From the Founder – Bob Chitester

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Time & Timelessness

by Bob Chitester

Time. With on-the-half-hour and -hour scheduling of broadcast and cable TV channels. With the demands of meeting deadlines over the twelve months needed to complete a TV documentary. With the decreasing attention span of viewers (inversely related to age) calling for shorter and more memorable videos. Our lives at izzit.org and Free To Choose Network are driven by “time.”

I’ve asked Tara Schupp, our chief operating officer, to put together an article for the next newsletter that will give you a sense of how we manage time in bringing together the inputs necessary to create TV documentaries and education modules. The same systems approach is also used in building our expanding distribution network.

There are two other aspects of “time” that, although intangible, are the foundation from which we start the creative process. First, a video of any length should be as “evergreen” as possible. The stories told may “age” in terms of fashion or technology, but the ideas conveyed should be universal in application. Second, to introduce a new idea or suggest changing an established doctrine is a long-term process.

Milton Friedman challenged my focus on television. “Bob, anyone who can be persuaded by an hour TV program, can be dissuaded by another TV program the next night.” I countered that the series would help sell the book, which chapter by chapter followed the themes of the series, and it has sold tens of millions worldwide. As producers we place enormous value on productions that are evergreen, that like Free To Choose can be effectively communicating basic principles decades after their release.

Milton also came to see how, properly crafted, a video can surprise viewers with a new way to think about ideas they believe they understand or have previously rejected. Johan Norberg does this every week with his Dead Wrong vlog. We also do a weekly blog, drawing on the hundreds of hours of videos in our archives. These online products build brands and celebrity by “visiting” viewers every week in a format consistent with shortened attention spans.

The individual also requires time to shape a world view, and even more time to adapt or change that perspective. One of my favorite quotes is from a “hippie” book, The Aquarian Conspiracy by Marilyn Ferguson: “No one can persuade another to change. Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside. We cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or emotional appeal.”

Ferguson, like many, was blinded to reality by a powerful image of a peace-and-love utopia. Yet in this quote, she points to Jonathan Haidt’s recent research that supports our contention that appeals to emotion must be the starting point for increasing understanding and acceptance of a world based on the winning ideas of freedom. That—and acceptance of the timelessness of the effort—should pay dividends if we are wise, patient and persistent.

 

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Dead Wrong™ with Johan Norberg – Made in China (VIDEO)

It seems like everything we buy is made in China these days. We import cheap goods, but we export good jobs. We should just produce everything we need locally and keep the factories and jobs at home. Dead Wrong. In this short video clip, Free To Choose Media Executive Editor and Cato Institute Senior Fellow Johan Norberg explains.

 

 

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Remembering Milton Friedman DVD Giveaway

Help us to celebrate the 104th birthday of the greatest gift to the free world, Milton Friedman. Our gift to you, in honor of the Nobel Prize winning economist, are two (2) FREE DVDs exploring the life and ideas of Dr. Friedman, The Power of Choice and Testing Milton Friedman.

Simply visit the web store, add the DVDs to your cart, and enter the promo code: MiltonBDay (you will be responsible for shipping and handling).

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Supplies are limited, so act now!

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In rich countries, we buy more, we travel anywhere, and the planet pays the price. It’s obvious that the richer we get, the more we damage the environment. Dead wrong. In this short video clip, Free To Choose Media Executive Editor and Cato Institute Senior Fellow Johan Norberg explains.

 

 

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Dead Wrong™ with Johan Norberg – Child Labor and Globalization (VIDEO)

Free trade means that we buy the cheapest goods no matter how it is produced. Even if the goods are produced by the cheapest labor: children. You consume, and another child suffers. Luckily, that is Dead Wrong. In this short video clip, Free To Choose Media Executive Editor and Cato Institute Senior Fellow Johan Norberg explains.

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Dead Wrong™ with Johan Norberg – Global Warming (VIDEO)

We are warming our planet with greenhouse gases, and this changes everything. We need drastic measures to dismantle industrial capitalism if we are to have any chance of surviving. Dead Wrong, and dangerous. In this short video clip, Free To Choose Media Executive Editor and Cato Institute Senior Fellow Johan Norberg explains.

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Dead Wrong™ with Johan Norberg – Happiness (VIDEO)

Isn’t there something wrong with our modern, individualistic world? We all want more choices and more wealth, but we get overwhelmed by all those choices, and after a certain point, more money doesn’t contribute to our well-being. GDP cannot buy happiness. Dead wrong. In this short video clip, Free To Choose Media Executive Editor and Cato Institute Senior Fellow Johan Norberg explains.

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Adam Smith on the High Seas by Barbara Potter

I wake up at 3:20 a.m. and I don’t remember where I am. It’s pitch dark and I hear a steady hum somewhere far below my room. As I reach for my iPhone, it comes back to me: I’m in a ten-by-twelve foot cabin on the F Deck of the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, the largest container ship in the world. We’re at dock.

There’s no telephone, no television, and no wifi, only an orange glow visible through the window. It’s night one of a four-night voyage from Algeciras, Spain to Rotterdam, and our video crew is onboard to get a behind-the-scenes look at the operations of this mammoth ship.

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Dead Wrong™ with Johan Norberg – Merry Christmas! (VIDEO)

Swedish scholar Johan Norberg explains why those who claim saying “Merry Christmas” is offensive to non-Christians are “Dead Wrong.”

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