Saturday 8 September 2012
Photo, above: In this Aug. 28, 1968 file photo, Mayor Richard J. Daley pumps his fist as he speaks from the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. In the years since 1968, a second Mayor Daley has come and gone. Former Mayor Richard M. Daley, who took over the city 10 years after his father died and then retired last year after 22 years in office, is largely credited for helping to lead the city’s transformation from a gritty industrial center to a booming hub of international commerce. The city will have the international spotlight when it hosts the NATO summit May 20-21, 2012 and give the city and Mayor Rahm Emanuel a chance to hone its image. Photo: File / AP
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Saturday 905P Eastern Time: Marc Goldwein, senior policy director, Committee for a Responsible Budget, and former member of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (Bowles-Simpson commission) in re: $16 trillion – "what the govt owes itself"; $11 trillion is what we owe others. We have a debt situation out of control but if we cut spending & raise taxes too fast, will hit recession, need to move slowly. Every job report is more depressing than the previous – incl Europe, our financial crisis, the impending fiscal cliff. Suggestions on how both parties can work together. On hope: I'm at around 6 or 7 out of 10, which is very high for a budget person.
Saturday 920P Eastern Time: Henry Brady, Dean, UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, in re: the history of political conventions.
Photo, right: 1856, Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson
Saturday 935P Eastern Time: Paul Tough, author: How Children Succeed, in re: with the efflorescence of the Modern Age, academe and cultural overlords proclaimed that IQ and refined skills – cognitive skills – were the best predictors of success in life. Lo and behold, after dozens of long, turgid, expensive studies, turns out that what really predict success are: moral character, curiosity, grit, self-control, optimism and drive. [Our grandparents knew this.] Character is not a fixed set of traits you're born with; nay, it's a set of learnable and teachable skills. Children. teachers and parents can all do a lot to change character. Lots of characterological skills are built by overcoming real challenges. This leads to real strength. Better parenting: parenting, itself, is hard. I have a three-year-old son. Science says that in the first year of life you should be totally attuned to him while he's an infant; when he's ten or fifteen, not a god idea. Need to let a child face failure and adversity. Best thing for a child is to face some adversity. In this country, we have a real adversity gap. I've reported from impoverished neighborhoods in New York and Chicago, where kids are beaten down by extreme circumstances, whereas in richer sections, the children are [too mollycoddled]. Academic in Chicago studied the GED; the children are just as smart but don’t succeed as well. Marshmallow test: Stanford in the 1960s offered one marshmallow now or two later, Those who chose to wait did much better in life.
Saturday 950P Eastern Time: Andrew Blum, author, Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet, in re: Internet bldgs around the world all smell similarly – sort of burnt toast; and ceilings are larded with yellow cables: the actual wiring that connects multiple networks, the physical Internet. Specific protocols allow this, a lingua franca. In physical terms, it looks, smells, the same in the roughly dozen bldgs around the world that are the critical centers. Run by a small social set responsible for the connections between the largest networks on the Net. It’s entirely constituted of private companies; mature ecosystem, incl bldgs "Internet hotels." Equinix and Telex are two main competitors. Also: 300-odd network engineers, meet three times a years - nanogs – who included me when they decided I was clueful (opposite of clueless). One company was not welcoming to me: while Facebook was eager to show its data center, Google was the opposite: it gave me a tour of the parking lot. Really. In response to my questions: "I'm sure that's info we have internally, but it's not something we normally talk about." Deep hypocrisy – the company that knows the most about us is the tightest-lipped.
