Episode 21: Playful natures as blue feathers fly

The Salon is open!

As if reaching the 20th episode wasn’t enough, HYP is now 21. Neil’s gabber is flasted, Louise is amazed and we wonder whether AI could be put to good use in counting the number of words we’ve got through up to this point… What else is AI good for?

The Salon is open and we would love you to join us! Listen in by following this link!

In this episode, we revel in a few exciting facts about the number 21, which meander from sports to ponderings on whether guineas (currency) came before guineas (birds), or vice versa,and the random facts about money through the ages.

Louise realises that she’s stopped paying attention to the news for a while, and has hopped off Twitter (did you know that ‘heavy users’ of Twitter are now described as people who log in a 6/7 days a week and post 3 or 4 times? That seems mad). But no silence filter is perfect and one piece of news that has broken into both of our universes is the research backed revelation that bumblebees play, even when there’s no obvious reason to do so. Bumblebees are fully awesome – can this piece of news make them even more so?

This of course prompts a meander into whether other animals – specifically birds – play or have a sense of humour. Maybe they do. Here’s a crow purposefully sledding down a roof on a plastic lid. You can make your own minds up… (Neil’s memory said it’s a silver tray. Silly Neil.)

While we’re deep diving into nature, Neil’s been forest bathing (something that we have spoken about before on the podcast). Having nearly sniffed up an earthworm and said Thank You to a twig, he can thoroughly recommend the experience. The National Forest Bathing Institute is well worth checking out for more!

Naturally, this presages a meditation on moving into autumn, death, dying and renewal. Which is when Louise drops this delight:

“You can’t accept something new in until you’ve experienced and acknowledged the loss of something else”


In the world of social media, we are both exploring the world of Mastadon (here’s Louise’s profile / here’s Neil’s). It’s very like the early days of the internet that we both remember and is proving to be a mirror for how we’ve been habituated by the big blue bird into certain behaviours which we’re not sure are serving us. Louise has done some fabulous digging and beautifully explains a lot of the theory behind how the platform works.

If you haven’t come across Mastadon and fancy try it, do connect with us. It’s kinda like Twitter, but not (as this article helpfully sets out). Here’s a useful ‘intro guide’ into the fediverse as well.

As is our way, we slide into a deep discussion about freedom of speech, and how this works on federated platforms. Should speech which we both find abhorrent (Nazi-ism, prejudice etc) be allowed within their own server instances in the name of free speech, or should the decision be made to moderate all instances? And who gets to make that decision?

This is a thorny topic – and we’d love to hear your thoughts, and we are choosing our words carefully here… Please comment below or on the podcast episode!

Having dropped a quick nod to Voltaire and a cheeky Sartre reference, we start to enquire into similarities between people quickly checking out of social platforms (have a look at this super Twitter thread from John Bull), and the current ‘phenomenon’ of quiet quitting in the workplace.

As we move gloriously, exploratorily, towards the end, Louise drops some love for Emotion At Work and the Thinking Environment. It’s social, but maybe not as we know it…

Until the next time – come in, pull up a chair. The Salon is open!