Rethinking with Alex Torpey

Alex Torpey

Our nation’s public institutions at nearly all levels are failing to be the proactive, thoughtful, strategic forces for good that they were founded to be. As a result, our society is currently incapable of effectively identifying and addressing our most pressing challenges, threats, and needs. Rethinking aims to provide those who work in public institutions or whose work relates to community and public problems, access to a completely nonpartisan, thoughtful, and critical place to question everything and develop strategic and practical real-world solutions to some of our most pressing needs. From serving as mayor (non party affiliated) of his hometown of South Orange at age 23, a municipal business administrator, founder of a digital consulting firm, an emergency management director and volunteer EMT, and as a graduate level adjunct professor, management consultant, mentor and speaker, Alex Torpey brings together his uniquely diverse experiences to help provide us a platform to rethink the future of our communities, our republic, and ourselves. read less
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Episodes

Ep #31: Repost: Conversation with Rob Gurwitt of Daybreak about journalism, media, community, and trust
Nov 10 2023
Ep #31: Repost: Conversation with Rob Gurwitt of Daybreak about journalism, media, community, and trust
From the Hanover Happenings podcast: In Hanover, we care a lot about making sure people have information about what’s happening in their community. It’s part of the reason we started this podcast and why the Selectboard does business the way it does. But government is only one piece to the puzzle of informing, engaging, and activating a community.In this episode, I take a walk through Pine Park in Hanover with Rob Gurwitt, publisher of the daily email newsletter that many of us know and love – Daybreak. To the sound of gravel footsteps and late summer insects, we cover a wide range of super important topics such as: The value of trust in how people find and consume information, especially during and post-COVIDHow information flows in (and creates) community and how that impacts local decision making, especially as journalism and “news” has changed in the last decade or so,The differences between economic and community developmentHow Daybreak works behind the scenesWhat lessons can be reflected on from trying to engage a politically diverse audience,Leadership values that can be learned from journalism,Unique requirements and dynamics about involvement and democracy in New EnglandAnd what the heck happened in Tupelo, Mississippi in the 1940s.  Rob has a long personal and professional history of not only working in and around government, but in finding creative ways through various mediums to inform and engage people, and ultimately contribute positively to creating community. Rob wrote for the Congressional Quarterly, spent many years writing for Governing Magazine, and has spent years in different ways writing about what’s happening and changing in communities. Rob helped launch the DailyUV, and since 2019, has published Daybreak.You can signup for Daybreak here: https://daybreak.newsYou can find the article from Governing Magazine about Tupelo, MI that we discussed here. For all of the Hanover Happenings updates and episodes, you can visit hanoverhappenings.com. Find the monthly reports, agenda, minutes, videos and more at: Hanovernh.org.
Ep #30 Repost: Conversation with Professor Adam Kleinbaum on the neuroscience of leadership and consensus
Nov 10 2023
Ep #30 Repost: Conversation with Professor Adam Kleinbaum on the neuroscience of leadership and consensus
From the Hanover Happenings podcast: In this episode I sit down with Associate Professor of Business Administration Adam Kleinbaum at Dartmouth’s Tuck Business School. Adam and colleagues have recently completed a study where they used FMRI technology to measure brain activity of people as they have conversations and build consensus (or don’t), which appeared in Daybreak earlier this summer.I sit with Adam in Town Hall and we talk about the study, and it’s broader implications for how we relate to eachother, how implicit narratives change based on social interactions (and other environmental factors), and fascinating implications for what leadership means – for example, that the most influential individuals that helped produce cognitive alignment were open-minded people who fleshed out ideas from others, rather than who aggressively pushed their own ideas. There is significant implication and alignments with tenants of positive psychology as well. There are broad ranging implications for this work in how we conceptualize our personal and professional relationships, and importantly, how people work together to think about and address large problemsThe other study authors were: Beau Sievers, Dartmouth’s Christopher Welker, Uri Hasson, and Dartmouth’s Thalia Wheatley.More links: Summary and overview of the study: https://www.tuck.dartmouth.edu/news/articles/when-we-agree-our-brains-align?mc_cid=a8c69bdd6d&mc_eid=d19549093cAdam’s faculty page and prior research: https://faculty.tuck.dartmouth.edu/adam-kleinbaum/The full text of the paper: https://psyarxiv.com/562z7/Simpsons clip I mentioned: https://youtu.be/3iFxUCSTfRUStar Trek The Next Generation: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Star_Trek:_The_Next_Generation For all of the Hanover Happenings updates and episodes, you can visit hanoverhappenings.com. Find the monthly reports, agenda, minutes, videos and more at: Hanovernh.org.
