Note to Self

The theme of this week’s show is self-preservation — that is, the preserving of whatever it is that makes you you, be it letters, journal entries, or a digital measurement of your heart rate and blood sugar for every hour of the day. We bring you stories of cybernetic “lifeloggers,” a crafty, image-tweaking Founding Father, and the most astoundingly comprehensive diary ever to find its way into Stanford’s Special Collections. We also have poems from one of Stanford’s poets in residence, Kirsten Andersen.

Host: Charlie Mintz
Producer: Charlie Mintz
Featured: Kirsten Anderson, Liz Bradfield, Hsiao-Yun Chu, and Judith Richardson
Music: Boomsnake, Howard Hello, George Pritzker

Release Date: 13 May 2008

Listen to the Full Show:

Story 1: Guinea Pig B

There are scrapbooks, and then there is the legendary Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Chronofile. Fuller was a designer, futurist, speaker, and prolific life-logger. Stanford has his diary, if that word even applies to the massive collection of documents, notes, letters, and much more. Host Charlie Mintz interviews the curator who made sense of the Chronofile, and learns about the wisdom of self-preservation.

Producer: Charlie Mintz
Featuring: Hsiao-Yun Chu

Story 2: Guinea Pig F

Long before Fuller glued his first newspaper clipping, Founding Father Benjamin Franklin was pondering how best to preserve his life. The answer? Turn himself into a literary figure. Of course, this raises an interesting question: who is the real Ben Franklin?

Producer: Dan Hirsch
Featuring: Judith Richardson

Story 3: Life-Logging in Blank Verse

“Lifelogging” is usually about data. Numbers, figures, statistics. But to capture the most important parts of a life, maybe poetry is the best medium. We hear from a Stanford Stegner poet, who imagines a life into poetry.

Featuring: Kirsten Andersen and Liz Andersen

Story 4: Note to Self: Look Back at This and Laugh

Journals can be funny. Not at the time. Often they’re very serious at the time they’re being written. But later, very funny. At least when they’re filled with the kind of teen angst that you thought was buried forever when you went to college. Producer Dan Hirsch visits a live reading of old poems, songs, and of course, diary entries.

Producer: Dan Hirsch