Thursday, October 28, 2021

Dirty, but Essential Work: A Conversation with Eyal Press

Workers left their jobs at a record pace in the past few months. They left because of health concerns, child care issues and because, post pandemic, they did not want to return to what they saw as rotten jobs. Jobs that were ethically and morally challenging.

The pandemic has brought new light to these workers. Often, in what has been called essential work. It has highlighted and personified the work we often don’t see, but that we all rely on for keeping the wheels of society working.
Studs Terkel said that “work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than lethargy; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying." And yet for millions of workers this dying that Terkel talked about, is what they face, day in and day out.

We can't imagine what it does to them, but also what it does to our society. This is what Eyal Press examine in Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America.

My conversation with Eyal Press:

Monday, October 18, 2021

Looking for America: My Conversation with Evan Osnos

Without comparing one historical era to another, suffice it to say that we live in a nation filled with anger, despair and at best anxiety. Our ideological, economic and cultural divisions have infected every fiber of the public square. And all of this is happening amidst loss of faith in our once valued institutions, both public and private. A loss of faith in facts and truth, and in the fundamentals founding principles of self governance of fairness and selflessness.

But we didn’t get here overnight, nor did some external forces (no not even Donald Trump) create this environment.

NY staff writer Evan Osnos went, like Simon and Garfunkel, looking for America. He looked in the mix of places he knew best, Greenwich, Connecticut where he grew up, Clarksburg West Virginia where he worked as a young reporter, and Chicago, the very definition of urban America.

The result of that effort is his new book Wildland: The Making of America's Fury 

My conversation with Evan Osnos:

Friday, October 8, 2021

What Is The Future of Transportation? Hint...It's Not A Better Car

A recent survey showed that the reason people are reluctant to go back to the office has nothing to do with COVID, but with their commute. It’s not the office they object to, it’s getting there.

Particularly in places like New York, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington DC, commute times have exploded in recent years.

Perhaps when the dust settles, perhaps what we will have changed as a result of a year at home, is less how we work, and more how we move about.

But will we ever give up our love affair with the automobile? Will new generations approach transportation in a new way? Are flying cars ever going to be a thing? And what can we learn from the last great inflection point as we went from the horse to the car?

All of this is part of Tom Standage’s new book, A Brief History of Motion: From the Wheel, to the Car, to What Comes Next.

My conversation with Tom Standage My conversation with Stephen Kurczy: