Back to Work

Back to Work

Back to Work is an award winning talk show with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discussing productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more.

Hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin.



#490: Penetration Engineer

August 11, 2020 at 8:00AM • 1 hour 6 minutes

DISCUSSED: Dan is joining a campaign, and Merlin's eyesight now precludes him from being an AD&D dungeon master; Dan has a concern about his laptop screen and needs your help; then, the boys settle in for a good, old-fashioned recommendations episode; podcasts, pens, video editing apps, a 3D printer, a new SoundSource, hard drives, and even a moisturizing cream for your little patch.


#489: Not a Monkey Man

August 4, 2020 at 1:15PM • 42 minutes

DISCUSSED: the joys of a movie that reveals itself over multiple viewings; good storytelling is difficult but so rewarding; as you know, Bob, a lot of movies have that Walk Hard problem; Merlin has questions about Dan's day-to-day in Travis County; people are cooking the books; why do so many people have the Extremis virus these days?; we could still make a big dent; and, finally, wow, the demands for performance sure can be exhausting.


#488: Uncle Dad

July 28, 2020 at 11:45AM • 59 minutes

DISCUSSED: Merlin has discovered a unique new voice emerging from the medical and spiritual communities; your hosts interrogate the implications of this new material; Dan and Merlin have media recommendations; as a main topic, your hosts explore the many, intertwined complexities of trying to figure out "the future" right now.


#487: Nostradamus Pants

July 21, 2020 at 12:45PM • 56 minutes

DISCUSSED: There's really only one topic right now, and it's not going away any time soon. Many analogies and historical echoes are explored. The future, if it exists, is going to be very weird.


#486: The Ballad of Danny Knife

July 14, 2020 at 2:45PM • 1 hour 12 minutes

DISCUSSED: knife talk and flea market nostalgia; a deep dive on state knife law; knife tips from listeners; Merlin reinstalled Homebrew; comfort viewing amidst these challenging times; also, a healthy fear of Australian spiders.


#485: Travis County, P.I.

July 7, 2020 at 2:30PM • 1 hour 14 minutes

DISCUSSED: Merlin has flies in his bathroom; Dan's town is really going through some times; there's some COVID talk, duh; Merlin solved a very strange iOS beta bug; main topic involves some thoughts on the Apple betas and the tantalizing future that they imply; Dan has a new keyboard and an accompanying conspiracy theory; leathers men are discussed; and, finally, Merlin needs to use the bathroom—provided the flies will allow it.


#484: Default Settings for America

June 30, 2020 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 15 minutes

DISCUSSED: the things we can and cannot do anything about; the things that can and cannot change; and the wisdom to know all of the differences.


#483: You Are Free to Leave

June 23, 2020 at 1:30PM • 1 hour 9 minutes

DISCUSSED: Dan and Merlin take a first look at Apple's recently-announced iOS and iPadOS updates.


#482: Two Pills Only

June 19, 2020 at 2:00PM • 58 minutes

DISCUSSED: Merlin is nauseated, and Dan has advice on what you definitely should or should not buy at a gas station; Merlin says he'll be brief, but, as usual, it turns into a real stem-winder as…; Merlin addresses the complexity of treating mental illness in a way that doesn't upend your body and life; Dan needs some TV show recommendations, but has very strong feelings about talking animals; Merlin wonders aloud if he's ever met @Darth; case close.


#481: Feelings of Mouth

June 9, 2020 at 1:30PM • 1 hour 12 minutes

DISCUSSED: Dan and Merlin talk about hot dogs.