I can’t recall the first time I listened to Os Guinness or how I even stumbled upon him, but the man is a 007 of sociology; and for that, I return to him again and again. It’s like his eyes sweep in the totality of culture in a simple glance. While we often merely see buildings and ball games, commercials and cars, fads and Fox News, he sees behind it all, right to the gears, right to the presuppositions, the worldview that shapes and molds, influences and directs. He rides the ebb and flow of history from a higher vantage point enabling him to draw a host of insights from the well of experience.
At the end of the day, it’s really his accent that gets me. I’m a total sucker for British and Irish accents, even Australian ones for that matter (like the lizard in those Geico commercials).
With that being said, I’d like to recommend one of his talks. It’s on time. Not time considered abstractly, like a lecture in relativity, but time as in our Blackberrys. Our schedule. Our western culture.
Here a caution is in order though. This man is an academic. So he talks like an academic. This isn’t to say he isn’t a great speaker, because he is. It just means that he doesn’t hang out on the bottom shelf, which means, well, it means that shallow people probably won’t enjoy listening to him. In other words, big nerds will just love it.
Must Listen Factor: For scavengers, I would say high. Casuals, um, average to high. But if you like a British accent (if that is what his is, I don’t have a good ear for that kind of stuff), then hey, it’s very high. Infrequents… na, probably not.
(Update: The link to Veritas is fine (you can listen from your computer), but the download “button” isn’t working. So here. Try the new link: http://static.veritas.org/media/files/a09uva01.mp3 )