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The Wall Street Journal interviewed me about "independence," and I got stippled!

Baratunde gets stippled by the Wall Street Journal, and he likes it.

Baratunde gets stippled by the Wall Street Journal, and he likes it.

Several weeks ago I got an email from someone claiming to work for the Wall Street Journal who wanted to interview me. "Too soon!" I thought. I had not yet perfected my doomsday domination of all the world's capital nor fully implemented my plan for reverse colonialism (which imposes a hefty licensing fee when people like Miley Cyrus decide to twerk or whatever). But, "better too soon than never!" I thought.

So I spent about an hour on the phone with their reporter discussing the broad topic of "independence." We ended up talking a lot about the shame of dependence, and the section they printed reflected that part of our conversation. They interviewed six "luminaries" which means I'm a luminary! I need to start saying more luminarious things like "The key is not to open the door but to let the door open you!".

Anyhow, they interviewed Jonathan Adler, Nadya Tolokonnikova (Pussy Riot), Diane Von Furstenberg, Richard Ford, and Diana Nyad. We had very different things to say. I'll pull quote my own but you should read the entire page. It's quite thoughtful and dare I say illuminating. 

Independence means nothing without the concept of dependence. Independent from what? In this country, we're fond of the idea of independence being founded in opposition to something. We've got all these legends and myths in America about rugged individualism. There's almost a sense of shame associated with dependence. But dependence is where society comes from, why families stick together, why churches work. Things are shifting, and some of the tools and language of emerging businesses are more about interdependence than independence, but the overall narrative of the country is still very much: We're on our own.

—Thurston is the author of the book How to Be Black and cofounder and CEO of the digital agency Cultivated Wit.



Call in at 3pm ET today to ask me questions about my triple threateningness

triple threat

My friend Hashim Warren has a cool site and service over at Career Green Light. I'm part of an interview series he's running, and he wrote the following about today's interview:

This upcoming Monday I’m continuing Career Green Light’s “Personal Branding for the Entertainment Industry” seminar series with an interview with Baratunde Thurston, a career ninja in our business with an awesome triple threat.

Baratunde works in front of the camera as the host of the Science Channel’s “Future Of” and behind the scenes as the online editor ofThe Onion.

Baratunde has agreed to let me grill him on this teleseminar about how he used his triple threat to build his personal brand and attract opportunities to him.

On this call we’ll cover

  • Choosing a mix of talents that work together
  • Deciding which passions to ignore (Baratunde almost became a priest and wood carver!)
  • Why relying on lucky breaks is better than career planning

The dial-in info to join the chat is here:

Monday, Sept. 20th, 3PM-3:45PM EST (dial in early to get settled)
Dial-in Number: (605) 562-3000
Participant Access Code: 611304#

And sign up for the Career Green Light newsletter for a heads up on future interviews and to get the recording of this session after we're done.

"There is something superhuman about being yourself" - me

Melissa Pierce is making a movie called Life In Perpetual Beta, and she decided to interview me! She summarizes the documentary as follows:

Life in Perpetual Beta is a documentary film about the ways in which technology has/is/will change the ways in which we think about ourselves as individuals and a society. It is exploring the cultural shift that technology creates as it enables people to live less planned and more passionate lives.

I met Melissa at SXSW Interactive (aka Geek Christmas) last year. We were waiting in a very long line for food, and we just started talking. She's a super cool, smart and motivated person, and this project sounded very exciting, especially given the structure of my multi-threaded life. 

When she was visiting NYC several months ago, we sat down for a few hours to discuss life, technology and the overlap thereof. The clip above is just a snippet, and I urge you to visit the film website and check out some of the other, more amazing, people she's roped in to this project.

Voter Report Video: Anjali Berger of New York, NY

I also posted this to YouTube. Anjali and I voted at the same time. She lives in my building, and we've been neighbors for 14 months but never met until Election Day 2008. Here is a post-vote interview from the Dyckman Street subway in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan. After the interview, I threw in some photos I and my boy Sozi Tulante (of West Philly) took at the DNC.

YouTube Interviews Ralph Nader

I'll be honest. I got issues with Ralph. I don't blame him for the 2000 election. I blame the voters. More seriously, I question whether running for president is the best way to bring about the radical change he wants. His premise is that his campaigns (because they surely will not become actual presidencies) help promote issues and move the debate. Really? So over the last eight years, America has been engaged in a more honest discussion of war-making and corporate malfeasance than before? That I don't buy. There are some cool moments in the interview, though, and Olivia Ma of YouTube does a good job keeping it moving. I actually like the "silent" questionnaire at the end. Perhaps it's because I'm just tired of hearing Nader speak.