Notebook on Cities and Culture
(Formerly The Marketplace of Ideas.) Colin Marshall sits down for in-depth conversations with cultural creators, internationalists, and observers of the urban scene all around Los Angeles and beyond.
We have ham radios: Merlin Mann on media, fear, and caring about what you make

Colin Marshall talks to Merlin Mann, thinker, writer, and speaker on time, attention, and creative work. Following up on his June 2009 visit, he's back on the show to talk about a great many things, not least his new podcast Back to Work with Dan Benjamin, a program about productivity, communication, barriers, constraints, tools — and, nearly always, fear. The conversation also ventures into other, unusually personal topics, including dealing with entrepreneurs, trying not to hate the internet, and having one hundred dollars in the bank.

Direct download: MOI_Merlin_Mann_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:20am UTC

Trial, error, and economics: Tim Harford, Undercover Economist

Colin Marshall talks to Tim Harford, also known as the Undercover Economist. He wrote the book of the same name as well as The Logic of Life and now Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure. In this latest book, Harford examines the value of numerous small-scale experiments — numerous enough to try many different things, and small-scale enough to fail without serious consequence — in business, technology, medicine, finance, climate change, and even his own life and career.

Direct download: MOI_Tim_Harford_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30am UTC

The modern decorative hermit: novelist Steve Himmer

Colin Marshall talks to Steve Himmer, editor of the webjournal Necessary Fiction and author of the novel The Bee-Loud Glade, wherein an eccentric millionaire named Crane picks Finch, a former corporate blogger, out of a rapidly deepening post-firing squalor. Finch finds himself in a very particular future on Crane's intricately landscaped grounds: employed as a decorative hermit, he must do little more than eat, sleep, meditate, and accomplish occasional (if sometimes inexplicable) Crane-assigned tasks. As it turns out, this suit's Finch's sensibilities just fine, even when Crane's corporate empire begins to crumble.

Direct download: MOI_Steve_Himmer.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:37am UTC