25 Aug 2016, 12:33am
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Zero Squared #81: Decoding Chomsky

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Chris Knight is currently senior research fellow in the department of anthropology at University College, London, focusing his research on the evolutionary emergence of human language and symbolic culture. He lives in London. His book Decoding Chomsky is coming out from Yale University Press in September.

Here’s a description from the back jacket:

Occupying a pivotal position in postwar thought, Noam Chomsky is both the founder of modern linguistics and the world’s most prominent political dissident. Chris Knight adopts an anthropologist’s perspective on the twin output of this intellectual giant, acclaimed as much for his denunciations of US foreign policy as for his theories about language and mind. Knight explores the social and institutional context of Chomsky’s thinking, showing how the tension between military funding and his role as linchpin of the political left pressured him to establish a disconnect between science on the one hand and politics on the other, deepening a split between mind and body characteristic of Western philosophy since the Enlightenment. Provocative, fearless, and engaging, this remarkable study explains the enigma of one of the greatest intellectuals of our time.

If you like this podcast you might leave a review at iTunes and if you don’t like this episode leave a comment on the blog. The membership site is still on course for a September release and, when it is up online, you’ll be hearing lots of calls for you to join. In the meantime you should get your hands on Daniel Coffeen’s Reading the Way of Things, Mike Watson’s Towards a Conceptual Militancy, or Grafton Tanner’s book about Vaporwave entitled Babbling Corpse.

In this episode you’ll hear the voice of Noam Chomsky, an instrumental version of Pokemon, and the theme for Roboboogie.codeclub.org.uk.

Zero Squared #80: Porn Panic

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Jerry Barnett is an author, technologist, campaigner, photographer and entrepreneur. With a long background in anti-fascism campaigning, he has become increasingly disillusioned with the new left, which has taken on many of the attitudes and methods of the old right. His book Porn Panic is out from Zero Books this month.

In this episode you’ll also hear a collage partially lifted from Stephen Naish’s recent youtube book trailer for his upcoming book Bringing Up Baby. You’ll also hear some pornographic music from the 70s, an excerpt of Kate Brooks debating against the proposition that free speech includes the right to offend, and Tony Babino’s lounge club cover of The Internationale, and a clip from Sexopolis by Jean Pierre Mirouze.

Zero Squared: Radical and/or Racial Politics?

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Glenn Loury is the guest this week as we discuss black anger, white victims of police violence, and the ins and outs of structural racism. Loury is a former conservative who became a man of the left in the 90s. He has a predisposition to go slow and a strong inclination to favor reform over radical change. He is also a good guest. A professor at Brown University, a onetime contender for Undersecretary of Education, the author of the book The Anatomy of Racial Inequality, and the host of the Glenn Show at bloggingheads.tv, we were glad to have him back.

Some Zero Books titles that you should check out: Daniel Coffeen’s Reading the Way of Things, Eliot Fintushel’s book Zen City, and Jerry Barnett’s Porn Panic.

In this episode you’ll hear about Functionalist Assumptions in Sociology, a clip from the 80s film Repo Man, Iggy Pop’s theme for Repo Man, an excerpt from a speech by Omali Yeshitela at an African People’s Solidarity Committee conference, an excerpt from the comedy sketch program Mr. Show, and the Wellness/Plaza Vaporwave Mix from the youtube star Akanein Tokio TV.

4 Aug 2016, 5:31am
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Zero Squared #78: Airplane Reading

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Christopher Schaberg and Mark Yakich are the guests this week as we discuss their recently released book Airplane Reading. Their book brings together a range of essays about air travel and features the work of Lisa Kay Adam, Sarah Allison, Jane Armstrong, Thomas Beller and many other fine writers. The book was born out of a long term internet project that’s been running since 2011 at airplanereading.org.

Harriet Baskas, travel writer for USAToday.com blurbed the book this way:
A marvelous story round-up exploring and explaining what air travel does to us—and makes us do. Buy it now, but save it to read on your next cross-country flight.

We are still working on our membership site for Zero Books readers. The site will be rolled out in September to coincide with the new school year and will feature members only podcasts, online workshops with our authors, and audiobooks. To find out more follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or check out Zero Books blog at zero-books.net.

This episode includes clips from the movie Fight Club, some Philip Glass music played on a ukulele by the youtube star Fourbladeknife, the sound of an airplane landing, a PanAm advertisement from the 60s, brief clip from Brian Eno’s Music for Airports as performed by Bang on a Canand the theme for Airport ’77.