Podcasts with Longform and Farnam Street

I did a couple of podcasts in the last few months.

The first was with Aaron Lammer of Longform in November, at their studio in Brooklyn. We talked about living versus observing gonzo lifestyles, developing an identity as a reader and as a writer, life scripts and going off them, and a lot more.

Longform podcast

The second was with Shane Parrish of Farnam Street, over Skype (so there’s a bit of static in parts). We started off talking about Tempo, various styles of decision-making, staying grounded in reality by maintaining cracks in your mental models, being shaped by the work you do and the books you read, and so forth. I think I rambled a bit in this one. Note to self, chunk it up.

Farnam Street Knowledge Project podcast.

I am recording one more podcast, with Dan and Ian over at Tropical MBA, tomorrow. So you can look out for that in the next few weeks. I’ll try and talk about stuff I haven’t already covered in these two.

Podcasts are interesting. I’ve done a few radio programs and podcasts over the years, but there does seem to be a big spike in the medium (I think the last one I did before this spate of requests was in 2013). Several readers have suggested that I ought to try my hand at the game, but I don’t have any good ideas that lend themselves to the format. Plus it seems like a lot of work, so for the moment, I’ve decided to stay out of the game. Being on others’ podcasts is fun though. For those of you who like audio though, it seems Pocket now offers audio for arbitrary content. I haven’t yet tried it, but maybe you’ll like having ribbonfarm posts read out to you.

I’m having a lot of fun taking a break from writing and playing around with comics, which is why I haven’t yet done a real long-form post yet this year. Also because all the posts in my drafts folder seem to be long and complicated, and are taking forever to finish in the midst of a rather messy start to my year on the consulting side.

In other random news, I also recently upgraded to an iPad Pro with a Pencil, and it’s a life-changer for anyone who makes heavy use of thinking tools. Worth getting. It’s better than pen and paper.

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About Venkatesh Rao

Venkat is the founder and editor-in-chief of ribbonfarm. Follow him on Twitter


  1. Out of interest, what’s the life-changing thing about the iPad Pro? What I’m looking for is something that is to conceptual diagrams and sketches as a spreadsheet is to a hand-drawn table of numbers and calculations, but I haven’t seen anything to suggest that any of the iPad Pro’s apps achieve this (though it undoubtedly moves us closer).

    • Mainly the pencil. I’m hoping the apps will improve since they’re not the greatest yet. That said, Penultimate is good enough for me for notes and quick diagramming, and I use Autodesk Sketchpad for drawing. Adobe Sketch and Paper by 53 are also good, but I don’t like them as much.

  2. Just for posterity’s sake, we did manage to publish a show:


    I did listen to these other interviews before our talk, I think we did a good job of covering new ground, they could be listened to as a series. A lot of fun for me and hope you’ll come back next time you make the radio rounds!

  3. I absolutely want more podcasts like this. More audio content from you in general!