Wednesday, October 22, 2014 Marketplace!!

I got to attend a live show by the Marketplace news folks tonight, called "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Numbers." If you are an NPR listener, you have probably heard Marketplace before. The prime newsman and editor of the program, Kai Ryssdal, is probably my favorite NPR personality.

You know, except for Frank DeFord.

This program looked deeper into some of the numbers that Marketplace uses to address current economic and financial conditions, including GDP (and how countries can put anything into it that they want), adjusted inflation (and how poor Americans are earning less than we used to), and lots of other info.

We also got to see a photo of Kai from middle school (at right, obviously):

Some choice quotes from the program: 

  • Comparing the DOW industrial average to Velveeta: "it's spread around on everything, but no one knows what's in it"
  • Kai likes to have guests on the show who generally "have their shit together," inter alia
  • "THIS doesn't just HAPPEN!" - Kai on why he runs "a lot"
  • Journalists inserting their own opinions into stories is "professional treason," according to Kai - a sentiment I agree with.
I even got a picture with Kai at the end!! And I learned that he likes peanut M&Ms, in addition to IPAs (which he mentioned in a previous program). A man of good taste.

What I loved most about this program is what I love about NPR generally: you are not told what to think but instead encouraged to question and think critically for yourself.

I read an article in the Chicago Tribune this morning on Americans becoming more polarized about opinions, particularly by reading only biased news sources and by keeping a circle of friends who generally agrees with ourselves.

Please do not be that person. Reach out and learn about the world. Talk with people you can learn new things from. Learn about the gray. And always question the numbers (or at least where they come from). 

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