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tv   2016 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books  CSPAN  April 10, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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and they didn't talk to the their children about that or their grandchildren. .. then some of the incarcerated, most of them were written for young adults or children to be used in schools but at the same time the japanese as it became conversational at least among them began to do massive oral
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history work with people so that you can go online and have innumerable websites with paperwork from survivors of the camps. the other part which is always interesting, the military, everything is done on paper. a lot of political stuff gets destroyed, military stuff doesn't. you could get a couple pictures, one of the heroism of japanese americans before regimental combat teams and also stories of the people who only came to burps with people 30 or 40 years after it did so that it was a thrill to go through that
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research. talk about the california environments, there was a man shot in the back by a young sentry, by independence, they were bored out of their minds and always looking for excitement and this guy is yelling, this young american in a tower, there were americans on both sides of the barbed wire, that is the story but the deaf guy is walking along the fence and soldiers shouting at him to stop and get out of the way. the man doesn't here, the sentry shoots him dead. the sentry is brought to a court-martial, he is found guilty. this is the record you find in the army. he is found guilty and he was found guilty of misusing
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government property and find numb one dollar and went back on duty. >> when we are doing this amazing reporting research were there moments when you came across bits that challenged your own perception of what you thought you would find, shocks, surprises that made you rethink? >> one thing that surprised me is how smart and thoughtful, a man who thinks through the assassin. i covered that rally, cover the assassination, the trial, i
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would say a superficial sense. after the trial, disappears into the prison system, no interviews with him. who he is in some way as a function of media reports, some accurate, some less accurate, some misconceptions, people generally think of him as -- there is a term, stray weed or wild weed, exceptional guy, exceptionally violent and peripheral in his extremism. in some ways it is true and in some ways not. went to one of the better
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orthodox's, served in the military, all the things israelis do. it is easier for a community or a society, something happened, that guy is marginal and crazy, not a function of the things he absorbed in society. that is the easy way out if they could exempt us from looking at the things that incubated these people. that was very surprising. it made for some odd interviews, some of the oddest moments i have had as a journalist were sitting in the halls, in the home of the assassination with his family, very warm people, smart and interesting and having these engaging conversations with people who politically are very extreme and willing to commit murder in order to change
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the course of history and to a large degree succeeded. >> i was surprised by the combination of fear, racism and greed so much more than i could imagine because of course japanese bank accounts were frozen on december 8th, so if your bank account is frozen you don't pay for your insurance or your mortgage or whatnot so that in general with earl warren presiding over the japanese, most of them lost everything, their land, their homes, their property. but the biggest surprise to me, someone once said american as apple pie or american as they come was the incredible stupidity of the government in
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all of this, and efforts to cover up what actually happened and it was a surprising journey on that level. >> for me without question was the biggest surprise was very few people knew about the supreme court case. so many big-time players, john marshall, john quincy adams, francis got key and other people who should be better known, john mcpherson berean who represent the spanish claimants of the captives, united states senator, attorney general in the jackson administration and had it not been for the petticoat affair he was pushed down, replaced by roger 20 who was later made chief justice of the united
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states, might well have been chief justice. with so many important people involved and the issues so important, this decision legitimates this argument that these individuals are my property and protected by do process, my control, my power over them, my ability to do with them whatever i want and most importantly in terms of the coming of the civil war, my ability to take some wherever i want and be protected in keeping my party by the federal government, that argument is based on this case so the surprise is how did we lose track of this. i think elizabeth suggested a little bit there and this we haven't gotten to yet but americans are not good at remembering dark elements of
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their past and understandably so just as as individuals we try to avoid thinking of dark elements of ourselves. dark elements of the past, yet they shape us just as much as the good things. i find what you said wonderful because on the one hand you started with the berlin airlift to show the good and then you had to go to the internment of japanese to show the evil. all within a decade of one another. that is wonderful. >> history is better than television. >> you can't make it up either. >> even though we are being televised. please come to the microphone if
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you have questions. in these dark periods what happened to any people who might have been heroes, wanted to speak out, who saw what was wrong. >> they are real heroes in this story. most particularly roger baldwin, founder of the american civil liberties union and was a friend of roosevelt and would not allow the aclu to use the word race or greed in any investigations involving this. because of that, a group of young aclu attorneys particularly in california quit the aclu and for free representative japanese americans with all kinds of levels. after the oriental exclusion act of 1924, japanese cannot become american citizens, nor the
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chinese. their children were born here, second-generation and they could become citizens, but for 40 years these people cannot become citizens, which made for terrors of justice only one of which i will mention but these young attorneys who got no money, asked for donations, got 6000 people who had been deported to japan americans, got them back home, you can imagine the legal work and also number 6000, the number of peruvians that the united states army flew down, full combat units and brought back in chains, 6000 peruvian
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americans. the people of peru were no different than us. japanese peruvians were successful there. there was envy. they wanted their land, their homes. at the end of the war, the justice department tried to deport the peruvians because they were illegal immigrants, they had no paperwork, they had been kidnapped in latin america, brought to army bases, and it was young attorneys in san francisco, particularly wayne collins and others who were very young aclu lawyers, enraged, roger baldwin refused to allow the aclu to represent these people and they gave their lives as surely as any soldier to keep
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this country on something, even in a fair deal. >> i see people waiting but i do want to say when i started working with a branch of www. norton, i gave a brilliant editor named katie adams, one of the first things she asked me when we began working on the project was who are your heroes? academic historians, frankly, are not used to thinking that way. we don't write about heroes. we try to be analytical. i found for me it was an extraordinarily through full, new way to do things with you guys already knew how to do this. >> journalists write forward, academics right history backward and -- >> that is why they get it wrong and we get it right.
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>> history to a certain extent is dominating in academic history. >> most of the really good historians are doing their utmost to move into narrative history but i have to do this to honor two heroes i did find, one was the us attorney i mentioned, richard have are some from one of the wealthiest and largest slaveholding families in the state of georgia at that time. had it not been for him and his continual unwillingness to let this case go, is focused fight, committed to the idea that these people were free and should be returned to africa there would never have been a supreme court case and the second is francis scott key, i have mentioned him already, saw this case and refused to let it die and used his political capital in washington to finally make sure this case came before the supreme court.
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there are heroes even in the darkest stories. those men were certainly two of them. >> questions? >> my name is chris and my question is for dan. i finished reading your book a week ago. from my point of you, my american point of view the assassination and slow demise of the peace process is tragedy. it seems there was a chance, a small one. my question is in your interviews, what did the average is really think of the assassination? we were so close and it died? or is it something else? >> good question. i will say on the issue of heroes my wife is the hero here. anyone who has written books, putting up with all the stuff that goes on when your spouse is
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engaged in the process, so this is a good question that gets to where does israel stand today? where are is really on the issue of the peace process? there is a lot of skepticism born of years of violence, wars and terrorism. skepticism on both sides, the israeli side, the palestinian side, palestinians feel like that thing they are bargaining for, hoping to get, is shrinking and so that skepticism colors the way israelis tend to view the process, the peace process that began in the 19s and not much is left and it covers the way many israelis view rabin.
