Micah Saul: This project is built on a hypothesis. There are moments in history when the status quo fails. Political systems prove insufficient, religious ideas unsatisfactory, social structures intolerable. These are moments of crisis.
Aengus Anderson: During some of these moments, great minds have entered into conversation and torn apart inherited ideas, dethroning truths, combining old thoughts, and creating new ideas. They’ve shaped the norms of future generations.
Saul: Every era has its issues, but do ours warrant The Conversation? If they do, is it happening?
Anderson: We’ll be exploring these sorts of questions through conversations with a cross‐section of American thinkers, people who are critiquing some aspect of normality and offering an alternative vision of the future. People who might be having The Conversation.
Saul: Like a real conversation, this project is going to be subjective. It will frequently change directions, connect unexpected ideas, and wander between the tangible and the abstract. It will leave us with far more questions than answers because after all, nobody has a monopoly on dreaming about the future.
Anderson: I’m Aengus Anderson.
Saul: And I’m Micah Saul. And you’re listening to The Conversation.
Saul: Hey, welcome to San Francisco.
Anderson: Thanks. It’s nice to be here. It was quite an ordeal, but tomorrow I’m going to be talking to Andrew Keen.
Saul: Yes. So, tell me about Andrew Keen.
Anderson: Well, he calls himself “the Antichrist of Silicon Valley.”
Saul: That is a fantastic nickname. Alright, tell me more.
Anderson: So, his background is he’s a media thinker but he’s also a media critic, and he’s coming out with a book called Digital Vertigo, which is sort of a critique of social networking and its effects on our lives. He also wrote a book called The Cult of the Amateur. So he’s definitely going to tell us, I think, a lot about some of what we lose when we gain all of this interconnection.
Saul: Yeah, I’m really excited to hear what he has to say. I know when we were first looking at trying to find people to talk to, one of the big things we wanted was a sort of technocratic apostate.
Anderson: Yes. Well said.
Saul: It’s one of those sacred cows. But what is The Conversation if not assassinating sacred cows, making delicious delicious sacred hamburgers?
Anderson: And if this project fails for us, then we’ll just open a restaurant.
Saul: Food truck.
Anderson: Yeah, food truck.
Andrew Keen: We’ve got two paradoxical trends happening at the same time. The first is what I call in my book “the cult of the social,” the idea that on the network, everything has to be social and that the more you reveal about yourself the better off you are. So if your friends could know what your musical taste is, where you live, what you’re wearing, what you’re thinking, that’s a good thing, this cult of sharing. So that’s one thing that’s going on. And the other thing is an increasingly radicalized individualism of contemporary, particularly digital, life. And these things seem to sort of coexist, which is paradoxical and it’s something that I try to make sense of in my book.
Anderson: So when you talk about the radicalized individual, can you give me some examples of that? What does that mean?
Keen: Well, online what it means is that we (people who live online) flip from community to community, we personalize everything on the Internet. So what we see, what we hear, what we think, is our version of reality. It becomes a vast echo chamber. And the reality is we seem to be actually less and less attached, associated, connected, with our physical communities.
It’s not just ideological or cultural or sociological, it’s also economic. And I think this is really important that the economy is dramatically changing. The 20th century industrial economy was built around large organizations, firms. The majority of people worked for those organizations or firms. Many of them would spend thirty or forty years working for the same organization, within the same hierarchy. In our post‐industrial economy, we’re increasingly free agents. Which means that, in economic terms, we’re more and more individualized brands. So there are sound economic reasons for our increasing isolation, atomization, and loneliness.
Anderson: Well, it seems like there’s an interesting parallel here, because we have an economic system that reduces people to individuals. Is this sort of the social extension of that?
Keen: Well, it’s how the post‐industrial free market works. We’re all, especially in our economy where there are very light labor laws, anyone can be laid off, we’re less and less reliant on organizations and firms, and more and more dependent on building our own brands. That’s why platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter, in my analysis, aren’t purely platforms for narcissism (although there is an element of that), but they also become logical economic platforms in this increasingly individualized knowledge economy.
Anderson: What does that mean, a logical platform for that?
