show episodes
 
What-ho, what-ho! Join me — Dr Jason Fox, Archwizard of Abstraction, Juxtaposition and Obfuscation — as I attempt to unravel a semblance of ‘sense’ amidst the perplexities that pertain to life in our hyperconnected post-industrial era. Together we shall foray heartily through complexity, ambiguity, paradox and doubt, so as to obtain the freshest, darkest and most dubious fruits of ‘wisdom’ for our combined edification and delight. (Dr Fox is an award winning keynote speaker, leadership advis ...
 
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show series
 
In the conclusion the Ahmad ibn Fadlan series, ibn Fadlan encounters the Rusiyyah, recounts the famous Viking funeral, and is disgusted by a communal wash basin. I also talk about the text itself. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_hu…
 
Our 10th century traveller, Ahmad ibn Fadlan, settles in among the Bulgars, develops a distaste for their fish-oil based food, and is terrified by events in the sky. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod,…
 
Ahmad ibn Fadlan carries on to his cash-poor appointment with the Volga Bulgars. There's talk of funerals, cultural differences, and threats of death. 10th century diplomacy could be hard. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Ins…
 
Ahmad ibn Fadlan travels from early 10th century Baghdad on a diplomatic mission to the Volga Bulgars. There is a Viking funeral in his future, along with unfamiliar cultures and extremely cold weather. It's not The 13th Warrior, which it loosely inspired, but it is a good story. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast,…
 
This is the story of a monk, a sorcerer, a pirate, a woodland outlaw, and a master of disguise. His name is Eustace. The book I mention at the start of the episode is Desmond Cole's The Skin We're In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power. His recent podcast appearance can be found here. The other podcast I mention is Sandy and Nora Talk Politics. I…
 
The conclusion of the Felice Brancacci story. Our ambassador from Florence deals with the Mamluk sultan in Cairo, with sickness, and with a shortage of funds, and he comes home to commission some memorable art at the Brancacci Chapel. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Pay…
 
In 1422, Felice Brancacci set out from Florence to establish trading relations with Mamluk Egypt, and to advocate for his city's currency. This is that story, part one of two. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @human…
 
Finishing up with Mandeville's travels, we visit the palace of the Mongol khan, the fortress paradise of the Old Man of the Mountain, and a land that never sees the sun. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircus…
 
Mandeville goes east into Greater India, and we go with him, following, as he follows the path of Odoric of Pordenone, into India, into the sea and its islands, and into a discussion of medieval hybrids and monsters, and what they mean. We'll find Amazons, the hand of St. Thomas, and people with neither noses nor eyes. If you like what you hear and…
 
e30 / Part 5 of a 5-part mini-series exploring our favourite questions. Join Michael Bungay Stanier (wizard-scholar and bestselling author) and myself as we explore Our Favourite Questions over a gin or three. Our mini-series concludes with the most difficult question for either of us to answer. It might be a difficult question for you, too. In any…
 
e29 / Part 4 of a 5-part mini-series exploring our favourite questions. Join Michael Bungay Stanier (wizard-scholar and bestselling author) and myself as we explore Our Favourite Questions over a gin or three. A sneaky snifter and we are back on the up. In this episode we grapple with the question that both inspires, guides and plagues my life. Pro…
 
e28 / Part 3 of a 5-part mini-series exploring our favourite questions. Join Michael Bungay Stanier (wizard-scholar and bestselling author) and myself as we explore Our Favourite Questions over a gin or three. This one takes us into some dark territory, to which these courageous wizard-fools shy not. Together, we venture into The Abyss—and somehow …
 
e27 / Part 2 of a 5-part mini-series exploring our favourite questions. Join Michael Bungay Stanier (wizard-scholar and bestselling author) and myself as we explore Our Favourite Questions over a gin or three. In this episode Michael shares one of his favourite questions with me. It’s the kind of question that calls one to content with clarity, and…
 
e26 / Part 1 of a 5-part mini-series exploring our favourite questions. Join Michael Bungay Stanier (wizard-scholar and bestselling author) and myself as we explore Our Favourite Questions over a gin or three. This series is sponsored by my mythical ‘Choose One Word’ Ritual of Becoming and Michael’s new phenomenal book The Advice Trap: Be Humble, S…
 
Our traveller reaches Egypt. He writes of wondrous gardens of balsam, of the pyramids and their purpose, of the recent history of the sultanate, and of the Mamluk Sultan's views of Latin Christian life. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @cir…
 
It's part two of the Mandeville series, and our journey reaches the Jerusalem of a 14th-century pilgrim. We'll spend some time there, getting to know the place and its surroundings, and its treatment in the Mandeville text. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here…
 
