Friday, November 02, 2007

FlailingFruit: Falling Fruit, the new podcast website, launches into a sea of green.

Two-thirds of the Buddhist Geeks have teamed with eight others to form the webspace Falling Fruit, which is the new home for the "Buddhist Geeks" podcast series and a second, new podcast show -- as they‘re calling it -- "Conscious Business."

The digs at the new space are very nice, but the rollout, otherwise, is disappointing and, even, ominous. Buddhist Geeks, as a cottage business, had promise to extend its reach as the three Geeks ripened their skills as interviewers. It’s early, yet, of course, but this new enlarged enterprise is, maybe, a sharp turn downward, with indicators it embraces gobbledygook, and has become inveigling, and consciously rigidly politically correct.

With the launch of the new webspace comes the first Conscious Business episode and a new Geeks podcast that is really an abridgement of an interview conducted earlier for The TechSattva [which is yet another pod casting series that isn’t (yet?) on the “fruit” menu].

The idea of “Conscious Business” is not new. It is another in a long series of liberal management theories that have foundered in the past, all seeming to suffer from the same flaw: they attach heavy-duty philosophical underpinnings to a business enterprise that distracts it from the effort to focus, be efficient, and provide quality, appropriate goods/services. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for truth, justice and Superman being involved in the American Way. It is just that succeeding at business is a hard slog, and the competition is tough, often run by snakes in suits. I just think it’s been proved that a department of Feel Good just doesn’t help. Employees have enough problems without a supercilious management horning in on their off-hours lives. And a new flood of meetings keeping them from being productive.

Still, the pod show Conscious Business might be good, except it all seems narrowly conceived and rigged to ballyhoo and push the hosts’ fixed conceptions and aid their careers. An objective interview show CB isn’t. Hosts Theo Horesh and Duff McDuffee are leadership and life coaches [which I think we can take to mean “consultants”] involved in liberal-sounding enterprises in the Boulder, Colorado, area. They keep the banter humming in their first podcast [Or, if not they, the audio editor], and are colorful, interesting characters, but the show has the fatiguing drone of an aggressive sales pitch.

The website [“network” in hyped conscious-speak] is a “conscious media for people who care” and the show “explore[s] how consciousness emerges out of the sea of our own enterprises.” And, somehow, passively listening to the show is “joining the dialogue” while we must “prepare to be transformed.”

The ideas and show springs from Fred Kofman’s book from a year ago, called Conscious Business. In the middle of the podcast, the hosts, and their special guest Mark Wilding, delve into the word conscious as if doing so informs them of the management model. It all makes as much sense as trying to understanding baseball’s American League by discussing the word American. Thus the podcast discussion about intense awareness is ironically unaware.

At one point, the special guest cites Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception and interprets it as “the idea of really getting clear about what I’m really seeing and recognizing that I can project on the world and I can sort of override what’s actually going on with what I want to be going on. So, to be aware of that and to be conscious of that and be careful to really try to see what’s actually going on and be clear about that.” The poor special guest had spiraled into a fit of gobbledygook, but that is perhaps appropriate, since, unmentioned is the fact that Huxley’s book is all about his clarifying and confusing 1953 trip on 4/10th of a gram of mescaline.

The show is worth a listen as a stark instance of Boomeritis Buddhism on display. It is classic green vmeme, the hosts unwilling to look beyond their own POV while demanding that others be open to, and embrace, their perspective.

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