and she's taught me things that I didn't realize I was missing when I was reading just classics today that aren't even mythical, but there's always an allusion to something. So yeah, I've learned so much from her. She came out with a book that talks about mythology. So I've learned plenty.
Can you give me a specific myth, something I've missed from the great world of the Greeks?
I mean, I don't know your knowledge. It might actually be more than me. I don't know why, but whenever I hear a British accent, I go, "They must know everything about mythology."
I'd like you to know for the record that I never trade on that kind of thing, ever honest-
So I don't know your knowledge, but I have always been so interested in the Persephone-Hades moments.
And I believe that Liv, the host is also, she understands that that's a popular myth right now. A lot of retellings, a lot of graphic novels, a lot of exploring that myth is really popular just in the book world. So she's leaned into that and talked about it. And I just feel like in her episode, she's able to mix humor with realness and say, hey, as fun as it is to talk about myth, they can be scary, they can be wrong. And let's talk about the things that maybe the new versions aren't talking about.
Because I always think of that Persephone myth as just being how we explain why there's winter and summer. She goes down, she eats the pomegranate, something about that. There's more to it.
Something about three seeds. Yeah. But I think people are just really interested in the book world of the relationship between this daughter of the goddess of earth or mother nature. That's then pulled down into the underworld. So there's a lot of retellings and a lot of ... There's like, I think the graphic novel's called Lore Olympus, which is hugely popular right now in the book sphere. And it talks all about that. So I think she, Liv, from Let's Talk About Books, Baby has been saying, I know everyone's talking about this, well, let's talk about what really happened. And it's just been really fun. She's great. So yeah.
Okay. I'm going to have to check that out.
Thank you very much, Noelle. Good recommendation.
Thanks so much and happy Podcast Day.
Thank you. Bye for now. I'm going to miss Noelle. Maybe we should stay in San Francisco for a little bit.
Danica Fine, are you there?
I am here, Kris. How are you?
I'm very well. How are you doing?
Doing well, bright and early, it's pretty late for you though.
Yeah. As always time zones are fun. People on the video will see that you are surrounded by plants as usual.
Yes. Yes. It's a necessity.
I have a question for you and your plants. What's your favorite podcast? And can you tell us something you learned from it?
Okay. Well, disclaimer, I don't really listen to things often. I'm not a music person. I'm not really a podcast person. But the only podcast I have loved is Radiolab. It's a [inaudible 00:18:38]
Podcast. Radiolab. I used to listen to it when I was a sad undergrad student doing my data analysis in the back of the math building. It was just so sad, no lights back there, barely sunlight. And we used to listen to Radiolab just to pass the time. And it was such a cool podcast because it varied things from philosophical questions to just investigating different, random things.
One episode of note was, it was just kind of bad, but very interesting, this guy was raising his young son and decided to see, if he didn't tell his kid what color the sky was, how would that impact his child? And then if he asked him after a couple of years, what color is the sky? He was very confused, and the kid said clear.
Anyway, it's a very interesting podcast where they explore a lot of these things. How do you see color? How does time work? Investigating photos that were found on the side of the road. Anyway, it's really fascinating. It spans a lot of things. And it definitely passes the time.
That does sound cool. Weirdly, that reminds me of, did you ever hear about the guy who decided he was going to teach his son Klingon and only Klingon as a first language?
That was a thing. Some guy, just a Star Trek fan, and he had a child, maybe he didn't have a partner, that's the only way I can imagine that he would be allowed to get away with this. But he taught his son Klingon from birth and they just spoke Klingon.
And then when he went to kindergarten, within a year he didn't speak Klingon at all. He just picked up the proper language automatically.
Which is English?
Yes. So the child wasn't scarred for life.
The Queens English, right?
Yes. Weirdly, he spoke with a British accent as many Klingons do.
Oh my gosh. So he had a normal, totally not scarred traumatic childhood, he was fine?
Any scarring probably needs some serious therapist to uncover, but I think he adapted to a normal life.
That's fascinating. I wonder if there is a Radiolab episode, I should probably look into that. I haven't caught up in these in a while. It's been many years since I've had to, since I've been in that dark room doing my data analysis and listening to Radiolab.
You make it sound a traumatic and yet somehow pleasant memory.
It was great. Yeah. Because it was comforting because I think the hosts have changed over the years, but the original host had this really awesome comforting voice as podcast hosts should.
