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New Invisible Hand Podcast on… Statistics (and breakfast with Kane & Swart)

So, my wife and I had breakfast this morning here in Portland with both Dave Kane AND Dick Swart and in between my shameless monopolizing of the conversation, which I apologize for publicly here in this forum of forums, Dave asked if I would post more of my content on Ephblog. This made me laugh a little, because the current episode of The Invisible Hand deals with statistics. I promised Dave I would mention him in this post, but also state that he does not necessarily endorse this episode (he hasn’t heard it yet). I teased him that, as Williams’ most celebrated statistician, his rub would help the show.

This book, How To Measure Anything, is a fantastic book on how to think about measurement, particularly those things that may be thought intangible by those looking for answers. You will hear me early on decrying my own statistical training, which was a collision of my undeveloped cerebrum and their antiquated pedagogy. That’s not a mix to ensure success. The show runs 35 minutes. TIH 109- How to Measure Anything

Now then, you may be wondering what breakfast was like with these two Eph titans. Well, they almost ordered exactly the same thing (eggs over easy, bacon) but Swart got pancakes and Kane got sourdough toast. Drinks were orange juice, milk and a latte. For all my talking, I was rewarded with extremely interesting business ideas from both of them (I will one day tell the story of little Jimmy Vuvuzela, Hedge Fund Manager from the Lower East Side), but the highlight was seeing Dick perform a one man pantomime of Verdi’s “La Traviata”, quite a feat in a crowded dining room. And for those who remember my last meal with Swart, yes, he wore THOSE shoes again.

I had a great time and if you ever have a chance to have a meal with either Dave or Dick, I highly encourage you to go. It was a blast.

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New UC Press Podcast with Darra Goldstein

In keeping with my promise to post all Williams related info on EphBlog, here is a podcast interview I did yesterday with Professor Goldstein about Gastronomica, the food magazine she edits for the University of California Press.

As for my own show, Episode 100 of The Invisible Hand will be posted on Valentine’s Day. It’s with Tom Keene, the host of Bloomberg’s On The Economy.

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Shameless Self Promotion (with a Williamstown connection)

I started a new podcast back February about biographies, cleverly called The Biography Podcast. It comes out twice a month a focuses on recent biographies. I wanted to have multiple episodes out before I started to do some promotion, but the most recent one has (kind of ) a Williamstown connection. It is with Shawn Levy, the film critic for The Oregonian, talking about his latest biography, Paul Newman: A Life. I am not sure if Paul ever did the Williamstown Theater Festival, but I know his wife, Joanne Woodward, appeared in several plays there. Previous shows have focused on everyone from the Victorian architect Auguste Pugin to the strip tease artist Gypsy Rose Lee to the guiding force behind The Wall Street Journal, Barney Kilgore.

Anyway, hope you like it. Tell your friends!

The Biography Podcast: Paul Newman

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The News In Rap, by Seth Brown ’01

Who can open a live news feed and freestyle rap for 10 minutes or more on whatever comes up? Comedic genius Seth Brown ’01 of risingpun.com, that’s who. To listen to or subscribe to his immaculate flow of current events, check out http://risingpun.podomatic.com/ Seriously, it’s amazingly good, and since it comes out near the end of each week you can make it part of your Friday “drive at five.”
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twitterhood podcast with Dylan Tweney ’91

During the stellar 2008 edition of the annual Lord Jeff beatdown, err, Williams/Amherst game, Dick Swart asked me why I don’t post to Ephblog more often. It goes back to my natural hesitation to promote a show I do on Ephblog if the only connection to Williams is, you know, me. Well, not this time, as I do not only my first interview with an Eph that is not reunion related, but with a guy who literally lived across the hall from me on the third floor of Williams C in 1986-7, and that is Dylan Tweney of Wired.com.

Now, about this new show, twitterhood. I’ve been playing around with Twitter for only a couple of months, though, thanks to posts from Dylan and Stephen O’Grady ’97, I’ve known about it for a lot longer. I came up with the idea for the show in the men’s locker room of my gym, stunned that nobody had ever thought to talk to the people who use Twitter. Chronologically, Dylan was the first twitterhood interview I conducted, though he is the third to be posted, the previous two being with Cyan Banister and Guy Kawasaki. Future shows will be with Peter Shankman of Help A Reporter Out/Geek Factory and Jesse Thorn of The Sound of Young America. It’s a weekly show, so if you use Twitter and have a good story, drop me a line.

And for those wondering, I haven’t dropped the Biography show, it just got moved to a Jan 2009 start, and yes, I am very happy that The Invisible Hand has been on the front page of iTunes podcasts since last Tuesday. BTW, if you know of a media buyer who’d be willing to hear a test run of a pitch in return for a decent bottle of Oregon red, let me know ;)

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Podcast interview: Charles Morris, The Trillion Dollar Meltdown

I mentioned in the post on my own blog that I enjoyed this interview very much, although I don’t think we ever addressed what is the real strength of his book, which is explaining the crisis in layman’s terms. I know here on Ephblog, SIV’s, laundering tranches of sub-prime mortgages through credit rating agencies and credit-default swaps are old hat, but for those of us who don’t deal with this on a daily basis, The Trillion Dollar Meltdown is a good primer by a bearish market observer. I know he enjoyed the interview, and I am thinking about having him back on later in the year.

