A Half-Hour Life

February 1, 2018


Have you ever undertaken to account for your whole life and career in a half hour—and in public? I had that experience the other day with a very genial interviewer whom I was meeting for the first time. The necessary over-generalizations and omissions in such a situation were affected by the fact that, just as we finished the interview, they came out of the control room to tell us that there had been a computer failure and that we had to do the interview all over again. Since both Nicole Millar and I felt awkward going over the same material as though it were a script (complete with her acting surprised by things that she already knew), I said rather different things—though she sometimes prompted me a little with material from the previous go.

Fortunately, viewers sent messages indicating that they found the summary plausible and not uninteresting: