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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.

Zero Squared #143: Applied Philosophy
February 15, 2018 01:12 PM PST
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Professor Greg Sadler is the co-founder of ReasonIO, a consulting company that puts philosophy into practice, the Youtube star behind the Half Hour Hegel series, a professor of philosophy who has taught at Ball State University and Fayetteville State University, and the guest on this week’s podcast. In this episode, you’ll hear us discuss whether philosophy really has any practical applications, the reception he receives as a professional philosopher in the corporate sector, stoicism, and the importance of philosophy.

Thanks goes out to the folks at the Across the Aisle podcast as well as Michael G, Connor P, Jeremy C M, and Greg M for becoming patrons in the last week. We currently have 189 patrons and our goal at the moment is to get to 400 patrons. If you’re thinking about becoming a patron you’ll be helping to improve this podcast, the videos we produce and get to enjoy our membership podcast called Inside Zero Books.

If you haven’t already you might pick up Anselm Jappe’s The Writing on the Wall or Ian Parker’s Revolutionary Keywords for a New Left. This month's bestsellers (which means they recently passed the 500 books sold mark, whether for the first time or again) are as follows: Kill All Normies, Capitalist Realism, Porn Panic, Ghosts of My Life, Sweetening the Pill, Millennials and the Moments that Made Us, How to Dismantle the NHS, Artist at Work, Proximity of Art and Capitalism], Capitalists Superheroes, How the Establishment Lost Control andHeavy Radicals. You should go to Powells.com, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Indiebound, Hive, or your local library and get a copy of one of our books.

In this episode you’ll hear a youtube lecture on Stoicism, a clip of Isaiah Berlin talking to Bryan Magee, and instrumental covers of the Indigo Girls Closer to Fine and The Waitresses I Know What Boys want.

Zero Squared #142: Michael Brooks' Materialism
February 07, 2018 02:43 PM PST
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Michael Brooks is the co-host of the Majority Report and the host of his own podcast called The Michael Brooks Show, and in this episode we discuss the anti-SJW industry, whether or not Zero Squared is just a Marxist version of Dave Rubin, and the need for debate on the left.

If you haven’t already you might sign up for our membership podcast through our Patreon account. The second half of conversations like this one are fairly common on that channel. You’ll also hear Derick Varn’s Symptomatic Redness podcast regularly on the membership podcast feed.

As far as Zero Books titles that are worth reading, consider picking up Anselm Jappe’s The Writing on the Wall, Jason Barker’s novel Marx returns, or Shaun Scott’s Millennials and the Moments That Made Us.

Zero Squared #141: Class Consciousness
February 01, 2018 12:55 AM PST
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C Derick Varn is on the podcast again, this time to discuss Lukacs’ 1920 essay Class Consciousness. This conversation goes into the weeds on philosophical and economic categories and tries to both “Straw Man” and “Steel Man” Lukacs’ essay in an effort to point out what we take to be common or at least possible misreadings as well as what we take to be the best and most coherent readings of the essay.

It’s late on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Books and the host of this podcast.

If you haven’t already you might sign up to our membership podcast through our Patreon account. Conversations like this one with Varn are fairly common on that channel. You’ll also hear Varn’s on Symptomatic Redness podcast more regularly through our Patreon feed including a recent episode exploring the power of and some of the contradictions in the DSA.

As far as Zero Books titles that are worth reading, consider picking up Anselm Jappe’s The Writing on the Wall, Jason Barker’s novel Marx returns, or Shaun Scott’s Millennials and the Moments That Made Us.

The music you’re listening to right now is a ukelele cover of It’s Only a Paper Moon, but in just a moment you’ll be listening to Varn and I discuss Class Consciousness.

Zero Squared #140: Writing Sound
January 25, 2018 12:12 AM PST
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Emmanuelle Gibello is a Parisian composer, musician, performance artist and writer. She says her music, musical gestures and computer-assisted compositions are inspired by James Gleick's Chaos Theory.

This podcast was recorded at the Cafe de Flore, one of the oldest cafes in Paris and a one-time hang-out for writers, artists and philosophers such as Georges Bataille and Pablo Picasso. You’ll hear quite a bit of background noise in this episode but you should think of it as ambience.

Again this is an excerpt from the full recording of the conversation. The rest will be made available on our Patreon page.

If you haven’t already you might pick up Anselm Jappe’s The Writing on the Wall or Ian Parker’s Revolutionary Keywords for a New Left. Also, Angela Nagle’s book Kill All Normies was recently used as the basis for a short documentary film on the Fusion cable network entitled Trumpland: Kill All Normies. You should purchase a copy of her book and search down the documentary.

You’ll hear excerpts from a youtube video on Pierre Schaeffer as well as a clip from his composition Études de bruits and a clip from the movie Jurassic Park along with a clip from Gibello’s #MTFParis performance on an instrument she designed called the Molf.

Zero Squared #139: A Wrecking Ball Called Trump?
January 20, 2018 12:29 AM PST
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Chris Cutrone is the founder and President of the Platypus Affiliated Society. He is also the author of the rather infamous essay “Why Not Trump?” and other essays such as The Millennial Left is dead and Democratic revolution and the contradiction of capital. In this episode of the Zero Books podcast we discuss the Trump administration’s first year and the left’s various panicked reactions to what Cutrone says is a moment of transition for capitalism itself and US politics in particular.

