February 3, 2014

Open Thread: Share your ideas!

Open Thread: Share your ideas!

Open threadWe’re having serious fun on real radio again. Is it working for you?

We’ve got five shows under our belts (four and a pilot) and something like 10 podcasts. We’re approaching cruising altitude with the help of two infinitely gifted millennial dudes, Kunal Jasty and Max Larkin, and we’re beginning to figure out what the heck we’re doing. We’re producing a weekly show at WBUR on Thursday nights, which tends to be a look at a bigger topic (music education, the Pope, mixed emotions about “modern medicine,” Aaron Swartz, David Foster Wallace’s Boston years, income inequality). We’re posting podcasts which are longer versions of taped interviews that air on the live broadcast (Mary Gordon, Sven Birkerts, Eugene Braunwald) as well conversations with other folks who come through town (Richard Powers) and experimental things we’re we’re trying out, like inviting actors and interested folks to come to Chris Lydon’s house and read Chekhov stories.

We’re going to open the phone lines up this week, hoping that enough people will be listening or streaming the show live, to get an interesting conversation going with Chris and our guests, Daron Acemoglu and Matt Taibbi. So if you don’t mind taking a hint, please listen and call in…800-423-8255; that’s 800-423-TALK.

With so much good stuff in our archive, we’re going to feature one conversation a week that we think is either timely (Pete Seeger, Orhan Pamuk) or interesting.  We hope you’ll share them with your friends.

We do mean to operate in the spirit of “open source,” though some of the digirati seem to object to our definition. The phrase popped out of the tech world and means “non-proprietary” software, but it also signifies an open market in ideas. As Chris says, all artists borrow, and the greatest steal, Bach and Joyce among them.  So please join our community and be part of the discussions here. Leave your comments below this post. Follow us on social media and tell your friends about us. Tell us about conversations you’d like to hear on the radio and in your podcast feed. Tell us what you’re reading and thinking. Send us links and lines. Sharpen the question and change the subject. And thank you!

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  • Robert W Peabody III

    On the Swartz thread, Chris says: Why should scholar’s work be given away for free? Why should content be free? Artists, musicians, writers, journalists, any kind of content producer needs to earn a living just like the software designers who have created systems for transmitting information.

    The next topic might be the hive-mind with Jaron Lanier as guest.

    • Mark Aisenberg

      I like the idea of discussing how creators should get paid for their work. Note that lots of software writers are pressured also by international competition and open source software (whatever its other benefits).

    • Robert W Peabody III

      Add Douglas Rushkoff’s Frontline video “Generation Like”
      http://video.pbs.org/video/2365181302/

  • nother

    It’s so great to hear “The Voice” on good ole’ terrestrial radio once again! I’ll just throw out a few initial thoughts most of which I’m sure you’ve already considered. First of all I love that you are putting up podcasts during the week. Awesome! As far as comments go, I think it would be cool if you could nest the comments, so we only saw the first paragraph (and we could read more if we choose). I’ll be honest when there are 35 comments and some of them are essays, I drop out. Also I think it would cool if you had a “like” button á la facebook. It’s one more way for us to know someone is listening, and thus motivation for us to write better…cuz it’s a bit of competition!

    As far as show ideas, I’ll throw some out some ideas along the way, and if you use one in a hundred I’ll be happy! It’s just fun to consider who I’d like to hear Chris conversing with!

    Here’s one: I saw in the NYT today that the Hemingway papers the Boston JFK library just went digital. Then I read about the collection here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/The-Ernest-Hemingway-Collection/History-of-the-Hemingway-Collection.aspx
    I love this paragraph about Mary Hemingway: “Mary wanted the various drafts – many written in Hemingway’s “big sprawling hand” – available so people could see the writing process from initial idea “to the point where it is finally published the way the author thinks is the best.” And she wanted to give the collection “to some place where [Hemingway] would be to himself and have a little personal distinction.”

  • mary

    Hey Nother,
    Welcome to the fray, brother! Keep those suggestions coming.

  • Potter

    Wonderful banner photo of Boston (the Public Garden?) at night in the snow!

    On the old suggestion thread I had 21 entries and while it was accessible I read some of them noticing that it took me awhile to compose some of these. I was wondering if the topics we suggest should be Boston-centric.

    That said, I notice that the topics really have had to peak your interest enough. So as Nother says, it’s maybe one in a hundred that does. Does it have to be Boston related?

    Also, you probably won’t like this one, but I keep wishing for a way to edit in the few minutes after I post. Sometimes for some reason a link does not work or sometimes I just plain don’t catch an error no matter how careful I am. I know other sites have this feature.

    And while I am here- it’s wonderful that you are taking calls… even a couple of calls make a difference… a real positive.

