Create: For What It’s Worth Episode 028

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Please listen until the second to last point, at least. The second to last point is the most important aspect of this episode, where I ask you for your opinion about how I could help improve life in New Mexico. I need your help and I need your mind. Also, I don’t mean help with the virus. I mean post virus. I’m so game to get involved here and I don’t comprehend how. By the way, the last point is a photo story and well worth listening to. It was an epic encounter.

But I also ask for sailing advice for those of you prone to the water, using softcore porn to sell on YouTube. What? Never! Is it time to ban Instagram at National Parks? Why cooking at home is better than going out. The radicalization of capitalism and the consequences we are suffering. Thanks for tuning in.

Comments 12

  1. Great podcast Dan.

    I’m in Tokyo and we have had a difficult time with promoting social distancing to the public here.

    the Government was advising to not leave home but there were still droves of people out taking pics at the cherry blossoms, lining up for cafes, shopping etc…

    Most of these activities were fodder for social media, specifically instagram and Line.

    If we truly want to encourage social distancing, we need ‘social media distancing’.

    I honestly think that if Instagram ‘closed’ its doors for two weeks it would have great impact. With nowhere to show off cherry blossom cute outfits, artisan coffees with friends etc. it would cut down on people being out. If they can’t show off these things in trade for likes, they won’t do them.

    I’m partially joking, but actually not…?

    Also, as photographers we are in a conundrum:

    There are some impactful photos out there of empty urban environments, people in masks etc. Lots to document. But, to be out shooting would be part of the problem This isn’t analogous to shooting a conflict where you would be risking only your own life. As you discussed in your podcast, we need to social distance to band together to protect everyone.

    I choose to stay home. There will be other photos to take.

    Keep the podcasts coming brother. Everyone be safe out there, we will make it thru this.


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      Instagram, if it continues, is something the planet won’t survive. To be out using this app in the middle of a global pandemic is proof enough just how far off the rails society finds itself. And we always have an excuse. Same for me. I could be out shooting in New Mexico but said “You know, that is damn selfish at this point.” I’m also going to donate my entire “relief” package from the US government. I’m going to cash it and hand it out to the people who are working at the drug store and the local grocery. They deserve it.

  2. Hello again.
    Great podcast!
    About sailing, I think I can help you with some advice because I personally know an accomplished sailor who is also the author of the worldwide bestselling nautical publications (translated into several languages). Jimmy Cornell. The last time I met him was in September, in Bucharest, at a conference about sailing. I’m not into sailing but I went there just to see him. Before that, I last saw him at the end of the 90’s, in London, when I used to live there. I even went on his boat. Anyway, he got married in the 60’s with an English woman and moved to London. He worked for the BBC until one day when, just like you, he decided he wants to sail. You can read the whole story in 200,000 Miles, A Life of Adventure (check out his other book about sailing). His life with his wife and 2 small children at sea, around the world, for a few years. He’s also on wikipedia, which is something, just like you said. He still travels and he organises cruising seminars. You can also find him on or on facebook under Cornell Sailling. The latest news:
    Jimmy Cornell’s New Adventure: The Elcano Challenge
    By Cornell Sailing on 26.10.2019 | Tag(s): Elcano Challenge
    To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the first round the world voyage, Jimmy Cornell is preparing to sail the historic route of the first circumnavigation achieved by Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastian Elcano. In fact, the Basque sailor should be credited with the first round the world voyage, as he sailed with Magellan from the start of the expedition in 1519, took over the leadership of the expedition when Magellan was killed in the Philippines, and completed the voyage in 1522. In recognition of that fact, this project is called the Elcano Challenge

    I know that in the past he also took passengers (he doesn’t travel alone and there are other boats along his) so I think you should get in touch with him or his yachting club.
    I think it’s amazing if one could do such a trip, at least once, in one’s life time and with your abbility to make such great photos, it would be the perfect combination!

    Now, about the New Mexico…. I don’t know if what I’m going to say is stupid or not but I have a suggestion. I am currently reading a very interesting book. Becoming by Michelle Obama. In this book she tells us how Barack Obama, long time ago in Chicago, before he went to the law school, he worked 3 years as a community organiser (if I translated it right) trying to raise those people’s spirits in order for them to start wanting to live better lifes and he was very good at it. My suggestion is to try and get in touch with him and present him your worries about New Mexico and maybe he might have a very good idea about what is to be done. Do you think that could be possible or am I just talking nonsens?

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      First off, wow, thanks for taking the time to write all of that relevant content. So appreciate you doing that. Cornell sounds incredible. I’m on it. First, the book. Right up my alley. As for Obama, I did just interview his photographer of eight years, but I still think he would be tricky to actually find. Community organization is key. I think what I’m going to do is, after the virus, get out into the small communities and just ask people what their lives are like. What do they need? What works, what doesn’t. I will do audio recordings and portraits. I’ll start collecting data, look for trends.

  3. Dan,

    interesting podcasts – you’re on a roll!
    Well, this particular version of “splendid isolation” sure helps…

    re instagram and New Mexico and learning from this present gobal event.
    Yes, I see a common problem – human beings!

    I use ig, not to collect likes, but to communicate, interact and share with a carefully selected group of like minded people. It’s a tool for me.
    And it’s a tool for the collectors of likes, too.
    ig is simply a tool, the problem lies with people and the way they (mis/ab-) use it.
    And I’m very well aware of the fact that it’s a different kind of tool for the big bad boys at fb, as well.
    Get rid of ig and people will use youtube,…
    Gotta change people, it seems.

