The Geek Joy Podcast

The Geek Joy Podcast, born in January 2016, is a place to talk about all the things that bring us joy, and some of the things that get in the way. Software, art, technology, empathy, fun hobbies, mindfulness... lots of interesting topics and people! It comes out Sunday.
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The Geek Joy Podcast

All Episodes
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Jul 6, 2016

Alex talks with Joe Cannatti about parenting, social anxiety, and zen buddhism.

The music is This is Everything That I Own, by Corissa Bragg.

Jun 27, 2016

Guest Evan Light and Alex talk about mindfulness, empathy, Search Inside Yourself, and kitties.

Music: Chopin: Prelude Op 28 No 4 performed by Paul Cantrell (via the Free Music Archive)


Jun 20, 2016

Alex and JB talked about depression, energy, financial security, and creating your own meaningful story. 

The music is Calling on Dolphins, by Fourstones.

Jun 16, 2016

Jessica Kerr, Alex Harms. 

I accidentally deleted this one and now I'm putting it back. So.

May 9, 2016

Dave Shah, Alex Harms. We talked about the TDD & strong convictions, Military & peace & love, getting your mind blown at conferences, religion, and who knows what else? Music: John Philip Sousa. Stars and Stripes Forever

Apr 11, 2016

Alex Lancaster & Alex Harms discuss emergence, improv, art. Music: Will Bernard and Motherbug, Three-toed Sloth

Apr 4, 2016

Guest Isaac Schlueter & Alex talk about NVC, and how it has helped us, and ways we've seen it used to create pain, as well. And we touch on Isaac's company, NPM, employee happiness, and Javascript. The music this time is a Klezmer piece by Hollywood Klezmer, found at

Mar 30, 2016

Jason Felice, Alex Harms. This is an unplanned episode, in which Jason & Alex have a conversation about LambdaConf, etc. (Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, courtesy of

Mar 28, 2016

Duke Green, Jason Felice, Alex Harms. We talked a lot about race, and a little about not getting caught up in ideas about yourself while coding that distract you from the work. And Duke sang a song for us.


Mar 21, 2016

Episode 10: This Emergence Dance

With Bill Tozier @vaguery, Jason Felice @eraserhd, and Alex Harms @onealexharms

We talk about self-organizing, emergence, consulting, complexity, uncertainty yada yada yada. The music is 100% Hello, by Succès Planétaire International, found on Tozier mentioned Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and Vampyroteuthis Infernalis. Jason mentioned reMIND.

Here are the names I promised for googling: 
Ron Jeffries, 
Brian Marick, 
Stuart Kauffman,  
John Holland, 
Andrew Pickering, 
Alan Watts, 
Robert Anton Wilson, 
Karl Popper, 
Thomas Kuhn, 
Richard Rorty, 
Vile Flusser.

Mar 14, 2016

This is a special episode with guest Mr. Flanx, the host's kid.

Topics include homeschooling (unschooling), creating, procrastination, attention, as well as learning with Vsauce and In a Nutshell videos, infinity, the Banach-Tarski Paradox, Vivaldi "Spring", Bluegrass "Shuckin the corn", Beethoven "Moonlight Sonata" (all from, Mr. Flanx "Dusk til Dawn", and LaunchPad.

Mar 7, 2016

Our guest is Daniel Higginbotham, and we talk mostly about doing what makes you happy. And about geek joy, as always. Clojure for the Brave and True is mentioned, and a few other books as well. Plus a little Buddhist chant (Heart Sutra), at the end.

Feb 29, 2016

Episode 7
"I want to be the one who tells me yes"

With guest Kerri Miller,


Alex Harms @onealexharms

Kerri Miller @kerrizor


  • 3:11 "Wow. I am mortal."
  • 7:23 Open Source and Feelings
  • 18:18 "We tell new speakers that 'you're just an API for this information'"
  • 20:54 "How do we communicate when we can never understand each other, we can never have the same experience of any moment..."
  • 24:02 "Maybe the way that you're gonna say it, the unique you that you're bringing... is the thing that's gonna connect with them."
  • 27:09 "I hate people."
  • 29:06 "I want to be in control of my own story."
  • 29:15 Alfie Kohn, Punished by Rewards
  • 33:54 Ada Developers Academy
  • 34:35 "If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies of me and eaten alive." -- Audre Lorde
  • 35:56 "I want to be the one that tells me yes, always."
  • 38:55 "We're here to observe the universe and celebrate it."
  • 42:15 "balance between the interior and the exterior generocity"


