Tag Archives: science

The problem with environmentalism & conservationism on AEWCH 156 with science writer Michelle Nijhuis!

13 Jul

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Buy Michelle’s book, Beloved Beasts, and all the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH 156 on bookshop.org. Bookshop.org sources from independent bookstores in the US, not a big corporate shipping warehouse where the workers are treated like machines. Plus when you click through here to order, the show gets a small affiliate kickback!

Friends,

I’m very excited to share this episode with journalist and author of Beloved Beasts: Fighting For Life In An Age of Extinction, Michelle Nijhuis.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The tensions between environmentalism and conservationism (and why I’m more pro-conservationism)
  • Conservationism as globalization and/or a transformation of space
  • The need to erode the centralization of environmentalism
  • The need for science to be met with the social sciences and humanities
  • The death of the Earth
  • Conservation as a protection of possibility
  • The problem with “deadline mentality”
  • How Michelle talks about climate change with her daughter
  • What a non-materialist climate change would look like
  • The reason why “religion versus science” is almost a straw man argument
  • How the core of cryptozoology has become a mainstream conservationist message

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Michelle, go to her website, which has an extensive listing of her (many!) article. And here’s Michelle’s discussion with Judith Lewis Mernit (about Jonathan Franzen’s essay, “Carbon Capture”) which captures the tensions between environmentalism and biodiversity quite well. Here’s her essay on the book about color that influenced Darwin.

Some episodes of AEWCH on science and the environment:

  • AEWCH 34 on how sex confronts materialism
  • AEWCH 82 on why we need to destroy the concept of nature
  • AEWCH 91 with microbiologist and geoscientist Lynn Margulis
  • AEWCH 113 with Duncan Laurie on the un-science of radionics
  • AEWCH 155 on Occult extinction

• When Michelle was talking about how we are bound to consume the environment, I kept thinking about the Friends theme-esque song “Someone Has To Die” by a band I love, The Maritime.

The Quagga Project is one of many initiatives to re-engineer species back from extinction. Sort of.

John Dupré‘s excellent essay, “Are Whales Fish?” appears in the anthology Folkbiology.

• Here are some notes on how Rachel Carson was deeply influenced by the work of Rudolf Steiner.

• “If we want to attain a living understanding of nature, we must become as living and flexible as nature herself.” -Goethe

Until next time, friends!
CH

AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 155: OCCULT EXTINCTION

6 Jul

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FRIENDS:

Do you find this podcast meaningful? Support it! This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon Thank you so, so much.

Buy all the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH 155 on bookshop.org.Bookshop.org sources from independent bookstores in the US, not a big corporate shipping warehouse where the workers are treated like machines. Plus when you click through here to order, the show gets a small affiliate kickback!

No show notes this time, just enjoy the ride, if you can!

XO CH

Alienation & Alien Nation. Catholicism and UFO researcher Diana Walsh Pasulka on AEWCH 144!

16 Mar

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This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do 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? To buy Diana’s books, and books related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 144 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,

Everyone who listens to this show knows that I’m interested in the intersection of spirituality, politics, and philosophy. Not in some sort of parapolitics or conspiracy way, of course – which I generally find plays out a bit shallow, even when there is truth there – but in the way the aforementioned currents play out in our inner lives, in our spiritual understandings, in our desires and drives, in our ethics and morals and activism.

Of course, this means, more and more, that I find myself contending with technology and the scientistic worldview that accompanies it.

It’s why this episode’s guest – religion and UFO scholar Diana Walsh Pasulka – is a perfect person to talk to on the show. Diana Walsh Pasulka  is the author of American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology, Heaven Can Wait: Purgatory in Catholic Devotional and Popular Culture and co-editor (with Simone Natale) of Believing in Bits: Digital Media and the Supernatural . They’re all amazing books.

At the top of this episode, I also spend a bit of time pulling apart something that comes up, and that’s the topic of AI, and how it relates to political economy and UFOs (phew!).

I’m still reeling from this conversation with Diana. She’s warm and thoughtful, and she’s mediating a lot of the intensities of the world that we need mediated. Ethics, morals, spirituality, science, tech, religion, and more.

