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The Soul of California

Let them share.....That's the goal. Let the leading thinkers, writers, academics, artists and activists talk about their work and the influence of California on that work. In these podcasts, I hope to bring out the myth and the ethos that is not only a leading administrative entity in the United States, but also the world. No commercials, just content. Feed your soul. Keep listening.
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Now displaying: 2018
May 16, 2018

In this 52-minute podcast, Richard Walker, author of Pictures of a Gone City: Tech and the Dark Side of Prosperity, discusses the negatives impacts that the Tech Boom has had in the analog world - housing, sprawl, labor, you name it....

Richard talks about the origins of the book, then moves on to  inequality (min. 6), why we hate the word "class" (min. 11) and then discusses the culture of commuting and the tech buses (min. 13).

He then highlights regulation challenges (min. 25), the push-pull of private vs. public services (min. 33), tax optimization and whether sustained regulatory chance is possible (min. 40). 

POST-INTERVIEW BONUS: Lawrence Ferlinghetti - Pictures of the Gone World, no. 11 - Closing out his first century, the eternal poet reads the poem that fits so frighteningly well with the Bay Area's Tech Boom and its impacts, despite being written in 1955 (min. 53). Special thanks to City Lights Books for their kind permission.  

Feed your soul. Keep listening. 

May 4, 2018

In this 29-minute podcast, Viet Nguyen discusses The Sympathizer, which takes aim at the Vietnam genre, particularly Coppela’s Apocalypse Now, and how it is ripe for parody. He then moves into the impact of literature vs. film (min. 5) and the duality of 30 April - the day in 1975 when Saigon fell (min. 9).

Viet shares with listeners the body of literature and other perspectives coming from Vietnam (min. 10) and recounts his own harrowing early life as a refugee in America and the friendly competition with his brother (min. 14). He then closes with how he writes (min. 18) and his teaching (min. 24). 

Next up:  UC Berkeley's Richard Walker on the Dark Side of Tech - wealth creation at the pinnacle, life altering challenges for the majority. Timely, to say the least.....

Feed your soul. Keep listening. 

Apr 27, 2018

In this 49-minute discussion, the Godfather of Multiculturalism Ishmael Reed discusses his writing (min. 7), his love of contagions and his just released book Conjugating Hindi (min. 10) and critical acclaim outside of the US (min. 17). He then continues regarding the establishment and the “space” for minority viewpoints, his thoughts on teaching (min. 35) relaxing (min. 39) and oral histories.  

Now entering his ninth decade without one hint of slowing down, Reed remains relevant across a number of art forms. 

BONUS POETRY READING: Ishmael reads three of his poems at the end of the interview - not to be missed! 

Next up: Pulitzer Prize Winner Viet Thanh Nguyen on another perspective of war.  

Feed your soul. Keep listening. 

Apr 16, 2018

In this 21-minute episode, Kristine Poggioli, co-author with Carolyn Eidson of Walking San Francisco's 49 Mile Scenic Drive, discusses how Carolyn and her implemented a new year's resolution, walking what was originally created to be enjoyed behind the wheel. 

Kristine tells about the drive's origins and then talks about some of her favourite walks, the best views and monuments, the most strenuous and the actual vantage point of walking as opposed to being in a car. 

Putting a new twist on an old concept and for a new generation of those dedicated to healthy living, the 49 mile WALK, turns 80 this year, and is fast becoming a part of the city's bucket list.....

Next up: Ishmael Reed, The Godfather of Multiculturalism. 

Feed your soul. Keep listening. 

Mar 17, 2018

In this 33-minute podcast, Susan Anderson of the African American Museum and Library (AAMLO) in Oakland provides the history and context of AAMLO, describes some of its archives and recent events. Shell equally reflects on who writes which narrative, with California not being part of the usual US narrative. 

Susan also touches on the digital/analog aspects that archival institutions face, reaching out to students and some of her favorite archives (even though she wouldn't dare take them to a desert island!). She closes up with overview of her book, which is currently in the works. 

Next up: California's 49 mile scenic drive/walk. 

Feed you soul. Keep listening. 

Feb 22, 2018

Novelist. Law Professor. Art Critic. Yxta Maya Murray juggles her life between the three.

In this 37-minute interview, Whiting Award winner Yxta discusses how listening to defendants tell their story inspired her to come up with 26 lines of text per day. She then continues with  how she juggled writing and a legal career (min. 6), treasures from Latin America in American museums, changing education in the digital age (min. 15), gentrification’s very negative impacts (min.18), how law resembles fiction (min. 25), and how it has been changing in the last few years (min. 32), her latest piece on non-disclosure agreements, and closes with which literature she would take on a desert island. Finally, a bit of  advice to her students. 

All through it, Yxta shows her firm grasp on a broad palette of contemporary issues and challenges, remaining throughout the discussion very accessible. 

Feed your soul. Keep listening. 

Jan 25, 2018

In this 29-minute episode, David Laws recounts the history and background of the "Fairchild Eight" and their Notebooks, what makes them so special technologically and the personalities of each one (min. 6). David then talks about the equivalent today (min. 14), its complete analog beginnings and the memory challenge (min. 16) and closes with how the Computer History Museum acquired the notebooks. 

Although not household names, the work of Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore and the other six continues to have an enormous impact on all of us every day. 

Feed your soul. Keep listening.

Jan 9, 2018

The brainchild of the Packard family and built out of the enormous success that has been the Monterey Bay Aquarium, MBARI is a global leader in oceanography, with an extensive array of equipment and the leadership and R&D to back it up.

In this 35-minute podcast, Judith Connor discusses MBARI's origins and mission, the specificities and advantages of Monterey Canyon,  technological advances allowing autonomous and remote research (min. 5), climate change impacts (min. 8), international cooperation (min. 16), communicating the importance of oceans to the general public (min. 18), two of her most challenging dives (min. 26), her getaway island and descending a 20-foot ice shaft in Antartica. 

Throughout it, Judith shows both her love and respect for the ocean and demonstrates the key role that it plays, either directly or indirectly, in our lives. 

Next up - The Fairchild Notebooks with David Laws of the Computer History Museum. Those notebooks changed everything....   

Feed your soul. Keep listening. 

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