Ep #28: Using AIM to reflect on always-on tech and social norms
Apr 17 2023
Ep #28: Using AIM to reflect on always-on tech and social norms
Do you remember Netscape, AOL Instant Messenger, and loud dial-up? Well in this episode of Rethinking, we drink some cool refreshing millennial nostalgia and talk about the values and assumptions built into different social communication technologies, and how much those have changed over the last 25 years. We trace some important differences between things like dial-up AOL Instant Messenger to the always on connected devices that pervade nearly all corners of the world now. We talk about how differing designs in technology impacts our own capacities, such as the difference between learning to navigate around by using a compass and map versus GPS. And we think about the three tier red-yellow-green system that was implicitly built into AIM (and many other areas of our life), as a framework to help us create more uniform social norms about how we communicate with each other, how present we are in what we’re doing, and how productive we are at work. You can find all the episodes of Rethinking at rethinkingwithalextorpey.com or wherever you to listen to podcasts. Please feel free to share or like if you enjoy! It’s been a little while since I’ve posted here, and in large part that is because I’ve been settling into living up in New Hampshire and Vermont and my new job as the Town Manager in Hanover, New Hampshire. If you want to hear what we’re up to there, we actually have a town podcast called “Hanover Happenings.” We’re working on lots of interesting stuff!
Ep #27 - How do leaders vet ideas? When should you listen to negative feedback?
Nov 17 2022
Ep #27 - How do leaders vet ideas? When should you listen to negative feedback?
Join former mayor, municipal manager, professor, and consultant Alex Torpey as we explore some of the dynamics behind how leaders vet (or don’t vet) their ideas. And what do they do when faced with negative feedback? In this episode, we’ll talk about some of the traps that people in leadership or influence fall into, such as creating false positive feedback loops or accepting loud feedback as accurate feedback. And then we talk about four basic questions you can build into your own self-reflection practice so as to help you understand when negative feedback might be indicative that you’re doing something very wrong and you should step back, or when it’s indicative of some sort of biased or non-representative negative feedback loop and you can, and maybe even should, continue to push onward. We’ll cover five important concepts to think about when building a feedback environment, and whether you’re a leader, manager, influencer or just a person who wants to think critically about to ensure you are being rigorous with new or different ideas you’re putting out in the world, this episode should be interesting and relevant for you. How we vet ideas and understand the reactions we see from them is extremely important, and I believe that our failure to think about this process more directly and intentionally is responsible for much of the bad decision making and poor outcomes we see around us, especially these days, especially in most governments. So join me as we explore thinking about these important topics together by searching for “Rethinking with Alex Torpey” on your favorite podcast platform. And as always, let me know what you think!
Ep 26: A reflection on Youth and Civics
Jul 12 2022
Ep 26: A reflection on Youth and Civics
This episode: Returning from my trip across the country in the fall of 2020, and before I moved up to New Hampshire to serve as Town Manager in the Town of Hanover, I have had the incredible fortune to get to participate in some really interesting experiences. This includes teaching outdoor education with adults and kids at Fairview Lake YMCA (where my sister, myself, and many friends went to summer camp as kids) as well as designing and implementing the first round of a civics pilot program for a New Jersey middle school, and teaching another semester in Seton Hall University’s Master of Public Administration program. In this episode I reflect on these experiences and how I see youth engaging in big picture ideas, technology, nature, and what current dynamics in mental health and values could or might mean for our collective civic futures. You can find everything on Rethinking online here, on YouTube, Instagram or wherever you listen to podcasts, such as Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Castbox, Stitcher and more! Check it out and let me know what you think at alex (at) rethinkingwithalextorpey.com! Join former mayor, municipal manager, professor, consultant Alex Torpey for a new episode of Rethinking where we discuss Alex’s experiences working with youth in New Jersey, and implications on and for our civics and future. Take a listen today! Don’t forget to like, subscribe, or share the episode with a friend if you enjoy!Resources: • Fairview Lake YMCA: https://www.fairviewlakeymca.org/ • Pathways for America leadership program I designed and implemented in 2016 – 2018: https://www.alextorpey.com/perspectives_on_pathways_for_america_overview• Educating the Next Generation of Officials an Advocates at Seton Hall University: https://www.shu.edu/news/joining-with-public-officials-and-community-advocates.cfm• Seven Grandfathers Teachings Overview video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fxiwx_ZZ0Os&t=10s• The Lakota Way by Joseph Marshall: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/305508.The_Lakota_Way• Braver Angels: https://braverangels.org/• Yuvah Noah Harari: https://www.ynharari.com/
Ep #25: Municipal borrowing - is rising debt a problem in your community?
