I have a lot of notes pertaining to Utopianism. As a disillusioned and reformed utpoian (of the communist persuasion), I find it important to make a compelling and expansive case against utopia and the evils committed in the pursuit of such. I came across this gem a while back while looking for material related to the subject.
This article on "Libertopia" is a very good precursor to a post I hope to get in before December concerning utopiainism and all of the difficulties with such a pursuit. Anyone who thinks anarchism is inherently utpoian does not understand utopia and does not understand anarchism. This article does a good job of clearing up those issues.
Today's resource suggestion is a tool that I use about three-to-five times a week. Or, rather, an article about an invaluable tool. This article is an excellent discussion concerning the nature of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Covering the methods, philosophy, and history behind the encyclopedia, the author explores why the SEP is the high-water mark of internet culture and it's role in society.
The author also addresses the strengths and weaknesses concerning the SEP, when compared to other resources such as Wikipedia. Addressing nearly every aspect of the SEP, this article is very useful in explaining how it works and why... unfortunately, they do not appreciate the fact that the SEP is currently funded by theft. In a free world, either private universities would be sustaining the SEP or, more likely, the SEP would be supported by private benefactors or hosted on MaidSafe, sustaining itself.
True to form, as a "philosophical encyclopedia", the SEP covers a wide array of subjects, many of which pertain to the daily life of non-philosophers. I have recently begun linking to SEP articles in my main blog posts, as it has come to my attention that I'm using vocabulary words that normal people have a hard time grasping. It seems to have helped at least a couple of my readers, and I think the SEP can help everyone understand the world a little bit better.
The time has come, I think, to purge some podcasts off my list. I have more podcasts than I have time, and some of them have ceased providing utility for my current situation... which happens a few times a year. Usually, when this time comes, I share on facebook the ones that I am abandoning and why. Now that I have a platform on which I talk about podcasts incessantly, I figure this may be a better place to do so.
Podcasts I continue to listen to (in order of priority):
Podcasts I no longer listen to:
Podcasts that have been discontinued:
This suggestion is a bit time consuming, but no more so than a few of the books I've suggested. Today's suggestion is a podcast series on the Trivium method of reason and it's relationship with NonViolent Communication.
I recommend listening to this series, as it effectively outlines NVC, the Trivium, and provides a summary education concerning CIA programs like MKUltra and the cultural zeitgeist of cybernetics. One can make do with listening to episodes 363 through 370, but if one wishes, tehy can listen to all of the videos on this page in order to get the full picture.
Today's resource suggestion is an excerpt from Economic Harmonies by Frederic Bastiat.
A 19th-Century philosopher and economist, Bastiat is credited with being one of the chief figures in classical liberalism which is, effectively, the progenitor of libertarianism and, ultimately, modern anarchism.
The excerpt is only 9 pages long, large-type, but it effectively expresses the basis of liberty and of the Anarcho-Capitalist position. The first 8 paragraphs are filled with 19th century talk of God and creation and the created nature of man, but his more concrete observations made in and after these paragraphs can be confirmed and defended by atheists, too.
If reading isn't your forte or you desire a context for this work, I recommend reading Economic Harmonies or listening to/watching this lecture by Tom Woods. It also provides a broader exploration of Bastiat's works, so it can be useful even after reading this excerpt.
In today's resource suggestion, Tom Woods discusses Caesar and the Lamb, a book that's been on my amazon wishlist for a while, now. The discussion in Episode 452 of the Tom Woods Show centers on the history of the early Church and it's relationship to the sixth commandment (or fifth, if your knowledge of the Faith is limited to the Catechism). It is a detailed and lighthearted exploration of the historical record and the philosophy hidden behind the Church's prohibition on being a soldier and it's change of heart after conquering the Roman empire.
This is a must-listen for anyone, even non-Christians, as it explores the origin of just war theory and the relationship it bears to the Christian ethos.
I wrote a post about paradigmatic awareness a while back. I wrote it while editing a couple chapters in my book. Those chapters were concerned with epistemic rigor and the manner in which one can rightly approximate knowledge using experience, logic, and thresholds of doubt. I believe such things to be more important than nearly any other human faculty. Because my book is not yet completed or published, I will share someone else's work which is similar, if not quite as deliberate, to those chapters.
The Voluntary Life Podcast has a three episode series titled "How to Think for Yourself":
Part 1 is concerned with why methods of reason are important to rational creatures and begins to address the difficulties in establishing a method of reason.
Part 2 is concerned with a brief overview of the scientific method, philosophy of science, and their relationship to epistemology. Most important, it explains the requirements for epistemic confidence.
Part 3 is concerned with a priori reasoning and the relationship between reason and freedom.
It's encouraging to see someone else produce work that is so similar to my own, in that it makes me feel a little less crazy. The differences between the two are also encouraging, as it makes me feel I have something to contribute to the conversation. I am considering different distribution methods for my book. Feel free to read more about it here.
A good follow-up to 8-bit Philosophy is the School of Life's series of philosophy videos. They have two playlists of about 15 videos each. One here and another here.
They seem to go a little deeper than (-bit philosophy, at the expense of a modicum of entertainment value. These are well-composed, entertaining, and generally informative. If any of the videos sparks your fancy, you can easily look up any of the specifics mentioned in the video and pursue it further.
The School of Life has many other video playlists, but I haven't watched them yet, and I'm leery of endorsing them without first watching them, given how most youtube videos concerning things such as "political theory" tend to be quite mistaken.
I was going to share something else today as a daily resource suggestion, but then I stumbled across this gem and simply had to put it first.
8-Bit Philosophy is a series of youtube videos which explore what amounts to an extensive highlight reel of dead philosophers. Giving a simplified and fast-paced overview of what the specific philosopher is "famous" for, it is a useful tool similar to History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, but a little less involved. Whereas History of Philosophy is a few hundred episodes in and only just approaching the late middle ages,8-bit Philosophy spans the entire historical swath of philosophy... with some gaps, of course.
The name, "8-bit Philosophy", describes the style, pretty well. Using popular Nes games as the backdrop for amusing dialogue and depiction of the concepts being described. The nostalgia factor more than makes up for the superficiality of the exploration of philosopher's ideas.
I do have some critiques of the series, of course. There seems to be a pronounced bias in the videos that have been selected to be made thus far, focusing on what are likely the popular issues in philosophy these days: things like Marxism, gender fluidity, the american dream, etc. I can't blame them, as they've gotta get and keep their view count in order to be profitable in an advertisement-based market, but it is something to be aware of.
Also, some videos tend to speak of philosopher's ideas in a manner which makes them sound as objective truth while other videos make it a point to say "According to so-and-so, it is likely that..." it is hard not to notice that there is a certain trend in which videos are produced in which way.
In a speech presented in 1994, Murray Rothbard explores "just war theory" in a very thorough and relevant manner, as is Rothbard's MO. The transcript of the speech can be found here, and the audio of the speech is in the youtube video below:
Exploring the war crimes of various American and European leaders, the nature of the constitution and the articles of confederation exploring the cause for Somalia's current crises, pointing out the largely-ignored neo-puritan cult which swept up the Union and caused an unjust religious crusade against a neighboring nation, calling out our own government's (and all powerful governments') ongoing trend of abandoning just war theory in favor a total war doctrine which declares one's own citizens and civillians of neighboring nations as legitimate and desirable targets for the military.
This speech is especially pertinent this week, after the social media and cultural debacle surrounding cultural revisionism and violations of people's rights at the hand of the government in the name of "equality".