Assembling against empire. Political theorist and philosopher Michael Hardt on AEWCH!

11 Aug

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If so, support it on Patreon!
The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated!
Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 120 at bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too. 

Friends,

Back in 2000, philosophers, political theorists, and activists Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri’s book Empire came out to fanfare, shock, and intense responses. It named the nexus of power currents and nodes across the planet that formed the net of neoliberalism. It couldn’t just be described as a problem of states or corporations anymore, it was empire. That meant new ways of understanding were needed, and new ways of resisting and creating.

The follow ups fleshed out different aspects of their arguments, only strengthening them: Multitude, Commonwealth, and, most recently, Assembly.

I remember having arguments about Empire with Marxists who thought the books were “too ontological” and that they discouraged activism because they seemed to indicate that resistance movements would just show up and save the day on their own. And yet it all seemed absolutely correct to me, in the diagnosis of the problem, and, in later books, how to solve it. And it in no way expressed a shallow reliance on spontaneous formation of movements. “Belief in spontaneity is a political position” they wrote – there’s so much happening, a congregation of factors. What we need to do is see what’s happening and enter into the gaps and the space between the known, to reclaim and realign the direction we’re going in. And these books do a lot to peer into what we weren’t seeing and to gather up everything that comes into focus: from Marx to Deleuze, the patterns of birds in flight to Star Trek, John Locke to identity politics.

These books are massive undertakings that deeply unearth and express the situation we are in today. You have got to read these books, but especially Assembly which navigate the tension between leader-led and leaderless movements, as well as how these movements arise.

So it’s with great excitement that I bring you my conversation with Michael Hardt, whose work has been influential on me and many others for decades.. This is a deep but also wide-ranging discussion.Enjoy it, friends. And after you’re done listening, think about how to prepare for the next resistance movement before it arises.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Identities as property
  • Differences between capitalist, communist, and socialist ideas of property
  • Why giving up private property doesn’t mean sharing your toothbrushes and pillowcases
  • The body as private property
  • Why fears of anarchism are merely extensions of private property laws
  • The commonwealth of knowledge available to all of us
  • Why private property will not protect us
  • Whether or not our suffering belongs to us
  • The buttonhole and button of desire
  • Wedding rings as BDSM gear
  • “The way Deleuze reads Nietzsche is the way Marx read capitalist society.”
  • Affirmation as a political move
  • The difference between mythic art and occult art
  • The magical activity in the space between megalithic stones
  • The lack is simply where we can’t see what’s there

SHOW NOTES

• Buy all of Michael’s books. Really. You’ll never see the world the same way after you’re done. For more on Michael And here’s a good interview with him on The Dig. Here’s an incomplete but nice little 4 minute intro to Empire. Finally, here’s a free digital copy of Declaration, a sort of anti-manifesto manifesto written by Michael and Toni.

• Here’s “The Same Old Song” by Russell Means. The actual quote is, “Being is a spiritual proposition. Gaining is a material act.” Means’s essay is not actually an essay, for, as he states at the outset, “The only possible opening for a statement of this kind is that I detest writing. The process itself epitomizes the European concept of ‘legitimate’ thinking; what is written has an importance that is denied the spoken.” The essay is also found in the book Marxism and the Native Americans.

• I talked about identities as nationalisms way back on AEWCH 7 (a solo episode: “Selfie Politics”), and I was pleasantly surprised to see the topic addressed in Michael’s work after the fact. It’s something that’s happened many times when reading his and Toni’s work: the happy shock of recognition. I also talked about the topic with Asad Haider on AEWCH 26 with Asad Haider, via his excellent book, Mistaken Identity.

I wrote an essay about utopianist Charles Fourier, and I think this it serves as a great introduction to his work.

Cal by Bernard MacLaverty is a great, slim novel. And it’s a good movie too (although I am told by Irish friends that it’s a bit too THIS IS AN IRISH MOVIE for their taste).

• The Irish activist who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer was my friend and AEWCH 87 guest, Una Mullally.

• I love Wittgenstein whether or not I disagree with him on this or that point. I believe what Michael was referring to was “Other people cannot be said to learn of my sensation only from my behavior, – for I cannot be said to learn of them. I have them. The truth is: it makes sense to say about other people that they doubt whether I am in pain; but not to say it about myself.”

