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January 25, 2006 [ More archived home pages here ]

Telling Stories Out Of School

Today's song is Things I'd Like To Say by The New Colony Six released in 1968.

In looking over the National Public Radio (NPR) site for their RSS Feeds, I discovered a section for Storytelling. As some of you may know from earlier home pages on this site, I am working through the Toastmasters Storytelling manual as one of the books for my ATM-Bronze award. Stories are a very rich way to pass information and perhaps knowledge along to other people.

Last May 3rd, I mentioned the National Oral History Project, Storycorps, that was starting to travel around the country. Lo and behold, the NPR site had a Storycorps page for that information. I was able to find a map of the cities that they will visit this year.

I see that San Diego is one of the cities on this year's list. The length of stay here will be between February 9th and March 5th. That's good timing for me and I hope to be able to leave a story or two with them for inclusion in their records. I'm working on my book and I want most of the chapters enumerated by early February with an excerpt or two and an introduction available by then. I may contribute material from my book to the Storycorps project at some point.

Speaking of telling stories out of school, here is a tidbit of trivia for those of you concerned about your notion of privacy. The web site will sell you the phone call records of anyone whose telephone number you provide, if they have obtained (stolen?) them. That's right, the information for who you call might be available to anyone willing to pay $110.00! Looks like someone found another loophole in the privacy myth. Maybe this is the Information Age Of Dissemination?

I wonder why someone hasn't yet sold the process itself or its services I envisioned for finding out information about people. Surely others with knowledge of the Internet could figure it out. Maybe someone already has and perfected the idea? I won't release the techniques I imagined because I don't believe the process is moral in concept. Still, the theory of what I thought about is not that hard to construct, it just would take time and energy to establish and operate. I would expect that if such a process were developed and deployed, satisfactory results would start flowing in about a year later, maybe less.

At the heart of the concept is people and their weaknesses. People are so busy with their lives that they miss subtle intrusions into their lives or the lives of people they know. Those that engage in gossip are especially prone since whatever they exchange is used later as a "down payment" by the "listeners" to find out about those that "disclosed", when the "listeners" pass the gossip along. Those "little" intrusions spread around add up over time and so it forms the basis of the mechanism.

Maybe one of these days people will figure out what is really important in their lives by recognizing the faults within us all and by resolving to be better ourselves as a result, then be in a position to teach others what we learned.

If we just start blaming and pointing fingers instead of reflecting inward first, we are fighting the wrong battle, in my humble opinion. But don't take my word for it, talk to the people running, they know a killing field when they see one; by selling part of your soul for the almighty dollar. Now that's a story worth telling.


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