Elias and Sean grew up together overseas before studying engineering in Germany and the US respectively. Breadcrumbs is their weekly chat about things past, present, and future.
119: Peak Collaboration
Feb 15 • 92 min
Elias and Sean take it in turns to talk about various aspects of file management as it is today, and how it could be improved.
118: Knotted Spaghetti Ball
Feb 8 • 61 min
Elias and Sean discuss hierarchical structures and everything buckets.
117: Radical Sandwich Anarchy
Feb 1 • 48 min
Elias and Sean tackle the ultimate question.
116: Lord Over the Files
Jan 25 • 62 min
Elias and Sean try to come up with analogies that capture the use and significance of analogies in language.
115: Apples and Oranges
Jan 18 • 62 min
Elias and Sean compete to spot the difference and then discuss comparison as a fundamental operation of the human mind.
114: Trojan Horsing a Resolution
Jan 11 • 75 min
Elias and Sean review last year’s yearly themes and set new ones for 2019.
113: Babysitting Faders
Dec 21, 2018 • 58 min
Elias and Sean discuss the idea of “climbing the ladder to success escalator style.”
112: Put It Through the Awesome Filter
Dec 14, 2018 • 46 min
Elias and Sean dissect the creative process and tackle the question of whether anything new is actually invented.
111: All These Beautiful Feedback Loops
Dec 7, 2018 • 71 min
Continuing the discussion of communication and ambiguity, Elias and Sean turn their attention to instructions, particularly in the context of machines and automation.
110: Show Me the CAD File for Hope
Nov 30, 2018 • 60 min
Elias and Sean discuss ambiguity and get into a debate about Plato and the nature of reality.
109: Warm Fuzzies of Serendipity
Nov 23, 2018 • 55 min
Elias and Sean discuss manufactured squirrels and attempt to debate what constitutes awe on a smaller scale – mostly struggling to articulate anything.
108: A Grain of Awe
Nov 16, 2018 • 49 min
Elias and Sean talk about the definition of “awesome” and what makes something awe-inspiring.
107: Magic and a Glass Slipper
Nov 9, 2018 • 51 min
Elias and Sean discuss how celebrity affects the prospects of meaningful friendships and debate whether there’s a debate to be had about talking to Tim Cook on an airplane.
106: Pseudo-Authenticity
Nov 2, 2018 • 37 min
Continuing last week’s discussion, Elias and Sean talk about “#influencers” and authenticity in the spotlight.
105: Wantrepreneurs
Oct 26, 2018 • 69 min
Elias and Sean start out discussing customer acquisition and end up talking about all the things they’ve bought from podcast ads.
104: Million-Dollar Rabbit Out of a Hat
Oct 19, 2018 • 66 min
Elias and Sean start out discussing win-win scenarios and end up talking about hospitality and generosity.
103: Fingernail Insurance
Oct 12, 2018 • 54 min
Sean tries to guess the definition of moral hazard, and then he and Elias discuss types of German insurance, gaming the insurance system, and judgmental data.
102: A Precipice Has Drama to It
Oct 5, 2018 • 50 min
Elias tells a story from Portugal and then he and Sean discuss the tragedy of the commons, why it happens, and how it can be addressed.
101: RGB Slider a Hideous Phone
Sep 28, 2018 • 91 min
Elias and Sean once again discuss the new iPhones and Apple Watch after an Apple event, but this time it’s two weeks later and with no chess clock involved.
100: A Very Niche Portfolio
Sep 24, 2018 • 70 min
On this 100th episode, Elias quizzes Sean on the dates of Breadcrumbs milestones (or…wait for it…breadcrumbs) and news stories around those dates. Then they discuss anniversaries and round numbers before reflecting on two years of podcasting.
99: Permahangry
Aug 21, 2018 • 61 min
Amid the ambient sound of planes, trains, and automobiles, Elias and Sean discuss their connection issues. Somewhere in there they also find time to talk about urban planning and the blending of old and new in city infrastructure.
98: As Predictable as a Listicle
Aug 10, 2018 • 94 min
Another week, another location for Elias. He and Sean discuss travel planning, looking forward to things, and the joy of serendipity. Sean finally has some updates to share.
