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AGAINST FLAG-SHAGGING - INTERESTING TIMES 9

AGAINST FLAG-SHAGGING - INTERESTING TIMES 9

August 28, 2020

In this podcast, we argue that patriotism is ideological, irrational, based on arbitrary boundaries, implicated in the weaponisation of history, employed by dead-cat culture wars, and rooted in a pathological narcissism. We suggest how those afflicted with it might return to health. [Free. 27 minutes.]

GRASSROOTS AND ASTROTURFING

GRASSROOTS AND ASTROTURFING

August 21, 2020

In this podcast we analyse the phenomenon of astroturfing in which billionaire money is martialled to produce artificial facsimiles of authentic grass roots movements. As well as giving some examples,  we outline some methods which can be employed to detect astroturfing and similar ruses to mystify the nature of society and the economy.  The discourse follows on from our recent podcast,  What Can We do? [Free. 42 minutes.]

WEAPONISED HISTORY - INTERESTING TIMES 4

WEAPONISED HISTORY - INTERESTING TIMES 4

June 23, 2020

In this podcast we dissect utterances made by conservatives like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage relating to the question of the significance of statues and other monuments that occupy public spaces. We particularly light upon the way in which the concept of history is weaponised in the pro establishment discourses that are now circulating. We indicate that the conservative ploy is to inflame a distracting culture war by asserting that 'history is being erased' and that 'extremists' are operating in BLM. We don't however try to downplay the importance of engagement with the issues, but suggest that the terrain that Johnson et al want to fight the battles on should be refused. Drawing on ideas that concern philosophers of history, we suggest how those who don't believe that business as usual is an option might do culture war on their own terms. This podcast also serves as a groundwork for a future podcast on the Philosophy Of History. [ Free. 47 minutes.]

HOLLOW SYMBOLS -  INTERESTING TIMES 2

HOLLOW SYMBOLS - INTERESTING TIMES 2

June 11, 2020

In this podcast, we take issue with the complaints from  certain Tory MPs, conservative academics and right wing pundits that the toppling of statues of slave traders and imperialists 'erases history' and  'strikes at our way of life', and that historical figures should not be appraised according to modern morality and values. We argue that, contrary to these positions, obscured parts of history are illuminated by such acts, that 'our way of life' does not exist as a monolith, and that past figures should be evaluated according to modern values if we are to appraise our desires for future generations. We sketch out out symbols need to be understood as both heavy and empty. Warning: contains swearing. [Free. 19 minutes.]

LAO TZU 20

LAO TZU 20

May 31, 2020

In this episode of our Lao Tzu series, we explore themes of judgement, desire, non-violence, and longevity: all in the light of Lao Tzu's meditation 'method' of aligning with the Tao. [Free. 24 minutes.]

LAOTZU 19

LAOTZU 19

May 3, 2020

In this podcast, we consider Chapter 32 of The Tao Te Ching. Here, Lao Tzu emphasises the ineffability of the Tao even whilst urging the sage/ruler to follow it if he is to be a good ruler who is able to care for the people well. The implications of the ineffability of the Tao for the nature of language, that it cannot exhaust the world with its names or propositions, is suggested in the text and we tease it out. [Free. 29 mins.]

ON APOCALYPSE

ON APOCALYPSE

March 6, 2020

In this podcast, I distinguish between rational and irrational apocalyptic fears. I discuss the Cuba missile crisis of 1962 and the subsequent retreat from the brink through various treaties and weapons inspection regimes. I also outline briefly how an incipient new cold war / arms race seems to be on the horizon. I also consider the eco-apocalypse in the light of a real-life encounter with militant climate deniers. My conclusion is not entirely pessimistic and underscores the role of human agency. [Free. 28 minutes.]

GE 2019 - WHAT HAPPENED & WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

GE 2019 - WHAT HAPPENED & WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

December 30, 2019

In this podcast, I try to discern the reasons behind Labour's defeat in the UK general election held on 12 December, 2019. I consider Labour's move from honouring the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum to backing a second referendum and look at how this relates to voting patterns in contrast to those of the 2017 general election. I go on to examine the relentless propaganda assault on Labour and its leadership mounted by the billionaire owned press and the BBC. In the second part of the podcast, I look at possible strategies that the preceding analysis suggests. These include the development of alternative, independent media, the more effective use of the grass roots, the possibilities of networking and more effective use of social media, including the development of new platforms. And more! [Free. 68 minutes.]

DEATH OF THE NHS? -GE 19

DEATH OF THE NHS? -GE 19

December 3, 2019

Another podcast in our on-going UK General Election 2019 series: in this series we investigate the argument between the Tories who claim that they have no plans to privatise the NHS and Labour who contend that the Tories are hell-bent on selling it to American corporations in a no-deal Brexit future. This is quite detailed, examining the ideology underpinning Tory-ism, recent events and the history of the NHS. We incorporate a lived-experience testimony from a friend who had a harrowing experience looking after her aged mother as she succumbed to dementia. [Free. 50 minutes.]

DESIRE & ULTIMATES [YES & NO 7]

DESIRE & ULTIMATES [YES & NO 7]

October 20, 2019

This podcast was recorded earlier this year in February [2019]. It continues with considerations of the matter of desire, in this case focusing on our appetite for achievement. I suggest that our 'spiritual endeavours' almost inevitably fall into the same pattern as our ordinary acquisitiveness and can have a self-defeating tendency. I recommend a light touch with these drives and indicate what this approach opens up. [Free. 17 minutes.]

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