Podcast 544-Self Definition. How would you describe yourself to someone you did not know? Are you defined by how you look, what kind of job you have, what kind of car you drive? Are you defined by material possessions? Do you define yourself according to the political spectrum as being of ‘the right’ or ‘the left’. A question that started out in Yoga class has been resonating with me all weekend. Time for Podcast 544-Self Definition. In a daily Yoga practice the question of how one defines themselves has to do with attaching yourself to how you do certain poses, how you look, how strong you are in comparison to others. Reaching a deeper practice requires the student to let go of those kinds of hard and fast definitions of themselves. In this podcast I expand on this idea to fit into society in general. Asking how we define ourselves certainly isn’t an original thought of mine, it came from my fantastic Yoga Teacher, Angela T. But expanding it to society as a whole is an interesting exercise. We’re living through a period of change, with new tools and new ways of doing things people could only imagine just twenty years ago, and thirty years ago the things we think of as everyday weren’t on anyone’s mind. All kinds of changes are taking place due to these new tools, yet many of us remain in the old world, deeply attached to outmoded perceptions and ideas about who we are. Historians like to name ‘eras’ well after they have passed. For example, historians refer to the United States just before the Civil War ‘antebellum’. Historians refer to the period between World War I and World War II as the ‘interwar’ period. People living in those times did not think of them as ‘antebellum’ or ‘interwar’, just their time. How we define ourselves has a big impact on whether we are resistant to change, which we all are to some degree or another. Big changes are underway now, and will gather momentum in the near future. Given the advances we see almost everyday, more change is on the agenda going forward. Hanging on too tightly prevents us from seeing solutions, using ideas, and being happy. How do you define yourself? In this podcast I share how I have defined myself in the past, how it effected me, and how I think about these things today. Sponsored by Karow Contracting.
Western Minnesota Road Trip. Freestyle talk about my travel in the last last 6 weeks. My reflections on a weekend jaunt to Western Minnesota’s New Ulm and Walnut Grove, tying in the talk about technology threatening jobs in the future. Recent road trips have intensified my interest in the history of the Western United States. There is a lot of significant western history in Minnesota. We often think of historic topics like Indian Wars and Pioneers has happening further west, but one of the bloodiest clashes between settlers and American Indians happened in New Ulm in 1862, when the mostly German townspeople had to barricade the streets of their town to fight off attacks by the Dakota. Further west is Walnut Grove, the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the famous ‘Little House On The Prairie’. While the museum in Walnut Grove could use a little bit better curation, some of the artifacts in the museum are interesting, especially grasshoppers or Locusts the size of a man’s hand, which plagued the settlers of Walnut Grove. When you examine items in a museum, it’s easy to think about how old they are. For the people of the time though, it was new technology. It’s fun to flip the script and wonder what our descendants will think of the artifacts of our time in a museum at some point a hundred years from now. Today, supposedly new tech like robotics and autonomous machines and software threatens millions of jobs. Proposed ‘solutions’ to this ‘threat’, like guaranteed minimum incomes and job retraining programs don’t make much sense. When people came west for opportunity, 140 years ago, they didn’t have job retraining programs. They couldn’t have known they’d be plagued by grasshoppers the size of a man’s hand. Yet they came anyway. We need to start thinking about the opportunity new technology provides us in building a new world, and stop being so negative all the time. Sponsored by Karow Contracting and Hydrus Performance.
Podcast 536-Midnight Thoughts. Back in the studio after a long road trip. The excitement of travel gives way to scanning the news and wondering what to talk about in this podcast. Hence, Podcast 536-Midnight Thoughts. Midnight Random thoughts perhaps? But. No. Specific observations about the role of podcasting and transcending the nonsense in day to day politics. In fact the more I talk about politics the more I feel physically revolted by it and physically almost unable to talk about it. Why? Because what is going on distracts and obscures. Our politics in the United States no longer enlightens and illuminates. Our politics is no longer a soaring bird, but a slithering ‘thing’ down in the mud and dirt and grime. It’s depressing, boring, frightening and at the same time ridiculous. While I have not lost my passion and interest in what is going on politically, I find more people inexplicably joining tribes committed to convincing those in the opposing tribes with one ridiculous argument after another, spitting out what has been drummed into them hour after hour from social media, 24 hour cable TV news, talk radio and so on. Not wanting to harp on those same themes, all I can say is it is truly Orwellian; like there really is a little man behind a curtain pulling on levers. For me, the antidote to all this is travel; actually witnessing events. When you see it go down ‘for real’, you realize many things you see and hear are designed for video. The protests at the conventions? If you were there you had to go find them because you could hardly tell they were happening. The guy climbing Trump Tower in New York? If you were on Wall Street, or on the subway, or in the Bronx you didn’t even know it was happening. Did it? Did it mean anything? What’s important? I think it’s a the conversation podcasters have with their listener/subscribers one on one, based on the inner thoughts we share. It’s one of the things podcasting can do that radio doesn’t do anymore. Maybe the best thing we can do is provide a venue that helps you have that conversation. The news these days seems more like greek theater and less like, well news. Reporting on events, gathering facts and making observations based on those facts. You all know this, because I talk about it too much. I realized while traveling and while thinking about this podcast tonight that so much of what is happening in 2016, I’ve already done detailed podcasts about. For example, podcasts about the death of the conservative ‘movement’ over the years, and we’re just starting to see people write and talk about it. So, use the search window to listen to those podcasts. Meanwhile, the travel podcasts, the podcasts reporting on breaking local news, the podcasts about deeply felt emotions are the ones that resonate with me and hopefully with you. Finally, all this feels like its leading up to something; some big thing that is epoch changing, and you know, historically pivotal. Something we’ll talk about for decades after. As the rain comes down, it’s fun to be back in the studio and talk it out. Sponsored by Karow Contracting and Hydrus.