There’s a great podcasting app available for my new phone (an Android Dev Phone, the unlocked version of the T-Mobile G1, about which I could write an awful lot if I had the time and energy), so I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts. Most often, I’m listening to On Point. (It’s two hours every weekday, so that’s a lot to listen to even if I don’t listen to every show.)
Tonight, I listened to yesterday’s segment “Everything, Incorporated”, in which Douglass Rushkoff talks about the ideas in his new book Life, Inc.. I found it really really interesting. He talks about the origins of the modern corporation and of money, about railroads and corn and hiring a lactation consultant to teach you how to breastfeed so you don’t have to impose on mothers you know to talk to you about it and about being criticised by his neigbours for posting about a mugging because they thought it would hurt their property values. It’s a fascinating scratch-the-surface but very interesting examination of how we ended up with the social and economic structure we live in. It touches (briefly) on an idea I’ve had rolling around in my head for a long time and wanted to post about (but never collected my thoughts enough) about how money distorts our priorities and our notions of sacrifice and benefit, because some kinds of value and importance are much more easily measurable with money than other kinds.
Anyway, if any of that sounds interesting, I would encourage you to listen to it. The page linked above has a big “Listen to This Show” button to stream it, or you can download he mp3 here.