Odds and Ends

24 June 2006

Our limited forray into podcasting via the Stanford Itunes experiment has been a great success.  Lots and lots of folks, though,   have expressed the wish that we would podcast all of our episodes.  Well, we're about to make those wishes come true.   We're currently in negotiations with two podcasting services.   We will probably sign a contract with one or the other in the next week or two. Once we do,  we will immediately start converting all of our files to the relevant format.  For a modest fee,  listeners will be able to subscribe to a service that will give them access to all future episodes of Philosophy Talk.  We will make our entire archive of past episodes available as well.  We may even make available via the podcast service material not otherwise available.   As always,  we will continue to stream our episodes for free.   

Though the fees for our new podcasting service will be quite modest on an individual basis,  we hope to generate enough traffic to defray some not insignificant fraction of our production costs.    We still struggle to make ends meet.   The powers that be at Stanford have generously agreed to to keep us afloat for another year.  Hooray!!  But it was also made clear that we have to find a way to be self-sustaining in the pretty near term.

We're definitely trying.    We've applied to various foundations --  so far with limited success. We've begged for individual gifts -- also with limited success.   

We do have a nascent "Friends of Philosophy Talk" organization headed up by our good friend, Jack Barry.   We need more friends like Jack.  If you too are interested in becoming a Friend of Philosophy Talk, please by all means get in touch.    You can do so by sending an e-mail to friends@philosophytalk.org.

Finding  money to keep Philosophy Talk going, even in the very modest fashion to which we are accustomed,  remains a serious struggle.  So now we're going to try to raise a few pennies via our podcast.   Let's hope it works.

On another front,  we're about to hit the road.  We're headed to Capitol Hill,  July 12th.  We'll do a show on Separation of Powers, with Kathleen Sullivan, former dean of the Stanford Law School, and a woman who may someday end up on the Supreme Court,  as our guest.   We're taking most of the crew this time.  It shold be great fun.    We are extremely grateful to Congresswoman Anna Eshoo for the invitation and opportunity.

We had hoped to do two for one in DC -- Capitol Hill and the Smithsonian in the same week.  But it turns out we have to head back in September.   On Tuesday, September 12, we will record an episode in front of a live audience at the Smithsonian, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program.  Our guest will be famed scientist and entrepreneur J. Craig Venter, founder and former CEO of Celera Genomics, founder and current director of the J. Craig Venter Institute, founder, chairman and CEO of Synthetic Genomics. If you would like more information or to purchase tickets for the evening,  click on this Smithsonian website.  Once again, we are extremely grateful to the good folks at the Smithsonian for the invitation and the opportunity.  If this event goes well, this may be the first in a series of collaborations with the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program.

When I tell folks about all the cool things happening with Philosophy Talk, they think our show is a great success.  And by one measure, it certainly is. We get people listening from all over the world and all over the US via the internet. 

But we still struggle to get past the gatekeepers of Public Radio.  Program Directors still have a hard time believing that there is an audience out there for the kind of stuff we do.   We constantly prove them wrong, but they constantly refuse to believe.     KUOW, in Seattle, for example, put us on their second channel,  KUOW2 for just one week and then unceremoniously dropped us, without even telling us and without an explanation.    We didn't find out until weeks later. 

We need your help to get by these very conservative and risk-averse  gatekeepers.  If there's a public radio station in your area,   write them, call them,  tell them to put Philosophy Talk on the air.  Tell them what you like about the program and be passionate  in doing so.     Get your friends to write or call or e-mail too!

Comments (4)

Guest's picture


Monday, June 26, 2006 -- 5:00 PM

This might sound like a hokey idea, and it probabl

This might sound like a hokey idea, and it probably is, but how about a weekly contest to win some kind of Philosophy Talk souvenir, such as a book autographed by your guest(s) for that week? Maybe y'all could get a deal on one of the better dictionaries, histories, companions or introductions to philosophy out there. It could also attract more traffic for the website and podcasts. (Like I said, it's a hokey idea, but hey....)

Guest's picture


Monday, June 26, 2006 -- 5:00 PM

PS -- I would also like to urge everyone who reads

PS -- I would also like to urge everyone who reads this to contact the FCC regarding proposed changes to local media ownership rules. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has tabled a Notice of Proposed Rule Making, which if passed will eliminate anti-monopoly safeguards on local media. This could mean trouble for shows like Philosophy Talk, and the stations that carry it. We have until October 21, 2006, to contact the FCC as part of their public input process. More info is available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-266033A1.pdf
And, the US Senate is now discussing the proposed Telecommunications Act (S. 2686). As submitted to the Senate by the House, the Telecoms Act would specifically allow discrimination by telecoms companies regarding whose data is allowed to pass through a network. It would be like AT&T telling you whom you could call on the phone, or charging more to call one local number as opposed to another, or simply refusing to give you a phone number -- except it's the Internet. Not good for shows like Philosophy Talk, or Public Radio stations like KALW in San Francisco which rely on the Internet to reach a wider audience.
Fortunately, Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) have introduced a bipartisan ammendment to the Telecoms Act, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2006 (S. 2917), which guarantees network neutrality. You can contact your state's senators to request their support for this important legislation. The Senate is expected to vote on the matter within the next few days, so timely action is essential!

Guest's picture


Thursday, July 6, 2006 -- 5:00 PM

Each month lots of people visit http://www.Alcwin.

Each month lots of people visit http://www.Alcwin.org Whether it is Chemistry, geology, mathematics or a whole range of topics

anastasiahall's picture


Tuesday, April 26, 2016 -- 5:00 PM

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