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (pictured) is a wonderful writer and thinker and her work is needed now more than ever.

• Also interesting, Alexandra Kollentai. You can listen to Sophie Lewis and I discuss some of the concepts that relate to Kollentai’s work on AEWCH 106.

Michael’s book on Deleuze is pretty heavy philosophy, but I do love it. If you’ve got any foundation to start with, I think it’s a great book. And here’s Deleuze’s beautiful quote: “To affirm is to unburden: not to load life with the weight of higher values, but to create new values which are those of life, which make life light and active.”

• I spoke at length about nothingness and its power in a directly occult way with Are Thoresen on AEWCH 116. And on AEWCH 85, I discuss Frithjof Bergmann’s work against work.

• “Filling out the passage from multiplicity to multitude remains for us the critical project,” Michael and Toni write.

• If you haven’t yet listened to AEWCH 91 – which is the last recorded interview with Lynn Margulis before her death – you should really give it a listen.

Until next time, friends,
XO
CH

Ian MacKaye on Against Everyone with Conner Habib

4 Aug

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Friends, does this show have value to you? If so, I ask that you support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated! Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 119 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too. 

Friends,

What a wonderful honor to have legendary musician, Fugazi/The Evens/Coriky frontman, archivist, and founder of Dischord Records, Ian MacKaye on AEWCH.

It’s difficult to introduce Ian or to overstate his impact on many people’s lives, especially many artists’ lives. So instead of just describing him, I’ve included a spotify playlist of some of my favorite songs from Ian here. Ian’s music, and his steadfast political engagement have been instrumental in my life, my ethics, and, my creative life. I’m so happy to have had this conversation, and to share it with you. It was a strengthening and enlivening conversation with me, and I hope it is for you too.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Finding the sense of joy in life itself as the terribleness of the world appears to encroach
  • The (mis)uses of anger
  • The value of listening to an Order of nuns in Alaska
  • Balancing how much you enter into society and how
  • The importance of everyday sounds and sights
  • Square sounds versus round sounds and the flip book effect of digital media
  • The benefits of landlines
  • The tyranny of options and the importance of limits
  • The moment fear enters an activity
  • Punk as folk music and shows as folk activity

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Ian, here’s a great interview with him and his recording process in the (also great) Tape Op Magazine. And here’s an interview with him in 2015 from Huck Magazine. There’s an entire archive of Fugazi shows available on the Dischord Records site. Jem Cohen’s film about Fugazi, Instrument, is by far one of the best documentaries of music and creativity ever made. You can link to it here, but also consider buying it if you’d like to support Jem’s work. There’s also a great book about Keep Your Eyes Open: The Fugazi Photographs of Glen E. Friedman that’s available on the booklist above. Finally, Ian just had a new record come out with his latest band, Coriky. It’s excellent. I’ve included some of the songs on the playlist above, but do consider buying it (especially on vinyl!).

• Have you seen The Thin Red Line? It’s such a beautiful film. Take some time and watch it.• Here’s that great quote from Tape Op: “The thing I am most interested in is the higher version of music. The one that was around before the recording industry. That deep, connective form that takes over, not one, but two senses – you hear it, but also feel it. It touches us emotionally or spiritually.”

• I think I got my science right on the waves! I’m not totally sure. But, without a value judgment here, it’s also what some of the people worried about 5G say – the length and sheer number of the microwaves creates, uh, all sorts of issues.

• Rites Of Spring is a great band. Here’s their song, “Drink Deep.

• I talk a bit about sex work and the uses of detachment on AEWCH 44 with Kelly Link & Jordy Rosenberg, AEWCH 69 with Heather Berg & Sovereign Syre, and also AEWCH 88 with Johnny Hazzard.

Until next time,
XO
CH

The magicke of landscapes, the landscapes of magicke. AEWCH 118 featuring Phil Legard!

