The Doc Ayomide Podcast

Communication, coffee and choices


Here’s what we’ll be talking about today:

🔊 So I might be starting a podcast
🗣 Speaking of communication…
☕️ I’m so late to discovering AeroPress!
📚 One of the best things I read this week…

🔊So I might be starting a podcast

So I’ve been thinking about podcasting for a while, but not sure if I should really get into it. I know I have quite a lot to say, but I also wasn’t sure I had enough. But then, a couple of things happened. I saw someone suggest on Twitter that they were considering making a paid podcast based on audio versions of their essays, and I thought, “Wait, I could do that.”

Then it occurred to me that at least two of my favourite podcasts are precisely that format: reading out their work. But then I also realised I could even go a step further. I often have a lot of thoughts that don’t make it into my essays, either because I don’t want to make it longer or because I feel it would be too much of a detour from the main idea. But the cool thing about speech is that’s precisely how it works: we don’t talk in straight lines. So I could not just read my essays out loud, but go a step further and talk about ideas that didn’t make it in, thoughts I’m having, and even just talk about the essay itself.

Would you be interested?

🗣 Speaking of communication…

All communication is a dance between precision and power. Or, to put it more technically, between objectivity and subjectivity. But I would argue that the more important an idea the more we should prioritise power over precision. Basically, aim to be only as precise as necessary to convey your point, but as powerful as possible.

Two reasons for this:

1. Precision comes at the expense of power. This is true whether we realise it or not. And it’s true, not because of your idea, but because of human nature, which makes us more responsive to ideas powerfully communicated. Human nature also means that weakly communicated ideas either don’t catch our attention—or if they do, don’t hold it.

2. Precision preaches to the choir. Being precise matters more for those who already buy into your ideas, or are at least interested in them—they’re asking questions and wanting to understand, or you’re wanting them to more clearly grasp the fine details and small print. But the further people are from engaging with your ideas, the broader your strokes had better be.

Given this dance, therefore, I think the ideal for any communicator would be to understand their ideas with precision but express them with power.

The danger, of course is to confuse internal with external, and to either focus on expressing ideas as precisely as you understands them (losing not only your audience, but perhaps even some of the choir), or to be content with expressing ideas powerfully, despite not clearly understanding them (with the risk that you end up communicating the wrong idea).

Not an easy balance.

☕️ I’m so late to discovering AeroPress!

Don’t judge.

Here’s the thing: I knew of the AeroPress—it’s hard not to if you’re into coffee—but somehow never actually read up on it. I think I just assumed it was some costly fancy thing, because I’ve only ever heard of it in relation to hipster lifestyle (you know, artisanal coffee and soy and all that). But this week, I saw the name again somewhere, and thought I’d actually look it up on Amazon, and imagine my shock to find it was only slightly above the price of my cheap French Press/cafetière, but it makes better coffee, with NONE of the stress!

I ordered it immediately, and well, let’s just say I’ve been drinking a LOT more coffee.

Here’s mine.

Honestly this thing is a revelation. No fuss making coffee, absolutely no grounds (like you always get using a cafetière), more control over how you make the coffee, and SUPER easy to clean!!! But my best thing, other than how much more tasty my coffee is, is emptying the grounds: it’s genuinely a delight, and you have to see it to believe it, so click below to see a short video I made of that:

So satisfying.

📚 One of the best things I read this week…

…was from a great essay by Morgan Housel.

[T]there are three distinct sides of risk:

  • The odds you will get hit.

  • The average consequences of getting hit.

  • The tail-end consequences of getting hit.

The first two are easy to grasp. It’s the third that’s hardest to learn, and can often only be learned through experience.

Thinking about it, and in light of some other stuff I was thinking about, inspired me to post this on Twitter:

Seriously, go read Housel’s entire essay—it’s evocative and brilliant, and worth thinking about how it applies to you.

Yours by choice,
Doc Ayomide