tv [untitled] June 12, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
everybody i know that teaches at a university will acknowledge that kids are smarter than they used to be. they are doing quite well. we are seeing amazing innovation. things are changing. people may not be reading 600 page books, but they are acquiring knowledge. a certain amount of people are absorbing it. we're also in the generation that's brighter than the generation that i came from. we're probably going to leave the world in better hands. >> you don't worry about the attention? >> of course, i worry about the attention. >> you don't worry about the ability to distinct good information from bad information? >> i worry that there's bad information out there, but it's been out there for a long time. it's not as if a journalist, bloggers are the first ones to come out with inaccurate
information. we saw that throughout history. in my lifetime we've seen it many times. the financial crisis where it was run by people a lot older than today's kids. sure i worry about it. i also see the potential. i think they are quick on their feet and thinking and responding. they are doing well. >> he thought young people were too satisfied too quickly with small amounts of information. he's interested in having people pay attention to all 700 pages. there is an issue there that the instant gratification, instant satisfaction when we do a google search or something may work
against this notion of critical thinking, willingness to go and find. >> do you worry that criminal thinking may be endangered? >> i worry that we will not imbue young people with the consciousness of critical thinking. we are the only ones that can filter that. >> we need it more than ever because of the diversity of information. we have to have it. that's probably the most important thing that colleges and elementary schools and colleges can be teaching young people is to not take any one person's word for it. check multiple sources. realize just because it's on the internet means you have to dig deeper. >> let me ask the audience a couple of other questions. how many you have go to google
at least once a day? >> thank you. >> how many of you go to google at least five times a day? how many google something more than five times a day? okay. you're sitting there and trying to remember a friend's last book or whatever and you check it out. there was the famous piece that said is google making us stupid? >> i remember that. >> sorry guys. the issue really was are we becoming too relients on this tool? does it affect our memory? is this our first refuge? >> i don't think that's the problem. i think the problem is when we take a tool and make it a monster. while google and the internet are a tool, they're not a problem at all. we need to learn to disconnect.
a lot of people sleep is actually affected by the fact that they go to bed with their devices. they keep them charging by their bed. i know more about you than i care to know. i was invited to board the harvard school of medicine sleep position. there is real medical evidence that you cannot have a totally charging sleep if your devices are charging beside you. you wake up in the middle of the night. how many are tempted to look at your data the you wake up in the middle of the night? you see. not good. they say even if you go back to sleep it's not as recharging and deep as we need it. how many people cannot go to sleep anymore without a sleeping pill, not occasionally but every night? >> don't ask that question.
>> i'm not. my point is we need to learn to deal with the growing stresses of our lives. we're developed enough which is using technology to disconnect us from technology. we're calling it a gps for the soul. we're bringing it out in two months. you'll be able to download it or any smart phone. it has a stress sensory to give you your heart rate varyability and you'll be able to program the app with things to help you reduce stress. pictures of your children when they were young and nonproblematic. >> you got a hit on your hands, let me tell you. >> breathing exercise.
whatever it is, you can tell the app, i have two minutes or five minutes. >> is your app going to tell me to turn off my other apps? >> that's the point. you'll tell your app what is going to help you. when you're stressed and out of balance, it will get back to you. there will be an entire section that's launched called the gps for the soul section. young people who are used to apps and go to that and it will begin to help the process of identifying stress and learning how to destress at any age but for young people.
>> my wife can yell at me to destress. >> let me change the subject now a bit. that's not why. >> this sounds very buddhist to me. it makes me think of robin williams when he says makes me one with everything. okay, sorry. >> let's dive into some particulars of this thing and how it's transforming what we see learned, how we participate. let's start with politics. it's said that barack obama arguably would not be president of the united states without the internet. he was able to mobilize so many people to do so much his first run for office to give them his time and commitment. has this changed our politics? >> i think it's true, first of all that barack obama would not
be president were it not for the internet. i think there's no question he galvanized young people and used the internet to organize around it in a way that was unprecedented. i remember going to chicago to meet with him during the election and ray range to meet. i waited for 20 minutes because i did not believe that he literally sleeping at the table running the internet. i said that has to be chris hughes.
