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  • July 2008
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This American Life Link (before leaving America)

It’s just a little past midnight and I am packing up my office. 4 or 5 days left until we leave for back East. Packing my office means mostly making flash decisions about what is really necessary to keep and what can just be tossed out. Although the lateness of the hour is not so good, I am glad I put this off. Why? Because I am much less keen on keeping anything at this point!

Anyways, while packing up (and throwing out) I listened to Episode 358 “Social Engineering” on This American Life. For the uninitiated This American Life is a great NPR broadcast. Each episode is about an hour-long and host Ira Glass masterfully pursues the weeks particular theme through a few stories, interviews, and reflections that provide a slice of life here in America. That description doesn’t really do it justice. Just click on a link and listen.

Episode 358 “Social Engineering” is about people making small but powerful decisions that reshape their own or others lives in what might be considered a micro-level version of Social Engineering. In this episode Glass explores 4 stories in this vein:

  • a former Chicago gang member who is now a “violence interrupter” on the street
  • 2 men who become homeless to pursue their dream of writing
  • An adult son and his dad who reminisce about a bike stealing incident when the son was a kid
  • A mom who has to decide if the school should label her child as “retarded” or not

Click here and scroll down to find the link to the free download of the podcast (reddish arrow icon below the picture of the two homeless poetry writers. (Sorry the streaming version is apparently down already).

Click here to subscribe to the This American Life podcast.

This episode is well worth the listen!


One Response

  1. 2 questions:

    At what hour of he day did the office eventually get packed up?

    When does the travelogue begin?

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