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he doesn't have a legacy -- what we were talking about after i wrote the book, israelis tend to think, many people think of the rabin assassination in the context of american history, the israeli version of the kennedy assassination. there is really not -- there are not many similarities between the two. if you are looking for similarity it is more like the lincoln assassination. israel in the 1990s, two countries, things are still evolving, questions about of your nation were unsettled and forming, where societies were divided over one core issue, extension of slavery here, and issue of the territories,
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occupied territories or the military rule over palestinians, what to do about that and a leader is elected who has a vision that goes one way, and sets out to an act that vision, and a significant portion of society. the idea of a civil war in israel might be overstated but there were fissures that were significant in the 90s and the assassination of a combination of that, and one man from the other camp, from the aggrieved camp decides to try to change the course of history. a man in his 20s, there were other similarities close enough to fire a shot and killed the leader. we tend to think of lincoln as
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the greatest president in history. i don't think that is what most israelis will tell you about rabin. i am talking to lincoln historians and trying to belabor this, generally risky, lincoln won the war and was assassinated. robert e lee surrendered the week before the assassination. rabin doesn't manage to secure the peace. he was killed before he manages to do that. the legacy that should have been bound up with rabin, this idea of lasting reconciliation between israelis and palestinians isn't there. it isn't there 20 years later and that colors people's perspective of that period and that leader. >> i am a graduate of usc in 1967 as a freshman, got easy
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access to the archives on the relocation effort. in your research, the narrative in which the japanese americans were coerced into giving up their citizenship to the point they were even under threat of being shot by machine guns shooting over there heads, did you find this situation in minicamps or other situations or is this extreme? be change usc throughout the japanese-american students right after pearl harbor and leon university refusing to give honor to people who were here, a lot of japanese americans here, then going -- i have lost the
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gist of your question. [inaudible] >> what happened -- the camps were for everyone a disaster. it was expected particularly in the white house that the war against japan would be very short. the imbalance of resources the two sides were so heavily in favor of the us particularly after we built a few more ships and won the battle of midway, we know the japanese didn't give up. the war went on and on and what was happening in camps from outside the camps two people who understand what was happening were pitching about the fact they consider the camp country clubs came to a head,
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thanksgiving of 1943 when the denver post found out the japanese had turkey for thanksgiving when it was rationed 4 american people and then came the issue, cost a lot of money, what good was a doing? and inside the barbed wire more and more japanese americans particularly veterans of world war i were swept up and many committed suicide rather than go to the camps, they began to organize pro imperial japanese unit so there were riots, shootings in the last year or so particularly in california where they took all the, quote, bad apples and put them all in one
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place and the government could barely contain, control of that. there was no meaningful dissent against the united states by the people in the camps at the beginning. by the end, they understood what had been done to them, and a lot of them have a particularly veterans began to demonstrate, to fight, to harass, many of them split between pro-american and pro imperial japanese. none of that existed in japanese-american society before the camps. on every level they were a disaster. >> mister reeves? >> i understand ruth benedict was commissioned by the state department, the japanese, how to
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deal with them. do you feel that influenced their policy? >> no i don't. most of those, there were several investigations, sociologists, historians hired, very few people saw that work because these were honest academics putting down what the american people didn't know. one of the surprises for me was how little americans new about what was going on. the best example involving japanese americans were the death march, was not known to the american people until two years after it happened because the government, the president felt his job was to build american morale and this would not do it.
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so that the american people did not know what happened to americans and filipinos but by a quirk of fate people in santa fe, new mexico, knew what had happened because the american unit there was the new mexican national guard, so that the telegrams we regret to inform you were going to people in santa fe. they organized. there was a federal prison holding interned japanese which is a different category and from santa fe marched on that prison intending to kill all the japanese. that convinced them that that would only make things works. no one ever knew this happened. there was nothing in it for
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anybody to talk about what happened. elizabeth and i were talking to a mutual friend talking about eugenics, that franklin roosevelt did believe in eugenics and he believed in his own notes the japanese aggression was a product of the shape of their skulls. that their brains were being pushed and it would take 200,000 years for them to reach the level of white civilization. >> one other quick question. how does japanese internment differ for italian-americans and german-americans in the midwest? >> they did the same thing with german-americans they did with japanese americans. i could go into the legality and legislation of how they did it, but how they singled out the
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japanese, there were some italians and germans interned. if we use the same standards on germans and italians that we did on the japanese americans, we would have had camps for 70 million people. after all, most everyone in this room has german or italian blood in them. one of -- there were 3000 italians, 5000 germans interned. one of the italians was the lead boss of the metropolitan opera, later became a great star in the south pacific. he lived in bronxville, new york. five fbi agents came to his
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home, searched the home, they would wreck the homes, already had the japanese, most of them not living as well, dragged off to be imprisoned on ellis island. as they were going out the door the lead agent saw a letter, framed letter written in italian and he said what is that? penza said that is a letter from verity. they said it was that? what happens in wartime and how unjust it really is was shown by the fact that after the war, records, the second boss so at the metropolitan opera had informed the fbi that pins oh
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was a personal friend of mussolini and signaled mussolini each week, american intentions on the saturday broadcast of the metropolitan opera. by changing his inflection. he had a nervous breakdown because he probably still would be in jail had not been mayor of new york -- was half italian. >> we are about to end the session, two minutes. another quick question. >> it is for the panel, and events influence me, great passion for history. today we have much more information available. don't know if it is necessarily
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organized as people are directed in the same way, most people i talked to refer to the history channel, there is more to it than that. how would you say we could better get understanding of the relevance of history out to the public? >> a big question. >> the quick answer from my perspective is through the way i and others teach than influencing teachers and public schools and private schools to really deal with the important issues of history, not to be afraid to introduce eighth-graders to what happened to the japanese. people are afraid of this. in my region i teach in the deep south, people are often quite afraid to talk about the violence and brutality that accompanied slavery. you have to talk about it. that is one way. >> the short answer is by making it interesting and what i mean
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by that is writing about people and the things they do. we call it narrative. we talk about the idea of narrative, what happened? where do these people live? what were they thinking? where did they go? what did they do? through these actions you come to understand their mindset and through that, something broader about history. in my mind it is the idea of writing a small story to tell you what the big story was. >> the best tool at least from research i have been involved in, the best tool to reach people with the story, maybe not exactly right, is entertainment. movies that bring things, sometimes television, to people's attention in a way that history, strict history never will be able to do.
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it was a wonderful -- snow falls on cedars, a best-selling novel and movie tells the story of the first roundup on bainbridge island, the government, off of seattle, used -- 40% of the population was japanese-american, they detest to see whether japanese americans would resist and prove their patriotism so they went along with the government. >> my answer is read these books, they are extraordinary books, the authors will be available to sign, thank you so much for being here. [applause] >> thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] ♪ >> booktv live coverage from the 21 stoop annual los angeles times festival of books. we are on the campus of the university of southern california which hosted the festival for the past four or five years prior to that, at ucla, you can see it is raining in southern california. this is a first in all the years we have covered this festival.
