223 A US Air Force Pilot on The Meaning of Work
Bernie Goldback on the highs & lows of working under the flag, the Pentagon, the CIA & Star Wars, the Bon Jovi gig, finding new work in Ireland, creative media, AI, and the future of work
In this episode of The Sunday Letters Podcast, I’m in conversation with former US Air Force pilot and current lecturer in digital media studies at TU Shannon, Bernie Goldbach. We talk about the contrast in Bernie’s work from the high intensity of flying missions in the Pacific region and the Middle East to the perhaps less demanding work of lecturing third-level students in Clonmel. Here’s a summary of some of the main points in the conversation.
Hauling radioactive waste on Enewetak in the Pacific
Identity and intrinsic motivation of Air Force pilots
The challenge of work-life balance in high-intensity roles
The Secret Service, working at The Pentagon and one of the greatest spoofs the US played on Russia.
Bernie’s take on Ukraine, the intrinsic motivation of Ukrainian soldiers
Why the 1988 Ramstein Air Show disaster happened (what Bernie witnessed that day and, crucially, the night before.)
Leaving the Air Force and moving to Ireland and translating his skills into teaching.
The heightened attention, perception, memory and motor skills of high performers
Creative design and digital media in education
The negative impact of technology on young people’s development. Passive entertainment Vs practical interaction.
Finding fulfilment and engagement in work and the power of symbols of success.
The work in the post-Social Media world and the power of stories.
What would you do if money was no object?
The future of work and the impact of technology on work and jobs.
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