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Zero Squared #154: Sam Harris, Race Science, and Nerd Logic
May 17, 2018 07:47 AM PDT
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Michael Brooks is the co-host of the Majority Report and the host of The Michael Brooks Show and this week he’s returning to the Zero Books podcast to discuss a debate between Sam Harris and Ezra Klein. The debate about “racism, identity politics, intellectual honesty, and the controversy over Harris’s podcast with Charles Murray” was released as episode 123 of the Waking Up podcast. Brooks and I discuss both who won and what epistemological problem was at the center of the debate.

Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies is absolutely still a book worth reading and that she is planning to return to the Zero Books podcast to discuss the ideas of Christopher Lasch in June. If you haven’t read Kill All Normies now is the time. Pick it up from an online store, at your a local bookstore or at your local library.

Also, the newest Zero Books youtube video is entitled The Intellectual Dark Web is Afraid of Marx. If you like this podcast you should check out the Zero Books youtube channel.

Finally, if you aren’t supporting this podcast through the Inside Zero Books Patreon page you’re missing out on a second podcast every week. I’d urge you to go ahead and take the plunge. For five dollars a month you’ll receive a second Zero Books podcast every weekend.

Alternatives: Interview with Eric Wison
May 12, 2018 01:04 PM PDT
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Eric Wilson is the author of The Republic of Cthulhu and the guest on this special edition of Alternatives. Alternatives is a monthly podcast that you'll usually find on the Inside Zero Books patreon feed. This episode is being released on all of the Zero Books feeds in an effort to entice people to support us on Patreon.

From the book jacket of The Republic of Cthulhu:

If parapolitics, a branch of radical criminology that studies the interactions between public entities and clandestine agencies, is to develop as an academic discipline, then it must develop a coherent theory of aesthetics in order to successfully perform its primary function: to render perceptible extra-judicial phenomena that have hitherto resisted formal classification. Wilson offers the work of H.P. Lovecraft (1890–1937) as an example of the relevance of subversive literature—in this case, cosmic horror and the weird tale—to the parapolitical criminologist.

Zero Squared #153: Syria and the Kurds
May 09, 2018 01:26 PM PDT
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Dr. Bajalan is historian of the Middle East specializing in issues pertaining nationalism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Dr. Bajalan also serves on the editorial board of the journal Kurdish Studies and publications including Turkeyscope, Jacobin, OpenDemocracy, and Jadaliyya have featured his commentary on present-day Middle Eastern affairs. He is the guest this week as we revisit the questions around the Syrian civil war, US involvement in the region and how the Anglophone left should understand and possibly intervene in the conflict.

I want to point out that the latest Zero Books youtube video is online. This week’s video pulls a quote from the Zero Books title Dead Man Working in order to better understand what the dominance of FB means for humanity.

I also want to thank Harry A, Guy M, Alban M, Dra kuma, and a person calling themselves suckmydickeaterson for supporting us on Patreon.

If you aren’t supporting this podcast through the Inside Zero Books patreon page you’re missing out on a second podcast every week. I’d urge you to go ahead and take the plunge. For five dollars a month you’ll receive a second Zero Books podcast every weekend.

Zero Books #152: CGI Animation and the Death of the Real
May 02, 2018 11:51 AM PDT
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Deborah Levitt is Assistant Professor of Culture and Media Studies at Eugene Lang College, The New School. Her publications include an essay on media and biopolitics in The Work of Giorgio Agamben: Law, Literature, Life (Edinburgh University Press 2008) and the Animatic Apparatus which is out now from Zero Books. In this interview, we discuss Porn Envy, gender dysmorphia, CGI celebrities, and Ghost in the Shell.

Turning to Zero Books I should point out that Jason Barker, author of the Zero Books title Marx Returns, celebrated May Day by publishing an early birthday greeting for Karl Marx in the New York Times. His lauding of Marx in the Times brought down angry tweets from Jordan B Peterson and James Woods and inspired Glenn Beck to write an angry blog post denouncing Barker and Marx both. Good job, Jason!

And speaking of far right hacks like Beck and Peterson, the newest Zero Books youtube video takes a look at how the far right disingenuously embraces free speech rhetoric in order to propagate their ideas. If you like this podcast you should check out the Zero Books youtube channel.

Finally, if you aren’t supporting this podcast through the Inside Zero Books patreon page you’re missing out on a second podcast every week. I’d urge you to go ahead and take the plunge. For five dollars a month you’ll receive a second Zero Books podcast every weekend.

The music you’re listening to right now is an 8bit cover of Take on Me by Ah-Ha, but in just a moment you’ll be listening to Deborah Levitte and I discuss CGI Animation and the Death of the Real.

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.

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