tv Washington Ideas Forum Day 1 Afternoon Session CSPAN January 1, 2015 11:23am-11:45am EST
generator, which is also made to do with the fact that 20% of the people that we are dealing with never had electricity. we complain when we lose power for a few minutes. there are 20% of people that have never use electricity. how are they going to become productive parts of the global environment without access to the internet or computer or communication, or lights at night? the probability that in our lifetimes able wake up in the small distributed places transmission lines, switching stations, isn't that nice -- it's not going to happen -- any more than they have land lines. but once the cell phone became cost-effective, the marginal cost -- africa, 400 million cell phones. what if we could make a small box, just like cell phones to land lines or pcs to mainframes, what if we could make a small
box that produces locally clean water and locally electricity out of any form of fuel. we ran to the view of villages in bangladesh off of the methane gas. it ran for six months without interruption. con edison cannot do that. [laughter] we think that the 21st century will be about small, distributed systems, personal computing, communication. if we can make a little box that is big enough to make 1000 meters a day, small enough to carry into a clinic or school or village, it would be a pretty neat thing. you can make them the same way that you make appliances, and you do the same thing for electricity, which runs them, and you can deliver to the developing world two most basic human needs to get on the ladder. clean water and electricity. everybody ought to have a little
of that so they can start worrying about education, health care, and all the other stuff. if we have a world where people are invested in working with each other instead of standing on top of each other, it would be a happier future. >> i think it is time for the final question. i'm curious, what do you see as the challenges that science and technology have the most leverage, going forward, to improve someone's livefe? if you were talking to kids where would you tell them to direct their energy? >> another unanswerable question. i would tell kids today, and is not politically correct -- but i would say the fax. everybody is whining about what will wipe us out, bird flu terrorism, we are running out of fuel, clean air. there is no shortage of
technical crises about to consume us. i would tell all these kids that most adults have not figured that out yet, so they each have their pet concern. whether it is your philanthropy -- anybody who was to focus on this or this or health care or energy or the environment, food, water -- is treating the symptom. i would tell kids, you have to go after the cause education. the world is in an accelerating rate between catastrophe and technical competence. i would tell kids, that is what i started first. get the best education you possibly can because whatever the problem is you will face, we have not even thought of it yet. the one we are talking about, we will solve them. you have to be prepared for a very highly diverse and ever-changing set of issues and the best thing we can convince
kids to do today is stop playing games as kids and get back to the business of focusing on getting a great education particularly math, science engineering, and a work ethic. learn to love what they do and figure out how they can make a great career for themselves as they create a more sustainable future for the world. [applause] >> thank you. >> our final portion from the washington ideas form features shane smith and former white house press secretary jay carney. they discuss the state of politics in washington and the future of the news media. this is about 20 minutes. [applause] >> i thought i was the moderator. >> they told me i was the moderator. >> i will interview you. >> you get started.
>> so, obama gets elected. [applause] i was in new york city, where i live, union square, joyous triumphant, people hugging crying, a real feeling that the world will change, and now, the mood is different. you can give your two cents, but the perception now, is that a lot of the stuff has failed, the government is not working. what happened? >> two things. i think a lot of things happened the economy is growing, creating jobs, on a planet rate is down, we have near universal health care access to health care, a project
100 years in the making. a lot has happened. would you have tapped into is that when president obama was elected, there was a sense of intimacy possibility, that as he had promised, the tone could be changed here in washington. the partisan superficiality of the debate here could be transcended, and that the country would benefit. i think there is no question that that goal has never come close to being met -- it has gotten worse. the president would be the first to admit that, and to regret his own inability to make that go away. what i think it tells us as citizens is that no individual no president, can do that. we have to do it. if you think about it, the last three presidents have run on a promise to change the tone in washington. bill clinton, george w. bush, and barack obama.
