In May, KMO and Olga visited Katherine MacLean at Happy Acres Farm in Sherman, Connecticut. At the time, Katherine was pregnant and planning to have the baby at home under the care of midwives in spite of much pressure to give herself over to the care of the medical profession. Katherine talks about what she learned from the death of her sister, why she left her dream job, her thoughts on unschooling and the interplay between enjoying freedom and taking responsibility. Last week, Katherine checked back in with KMO via Skype about the experience of giving birth at home.
KMO and guest Kevin Dole consider why horror writer Thomas Ligotti considers consciousness to be the parent of all horrors. Consciousness is supposed to be the most marvelous phenomenon in existence right? Not according to Ligotti. In his first non-fiction book, The Conspiracy Against the Human Race, Ligotti describes consciousness as the means to achieving new varieties of suffering by enabling us to dread things that haven’t happened yet, like out own death, and to suffer insult in addition to mere injury. Better never to have been born, because, Ligotti asserts, non-existence never hurt anybody.
Check out Ligotti’s story The Red Tower to see if his fiction rings your bell.
KMO spoke with Kevin Carson while visiting Arkansas. Kevin is an avowed anti-capitalist, but some C-Realm listeners can't square that notion with Kevin's professed libertarian leanings and his failure to avow uncomplicated condemnation of private property and "the market." Whatever that is. The conversation touches on technology, labor, class relations, and life after capitalism.
KMO is visiting his family in northwest Arkansas, and in this episode he asks some of his Arkansan friends about the Confederate battle flag. Berryville-based writer and broadcaster, Dan Krotz, explains how people who display the Confederate flag are broadcasting the message that they are both mean and stupid. That’s useful to him as it lets him know that he should avoid those people. Kris G, a young farmer who grew up in Sallisaw, Oklahoma shares Dan’s assessment. He thinks that in a free country, people have the right to advertise to the world just how small-minded they are by flying the rebel flag from their pick-up trucks. In the final segment of the program, C4SS writer, Kevin Carson, explains why the claim that the flag is a symbol of “heritage not hate” is incoherent.
This episode features two conversations recorded at the kitchen table with people whom Erik Davis introduced to KMO and Olga. First up is stage magician Ferdinando Buscema who describes a memento mori ritual he has constructed for himself using playing cards. Later, KMO talks with Spiros Antonopoulos, a yoga teacher and seasoned psychonaut, about DMT, ayahuasca and what they may be able to tell us about ourselves and our life's purpose.
KMO welcomes Pentamental co-host John Maguire to the C-Realm to talk explicitly about consciousness. The conversation ranges from quantum physics and its relationship with fuzzy New Age belief systems to poker and epistemological humility. A final homage to the late Joe Bageant leads into a brief clip from a recent conversation about global geopolitics and the consequences of the triumph of the "bozo billionaire" variety of libertarian politics in the United States. Check out Background Briefing to hear the entire conversation between host Ian Masters and his guest, Alfred W. McCoy.
KMO attended the 2015 Left Forum, and while he found the presenters to be, on the whole, quite knowledgeable, he was, once again, struck by their flat presentations and lack of communicative polish. What’s up with that? In this episode of the C-Realm Podcast, KMO talks with Doug Lain about possible explanations for why the left seems to lag so far behind the right in crafting an engaging, accessible message. Following a clip from The Professional Left podcast, they consider whether it might have something to do with the generous support that the political right extends to their grassroots spokespeople and the lack of support for emerging voices on the left.
KMO attended the 2015 Left Forum gathering and recorded a panel discussion about the geopolitics of energy by Michael Klare, Micheal Schwartz and Daniel Volman. Ever since the world became dependent on petroleum for industrial and military expansion, the major powers have struggled for access to and control over the major sources of oil. Initially, this struggle was dominated by the major European powers, especially Britain, France, and Germany, but after World War II the United States entered the fray. Washington's determination to control the oil from the Middle East led to the introduction of a major U.S. military presence in the region and periodic military intervention. When other areas, including Africa and the Caspian Sea basin, became important oil producers, U.S. military involvement was extended to these areas as well. Now China is becoming heavily dependent on imported oil and it, too, is joining the global struggle for energy; Russia, although self-sufficient in energy, seeks to control the export of oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea area. As U.S.-Russian-Chinese relations become more contentious, energy geopolitics will play an increasingly pivotal role in world affairs. This panel will explore the growing contention among global powers for access to and control of Middle East oil and natural gas, and the connections of these struggles to resource competition in other regions.
Comedy by One Easy Bread Recipe Each Week.
KMO and Olga talk to educator and novelist, Zack Lehtinen, about his novel, World of Wounds. The novel is akin to Ishmael by Daniel Quinn in it's attempt to convey ideas through narrative which many readers might reject or ignore in non-fiction. KMO gushes about Paolo Bacigalupi's latest novel, The Water Knife, and Olga makes a sincere call to listeners and entertainment corporations alike to support struggling alternative media professionals. Music by Brodie Kinder.
Remember when you first saw videos of the humanoid robot, Asimo, walking on two legs, climbing stairs, hopping on one foot? Wasn’t it amazing? Asimo made “his” debut in the year 2000. That was 15 years and 7 cycles of Moore’s Law ago. If Singularitarian reasoning held together and advances in AI tracked Moore’s law, today’s robots would be 128 times more sophisticated than robots from the year 2000. We should see humanoid robots walking around today that make Asimo look quaint by comparison. Where are they? KMO talks with Eric Boyd about failed technoutopian visions in this episode of the C-Realm Podcast.
Music by Inspired Flight.