A Tech/Law Talk Show designed to cover modern technology and Internet issues with host Dave Levine.


Rational Funk: Dave King, YouTube, and how the film Whiplash gets it all wrong

Originally aired March 11, 2016, re-airing Friday, April 2, 2021 @ 8pm pacific on KZSU!

I was informed overnight that Stanford athletics had a canceled event, so Hearsay Culture was no longer bumped. It was way too late to record a new show, so I dove quickly into the 260+ show archive, and pulled one of my more recent favorite interviews: My 2016 interview with acclaimed jazz drummer Dave King of The Bad Plus.

Dave King is a world-renowned musician who has taken an abstract and comedic approach to music. His YouTube show Rational Funk included instructional drum videos with commentary on his unique creative approach (my favorite was his tip to work military drumming in as a jazz solo in order to land a gig). Listen to learn about how King’s technological undertaking has created a space for him to connect with musicians and fans, and not take himself too seriously. Along the way, pick up on his sense of the music industry during a time of immense change.

Listen on Friday, April 2, at 8pm pacific on KZSU-FM!

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Is Your Computer (Really) on Fire? A chat with Ben Peters

Friday, March 26, at 8pm pacific on KZSU-FM (Stanford)

Co-editor of the book Your Computer Is On Fire (MIT Press 2021), with Thomas S. Mullaney, Mar Hicks, and Kavita Philip

Technophilia, the dread of technology infringing on and disrupting human life, is a topic Professor Ben Peters covers in depth in his new co-authored and co-edited book, “Your Computer Is on Fire.” Acknowledging the power to enable society, Peters and his fellow co-editors and contributors nonetheless broadside what they call the “large-scale consequences of Silicon Valley.” Its a remarkably broad and timely endeavor.

On today’s show, Dave examines what’s really burning, and where is it out of control? Using clips from from Mark Zuckerberg’s 2017 Harvard commencement speech, as well as raising issues about how consumers and the government might address the many concerns raised by the authors, Hearsay Culture pushes for accuracy on this crucial topic — a goal shared by the authors themselves. In a broad discussion with return guest Ben, who has a vast and deep background in technology theory and practice, the 2021 state of tech play is developed and translated.

Listen in!

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The Power of Transparency

Interview with Michael Schudson of the Columbia School of Journalism
Friday, March 12, 2021 at 8pm pacific on KZSU
Note: Originally Aired May 13, 2016 [Show #255]
Michael Schudson, Twitter @mschudson2

“I would simply say that government power has become more and more important to the everyday lives of American citizens, [as opposed to the past when] the department of government an individual citizen was most likely to encounter was the post office!”

Discussion with Prof. Michael Schudson of the Columbia School of Journalism, author of The Rise of the Right to Know: Politics and the Culture of Transparency, 1945–1975. Michael is one of the leading media historians writing today, and this conversation highlights lessons of the 20th Century that apply to new media in the 2020s. His books have helped shape the media studies field and explored developments in public access to government operations. The post-war era was marked by the passing of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In this interview, the focus is on FOIA and other open government laws, its challenges and the impact of this history on our understanding of the Wikileaks-Snowden era.

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Is Everything A Game? The Role of Gamification in Society

An Interview with Profs. Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter, authors of For The Win: The Power of Gamification and Game Thinking in Business, Education, Government, and Social Impact

Friday, February 26, 2021 at 8pm pacific on KZSU

Should life – and business – be turned into a game? This question highlights this week’s discussion on Hearsay Culture. As games present a great attraction to trainers, and business marketers, do we really want games to infiltrate so many aspects of our world? If not (and we don’t), then where do they work? What are the guardrails, if any, for governments, businesses, and other institutions to engage in gamification?

On this week’s show, Dave takes a close look at these questions with two leading thinkers in this space. The authors lay out the practical and theoretical underpinnings for and concerns about inserting games into a range of activities, from Uber’s disturbing efforts to promising health and medical uses. What kind of gamer are the authors, and what kind of gamer do we want games to reward?

Exploring the notion that “fun” is at gamification’s center, Hearsay Culture digs deep to bring expert viewpoints into plain speak for the rest of us to understand. Tune in tonight at 8pm pacific on KZSU to hear about a step-by-step practical guide to gamification. Reach out if you have comments at dave@hearsayculture.com!

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Holography: How It Might Change Your Life

A Conversation with Visby founder Kris Chaisanguanthum, Friday, February 12 @ 8pm pacific on KZSU

(c) Kari Orvik Tintype Studio

On tonight’s show, Visby CEO Kris Chaisanguanthum calls holography “the next step in the evolution of image quality.” Holography will dramatically affect everything from business, education, and politics, to movies, concerts, and sports broadcasts. Imagine a 3-D object in front of you instead of a flat computer screen; Kris argues that this is the future of displays and why his company is among its pioneers. The building blocks of this revolution are being developed now, but will holography dominate later this decade? If so, how will the public have any say in its deployment?