it is most recent and associated with obama but the other two previous president said the same thing and both oversaw a washington that only became more partisan and more acrimonious and gridlocked. this is why we need political reform. our system is broken. a lot of people in this town and in this auditorium would agree with me that the gerrymandering of our house district is a principal cause of the kind of nonsense that we all have to suffer through, inability of congress to get anything done. the problem is political reform is not exciting. >> but if they cannot get anything done, how do they reform? >> congress is not going to do it. we have seen some action out in the states. it has to be state-by-state because they control how the districts are written and drawn. it has to happen there. the only way anything happens is if there is popular momentum behind it. most people say they want political reform when asked but
nobody votes on political reform and that is why -- if there was a payoff to campaigning on it, politicians would campaign on it. >> the payout would be they would be kicked out. >> yeah. the other guy would win, the other candidate would win out because -- would win, because people are not motivated by those issues, more motivated by national security and economy. >> you have this polarization happening in washington that is leading to gridlocked, but how much of that is fueled by media? you have fox news on the side which is sort of talk radio op-ed stuff, and then on the left, basically, the -- comedy pointing the finger at the five guys on fox -- fat old guys on fox.
i am a fat young guy. basically what happens is it is entertainment. so, therefore, whatever is the craziest, wins. you have no one saying let's perform this because that is boring. but if you have ted cruz out there, it plays well in peoria as they say. >> self identified conservatives and liberals go to where they will find news that affirms what they already believe. that is obviously damaging to the cause that we are talking about, fixing a broken system. so the media itself is suffering from a systemic failure. i think what is refreshing -- and that the transition -- about some of the new media ventures we have seen, is there is a return to real news, news without the -- seen through the
political lands in the way that news is so often seen, especially television news, through the major channels you talked about. what device is doing -- vice is doing -- you look at the documentaries and the news channel, it is unvarnished reportage, very old school and new media form. nothing is sort of old-fashioned. >> similar but not as good. >> that may be the case, but it is explanatory, it is providing information in a way that can be hard to find in some of the traditional media. >> to go back to me being the moderator, we have this sort of polarization happening in media and politics. one of the things that i am personally passionate about but also think is a tremendously
confusing issue in america is sea level rise, global warming. i was talking to mayor bloomberg about this the other night and he was saying it is a media issue. i was saying, go to texas where they have a three-year drought. all the cows are gone. rick perry is like, it is not happening. rubio's state is sinking. what is happening? when you look at this issue, and it is one of the only countries in the world where we are still debating that it is an issue at all, when he had not represent consensus, which does not ever happen in the scientific community, why isn't that 46% of this country does not believe it is happening why is it that the politicians will go out there -- and by the way, what is happening now is interesting. republicans who had been virulently anti are now
realizing that they will not be elected and some are changing. how important is that and what the hell is going on with climate change denial in the country? >> you see some politicians realizing that they cannot be in denial permanently because that will be a political cost. that is what will motivate politicians to act to do something about it. the problem is, if you wait for the majority to feel like they have an immediate self-interest to address by taking care of climate change, we may wait too long to get something done. the problem is, instant gratification. politicians and our political system, they seek political rewards. if you are in florida and a long-term challenge of climate change means your state is sinking, that is not a problem that marco rubio or any other politician in florida has to worry about today or next tuesday, or the first tuesday of november in 2016.
