This week, the Atlantic Studies Podcasts of Note blog continues to search far and wide for new feeds to introduce to readers and listeners. This week, episodes include an overview of early American scholarship, work on the Industrial Revolution, early American celebrities, Garveyism, and fugitives. As well, look below to an extended Remembrance of Past Podcasts for some new feeds and publicly focused podcasts.
I have been thinking a lot lately about how fiction makes reality, what in some circles is called hyperstition. Specifically, analysis of hyperstition often offers how science fiction in various ways works to pattern a future of allowable realities that then can come into existence. And, within that absurdist philosophy, I have been wondering how blind society has become to the social, cultural, and environmental implications of Covid-19 even before this pandemic has started to subside. What seems apparent with failing public discourse during this pandemic, is the dearth of positive outcomes patterned by authors and their fictional futures.
Nations of the world generally lack a plan to solve the coming realities that automate greater wealth in the hands of lesser amounts of people. The fictional futures mapped in our present lack the patterning of possible realities including equality, environmental justice, peace, and human rights. The fictions of our present are generally mapping a dystopian post-Covid world of singularities, AI, manipulated markets, environmental degradation, war, and abusive capitalist technics. The charting of “normalcy” to be returned to is inherently regressive and plots out cacotopian fictions to look forward to, without the hope that the structures of economy and society can be changed for broader egalitarianism. Faith remains solely in deus ex machina, rather than human promotion of a better world.
Automation of society is offering that if this pandemic ever does subside, most in Western and developing worlds will return, desire a return, to a “normalcy” that includes mass pollution, forever plastics, and unrenewable resources that intensify the crisis of the Anthropocene that existed at the causal root of Covid-19. Extreme poverty necessitating wet markets where individuals consume diseased bats will not simply disappear in a world that intensifies social stratification, profit-seeking, and environmental abuse. Pandemics will rise again, at ever faster rates, like hurricanes in the warming Caribbean mist, if the world does not radically change perspectives away from Cornucopianism. This troubled world needs more fictions of hope to map out a future reality that is not hyperstitionally automatized in the visions of a past and failed “normal.”
Be strong in the abnormal.
Wear Masks (Double). Wash Hands (Often). Get the Shots When You Can. Keep Distance.
Atlantic Studies Podcasts of Note:
1) Ben Franklin’s World – “Vast Early America"
2) University of Washington – Political Economy Forum – “Invention, Innovation, and the British Industrial Revolution” – With Anton Howes
3) Conversations at the Washington Library – “Unravelling the Strange Genius of Mr. O” - With Carolyn Eastman
4) History of Africana Philosophy – Black Star – Marcus Garvey
5) New Books Network – William Taylor – Fugitive Freedom: The Improbable Lives of Two Imposters in Late Colonial Mexico
This Date in History:
4/18/1688 – Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery
4/14/1912 – Violet Jessop Survived Sinking Titanic
4/14/1816 – Bussa’s Rebellion
4/13/1873 – Colfax Massacre
Remembrance of Past Podcasts:
Ridiculous History offered their Two Episode treatment of “Pineapples in Europe.”
The Very Short Introduction Podcast provided an episode this week on “Calvinism.”
History Unplugged submitted an episode on how “George Washington Became Great Because He Spent Years in the Political Wilderness as a Washed Up Has Been.”