Building on the last 20 years of rapid computer technology advances, holography is the next frontier of consumer device displays that imparts new meaning to the term “virtual.” In the interview, Kris explains why new computer and smart phone user interface features will change the way devices and communications work, and whether private companies can handle this monumental responsibility. Tune in for a fascinating discussion about one of the most cutting edge innovations of our time—as well as some personal insights on the journey and how to enter this exciting new field.

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Rock is Here to Stay, But is Adapting Fast! Interview with the Bad Penny band

Top (L-R): Bad Penny guitarist/songwriter Mike Holtzman; Host Dave Levine. Bottom (L-R): Bassist Danny Miranda (formerly of Queen); Drummer Jules Radino (Blue Oyster Cult)

Has the global pandemic killed live performing and rock and roll dreams?

On tonight’s show (January 29 @ 8pm pacific on KZSU), Bad Penny, made up of former band members from Journey, Queen, and Blue Oyster Cult and newcomer/songwriter Mike Holtzman, discuss collaborative recording spun from historical metal styles.

As technology has continued to flood our lives, it’s become a standard medium for business, shopping, and economics. However, technology has increasingly upended the arts world, providing new kinds of tools, social media outlets, and streaming business models. It’s inevitable that we turn to electronically-mediated music and its future on Hearsay Culture.

What is the professional musicians’ routine and prospects for a livelihood?

We discuss making a living, the economics of the new digital music landscape requiring higher ticket prices, and the different generations of format – like the LP record album – an art form with its liner notes, jacket, pictures of the band, credits and lyric sheets. Of course, we also hear bits of the band’s first three explosive tunes; one of which that was released today! Join us as Hearsay Culture expands beyond its traditional topics, but in its own signature style.

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Congress under siege: Lorelei Kelly on lessons from January 6

Lorelei Kelly, Georgetown Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation Fellow, Friday, January 22 @ 8pm pacific on KZSU-FM

Lorelei Kelly (Photo: Georgetown Beeck Center)

Lorelei is an expert on Congress and its operations, as well as civilian-military relationships. On this timely show, we discuss the events of January 6, 2021 (the Congressional attacks). Is it appropriate to declare it a “coup attempt?” (You may be surprised by her answer). We also explore ways to fix Congress, what Senators can and cannot do with technology, smuggling books across the Berlin Wall, and Lorelei’s book shelf of favorite reading.

As Hearsay Culture expands its content offerings, expect us to delve into conversations that allow experts to share knowledge normally reserved for those closest to power. Lorelei Kelly’s unique perspective, deriving as it does from her beginnings in rural New Mexico, offers a compelling and grounded expert take on the nearly unfathomable events of the past three weeks. Listen in!

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Are Robots Our Friends? An Interview with Frank Pasquale

Frank Pasquale testifying before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, 2017 (full video available here)

Hearsay Culture is pleased to welcome back Brooklyn Law School Professor Frank Pasquale for the second interview of 2021. Frank has authored New Law of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI. As Frank explains on the show, robots taking over the world is hardly a foregone conclusion. In fact, it’s unlikely, if we plan their integration thoughtfully so they support humans’ best interests – not replace them! As Frank writes on the dust cover to his book, “another story is possible.”

Frank is a friend of Hearsay Culture, and we are thrilled to have him back for one of our signature long-form but accessible interviews. A prolific reader as well as writer, we had a wide-ranging discussion about Frank’s current reading, his take on finding a job in an increasingly automated environment, and how to best harness the analytical power of machines. Listen in tomorrow, Friday, January 15, on KZSU-FM Stanford’s live stream at 8pm pacific! The show will be posted soon thereafter as a podcast. Look for it at hearsayculture.com!

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The True Vote Count: An Interview with Smartmatic’s Antonio Mugica


Antonio Mugica on Hearsay Culture. (c) 2021 Hearsay Culture.

As previously announced, Hearsay Culture has relaunched and kicked-off 2021 newsmaker Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica, show # 267. The show is now available below (click on link for browser listening, or download at “download” button):

As previously explained:

Smartmatic, which has counted billions of votes worldwide, has been at the center of President Trump’s unproven “stolen election” claims, and has been the subject of numerous allegations on 24-hour news outlets like Fox News and Newsmax. Smartmatic has now retained a leading defamation attorney to defend its reputation as a reliable, apolitical election technology provider. The company has found itself enmeshed in a Constitutional crisis that has been threatening the United States’ ability to conduct a peaceful transfer of power in less than two weeks. Hearsay Culture speaks to Mugica about the crisis, the integrity of the company’s technology, the future of voting, and other subjects top of mind with Americans today.

On the show, Mugica addresses what he calls the “completely false claims made about our company” that have been “amplified in the media” recently. Host Dave Levine asks Mugica about his views on transparency in voting, the recent violent occupation of Congress, circulating misinformation campaigns, and his current lawsuit against the government of Venezuela. On a personal note, Mugica discusses his favorite recent book and offers advice to younger listeners who may be experiencing an election for the first time. The result is an insightful, newsmaker interview that sheds light on the heart of the democratic voting process.

Enjoy listening to this breaking news interview, and stay tuned for more new shows in the coming weeks! [Note, shows #263-267, that aired on KZSU in 2020 but were not posted, will be available here in the coming week].

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