I’m so excited to share this conversation with you.

(PS: As a bonus, this is coming out just before St. Patrick’s Day and has some St. Patrick’s lore in it! So it’s a sort of holiday episode!)

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Why do we not believe the things we don’t believe
  • Stopping ourselves from saying “that was weird” and “that was crazy”
  • The language of art as a way of knowing and learning
  • St. Patrick’s revelation
  • Diana’a UFO initiation process and academia as a site of false initiation
  • Academia’s resistance to supernatural and paranormal phenomena
  • Interacting with the dead in study and research
  • What’s the difference between Purgatory and limbo, and where is Purgatory (hint: Ireland)
  • When did physical evidence become a necessary aspect of making spiritual claims?
  • Are we all in Purgatory/limbo in quarantine?
  • My undergrad Geocities site as evidence of me speaking in tongues
  • When Diana’s social media was destroyed by bots
  • The burden and adventure of seeing what you see in the world

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Diana here’s her first and second appearance on Rune Soup. Here she is on a long (almost 3 hours!) podcast that often has… less interesting guests, the Lex Fridman show (I like Lex himself, no comment on him!). Here’s her CV on her university’s site.

• I talked about creating the new symbolic forms and language in the first episode of 2021, AEWCH 136. And here’s my discussion about metamodernism and theosophy with Jason Josephson Storm on AEWCH 141.

• The review of Diana’s book American Cosmic that was…not exactly positive, but still worthwhile in its critiques was from hermeticist Poke Runyon (who also identified the initiation event in Diana’s life).

• The shaman who said “you’ve graduated into a new danger” to me was Malidoma Some.

• I did a whole series on spirituality, politics, and tech – AEWCH 112 with Peter Berbergal an occult technology, AEWCH 113 with Duncan Laurie on the magical tech of radionics, AEWCH 114 on destroying Silicon Valley, and AEWCH 115 with Joanne McNeill on the inner experience of the internet.

• Here’s the trailer for Host, which, though flawed, is a really enjoyable horror film. Watch it on your laptop, for full effect!

• Here’s Somi Arian’s essay/“open letter” to tech about ethics/morals/free will.

• Steiner’s book, Friedrich Nietzsche: Fighter for Freedom, hasn’t been reprinted in the Collected Works series, but you can read it here.

Until next time friends,

CH

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

Lynn Margulis in conversation with Conner Habib on AEWCH 91.

