Love It Or Hate It? – TWiT 134

There have been numerous comments about TWiT 134: Pave The Cowpaths on our private donors forum, most of them critical of the subject matter, one of our guests, an irrelevant discussion about audio issues in the middle, and my recommendation of a book by Orson Scott Card. Here’s the response I posted on the forum. I wanted to post it here, too, to give you all a chance to comment.

I knew some of you would hate the show – and some of you would love it (far more lovers on Twitter and Pownce than here, not surprisingly). Unlike mainstream media, I don’t make programming decisions based on what “most people” will like. That’s the strength of this new medium – it’s not ratings driven, it’s idea driven.

Sometimes TWiT isn’t going to match your expectations. There are people who want it to be a TechTV Alumni fest, others who want it to be a tech news roundtable. It will be those sometimes, but I program TWiT as a show that reflects the most interesting and important issues in tech, as I see them.

I don’t mean to sound defensive here – I just want you to understand what I’m aiming for. The beauty of the new Internet media is that there’s something for everybody. My shows are always going to reflect my interests. That’s why I make ’em! If you share my interests, you’ll enjoy (or at least appreciate) what I’m creating. If not, there are lots of other people doing really great programming, too. You have so many choices these days – let a million flowers bloom!

I thought Winer was great – very, very insightful. If you can’t get past his voice, listen to his ideas. Twitter et al. are new net memes that are as interesting, and I think, as significant, as RSS, but like RSS I don’t expect everyone to get it right away. Dave is one of the few people I know who understand this stuff at a very deep level.

As for the praise for Orson Scott Card – I love his work; I hate his politics. But that’s no reason not to read or recommend him. I read many, many authors whose politics I abhor. If Card’s homophobia or neanderthal agenda crept into his novels I’d not recommend him, but I can’t think of a single incident where they have. If you can, please let me know and I’ll stop recommending him.

I do apologize for not editing out the audio issues talk – that was just an oversight. I certainly didn’t mean to leave it in. I agree it wastes your time – very sorry.

Let’s use the ratings system for this post to reflect your rating for the show. Thanks!

169 Replies to “Love It Or Hate It? – TWiT 134”

  1. Dear Leo,
    Orson Scott Card is new to me; your hatred of his politics led me to do a quick search for information on him.
    I know that Wikipedia is often rife with disinformation; with that in mind, according to its article on him, Card rejects homosexual “marriage,” and recognizes the possible deleterious consequences of it on society. From Wikipedia:
    “Card disputes those who call these views homophobic, stating he does not advocate or condone “harsh personal treatment of individuals who are unable to resist the temptation to have sexual relations with persons of the same sex”,[19] and that he views homosexuals as “human beings with as complex a combination of good and evil in them as I find within myself.” Speaking of tolerance, he says “That we must treat sinners kindly is true; that we must courageously and firmly reject sin is also true.” Speaking of homophobic violence: “I think there is no room in America for violence directed against any group (or any individual) for any reason short of immediate defense against physical attack – which doesn’t often come up with homosexuals.”[19] Card also says he is attacked for being too tolerant of homosexuals.[19][21]
    Assuming that this is accurate, are you implying that unless one supports calling sodomy “marriage,” one is a hateful primitive? Is calling such behavior “sin” that which offends you?
    If that is the case, is there any human behavior which you would condemn? If so, on what grounds?
    Are you espousing moral relativism? If so, isn’t Card’s morality just as valid and true as your own?
    Looking forward to your reply,

  2. Leo,I enjoyed the show. I’m a little late in listening to it, since I just finished it this morning. I also enjoyed listening to Dave. His voice didn’t bother me and I found his views interesting. I think you touched on a great point when he was discussing a podcast oriented listening device. This is something that should probably be built into mobile phones. You mentioned the iPod Touch or the iPhone, but I think you missed a device that pretty much does what Dave wants. The N95. It has a built-in podcast catcher. It has voice recording. It has the ability to create podcasts and even video podcasts. In fact, I just downloaded and installed a beta from Nokia of some software that lets the N95 act as a mobile web server. In theory, you could host your own podcast right on the phone. If I remember, Scoble is using an N95 to broadcast live video on QIK. The only thing that’s missing is a good interface. Maybe Dave could create it…

  3. Can’t stand Winer, he’s all balled up in his ego. But I never have liked him much. Aside from that, it’s interesting enough. However, I can’t stand the Twitter cult. It’s the hive mind drug. It makes other normally intelligent people into boring navel-gazers. It establishes a completely fake intimacy. There is nothing useful you can know in 144 characters unless you are a koan master. Mostly, it’s superficiality and gossip given a false importance by technology. I want the fad to die.

