Paul Holdengraber, New York Public Library
I saw first hand what Paul was creating at the New York Public Library about 5 years ago when Fred and I went to see a panel moderated by Paul between Jeff Tweedy and Larry Lessig. Serendipitous that lunch was today after seeing Lessig last night speak on the same topic.
Paul is a curious, fascinating intellect who is entertaining and completely down to earth. There is so much knowledge inside of him that I don't believe he has ever slept, ever.
He speaks eloquently on so many topics yet hearing him talk about his career including his parents was the best part. I'd love to meet his parents. One of my favorite lines from our lunch is something his mother said to him when he was 11. There is a reason we have 2 eyes and one mouth. Such a smart thing to say to a kid at that age. Listen and take in everything around you and ask questions, be curious don't just talk. Another great line is University is about the universe. Meaning be curious and learn everything.
I'm probably not getting either of these particular quotes exactly right but the gist is there. His 2 wise European parents taught him well. There odyssey sounded like a fascinating one which I'd like to hear more of.
Although certainly an intellect who could run any University, he has in many ways become a found entrepreneur. He created something at the NYPL that has shot new blood into it. He has taken his show on the road to London and later this week Monterey. The ultimate iconoclasts are moderated by Paul and what is learned is what the audience takes home with them forever be it when they read a book or read an article or have a conversation with a friend. Watching live conversations about interesting topics that you take away to a part of your brain to add to your lifes education is exactly what Paul is about and what his parents taught him.
What a wonderful man. Meeting him was pure pleasure.