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Behind The Scenes Of Wealth And Prominence

1988 words - 8 pages

Radiolab is an innovative show that focuses on the discussions of scientific topics and philosophical ideas. The program achieves its goal of stimulating the audience’s imagination by exploring ground-breaking theories derived from the roots of history. The podcast “Secrets to Success” alters the public’s perception that innate ability alone will inevitably lead to success through commentary, special audio effects, and words from a special guest. Malcolm Gladwell, a renowned writer, draws up on the histories of successful people and makes references to real-life scenarios to illustrate that luck, passion, and love are the bases of making an individual exceptional. He and Robert Krulwich debate whether or not exceptional talent and success are fully explained by god-given gifts. Together, they draw out the differences between a genius and an individual who is merely passionate about something.
Aside from the “entrée” of the show, Jad Abumrad and Malcolm Gladwell host Radiolab and provide insightful commentary behind the topics under discussion. The podcast jumps from a conversation between Abumrad and Krulwich to the debate and back to their conversation. The conversation prior to the debate serves as an introduction to the topic of the podcast. Krulwich puts forth the focus by asking, “How do you explain people with really unusual, exceptional talents?” This rhetorical question allows the audience to consider their own thoughts and opinions while leading up to plausible answers that are articulated in the arguments made by the main debaters, Gladwell and Krulwich. The podcast conveys its main message through the conclusion deduced by the hosts of the show: “You need some talent, and you need certainly a little bit of good luck, but what you really need is this strange ‘love’ of the thing you’re doing, and it’s the love and the determination to succeed that makes you do it and do it and do it some more.”
One major rhetorical strategy used to convey the message to the audience is the use of sound. The special audio effects used to embellish the show make the podcasts more unique, captivating, and entertaining. However, the main goal of these sounds is to bring the show to life and allow the audience to “consciously see outside the frame” of the topics that are presented (Abumrad). Abumrad states that he wants to define the line between mysteries that inspire wonder and proven scientific theories. At the same time, he wants to draw out the tension between sounds that feel anarchic and the ones that feel alive (Walker). In “Secrets of Success”, echoes are used to complement the debate between Gladwell and Krulwich. The echoes allow the audience to visualize themselves inside a large auditorium. Furthermore, when Gladwell states how young children have several years before they could make substantial contributions to the world early in the podcast, the laughter of a secondary audience plays in the background. This sound stimulates each primary...

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