fresh air interview

The children in [Hans] Asperger’s clinic immediately became targets of the Nazi eugenic programs and, in fact, one of Asperger’s former colleagues was actually the leader of a secret extermination program against disabled children that became the dry run for the Holocaust. So the Nazis actually developed methods of mass killing by practicing on disabled children and children with hereditary conditions like autism (even though it didn’t have a name yet), epilepsy, schizophrenia. So immediately Asperger had to figure out ways of protecting the children in his clinic.

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Neurologist Oliver Sacks, who died Sunday, once described himself as an “old Jewish atheist,” but during the decades he spent studying the human brain, he sometimes found himself recording experiences that he likened to a godly cosmic force.

Such was the case once when Sacks tried marijuana in the 1960s: He was looking at his hand, and it appeared to be retreating from him, yet getting larger and larger.

“I was fascinated that one could have such perceptual changes, and also that they went with a certain feeling of significance, an almost numinous feeling,” Sacks told Fresh Air’s Terry Gross in 2012. “I’m strongly atheist by disposition, but nonetheless when this happened, I couldn’t help thinking, ‘That must be what the hand of God is like.’”

Our Oliver Sacks coverage (and the rest of that Fresh Air interview) is here. And now I’m gonna go home and re-read The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat and sniffle a little.

– Petra 

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worth 8:33 minutes of your life. damn he’s so dreamy.
NPR (fresh air) interview w/ David Bianculli

Holy Crikey!. I mean. I just listened to the radio interview of Michael C. Hall, by David Bianculli (much much more than the print article). And this.. this! is maybe my favorite interview EVER!!!!!!! Go listen!!! MY GOD that man is sharp. And intelligent. F******CK!!!! :).

I have been pondering for a while on David Simon’s (The Wire) comments re Dexter, and here we have a reply from MCH on that, and so much more. Awesome interview. Go Bianculli!! (who did a beautiful job interviewing).

So on every level, people are being taken out of the equation [of manual labor in warehouses]. I actually think that maybe that’s not a bad thing as long as we as a society can find something else meaningful for those people to do.

Fresh Air Interview with tech reporter John Markoff

Okay, here is the part where I have to say: is pick pack work in a warehouse meaningful? There’s this weird discussion we have about robots taking over work that is sheer manual labor, where the distress we have about not having a mechanism by which we get those displaced workers a livable income is mixed with the idea that it’s a bad thing that those workers aren’t working.

Look, the reason Capital uses Labor is to produce, and the reason Labor works is because Capital gives them money for working. It’s not for the spiritual betterment of Labor. When Labor wants spiritual betterment they go to their preferred religious institution or read a book or make art or play with their children or help the less fortunate or something. We don’t have to pay those people to do things they find meaningful, people are happy to do meaningful things because they are meaningful to them.

As we move to a world where there are considerably more capable adults than jobs for capable adults to do, we need to create some other mechanism by which people get enough money to live on. (Frankly, this will also alleviate some of the problems faced by people who spend so much time doing meaningful stuff that they have to find a way to get paid to do it, i.e. activists, artists, religious leaders.)

What I’m saying here is that it would not be a crisis that jobs are disappearing (to robots, to foreign shores, to people no longer wanting the thing that it was your job to produce [whither the car phone mechanic?] if people get ‘covers the basic cost of living’ money from a source other than jobs.

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Thanks to that Fresh Air interview, suddenly I have the idea in my head of AU where Steve is on the autism spectrum, and there’s a whole thing thematically about eugenics, Hans Asperger’s work and the specific arguments he made in order to try saving the autistic children in his clinic from the Nazis, how that indirectly led to Steve being selected as a serum candidate, what the serum did and did not change about Steve, and also all about how Bucky fell in love with this guy named Steve who just always seemed to think a little differently from everyone else. He always seemed to take things so literally for one thing, which Bucky found hilarious, and also he loved him.

Right now !! Fresh Air interview w one of my favorite writers Jonathan Franzen! He is discussing his new novel Purity, and how the transparency of today affects intimacy i.e. how people relate when everything is “shared” online. also how a writer walks a line between working through private moments on paper that family and friends may be uncomfortable with. I prefer his essays to his fiction but its all very good. He is a sensitive observer whose stories are full of humor, especially upon second readings;-)
#jonathanfranzen #purity #writers #greatamericanwriters #essayists #freshair #nprinterviews #literature

machines of loving grace

machines of loving grace

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Fresh Air has an interview with John Markoff, author of Machines of Loving Grace. Markoff, the author of the new book Machines of Loving Grace, points out that artificial intelligence plays a role in many of our lives — sometimes without our even realizing it. “I have a car that I bought this year … that is able to recognize both pedestrians and bicyclists, and if I don’t stop, it will,” he says.…

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As a dog handler in the Marines, it was Jose Armenta’s [pictured on the right] job to walk ahead of his platoon and search for roadside bombs with his dog, Zenit, a German shepherd trained for explosives detection and patrol.