We’ve moved the Inside Zero Books to Patreon. This will make it easier to get the member’s only podcast on podcatchers. It also means that we’ll be repeating the first year of Inside Zero Books intermittently on our Patreon account. If you missed Inside Zero Books podcast the first time, or if you just want to hear the old episodes again, they’ll be available. In fact I’ll be posting a rerun of the Inside Zero Podcast entitled The Žižek Debrief just as soon as this episode is online.

If you haven’t already you might pick up Anselm Jappe’s The Writing on the Wall or Ian Parker’s Revolutionary Keywords for a New Left. Also, Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies was recently used as the basis for a short documentary film on the Fusion cable network entitled Trumpland: Kill All Normies. You should purchase a copy of her book and search down the documentary if you can.

You’ll also hear clips from a BBC report on Donald Trump’s genius and mental stability, an excerpt of a cable news interview with Bernie Sanders, and the Negativland classic collage Richard Nixon died today. Right now you’re listening to a MIDI version of Daft Punk’s Harder, Faster, Stronger.

Zero Squared #138: Robot Love
January 10, 2018 04:23 PM PST
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This episode of the Zero Books podcast is a conversation with the Alfie Bown. Alfie is the author of the Zero Books title Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism and he recently penned an essay for the Paris Review entitled The Screen of Enamoration: Love in the Age of Google. In this episode we discuss Tinder, AI, augmented reality, and robot love.

We’ve moved the Inside Zero Books podcast from the Zero Books blog to Patreon. This will make it easier to get the member’s only podcast on podcatchers. It also means that we’ll be repeating the first year of Inside Zero Books daily on our Patreon account. If you missed Inside Zero Books podcast the first time, or if you just want to hear the old episodes again, they’ll be available. In fact, I'll be posting an old episode right after I release this podcast. The next rerun will be from November of 2016. It's entitled Inside Zero Books #11: Moral Panics and features a conversation with Ashley Frawley.

If you haven’t already you might pick up Anselm Jappe’s The Writing on the Wall or Stuart Walton’s Neglected or Misunderstood: Introducing Theodor Adorno. Reading Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies would be a great way to bring in the New Year. And the anthology Punk Is Dead is another terrific title from Zero Books.

Zero Squared #137: On the Radical Empiricism of Rhetoric
January 05, 2018 04:40 AM PST
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Daniel Coffeen is the author of the Zero Books title "Reading the Way of Things" and a frequent guest on this podcast and many others including the Partially Examined Life.

In this episode we discuss his essay: "On the Radical Empiricism of Rhetoric."

Here's an excerpt:

"A rhetorical reckoning riles many people up as it doesn't try to ground itself or its going in anything outside itself — in a truth or axiom or universal claim. It is indifferent to such things except in as much as such things are arguments, things to reckon. And so rather than ever being tethered or even seeking a tether, the rhetorician begins to enjoy all the different ways different things can go. It reads multiple ways to reckon a puppy or ballet or chair. Rather than stake a single claim, she — our rhetorician — takes delight in the going of things, in the possible ways of things. Which can be infuriating to someone who's adamant in a single belief. This is what ballet is!"

Zero Squared #136: Lindsay Shepherd and Free Speech
December 27, 2017 02:40 AM PST
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This episode of the Zero Books podcast is a conversation with the Lindsay Shepherd. Shepherd hit the Zeitgeist recently when she was reprimanded for showing her class an excerpt from a debate on gender pronouns that originally aired on the television program the Agenda. The program featured professor Jordan Peterson, who is scheduled to be a guest on this podcast next month, and Shepherd was told that by showing the clip from the program she'd committed an act of violence against transgendered students either in her class or on campus.

We’ve moved the Inside Zero Books podcast from the Zero Books blog to Patreon. This will make it easier to get the member’s only podcast on podcatchers. It also means that we’ll be repeating the first year of Inside Zero Books daily on our Patreon account. If you missed Inside Zero Books podcast the first time, or if you just want to hear the old episodes again, they’ll be available.

If you haven’t already you might pick up Anselm Jappe’s The Writing on the Wall or Stuart Walton’s Neglected or Misunderstood: Introducing Theodor Adorno. Reading Angela Nagle's Kill All Normies would also be a great way to bring in the New Year.

Zero Squared #135: #metoo vs. #romance?
December 20, 2017 10:19 AM PST
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Josie Appleton is the author of the book Officious: the Rise of the Busybody State which came out from Zero Books in 2016 and in this episode of the podcast she discusses her controversial blog post entitled #Metoo: The criminalization of sexual passion.

I want to remind you that we’ve moved the Inside Zero Books podcast from the Zero Books blog to Patreon. This will make it easier to get the member’s only podcast on podcatchers. It also means that we’ll be repeating the first year of Inside Zero Books daily on our Patreon account. If you missed Inside Zero Books podcast the first time, or if you just want to hear the old episodes again, they’ll be available.

If you haven’t already you might pick up Anselm Jappe’s The Writing on the Wall or Stuart Walton’s Neglected or Misunderstood: Introducing Theodor Adorno. Also, a perfect Christmas gift for the leftist in your life might be Kill All Normies by Angela Nagle.

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