What Ever Happened To Four-Finger Shotguns?

Four-Finger Shotguns is on hiatus, as all good podcasts sometimes do.

Currently, Zip! Bang! Wow! is focused on creating media that tells stories, whether that be bathroom jokes or epic poetry: We like both. Four-Finger Shotguns started out as a learning experiment and a “first over the wall” excursion. We wanted to show people it was possible, but we also wanted to learn what was possible; not from a theoretical standpoint, but to get our hands dirty by rolling around in the muck.

There was no way we were going to be able to lead other people to the promised land, if we hadn’t been there at least once ourselves. Four-Finger Shotguns served a whole lot of purposes for us, but showing that a nerdy, panic-stricken, socially-awkward newcomer could host a podcast and conduct interviews was the most important one.

We learned quite a bit about producing media for other people and that was the real payoff. It’s one thing to say to someone, “hey, try this, maybe it’ll work…” and quite another to say, “when I was faced with this problem, it really helped me to…”

So, now we have valuable experience that we can share with people.

Does that mean Four-Finger Shotguns is over, kaput? “But I got a tattoo!”

Once Jonnie started doing interviews, it became really clear to us that one important message kept being repeated. During the brightest economic times in Seattle in decades, just being skilled with technology wasn’t a guarantee of success. Plenty of talented people were having a difficult time finding work, and they almost all seemed to be people of color, women, trans people, mentally ill people, previously incarcerated people.

People on the margins.

The answer is simple: take the people on the margins and put them in the middle. Presto! Problem solved.

Easier said than done, however.

Everyone wants to be comfortable and be with people who make them feel comfortable.

We’ve heard a lot of guff — and we’ve made our share of jokes — about “typical Seattle liberals” who proudly talk (and retweet) the talk when it comes to social justice, but epic fail when it comes to walking the walk.

It’s not entirely unfair to say, but we think it’s only really a Seattle “problem” in that most other places people don’t pretend to care to do the right thing in the first place, so expectations are low.

Seattle’s biggest problem is that we believe that life could be better, for everyone, but we just don’t want to do all the hard work — and most important of all, we don’t want to give up any of what we already have — so someone else can live a life as nice as ours.

It’s a tough ask: what convenience are you going to give up so that someone else can have a fair shake. Asking Americans to give something up so someone else can have a shot at the dream isn’t supposed to be part of the plan.

We talk about the concept of white privilege and it’s a real thing, but it’s tough for white people who struggle to get by to believe they have privilege. Sometimes a better word might just be convenience.

Culture Fit is a living example of that convenience. It’s not intended to cause bad outcomes, even though its clear intent is to standardize a culture. We imagine that someday people will look back on practices like this and wonder what we were thinking.

Culture Fit is the opposite of Inclusion and what we need to be practicing today is Cultural Inclusion.

As Jessica Burns said, “Diversity is being let into the club, Inclusion is being asked to dance.”

We love Seattle with all our heart. Jonnie has wanted to live here since they read their first Tom Robbins novel.

When we came here in 1991, Capitol Hill may have been the gay neighborhood, but that didn’t mean it was ever safe to walk around alone at night. Seattle has always been a little bit behind the times but our estimation of how far ahead of the pack we are has always been mostly in our own minds.

That’s not a criticism, though.

From the first native people who crossed the ice-bridge of the Bering Sea to settle this continent, to the Gold Rush in the 1890s, to this generation’s Tech Rush: the Pacific Northwest has always been a place on the frontier where people with big dreams would come to make their lives better.

We are at a crossroads now.

Is Seattle going to live up to its name? We are, after all, named after Chief Sealth, who welcomed and accommodated new people and became personal friends with “Doc” Maynard, the guy who founded Pioneer Square.

And what about “Doc”? Well, it’s said he could have done better in life if it weren’t for his insistence on treating the native people with a modicum of respect. See, he didn’t pass the Culture Fit test with the other founders.

Are we going to continue circling that same drain? Only trusting people who look and sound and think like us?