I believe so.
Yes. So it was really nice to just have headphones on and know that I had this task list of 14 things to visualize or graph or whatever and listen to an episode or two. It was really cool. I enjoyed it.
Nice. Yeah. That's the thing I love about it. And we have this thing over in the UK called Radio Four that has a lot of talk radio, but not in the negative connotations of talk radio. It's people talking about interesting things, doing spoken word programs. And I love it. And it sounds like it's on a similar vibe.
Yeah, definitely. It's the storytelling aspect that makes it fun. I think I like that. I like to feel like I'm being told a story. Entertain me.
You should hang out more with Noelle.
I should. She reads a lot and knows how to story tell. Definitely.
Yeah, that's true. Okay. On that note, thank you very much.
Actually, Danica, you know loads of people, in fact, you know everybody in America, I gather.
Who should I speak to next? Have you've got any suggestions?
One that comes to top of mind, Tim Berglund, have you checked with him yet?
Berglund, now there's a name I've not heard in a long time. Long, long time. Okay. Let me see if this will work. Mork calling Berglund, Mork calling Berglund, come in, Berglund.
This is Mork from York. Did you know, Kris, that Mork and Mindy lived in Boulder, Colorado, which is just about an hour from here?
I did. Yeah. In fact, it's the only thing I know about Colorado.
There you go. I regret that. With all love to my friends who live in Boulder. I find that to be unfortunate. But there you go. Yeah.
Yeah. Come for the podcast day for the bold effect.
You know what day it is? It's, in some nations, they call it día de los podcasts. It's the Day of the Podcast. It's International Podcast Day. Do you have a favorite podcast?
I do. It's tough, I have a couple, I'll pick one. I'll say the two favorites are called EconTalk and Lexicon Valley, one's about economics, one's about linguistics.
Tie breaker, which are you choosing? Tell us something about it.
I am choosing Lexicon Valley because it's easier to talk about in small form.
So tell me something about it. What can you learn if you listen to Lexicon Valley?
Okay. Well, what will you learn? First of all, I think it'd be funny, if you're familiar with my video work and vocal work, and you listen to some Lexicon Valley, the guy John McWhorter is the host, he's got this very distinctive verbal cadence. That little bits of it have crept into my work. There's that, I just did it right there. That little thing where you kind of pause and then you go real fast, that's straight John McWhorter and I love it. And I'm very happy to imitate him.
But, so a couple things. Number one, a theme he harps on a lot is linguistic prescriptivism versus descriptivism. So he talks about so-called blackboard grammar. It's incorrect to say, me and Sally are going to the mall. Even though every little kid, at least in the States, growing up says that. And you have to tell them over and over again. No, it's Sally and I are going. Why do you have to tell them? Why? What's going on there? Why did they suddenly learn to speak the language incorrectly as native speakers? That's not a thing. It's not really true that that's wrong. That's just how people use the language and you have an opinion about it. So he harps on that theme. And that gets into interesting sociopolitical angles about versions of English that are wrong. Oh, that's a tough one.
Yeah. Especially in the second generation families, I think that's a big thing.
Yeah, yeah. So really this is just my defense of my English against yours. You can't tell me that butter is wrong.
Why would I just out of interest?
But no, bigger thing, cooler thing. I was just talking about this at work a couple weeks ago. Just a little fun linguistic fact. There are languages, this is a totally random thing, there are languages that have this feature called evidential markers. Now a marker is like a sound you put into a word like to mark the past tense. Like I paint my room, I painted my room. You put the -ed on there. And that marks it as past tense.
Well, there are languages that have evidential markers, that's little particles or suffixes or things you put into the sentence that tell you how you know a knowledge claim. So like they're resurfacing the parking lot. That's a statement.
In English, that's fine. I just said that, it sounded fine. It was clear, I didn't sound like a little baby speaking or somebody not very good at English speaking as a second language speaker.
In these evidential marker languages, you actually have to add something that says how you know that. Like somebody told me they're repaving the parking lot. Or I saw with my own eyes that they're repaving the parking lot. Or it's kind of common knowledge implied by received tradition or whatever. You have these little words. And if you don't put them, you're not speaking the language, you sound like a baby or a foreigner or something.
Yeah. It's so crazy.
That's fascinating. That's like the linguistic equivalent of Wikipedia's citation needed.
