NEM#111: Marty Willson-Piper Has Room for Everything

In The Church, he was half of a world-famous twin guitar machine for 30 years starting in 1980 but has also released seven solo albums and been in several other bands, most notably releasing four albums with his old friend Dare Mason as Noctorum.

We discuss two 2019 Noctorum tracks, “The Moon Drips” from Afterlife and “Dancing with Death” from The Afterdeath EP, plus “You Whisper” from his solo album Art Attack (1988). We conclude by listening to “Forget the Radio” from his solo album Hanging Out in Heaven (2000). Intro: “Spark” by The Church from Starfish (1988). For more see martywillson-piper.com.

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Pretty Much Pop #21: Role-Playing Video Games

What constitutes a video RPG? Is there any actual role-playing involved? Our editor Tyler Hislop rejoins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss those video games that are supposed to make you feel like your choices matter, with comparisons to MMO RPGs, table-top role-playing, and more.

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Ep. 230: Bruno Latour on Science, Culture, and Modernity (Part Two)

Continuing on Latour’s We Have Never Been Modern (1993) with guest Lynda Olman.

Latour rejects the idea of objective truth totally apart from perceivers, so is he an idealist? We lay out the “Constitution” of modernity that keeps science and politics separate, how it makes it difficult for us to address issues like climate change, and what Latour thinks should replace it.

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End song: “Mono No Aware” by Guy Sigsworth, as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #109.

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Ep. 230: Bruno Latour on Science, Culture, and Modernity (Part One)

On Latour’s We Have Never Been Modern (1993) with guest Lynda Olman.

What’s the “modern” ideology of science, and is there something we should critique about it? Latour wants us to think about science not abstractly through the eternal truths it supposedly discovers, but through the concrete practices of scientists. He investigates the Modern Constitution by which science and politics are kept conceptually separate, a myth that he claims we’ve never fully bought into.

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Ep. 230: Bruno Latour on Science, Culture, and Modernity (Citizen Edition)

On Latour’s We Have Never Been Modern (1993) with guest Lynda Olman.

What’s the “modern” ideology of science, and is there something we should critique about it? Latour wants us to think about science not abstractly through the eternal truths it supposedly discovers, but through the concrete practices of scientists. He investigates the Modern Constitution by which science and politics are kept conceptually separate, a myth that he claims we’ve never fully bought into.

End song: “Mono No Aware” by Guy Sigsworth, as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #109.

NEM#110: Joe Louis Walker’s Blues Soup

https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/partiallyexaminedlife/NEM_ep_110_11-20-19.mp3Podcast (nakedly-examined-music-podcast): Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:23:57 — 77.0MB) Joe has played alongside B.B. King, Ron Wood, and even back to Hendrix, Hooker, and Monk. As a solo artist he’s put out around two dozen albums since 1986. He’s a blues man but mixes in gospel, soul, rock, and many other styles. We discuss the title track Continue Reading …

Pretty Much Pop #20: Improv Comedy w/ Tim Sniffen

What role does improv comedy play in popular culture? It’s deployed by certain film directors (e.g. Christopher Guest), in some of the TV work of Larry David, Robin Williams, et al. But only a rare show like “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” makes it obvious. Is this art form doomed to live on the fringes of entertainment?

Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by Tim Sniffen to discuss different types of improv, how it relates to other arts, its self-help angle, Second City, and more.

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This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.

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Ep. 229: Descartes’s Rules for Thinking (Part Three)

Concluding René Descartes’s Rules for Direction of the Mind (1628).

We finish rule 12 through the end, talking about simples, the faculties of intuition and judgment, perception and imagination, necessary vs. contingent truths, and how to do Cartesian science, including what constitutes a “perfectly understood problem.”

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End song: “Perfect Design” by Ian Moore, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #94.

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Pretty Much Pop #19: Race and the Target Audience w/ Rodney Ramsey

Are YOU the target audience of what you watch? While shows used to be aimed at a white majority or “niche group,” now much media aims itself seemingly at everyone.

Rodney Comedian/actor/writer/producer Rodney joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss the experience of watching outside your demographic, whether identifying with characters requires physical commonalities, “black voice,” and the evolving TV landscape.

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.

Ep. 229: Descartes’s Rules for Thinking (Part Two)

Continuing on René Descartes’s Rules for Direction of the Mind (1628), covering rules 7 through the first part of the lengthy rule 12.