Sir John Mandeville, a 14th-century figure who travelled/maybe travelled/almost definitely didn't travel from England to Jerusalem and its holy places, to the court of the sultan in Egypt, to the realms of the Mongol khan, and to the long sought lands of Prester John. With this episode, we start the journey. If you like what you hear and want to ch…
 
e25 / Wherein I hint towards the Ritual of Becoming—the annual thing I do to shape and make who I might become (in the everquest for meaningful progress and ‘relevance realisation’). Here I reference our recently launched online learning programme (it’s incredible) along with the usual suspects (awakening from the meaning crisis, meaningness, the l…
 
Today's topic is the Kitāb ʻajāyib Al-Hind, or the Book of the Wonders of India, a 10th-century collection of wonders covering east Africa all the way to what might have been Japan. It's something of a sequel to the Abu Zayd episode. I mentioned there that the compiler avoided including the fanciful fables of the sea that sailors were so fond of sp…
 
It's Halloween, and here are some medieval stories appropriate to the season. This mini episode is about the stories of Walter Map, particularly those ones featuring demons, faeries, and the prisoners of the Wild Hunt. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm…
 
The Accounts of China and India, covering the trade between the Persian Gulf and points east in the 9th and 10th centuries, and the writings of Abu Zayd al-Sirafi. There are cultural customs, trading routes, and the calamitous events of the late 9th-century that shattered that trade and the Tang Dynasty. If you like what you hear and want to chip i…
 
e24 / Wherein I share what works for me (an introverted wizard). This is a loose reading based off of a twitter thread I recently made. Apparently it was ‘epic’. I think it was okay—a tad spontaneous, haphazard and pell-mell but hopefully this serves as a useful perspective for you. You can read the full 75-tweet thread via https://www.drjasonfox.c…
 
e23 / Wherein I chat with a friend and arrive at the edge of (my own) knowledge. Wow. What a conversation! I had no idea this recording went over two hours. It felt like only an hour. Verily, if you ever wanted to know what a conversation feels like between two friends sans pretence, this is a conversation to tune into. Note: I spend the first 15 m…
 
This episode is a what-came-after for the Salah ad-Din series, covering the decades beyond the dynastic founder's death. This is the Ayyubid Sultanate, the legacy of Salah ad-Din, a run through decades of civil war and crusades, culminating in the rise of the Mamluks. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon …
 
e22 / Wherein I offer a brief glimpse into the workings of my past mind. I was in a hotel room with a morning to spare, in-between a keynote for a multinational and lunch with a bunch of CIOs and CTOs. I’d just had some exquisite coffee, and was feeling peppy. What the heck, I thought. Let’s record a podcast. And so I did. This podcast is an unplan…
 
This is the end of the Salah ad-Din series, featuring the arrival of Richard the Lionheart and Philip II at Acre, the Battle of Arsuf, and the Treaty of Jaffa. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. Sources:Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi, edite…
 
e21 / Wherein I relish a deft and fluid approach to leadership, strategy and culture. Andy Fallshaw is the co-founder and CEO of Bellroy, an evolving company (and certified B Corp) that exists to help you—and the world—flourish. Specifically, this is achieved through considered design of the goods in which we carry things, so that we may move throu…
 
e20 / Wherein I find new ways to do/be better. I’m so excited to share this podcast with you. Kiah Morris is a leader, trainer, facilitator, visual/written/performance artist, activist, reformed politician, gardener, amateur chef, live music junkie, mom, wife, daughter, friend, change maker. She loves spicy foods and despises fascism and other mode…
 
This is the end of my Salah ad-Din series, part one. As I mention in the episode, I was aiming to wrap things up here, even aiming to do so with an extra-long episode, but there's just too much left to do that. So, this is the end, part one. In this episode, we follow the Salah ad-Din story after the Battle of Hattin and up to the arrival of King R…
 
e19 / Wherein I contemplate stepping back into the arena. This was an odd podcast—done on a whim one evening last week. I played with a new intro/opening piece (which still needs a lot of work), and I generally shared a glimpse at my own turmoil at deciding how to best approach ‘social media’ (hoho, nothing new there). Basically: I expanded upon th…
 
Salah ad-Din (Saladin) enters Aleppo, struggles with Reynald de Chatillon, and faces the armies of Guy de Lusignan at the Horns of Hattin. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancir…
 
e18 / Wherein I learn a new depth to listening. This episode sees me share a wonderful conversation with Oscar Trimboli, host of the award-winning podcast Deep Listening—Impact Beyond Words. Oscar has rich experience as an executive (he headed huge roles at Microsoft) and has cultivated a wealth of empathy and perspicacity as a coach. He shares the…
 
e17 / Wherein I find new lightness and pragmatic fluidity at play. I’ve been a fan of Dr Zac Fitz-Walter for more than half a decade now. He has a PhD in gamification and actively works in the field. Since my ‘How to ‘Gamify’ an Industry’ episode was (according to the numbers) quite popular, I thought I might have a conversation with Zac to see if …
 
