November 7, 2003

The Annoying Gap Between Theory...and Practice

Why is it always harder than you think it'll be? We explore several case examples of the annoying gap between theory and practice.


Host Ira Glass talks to two people about their real-life stories of theory and practice. Subject 1: Michael. Theory: A couple years of boxing lessons will prepare you for a street fight with a real-world harasser. Practice: You slap harasser like little girl, cause him no pain, run away. Subject 2: Heather. Theory: if you have to go to the bathroom really bad and you pee on the school bus, no one will notice the pee, and if they do, they can't trace it to you. Practice: Spend the rest of elementary school known as peezilla. (5 minutes)
Act One

Rock, Paper, Computer

Reporter Jack Hitt explains the alarming difference between theory and practice when it comes to computerized voting machines—specifically, those made by a company called Diebold. (16 minutes)
Act Two

Detroit Is In The House

Alex Blumberg spends three days with Michigan state representative Steve Tobocman. He ran for office because he thought that would be the best way to change things for his neighborhood in Detroit. Can you change things from the inside without changing on the inside yourself? (26 minutes)