Mad Molly and Adam Curry: the podcast?
Here’s the thing about brilliant and complicated people: they don’t make things easy. My friend Adam Curry is one of those people. He’s smart, he’s provocative, he’s sometimes (uh, often) outrageous, and he’s sometimes (uh, often) kind of difficult.
But I love that. I feel challenged by it, and I respect Adam and anyone’s right to say what they think, to ask all the questions they want to ask, and to make people uncomfortable sometimes in service of getting more information. However, I recently got really angry at Adam over some comments he made on the No Agenda show about my then-colleague and current friend Emily Dreyfuss. And since Adam and I have been kicking around the idea of doing a tech podcast together, I wanted to clear the air before we proceeded.
So, I called him up and yelled at him for a while about being a sexist, and he yelled back about hyperactive political correctness, and then we decided we should record all this yelling and clear the air publicly, and frankly, kind of figure out if we even thought we should do a show together since we tend to argue a lot about politics and sexism and vaccines and whatnot. And the result was about a two-hour battle, an apology to Emily (mostly), and, I’m pretty sure, an interesting conversation–interesting enough that I decided to post it here.
The conversation also made me feel like Adam and I would do a great show together–not because we set aside our differences but because we embrace them.
But if we do a tech podcast, I promise you now that it will be about tech. It’s not a tech version of No Agenda and it’s not a show about trying to fix society–this recording is a one-time experiment. And it won’t be about the gadget of the week and the rumor cycle and the thing that everyone else is talking about. What I love about technology is its ability to change the world–for better or for worse. I want to do the research on the stories that really matter and then talk about what I really think about those stories. As Adam says, I’ve taken a “vow of authenticity,” and I guess it’s time to test it out with someone who pushes my boundaries a lot.
So, consider this our coming-out party, I guess. We’re still working on a name for the show–your ideas are welcome. And your feedback, too. I’m curious to know what you think of an experiment like this.
But before you comment, let me tell you a quick story. Once upon a time, a long time ago (in the early 2000s), I wrote a letter to PC Magazine about a writer they had there, this guy John C. Dvorak. The irony is staggering, I know. I don’t even know what he wrote anymore but I know that it incensed me (it particularly incensed me that he was randomly capitalizing tech phrases in the midst of it). I was convinced he should be fired, and I said so.
I got a very thoughtful response back from his editor, who pointed out that sometimes, it’s good to have voices around that bug you. In fact, it’s often good to have voices around that bug you, because they make you think more, fight harder, and they help you define your own thoughts and feelings in a way that wouldn’t happen if you were constantly validated by the agreeing and agreeable opinions of everything you consumed.
I can disagree with Adam–sometimes vehemently–and still like him, and I think the conversation is better as a result. I hope you agree, and I want to know what you think because if we do a show together, you’re the only thing that’ll make it work. So, let us have it. And thanks for listening.