Dan Carlin: Share Your Voice In Democratized Media
To better understand Dan Carlin, consider the “pause” button. When listening to music or watching a video, that’s what is pressed to put things on hold temporarily. We fully intend to return to what we were doing, but for a moment something else has demanded our attention. In our broad-streaming, multi-tasking, down-loading world, the “pause” button is an integral part of our time management. We pause our tunes, movies or shows when life intervenes, hoping to get back to them eventually. When encountering Dan Carlin, however, things are reversed. What often gets paused isn’t his podcast, but life. The listener gets so caught up in his intriguing take on today’s headlines or how the stories in the history books are still being played out today, that it is everything else in life that winds up being put on hold.
Dan is a former television news reporter and radio talk show host who since 2005 has been producing two popular podcasts: one on history called Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History and one dealing with current events, Common Sense with Dan Carlin. He has been called many things, but boring isn’t one of them. His independent thinking defies labels as he calls into question everyday assumptions. Part storyteller, part analyst, Carlin has mastered the art of looking at subjects from multiple angles, dissecting and dissembling them in ways that demand revamped appraisals.
Each podcast is substantial (Common Sense averages more than an hour in length, Hardcore History 3-4 hours), but because he covers so many facets of each issue, with so many sides presented, it seems more like a conversation than a monologue. He is intense, thoughtful, controversial. “I don’t want to name names,” he says, and then he does. Carlin points out the similarities between Adolf Hitler and Alexander the Great and connects Osama bin Laden with Pancho Villa; he disparages both political parties, abhors the corruption his sees in the American system, and is quick to apply his “idiot meter” on our leaders, both past and present.
And he has been quite successful at it, too. His history podcast just won iTunes “Best Podcast of 2014” award, and the Hardcore History episode/series on the Eastern Front in World War II was recently named the 5th best podcast of all time by Slate Magazine. Some episodes have been downloaded 3 million times, and the total downloads for both programs have exceeded 60 million.
Dan’s idea worth spreading is what he is most passionate about. For the first time in history ordinary people are able to have their thoughts “etched in digital stone.” Anyone can become her own broadcast, print, or performance outlet. The middle man is gone. No one needs to be “discovered” by someone else or get permission from a publisher, patron, or theatre owner. There’s a new democratized media allowing access to audiences without interference or need for approval. “Could you imagine how much we’d know of history if this had been the case before?” he asks. It spells a profound blessing for the future. And it’s here now. Dan Carlin serves as both pioneer and promoter of this “road less traveled.”
Feeling called to be part of the TEDx team—by name even!—Ted Moeller is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States. He retired from the Canadian Armed Forces (a paratrooper chaplain) to plant a church in Vancouver, Washington. Ted loves the Pacific Northwest—its coffee, microbrews, sports teams, even its weather! In addition to being a pastor he is also a professor at Concordia University. Formerly, he was a high school basketball coach, a disk jockey, and co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (in 1988, sharing it with 35,000 other peacekeepers!). He married Patricia Chylla of Bloomfield Hills, MI, a third of a century ago. They have two children, Laura and Rebecca, and a Labrador named Kona.