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we are not going to complain. c-span buses, we have a call in set, take your calls and talk about issues of government corruption, why corruption threatens global security. >> it came from experience but i was living in southern afghanistan. i covered the following the taliban and for national public radio. in january 2003, saying i really need to shut up already. i have no intention of focusing on corruption. i was doing standard reconstruction type work but in the very first project i wanted to do was rebuilding a village
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destroyed in the american bombing in 2002, we were trying to rebuild mudbrick houses but in order to build a mudbrick house -- if you have seen a picture of southern afghanistan you will know one of the few abundant resources is stone, but it turned out we couldn't get any stone to the foundation of mudbrick houses because the governor awarded a monopoly to himself so he could crush it into gravel and sell it to the americans who were building their military base for ten times the going price. not a good introduction to corruption but as it went on it was clear that what was actually driving people back into the arms of the talent and was not religious fanaticism or deep-seated hatred of western culture, it was almost the opposite.
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it was the incredibly corrupt karzai government of afghanistan enabled by the us government. it wasn't so much that karzai was getting punished because he was seen as too western. it was the american intervention that was tarnished as being too close to the karzai government. i discovered in 2010 that what i had thought was a specific afghanistan story turned out to be taking place in almost every other country in the world where there was a violent religious extremist movement. it was unbelievable. i started looking at nigeria, central asia, then you have the arab spring so you have half a dozen revolutions, since then we have had ukraine and a variety
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of other security challenges that are really driven or fueled by the sophisticated government corruption i don't get into as much detail. >> a very contemporary issue, the panama papers, how would that fit into your book? >> guest: it fits exactly. if you look at the names mentioned in these incredible stories of the panama papers it is like the bar scene from star wars, political leaders, their family members, business leaders, criminals, out and out criminals, what is interesting is this cast of characters mimics or mirrors the cast of characters you see in an acutely corrupt government structure. when we see corruption we think
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of the venal practice indulged in by some or many members of the government. these are not fragile or failing governments. they are sophisticated and very successful criminal organizations that are horizontally integrated across all the sectors you see popping up in the panama papers and that is the private sector. a government official will have their brother-in-law or sister-in-law that happens to own a massive holding company that includes construction firm that is getting a government contract. by the way the cousin of the chief of state will be running drugs or wildlife across the border, that is one way the panama papers is relevant. other ways this law firm is mentioned in panama papers, they
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represent external facilitators of these networks. we have heard about terrorist facilitators, the fbi will go after them. a kind of corruption facilitator and an intermediate stage in panama. the companies they incorporate are located in other secrecy havens like british virgin islands, cyprus with the cayman islands or delaware or wyoming or nevada, then these companies go on to purchase property or businesses or put money in banks? where? in los angeles, new york, miami
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and london, paris, etc.. a lot of countries that see themselves is not particularly corrupt, their economies are predicated on providing corruption of services to these networks in places like nigeria, or pakistan. >> host: your book, why corruption threatens global security 202 is the area code if you would like to talk to her, 7200 in the east and central time zone, 8021 in the mountains and pacific time zone and if you want to send a text message 202, 717, 9684. if you send a text please include your first name and your city as well. from your book, where western
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governments pay for anticorruption efforts out of one pocket they are often paying off corrupt government out of another and far more lavishly budget support, military assistance, international development projects, covert cash handlers. >> absolute economy of this was what was happening in afghanistan where there were anticorruption efforts underway and that the new york times later revealed the cia was providing tens of millions of dollars per month to president, karzai. it is ironic that the united states government prosecutes businesses for paying bribes to foreign officials while the
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united states government pays bribes to foreign officials for whatever reason it may be. in a lot of cases i am sure us officials would contest the idea that military assistance is a bribe but in some cases, in the case of egypt and the camp david accord it was a very clear exchange, approximately $1 billion a year in military assistance in return for living up to the camp david accord which is why it is so difficult to leverage egypt with us international assistance because egypt is doing what you asked for, doing what you paid us to do. the other really important point about the quote you just read is
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from the perspective of foreign government official they are getting a variety of different signals from the us government. take the government of honduras the just saw the assassination of a celebrated environmental activist in a context where the united states has been a significant supporter of the honduran government. i don't know exactly whether there are any anticorruption programmings funded by usaid but corruption generally has been a huge issue in honduras for the past couple years and longer but in particular there were massive demonstrations last year over a scandal to do with their social security system. and concessions for the hydropower dams were also quite corruptly provided. so when you are the president of honduras you're looking at a panoply of different us signals
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that are coming at you so if usaid is spending $200,000 to help civil society groups from anticorruption agitation on the one hand and several hundred million or more than that worth of military assistance coming in to support security services and police and other instruments of coercion what message do you suppose you are taking from the us government? what do you think the us government thinks is important? of course you assume the anticorruption is just chat, the peanut gallery, not to be taken seriously. i know in particular when the cia is involved most foreign countries that do have interactions with the cia think the cia speaks for the us
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government. >> you have a blurb on the front, i can't imagine a more important book for our times, why corruption threatens global security, gilbert is calling in from eagle, colorado, good afternoon, go ahead with your question. >> caller: i am glad to see this. i think -- npr -- a number of things to do. >> guest: many many thanks for the length of your memory.
