Yi-Tan Call 281: Buddha’s Brain

May 19, 2010

We don’t have enough Yi-Tan calls about well-being.

Now, with neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, co-author of Buddha’s Brain, we have a wonderful opportunity to make up for lost time — or just not suffer about it and enjoy our new landscape.

It turns out that Buddhism mixes nicely with neuroscience. Neurons that fire together wire together. Why choose to strengthen the neural pathways of suffering? Instead of suffering Paper Tiger Paranoia, we can consciously wire ourselves toward Natural Happiness.

With Rick, let’s discuss:

  • Why do we get stuck in negative thought spirals?
  • How does our brain’s wiring and chemistry contribute to this?
  • What practical things can we do to enhance our well-being?

Here’s the podcast: Buddha’s Brain

You can also download the podcast: here.

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Yi-Tan Tech Call 280: Social Media Storytelling

May 18, 2010

(This invite text from Michael Margolis, our guest.)

Are you conflicted about social media? Many of us are.

You know it’s a total game-changer. And yet, social media probably leaves you overwhelmed, confused and even a little freaked out. We’re afraid of becoming a social media douchebag: the loud, obnoxious person who bothers people with irrelevant nonsense. Or we just don’t have the time to take social media on.

Social media is relationship technology. What we’re missing is the right mental model for using the tools in a mindful and purposeful way. Approaching it from the perspective of storytelling, personal branding and way-finding can transform these tools’ practical relevance.

With Michael, let’s explore the intersection of storytelling and social media:

  • Why can a narrative point of view shift your relationship to social media?
  • How does social media evolve the process of cultural consumption and creation?
  • What are the implications to branding your thought leadership and ideas?

Here’s the podcast: Social Media Storytelling

You can also download the podcast:  here.


Yi-Tan Call 279: The Flash War

May 17, 2010

One topic is frothy and interesting enough that we’re adding a special call this week to tackle it.

A year ago, Adobe’s Flash seemed to be on top of the world. Now, thanks to Steve Jobs’ direct assault (plus plenty of progress on HTML5 and other factors), Flash appears to be on its way down and out.

Of course, some think one walled garden isn’t much better than another. (For a more detailed description of what’s up, check Webmonkey’s post.)

Is this war really about crashiness and battery life, or is it about world domination?

With our observant friend Al Chang, let’s discuss:

  • What do parties other than Apple and Adobe think? What does this mean for the Web?
  • How might this play out? Does Android help Adobe? What about Ogg Theora?
  • Where do developers stand? customers? platform vendors?

Here’s the podcast: The Flash War

You can also download the podcast:  here.


Yi-Tan Call 278: Resource Sharing

May 4, 2010

The recent financial meltdown has taken some of the glow off nifty new luxury goods, and some of the stigma off re-using, gleaning and sharing resources.

Funny that the stigma should have to wear off. I’ve been reading Polanyi‘s The Great Transformation, which described (in 1944) how the market economy pushed aside many forms of sharing, such as reciprocity, redistribution and householding. But let’s save Polanyi for another call.

All of these forces pave the way for talking with Bay Area lawyer Janelle Orsi, the co-author of The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life and Build Community. (She also posts frequently on Shareable.net.)

With Janelle, let’s discuss:

  • What does a sharing economy look like? new livelihoods? new structures for ownership?
  • How do you create a culture of sharing in communities? How do you build trust?
  • Where might a strong resource-sharing movement take the current economy?

Here’s the podcast:  Resource Sharing

You can also download the podcast:  here.


Yi-Tan Call 277: Media Business Directions

April 28, 2010

Our media diets have changed some — we still listen to tunes, watch movies and catch TV shows — but how we procure those items has changed dramatically (think iTunes, BitTorrent, Netflix, old Napster, Pandora, Last.fm, Hulu, TiVo…), which in turn has affected every one of the media industries.

Needless to say, the media businesses haven’t found solid footing yet, but there are lessons we can derive today.

With Needham analyst Laura Martin, let’s discuss:

  • What are the lessons we can learn from music’s demise that provide a cautionary tale to other media as they transition to the web?
  • Why is there a distinction between monetization and audience so far on the internet?
  • Is the long tail proving out to be true?
  • Where do portable devices fit into the future of media?

Here’s the podcast: Media Business Directions

You can also download the podcast:  here.


Yi-Tan Call 276: Brain Function and Western Culture

April 20, 2010

The gray goo inside our skulls does more than turn signals from the outside world into images, thoughts and narratives. According to Iain McGilchrist‘s The Master and His Emmisary, our brain’s organization has contributed to the very structure of our society and beliefs about what we know and what we think is possible.
The problem is, the two hemispheres tell two different versions of reality, and the left has pretty much become the Berlusconi of the brain. As a result, we’re often missing half the picture we should be seeing. And that’s just the start of it.
With Iain, let’s discuss:
  • How can we get a useful, nuanced understanding of brain function?
  • What has this structure done to our ability to comprehend the world? How is this reflected in culture?
  • What might we do to correct or compensate? How can we know what we don’t know?

You won’t get through The Master and His Emmisary by Monday, but you will enjoy Iain’s summary here. You might also look at My Stroke of Insight, The Alphabet vs. the Goddess and The Gift — none of which perfectly match Iain’s view, but all of which enrich his philosophical work.

Here’s the podcast: Brain Function and Western Culture

You can also download the podcast:  here.


Yi-Tan Call 275: What Is Real?

April 14, 2010
Richard Sugarman founded The Connecticut Forum 19 years ago. While convening amazing people and hosting conversations, he’s worked to go deeper, to satisfy people’s hunger for meaningful connection and engagement.
That’s given him a few insights. With Richard, let’s discuss:
  • How do you get beyond celebrity, image and stereotype to connect with what’s alive in a person?
  • How does time affect our ability to listen, think and learn?
  • What creates an environment of curiosity and discovery? How do you design great shared experiences?

Here’s the podcast: What Is Real?

You can also download the podcast:  here.