28 Jul

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Friends, does this show have value to you? If so, I ask that you support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated! Want to buy the books mentioned ont his ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 118 on bookshop.org.* It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too. *(Unfortunately Phil’s book is not available on bookshop.org, but you can buy it directly from Scarlet Imprint)

Friends,
In a time of confinement, how do we magically evoke landscapes in us? And how do we create maps for ethical approaches to magical landscapes? for that exploration, I’m so excited to welcome Phil Legard to the show. I was first introduced to Phil’s massive body of musical and scholarly magical work via Ben Chasny (who appeared on AEWCH 45 and who Phil has worked with). Phil has a massive amount of musical work available, including his musical projects Hawthonn, Xenis Emputae Traveling Band, and Sulis Noctis -you can listen to all of them and support him by paying for your music on the Larkfall bandcamp page.Recently, Phil has published the effort of years of transcribing and working with the 16th century grimoire-ic book of magic in process An Excellente Book Of The Arte Of Magicke, by imperialist demon-summoner Humphrey Gilbert and his scryer (lover?) John Davis. It’s now available from Scarlet Imprint, featuring essays by Phil and commentary by Alexander Cummins. We talk about the book at length on the episode, as well as the dubious character of its authors. And we talk about Phil’s concerns about magic and politics. This is a long and deep episode.Two other things: 1. There’s a fun synchronicity in this episode that I left in just to show how things like this happen. 2. The episode ends with “Hesperian Garden: Threshold I” one of Phil’s forays into speculative music and the work of angelic magician, John Dee.

ON THIS EPISODE, WE DISCUSS

  • The importance of helping leftist politics and magic find each other
  • The change in spiritual responsibility when you start communicating magic versus when you keep it to yourself
  • The anti-capitalist function of time and space in art
  • Tree people, rock people, and the personhood of everything
  • How people add to landscapes and spirits add to people and landscapes add to spirits
  • The spiritual bodies of our houses and of music
  • Vowels as spiritual beings, consonants as megaliths
  • Becoming-psychotic
  • Google Glass as an anti-magic technology
  • The pitfalls and wonders of speculative music
  • The intersections of magic and imperialism
  • The temptations of summoning demons
  • Why people fuck themselves up doing white magic, too
  • Doing magic in academia

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Phil, visit his excellente blog and website. It has some pretty incredible essays on sound, landscapes, and magic. Here’s a link to Phil’s paper, “Materia Magica Nova: Towards a Critical Magic” which we open the show with a discussion about. And here’s The Well Head, which is Phil’s project with his wife Layla Legard (called Hawthonn) which turns you into a well. Seriously. Finally, here’s free access to Phil’s beautiful book, on psychegeography Psychogeographia Ruralis.

• I talked about spiritual politics with Michael Brooks on AEWCH 117, and also hierarchies in spirituality and politics with David Graeber on AEWCH 99.

• Below is an image of Mên-an-Tol, the sacred stone site that sparked profound change in Phil’s life and art.

• Phil has done lots of work exploring “speculative music” and his articles and sources on it all link here.

• Phil mentions the artist/musician Ian Johnstone, and later, he mentions composer Fred Lerdahl. I’m only mildly familiar with both, but I’ll be looking deep into their work now.

• Here’s a short article on psychogeography (and for more, check the booklist linked above).

• Phil has written a great brief essay on Joseph Hauer, “Josef Hauer’s Eternal, Atonal Universe“.

• Want to learn more about the literary group the OULIPO? Here’s a good intro. And thanks to Phil, I’m now learning about Ramón Lulle and his mystical divinatory wheels.

• I discuss the etheric body between the stones on AEWCH 116 with Are Thoresen.

The Game Of Saturn by Peter Mark Adams is another great Scarlet Imprint book, mainly available through their site, and covers the Sola-Buscas tarot deck.

• I talked with the problems of Sylvia Fedrici on AEWCH 99 with witchcraft scholar Thomas Waters.

Johann Gottfried von Herder is pretty fascinating, and relatively forgotten.

Cunning-Folk and Familiar Spirits: Shamanistic Visionary Traditions in Early Modern British Witchcraft and Magic is well-worth checking out.

• Remember the first oracle from The Neverending Story? Anyway, be careful.

Until next time, friendes,
CH

RIP Michael Brooks. Here’s our conversation about the need for spirituality, warmth, and meaning in leftist politics.

21 Jul


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Like the show? Support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated!

Friends,
I generally post a new episode of the show every week, but yesterday, my pal and AEWCH guest, Michael Brooks died. He was 37.

So I wanted to make space again for this conversation, where Michael expresses so beautifully the need for spirituality, meaning, and warmth in leftist discourse.

I’ve posted the old show notes below (and the old intro after that). The only other thing to add is that, since we recorded, Michael’s book, Against The Web: A Cosmopolitan Answer To The New Right, was published. You can find it here.

