Thursday, October 05, 2017

Review: The Genius Dialogs

The Genius Dialogues is a series of interviews by Bob Garfield of various MacArthur Fellows, the winners of the so-called genius prize. I picked up the series for free. Surprisingly, I'd only heard of the work of two of the interviewees: Luis von Ahn (who built ReCaptcha) and James Randi, the magician and skeptic. The others were new to me and I was pleased to be introduced to their work.

I'm of two minds about the series. First, most of the interviews are interesting and introduce you to something that you might not have known about. That's a huge plus. But the format is horrible and the interviewer, Bob Garfield seems a bit full of himself. Seriously? You're going to ask a MacArthur Award winner "How much of your $625,000 prize money did you squander on cheap hootch and fast cars?" None of the winners spent any money on alcohol or cars (even if someone did it was unlikely they'd admit it in an interview). It was a total waste of a question (not to mention on-air time) and should have been edited out.

Recommended, but please, Amazon, pick a better interviewer next time!

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