May 31 2022
Ep #25: Municipal borrowing - is rising debt a problem in your community?
While millions of Americans are in debt or behind on high-interest credit card payments, many trillions of dollars is owed by governments at various levels for money they have already borrowed. At the same time, we know that debt can be a way to way build wealth, or it can help more fairly finance important large-scale public investments. So…Is debt good or bad? Like almost everything, the answer is more nuanced; it depends on a number of factors, such as whether that money is being borrowed as part of a larger strategic plan that identifies and makes available for public inspection and discussion things such as: – – The total amount that has already been borrowed and associated debt service payments, overall and per taxpayer– The long term plan for how that government (The local taxpayers) will afford to make the payments for the life of the loan– What other long-term financial commitments exist, and how those will be paid for (a comprehensive capital plan), and what the priority order of those projects are.But based on my experience in local government, these kinds of details are not always part of the discussion, and with responsibility shared among several stakeholders, some towns and cities end up borrowing more than they realize, or in worse cases, the public being intentionally misled by those with differing motives. This can happen easily. For example, this graphic below shows five years of bond ordinances in one of the towns I worked in as the administrator. There was no document that reconciled all of the spending in one place for the Governing Body or public to view. I created this in 2019. In blue is the cost of each ordinance. In red is total debt authorized, meaning, the cumulative total of each bond ordinance. Most people are surprised when they see how much the smaller seeming amounts (blue) add up to to larger amount (red). The more you know! In this episode, I give an ultra-simple overview of how local government budgeting works, and then discuss several of the consequences of what happens when what I call “runaway ad-hoc borrowing” occurs, some reasons I’ve noticed why we might see this happen, and a few things we can each do about it to help encourage transparent, strategic borrowing. Borrowing that enables communities to harness the power of credit/debt to make responsible investments that help improve their present and futures, rather than burdening future generations with inaffordability, misleading people about the cost of government’s, or not paying for important community investments such that more money will be eventually be needed.You can find everything on Rethink
Ep 21: What's the deal with online news paywalls?
Jan 14 2022
Ep 21: What's the deal with online news paywalls?
Increasingly, bad discourse is preventing communities from effectively addressing problems they face. Are online news paywalls contributing to this by exaggerating echo chambers and filter bubbles? In this episode of Rethinking, we look at some problems that might be caused by online news paywalls, and consider a solution that might help not only change the incentives of large media outlets and make it easier for people to get information from multiple sources, but also to sustain more hyperlocal journalism. It’s an “EZ-Pass” for reading news online, and it comes with some interesting opportunities. This is an idea in active development related to potential projects in New Jersey, and so your feedback on what is presented here is strongly encouraged! You can reach Alex at alex( a t )rethinkingwithalextorpey(dot)com. Some links: Article referenced:https://localnewsinitiative.northwestern.edu/posts/2021/03/09/paywalls/A few stories about paywallshttps://www.wired.com/story/paywalls-newsletters-and-the-new-echo-chamber/https://www.forbes.com/sites/hbsworkingknowledge/2019/08/01/why-paywalls-arent-always-the-answer-for-newspapers/?sh=580face4429fhttps://epicpresence.com/journalism-paywalls/https://dbknews.com/2019/09/17/paywalls-online-advertising-google-facebook/Some cool news related organizations in New Jersey:NJ Civic Information Consortiumhttps://njcivicinfo.org/Center for Cooperative Mediahttps://centerforcooperativemedia.org/South Orange’s News sources:Included at various times: the News Record, the Village Green, the Alternative Press, AOL Patch, and several others.