97: Pollo Jalfrezi
Jul 28, 2018 • 58 min
This week Elias records from Santiago between his hike on the Camino and his cycling trip into Portugal.
96: Full-on Luxury Hike
Jul 22, 2018 • 46 min
Elias continues his travels, recording this week from the Camino de Santiago.
95: Frankensteinian Cable Setup
Jul 13, 2018 • 89 min
On the first day of Elias’s eight weeks off, he and Sean reflect on the past six months in relation to their “yearly” themes and look ahead to the next six.
94: Psychological Spanner in the Works
Jul 6, 2018 • 61 min
In another meandering show, Elias and Sean discuss Elias’s presentation and exhibition, life after his thesis, apartments, and the World Cup.
93: Our Hero, the German National Football Team
Jun 29, 2018 • 41 min
The night before Elias’s presentation, he gives an update on preparing for that and his coming exhibition; Sean gives an update on settling in (there’s not much to say); and Elias recounts the heroic tale of Germany’s victory against Sweden.
92: Make These Pink Balloons Happen
Jun 22, 2018 • 44 min
Elias has been following the World Cup; Sean has been aware that it’s happening. They discuss expectations in sports and in the workplace and how expectations affect performance.
91: Literal Stretch Goal
Jun 16, 2018 • 57 min
A day after Sean’s move and in anticipation of Elias’s later this year, the two discuss the typical reasons for moving and their own, how moving is different as an adult, and the battle between the effort involved and their complacency.
90: Ahoy Telephone, Publish the Show
Jun 8, 2018 • 48 min
Elias and Sean bring back the chess clock to talk about Apple’s WWDC Keynote, iOS 12, watchOS 5, and macOS Mojave. Oh yeah, also tvOS.
89: Allergic to Paper
Jun 1, 2018 • 55 min
Elias and Sean discuss their enjoyment of writing (or lack thereof) and to what degree they see more writing in their future.
88: Filing Down a U-Beam
May 25, 2018 • 58 min
Elias and Sean discuss writing – from the purpose and value of different types of writing to the difficulty of translating thoughts and concepts from the mind to the page. In the aftershow, Sean has some Drafts follow up.
87: Some Shebang System
May 18, 2018 • 63 min
Elias and Sean talk about automation – from systems of human-based automation that have existed from ages past to the scripts that run on their computing devices today.
86: Objectively Stupid Light
May 11, 2018 • 80 min
Elias and Sean discuss hiking, camping, and cycling gear – what type of trip they’d gear up for if they could go all out, what purchases they’ve been delighted or disappointed by, and upcoming trips they’re preparing for.
85: The Worst Kind of Bear
May 4, 2018 • 54 min
Elias and Sean share their hiking and cycling experiences.
84: Turn Around and You See Mount Doom
Apr 27, 2018 • 51 min
Elias and Sean discuss hiking, why people enjoy it or don’t, and the role of current and future technology in spending time outdoors.
83: A Whole Slew of Guinea Pigs
Apr 20, 2018 • 50 min
Elias and Sean discuss their personal histories with pets. In the aftershow, they briefly cover self-driving car fatalities, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, and current podcast listening.
82: Money and Time Sinks That Bring Us Joy
Apr 13, 2018 • 40 min
Elias and Sean talk about the history of owning pets and why people choose to have animals that live with them.
81: Todo Dispenser
Apr 5, 2018 • 50 min
In this thrilling conclusion to the todo app trilogy: Elias and Sean remember the most productive times of their lives, dive into the problems these apps need to address, and share the most important thing they’ve learned over the years.
80: Hypothetical Discipline Game App
Mar 30, 2018 • 42 min
In the second part of the task management design trilogy, Elias and Sean discuss gamification, motivation, and discipline. Elias gets really excited about an idea.
79: Do Date
Mar 23, 2018 • 50 min
Elias and Sean begin a three-part series in which they attempt to design their own task management system. (Spoiler: they never really do.)
78: All the Pies I Have Fingers In
Mar 16, 2018 • 76 min
Elias and Sean briefly discuss feeling on top of things and how that might be different from others’ perception, and then dive into Sean’s latest changes to his task management system.
