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Zero Squared #151: Revolutionary Keywords
April 25, 2018 10:50 PM PDT
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Ian Parker is an activist and academic, a revolutionary Marxist, and practising Lacanian psychoanalyst in Manchester, involved in various political movements in the past forty years. He is also the guest this week as we discuss his book Revolutionary Keywords for the New Left.

Next week Deborah Levitt will be on to discuss her book Animatic Apparatus. Her book is about how new modes of life are now produced by simulations, from CGI in Hollywood blockbusters to animal cloning. Her book is coming in May and available for pre-order.

I want to thank Jeramie P, Ben W, Raymon L, and Cryptov R along with 270 other Patreon supporters and listeners to the Inside Zero Books podcast. You are all making the expansion of Zero Books’ digital content production possible.

If you enjoy the podcast you might consider becoming a patron too. You’ll get access to a second podcast every week including monthly installments of C Derick Varn’s podcasts Symptomatic Redness and Alternatives.

Zero Squared #150: Teen Sex, Poetry, and Endless War
April 20, 2018 12:20 AM PDT
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C Derick Varn is an emerging poet, professional teacher, and arm-chair theorist. He is a member of the Zero Books team. He is also the guest this week as we discuss late 90s ‘zine culture, historical developments in teen sexuality, how it is that talking about the war on terror produces “evergreen” content, and his new book of poetry entitled “Apocalyptics.” Dylan Krieger, author of "Giving Godhead, blurbed Varn’s poetry book this way: Apocalyptics shies from neither grandiosity nor grotesquery, neither high nor low society, for isn’t it precisely the blood—some stranger’s bodily fluid—that is to save? From “dumpster diving,” ghosts take flight. From “rancid butter,” a flock of magpies. Turning to Zero Books I should point out that Matthew McKeever’s thought experiment novella entitled Coming From Nothing is available for pre-order from Zero Books. Coming From Nothing is a tragi-comic love story concerned with notions of identity, such as Judith Butler’s idea that sexual identity isn’t determined by the body, and John Locke’s that personal identity is a question of memory. If you enjoy the podcast you might consider becoming a patron to our Inside Zero Books Podcast. You’ll get access to a second podcast every week including monthly installments of C Derick Varn’s podcasts Symptomatic Redness and Alternatives.
Zero Squared #149: Video Games are Right Wing?
April 11, 2018 07:40 PM PDT
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Alfie Bown is the author of The Playstation Dreamworld, a philosophy of games and politics and Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism. Along with being a theorist on video game culture, he has recently started writing for the Guardian. He recently wrote a review of Ready Player One entitled “Steven Spielberg’s film portrays video gamers at their worst” and before that he wrote a think piece for them entitled “How video games are fuelling the rise of the far right.” It’s this second piece that he’ll be discussing in this week’s episode.

Matthew McKeever’s thought experiment novella entitled Coming From Nothing is available for pre-order from Zero Books. Coming From Nothing is a tragi-comic love story concerned with notions of identity, such as Judith Butler's idea that sexual identity isn't determined by the body, and John Locke's that personal identity is a question of memory. ~ Josh Dever, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin has called McKeever’s book “ a literary beignet sweetened by a rich powdering of philosophical speculation.”

I want to thank David F, Nicholas M, Bo D, and 253 other Patrons of the Inside Zero Books podcast. You are making Zero Books’ digital content production possible.

If you enjoy the podcast you might consider becoming a patron too. You’ll get access to a second podcast every week including monthly installments of C Derick Varn’s podcasts Symptomatic Redness and Alternatives.

