Grand Inquisitor

Deborah Solomon thinks there are no stupid questions, just stupid answers.

Deborah Solomon thinks there are no stupid questions, just stupid answers.

Writers and statesmen might have trotted out the same worn talking point thousands of times before, but Deborah Solomon isn't interested. She isn't interested in hearing allegedly intelligent people endlessly expound without actually saying anything. Solomon, 49, is the author of The New York Times Magazine's weekly "Questions For" interview. Over the past three years, she has become an expert at forcing her subjects, ranging from the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, to say something.Solomon is the author of two books (including a biography of Jackson Pollock), and for many years worked as an art critic for the Times. Her latest assignment began after a 2003 interview with Frank Gehry, in which he scoffed at the idea of submitting a design for rebuilding Ground Zero because the $40,000 fee was too low for an architect of his caliber. "The piece got a ton of mail and my editors thought I had a gift for this," she says. "It was a complete mistake. I think I'm curious. But isn't everyone curious?"\n\n\n
I don't see interviewing as an art form....At best, it is a minor art form, like bartending, or macramé.
Despite believing that what she does requires little skill ("I don't see interviewing as an art form. … At best, it's a minor art form, like bartending, or macramé."), she consistently gets her subjects to cut through their publicity goals to some more valuable truth. Solomon makes every effort to get to that truth because, as she says, "most of the statements that people utter are thoroughly unexamined and probably deserve a little more discussion."Sometimes her subject isn't interested in having such a discussion. New York gubernatorial candidate Bill Weld, for instance, hung up on her. "I called right back. I said, ‘You can't do that.'" It's easy to see how, compared to Brit Hume pitching softballs to the president in prime time, Solomon can seem like a bulldog interviewer-but she says she doesn't mean to get in people's faces. "I have a longing to understand, and if someone says something and it makes no sense, I want to know what they're trying to say. I'm not trying to take them down."For Solomon, interviewing is a simple process. She doesn't plan questions in advance. She sits down with people, asks about their opinions, and listens. If their answers don't make sense, she asks more questions. She doesn't understand why employing such a simple formula has marked her as one of the toughest interviews around. "We're living in a culture of spin, and I'm not just going to nod my head in agreement to everything someone says to me," she says. "I ask people to think thoroughly when they're speaking to me, and to make sense. Is that tough?"
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

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When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

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We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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