PEA Soup on Mark Alfano's Computerized Nietzsche Book
Technology can be a lens. Over the three year or so I’ve been reading and studying Friedrich Nietzsche (sort of — not precisely systematically). I’m not sure I could tell you a lot more about Nietzsche after reading two books about him and 2.5 of his actual books than I could tell you before. The legend of Nietzsche is very much in the water. But this has become clear: people fixate on specific imagery woven up by Nietzsche more than they do his scope.
'A Canticle for Lebowitz' and Five Questions, with Richard Moran
A Canticle for Lebowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr., (first published in 1959) should be required reading for everyone. Let’s knock out The Scarlet Letter for this book, perhaps? I think the Freshmen Class of America is ready for that switch. At the very least it should be required for everyone studying engineering. I listened to several episodes of the podcast 5 Questions today, but, in particular, one with a philosopher named Richard Moran, from Harvard, and in the discussion about fear at the end he made the statement that humans have proven themselves incapable of governing even as the destructive power at their disposal has increased.
Bronze Age Mindfuck
This book is too stupid to actually be so stupid as it seems. The book in question is Bronze Age Mindset by Bronze Age Pervert, a Twitter personality who posts a lot of photos of really sculpted young guys (example). Here’s my guess: whomever Bronze Age Pervert (BAP) is, he put his antennae into the internet vibes and came up with a strategy to game it so he could sell a book and make enough money to buy a car he liked or maybe a house.
The Portal: Agnes Callard interview helps me sort out Eric Weinstein
So I now think I understand what’s been bugging me about Eric Weinstein’s podcast, The Portal, despite the fact that I keep listening to it. My problem with Weinstein might not even be a problem. My own unconscious bias about how a podcast should work could be the problem. Weinstein might be disrupting the form in a necessary way, but this thing has been itching at the back of my head.
The Portal: 'Ideas come from the internet,' with Economist and Blogger Tyler Cowen
I didn’t really turn on this episode of The Portal planning to do a post about it. Honestly I’ve been listening to Tyler Cowen here or there for so long he’s just like a comforting blanket of well contained, thoughtful calm. The joy of listening to Cowen is that he just has this gift for seeing the variable everyone’s ignoring and guessing at ways that a neglected variable or two can yield unintended consequences.
Hermitix: John Michael Greer and the Left's bad magic
When Bridget Phetasy spoke to Joe Rogan in my last post, she named a concept I hadn’t heard before: “Trump devotion syndrome.” It’s the counter-balance to “Trump derangement syndrome,” which the Red Scare ladies like to talk about so much. Trump devotion syndrome is a the mental state where a person believes that the particular U.S. President that we have here in 2020 can do no wrong. It’s just as crazy as believing absolutely everything he does is terrible.
The Joe Rogan Experience: Bridget Phetasy on the crazymaking middle
“I always say to comedians, don’t die on the content of the joke, die on the right to be hyperbolic, because that’s what they are coming after,” Bridget Phetasy, a writer and standup comic told Joe Rogan on the September 24 episode of The Joe Rogan Experience. “The world has become a floor of egg shells … because many people are dealing with mental illness,” she says. There’s a lot of comics complaining that it’s become very hard to be funny because there’s a lot of very unfunny people who don’t even particularly like comedy trying to cancel them for making jokes.
The Joe Rogan Experience: Jenny Kleeman and the confirmation bias biz
The Joe Rogan Experience Episode 1539 with Jenny Kleeman was a frustrating listen. His new episode with with the author was prompted by her new book called Sex Robots and Vegan Meat. I haven’t read the book. I’ve only listened to the discussion. Judge away. There’s a category of potential bestseller throwaway literature that can be described Confirmation Bias Books: A reporter or writer goes out and takes a look at stuff on the fringe and tells his or her readers that exactly the conclusions they would naturally jump to are precisely the right ones.
Pseudoxology: You Can Be Free
The Pseudodoxology podcast from Kantbot is a unique artifact in this time. Somehow, Kantbot and his guests again and again are able to disappear down history holes and philosophy holes, largely uninformed by our present moment. It’s not complete. It’s not total. Kantbot is never able to resist complaining from time to time about ways people act idiotic on Twitter, for example. Also that ep with Indian Bronson was all very right now.
The Joe Rogan Experience: 'You don't know when to stop,' with Douglas Murray
Almost from the first minute of the The Joe Rogan Experience, Episode #1538, I could understand why it was so urgent for thinkfluencers at major media outlets to warn people against listening to it, to find something in it that could be called “dangerous” and warn audiences away. Late in the episode, Rogan accused leftists of starting fires around the Portland area. It’s an aside, not dwelled upon, in a litany of complaints about extremists in the protest scene, but he does say it and he later apologized for falling for misinformation.