Pluralistic: Daddy-Daughter Podcast 2023 (11 Dec 2023)

Originally published at: Pluralistic: Daddy-Daughter Podcast 2023 (11 Dec 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

Today's links

My daughter Poesy and me, standing with our Christmas Tree in our living room.

Daddy-Daughter Podcast 2023 (permalink)

11 years ago, my kid's daycare surprised us by announcing that they were closing for Christmas break a day before everyone else, so I ended up with our then-four-year-old daughter, Poesy, at my office for the day.

After she got bored with coloring and playing with my office toys, I sat her down on my lap in front of my podcast mic and we recorded the greatest, all-singing episode of my podcast ever:

Thus began an annual tradition. Every year since – save one, when my mic was busted – we have recorded a podcast: I interview the kid about her favorite media, apps, books, and hobbies. Sometimes, she gives a tutorial. Then, we sing a song.

She's 15 now (!), and I still managed to drag her to the mic this weekend. We discussed her musical favorites, old (Ike and Tina singing "Proud Mary") and new (Dominic Fyke). We discuss high school, volunteering at the zoo, and the rigors of dance team. She teaches us how to drive. She runs down her favorite apps, and discusses her recent name change. And then, we sing!

This is the eleventh installment in this time-series snapshots of my kid, starting in London, then moving to LA, and every year I go back and listen to the previous recordings. It's not just a wonderful moment of nostalgia for me – it's also a powerful way to put everything into perspective. Anyone who's kept a journal (or a blog!) knows, the act of regular record-keeping, combined with regular revisiting of those records, turns the impressionistic jumble of memory into a clear picture of your life and its trajectory. We remember so poorly, but our treacherous minds fill in those omissions with whatever's going on right now, so if times are good now, we remember all times as good. If times are bad, everything seems bad.

The following year sees Poesy far more confident and even funnier – and excited about working at the zoo someday:

At six, Poesy has learned a little French, and some naughty words for Jingle Bells (and she's got a lot more vocal control!):

At seven, Poesy is living in Los Angeles and my mic is very busted, but Poesy knows all the words to Frosty and she's got the barrelhouse walkout nailed:

We didn't manage to record the next year, so we catch up with Poesy at nine, with her English accent all but gone – but her memory for lyrics is better than ever (who knew there were so many choruses to "Deck the Halls?"). This is the first time I interviewed her, for an in-depth discussion of how to make slime (remember slime?):

At ten, Poesy is now watching online makeup tutorials and has lots of advice for you, and is super into squishies:

At eleven, Poesy's no longer willing to sing, but she has lots of information about riding horses. This is the first year that she's got her own music preferences, with half of them being contemporary artists like Billie Eilish and the other half being older acts like Queen. This is also the year that she got rid of all her old toys, books and clothes, because they were "not her style":

Twelve sees us podcasting from covid lockdown. No song this year, but she's playing video games (Among Us), thrifting (while double-masked), and she's just discovered Tiktok, along with Tiktok dances, and she's started to find cool music that I enjoy:

At thirteen, Poe's a high school freshman and the singing is back! She's big into Drag Race and Ru Paul. And high school sucks so hard that she'd rather go back to Zoom school. She's still riding horses, and she's fallen in love with a book for the first time in years: Animal Farm (but she hates the ending):

Last year, Poesy was fourteen, and my office had just flooded out in a freak rainstorm. Poesy has discovered her argumentative nature, and she loves hiking in nearby Angeles National Forest. She's getting in to hiphop – Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Cyprus Hill – and South Park (also Fleetwood Mac!). We get a lot about Big Mouth, and a long discussion of her short fiction writing:

These annual time-capsules are just tremendous. I may not have had the discipline to do daily, time-lapse ready photo portraits, but this corny, silly yearly tradition is more than a way for my kid and me to spend a few minutes together just before Christmas – they're a way to connect to our past and think about the future to come. I can imagine doing these over Zoom when the kid's away at university in a couple years, though who knows if she'll stand for that.

Hey look at this (permalink)

A Wayback Machine banner.