The Traitor Baru Cormorant, by Seth Dickinson

Space 1999


Django Reinhart, Limehouse

Feb 22, 2016

Episode 6
"That sense of community, teaming"



Wil Pannell Hill @wilpannell

Alex Harms @onealexharms

Jason Felice@eraserhd


  • 5:55 "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”—Aristotle "It means something, and the words don't mean anything."
  • 7:55 "The sense of community... about which we're speaking, the goals are shared."
  • 9:34 "Open source implementation of Vim called Avi (written in Clojure)"
  • 9:50 "Idris... in the Haskell tradition... a hybrid between that and Coq"
  • 21:28 "I was the only person of color..."
  • 32:23 "(OS Feels) set me on my own pursuit of how I empathize..."
  • 33:39 Have I ever seen Agile in practice?


Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman

Jacksonland, by Steve inskeep

Concrete Mathematics, by Knuth et al


The Cuban-French group Songo 21, "El Raton"

Feb 15, 2016

Episode 5
"All of me is in it."

With guest Amitai Schlair of Agile in 3 Minutes


Amitai Schlair @schmonz

Alex Harms @onealexharms

Mike Hill @geepawhill


  • 1:57 "Agile Ass-Hattery"
  • 3:29 "Hey, Alex, I need your help.
  • Here's where you sign up for Maitria's rare updates list
  • 8:19 "Ends don't justify means. Means justify means."
  • 10:14 "...whether manipulation is coercion..."
  • 15:52 "I am the same doofus, no matter what angle you take the picture from."
  • 19:50 "...what I'm mostly doing is making myself out to be better than I am."
  • 25:36 "When I'm being effective, it's because... I have manipulated myself."
  • 31:01 "When I am in a state of geek joy, I am all of me. All of me is in it. I am one thing."


Errors, by Jerry Weinberg

Reconstruction, by Eric Foner

Crystal Society, by Max Harms. Info and a free download available at Max Harm's website.


Nikolai Karlovich Medtner, Opus 26, No. 3, performed by Amitai Schlair

Feb 8, 2016

Episode 4
You've only got so many heartbeats.

With Leon Gersing of Dev Bootcamp


Leon Gersing @rubybuddha

Alex Harms @onealexharms

Jason Felice @eraserhd

Tracy Harms @kaleidic


  • 6:54 "When... Neo goes into the matrix and starts to move all the walls and stuff around, we're both going 'oh God, that's terrible," but we're also going "Yessss!"
  • 9:03 "You only got so many heartbeats, so you really gotta get to the meat of your life."
  • 11:46 "And I felt like I had to be somebody else..."
  • 28:39 "People want to see the path and be able to walk it and know exactly what signposts they're gonna hit... That's not life! That's not how it works, y'all."
  • 33:12 On mentors: "Jim Holmes... when I was most confused, he offered a lot of great advice... Jim Weirich was a wonderful beacon of light."
  • 36:10 "Suzan Bond... every time we talk, it's like another light bulb goes off."
  • 36:38 "I'm looking for other artists. I want to vibe with them... I want to hear their thoughts and see their work, and show them my work. And hopefully that evolves us forward."


Jim Weirich, God Wrote in Lisp Code

Feb 1, 2016

Episode 3

"Because Somebody Will Help Me"
With guest Amber Conville of Self.conference


Alex Harms @onealexharms
Jason Felice @eraserhd
Amber Conville @crebma


  • 1:40 "how the University of Michigan used to steal corpses..."
  • 5:20 "Well, they make smoothies..."
  • 6:37 "We were talking about our time together in prison"
  • 11:15 "I remember the first time I saw Objective C. I bout died!"
  • 13:42 "You're planning your future impostor syndrome, is that it?"
  • 15:10 "crying on my desk. I don't know how to do this! No one's helping me!"
  • 16:13 "the extent to which we want to pretend we know all the things."
  • 18:11 "they're called... circuses!"
  • 23:20 "Self Conference, which is a conference I organize in Detroit..."
  • 27:10 "Is that a euphemism for something?"
  • 32:51 "We were supposed to be happy with some sort of equality that didn't really include being entirely full people..."
  • Stuff we're reading, watching, playing, listening to


The End of All Things by John Scalzi


Empty Zone by Jason Shawn Alexander


Doctor Who


Entry of the Gladiators by Julius Fučík

Jan 25, 2016

Episode 2
Throwing a pebble into a pond… Who knows where all those ripples go?