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that goes back a wild. it is important -- so many specific stories that seem to have to do with a single country turn out to be emblematic of a broader phenomenon and this is a phenomenon that is incredibly important, both the international security, it causes us to ask a lot of questions about what is going on at home in the united states. >> host: how much is corrupted? >> guest: impossible to make that estimate. the inspector general -- >> host: just one. >> guest: he can't even find out the amount of money the united states spends in afghanistan let alone how much was stolen in that one country. the answer is no, but it is a huge -- the estimate i heard around the panama papers is $13
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trillion is socked away in these offshore companies and obviously all of it is not illegal or corrupt money but one wonders why does someone want to hide money? if it is listed money why would you want to hide it? >> host: you are on with father sarah chayes. >> caller: regarding the panama papers how likely, the absence of american names on this list, how frequent our american -- virgin islands and cayman islands, and common to the fact
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that london, new york, western economy, culture, launder and park ill-gotten money? >> guest: the first one is americans don't need to go to panama or the cayman islands for companies to be domiciled, three of the biggest locations in the united states, delaware, nevada and wyoming. those of the top ones, when i
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first was working in afghanistan, it has been set up by karzai's brother, who is a resident of the state of maryland and what was curious to me and i never thought of it is he established this in delaware and i couldn't understand why was the case. i went to set up my own ngo in massachusetts and experienced the type of rigor and audits and financial whatever, information i had to provide on a daily basis but this was strange because we never had to provide any of this accounting and now i understand why and so it is not just what you mentioned like new york and london, but i think corporate -- i may have the
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number not quite accurate but i think corporate, the establishment of corporations accounts for 1/5 of the state of delaware's revenue. so the point is the economy of we uncorrupted countries are predicated on dirty money and that does mean new york and london, prime minister cameron of the united kingdom is about to have a big anticorruption summit in may. i have been to some extent had the conversation with members of staff and other anticorruption activists who have been saying if you don't start at home with the city of london and the british overseas territories this summit is going to be a laughingstock. we didn't realize panama papers were about to happen but i hope
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that put a fire under the uk government. >> host: in your book in the last chapter you write iceland was a model of a northern european market-driven democracy that fell prey to partial capture by a tightknit network of government officials and banking executives. >> guest: that brings us to the next question. we have been discussing the united states as a purveyor of corruption services to governments that were corrupt . i would love to recite a quote, you have been reciting from the book. i would like to recite a quote from a 17th-century political philosopher named john locke whose work was the basis of our
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own constitution and he said in the second treatise on government when their is a barefaced wreck sing of the law to serve the purposes of a man or party of blue blue, war is made on the sufferers who lacking an appeal on earth to write them are left to the only remedy in such cases an appeal to heaven. basically predicting violent alleges extremism as a reaction to the system but laws being bent to serve the purposes of a man or party of men. let's look at the united states today. let's look at the outside influence of a number of economic sectors.
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the military industrial complex if you will, big pharma or the health industry, the energy industry, wall street, these industries have been incredibly successful in bending our laws to serve their objectives. i did not go too deep into the us parallel i don't think the united states is not on this spectrum. >> host: next call from diana in columbus, ohio. >> caller: a normal person cannot comprehend a rapist or killer. i don't think that as normal people we can understand the concept of all these governments being so corrupt. i never imagined in my wildest
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dreams that there was so much lying and in spirit and evasion of money. it amazes me and puts the dots together and helps me to understand why we are in the shape we are in in the world and i am wondering if she could expand on that. >> guest: it took me two or three years to wrap my mind around what i was seeing and experiencing. i spent two weeks crying about it as it started to hit home. i think you are onto something
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profound and it has something to do with the changing role of money in our society and i don't want to sound like a total cliché and they money is the root of all evil but i do think there has been a remarkable shift in the roles, the social role of money since the 1980s and what is happening is i think before that, it comes and goes. this isn't the first time in human history that money as played by rules outside the rules. but what is happening is money as a measuring stick for social success has trump, if you will, a lot of other ideals.
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culture has a set of ideals that members of those cultures who aspire to excellence are supposed to strive for and those ideals may be courage or generosity, integrity, hard work, inventiveness, you can imagine the different ideals and we can claim to be driven by those ideals but in fact, that measures your success. we exported it to the rest of the world. two weeks in nigeria a couple months ago asking people has the meaning of money changed in your
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lifetime and answers were so articulate and things like we used to use money to purchase things that we needed. now money is used to get things that god doesn't want. it was profound. it was amazing. it is up to all of us to figure out how to reverse this trend and start honoring tereus leave the other ideals that our culture has put out there on the table. >> host: nigeria is an example it's features prominently in fees and state. gary is in the poconos, pennsylvania.
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>> caller: how are you? hello? >> host: go ahead. >> caller: there is more corruption in the united states than any other country in the world. it starts in the white house and that is where all the people are robbing and stealing from every citizen, 300 million people. for years and years without working, hundreds of thousands of dollars. they take money from people. all kinds -- rob people, say they did that and do that. >> host: you put the us on the spectrum. >> guest: i do think the way corruption takes place here is
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usually somewhat more indirect and camouflaged blues not always but usually. than it is in a place like nigeria or pakistan. >> host: with the revelation from the panama papers does this strengthen switzerland's hand? >> guest: switzerland is under increasing scrutiny so is moving toward providing somewhat more insight into their customers so you immediately have new countries popping up, latvia is an interesting one, you have heard of mold over, a little country that sits between
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>> so your question about how does this impact diplomatic
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relations is a very important one, indeed. >> host: and in her book, "thieves of state," sarah chayes quotes: there has to be a general recognition that this crisis is moral as well as economic. "thieves of state" is the name of the book. former npr correspondent sarah chayes is the author. this is booktv's live coverage of the 21st annual los angeles times festival of books here on the campus of the university of southern california. and the next author panel is just due to begin, and this is a panel on science and technology. live coverage from leles. >> good afternoon. before starting, would you please silence all cell phones during the session.
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a reminder that personal recording of sessions is not allowed. there will be a book signing following the session, and this panel will be meeting in signing area number one which you will find noted on your festival map. and you can also ask one of the volunteers in the room to direct you. welcome. i'm lynn fieldman, a freelance science writer and editor of science writers' magazine published by the national association of science writers. and i will serve as moderator of this session on science, technology and the human condition. it is my honor to introduce our panelists. at your far right beth shapiro, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the university of california-santa cruz. her research is centered on the
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analysis of ancient dna. her work has appeared in numerous publications including nature and science, and she is a 2009 recipient of a mac arthur award. she lives in santa cruz. her book, "how to clone a ma'amth: the science of de extinction," looks at the real and compelling science and addresses how -- [inaudible] this book is a finalist in the l.a. times book prize competition. next is david morris. he's a former marine infantry officer. he worked as a reporter in iraq from 2004 to 2007. his writing has appeared in the new yorker, slate, the virginia quarterly review and the best american non-required reading. his book, "the evil hours: a
