BrianLehrer.tv: Baltimore Uprisings and Revisiting the Kerner Commission

welcome in Baltimore the National Guard has departed the curfew has been lifted and six police officers are charged in connection with the death of 25 year old Freddie gray after weeks of peaceful protests and some fiery riots – you hear it said that things are back to normal but what’s considered normal in some neighborhoods is very much the problem so we will delve into that and compare today’s protests to what triggered similar protests and uprisings in the 1960s also on the broadcast progressive talk is in this political season locally and nationally Bernie Sanders has joined the presidential race and Hillary Clinton is trying to be taken seriously on inequality is the left on the rise we will ask Dan Cantor founder of the Working Families Party then did you know that big data is now central to big agriculture it brings efficiency yes but digital farming causes some furrowed brows as well and toward the end of the hour in our public intellectual segments a study of who likes long work hours here and abroad the cultural and gender differences are astounding first though urban unrest after inner cities began erupting in the late 1960s President Lyndon Johnson convened the Kerner commission to look into the root causes of the unrest in african-american neighborhoods led by governor Otto Kerner of Illinois it concluded that our nation was moving toward two societies one black one white separate unequal to what extent has that prediction come true do we need a new corner like Commission or should we just read that old report again which became an instant bestseller back in 1968 joining us James Meyerson a civil rights attorney and former lawyer for the New York and double-a-c-p he’s been involved in racial justice issues then and still is today also with us or LaRue Lewis McCoy associate professor of sociology and black studies at City College he’s author of quality in the promised land race resources and suburban schooling welcome to both of you thank you for coming in thank you for having you’ve called for a new Kerner commission why that because everything changes and nothing changes and actually things have changed for the negative in terms of institutional and systemic racism and poverty in this country it’s interesting thirty years after the Kerner commission Fred Harris who was a senator from Oklahoma and I’m the original Commission along with Roy Wilkins Edward Brooke a number of other people he did a report which indicated things had not changed they had not moved forward they had not stayed the same they had gotten worse and I think that if you look at where we are today in urban America civil disorder is triggered ordinarily as the Commission had said by interactions between police and members of the minority communities in these urban settings but they made the very important point that the context of all of that is deplorable housing deplorable schools high unemployment lack of health care lack of retail establishments to prove that were otherwise available in all of these respects positively in white communities and that obviously sounds like today in so many respects and we’ll explore that in a minute but just that language that central prediction of the Kerner commission that lasts to this day is one of the prime pull quotes that our society could become a black and a white society separate but unequal well our country always was that from the beginning and that was the 1960s it was five minutes after Jim Crow correct so how could they have been predicting it as a risk for the future what was the historical context of that as you understand it right I think the historical context of the Kerner commission is that it’s really a temperature check of race relations and the urban condition and what they revealed from a bipartisan and multiracial coalition is that things weren’t well but if we look at the history of the United States we know that we’ve had separate and unequal societies it was coming on the heels of some legislation that had been passed around the Civil Rights Act it was coming behind a lot of people saying there’s already been legal progress why is it seems that African Americans are discontented the reality is that even when you have some legal action many of the everyday live conditions had not shifted so when the Kerner commission finds that we’re moving towards something separate and equal it oddly echoes Koerner middle neared all in american dilemma and which he found things were separate unequal which echoes Dred Scott which goes on and echoing back into history the reality is

that sometimes we look for progress before it’s occurred and assume that we’re living in a world that we’re not and is it also because the Commission was responding to riots particularly in northern cities that’s different from the Jim Crow South that’s the northern cities which held themselves superior race relations but maybe weren’t all that superior well that’s right I’ve always reminded of what Malcolm X said which was everything south of Canada was south and south that that’s correct and and one of the things that the current Kerner commission articulated was that there was a perception within these segregated communities of the north that the police were an occupying force and that that perception still maintains and in fact a recent federal judge in the city of new york concluded it wasn’t a perception it was a reality that there were massive arrests tops detentions and arrests of African Americans largely males in the city of New York as if an occupying force and so things haven’t gotten better they’ve they’ve really just entrenched more and unless there is a commitment to address the issues of poverty and the inner-facing of poverty with race in America we’re bound to maintain the civil disorders going forward and I think it’s important that the Commission was a commission on civil disorder it wasn’t a commission on riots riots have a very kind of subtextual badness to that I mean the word the word a civil disorder connotes that there’s disorder among some elements of the Civic’s Civic Society that aren’t just for fun and joy but because of serious conditions that are causing people not to buy into the system but to drop out of the system it is what negotiate Dicky the a a Nigerian author has written about the oppressive lethargy of choicelessness the oppressive lethargy of choice do you want to talk about that too yeah I think in reality what we’re talking about is a sustained condition of limited options and the land of plenty so whether you’re in East New York right whether you’re in the pink houses whether you’re in Ferguson which is actually a suburb of st. Louis so if we talk about things haven’t changed in fact we’ve seen a suburbanization of poverty right and we have to be