The Brilliant - Episode Sixteen: Brought to you by Society

  • Posted on: 12 January 2016
  • By: aragorn

From The Brilliant
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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Facebook hipster anarchist lite for the non-committal ageing ex-punk scenester crowd.

Just ignore it. I don't understand why every time one of these shows comes out, so many people feel the need to comment about how much it sucks, how much the people behind it suck, etc. The more you talk about these projects like they matter, the more you bring up the people behind them in unrelated conversations (like people bringing on Bellamy in the post about Sean Swain), the more you make it seem like these projects matter. The thing about projects like this is that their entire existence hinges upon other people reacting to them; ignore it and it'll die.

There's more than enough good anarchist audio projects out there (The Final Straw, A-Radio Berlin, Resonance audio distro), so who cares if some people who think their ideas are important want to record themselves talking? If you hate it, ignore it so their just talking to themselves (they might as well be anyway).


Wouldn't it better to be a fake hipster, rather than real hipster?

Mudslinging a meaningless term. Why even respond to such laziness?

Then again, I'm grateful you did. Why?

Finally we can witness the strategies of sectarians: blinders. Capitalism? Just ignore it. Anarchists? Just ignore them, and they'll go away. Great logic! Closed-minded 'anarchists': a new low in 2016. What a great, creative way to sustain a diverse orientation, and strengthen the best in us!

All of those other electronic projects involve talking as well. If you're opposed to talking, what else would you take from us little Lenin?

*whoops, i thought i read fake hipster. not used to seeing the word facebook anymore. my mistake.

ugh just ignore this whole thread, no doubt it's just Aragorn and Bellamy doing some hipster guerrilla marketing by trolling their own post to bump up the comments so they can stay relevant and give themselves something to post cryptic FB status updates about to impress their hipster friends.

You still haven't explained what you mean by hipster.

Ryan is full of BellAMY !

I am confused about what Aragorn is saying about achievable goals in this episode. It seems like he is talking more about having one's actions being more obviously related to one's ultimate supposed aims. Acheivability is something else.

Some say it is the "embodiment of postmodernism as a spent force, revealing what happens when pastiche and irony exhaust themselves as aesthetics."

Others say it is the "embodiment of weak ad hominem argumentation as a spent force, revealing what happens when pissy whining and anarcho-sectarianism exhaust themselves as half-baked internet trash-talk."

If you don't like this podcast, rather than helping @news live up to its reputation by leaving shitty little comments, you could:
1. Give a real critique of it - Aragorn and Bellamy have shown that they read e-mails/comments, even lengthy ones, on the air and engage with them (maybe in a way you still won't like, but at least it will be a real discussion).

2. Do your own podcast. Seriously, I don't mean that in a smarmy way - if you think this one sucks, then do a better one. The more anarchist media, the better. The line above about doing a podcast as being narcissistic is crazy - isn't DIY media a huge part of anarchism? Isn't expressing your opinion at anytime, including in a conversation, always at least a little self-important? A and B obviously think they know what's up and sometimes sound cocky, sure - so what? The people trashing them obviously think they know what's up as well, no?

3. Stop complaining, and just don't listen.

Seriously, nothing more disappointing than going hipster, hipster, hipster - it's just an empty term that means person-I-don't-like...

May I suggest that you use the word "fascist" as the preferred epithet?

Fer fuck's sake. Nobody who isn't a hipster has any problem identifying the hipster phenomenon. It's really really blatant and in-your-face. It might be so normalized for you as to be practically invisible, but trust me, everybody else can see it.

Kind of weird to me that I find myself defending people I don't actually agree with all that much, but...I guess I'm wanting to defend decent discourse or something.
"I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core hipsterdom"], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the [podcast] involved in this case is not that."

As someone who A and B would probably call "strugglista", and as someone who listens but disagrees with a fair bit of what they say (and so who presumably wouldn't be a hipster by your definition), I *honestly* don't know what the hipster accusation is about. A and B question whether riots, insurrectionary theory, and a lot of what passes for anarchism is effective. That seems like a totally reasonable, open question worth discussing. Do you not think this is worth discussing? Is anyone who questions mainstream anarchist opinion (which is totally a thing) condemned as a hipster?

Then there are complaints about Facebook. Being on FB makes you a hipster? I don't even think B has a Facebook because he and Rydra joked about B being ignorant of social networks on FRR (a show I liked and agreed with more than this one, for the record), so I guess that's a complaint about A. Clearly you are on FB if you can see his snarky comments or whatever, so what is the mudslinging about there?