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biography of post-traumatic stress disorder," is far more than a biography of the psychological condition or a memoir. it is also a cogent analysis of an ever-increasing phenomenon that has changed the landscape of our culture. and it, too, is a finalist in this year's competition. john markoff has been a technology and science reporter at "the new york times" since 1988. he was part of a team of times reporters that won the 2013 pulitzer prize for explanatory reporting for its, quote, penetrating look into the business practices by apple and other technology companies that illustrates the darker side of a changing global economy for workers and consumers. he lives in san francisco. his book, "machines of loving grace: the quest for common ground between humans and robots," addresses one of the most important questions of our
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age: will machines help us or will they replace us? this book, too s a finalist. -- is a finalist. and we have -- [inaudible] mike hill sick, pulitzer prize-winning author who has covered public policy for the los angeles times for more than 20 years. he currently serves as the times' business columnist. he is with us today to discuss his latest book, "big science: earnest lawrence and the invention that launched the military industrial complex." it is an untold story of how one invention changed the world and the man principally responsible for it and how that effort led to the dependence on government and industry for the big science that we have today. the format for the hour in which we are together is that i will pose some initial questions to each of our panelists followed
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by some broader topics for constitution as a whole. audience members, you will have an opportunity to ask your own questions towards the end of the session. and when we do, we have floor microphones, and we ask you to direct your questions there, and i will let you know when you can line up for that. so let's begin. beth shapiro, could extinct species like mammoths and passenger pigeons, could they really be brought back to life? >> it depends what you're willing to accept as a mammoth or a passenger pigeon. [laughter] i realize that's a little bit of a complicated answer. when an organism dies, the dna begins to decay immediately, and that dna which exists in all of us as long strands of letters that make up the code that make us look and act the way we do, that dna starts getting chopped
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up into smaller fragments really quickly. what means is that a mammoth that's been dead for 5,000 years, 10,000 years, if we go out and collect a bone from that mammoth, it'll have dna, but it'll be broken growth fragments. and we can't use that dna in the same way as we can use a cell from dolly the sheep. that's not tail possible with ma'am -- actually possible, with mammoths. we can take those flag bements, and we can start to understand how the mammoth, for example, differs from an asian elephant. they share about 99% of the dna, these two species. so if we could just identify that last 1%, then we could take an elephant and do a little bit of a cut and paste job, as it will, and turn that elephant's cell and turn that boo an elephant that is a little bit mammoth-like. so if you're willing to accept that as a mammoth, then, sure. [laughter]
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>> so i'll follow up on this. beth, but if our ability to do that, is that going to come at a cost? of the current efforts that we have to protect the endangered species? >> no, i don't think so. so most of the technology, the research that's going into developing these kind of science fiction at the moment, but fantastical approaches to doing this, these are not competing for resources with existing conservation efforts. in fact, those of us who are interested in this, and my interest in this is not to bring species that are extinct and gone forever back to life are, but instead to use this as a technology to help species that are alive today but perhaps in danger of going extinct because they can't adapt quickly enough sufficiently to be able to keep up with the changes that are happening to their habitat. can we use this same technology to genetically assist that
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adaptation? and all of these developments that might be a new approach to conservation are being funded by research that wants to use these same technologies to do things like gene therapy in humans. so there are -- and we're interested in that. what if we could identify the genes that are responsible for a particular genetic disease and then go in there with these tools of science and actually cut and paste our own genomes, thereby curing diseases? that's where the funding from this technology is coming from. those of us interested in that conservation are taking advantage of that and using it in this other purpose potentially as a new tool for conservation. >> thank you. i'm going to turn, david morris. you have a very personal story about post-traumatic stress disorder. how did you come about deciding to write it but then expanding it to much larger topics? >> sort of a big jump. i feel sort of like the
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redheaded stepchild in the room going from wooly mammoth to ptsd. [laughter] like science fiction to, i don't know, dr. freud's office. [laughter] all right. the question was how did i get interested in ptsd? >> no, how did you decide to tell your story? you're also telling a wider story. >> yeah. >> it's not just your story. >> yeah, i don't know. i got interested, i had been in the marine corps before 9/11, and then i was a war correspondent, and so i had seen war from a number of different angles and then came back and felt really at odds with the country politically, socially, emotionally, and i just felt like a martian which is something that a lot of veterans say, they come back, and they just feel like they're a different species of human, and they just feel out of place. and i felt sort of generally out of place in a way that i couldn't put my finger on. and then i read -- i came across this article, and i believe it was in the "usa today." they were talking about
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expanding the definition of ptsd to include some sense of veterans who felt that the war had in some way positive softened their -- poisoned their life. it wasn't just that they couldn't sleep and they had flashbacks and hallucinations, it was sort of this larger emotional disconnect from society. and that was really how i felt. i had served in the marine corps, and i came from a very conservative family. i had voted for george w. bush the first time, and then i went to iraq. and, you know, understandably my view of the world changed, and i think as importantly my relationship with my country changed radically in 2004 when i went to iraq for the first time. and i thought i was, i felt really kind of alone, and i didn't know a lot of people that felt the same way. most people, most veterans didn't seem to think about it the way i id do. and -- i did. and when you talked about ptsd, you didn't talk about this poisoning or this emotional or political or larger cultural echo that i felt kind of as
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strongly as any other symptom, for lack of a better word. so i went to the library and started digging around, and i found rather than me being the only one who felt that way, i actually discovered that the origins of the ptsd concept, the genesis, if you will, of the diagnosis came from the vietnam war, and it came from this very activist group could the vietnam vets against the war who felt very similarly to how i did. they felt that the vietnam war had been this very evil, destructive, poisoning force in their life. and that's why we have ptsd. the diagnosis didn't come out of thin air, it's not immortal. it's a product of 1970s america. and a lot of the activists and a lot of the people that fought to have ptsd recognized -- which today many of us think of ptsd as this elemental force. it's like, you know, this central part of the post war narrative. nobody -- if you came back from world war ii, there was nothing for you. you came back and people
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basically said put your uniform in the closet, go get a job, and there was nothing for veterans up until vietnam. so that was sort of my discovery, was i thought i was alone. and i went to the library and discovered that i was not. that sort of, that was, for me, the genesis of my interest and why for me -- i didn't want to write a book just about me. i didn't want to write a sob story about how bad my life was, you know? i thought i didn't have that bad of a life, and i was just really interested in, okay, how does this fit into the whole pantheon of ideas. so the book became about that. >> and a follow up to that. what does modern neuroscience have to tell us about ptsd? >> well, i have kind of a semi-controversial view of this, because i don't think modern neuroscience has a whole hell of a lot to say just yet about ptsd. there are some specific -- and i think that's related to really the larger saga of science and that we are, if you think about
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science as sort of an age of discovery or to use a bad analogy like if science and truth were some sort of continent and we were going out to discover it, if you think of ptsd and the neuroscience behind it as this continent to be discovered, the ships are just now leaving the harbor to go discover what we might know about the brain. and so i think it's really important to keep that this mind. and there are -- in mind. and there are a lot of professors on this campus that will tell you we have a cure for ptsd. i don't -- i believe those people are misleading you. i don't believe there to be a simple cure for ptsd. it's a very complex condition and touches on the whole part of a human being. and so there has been as far as to more specifically answer your question, there are some specific areas and some specific researchers who i like a lot who have discovered things that in science that have been replicated that is not just a one-off.