77: RIP MuffinWorks
Mar 9, 2018 • 83 min
Elias is shutting down MuffinWorks, so he and Sean talk about starting and retiring public side projects and the pressure that comes with putting oneself out there on the internet.
76: Carpenter Frills
Mar 2, 2018 • 63 min
Continuing the fashion topic, Elias and Sean talk about favorite shirts, making decisions about what to buy and wear, and how many pairs of shoes they own.
75: Topography of the Suit
Feb 23, 2018 • 45 min
Elias and Sean discuss fashion – what and why it is, and how it relates to topics they know a bit more about, like tech and industrial design.
74: Potential Future Regrets
Feb 16, 2018 • 37 min
In a follow-up episode, Elias and Sean revisit the trolley problem after watching a video in which it was simulated and tested.
73: Vintage Furniture and Zombies
Feb 9, 2018 • 39 min
Elias and Sean list apocalypse movies they can think of and then discuss interpersonal skills in a post-apocalyptic scenario.
72: Economic Failure Insurance
Feb 2, 2018 • 37 min
Elias and Sean discuss the likelihood of an apocalyptic economic crash, and how to prepare for it.
71: A Satisfying Click
Jan 26, 2018 • 60 min
Elias and Sean debate the ethical dilemma known as the trolley problem and various alternatives that up the ante even more. Plus an announcement about a new feed/website.
70: My Compliment Quota
Jan 19, 2018 • 41 min
Elias surprises Sean with a message, and then they talk about communication, compliments, and sincerity.
69: The Year of Peace
Jan 12, 2018 • 67 min
Elias and Sean look ahead to the coming year and discuss what’s on the horizon.
68: Zelda Delivery Mechanism
Dec 22, 2017 • 59 min
The Breadcrumbs 2017 Year in Review – Elias and Sean look back at the memorable moments of the year and the ways they’ve both grown.
67: Biological Instinct Machines
Dec 15, 2017 • 59 min
Elias and Sean discuss the fox and the hedgehog—not a fable but a way to categorize two types of people based on a 2700-year-old quote with no context.
66: The Echo Chamber Situation
Dec 9, 2017 • 46 min
Elias and Sean debate “triaging” friendships—pursuing people you want to rub off on you or avoiding association with “the wrong crowd.”
65: Twiddling Thumbs and Being Lonely
Dec 1, 2017 • 39 min
Elias and Sean discuss the saying “be a friend to make a friend” and the need to invest in friendships.
64: Not to Be Confused With Meatloaf
Nov 26, 2017 • 62 min
With Sean visiting Elias in Germany, they record an in-person episode about everything they’ve been up to.
63: Full-on Hermit Mode
Nov 17, 2017 • 60 min
Elias and Sean talk about making friends as third culture kids and ask the more general question of whether it’s possible to make friends without being able to relate to each other’s past and/or identity.
62: Forged in the Fires of 11th Grade
Nov 10, 2017 • 24 min
Elias and Sean talk about best friends – why some friends are closer than others but also the phenomenon of calling someone “best friend.”
61: Beyond the Binary “I’m Not Dead”
Nov 3, 2017 • 31 min
Elias and Sean try to figure out how to define friendship and discuss its survival value.
60: My Mental Model of My Mental Model
Oct 27, 2017 • 38 min
Elias and Sean define grit and discuss its merit, whether they possess it, and how one could attain it.
59: Downtime Factor
Oct 20, 2017 • 40 min
Elias and Sean compare tendencies to overwork or “underwork” oneself, and discuss whether superhuman quantities of output are something to be strived for.
58: Leaning Into Their Burn
Oct 13, 2017 • 50 min
Elias and Sean talk about having thick skin, telling people to “grow up”, and showing empathy.
57: He’ll Blame His Minions
Oct 6, 2017 • 39 min
Elias and Sean talk about a coach’s or manager’s role in a team and discuss effective and ineffective leadership.
56: Illusory Superiority
Sep 29, 2017 • 55 min
Elias and Sean discuss judging one’s own competence relative to others in a field, and try to remember times they’ve under- or overestimated themselves.
