Tilting at Windmills

This year I'm taking part in the Dog Days of Summer Podcasting Challenge, a fun little project full of interesting people who try to publish a new show every day for 30-ish days. Today is the twenty-ninth episode of the arc, and today I’m going to slightly break form and discuss a phrase that is centuries old and relates to a fictional character that I feel I strongly relate to, Don Quixote.

2015 marks the 400th anniversary of the second volume’s publication. In these tomes we follow the adventures of a hidalgo who reads so many Arthurian romances that he loses his sanity and decides to set out to revive chivalry, undo wrongs, and bring justice to the world, under the pseudonym Don Quixote. There are so many phrases in the English language that come from these two volumes alone that I could have dedicated the entire month of August to examining them, paying tribute to what many consider to be the founding work of modern Western literature. That said, examining how many English phrases come from a Spanish work of literature might have seemed a little odd. To that end, I want to look at a single phrase that was born as a result of an event in the second sally: tilting at windmills.

From here I segue into talking about the horrible, horrible state of software in 2015. Why do we still need to spend so much time looking at a glowing screen? Software engineers should have learned how to best optimise the data that our tools collect in order to pre-populate 90% of the data we need to supply so that we can focus on the customer in front of us, the next task awaiting us, or simply participate in the world around us. Instead, we have digital tools that not only create silos of our information, but put us all into a silo separate from the world. It's beyond stupid ... yet few people seem to care. Clicking through 12 menus and waiting for multiple screen refreshes is considered "just fine".

I disagree.

The little bit of audio quoting the first book of Don Quixote comes from LibriVox, an acoustical liberation of books in the public domain. Check out chapter 8 around the 34-minute mark for the exact quote. And want to contribute to my Patreon page? Doing so will give you priority access to the Dog Days of Podcasting eBook that I will release next month containing the scripts, audio files, and extra materials that went into each episode of the arc.

Have any questions, concerns, comments, or feedback? Come find me as @matigo on App.net, a social network for people with something to say. And, as you know, my puppy Nozomi always has something to say ...

Episode 086 Download This Episode (7.35 MB)
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