Friday, February 18, 2011

Patt Morrison for Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:19




1:21 – 1:39

Castles of sand:  The problem with peer reviewed research

Peer review is a staple of scientific research—work is seldom considered complete without an extensive review process by colleagues in the same scientific field.  But what if the political and sociological biases of your colleagues unwittingly prevented a truly critical review process?  Particularly in the area of social sciences research a problem has been noticed with the decided political leaning of psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists—they all tend to be fairly liberal.  Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia, labels these groups united by sacred values “tribal-moral communities” and the shared values can seriously hinder research and damage their credibility.  If the peer review process is tainted by such widely shared values, can the conclusions of years worth of social science research be trusted?  We look at the peer review process and ask if it’s possible for researchers to set aside their preconceived notions.




Jonathan Haidt, professor of social psychology at the University of Virginia




1:41 – 1:58:30

Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Importance of Being Ephemeral

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, artists and husband and wife who worked together for over 50 years until her death in 2009, have wrapped or surrounded landmark structures, islands and familiar public spaces around the world with sumptuous fabrics and vibrant colors, creating temporary and magical impressions on the landscape. When “The Gates” arrived in Central Park in February 2005, more than 7,000 bright-orange metal frames were hung with shimmering saffron fabric panels along the snow-covered walking paths. “Over the River,” the artistic couple’s newest installation in which translucent panels of fabric will be suspended over 5.9 miles of the Arkansas River in Colorado, is due to be finished in 2014, after years of preparation. When asked how to describe their art, Jean-Claude said, “Christo and I believe that labels are very important, but for bottles of wine, not for artists, and we usually don’t like to put a label on our art.” Christo’s comment clarified her point: If one [label] is absolutely necessary, then it would be environmental artists because we work in both the rural and the urban environment.” And indeed they leave indelible, amazing and wonderful images and memories long after their installations have been dismantled and the pieces taken away. Patt welcomes Christo as he talks about the vision that has guided his and Jean-Claude’s life work. 


PATT:  Christo will be signing books tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 at Occidental College’s Thorne Hall. He and Jeanne-Claude will receive honorary degrees from Occidental tomorrow, Wednesday, February 23, at 5pm, followed by a public lecture.







2:06 – 2:19




2:21 – 2:39

How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly—and the Stark Choices Ahead

Dambisa Moyo, the former World Bank economist who caused quite a stink with her critique of American aid to Africa and reliance on celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Bono as self-proclaimed ambassadors to the African content, is back with a thesis that’s sure to shake things up again. Her new book chronicles what Moyo characterizes as a slow decline of the west as the world’s most prominent economic and political powerhouse. How did it happen? Through a series of economic and foreign policy foibles she recounts in detail. With U.S. interest payments on debt to newer world powers like China about to explode to the tune of $2,500 a year for every man, woman and child, Moyo’s could not be a more timely conversation. By 2014 net interest payments will surpass almost all discretionary, non-defense spending; by 2018 we’ll be spending more on interest payments than on Medicare. How will Uncle Sam pay down such massive interest and is it possible that things get so bad that the U.S. defaults on some loans? Moyo addresses those questions and more as she ruffles feathers left and right.



Dambisa Moyo, former consultant for the World Bank. She’s the author of Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How there is a Better Way for Africa and How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly—and the Stark Choices Ahead





2:41 – 2:58:30

Alan Arkin:  an improvised life

The Academy-Award winner Alan Arkin has always been a supremely gifted role-player on screen, delivering deadpan comedy and harrowing realities to his audiences. Now he emerges as a charismatic storyteller, revealing in his memoir, An Improvised Life, his childhood epiphany that ever since the age of five he had wanted to be an actor. However, it wasn’t until many years later, while on a location shoot overlooking the Hudson Valley, that he discovered during an intimate conversation with one of his co-stars what he had really been doing throughout his life, in pursuit of his artistic dream. “With that one statement I realized that what she’d said about herself was the impulse behind all of my own interests, all of my needs, all of my studying, compulsions, and passions,” Arkin writes in the beginning pages of his book. “This is dedicated to everyone who wants to be the music.”



Alan Arkin, Academy Award-winning actor, director, musician & singer




Jonathan Serviss
Senior Producer, Patt Morrison
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