Are you aware of how static and bureaucratic National Public Radio is? It never changes. Terry Gross’s program Fresh Air is anything but fresh. She has been on the air with the same program since she was 24 years old in 1975. She is now 64 years old and the program has not changed in 40 years.
I noticed that Terry listens to many brilliant and thoughtful people but she never learns. She never changes her opinions or her questions. Time and conversation does not have any influence on her. She has interviewed many feminist historians and she always says the feminist revolution began in 1963 with Betty Friedan. Every one corrected her and mentioned Simone de Beauvoir. She never learns. She says the same thing every time.
I noticed the same failure with the local San Francisco NPR Michael Krasny version of Terry Gross. Year after year, same question, never learning from the endless stream of experts who correct him on a variety of subjects.
I, of course, ascribe this to my view that primates stop learning at age 23. Only one out of 200 people learn after age 23.
But to me the most important lesson deals with our current president, Obama. Definitely incapable of learning. No matter what happens in the world he never learns and never changes. He attacks the Republicans in Congress and it hardens their resistance to him. Increasing over 7 years. He never changes. The same with allies and enemies. He attacks our allies and encourages our enemies. The allies stopped supporting him long ago but he never modifies his behavior.
From his first day in office he has blamed Israel for the lack of a peace treaty with the West Bank Arabs. He has blamed Israel’s construction in the West Bank and Jerusalem for the inpass and general Arab anti-Americanism. Despite 7 years of West Bank Arab resistance to everything he does and the Arab Spring, he never changes his mind.
Similarly with his encouragement of our enemies. He has supported Turkey since his first day in office, calling Erdogan his 'close friend'. When he begged the Israeli PM to apologize to Erdogan over a Turkish invasion of Israel, Erdogan ignored the apology. Erdogan is now using American weapons to attack America’s Kurdish allies, paying no attention to Obama.
Obama never learns and never changes his mind when reality overwhelms him. Like Terry Gross.