Friends, be loving to one another and yourselves.

XO
CH

SHOW NOTES

• For more Michael, support his patreon, and check him out on The Majority Report, you can listen to him in conversation with Thaddeus Russell (who appeared on AEWCH 21) here, and you can get his book, The Buddha’s Playbook (co-authored with Josh Summers) here. 

• Marx’s full  quote, which is quite clearly rallying against religion as happiness:

“The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.”

• The other Arab we were hanging out with is Dr. Drew Mikhael (pictured) who is great, of course.

• In case you wanted to know where I stand on the Marianne Williamson and AIDS thing, here’s a thread on twitter, but I also think Mitch Horowitz and I do a good job taking apart some of this on AEWCH 30.

• Here’s “Marianne Williamson: Warren And Sanders Changed My Mind About Medicare For All During Debate

A great (not For Dummies) book on systems is The Hidden Connections: A Science for Sustainable Living by Fritjof Capra.

• Some information on Social Threefolding here. Or you can read Social Threefolding: Rebalancing Culture, Politics and Economics: An Introductory Reader by Rudolf Steiner

• Todd McGowan’s book on psychoanalysis and capitalism is Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets. Todd’s been on the show twice, first on AEWCH 47, and then with Peter Rollins on AEWCH 70!

Until next time, 

XO
CH

Original intro notes below:
Friends, 

The day after Jeffrey Epstein “killed himself,” I sat down to talk* with leftist media figure Michael Brooks in a building in Belfast named after one of Epstein’s co-conspirators. Coincidence?

I’m happy to think this meeting was fated, actually; since I appeared on Michael’s great politics show – The Michael Brooks Show –  to talk about new age politics (as of this post, you have to be a patron to listen to it, but he will be unlocking it soon, I think!), we’ve been wanting to talk more. We’re both interested in the left and spirituality, we both have an interest in Marianne Williamson’s place on the stage, we both support Bernie Sanders with strong reservations, and we’ve both been formed by our time living in Western Massachusetts.  As you can hear, we ended way too abruptly and wanted to go on and on, but Michael was about to take a tour of Belfast, so you’ll have to wait for the next installment of our conversation, which I’m sure is coming sometime soon!

Before you think this is only a bromance show, I should tell you we, of course, go deep into the topics at hand. Including:

  • How spirituality shows us what messes we are
  • The attempt of the left to banish spirituality
  • Why attacking Marianne Williamson ends up being an attack on many working class people
  • The left’s failure  to distinguish between sincerely held beliefs and 
  • How new atheism is connected to alt-right-ism.
  • Is universal healthcare a spiritual question?
  • Capitalism as a symptom of materialism
  • Socialism as a creator of mental space
  • economics, rights, and culture (and how each tries to dominate the other)

Demonology & Nothingness – A deep occult discussion with Are Thoresen on AEWCH 116!

7 Jul


Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 116: ARE THORESEN or DEMONOLOGY & NOTHINGNESS


L
ISTEN ABOVE OR ON: iTunes Stitcher Soundcloud
Thank you for your support in this time, friends. This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company and making you think or inspiring creativity, please give what you can. Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!
Thank you so, so much.
Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 116 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

AEWCH116TitleCardFriends, How does evil – created by culture and our own deeds – affect us?

You’ve heard me discuss spiritual topics on the show before, but I don’t think I’ve ever pulled you all into the deep end with me like this, nor steered the conversation towards the topic of, well, demons. And not the metaphorical kind. Demons as actual entities – as well as why we need to talk about spiritual beings as beings – and how they affect our health and our lives.

My guest, Are Thoresen is a a Christian occultist, author, veterinarian, and acupuncturist who lives in Norway. His writing details (sometimes in the same book) his decades-long career in healing as well as his own spiritual experiences, encounters, and events.

He’s the author of many books, including Spiritual Translocation: The Behaviour of Pathological Entities in Illness and Healing and the Relationship Between Human Beings and Animals, and Demons and Healing: The Reality of the Demonic Threat and the Doppelgänger in the Light of Anthroposophy, both which we talk about at great length here.