55: A Boring Upgrade
Sep 22, 2017 • 41 min
Elias and Sean confess how much they’re paying for services, and then discuss Ulysses’ recent switch to subscription pricing and the subscription model in general.
54: The Breadcrumbs R&D Department
Sep 14, 2017 • 33 min
Elias and Sean sync up chess clocks and do a speed run through the iPhone 8/X keynote.
53: Cleaning Before the Cleaners Come
Sep 8, 2017 • 28 min
Elias talks about the origami convention he went to over the weekend, and he and Sean discuss the usefulness (or not) of learning about things before going to such events.
Dessert 04: Angry Birds
Sep 1, 2017 • 37 min
Elias flings birds at pigs for the first time.
52: Well, Don’t Have FOMO
Aug 25, 2017 • 48 min
Sean recounts seeing and photographing the total eclipse, and then he and Elias talk about the Fear of Missing Out.
51: Alien Stimuli
Aug 18, 2017 • 84 min
Elias and Sean continue episode 49’s discussion of following one’s passion. This week they talk about what they wanted to be when they grew up, how they ended up where they are now, and an alternative to the “follow your passion” advice.
50: Before We Jump the Shark
Aug 11, 2017 • 90 min
A year in, Elias and Sean look back over the history of Breadcrumbs, discuss how it has changed, and look ahead to what it might become.
49: I Can Tell a Square From a Circle
Aug 4, 2017 • 72 min
Elias and Sean discuss the terrible but oft-given advice to “follow your passion,” asking themselves why everyone always says this and then talking about their own passions and where following them might lead.
48: I Can Bequeath It to My Pet
Jul 28, 2017 • 80 min
Elias and Sean talk about digital rights management and online piracy—DRM’s effectiveness, our frustrations with it, and what would happen if it all just went away.
47: Chips in Our Packaging
Jul 21, 2017 • 83 min
Elias and Sean try to guess the dates of notable inventions, talk about the advancement of technology, and try and predict technology 10 years from now.
Dessert 03: Dumb Ways to Die
Jul 14, 2017 • 12 min
In this third dessert episode, Elias and Sean get frustrated playing Dumb Ways to Die.
46: The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe
Jul 7, 2017 • 48 min
Elias and Sean fittingly wrap up their human society series with a survey of all the ways humanity might just annihilate itself.
45: Sorry, Earth
Jun 30, 2017 • 80 min
Elias and Sean follow their climate change discussion by taking a survey to determine their carbon footprints and then talking about what an individual can do to live sustainably—and if it’s even worth the effort.
44: A System of Life Sustainingness
Jun 23, 2017 • 64 min
Elias and Sean discuss climate change—its effects, the controversy, and what can be done about it.
43: Buying Islands and Things
Jun 16, 2017 • 60 min
Elias and Sean talk about charity—from social pressure and the personal battle between consumerism and altruism to finding the right amount and most effective way to give.
42: The Invisible Everything Bucket
Jun 7, 2017 • 67 min
Elias and Sean share their thoughts on Apple’s hardware and software announcements at the WWDC keynote.
41: Sieving Out the Mosquito Larvae
Jun 2, 2017 • 143 min
The Great Pakistan Draft: with Elias visiting his and Sean’s boarding school of old for a graduation, they share stories and reminisce about the things they love, miss, and maybe don’t miss so much about the country they both grew up in. 🇵🇰
Dessert 02: Mini Metro
May 26, 2017 • 37 min
In this second dessert episode, Sean teaches Elias to play Mini Metro.
40: The Smart Person Pastime
May 19, 2017 • 69 min
Elias and Sean talk about Neuralink, being optimistic or pessimistic about future technology, the erosion of skills over time, and how we view our current world and culture in relation to the past.
39: Subliminal Incentive Structures
May 12, 2017 • 57 min
Elias and Sean talk about the reasonable and the unreasonable person, ethical issues in the progress of society, and a lot about Uber.
38: Colosseum VR
May 5, 2017 • 50 min
Elias tells Sean about his weekend trip to Rome, and they discuss Ancient Rome, its influence, and some of its high and low points.