me made the material mistake of abandoning them. he had 13 million young people and he gave it to the dnc. they used them as a fund raising tool. the one thing you can't do online is to treat people just in order to get somewhere else. you have to have an authentic, engaged relationship. otherwise it doesn't work and you lose them. >> you covered politics and the internet for a long time. has this means of communication changed the way people run for office and the way we're governed? >> sure. the gotcha. if you make any mistake at any point in your life except in the privacy of your home, it's going to be on youtube. >> i don't think the privacy of your home has anything -- >> probably not even that. we have that gotcha world where you're always on call and accountable for everything you do. i think that's the negative. on the positive side, the fact
there can be a and when done right when chris hughes did that in 2008 and as local politicians are doing every day around the country, when done right you can have a conversation with the voter and you can build that. you can go back to that common that we had during the early days of our democracy. we still have these where people are involved in the campaign. >> you think this improves our democracy and the capability to connect and participate? >> i think it improves when you have a discussion, a back and forth discussion, when someone can blog and comment and there's thoughtful discussion, it's just as often abused. we have people who will trash anything you say. we have people on television and the internet who care about their idealology and the truth. it can be misused.
>> i don't hear people walking around on the sidewalk or saying i've politics have gotten so much better, and i think it's because of this internet thing. i don't hear anybody saying our politics are better for any reason. >> the premise that the president wouldn't have been elected without the internet is an interesting assertion. there's a good possibility he would have been elected using other kinds of methods for campaigning. i don't think we can come to a definite conclusion there. i don't think i would argue one way or the other. with regards to the net, it's a tool. every tool has uses and abuses. we're still learning, i think what those various uses and abuses are and how to deal with them. it's not going to make politics better or worse. it's yet another medium in which the debate can happen. >> i know in earlier panetta
institute lecture dealt with the presidency. how do you think tham the notion, the office, the execution of the presidency has been changed by this instant communication. president held a google town hall meeting. try to have a conversation directly with be american people, but are they really listening. >> it's not as easy to manipulate the communication. political communication is almost always with a few rare exceptions that we all treasure in our history.
there's always some other reason why they want to talk to you. they want your money. they want your vote. they want to pretend they care the there are these great rare moments when it happens. when it's not authentic, it's not going to work online in the same way. it's going to work in a way that 30-second ads work. it's not going to create this incredible movement. >> the thing between the public pronouncements on the internet, at that point the internet just an extension of television and the private communications of people, for example, on twitter and facebook. i have facebook friends who express their political opinions. my friends tend to have the same attitude that i have.
there's a debate that goes on with people i'm part of this community with. the candidates don't manipulate that. they may try. >> fst where your information comes from. if it's a trusted source and credible source. if it's a friend texting you, tweeting, facebooking and saying check out what so and so has said or i like this, that has a different impact. that's a big change. >> i don't know if the rest of the people in the audience or the folks on stage have the same cheer experience i do but i'm drawn to things other people point me at. i think that particular affect is important because there are things that happen in the world that get the attention of policy
making people faster because they pop up off the internet. the youtube video s have had a powerful impact on events in the world. i think that's different. this two-way ability to communicate, this horizontal communication and the fact that you can react. when i read things in new york times online, you get an op-ed or column and then you get commentary. it's stuff you would not ever had seen because it would never made it through the letters to the editor. >> it's amazing how your voice can be amplified. i was on plane and the airline made the mistake of having wifi. the reason they made the mistake is i had been mistreated in my opinion at the airport. something happened that i wasn't
happy with. i tweeted it. the i said delta. somebody said say pound delta. i tweeted it again and said pound delta. by the time i got to san francisco, they had a guy will in a red coat to take care of me, offered me a ride home. i probably have more twitter followers than the average person. the fact that it was retweeted and amplified probably tens of thousands of people were party and delta wasn't about it. >> i think the take way is don't make larry angry. >> not on a wifi connected airline. >> that's interesting because that suggests that someone was following you at delta or something. they were following the pound delta. >> this is a very, very important change.