19 Nov

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud • YouTube
This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.
Promo
Friends,
This is the most important episode of AEWCH for me. In it I talk with my friend and intellectual mentor, biologist and geoscientist Lynn Margulis. This is, I believe, the last recorded discussion with Lynn before her death from a stroke on November 22, 2011. Lynn was a profound intellect, and, I believe, the most important thinker in the last 50 years.
With James Lovelock, she developed the Gaia theory – that organisms interact with the non-living aspects of the Earth to regulate Earth systems like cloud cover, oceanic salinity, atmospheric gas abundance, and more. She also proved and popularized the notion that organelles in nucleated cells are symbioses of bacterial mergers.
Along with her son Dorion Sagan (from her marriage to Carl Sagan), she developed a new theory of evolution, symbiogenesis, which boldly asserts, and with ample evidence, that new species arise out of symbiotic mergers with bacteria, not through random genetic mutation-meets-natural selection.
The episode is a wide-ranging exploration of Lynn’s work and thought. Because Lynn offer so much, I’ve started this episode off with a lengthy introduction to all her efforts. It’s an intro adapted from the essay I wrote shortly after her death (and it appears in the book Lynn Margulis: The Life And Legacy Of A Scientific Rebel). Feel free to skip past the intro if you’re familiar with her work, or to listen to it as a primer afterward, to get your bearings in the dizzying array of names and scientific concepts on the episode.
On this episode, among many other things:
  • the difference between ecological association and symbiosis
  • why Darwin never mentioned the origin of species
  • why the mainstream pop-science version of evolution is religion, not science
  • “there’s this concept that almost all scientists have that there really is an objective reality, but there’s no evidence whatsoever (for that) because everything observed is through an observer, and that observer tends to be a person…”
  • How all science starts as esoterica
  • How scientific facts are accepted – and not accepted until capitalism approves
  • Is life process or entity
  • Why zoologists have such a hard time understanding evolution
  • “‘Medical science’ is an oxymoron, like ‘military intelligence’.”
  • Why Lynn just wanted to avoid people and read her whole life
  • Emily Dickinson and the Matster
SHOW NOTES
• For more on Lynn, read her countless publications. The two that everyone should read are Symbiotic Planet: A New Look At Evolution and (with Dorion Sagan) Acquiring Genomes: A Theory Of The Origin Of Species. Also, I recommend the text book I had to read for my first course with her, Environmental Evolution – 2nd Edition: Effects of the Origin and Evolution of Life on Planet Earth and her book of essays, Dazzle Gradually: Reflections on the Nature of Nature. A documentary about Lynn’s life and work, Symbiotic Earth, was released in 2017. Here’s Lynn interviewed by geneticist Jay Tischfield and here’s Lynn presenting the Gaia theory to NASA.
• In the episode, we talk several times about the “Homage To Darwin” event, which was organized around Lynn’s year at Oxford. The event featured Lynn, Richard Dawkins, paleobiologist Martin Brasier, biologist Steve Bell, and systems biologist Denis Noble. It’s one of many occasions wherein Lynn revealed the stupidity of Richard Dawkins’s ideas about evolution. It appears in three parts. Part One, Part Two, Part Three. I highly recommend watching all of them.
• Alfred North Whitehead was a profound influence on Lynn’s thinking, especially later in life. She mentions him at the top, and later in the episode, brings up his book The Function Of Reason.
• Lynn says, “We are all Schwendenerists!” means we all accept symbiosis because we accept the truth that lichens are symbiotic organisms. This was discovered by Simon Schwendener, a Swiss botanist.
• Lynn mentions James Watson’s book, DNA: The Secret of Life.
slug
Rosemary and Peter Grant studied the finches on the Galápagos Islands for years.
• An amazing book that expresses clashes between neo-Darwinism and Gaia and symbiogenesis (this is before Lynn and Dorion fully developed the theory of symbiogenesis) is From Gaia to Selfish Genes: Selected Writings in the Life Sciences.
• Would you like to learn about the photosynthetic sea slug? That’s a rehtorical question. Of course you would.
• Here’s a lengthy commentary on the debate between Lynn and Richard Dawkins that gets mentioned a few times in the episode.
• Palentologists Niles Eldrege and Stephen Jay Gould observed and popularized the idea of “punctuated equilibrium” – that most populations of organisms are stable and exhibit little change, until sudden and massive changes occur. This theory is expressed consistently in the fossil record, and in many ways, challenges neo-Darwinian theories of evolution.
• Ludwig Fleck’s book, Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact is a precursor to Thomas Kuhn‘s famous concept of a “paradigm shift,” and it’s a great look into how facts are made, how they inhere, and…then what?
• “The Experiment As Mediator Of Object And Subject” by Goethe (yes, Goethe!) changed my life, and it should be evoked again and again until it changes the face of science.
• A mind-blowing short essay on where organisms start and stop is “Where Do Organisms End?”
• We talked about some of this waaaay back on AEWCH 6 with Alex Tsakiris (and my first chat with Alex, “Fight Science With Science“)
• Lynn often raved about Max King’s book Species Evolution: The Role of Chromosome Change which I (still!) have yet to read.
• Lynn’s book of short stories, Luminous Fish, is quite good. I remember being a little scared to read it and then thinking – why did I expect anything less?
• Here’s a small bit on Swiss Emily Dickinson translator Hans Werner Lüscher.
You can expect a bit more on Lynn’s work – particularly on the origins of sex – from me in the near future.
Until next time, friends,
XO
CH
AERWCH91

AEWCH 90: Amanda Palmer + Conner Habib + Everyone. We are all here for each other.

