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Zero Squared #63: Marx on Machines pt. 2
April 06, 2016 03:02 PM PDT
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Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 15 entitled “Machinery and Modern Industry” is the subject this week as Andy Marshall and Andrew Kliman return for part two of the podcast. However, the three of us also discuss how capitalism deforms education and what today’s education system really is and how it works.

It’s Wednesday, the 6th of April, 2016 and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Squared and the host of this podcast.

I'm curious to know what people think of Brendan O’Neill’s essay The Panama Papers: Rich-Bashing Won’t Fix the Crisis. You can find the Zero Books Facebook page, find us on twitter, you can contact me at me through my personal website (that's douglaslain.com) or just leave a comment below.

The music in this episode includes street musicians covering Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall and Negativland’s A Nice Place to Live. The music you’re listening to right now is an excerpt from Negativland’s first album entitled Negativland, but in just a moment you’ll hear Andy, Andrew and I discuss The Machine.

Zero Podcast #62: Marx on Machines
March 31, 2016 05:00 AM PDT
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Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 15 entitled “Machinery and Modern Industry” is the topic this week as Andy Marshall and Andrew Kliman return to the podcast. For people who have been paying close attention you might realize that Andy, Andrew and I have been reading Capital together for a little over a year, and that we’re coming to the end of the endeavor.

Since 2008 Marx has suffered through a resurgence. He’s often spoken of or referenced, but little read or understood. This episode of Zero Squared is one small part of a project to work against that trend.

The music in this episode includes a ukulele cover of Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine” and the theme from the television show “Out of the Unknown” and Metal Machine Music.

Zero Squared #61: Minds, Value, and Irrational Numbers
March 23, 2016 08:53 PM PDT
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Andy Marshall and I have read philosophy together for something like four years now, and this week’s episode is a recording of what was to be a discussion of Chapter 15 of Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, but what turned into a debate about the difference between the natural sciences and social science, matter and mind, and knowledge and affect. Included in this conversation is a discussion of the labor theory of value and the reality of the irrational (number.)

It’s Wednesday, March 23, 2016, and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Books and the host of this podcast.
If you are a regular listener to this podcast you can help spread the word about it by posting a review of the podcast in iTunes. Also you might want to find the Zero Books Facebook page and or to follow us on twitter.

In this episode you’ll hear clips from a youtube video on Pythagoras and Behaviourism, and Clokworx by Mental Flux.

Zero Squared #60: Marx/Adorno at the PNCA
March 16, 2016 05:33 PM PDT
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Last week I gave presentation at the Pacific Northwest College of Arts. After an introductions and a discussion about Zero Books, Doug gave a presentation on the Critique of the Gotha Program and a brief discussion of Adorno. Also included in this presentation was Brendan Cooney's video on Abstract Labor and a 70s advertisement for the Polaroid SX-70. Special thanks for this episode goes to Sarah O'Hare and the other PNCA Critical Theory graduate students and professors. From Adorno: The sociological theory that the loss of the support of objectively established religion, the dissolution of the last remnants of pre-capitalism, together with technological and social differentiation or specialisation, have led to cultural chaos is disproved every day; for culture now impresses the same stamp on everything. From Marx: But the whole program, for all its democratic clang, is tainted through and through by the Lassallean sect's servile belief in the state, or, what is no better, by a democratic belief in miracles; or rather it is a compromise between these two kinds of belief in miracles, both equally remote from socialism.
Zero Squared #59: It's Not Over
March 09, 2016 01:18 PM PST
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Pete Dolack has been published on a variety of political and literary topics, mostly pertaining to contemporary issues. He has been published multiple times in the peer-reviewed academic journal Working USA: The Journal of Labor & Society, and currently is published regularly by the online popular magazines CounterPunch and ZNet. His book, It’s Not Over: Learning from the Socialist Experiment was published by Zero Books in February of 2016 and he is the guest on this week’s podcast.

Rick Wolff, author of Capitalism Hits the Fan, blurbed Dolack’s book this way: As Cold War taboos on honest discussions of capitalism and socialism lose their force, important books like this are emerging. They ask why capitalism keeps provoking movements to go beyond it, why they have not yet achieved that goal, and what we must learn from them so the next efforts prove more effective. Dolack here contributes to the vital emerging answers.

In this episode you’ll hear clips from Brendan Cooney’s youtube video “Manufacturing Consent” and Coco Briaval’s cover of the Internationale.

Zero Squared #58: Memory, Spirit, and Christopher Hitchens
March 02, 2016 10:13 AM PST
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Stefany Anne Golberg is a writer for magazines such as The Smart Set, the former Critic-in Residence at Drexel University, a multi-media artist, and a founding member of Flux Factory, an arts collective in New York. Her husband Morgan Meis has a PhD in Philosophy is a founding member of Flux Factory as well, and is a recipient of the Whiting Award. Together their book Dead People, a collection of literary and critical obituaries, is due out from Zero Books in June of this year. As this week’s episode is about remembering and attempting to understand the significance of the dead it seems appropriate here at the start to offer up a short excerpt from Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit: The dead individual, by his having detached and liberated his being from his action or his negative unity, is an empty particular, merely existing passively for some other, at the mercy of every lower irrational organic agency, and the [chemical, physical] forces of abstract material elements, both of which are now stronger than himself, the former on account of the life which they have, the latter on account of their negative nature.(1) he family keeps away from the dead this dishonouring of him by the desires of unconscious organic agencies and by abstract elements, puts its own action in place of theirs, and weds the relative to the bosom of the earth, the elemental individuality that passes not away. Thereby the family makes the dead a member of a community(2) which prevails over and holds under control the powers of the particular material elements and the lower living creatures, which sought to have their way with the dead and destroy him. In this episode you’ll hear from Thomas J.J. Altizer on Hegel and the death of God, an clip from Gene Martin and Reverend AA Allen and the gospel hymn “God’s Not Dead,”a bit of dialogue from the television show True Detective, a clip from the documentary film “Manufacturing Consent,” and Dan Lett’s “Yeah It’s All Right.”
Zero Books # 57: Hegel vs. Spinoza
February 24, 2016 11:53 AM PST
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Gregor Moder teaches philosophy at the University of Ljubljana. The original plan for this episode was to discuss his paper about street theater and Althusser but the two of us hit it off so well, so easily fell into philosophical conversation, that my prepared questions on his paper were simply pushed aside as we entertained each other with a spontaneous conversation about Hegel, Spinoza, and, of all things, Donald Trump.

