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The Caves of Altamira
75 minutes | Sep 20, 2021
The Ways of Knowing: Human Spirit Sauteed in Social Media With a Side of Science
After a summer respite The Caves of Altamira is back. For this inaugural episode of what we are dubbing Season II, the good Dr. James Batcho once again drops into the caves. Fresh off completing the manuscript for his latest book James sketches out a set of perspectives that help make us sense of the ongoing interplay between compounding social ruptures and the ever-accelerating sphere of social media 'knowledge' production. It’s a doozy of a convo, so be sure to buckle up, and drop in. James’ personal website: www.jimbatcho.com Link to James’ book published a few years back: Terrence Malick’s Unseeing Cinema: Memory, Time and Audibility https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783319764207 Links to a few of the books referenced in the episode: Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman https://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-to-Death-audiobook/dp/B000MQ54BC/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Amusing+Ourselves+to+death&qid=1632138989&sr=8-1 The Consequences of Modernity by Anthony Giddens https://www.amazon.com/Consequences-Modernity-Anthony-Giddens/dp/0804718911/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+consequences+of+modernity&qid=1632138770&sr=8-1 In the Shadow of Justice: Postwar Liberalism and the Remaking of Political Philosophy by Katrina Forrester [this is the book I refer to a few times, as a critique of Rawls, but forgot the name] https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Justice-Liberalism-Political-Philosophy/dp/0691216754/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=In+the+Shadow+of+Justice&qid=1632138948&sr=8-1
67 minutes | Jul 17, 2021
The Authoritarians Strike Back: A Cautionary Tale from Turkey
After a brief respite we are back in The Caves of Altamira with Turkish political journalist Sevgi Akarcesme. Due to the increasingly dangerous situation for independent journalists in Turkey, Sevgi has been living in exile in the U.S. for nearly 5 years. Her harrowing story tells us not only a great deal about the rise of despotism in Turkey but also the gathering pace of authoritarianism across the globe. Despite being forced to flee Turkey, Sevgi has continued to give lectures across the U.S. to raise awareness and speak out against the Erdogan regime. She has also appeared on multiple TV news programs including the BBC and has had several of her columns featured in the New York Times (links below). This is an important conversation, and we are fortunate to have such a distinguished, knowledgeable, and courageous activist join us here in the caves. Sevgi’s New York Times op-eds: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/09/opinion/recep-tayyip-erdogans-despotic-zeal.html https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/15/opinion/turkeys-intelligentsia-kneels-to-erdogan.html
56 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
Back Rent: Sources and Methods in the Ongoing Israeli-Palestinian Hostilities [Part II]
This is the second half of a wide-ranging discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Mike Hilkowitz. If you haven't listened to Part I yet it is highly recommended to check that out first.
59 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
Back Rent: Sources and Methods in the Ongoing Israeli-Palestinian Hostilities [Part I]
This week we welcome Mike Hilkowitz to The Caves of Altamira. Our conversation takes a relatively deep dive into several significant historical undercurrents shaping the most recent wave of violence in this long-simmering dispute. Our conversation winds its way from a property dispute surrounding two houses in East Jerusalem to the Camp David negotiation in the late 1990s to a broader discussion of Yasser Arafat, Hamas, and Israel’s relations in the region. This circumlocutious path itself speaks to how dense and difficult it can be to get any sort of handle on the conflict. We certainly do not cover it all, but we dig into several critical areas that drive distinct understandings of specific causes and ultimate culpability. Fair to say, Mike and I don’t see eye to eye on everything, which helps to push the conversation into meaningful and fruitful domains. Note: Our conversation ran a bit long, so I have divided it into two episodes. Part Two will be published sometime next week.
88 minutes | May 9, 2021
The Good Life and Its Discontents: What are we trying to accomplish?
Amid the endless churning of outrage and mutual recriminations we often find ourselves drifting further and further from the underlying rationale or purpose that motivated our engagement with the political discourse in the first place. We tend to be motivated by some notion of the good life and justice but yet increasingly devote little time to investigating these perennial questions. To help us dig into to such matters Dr. Gene Healy drops into The Caves of Altamira to impart his wisdom born of decades practicing oriental medicine along with teaching yoga and meditation. Dr. Healy also draws upon his extensive study of theology and Buddhist thought more specifically in providing a framework for understanding the perils of modern life at the level of both the individual and society.
84 minutes | Apr 8, 2021
Fuzzy Lines: The Great Woke Wars of the 2020s
The force of nature that is Chris Tharp wafts into The Caves of Altamira as we traverse the ever-burgeoning frontlines of the woke wars. Join us for a spirited discussion and debate over what exactly it means to be cancelled, the fundamental nature of the issues at hand, and ultimately what is at stake. We also try to place these contemporary contretemps in their broader historical context. All said, this is a conversation that moves beyond the simplistic dichotomies that tend to color these matters in an effort to produce more light than heat. Links to Chris’s books: The Worst Motorcycle in Laos https://www.amazon.com/Worst-Motorcycle-Laos-Rough-Travels/dp/9881219639 Dispatches from the Peninsula: Six Years in South Korea https://www.amazon.com/Dispatches-Peninsula-Years-South-Korea-ebook/dp/B005IGOYHQ
62 minutes | Mar 20, 2021
To Be, That is the Question: Existentialism and Modern Life
The intrepid Simone Lee drops into The Caves of Altamira to discuss existentialism and the pursuit of an authentic life amid a world of hyperized everything. Simone breaks down some of existentialism’s core insights and demonstrates the many ways they can offer practical guidance for our everyday lives. In our discussion we delve into questions of what is natural, authentic, and artificial in terms of our own experiences as well as the broader social and political forces shaping us. As our lives are increasingly stretched across multiple modes of being the core questions at the center of existentialism seem as relevant as ever. Simone is an exceptional tour guide for a journey into the realm of the authentic existence.
78 minutes | Feb 27, 2021
Borders, Money, and Movement: The Politics of Migration in Asia
Professor Thakur Subedi drops by The Caves of Altamira for a fascinating discussion about both broad trends in Asian migration and some of the specific ways they have played out within the context of South Korea, Japan, and Nepal. Professor Subedi brings a host of academic knowledge and real-world experience to these topics which comes across throughout this deep dive into migration in Asia. Also, feast your ears upon our new theme music composed and produced by hyper-talented Jordan Lewis (a link to Jordan’s webpage is below). Website for Jordan Lewis: https://jordanlewismusic.com/
54 minutes | Jan 31, 2021
In the Club: Student Politics and the Struggle for Democracy in South Korea
Please join me in welcoming noted author and artist Ryan Estrada to The Caves of Altamira for a discussion of his multi-award winning, highly acclaimed, graphic novel Banned Book Club. Listen to our real time reactions to an authoritarian plot in 2020s America as we prepare to discuss a book about combatting authoritarian plots in 1980s South Korea. Hear Ryan recount only learning after years of being together that his wife was once a person of interest to the military dictatorship of Chun Doo Hwan. Learn about the mechanics of disseminating subversive content before the days of ‘shares’, ‘likes’, and ‘retweets’, such as hiding underground newspapers in toilet stalls. Speaking of ‘retweets’, discover how Ryan’s For Exposure twitter feed has become a key protagonist in the struggle against the work for exposure racket. Lastly, Ryan nurtures a budding Caves tradition by announcing a forthcoming book, so stayed tuned to the end for that. Link to Banned Book Club https://www.amazon.com/Banned-Book-Club-Hyun-Sook/dp/194582042X Ryan’s website where you can find information about his other works: https://www.ryanestrada.com/ And for anyone who wanted to take a deep dive into the 1980s student protest movement in South Korea here is a link to a phenomenal work on the subject by Namhee Lee: https://www.amazon.com/Making-Minjung-Democracy-Politics-Representation/dp/0801475732 Lastly, since we discuss it in the episode here is a link to a recent Korean film centered around the Gwangju Uprising and subsequent violent state crackdown in 1980: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6878038/
75 minutes | Jan 15, 2021
A City Way to Live: Digging into Humanity’s Urbanization
Urban life has become so ubiquitous around the world that we may take for granted just how much is has shaped and continues to shape our lives from day-to-day travails to the increasingly fraught nature of politics to eroding social cohesion. Fortunately, two experts on urban life and the politics of cities drop by The Caves of Altamira to help us better understand the effects of living around a bunch of people. Hear our guest Dr. Joshua K. Leon make the case that it was perhaps around 3,200 BCE when humanity took a significant wrong turn. Listen to Dr. Jeffrey Carroll struggle to understand our arrival at a place where we have not only built a twenty-lane highway but that said highway is still unable to handle traffic flows. All this and more as we retreat to the caves and explore the modalities and discontents of urban existence. Link to Lewis Mumford’s classic work on cities that both Josh and Jeff refer to: https://www.amazon.com/Lewis-Mumford-History-Transformations-Prospects/dp/B00HTJW2E2
65 minutes | Dec 27, 2020
All Darts, No Boards: Lingering in the Age of the Hypernow
Welcome to Episode 2 of The Caves of Altamira. Please join me and the good Dr. James Batcho as we contemplate why we've all decided to become annoying second year grad students and obsess endlessly over matters of ontology. Hear James warn me about unwittingly obliterating my son's soul. Join us again in welcoming the tortured souls of Nietzsche and Marx to the caves as they as they encounter their ebullient predecessor Jean-Jacques Rousseau in our dissection of how things have gone so awry and some alternatives courses available. All this and more in our most recent junket into the Caves of Altamira. Links The Caves of Altamira Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thecavesofaltamira James' book: https://www.amazon.com/Terrence-Malicks-Unseeing-Cinema-Audibility-ebook/dp/B07D8L7HF2/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=james+batcho&qid=1608990027&sr=8-3 Byung-Chul Han’s book: https://www.amazon.com/Disappearance-Rituals-Topology-Present/dp/1509542760 Jill Lepore's book: https://www.amazon.com/If-Then-Simulmatics-Corporation-Invented/dp/1631496107/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=If%2FThen&qid=1608990121&sr=8-1
84 minutes | Dec 27, 2020
Alternative Factors: A Deep Dive into American Malaise
Where do Donald Trump, Adam Smith, Sam Harris, Friedrich Nietzsche, Kellyanne Conway, Karl Marx, Jordan Peterson, and Saddam Hussein all meet up and converse over a tacocoptered meal? But of course within the depths of The Caves of Altamira. Join me and my guest George Khoury for a wide-ranging exploration of the contemporary state of American society and the forces past and present shaping the times. Hear us confront our looming middle-agedness as we struggle to recall nearly ubiquitous facets of popular culture. Applaud or wince at our efforts to punch up as this scrappy upstart podcast goes after some of America's most cherished charlatans. Lastly, stick around to the end to hear George make his first public announcement of a book project that centers on a genuinely mind blowing aspect of his recent family history. All that and more in this inaugural episode of The Caves of Altamira, a safe place to do unsafe things. Thanks so much for listening! Please leave a rating or review and subscribe.
2 minutes | Dec 7, 2020
Trailer…The Caves of Altamira
Welcome to The Caves of Altamira, a new podcast venture. The show engages a wide range of voices from across the globe to discuss the intersection of current affairs and their broad philosophical, historical, and ideological undercurrents. Kevin Hockmuth serves as the show's host and producer. He is currently an assistant professor of political science and Korean studies at Akita International University in Akita, Japan. Please subscribe, review, comment, and join our Facebook group. We can be reached at email@example.com.
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