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specifically, rachel yahuda at the v.a. bronx has discovered that there are stress hormones that are secreted in the human body under stress. and she discovered that the court sol profile of someone who has been exposed to extreme stress like war or genocide, through the maternal offspring, their offspring will have a different cortisol profile. so -- and she studied the survivors, holocaust survivors and the maternal line of people who survived the holocaust. and she found that through the maternal line that there is a different, that descendants of holocaust survivors, the maternal line will have a different stress hormone profile than an average person. so it does actually change the person's chemistry. it does change how they, how the
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chemical make-up of their body functions. and there's always been really good research done by tim cahill on this drug which is a beta-blocker. it's a very common heart drug that if you give it, what it does is suppress the adrenal human response of fight, flight or freeze. and if you give that to someone after, say, a car accident in the e.r., you can reduce the incidence of subsequent ptsd by 50%. so that, in my mind, is sort of the one data point in my reading of the research was that there is not really a miracle drug or a miracle cure on the horizon with possible exception of propanyrol. scientists are just now beginning to use it to reduce the incidence of ptsd down the line. and that started at u.s. irvine just down -- uc irvine just down
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the road. >> okay. john markoff, machines of loving grace. how close are we to a robot-run society? [laughter] >> another big leap. well, i guess, and also i guess it sort of depends on what you mean by robot. because, you know, if you're willing to take a broad definition of the term, and i do, then i would think of things like siri and cortana and google now to be virtual robots, and we're already very much at least interacting with them. if you mean robot in the sense of sort of displacing us, that's another question. you know, two years ago they had a wonderful my interesting contest -- wonderfully interesting contest here in the los angeles care called the darpa rescue challenge, and they gave some of the best robottists in the world to design machines
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to do eight simple tasks, to walk, to drive, the open doors, to use power tools. and three of them were able to actually perform the tasks that they set out for them. they took about 45 minutes to an hour instead of the five minutes that humans would, and most of them couldn't even do simple tasks like opening the door which led the son of the guy who ran the contest, a man by the name of gil pratt, to say if you're worried about the terminator, just keep your door closed. [laughter] and i think that's kind of, that was ground truth. you know, we're going to have robots in space, in cyberspace and underwater, but the ground, the ground is really hard. and that's the last place that robots will move around freely. and, of course, that brings us to self-driving cars. and, you know, i think we all now sort of as a society because of google and other things that have happened think that
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self-driving cars are almost here. and i've taken to saying -- i live in san francisco, and i've taken to saying if uber robot shows up in 2025 to drive me, the problem is that many of these technologies are going to make the ability for cars to drive themselves really commercial. it's happening right now. but taking the human completely out of the loop is going to be a very big challenge because of the edge cases, the random things that humans step in and take over. you know, google's shifted their self-driving car program a couple of years ago, and they didn't really get enough attention. they went from trying to build regular cars and get them to drive autonomous a human supervisor to these little cars now that are limited to 25 miles an hour and have no steering wheel, brake or accelerator. and they did that because at a certain point in their project, they took professional drivers
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out of the car, and they replaced them with google employees and let them commute, and the instrument of the cars, and they watched to see what happened. and what they found was a lot of distracted behavior up to and including falling asleep. and this is what's called the handoff problem. what do you do when the car says, hey, i can't deal with this situation, you take control. well, if you're asleep or if you're playing world of war craft, you're not going to come back into what's called situational awareness to take over, and that that's a really hard problem that any of the technologies on the horizon right now are not going to solve. so, you know, the completely robot society, it's a ways off in the future. >> great. mike, let's talk about ernest lawrence. you know, how did he almost single-handedly develop the big science model of research that we have today? >> well, as often happens with
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these big leaps in achievement, there was a combination of luck, necessity and intuition. lawrence came on the scene in 1930 fortuitously at a moment when physics had sort of reached a dead end or a brick wall. the old generation, the small scientists who had been the great, the great researchers in physics up to that point, people like ernest rutherford and marie curie, had gotten about as far as they could get with the tools nature had given them, and they had achieved a tremendous amount. they had discovered the structure of the atom and x-rays. but they understood that to delve deeper into the mysteries of the atom, they were going to need energies that were beyond what nature could provide.
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they needed something called human inyes knewty. inyes knewty. rutterford was the one who stood up and set forth the challenge for his colleagues. he said what i would like to see is an apparatus that can produce a thousand electron volts and fit into a comfortably-sized room, and physicists all over the world took him up on the challenge. and what they tried to do was apply a thousand electron volts to an apparatus, and if the apparatus was glass, they ended up with a laboratory filled with pieces of glass. [laughter] it was lawrence whose intuition was if you wanted a thousand electron volts, what you had to do was build it up on the particle that you were using as a projectile, not on the apparatus. and he realized that you could deliver a series of jolts to a proton. you could build it up to a thousand electron volts. and the way to do that was to
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have the electron move in a spiral which you can do if you put it through a magnetic field. in fact, his first iteration of what became the cyclotron was something he called the proton merry go round. now, once you started with this sort of apparatus, lawrence's first cyclotron fit in the palm of his hand, but it owned -- each generation opened questions, raised questions that needed to be solved only by more powerful machines, more energetic and more powerful machines and more expensive machines. and, but before the decade was out, he was going to the rockefeller foundation and saying i need a million dollars. which would have been the largest single sum that the rockefeller foundation had ever given to a single scientist in its history. and they said, well, yes, okay. we will do that.
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and that really set the stage for this series of continued generations of cyclotrons. they got bigger and bigger, they got more powerful. the latest iteration we see today is the he drone collider where lawrence's first, as i said, fit in his hand and cost $100. this one occupies a tunnel 17 miles in circumference, it's buried under the landscape on the border of france and switzerland, and it cost $9 billion to build, and it's not quite done yet. there's going to be, you know, more generations. and, of course, more questions about whether all this money really needs to be spent and whether there's competition for it and other things to spend it on. >> are there other lawrences out there today? where are today's lawrences, and do we really want or need them? >> well, i think we need people
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like ernest lawrence and the scientists of his generation who spoke up for the idea that delving into the laws of nature, the natural world we live in was something very, very important. and i think that there's a lot of skepticism today about this sort of endeavor that we didn't have in the days of lawrence in part because he was such an effective spokesman for the principles. the biggest big science project that this country has tried at least in physics was the superconducting super-collider which was on the drawing board in the 1990s. it was going to cost something in the neighborhood of $5 billion. it would actually have been more powerful than the large hay drone collider. but it raised a lot of questions in congress, in a congress that was at that point skeptical about government spending.
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steven weinberg, who's a physicist at the university of texas who was a great supporter of this program, tells the story of going on the radio show, it was the larry king radio show in 1991 or 1992 when congress was debating whether to continue this project after it had already spent $2 billion. and he was on the show with a texas congressman who was opposing it. and the congressman said, well, i'm not in favor of spending, you know, government money or taxpayers' money on anything that isn't going to have practical uses. and weinberg said that he responded, well, this collider is going to open the door to new knowledge of our natural world. isn't that practical enough? and he wrote later that he remembered every word of the congressman's reply, and that reply was, no. [laughter]
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and in 1992 congress killed the superconducting super-collider in part because they didn't have people like lawrence. they'd all passed on at that point. >> i'll ask this sort of general question for the panel. any surprises along the way as you were writing your book? in other words, you came to a topic. did your finished book differ quite markedly from what you started out to accomplish? and i see john nodding his head. >> yeah. you know, my book began -- turns out that about every two decades our nation passes through this period of anxiety about automation. it happens with great regularity. and, you know, i was even as a reporter at the new york times kind of instrumental in starting the current wave of anxiety because --
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[laughter] in 2010-2011 i began to see a.i.-based technologies actually working. and not just displacing blue collar, manual workers, but it looked like they were displacing white collar, skilled professions like lawyers and doctors. and i basically had my hair on fire and felt that we were going to see this dramatic discontinuity where these technologies would actually dramatically transform the work force. and i've actually come full circle. i, you know, keynes, the economist, wrote in the 1930s that technology destroys jobs. it doesn't destroy work. and the economy has continued to grow despite three or four decades of computerization quite nicely around the world. so i had my hair on fire, and i was talking to an economist, danny -- [inaudible] and sort of making the argument
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that as these robotics technologies came to china, that it was going to lead to social disruption because they were going to displace workers. he said, you don't get it. if we're lucky, in china the robots will come just in time. and i said, excuse me? he basically got me to take a close look at what's going on with the demography of china. china is a dramatically aging society. and as i began to understand what that meant, that the actual working age population in china is shrinking, it shrunk by seven million people last year and china's aging, the number of people will go up by sevenfold by the end of the century. ..
