Reflecting on Masterclasses in Rhetoric Taught in Recent Videos…

I highly recommend watching my Milken Institute panel last week:

Or, alternatively, at least read the transcript—but watching is better.

The panel is worth watching and reflecting upon and not just because of the ideas discussed. It is also very much that there were two people on that stage who are true masters of rhetoric, and their performances are masterpieces: Gillian Tett and Steve Schwartzman.

  • Gillian Tett provides a master class in how to run a panel. Five panelists, each of whom could’ve gone five different ways–you might will think that she had all 3125 combinations mapped out in her brain beforehand, or else thinks 10 times as fast as a normal human with respect to who she wanted to speak next about what in reaction to what had just gone on before…

  • Steve Schwartzman–I clocked Steve Schwartzman speaking at 80 words a minute with only half of his words being true meaning of words. That both allowed him to hold the floor for the time that he wished and also to put enough thought into each of his meaning words that he could see precisely what he wanted to have said. I guarantee that this is something he has learned to do: I do not think the younger Steve Schwartzman spoke 80 words a minute…

You might also, for a different lesson, take a look at the week before’s CUNY panel: the video, the transcript.

Also excellent. Also wonderful. Also very much worth watching—the intellectual and knowledge payoff is, I think, considerably higher than at Milken because Schwartzman, Ciobo, and Ramirez were there representing the positions of their institutions rather than setting out their own ideas.

But as far as rhetoric is concerned… Let the record show that both David Autor and myself interrupted Ann Harrison’s opening statement. We did so for what seemed to us to be reasons that we thought at the time were good and sufficient, and our interruptions were short. But dollars will get you doughnuts we would not have done so had Ann Harrison been a Y-chromosome type person. We are who we have been trained to be…

May 8, 2017


Brad DeLong
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