Zero Squared #138: Robot Love

This episode of the Zero Books podcast is a conversation with the Alfie Bown. Alfie is the author of the Zero Books title Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism and he recently penned an essay for the Paris Review entitled The Screen of Enamoration: Love in the Age of Google. In this episode we discuss Tinder, AI, augmented reality, and robot love.

We’ve moved the Inside Zero Books podcast from the Zero Books blog to Patreon. This will make it easier to get the member’s only podcast on podcatchers. It also means that we’ll be repeating the first year of Inside Zero Books daily on our Patreon account. If you missed Inside Zero Books podcast the first time, or if you just want to hear the old episodes again, they’ll be available. In fact, I’ll be posting an old episode right after I release this podcast. The next rerun will be from November of 2016. It’s entitled Inside Zero Books #11: Moral Panics and features a conversation with Ashley Frawley.

If you haven’t already you might pick up Anselm Jappe’s The Writing on the Wall or Stuart Walton’s Neglected or Misunderstood: Introducing Theodor Adorno. Reading Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies would be a great way to bring in the New Year. And the anthology Punk Is Dead is another terrific title from Zero Books.

Zero Squared #50: Enjoyment (It’s a Trap!)

Alfie Bown is editor of Everyday Analysis, a blog and book series with Zer0 Books. He’s an assistant professor in Hong Kong and he writes on critical theory and comedy. His first stand-alone book with Zero Books Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism was published on December 11th this year, and the back of the jacket copy for the first book describes it this way.

Using a range of ‘case studies’ from Critical Theory to Candy Crush, ‘Gangnam Style’ to Game of Thrones and Football Manager to Hieronymus Bosch, this book argues that we need to rethink our enjoyment.

Simultaneous with this appearance on Zero Squared, Alfie Bown is also a guest on the always enlightening C-Realm podcast where he holds up well under KMO’s scrutiny.

In this episode you’ll hear excerpts from a conversation with Harold Bloom, a reading of Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming.” You’ll hear clips of the music of Super Mario Brothers, an 8bit version of Philip Glass’s Koyaanisqatsi, and Schoenberg. You’ll also find a bit of a lecture on Adorno’s “Culture Industry” from the youtube star Kevin McNeilly, Cyriak’s meow mix, and What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? from the Ukulele Teacher.

Zero Squared #15: Twerking to Turking (EDA)

Alfie Bown is the guest this week and we discuss the book from the EDA Collective Twerking to Turking which is coming from Zero Books this month. With the tag line: “Analysing the signs of everyday life” this is the second collection by the EDA. It is a follow-up to their book “Why Animals are funny.”

Jamie Mackay, writing for Review 31, praised the EDA, writing:

It is not often that theory is this fun to read, and less often still that satire is so well versed in the language of its assailants.

It’s Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Books and the host of this podcast.

In this episode you’ll hear a longish clip from Radiolab on the subject of Yellow Rain. The podcast was originally aired on September 24th, 2012, and I’ll provide links to it in the show notes. If you go to the site you’ll find an apology from Robert Krulwich wherein he apologizes for the way he aggressively questioned the Mr Eng Yang regarding reports that “yellow rain” was used on people in Laos after American forces left Vietnam. I want to make clear that, in my opinion, Robert Krulwich should not have apologized. If the oppressed of the Earth are going to find a voice that matters they will, simultaneously, have to be open to the truth and to pursuing the truth. This will require transcending their own experiences even as they act in their own collective interest.

You’ll also hear clips of Philip Glass’s Photographer, an excerpt from a documentary about Audrey Hepburn entitled “World’s Most Photographed Woman,” the comedian Godfrey Chi, Phlearn Photoshop’s “The Basics of Studium and Punctum in Photographs,” and “Got a Good Thing Going” by the Beetletown Players and Mister Show.