attentive to the differences in the landscape whether you’re in Baltimore Maryland many of the people who seem wish and desire options they haven’t received opportunity instead what we’ve given them is more and more prescription of pulling on their bootstraps less and less of an investment to make sure that those areas that had been divested and received higher quality education greater resources towards employment we are being told that these areas are out of order but these areas have been raising their voices and I and I prefer the term civil unrest right or uprisings because often what we’re looking at is people expressing their voice and saying we’ve been silenced for so long when we marched peacefully none of the cameras showed up but all of a sudden when CBS goes on fire mainstream media jumps into the fray and says what’s going on right but can we say that what happened in Baltimore was a combination of an uprising by some people who were just genuinely angry and expressing themselves the way you’ve just described some thugs or gang members or criminals who were taking advantage of a situation maybe some outside anarchists political agitators who wanted to see this thing happened for whatever ideological reasons and that we need to pick those apart um I think you could make that analysis but I think in particularly in boss Baltimore what you’re looking at are a set of young people in Baltimore who are aware of conditions who have only lived a short life span but know what oppression and occupation look like so when we’re talking about the mall scenario that expands out we’re not talking about some of the more organized protests where anarchists are very visible we’re outside agitation as part of it I think what you actually saw was organically young people responding to the threat of police presence you saw three schools be dismissed simultaneously and what happens is that folks responded now subsequently of course there are questions of who comes in and what they do but I think there was something much more organic happening there I think there’s a tendency within our analysis to try to separate those out who are legitimately protesting and those who are just ideological and I get that but on the ground I’m not sure that’s what played out initially in Baltimore when the nation started taking notice in historical context I was surprised to see riots like that in Baltimore because

there were riots like that in Baltimore in the 1960s and I think that cities that experienced it at that time or since have tended not to go through it again I wasn’t that surprised to see it in Ferguson which had never gone through it but the cities that have gone through it have had I think historical memory that says we don’t really accomplish anything by destroying our own neighborhoods and so New York Newark Detroit these cities have protested in other ways since the 1960s any reaction to that well the point that I’ve been trying to make it in terms of using the term civil disorder rather than riot II is that the order that is attached by the white society is different than the order that is in the segregated urban communities that would that exist and so it’s the disorder at some fundamental level is order it’s a push it’s an ordered push back against what doesn’t exist in those communities so I don’t view that as rioting rioting again to me connotes crazy people out there doing silly stuff for myriad of reasons rather than reacting to the oppression that the order in which they exist has has inflicted on them yeah but maybe it would have been different if the violence was directed at City Hall or police officers some degree it was but when it’s directed at the stores in the neighborhoods that are the victim neighborhoods if you want to call it that of the underlying disorder then somebody didn’t remember something from the past or didn’t learn it no you know I think I have to push back against that for a particular reason if you ask the police officers in Baltimore where the majority of interaction was it was against them it was against symbols of the state right we saw people marching downtown the day before and breaking windows it was looking it was the personification of those frustrations the CVS becomes the example but there was very little actual property damage done comparatively so I think folks were pushing in that direction the other thing I want to push back against is that when we say rioting doesn’t deliver what we desire we wouldn’t have the Civil Rights Act of 1968 had it not been for the uprisings that occurred following right so the colonel Commission itself was largely ignored but the needle continued to move as urban unrest continued to swell Brian if I might say you know in raw numbers there are more white people living in poverty than there are african-american people although disproportionate to their numbers there are there is a great deal of poverty in african-american communities but but what has occurred in America is an identification of poverty with African Americans because of the racial the racial aspects to the discussion conscious subconscious soft racism hard racism those two things interface that’s why there’s so much pushback against Barack Obama among other things because he is identified as a president unlike many of his predecessors who were from the south with urban african-american but at the same time there is a statistical concentration of poverty among African Americans it’s much larger than among whites and this is an African American social justice narrative right we have to do something about poverty being so concentrated being such high at higher rates in our communities you know as a result of of hundreds of years of history absolutely it’s not simply an issue of force but it’s how forces used disproportionately and so that can be the conflict with police but that can also be the ways in which schools have been failing the ways in which intergenerationally employment has not been available in these areas and as we start to think about and I think it’s important that we get to a place of where we’re pushing on legislation about police and civilian interaction but we also have to push on legislation that deals with urban change and not simply that makes cities livable those for those who are middle-class or gentrifying but those who are born and raised in them so when we look at cities like Detroit which I’ve experienced a tremendous amount of out migration now the Detroit that’s really is really accessible to whom so we have to make sure that these cities which have been built and sustained by working-class folks still have a place for them and we’re almost out of time but that’s the harder discussion to have right because everybody’s focusing now