they are now recognizing that can no longer hide behind the glossy ad and disappear. they need to engage. even if they, that's why online advertising has grown and it will continue growing because they have to enter that conversation. the first time we had what we call sponsor generated blogs, the first one was a big hotel chain. our comments are pre-moderated. >> explain that. >> no comment can appear unless it's been through either our algorithm or human. we wanted to maintain a civil environment, not to have a conversation that's taken out by
trolls or comments. >> how many comments? >> it's now seven years old. we've had over 150 million comments. >> wow, 150 million comments. >> it's really very easy to get a story or a blog that gets thousands of comments. these are all comments that you would want to read. you may disagree or not agree. they are interesting comments. my point is the first comment of the sponsor generated blog by this hotel company was a negative one. it was like an example of how they had been mistreated at the hotel, et cetera, et cetera. the head of marketing went beserk. they wanted to withdraw the campaign. they thought it was terrible. our advertising people said to them, stay in the arena. even if you remove your marketing campaign, they're going to go on to facebook and
tweet it. you won't be there to respond. they stay and responded. the person, the client turned out to be accurate. others came in an wrote about positive experiences. bottom line is it was an entirely positive experience because they had engaged. you can no longer withdraw. it's better to stay there and have the conversation. >> i think one of the big changes are you are on the line 24/7. >> eight hour sleep. >> i want to come back to one of snakes in the garden of eden, i guess it is, that you talked about. thinking about politics and thinking about how this has changed our lives. imagine what life would have been like if in the middle of the constitutional convention in this country, alexander hamilton, madison, they're
working on the federalist papers and thomas jefferson is sitting in the back of the room tweeting or something. seriously, this was an incredible exercise. i went back and thought about a abigail adams? these incredible letters they wrote to one another, and they lived through history. they weren't just something. on march 31st, 1776, abigail adams wrote, remember, all men would be -- to her husband, all men would be tyrants if they could. if particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to forment a rebellion and will nod hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice and representation. that's more than 140 characters. >> right. >> no problem. she could have put it on her facebook or on google plus or both, and then have a shorter version on twitter. >> but seriously, if we think about the kind of communication
we have had through the ages that is enshrined and that is -- that is held up forever, been to this folger library and seen shakespeare's original works, i worry. we worry about communication that is so temporal, gone. >> there would have been far more than 85 or so federalist papers, whatever the relatively small number is, and, of course, they would have been -- they would have been a lot shorter, i suppose, but would have been a much broader conversation, and it would theoretically at least have been a conversation that didn't just include the elite, that the average person in the colonies at the time would have at least had an opportunity to weigh in. i don't know what would have happened. you know, we might still be sipping tea and worshipping the sovereign, i'm not sure, but the bottom line is that -- that that whole period, and most of american history and really today still, primarily the elite are the ones that are part of the conversation, so that's to
me the big question is how can we change that power structure so that the average person truly is part of the conversation. >> let's look at news and information. newspaper ad revenue is down in 2011 more than 10%. "the new orleans time picayune" recently announced it's not going to publish five days a week, three days a week. the rest find it online. you have an army of bloggers whom you do not pay. do we worry about credible, careful, checked information becoming yet another endangered species in this revolution? >> i think it's -- not at all. i'm very sad about "the times picayune" paper. i think it's an amazing paper, and as david carr wrote in the "new york times" today, part of the culture of the city, you know, sitting around, reading your paper, so that -- that's sad.