Right. And I was just giving examples in English of how to give those knowledge claim justifications. And we have to use what's called the circumlocution. We just have to put some words in and kind of talk about it. And you can leave it out and it's fine.
But in these languages, you can't leave it out. And they're like, you can't just go saying something, you have to tell me how you know it.
And it's just the broader insight is just how dang diverse languages and all of the bizarre decisions that human languages make about things that are going to matter and things that are not going to matter. And I love it.
That sounds really cool. My brother-in-law is a philosopher of linguistics, he has a PhD in it.
I would like to drink with him.
I'll get him round, we'll listen to the podcast and have beers.
There you go.
Tim Berglund, always good to talk to you. Thank you very much.
Excellent. All right.
Okay. Where should we go next? How about we ask my wife? Honey, do you want to be on Streaming Audio?
No, I don't, go away.
Hang on, that wasn't my wife. You're a Monty Python character.
No, I'm not, I'm a passable impression of a Monty Python character played by Terry Jones. God rest his soul. And if he were alive today, he wouldn't appreciate-
Okay. Okay. I get the idea. Let's ask someone else. Let me think. Let's head to Kent in England. Ben Ford, CEO of Mission Control, how's it going?
It's going very well, Kris. Nice to see you again.
Good to see you. International Podcast Day, Ben, what's your favorite podcast?
It is very, very difficult to pin down. But I've gone with the Jim Rutt podcast because I think that's one that many people in tech might not have come across.
Jim Rock, tell us something you've learned from that.
Jim Rutt. Okay.
Jim Rutt. Yeah. So Jim is, I think he was the former head of the Santa Fa Institute, so he's a complexity researcher, but he's also spent a load of time in industry. And he gets a wide variety of people on his podcast to talk about all things kind of complexity and social systems. And sometimes very, very technical subjects like machine learning and optimization algorithms.
Yeah, it's very cool.
Give us one specific thing.
So I'll give you two, I'll do one better than that. So one of my favorite episodes on his show ever was with a chap called Tyson Yunkaporta, who is a researcher from Australia. And the unique thing about him is that he has half a foot in the Aboriginal community and half a foot in the research community. And he wrote a book called Sand Talk. And they had the most fascinating couple of episodes on Sand Talk.
And then another really good episode was with a guy called Daniel Schmachtenberger, he's been on the Rebel Wisdom podcast as well. And his episode was entitled The War on Sense Making, which is about how algorithms get in the way of having proper sense making with all the social media algorithms that mediate all of our attention these days. Highly recommended.
Like things breaking the semantic network of society?
Yeah, pretty much. I mean, that's the conclusion that you essentially can't trust anything these days, because everything you see is mediated by these networks that have been appropriated for other people's ends.
God, I think I might save that one for a day when I'm feeling emotionally strong.
Yeah. I mean, it's really good because it's also not just all doom and gloom. It's also, Daniel is working on something called the Consilience Project, which is about trying to, what does he call it? Rebuild the epistemology, the way that we are able to know what we know. So the Consilience Project's worth checking out as well.
Cool. Okay. Thank you very much, Ben. We'll see you soon.
My pleasure. Thank you.
Why don't we go and visit Jeff Bean over in Santa Cruz. Jeff, are you there?
Good to see you.
Good to see you too, Kris.
So you know what day it is, I'm wondering, are you much of a podcast listener?
Before COVID I was a huge podcast listener. I live in Santa Cruz, and all of Silicon Valley is about an hour's drive away. So I was a commuter. So it was two hours a day or more in traffic. And I picked up the podcast bug during that time.
Oh yeah. Great time. That and audio books are consumed rabidly in long car journeys, right?
So do you have a favorite?
I have two favorites actually. I've been listening to podcasts for a long time. So I have a long repertoire of episodes that stick out. The two that stick out to me are, there's an episode of Reply All, which was a great internet podcast, literally a podcast about the internet where people would ask questions and they would answer it. But it would get into really odd ...
... Where people would ask questions and they would answer it but it would get into really odd and fascinating spaces. This episode of Reply All's called Dark Pattern. And it talks about dark patterns, not only in our industry, where if people over companies or organizations try to guide your behavior by not showing you things. A canonical example of that is how easy it is to sign up for a service and how difficult it is to cancel the service. This is a dark pattern because they want you to stay and stick around. This episode applies dark patterns not only to that, and they get all into that, but then they sort of go out into the rest of the world and apply it to the US tax code, for example.
