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Some news and updates resettling

I'm now back in the United States, for the foreseeable future. My last two weeks in the UK were possibly my favorite two weeks in my 5.5 years there. On February 28, we went up to London with only what we could carry, for me to give a talk at the Invisible College (a podcast of my talk will be up soon). We stayed with Nina Power, who generously offered us a room in her flat, until our flight on March 13. The two weeks before these were rather stressful, as we spent most of our time selling, giving away, and shipping our belongings.

My personalized book-recommendation experiment worked really well; I unloaded well more than 100 books to internet friends. The first half of that process went into the red, but after the 'premium' stage of that process, I ended up making a good amount more than we spent in shipping, so that's good. Although it was quite time consuming, I took the time to digitize a bunch of my most bookmarked books before shipping them off. That was a surprisingly edifying experience in its own right, and I'm suddenly rid of my romantic attachment to physical books — a digital library with highlights and notes feels much more powerful, and I even feel closer to my books now than I did before. It turns out books collecting dust are less heartwarming than digital meltdown.

Quite a few people chose to give me a little $ for a custom book recommendation, based on their ideological and personality characteristics, plus my own digitized personal highlights from the recommended book. Although I'm no longer giving away my physical books, my little recommendation+highlights micro-service is up and running, and will remain up as one of many entrepreneurial toy-experiments I'll be piloting over the next year. Patrons at 5\$/month or more get access to all my digital highlights. Currently, the patron hard-drive includes my highlights from books by Chesterton, Bataille, Lacan, Bourdieu, Tiqqun, and more.

If you ordered a physical book, you probably should have received it by now. If you haven't received a book by now, please contact me.

Now that I'm resettling, and will be in one place for at least a month, I'm returning to regularly scheduled production. Primarily, I will return to writing How Academia Got Pwned and I think I will follow through on the Kickstarter idea. I made some videos with Nina and DC that I will release over coming weeks, and I also gave a talk to a student group at my university after I resigned. Going back onto campus for that was quite pleasing. I have audio of that, too, which will go to the podcast soon.

Tonight I speak with Logo Daedalus on the livestream. On Monday, 1 April
at 04:00 pm Eastern, I'll speak with philosopher David Roden about the posthuman. And then on Saturday, 6 April at 11:00 am, I will speak with Johannes Niederhauser, who just finished a PhD on Heidegger. In London, Johannes was telling me about "ecstatic time" in Heidegger and I was like, we have to stream this.

Much more soon…

Planning a tour, would you like me to visit you?

I have received just enough speaking invitations to announce that I'm pretty much embarking on a DIY book tour. Basically how punk bands do it: no agents, no rules, no frills. Would you like my wife and I to visit your town, for me to give a talk? For normal organizations, I would have normal expectations regarding financial stuff; but if you're just a random person, please do reach out and let's see what we can do. Email me at jstnmrphy [at] gmail [dot] com.

Here is a list, roughly in chronological order of my expected visitation, of places where I currently have at least one formal invitation of some kind or another. If you're anywhere in between these places (basically anywhere in Europe or the USA), and would like me to pass through, please let me know!

I'm not sure I'm going to make all of these, though I'd like to. This is why I'm asking if there's anyone else out there who'd like me to pass through their town: the more spots, the more likely I can connect these dots...

If you're on another side of the world I could still come, but then I'd definitely need travel costs covered.

London - March 1 - Location TBA
Southampton - March 4 - University of Southampton (I know, right?)
London - March 10 - Location TBA
Utrecht, Netherlands - March - Location TBA
NYC - March/April/May - Location TBA
Chicago - March/April/May - BridgeUSA @ University of Chicago
Salt Lake City - March/April/May - Location TBA
Portland - March/April/May - Location TBA
Gainesville - May/June - Location TBA

Let me know if you live anywhere near these places and would like for us to pass through. Or maybe you're on tour and you'd like for us to join you, that would be cool. I'm pretty much as free as I could possibly be at the moment, and we do want to have kids and settle sooner than later, so for the next few months there's no proposal too crazy I won't consider it!