12 Nov

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promo
Friends,
What an honor to go deep into the ways we are all connected with rock star, writer, TED Talker, and activist Amanda Palmer. Amanda is known for many things – her music, her band The Dresden Dolls, her book The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help which was kicked off by her TED talk, “The art of asking” – but all of her accomplishments stress a spirit of giving and vulnerability.
We start with me recounting an event from the week before, when I intervened and stopped a man from committing suicide, and from there, we talk about the many, many ways in which we are all here for each other. This is an episode compassion, which means “to suffer with.” It’s about the jobs that artists have in our world, about the ways we close ourselves off from connection, about art and motherhood, about mutualism in animals, and more.
And yes, we both cry.
I’m so proud to share this episode, friends, and I hope it brings light to you.
Do contribute to Amanda’s patreon. Amanda has done so much for artists, particularly by laying the foundation for grassroots and associative economies.

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Amanda, here’s a spotify playlist I’ve made of 10 songs by Amanda (and her band the Dresden Dolls) that I love. Amanda is married to world-renowned fantasy author, Neil Gaiman, and they record an entire event together (it’s great). And here’s a great (and mulled over on my show) Amanda appearance on Tim Ferris’s podcast.
• Here’s my little twitter tribute (in thread form) to Lynn Margulis. Stay tuned to future episodes for more on Lynn and her work.
• Amanda and I interacted for the first time when she was kind enough to repost my exclusive blog post of a speech by Tilda Swinton about art and light. The speech is stunning, and I was lucky enough to get it from Tilda’s friend, author William Middleton.
• Unfortunately, Tatsuo Motokawa’s classic article, “Sushi Science and Hamburger Science” is behind a paywall, but it’s worth reading.
• Here’s travel writer Pico Iyer’s TED Talk, “What ping-pong taught me about life“.
• If you’d like to read a bit on occult theories of how music works, check out AEWCH 45 with occult musician Ben Chasny, and also read The Harmony of the Human Body: Musical Principles in Human Physiology by Armin Husemann.
• Read Amanda’s poem for the brother of the Boston Marathon bomber “A Poem For Dzhokhar