And they do a little bit of investigative journalism and they show that here in the US, the government contracts with companies to offer online tax filing services ut then those companies, even though they're contractually obligated with the government to offer those tax filing services for free, they never actually... You can't get to it easily. They always drive you to the paid version of their product. And then it gets then to... Our tax code is super arcane and complicated and difficult to understand. And that in itself is a dark pattern because it helps enable these businesses that make money off of people just trying to do basic mundane stuff like filing taxes. So that was my first one. My second one is there's a podcast from a famous author, his name is Malcolm Gladwell. The podcast is called Revisionist History. Huge fan of Revisionist History. He did an episode a few years ago called "A Good Walk Spoiled," which was about golf.
That's exactly how my wife feels about it.
But not only is it about golf. And he gets into the elitism of golf and the lack of equity in golf. And he makes all these sort of progressive arguments, which I find to be a little... It's a little too much because I think there's plenty of accessible golf. I'm not a country club golfer by any means. My daughter is learning to golf on a public course and all that stuff but he gets into this really interesting philosophical bet where he talks about the taxes that these golf courses and these really elite areas are kept low in California because it's the same organization that's been owning this golf course for the whole time.
And there is a law here in California that limits what a property tax can grow by until it's been sold. So if the same club has been owning the same chunk of land for 200 years or a hundred years or however long it is, then the taxes are artificially deflated, whereas if you were to... Or if that golf course up into plots and then sell it off as housing, the taxes would be orders of magnitude higher because the land is actually worth billions of dollars.
So he goes into this but he takes a philosophical bet, which is there's old philosophical problem called the Ship of Theseus, where if the ship is out on sea and it gets repaired over time, until every part of the ship has been repaired, is the ship that arrives the same ship as the ship that leaves? And he applied it to this problem of is the club that purchased the land of this golf course the same organization as the club that is owning it and running it now?
Yeah, exactly. It's changed hands so many times that.
Yeah. And I apply it to our industry. Confluent is three, four X bigger than when I started, and lots of new people and we've had lots of turnoff, are we in the same Confluent than we were like when I started career years ago. So it's a philosophical question, ethical question, a business question. So podcasts helped me to think about these things in ways that I wouldn't have done before.
Yeah, absolutely. I think I heard someone once say that all teams are immutable. If someone leaves the team or someone new joins, it doesn't alter the team, it's a brand new kind of team. And they took the extreme end of that philosophical thing and changing one plank of wood in the Ship of Theseus makes it a whole new ship.
Yeah. It's really interesting. And I've noticed this just in the team that I'm in. We've had one person leave, two people join and the dynamics are completely different, and maintaining a sort of cohesion in that is a real challenge.
Yeah. Well, we'll have to look out a podcast that kind of helps us to navigate that too.
Yeah, thanks very much for those recommendations, Jeff. They have good ones.
No problem, Kris.
Catch you again soon.
Okay. Crossing the Irish sea to Dublin. Let's try Domenico Fioravanti of the Thérapie Group. Domenico, how're you doing?
All good, Kris. Thanks for having me one more time.
The finest Italian in Ireland.
The only one. No.
I'm sure there are at least one or two.
There are tons of Italians here. Yeah.
Okay. So I have a question for you today on International Podcast Day. What's your favorite podcast and can you tell us something you've learned from it?
So it was hard because I have many that I liked. I would say that because of my actual passion in the last period, I think that my favorite one in recent times is the one of the many about data mesh by... So Zhamak Dehghani, the guy we all know probably was host of the Data Dream Team podcast by Jesse Anderson. Essentially, it's a three-piece series of the podcast. So the first episode is very short; it's an introduction about Zhamak. And then the other two are longer, kind of one-hour long each. And the first one is about data mesh, how it's going, is it just something like just Buzzword or is it something that will happen or not, it's all about [inaudible 00:38:18] was the creator of the one that push for this paradigm shift. And they're kind of talking about where we are at the moment now that everyone is talking about it.
So this is the first part and the second part, then we kind of deep-dive. The second part was instead about her book, she wrote a book about data mesh. So it's more about a bit of the details of what she talks about in the book on how to implement this paradigm shift. So definitely pretty interesting. I did one year ago training with Zhamak about data mesh. So I really know little bit about it, but what is good is to get confirmation that what we are doing on our side in therapies or in the building of the teams and of the tech organization, we are on the right path in order to be able to implement this paradigm shift, not today, but in the future because I'm sure it will happen, is not our priority but as we discussed in the past, this is the next step for us.
