Thursday, September 25, 2008

Global Understanding Audio

Global Understanding Audio (GU Audio) now has a home page:
It was remarkably easy to realize how I could take my Macintosh laptop and just start going out into the world and to become a podcaster. Yet now, I want to hear from you. I want you to make your own podcasts for the series.

This is what you need:

  • Interviewer: An interested and concerned citizen of the world willing to conduct the interview.
  • Personality: An interested and concerned citizen of the world willing to be recorded for one hour or less.
  • Media: A way to record the session.
  • Digitalization: A way to store it as an mp3 file.
  • Internet: A way to upload it to the web.
  • Preparation: Schedule, Meet, Soundcheck, Converse, Authorization, Begin.
  • Indoor/Outdoor Setting: Record half or more of the interview outdoors.
  • Basics: Ask who are you? What do you do? Why? How do you see the world? What major crisis or conflict do you see in the world? Why should others care? What can we do to help?
  • Unscheduled: Get off the beaten track. Ask curious questions. Let the conversation flow.
  • Production: Intro, Edit.
  • Post: Get it on the web. Write contextual article. Link up. Blog.

Q: Who can I interview?

A: Any interested and concerned citizen of the world who you believe thematically will fit the program and the precepts of the Global Understanding movement.

Q: What do I ask them?

A: How can we understand the world better, and live in harmony with each other? Any variation of that idea. You can ask serious questions. You can ask silly things too.

Q: Do I need to host this at

A: You can host it wherever you want. Send us a URL (for now, to me with “Global Understanding Audio Interview” in the subject).

Q: Do I need your legal permission?

A: Not really. You don’t need our help or our permission to create your own “Global Understanding Audio”-type podcasts. People have been interviewing each other long before we got started, and people will do it outside of our context presently and for many generations to come. However, if you wish to work with us, we may wish to review your work, which takes time to listen to the interview, and if we want to help you by granting our musical motif, or our organizational title to your work, that may require a mutual understanding and a legal agreement, plus the time to post it to our server if you want us to host it ourselves.

Q: Thinking about automating this process?

A: Yes. In the long run, we will automate this sort of process. For now, we’re just getting started. Got to start somewhere, right?

Q: How do you afford to do all this, Pete?

A: Right now, I pay for it all myself. I had some stocks, but I sold them to afford to do this. Yes, it is great that I have this opportunity. Yes, I am running out of money. Yes, in the future, I will ask for donations and contributions, sponsors and grants.

Q: Is this a solo effort or is there anyone else helping?

A: It is just getting started. I have already had some people who wanted to do their own interviews of different people and each other.

Q: Can anyone do this?

A: Sure! You betcha! I want people to interview each other. Brothers and sisters. Friends. Family members. Kids interview their parents. Grandparents too. I want us to understand the world from each other’s eyes. When was the last time you sat down with someone and asked them, with fresh ears, what they really cared about? What they wanted all of us to do to help solve the issues in the world?

Q: Is this like giving people their “15 minutes of fame?”

A: Sort of. Let’s give people more credit. You can be famous for at least an hour. At least! If not for the rest of your life. Or well beyond your passing. In reality we sort of interview each other every day, and do it in different ways. Some processes are more or less formal, and are either private, or public, or broadcast like a radio interview. Sometimes we interview each other over lunch. Sometimes these days over text messages. I wanted this to be a forum where people could express themselves and felt like their message was listened to. By at least an interviewer. And whoever else that interviewer passed the message on to.

Q: Do I need to be interviewed, or can I do this myself?

A: You can always set up a microphone and record yourself. I highly recommend it. That’s called an audio biography and/or a monologue. If you have relatives, especially grandkids or neices and nephews, they may appreciate those recordings of your thoughts immensely. However, that is a commitment only of your own time. The reason I wish for us to interview each other, is because it consciously creates a commitment of another human being. Someone else must prove, by showing up and asking questions, they are at least interested and concerned about your life sufficiently to sit down with you for an hour or so to conduct an interview. Say they live for 80 years (we should all be so fortunate). 365 days per year. 24 hours a day. That’s roughly 700,800 hours of life. That’s 0.000143% of their life. That’s 0.000143% of your own life. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV). It shows the commitment of two people for each other. That’s how we can begin to get the world to care. By caring about each other enough to listen.

Q: Do I need to pay for any interview?

A: It depends. If people don’t have an hour to talk about their lives, for free, they’re not necessarily your friends. If you have money in your pocket, and you want to give it to someone to be a “professional human” in your life, you can give them whatever you want. Hopefully legally. Should a grandfather charge his own grandkid for an hour of his time? Depends why and how he wants to get paid, doesn’t it? I’d probably charge a smile, if I had any grandkids of my own.

Q: Is anyone getting paid for this?

A: Not now. Maybe someday. Generally, we ask people to donate their time to the program, to keep overhead costs low. We are ideally doing this for love of our fellow humans without desire for direct personal gain or advancement. However, if the program gets successful, we may need to compensate people appropriately, both interviewers, production crew, IT professionals, IT service, software and equipment providers, other staff, and possibly even speakers, in order to keep the program going. Still, frugality is paramount. We want to keep overhead costs as low as possible. Please donate your time if you can.

Q: How can I help?

A: Listen. Think. Tell others what ideas, thoughts and feelings came up for you while listening. Then get involved in the world however you feel so moved.

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