the universe

In the Beginning, the gods created the Universe.

This has subsequently been acknowledged to have been a fundamental error in judgment, and it has not been repeated.

(Some of the more recent cosmological theories argue otherwise, but we’re holding out for proof.)

Every proper organizational web-site has a Statement of Purpose. There, the company or institution puts into a carefully crafted paragraph or two of neat, bland, inoffensive, and antiseptic words, all of them approved by the lawyers and the public relations specialists, the gist of why they exist, what they seek, where they are going, and how they propose to get there.

Ours is simple. The very future of every civilization depends critically upon if and how it educates its people. Despite all that this country spends on education – not including college and university costs, well over two thirds of a trillion dollars a year – it could and should do better. Rather than merely criticize, we are attempting to make a difference, however small, which improves education through the media of radio and television, in whatever form they take.

As you probably have already begun to suspect, we pursue our objectives with a little more irreverence, whimsy, and cynicism than most public-interest entities care to exhibit. As the scorpion said to the frog, “It’s our nature.”

It’s that simple.

When creating content for public radio and television, we must choose between the alternatives of, on the one hand, adhering to the normal practice of keeping everything conventional and tightly compartmentalized, and, on the other hand, exercising enough imagination, wit, whimsy, and occasional irreverence to make it more entertaining and to more closely resemble how real people function in the real world.

Too often, a public broadcasting program is constrained much too tightly. A news program is all news and no wisecracking. A comedy assiduously avoids any and all controversy. The characters in a drama never exhibit that occasional flash of humor characteristic of intelligent people functioning under stressful conditions.

Stuff and nonsense! And throw in some balderdash, as well!

Whimsy is the lubricant that makes life more endurable, and there’s a place in public broadcasting for a carefully measured seasoning of imagination and once in a while peeing outside the box. For examples of what we mean, listen to the stories from Ninety Second Science.