From the live blog of Aaron Sorkin’s Interview at D10 with Walt Mossberg.
Another great line:
“The stuff that I write doesn’t work very well as background music.”
“I’m all but computer illiterate, which I’m not proud of.” Mostly I just use my computer to write scripts. But I’m amazed that 3-and-a-half-year-olds can resonate with computers right away. “If I could ask Steve Jobs anything, it would be ‘What’s that magic trick?’”
Also, Sorkin’s dad was an intellectual property lawyer!
And another great line:
“Storytelling is a very old art form, and the important parts of it don’t change at all.” Read your Aristotle.
On writing about Steve Jobs and the hero/antihero spectrum:
He’s a complicated guy. Zuckerberg was, as well. But when I’m writing this movie, “I cant judge this character. He has to be, for me, a hero. … To put is as simply as possible, you want to write the character like they are making their case to God, why they should be let into heaven.”
And finally, speaking of Aristotelian dialectics:
“I worship at the altar of intention and obstacle.” That conflict is the whole point of drama.
Some of this is coming to be accepted knowledge, at least in the forward-looking corners of journalism, but this story does point in the directions journalism should be going.
I love the idea of creating “listening dashboards” designed to surface in real time the trends in news, so reporters can be more nimble and responsive to what’s happening in the zeitgeist.
You can somewhat get there with current tools, monitoring for keywords and trending topics, and using sentiment tools to measure where people are coming down on a given issue or topic.
But in fact, those tools now are mostly constructed around seeing brands monitoring what people are saying about them. There’s lots of money there for developers (and that’s why we have those tools), but there should be an opportunity to develop these other tools as well, for whatever counts as a journalistic enterprise in this fluid time.