Ep 19: Discussion on polarization, civics, libraries, and where we go from here at the South Orange Public Library
Dec 7 2021
Ep 19: Discussion on polarization, civics, libraries, and where we go from here at the South Orange Public Library
Join former mayor, municipal manager, professor, and consultant Alex Torpey for another episode of Rethinking. This is a special episode. What follows is a discussion I had with Laura Sims at the South Orange Public Library as part of their Special Conversations series, that I am sharing here with permission. In the one hour zoom talk, we covered a wide range of topics, such as: current political polarization and how traditional and social media platforms makes that worse while at the same time benefiting from it, how we addressed toxic online culture in South Orange nearly 10 years ago now, and how engaging people through more constructive means helped us build public trust and make better decisions, the opportunity for libraries to build civic infrastructure, the benefits of helping young people think about running for office as a service term, not a career, why science fiction is so cool, the joys of working outdoors with kids, and much more. The South Orange Public Library always has a special place in my heart. After college, as I was starting to write for our local newspaper and join the Rescue Squad, I was appointed to the public library board and had a really great time working with that group over the next couple years before running for office. Anyway, it’s a fun conversation and I hope you enjoy it.You may also enjoy Episode 11, the discussion with Steve Schnall, a former governing body member in South Orange. In it, we dive into a lot more detail about a few of the things that were touched in this talk about how we engaged the public more transparently and constructively and made better decisions in South Orange. You can find that here: https://rethinkingwithalextorpey.com/podcast/ep-11-bonus-discussion-with-steve-schnall-on-good-governance-in-south-orange/On YouTube:
Bonus Interview: Former Boston City Council candidate Lee Nave
Dec 2 2021
Bonus Interview: Former Boston City Council candidate Lee Nave
Join Alex for this bonus interview as part of the Special Series: On Running for Public office. This interview is with Lee Nave. Alex and Lee met while Lee was a student in Professor Torpey’s MPA course at Seton Hall University. Lee moved to Boston five years ago and began to engage in various local redevelopment and affordable housing issues. He ran for City Council in District 9 in 2019, earning nearly 10% of the vote in a seven-way race where the winning two vote getters received about 25% of the vote. Alex and Lee talk about running for office for the first time, sharing their experiences as introverts, what you learn as a candidate knocking on doors, and a lot about local housing policy. This is a special edition series from Rethinking. Based on the demand and interest right now from people who want to learn more about getting involved and becoming more influential, or a decision maker, in government, I decided to create this free, nonpartisan, totally open tutorial. This may be valuable for those who are thinking about running for office, but need a place to start or don’t have access to these sorts of resources already. There will be more episodes on other ways to get involved. This series provides an overview in the following areas: Should you run for office?How to start your campaign from scratchRunning your campaignGOTV and Election DayWin or lose – now what? Each section provides an overview of helpful information. It is not meant to be exhaustive, nor is it meant to be definitive – there are many ways to approach this, and there is lot more detail you can go into. But for those of you who may not have access to partisan resources, or wish to run outside the party/power structure (go you!), I hope this is a helpful starting point. Do you wish I went into more detail in any area? Let me know on social media or by email!
