Sixty-Seconds -- Really?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007 -- 5:00 PM
Merle Kessler

Recently, we had a couple of Program Directors -- the gate keepers of the public radio airwaves -- listen to some episodes of Philosophy Talk and tell us what they liked and didn't like. We won't bore you with the details, but just to give you a feel for what we're up against with these folks, we thought we'd share a few comments they made about Ian Shoales, the sixty-second philosopher.

One PD says the following:

If he was the 60 Second Philosopher, his segment was 2:20. That in and of itself is a problem.

 

Another says:

− The 60- Second Philosopher lasted 2.5 minutes ... they lied to me. I thought, 'They said all of that in 60 seconds?'

 

Still another says:

• 60 – second – A good element, because it introduces another voice, another point of view. ... I also noticed that it was more than a minute.

 

Do you detect a pattern [of extreme literal-mindedness] here?

Because these folks are the gate-keepers of the airways, they must be possessed with god-like wisdom. So, inspired by the divine word, we went to Merle (aka Ian) and asked him what he thought about the idea of possibly changing the name of the sixty-second philosopher to something, well, more literal. You can read his reponse below the fold.

[By the way, you'll be able to listen to his reponse after we post our most recent episode this coming weekend. We never post the episode on-line until its had a chance to air in all markets that carry us, by the way.]

 

It has come to my attention that certain listeners to this program have been attending my commentaries with a stopwatch, and certain among them are dissatisfied with my being called "60 second philosopher," since few of these commentaries – well, none of them, actually – clock in at 60 seconds.

Now I cling to my autonomy as a miser does his gold, and yet I acknowledge the possibility of choice in this matter. I am a creature of free will, yes, but I only exist here at the whims of others. If you are not infotained by my fact-based pieces, I am nothing. And if you are distracted before I even begin by a misrepresentation of what you are about hear, well, it could lead to confusion, chaos, the end of the world as we know it. Unemployment.

In my defense, I never believed that "60 second" was intended as an accurate unit measurement. It was offered in the same spirit as "I would walk 500 miles," "1000 yard stare," "20,000 leagues under the sea," "24/7," "60 minute man," and "99 1/2 won't do." In a larger sense, it’s akin to a baker’s dozen, hell’s half acre, ninety leven, twelvety, a scoche, a smidgeon, iota, scintilla, shred, tittle, and whit. Morsel. Crumb. Tidbit. Dollop. Chicken feed. Snippet. Your subatomic philosopher, if you will. Itty bitty. Just tiny.

How much is a jillion? Nobody knows. How big is Google? Nobody knows. 60 second? Again, unknowable, really. Could be ginormous. If you’re waiting for a bus in the rain. Could be itsy bitsy. If you’re taking a shower.

Still, in the interest of compromise, here's my two cents - actually, that would be a dime in today's economy - here are some suggested alternatives. Feel free to send me, your erstwhile 60 second philosopher, your own.

New York Minute philosopher
Accelerated philosopher
Impetuous philosopher
Breakneck philosopher
Headlong philosopher
Snappy philosopher
Double time philosopher
Quick step philosopher
PDQ philosopher
Blue streak philosopher
Hasty philosopher
Brisk philosopher, and finally….
Get on board the philosophy express.

In the interest of accuracy, we could call this particular segment the 2 minutes and 13 second philosopher. Even though I’m not REALLY a philosopher. I just play one on the radio. But let’s not go there. Full disclosure: my real number is seven, but I still gotta look out for number one. As I’ve told you once, if I’ve told you a thousand times - I gotta go.

Comments (16)


Guest's picture

Guest

Wednesday, May 9, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

How about the Supersonic Philosopher. Also inaccur

How about the Supersonic Philosopher. Also inaccurate, but as clear hyperbole, it would be less likely to be taken literally.

Guest's picture

Guest

Wednesday, May 9, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

philosopher schmilosopher?

philosopher schmilosopher?

