I've been on a kick lately seeking out some intellectual entertainment. Specifically, things to watch or listen to (my reading list truthfully needs no supplement; it is already over-capacity to the point where I am close to admitting that I'm never actually going to read all this stuff).
I've been on a documentary binge (I think The House I Live In is still the best one I've seen in a while), TED talks (watch this one if you just want experience a few minutes of earnest child-like wonder), RSA lectures (See the ones about Strategy or "The True Cost of Economics), author interviews (See the NPR's interview with Karen Russell)
I've been doing some free on-line courses in areas of interest, etc. I'd like to find some really good podcasts but I've struggled to locate anything that isn't some amateurish rehash of a conventional news format, a self-made soapbox from which someone is transparently pushing an agenda or just stunningly poorly done. There has to be a good lecture series out there, I just know it.
In fact, if anyone else has some other sources they can recommend, I'm always on the look out for new things and would appreciate any guidance. I'll pass on anything with even the faintest whiff of some kind of political outrage generator. I don't want to read about how bad the Republicans are or how some other thing that is singularly designed just to anger the viewer.
Particularly if it is about Food and Food Issue or Energy. I'll watch, listen to or read anything. (Here is one on how our historical relationship with food has worked to design the very cities in which we live. Not exactly "Fast Food Naiton" by any means but I found it absolutely fascinating)
Anyway, jump the fold to see one simple 15 minute talk that has really had me thinking for the past month since I watched it. I think it is one of the most accurate ways to think about some of the root problems in this country, disentangled from our normal repetitive cycle of Red vs. Blue.
I should start by freely and openly confessing that I am a MASSIVE fan of Michael Sandel. Not only is the man glaringly intelligent but his mode of speaking and lecturing is extroadinary. I could probably watch him talk about just about anything and still enjoy it.
But here, I think he truly touches on a core subject. The ubiquitous presence of market forces and market thinking in our lives and the effects that has on our core levels of society.
Its a little under 15 minutes. Take time when you can really sit and watch. And listen. And think.
The quote that has been echoing in by brain is
"Marketizing every aspect of life leads to a condition where those who are affluent and those who are of modest means increasingly live separate lives."If you are interested in this topic, I urge you to also listen to Dr Philip Roscoe speak in a similar vein.
If we could cut all the accusatory strident bickering that passes for political discourse in this country and try to actually discuss an issue, I think this is one that is worthy of more thought.
Just thought I'd share....