Zero Squared #28: Imaginary Games

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Chris Bateman is a game designer, outsider philosopher and author. His book Imaginary Games was published by Zero Books in 2011. Bateman is also the blogger behind Only a Game and he posts regularly in between writing how to manuals on game design and lecturing at the University of Bolton.

Jon Cogburn, Director of Philosophy at LSU blurbed Imaginary Games this way:

Chris Bateman’s Imaginary Games may just do for videogames what Noël Carroll’s The Philosophy of Horror did for scary books and movies…. not only philosophically compelling and interesting; it is also a great read.

In this episode you’ll hear a rerun of a conversation about the movie Tron between me and my then thirteen year old son Ben, theme music from Super Smash Brothers Melee, Chad African explaining Zizek and his idea of ontological incompleteness, clips from a youtube documentary about smash, a short clip on Hegel from the 8-bit philosophy series, and the theme music from Super Mario Brothers.

Zero Squared #18: The Temptation of Nothing

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Daniel Coffeen is the guest this week and we discuss a blog post he wrote that ended up on Thought Catalog that was entitled The Temptation of Nothing. Coffeen has a PhD in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley where taught adjunct for many years and now works independently writing copy as well as writing about contemporary art, film, language, Deleuze, and the rest. He is a philsopher if by philosophy you mean the tendency to play with ideas.

In his blog post Coffeen wrote:

My shrink — who is of another order, another plane; he’s not a therapist per se — has been encouraging me to be that second man, to cut out all intoxicants for 90 days, give or take. Do nothing, he says, just be. And then you can drink and what have you but not because it sates but because you want to. For him, there should be no difference between sitting on the floor doing nothing and getting lit.

It’s Wednesday, May 6th 2015 and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Books and the host of this podcast.

In this episode you’ll hear Hilaire Belloc’s Guide to Boring, the song Skokiaan by Louis Armstrong, some dialogue from the movie Slacker, the Professor Jon Stewart discussing Kierkegaard, Hegel, Socrates and modernity, a clip from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, an explanation of that black and blue dress, the band Focus Group performing Chordfl from their album Elektrik Karousel, and Stars of the Lid’s “Don’t Bother They’re Here.”

Soap Zero 2: Enlightenment Interrupted

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German Idealism and the Enlightenment are the subjects this week as Michael Steinberg discuss his book “Enlightenment Interrupted.” Steinberg is an independent scholar and practicing attorney with a PhD in intellectual history from the University of Rochester. His book “Enlightenment Interrupted (The Lost Moment of German Idealism and the Reactionary Present)” came out from Zero Books in July of this year.

Previous books from Mr. Steinberg include The Fiction of a Thinkable World and A New Biology of Religion.

Professor Andrew Nash at the University of Cape Town praised the book. He wrote, “Michael Steinberg’s “Enlightenment Interrupted” is a master class and a rollercoaster ride, all at once. The pitfalls of abstract individualism have been pointed out since Hegel, and explaining them has been central to radical political thought for fifty years by now. But it’s never been easy to grasp concretely how that separation of self and world came about, and what the alternative to it could have been.”

Diet Soap Podcast #220: Karl Marx’s Reluctant Idealism

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Karl Marx and Hegel are the subjects this week as I talk to my friend Andy Marshall about Marx’s Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy in general. This conversation comes on the heels of a Facebook row with C Derick Varn wherein Varn took the widely accepted position that Marx was a materialist and Hegel was an idealist, while I argued that Marx was too enamored with Hegel’s dialectical logic and the unity of subject and object to really escape the Platonic Realm entirely.

I’d like to thank Andy Marshall, Penny R, Reagan S, and Shane S, for their generous one time donations to the Diet Soap podcast, and to thank Andy Marshall, Ted F, John Spillane, Jacob L, and John L for their recurring donations. I urge regular listeners to the podcast to find the paypal buttons at dietsoap.podomatic.com. Also, the podcast is available via iTunes and I urge people who enjoy this show to consider leaving a review at iTunes in lieu of a donation.

In the words of the Marxist Humanist Raya Dunayevskaya Marx’s humanism was neither a rejection of idealism nor an acceptance of materialism, but the truth of both, and therefore a new unity.