With guest Pat Maddox of RubySteps


Alex Harms @onealexharms

Jason Felice @eraserhd

Pat Maddox @patmaddox

Tracy Harms @kaleidic


  • 2:28 “I like to use the term ‘nerd’. I’m a nerd. I wear that proudly.”
  • 3:24 “It’s like we’re all two year olds. You know how a two year old figures out they can change something… they have to take all the kleenex out of the box.”
  • 4:58 “It’s a throwing a pebble into a pond kind of thing, and who knows where all those ripples go.”
  • 7:47 “…Mike Hill, Geepaw Hill on Twitter.. was the first person I heard us (the term ‘geek joy’).”
  • 8:40 “all the girls had to take home ec. Yes, the 20th century really happened.”
  • 10:51 “It’s very nice when you can find somebody else who shares that particular interest… We can support each other in those interests…” (“I got this image of Rocky Horror in my head as you were talking about that.” – Alex)
  • 13:20 “Not that I have that kind of intense insight about something all the time. But those moments are golden. Just being able to understand what’s going on.”
  • 17:21 “Programmers really felt isolated, naturally. Because the difference between understanding a computer program and how that relates to the machine, and not understanding it, is a really binary sort of vision.”
  • 19:00 “I’m looking at this tweet from Kent Beck, where he says ‘Try treating programming as a learning activity that throws off running code as a by-product.’”
  • 21:24 “It was a teletype, and had this yellow paper that scrolled out of it…”
  • 22:23 “I was very good at taking things apart when I was a kid. And not so good at putting them back together”
  • 25:47 “…seeing the excitement on their face about something they just created and the new ideas that they have gets me really excited.”

Stuff we’re reading, watching, playing, listening to


“A whitepaper about a way of building regular expressions that was invented in, like, the late 60s and then forgotten about… I’m actually using… and it’s removing half the code.” (After recording, Jason remembered there were actually two he found interesting & wanted to share.)
Regular Expression Matching: the Virtual Machine Approach
Regular-expression derivatives re-examined (pdf)


Worm “a web serial called Worm, which I haven’t read it yet… It’s not really the kind of thing I would normally read, I think…”


Zettelkasten “Zettelkasten… I’ve used every note-taking tool over the years… It being based on plain text and IDs gives me plenty of opportunities to nerd out and write little tools…”

You can also sign up on Pat’s Zettelkasten page to get his guide for using it.


Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams by Lisa Crispin & Janet Gregory “I find it inherently optimistic, and carrying the intent to enjoy the work… It fits in with my sense of geek joy… I think it’s explicit in that, and I appreciate that.” (“I love that book, so much.”–Pat)


Maple Leaf Rag, by Scott Joplin
Recorded and released into the public domain by Zachary Brewster-Geisz.

Jan 21, 2016

"Hi-Fivin the Universe"

With guest Mike "Geepaw" Hill of Helping Geeks Produce


Alex Harms @onealexharms

Mike Hill @geepawhill


  • 1:44 Astor Piazzolla, New Tango
  • 5:04 "Oh my gosh! They're pottery dorks!"
  • 6:12 "What makes you a nerd isn't what you love. It's how you love it." (Paraphrased Wil Wheaton)
  • 6:58 "I'm in it. I'm so engaged in it that I disappear from my own view."
  • 11:45 "being in fear feels to me like it stops up the works."
  • 13:40 "My focus is not on the fear."
  • 14:55 "When you push back in time on Jazz, all roads lead to Louis Armstrong."
  • 15:18 "Hello, Dolly!"
  • 18:05 "I'm just gonna stand up, and I'm gonna play the shit out of this! ... It comes through. You can hear that."
  • 22:10 "He's hi-fivin the universe. He's celebrating for the sheer exuberant joy of 'I'm alive, and I make sounds!'"
  • 24:03 "How do I get there? How do I do that? ... Here are the things that get in the way of geek joy..."


West End Blues, by Louis Armstrong