37: The Solidarity Machine
Apr 28, 2017 • 64 min
Elias and Sean set out to talk about the progress of the human race through history, and its good and bad effects. They end up going down tangents within tangents and talking a lot about privilege from the perspective of two white guys in the West.
36: The Desert Island Scenario
Apr 21, 2017 • 71 min
Elias and Sean look at pictures of animals and then discuss the power of thoughts to affect disposition, covering the whole spectrum from the Favone™ to pet peeves to things that make them rage. In the aftershow, Elias reworks his time tracking workflows.
35: Tangentially Mathematical
Apr 14, 2017 • 56 min
With Elias at Úll again, he and Sean discuss emoji, the difference between being interested in things and actually doing them, side projects as work, and looking to the future.
Dessert 01: Alto’s Adventure
Apr 7, 2017 • 25 min
Less substantial than a normal episode, but maybe sweeter, this is the first “Dessert” episode of Breadcrumbs, in which Elias and Sean somehow turn Alto’s Adventure into a competitive game.
34: We Can’t Do Math With Sheep and Goats
Mar 31, 2017 • 70 min
Elias and Sean talk about capitalism, the necessity of trade, and placing a value on things and people. They also find the weird side of Amazon.
33: Push to Add Drama
Mar 24, 2017 • 63 min
Elias and Sean discuss marketing—from what makes good or bad marketing to brand advertising and guerrilla marketing. Elias has some opinions.
32: Speaking as Benjamin Franklin
Mar 17, 2017 • 88 min
Elias and Sean discover which historical creative people they are and then talk about sleep schedules and daily routines.
31: The Garage Has as Much Stuff as I Do
Mar 10, 2017 • 73 min
Elias and Sean talk about owning things, and in particular keeping things for sentimental or nostalgic reasons.
30: A Million Knobs and Switches
Mar 3, 2017 • 94 min
Elias and Sean talk about the Oscars, and what makes a good or an entertaining movie. Then they list a whole bunch of movies they like—and some they really don’t.
29: Diversifying Legacy Passwords
Feb 24, 2017 • 114 min
In a sequel to the privacy discussion, Elias and Sean discuss trusting corporations with data and personal privacy and security practices.
28: I Love Some Clever Lawyers
Feb 17, 2017 • 68 min
Elias and Sean take on the topic of security versus privacy, from the Apple-FBI showdown to Snowden’s email and national security letters – how much access the government should be given to their citizens’ lives, and what it means when they go too far.
27: Some Funky Drone Show
Feb 10, 2017 • 87 min
Elias and Sean talk about the Super Bowl—from American football to Lady Gaga to Budweiser—and then talk a bit about following sports in general.
26: The Long-Windestest Ever
Feb 3, 2017 • 100 min
Elias and Sean talk about books—ebooks versus paper, Kindle versus iBooks, highlights and marginalia, and audiobooks. Plus an aside on podcasts in which Elias may have been talked into switching podcast apps.
25: The Guy We Went to for Worms
Jan 27, 2017 • 92 min
This week, Elias and Sean talk about video games on a variety of console/computer/handheld systems—starting with games they grew up with, and then talking about what they’re playing now.
24: Hamster Buying
Jan 20, 2017 • 116 min
Elias quizzes Sean about cultural norms in the US and compares them to sometimes similar but often very different expectations in German culture.
23: It’s a Lot More Effective to Be Mean
Jan 13, 2017 • 108 min
Elias gets his AirPods, while Sean’s been testing them for about a week now. They briefly look back at the announcement of the original iPhone ten years ago, and then they settle in for a discussion of board and card games. Elias goes on an adventure.
22: A Guy Who Needs a Lot of Crutches
Jan 6, 2017 • 83 min
Sean gets home from traveling and gets a package, Elias publishes a thing, and they talk about New Year’s resolutions – as a concept, and some of their own hopes and ambitions going into the new year.
21: Five Candles and a Color Scheme
Dec 23, 2016 • 93 min
Sean and Elias talk about Christmas traditions growing up, getting strangely fixated on advent wreaths and potato salad. In the aftershow, they talk about time management systems.