Saturday 1005P (705P Pacific): Juliette Kayyem, Kennedy School of Govt, HVD, & Boston Globe; former Asst Secy, DHS; in re: the Middle East. Conventions: Kerry mocked himself, Obama ribbed Romney, Republicans challenged Democrats. Waited till Thursday night to do foreign policy. The week before, Romney amazingly failed to acknowledge, thank, refer to the troops. By the time Biden came on, the position was easy. Obama's foreign policy has been a little whack-a-mole (like everyone's). Condi and McCain at the same convention did not address the issues around the war – no one can say he wants to prolong a war – but what Romney did was allude to increased threats: Russia, Iran, Cuba (Cuba?). That rang hollow to me. NonAligned Movement mtg in Teheran: Morsi spoke: Iran's support of Syria is horrible, amoral; Syria will fall, you're on the wrong side. Said naught of the US. If you bet on what you think Morsi will do, you'll lose the bet. He's writing a new beginning for Egypt vis-à-vis the world as he tries to figure out domestic dynamics. The US should not feel threatened by Egypt or Iran. They’re regional powerhouses, not dangerous to the US.
Saturday 1020P (720P Pacific): Christopher Steiner, author, Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World, in re: When you hear, "This call may be recorded to improve customer service" – a group of millions of algorithms are listening, evaluating you in real time, and especially how to get rid of you – happy – as fast as possible. Six types of personalities that this system metes people into; next time you call, will route your call to a service agent with the same personality traits as yours, so it’ll be a quick, happy call.
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"An algorithm is simply a piece of software code that operates like a decision tree, considering multiple variables and then spitting out a decision or recommendation. (A bot is typically a collection of algorithms.) Without taking a step back, as Christopher Steiner does in Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World, it's hard to appreciate how fast and far algorithms have come in recent years, and what the consequences are for modern culture.
". . . Once bots move in, they don't move out. Algorithms have brought efficiency, craftiness, and speed to nearly everything that humans have tasked them with. But as with most breakthrough innovations, they have experienced growing pains. Now that algorithms rule the world, the next story will be how their shortcomings might destroy it."
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Saturday 1035P (735P Pacific): Laurence Gottlieb, Fundamental Advisors, in re: the distressed municipal bond market.
Saturday 1050P (750P Pacific): Mark Earls, founder of HERD and author of, I'll Have What She's Having, in re: a cross-discipline approach to understand and shape mass behavior. We think of ourselves as individuals determining our own destiny; that's peculiar to North Americans and northern Europeans. Most of the rest of the world has cultures that assume people follow along with each other. When executives look at Facebook, they say, "Oh yes, like that." Then you think of the Facebook IPO and you realize that it's not always best to follow the crowd.
Saturday 1105P (805P Pacific): Steve Kornacki, MSNBC, in re: feedback from the political conventions
Saturday 1120P (820P Pacific): Liz Heron, WSJ director of Social Media and Engagement, in re: on politics and journalism in a social media-driven world.
Saturday 1135P (835P Pacific): Jeremy Waldron, NYU Law School; author, The Harm in Hate Speech, in re:
Saturday 1150P (850P Pacific): Elizabeth Cline, author, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, in re:
Saturday/Sun 1205A (905 Pacific): Marc Goldwein, senior policy director, Committee for a Responsible Budget, and member of the Bowles-Simpson committee, in re: $16 trillion – "what the govt owes itself"; $11 trillion is what we owe others. We have a debt situation out of control but if we cut spending & raise taxes too fast, will hit recession, need to move slowly. Every job report is more depressing than the previous – incl Europe, our financial crisis, the impending fiscal cliff. Suggestions on how both parties can work together. On hope: I'm at around 6 or 7 out of 10, which is very high for a budget person.
Saturday/Sun 1220A (920 Pacific): Henry Brady, Dean, UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, in re: the history of political conventions.
Saturday/Sun 1235A (935P Pacific): Dr. Brian Wansink, John Dyson Professor of Consumer Behavior at Cornell University; directs the Cornell Food and Brand Lab; in re: food psychology and behavior change.
Saturday/Sun 1250A (950P Pacific): Exit.
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Music (using New York City broadcast times)
9:00 hour: Assassins. 10:00 hour: District 9; The Pacific. 11:00 hour: The Pacific; Taking Pelham; Cowboys and Aliens. midnight hour: Cowboys and Aliens; Wrath of the Titans.