And they talk about it in the podcast. So data mesh is not something you buy, you don't go to someone and [inaudible 00:39:34] give me a data mesh as a service and I pay whatever you want produce. No, it's a paradigm shift. So it's a lot of things together that has to happen in a long period of time. And one of these is the people side of it; it's not only-
Often the hardest.
And often the hardest, which means you need to have an organization which is ready to adopt data mesh. That's why it's very hard for companies that are big, they have already a lot of software, they already have a certain organization of people which is not probably ready for that. And probably to them, it would be harder to do this shift.
In our case, again, we've been building the tech org from scratch as you know, and we started two years ago, but because we implemented the modern way of building tech org, I would say that we are ready and it's good to have confirmation by what Zhamak says in the podcast and in the book, the fact that, first of all, the people part is very important and also the team in order to be able to implement data mesh, they need to be cross-functional, autonomous, and domain-oriented teams because again, what data mesh says in a few words essentially is that instead of having a separate data team where everyone is showing data and then they have to do something and give an output, data mesh is kind of a distribute this ownership and make it closer to what the data is generated and bring the ability to do work with data close to the cross-functional team, where there is also data knowledge.
This idea that the team that creates the data becomes responsible for that data as a product that's as important as all their other APIs.
Correct. A hundred percent. And again, for me, I like the podcast because it confirms a lot of things and it confirms the fact that we are building the tech org in the right way. So even if we are not yet there but we are putting the foundation to be able to implement the data mesh pattern. So from the people side, we're good at the moment.
And I think that Zhamak as well from what she says, she probably has read as I did a couple of years ago, the Team Topologies book, which is kind of a Bible in my opinion. So it says a lot of very interesting things about how to build a modern tech organization. And again, it is good to have to see that you're doing well.
Nice. We get a podcast recommendation and a free book recommendation from you.
Yes. So a couple of books and the podcast is very interesting. So something else that is very interesting just to mention something which is, again, pretty interesting is something that we are trying to implement as well. The fact that those teams in order to be able to focus on, again, not in software development and working on data, on machine learning models and data analytics, they need to have an infrastructure that is kind of almost as a service as well, so that instead of focusing on building their own infrastructure, they can focus on the data side or on the machine learning models training and all the rest, which brings us to another thing that we are doing on our side. And it's suggested by Team Topologies. So to have a platform team, which is able to give infrastructure as product to the other teams. And she's talking about a concept which we still don't have here in Thérapie but I think with the growth, as soon as we grow inside, we probably introduce to have a product manager inside the platform team.
Right. Yeah, I can see how that would work.
Because the platform is a product that you had for the other teams in the company and that's where you need a platform manager.
Yeah, absolutely. [inaudible 00:43:47] as a service, you've got to have someone in charge of making sure it's useful for the users internally, right?
Correct. So the internal customers essentially, yes.
As always an interesting future for your company.
Yes. Hopefully, yes. Clearly, those things come with the sides. At the moment, we are not yet there but I think it's good to be ready again because those shifts are very hard to do. We've seen this in the past with monolith to microservices. It's easier to start from zero than to move from something to something else, especially if you're a big-sized company. And also there is also a moment where it's worth it to do it. Again, in the podcast, again, it's very interesting ways to do a parallel between monolith versus microservices. And that happened some years ago versus whatever has happened today, data lake, data warehouse versus data mesh. This is not always the best solution. It's like microservices. If you have a team of five and you're building a small software, probably a monolith is still a good solution. Starting with the overkilled microservice architecture where you need the probably [inaudible 00:44:59] cluster, you need to run parts, you need to have a service mesh, you need a service discovery, a lot of stuff. Probably monolith is still the good choice. And same is for data mesh.
Data mesh is probably not for startup, but it's for companies that are so-called grow up. I mean, the company that are growing into the big sides.
Yeah, both of those ideas are largely solving social organization problems that you can't possibly get with only five people.
It's like when you're dealing with coordinating teams.
Well, brilliant. Thank you. I've got more to add to my to-do list. Domenico, thanks for joining us.