In 2011, while searching for IEDs planted by the Taliban in Afghanistan, a bomb they didn’t detect exploded and Armenta was thrown 20 feet. He narrowly survived, but both his legs had to be amputated above the knee. Zenit was uninjured and redeployed with a new handler. Jose Armenta talks with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross about missing Zenit after the IED explosion — 

“After I was injured, my dog was assigned to another dog handler and they went on and completed the six-month deployment, because I was at the half way point, about three months, when I was injured. And so Zenit went on for another three months doing missions with another dog handler [in Afghanistan]. …

It was surprising because, up until that point, I had made sure I was emotionally detached from Zenit. I tried to keep it strictly professional since I knew it was very likely that one of us would be injured performing our job. … But after the fact, after I was out of the battlefield and recovering and found out that he was assigned to another handler, I was angry. I didn’t want him in danger anymore; I wanted him back home with me. And so that’s when it became evident that my emotions were evolving from a professional relationship to more of a partnership and a friendship.”

In this image from the June issue of National Geographic, Jose Armenta, and his wife, Eliana, relax with their Boston terriers, Oreo and Sassy, and Zenit, a German shepherd they adopted from the Marines. 

Photo via © Adam Ferguson/National Geographic

Toni Morrison: The Fresh Air Interview

“The writing is — I’m free from pain. It’s the place where I live; it’s where I have control; it’s where nobody tells me what to do; it’s where my imagination is fecund and I am really at my best. Nothing matters more in the world or in my body or anywhere when I’m writing. It is dangerous because I’m thinking up dangerous, difficult things, but it is also extremely safe for me to be in that place.”

Photo: Michael Lionstar/Knopf

[Originally broadcast April 2015, part of our Best of 2015 series] 

Jonathan Franzen on writing:

“I think it’s substantially an escape from self. … It’s escape not just for myself, it’s escape from everything. … It’s like having this dream that you can go back to kind of on demand. When it’s really going well it’s there waiting for you and you can immerse yourself in it for six hours every morning and it’s the best of all drugs because you are totally awake, totally firing on all cylinders. Your mind has never been working better. You’re not dulled at all, and yet you’re in a fantasy land and feeling no pain.”

 Listen to the interview

We’re going to see a generation of computer chips that don’t need batteries. We’re going to see computer chips that run on sunlight or vibration or even sweat and this hasn’t happened yet, but what’s so exciting in the next five years is that this technology will fan out all around us and create applications we can’t even think about today. They’ll be used for robotic sensors, they’ll be made to make robots more mobile and they’ll be used to do a million other things we can’t even conceive of and it will continue to transform our society.

John Markoff 

Listen –> How Close Are We Really To A Robot-Run Society?

In Richard Price’s New Novel, Haunted Cops And Cases They Couldn’t Close

Writer Richard Price tells us why he named his new novel The Whites – it’s not racial: 

“I don’t mind that it’s a little confusing because anytime you write about police and justice there’s always a racial undertone, even if it’s not addressed directly — that’s the world. …

There’s always been one guy in every precinct who has been so haunted by a case that they either knew who did it and couldn’t prove it, or the guy walked, and it just gets inside the cop to the point [that] when they retire, they’re sneaking out all the legal boxes with all the case files, all the transcripts, the interviews and everything. And they’re going to continue working on it in their basement, have a six-pack of beer and start making odd calls like they’re still cops. They can’t let go of this thing — this thing can’t let go of them.

It’s different for every cop in a world of 20 years of mayhem, they each pick one case that got to them. It’s rarely the goriest case; it’s rarely about a body count. It’s about some element of this crime that spoke to them — identification with the aggressor, identification with the victim. …

The point is all these obsessed cops with their single case. … They all reminded me of [Moby-Dick’s] Ahab [—] they’re looking for their whales. They’re looking for their whites.”

[Originally broadcast February 2015, part of our Best of 2015 series]

An Interview With Oliver Sacks 1933-2015 - Past Daily Pop Chronicles: Tribute Edition

An Interview With Oliver Sacks 1933-2015 – Past Daily Pop Chronicles: Tribute Edition

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Oliver Sacks – great, humane and inspirational.

NPR: Fresh Air with Terry Gross – Interview with Oliver Sacks – Nov. 6, 2012 – NPR

With the sad news today of the death of noted Neurologist and Writer Oliver Sacks, I ran across this interview from the NPR series Fresh Air, hosted by Terry Gross. Sacks…

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