Unlike other episodes, I let myself get lost a bit in this one, because Are and I have some overlapping spiritual experiences, and I don’t want to halt the conversational pathwork to explain everything. To that end, I give some guidance with the terms we use (elementals, Lucifer/Ahriman, etc) at the top of the show.
We start off with evil and we end with the Nothingness of the Christ. In between, there are dinosaurs, translocating demons, sick pets, a planet made of bad deeds, and more. This is a wide-ranging episode that has its own life. If it knocks you over, that’s okay. Hit those fifteen-seconds-back buttons and listen through again.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The lure of evil when we talk about it, and the protection of the heart healing
  • Why Are considers the fact that he had coronavirus a blessing
  • How negative feelings and thoughts echo up into the cosmos
  • The 8th Sphere
  • The Northern Way, Southern Way, and Middle Way of initiation
  • The time I heard the devil in my backyard
  • Why pets get sick when their owners are sick
  • Why podcasting is just a little bit evil
  • When Are time traveled and saw dinosaurs
  • The problems with magical activism

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Are, here’s his website, as well as a great skeptical (and far less skeptical by the end) interview with him on the Adventures Through The Mind podcast. I’m also linking here to his Temple Lodge Publishing page and to two of his books via amazon, because some of his books are not available or are on backorder on bookshop.org.

• The essay about my ex-boyfriend beating me up is, “If you ever did write anything about me, I’d want it to be about love.”

• If you’d like to know more about Daskalos and his conception of elementals, I talk about them on AEWCH 67 with Daniel Joseph.

• The story of Parzival (or Parsifal) is known as a depiction of occult initiation. Here’s the most exoteric version of it: Wikipedia!

• The friend who said, “you’re not evil, you’re racist!” was Gordon White, of course.

• Here’s an interview with Judith Von Halle in The Southern Cross Review (whose editor once called me an “anthro-degenerate” but it’s a good interview, nevertheless!). The profound insights on the Pool Of Bethesda I mention appears in Illness and Healing: And the Mystery Language of the Gospels.

The Fifth Gospel lecture cycle by Steiner is one of the most complicated and intense, and one that Steiner himself said others would have great difficulty understanding.

• Mentioned briefly: For more on occultist Peter Duenov, (pictured here) click for a PDcomprehensive review.

• My essay about the lymphoma diagnosis, as well as my thoughts on treatment, and my mother’s death from bone cancer, is entitled, “When You’re Sick You’ll Wait For The Answer But None Will Come“.

• A great psychoanalysis book on the emanation of everything from nothing (in this case, sex) is What is Sex? by Alenka Zupančič.

• “Everything that violates free will is black magic.” – Are

Thank you for listening, friends.

Note: No episode next week. But I imagine it will take everyone some time to digest this one!
XO,
CH
gecko

Who are we when we use the internet? And who are we becoming? I talk with internet historian Joanne McNeil on AEWCH 115!

30 Jun


Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 115: JOANNE MCNEIL or THE INNER EXPERIENCE OF THE INTERNET


LISTEN ABOVE OR ON: iTunesStitcherSoundcloud 

Thank you for your support in this time, friends. This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company and making you think or inspiring creativity, please give what you can.
Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon! Thank you so, so much.
Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 115 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

AEWCH115TitleCardFriends,
In my final episode (at least for now) in my mini-run of episodes on the challenges of tech, I thought I’d turn the lens a bit: What does tech feel like for us? What is the experience of it, particularly using the internet?
To answer this question in a deep and engaging way, I talk with author, cultural critic, and internet historian
Joanne McNeil.
Joanne’s book, Lurking: How a Person Became a User, is unlike any book on the internet that you’ve ever read. Why? Because it’s not a book of praise or even condemnation of social media founders, or a journey through start-up-dom. Instead, it’s an exploration of what it’s like for us to be on the internet. What were and are the contours of our experiences on Myspace, Hotbot, Friendster, Google, writing and reading blogs, and (ugh) Facebook? What kind of people do we become engaging with these “spaces?” And perhaps most challengingly, what’s good about them?
(NOTE: Joanne and I had some sound challenges in the episode, so you’ll notice a few quality discrepancies, but nothing terrible. Just a heads up that you’ll get the glitches. mid-ep.)