In the United States the reality TV show known as the presidential race is dominating our political imaginations as the hollowness, the silliness, and the unreality of the spectacle proves to have its own mesmerizing power. However, our aim at Zero Books shall be to, as much as possible, think and evaluate the problems this spectacle is designed to distract us away from even as we try to suss out what secret meanings even these distractions contain.

Having mentioned distractions I should also point out that listeners to this podcast might want to take a look at the 8 bit philosophy youtube channel. There is a video in the works about Alfie Bown’s book Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism as well as a fun vid about Donald Trump and the end of politics that’s online now.

In this episode you’ll hear a clip from Mel Brooks’ Hitler Rap, an excerpt from an old Diet Soap podcast wherein I describe Hegel’s phenomenology to my son Benjamin and my wife Miriam, the music of Cyriak, and Slavoj Zizek pontificating on Hegel. The music you’re hearing right now is from Cyriak’s video “Something” but in just a moment you’ll be listening to Gregor Moder and I talk about Hegel and Spinoza.

Zero Squared #56: Trolls and Tumblrites
February 19, 2016 09:27 AM PST
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C. Derick Varn is a reader at Zero Books, a poet, blogger and podcaster. His podcasts include Symptomatic Redness and Former People and he is a frequent guest on Zero Squared. This week we have yet another politically incorrect conversation about the dysfunction of a political discourse that all too often can be reduced to an opposition between Trolls and Tumblrites. Jordannah Elizabeth is appearing at In Other Words bookstore today. She’ll be reading from her book out from Zero entitled “Don’t Lose Track, Volume 1,” and she’s been nice enough to invite me to take part and read from my book “After the Saucers Landed” at her event. If you’re in Portland I urge you to turn up for the event at 7pm. It’s at 14 NE Killingsworth St. In this episode you’ll also hear a fair use excerpt from Beyonce’s Formation, the voice of Slavoj Zizek, the voice of Professor Gregory B Sadler explaining Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, a piano version of the Nyan Nyan Cat theme, Woody Allen discussing Nietzsche, the late Terence McKenna, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy as performed by a flash mob, and Tom Brier playing the Super Mario theme.
Zero Squared #55: Losing Track
February 02, 2016 11:03 PM PST
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Jordannah Elizabeth is a musician, entertainment journalist, author, model and the founder of the literary nonprofit, Publik / Private. Her writing has appeared on VICE, Nerve.com, SF Weekly, MTV Iggy, Ms. Magazine and more. Her book Don’t Lose Track Vol. 1: 40 Selected Articles, Essays and Q&As, is a mixed tape version of her articles, interviews and reviews, and she’s currently on her book tour. On Feb 8th: New York, NY - Bluestockings Bookstore Feb 11th: Baltimore, MD - Red Emma´s Bookstore (Baltimore Guest Speakers - Playwright, Theresa Columbus & Musician, Afia Lydia) Feb 16th: Seattle, WA - Left Bank Books Collective (Seattle Guest Speaker, Sub Pop Artist, Cat Harris-White) Feb 17th: Portland, OR - In Other Words Feb 19th: San Francisco, CA - Amnesia Feb 20th: Los Angeles, CA - Private Event/Book Reading (Los Angeles Guest Speaker - Fashion Blogger, Candy Washington) February 27th: Pittsburgh, PA - Straybook TV Author Panel March 17th: Baltimore, MD - Maryland Dept. of Labor's Brown Bag Lecture Series In this episode you’ll also hear about the time I won first place in a national mansplaining competition, the voice of Hunter S. Thompson, excerpts from The Morning After Girls, Tim and Eric, Bill Burr, Jordannah Elizabeth’s Cello Experiment, a piano cover of Drake’s Hotline-Bling, and a warped version of Marc Maron's WTF podcast theme.
Zero Squared #54: Liberty in a Holding Pattern
January 26, 2016 08:25 PM PST
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Brendan O’Neill is the editor of spiked online and a columnist for the Big Issue and Reason. He also writes for a variety of other publications, including the Telegraph, the Spectator and the Australian. In this episode we discuss how spiked started off as a Marxist publication and where it’s ended up.

According to spiked’s own self-description the magazine is a fan of reason, liberty, progress, economic growth, choice, conviction and thought experiments about the future, and not so big on eco-miserabilism, identikit politicians, nostalgia, dumbing down and determinism.

In this episode you’ll hear Hussalonia’s “Everybody Should Stop Doing Everything,” an excerpt from the Fixx’s “One Thing Leads to Another”, Noam Chomsky describing the problem of free will, and Captain Kirk reading from the constitution of the United States of America.

The music you’re listening to right now is the theme for Barney Miller and is being played in tribute to Abe Vigoda who, this time, has really died, but in just a moment you’ll be listening to Brendan O’Neil and I discuss how to hang on to bourgeois liberty.

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