there is not a compelling interest to address it. what i do think, in our traditional media, where you talk about on the one hand, on the other hand, there are not enough voices of authority calling bs on that. why? i think there is a tendency -- not uniformly so -- but a tendency to maintain your objectivity by simply saying he said this, she said that instead of saying, what he said is false and what she said is based on science. the ebola situation now has a similar aspect to it on the issue of how you could contract ebola and whether or not it could go airborne. [no audio]
the media the responsible media, and not the partisan media, but the authoritative media, needs to call on that kind of nonsense. >> ok, i will. [laughter] >> but here is a fundamental problem, which, as you know, i was old school reporter from traditional media time, for 20 years -- >> this is where you make fun of me. >> no, i look for answers. there has been tremendous downward economic pressure on traditional media and has come at a price to the product. you are news organizations have foreign bureaus and domestic bureaus. one of the reason there is a sense of all power is concentrated in the white house is because every tv reporter
does their story from the north lawn of the white house because there are none anywhere else paid by those organizations. how come you seem to have faith that there is an economic model in producing news that a sustainable when all of these other organizations that have a long history of doing it are struggling so much? >> because we are making a lot of money. >> are you keeping the secret form a to yourself? there is a public good that could be done -- >> it is not rocket science. basically, there is a changing of the guard every generation in media. we are the changing of the guard for gen y. it's a different language, a different way of shooting, cutting. what was interesting in the beginning, vice was like a kid brother. look at those crazy kids fucking
around with news. as it started to get bigger and bigger, it was, they cannot be journalists because they had tattoos, they have beards, they can be journalist because they are from williamsburg. if all they are commenting on is our style, then all right. then it was, you cannot be journalists because you're not doing it the way that we did. i think you have to look at why is fox doomed? why is the new york times doomed? fox news skews and 68 years old . they are angry old people, and they don't buy anything except for drugs. they vote. >> it's a problem. [laughter] at least in this cycle. [applause] [laughter] >> you look at that and you say
-- look him up i love "the new york times" but they have been around forever. they are galvanized into inactivity. we could do this -- video -- that is hard -- quite frankly, you have to start from scratch, it has to be organic, it cannot be created in a board room. the people at fox say, what should we do to get gen y? they have been number one for 40 quarters. i should always -- i say, you should always enjoy it. get the gold watch and your pension and enjoy your time. it's over. [laughter] >> in your view, there is no model where traditional media try to make that transition can succeed? >> no.
>> there is tall good product coming out of "the new york times" that you can find online good videos, but to succeed in this environment -- >> what "the new york times" does is amazing, but newspapers will continue to shrink. it is all mobile. if you don't have a mobile solution, then you should not even show up to the gate. unless you have been investing in technology, -- and by the way, unless you have all your people who have grown up only having mobile devices, then you should not come out of the gate. my dad will read "the new york times bogota as a newspaper. great, enjoy the time when people will do that, but that is over now. we are not ever -- like "time." what is the forecast for the future of "time?" >> it is a struggle.
it was when i left. i admire the people that are continuing to fight to maintain relevancy and make a profit, but it gets harder and harder. >> for me also, it is the product -- you say the product suffers. if the product is fox news or msnbc, i don't want that product. >> and it is a lot cheaper to produce that he does it is just a lot of hot air often. going out and getting the news, embedding someone with isis, sending somebody to liberia to report on the ebola, taking that risk to find a story, that's an expensive proposition. i guess, people who are still at least partly tied to traditional media look at something like vice and others say are you willing to make the necessary editorial investments to maintain levels of editorial standards that have become so
expensive to maintain for some of these organizations? or is doing her some journalism, as they sometimes call vice, sort of a viewer beware proposition? >> i think it's changed. for example, if you look at our coverage of isis or ebola or ukraine or tahrir square, a lot of what we do is live streaming. everyone is saying something but we are just showing it to you in real time with no commentary. i think the day of the voice of god for an hour a night telling you what you are watching and what it means and what you think about it, is over, and i think that's good. gen y is the most sophisticated media cohort of all time, very smart and savvy. they can tune into something and watch it. that is why what we do we call it immersionism.
you go in and you press record. the story involves. it is not like, a fire at city hall, give me two pictures. that whole era -- and it's funny, will you have the same standards -- you have to understand gen y grew up with weapons of mass distraction saddam hussein harboring al qaeda, even though that anyone with half a brain knew they were natural enemies. the irony now is, what is happening, we go into iraq to get out al qaeda and then fuck it up so that we create isis which makes al qaeda look like a tea party, and you have to understand, young people see that. so when you say, are you going to have the same standards and practices -- if that is the gold standard of everyone