43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Goodies from The Word Spy

The Word Spy

Word Spy is a fun site to track neologisms and jargon. I’ve dug it for for a long time but only occasionally remember to drop by for updates. I’m always delighted when I do.

Found a few yesterday you might enjoy:

  • electric-can-opener question - The recognition that some older, low-tech products are superior to the newer, high-tech products that are supposed to replace them.
  • sorceror’s apprentice mode - An e-mail phenomenon in which the receipt of a message causes multiple automatic messages to be sent, each of which triggers the same automatic response, resulting in a flood of messages.
  • joy-to-stuff ratio - The time a person has to enjoy life versus the time a person spends accumulating material goods.
  • mode confusion - Confusion caused by complicated digital technology, particularly when it is difficult to discern the current state or mode of a digital device.
  • normal accident - An accident that is the nearly inevitable result of technological interactions so complex that they cannot fully predicted or controlled.
  • flame sandwich - A note that consists of a negative comment surrounded by two positive comments.

About Merlin

Merlin's picture


Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »