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CONCENTRATIONS OF WEALTH &  POWER AND BIG DATA

CONCENTRATIONS OF WEALTH & POWER AND BIG DATA

February 7, 2020

This podcast is structured around a review of Peter Phillips' book, Giants: The Global Power Elite. I elucidate and assess the main points of the book, [1] that seventeen globally active asset management corporations each administer over $1 trillion, together totalling $41.1 trillion, [2] that these corporations are managed by 199 directors who Phillips gives brief biographies of; [3] that there are deep connections between these personnel and the three main propaganda and public relations global conglomerates, various 'think tanks' and policy bodies, and governments.  I further relate this connectivity to the role of big data as it is extracted and exploited by the tech giants Google and Facebook. I rely on Shoshana Ruboff's The Age of Surveillance Capitalism to make the latter connection. In the light of Phillips' and Ruboff's rigorous scholarship, I consider the vilification of the UK left by the billionaire-owned media and the prospect of a radical, progressive turn in world politics and what is needed to ensure it. [Free. 29 minutes.]

RESILIENCE: INTERVIEW WITH GODFREY DEVEREUX

RESILIENCE: INTERVIEW WITH GODFREY DEVEREUX

January 25, 2020

In this interview renowned Yoga Teacher Godfrey Devereux about a recent turn his work has taken. Godfrey has dropped the language surrounding contemporary Yoga to talk instead about resilience and how it is a consequence of a certain meditative self-enquiry. I ask Godfrey to elucidate this and particularly in the context of impending ecological catastrophe. I give my own take on these matters which is more inclined to speak up for activism. Listen to the following podcast, The Yogi and the Commissar, in which I explore some of the themes that emerged and in the light of Simone de Beauvoir's existentialism. [Free. 32 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.]

THE MAIN-STREAM MEDIA, THE BBC & PROPAGANDA - GE 19

THE MAIN-STREAM MEDIA, THE BBC & PROPAGANDA - GE 19

November 30, 2019

In this podcast, we cast an eye over the UK main-stream media and the parasitic relationship the state broadcaster, the BBC, has with them. As illustrative example, we consider the furore over leaked trade deal discussions between the UK and the US. [These talks are predicated on a no-deal Brexit transpiring.] The UK government only released these documents as a result of a freedom of information request, and then in almost completely redacted form. Jeremy Corbyn and Barry Gardiner for Labour have the unredacted documents and have implied that they contain evidence of plans to 'sell off' the NHS to US corporations. Right wing ideologue and BBC rottweiler, Andrew Neil, describes this latter as 'scaremongering' and the Tory Party continue to insist that 'the NHS is not for sale'. And more! [Free. 47 minutes.]

THE INTERNET & ELECTORAL POLITICS - GE 19

THE INTERNET & ELECTORAL POLITICS - GE 19

November 24, 2019

This podcast deals with the role that the internet is likely to play in the outcome of the UK General Election to be held on December 12th, 2019. We note that the internet is bound to be a site of struggle, that it presents many deep challenges to democracy, but that it has great possibilities, particularly for citizen journalism and the exposure of lies and propaganda. [Free. 53 minutes.]

THE CASE FOR LABOUR - GE 2019

THE CASE FOR LABOUR - GE 2019

November 6, 2019

This podcast is the first of several we will be doing in the run up to the general election to be held in the UK on December 12th 2019. It makes the general case for Labour as being the only party addressing the stark fact that 'business as usual is not an option'. It ranges quite far and wide, but with some focus on 'The Green Industrial Revolution'. [Free. 58 minutes.]

MISLEADING SLOGANS [3] “LEAVE MEANS LEAVE”

MISLEADING SLOGANS [3] “LEAVE MEANS LEAVE”

September 13, 2019

In this podcast, we unpack the common rhetorical phrase employed by no-deal brexiteers, "leave means leave". We point out that, though the phrase tautological, an implication is indirectly intended by it, whilst simultaneously concealing counter implications. The implication is that there is only one outcome of invoking and implementing Article 50 which would withdraw the UK from all its treaty obligations with the EU. The fact is that the terms "brexit" and "leave" denote a wide range of possibilities which need to be considered as to their probable outcomes and evaluated more generally. [Free. 30 minutes.]

WHAT IS ART?

WHAT IS ART?

September 14, 2018

This podcast is the first part of an open-ended and ocassional series on issues in philosophical aesthetics. I examine problems in defining art in the strict sense and in applying Wittgenstein's account of family resemblances in language use. I then look at the consequences of Dada and the way in which artists can act by fiat to declare event or object X a work of art. I sketch attempts to give an account of art in terms of the psychology and/or phenomenology of the creative process, and approaches which contextualise artist and/or work of art in culture, the economy and social relations. There is a small detour into the way in which Wittgenstein's account of family resembalces upends Platonism. [Free. 29 minutes.]

FREE SPEECH

FREE SPEECH

August 27, 2018

In this podcast, I take it that free speech, as an instance of freedom per se, is a very great good. However, this stance is not unproblematic in that free speech and freedom can subvert themselves as well as eroding other goods, e.g. equality. The obvious and often proposed notion that this can be overcome by policing or regulation raises the problem that any claim to the right to do the policing is impossible to legitimate and will therefore ultimately be authoritarian in nature. There is some hope in the possibility of general eduction based on ecouraging questioning rather than on inculcating dogma but this project also encounters a legitimation problem in that curricula are likely to be determined by some authority. [Free. 33 minutes.]

IS SMALL BEAUTIFUL?

IS SMALL BEAUTIFUL?

August 12, 2018

This meander was stimulated by a recent repudiation by Zizek of the possible role of small communities in any future human flourishing. In this context, I revisit E. F. Schumacher's Small is Beautiful (1973). I discuss some of the core ideas from that seminal work. In particular, I focus on the treatement of raw materials as [inexhaustible]  income and the treatement of the environment as a free dump by capitalism and the economic theories that act as its ideological justification. I touch upon intermediate technology, the role of 'spirituality' in the good life, the way in which economic theories and political practice often treat people as numbers on a spreadsheet, the 1984-5 UK Miners' Strike and the persistence of alienation in nationalised industries. I do this by discerning Zizek's 'inner Schumacher' and Schumacher's 'inner Zizek' and recounting instances of their expression. In both cases these inner others are mostly repressed, but vigorous enough to surface now and then in brilliant insight. [Free. 47 minutes.]