Name: Simon, David
Occupation: Writer/producer/showrunner; former journalist
Q: What makes an idea “dangerous”?
An idea is dangerous when it claims a simple, painless solution to complex, fundamental problems.
Q: Which technological or scientific advancement excites you most?
The notion that the internet’s shared and rapid-fire marketplace of ideas might vanquish fundamentalist religion of all kinds within a century or two.
Q: Which social or political movement scares you most?
Libertarianism. Or, in day-to-day parlance, selfishness.
Q: What’s the one thing you wish society better understood?
That liberty alone cannot build a great society, and that communal responsibility alone is tyranny. And that it is in the natural and healthy tension between those two required attributes that great societies and common goals are achieved and maintained.
Q: Will the defining catastrophe of the next decade be natural or man-made?
Man-made, with an emphasis on our indifference to natural resources and natural vulnerabilities.
Q: What question have you been dying to ask someone (and who)?
To I.F. Stone: Was it worth losing nearly every argument to the 20th Century while at the same time knowing you were right? Or just fucking exhausting?
Q: What question have you been dying for someone to ask you?
Are you as angry and misanthropic as they make you out to be? Or is that hype and horseshit?
Q: If you could outsource one part of your life, what would it be?
Giving/considering blurbs for books, films, documentaries, etc. And pitching my own projects to television executives.
Q: What’s your favourite book and why?
“Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” by James Agee, with photographs by Walker Evans. Journalism on a perfect and perfectly human scale.
Q: You Twitter handle is _____. You Facebook page is _____. Your website is _____.
No Twitter. Facebook is private only, for family and close friends. Website is www.davidsimon.com
Q: Favourite Youtube clip? (For fun)
My son, Ethan Simon, playing Kern’s “All The Things You Are” and Charlie Parker’s “Now Is The Time” in a jazz trio during his sophomore year of high school.