great journalism can be practiced anywhere. we now have 500 reporters, editors, journalists that we pay full-time salaries, and we are a platform. you see, i think this is what we need to understand. we are two things, and i think more and more media operations are going to be two things, a journalistic enterprise that honors the best traditions of journalism and the platform that provides distribution to tens of thousands of people who otherwise who would not have had a voice. they can write or not write. they can take advantage of it or not take advantage of it. but many of them take advantage because it helps amplify their voices. it's also an addition platform. it's just amazing how many of
our young bloggers who can be side by side with larry or well-known people get paid attention to, and they get book contracts and they find jobs. it's like a way now to become known. >> are you as optimistic and bullish? >> well, i think "the huffington post" is a great global platform but i worry about local journalism. it bothers me "the times picayune" is having trouble. it doesn't bother me whether they publish three times a week or five times a week, but the local reporters at city hall that don't get the economies of scale on the national and international level. i don't know who is going to pay for that. we still have local television and radio, and it has its limitations, but i can tell you i know that local tell advice and radio has traditionally leaned on the local newspaper, and i worry about the local newspaper. somebody has to pay these people. it's not the printing press that costs money. it's the time and talent, and there has to be some way to do it, and i'm not sure what's going to take its place. >> well, actually i think it's incredibly important. one of the great things that aol
is part of aol is a local initiative where you have local journalists, where you have the community involved in what is happening. >> but arianna, in newspaper after newspaper, in city after city, community after community, reporters' jobs have been cut, editors' jobs have been cut. circulation is way down, and it's a question of who is going to report that the lettuce at the supermarket is bad or the mayor is making off with your tax dollars. are you -- >> this is not a surprise in some sense. this is economics, and what's happened, at least in part, is that the economics of paper are very different from the economics of digital, and so the thing which made newspapers so attractive is that it was the cheapest way to get a large amount of information out to a large number of people on a regular periodic basis. everybody wanted to know what was new, and because they wanted to know what was new they subscribed to the newspaper. that also meant that advertisers could be persuaded to pay for ads because they knew people
would see them, along with the articles they were reading. >> right. >> it was a nice combination. the economics worked out well. it was a very powerful enterprise. along comes this online environment. suddenly more people have the ability to speak, and it's faster. you don't have to wait for the paper to be printed. the article goes out as soon as editor says it's ready to go out, assuming you still have an editor. >> a big assumption, by the way. >> but the thing is on top of all of that, the ads in the newspapers were fixed. the ads in the online environment can dynamically change, depending on who is reading it and when they are reading, it so this is a very different model. we've succeeded very well at google and others have done well with advertising. the key question in my mind is whether or not we can find business models that will support high quality journalism which i think is essential to a democracy. >> can you find those business mod else? are you making more money, enough money with the advertising to hire the investigative journalist who can spend three or six months on a
project, to hire the journalist or others who are going to travel around the world to tell us what's happening there? >> they, first of all, there are going to be many different models. in our case david wood, who won the pulitzer for "beyond the battlefield" spent eight months traveling around, writing about returning vets and the lives they are facing when they got back home. and it was on video, and it was with great photography, and it invited our readers, those who had vets in their lives, in their communities, to write about it is a well, which is, again, what is so unique about the internet. the conversation and the story does not end with the reporter filing. >> right. >> it continues with the people who are reading it, who are adding to the story, and also every story had the list of things that people could do to help the vets, so it doesn't just end with people saying oh, how terrible, how sorry we
should all be. it also provides us an outlet for actually doing something about it, making a difference. >> i was very pleased and proud to see that "the huffington post" won a pulitzer. i remember when "usa today" first started publishing, the joke at the time, "usa today" all the short bits, that they would win a pulitzer some day for the best investigative paragraph and "huffington post" might win a pulitzer for the best investigative sentence but it was much more than that. it was real journalism, right? >> it's a pen-part series. he's had five more stories since then because, again, that is what is unique about the internet. in a sense, if you think of traditional journalism, mainstream media, they often suffer from a.d.d., attention deficit disorder. may break a big story on the front page and then they move on and abandon that story. now we online suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder. you know, we take a story and we
stay on it, and we stay on it and we develop it, and we invite our readers and we put video on and we have photography, et cetera, et cetera, because a story is ongoing. the big stories of our time, you know, unemployment, rushing vets, foreclosures, you know, all the big -- >> the question -- >> stories continue. >> the question though is we talked about the revolution here, and the revolution really is that in the old days the news came to you. the paper came to you. >> yes, yes. >> there were the gatekeepers who said you need to know this one, this one, this one and this one. that goes on the front page. now you go to it, but the question is do you go to that which makes you uncomfortable, that's unfamiliar, or do you only go or predominantly go to your own partisan kind? >> i think there are two issues here. one issue is that 18 years as a syndicated newspaper columnist in print with a very different