🎧 Richard Plepler | The Atlantic Interview

Listened to Richard Plepler by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
The chairman and CEO of HBO talks with The Atlantic's editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg about what shows he should watch next. They also discuss how HBO has tried to develop a healthy company culture within a highly sexualized industry, the high-stakes business of making great TV, and what happened at the end of the Sopranos.

I feel like the first 5 minutes of the interview were missing. Compared to others in the series, this particular episode was awfully bland. I suspect it’s the case that CEOs rarely ever make good interviews because they’re generally hamstrung in what they can and can’t say in settings like these.

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🎧 Jake Tapper | The Atlantic Interview

Listened to Jake Tapper by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
The Atlantic's editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg talks with the CNN anchor Jake Tapper about learning from mistakes in journalism, watching the media destroy someone you know, and what President Trump is getting right.

Transcript

Some interesting insight on Tapper’s sense of fairness here. I appreciate the level of comfort between the two participants here and it’s interesting to hear about their personal relationship a bit as context as well. My favorite part was the revelation of Tapper’s brief relationship with Monica Lewinsky and how he viewed her treatment in the media as a result of the experience. It certainly reminds us all that the world needs more humanizing instead of less.

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🎧 Nikole Hannah-Jones | The Atlantic Interview

Listened to Nikole Hannah-Jones by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic
Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief, talks about America's unequal education system with journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. How much progress has been really made since Brown v. Board of Education in giving black kids access to equal schooling as white kids? Far from enough, Hannah-Jones has found. And she has some concrete—but difficult—ideas for fixing it.

Transcript

This may be my favorite interview of the series so far. There’s so much to unpack here that the discussion should probably have gone on for a few more hours. The differences in how this issue differ in various parts of the country make it a difficult problem to handle.

My initial inclination is that one cannot (easily) have a government take over of private schools. To equal the playing field however, one could completely defund private schools and force them to live on their own steam. This would potentially free up a pocket of money that could go to improving better integrated and un-gerrymandered schools. I suspect the economic forces would help level the playing fields, though a tremendous amount of work would still be required as follow up.

I’ll have to revisit the issue, but I have a feeling that the public good built into public schools and hospitals creates a different “market” than the traditional capitalistic ones because the root of these institutions is to build a “public good” which is hampered by the infrastructure costs of otherwise allowing directly competitive forces to create an equal access market.

I do find it interesting that in the Los Angeles area I have the option of almost 20+ potential schools while when I lived in Georgia and South Carolina there was really only ever one real option (without a tremendous amount of travel) for school choice.

I love Nikole Hannah-Jones‘s perspective and want to read more of her material. Fortunately she’s got a really interesting looking website, which should make doing so a whole lot easier. I hope others do as well as this short interview barely scratches the surface of what looks like some awesome thought.

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🎧 Masha Gessen | The Atlantic Interview

Listened to Masha Gessen by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
Author and activist Masha Gessen’s new book about Russia won the 2017 National Book Award for nonfiction. The Atlantic's editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg talks with Gessen about what Vladimir Putin wants, what Donald Trump’s election means, and how Americans should think about Russia's interference in 2016.

Transcript

A stunning interview on Russia and how it relates to world politics. I’m ordering Gessen’s book The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia.

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🎧 Maggie Haberman | The Atlantic Interview

Listened to Maggie Haberman by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
To make sense of President Donald Trump's first year in the White House, many have come to rely on Maggie Haberman. The powerhouse reporter for the New York Times talks with Atlantic editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg about how her career covering New York City politics for the tabloids has given her a unique view of Trump. To Haberman, Trump's brashness and need for approval are partly products of his distinct experience of New York City.

A fascinating interview to be sure. There’s some subtlety particularly about Donald Trump that is injected here that I wouldn’t have thought about previously. I certainly don’t have more hope as a result, but I do have a lot more nuance in how he functions and interacts with others. There is some particularly fascinating discussion on language/linguistics which impinges on some of the discussion in my article Complexity isn’t a Vice: 10 Word Answers and Doubletalk in Election 2016.

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🎧 Steve Coll | The Atlantic Interview

Listened to Steve Coll by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
Steve Coll is one of the foremost chroniclers of the war in Afghanistan, now in its eighteenth year. Coll talks with Atlantic editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg about why the war has persisted, well after the idea of a military solution lost any luster it might have had. They discuss Pakistan's struggles during the war in Afghanistan, and why disrupting the terrorism networks that now thrive in the area might require much more than just American troops.

I wish I’d caught this podcast earlier to have been able to potentially see Coll at Vroman’s in Pasadena last week. I’m putting his books on my to read list.

I love some of the discussion, retro and introspection on the topic of the issues of Pakistan and Afghanistan. I’m still working through some of Fukuyama’s ideas about the growth and formation of governments that I think could make a sea change in how we deal with issues in countries like these, but my ideas aren’t yet fully formed in terms of providing prescriptive policies yet. Hopefully I’ll get there some day.

In the erstwhile, this is a brilliant and wonderful interview. I’m loving this series more and more.

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🎧 This Week in Tech 653 X Stands for Nothing | TWiT.TV

Listened to This Week in Tech 653 X Stands for Nothing by Leo Laporte Ed Bott, Brian X. Chen, Devindra Hardawar from TWiT.tv
HomePod should have been delayed longer. Elon Musk's rollercoaster week: Falcon Heavy sends a Tesla to Mars just as Tesla has its worst quarter ever. iPhone boot code leaked online. Chrome will shame insecure websites. YouTube suspends Logan Paul for generally being a horrible human being. Rethinking Facebook and Google. T-Mobile warns of phone hacking scam. Uber settles with Waymo. ESPN's new streaming service will not show ESPN.

