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467: World of Wounds

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C-Realm_467_coverKMO and Olga talk to educator and novelist, Zack Lehtinen, about his novel, World of Wounds. The novel is akin to Ishmael by Daniel Quinn in that it is an attempt to convey ideas through narrative which many readers might otherwise reject or ignore. KMO gushes about Paolo Bacigalupi’s latest novel, The Water Knife, and Olga makes a sincere call to listeners and entertainment corporations alike to support struggling alternative media professionals.

CRV146

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Vault_Cover146KMO and Olga drove to Connecticut to stay with film-maker, novelist and educator, Zack Lehtinen. We started the conversation in the Vault, and Zack described the journey that brought him to the C-Realm and lead him to try to encapsulate the themes of overshoot, climate chaos and environmental destruction in a novel.

466: Plodding (into the) Future

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Fifteen years after Asimo's debut, we're still waiting for a better humanoid robot.

Fifteen years after Asimo’s debut, we’re still waiting for a better humanoid robot.

Remember when you first saw videos of the humanoid robot, Asimo, walking on two legs, climbing stairs, hopping on one foot? Wasn’t it amazing? Asimo made “his” debut in the year 2000. That was 15 years and 7 cycles of Moore’s Law ago. If Singularitarian reasoning held together and advances in AI tracked Moore’s law, today’s robots would be 128 times more sophisticated than robots from the year 2000. We should see humanoid robots walking around today that make Asimo look quaint by comparison. Where are they? KMO talks with Eric Boyd about failed technoutopian visions in this episode of the C-Realm Podcast.

CRV145

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KMO, Eric and Olga

KMO, Eric and Olga

KMO welomes Eric Boyd back to the C-Realm. Eric is visiting NYC and took time to travel out to provincial Brooklyn for a chat with KMO at the kitchen table and then a brief jaunt through Green-wood Cemetery, the setting for the C-Realm webcomic. They talk about the future that wasn’t and the difference between self-esteem and self-compassion. Later KMO and Glen Ganaway talk about leadership and authority in the lead-up to a panel that Glen will be hosting at the 2015 Left Forum.

465: Undead Labor

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C-Realm_465coverKMO welcomes Tom O’Brien, host of the From Alpha to Omega Podcast, to the C-Realm to talk about The Walking Dead, the unlikely visions of the techno-utopians, and how surprised he is to find that after three years of doing a podcast about economics he now describes himself as a Marxist. KMO concludes with a few remarks about why technology may still have an important role to play in the long descent, even if the Singularitarians are mostly engaged in wishful thinking and self-justification.

CRV144

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A horde of working class zombies storm the capitalist's castle in Land of the Dead.

A horde of working class zombies storm the capitalist’s castle in Land of the Dead.

KMO welcomes Tom O’Brien, host of the From Alpha to Omega Podcast, to the C-Realm Vault to talk about The Walking Dead, Star Trek and Marxism. What do zombies have to do with Marx’s critique of unrestrained capitalism? It has to do with tipping the ratio of dead labor to living labor in favor of the dead. That, and it’s just fun to talk about living in the savage daily existence of the zombie apocalypse. The conversation continues on C-Realm Podcast episode 465.

CRV143

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Vault_Cover143A robot without boobies is like a fish without a bicycle. Or something like that. In this episode of the C-Realm Vault podcast, KMO goes it alone. Well, not quite alone. He’s got the writings of Eugene Thacker to help him distinguish the World from the Earth from the Planet, and he’s got the recent movies Ex Machina and The Avengers: Age of Ultron to help him understand how long it will take artificial intelligence to figure out that humanity is the ultimate source of all that ails this planet. Or is it? Many questions and few answers are offered in this episode. Brace yourself against the horror of podcasting. The horror.

464: Healing Heartbreak

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C-Realm_464b_coverIf you’re human, you’ve probably had your heart broken. If you live in a post-industrial society, the loss of a long-term relationship may have been the most intense emotional trauma you’ve ever experienced. It sucks, but there is an upside. This week’s guest, Emily Hursh, has some advice for getting through the acute heartache and turning a broken heart into a vehicle for transformational healing. Later, the discussion turns to the topic of NYC’s continuous process of gentrification and it’s supposedly environmentalist mayor.

463: Peak Plus Ten

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Trees near Brian's house in Ireland.

Trees near Brian’s house in Ireland.

Recently, Brian Kaller posted a reflection to his blog, Restoring Mayberry, on the fact that ten years after the peak of conventional petroleum production, the world isn’t nearly as broken as the most alarmist Peak Oil personalities warned us that it would be. Brian praises the Peak Oil community for not adopting a host of “deal breaker” positions that would alienate the mainstream the way counter-cultural movements did in the 1960s and 70s. Still, it has attracted more than a few people whose dissatisfaction with life in a consumerist culture prompts them to yearn for the apocalypse. Has frakking pushed the big crash a few years into the future, or do those who have learned to stop worrying and love the collapse need to make peace with the idea that it’s not coming?

CRV142

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Vault_Cover142The conversation with Ahnika Delirium from C-Realm Podcast #462 continues here. The over-used phrase, “Check your privilege,” regardless of the importance of recognizing differential power relationships, has come to serve as a thought-stopper and crypto-ad hominem. Ahnika has an alternative phrase which means the same thing but which doesn’t discount anyone’s point of view based on their life circumstances. Tune in to find out what it is, or check out the discussion on the Friends of the C-Realm group on Facebook. Free the nipple!