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June 27, 2008

Social Engineering

Governments are always looking for ways to change behavior—stopping people from driving drunk, or encouraging them to recycle. This week, we have stories of social engineering on a smaller scale.
Daniel Canada and Gregory Deloatch at their favorite NYC hangout, Smith's Restaurant & Bar.
In one story, a man convinces his friend to try something new, turn his back on a good paying salary and an apartment...and become homeless.

Prologue

Tim White used to be a gang leader in Chicago, but now he's a "violence interrupter" for a program called CeaseFire. Host Ira Glass talks to Tim about his work, and why he thinks it can keep young gang members from killing each other. We learned about Tim from TAL contributor Alex Kotlowitz, who wrote about CeaseFire for The New York Times Magazine. (8 minutes)

Choosers, Not Beggars

Gregory Deloatch and Daniel Canada dreamed of being writers, but normal life—marriage, jobs, paying the rent—always got in the way. To pursue their dream, the two friends embarked on an unusual experiment. Lu Olkowski tells the story of how it turned out.

Check out Hobo Bob's and Obsidian's blogs, and learn more about their event, The Shout Out. (28 minutes)

Song:

“Sower of Systems” by Lungfish

Educated Guess

When Amy Silverman's daughter was born with Down syndrome, she followed the advice of all the parents she met: She signed her daughter up for "early intervention" therapy. But her daughter's progress had unexpected consequences, forcing Amy to make a choice she'd never predicted. (9 minutes)