World Affairs Monthly Interview: Insanity Distilled

Earlier this week, I did an extensive, far ranging interview with Thomas Pochari of the World Affairs Monthly. We touched on the massive changes in technology, media and business, the new frontier, this internet thingie, and the de-institutionalizing of society.

It was quite fun and for those of you who have asked for more podcasts, here’s your request filled.    


click for Real Player audio


For those of you who listen to the very end, I debate myself as to who is the bigger schmuck — me, or Steve Ballmer. Its a close call, but the conclusion should come as no surprise.

Thomas’ description of the interview is beyond generous:

"Johann Gutenberg changed the world with his printing press. He put the scribes and religious despots and freaks out of business. We are now moving to the next level. The book publishers in New York City and London now decide what ideas are important. Yes, they are still in power, but not for much longer. The religious scribes of the 21st century will soon be out of a job. Gutenberg ushered in Phase 2 of history. Now we are moving into Phase 3 of history. I have explained in WAM my role and my theory of the three phases of history. Do check up on my assertions and theories. I assure you that we are living in a very unusual and dramatic time of history.

I recently called up Barry Ritholtz to see how he sees things. I figured he would be interesting, and he certainly was. He is a Wall Street guy: he is the CEO and director of equity research at Fusion IQ. We surveyed quite thoroughly the rapidly changing landscape. Ritholtz is funny and sometimes quite brilliant. I enjoyed the discussion. Click here or on the audio icon above to listen to the editor of World Affairs Monthly interview Barry L. Ritholtz. Fusion IQ can be found on the net at Ritholtz is also a blogger. The Big Picture can be found on the net at

Funny, sure, but brilliant? Perhaps we should just chalk that up to way too much caffeine . . .


Thomas Pochari

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Fredex commented on Jun 20

    Why wouldn’t that guy SHUT UP so I could hear what you were saying? Has he never done an interview before?

  2. bluestatedon commented on Jun 20

    Pochari has interesting things to say, but his notion that Gutenberg put the religious despots out of business is ridiculous. Gutenberg got his press into operation around 1450, yet the entire history of Europe from then till now is filled with religious despots and cranks of every sort. The Spanish Inquisition didn’t get going until about 1478, and it lasted for at least three centuries. Our country was settled by people fleeing religious despotism, and Gutenberg’s invention hasn’t seemed to inhibit Muslim, Christian, and Jewish nuts and wackos these days, either. I’d argue that far from putting these creeps out of business, the printing press and now the internet is actually a boon to the freaks, since it enables them to spread their crap with much greater efficiency and power.

  3. SteveW commented on Jun 20

    The bigger schmuck bit was particularly entertaining.

    The above poster is right – the interviewer needs to just let you talk.

  4. AGG commented on Jun 20

    If being brilliant is being 100% right about reality and the big picture, then I have to agree that you certainly fit the bill.

  5. Joe D. commented on Jun 20

    Can we have a direct link to the MP3? I don’t know how to play real audio on my mp3 player.

  6. shtove commented on Jun 20

    Barry, he didn’t say you were “brilliant” – he said “quite” brilliant, which in England means “kind of”. What a downer!

  7. Arthur commented on Jun 20

    Thanks, interesting talk. But Barry, let’s be clear on this: YOU are not lazy. You mention that you wake up in the morning, yet I was convinced you didn’t actually sleep.

  8. Anonymouse commented on Jun 20


    I think “put religious despots out of business” was a reference to the Pope and the role the printing press played in the Protestant Reformation by enabling dissemination of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and later the vernacular translation of the Bible.

    And while I wouldn’t put Barry on that kind of pedestal, this is one of the best places to go for open source market/economic analysis. (For anyone who’s interested in geopolitical analysis I recommend Stratfor.)

  9. doc commented on Jun 21

    Barry, you were great, but Thomas is a terrible interveiwer. His laugh, and constant comments are so annoying.

    As always you were intellegent and really entertaining. Keep up the good work!


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