To me, a hipster implies someone who sits on the sidelines and just talks shit, not engaging in any actual project, saying anyone who does anything is stupid and deluded, which A and B have made clear they dislike as much as I do. As I said, sometimes they are cocky and laugh about shit, which is sometimes annoying and sometimes funny, but, whatever, it's their style - does the codemnation of hipsterdom come down to tone policing?

I would love to see the critics here actually answer these questions, especially since my last comment was just met with doubling-down on "hipster".

Sounds like you want to have a real conversation and good luck! I'd try and have a real debate with you but we agree. "Strugglismo" here haha. Any time anyone in north america starts in with the "we tried fighting and it doesn't work, you're fetishizing violent struggle." narrative, I'm struck only by how little effort constitutes "trying" to them.

How many times I've heard such logic from Christians, or my own mother. I wish I were kidding.

"You just didn't try to read the Bible hard enough." "You just didn't try hard enough to live up to the standards." Nothing wrong with Christianity. It's that I (anon poster) didn't give it my all to be a good little Christian.

With my mother it's always after a critique of standardized testing and (the history of) compulsory education. I did well enough in school, but it's "Anon's poor attitude" toward school, and she "just doesn't know" where I get it from. I apparently should have applied myself harder instead of examining the experience and it's history. Just do it!

Once again, you just didn't try hard enough at replicating a model that is above questioning.

That's an oversimplification. I mean, maybe you're right but you haven't exactly clarified which model or anything, you're just trying to sound clever. I, on the other hand, have been keeping careful track of the risks people are willing to take in north america as compared to elsewhere in the world and I've taken a few myself.

Anyway, point is saying "strugglismo is like christian dogma" is a pretty analogy but you can't really prove or disprove it and it's actually not saying much without clarifying exactly what you mean by struggle. Just jerking off with your keyboard.

I posted the short comment about hipsters. Should clarify that it's not a reflection of my view of Aragorn or Bellamy in particular. Rather, it's a reflection of the rapidly gentrifying trendy "arts" district I now unfortunately live in and the hordes of identical-looking kids in tight-pants and plaid shirts who like the same crappy music, etc, from whom I constantly have to hear the same "no such thing as hipsters" comment. To be fair, most reasons that "I'm not a hipster" are notorious parts of the cliche, as is accusing people (A!, B, etc) of being hipsters in general.

As far as anarchy is concerned, I see the critique stemming from the perception that a lot (if not most) anarchy in NA looks from any kind of difference more like another expression of this self-indulgent, superficial subculture than anything else.

It's sad that if you saw me (one of the people asking for a definition) you'd probably judge me as a hipster just because of my appearance.

Yet, i've always looked like bmx grandpa. Part inspired from Jackass, partly from classic film (bogart, carey fucking grant, marcello mastroianni), part marc bolan. Fuckin novatore and severino di giovanni were dapper lads too.

My gal and I milk target sales racks, and jcp coupons. Did i just get a flannel for $2? Feck yes! It's cold in the midwest now! Not all muh pants are tight. Those that are i milk free from the girls' side, as i've done for decades.

Music? The closest thing to a religion i've had since 4. Feels good to not give a fuck about music journalism. Can find my own shit from friends, bandcamp, soundcloud (where i work with others in putting shit up). Something for everyone in my collection, and there's nothing more enjoyable than turning people on to music, and sharing it like food. Those little things make all of the difference.

I spill these beans not just to illustrate the same point.

What to do when you're not a punk, and not going to pose as one for scene cred? I've never had a clique or a scene or been accepted i to one. And i feel like my tastes are broad enough to where i can generally get by if not out right get along with most people on some level. Also pretty unfiltered. Perhaps there'd be better luck if this were the 60's and freaks (zappa, beefheart) or john waters' crew.

"a lot of (if not most) anarchy in North America looks...more like another expression of this self-indulgent, superficial subculture than anything else."

I mostly agree, but I wouldn't even call it subculture. It's just a load of pretenders. It's obvious, even from just reading this site and its comments, that a large number of the people calling their selves anarchists don't have any political soul or philosophical understanding whatsoever. They are life stylists, in other words.

The word hipster, much like the zeitgeist that gave birth to it, lacks any substance when deconstructed. You try to unpack it and everybody has theories but none of them are very good. It's like the surgery snack of pejoratives, cheap thrills, no actual nutrients.

There's no real ethos behind the hipster and there's no real critique behind calling somebody one.

true dat. the only thing i can relate to the term "hipster" is in wardrobe.

I think perhaps the person/s using the term is trying to say that A! and B treat the milieu as though it is a collection of voguish urban scenes, and they are happy to play the role of trendy, fashionable scenesters within it, except in this case instead of wearing the right clothes and having deep knowledge of the right cafes and bands and art, they make a conspicuous display of their grasp of all the new ideas. This in turn helps defeat the possibility of widespread anarchist inspired/initiated ruptures because it posits anarchist desires as philosophical hobbyism tied to current intellectual fads.