We try to figure out what he means by “enumeration”; the faculties of imagination, sense and memory; the virtues of perspicacity and sagacity; his psychology of the senses, the “common sense” where all sense data comes together, and the understanding; how Descartes recommends we do scientific investigation; why syllogisms stink; and whether some people are just better at philosophy than others.

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NEM#109: Producer Guy Sigsworth (Seal, Björk, etc.) Goes Solo

Guy has been a highly sought-after British producer/keyboardist since the early ’90s and is just now releasing his debut album, STET. We discuss “Mono No Aware” and “Dorian” from that album and “Unravel” from Björk’s Homogenic (1997). End song: “Let’s Go” by Frou Frou from Details (2002). Intro: “Crazy,” co-written with Seal from his debut album (1991).

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Pretty Much Pop #18: Stephen King’s Media Empire

Is the most popular writer of our time actually a good writer? Or maybe he used to be good? While you’ve been thinking about those questions, King already wrote another book, so ha!

Mark, Erica, and Brian share their experiences with and opinions about King’s oeuvre and the films and shows that have come out of it.

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.

Pretty Much Pop #17: Comedy as Philosophy w/ Daniel Lobell

Are stand-up comedians the Modern Day Philosophers? This is the premise of Daniel’s podcast, but really, only some comedians express original claims; many just tell jokes. Are those exceptional comics philosophizing? Does telling the whole, tragic truth rule out being funny? Daniel, Mark, Erica, and Brian consider Carlin, Gadsby, Chappelle, and others.

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.

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Ep. 229: Descartes’s Rules for Thinking (Part One)

On René Descartes’s Rules for Direction of the Mind (1628).

Is there a careful way to approach problems that will ensure that you’ll always be right? What if you just never assert anything you can’t be sure of? This is Descartes’s strategy, modeled on mathematics. We likewise carefully move step-by-step through this text.

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Ep. 229: Descartes’s Rules for Thinking (Citizen Edition)

On René Descartes’s Rules for Direction of the Mind (1628).

Is there a careful way to approach problems that will ensure that you’ll always be right? What if you just never assert anything you can’t be sure of? This is Descartes’s strategy, modeled on mathematics. We likewise carefully move step-by-step through this text.

End song: “Perfect Design” by Ian Moore, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #94.

Ep. 228: Social Construction of Race (Appiah, Mills) (Part Two)

Continuing on Kwame Anthony Appiah’s “Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections” (1994), Charles Mills’s “But What Are You Really?, The Metaphysics of Race” (1998), and Neven Sesardic’s “Race: A Social Destruction of a Biological Concept” (2010) with guest Coleman Hughes.

Racial classifications vary geographically, therefore race is socially constructed. Given this, can we retain the positive aspects of group identification without hierarchies and what Appiah calls “imperialism of identity”?

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End song: “Tired Skin” by Alejandro Escovedo, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #60.

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NEM#108: Mike Watt’s Punk Operas

Ace bassist Mike started with punk legends MINUTEMEN in the early ’80s, broke into the majors with fireHOSE going into the ’90s, and was so beloved by the alternative music scene that his first solo album in ’94 was star-studded, with Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl in the supporting tour. Mike has released three concept albums over the years and has collaborated on dozes of projects as well as backing Iggy Pop in the reformed Stooges.

We discuss “Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs” by Minutemen from What Makes a Man Start Fires (1983), “The Boilerman” from Contemplating the Engine Room (1997), the first, second, and last sections from Hyphenated-Man (2011), and “I Got Marty Feldman Eyes” from the Big Walnuts Yonder self-titled album (2017). We conclude by listening to “Yeah, We’re Gonna Learn to Fall” by Jumpstarted Plowhards from Round One (2019) featuring Todd Congelliere. Intro: “Walking the Cow” by fireHOSE from Flyin’ the Flannel (1991). For more, visit mikewatt.com.

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Pretty Much Pop #16: 25 Years After FRIENDS

Mark, Erica, and Brian examine the conventions, techniques, and staying power of the beloved ’90s sitcom. Are we supposed to identify with, or idolize, or merely like these people? What makes the formula work, did it sustain itself over its 10-year run, was it successfully replicated, and what parts haven’t aged well?

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.

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Ep. 228: Social Construction of Race (Appiah, Mills) (Part One)

On Kwame Anthony Appiah’s “Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections” (1994), Charles Mills’s “But What Are You Really?, The Metaphysics of Race” (1998), and Neven Sesardic’s “Race: A Social Destruction of a Biological Concept” (2010). With guest Coleman Hughes.

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