Episode 6: BUSTED! Top 12 Myths About Running for Public Office
Dec 2 2021
Episode 6: BUSTED! Top 12 Myths About Running for Public Office
Join former mayor, municipal manager, professor, and consultant Alex Torpey as he briefly introduces the Special Series: On Running for Public Office, and investigates 12 common myths about running for office, such as myths related to balancing private/public life, public service being a thankless job, careerism in politics, and not being able to make an impact in the areas you care about. 1. 7:35 Myth #1: I have to belong to a party or be part of an existing slate or power structure 2. 13:48 Myth #2: I have to “sell my soul” or make promises to people that I don’t want to make 3. 24:33 Myth #3: I can’t run because people who run the government don’t look like me 4. 32:50 Myth #4: I have to be wealthy or know people with a lot of money – campaigns are expensive 5. 36:28 Myth #5: I can’t run because I don’t have any campaign experience 6. 38:48 Myth #6: I don’t want my private life to become public 7. 47:39 Myth #7: I’m an introvert or not an aggressive alpha personality, this isn’t for me 8. 50:24 Myth #8: You only get power over time, and I don’t want a career in politics 9. 55:42 Myth #9: I’m not qualified or experienced enough to actually be in office 10. 1:00:14 Myth #10: I don’t really like politics, running for office isn’t for me 11. 1:01:39 Myth #11: I won’t be able to make a difference in the areas that I care about 12. 1:04:22 Myth #12: People are mean and Local government, or public service, is a thankless job Additional resources from this video: Some organizations that may provide leadership development/coaching. Please note I am not recommending any of the following organizations, but rather providing a list to help you get started in your search. You should perform your own due diligence to understand if working with any organization, or person, including any of the below, is right for you and your values and goals.* General organizations:* Running Start http://runningstartonline.org/* All in Together http://aitogether.org/* Ready to Run – Rutgers* American U – Campaign Management institute* Sorenseon Institute (UVA) http://www.sorenseninstitute.org/* Youth focused: (May be left or right leaning)* Run for Something: https://runforsomething.net/* New Leaders Council: http://www.newleaderscouncil.org/* Left-leaning organizations:* Launch Progress http://www.launchprogress.org/* Right-leaning organizations:* American Majority http://americanmajority.org/* Leadership institute https://www.leadershipinstitute.org/* Organizations that help women specifically: (May be left or right leaning)* Women Count (SA)* https://womencount.org/* Emerge https://emergeamerica.org/* VoteRunLead https://voterunlead.org/* Annie’s List https://annieslist.com/* She Should Run sheshouldrun.org* VOICES of Conservative Women: http://voicesofconservativewomen.org/* Organizations that help underrepresented cultures and ethnicities: (May be left or right leaning)* Catalyst PAC: https://www.catalystpac.us/* ROSA PAC: https://rosapac.com/* Maggie’s List: http://maggieslist.org/* The Campaign School at Yale: https://tcsyale.org/* The Collective PAC: https://collectivepac.org/* Organizations that help LGBT individuals: (may be left or right leaning)* The Campaign Workshop: https://www.thecampaignworkshop.com/tag/lgbt-candidate-training* Victory Institute: https://victoryinstitute.org/trainings/candidate-campaign-trainings/* Organizations that help veterans: (May be left or right leaning)* Veterans Campaign http://www.veteranscampaign.org/* Organizations that help people with disabilities: (May be left or right leaning)* https://ncil.org/elevate/* Other lists of similar organizations: (May be left or right leaning)* https://ncil.org/run-for-office/ Check out all of the episod
Bonus Discussion: former Cleveland, OH City Councilmember Merle Gordon
Dec 2 2021
Bonus Discussion: former Cleveland, OH City Councilmember Merle Gordon
Join former mayor, municipal manager, professor, and consultant Alex Torpey for this bonus discussion with Merle Gordon as part of the Special Series: On Running for Public Office. Merle is not just a fellow alum of Hampshire College, but she first joined the City Council in Cleveland Ohio in 1997 when she was only 27 years old! She served two terms on the City Council and has had a long career in and around government, and most recently served as Cleveland’s Director of Public Health. In this conversation, Merle and I discuss a wide range of topics, from the challenge of women, young people and other under represented groups to run for office, mental health, why independence and self-determination in politics is so important, the consequences of reactive versus proactive governing, what issues she worked on in the City Council, why local government is such an exciting place to make change, and much more. Check out the conversation, and don’t forget to like and subscribe on whatever platform you are listening or watching. Enjoy! This is a special edition series from Rethinking. Based on the demand and interest right now from people who want to learn more about getting involved and becoming more influential, or a decision maker, in government, I decided to create this free, nonpartisan, totally open tutorial. This may be valuable for those who are thinking about running for office, but need a place to start or don’t have access to these sorts of resources already. There will be more episodes on other ways to get involved. This series provides an overview in the following areas: Should you run for office?How to start your campaign from scratchRunning your campaignGOTV and Election DayWin or lose – now what? Each section provides an overview of helpful information. It is not meant to be exhaustive, nor is it meant to be definitive – there are many ways to approach this, and there is lot more detail you can go into. But for those of you who may not have access to partisan resources, or wish to run outside the party/power structure (go you!), I hope this is a helpful starting point. Do you wish I went into more detail in any area? Let me know on social media or by email at alex@rethinkingwithalextorpey.com!