Keen: Well, what it means for example is that we are continually selling ourselves, our services, our brands. And personal networks become the most valuable thing of all. Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn has just written a best‐selling book called The Start‐Up Of You which suggests that everyone is essentially a startup, and the best way to build value in that startup is to invent and reinvent yourself and build these strong networks. We are all essentially 21st century firms, with the same challenges of survival, of competition, of inventing and reinventing ourselves, and people like Reid Hoffman and perhaps Arianna Huffington are very good examples of these kinds of brands that’ve succeeded. So we’re living in a world of increasingly radicalized mobility, of individualism, of the fragmentation of community. And only the strongest survive. It’s a very Darwinian world.
Anderson: So what are we losing?
Keen: We’re losing the traditional notion of community, community which is physical. The certainties, particularly in America, that had maintained 20th century life. And I think it’s particularly dramatic in America because it goes along with economic, cultural, political, and even military decline. Everyone goes through this. Everyone is going through it, every culture. But I think it’s particularly confusing in America because it’s bound up also in this shift in the world from a world which revolved around American values, American power, military, American money, to a world which is much more multi‐polar.
Anderson: Do you think that this moment in history that we’re living in, is this a particularly critical moment?
Keen: Well, I think everyone always likes to think that they’re living in a critical moment. It’s hard to imagine an interview where someone like you would say, “Are we living in a critical moment?” and the person would say, “No, we’re not.”
And I think the very nature of that question reflects our sense of history and our own individualized notion of history, which means that we think we’re living in a particularly important moment in history because it’s us. We’re here. This is not a culture which is very historical. It’s very futuristic, but even the future I think we think of in terms of ourselves, rather than in an abstract way.
Having said all those things, I fall into the same trap, probably. I do think we’re living in an interesting historical period in the sense that the old certainties of the industrial age are being swept away and being replaced by something else. Knowledge, digital, flat, social, all these themes are dominant. So, for example, the way in which the media industry has been swept away by the digital revolution is now being repeated outside media, in education, in politics, in energy, in healthcare. All these traditional, hierarchical industries are ripe to be reinvented.
And it’s great if you’re a Reid Hoffman. It’s great if you’re a Mark Zuckerberg. It’s great if you’re skilled at reinvention like Arianna Huffington. It’s very hard for most other people.
Anderson: In a world like this, where people have to be brands and where the individual is crucial, what happens to the people who actually can’t compete and can’t make it?
Keen: Well, that’s the all‐important question that I’m always asking people now. And in my book I compare what’s happening now to what’s happened in the middle of the 19th century, when there were people who couldn’t make it, either, in the Industrial Revolution. If you’re a Darwinian, if you’re a pure free market person, you’ll say, “Well, they’ll just kind of go away.” If you’re a libertarian, those people will starve, they’ll go to jail, they’ll live on the streets, they won’t reproduce, and eventually they just…won’t exist.
But I think one needs to be both more sensible and more compassionate, and understand that these are people who may well need help. That there is a role for government. There is a role for corporate responsibility. And there is role for individual responsibility. It’s easy for a kind of new global elite to say, “Well, like Reid Hoffman in The Start‐Up of You invent and reinvent yourself, and we’re all startups.” But for most people, the idea of being a startup is incredibly foreign and the kind of people who read his books are people who understand what’s going on anyway.
It’s also, I think, the key question in terms of making sense of what to do with our education system. Because to be tooled… (To use that word. I don’t like it but it’s perhaps an important word.) To be tooled properly in this economy, it’s not so much what you know, it’s not reading all these books, it’s who you know, and how you go about defining and redefining your skills. Everyone always says in America… You have these long conversations about the problem, and everyone always says at the end, “Well, the problem is really education.”
And when people say that, what they’re really saying is that they don’t know the answer. They’re holding their hands up and saying, well let’s just leave it to the teachers. And of course the teachers are the least suited, at least in this traditional economy. They’re the old industrial teaching class, is poorly paid, and and tend to attract (for the most part) not very talented people, not very motivated people. So they’re the people least suited, not only to passing on relevant, useful, helpful values to kids, but also surviving themselves in this economy. So it’s very complicated.
Anderson: Something I’d like to get to, beneath all of this, is the question of values that you just brought up. Why embrace Darwinian values, why embrace other values? I started this project with two conversations. One with a futurist, and another with a reverend who has been really active in bringing people across the US border because he believes in sort of a global sense that you just have to help people.
Anderson: So it’s like, on one hand an extreme libertarian viewpoint in which he would like people to genetically modify themselves into whatever they want in this sort of Nietzschean self‐fulfillment dream, and another one who’s sort of a moral objectivist, in a way. Where do you stand on questions like that, and where do we get the values that help us sort of solve these problems?