Because that’s not why Jonnie got into tech.

Jonnie got into tech because of Cyberpunk novels and movies, that told the story of a struggle between corporate interests that only sought to dominate and control; and the people who fought against them, despite their many differences.

Well, here we are in the mother-fucking future and they nailed the megacorp dominating the world bit.

The scrappy rebels, though, we keep failing to work together.

There’s no great conspiracy to keep us from doing this. It’s entirely on us.

We keep driving our cars, we keep working for big corporations, we keep eating garbage food, all because it’s convenient. Because that convenience takes off just enough pressure to make us feel like we’re doing pretty good for ourselves.

There’s nothing wrong with convenience. It’s a wonderful thing.

But we fail to price in all that we lose because we indulge in that convenience. The price of gas doesn’t include the environmental damage. The price of having every possible need delivered to us by app doesn’t include the loss of community.

We only meet our immediate needs and ignore our long term health. As people and as a society.

And there is no podcast that can fix that.

And that depresses us to no end.

So, Four-Finger Shotguns is on hiatus. Jonnie is spending their time learning Python and Flask, re-focusing back to iOS and Mac OS X development with Swift, and video and audio production services for clients that have more holistic plans for development.

And Jonnie rides their bike. A lot.

And Jonnie continues to heal from the neuro-degenerative chronic illness that made Jonnie unable to work for so long.

And Jonnie will continue to reach out to people who are different than them and learn how to integrate our life into theirs and make room for them in ours.

That last bit?

Seattle needs more of that. Thanks Four-Finger Shotguns.

Four-Finger Shotguns: Code Dreams with Ahmad Zubair Faras


Welcome to Four-Finger Shotguns, where we talk with a friend from work, Ahmad Zubair Faras. Learning how to speak all the languages and why it matters.

Cyberpunk and bicycles: inseparable.

Quick: Look Busy. We make friends based on what apps we have open on our computer at any moment of the day.

Barry’s House of Berries: The Healingest Berry.

Blessed Ramadan to all and to all happy Spring.

From the the rain-slicked streets of the Seattle Metroplex, this is Four-Finger Shotguns: released May 16, 2018.

Boom boom, boom boom

Bicycles are an ever-present theme in cyberpunk.

They represent the loss of car-culture mobility in the dystopian future, and the indomitable human spirit to remain mobile in the face of it.

In post-cyberpunk future Seattle, we tangle with traffic on neon green electric ride-shares, yearning to be free in our protected bike lanes.

Amazon is paying out of its own pocket to furbish the Cascade Arcology with beautiful, safe, and connected bike lanes; while Seattle Department of Transportation slow-walks infrastructure that might give us a basic bike network.

In the new frontier, it’s difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys just by the color of their hats.

In the Gig Economy, we all wear many hats.

Tech Folks are often derided for being too libertarian. Not unfairly, for Libertarianism has gotten a bad name.

We used to be civil libertarians; now, most are just plain hostile.

But the lure of tech still seduces eager young minds to idealistic fields of dreams bound only by the sense of curiosity and application of endeavor.

We get that first taste when we find we can etch brilliance on the unforgiving canvas of a dumb terminal, and we’re ruined forever.

Our lives become — to paraphrase Camper Van Beethoven — an obsessive search to rediscover through the detours of the computer sciences, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence our hearts first opened.

Our guest today is one of those kids, grown now — with a kid of his own — but still pursuing that dream.

His story starts in a high school classroom in Pakistan, far from his home; and a clear, clean line is drawn from there to Seattle.

Think you have to work hard to make your dreams come true? This guy raised that bar.

Hey Ahmad, welcome to our humble show.

Four-Finger Shotguns: Digital Hooliganism with Darby Cox


children under the age of 18 will be
the only ones who get the jokes
and should be discouraged from listening
thus assuring they will listen unsupervised
so they can laugh without feeling ashamed

Digital media, marketing, and public relations wizard, Darby Cox, lounges with us in the grey tower overlooking Second Avenue in Pioneer Square.