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🎧 This Week in Google 443 Made on Earth by Humans | TWiT.TV

Listened to This Week in Google 443 Made on Earth by Humans by Leo Laporte, Jeff Jarvis, Stacey Higginbotham from TWiT.tv
The Superbowl commercials were ok, but Elon Musk's Tesla in space is the best ad ever. Nest is no longer separate from Google. Viacom buys VidCon. Alphabet's big tax bill kills company profits. Google's new Twitch competitor. Zuckerberg's mea culpa birthday message. RIP John Perry Barlow. Leo's Picks: Why Paper Jams Exist and Google Motion Stills AR Mode Jeff's Number: Wired abandons banner ad model they invented, goes behind a paywall Stacey's thing: Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

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🎧 Bill Gates | The Atlantic Interview

Listened to Bill Gates by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
The mission of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to ease suffering around the world may be somewhat at odds with the "America First" sentiments that propelled Donald Trump into the presidency. But Bill Gates is moving ahead with enthusiasm. He tells Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic's editor in chief, why he's still optimistic, and how he feels about no longer being the richest man in the world.

Here’s a case where this podcast runs a bit off the rails in interviewing someone perhaps too “popular”. It’s a good interview and certainly a “get”, but I’m not sure I learned too much interesting here that I haven’t seen or heard elsewhere. Much of the strength of what I’ve heard thus far stems from interviews with people that are slightly off the beaten path, but with serious messages and interesting viewpoints. The other strength is that the show can give them additional time and depth than they might receive on other shows. I’m not saying that Bill Gates doesn’t have anything interesting or important to say, just that he isn’t revealing anything particularly new here that I haven’t seen elsewhere.

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🎧 This Week in Tech 652 We’re All Out of Kidneys | TWiT.TV

Listened to This Week in Tech 652 We're All Out of Kidneys by Leo Laporte, Ashley Esqueda, Mike Elgan, Sam Machkovech from TWiT.tv
Dot-com superb ads, Apple growth, Bezos’s big plan, and more. Tech ads in the Superbowl. Elon Musk's "Not-a-Flamethrower." Apple, Google, and Amazon quarterly results. What are Amazon's health plans? What game company will Microsoft buy next?

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🎧 ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord’ | NPR

Listened to 'Take My Hand, Precious Lord' by Linda Wertheimer from NPR.org
Sung at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" is the most-recorded gospel song ever. NPR's Linda Wertheimer speaks with Dr. Michael Harris, a professor of history at Union Theological Seminary, who has written extensively about the song's author, gospel musician Thomas Andrew Dorsey. NPR 100 Fact Sheet: Artist: Words/music by Thomas A. Dorsey; Interviewees: Michael Harris, Union Theological Seminary; Recordings Used: Take My Hand Precious Lord, Mahalia Jackson

A stunning bit of history in this little mini episode. I always find myself wishing they’d do about 10-15 minutes of the history and a bit less of the song, though this episode did rightly have several covers of it.

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🎧 1.06: Mr. Willis of Ohio (with Janel Moloney) | The West Wing Weekly

Listened to 1.06: Mr. Willis of Ohio (with Janel Moloney) by Josh Malina and Hrishi Hirway from The West Wing Weekly
Janel Moloney joins Josh and Hrishi to talk about playing Donna, and Ben Casselman gives us an update on the state of the census. Bonus photos: - Hrishi, when he was a Dungeons & Dragons loving teenager. - Josh, at his Bar Mitzvah.

Ms. Moloney wasn’t as interesting in the interview as I would have hoped, but she does have an interesting take on how she responds to the fame and adulation of the show these many years later. I highly recommend this portion of the episode for actors who are just starting out.

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🎧 1.05: The Crackpots and These Women (with Eli Attie) | The West Wing Weekly

Listened to 1.05: The Crackpots and These Women (with Eli Attie) by Josh Malina and Hrishi Hirway from The West Wing Weekly
For Big Block of Cheese Day, Josh and Hrishi are joined by Eli Attie, who was Vice President Al Gore's chief speechwriter before leaving politics and joining The West Wing as a writer and producer. Plus, the truth about David Rosen. President Ronald Reagan's Challenger Disaster address...

Elie Attie’s appearance on the show made it infinitely much stronger. There was a nice richness to the additional background he brings here in comparisson to Hill’s recent performance. Notes about Gore using the same campaign idea that appeared behind Bartlett in the episode were great to hear.

I’m trying to catch up on episodes of the podcast to match my recent push at rewatching episodes.

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🎧 1.04: Five Votes Down | The West Wing Weekly

Listened to 1.04: Five Votes Down by Josh Malina and Hrishi Hirway from The West Wing Weekly
The limits of practical idealism. Plus, Hrishi sets Leo's dialogue to music, and Josh unwittingly reveals a secret.

It’s all about the small tidbits one can discover or rediscover upon watching episodes. This episode had a particularly interesting walk & talk in the opening.

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🎧 1.03: A Proportional Response (with Dulé Hill) | The West Wing Weekly

Listened to 1.03: A Proportional Response (with Dulé Hill) by Josh Malina and Hrishi Hirway from The West Wing Weekly
Dulé Hill joins Josh and Hrishi to talk about shooting his first episode of The West Wing, visiting the real White House, and losing to Martin Sheen in 1-on-1.

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