Keen: You know, I’m a little uncomfortable with the term “values,” I have to say. I don’t really know what that means.
Anderson: How about “the good?” How do we decide on the good?
Keen: You decide on that traditionally through politics, but that’s one of the casualties of what’s happening.
Anderson: But is there a moral sense beneath all that?
Keen: Well, there can be. And probably should be. Again, I think when you talk about values, that’s sort of a white flag. It’s sort of an NPR statement or the statement of a bleeding‐heart liberal. I don’t know what the solution is. I suspect the solution will be much bloodier and more complex. It’s not as if everyone has to wake up one day and say, “Oh, actually we realize we haven’t had values and now we’re gonna have values,” because that’s not the way the world works. And many of the people who believe in the free market anyway believe they have values, that it’s the essence of this country.
So it’s not as if they don’t have values, it’s just they have different values. And then one can talk about this abstractly in a global sense, but in America it’s also bound up with decline and the mythology of American superiority and a population that’s force‐fed for the most part, both from Left and Right, lies. So most people don’t actually understand the world they’re living in.
I mean, I’m amazed when I go to my health club. There are two big screens, so I have to stare at them as I’m exercising, and one of the stations is always on MSNBC and other one is on Fox. And after a while, when you look at Rachel Maddow and Bill O’Reilly, after a while they’re identical. They have the same facial mannerisms, the same hectoring style. They’re both preachers, and they’re both preaching a bundle of lies which don’t reflect the nature of the world. But the problem is that no one’s watching CNN, which is somewhere in between, which at least might be rather dull but attempts to give people facts rather than telling them what those facts mean.
And what mystifies me, and this may sound very kind of elitist and all the rest of it, is that who watches this stuff? Who, after a while, wouldn’t realize that they’re being tricked when you watch a station and after a while you agree with everything the people are saying? What’s the point of watching it? Might as well just talk to yourself. So I think one of the fundamental problems is that no one’s really thinking for themselves. And then we can say, “Oh, the problem’s education,” but then that’s again a white flag. I don’t know how we deal with a lot of these issues. They’re so deeply rooted. They’re so bound up with structural issues that are very hard to solve, that I don’t quite know how they get resolved, if indeed they ever get resolved.
One of my intellectual heroes is Neil Postman, who wrote a book called Amusing Ourselves to Death in which he said at the beginning we made a mistake. We worried most of all about Orwell; actually we should’ve been worrying about Huxley. And I think that what Postman observed is even more the case on the Internet in terms of the problems with the Internet. So the Internet itself, it’s not to blame. I think it’s wrong to think of technology as the thing that causes these problems. It does in some ways cause them, but it’s also a consequence. It’s no accident that we’ve produced a media that reflects our own zeitgeist, our own way of thinking.
Anderson: So you feel that we could use technology for more constructive or better ends if we… Or is it a prisoner of the culture it’s in?
Keen: Yeah, technology reflects who we are. I’ve become…I don’t want to say I’m necessarily determinist, but the more I think of and study the Internet, the more I begin to think that when we look at the Internet in particular, we’re just looking at a mirror. It reflects our values. That’s why I’m interested in studying the Internet. Because I’m not interested in technology, I’m interested in society. I’m interested in culture.
Anderson: I’m curious, you’ve talked about technology as a mirror, which implies of course that there are cultural changes that are then reflected in technology. How about technology…does it have a structural bias that sort of conditions culture back? The shapes of technologies, the way that they encourage different types of uses, encourage different types of behavior?
Keen: That’s a good question. There are philosophers who’ve looked at this in great detail. The German philosopher Martin Heidegger, who’s work I have to admit I’m not that familiar with; it’s very difficult. I’m more interested in culture and society. I haven’t looked at technology with the kind of attention to detail and knowledge of technology which would make me able to answer that question. But I would suspect the answer is yes.
I mean, it is important also to know that we’re living in an age where technology is more and more central. Even in the industrial age, technology didn’t seem to be as central. There’s this movie coming out now called Prometheus. And Prometheus, it’s built off of I think it’s called the Prometheus Corporation, in which the CEO talks about technology becoming the thing which replaces human beings, and it’s kind of ironic since he’s a human. But I think we are moving towards that singular moment where it’s going to become increasingly hard to distinguish between computers, robots, artificial intelligence, and human beings. And that’s where we’re going, that’s where all this is leading.
Anderson: Do you think that is inevitable?