  • mary

    Hey there nother!
    Suggestions don’t need to be Boston centric, but we do prefer guests in the studio with Chris to create a conversational atmosphere. So, the Pope show wasn’t Boston-centric, but Jim Carroll lives here, and there’s a big Francis constituency in the Hub. The DFW and health care shows began with a Boston story, if you will, but expanded well beyond. Same for El Sustema and the Lab Charter School. There’s no formulas, but those shows suggest something that works well. Re calls, we learned last week that On Point is rerun in lots of places at 9:00, so our call screener/producer Max had to fend off the OP callers. We’re learning as we go!
    Glad you’re with us.

  • nother

    Well, Mary, Potter and I are kind of a team, just like you and Chris, and I bet if you had the ability to edit your post after you posted, you just might have done that above! Haha! So I concur with my friend Potter on that one!

    And btw, when I say it’s nice to have “The Voice” back, I ain’t just talk’n vocal chords, I’m talking the sensibility of journalistic art that derives from your collaboration. Onward and upward, ROS…

  • mary

    Damn! Sorry Potter! Up with Potter and Nother, Nother and Potter!
    O and U!

  • Mark Aisenberg

    Here are some ideas which have a Boston connection:

    1) Explore the history of the Universalist Unitarians, and their role in founding universities, influencing philosophy, etc. I’ve heard of it being called “The Boston Religion”.

    2) Track down some Boston big band history; I’d bet that researching Charlie Shribman would result in a unique show. It would touch on the musicians, the no-longer-with-us ballrooms, and the way that musicians made a living back then.

    3) Do a tour of the low end of the Boston radio dial (and/or low power stations). Get a discussion going about the diversity of voices on the small channels, pirate radio, and internet streaming as an antidote to corporate control of the airwaves.

    4) How about a history/tour of the Boston Post Road? We could visit the historical touchstones along this old stage coach road now grown into Route 20.

    5) It would be interesting to hear Chris’ take on the changing face of higher ed (costs, MOOCs, online, the place of the liberal arts…). This is widely covered but it would give us a change to involve local education leaders and entrepreneurs in the discussion.

    6) I’d like a monthly or so “book club” where we have a lot of advance warning to read an important book with Boston roots. Transcendentalists, historians, sports authors… we got ‘em all. By giving us a lot of advance warning, more of us can have read the book being discussed.

    7) A roundup of the latest nutrition info would be useful. What’s true anymore? There should be lots of local medical faculty we can draw on.

    8) A look at candidates for up-and-coming industries in Massachusetts (batteries, robotics, big data, pharma…). Is there a future industry that could provide lots of jobs the way the minicomputer industry did in the 70′s and 80′s?

    9) I’d like to hear coverage of amateur music making. How can a middle-aged person learn music and find people with whom to play? I was briefly in the Sudbury Valley New Horizons Band before having to drop out for family reasons, have now switched from saxophone to guitar, and will be looking for bandmates soon.

    10) The prospects for New England agriculture. We could discuss CSAs, organics, climate change, and food security.

    11) A local location-by-location look at the impacts of climate change. Flooded coasts, changes in agriculture, affects on ski areas, impact on wildlife including birding, for example. Make it specific and real for people living in New England.

    12) We could bring in local music faculty and have a lesson on how to listen to and appreciate jazz (and other forms).

    13) The future of the labor movement, building on our great local mill towns and our labor history.

    14) Zoning, New Urbanism, and the future of the suburbs. I believe we need to increase density in the near burbs enough to run public transport to them, as fossil fuels prove increasingly troublesome. We could also discuss making more walkable suburbs.

    15) A status report on the Boston Globe and Washington Post, and the trend of entrepreneur saviors in journalism.

    16) A report card for Deval Patrick.

    17) Let’s have some officials weigh in on how to best respond to a zombie apocalypse (or other disasters). :-)

    That’s it for now.

    Thanks for the show.

  • Robert W Peabody III

    After watching the Coen’s film Inside Llewyn Davis, people should be asking themselves:

    Who was Fred Neil?

    People he influenced or was associated with:
    Dave Van Ronk
    Bob Dylan
    John Cipollina (Quicksilver Messenger Service)
    Roy Orbison
    Buddy Holly
    John Sebastian
    Karen Dalton
    Tim Hardin
    Dino Valenti
    Vince Martin
    Peter Stampfel
    Gram Parsons
    Jerry Jeff Walker
    Barry McGuire
    Paul Kantner
    Harry Nilsson
    Tim Buckley

  • The Parrot

    Suggestion: John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney to discuss Dollarocracy: How the Money-and-Media Election Complex is Destroying America (2013) … add John Bellamy Foster

  • The Parrot

    Suggestion: Discussion with John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney “Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America” … add John Bellamy Foster into the conversation.