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Respecting the interactions on the internet
  • What the internet has done to memory
  • The way pop culture just before the internet hit got lost
  • The gay history of the internet
  • The shaping of love on the internet
  • What sort of relationships are forming in quarantine conditions?
  • The fulfillment of wandering and lurking on the internet
  • Craigslist’s lost potential
  • The asymmetricality of anonymous users and open users
  • How twitter acts like capitalism
  • The difference between caring about wrongs and being involved in the stories of them online
  • The three times I had twitter pile-ons
  • Why we need to get rid of facebook and not replace it
  • Where to go from here and all this mess

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Joanne, here’s her website, which has tons of links and a great HTML aesthetic. And here’s a great interview with her just after the release of Lurking.

• Have you seen Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero? Also, did you know that there’s a severely distorted sample of a Brainiac song in the AEWCH theme? Well, there you go.

• The Tech Won’t Save Us podcast featuring Joanne is here. And they have a patreon!

• I wrote a bit about my trip to Florida to meet Ron in my essay “Gay For Pay, Part 1

• Who else remembers the Pet Shop Boys’s 2002 song about falling in love via online text, “Email“?

• Here’s my old essay on hookup apps as pornography, “Facing The Torsos“.

• SESTA/FOSTA was passed years ago now, but I and other workers fought against it. Here’s a review of what it is.

• Yes, I was really into Unwound, and I still like them a lot!

• Yes, I’m changing my twitter in the next few days. We’ll all be okay, promise!

Melissa Gira Grant comes up a couple of times in the episode, so check out her writing via the twitter link and her website!

• Here’s Run Your Own Social by Darius Kazemi, and here’s Darius’s patreon.
Until next time, friends.
XO
Unwound

 

Abolish Silicon Valley! On fighting technocracy with Wendy Liu on AEWCH 114.

23 Jun


Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 114: WENDY LIU or AGAINST TECHNOCRACY
LISTEN ABOVE OR ON: iTunesStitcherSoundcloud

Thank you for your support in this time, friends. This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company and making you think or inspiring creativity, please give what you can.

Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 114 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.
AEWCH114TitleCard

Friends,

 

Collectively, the world is waking up to the problems of big tech, and the challenges that lay ahead. But to understand what the problems are, and how to overcome them, we need guides, particularly guides who have been through the anti-life equation of tech themselves and somehow managed to not become deadened by it.

So I knew the best to talk to would be Wendy Liu, Bay Area software engineer and start up founder, and now the author of Abolish Silicon Valley, a practical memoir about awakening within and then challenging tech.

With a book title like that, Wendy’s stance on tech has obviously changed since the start of her career. Her public presence now focuses on revealing turn after turn of unsound ethics, structural inequality, the problems with data gathering, and even darker impulses in tech. To that end, Wendy and I talk about what’s happening now, how theory and activism can help with what’s coming, and lots more. This is a great episode, and I’m so happy to share it with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Why tech workers can’t “change things from the inside”
  • How tech used to solve the problems of centralized “analog” forms of power, and what happened
  • The collective discontent with tech
  • The way identity politics issues in tech
  • The evil embedded in tech itself and how to spot it without becoming a luddite
  • Theory language vs coding language and how code completes the inner state for you
  • My goofy undergraduate hot-guys-on-geocities site
  • Why the pandemic regulations aren’t exactly new conditions
  • Repression and oppression as a tactic for tech
  • The pitfalls of tech socialism (and Wendy says, “Conner, don’t worry about that just yet!”)
  • The elimination of emotion
  • How (and how not) to resist the tech monster
  • The neoliberal tech erosion of Ireland

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Wendy, here’s her website. Here’s a great interview with her on the gay Marxist podcast, Twink Revolution.
• Want to learn more about Total Information Awareness? You should.
• Also on the you-should list, check out Doug Rushkoff if you haven’t yet. He’s one of the most brilliant thinkers I know.
• Although I’ve been doing a sort of mini-run of episodes on tech, the first one, really, was AEWCH 105 with apocalypse writer and tech critic Mark O’Connell. If you haven’t yet listen, go for it. And here’s the article on J.G. Ballard that Mark wrote, and which both Wendy and I loved.

OB

• I’ve learned a lot from Owen Barfield (pictured) about language, consciousness, and art.

 

• J.G. Ballard’s Myths Of The Near Future isn’t available, but you can get his collected stories (or selected stories) via this episode’s booklist link.

 

• The economics, political, and cultural sphere stuff, is social threefolding, developed by Rudolf Steiner.

 

• Here’s a little rundown on the death of honeybees from 5G radiation. It’s on a honeybee-centered website, but you can find the data corroborated by other entomologists and tech workers.

