turns out politics and economics are subjective just like religion and art09 Feb 2017
i just finished listening to an interview with krista tippett from the podcast, longform. it was pretty cool to hear someone interview krista given that she’s always the interviewer for on being (13 years running).
i learned a lot of interesting things. i learned about her interview prep techniques and that she doesn’t believe in doing pre-interviews. i learned that her goal with an interview is not to get answers to questions. she wants to understand how a person thinks. this is counter to everything i’ve ever learned about interviewing. i also learned that one way she tries to do that is by crafting questions that are not just interesting to her, but are interesting to the interviewee. and she knows she’s successful when the interviewee responds “oh, that’s an interesting question.”
anyway, there’s much more so this is the first of three or four posts about that episode. and what i really wanted to sketch out in this post was an interesting comment she made about journalism as it relates to economics, politics, art, and religion.
in short, my first takeway from krista in this interview was this: there are meaningful implications for the way journalists think about and are learning to think about the false distinction between things like economics and religion, politics and art. when journalists interview politicians or economists or other “hard” scientists, they treat it like there are factual bases to be respected and discussed; basically like there is objectivity. with art and religion, they start from a place of subjectivity. this leads to a whole different interview style and approach.
however, what she sees journalism learning over time, is that economics and politics are just as subjective as art and religion. they have been falsely perceived as being objective (#enlightmentleftovers). this, imo, gives us a great opportunity to finally get serious about making these systems (government, economies, etc.) work for us, instead of just proclaiming and assuming that if we set them up right, they’ll just work for everyone.
also, we need to get to that place of thinking with all our systems. people (often white dudes, but not always) who try to set up objective systems, tend to actually just embed their own values and then fuck it up for people not them.
ugh. that was pretty jumbled, but i gotta run!
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