She’s a recovering addict, a member of Narcotics Anonymous, and a good friend of the show. She’s also incredibly witty and ascerbic, like the daughter we never had, bless her.

Four-Finger Shotguns is a production of Zip! Bang! Wow! in Seattle. For more information abut this podcast, please visit our website at zipbangwow.com/ffs/

Shoebill Hamerkop joins us from our real news news studios for a feelings check-in.

You can finally be rid of the dead weight of all that excess money you have. Please visit patreon.com/ffspodcast to unload your burden.

These links got mentioned on the show and you can’t click on sound waves:


From the the rain-slicked streets of the Seattle Metroplex, this is Four-Finger Shotguns for April 25, 2018.

This week has been filled with hippy druggie holidays like “Bicycle Day” the day Abbie Hoffman first took LSD intentionally, “420” after the cop code for pot smoking, and Earth Day or “cool arbor day”.

We’re recording on the day, 2770 years ago, of the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus — two crazy kids from the semi-mythical city of Alba Longa. They cut the ribbon on the site they, as infants, were suckled by a she wolf.

Like I said, drugs and hippie shit all week long.

So, I figured it was only appropriate that we interview a recovering addict.

I’m Jonnie Wilder, and in the Improvised Impact Hub Isolation Booth with me is my friend Darby Cox.

She’s a marketing and public relations wizard, an artist and musician, and she worked for The Stranger back when it didn’t suck — promoting amazing events throughout the city, through Stranger Tickets. She’s worked in and is currently the digital communications … what … the digital communications coordinator for … uh, what is it? … uh Chihuly Inc, Chihuly Studio? Augh, she’s worked in and is currently the digital communications coordinator for Chihuly Studio. She’s the co-owner of Ox Red Marketing, a business development and media strategy agency.

Lush gigs, each and every one of ‘em.

Welcome to our humble show.

Four-Finger Shotguns: Culture Jamming with Jessica Burns


Jessica Burns from the Amazon Kindle User Experience coding team visits the phone booth for like an hour and a half and Jonnie forgets to hit “record”. Culture fit, all-nighter coding sessions, what’s really ruining Seattle?

Four-Finger Shotguns is a production of Zip! Bang! Wow! in Seattle. For more information abut this podcast, please visit our website at zipbangwow.com

The voicemail system of a Russian bot factory isn’t very user friendly.

You can finally be rid of the dead weight of all that excess money you have. Please visit patreon.com/ffspodcast to unload your burden.

So much show notes today:

You’d learn a whole lot more about Jessica if you visited all these spots.
pugetsoundpython.com, and
fast.ai to name but a few.

A few more.
Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
Tombstone City
Take the quiz. Hackbright Academy.

Zip! Bang! Wow! teaches you how to podcast, badly, at the Impact Hub Seattle. See impacthubseattle.com for more details.

More information about the Symposium of Change on May 21st at chrisrosbough.com

Continue reading “Four-Finger Shotguns: Culture Jamming with Jessica Burns”

Four-Finger Shotguns TRANSportation episode with Yes Segura


Jonnie and Yes talk about being positive about being trans, a listener poses a trolley problem, and writing about and advocating for autonomous vehicles and the vehicle sharing economy. Plus, K.I.P.P. the crime-fighting, ride sharing autonomous vehicle has a message of hope for the human race.

Four-Finger Shotguns is a production of Zip! Bang! Wow! in Seattle. For more information abut this podcast, please visit our website at zipbangwow.com/ffs/

Learn more about Yes Segura and autonomous vehicles at yessegura.com

You can finally be rid of the dead weight of all that excess money you have. Please visit patreon.com/ffspodcast to unload your burden.

More information about the Symposium of Change on May 21st at chrisrosbough.com

As always, thanks to the Impact Hub for their spacious phone booths, delicious coffee and tea, and for accommodating the bothersome braying of an overactive podcasting community.

Continue reading “Four-Finger Shotguns TRANSportation episode with Yes Segura”

Talking Radio Drama, Inclusion, and Spring Sniffles with Curtis Takahashi


Jonnie and Curtis talk about meeting at HERE Seattle, a mutual love of radio drama, making noises in public, and making Seattle a better place for everyone to live and work in. Bad news: it requires a little bit of work on everyone’s part.

Four-Finger Shotguns is a production of Zip! Bang! Wow! in Seattle. For more information abut this podcast, please visit our website at zipbangwow.com/ffs/

Want to join HERE Seattle?

You can learn more about Seattle Radio Theatre on their facebook page facebook.com/SeaRadioTheatre and Imagination Theatre on their website at jimfrenchproductions.com

You can learn more about Sound Generations at soundgenerations.org

More about First Robotics Competition, the robotics contest for high school students, at firstinspires.org/robotics/frc

Imagination Theatre has a double bill coming up Monday April 9th at 7:30pm at the Kirkland Performance Center. Tickets at kpcenter.org

You can learn more about EduCurious, become a mentor, or provide young people with paid internships and job opportunities at educurious.com

There’s jokes hidden in here, we promise.

Next week we’ll be talking Autonomous Vehicles with Yes Segura. We hope you’ll join us.

FFS: Getting to Know You, André Bearfield and Andy Spletzer


Four-Finger Shotguns is Zip! Bang! Wow’s satyrical take on the internet, technology, and podcasting. This is the first installment in a possible format change, or perhaps the evolution of a format that was started a long time ago.

Our guests this week are André Bearfield and Andy Spletzer who both work with Jonnie on various and sundry Zip! Bang! Wow! projects and enterprises. Conversation topics include Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Personal Social Media Policy, Hillary Clinton, Australian Siri, and Fake News.

Back in the olden days, Jonnie used to write a column in The Stranger called “Inside & Out”, which was ostensibly about the production of the newspaper each week. At the time, Jonnie had quite a few hobbies outside the newspaper publishing field, including software development, and used the extra space in the Staff Box for a last-minute, unedited (because the editors had all long-gone home by the time it was written) techno-culture column.

It’s something Jonnie had always dreamed of doing, and so having done it, was sad when they left The Stranger and it couldn’t be done professionally anymore.

Some say, in whispered voices, that very day coincides with the exact same day that The Stranger started sucking.

But now, Jonnie seizes on this opportunity to reassert themselves (along with the liberal use of third-person pronouns and references) into the technology conversation in modern-day, cyberpunk Seattle and continue a long-running, irrational nerd-fetish with the erstwhile Puget Sound Computer User newspaper.

.:| SHOW NOTES |:.

Copycat of Evanston
(Neither Jonnie’s first job, nor where Jonnie learned graphic design, nor even the first time Jonnie used a Macintosh.)
Yelp Review of Copycat of Evanston (Closed)

The Onion
Note the distinct lack of Jonnie in this entry. This is why your teachers won’t let you cite Wikipedia.
The Onion on Wikipedia

Unite-One Facebook
Unite-One website
Friday, April 20th at the Sunset Tavern in Ballard

Facebook / Cambridge Analytica
Ars Technica coverage

Delete Facebook
Facebook’s help center document on how to delete a Facebook profile

Classic Zuck
Zuckerberg: “You agreed to this.”

Episode 2 of Four-Finger Shotguns: Turpentine!

Gruesome Grizzly Fluffy Stuffed Animal Murder Mysteries


Jefferson Bunny hosts this look into true life crimes.

From murder to judgment, Gruesome Grizzly Fluffy Stuffed Animal Murder Mysteries brings you real-life tales of mayhem and mystery. This week, the Sammamish Highlands Teddy Tickle Massacre. A family of fluffy bears moves into an upscale neighborhood but doesn’t live through their first night.

Jonnie “Pitch Shift” Wilder voices the snuggly cast.

© 2018 Zip! Bang! Wow!