[inaudible 00:45:43]. No problem, Kris, whenever you want.
Great. We'll catch you soon. Bye for now.
Fair Verona where our story sets its tale. ### Francesco Tisiot, are you there?
Yes. I'm here from the beautiful city of Verona. It's not night. It's just blue.
Very blue in your part of the world. Yeah. It's the reflection of one of the lakes or something like that.
Let's say that. Yes. Let's go with that story.
So tell me here on International Podcast Day, what's your favorite podcast, and why?
Can I say Streaming Audio because there is also a special one about the JDBC connector, some of the Italian people, which-
[inaudible 00:46:27]. Totally tweeting, we move on. We will link to your episode in the show notes, but come on.
Okay, that's good. I believe I have both love and hate relationship with podcast because there is a lot of content there that I love hearing, but I'm not a native speaker or listener so I need to completely focus on the podcast in order to get all the value out of it. Oh yeah.
So a lot of people like to listen to it while they're doing other stuff, right?
Yeah. I can barely walk and listen to podcast, I believe that's the level that I'm at, but still, sometimes I find time to check what's out. And apart from Streaming Audio, I believe a podcast that I've been loving since lot of years is called Drill to Detail. And it's done by Mark Rittman, who was one of the boss of my previous company.
I've been doing consulting for 15 years of my career. And the thing that you're doing consulting most of the time is you get specialized and you do just one thing really well. Having the option to listen to Drill to Detail was a way of seeing other parts of the technology that I couldn't face on a day-to-day job. So it was a way of understanding, what else should I check? And also it was a way at the beginning that allow me to understand, okay, there is something called Kafka that I should look at. So this is a little bit of the story of the podcast itself but also the set of... It was all in the data and analytic...
... set of it. It was all in the data and analytics space, which was the space where I was before. But it's amazing because you start knowing people, technologies and things that they're not on your day-to-day job, but you start realizing that there is a world out there that you can discover and study.
Like deep dives into different parts of the landscape?
Yeah, exactly. There was Robin Moffatt from Confluent some time ago into the podcast as well. There are a lot of talks about Tableau, there is Luker, all things that to me, I'm a data person, I love playing with that, I love discovering that. I love all the tools that talk about data. And this is the perfect podcast that allows you to discover one cool thing every episode.
Nice. Okay. Will check that one out too. And since you wrench him, Robin Moffatt, maybe we should go there next up to Yorkshire.
Of course. And ask him for some tea. I believe in UK, it goes with milk, lemon all together, right?
Personally, I have no business with lemon, but little bit of milk, yeah, absolutely. Francesco, thanks for joining us.
Thank you very much.
Cheers, bye. Okay then, come in Yorkshire, do you have a brew on? Robin Moffatt how you doing?
It's time for a brew, definitely. I'm good, Kris. Thank you, how are you?
I'm very good. Yeah. It's always time for a brew. But in the meantime, happy International Podcast Day, Robin.
Same to you, Kris. It's been the highlight to my year.
I know. I know. I feel the same way. Tell me what's your favorite podcast, tell me something about it?
I've actually got three for you. I know we chatted before you and you said, maybe two, but I've got three.
I've ruined this episode.
Two non-techy ones and one techy one. So my first one, the reason I'm here for three is I've got one techy, two non-techy, the non-techy one is, the first one is Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, and it's a podcast that I subscribe to, but it's not really a podcast like this is a podcast. It's basically these immense five hour marathon sessions in which he just tells you anything you want to know about periods in history. And it is just fantastic. So it's not really a podcast in the traditional sense, but it's amazing. It's really accessible and it is so fascinating. So he talks all about the Second World War, First World War, Celtic history, just all these different periods of history in super depth. It's fantastic. So that's my first one.
Because my history education stopped at school and really need some fleshing out.
Yeah, it was last year actually, when I was doing some training for a marathon and I thought, "Right, I'm going to put these on," and you're going for a long run and you just get so into it. It's not the kind of thing you can dip in and out of, because he goes proper deep into it. So you have to be with his train of thought on it, but it's excellent stuff.
Yeah. And podcasts are perfect for running.
Oh they are. They definitely are.
Okay. Give me your second recommendation.
My second one. So, we'll go for the other non-techy one. So this is Lex Fridman, and this is traditional podcast stuff, he interviews a bunch of people and really interesting range of people. So there's a link I sent you to put in the show notes, he did an interview recently with John Carmack, so the guy who wrote Doom.
