Mike and I met in Halifax way back in 2003 when we were playing frisbee against each other. Without going into the long history of how we get together the short story is that we are now married and have a child, dog, cat, house, car, and life together. Mike is a designer, engineer, yoga & meditation teacher, athlete, former tech start-up company founder (well technically he's still a founder and the company is still viable but he's not longer with them). He's my best friend in every way. And we have great conversations IMO. In fact, if there is anything that is the destroyer in our relationship is that we stay in our heads too long and too often. We literally spent the first few months of our relationship theorizing whether we should be together. Ya... seriously. Anyway, not so good for a relationship but great for a podcast!
A year ago Mike was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, a cancer of the kidneys. He had surgery 6 months later. His experience was, on paper, great because everything went medically well. But his patient experience made him think very deeply about how to improve the cancer patient experience. Mike is the Design Director at Healthcare Human Factors, a consultancy through University Health Network in Toronto. He is fortunate to be in a position to rethink and design cancer care and he’s doing that now. Here we talk about his experience, which laid a foundation for rethinking cancer care!
Mike and I got into a conversation about The Interoceptive Mind, a way of feeling our inner body provoked partially by a book that I picked up at the Society for Neuroscience back in November. According to the authors Interoception is “the body-to-brain axis of signals originating from the internal body and visceral organs (such as gastrointestinal, respiratory, hormonal, and circulatory systems).”
Ok so Mike learned a whole bunch about the blockchain a while ago when we bought some bitcoin and ethereum and all that fun cryptocurrency stuff. I didn’t. But then I started listening to the Zig Zag podcast and wanted to learn more about it. So… on our next date we find ourselves going down the rabbit hole of trying to figure it out. It got fun for me when we realized that I was part of the internet era before the world wide web and he was not. Mike’s 5.5 years younger than I am, which equates to 6 grade school years. So that’s a pretty big difference during the internet era. Anyway… it turns out our understanding of the internet and the world wide web was different. So we figure that one out and continue on talking about blockchain and ethereum, which we both think are important to watch and understand because they might end up being the next new “internet”. This conversation is really funny to me… partially because I think in 5 years we’ll look back and laugh at this. Kind of like having a conversation about a phone WAY back when it started and asking questions like “so where do the voice live?” “Who delivers the voice?”. Even listening back 2 months later while writing these notes, I see that I know so much more now! Anyway… here is a conversation we should probably be embarrassed to share. Please don’t quote us on the details… like what gopher is!
We’re on a date night… and this is what we end up doing: talking about death! We talk about it from the perspective of my fear of dying and also from Mike’s perspective of not being afraid and then with respect to (assisted) suicide and enlightenment.
We’re at Merchants of Green Coffee in Toronto. Just before I started recording Mike said that he had the thought that everything is exactly how it is suppose to be. So I start recording as we are launched into a conversation about enlightenment, objective truth, and activism. Because we’re at a coffee shop, we have some great background music that sets a nice atmosphere, I think. The conversation ends with Mike's distraction.
Mike and I somehow end up in a debate on “what is a hipster?” It’s an old conversation, from 2014. I honestly can’t remember how it started but it did lead to a deeper (?) conversation about craftship, apprenticeship, and mentorship. You have to wait about 10 min to get to that part but I found listening to us figure out what a hipster is, kind of amusing. Then, we talk about the difference between craft, apprenticeship, and mentorship compared to design-based problem-solution-type business models.
This was recorded back in the summer of 2014, long before Mandyland was conceptualized. At the time, I thought I would have a podcast with mine and Mike’s conversations. You can tell it’s old because I refer to Jian Gomeshi as the host of the Q back before we knew what kind of asshole he was. Most of what we talk about is the career of ranting and my desire to have pursued that, had I known about it at the time.