as you indicate on the criminal justice issues should police wear body cameras will these six go on trial etc etc and that doesn’t address the underlying social conditions that you’ve both been describing this whole segment absolutely and I think it’s not either/or I think the best activists on the ground know it’s an both let’s say able to police violence and poverty and underfunded schools and when we put those things together we have a true social justice and change agenda until then we’re really just doing piecemeal work yeah that’s that’s correct a police community encounters which trigger the civil disorders are a an important but but only a part of the total equation and the greater part of the total equation are these underlying conditions and institutional and systemic structures well such an important conversation and I think different from a lot of the ones we’ve been hearing thank you both very much thank you thank you mayor de Blasio is still holding off on endorsing Hillary Clinton until he sees her proposing enough of a progressive agenda his main issues are wages benefits and taxes he said on Meet the Press but let’s flush that out what is the progressive agenda for America that de Blasio and others are for let’s hear from one of the leading progressive agenda centers in New York and the nation today dan Kanter co-chair of the Working Families Party which originated here and is now a national force hi thanks for coming in nice to be here so first Mike the Working Families Party endorsed Hillary Clinton for president sure it’s quite possible it’s quite early in the in the process as you know working families is you know in this relationship with the Democrats we try to yank them and what we take to be a common-sense progressive direction and in your case it wouldn’t be until after the nomination I guess right because you’re not going to as a separate party not take sides within the Democratic Party or is that wrong typically we don’t but in rare cases we have we try to make sure that viable progressives get a chance to be heard in the presidential election we never had you know so you’re not among those today asking Elizabeth Warren to please run well so WFP is now in nine states some of our states have in fact called on Warren to run others took a different view we’re not you know where it’s a new effort this national thing that grew out of New York and so it’s finding its way to national decision-making I think what’s shared across all the states is this desire for a serious look at the issues of what’s going on in the country the electoral moment you know that’s the moment when the society pauses and says how are we doing and we could do a lot better I think that’s our Clinton said in her announcement that she was running that the deck is stacked for the benefits benefit of those at the top which sounds like she’s tilting your way start yeah excellent start listen the it’s hardly news to say that inequality in its many forms economic inequality educational racial environmental is perhaps the core issue of our time if this election next year is about it takes place on essentially the Republican playing field that we have to cut taxes and cut spending cut regulation and that’s the way forward then we’ll lose and if it’s on our turf of saying no we need to raise prosperity generally let me dig into that stack phrase a little bit because it suggests that politics are setting up rules yeah that make the playing field in the marketplace unleveled correct right so the government is skewing income toward the top few percent it’s not you know the great X New York Times reporter John Stone David Johnston I think is his name writes about taxes it’s not trickle-down its Niagra up it’s a very non virtuous cycle in which economic power leads to more political power which leads to further economic power which skews the political game more so this has been widely commented on and we’re living in a society in which the advantages that accrue to wealth seem to get greater and greater and it’s actually bad for everybody it’s even bad for rich people and some of them know it to have such a wildly unequal Society Warren senator Warren and others have had this one statistic everybody has their favorite apparently from the middle 1930s to 1980 seventy percent of the income gains went to 90% of the people roughly not quite exact but pretty close so the top 10% got 30% apparently the last 35 years 100% of the gains in income have gone to the top 10% that is not a democracy that’s an oligarchy and it’s not healthy how much do you blame campaign finance cuz I noticed Clinton came right out and said she would support a constitutional amendment to overturn citizens united if

that’s what it takes and ice Bernie Sanders is also in the race on TV the other day saying I want a constitutional amendment to overturn citizens united so that all this so-called independent money can’t flood into campaigns we need that we need a lot more the actual model for what we want we have right here in New York City we have a low dollar matching system tens of thousands of people contribute and then the state matches their money we want people to have skin in the game so we would say campaign finance reform public financing of Elections essential we’re not going to keep private money out that’s like stopping water from running downhill the ambition is to get public money in and if you do that you’ll have you’ll have better outcomes better rules you get better outcomes so for people who don’t know the New York system it’s public financing in the sense that if a candidate for City office raises enough money in small donations then the city matches it six to one is exposed to one that’s right so if you what’s the limit what’s the largest on a $175 $175 so gigantic no that’s a small donation that’s well over a thousand dollars to that candidate so it’s worth your while to go have scores of house parties instead of dialing rich people and asking them for five and ten thousand dollars get 30 people to a house party they each give you $25 and that’s about worth $5,000 so if that’s the gold standard of campaign finance reform has Hillary Clinton endorsed it I don’t know if she’s endorsed that specific approach to campaign finance reform but we’re optimistic that she and anybody running at least on the Democratic side would do so there’s no way to have the kind of country we want without it mayor de Blasio cited wages benefits and taxes what kind of tax policy would meet your litmus test for a progressive agenda that’s a good question so you know what created the great American middle class was basically two things unions pushing up not just for their own members but for the broad working-class and high marginal tax rates pushing down the great compression the head of GM the famous you know the business of America is business in 1952 he earned what in today’s salary would be about twelve