MY

• There’s a great book by Walter Kendrick about how the ruins of ancient Pompei turned into porn called The Secret Museum: Pornography in Modern Culture.
• I have yet to listen to Madison Young‘s podcast, but it is SO on the list now.
• A great self help book that I think can help anyone who wants some help is How to Be an Adult: A Handbook for Psychological and Spiritual Integration by David Richo.
• Amanda was reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast and I recommend his book Eating Animals.
• The Roisin that Amanda mentions is Roisin Ingle, who created The Women’s Podcast.
• Actually, the Brian O’Connor episode came out just before this one! It’s AEWCH 89!
• Read Sophie Lewis‘s (dream guest for the show!) Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family for a truly challenging examination of motherhood, pregnancy, and work.
• I wrote about my mother’s death in my essay, “When You’re Sick You’ll Wait For The Answer But None Will Come
• I talk more about detachment and sex work on AEWCH 44 with writers Kelly Link and Jordy Rosenberg.
I’ll leave you here with the lyrics from Amanda’s beautiful song, “A Mother’s Confession” which is on the spotify playlist I made of Amanda’s music.
Our son is four months old his name is Anthony or Ash for short
And he’s too small to do things by himself
We were in LA over Christmas in a rental and we jury-rigged a place
To change his diapers on a shelf
I was peeing in the bathroom and had left him for a second
‘Cause I thought he couldn’t move and he was safe
As I came out I saw him falling in slow motion to the floor
It was probably the worst moment of my life
And then I accidentally stole a thing of chapstick from the safeway
I didn’t see it ’til I got out to the car
I would have usually returned it but I was overwhelmed
And late to take the baby to my cousins which was far away
In my defense, I’d bought like $87 worth of groceries
And the chapstick was a $1.99
I know it wasn’t the right thing to use
My newborn child as an excuse
But it felt like a good reason at the time
And as I pulled out of the parking lot I cried
And as I pulled onto the highway I said right
At least the baby didn’t die right?
At least the baby didn’t die
And then we went to Sarasota
To see Neil’s cousin Helen
For her birthday she just turned ninety-nine
We were also there for Sidney
Who was ninety-four two days before
But he was sick, so mostly it was Ash and Helen time
She survived the Warsaw ghetto
And she always says I love you”
When she sees you ’cause she knows you never know
She’d worked for months while I was pregnant
On a gorgeous handmade blanket
Her almost-hundred-year-old hands crocheting every row
I’d been emailing her pictures of the baby and the blanket
Every day since she had sent it in the mail
But they were of one that someone else had knitted
She was really nice about it
Then I went and shoplifted a pair of ugly sunglasses
From Goodwill (they were on my head
I’d tried them on and left them there)
But that’s not really bad compared to
When we left the baby in the car
At least he wasn’t in there very long
And not directly in the sun
And thank god no-one walking by happened to notice what we’d done
I’m even scared to put these lyrics in a song
But
Everything is relative and everyone’s related
I can’t do that much right now
But take care of this baby
I figure everything’s technically all right
If at least this baby doesn’t die
And then I took a plane to Washington alone
So we could visit Jason Webley who’s his godfather
He’s playing the accordion
I couldn’t wait to see him and share tales of our disasters
Over dinners in his houseboat when I saw I’d lost my passport
So I got a rush appointment at the place where you replace them
And I drove the baby in and on the way I got a speeding ticket
When the cop came to the window I was shaking and I said “I’m sorry”
But you couldn’t hear me that’s how loud the sound of screaming was
Cause he was hungry and I think that I was speeding
Cause I panic when I hear him cry
My god what kind of a mother am i
And as I pulled out of the breakdown lane I cried
And as I pulled out on the highway I said right
At least the baby didn’t die right?
At least the baby didn’t die”
While I was waiting for my passport I was hungry so
I twittered for a coffee in the neighborhood
And there I saw a woman who was sitting at the bar
And it was noon and she was drinking
And she called across the diner to me How old is your baby?”
And she smiled at us nursing
And she said she had a daughter who was grown
And then she paused
And said she also had a son
And when I’d paid and was about to leave
I picked him up and crossed the room and touched her sleeve
I said, Hey, this baby wanted to say hi”
And she held him tight and she started to cry
And I’m sorry that this story’s gotten long
And that everybody’s crying in this song
And then I got back in the car I turned the radio and heater on
And sat there with the baby in the back
And they were talking about Syria and climate change and ISIS
And the candidates’ positions on Iraq
I feel so useless in this universe
I know I could be doing worse
I’m trying hard to stay at peace inside
I know it’s hard to be a parent
But this mess is so gigantic
i wonder if I should have had a child
And as I pulled out of the parking lot I cried
And as I pulled out on the highway I said
right
At least the baby didn’t die
At least the baby didn’t die
EVERYBODY:
At least the baby didn’t die!! right?!
At least the baby didn’t die!!
(i may not make it to the passport place on time!)
At least the baby didn’t die
(and they might revoke my license for a while!!)
At least the baby didn’t die
(and I might get caught for retroactive theft!!)
At least the baby didn’t die
(and I might get turned into the DSS!)
But at least the baby didn’t die
Until next time, friends,
XO
CH

Amanda

photo by Michael Murchie

Your Death Is Your Project: Conner Habib + Caitlin Doughty!

22 Sep

I couldn’t be more excited to bring you this episode with death expert, bestselling author, and mortician, Caitlin Doughty!

Caitlin is the author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory as well as her new book about death rites, From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death.

She’s also the host of the wildly popular youtube series, Ask A Mortician which is one of the foundation stones of the death positive movement, which is seeking to change our relationship to death in our culture.

In this ep:

  • Taking death rites out of the “News of the Weird” category: 5:30
  • If we can’t think it’s okay for someone to interact with the mummy of their mother, how will we work on our politics? 11:20
  • Conner Sees His Dead Mother, or But can we really respect people’s experiences or is it just lip service? 13:25
  • Resisting creating a metaphysic around death…or forcing yours on someone else: 19:15
  • The potential of the strange psychological, spiritual event of death: 21:40
  • How death is our life’s project: 23.50.
  • What’s Your Death Fantasy? (And why?): 27:50
  • Lacan, Bataille, and how thinking about what the dead want tells us about the living: 34:55
  • Grieving is a physical process: 39:05
  • The boundary reveals itself as the connection: 40:25
  • How death makes us available to others in a new way: 42:20
  • Death is the engine that moves life forward: 48:00
  • The origins of sex: 49:00
  • And here’s where we get irritated about the singularity. And go on about it for quite a bit: 52:30

You can get full show notes with links to books we talk about, some info on previous Caitlin/Conner collaborations, and more by going to my patreon, where you can also support the show!

