Such a fascinating, multi-layered post, Mark - thank you for a terrific read.

I’ve always felt killing time to be a brutal concept. I pick people up on using the phrase sometimes - ‘we don’t kill time, we spend it’. We need to be stewards of our time; to budget it and use it wisely.

I read your seminar guests’ bios with great interest - particularly Brinnae Bent’s. Wearable health tech is MY jam - as consumer, not scientist. 😊

Expand full comment

What a fascinating read, Mark. The book and the upcoming seminar sound quite engaging - I wish I was closer to sneak in a listen! I gravitated particularly to the Cecchini quote re: learning through jam versus someone teaching you in 2 min. The latter sounds more efficient in the short term, until you try to reproduce it, and it’s then I think you need the learning solidified through the creative collaboration and trial-and-error that jam unleashes. (I’m also fascinated with the jam band in an inflatable pool - what an image.)

Expand full comment

This book sounds really interesting, Mark. Your review made me think of two things. First, a Zen master called Suzuki declared that a Zen student must learn to waste time conscientiously. It strikes me that that is what jamming is. It's all very well being told, in two minutes, how to do X, but there is much to be said for discovering it for yourself. Actually, we need a mixture of the two approaches. I'm trying to learn the sax at the moment, so I've been to a starter lesson, bought a beginner's book and hope to book a few private lessons, so that at least I'll know where the notes are and hopefully not get myself into bad habits. On the other hand, I mess around a lot too. For example, the other day I worked out how to play Summertime. I don't think any professional musician has reason to lose sleep over that, but it was a great sense of achievement for me!

The other thing I'm reminded of is that some years ago I used to go along every week to a music group, where I would play harmonica and sing. The person leading the group was very strict: no jamming. He insisted that everything was highly structured. I learnt a lot, such as how to play a lot of tunes I otherwise would not have even considered. But I will never forget that one day a woman turned up with her boyfriend, just to see what it was all about. I honestly don't know how it happened, but suddenly we all launched into Steamy Windows. I played blues harmonica and sang, but then that lady started singing so I let her take over. We'd never played that song before but it came together perfectly. Amazing.

Expand full comment