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that can do a demonstrably better job than a human being. and what has happened actually is, there has been some bob -- some job displacement, but not dramatic job displacement. words do about 11 different things, go to court, counsel clients are read documents, but that is only one of their tasks. the impact of discovery is a single digit kind of displacement. i reframed how i look at this wave of technology. it is having an impact, but we have to deal with right now is, there are more
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people in the us working today than i've ever worked in the face of this past automation period that we have had. really came out on the other side. >> what i learned that i did not expect to learn was the role of the scientists in society and how it evolves from generation to generation and how easily it can be politicized. i think that is something we see particularly these days in the biggest science project and we have before us, which is the quest to solve the dilemma of climate change. we are in an era today when public funding, which became so important to science, especially basic science during world war ii and in the postwar years, when
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government is withdrawn from patronage of basic science which requires government funding to move ahead, no other industry would do it. we get less of it and at the same time has really become vulnerable because it is a threat discovering what causes climate change, figuring out ways to combat it which requires extensive earth science that requires satellites to help us understand what is happening on the surface of the earth and in the atmosphere. finding solutions to that is an economic strategy.
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because we don't have enough scientists of stature and authority to speak up for the science really is under attack. >> yes. surprises. basically almost every preconception i had was completely overturned. ii understood it from a very particular pop-culture frame of reference, and i sort of expected that there would be this long, clear lineage reaching back into antiquity this really shocked me. this idea which is pretty obvious, the symptoms of ptsd are very culturally
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determined and evolved over time. and to give you one quick example, the flashback which is considered a cardinal symptoms of ptsd, that was something went was basically a product of the age of film considered such an important symptom because there was a researcher from uc san francisco on the panel that created the diagnosis. british researchers went back and looked and tried to examine the reports of soldiers prior to the age of film and found that world war veterans of british empire in american civil war veterans were far more likely to report that they were being visited by ghosts, spirits, demons, phantoms, and the ghosts of dead relatives. it speaks to one of the three lines in this panel,
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how technology changes us and one of the things that really shocked the hell out of me, the central kind of thing the memory can do to us. this intrusive thing that happens to us. this is basically because how much film and tv and cinema and video have infiltrated our brain and infiltrates the way we think and conceive of ourselves and the way we organize our consciousness. thatconsciousness. that is one interesting thing in talking about robots and technology, ptsd, i said earlieri said earlier it was a product of the 1970s and as we define it today is a product of the age of film. that sucks because ptsd is not real. my symptoms are real or that somehow i am being conned into this thing because of film, and that is not what i'm arguing.
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the symptoms of ptsd, even though they have evolved, are very real and it is one of the difficult conversations before having them are really all mental health conditions, there is a strong push to locate symptoms in the hard biology of it, and biology and the neuroscience of it is just one piece. if you want to understand what someone is going through have to understand the context and their family, their life story, if they are veteran cop particularly if they come from a veteran family, the kind of relationship they had with her father, the reason they enlisted. these things inform the ecosystem. biology is a very important part of it. there is a push, and it is related. ptsd is often talked among
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veterans as being a sign of weakness. if you messed up your going to go see the shrink, the head shrinker or the wizard. and if you can locate and say, it's a chemical imbalance in my brain, it takes a lot of the stigma off. andoff. and not saying that they shouldn't do that, but there is this interesting, one of the fortunate things, there is this science that makes the practical. scientific conversations.
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the narrative and the concerns of how person assembles a narrative and how we tell aa story all the way through ancient myths to the modern fragmented novel, slaughterhouse five, the things they carry in the way we look at film in the way narrative structure has evolved, that can tell us a lot about consciousness. that is one of the things i advocate in the book, thinking about practical ways. in the stories we tell ourselves in a story the culture tells ourselves about who veterans are, how survivors should be interpreted, all of the different ways by our culture which is a form of storytelling. however veteran or trauma survivor, their recovery or reintegration period happens. almost everything i thought was completely overturned.
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i've been trying to think, the degree to which journalism and popular conceptions of stuff both reveals things and inadvertently can create a narrative that hides other things. it took me a while to get because the ptsd, trauma narrativeptsd, trauma narrative journalism is so repetitive. they tend to focus on the same three things and there is not often enough -- ripping the band-aid off to use a bad metaphor, and try to look a little deeper. >> any surprises? >> yes. i think not the one that most people would expect. i went into writing this book drawing from what the
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media and movies have told me about the kind of work i do, bringing dinosaurs back to life. and so when i went into writing this, look at the genetics of animals that used to be alive,alive, things like mammoths and mastodons. see what we can learn from their dna about how they responded to past periods of climate change that we could then applied to problems we'rewe are facing in the present day. journalists would call the only thing that they would want to know was whether this meant we could clone or not. and i was so frustrated by this question and really just wanted to explain why it was impossible. but as i wrote the book and go through thinking about the technology and how far we have, scientists and how absolutely far we would have to go to do this it dawned on me gradually that there
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were parts of this that were incredibly relevant and potentially useful for modern-day conservation problems. one of the projects based out of san francisco, they are focusing on the population, black hooded ferrets, annoying things. we tried to kill them and succeeded in doing that and then somebody discovered there was a population of them left. they want to keep them around.around. and there's a problem though, there are very many. genetically there is almost no diversity among them. the moment that they are released they get sick and die and they don't have any sort of genetic diversity.
