Social Engineering

All aboard at Grand Central with headless models and StoryCorps

Isay is undeterred by my skepticism. "It's collecting the wisdom of humanity!" he says. "They're the stories of everyday people's profound moments—the driver of the B26 bus on City Island is just as important as Britney or Paris. It's all about how lucky we are to be alive!"

Well, I say reluctantly, I guess I should listen to a couple of these things. Are they short? It turns out you can press a button on the outside of the booth and hear some of this stuff, but I don't want to stand by myself in a kissing room pressing a wall, so Isay suggests I go home and listen to the stories on storycorps.net.

So I do, and I am surprised that they are addictive as YouTube videos. And they feature real people, not holograms. I hear from a man talking about desegregating a Southern school when he was eight years old and a woman who helped a German POW find his lost Bible on her father's farm more than 60 years ago. And I am ashamed to say that by the time I log off, I am totally in tears.

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