I disagree with the commenter/s if this is indeed what they intend.

it posits anarchist desires as philosophical hobbyism tied to current intellectual fads

Oh god, this is totally true.

I liked the question, about achievable goals. I think it addresses the arrogance within their usual postleft critiques of actions and experimentation (as reformist). They said that they do want to encourage action through their conversation. I found this to be a human-less brain moment of the show. I'm still confused by aragorns achievable goal thing though, how do you do Something and gaurentee its outcome?

You can't and anarchist media seems to get stuck 1 of 2 ways. I worked with and around the stimulator and his frustration stemmed from how there wasn't much material for his show because of lack of visible struggles. That takes nothing away from the struggles he does cover but the camera needs less talk, more rock, yes?

So his version of anarchist media is frustrated by lack of visible anarchist struggle and gets criticized for covering broad, leftist stuff because it's at least something to point the camera at OR it's more like Aragorn's problem where he critiques and dismisses what few things other people are doing and turns inward (read, up his own ass).

Either way, the quality of the media: both rah-rah-burning-cop-car and what's-the-meaning-of-it-all? persuasions would improve dramatically if we just gave these windbags more to talk about. As it stands, they're doing a lot with a little and I say KEEP ON KEEPING ON, ASSHOLES!

science has been and remains an over-simplistic means of understanding the world that is getting us into a lot of trouble. even newton warned that his mathematical principles of natural philosophy could only describe the planets in their orbits and not how they came to form these orbits.

in searching for an understanding of nature and human nature, our intuition can go places where our reason cannot get to; e.g. the ‘coincidence of opposites’ as where outside-inward orchestrating influence and inside-outward asserting actions are simultaneous aspects of one dynamic (relational transformation).

as russell means also pointed out, the scientific reasoning that Europe has elevated into an unnatural precedence over intuition delivers a mechanical DE-SPIRITUALIZED worldview. forget the 'details' of velikovsky’s concurrences. what velikovsky offered was an explanation of the evolving world where celestial dynamics prevailed over local dynamics . science does not allow this, but Bohm’s energy-charged plenum and Schroedinger’s energy-charge ‘All’ do. this is why Bohm and Peat insist that ‘aboriginal science’ equates with the relational understanding of modern physics.

the native american understanding that we are included in the land, imputes to ‘place’, an outside-inward inductive orchestrating and shaping influence. this is characteristic of Velikovsky’s framework regardless of whether it was in error in its ties to Biblical myth.

science continues to impose on us the metaphysics of absolute space and absolute time which forces us to see dynamics in terms of ‘independently existing material entities’ and ‘what they do’. Western science and Western religion remove all outside-inward inductive influence on development and behaviour and constrain the authoring influence of all developmental and behavioural dynamics to independent material objects, systems and organisms.

intuition, along with modern physics and the indigenous aboriginal worldview, allows that ‘space is a participant in physical phenomena’ [-Einstein]. Velikovsky ‘opened this door’, as did relativity, where man is included within, and shaped by, an evolving universe, regardless of whether V’s ‘concurrences’ were accurate or not. In this view, where ‘relations are all there is’, the universe is a ‘place’ that is shaping the inhabitants at the same time as the inhabitants are shaping it [Mach's principle]. The metaphysics of Deloria and the metaphysics of Velikovsky are therefore ‘in common’;

“In his groundbreaking 1972 text, God is Red, the late Lakota philosopher Vine Deloria Jr. argues that one of the most significant differences that exist between Indigenous and Western metaphysics revolves around the central importance of land to Indigenous modes of being, thought, and ethics. When ideology is divided according to American Indian and Western European [traditions], writes Deloria, this fundamental difference is one of great philosophical importance. American Indians hold their lands – places – as having the highest possible meaning, and all their statements are made with this reference point in mind. Whereas most Western societies, by contrast, tend to derive meaning from the world in historical/developmental terms, thereby placing time as the narrative of central importance.” -- Glen Coulthard, Place Against Empire: Understanding Indigenous Anti-Colonialism, Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture, and Action, Volume 4, Number 2, Fall 2010, pp. 79-83.

Why would we attempt to make rational arguments against the views expressed on this podcast, when the hosts reject science and reason from the outset in favor of some sort of radical subjectivism (ie. anti-intellectualism)? What's the point in engaging with people who don't care whether or not their ideas correlate with reality and even reject the notion of an objective reality?

Because my brain in a vat imagined people writing polemics against the hosts of The Brilliant Podcast, so it was so.

Sorry Bellamy, wasn't my best moment :)

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