Zero Squared #148: Pleasure in an Age of Consent
April 05, 2018 11:23 PM PDT
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Professor Heidi Matthews (@Heidi__Matthews on twitter) researches and teaches in the areas of international criminal law, the law of war, international legal history and political theory. She is an assistant professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and recently she wrote an essay for Aeon magazine entitled “How do we understand sexual pleasure in this age of ‘consent’?” And this essay is the topic of conversation in this week’s podcast. Here’s an excerpt from her piece: ‘Consent’ weaves in and out of sexual encounters in complex and unpredictable ways. The same sexual encounter, taken as a whole, can be variously humiliating yet titillating, disgusting yet intriguing, frightening and yet compelling. What is more, consensual sex is not the same thing as wanted sex; conversely, non-consensual sex is not the same as unwanted sex. Equating consent with unambiguous desire significantly alters the sort of sex that society deems permissible in troubling, namely regressive, directions. It’s late on Thursday, April 5th, 2018 and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Books and the host of this podcast. I want to thank J H, Michael T, Robert B, and 243 other Patrons of the Inside Zero Books podcast. You are making Zero Books’ digital content production possible. I also want to remind listeners that if you enjoy this podcast you might want to become patron as well. Patrons will sometimes hear the second half of conversations featured on the Zero Squared podcast and sometimes gain access to episodes on topics such as Bordiga, Struggle Sessions, James Baldwin, Value Theory, Blade Runner, and so on. If you haven’t already you might get ahold of Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies, or check out Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism.
Zero Squared #147: Capitalism and Call Out
March 29, 2018 09:27 PM PDT
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Shaun Scott is a Seattle-based writer, historian, and filmmaker. He is the author of the e-book Something Better: Millennials and Late Capitalism at the Movies. He’s a columnist for City Arts Magazine and, in February, he wrote a column entitled " In Defense of Call-out Culture." He is also the author of Millennials and the Moments that Made Us which is out now from Zero books.

I want to thank Adam A, Thomas G, the Frankfurt Shul, Leo, Anton S, Eric G, Kyle E, and the 236 other Patrons of the Inside Zero Books podcast. You are making Zero Books’ digital content production possible.

I also want to remind listeners that if you enjoy this podcast you might want to become patron as well. Patrons will hear the second half of this conversation with Shaun Scott as well as gain access to episodes on topics such as Bordiga, Struggle Sessions, a long lost conversation with Angela Nagle, as well as the second half of this conversation with Shaun Scott.

If you haven’t already you might pick up a copy of Marx Returns by Jason Barker, get ahold of Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies, or check out Mark Fisher's Capitalist Realism.

Symptomatic Redness: The DSA Redux
March 21, 2018 10:46 PM PDT
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John Michael Colón is a member of the DSA, a writer for In These Times and the Brooklyn Rail, and the guest on this episode of Symptomatic Redness.

Symptomatic Redness is a show on political economy and historical analysis hosted by C. Derick Varn and Amogh Sahu.

Varn and Sahu either talk to each other or interview guests about economics and politics from a historical materialist perspective. The aim is to look at alternate modes of economic and political organization as well as offering commentary on the current moment.

Zero Squared #146: Chomsky Responds
March 15, 2018 06:04 PM PDT
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Chris Knight is currently senior research fellow in the department of anthropology at University College, London, focusing his research on the evolutionary emergence of human language and symbolic culture. He lives in London. His book Decoding Chomsky came out from Yale University Press in 2016 and was recently released in paperback. Since the book first dropped Chomsky has read it and has responded. Chomsky wrote: Knight makes an assumption common to those who [are] unfamiliar with government science-technology policy and know nothing about institutions like MIT...The whole story is a wreck. If you haven’t already you might pick up a copy of Marx Returns by Jason Barker or get ahold of Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies which was recently selected as one of the top ten books of 2017 by the novelist George Saunders. Special thanks goes out to Al Mousseau this week as he was the one who edited this week's podcast.
Zero Squared #145: Thaddeus Russell Against Rationalism
March 07, 2018 10:36 PM PST
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Thaddeus Russell is a historian, author, and professor. He has taught history, American Studies, and the history of philosophy at Columbia University, Barnard College, and the New School for Social Research. He is also the host of the Unregistered Podcast and the guest on this week’s podcast. While we start off discussing the anti-SJW industry and Russell’s own encounters with it, we quickly veer off into a conversation about Capitalism, Foucault, whether rationalism is necessarily imperialist, Sam Harris, Noam Chomsky and a variety of other topics. The pull quote from this episode is probably near the end of this first half of the the conversation when Russell says something like, “Wait, I’m not finished. I’m building a total refutation of the entirety of what you think, Doug.”