Episode 9: Travels with Torpey - Ireland Countryside 2014
Dec 2 2021
Episode 9: Travels with Torpey - Ireland Countryside 2014
Join Alex for another episode of Travels with Torpey – reflecting on a trip through the Irish countryside in 2014. — In 2014, after taking a bus from Belfast down to Dublin, I rented a car and drove across the country. I reflect on some of my experiences, including sharing some photos of the beautiful Irish countryside, what happened while trying to get dinner on a Sunday night in a small town, and my discussions with folks I met about some rural economic issues that we also share in the US. Have you traveled in Ireland? Let me know your experiences in the comments or by email or social. You can check out the full podcast/series on YouTube or wherever you listen to ‘casts: Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, etc. Look out for more “Travels with Torpey” episodes soon! Episode Notes & and additional info: Book: American Nationshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11140803-american-nationsBooks: By Yuval Noah HarrariHomo Deus: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31138556-homo-deus21 Lessons for the 21st Century: https://www.ynharari.com/book/21-lessons-book/Ireland’s high-tech business development:https://www.siliconrepublic.com/careers/biotech-pharma-companies-irelandhttps://newrelic.com/blog/nerd-life/dublin-ireland-european-technology-leaderhttps://thenextweb.com/news/what-attracts-big-tech-companies-to-ireland-hint-its-not-just-low-taxesExample of Ireland’s rural economic challengeshttps://www.independent.ie/business/jobs/job-crisis-in-rural-ireland-worsens-34674637.htmlCliffs of Moherhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliffs_of_MoherNot the exact same listing, but this where I rented a section of the house in 2014: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/326243
Ep 11: Bonus Discussion with Steve Schnall on Good Governance in South Orange
Dec 2 2021
Ep 11: Bonus Discussion with Steve Schnall on Good Governance in South Orange
This conversation part of the Special Series: On Running for Public Office is with Steve Schnall. Steve ran for a seat on South Orange’s governing body (a council seat) in 2013, and just finished serving eight years in that position. Much of his work in the position focused on developing and supporting a number of cultural, arts, downtown, and public engagement programs that ran the gamut of creating new events and programs with the South Orange Performing Arts Center, to helping begin the revitalization of the Irvington Ave/Seton Village business district. In this discussion, we reflect on what dynamics shape whether any government is able to be effective or not – we discuss political power dynamics, civic discourse, internet and social media, partisanship in local government, journalism, public engagement, and a variety of other issues as we reflect on why we were able to get so much done in South Orange’s unique civic space, and what lessons we might be able to draw from that for improving governance elsewhere.  You can check out the full Special Series on Running for Public Office on my website at rethinkingwithalextorpey.com or on YouTube. Don’t forget to subscribe, like, or share with a friend if you like what you hear, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me on social or by email at: Alex (at) rethinkingwithalextorpey.com.  Some Additional Information:  A summary and detailed list of the initiatives we undertook in my four year term: alextorpey.com/southorangeReferenced East Orange Water Commission Issues: Town Meeting in South Orange: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wc_JCFURSTY&list=PLhdYHIcQlfOMTJAj2t8VOz5BcrCvF-ZSMAdditional town meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpemRoGOrKA&list=PLhdYHIcQlfOMTJAj2t8VOz5BcrCvF-ZSM&index=4https://www.nj.gov/dep/newsrel/2013/13_0011.htmSouth Orange Play Day: https://villagegreennj.com/towns/south-orange/playday-south-orange-returns-greatest-day-play-sunday-september-17/Daniel Pink: https://www.danpink.com/books/Southnext Conference:https://southnextnj.com/South Orange Performing Arts Center:sopacnow.org/Referenced branding efforts on Irvington Ave/Seton Village https://villagegreennj.com/towns/government/south-orange-rebrands-irvington-avenue-seton-village/