million dollars this is the top business executive in America that’s like a light hitting second baseman now there are it is so out of control that kind of the ratio used to be twenty or forty to one and now it’s three hundred and four hundred to one from top to bottom so one thing you have to do is you have to insist that those who are so fortunate pay a bigger share because it’s not that punish them we need the money to invest in schools and roads and libraries and museums and the things that make in transit the things that make civilization civilization so that’s one thing you need to do and it’s not going to touch their lifestyles at that level of income is your point too preposterous right you know New York City is a good example there are about 25,000 tax payers in New York City earning more than forty thousand dollars a week that’s a lot and there’s about two million two and a half million earning less than forty thousand dollars a year so we can do a little bit better than that without you know touching the the great you know mansions in the sky here I mean it’s somewhat you know it’s a little bit obscene some of these real estate pornography that people talk about that you know million dollars apartment I saw in a Nicholas Kristof column the other day a suggestion that the top tax rate this means for these really super super wealthy earners be raised to 65% I used to be 91 percent at the end of World War two but there were so many tax loopholes that nobody ever paid 91 percent of it you wouldn’t want to attack somebody at 90 well it’s you’re not paying them on the first dollar you’re paying them it’s a marginal tax rate it’s after they earn a certain amount listen the rights view is that if you tax people too much they’ll stop working there’s no evidence to suggest that right because at some point you’re working because work is satisfying you’ve already made more money than you you or your heirs will ever be able to spend so it just becomes I don’t know an unhealthy fixation no we could do a lot better spend the money wisely and I’m sure that even the wealthy would prefer a society which people felt like there was a future your prior guests were discussing Baltimore and the absence of a future right the expectations it’s like that’s not the country we want so how close does Hillary Clinton come to any of that tax policy you know I’m not I have to say I don’t actually know I haven’t followed her positions on taxes carefully my hunches she will she’s gonna migrate in our direction whether she goes far enough that’s partly on us to sort of create the public demand for that having Sanders in the race is very helpful the more robust the discussion the better it is and when the mayor says wages and benefits obviously the minimum wage we don’t need to talk about that we all know that and what the debate is and you’re aiming for a $15 minimum wage right and we’ll see how close Hillary Clinton or any candidate gets to that

where the benefits come in well obviously people know about health care but one thing that we’re really concerned about is the destruction of retirement security this is a gigantic looming problem right people our age are about to retire and they’re not like our parents we haven’t saved as much you know the famous three-legged stool of Social Security the private pension and your savings only one of those legs is really there at this point Social Security so and so option so I’m gonna move you to this that one of the progressive agenda items that started to get into the media a little bit is to expand Social Security benefits now as you know the conversation in this country for the last few decades how much are we gonna have to cut Social Security benefits because our ratio of young people to old people you know is not what it was when FDR created it right so I I’m on the side that thinks we ought to expand you can do it you can raise the cap on you know as you know some people stop paying Social Security taxes about the end of the first week they make so much money right the rest of the country pays them all year long you already pay it on your first hundred six thousand hundred eighteen eighteen thousand you have income that’s right that once you reach that in that if you make more than that people see their paychecks start to go up because the Social Security deduction comes out that’s right very few people are in that kind of money right well to be clear that that is the 1% or the two percent perhaps so yeah and I think there’s there’s no alternative but to tackle these sorts of concerns if we want to have a broad but what would the expanded social security benefits of be zuly you know they would maintain they would push back against these ideas that we should cut the cost of living perhaps they would be higher or they would start you know they would rise faster I’m not exactly not an expert on this thing but for sure we can’t have people you know used this is one of the great accomplishments of America was poor old people out of poverty we don’t want to reverse that any other issue in our last minute that I haven’t mentioned that you want to put you know there’s there’s so many I mean we have to make we have to make it people possible for people to create wealth again we saw a huge destruction of wealth particularly in the black and brown communities in the subprime crisis we’ve got to figure out ways to deal with that it’s not impossible God gave us brains for a reason we should use them and not just rely blindly on this idea that the market will produce good outcomes we will produce good outcomes if we work on it well thanks a lot for joining us I appreciate it thank you up next how big data feeds big agriculture after this by the year 2050 the United Nations predicts that the world’s population will surpass 9 billion people it’s now about 7 billion in coming years high birth rates longer lifespans and rapidly rising incomes will pressure farmers to double the amount of food they already produce so how does agriculture plan on meeting skyrocketing demand with lots of data of course big agricultural companies like Monsanto and John Deere are leading the charge spending big money to integrate monitoring and analytics into their product lines turning farming of all things into the latest hot venture but despite the promise of technology to increase crop yields dramatically many farmers are not jumping in whole hog here to tell us why is AG data expert Douglas Hackney he’s in Texas also joining us Kip Tom CEO of Tom farms of Indiana our man out in the field experiencing firsthand how tech is transforming day-to-day operations on the farm hello to both of you from New York thanks very much for joining us duck duck hackneyed first for people in our New York City audience this idea that agriculture and Silicon Valley may have something in common may be a new idea can you explain it yes that gets a bit of a greenfield opportunity for the high tech people in Silicon Valley meaning that it’s been dominated by a relatively small number of global companies and the data that is used to drive egg has been somewhat closed off so it’s been very difficult for the traditional model of Silicon Valley which is a couple of young guys or girl while sitting in a coffee shop with laptops to you know go attack a market create some innovative solutions and disrupt that market but recently in the last few years there have been some open initiatives and egged notably from Purdue University to open up the data and some of the technology around agriculture and also there’s been a recent push by some of the major brands and AG to support open exchange of data between themselves and between large lorries and small growers large growers such as so that’s opened up

