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 II

Muir Beach, California, USA

October 22, 2011



This essay, Laurence Platt Video Interview II, is the second 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 Victoria Hamilton-Rivers and to Howard Bashew who contributed material.





What writing transformation (if indeed that's even possible to do) and speaking transformation have in common, are words. That's about as far as the similarity goes.

My commitment when I finish an essay in this Conversations For Transformation internet series, is to read it again and again, looking for typos, spelling mistakes etc, as well as for redundancies, repetition, and style inconsistencies. Then I'll read it again. And again. And then I'll read it one more time. I'll reread it until I can read it through from beginning to end without anything  getting in the way or catching my attention as out of place, erroneous, or just plain unworkable. I'll also review the shape  of the paragraph layouts on the page to ensure they please the eye.

When nothing's left calling for my attention, that's the point of completion. Then I'll let it be, and not read it again.

Meticulous rigor like this can be brought to writing. Day to day spoken conversations, on the other hand, don't have the same sort of opportunities for this kind of reworked, edited  rigor, if you will. To be sure, there are appropriate opportunities in day to day conversations for rephrasing what's being said in ways which work better. But day to day conversations, unlike writing, don't go very well if they're rephrased repeatedly like written pieces can be, on their way to becoming complete and perfect.

Speaking in an interview on camera has even fewer opportunities for correction than speaking in day to day conversations or in writing. In terms of being a genre  which lends itself well to relentless self-correction, speaking in an interview on camera is in a different class than those two forms of expression. Furthermore, the opportunity to repeat, rework, and self-correct while speaking live in an interview on camera, is near zero. It's not that kind of art form.

I knew when Anurag Anand Nirman (known simply as "Nirman" to his friends) outlined his ideas for Laurence Platt Video Interview II for his website titled ZOUDDHA - BIRTH OF THE NEW MAN & NEW WOMAN, we were heading into a territory deeper in the unknown than merely talking on camera. We floated Laurence Platt Video Interview II as an on camera conversation which would generate  an experience of transformation rather than simply provide answers to questions about  transformation. Although I trust Nirman enough to venture into this territory with him, I also had a sense of trepidation as we set out. Foremost in my mind were the questions "How's this going to go?" and "What good will come of it?" and even "What if it's a total fiasco?".

The idea of this interview (any  interview, really) is to get an inner view. To deliver this, to allow Nirman to see who I am, I knew I would have to trust the process at a whole new level, without taking recourse or shelter in editing, correcting, rewriting, or in calling "Time out!"  and asking for another take.

I've watched Laurence Platt Video Interview II now on a number of occasions, both during the editing process as well as in the more technical aspects of this project, such as while getting all four .mp4  high resolution files comprising about a gigabyte's  worth of data, uploaded to YouTube with Nirman's permission. And having watched it, I can tell you it looks different than the experience I had of it while filming it. While filming it, I could distinguish my futile attempts to formulate  what I was speaking so it all came out clearly and coherently. There was a very loud  self-critical and self-correcting conversation going on in my head at all times while we filmed it which, much to my surprise, is invisible in the final product on screen - as if it wasn't ever going on at all. I realized something profound from that, which is this: it's not the voice in my head which determines how I come across in the real world.

I'm very pleased with the way this turned out. Please take from it anything which is useful to you. Whatever's not useful to you, ignore it.

Photography by Yeiber Cano - Muir Beach, California, USA - 1:35pm Saturday October 22, 2011
Laurence Platt Video Interview II
The complete interview lasts forty two minutes and two seconds. It's edited into four parts to comply with YouTube's fifteen minute limit.

Here are the four links for Laurence Platt Video Interview II:

 1)  Laurence Platt Video Interview II - part one of four 13:14
 2)  Laurence Platt Video Interview II - part two of four 8:53
 3)  Laurence Platt Video Interview II - part three of four 10:47
 4)  Laurence Platt Video Interview II - part four of four 9:08

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 DVD.



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