Issue 4: The Meaning of Apps, Self-worth through others, and Google's Podcasting Money

My Dear Friend,

Has it been a week already? Time passes by when you’re doing many things at once.

Remember to slow down, okay?

Let’s sit at the round table...

Character Glossary:

  • Masahiro: Logic, Thought, Planning.
  • N.T. Cloever: Emotion, Imagination, Creativity.
  • The Fool: Curiosity, Conversations, Questions.
  • Podrick the Podcast Chicken: Podcasting.

Masahiro: Good day, My Dear Friends. What happened this week?

Cloever: Hello there, brother.

The Fool: Hello, all.

Podrick: Bok bok! This will be a quick one, I'll go first!

Oogle Google Podcasting

Podrick: Bok bok! We finally did it! We sent in a proposal to the Google Podcasts Program! PHEW.

The Fool: Ooo! What is this about?

Podrick: It's a mentorship initiative to provide resources to underrepresented voices around the world! The first of its kind for podcasting (I think? Anyone know any others?). I thought my show Podlovers Asia was something they're looking for (I interview underrepresented voices after all!), so I applied. We're starting Season 3 soon too, so it's good timing.

The Fool: It seemed hard to do, eh?

Podrick: Yeah, there were a load of things to fill up. Turns out my plans to grow the show can go up to $800 a month! Never had to do an audit of costs per show before. Crazy. It's making me think of upping my prices...there's also something else.

The Fool: Hm? What else are they giving you?

Podrick: ...money. Sweet, delicious podcast money.

Masahiro: Um...okay. I guess it's a good reason.

Podrick: It's a good reason okay! It's hard to have all that cash raking in if you're podcasting. Anything that rewards me and I'm going all in on it.

Masahiro: We might have to add 'Greed' to the glossary for Podrick, but that's a conversation for another time.

From what I'm reading on the website, it's 12 weeks of mentorship, courses, 1-on-1s, a grant, access to a network of leaders in podcasting - all from a good proposal. Seems like there's no loss. What are you planning to do with the grant?

Podrick: The big one is using the grant to hire a Virtual Assistant: one who I can outsource all the editing and production and other admin stuff to. Gives our foolish friend here more time to interview people.

The Fool: More time to talk to people? Yes please!

Masahiro: Yes but remember we have to tell people we've talked to someone. It's Podcast Marketing 101.

The Fool: I know...

Podrick: I know...

Cloever: It's the Artist's Dilemma: Not only do they create, they must share it with the rest of the world. It's both our responsibility and our duty.

Masahiro: Sigh, Yeah. We're good at creating, but that's what sucks about it. We just want to create and not market.

What is an app?

Masahiro: I’ve been figuring out the meaning of an application.

The Fool: Why? isn’t it just the thing you have in your smartphone?

Podrick: Yeah. The thing you use to listen to podcasts?

Cloever: Your gateway to the digital world?

Masahiro: Yes, all of that. No, not only podcasts. But an application is quite simple really - there is a front-facing, pretty interface on your phone. It accesses information from some backend database we’ll never see.

The Fool: Yeah, that makes sense. Why are you asking about it?

Masahiro: Because as users, we don’t care about the backend. We just care about the front-end. Backend is how it works, front end is how we feel. It's the experience.

Cloever: Like choosing a dress that reflects your mood.

Masahiro: Exactly. So the next thought was...how would Roam fit into this?

The Fool: Well, it’s a giant graph. Loads of text. It could work as the backend?

Masahiro: Exactly. And these mini apps...I’ll call them Roamlets for now, could be a personal ecosystem of internal apps to allow for context-switching all within the same Roam graph. It can work that way - especially when you can have so many different use cases.

The Fool: Like what?

Masahiro: For journaling, a Roam Journaling app. For tasks, a clone of Todoist that filters out all the TODO tags in the graph.

The Fool: And how will that be different from any other app? Why don't you just have different apps for each one?

Masahiro: The difference here is that everything is connected. Everything. I don’t need to register for another app ever again. I’m making my own personal internet. I can Google my thoughts!

Podrick: You’ve been obsessed with this idea since our talk with David Crandall, haven’t you?

Masahiro: ...Yeah. Ever since RoamFM’s new release on the Future of Roam, Data Architecture, Interfaces, all I’ve been thinking about is: what apps do I really want on my phone?

Ideally, I don’t want any social media on my phone. That’ll be distracting. I want things to create with and manage.

Some quotes from the conversation by David:

David Crandall: I think if we disconnect the interface in the backend that opens up numerous possibilities. At that point, we could use custom interfaces...Instead of just each one of us figuring out our own workflow and Roam based on their browser, we could have interfaces and applications that are specific to certain things.

Like I use it for project management a lot during the day, and it's not the ultimate project management app, though. It is very useful for the way I take notes and things like that. But I think that it could very well be married into a project management application that has other functionality that Roam doesn't natively have, you know, date planning, resource planning, things like that, but still connect on the back end to Roam.

If I want to switch to journaling, oh there's a lot of us that are using a Roam for journaling, but it's not the best journaling app. It's not the best thinking if it's not the best of each one of these apps, but it's the best app to bring all these things together...But if you could use an API and a separate interface, you could pull it out and plug it into better versions of those aspects.

Cloever: Are you questioning your phone's purpose in life? Create more than consume?

Masahiro: Something like that. All these apps on my phone seem so pointless compared to one graph and many interfaces. The more ways to access my own information, the better.

The Fool: Will you build your own Roamlet?

Masahiro: I think I’m too stupid for that. I’m waiting on someone to build some kind of toolbox or Nocode solution. That way I can tinker around with these Roamlets myself. Maybe a couple templates in there to begin with.

Podrick: Do you think you can make a personal Roamlet for RoamFM?

Masahiro: Now THAT would be cool. a proprietary Roamlet just to listen to the show? I’d totally use that.

Conversations this week

The Fool: We wrapped up a couple of conversations this week. These are some of them:

With [[Brandon Toner]], we recorded an episode for [[P/RoamFM]]. Brandon's a great guy, I highly recomemnd him as a guest if you want an intellectual conversation. On a road to connect with interesting people on Twitter, he's definitely someone to watch out for.

With [[Kahlil Corazo]], we also recorded one as well. For this one we went the full range - the LONGEST episode we've ever recorded for the show. All the possibilities of the tool. Kahlil's thoughts on fabricating serendipity between great minds. Interesting stuff to consider.

Masahiro: An old friend contacted me about how she’s been in trouble. Not to share too many details, but she was having trouble defining her own self-worth. She valued the opinions of other people over herself. It's painful to see. Here is an excerpt of what I sent her:


It feels like you're giving your impression of them more power over your own opinion when it comes to your self worth. As if your worth is relative, not true ("self worth in how it's serving others vs how my self worth is reflective of my worldview, actions, principles and my ability to uphold them despite it all).

I'm not one to make assumptions about other people who you connect with because there is nothing better than directly asking them about this (eg. "Are there parts of me you find uncomfortable/difficult to deal with? Are you okay with us being vulnerable?"). It can also hurt when opening up to someone you're official with results in some form of rejection. It's traumatic. But you are your first friend before anyone else, and that friend is the barrier that protects your worth from the world's expectations of you.

I'm not going to fluff it up by saying "don't be so hard on yourself" because that is pointless. I'd just want to ask: If the voice in your head is yours and yours only, bringing you up when willed to, and giving you reason to be brave, why seek self worth from others? You can always value people from a distance, in a way that is parallel to who you are but doesn't encompass you entirely, as you have your own life to live too.

...Ah yes, the act of getting lost in one's feelings. Not only that, it's the dissociation of the inner voice. Sometimes, our inner voice clouds us from what we really have and paralyzes us with these thoughts (do they love me as much as I do them?). And like you said, it just is. It shouldn't be anything more than that, otherwise those are the voices in your head (maybe by society? By expectation) speaking directly at you, but with the same voice you have. It's disguised negative thinking.

Is this a matter of being alone with your thoughts or being alone with your entirety? There is a distinction there. We are not only our thoughts, but the experiences and values we hold too. Embracing that over only thoughts could help with being okay 'alone' as opposed to 'lonely'. Logically that might make sense, but I feel there is something deeper at play here.

It's trauma from weakness. The narrative is failure, when it could have been anything else. A book called Personality isn't Permanent by Dr. Benjamin Hardy writes about trauma as a way to shatter hope - a narrative blinding you to a positive future.

The first step then is to confront the narrative behind that event and unwind the story, turn it into something that doesn't play a part in your decisions from today onwards, and go towards where do you want to go. This isn't to say "just stop thinking about it" no, I would frame it more like "think about the bad thing in a certain way to turn it into a source of strength, not a burden"

Where do you want to go? Both physically, and mentally?


It might serve you as well, my dear friend.

Cloever: I love using [[Bonjoro]] for the Issue. It gives me a chance to welcome friends, and it strikes up a conversation. A lovely warm introduction gives us reason to connect. I'm sure you replied to my videos, right? :)

The Fool: Related to that, one of the Bonjoro videos was centered around polymaths. This is good, there is more activity around this word. I love it.

Masahiro: Nice, nice. We've got a few plans coming up to serve them and I hope to deliver it soon (maybe by this month).

Keyboards and feelings

The Fool: So. Enough about us. What have you all discovered?

Masahiro: Oh yes! A quick one: I discovered this mechanical keyboard online and it looks so sexy. ErgoDox EZ Keyboards are split down the middle. Looks great in white. I'd feel like I'm piloting the Milenium Falcon if I got one...(someday, waaaay in the future).

And Cloever, let's top this off with your recent discovery?

Cloever: With pleasure. There was this tweet on the 23 emotions people feel, but can't explain. Beautiful. There are some I relate to, namely Vellichor (The strange wistfulness of used bookshops), Chrysalism (The amniotic tranquility of being indoors during a thunderstorm), and more. Beautiful words.

The Fool: You're missing the most important one: Jouska.

Masahiro: Probably the most important one.

Podrick: Bok bok! What does that mean?

Masahiro: The definition: A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head.

Podrick: Aye.

The Fool: Aye.

Cloever: Aye.

Conclusion

Masahiro: I think that's a good note to end on. Enough Jouska for today, right my dear friends? I have this long-awaited article to release soon, and I can't wait to post it on the site. It'll be all about writing notes...

Podrick: I also have one on starting a podcast that I need to finish up. That's exciting.

The Fool: More conversations for me. I need to make a decision on a big move we might have for our current website. May have to ask more questions.

Cloever: There will be more from my end very soon. But for now. I'll be waiting by the fire, my dear friends.

The Fool: Stay warm and lovely, everyone.

Podrick: Keep listening!

Masahiro: And now, back to reality...

...

Me: Until next time, my friend.


Personal Note

Oh boy, this was incredibly confusing. A ton of things came out of nowhere and I had to delay some of the episodes being created. Argh. But for now, as long as these conversations will be played out, I'm happy. I think I'll need to start working with the Wifi turned off. I might really have to do that. Figuring it out for now. Cheers!

-N