Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


The Laurence Platt Video Interviews: Conversations For Transformation on YouTube

Laurence Platt Video Interview

Palo Alto, California, USA

January 14, 2007



This essay, Laurence Platt Video Interview, is the companion piece to Laurence Platt Audio.

It is also the first in the trilogy The Laurence Platt Video Interviews:
  1. Laurence Platt Video Interview
  2. Laurence Platt Video Interview II
  3. Laurence Platt Video Interview III
in that order.

I am indebted to Anurag Anand Nirman and to Yeiber Cano who inspired this conversation, and to Howard Bashew who contributed material.





When Anurag Anand Nirman first requested to interview me, I wasn't enrolled. He said he'd read my essays. He said they're extraordinary. They are, I thought, agreeing with him. But noticing that doesn't get him an interview! Only when I visited his website titled ZOUDDHA - BIRTH OF THE NEW MAN & NEW WOMAN and realized he's up to something big in the world did I agree to his request.

Nirman's website broadcasts his interviews with people who interest him, people who make a difference in the world, people whose life and work forwards Conversations For Transformation. In an eastern context of the disipline of meditation, the people Nirman's interviews are all what he calls sanyasins  ie people now integrated into the spiritual world after wholly giving up any addiction to material life, and becoming aware of any attachments - material or spiritual. Even though I have reservations about including myself in that noble lifestyle, its context adds an element of great dignity and tradition. My hesitation to work with him vanished.

When I got to know Nirman, I realized he didn't only have a critic's interest in Conversations For Transformation and how I came to write them. Nirman, like me, is also a graduate of Werner Erhard's work. Nirman says he is empowered to manifest his vision and create his website inspired by Werner.

I have a great deal of respect for Nirman in this regard. Many graduate of Werner's work go on to create their own powerful works in the world, inspired and empowered by new possibilities they get from working with Werner. And that, of course, is the whole point of Werner's work. Yet I'm often disappointed when those graduates then don't acknowledge Werner's contribution.

An interview conducted by Nirman may or may not specifically bring forth the ideas of Werner Erhard, although in my case it does. Nirman, however, unreservedly acknowledges Werner's contribution to his work. I don't just like  the guy. I'm impressed  by his integrity.

After I indicated to Nirman I was willing to proceed, a concern showed up. It was this:

Would he allow me rights of edit of the final product? Censorship  was the last thing on my mind. When one commits comments to any medium - video, paper, or (in my case) the internet - there are barriers, mostly self imposed, of trust and confidentiality which should not be violated. Actually they're not so much barriers  to full and open Self expression and communication as they are lines which shouldn't be crossed. I knew I could manage those. I am, after all, the one who chooses what I say. I am, after all, the one who chooses what comes out of my mouth.

I was concerned with the forgiveness  of the medium. For example, the internet is a forgiving medium to work with. If I write something which I publish to the internet then later realize there's a more workable way to write what I wrote, I can rework what I wrote then republish it in its more workable form.

Paper is an unforgiving medium. If I write something which I publish on paper then later realize there's a more workable way to write what I wrote, I can't rework what I wrote without a new printing. Even so, existing paper will in perpetuity  reflect the unworkable form of what I wrote.

Similarly, once it's released into the world, video is also an unforgiving medium. I wanted to be sure whatever we released I could live with forever. Here I'm simply speaking about the workability  and the accuracy  of the material disseminated. I had very little concern for camera angles, for my better  profile, or for looking good  on video.

Nirman agreed to give me rights of edit to the final version of the interview which dispelled my concern. In addition, I knew this  conversation for transformation would be its own best representation. So I left the technical details of the production to Yeiber Cano, Nirman's photographer and audio producer, and settled back myself to enjoy an evening of Chai  with Nirman. To say I'm pleased with the result of this collaboration with Nirman and Yeiber is an understatement. I was totally blown away  by it when I first saw the finished product.

Photography by Yeiber Cano - Palo Alto, California, USA - 7:35pm Sunday January 14, 2007
Laurence Platt Video Interview
The complete interview lasts thirty two minutes and forty six seconds. It's edited into three parts to comply with YouTube's fifteen minute limit.

Here are the three links for Laurence Platt Video Interview:

 1)  Laurence Platt Video Interview - part one of three 9:23
 2)  Laurence Platt Video Interview - part two of three 9:55
 3)  Laurence Platt Video Interview - part three of three 13:28

For best results you'll need a high speed connection to the internet. If you don't have a high speed connection to the internet, please e-mail your request for this interview on CD.



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