Guest's picture

Guest

Wednesday, May 9, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

In a world full of morons and wise guys,our philos

In a world full of morons and wise guys,our philosopher needs tons of tolerance!

Guest's picture

Guest

Wednesday, May 9, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

In a world full of morons and wise guys,our philos

In a world full of morons and wise guys,our philosopher needs tons of tolerance!

Guest's picture

Guest

Friday, May 11, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

Picky, picky...Those whacky PD's. Here are my h

Picky, picky...Those whacky PD's.
Here are my humble suggestions.
My personal fave: Philosophy In A Grain Of Time.
This one might invite the more sports minded thinkers: Slap Shot Philosophy
How about some Hunters: Sling Shot Philosophy
The Tailors: Button Hole Philosophy
Steven Hawking: Worm Hole Philosophy
The Gardeners: A Sprout Of Philosophy
Lottery Players: Quick Pick Philosophy
The Truckers: Left Lane Philosophy
The Hip-Hop crowd: Philosophy In A Phlash
LOL...This was fun! Good luck! Mike

Guest's picture

Guest

Friday, May 11, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

I think "60 second philosopher" is already perfect

I think "60 second philosopher" is already perfect...

Guest's picture

Guest

Saturday, May 12, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

Well, maybe they have given an answer to the sorit

Well, maybe they have given an answer to the sorites paradox! 60 seconds and no more!

Guest's picture

Guest

Sunday, May 20, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

Good blog. A little scary however, because it soun

Good blog. A little scary however, because it sounds like he might be out of a job in 60 seconds philosopher.

Guest's picture

Guest

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

... and all this time I thought he was just claimi

... and all this time I thought he was just claiming to be the 62nd-ranked philosopher in his department! (AKA the Pecking Order Philosopher?)

matthew's picture

matthew

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

I kind of like "The Hasty Philosopher". What about

I kind of like "The Hasty Philosopher". What about "The Drive-By Philosopher"?

Michael's picture

Michael

Sunday, May 27, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

It's because people are impressed by your quick sp

It's because people are impressed by your quick speechs, I say they'd certainly be amazed if the pieces are all actually 60 seconds. I don't think they SERIOUSLY would want you to change the name. The wonderful and fast programs of yours make them want to reflect on what just happened everytime, and yet all they can think about, is the name of the program, not the philosophy in it. I say, screw those shallow suckers and don't change your name.

Guest's picture

Guest

Thursday, May 31, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

If a surrender to such literalism is the unavoidab

If a surrender to such literalism is the unavoidable alternative to unemployment, go with Flash Philosopher. If not, stick with what you've
BTW, it's a damn shame that Al Gore didn't give you appropriate credit when he said "I gotta go" at the end of his concession speech in 2000.

Guest's picture

Guest

Sunday, July 1, 2007 -- 5:00 PM

Thank goodness I read this. I just started listeni

Thank goodness I read this. I just started listening to the show and until now wondered who the first 61 philosophers were, and if I had to know who they were to understand philosophy.

Guest's picture

Guest

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 -- 5:00 PM

Howzaboutz Philosophically Anti-Prolix Philosopher

Howzaboutz Philosophically Anti-Prolix Philosopher? You could then continue to ... well... LIE to us. Philosophically speaking.

Guest's picture

Guest

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 -- 5:00 PM

Or: The HurryUp Philosopher. Maybe this - Philoso

Or: The HurryUp Philosopher. Maybe this - Philosophy: LicketySplit.

Guest's picture

Guest

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 -- 5:00 PM

Anti-Prolixity Philosopher. So you could keep, wel

Anti-Prolixity Philosopher. So you could keep, well, lying to us. Pardons if this is a repeat, as the Gatekeeper Gibberish software made me mimic four equally-illegible schmears of alphanumberic mush to post, and my garbled effort to ensure that my favorite word, "Prolix", entered the fray, seemed then promptly to disappear! Oy.

 
 

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