opportunities for the traditional model of tech to come in create some new approaches some fresh views some fresh perspectives and disrupt the existing structure for the marketplace which has really been in place the fundamental stack like we call it in tech that the server stack the AG stack has basically been the same for thousands of years so it’s a ripe opportunity for a snack so give me a concrete example of what kind of data how deep the data is and then how it gets applied in practice on the farm the data is both broad and very deep for instance we have a pilot site of about 30,000 acres in the US last year we collected about 900 billion data points on that pilot site will be well over one trillion data points on that site in this coming year so what that gives us is the opportunity to capture the life story of every seed so we know the type of soil the seed is planted on we know that day it was planted we know that it emerges like its its birth and then we know all the weather that happens to it during his lifetime we know how the soil was tilled or how it was plowed before it was planted any cultivation or weed control activities that go on during its growth any chemicals fertilizers herbicides insecticides that are applied we even know the eye color the tractor operator who went over it so we know exactly how many tractor passes we know how much fuel was burned during those tractor passes and then of course we know how what the yield is which in Ag means they like the return on your investment like your profit so we kept after that as well week after that in a very small 1 square meter unit we track everything at that one square meter level and so that gives us that many in this case there were about 150 million square meters that gave us 150 million opportunities to learn what worked and what didn’t and when my grandfather was farming and I grew up around that farm we got 1/10 as a year to figure out what worked and what didn’t we had one big giant experiment within that 80 acres which is really small by today’s standards but for us I think the fundamental difference is now we have 150 million lessons learned per year and versus my grandfather who had one and so to show our viewers an example of some of this visually and then we’ll talk to Kip Tom about his farm let’s take a look at a promotional video from the climate Corporation which was recently acquired by Monsanto climate Pro can also help you prioritize scouting with so many acres to cover knowing where to direct your attention isn’t always easy even on a single field spotting a problem can be difficult from the ground but with a better view and a new perspective it’s easier to see what’s hiding in the rows using the scouting map view to compare the biomass of all the plants in this field you can see which areas are performing well and which ones are struggling you can also see the percentage of crop health variability for a simple way to judge how evenly your field is performing in this case the center of the field isn’t performing as well as the rest you can mark this as an area of interest with a pin then use the pin to navigate to that exact spot in the field so you can investigate take pictures and capture notes with the vegetative map view you see the current level of vegetation across your field so you can track progress throughout the season or compare the progress of different fields climate Pro delivers powerful field level nitrogen tracking field health monitoring and more no matter where you are contact your dealer to learn all the ways that climate Pro can help support your decisions with data science so there it is a little bit the tablet computer and Big Data out in the fields Kip Tom could you tell our viewers a little bit about your farm or is it how big is it what do you grow so I’m Kip Tom I’m a family farm operation we’ve been in the area are in northern Indiana / I’m the seventh generation our family settled here in 1837 farm today with three children a sister and a son-in-law and still have the fortunate opportunity to be around my parents every day so we’re a family operation you know we talk a KERS we tend to look at our farm and cells Doug framed it up very well you know instead of having 40 opportunities in our lifetime to produce a crop I now can break our farm down into over a million different cells if I look at a 30 foot by 30 foot square area each points gots own digital signature its own footprint and our fingerprint and we can really make changes to impact how we lessen our carbon footprint how we improve our sustainability and and have an impact known not only on our productivity but the environment and lowering our cost of production to health provide a more reliable more affordable food source for the consumer

we produce seed corn corn and soybeans I gather you’re working with Monsanto on some of this what’s your relationship with them as a producer of what’s the right word here is it raw materials yeah I guess it’ll be raw materials I mean you need to understand farming as manufacturing I think Doug would hopefully agree with that you know we have a finite amount of resources to use and we need to use them in a structured manner so we protect the environment we increase productivity and we make sure that we hand these resources on to the next generation in the best way we can but on your question yes we do work with climate core one of the tools were really excited about using this year is their their nitrogen management model where we can actually make sure we apply the right amount of nitrogen in the right place and oftentimes it’s gonna lessen the amount of nitrogen we use protecting the environment increasing productivity and using all this big data we’ve been collecting for many years so that’s one of the tools were using today we use a lot of advanced seating algorithms where we can actually monitor or manage our fields in a more sustainable manner you know we’ve got