Although 2018 has begun, early January remains a time for us here at Radius to reflect on the past semester and do some "catch-up"--on administrative work, reading, and assessment of what worked well during the Fall semester and what we can improve and/or adjust. January is also the time for intense planning for the semester. This current blizzard, though, is giving us an additional day of quiet: just the kind of day to catch up on podcasts.
Christopher Lydon's excellent radio show, Open Source, is one of my go-to podcasts. His programming is always compelling and his guests always articulate and knowledgable. In late December, there was a re-broadcast of a June episode featuing Professor Noam Chomsky. Before the crew visited Chomsky in his MIT office, he was asked about not what he thinks, but how. He answered that hard work and an open mind have a lot to do with it; also, in his words, a “Socratic-style willingness to ask whether conventional doctrines are justified.”
In the opening moments of the interview, he goes on to say, “I think the fate of the species depends on it because, remember, it’s not just inequality, stagnation. It’s terminal disaster. We have constructed a perfect storm. That should be the screaming headlines every day. Since the Second World War, we have created two means of destruction. Since the neoliberal era, we have dismantled the way of handling them. That’s our pincers. That’s what we face, and if that problem isn’t solved we’re done with.”
Later on, Chomsky is asked about the role of anger in creating change. He replies, That’s not the right response. The right response is understanding and constructive action. Change it. Not anger, not fear, not hatred of others..."
Over the years, T&C/Radius has been honored to host and co-host many lectures and panels featuring Professor Chomsky. What always struck me at those events, besides Noam's absolute dedication to truth, was his ability to calmly and gently educate and inspire. During this recent radio interview, his words about understanding and constructive action resonanted deeply and, once again, inspired me.
We hope you will join us this semester and engage with us in the hard work of understanding and creating paths to constructive action and positive change.