The story of Salah ad-Din's expansion from Egypt back into Syria, his brushes with Rashid ad-Din Sinan's Assassins, his constant lobbying of the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad, his struggles with the Zengid remnants and with a cast of enemies among the crusader states including Baldwin the Leper, Reynold de Chatillon, Raymond of Tripoli, and King Amalri…
 
e16 / Wherein I wherein I muse upon existential crises and fluidity of character. Ugh—is that title click-baity? I hope not. It’s a bit audacious though. Anyoo:—What-ho and hello! The question at the heart of today’s podcast arrived to me in the most wondrous manner—via the post, in glorious wax-sealed hand-written letter form—and thus naturally it…
 
Salah ad-Din/Saladin part one, from birth into banishment to ruler of 12th-century Egypt. This is the story of the rise of the Ayyubid founder. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.hum…
 
e15 / Wherein I espouse and purport a post-rational kind of magic. This is a relatively short ‘meander of a podcast’—a turn about the garden maze, cognac in hand—is for those seeking to ‘re-enchant’ their most important rituals. I share this mainly because the word ‘ritual’ is becoming a tad too popular now. This happens with most good words. They …
 
After David had died, Moses/Maimonides still had a lot of life left to live, so this episode is about that life in Ayyubid Egypt. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_human, Instagram @humancircuspod, my website is www.humancircuspodcas…
 
e14 / podcast & show notes, wherein I unabashedly champion Brave New Work. I also partially answer one of the first questions I received when putting out the Call for Questions during the launch of this podcast. Namely: what is my ‘top tip’ for CEO’s of legacy organisations. I’m not entirely sure if it was a joke, given my avowed allergy to ‘tips’.…
 
e13 / Wherein I wax philosophical on co-creation, status, not-not doing, cultural capital and new narratives. The Crone-of-the-Grove recently asked me a few questions, in response to some some of the points I raised in my appearance on The Daily Talk Show (see episode 11). I thought it might be apt to share my responses with you here. These questio…
 
Moses and David ben Maimon make their home in Fatimid - soon to be Ayyubid - Egypt, where the Nile and caravan routes linked the Mediterranean ports to the Red Sea and the crossing to the coast of India, a crossing David would attempt to make. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here…
 
This is my first episode on Maimonides/Moses and his little brother David, on their exile from their homeland in Al-Andalus, and on their winding way to Egypt, which would be their long-term home. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, my Ko-fi is here, and Paypal is here. I'm on Twitter @circus_hu…
 
e12 / Wherein I share 7 ‘tips’ (I suppose) for making events ‘meaningful’. This time I actually put a wee bit of thought into the show notes, which you can find at https://www.drjasonfox.com/podcast The conference and event space has become dangerously safe. A predictable pantomime of stale narratives perpetuated by self-interested business leaders…
 
e11 / Wherein I am asked all sorts of things by Josh Janssen and Tommy Jackett, including: why consistency isn’t key, the perils of perception management, the importance of thinking in draft, how to handle feedback, how to suck at social media (and why), neomasculinity, what makes for authenticity, and my #1 public speaking tip. And more! This one’…
 
The conclusion of the Rabban Bar Sauma series. It's Bar Sauma's return to the Ilkhanate and the results of his journey. It's the end of the line for him and his friend the catholicus, and it's the changes that were going on in the Ilkhanate and how they affected the Church of the East and our main characters. If you like what you hear and want to c…
 
e10 / Wherein I am interviewed by the host of ‘How I Work’. In the previous episode I interviewed my good friend Dr Amantha Imber on her podcast (a show about the tactics used by leading innovators to get more out of their work day). This time, the tables are turned and Amantha interviews me—me of all people—on how I work. I don’t know if I sprout …
 
e9 / Wherein I interview the host of the podcast ‘How I Work’—a show about the tactics used by leading innovators to get more out of their work day. Dr Amantha Imber is an innovation psychologist, bestselling author, and the founder of Australia’s leading innovation consultancy Inventium. Also: Amantha has been a close friend for nearly a decade. H…
 
This is Rabban Bar Sauma part 3 of 4, the story of the Mongol envoy's diplomatic efforts in Paris, Bordeaux, and Rome, his experience as a pilgrim to the sites and saints of Italy and France, and his attempts to improve the Ilkhanid cause against the Mamluks. If you like what you hear and want to chip in to support the podcast, my Patreon is here, …
 
e8 / Wherein we converse (quietly) about power and influence. Megumi Miki is a leadership consultant on a quest to redefine what good leadership looks, sounds and feels like so that we have more quietly powerful leaders in organisations and in the world. Megumi says that “too many talented quieter professionals are overlooked or exhausted from pret…
 
e7 / Wherein I help you find the means to find meaningful progress. The ritual of ‘Choosing One Word’ is something I've been experimenting with for nearly a decade. This stance/thrust/approach is and remains one of the most effective ways to bring about ‘meaningful progress’ in contexts where the path is ambiguous and non-linear—though I suspect ma…
 
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