The Final Stretch (of Travel)


Why haven’t I been beginning all of these blog postings with a dateline? Datelines are so classy.

I’ve been on the road for about seven months and, mercifully, I am in the final weeks of travel. But the end of travel doesn’t signal the end of The Conversation. Since October, I have been recording frequently and storing up a backlog of new conversations that will keep me editing and posting until the project ends in April. April will mark a full year of production and seems like a good place to conclude.

Before concluding, I may make a field trip back to California to interview people I have learned about since motorcycling through the Golden State back in May. Specifically, I will be looking for interviewees who can discuss fields of thought or projects that haven’t been touched on in The Conversation yet. You have given me some great suggestions—linguistics, open source folks, centralizers, people who study violence or psychology—and there are a few areas I still want to cover, so California may be a chance to fix some of my glaring omissions. If I can make this happen, I’ll put out a call and we can all brainstorm the last four or five interviewees on the site somewhere.

Concluding The Conversation presents its own challenge. Part of me likes the statement of ending The Conversation with no fanfare after the final interview. There’s something hanging and inconclusive about that which mirrors the nature of The Conversation itself. But while that ending has a nice aesthetic purity, another part of me thinks it would be obnoxious and insufficient. What’s the alternative?

• I’ve thought about setting up a card table in the middle of the Arizona desert, getting four microphones, and cajoling Micah and two radically different interviewees to fly out to have a final discussion of the project in its entirety.

• There’s also the possibility of some kind of public event. A big conversation with invites to all of the participants and listeners? Would that lead to bloodshed?

• Or I could record a series of short, concluding conversations over the phone with all of the interviewees who would be amenable to listening to episodes other than their own.

• Long before I started pre-production, one of my friends asked if I would end the project by climbing Mt. Whitney and screaming “I AM THE CONVERSATION!” In his poetic vision, that was supposed to be followed by a nervous breakdown. If I was cooler, this might be in the cards.

What kind of conclusion would you want to hear? You can always send a note to the info@ address or hit me up through the FB page or Twitter.

Now back to lining up final interviews, wrangling travel arrangements, and carving out time to finish editing Chuck Collins. Expect Chuck’s episode this weekend or early next week.


(I don’t know how you could have missed the fundraiser I’ve launched to overhaul the website but, if you have, scroll down to the hideous Indiegogo widget at the bottom of the page.)