Posts Tagged ‘self experiment’

We Don’t Do Carrots

July 17, 2008

When asked about possible incentives that might cause North Korea (or Iran) to end its nuclear ambitions, John Bolton (then as the U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security) famously replied, “I don’t do carrots.” Carrots as in sticks and carrots, of course, in this case leaving only the sticks, as in the big-stick, unilateral “diplomacy” that characterizes U.S. dealings with the rest of the world.

Presumably the stick works through fear. Often the left also thinks this is the best approach to getting what we want. But spending valuable energy echoing the daily messages of hopelessness only overwhelms most of us and paralyzes the best intentions.

So I was disappointed to read an article (Turning Your Lawn into a Victory Garden Won’t Save You — Fighting the Corporations Will) on Alternet by Stan Cox . Apparently Cox doesn’t think we should do carrots either.



Anecdotes of Research

April 7, 2008

Last week, The Public Square in Chicago, along with ITVS hosted a screening of King Corn, made by Aaron Woolfe, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis. They had invited me, along with the fabulous LaDonna Redmond, to make comments after the feature length video and then take questions on the issues raised.
(For what it’s worth, after the film there was barely half an hour left for comments and discussion. Do programmers think audiences simply cannot tolerate an event longer than 2 hours? What do you think?)

The Genre
The film is another example of a growing genre, the documentation of a self-initiated investigation that combines in varying proportions personal narrative and focused research, often anchored by a gesture or act that loosely qualifies as an experiment relevant to the motive question.


Case Study in Manhattan

March 26, 2007

I have started following the story of Colin Beavan, ‘no impact man,’ a writer living in Manhattan. Along with his wife (a writer for Business Week) and daughter, he is attempting to live for a year with no or minimal footprint in terms of energy consumption and waste production, although his project guidelines include the energy to blog daily and publish a book at the end of the year.

What i find so interesting about his project, is what it contributes to an aspect of our current state in an affluent, industrialized nation: self-experimentation becomes necessary because no one can trust the authorities or so-called experts.