It’s always odd to launch a rocket into the ether, watch it go up, and then prepare to launch the next one without knowing if the first ever hit its mark, or landed on the moon, or do whatever else rockets might do. So, thank you for all these insights, reactions, comments. It feels great to communicate. I should have expected the IC community to be so engaged. Yo guys rock.
@madrush and @Douggins >> Glad you dig the aesthetic. Phil and I have the luxury of having similar tastes, so that makes that part easier. Yes, the music is composed for be podcast by my brother Pierre-Yves Martel, who’s a professional composer and musician. The specific coincidence you mention re oscillation was just that, a coincidence, but one bound to happen since oscillation is a big thing for me and I keep bringing it up in conversations with PY about the music.
Regarding the weird and monstrous, the religious and the scientific — these are really interesting points you bring up. I’ve actually been thinking about doing an episode exploring the thesaurus entries for “weird”. Every term has its own specific meanings and nuances: fascinating, monstrous, strange, eerie, creepy, spooky, strange, eldritch, odd, grotesque, etc. I haven’t read Sloterdijk’s Spheres and so can’t really comment, but I think that calling the ontological outside the monstrous is very apt, especially given the term’s etymology (Old French “monstre” - to show, to appear).
It’s true that Dick is more religious and Lovecraft more scientific. But their projects overlap even there – in the sense that Lovecraft is exploring the scientific bases of religious beliefs (the ontological/factual reality of gods and sorcery), whereas Dick is exploring the religious bases of science (the primacy of experience and the subject in all empirical observation of objective phenomena). They are so close, these two writers, and yet so remote from each other at the same time, that Phil and I have come to see them as a kind of syzygy. In our conversations, Phil tends to be the thin-edge/Dick guy and I tend to be the thick-edge/Lovecraft guy.
@Ariadne I’m sorry you had trouble playing the podcast. Have you tried again since? Maybe try another platform (iTunes or Stitcher or Player FM)? Let me know if the problems persists. Nobody has brought this up so far.
@Douggins That piece you recorded is great. Nailing that nameless mood. And I wholly agree regarding Stevens. His poems are like super novas.
@Geoffreyjen_Edwards – The road from Quebec to Montreal, eh? I’m in Ottawa. Assuming you live in Quebec, we’re neighbours. And so are Harman and Whitehead, conceptually speaking. You make a great observation, I think. Harman brings up Whitehead a lot in his writings and evidently gets a lot from him, especially as Whitehead is reinterpreted in the work of Bruno Latour. Where Harman disagrees with Whitehead is in his (Harman’s) insistence that objects transcend all their relations. In other words, objects are units, they are something over and above and beyond their relations to other objects. In Whitehead — at least in the classical reading of his metaphysics — there is nothing outside relations; process, in a sense, is 100% relational and any sense of stable, fixed substances must be illusory. Harman says that objects exist in and of themselves, and I tend to agree with him in principle. For a while now I’ve been interested in metaphysical brutalism and the rejection of the principle of sufficient reason. I see promise in Harman here. My ramblings at the very end of the podcast have to do with that. Having said this, I kind of started off as a process guy, so by putting your finger on the Harman-Whitehead dyad, you are calling my attention to one of the internal conflicts in my own thoughts.