If you have
a workable and consistent perception of what is in the human heart, you
can communicate with anyone, any time, anywhere, through any medium.
What is the most significant event that has occurred in your profession or field of study during the 20th century? What lesson do you take away from that event?
Probably the most significant 20th century event to impact media and communicationsin my opinionis the rapid advance of digitizing information, and fusing everything - film, commercial television, video, music, photography, graphics, animation - through one broadband cable into the home and workplace.
This mind-boggling development covers all fields: news, history, entertainment and the arts, business, education, personal health, personal shopping, etc.The main lesson it has taught me is to never become too smug in your mastery of technical knowledge. As with the successful and prosperous maker of Conestoga wagons in the 19th century, that mastery can be wiped out in one turn of fortune's wheel. Example: It took me a good 10 years to become a skilled and technically proficient film-maker; the onset of video rendered all that obsolete in about one decade. And now digitizing is revolutionizing it all again.
Who were the mentors with the most significant impact on your vocation?
Two great teachers were my most pivotal mentors: Byron Trippet, at Wabash, and Mark Van Doren, at Columbia. Both went far beyond the curricula to explore the deeper meanings of why people do things, and what are the consequences of those actions.
Personally, what is the most meaningful life lesson you have taken from your vocation or avocation?
Searching ceaselessly for those patterns cited above has led me to a personal understanding (whether correct or incorrect!) of human behavior that survives any technological change. If you have a workable and consistent perception of what is in the human heart, you can communicate with anyone, any time, anywhere, through any medium. Or at least, that's what has worked for me so far.
In your experience, what is the greatest misconception the public has about your vocation (or field of study) or the people in that vocation?
Maybe it's that laymen never really know how much hard work is involved in bringing off a simple, clear, artful, effective communication.