It’s late on Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Books and the host of this podcast.

I want to thank James T, Jason R, Andrew F, Matt S, and R for becoming patrons in the last few days. They along with 200 hundred other Patrons of the Inside Zero Books podcast are making the expansion of Zero Books’ digital content production possible. And I also want to remind listeners that if you enjoy this podcast, especially if you enjoy this conversation with Thaddeus, you might want to become patrons of Inside Zero Books this week as the second half of this conversation is coming out for members only this weekend.

If you haven’t already you might pick up a copy of Marx Returns by Jason Barker or get ahold of Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies which was recently selected as one of the top ten books of 2017 by the novelist George Saunders. Or, if you’ve had enough of Nagle and want to re-embrace the call out culture you can get yourself a copy of Shaun Scott’s Millennials and the Moments that Made Us which was published by Zero Books in February.

Symptomatic Redness: Marxism and Religion
February 27, 2018 07:58 PM PST
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Symptomatic Redness is a show about political economics and historical analysis. Hosted by C. Derick Varn and Amogh Sahu the show is sometimes a dialogue between the hosts and sometimes features interviews with activists and academics.

This month's Symptomatic Redness features a conversation about Marx and Marxism's relationship with religion. The podcast circles around the questions

Does Marxism have a coherent ethics?
Does Marxism have a theory of consciousness?
And to what extent is Marx or Marxism guilty of idealism?

This is the first half of a nearly two hour conversation. The second half of this podcast will be made available through our Patreon membership site.

Zero Squared #144: How to Read a History Book
February 21, 2018 10:41 PM PST
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Perhaps in the current climate, I shouldn’t admit this, but this week’s guest Marshall Poe has lived in the USSR and Russia, his academic specialty being Russian History. He later spent a decade teaching at Harvard University, before leaving academia to take a position at The Atlantic Monthly. Since then he founded the New Books Network. He is also the author of the book How to Read a History Book which came out last month from Zero.

I wanted to thank Dave DD and a YouTuber named Subconscious qualms as well as some people at a Chomsky Reddit group for arguing with me after I posted the last Zero Books video about Noam Chomsky and Slavoj Zizek. I especially want to thank the guys at Reddit because they pointed out that while I interpreted Chomsky’s ontological position as being neo-Kantian, they pointed out that Chomsky has, in the past, to be a neutral monist. Looking into it a bit I see that neutral monism makes Chomsky, at least in some ways, more aligned with Spinoza than with Kant. However, given Chomsky’s emphasis on understanding the innate structures of cognition and, specifically, language, I would dare to say that his metaphysics are probably not quite aligned with Spinoza either.

The truth is I haven’t quite backed off from my original estimation of the consequences of Chomsky’s position but I do realize that the question of his metaphysics is more interesting than I originally realized. It seems to me that Chomsky’s position is difficult as any continental philosopher’s and I do have to admit that nobody has quite been able to explain them to me in any way I can fully understand.

If you’re looking for a good book to read on the topics I recently covered on Zero Books’ youtube channel you might check out Frank Smecker’s Night of the World. Also, you might subscribe to the Zero Books youtube channel to see how my engagement with Chomsky develops and to see how the videos improve. I’ve been talking to an animation studio in London called Pixel8 on getting a cut-rate deal on their services and I’m able to get that help because of patrons like Dylan H, Jack H, Muke, Patrick K, Sahir P, and 190 others. If you’d like to help Zero Books expand its digital content production or if you just want to hear the second half of this week’s podcast with Marshall Poe you should become a Patreon subscriber to the Inside Zero Books podcast. When we reach 400 patrons we’ll be hiring another helping hand to improve our podcasts.

The music you’re listening to right now is Adios Nonino by Astor Piazzolla but in just a moment you’ll be listening to Marshall Poe and I discuss How to Read a History Book.

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