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however, there are black hooded ferrets that are in different collections, what is called the frozen zoo where you guys been collecting bits and pieces of all sorts of species are still alive, many of which are now no longer still live, but there are frozen tissue samples and you can use that dna. we can sequence the genomes i used to be alive that have more diversity and isolate the parts that provide a fighting chance against different diseases and copy and paste that to the black hooded ferrets we still have thereby providing them an actual way to survive. this survive. this is crazy science-fiction technology that we are close to being able to do. and i can see now how this could be a new and important tool and what should be a
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growinga growing toolbox, something we can use to fight contemporary extinction. >> we are going to leave -- if you have questions for the authors, i ask you now to lineup. we have two microphones here. while we are doing a transition our final question i would like to ask the panel in general. about the role of science journalism in the future as well as scientists authors and telling the story. isis that changing as well as the science? >> it is certainly becoming more important. especially science journalists to understand better the topics they are writing about in making sure that the facts are clear, the implication of science is clear and we really are talking about genuine
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science rather than pseudoscience. we have seen fairly recently writing about the anti- vaccine movement, the notion that the mmr vaccine is linked to autism. very difficult topic for journalists to deal with because the mandate that we be protective really comes apart when you're dealing with the theory that is essentially a hoax, how do you do that in make that clear that sometimes there are not two sides to a scientific story. and that to promote the other side is actually to create a danger to public health. so i think as scientific journalists we all have a greater task than we used to
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>> so, mainstream media has slowly begun to vanish off the landscape. this new kind of media has begun to emerge. there is plenty of science writing out there. what i think is changing, there is a tremendous amount of technology and popular science writing, but it is done in this framework. the standards no longer pertain. and much of it is click paste. it is done through the prism of popularization, which popularization, which can be good or bad. what i am afraid of is their people around here and do the kind of stuff that michael is donehas done historically. i don't know how to bring them back.
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i'm not at all worried about journalism, but i'm worried about journalistic standards. >> the scientist another journalist,journalist, increasingly important to have journalists who are trained in science and able to interpret the various things coming out of different labs. scientists are not particularly good at being able to express clearly what they have done so in this layer of educated and well versed science journalists is absolutely critical to doing what has been pointed out, communicating with the people who make funding decisions. when he people who are able to effectively translate science into what basic science can provide in the present day or has
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application so the politicians and stakeholders can be as impressed as they should be. >> take the 1st question. >> a question for john. why is technology not taken us to a shorter workday? >> it is a wonderful question. so, what we do, it is not just technology. i think it is more by culture than technology. for all kinds of nontechnological reasons like income inequality and other kinds of structural issues, we have not gotten
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there. an incredible tendency to persist. in silicon valley we are seeing the emergence of this thing called the giga economy. people are either working multiple jobs are moving from job to job. and there been innovations. that is one of the tools corporations use. i can tell you how many lift jobs is very like the fact that they can go to their other job. you can't see it in isolation.
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>> wearing my head now, the eight hour day is an artifact of politics. it hour day was instilled in society by franklin roosevelt's new deal, which also put an end to child labor and started basically the idea of the weekend. so i think if employers had their way workers would work 24 hours a day day, and in some places they do. >> yes. first, i would like to think
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anin audible. typically choose to read the business section. subsequent generations of the traumatized population. i wonder if there is a danger that as more data is collected, politically it might be used as a rationale , fear of intake of traumatized large populations.
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>> that is a tricky question. it is very -- to collect the samples, it is usually done in isolation and after a particular stimulus is shown to the patient. subjects and then collect a sample and measure. so i think it would be -- this is one of the areas where is difficult to know. we know a little bit about how cortisol is regulated, but the ability for the government to comprehensively sample populations of people and get some sense of their level, i'm not sure if there
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going to reach that anytime soon. you are taking a serum sample for random refugee. the buzz to how you interpret the data. beginning aa level but you don't know what the person's baseline level is. very difficult to take a sample like that. some of the drug can radically reduce. what happens? is there some sort of memory wipe technology that we are 50 years from that will make endless wars possible? there has been a substantial body of research from the
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humanities and the legal community looking in to the possible legal ramifications of a murder using propanolol to diminish the strength of the traumatic memories of killing a person. the science-fiction question. i can't think of a single thing i would go wrong with that.that. and, you know, jurassic park, you will see. from my standpoint your question is a good one. i don't think i'm qualified to answer satisfactorily, but that work that was done, some of the very best and suggested research being done, that was all done just after september 11 and we are just now getting a greater sense of what that might mean.
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cortisol is a common stress hormone that changes depending on your stress level. so it is difficult to know exactly where the research will lead. i think it is interesting. her research was most successful because she asked an interesting question, the descendents of holocaust survivors respond differently to dramatic images? and she found that they did. having some different response, no one had thought about that. >> on the topic, wondering at one point to just or become more than a story, something that might even longer magazine points, at what.did it become a book, something he wanted to delve into deep? >> in my case it started as a book. to a certain extent the roots of it when my clients
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bedlam. i was writing about -- writing a lot about science as a business. you know, we have big science institutions all around us including on this campus and all around california. i was writing about that. when you write about capital intensive scientific efforts you don't go very far before you start seeing the name of ernest lawrence, because his work really was the foundation of it all. but i think, you know, you know, for me the role of journalism in my book is that i applied the techniques i learned as a journalist to tell the story, looking for incidents and episodes and characters who i could bring the life and use to tell the story essentially to their own eyes.
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it is aa very important technique in journalism, something that i just brought over. >> i am actually a technology writer.a technology writer. i write about computer science and artificial intelligence and robotics. i actually came to my subject because i was pushed away from another subject. a been a computer security writer for many years writing about computer security for a long time and got more and more depressed, worse and worse. and after i decided if i have tried about another boy with an end to those going to have an aneurysm. robotics is actually a lot of fun. something fresh. personal. >> i guessi guess my thing, the started as a war correspondent.
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came from a military family. that is one of the tricky things. nonfiction writing in the past, there is this very strong drive to put the 1st person in the story command that is often done at the peril of the story is you see this and appropriately and not very skillfully incorporated. i think timmy i've seen it done really well. the books that have influenced our culture greatly, it's done really interestingly, but sometimes it is funny. the real journalists can remark on that. there is this increased desire to make it a first-person thing so that there is more of an emotional connection and
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that the leaders can do a more emotional view of it. in terms of the way that genre has evolved there is a push, at least in my experience to include first-person experience. a reporter is being asked to report on themselves. which is interesting. it is like an interesting narrative problem that has its own risks and potential. >> question. >> david. posttraumatic stress disorder, moral injury has kind of been popular inlast year or two. i'm wondering if you address any of that or how you feel about it. one of the articles i read recently was talking about drone operators who are not actually in battle but have severe moral injury which incapacitates them.
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>> yes. moral injury. two minutes. i am a big proponent. it incorporates a incorporates a lot of what i mentioned where there has been an over hard science position of ptsd. moral injury speaks to the softer philosophical parts of it. in the original ptsd diagnosis creation it included what by any reasonable definition was a moral injury component which was more or less systematically excised by the va and scientists who found it inconvenient and messy and squishy and difficult to quantify. more or less shoved aside, and the strong push from 1980 until five or six years ago was toward a more behavioral science with a better term focus. what we're seeing now is the people are talking about it more. i am very supportive of that
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>> thank. >> thank you. >> that concludes the time that we have for the session. apologize we could not get all of your questions. [applause] i wish to thank the la times festival of books for organizing this panel. thank you, the audience for your patients. thank you to our speakers. enjoy the rest of the festival. [inaudible conversations]


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