20: Programming-Adjacent Language
Dec 16, 2016 • 97 min
In perhaps the quintessential Breadcrumbs episode, Sean and Elias talk about where they’ve come from and where they hope to go with a creative-yet-technical topic, in this case programming. Recorded in September.
19: My Eyes Were Rolling So Hard
Dec 9, 2016 • 65 min
Elias and Sean talk about the anti-technology/social media message in a couple of videos from a couple years ago and a much more recent article.
18: Muffins Are Awesome
Dec 2, 2016 • 76 min
Elias and Sean discuss: some photography follow-up, a little bit of movies and Netflix, the iPhone 7 Plus camera features, Elias’s downgrade to an iPhone 6, changes for both of them in task management, and the artist formerly known as EJ going public.
17: On the Fancy Camera Train
Nov 25, 2016 • 72 min
Recorded in August, EJ and Sean talk photography—their gear, their backstories, and what they enjoy about it.
16: Graveyard of Social Media
Nov 18, 2016 • 72 min
Sean and EJ follow up on Tesla, talk about Adobe’s new “Photoshop for voice”, and then dive into a discussion of Twitter and other social networks.
15: A Side Projects Kind of Guy
Nov 11, 2016 • 49 min
Sean and EJ discuss: more about Úll, side projects—including some navel-gazing about the show—news related to their self-driving cars wager, VR, and an update on Sean’s attempt to write a novel in a month.
14: Face Spoiled in Person
Nov 4, 2016 • 72 min
With EJ recording from Ireland, he and Sean discuss Úll, Apple’s MacBook Pro event, doing work you enjoy, and more.
13: How Not to Throw Toys at Other People
Oct 28, 2016 • 124 min
Sean and EJ discuss education – some of their experiences, the merits of different methods, and whether people should have to learn things they’ll never need again.
12: A Bit of Oxygen Might Not Hurt
Oct 22, 2016 • 99 min
Sean and EJ talk about space – from their interest in past years to current and future events, particularly Elon Musk’s plan to get a million people to Mars. Finally they discuss the merits and cost of space exploration.
11: Negative Deceleration
Oct 14, 2016 • 100 min
EJ shares travel stories. Sean mostly wishes he traveled more.
10: Cases That Split in the Middle
Oct 7, 2016 • 103 min
EJ starts a new project, Sean gets his iPhone, and then they talk about bags and other gear they use for traveling.
09: Is YouTubed a Word?
Sep 30, 2016 • 67 min
After half a show of follow up about the Apple event and other things, Sean and EJ talk about YouTube channels, videos, and TED Talks.
08: That Pasta You Have There Is Actually Rubbish
Sep 23, 2016 • 76 min
Sean and EJ discuss understanding and valuing quality. Topics range from things they fuss about—from coffee to audio to airlines—to the more philosophical thoughts and the question of whether appreciating quality is a blessing or a curse.
07: Fast Forward Into the Self-Driving Future
Sep 16, 2016 • 62 min
Sean and EJ talk self-driving cars – from the tech to the ethics – culminating in a years-long wager. In the aftershow, Sean tries a new podcast client.
06: The Ideal Phone Is One Brick
Sep 7, 2016 • 87 min
(Almost) live from the scene – by which we mean recorded and released within hours of the Apple event – Sean and EJ discuss Apple’s announcement of the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2.
05: I Put It on the Table and It Automatically Gets Done
Sep 2, 2016 • 64 min
In this sequel to the productivity episode, Sean and EJ talk about task management, covering Getting Things Done and other systems they have used. Things get heated when the topic of snoozing email comes up.
04: I Am a Clipboard Guy
Aug 26, 2016 • 36 min
Sean and EJ talk about productivity - from their physical workspaces to how they use their iPads Pro and Macs.
03: Trained Like Jason Bourne but Verbally
Aug 19, 2016 • 52 min
The episode in which two nerds talk into microphones about communicating as introverts.
02: The Added Feature of Very Sticky Keys
Aug 14, 2016 • 76 min
Sean and EJ take another walk down memory lane, this time remembering dialup, VCRs, and other technologies of yore.
01: Sitting Around the Table Drinking Soylent
Aug 6, 2016 • 79 min
In this inaugural episode, Sean and EJ discuss food and eating habits, both growing up and now.