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A few weeks ago, I agreed to be an interview subject for George Kenney's podcast series, Electric Politics. Kenney is a really interesting guy with an distinguished and varied biography, and his podcast series hosts an impressive range of guests on a variety of topics related to politics and technology. I was honored to follow Chalmers Johnson as an interviewee, and my interview is now available from Kenney's site. 老域名购买

A few words of warning before you download the interview. First, Kenney had mentioned that the particular type of broadcast-quality audio recording equipment that he uses doesn't work as well with Skype as it does with standard phone lines. My house is Skype- and mobile-only, so POTS wasn't an option for me. I typically talk in a fairly low register, so when you combine that with the Skype-related static, it sounds like I really need to cough throughout most of the interview. Not that the audio is bad, mind you, but listening to it I kept thinking, "man, I sound kind of gurgly."

The second caveat relates to the extremely open-ended and wide-ranging nature of the conversation: politics, religion, technology, and everything in between. The spontaneous, open-endedness of it all—there was no plan to talk about one particular topic—and the total lack of visual cues on my end that would let me know when I'm rambling and when I'm staying on topic, made it extremely difficult for me stay focused in my responses. On the whole, I think I did a pretty good job given the circumstances, but there are a few moments that (to me at least) seem to veer into "dorm room bull-session" type territory because I'm on this kind of extended, free-form rant about some super-deep topic.

I was keenly aware of this factor over the course of the interview, and so as I sat there alone in my office, with my Skype headset on, speaking to the voice at the other end of the ether about the problems of empire and the nature of the human condition (not my usual topic of conversation), I was really trying to hold it all together and make coherent, worthwhile points. If you've never been in this position—where you've got 1.5 hours worth of rope to hang yourself with, and no net—then you have no idea what a challenge it is to tell when you're making a point and when you're just thinking out loud. (All the previous interviews I've done have been one-topic affairs, where I could prepare beforehand.)

The end result of all this is that my conversation is rhythmically punctuated with verbal artifacts like "um..", "y'know…," "well…," and so on that are pretty much the stutters and stumbles of an amateur sweating and weaving on a high-wire above the circus floor.

At any rate, George did a great job of navigating all of this, and without him nudging me along it could've been much worse. So I hope you guys enjoy listening to me think out loud for an hour and a half—in spite of the amount of effort involved, it was a good experience and I'm glad I participated.

Oh, and the source of this post title is a term that I must've used at least five times in various contexts in the interview: "flip side." I think this jumped out at me mainly because it's not something I normally say.


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