Keen: Well, I think it’s inevitable that we are moving in that direction. I don’t think it’s inevitable that computers or robots will replace human beings. But I think it’s inevitable that we’re moving in a direction which means that eventually that possibility will provoke a crisis of our species which hasn’t happened for millennia, perhaps ever.
Anderson: When I was talking to Dr. More at Alcor, I think that’s something that he’s keen to have us move towards.
Keen: Those guys are in a hurry. There’s a guy called Ray Kurzweil in Silicon Valley. He’s a pill‐popping utopian who thinks he can live forever and all of us can live forever. I’m not someone who wants to get there in a hurry. I want to get to the moment where we begin to confront these issues. That’s one of the reasons I do my work. I think that we are in danger of losing whatever it is it means to be human as we live more and more externally, as we lose the inner self.
I’m happy that I’m going to die in the sense that I don’t want to be around at a time where it’s increasingly hard to distinguish between artificial intelligence and human intelligence. I don’t want to live in that world. And I won’t live in that world. But my children or the children of my children might.
Anderson: What do we lose? You’re talking about intrinsically human things.
Keen: Well, when you say what do we lose, we lose what it means to be human. It’s not something that can be discussed in a radio interview. It’s something that human beings have been trying to make sense of ever since they’ve existed as a species in terms of art, literature, religion, love. Everybody knows what being human is because we’re all humans. I’m not going to come on your show and list what those are from one to ten. We all know what they are, and we have to, individually I think, confront what it actually would mean to lose those.
Now again, I’m not going to come up with a solution saying, “This is what we have to do.” It’s not as if we have to, oh well if we put away our iPhones for an hour a day or switch off our computers or our televisions, we can save our humanness. That’s again an absurdly trite way of thinking about it.
Anderson: With all of these issues that we’ve talked about, there are clearly a lot of things that whether or not we’re at a particularly critical moment in history we’re certainly at a unique one, and there are a lot of things to talk about.
Keen: Well, just to interrupt there. We are always at a unique point in history. That’s why history’s so interesting.
Anderson: I mean, obviously every moment’s unprecedented, right? But sort of the scale that we can affect change on the planet on, I think now is pretty unique in that I don’t think we’ve every been able to cause global warming with the same rapidity that we can now.
Anderson: And so I’m always curious with people, how do we start to bring about a conversation about the future?
Keen: Yeah, I don’t know. I’m not convinced that that’s really the important— I mean the present is also an important conversation, as indeed is the past.
Anderson: I’m thinking sort of, there are these moments in history where lots of people have come together and there’s been sort of a zeitgeist where many people in the culture are talking about change and ideas. Because it doesn’t feel to me like we have that now. I feel like we’ve got a lot of people talking in their own little cliques.
Keen: Even this idea of having a discussion I think is kind of ideological. The idea of all these generous people sitting around and talking about the future is Jeffersonian, perhaps. It’s idealistic, and I don’t see much evidence of it ever happening. We read Plato and we like to think well, the Socratic dialogues were wonderful. People sat around talking about ideas, but that was in the midst of carnage and dictatorship. You know, there have been times I guess in American history where people have sat around and been more thoughtful. And maybe the 50s, oddly enough, I think will be seen perhaps as a halcyon period more and more as we look back.
But it’s very hard. When you have to ask the question, we have to have a discussion, we need to get together, it generally means something’s seriously gone wrong and it’s not just because no one’s organizing it. These things happen. If they’re going to happen, and they can happen, they will happen. And if they don’t they won’t, by no amount of encouraging people to do it.
Anderson: So you think that the Conversation is something that only happens when there’s some kind of crisis or structural, social thing to make it happen?
Keen: No, something has to go… I mean, I think in America, the country’s had it so good for so long that something probably has to go seriously wrong for people to actually be…and I use this word carefully because it’s not a word I particularly like but I can’t think of another one…humble enough to actually acknowledge that some of the things they think maybe are wrong. The problem is at the moment that everyone thinks they’re right. No one, or very few people, are willing to acknowledge that they’re wrong or that some of the way they view the world is wrong, and you have this increasing polarization.
One of the odd things about my work, and I think it’s one of the reasons why sometimes I get misunderstood, is often I’m not really bothered by being wrong. I know that some of the things I say are wrong, but I don’t really mind. I don’t think it’s important. I think it’s much more important to to have interesting discussions.