Ep 12: Travels with Torpey - Fargo, North Dakota
Dec 2 2021
Ep 12: Travels with Torpey - Fargo, North Dakota
Join Alex for his special series: Travels with Torpey, as he travels across the country meeting different people, exploring communities, and learning about what’s happening all over the United States. —This episode is from my stop in Fargo, North Dakota. I reflect on a few discussions and meetings about various topics while in Fargo, including criminal justice reform and prisoner re-entry, privacy rights, volunteering, rural internet access, and historical preservation. You can find the episode wherever you listen to podcast or on YouTube.  Follow my Travels on Instagram: alextorpey. This episode was filmed/recorded while camping in Custer-Gallatin National Forest, Montana.  Prior to Fargo, I stopped near Cleveland, in Chicago, and camped at Lake Superior in Michigan. Following Fargo, I visited/camped in western North Dakota, TR National Park, and then moved into Montana, starting in Billings and then Custer-Gallatin Nation Forest. Some additional links:  ND’s Agriculture (I was close!)https://farmflavor.com/north-dakota/north-dakota-crops-livestock/north-dakotas-top-agricultural-commodities/F5 Project: https://www.f5project.org/One example of a discussion on rape/sexual assault in prison:https://www.theroot.com/rape-culture-why-prison-rape-needs-to-be-a-part-of-the-1790853886Courtroom incident:https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/north-dakota-man-dies-suicide-courtroom-after-guilty-verdict-n1267750MHA Nation:https://www.mhanation.com/tribalcouncilDowntown Fargo:https://downtownfargo.com/Custer Gallatin National Foresthttps://www.fs.usda.gov/main/custergallatin/homeMoral Luck Overview: https://youtu.be/DpDSPVv8lUE
Ep 16: Andrew Cuomo and the epidemic of politicians who just *say* the right things
Dec 2 2021
Ep 16: Andrew Cuomo and the epidemic of politicians who just *say* the right things
Join former mayor, municipal manager, professor, and consultant Alex Torpey for the latest episode of Rethinking, filmed in the Custer Gallatin National Forest, Montana. —As another so called progressive democrat begins their fall from grace, I wanted to spend a moment reflecting on why we seem to have so many politicians who don’t do the right things, but who instead just say the right things, and then do the wrong things. Where does this come from? Why does it keep happening? And what’s *our* responsibility in making things work differently?Join me in exploring some of these dynamics, their evolutionary and cultural histories, and a few strategies that may help us think about how we hold ourselves, each other, and our political leaders accountable. You can find all of the episodes of Rethinking at rethinkingwithalextorpey.com, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Feel free to send any feedback, comments, or questions to alex@rethinkingwithalextorpey.com!  A few additional resources: On Cuomo:https://www.chron.com/news/article/Cuomo-resigns-What-we-know-what-we-don-t-and-16377918.phpHarry Frankfurt – On Bullshit: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/385.On_BullshitSome of the issues around sexual harassment and violence in New Jersey government: https://www.njspotlight.com/video/cuomo-case-should-be-wake-up-call-for-nj-legislators/https://www.njspotlight.com/2021/08/cuomo-report-sexual-harassment-measures-stalled-murphy-accusation/https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/transportation/2021/08/18/nj-transit-lawsuit-supervisor-hired-year-after-he-fired-hudson/5568384001Daniel Hoffman on the Operating System description of Consciousness: https://youtu.be/CmieNQH7Q4wRethinking Episode 4: (Consciousness, Free Will, etc) https://rethinkingwithalextorpey.com/podcast/episode-4-the-biggest-lie-we-have-much-less-and-also-much-more-control-over-our-minds-than-we-think/Rethinking Episode 5: (Primate behaviors, political systems, etc) https://rethinkingwithalextorpey.com/podcast/episode-5-primates-patriarchy-politics-and-power/Motivation/Rewards: The Incentive Theory of Motivation – Very Well Mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/the-incentive-theory-of-motivation-2