  4. Please no more coverage on Sarah Lacy. I really hate it if your shows turn into Perez Hilton of tech.

  5. Strange one that TWiT, as it was just OK, and followed the really (IMHO) poor one abotu Coulton. Just an hour of telling the guy how great he was. Oh well.
    Anyway, on to another thing. would have cost you $50 to register through but of course it’s gone. ;o)

  6. I liked the show. People listen because they like your judgement, Leo. You’re an honest bloke!
    Some shows are better than others. I though the last 2 wandered a little (what happened to dvorakdotorgslashblog?) and like all the shows… could use a BIT more editing. Rambling eliminated, the longer the better, please.
    As for the politics – again, I’ll take your judgement, Leo! Maybe you could have qualified the recommendation, knowing your audience. (I know, it’s tricky.)
    If anything, I’d like to see you believe in yourself a bit more. I get the impression you tend to waver if you feel like you’re going against the tide. Not that you have to trample all over other opinions (which you don’t do, anyway). It’s not World Peace we’re dealing with here, it’s only Blu-ray or HD-DVD.
    Th irony of the TWiT team’s success is your avoidance of punditry. Don’t give in to expectations, now. Be yourselves.
    If the Fatboy Nano taught we consumers anything, it was – BEING FIRST ISN’T THE STORY.

  7. Leo,Just listened to the podcast last night and enjoyed it very much, glitches and all, as this made it more realistic for me. It gives an insite into the production of this type of media. Keep up the good work.

  8. Leo, as you all said on the follow up show, some will like, some will not. TWIT works. Some of it was over my head, some of it I was hanging on the words. I love a show that JohnC cannot even jump in the way of, even though deep down he wants to!
    Rock on.

  9. Loved the show, and love that you aren’t afraid to bring different people on it.
    PS So sorry to hear about the Lab being canned by Rogers, i’m here in Canada and loved watching it.

  10. What I like about your “network”, and podcasts in general, is that it’s the way radio should be. I can’t even imagine the horror if current radio was all we had, especially in a limited reception area like Key West. Let it roll, dude!

  11. Leo, you and I go back to the beginning of the TWIT (before it was TWiT). I followed you from TechTV to this new thing called Podcasts. Back around just before Hurricane Katrina. We were both having horrific issues with Vizaweb at the time.
    A perfect example of what you are saying is my case exactly. Personally I dont think that we could get along for too long, at least on a personal, philosophical level. Because our political views are nearly diametrically opposed. However, on the matter of tech, we are aligned perfectly.
    Over the past 2+ years, the different podcasts that you have produced, hosted, etc. All have hit the mark for me. Even the ones that I hated, such as the infamous Calacanis show way back when. I hated him then. But because of the way you handle yourself and the guests and you professionalism, I continue to listen.
    I mean, come on! We are on 136 shows. Everyone cant have the best of the pundits in their best form with the best topics, etc. It is your show about things you want to talk about, with people you want to talk to. That is what podcasting is all about!
    Dont like it, go somewhere else or turn if off and wait until next week.
    Leo, I love the show(s). Keep up the good work. I pray for you and I know that there is hope for you yet (lol).

  12. Episode #134 was the first TWiT I ever heard. I guess I found it through Google searching for “RSS” and “podcast”. I loved it. After hearing #134 I wanted more of it.
    Since I am not (yet) a regular listener I cannot say whether #134 does or does not fit in with the rest. It is all a matter of taste and personal interest I guess. #135 turned out to be another gem, but #133 was disappointing for me. #136 is on my MP3-stick now to play in the car this afternoon.
    I think I am starting to get hooked on TWiT 🙂
    Please keep it up Leo!

  13. I honestly don’t remember the last month I’ve had so much medication inside of me. But I do remember a bit of TWiT each week, and even though I was going through Algebra homework at the time, I paused to hear the points made in the podcast, which qualifies it for a good podcast. Now start making ones that don’t take up my time if you please, I need to get workin’ on all this homework.

  14. That’s why I still follow you and listen, ya Tech Tv was great, ya the round up is fun, but there are many of those formats, the reason I tune in is to see what you are following, or researching, what interests you, usually means at least I should know about it… Keep it up, I will support you and your sponsors…KAM

  15. I can live with most people on Leo’s shows (even JC), but those who think it’s their soapbox and talk incessantly can quickly become annoying.
    One other thing since I’m here. I’ve noticed what might be considered profanity by some members (ahem) of TWiT of late. Now a definition of profanity is subjective, and I’ve been know to swear a time or two and am not without my faults. I wonder if *issed off, *ss, and similar fringe words are necessary, or do they add anything of substance to a radio show meant for the intellectual masses that is labeled as clean. I’d hate to see these thoughtful discussions turn into a G4TV production. Thanks.

  16. Hi Leo,
    If you really want to bypass the 140 character limit on Twitter, we just made a firefox extension which does exactly that. Do check out –
    You don’t need to worry about the length at all, no need to shorten URLs. This extension will take care of the whole post.
    Hope you like it!

  17. I have been listening to TWiT from the time you were debating as to what to call it. #134 was one of the most intelligent discussions you’ve held.Twitter and Pownce and Jaiku all have their uses. I have their widgets on my blog and have received feedback from both of them.
    Dave Winer was fascinating. I went right to and added it to my feed reader. His is a mind that should be monitored.
    It was worth it just to hear the word Bullfish. It is my new word to replace FUDGE!!!

  18. I have listened to many of your Podcasts – especially the ones with Paul Thurrott, and just wanted to say that I appreciate the way you phrased your position on Orson Scott Card. I love and admire his work and certainly do not agree with his personal beliefs. Thanks!

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