Again, I’m probably falling into a stereotype and reflecting what you’re saying, but I think something has to go much more seriously wrong. I think that people are so wedded to their versions of the world, which is so radically different from the other side. I mean the people that live on the West or the East Coast, people who live in San Francisco, people who live in New York, they literally have nothing in common, perhaps apart from a passport, which people in the interior don’t have, with other people living in this country. They may share a language and a passport, but that’s it. They have entirely different versions of the world, entirely different references, languages, religions, experiences. These are, again, huge questions which are very very hard to figure out, and which reflect this dichotomized way of living.
And it’s not just two, but it does seem to be two dominant worlds are living in the same physical space, but actually have nothing in common and view the world in entirely contradictory ways.
Anderson: Are you optimistic about the future?
Keen: Well, I’m sufficiently skeptical, even if I’m a skeptic of the future, to be skeptical of my own skepticism about the future. So I’m a cheerful pessimist. I’m sure that things will get worked out one way or the other. I’m not as optimistic about America as I am about the world. One of the clichés is the future is East, and the future is China, and the future is India, and I think those things are obvious. So I think I would be quite optimistic about the future if we were having this conversation in Beijing or in Hyderabad. I just think in America something’s gone seriously wrong. Or perhaps America’s period of global dominance didn’t last very long because the cycles of global dominance, like the cycles of corporate dominance, are getting shorter and shorter.
Anderson: Do you think it’s possible to parse a difference between the fate of America and the rest of the world? Are these problems now global?
Keen: Oh, some problems are global. Environment’s global. I think I can be critical of American media. I don’t think Indian media or Chinese media is probably that much more profound or valuable. So I think that these problems are in many ways global. And America still has values and strengths which other countries don’t have. I think the ability to invent and reinvent yourself, the lack of a bureaucracy. But I think America has its unique problems. And the confusion is that American culture created global culture. So now that America’s in crisis we tend to think that the crisis is global, of global values and global culture. But in many ways it’s simply a crisis of America, and we mistake American values for global values.
Aengus Anderson: So, we’ve reconvened and we’ve just listened to the interview. And we actually get to record one of these outros in person.
Micah Saul: Which is awesome [crosstalk] I think.
Anderson: Yes. Hopefully, though, we’ll get more concise and sharper on the theme.
Saul: Exactly. So, I think there was a lot of interesting stuff there. I’ve got to admit, a lot of it I found very problematic. He was talking about the ability to have a community of like‐minded people as being sort of a negative? Or at least being counter to the way communities used to work. I was intrigued by that. It seemed to me that…well, alright, you know…I live on the Internet. My Internet community and my real‐world community overlap fairly strongly. I’m wondering what are the things that a community provides in the real world that they don’t provide on the Internet and vice versa.
Anderson: Right. Because he suggests that the in‐person community is more fulfilling.
Anderson: Or makes people less lonely than the Internet does.
Saul: Right. Exactly.
Anderson: This is one that I wish we’d explored in a little more detail. And it’s difficult to know, because what are these essential human qualities… You know, when I asked what are we losing. I felt that I still don’t really know what we’re losing. It felt like he didn’t want to engage on that issue, and I understand that because you don’t want to get into spelling out what essential human qualities are. But I felt that if you’re going to critique the idea of a virtual community not having the essential human qualities that we want in a physical community, I kind of need to know a little more for that to work for me, too.
Saul: Yeah, I agree completely.
Anderson: There’s an interesting connection here with Dr. Camerer thinking about the idea of who benefits from these different types of communities. So where I think Andrew has a strong sense that the physical community is really valuable, I think Dr. Camerer also gave us a good example of where the virtual community is valuable. His hypothetical example is the gay teen in the place that has a very strong sense of community that does not accept the gay teen. And so, previous to the Internet what do you do? You’re an outcast. After the Internet, you’re able to reach out and find people. So in a way, in that example you’re less lonely. But at the same time I understand where Andrew’s coming from because physical community provides a lot of things that I think a virtual community does leave people lonely about.
Saul: I guess really what it comes down to is I don’t see the two as being mutually exclusive. I feel like that’s a fallacy in a lot of critique of social media, is that you can either live a digital life or you can live a physical life, and I don’t buy that.
So let’s start talking about what else we can take from this conversation going forward. There were two big things for me that we certainly hadn’t gotten yet, in many ways kind of calling into question our whole intent.
Anderson: That was one of the parts I was most excited about in this interview because it felt like Andrew just was not on board with our premise.
Saul: Yeah. No, exactly.