 

• Here’s the trailer for Sorry To Bother You.

 

• Learn more about Wilhelm Reich’s occult tech on AEWCH 59 or other forms of occult tech via AEWCH 112 with Peter Berbegal or AEWCH 113 with Duncan Laurie.
Until next time,
X0101010101010 (JK!)
CH
ALE

Magic technology, technological art, and dials to the spirit world. Duncan Laurie on AEWCH!

17 Jun

AEWCH 113: DUNCAN LAURIE or THE UN-SCIENCE OF RADIONICS

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Thank you for your support in this time, friends. This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company in isolation, please give what you can.

Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!

Thank you so, so much.

Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 113 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.
AEWCH113TitleCard

Friends,
I’m becoming increasingly wary and interested in the deepening commitment to tech in our world, particularly as we go through this global crisis together. I want to push on our capacity to imagine tech in different ways, to create a new relationship to tech in our lives, and to better prepare us for the challenges ahead.

 

So I decided to dig up my 2011 conversation with sculptor and tech-magic practitioner, Duncan Laurie. Duncan is the author of the profound book (seriously, everyone should read it!), The Secret Art: A Brief History of Radionic Technology for the Creative Individual.

R2I first heard of Duncan’s work with radionics via his segment on the late, great Disinformation series. In that clip, he talks plainly about two strange technologies I’d never heard of. First, radionics, which we primarily discuss on this episode. Second, bio-sensor sonic connection to plants and stones.

 

I talk at length about what radionics is at the top of the episode, so I won’t repeat it here, but the intersection of art, magic, science, and philosophy in radionics opens up completely new pathways for us.

 

Like AEWCH 91 with Lynn Margulis and AEWCH 97 Diana Young-Peak, this was part of a podcast project I started and abandoned in the early 2010s. I would love to have Duncan back on the show again now that I actually have a show, especially since he’s done plenty of work since 2011, obviously. But for now, bear with the less-than-ideal audio/discussion style/my younger voice. It’s pretty good, considering!

 

ON THIS EPISODE

  • How Duncan became attuned to the energies of growth and decomposition
  • “The first step where you get beyond the dimension of just materialism and the mechanistic viewpoint of life and suddenly just walk into a world where a different set of parameters is at work.”
  • What happens when we see beyond all materialism, and what radionics’s part is in that
  • How materialism degrades art and how art erodes materialism
  • The disconnect between validating radionics via science versus its use
  • Where Duncan sees using magical technology goes
  • The problem with seeking proof
  • Writer’s block as an analogy for not using magic
  • How desire connects us to art and to healing
  • Taking time out from what is known to look into the unknown

SHOW NOTES

• Duncan created an entire album – Induction Furnace – out of sounds from bio-sensors (the first album of its kind, I believe), and it’s a bizarre and wonderful listen. There are other musical bio-sensor works there, too, including a plant responding via bio-sensor to Bob Dylan’s “Cocaine”. Here’s an (unfortunately low-quality) video of Duncan getting rocks and plants to respond to each other with sound. Here’s a talk from Duncan at the TSAGregg Museum. Also, here’s a picture from his book, which, again, please get and read.

• Here’s a video by two modern radionics practitioners; they break it down in simple terms, although a little materialistically – “systems” “operating” etc. I do like their term for the radionics machine as a “high tech magical wand.”

 

• I wrote an essay about radionics, using them, and also sex (of course) years ago fro Vice.

 

• Here’s an essay on the founder of radionics, Albert Abrams, by one of his students, Eric Perkins.

 

• The author Upton Sinclair was interested in radionics and other weird science, and he wrote about it in his book Mental Radio.

 

• Duncan mentions that he’s a practitioner of Sura Shabd yoga. Here’s a very plain language explanation of it by Master Sirio Ji. The volume is low, so turn it all the way up.

The United States Psychotronics Association is pretty fascinating, and offers a lot of great new and strange directions.

 

• Duncan mentions the SE-5, a “radionics computer” which you can look into here.

 

• Here’s a link to a rare interview in The Sun with Cleve Backster, who put biosensors on plants. Unfortunately it’s with neo-primitivist transphobe and anti-sex worker activist, Derrick Jensen. But Backster is the focus.

 

Until next time, friends,
CH
O

Why we need occult technology now. I talk with Peter Bebergal on AEWCH 112.