    New Mexico and how to change/help it.
    What’s your vision when you say ‘help’? Help those in need to become like their not-so-needy compatriots in other states? Would that really be the help that you’re interested in?
    Wouldn’t one have to change the awareness, honesty,… ie the basic values of the ABQ-PD, the bosses of the extraction industry, the wealthy landowners, etc… before one would have a chance to help people on their way to a better life without directing them to becoming the NM-version of their brethren in PA, ME, SD,…?
    Gotta change people, it seems.

    This present global event.
    You and others say humans are going to learn from what we are going through right now, but nobody holds any hope that they will. I concur. To learn a n d change as a consequence of what has been learned requires a much more ‘catastrophic’ event.
    There might be pockets, geographic, societal,… which will learn and change, but overall…? I’m rather pessimistic.
    People gotta change – once more.

    Reads like a pretty dystopian comment, I know.

    I could go on – but I’ll always be at the disadvantage of having to write for hours to comment on what you said in 50 min.
    There should be an option for audio-comments….lol

    New Mexico – fell in love with it while attending a physics conference in Santa Fe some decades ago. I think I spent more time watching the clouds than powerpoint slides. Came back to explore, to hike and to soar.
    Now I spent most of my time in NM’s distant cousin in Latin America, Patagonia.
    But I’ll be back – watch out.

    (gotta end on an upbeat note)


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      I’ve felt humans were destined to detroy ourselves from the time I was in elementary school. There were too many signs to think otherwise. I feel the same today. And no, not much hope for change because too many things need to change at the system level and I don’t think it’s possible. My vision for help is simple to leave the place better than we found it. Education, energy, environment, etc. So yes, it’s awareness on every level. I don’t see it being different anywhere else, I just happen to live in New Mexico so it’s the place I want to get involved. I never felt this way about California. It already felt too far gone with most of history being over a long time ago. History here feels like it’s being rewritten daily. I take from New Mexico, mostly, so I’d like to find a way to give back.

  4. Another enjoyable episode. I have always been interested in creative people, so Walt Disney has long been an object of study for me. After he died, the Disney company fell into a post-Walt malaise releasing mediocre product. The mistake that the leadership made at the time was to just keep doing the things that Walt was doing. What they should have been doing was trying to think the way that Walt did. However, to do so carried with it great uncertainty because Walt demonstrated throughout his life the willingness to literally risk everything in the pursuit of some new creative venture. Unfortunately, the company became risk adverse and was so for several years almost to the point of losing everything. For a brief period under Michael Eisner’s reign, it regained some of that risk-taking. But that, too, has fallen away. So now the company bares virtually no resemblance to its founder. It now just buys up companies that are more creative than it is.

    It seems to me that Apple is now in the same situation; it’s in a post-Jobs malaise. Can you think of anything that it has released since his death that merits the excitement of his announcements of the iPhone and iPad? Apple is making the same mistake as Disney: doing the things that Steve Jobs did rather taking a risk to think like Steve Jobs.

    On a completely different note, if you have Amazon Prime, I highly recommend the documentary “The Jazz Loft according to W. Eugene Smith.” It’s a fascinating look into the man and this immersive project.

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      And their equipment is simply not as good as the competition. Or as innovative. But, what’s interesting is the devotion displayed by Apple fans who will spend double for something inferior. I think the best sample of this for me was when Apple put the headphone jack on the bottom. That Samsung commerical where the people in line are attempting to convince themselves of the brilliance of this move. Classic. Jazz Loft is an amazing book and film. His son came to CA and showed it at the local museum. SMith was the man.

  5. Hi Dan – Slowly working my way through your material. Slowly because I’m pausing for thought along the way

    Listened to your request for help on how to have a positive impact on the New Mexico community. I think the best way to start is to show people they are not alone.

    Show people that they there is a small community nearby with the same challenges. Show them where another small community has effected a change, no matter how small. Your gift of being able to talk to a wide variety of people, your background as a documentary photographer can go a long way toward documenting those changes, can help people connect the dots that they are not alone.

    These people, like all people who are disenfranchised in this country, have been shoved into a box for generations. Making people feel disenfranchised to the point of losing hope is institutional in the keeping status quo of the elite. But by realizing that they are not alone, small cracks in that status quo can be made.

    Toss a pebble in the water and see how far the ripples go on their own.

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      Great point. Michael Moore did a piece on militias in Michigan back in the 90s. When the auto industry started to go belly up these guys felt like they were alone with nobody listening. The militia was like a frat. Similar people with similar feelings. The government walked away and left them as did their industry.

  6. Daniel, thank for this podcast. Social has taken away what limited critical thinking many had. “Liking” is not helping. Building “awareness” is useless. You need people genuinely interested in solving problems and that takes talking with others in real time, discussing issues.

    I was dealt a pair of “4’s”. I’m giving back as I can.

    I think the goal is to get people interested to the point of taking action. It’s really about what can “you” do? “You” being each of us. We can band together in groups to do an effort, but it’s easier in covid times to band individually. By that I mean a bunch of folks decide to act commonly. A bunch of people do a certain thing, or avoid doing a certain thing to essentially vote with dollars for or against a product, practice, or platform.

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      Totally agree. Send Generation doesn’t seem to get, and that is folks of all ages, that just hitting send isn’t getting “involved.”

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