Episode Sixteen – Brought to You by Society

Recorded on December 25th 2015

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2:35 – Two episodes of The Brilliant are lost and gone forever into the Devouring Void
3:15 – The Brilliant, brought to you by society
4:15 – Jeriah Bowser and Ian Smith on Anarchy Radio: on being called Buh-Lamb-Eee; being a consumer of Big Men’s ideology; limitations of the podcast medium: we like soundbites; Primal War at yo front do’!
11:45 – It’s best to say words with open mouths; revolution vs. hope, oases and mirages
20:20 – Jeriah on egoism – Bellamy feels the need to defend the brand; examples of the word example; is the egoist project possible in society?
26:35 – Listener feedback: Does A!’s call for engagement in human-sized projects make us pathetic?
34:30 – Listener feedback: Does embracing Vine Deloria mean embracing some adventurous metaphysics?; the scientific community as ideological; not all scientists and philosophers of science are scientific realists; scientific realism as middle-class metaphysic based on faith, not evidence
49:00 – Society and Dunbar’s Number: Is Dunbar’s Number the limit after which Society emerges?; Aragorn! shows his PoMo colors by showing an allergy to evidence, preferring totally made-up figures to empirically demonstrated ones; Dunbar’s Number and political representation; Bellamy tries to talk about avoiding ideology by employing many perspectives, suggests it is similar to things A! says about having many stories – A! says he is being ideological; we may talk about prefiguration and ideology in the future; the episode ends with Bellamy saying “um”.

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11 January, 2016

9 thoughts on “Episode Sixteen – Brought to You by Society

  1. Fantastic episode! A thought occurred to me when I put Aragorn’s thoughts about human-sized projects together with the thoughts about egoism and society, which is the maxim that there is no project or even any pattern of human behaviour, even at a more grand scale, that isn’t itself comprised of individual projects. So human-sized projects should always be the focus, as they are most rooted in the transcendental self, which unlike B’lam’i I still believe in. I’d love to hear about the ideas in this topic. For me, it was the best energy the two of you have generated 🙂

  2. Bellamy was mostly right about scientists not explicitly condoning scientific realism or scientific materialism. I generally refer to Sokal’s explanation of this in “A Defense of a Scientific Realism,” sometimes included in his book with Bricmont against the postmodernists.

    Bellamy WAS wrong that many philosophers of science do not aim toward “truth.” Usually they do, but it’s in a technical sense. Again, refer to Sokal.

    • Jacobi – curious to whom you’re referring. I think I referenced Popper and Van Fraassen in this episode, whom I think of as the Big Men of non-realist perspectives, neither of whom I would say aim at truth in the sense that I mean it. I think there is argument to throw in folks like Bohm and Kuhn, as well. Would you disagree? The Sokal piece looks good (just skimmed it) – I will read it sometime.

      • > neither of whom I would say aim at truth in the sense that I mean it.

        I think this might be the rub. I’m not exactly clear on how _you_ mean me or others to interpret the term “truth,” although I have some guesses.

        My comment, though, was referring to when you said “scientists” (in general) “don’t aim for truth.” That might be true of Popper or Van Fraassen (don’t know that one), but it isn’t true for most working scientists and even many philosophers of science.

        Regarding philosophers of science, all I really mean to say is that “truth” is still as relevant a concept as ever, even after Kuhn’s Structures. So I think we should be careful to define our terms because saying “Science does not aim for truth” can mean several things, some perfectly fine, some howlers.

        See, for example, this article, http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/what-thomas-kuhn-really-thought-about-scientific-truth/

        • John,
          Thanks for engaging with the show. I’m not sure if we’re actually disagreeing or talking past each other due to the vagaries of words like “truth” (for the record, I use the words “reality” and “truth” similarly to the way Bohm does). I will respond on the show (though note that it won’t be until a few episodes later due to the fact that we have a gap between recording time and publishing time).

  3. I’ve heard A! articulate his position(attitude?) a lot and this is the first time I think I really understood it well. Such a wonderful episode. So many excellent topics discussed in depth.

  4. I know I’m late to the game, but just wanted to step in and say that Dunbar’s theory includes the wider circles Aragorn! mentioned. There are different “Dunbar” numbers for the different levers of intimacy or frequency of encounters with the people around you, up to I think 10,000 of recognizable strangers which you might run into in the course of your gatherer-hunter roamings about or whatever. I think they’re explained in this book, but it’s been a while:


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