7 Jun

Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 112: PETER BEBERGAL or OCCULT TECHNOLOGY


L
ISTEN ABOVE OR ON: iTunes Stitcher Soundcloud

Thank you for your support in this time, friends.

This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company in isolation, please give what you can. Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!

Thank you so, so much. Want to buy books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 112 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.
AEWCH112TitleCard

Friends,

As the coming technological innovations face us and threaten us, can we reconsider what technology is, what role it has in our lives, and how we can encounter (as well as build it) spiritually? What is the morality of technology; not just the morality of building new technologies, but the I asked writer and theologian Peter Bebergal to talk about just that.

Peter is the author of the entrancing book, Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural as well as two other books and an upcoming anthology about the inspirations for Dungeons & Dragons. His work always confronts and investigates the connections between the spiritual, the artistic, and the seemingly everyday.

I am experiencing all of these topics with a sense of increasing urgency, so I’m so happy to be able to share this conversation with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • That time I saw a skeleton walking down the road
  • Why repeatability in science is dehumanizing and how to liberate ourselves from it
  • Why we need to understand technology as enchanted
  • Mapmaking through the enchanted
  • The uses and problems of seeing information, not individuals, in medicine
  • When (and why) ayahuasca doesn’t work
  • Magic for frivolous uses versus magic that we need
  • How spiritualism dissolved our fear of hell
  • There are no unaltered states of consciousness
  • Why religions are not the same and how art reveals this
  • How to use magic to hack technology
  • The failures of wonder
  • Using technology to mediate the presence of dangerous spirits

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Peter, here’s a great episode of Other Side podcast with him, and here’s a conversation between he and Jeffrey Kripal. And here’s his website, which is outdated, but has links to tons of articles he’s written.

• I talk about some of the issues of morality and technology on AEWCH 105 with Mark O’Connell.

• I do love Thomas Nagel’s book, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, whether or not it made me want to send Thomas an email and be like, “Just read occult stuff!”

• Want to read up on the Keely machine?

• I have yet to read Umberto Eco’s classic novel, Foucault’s Pendulum. But I’ll get to it soon enough.

• “As long as humans can misuse technology, we will never be slaves to it.” – Erkki Kurenniemi

• Peter talks about Gareth Branwyn, a trailblazer in the maker movement.

MAM• Anyone else remember Mazes & Monsters? I actually never saw the film (with Tom Hanks) but I did read the novel.

• Here’s a summary of the work of philosopher and theologian, Rudolf Otto.

• “One way of torturing the dead, one way of failing to show them love, is to participate in spiritualist seances. For this forces them to manifest in a particular language. The dead person is expected to speak a particular language, for even with table-rapping the signs have to refer to a particular language. What is done to the dead by forcing them to express themselves in a particular language might very well be compared with pinching someone living in the flesh with red-hot tongs. So painful for the dead are spiritualist seances which expect them to express themselves in a particular language. For in their normal life the dead are striving to free themselves from the differentiations between languages.” – Rudolf Steiner

• A great, easy-to-read explanation of the Galileo stuff I mention is in Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry by Owen Barfield.

The Cottingley fairies are a lovely and beautiful hoax (although there is a little bit of CFcontention over one of the images, all these years later).

• Here’s Peter channeling Arthur Machen for an interview.

• If you haven’t read James Merrill’s channeled, beautiful book of poetry, The Changing Light At Sandover, you really should.

My Friend Dahmer is, in my opinion, a far superior graphic novel than film. So get it and read it.

• Here’s “Errormancy” by Kim Cascone.

Thanks friends, I’ll contact you again through your devices soon!
CH

PB

AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 111: GLOBAL SOLIDARITY WITH PROTESTORS

2 Jun

 

Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 111: GLOBAL SOLIDARITY WITH PROTESTORS

Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 5.04.38 PM

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Thank you for your support in this time, friends.

This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company in isolation, please give what you can.

Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

Friends,

We must form a global solidarity movement in support of protestors. Please listen and do what you can to overcome the obstacles in thinking, feeling, and behaving, that I talk about in this episode.

Love.

CH

SHOW NOTES
AEWCH 15 with Mark Bray on antifa
AEWCH 29 with Alex Vitale on the end of policing
AEWCH 83 with Franco Bifo Berardi on theory and action