RSS Feeds
Hate Speech, Feminism, and Paganism with Nina Power and DC Miller

Nina Power is a philosopher and writer, and DC Miller is a writer best known for his opposition to the Shutdown LD50 campaign. This talk has become quite a scandal. In response to this talk, someone wrote a ridiculous Open Letter Concerning Nina Power, and Nina just today published a response. You can watch the original conversation here, on my Youtube channel.

Other Life is a pretty punk-rock-DIY affair, run by one person — and I'm not an audio engineer. As this podcast becomes more popular, I'm aware that I really should up the production quality. If you strongly agree, become a patron; influxes of support incentivize me to invest in production quality. Big thanks to all the current patrons, for helping all this to exist.

Download this episode.

Acceleration, Adorno, Jordan Peterson, Religion


Reposted with permission from the Parallax Views podcast by JG Michael. For many other talks like this one, find Parallax Views at @ViewsParallax and patreon.com/parallaxviews. Big thanks to JG for his interest in my ideas, and for extracting these atypically coherent thoughts from me. JG's excellent questions helped me make connections I've never made in public before, which reminds me how these new media are still so poorly understood. For intellectuals, podcasts are first and foremost production technologies rather than distribution channels or influence mechanisms (as they are to business people and social climbers).

From Michael's notes: "...How Justin got into academia... accelerationism... Justin giving his definition of accelerationism and its take on modernity... the different branches of accelerationism - r/acc (right accelerationism), l/acc (left accelerationism), and u/acc (unconditional accelerationism)... criticisms of these lines of thought... main players within the accelerationist milieu such as Nick Land and Edmund Berger... Nick Land's dark accelerationist vision... the way in which religion can act as a social technology against these horrors... the Frankfurt School philosopher/sociologist Theodor W. Adorno, his critique of instrumental reason, and the influence Adorno's writing has had on Justin's thought... this leads Justin into making an unexpected comparison between Adorno and... Jordan B. Peterson... Justin's research into the political ideologies of Jordan Peterson's fanbase... Justin's research into political ideology and fragmentation... the central accelerationist concepts of "Exit" and "patchwork" in depth... why religion has become so important to Justin and specifically his renewed interest in Catholicism. How Justin's radical politics are connected to his own religious beliefs... Catholicism's often overlooked history of breeding radically emancipatory thinkers..."

Big thanks to all my patrons, who help me keep the podcast going.

When not to go with the flow

The task of identifying the line between good and evil is like infinitesimal calculus. Mere intuitions are insufficient, which is why "going with the flow" so easily ends in evil. Many marriages fail this way, as sincerely innocent intentions to "make friends" or enjoy "a rich private life” all of a sudden become adulterous affairs or irrecoverable distances. To keep innocence from turning to guilt requires strict and formal tools, just as one cannot eyeball the derivative of a curve, but when it comes to good and evil the objects of analysis are typically difficult to measure. This is the genius of socially conservative Christian norms around sex and marriage, which are often seen as stupidly strict prohibitions, e.g. never having alone time with a member of the opposite sex. Secular cosmopolitans today laugh at this norm, but are the scoffers and mockers really doing so well? In the context of this particular example, marriage, one error on the side of adultery does more damage than several errors on the side of foregone other-sex friendship experiences. As a result, some educated cosmopolitans run around with many "friendships" and failed marriages, scoffing at the paranoia of Christian family values, although the latter include some superior, evolved formalities to deal with overly complex identification problems we are incapable of solving intuitively "in the moment." Whenever a fatal point on a map is hard to detect, it makes sense to prohibit any entrance into the smallest definable region around the undetectable point. Unconditional prohibition may be the most sophisticated rule in contexts where many hidden chutes toward the netherworld are known to exist, even if a sizable range of perfectly innocent and desirable experiences must be forgone.

Algorithms and prayers

The mild-mannered socialist humanist says it's evil to use algorithms to exploit humans for profit, but the articulation of this objection is an algorithm to exploit humans for profit. Self-awareness of this algorithm may vary, but cultivated ignorance of one's own optimizing functions does not make them any less algorithmic or exploitative. The opposite of algorithmic exploitation is not moralistic objection, but probably prayer, which is only — despite popular impressions — attention, evacuated of instrumental intentions. One point of worshipping God is that, by investing one's desire into an abstraction of perfection, against which all existing things pale in comparison, one may live toward the good and still live as intensely as possible. Secular "good people" often makes themselves good by eviscerating their desire, de-intensifying their vitality to ensure their mundane algorithmic optimizing never goes too far. But a life of weak sin is not the same as a good life. Prayer, the practice of de-instrumentalizing attention, does not feign superiority to the sinful, exploitative tendencies of man (like socialist humanism). Prayer is code. Prayers have never hidden their nature as exploitative algorithms — "say these words and it will be Good" — but they exploit our drive to exploit, routing it into a pure and abstract circle, around a pure and abstract center. Secular solutions to the problem of evil typically involve lying about human behavior, whereas a holy life is the application of one's wicked intelligence to the production of the good and the true.

Pathologies of Secular Cosmopolitanism with Ben Sixsmith

Ben Sixsmith (@BDSixsmith) is a British writer based in Poland. He has a new book out, called Kings & Comedians: A Brief History of British-Polish Relations. His work has appeared in The Catholic Herald, The Spectator US, and Quillette, among other places. I find Ben interesting because he writes sympathetically of religion, although he's not religious. We talk about this, being immigrants, Brexit, and other topics relating to the pathologies of secular cosmopolitanism. Find Ben's website at bsixsmith.wixsite.com/home.

This conversation was first recorded as a livestream on Youtube. Subscribe to my channel with one click, then click the bell to receive notifications when future livestreams begin.

Big thanks to all the patrons who keep this running.

Download this episode.

Crypto-Current Religious Becoming with Jacob Lyles

Jacob Lyles works in the Silicon Valley crypto space. He was raised a Jehovah's Witness, went secular, then went Christian. We talk about  Silicon Valley, the problems with secularism, and why the pull of religion is more rational than people think.

Jacob is on Twitter: @cryptochamomile. Jacob hosts the podcast Unchartered Life and the Youtube show Conversations with Chamomile.

This podcast was originally recorded as a livestream. If you'd like to catch future livestreams, subscribe here and then click the bell to receive a notification every time I go live.

This podcast is supported by its listeners. Big thanks to all the patrons of the show.

Download this episode.

Stay up to date on all my projects around the web. No spam, don't worry.

This site participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The Privacy Policy can be found here. The content of this website is licensed under a CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION 4.0 INTERNATIONAL LICENSE.
rss-square linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram