Three Pound Brain

No bells, just whistling in the dark…

Month: July, 2015

Stuff to Blow your… Brains.

by rsbakker

Helen de Cruz, a philosopher of religion and cognitive science at VU Amsterdam, has posted her interview of me in Philosophical Percolations. I’d like to thank Helen for both her interest and her questions, which are designed to air different philosopher’s views of the importance of fiction to philosophy.

Also, the Consult Skin Spies were recently featured as the ‘Monster of the Week’ over at Stuff to Blow your Mind. Many thanks to bakkerfans for spying that one!

The way cool StarShipSofa has published an audio version of Reinstalling Eden, the short story that Eric Schwitzgebel and I published in Nature. My thanks to Jeremy Szal for that one (and also my apologies for posting this link so late).

And lastly, I spoke to Erik Hane, my US editor, last week, and he asked me to assure everyone that Overlook is very committed to the series, so there’s no reason to plague them with calls (apparently someone tweeted their phone number!). Publication dates, as well as some big announcements regarding the future of the series, will be made soon. I have to tell you, I feel like Achamian most of the time: it’s hard to express just how gratifying it is to be believed now and again. Seriously, thanks to you all.

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The Kosmos Biblioth

by reichorn

Hey all!  Roger here.  I wanted to let you guys know that I now have an author blog of my own, called the Kosmos Biblioth.  I hope you’ll drop by and say hello, tell me what you think.

Posthuman Life Goes Live

by rsbakker

I just returned from the deep north… with any luck I’ll have my old routines up and running within a week or two.

Figure/Ground has published my interview of David Roden on his seminal Posthuman Life: Philosophy at the Edge of the Human. It’s pretty wank at turns, but I wanted to see just how far out on the edge David was willing to go! For those interested, Craig Hickman has an excellent series of posts reviewing the book chapter by chapter over at Dark Ecologies, but I urge fellow wankers to read the book itself. David has provided what is the most concise picture of the academic posthumanities we’re likely to see for some time, and I think the adoption of his terminology, if not his views, will allow the debate to rise above the confusion. The fine folks at Philosophical Percolations have been quick to recognize the book’s importance, and have already begun what promises to be a fascinating summer reading group.

If you have any questions, hash them out there, or here, or on David’s own blog, the always excellent Enemy Industry, where many of the articles developing his argument can also be found.

The Lesser Sound and Fury

by rsbakker

So a storm blew through last Tuesday night, a real storm, the kind we haven’t seen in a couple of years at least. I was just finishing up a disastrous night of NHL 13 (because NHL 14 is a rip off) on PS3 (because my PS4 is a paperweight) with my buds out back in the garage. Frank fled. Ken strolled. ‘Good night, Motherfucker.’ ‘Goodnight.’ The sky was alive, strobes glimpsed through the Dark Lord’s laundry, thunder rattling the teeth of the world, booming across houses lined up like molars. I sat on the front porch to watch, squinting more for the booze than for the wind. There had been talk of tornados, but I wasn’t buying it, having lived in Tennessee. No, just a storm. We just don’t get the parking lot heat they need to germinate, let alone to feed. The air lacked the required energy.

The rain fell like gravel. Straight down. Euclidean rain, I thought.

But there was nothing linear about the lightning. The first strike ripped fabric too fundamental to be seen. The second had me out of my stupor as much as out of my seat, blinking for the instantaneous execution of night and shadow. Everything revealed God’s way: too quick to be grasped by eyes so small as these.

I stood, another animal floating in solution. I laughed the laugh of monkeys too stupid to cower. I thought of ancient fools.

The rain fell like gravel, massing across all the terrestrial surfaces, hard enough to shatter into sand, hanging like dust across ankles in summer fields. Then it faded, trailed into silence with analogue perfection, and I found myself standing in a glazed nocturnal world, everything turgid… shivering for the high-altitude chill.

I locked up the house, crawled into bed. I lay in bed listening to the passage of thunder… the far side of some cataclysmic charge. I watched white splash across the skylights.

And then came the blitz.

BOOM!

Something—an artillery shell pilfered from some World War I magazine from the sounds of it—exploded just a few blocks over. The house shook everyone awake.

BOOM!

Closer than the last—even nature believes in the strategic value of carpet bombing.

We huddled together, our small family of three, grinning for terror and wonder. I spoke brave words I can no longer remember.

BOOM!

Loud enough to crack wood, to swear in front of little children.

The next morning I awoke to the smell of a five year old farting. It seemed a miracle that everything was intact and sodden—no hoary old trees torn from their sockets, no branches hanging necks broken from powerlines. It seemed miraculous that a beast so vast could stomp through our neighbourhood with nary a casualty. Not a shrub. Not one drowned squirrel.

Only my fucking modem, and a week to remember what it was like, back before all this lesser sound and fury.