Anderson: Which I think is great because we may not entirely be on board with our premise.
Saul: Exactly. I mean, obviously…assuming our listeners can tell, in reading our description of the thing and listening to us talk, everything about the premise is just like, we believe that we’re living in very interesting times. We believe that throughout history there have been these moments of conversation that caused great mental, psychological, social change. Is that us projecting our own thoughts on history? Like he said, everybody thinks that they’re living in interesting times. Everybody thinks that they’re living at the end of the world.
Anderson: What I would counter that with is the notion that for some people, they are. There were people there when Rome fell. There were people there when the Han dynasty collapsed. They were living in times when the world changed.
Saul: It’s the global, social version of “Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after me.”
Saul: But it was interesting to hear his sort of…really just coming out and saying, “No, you’re fundamental thoughts are flawed on this.” And I think that it’s good to have those challenges.
Saul: It’s good to have someone challenging your ideas in that way, because I think it will help us solidify what our thoughts are a little more.
Anderson: Absolutely. And I think there are really two parts of this. One is, is this a critical moment? I feel that you can make the case pretty convincingly that there’s no point where we’ve had the technological power to change the world and change ourselves. We can genetically engineer things; that’s new. The environmental changes are new. So I think this is an amazing moment. Does that lead to the next assumption that we need to be having a conversation now? Maybe not. Maybe none of these things are problems. But if you are worried about the climate changing, then there’s a problem.
Saul: So I guess the final thing I wanted to talk about, something I really appreciated, actually, was Andrew did not want to give answers. He didn’t want to provide any solutions. And he was very honest about that. He said, “I don’t know. I don’t know what the answer is.” And I think that’s an interesting thing that I want to see how that continues throughout the project. Like, who is interested in giving the answers? Who is just interested in talking about the problems? Answers are hard.
Anderson: Answers are hard.
Saul: And answers…saying, “This is the answer,” implies some sort of surety.
Anderson: Right. And he’s clearly— I mean, I really liked his section where he said that he’s skeptical enough [crosstalk] that he’s skeptical of himself.
Saul: …that he’s skeptical of his own skepticism.
Anderson: Which is awesome, right?
Saul: Obviously I work for a company called Metaweb, so I love the meta.
Anderson: That’s embarrassing.
Saul: And I don’t know that I’ve heard a more meta statement than that. Like, I am so skeptical I’m skeptical of my own skepticism.
Anderson: Yeah. It’s straight up Socratic, isn’t it?
Saul: It’s amazing.
Anderson: At the same time, where does that get us? If the Conversation is about the future, at some point do you have to go out on a limb and risk looking like a fool? Do you have to really put something out there the way John Fife did, where he’s willing to say, “Let’s be done with nation‐states.”
Saul: Or go out on a limb like Dr. More does, where he says humanity can and should move beyond humanity.
Anderson: And that’s where I think for the Conversation, those voices may ultimately be the most outspoken, but I think at the same time even if they’re largely dismissed, if the Conversation ever does happen, they will inform it.
Saul: Oh no, absolutely. I think the people that are willing to go out there and say, “This is the answer,” are incredibly important. I also believe that it is very important to have the people that say, “Listen, I don’t know the answer, but here’s the problem with your answer.”
Anderson: It makes me think of the platitudes like “You can’t have change unless you offer a better thing to change to.” If we feel that the Conversation is not happening now, man, there are a million people who you can find anywhere in the media who are busy criticizing now.
Saul: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
Anderson: I mean, Andrew mentions that a lot of them are saying, “Well, we just need to work more on education.” But I think if you’re not willing to really hazard a wish for the future and what it looks like, which is ultimately expressing a concern about the present, right? Those things are inextricably linked. I think if you’re not willing to go after that, I don’t really think you’re having the Conversation.
Saul: I’m going to have to give that some thought. I think that might be actually an appropriate place to close.
Anderson: I think it definitely is. We’ll be talking to Jan Lundberg next, going in a completely different direction.
Saul: Awesome. I’m really looking forward to that, actually.
Anderson: I guess there’s no point in saying goodbye because we’re just sitting here.
Saul: Yeah, exactly.
Anderson: That was Andrew Keen, recorded in Santa Rosa, California May 17th, 2012.
Anderson: So thanks for listening. I’m Aengus Anderson.
Saul: And I’m Micah Saul.
This interview at the Conversation web site, with project notes, comments, and taxonomic organization specific to The Conversation.