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Daily, snackable writings and podcasts to spur changes in thinking.

Building a blueprint for a better brain by tinkering with the code.

The first illustrated book from Tinkered Thinking is now available!

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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


June 26th, 2019

Today is a first for Tinkered Thinking: a review.  Of Tinkered Thinking itself.



First a quick description:  Tinkered Thinking consists of daily episodes, both in Podcast form and text, hosted at  The text rarely exceeds 1,000 words and the concurrent podcast rarely goes over ten minutes because of this short-form length.  One can easily imagine that the length of these episodes is perhaps intended to be taken over the course of a cup of morning coffee, or perhaps as a sleep aid. 


Topics are fairly wide ranging without any high determination.  Tinkered Thinking does not at first glance seem to engage in politics, religion, current events, history, nor the financial world.  The topics seem to aim at productivity, human agency, conceptual frameworks or mental models through the use and analysis of language.  The platform also releases a weekly piece of short fiction that always revolves around the same ‘Lucilius’ character who does not seem to be bound to any set time, nor age.  These weekly short stories seem as though they seek to put some of the headier concepts into a kind of narrative form. 


So far the platform has generated over 430 ‘episodes’ which comprises well over 300,000 words, or in other terms: about the length of a 700 page book.  The platform also has a recommended reading list, a ‘most popular’ section, and a support section where listeners and readers can contribute on a monthly subscription basis or with a one-time option.  The platform has also been fairly active on Twitter since the beginning of 2019 with roughly 650 followers.


While Tinkered Thinking clearly has some intellectual horsepower, it occasionally lacks cohesive follow-through on some of the analysis that it puts forth.  Whether this is due to the sheer rapidity at which the platform ships content or whether it is mere laziness is up to the reader to decide.  The platform seems to indicate an opinion on this matter indirectly through its very own content, drawing analogies like the prospector who sifts through a great deal of useless material in order to find a nugget of gold.  One can think of the proverbial ‘drawing board’, that is constantly erased in order to work through new iterations.   


The language of Tinkered Thinking, while often verbose, seems purposefully lacking in much certainty.  The use of words like ‘perhaps’, ‘might’, ‘possible’ leave the treatment of it’s subjects under-determined and forcibly open to interpretation.  Refreshingly, the pronoun ‘I’ does not pollute the platform, unlike so many others.


From a visual stand point, the website is fairly minimalistic with a predominate color of white with black text, peppered with purple design while showcasing one Escher-like drawing in an orange hue.  It would be understandable if readers often yearned for a ‘dark-mode’.


While the fictional ‘Lucilius’ stories on Sundays are a consistent breath of fresh air from the rest of the content, the platform is also somewhat mind-numbing in its complete lack of humor. 


The platform often attempts to strike up lateral thinking in the minds of it’s readership, and yet it consistently fails to employ this perennial form of lateral thinking.  Whether the creator(s) are simply oblivious to this opportunity or simply suffer from total ineptitude on this front remains to be seen. 


Overlooking this vast flaw, it’s perhaps fair to say that the platform does occasionally offer novel ways of looking at the construction of many common perspectives.  If a reader or listener can actually make it through the daily drone of the episode, there is often a kernel of utility that can be wrenched from the verbose acrobatics of language employed.


Regardless, it does not seem as though this platform is going to cease anytime soon.  Though sometimes the platform suffers delays, either due to technical difficulties or other unknown delays, the lag has always ended with a jolt forward when several post-dated episodes appear.


There is rumor that the platform is going to put out an illustrated collection of the Lucilius stories, but this remains to be seen, and as this writer has come to know, such rumors should not be believed until there is something to be seen.


As a conjecture on the future of Tinkered Thinking, it’s not difficult to imagine the content of this platform being reorganized and distilled into a book, if not several books, if the platform continues to produce at the rate it does.  Some episodes even read like chapters, or introductions to book subjects.  But again, this is purely conjecture.


It will be interesting to see how the Tinkered Thinking platform evolves, if it does indeed evolve.  Considering the sheer amount of content, it would perhaps be beneficial to see novel ways of viewing the content in categorized ways as opposed to ‘Archives’ and ‘Most Popular’.

Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

Dive in to the Archives

Podcast Ep. 437: Tinkered Thinking Review: Tinkered Thinking

Tinkered Thinking

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