March 27, 2007

Story Meeting Roundup: March 27, 2007

Story Meeting Roundup: March 27, 2007

Every morning we meet at 11:00 to talk about the previous night’s shows and what we’re doing for the rest of the week. We drink coffee. Mary tells me to shut my computer and pay attention. Here, as part of an experiment moving forward, today’s recap.

We agreed that we’ll all someday work for Toby Johnson, studio guest on last night’s Women in War and imminent corporate tycoon. Our favorite moment last night, though, came when Tina Bean — after hearing Brian Dunbar’s blog comment that combat duty is a “libido killer” — responded, “You can always find time.”

We heard, both from Toby Johnson and — in the thread — former Marine Brian Dunbar about the importance of leadership. From Brian:

In my experience lax leadership (at any level) promotes a lot of shenanigans, including harassment. When your leadership team is effective, when the troops know that the Man does not tolerate the crap (whatever it is) it stops.

Brian Dunbar, in a comment to Open Source, March 26th, 2007

We’ll be coming back to the role of leadership when we talk about Abu Ghraib and the Stanford Prison Experiment in tonight’s show, The Banality of Evil, Part II.

Former intern Henry was in the office; he brought baked goods as always and enjoyed a Norm-like reception.

Apropos of absolutely nothing, check out this Language Log post on the use of the word “compound.” Does it make us think of Kennedys or cults?

Update

Also, we sent two shows, Coal: Mountaintop Removal in Appalachia and Coltan in the Congo, to the graveyard. We do this when interest — on the threads or in the office — has waned on a show, or if the peg — a timely reason for producing the show — has passed. The name “graveyard” notwithstanding, these shows don’t have to be gone forever; if you can think of a great guest or a great reason for doing one of them, let us know.

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  • howardpark

    I was sort of looking forward to the Mountaintop Removal show and I got to thinking…there are a whole slew of issues about which a particular state or region has a veto on national policy. Coal is one — he’s a national treasure but Sen. Byrd sort of has a veto on policies which might tax or change the paragdiem on coal. Another very different issue is analogous (boith four letter words that begin with c). policy on Cuba — it’s long been understood that we don’t have a Cuba policy, we have a Florida policy even though most of the rest of the country would like to change our failed Cuba policy. There are many, many issues like those two in Washington, DC…perhaps this could be the theme of a show sometime — when the national interest collides with a state or regional interest.

  • Nick

    howardpark wrote:

    “…perhaps this could be the theme of a show — when the national interest collides with a state or regional interest.”

    Agreed – and nicely analyzed.

    But the problem is systemic: a symptom of a government-as-constituted more than two centuries ago, when “The States” were genuinely states, and not merely partially-autonomous provinces of a larger, much more cohesive nation-state.

    Sanford Levinson writes about this at length in his Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (and How We the People Can Correct It). Why this sort of innovative thinking can’t catch on is beyond me.

    Einstein reputedly said, “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.”

    Why can’t we please begin to think for ourselves, instead of relying on the thinking of long dead men of the eighteenth century?

    Why can’t this be discussed in public? On public radio?

    On ROS???

  • http://www.liftport.com Brian Dunbar

    after hearing Brian Dunbar’s blog comment that combat duty is a “libido killer” — responded, “You can always find time.”

    Please note that I’ve never been close to combat. I was quoting a friend’s daughter who has been.

    That sentence alone should give one pause – times they have changed.

    Why can’t we please begin to think for ourselves, instead of relying on the thinking of long dead men of the eighteenth century?

    Why can’t this be discussed in public? On public radio?

    On ROS???

    Sounds keen to me.

    Of course you don’t toss stuff aside that works without considering the long term consequences of your actions.

  • Nick

    Brian, thank you, but: I guess my problem is this: “stuff…that works”.

    If the “stuff” you mean is “representative democracy”, well, then I don’t think it “works” — except for the country’s big monied interests. The very same interests whose effective editorial lock on the mass media keep innovative/dissenting voices like Sanford Levinson and Daniel Lazare out on the margins.

    I’m sick of it.

    Thank you though for applying a kind adjective like ‘keen’ to my persistently futile request for a ROS coversation on whether the 21st century USA has outgrown our eighteenth century Constitution. (Pssst! I think it has — like, maybe as far back as 1861, when a northern majority used force-of-arms to compel a rebellious southern minority to give up their immoral use of slaves. We haven’t had autonomous ‘states’ since 1865, have we? Then why keep this dysfunctional, no-longer-democratic, archaic, and consistently loggerheaded government? We should America have to settle for THIS???)

  • http://www.liftport.com Brian Dunbar

    Nick,

    I apologize for not replying sooner. Life happens sometimes.

    If the “stuff” you mean is “representative democracy”, well, then I don’t think it “works” — except for the country’s big monied interests. The very same interests whose effective editorial lock on the mass media keep innovative/dissenting voices like Sanford Levinson and Daniel Lazare out on the margins.

    By ‘stuff that works’ I mean the system of government that we’ve got generally works as set out in the charter

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    They did write long wordy sentences in those days. Any good writing teacher would toss that out in a heartbeat.

    I do believe that in general it works as designed. America has problems but in general we have a great deal of prosperity and freedom. The system is flexible, allows change but not at too great a clip.

    That last bit is what I fear; not change, I know that is inevitable. More, it’s an important part of who we are and drives our growth.

    But what worries me is change for change sake without thinking through the consequences.

  • Nick

    Brian, I’ve posted a reply to you here: http://www.radioopensource.org/pitch-a-show-3107/#comment-48372

    Thanks for offering the soapbox!

  • http://www.liftport.com Brian Dunbar

    Thanks for offering the soapbox!

    Exchange of ideas, if you’re not growing you’re dead, etc. It’s all good.