Inner Transcript #7: Audio Alexandria, Coincidental Death

Inner Transcript #8, a newsletter by ThatsTheNorm

My Dear Friend,

Welcome to The Inner Transcript. Let's start the roundtable, shall we?

(For a quick reminder as to who the characters are, click here)

Cloever: These last few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotion. We started strong, and now the goal is to make sure that momentum is carried throughout the year.

Remember? The letters that we wrote before the year ended. Momentum appeared over and over again.

So I ask: that you recognise in all of its forms, both in its intangibility and influence, and suggest you seek them.

For now, here's a recount of all the conversations that we've had recently to see how things unveiled:

Summary

Some thoughts on becoming the Librarian of Audio Alexandria. I wrote letters to my future self to save my sanity. I had an encounter with coincidental death during the recording of an episode. Some thoughts on imaginations, and more.

What have you discovered?

  • In the realm of Music, consider replacing guitar strings with these ones eventually. It will sound so beautiful, just like this:
  • Modernist Pizza Podcast is a show I've been listening to while doing house chores. It's been a long time since there was a show that would make me want to hear more about the history of pizza.

Masahiro: Imagine the logistics of getting such specialist information, the amount of recorded material, the years needed to compile such things, the–

Podrick: Mate, can you just like...enjoy the show instead of deconstructing it?

Masahiro:...OK. I guess it's fun to just listen.

The Fool: To be fair though, he does have a point!

Becoming the Librarian of Audio Alexandria

Masahiro: Starting January 2022, we formally became the [[Podcast Librarian]] for [[Podchaser]]. In charge of making sure every podcast in the world is recorded, accurately documented and immortalised for everyone to witness.

Your Daily Source for Podcast Discovery. Built with love, for podcast listeners and creators.

The Fool: A wonderful opportunity appeared, and with that came a question: [[What does it take to be the Librarian of Audio Alexandria?]]

Well, the questions start to multiply with this new route. With the responsibility that comes with being a librarian, is the need to have resources for it:

Immediately, I was referred to an amazing resource for [[Metadata Design]], which is great. I'm not sure if it's completely applicable as podcast metadata can be slightly different, but still, some of the universal principles can be applied here!

There are also other questions to consider and explore further down the line:

  • How much of the crediting data is affected by community-specific behaviours?
  • Where is the friction on the front end when applying and adjust the credits for my own shows?
  • How much am I, a user of the website, am willing to add credits to other shows?

The questions multiply. It's exciting!

Podrick: WOOHOO!!!

Masahiro: ...Someone's excited.

Podrick: I mean, aren't you? Think about it: we're at such a weird crossroads with all the podcasting stuff that we've been involved in.

We started off with buying a Blu Yeti and narrating to ourselves at 7AM in the office all those years ago.Then, we were frustated with not having enough news, so we started [[Podlovers Asia]]. And now? Helping out with being a Chief Renegade, doing talks about the [[Asian Podcast Ecosystem]], and being a Podcast Librarian. What a ride!

Doesn't this excite you, man?

Masahiro: How can it not? I recognise the [[Visible Impact]]. We are getting rewarded for our prolific creating. Can't you see the smile on my face?

Podrick: Pffff, how can I? You're just an imaginary character.

Cloever: Ahem. Despite that...Logic sounds shaken. What's wrong, Masahiro?

Masahiro: It's a challenging unknown. There are two sides to this: Fear and excitement.

You know this, Cloever: with the advent of a new challenge in one's life comes the issue of tackling it. What's the best way? How can we know what is considered success?

Imagine this: Assume everything is unknown, any action I take without any point of reference for best practice has a percentage chance of fucking up. That scares me.

I've shared this with the Podchaser team. We came to the conclusion that it will be defined over time, and any progress on the overarching goal of crediting every show on Earth is a welcome one.

So yes, we've covered this before, I know. Focus on [[Gap and the Gain]]. Progress over Ideals. We'll figure it out as we go along. I've heard it many times in the letters.

Yet the risk is there. And risk in the realm of logic grips you just as [[Fear]] does.

Cloever: I can see it. Don't worry, my Friend.

They have trusted you with this role because they are willing to tackle the unknown with you in mind.

We are all as lost as you think, but we find solidarity in trusting each other. I understand. Risk is Fear personified in algorithms and flowcharts. You seek clarity through consequence, and tangibles are what encourages you to move forward.

But there can only be so much we can do with real-life use cases. There may not be enough frameworks and models in the world to reassure you. And, them trusting you with what they possess is more than enough reason to feel calm.

You are the right person for this. You are capable. Therefore, you can, and therefore, you will do fine.

Masahiro: ...Thank you, Cloever.

On letters beyond time

Cloever: I recently shared a letter to my future self. It was part of a gathering with other like-minded writers who want to write something for themselves at a later time.

Remember, this is a practice that we've been doing for so long, but there is something beautiful about doing it in a group setting. Immediately, without a single word spoken, everyone knows that it is time to reflect.

Everyone knows it is time to introspect, and everyone knows nothing matters more than putting pen to paper.

Other than the letter above, I wrote about my process in writing it out. You can read more about it here.

Death as a coincidence

Masahiro: Have you ever had a person pass away while you were talking about them, potentially? I'll give you the story.

In one of my private shows with a Dear Friend of mine, we talked about death, grief and the coping with loss. Though it was a heavy topic, we were able to navigate such a powerful topic through sharing our own experiences.

My friend and fellow co-host shared about her family member who is well-loved, is amazing as a character, and whose health is declining. Though we were talking about them eventually passing. It was still theoretical, so 'far away', in a realm in the future. There was ample time to prepare.

It turns out, the phone call she received mid-recording was someone informing her that this person had passed away that morning.

Cloever: Haunting it was, to bear witness to such a powerful moment. That we were talking about this person and in that same breath, and in that same time span - this person may have passed away then.

I felt...so sorry. I called her to see if there was someone there for her. I was worried.

We were on the phone for the next 15 minutes: I did my best to be her companion from the other side of the world.

I stared at the lamplight outside the whole time, teary-eyed, sniffing away. I was given a chance to bear witness to the amazing stories told in the episode about her. That gave me ample reason to resonate.

Though my pain does not run as deep as my Dear Friend's, it is still a large loss all the same for the world.

May this loved one stay immortal in our memories.

Masahiro: Rest in Presence.

Podrick: Rest in Power.

The Fool: May she dance merrily with bliss in Heaven.

Masahiro: As part of my memory, akin to a totem of respect, I've been on the search for classical Italian music to listen to in honour of this person. If you have any recommendations for music in this genre, write a letter back. I'd love to hear from you.

Cloever: And of course, My Dear Friend, I hope in hearing this story you can imagine the kind of impact her presence has on us, despite my wanting to not share too much about this. Maybe this experience is foretelling of a time to come when someone we cherish arrives at the door of Heaven.

But for now, thinking of you.

May the winds envelop you,
And the snow keep you company.

Until next time, my friend,
Stay warm, stay lovely.

I'll see you in the next gathering ❤️

-N.