a corn planter out there out there today on our farm use and it’s got over 300 sensors on it collecting six data points Porter seconds so as Doug said we’re collecting a lot of data now let’s do something with it and I think we’re finding out the ways we can use this this data ours is going through Monsanto but going on into opened a hag data alliance based through Purdue University making sure that we have some control over that data to make sure it goes to the right people and if at the other day we own it we can control it and take it back so this is something new for farmers you know I think I can remember the story of my grandfather the skeptics there where when he bought a tractor and the neighbors were still using horses everyone says lad just the larger farmers will have it I’m convinced we’ll figure out the marketplace we’ll figure out how to serve all farmers both big and small because we need everybody in this business so Doug Hackney from what I’ve read there aren’t that many farmers like hip jumping in to big data on the farm with the enthusiasm that he hit that he is is there a certain group of obstacles that are making people resist it I’m not from AG professionally I spent my career another market segments I’ve just been involved with big data and a cure for the last three years or so so coming back into Ag my observations are that AG is challenged around adoption from a standpoint of characteristically historically culturally it’s slow to adopt it does aggressively adopt technology if a farmer can buy something and he can see an immediate application a difference in front of his own eyes so for instance precision AG one of the biggest wins in precision agriculture was got self guided tractors most people out there that are not and they probably don’t know this but Google cars haven’t felt self-driving cars and nothing on egg tractors have been driving themselves for years and right now combines the harvesters that harvest the crops will take control of a tractor next to it and control that tractor is the compound unloads automatically into it so not only is the combine driving itself it’s also driving a tractor right next to it the level of that technology is at the absolute bleeding edge of Internet of Things and that type of technology however if a farmer cannot see that physical manifestation of change right there in front of them by tractors driving a straight line is saving me fuel then they’re much slower to adopt with skills keep this in mind as well I spent the last couple of decades trying to drive adoption of data and analytics in regular corporations and as it wasn’t really that much faster about taking there either it’s challenging to draw a direct line between point a and here’s your outcome of increased return on investment due to data and analytics so we’ve learned those lessons over the years and other market segments and I’ve been confident that growers such as Kipp will see those returns and those demonstrated returns on their investments in data in the years to come I want to put up a chart that I think we got from you Kip that shows some of the inputs into your farming output as viewed through the big data lens so right in the middle there is the cloud I assume that’s not the actual rain cloud that will drop moisture on your crops but this is the cloud and the Internet sense and there are all these inputs in there flames drones drones satellite Scouts what are some of these things where did drones come in by the way our operation you know today we’re using some drones to run some great imagery across our fields to understand what’s going on what’s the green biomass what it’s indicating as a mean we have a corn plan or corn Harry in a field and maybe needs a fungicide or maybe needs more

nitrogen you know we’re at the convergence of three innovations right today biotechnology the ability to remote monitor sense and control and informatics and so drones are just a component of that of how we can manage our farms today you know we’ve been at a bit of a disadvantage for years without settle or without clouds you know manufacturing plants have four walls and a ceiling and they could hardwired their machines and understand what their people are doing today we can do that on the farm with all the connectivity we have available to us today Doug even as much as this looks like it’s dense with all these different inputs data inputs into the cloud and therefore driving practices on the farm that are supposed to increase yield I gather you look at this and you say this doesn’t even show the half of it yes yeah I agreed that I would when I looked at kits a diagram in the in the New York Times and that story came out my comment to my colleague he was sitting next to me is yeah this looks exactly like what we’ve been building in the enterprise for the last few decades the key value of data is not in the individual sources and this is federal challenge in Ag specifically because so far up to now most of that when it comes to data and analytics is a soda straw view or a siloed view meaning you give one data stream from each of the manufacturers or the suppliers involved so you could have a system from Syngenta a major input supplier you could have a system from monsanto or a system from john deere but kept as a farmer would have to switch between each one of these in order to get any kind of idea of the big picture of what was going on the power of data and this is any data it doesn’t matter if it’s healthcare or manufacturing or finance the power of data is unleashed when it is integrated so the key and and Kip’s diagram there is all those lines coming into those one places so when it comes into that that box of Kip fart on farms and of the cloud that’s a potential point of integration and every one of those individual data sources that becomes integrated with an their data source becomes exponentially more powerful and potentially informative to both tactical and strategic decisions tip who owns all this data this is an issue right whenever we talk Big Data we’re talking who owns data we’re talking privacy so like if you have a John Deere tractor and it’s generating data do you own the data about your farm does John Deere on the data about your farm does it matter well first of all I want to add to Doug’s comments there first of all bringing all this into one central point to help us make decisions as key and central one of the companies were involved with is called granular try and develop me RP system they’re based in San Francisco and we’re very much working with that trying to advance it and bring all these different resources in to help quest solve some of these issues we need to address on our farm from profitability to operational perspectives so to answer your question about when we look at our farm and who owns this data we own the data