Yeah. And it's fantastic. And they're quite lengthy ones as well. This particular one's five hours, but usually two hours, three hours. But again, more that you can just dip into and out of as you need to, but really interesting stuff. So he spokes to him, he did one interesting recently with a guy who was an ex-KGB agent. He spoke to people in the crypto space, which I think you'll probably like, just the philosophers, it's just really broad range of people, really interesting.
Oh, cool. Okay. Definitely check out that one and taking it back to tech, what's your third one?
Back to tech, the Data Engineering Podcast is really interesting, it covers people who are, they're practitioners and also the technologies. So people developing new technologies come along and speak on it. It was a really interesting one with a company called Yotpo, I don't know if that's how you actually pronounce it, based in Israel. And they're actually coming to Current in October to do a talk there, because I heard them on the podcast site, "This sounds amazing. So let's see if you can get them come along, speak there."
That's also a really good one as well.
Groovy. That's an excellent series of suggestions.
There we go, you asked for one, you got three.
Robin Moffatt, always delivering extra value.
Right. Thank you very much. I'll leave you to go and get the kettle on.
Cheers, Kris, have a good day.
Cheers, you too. Okay. Let's try somewhere properly far away. Sydney, are you there?
I'm calling in from Sydney, so good to see you today, Kris.
Nice to see you ### Simon Aubury, thanks for joining us.
Oh, it's fantastic to have the opportunity to join you so far away and talk about one of my favorite things, podcasts.
Ah, you're a big podcast listener?
Yes. I actually opened up my phone just prior to this and opened up one of the stats pages to see how much time I invest on listening to podcasts. It was pretty alarming, I've got to say.
What are the numbers, come on?
Okay. So according to my app, I started listening on the 13th of April 2017 and I have listened to 185 days and nine hours.
Oh man, you're the podcast marathon. You should be the absolute best qualified person to answer the question, what's your favorite podcast and tell something you've learned?
Well this is a trick question, of course. My favorite podcast of course is Streaming Audio with some guy called, hang on, it's on the tip of my tongue, ### Kris Jenkins I think it is.
Yeah. He's the new guy. I think he's turning out okay.
Yeah. I like him. I think your real question is, what's my second favorite podcast.
Yeah, let's go with that. And that way people won't realize I've slipped everybody a fiver to say nice things.
Absolutely. Well, I've got to say Kris, my second favorite podcast is actually from a guy called Tim Harford.
Yeah it's guy from your neck fluid, he has a great podcast called Cautionary Tales. And I think in their blurb, they describe this as, true stories about mistakes and what we can [inaudible 00:55:00]. It's a really interesting and quite thought provoking podcast that I quite enjoy.
I'm not sure humanity is ready to learn from it's mistakes, but. Doesn't seem like something we do brilliantly, tell me about an episode.
Well, they do have a number of click batty titles. So I've got to tease this with some of the click batty titles, there was a great episode about voting in a monkey as a mayor and some lessons learned on the way. There was a great episode about photographing fairies and some of the hijinks that came off the back of that.
I remember the fairy photographing craze. Not firsthand, I'm not that old.
Yeah. But my absolute favorite episode was called 'Bowie Jazz and The Unplayable Piano', and in short it's a great story about getting out of your comfort zone and how disruption can feed creativity.
Are we talking about the Bowie?
Yes. And some of the inspiration for some of Bowie's hits came from this mindset around causing deliberate obstacles. I think they're called Oblique Strategies where you actually want to force creativity by putting some constraints.
Oh yeah. Because there's a classic, it's a deck of cards by Brian Eno, called Oblique Strategies.
Yes, exactly that.
If you get stuck, pull out card at random and it will give you new problems.
Yeah. And right up there with swap instruments and use an instrument that you've never used before, or avoid a particular chord. So I'm not a musician, but I did enjoy some of the things I learned from this podcast was how injecting a level of randomness or putting some constraints or obstacles in the way can actually force a level of creativity.
Yeah. Those lessons on creativity transfer from music, to art, to programming, I think.
Oh right. You have me at Bowie, that's going straight to the top of my list.
Absolutely. And if I can, I probably can't do the podcast sufficient justice, but there was one story I really loved and it was a story of a pianist called Keith Jarrett and this is back in-
I know Keith Jarrett.