Love!
CH

M

Me + Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris talk ethics at the end of science on the new AGAINST EVERYONE

25 Aug

So excited to welcome podcaster, author, and skeptic of skeptics Alex Tsakiris! (You may remember Alex from my blog, when I posted our first-ever conversation, “Fight Science with Science” here)
Alex, author of Why Science Is Wrong…about Almost Everythingis best known as host of the mighty Skeptiko podcast, which has hundreds of episodes up, chronicling his journey from skeptic to full-on consciousness explorer. It’s an exhilarating progression, as Alex talks to scientists, mystics, conspiracy theorist, historians, and more. I encourage you to listen to the episodes in sequence. Alex is, in some ways, even more open and exposed than me, displaying all his misfires and new insights, his frustrations and his fascinations.
IN THIS EPISODE WE TALK ABOUT
  • Time management as occultism
  • My first memory was of the spiritual world
  • How Alex decided to start a podcast and why you should too
  • The power of self-doubt, and how to make sure doubt doesn’t overwhelm you
  • Why every discipline should seek to be obsolete
  • Skeptical ethics
  • The disconnection between political beliefs and action
  • The trap of being a spiritual seeker
  • Whether or not Alex is sick of Skeptiko after 300+ episodes
  • Gloria Steinem, CIA agent
  • Social Justice Warriors vs Free Speech Warriors
  • When being victimization becomes a weapon
  • Escaping centrism by disregarding the poles
  • Defending Jon Ronson, Chapo Traphouse, and Camille Paglia
  • When to speak up, and when to remain silent

Making this show my main gig outside of writing is a huge dream for me – so please support the show AND get cool stuff by donating as little as a dollar/month here. Thank you!

Simpsons Guy

New Atheist Bros be like

Conner Habib’s NEW WEB SERIES and PATREON!

23 May

Sex IslandDear everyone,

After years of writing essays, comic books, and stories; making adult scenes; doing activism for sex workers; and talking about the occult and sex around the world; I’m unveiling my very own Patreon and accompanying web series: AGAINST EVERYONE with CONNER HABIB!

My life project is to make the world a better place for being fully human, so that we don’t have to constantly hide parts of ourselves and our interests away. We should be able to be sexual and spiritual, into the sciences and the humanities, into the occult and philosophy. And we should be able to be our full, integrated selves without compartmentalizing everything.
That’s where you, my Patreon, and my new web series, Against Everyone with Conner Habib, come in. Together, we can co-create a culture that’s easier to be a rebel, a punk, a slut, a witch, and an interdisciplinary weirdo in.
Against Everyone with Conner Habib is a web series starting in June that features me giving talks on a wide range of profound, weird, and fringe topics, ranging from the history of the adult industry to the occult secrets of technology; from the mystical, political nature of time and space to the bacterial origins of sex.
It also features me in conversation with some of the leading thinkers and creators of our time. For a list of upcoming topics and guests, visit my Patreon page.
My Patreon supports all my projects, including the series. Sign up now at any level (access starts at just one dollar per month!) and you get all sorts of amazing stuff:
  • Downloadable audio of the series
  • Membership in the Conner Habib Book Club
  • Skype sessions (one-on-one) with me
  • Extra episodes
  • Personalized video postcards sent to your inbox each month
  • Exclusive peaks at projects I’m working on
and lots more!
This is a HUGE step forward for me, and your participation is literally life-changing, and our community will be culture-changing.
Watch the intro video by clicking my face up there, by clicking here, or by watching below. And if you sign up by June 1, you’ll get a personalized thank you photo from me!
So!
Let’s create a new culture. Let’s hang out. Let’s talk about things we care about. Let’s be ourselves. Let’s do everything we’ve ever cared about, all at once.Thanks for all your support and love, my friends,
Conner Habib