Frank Edward Nora believes, as that now cliché Chinese proverb says, we actually do live in very interesting times. Part of his love and dedication to creating original audio content and preserving bits of audio from the past is because of his interest in what will be available for future generations. For over ten years he has produced the Overnightscape, a personal audio journey, a chronical of one man’s daily life and thoughts in the New York City Tri-State area.
On today’s podcast, a long overdue meeting, as I sit down with Frank in Manhattan, and discuss his role in the big picture of internet, media production, and history.
“… Just like the telephone, the mobile phone, or the television was and is weird, so is twitter.” – Rabble.
Rabble was the first ever employee at twitter and had the opportunity to watch how it went from activist tool to massively popular communication medium. In a world where everyone thinks they know why twitter or tools like twitter exist and are good, Rabble has unique knowledge that can explain why it exists and how things changed over time. He can tell you the good, the bad, and the in between, as is so often the case with such a widely used platform.
Towards the end of the summer of 2013, at hacker camp (OHM), Rabble and I sat down to record this conversation and explore this often overlooked topic.
The shipyard of Gdansk Poland is legendary both for its well known capacity to build ships and the labor struggles that would send shock waves of inspiration to the entire world. The tireless and selfless efforts of workers of the Solidarity Movement who stood up to authority and brute force, demanding justice and respect, no doubt made a better life for countless people in Poland, Europe and beyond. Yet decades later, the now privatized, downsized, and struggling shipyard feels more like a graveyard or a shrine to a lost past. The victories, on the grand scale of time, were short lived, as the world of ship building, labor, and politics, changed yet again, and Solidarity went from engine of change to historical symbol of a bygone era. Was it all for nothing? Are the dreams of those workers still alive in Gdansk or elsewhere? When the new luxury condominiums and shopping malls break ground on the same site where workers lost their lives and built their dreams, will their efforts matter anymore? Should they? Or is this just life.
Special thanks to the Subjective Bus Line from which I recorded some of this audio. When in Gdansk, find their fantastic old-school red bus and take one of the last rides around the shipyard. And hurry, they are already building over much of this history.
Lamija Tanović grew up in a Yugoslavia with a quality of life that makes today’s Bosnia look like another planet. A time where values such as education, cooperation, and participation were essential. An era that would later give way to a terrible war and a dysfunctional plan to create a new nation in its aftermath. Through it all, Lamija explains, everyone always wished to come home and make a life in this beautiful place. The problem is, today’s Bosnia makes it quite difficult for anyone to have a decent life and as a result, people have left and will continue to leave.
Today on the podcast, I spend an hour in the home of Lamija Tanović; educator, human rights activist, politician, and someone with a tremendous amount of life experience, to help explain what Bosnia was then and how it became what it is today.