RHODcast: Jan 14, 2021
It took a vastly complicated apparatus for my words to reach you now. Any number of interventions could have forced them off the information superhighway and into the digital ditch. Which is, sort of, what’s happened this week to the Thoughts of President Trump. For the moment, a number of hugely powerful private enterprises – Twitter, YouTube, Reddit and others – seem to have ganged up on a president whose greatest delight of a morning was to pick up his phone and, with a flourish, dispatch joy or sorrow to all parts of the known world. But not now. One of the great students of the internet, ETHAN ZUCKERMAN, reminds us that it’s very hard to kick someone off the web.
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An extraordinary gamble in early 2020 made RICK BOYD rich. But since we spoke back in March of 2021, it’s been a torrid spring for Bitcoin investors. Would you be OK with it? Is he? And whatever happened after HEATHER CAIRNS realized some of the torrent of wealth that came her way when Google went public? It’s all about risk, after all.
It all began with… a Chinese dinner? Or did it begin when HEATHER CAIRNS would invigilate the tests taken by two “child prodigy” graduate students in the engineering faculty at Stanford. Anyway, one thing led to another. Heather eventually returned to her home town on Boston’s North Shore where people still call her The Google Lady.
One hot day in June, Rhod joins BETTE HUNT, the emeritus historian of Marblehead, Mass. for a walk through the town’s almost 400 year old graveyard. Old Burial Hill connects the living with the dead in some strange ways as they discourse on Thornton Wilder’s famous play, George Washington’s favorite general, the Marblehead woman convicted at the Salem witch trials and the fairly undiscussed existence of a “negro” burial site in this quintessentially Yankee town.
The BBC’s New York correspondent sees the USA that so excited him as a youth sapped of vitality, politically divided against itself but in an old saying, always headed to hell and never getting there. When America Stopped Being great merges Bryant’s reporting experiences with a historian’s perspective in a way which, as the Washington Post said, gives foreign laments a fresh arc.