To celebrate Pride Month, I’m playing two of the Allusionist episodes that have stuck with me the most during the show’s existence.Read More
NATE BYRNE: One of the things I find really strange when it comes to the weather is that we're all experts and all idiots at the same time.
HZ: You’re supposed to be the expert though.
NATE BYRNE: Right. Yeah! But I mean, we all live in it every day and we all feel like we understand the weather really well and we hear weather reports every single day. Now, if you are practicing a skill every day, on average you're generally excellent at it; that’s a real strength of yours. But it turns out that meteorologists typically haven't been very good at telling people what it is they're trying to tell them. So showers, just for example, means the rain's going to start and stop and start and stop; it doesn't tell you anything about the volume. Rain means it's just going to be continuous, and again doesn't tell you anything about the volume; but we have built, somehow, cultural expectations and understandings that go with those words that the scientists don't actually mean when they're using those words and it makes a really tricky job.
HZ: How are you?
ISY: I’m wearing trousers that are kind of digging into my bum in a weird way. They’re a cross between leggings and jeans -
HZ: - jeggings -
ISY: Yeah. And they’re partly falling down and partly digging in, which is quite a strange combination.
HZ: Well great, now I’m all too aware of the state of her bumcrack. But if I didn’t want to know how she is, why did I even ask?
Because that’s what we do, isn’t it? That is how conversations so often begin. And nearly every time, this is how it goes:
How are you?
Fine thanks, and you?
It's not informative, so why bother? It's an exchange that indicates a conversation is being initiated. It's small talk: safe, trivial - small.Read More
Emoji - the 'e' means picture, 'moji', letter in Japanese - seem like a very modern phenomenon, dependent on the proliferation of mobile phones. But they have precedent in language far more ancient than our own. A picture per concept is pretty much what the ancient Sumerians were using to communicate some 5,500 years ago when they came up with the cuneiform writing system.Read More