Our Imposter Syndrome cancels out our Dunning-Kruger

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Jack Graham

Jack Graham writes and podcasts about culture and politics from a Gothic Marxist-Humanist perspective. He co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper. Support Jack on Patreon.


  1. mr_mond
    June 9, 2016 @ 1:15 pm

    Jack, thank you for another fascinating podcast – I had no idea that I wanted to learn more about Titanic, but then I started listening to Shabcast and subsequently found out that I did. Thank you also for your recent tumblr recommendations of Marxist literature; I have made my way through the first two chapters of Neil Faulkner’s “Marxist History of the World” just yesterday, so in light of that I was really interested in the discussion of pre-class societies and the rise of agriculture.

    You mentioned the reading of the paradise story as the transition into class society, so I thought I’d share an article on the Yazidi people in Iraq, who have a version of that story where the forbidden fruit gifted to mankind by the Peacock Angel is, in fact, wheat – I think it plays nicely with your idea:


    And Josh: much as I am looking forward to reading Phil’s Neoreaction a Basilisk, its coverage in May got me down a bit and I felt like I needed some dose of optimism regarding the fate of humanity and the Earth as a whole – so thank you for talking about the idea of resilience. I hope you make further appearances on Shabcast and, although I’ve never watched Star Trek, I’m looking forward to reading Vaka Rangi.


    • Jack Graham
      June 9, 2016 @ 5:55 pm

      Josh will be Shabcasting again quite soon. We’re going to talk about ‘Species’.


      • Josh Marsfelder
        June 9, 2016 @ 6:15 pm

        Thank you!

        Resilience and optimism have sort of become pet causes for me. Doing a long form blog project on fractured and troublesome utopian fiction helps 🙂


  2. David Faggiani
    June 9, 2016 @ 4:01 pm

    Excellent stuff guys! You’ve introduced me to the concept of ‘solarpunk’, and I found the whole conversation very intriguing.


  3. Anthony D Herrera
    June 10, 2016 @ 4:12 am

    When the inevitable podcast comes where Phil’s nihilism and Josh’s resilience come face to face it should be called Last War in Eruditorum.


    • Sean Dillon
      June 10, 2016 @ 4:26 am

      Only if Albion includes a moment where Morrison works for Electricomics.


  4. Sean Dillon
    June 10, 2016 @ 5:02 am

    I mildly joked during my live read of Neoreaction A Basilisk that the utopian project presented within the text is called Vaka Rangi. And while I’ll try to watch Species between (we’ll see if the library has it) now and that Shabcast, I’d be more interested in hearing a Eruditorium Presscast with Josh.


  5. Aylwin
    June 10, 2016 @ 9:05 am

    It’s been a lot of years since I read the books in question, but the linked article’s comments on Jared Diamond seem like pretty mendacious strawmanning. As I recall, the point of the discussion of Easter Island in Collapse was to explore what made its historical development so different from that of other Polynesian societies, which on the basis of a very similiar material and cultural starting set-up successfully managed a range of comparable environments (some of them considerably less initially congenial), rather than coming the kind of disastrous cropper that Easter Island did. Whether Diamond’s treatment of that history is accurate or not, it doesn’t remotely resemble the “failures of the other”/”noble savages”/”collapse of an inferior, primitive form of society” tale portrayed here.

    It’s the same sort of comparison Diamond also draws between the contrasting experiences of the European settlers of Iceland and those of Greenland. Speaking of which, Diamond also pointedly contrasts the failure of the European Greenlanders to handle the changing climate with the success of their Inuit neighbours, and argues that that failure was in large part due to their insistence on holding onto cultural norms, practices and priorities they had brought with them from Europe which were ill-suited to their current environment, and to their failure/refusal to learn from the superior methods the Inuit had developed for dealing with that environment. Nor can this argument be associated with New-Agey “noble savage” guff about non-European peoples living “in harmony with nature”, given that it also contrasts the success of the Inuit with the failures of other North American peoples in the vicinity, explained on the grounds that they too lacked the range of technologies developed by the Inuit. Funnily enough, that section doesn’t get mentioned at all here, presumably because it doesn’t fit the Awful Racist White Man image being constructed.


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