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BEHIND THE SCENES with Scott Carrier


So, Scott Carrier has a podcast! Is this the end of the world as we know it?

Well, I feel like I've been producing a podcast for 32 years, and the technology just caught up with me. It seems like a good fit, anyway, if I can keep producing new stories. I need to figure out how to keep going, playing new ones with old ones.

How did you first become interested in the end of the world question?

I like the question because you can tell pretty quickly which side of the culture people are on. I really think almost everyone falls into one of the three groups - religious, scientific or new age/cosmic consciousness/circle of life people. It's a question about where we come from, why we are here, and where we are going - cosmology. I think our culture is divided into different cosmologies, which makes it difficult for us to solve problems. So I wanted to find a way to show this, and this question seemed to be the way to do it?

Lots of people don't agree with my basic theory. But I think they don't get out much, or they don't talk to anyone except their friends who think like they do. The religious people don't want to think about science, the science people don't want to think about religion, and the circle of lifers are kind of out there on their own just trying to be happy with some crazy ideas of their own.

But I think it's a problem, one that we should pay attention to. So I did the story.

How did you select the people to interview? How did you approach them?

Sometimes they walked up to me, or we just started talking. Other times I looked around for interesting looking people. Some were people I knew or were friends of friends. A variety of ways. The hardest is walking up to strangers, but it must be done, so I force myself.

Did many people say that this was not the end of the world?

The circle of lifers thought it was the end but also the beginning, because things are always ending and beginning. But almost everyone I met thought things were coming to an end, one way or another. I think you'd have to be heavily into denial to not acknowledge the news all around us.

There was a point when you were not encouraging young people to enter the field of radio. What do you think now?

Yes, that was when there didn't seem to be a way to make money by making radio stories. Pretty much anyone who did it had some other form of income. And the number of shows or venues kept decreasing, not increasing. I thought, anyway. Actually now I can see that there were a lot of people working on new things, regardless of not making a living. I think Ira Glass and Jay Allison (and the Transom folks) and the Third Coast crew really deserve a lot of credit for inspiring so many crazy young people who wanted to do radio and didn't care about making money. Now podcasting seems like it might work, and it's pretty exciting.