Category Culture

The Homely Gangsters Episode 4; The Paris Agreements

https://www.buzzsprout.com/255212/949605-the-paris-agreement.mp3?download=true As the greenest podcast in the history of podcasting, the Earth-Mothers Mia and Jen team up with primitive survivalists Ben and Jamal to talk global warming, Trump vs. the UN and the largely ignored conflict between fighting climate change and helping poor people in industrializing countries.  Advertisements

Science Popularizers in the 19th Century

We are, as I’m sure you’re aware, in the middle of a boom for scientific prestige. Never before have we been so impressed with the scientist as a heroic figure and only once before have we been willing to listen seriously when scientists (like Niel De Grasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking) pretend that […]

The Homely Gangsters, Episode 3; Hannah Arendt and Victims

https://www.buzzsprout.com/255212/949600-victim-blaming-victim-culture-and-hannah-arendt.mp3?download=true Listen as your four intrepid podcasters take a journey with political philosopher Hannah Arendt to explore some unexpected aspects of victimization. For example, what happens when people latch onto their victimization? What are the benefits of “achieving” victimization? How do hero and villain narratives distort reality?

Immigrants and Equality

If you look carefully at the current immigration debate in the US, it pits immigrants, business interests and a thin layer of middle class do gooders on one side against  nationalists and working class people in general on the other side. What struck me about this arrangement is that it’s exactly the same structure you’ll […]

Marx’s 200th Birthday

So, let’s start with the obvious stuff. The followers of Marx made the Nazis look like amateurs on the whole “mass murder” thing, the public ownership of the means of production has, whenever tried, either collapsed or led to authoritarianism and the economic part of Marx’s theory is charitably described as a confused version of […]

Guns

Gun control, especially on the political left, is almost universally framed as a matter of safety. The typical leftist argument for disarming the public goes something like this. “Guns are only used for killing things, they are often used by accident and they help people commit the mass shootings that terrify us so.” On the […]

Threats to Democracy

We tend to think of democracy as an inevitability. Indeed, Violet Brown, the current oldest person alive, was born in 1900, 124 years after the establishment of democracy in the US. Even my host country, South Korea, has been democratic longer than my sister has been alive. However, our current wave of democracy is only […]

#Me Too, Historical Context

  Me Too, which began in 2006 but exploded into the mainstream only with the various Hollywood sex scandals of late 2017, might seem like a novel thing, a shiny new movement unprecedented and out of context, but I promise it is not. Depending on your views you might love or hate the movement, but […]

Seneca and Trigger Warnings

  I took part in a community discussion a few years ago. The rules asked me to label anything “potentially hurtful” with something I’d never heard of before, a so-called trigger warning. I asked what this meant and learned that the mention of certain topics “triggers” painful, often unbearable memories in the audience. For example, […]

The Saturn Five Rocket and Human Suffering

Look upon the Saturn V rocket. It is 110.6 meters tall, taller than the Statue of Liberty. It’s 10 meters in diameter, weighs nearly 3 million kilograms and cost 700 million dollars in today’s money. The first stage of this rocket created more than 3.4 million kilograms of thrust and consumed 2.3 million kilograms of […]