Yeah. 1975. And he was to appear at this sold out auditorium in Köln and he turned up and there was a bit of a logistical mistake. So he was expecting a very large, well tuned piano, but he turned up and found out that what was actually on stage was this tiny, almost prop piano that was out of tune. It had keys that didn't work, some of the keyboard pedals didn't work and he just described it as an unplayable piano. And yeah, it's a interesting story about, it was a sold out concert and it was a story about even with those constraints of, it was far too small to provide enough noise for an auditorium. And essentially he had to pummel the piano to make sufficient noise and work around the keys that didn't work. And supposedly he did this absolutely magnificent, quite inspired performance. It is still one of the, I can't remember the statistic, but it's one of the most popular pieces of music these days on that.
I actually, I haven't heard this podcast episode, but I know the story of Keith Jarrett, the Köln concert and I believe it's the best selling solo jazz album of all time. And it is a phenomenal listen, we'll have to link to actually show notes, because it's one of my favorite albums of all time.
So I absolutely love this story. It's got a good narrative around, I mean he didn't go in, he didn't relish the situation. He was, I suspect quite, annoyed, but when the situation arose and there were no other options, he faced the unplayable piano and something amazing happened off the back of that.
Yeah. The angels were with him that night. That's a nice note.
Boom, boom. And to bring this back to maybe both technology and life, I think there's a couple of coders off the back of this, in algorithmic design and machine learning science, sometimes you talk about actually injecting randomness into algorithms so they fall out of a local optimum. Even in computer science, it's a fairly interesting technique that sometimes you do actually need to present constraints to solve for routing problems, or trying to do chip layout. Sometimes you actually need to inject things into algorithms so that they can find new creative paths.
Oh yeah. Yep. Very true. Very true. That kind of chaos engineering and arbitrary constraints to narrow the scope.
Oh absolutely. And I guess maybe the thing that we could all take away is that obstacles help us move forward. And I think we can all benefit from the random disruption that comes from having teams that are diverse, that comes from different backgrounds. And if your goal is to solve for a better outcome, having different perspectives and more opportunities helps you try things out, try things faster and essentially get to interesting outcomes faster.
That's a very nice, bright, optimistic note to end International Podcast Day on. Thanks Simon.
Thank you, Kris. And yeah, definitely hope that you can find out that music and yeah, it's definitely a great story.
Yeah, absolutely. Cheers. Bye Sydney.
Thank you, Kris.
And with that, I think our little jet set tour is run out of jet fuel and it's time to land. We'll put links to all those podcasts in the show notes so you can find them. I hope you enjoyed this one, I certainly did. And if you did, please take a look at those like and subscribe and rating buttons as always. But in the meantime, it remains for me to thank our guests for letting us jump in on them. And you for listening to this special episode of Streaming Audio, I've been your host, ### Kris Jenkins, and I will catch you next time.
What’s your favorite podcast? Would you like to find some new ones? In celebration of International Podcast Day, Kris Jenkins invites 12 experts from the Apache Kafka® community to talk about their favorite podcasts. Unlike other episodes where guests educate developers and tell stories about Kafka, its surrounding technological ecosystem, or the Cloud, this special episode provides a glimpse into what these guests have learned through listening to podcasts that you might also find interesting.
Through a virtual international tour, Kris chatted with Bill Bejeck (Integration Architect, Confluent), Nikoleta Verbeck (Senior Solutions Engineer, CSID, Confluent), Ben Stopford (Lead Technologist, OCTO, Confluent), Noelle Gallagher (Video Producer, Editor), Danica Fine (Senior Developer Advocate, Confluent), Tim Berglund (VP, Developer Relations, StarTree), Ben Ford (Founder and CEO, Commando Development), Jeff Bean (Group Manager, Technical Marketing, Confluent), Domenico Fioravanti (Director of Engineering, Therapie Clinic), Francesco Tisiot (Senior Developer Advocate, Aiven), Robin Moffatt (Principal, Developer Advocate, Confluent), and Simon Aubury (Principal Data Engineer, ThoughtWorks).
They share recommendations covering a wide range of topics such as building distributed systems, travel, data engineering, greek mythology, data mesh, economics, and music and the arts.
If there's something you want to know about Apache Kafka, Confluent or event streaming, please send us an email with your question and we'll hope to answer it on the next episode of Ask Confluent.Email Us