July 19th, 2008

Criminal minds

This week's Studio 360 has Howard Gardner (the multiple intelligences guy) and Sarah Brown (who does an amazing range of accents and personas). She talked about how, as a kid in school in the days before cell phones, she'd imitate the voices of her friends' parents to get them excuses for getting out of school.

And I remembered that when I was a kid, I'd forge my mother's signature (and once or twice, someone else's mother's) for school stuff, and how meticulous I was about getting it right. These days, I'm a pretty good calligrapher.

So I'm wondering....what deceptions are you meticulous about, and does that show talents which have or could pay off in other parts of your life?

If you want to comment anonymously, that's fine.

Fact-finding missions

Obama is off to Iraq and Afghanistan, and both he and McCain are talking as though this is a crucial way for him to learn what's going on.

For tolerably obvious logistical reasons, almost all the information presidents get has to be reading (and, one hopes, thinking) and listening to people who come to where the president is. If they can't mostly learn without being on site, we have a problem. (A chorus repeats the last bit.)

Not only that, but much of what a president sees on a visit is going to be dressed up.

Note that there are legitimate reasons for presidents to travel-- negotiation makes sense, and so does showing that they care. But is there any evidence that they actually find facts?