Other Life News and Links (February 6, 2019)

Other Life started as a “side project,” but it seems now to have escaped its cage, destroying my normal life, and growing itself into the project, which is now my life itself (at least until I go broke and have to find a salary, or get a phone call from Jake Paul, or pick up even just like 3 more moderately wealthy patrons, or my wife leaves me and I overdose on something — to be honest, all of these seem equally probable at this point, with the exception of the last — as I've insisted many times, I only do the healthy drugs, and my wife is what rappers call a ride-or-die bitch, bitch being a good thing in this context...). Anyway, the point is that my other life now seems to be arriving from the future, as it were. So this post is the first of its kind, as I try to develop routines adequate to everything brewing around me…

1. My livestreamed conversation with Michael James (@brightabyssSynthetic Zero) was cited in a recent video by tech news outlet The Verge. They showed a clip of the video and call me an example of someone “too excited” about fully automated luxury communism. They’re not wrong. Here is their video at the relevant timestamp.

2. My life is about to get very chaotic: We’re officially leaving our flat on February 12th to become antifragile toward a possible summary dismissal on February 13th. By the 12th, we will have all of our belongings sold, given away, or shipped back to the US, where we expect to land sooner or later.

3. Preparing for this, I’ve instituted a new weekly schedule which I should be able to maintain while we live out of our backpacks and stay with friends. If you can tolerate maybe some weird locations and iffy production qualities here and there, I promise to continue converting the implosion of my career into the strange brew of theory, entertainment, and experimentation that you’ve now come to expect from me. At a bare minimum, here’s what this will mean: I’ll aim to do at least one solo livestream every week on Thursday (from 9-10pm UK / 4-5pm Eastern / 1-2pm West Coast). I encourage you to bring questions or challenges to these ones, and I’ll try to respond. I’ve also decided to impose a one-hour limit, because I’ve observed that without a limit I will talk well beyond the point at which I’ve run out of steam. I am now back on track scheduling plenty of conversations, and I expect to have at least one of those per week, but they are harder to guarantee in advance. Also expect my current rate of blogging to continue, more or less.

4. I’m also going to keep posting all the now-vintage Youtube conversations as audio on the podcast, at least one per week. With luck I’ll do a few batches to get caught up, but I’m going to promise at least one per week. This week I just posted my talk with Urbit engineer Ted Blackman, about Urbit. So make sure you’re subscribed to the podcast.

5. The private monthly seminar, for $25/month, has gained a couple new participants. We have people working on various projects, including writing projects, tech projects, social-science survey experiments, and more. I’m quite pleased with the quality and unique vibe that has emerged, and I think it’s working well because I get a few new signups each month (so far). If you think this could be good for you but you’re not sure, please join and come to a seminar for free! If you don’t think it’s worth $25/month, you can just cancel your membership. I’m trying to create something genuinely valuable and affordable and I would never want anyone’s money unless they really like what they’re getting for it. To learn more about the idea, or to sign-up and start in February’s seminar, go to the seminar page. If you’re thinking about trying this month’s session, you need to sign up in the next 24 hours so I can get your availability before announcing this month’s dates and times.

6. Like most people on Patreon, I took a pretty big hit from the Sargon affair. I completely understand and support people who vote with their money in this way, no hard feelings of course. If you hate Patreon but still want to chip in to help me keep all this running, you can now setup a recurring contribution outside of Patreon. It’s the same alternative that Jordan Peterson has been using. You’ll get everything my Patreon supporters get.

7. I’ve been invited to give two different talks over the next month, so I’m half-a-mind to embark on some kind of DIY punk-rock book tour or something. Would any of you like me to visit your city/town and give a talk on my serial-book-thing in progress — How Academia Got Pwned aka Jumping Ship? I can do moldy basements with a tiny group, or auditoriums with a crowd of >100, I’ve literally done both several times. When my wife and I become free-floating exiles for a few weeks (starting probably from Feb. 14, we could accept a wide variety of ideas, proposals, or invitations. I wouldn’t need money unless travel costs are significant, but let me know what you have in mind and we can just talk it out.)

8. I'd also like to do better with sharing notable work coming out by others within or adjacent to the Other Life ecosystem. Anthony Morley has started to release sections of a book about the scientific and the sacred. Mac Vogt has released a batshit poetry film+book combo that he says he's been working on for ten years now. I've never been much for crazy poetry stuff, personally, so it's not my cup of tea, but long hard work on any highly idiosyncratic vision orthogonal to marketability is precisely my cup of tea, so happy to pass this along.

There’s more but that will do for today.

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