In the transcription of the interviews with John Perkins and Deepak Chopra—the repeated injection of the word “[laughter]”, particularly from the interviewer, conveys to me a sense of a “good ol’ boys” clubbiness that contradicts the import of the interviewee. In addition, the word is simply distracting; it tells us nothing about the subject or the interviewee. ~ Zigy Kaluzny.
I think your complaint might stem from the fact that the Perkins interview was live—and the crowd was doing most of the [Laughter]. When an interview is private, there’s less overt fun. In any case, the tradition of noting when interviewer, interviewee or audience laughs is taken from Vajradhatu’s Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana Seminary Transcripts that I and other Shambhala Buddhists grew up studying. I think you’re right—it can be distracting—but if folks laugh, we note it. It’s a form of communication—and a welcome reminder that changing the world needn’t be a solemn thing. ~ed.