Wheels in the earth keep on turning.

apologies for the silence.  I have not forgotten you. just realigning things a bit. I’m sketching out a book project on enlightenment and meditation practice which I will probably serialise here, and planning a series of podcasts to accompany the text and flesh it out.

But for now I’m primarily focused on finishing the novel. It’ll be around 330 pages. Half done, the rest in heavy edits. As proof of concept, and show of good faith to my elite few supporters, the first 165 pages are available for anyone supporting me on patreon for as little as a buck. Citizen Monsters is a rather violent and profane sci-fi parable for our troubled times.  …Or it’s a superhero novel where the superheroes curbstomp racist cops and hedge fund bankers. …Or it’s a horror story masquerading as masturbatory fantasy of the loony left. You decide.

The rest ought to be done around Christmas, most likely with some visual accompaniments in the final edition from my occasional collaborator and esteemed visual artist Dallas Duobaitis. I plan to release the finished work for free, and do the audiobook myself. I’m thinking of this as my CV work for fiction writing, so it is in my interest to get it to as many eyeballs as possible, and build my ‘brand’ as it were. Loss leaders, and all that…

Salut!

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course correction

 

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feeling  like I need to re-evaluate a bit. Once I was able to purge the trump-venom out of my system, I found I had to rethink where I wanted to go with podcasts. Plus, I’ve been taking in the changes in the media landscape since my last go around, and I’m thinking my energy is better spent on my areas of specialisation, rather than comprehensive musings. The first 8 episodes of solve everything make for a decent season with a good through line, with some interesting digressions. I’m content to leave it there until something takes shape in my head again for a second season.

I’d always planned to pivot to something more enlightenment-oriented, I just wasn’t thinking I’d do it so soon, but we must follow the inspiration, or we’re just doing a job, right? So, you can look forward to something that looks to come at the whole enlightenment project from first principles, and sets aside as much of the mythology and dogma as possible. And no, that doesn’t mean some tedious neuroscience or materialist reduction. Sam Harris is already doing that, about as well as it can be done. I’m just concerned with building something that is clear in its methods and aims and will actually work for people, provided they are willing to put in the effort.  Having walked many sides of the fence in this game, I find it appalling how much metaphysical bullshit, personality cultism, historical dust-worship, and obscurantism creeps into it. It’s just another thing that people can do, and I’m concerned with helping them do it well. Systematic for the People was my attempt to be reverential, yet relevant and accessible. Getting More Enlightened is a genuine attempt to change the game. Stay tuned.

I’m also halfway through the edits on my novel, so I’ll probably be starting a separate blog to house that, when it’s ready to roll. I’m planning to record the audio book version myself and release it concurrent with print, all for free, so if you can’t live without my mellifluous tones, that will be another way to treat yourself. This is about the most aggressively subversive anti-commercial story imaginable, so I suspect I’ll be content releasing it creative commons and just letting people share it around, to whatever degree they feel moved to do. Stay tuned for that as well.

Solve Everything-Season 1, Episode 8: The Fate of the Tyrant

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Since it’s now quite clear the world is getting ready to tie off the bleeding wound of Trump and move on to other things, we might as well do likewise, and talk about why that was always going to happen, even if it didn’t always seem that way.

More Plato, some psychological analysis of the tyrant’s character, why this was all a sidetrack on our inevitable drift into a technocratic centrist world government,  why justice and reason might be the very same thing, and why the republican party is probably not long for this world.

 

Podcast page HERE

Direct download: SE1.8.mp3

 

Solve Everything-Season 1, Episode 7: A Simulated Dream of Simulation

 

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Apologies for the delay. Some (minor) health issues conspired to slow things down.  That, and I seem to still be finding the correct length and rhythm for my new productions.

In any event, this new one is long and challenging and crazy on perhaps a whole new level for me (or you, as the case may be). But you can listen to it as many times as you need to, to digest it. It’s free! You can also ask me to clarify, if need be.

This time around we’re taking about the philosophical conundrum of external world scepticism in general, and Nick Bostrom’s formulation of it as the simulation hypothesis in particular.  We also tip our hat to some contemporary stories about Elon Musk and his ilk preparing to throw money that could be keeping people alive away on existential anxiety.

How do you know you aren’t dreaming, or a brain in a vat, or a conscious computer program character? If you don’t (or can’t) know those things, then how can you trust anything your senses tell you? And if you’re some sociopathic banker or oligarch, and you don’t (or can’t) know if any of this is really real, why care about any of these pesky social issues, if you don’t feel like it?

Direct download: SE1.7.mp3

Podcast page here

Solve Everything-Season 1, Episode 6: “They’re not like us…”

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Another longish one that I’m also fairly pleased with, in which we reverse the assumptions of our first five episodes, to examine the deeper potential problem lurking behind everything we’ve said so far.

Social and/or political error theories ; the master argument behind the alt-right, in the possibility of  incommensurable or irreconcilable value systems;  The philosopher John Gray and the pseudo-collapse of Liberalism; the oscillating dialectic of liberals versus radicals; a slightly awkward discussion regarding the configuration of my genitals ( yes really); and if you squint at it the right way, some kind of answer to whether Nazis need  to be punched….though you might not like the answer you get.

Podcast page here.

Direct download: SE1.6.mp3

Solve Everything-Season 1, Episode 5: The Terminal Phase of Tim Ferriss

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I’m actually very pleased with this one. Perhaps it’s because I’m getting my feet again with the format, or perhaps I’m giving myself more room to just think and hit my stride contemplating a subject in a longer episode.

In any case, we’re treating the indomitable and in-many-ways admirable Tim up there as a window into the whole mentality and ethos of lifestyle design, and, in a certain sense, the whole paradigm of optimisation-oriented instrumental reason, applied to human life.

We cover a whole range of notions, such as the 80/20 rule, Ronda Rousey and mixed martial arts, radical dehydration, the low hanging fruit of innovation, recycling fake insights, Ben Bratton and the problem with TED talks, and yeah, we talk about The Donald again too, but there’s a point to it, besides invective.

Where is this all going? Maybe not where we, or even Tim,  think it is…

Podcast page here.

Direct download: SE1.5.mp3

 

 

Solve Everything-Season 1, Episode 4: The Art of the Ethical Disagreement

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A bit of  a pivot, as we take the recent genocide in Aleppo as microcosm of the general nervous breakdown of the left. This gives us cause to talk about the dying art of constructive ethical disagreements. We drop some crunchy philosophical science, including: the relation of intuition and reason, the role of common sense, and whether we measure our rules against the world, or the world against our rules

–apologies for the uneven audio quality in places. some minor technical glitches.

Podcast page here

Direct download: SE1.4.mp3