This day in history (permalink)

#20yrsago SCO sends IBM 1,000,000 pieces of paper

#20yrsago Urban farmers reclaim Detroit

#20yrsago Steven Levy on Trusted Computing

#20yrsago London tube map, remixed

#20yrsago Transformation from the Internet as a subset of telecom to telecom as a subset of the Internet

#15yrsago FCC commissioner: Warcraft is a “leading cause” of college dropouts

#15yrsago Carl Malamud, rogue archivist, in Wired

#15yrsago Apple gets into the book-banning business

#15yrsago MPAA to Obama: censor the Internet, kick people off the Internet, break other countries’ Internet

#15yrsago Mexico to fingerprint mobile-phone owners

#15yrsago Last days of an NYC library

#15yrsago UK culture secretary: “Screw the facts, I’m extending copyright anyway”

#15yrsago What the hell is a Credit Default Swap?

#15yrsago EFF (cautiously) optimistic at record labels’ offering of a blanket license to universities

#15yrsago Austin teacher threatens to sic cops on Linux group because “No software is free”

#10yrsago FreeBSD won’t use Intel & Via’s hardware random number generators, believes NSA has compromised them

#10yrsago UK kids have the right to opt out of school fingerprinting (even if their parents are OK with it)

#10yrsago Canada’s spooks were NSA bagmen, established spy-posts in 20+ countries and “transnational targets”

#10yrsago Peak indifference to surveillance

#10yrsago Tech giants call for global surveillance law reform

#10yrsago Cyanogenmod adds encrypted SMS from WhisperSystems

#10yrsago Life from the near future of location surveillance

#10yrsago DHS stops NYT reporters at border, lies about it

#10yrsago Little Brother stageplay now available for local performances

#10yrsago Potty with built-in tablet holder is “worst toy of 2013”

#10yrsago KC cop threatened to destroy home and kill pets unless he was allowed to conduct a warrantless search

#10yrsago Satanists offer “good taste” monument to complement Oklahoma Capitol’s Ten Commandments monument

#10yrsago Why haunted houses have suits of armor

#5yrsago Syndicated columnist censored for writing about the risks of hedge funds and billionaires buying papers

#5yrsago Rhode Island lawsuit argues that the Constitution guarantees a right to sufficient education to be an informed citizen

#5yrsago Costa Rica abolished its army in 1949 and thereafter enjoyed the best per-capita GDP growth in the region

#5yrsago Verizon writes down its Yahoo/AOL assets by $4.6 billion

#5yrsago Small Massachusetts town decides to spend $1.4m building its own fiber, rather than paying Comcast $500K for shitty broadband

#5yrsago Shitty Tumblr pornbot inception

#5yrsago Surveillance libraries in common smartphone apps have amassed dossiers on the minute-to-minute movements of 200 million+ Americans

#5yrsago Congressional Republicans say Equifax breach was “entirely preventable,” blames “aggressive growth strategy” but reject measures to prevent future breaches

#5yrsago The EU says it wants Europeans to engage with it: now that 4 MILLION of them have opposed mass censorship through #Article13, will they listen?

#1yrago Plato Would Ban Ad-Blockers

Colophon (permalink)

Today's top sources:

Currently writing:

  • A Little Brother short story about DIY insulin PLANNING
  • Picks and Shovels, a Martin Hench noir thriller about the heroic era of the PC. FORTHCOMING TOR BOOKS JAN 2025

  • The Bezzle, a Martin Hench noir thriller novel about the prison-tech industry. FORTHCOMING TOR BOOKS FEB 2024

  • Vigilant, Little Brother short story about remote invigilation. FORTHCOMING ON TOR.COM

  • Spill, a Little Brother short story about pipeline protests. FORTHCOMING ON TOR.COM

Latest podcast: Daddy-Daughter Podcast, 2023 edition

Recent appearances:

Latest books:

Upcoming books:

  • The Bezzle: a sequel to "Red Team Blues," about prison-tech and other grifts, Tor Books, February 2024
  • Picks and Shovels: a sequel to "Red Team Blues," about the heroic era of the PC, Tor Books, February 2025

  • Unauthorized Bread: a graphic novel adapted from my novella about refugees, toasters and DRM, FirstSecond, 2025

This work – excluding any serialized fiction – is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. That means you can use it any way you like, including commercially, provided that you attribute it to me, Cory Doctorow, and include a link to

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"When life gives you SARS, you make sarsaparilla" -Joey "Accordion Guy" DeVilla

1 Like

What a lovely tradition!

Happy holidays, @doctorow to the whole family!

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