I think you can have a conversation with John Deere you can have a conversation with Monsanto climate Corp and many of those across the spectrum and they’ll tell you you own the data now it gets down into a different one with some of them it’s it’s a little bit of a there’s a divergence between the different companies it comes down and control the data and I want to make sure that we can control who sees that data how it’s used where it’s stored how we can retrieve it if we want and how we can deny access once so it’s important to us to share some of this day with other people and help increase productivity but there’s some of it that is our intellectual property some of the ways we operate our farm we want to keep that to ourselves if it’s something that gives us a bit of edge in a market but there’s something that can help others that can be broadly known we want to help with that too so we own it we control it Doug you want to add to that yeah I think it’s a very important point in agriculture today to their credit the American Farm Bureau Federation got together and created a set of principles about exactly what Kip is talking about who showed on the data how should I shoot that data be controlled how should to be shared and almost all the major brands and ads stood up and immediately sight and on to those principles however this is a big problem because growers like you and the millions other other growers in the US all think that by signing those principle is that I solved the problem and that the growers now own the data however there is a tremendous difference between the PR and the marketing that when in designing those principles and the legally binding contracts the growers like if sign when they buy a piece of equipment from John Deere for example or from any other manufacturer and also the licensing agreements that they signed with intellectual property owners like the seed companies and or the other input suppliers so unfortunately as of right

now almost all of the suppliers that kippah signed a contract with if you read the fine print it states very clearly they own the data they control it they control it forever and they can do whatever they want with it the the notable exception here is Monsanto and climate court and they have by far from what I’ve seen of the ones I’ve seen by far the most clear open and farmer friendly data ownership and control policy of anybody else out there up to now there’s still a big chasm between the PR and the advertising that’s going on from the AG vendors and what the farmers are signing and legally binding contracts so this is a big challenge in Ag we’re going to see how it sorts out it’s really only people Brian on your side of the equation at this point and the other members of the press they’re watching the story that can keep up the pressure on these vendors to step up and follow through don’t just make the commitment with the signing of the principles they need to follow through and alter their contracts to reflect what their advertising and their websites are telling their customers thanks for the story tip Doug last question for you we started the segment talking about the continuing growth of population on earth seven billion roughly now going to nine billion by 2050 and that food production might have to practically double because also people are consuming more as there are more middle class people in the world etc how close to that goal does this data do these analytics bring us by themselves just by having more information about the technology that’s currently available to grow food as opposed to of some new technology for actually growing food were to come down the pike what percentage increase can this if widely applied actually produce I don’t based on what I’ve observed since I gotten back involved with Agra in the last three years or so I don’t see a rate of progress with the existing technologies and AG that will ever get us close enough there’s two factors to that one is I spent a lot of time in the developing world and these people are not going to wait to New Year’s Eve 2049 to start burning things because they don’t have any food to eat they’re gonna start burning things in 2025 to 2030 so we’ve only got 15 more years which means it can do northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere that’s 30 harvests to prove that we’re going to double calorie production food production in the world so that everybody can eat now I’m not seeing a rate of progress with the existing technologies whether it’s genetics or natural selection or any other innovation till it’s practice anything that is showing a rate of progress anywhere close to what’s going to be needed to demonstrate success by that point in time yes I’m a data guy I admit it I’m a proponent of data so you have to take this you know with a grain of salt where it’s coming from but my contend I contend my assertion is is that data big data is going to be the main driver to power the step change that we need an egg in order to feed the world this happened once with the Green Revolution in the 60s it can happen again now the key is to look at those hundreds of millions of test plots that we have running each one is unique if you look at what works and what doesn’t at that level suddenly you don’t have is the top this Kip said a normal farm only has 40 times that bat only 40 trips to the free-throw line 40 shots on goal in their lifetime to prove that they know what they’re doing that’s how many crops they bring in but with the the the way that we can scale out Big Data across all of this especially with if you go along with Kip and say hey let’s share some of this data so that we can pull it together and learn some things that gives us all a fighting chance it’s a double food production and being able to feed the world by the time we are actually going to be able to do it well very very interesting stuff a lot of new stuff to our viewers here in New York City and I thank you very much for sharing it with us very welcome thank you time for public intellectual where we look at new research with the power to change our minds and public policy today work hours and happiness if you like your work does doing more of it bring you more happiness the answer might depend on gender marital status and whether you live in the USA a new study finds that married men in the United States are more likely to derive happiness from longer workdays than their counterparts in Latin America here to discuss these and other results via

Skype from Dallas is Rubio Valente research associate in the School of Economics political and policy sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas her study working hours and life satisfaction across cultural comparison of Latin America and the United States it was published in the April issue of the Journal of happiness studies thanks very much for joining us professor Volante hello from New York thank you for having me I didn’t know there was such a thing as the Journal of happiness studies yes yes there is for some reason every time I talk to people about my research they start laughing just because they think it’s funny I guess at least there’s a journal dedicated to the academic study of it so what question were you trying to answer essentially in this study so we were trying to see whether there was a relationship between working hours and happiness in the United States in Latin America we did find that although they share many common determinants of happiness hours work was not among them that Americans are happier working fewer hours whereas u.s. Americans are up here working longer hours and trying to figure out why this was the case we believe that it is differences in cultural values especially the distinction between collectivism which we observe in Latin American societies and individualism which is predominant in the United States and as you mentioned these relationships only apply you got to marry men it does not hold for females and those that we’re not married so how would you account for the fact that it applies more to married men are they trying to get away from their wives so they’re happier if they’re at work longer does status or do they just need the money more if they’re married and married people tend to have children so the money actually money does buy happiness or what do you think married man they’re really trying to fulfill what they believe society is expecting of them as married men happiness comes from achieving what society deems to be important and the United States working is need to be very important particularly if you’re married and you now have more responsibilities so there is also this belief that working harder and longer hours will equate to success so they might be trying to fulfill what they believe is expected of them while at the same time individualistic values in the United States reinforce this idea that they should be working harder and more in order to be successful and that wouldn’t be true of married men in Mexico Y or in Latin America I’m societies these are much more collectivist societies so there’s a greater emphasis on the family the families are much more of a safety net so there’s not only a great emphasis on the family but also in time spent with the family and with friends so working more actually takes time away from leisure times that you would otherwise I spend with family so that’s why we see these differences at least that’s why I want me we think that it’s causing this differences but you didn’t find any differences cross-culturally among women or among unmarried men so among women is among women and people that are single both married both men and women that are single no difference and do you think you just did find it but it’s there somewhere because I would think this cross-cultural difference of individualism in the United States versus more collectivism in Latin America would apply to the happiness of single people to these results and we say you know why is this the case so we questioned why we didn’t see this result of light for women in particular and for single people but that’s really something for us to research further and try to figure out what’s going on there how do you define happiness is there a standard definition of happiness in academia that’s used as a constant in the Journal of happiness studies or anywhere else we use they ask things like taking all together how satisfied are you with your life are you very satisfied are you somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with your life there are other surveys like the General Social Survey that ask taken all together how we’re just saying things are these days would you say that you’re very happy pretty happy are not too happy so many times life satisfaction quality of life and

happiness are all used interchangeably among researchers although they do mean different things happiness is more a state of well-being a positive feeling whereas life satisfaction is in content with the life you have so although they do mean different things they are very highly correlated so researchers use them interchangeably and that’s what we also did in our state I gather that you personally are from Sao Paulo Brazil which has a reputation of people working very hard but then you move to the States and you saw that yeah people work really hard to but somehow it’s different so what’s your personal observation it’s different well I think that what’s different for me was really the emphasis on the family even though you might work harder in Sao Paulo you also put a lot of time towards the family towards your friend and you spend a lot of time with them so we ask you work but during the weekends you are always with your friends they’re always with your family there are always gathering so normally when I see friends here talking about all this Thanksgiving we got to get together with the whole family well that’s every week with every weekend in Sao Paulo right so there is this greater emphasis in being together with the family another difference that I saw when I moved here is the fact that people move out their homes when they turn 18 and they go to college and now that’s something that doesn’t happen in Latin America especially in Brazil you’re supposed to live with your parents until you get married and know most of the times once you get married used to living close to your family I have cousins and friends who are single during the mid-30s and they live through with their parents and that’s something that’s perfectly normal they do work they have their lives but it’s very much in Babbitt in the family as well so that’s either warm and fuzzy or it’s incredibly suffocating it could be I guess the u.s. sees it one way and more people in Latin America see it the other way and what the culture is emphasizing and what the culture deems to be important so in cultures where the family is deemed to be very important people are going to take pleasure and happiness from being together with the family whereas another society where it’s really more individualistic values and you’re forced to go out and move out and have your life and have your own job and look after yourself working more would equates for you to become your success make sure fall back on yeah well I think you’ve increased people’s happiness at least a little bit by presenting this information thank you very much and that’s our program for this week we’re here with a new show every week at this hour and do tune into my radio program weekday mornings at 10:00 a.m. I WNYC 93.9 FM and am a 22-mile Peter Schweitzer author of the controversial new book Clinton cash I’m Brian Lehrer thanks for watching