I mention in the interview that there were a lot of questions I just never got to. Among those questions were:

Possible reform of credit rating agencies and whether the SEC, as Comissioner Cox maintains, already has the power they need to reform them without further action.
Whether, given the nature of money in the political system, the real push for reform would have to come from the financial institutions themselves, since if they’re not interested, they can gum up the works pretty well.
The symbolism of the return of the 12 month T-Bill.
Whether the too big to fail mantra of banks signals the actual, if not rhetorical end, of free market capitalism.
Whether this talk about the IMF setting rules for Sovereign Wealth Funds is just a bunch of balloon juice.
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Podcasts for the Ides of March

Keeping up what seems to be a monthly posting, here are two shows I have done on Roman History.The first is with Adrian Goldsworthy talking about his 2006 book, Caesar: Life of a Colossus. It is one of my favorite shows, mainly because it is the first interview I did for Yale, hence my first professional gig. If you like Casear, this is THE book.The second interview is with Mary Beard, talking about her 2007 book, The Roman Triumph. Mary is the Classics editor at The Times Literary Supplement, the author of an incredibly addictive blog called A Don’s Life and is someone Williams should make every effort to get as a speaker.

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A podcast for Valentine’s Day

So, I’ve decided to put up old shows occasionally, with some obscure tie to a holiday, or perhaps a non-obscure tie to an obscure holiday.As you may have guessed, the publisher’s I produce shows for don’t have a lot of Valentine-y material, though, for the record, I do some non-production work for Harlequin (always a happy ending!), and they are chock-a-block with the requisite Valentine goodies. Instead, I’ve chosen an interview I did about a year ago with a women named Leonie Gombrich, whose grandfather was E.H. Gombrich, a man probably best known for The Story of Art, but this interview was about a book he wrote in his twenties called A Little History of the World, an absolutely charming world history written for children, and one that is written to be read out loud. Leonie obviously loved her grandfather, and I think it comes through in this show.

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Looking for questions about Privacy in the 21st C.

Next month’s (Feb 2008) podcast for MIT Press is going to be different from the previous shows. Instead of separate interviews, I will be leading a discussion about the nature of privacy in the 21st century with Marc Rotenberg, Director of of the Electronic Privacy Information Center and co-editor of Technology and Privacy: The New Landscape and Susan Landau, Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems and co-author of Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption. MIT Press wants to include the public in on the discussion, so if you’d like to send a question along for me to ask either Mr. Rotenberg or Ms. Landau, send it along to publicity at mitpress dot mit dot edu. Please include your name and where you are writing from. The show will be recorded on Friday, Feb. 1st and be released that next week. Thanks.

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The Lost Promise of Civil Rights

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, here is an interview I did last spring for Harvard with Risa Goluboff of the University of Virginia. Her book The Lost Promise of Civil Rights talks about how the struggle for political equality took energy away from the struggle for economic equality that quite a few civil rights cases of the 1940’s were trying to achieve. It runs 12:15.

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In honor of love and the Iowa Caucus

Since true love and politics seem to be the order of the day, here is an interview I did with Margaret Hogan of the Massachusetts Historical Society about the letters of Abigail and John Adams, both of whom had the misfortune of living before the founding of Williams, thus banishing John to that school at the other end of Route 2.

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How to Podcast, A Beginner’s Guide: Part 4, Syndication and Distribution

So, you’ve got the show perfect and all ready to go out to the world. In this last post on podcasting, I’ll talk about syndication and distribution of your podcast. More after the jump.

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How to Podcast, a Beginner’s Guide: Part 3, File Extensions, Storage and Bandwidth

Before I get into the third part (of four) of podcasting, allow me to do some shameless self promotion and tell you that UC Davis has created a transcript of my September interview with Greg Clark about his book A Farewell to Alms (Princeton, 2007). This is the first time a show of mine has been transcribed into English, and I was pleased with how it turned out.

OK, your gear is sorted out and you have an edited audio file. In this part, I’ll talk about the mp3 vs. AAC formats, as well as some basics on storage and bandwidth. More after the jump.

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How to Podcast, a Beginner’s Guide: Part 2, Show Production

OK, you’ve got your podcasting equipment together and you are raring to go. In this installment, I’ll be talking about some odds and ends of show production and expanding on some of the comments I made in yesterday’s post. More after the jump.

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How to Podcast, A Beginner’s Guide: Part 1, The Sound File

I’ve been asked to do a short series on the mechanics of podcasting. Part of me did not wish to take this writing assignment, since a professional podcaster should retain some slight air of mystery about the process, with the occasional comparison to medieval alchemy or tax accounting. In fact, the actual production of a podcast is fairly straightforward. All you need is a sound file, a server, some bandwidth and the ability to diligently copy some basic coding instructions into an XML file. I will be doing a series of short posts on each of these topics. I’ll begin with the sound file after the jump.

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