When Your Mom's Part of the Orchestra
Alan Gilbert: My mother is a violinist, a wonderful \r\nviolinist, still playing in the New York Philharmonic. I was more aware\r\n of it... I mean, it's not that I forget about it; I’ll never be able to\r\n do that. It's a very unique situation—a kind of fantastic, wonderful \r\nsituation. Early in the time I was conducting the orchestra, the first \r\ntimes with the orchestra, I certainly was more aware of the fact that my\r\n mother was sitting over to my left. Now, frankly, there's so much to \r\nthink about, there's so much to worry about, there are so many elements \r\nthat I have to keep in my mind that I would say that her presence has \r\nassumed it's sort of proper proportion now. Of course, I'm aware she's \r\nthere. I'm happy she's there. I'm lucky that she's playing really, \r\nreally well, and there are no issues as far as that goes because I guess\r\n technically I'm her boss, and if there were any sort of issues I'd be \r\nthe one who would have to deal with it. She's at the top of her game, \r\nand that keeps it simple.
\r\nQuestion: Does she still give you advice?
Alan Gilbert: Absolutely. She's me mother, after all. \r\nShe will often... I mean, sometimes it's silly advice, like “Oh, I \r\ndidn't like those clothes you wore, or whatever.” But she says, “Here \r\nit felt a little bit pushed” or “It feels like we could use a little bit\r\n more time on this.” This is really interesting feedback to get, and \r\nbecause of the hierarchy and because of the nature of the situation, \r\nconductors tend not to get a lot of feedback from the orchestra, which \r\nis probably good because it could become really messy if everybody in \r\nthe orchestra felt that it was okay to give his or her advice. And, you\r\n know, there's some boundaries that are probably worth preserving.
It's\r\n also very useful because the musicians are smart and they have a lot of\r\n perspective and experience. Good advice is always welcome, and it \r\nhappens that my mother feels comfortable saying things. She basically \r\nleaves me to my work, but occasionally she will definitely say, “Oh, \r\nthis was a little fast,” or “We need a little more help with the beat at\r\n this point.” It's useful.
\r\nRecorded on June 18, 2010
\r\nInterviewed by David Hirschman
The conductor's mother is a violinist in the New York Philharmonic, but he says her presence has assumed it's proper proportion. "I'm lucky that she's playing really, really well, and there are no issues ... because I guess technically I'm her boss."
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
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- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
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Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
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