Archives for category: Podcast

That’s “the Historical Jesus” To You.

In my third online discussion with Ralph Ellis, we focus in on the name of “Jesus” — where did it come from? What was it exactly, prior to all the translations?

Leading up to this chat, I had directed Mr. Ellis to the YouTube channel Religion for Breakfast, where host Andrew Henry discusses the current academic consensus on the name of Jesus, in two videos.

Andrew Henry, host of Religion for Breakfast on YouTube.

Mr. Elllis, who has written three books with “Jesus” in the title, offers his rather different take.

Also prior to our chat, I had asked Mr. Ellis about what he thought of the name of “Joseph” — the Gospel Jesus’ father. Or “worldly father,” as we might have called him in church, when I was a kid. Since Ellis believes that the historical Jesus’ natural and quite real father was King Abgarus Monobazus of Edessa, where did the name “Joseph” come from? I had suggested it was just impishly inserted into the gospel story. But Ellis thinks it may very well have been Abgarus’s adoptive, “Jewish” name. Why? It turns out he has an interesting theory about this, and it is completely plausible. Indeed, it is congruent with the rest of the story as he’s explored it in his many books:

As always with Mr. Ellis, our conversation runs wide, and deep into the history. In the video version of the podcast I have tried to make it easier to follow, with a few visual aids:

My dog only interrupted once.

As always, I now have more questions. Perhaps I will invite Mr. Ellis back onto the program — I am very curious about Judas, for instance, and it was Judas of Gamala who really started the movement that became the Jewish Revolt. The more I read Josephus — and his four works (The Jewish War, The Antiquities of the Jews, The Life and Against Apion) provide quite the kick — the more impressive Mr. Ellis’s interpretation seems to me.

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N.B. The YouTube version is now up.

Are we, the masses of mankind, doomed to become useless appendages to our technological creations? Will artificial intelligence get so smart as to take over everything? Is there to be almost no space for individuals? Workers? Thinkers? Producers?

Are we obsolete?

There is a new book out by Jobst Landgrebe and Barry Smith that answers these questions. The authors make a startlingly bold claim, and back it up with something more than the hand-waving b.s. we are used to on this subject. The book is titled Why Machines Will Never Rule the World: Artificial Intelligence Without Fear, just out from Routledge.

David Ramsay Steele, who is CEO and Editorial Director of Carus Books, and its imprint Open Universe — as well as author of From Marx to Mises: Post-Capitalist Society and the Challenge of Economic Calculation, Orwell Your Orwell: A Worldview on the Slab, and The Mystery of Fascism: David Ramsay Steeles Greatest Hits — is an enthusiast for Landgrebe and Smith’s effort. He has long been skeptical of many of the more outlandish claims for AI, and he read the manuscript of the book as it approached publication. He suggested that the LocoFoco Netcast team interview Jobst and Barry, and I agreed with no small amount of enthusiasm.

But I agreed mainly on the condition that David do most of the interviewing. I am in way over my head on this issue, and do not really know much other than what I read in science fiction — which is hardly a reliable guide on such issues. He agreed. He has, after all, been featured by the LocoFoco at least twice, if not three or four times. And with David asking the most acute questions, that would allow me to ask the Dumb Guy questions.

So last week the four of us chatted for an hour and a half. I have edited that chat down just a bit, and present it on SoundCloud and Rumble and YouTube:

Yes, at least one of my questions was indeed Dumb Guy dumb. My intro, too, will not win awards for accuracy, my characterization of Elon Musk’s AI goals being offhand and parodic — and considering the august company I had on, perhaps I should have postponed my mirth. But the other participants are as eloquent — and their comments as apposite — as one could hope for.

I had read one of Dr. Barry Smith’s books before this discussion, by the way — Austrian Philosophy: The Legacy of Franz Brentano — and own another that I have occasionally consulted. He is a major scholar of Continental philosophy, and I was delighted to read something by him on an issue of current popular interest. Somehow discussions of Edmond Husserl, Alexius Meinong and Roman Ingarden (the latter mentioned in this episode, and by Jobst), cannot be expected to obtain a wide readership.

Actually, I should say, “delighted to begin to read something by Dr. Smith,” since, as I confess in the podcast, I did not make the requisite time to read the whole of the pre-publication copy David had sent me. Even after all these years using iPads, it often takes quite an effort for me to read a whole book in ebook format, especially a PDF. This means I will “be forced” actually to buy the book!

I know some people insist that podcasts be published unedited. I am not one of those people. Before Dr. Smith joined our Zoom conversation, Jobst, David and I got to know one another informally, discussing such things as the books in our respective backgrounds: my green books (Loeb Greek/English editions) and Jobst’s red set of books that look so similar, and are also about history, but in German, and may not have an English equivalent. We also discussed science fiction, Stanislaw Lem and Philip K. Dick, specifically. For some reason I did not bring up Samuel Butler’s Erewhon. Now that would have been relevant. I may include this conversation as a future extra on LocoFoco.Locals.com.

Jobst Landgrebe earned his doctorate in medicine, and has worked as both scientist and entrepreneur in the field in question, artificial intelligence. As he mentions in the podcast, it was he who conceived the idea for the book and the need for collaboration with a philosopher. Jobst had been encountering too much nonsense being said about AI.

I hope that, after listening to this podcast, every listener goes out and buys the new book. This is an important subject. It should not be left to rumor-mongering by “futurologists” and others who do not know the science or understand the philosophy behind the issue.

And note: thanks to James Littleton Gill for two examples of his image work with the artistic artificial intelligence DALL-E. And yes, Barry Smith and Jobst Landgrebe both discuss DALL-E in our conversation.

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Paul Jacob’s talk at the 2019 Global Forum for Direct Democracy, on SoundCloud, Rumble and YouTube:

I help Paul with his podcasts.

Paul Jacob’s weekend podcast was especially good this current episode; check it out:

This Week in Common Sense, January 15, 2022: audio hosted on SoundCloud.

I help Paul make these podcasts, and mine’s the first face you see this episode. To avoid my face, or Paul’s, listen to the audio version.

The most recent episode of the LocoFoco Netcast is up. You can find it on LocoFoco.Locals.com, via your favorite podcatcher, or as hosted on SoundCloud (LocoFoco.net):

In this episode of the podcast, I echo Paul Jacob’s most recent effort, “Are We in La-La Land?” Paul Jacob is best known for his work in the 1990s on term limits, and, in this millennium, for defending initiative and referendum rights. Paul Jacob serves as President of the Liberty Initiative Fund.

I help Paul with his weekly podcast. I chime in every now and then with one of my “theories.” On this episode from October 1, 2021, Paul Jacob takes on the biggest issues of the week:

Unmasking the Mask Debate (on sense and nonsense and pure b.s. about masks)

thisiscommonsense.org/2021/09/27/unm…e-mask-debate/

Catastrophic! Calamity! The Debt (on setting the b.s. artists at CNN straight about the debt)

thisiscommonsense.org/2021/09/28/cat…mity-the-debt/

The Age of Octogenarians (on why it’s not Chuck Grassley’s age that is the problem with his 40-odd years as a senator)

thisiscommonsense.org/2021/09/29/the-age-of-octos/

Stossel Sues Facebook (on the case against social media — in the courts)

thisiscommonsense.org/2021/09/30/sto…sues-facebook/

Biden Blames Business (on inflation and debt and b.s.)

thisiscommonsense.org/2021/10/01/bid…ames-business/

Oh, and Ludwig von Mises to Ayn Rand

thisiscommonsense.org/2021/09/30/lud…mises-aynrand/

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A Thought for the day of September 30, 2021.
This was the splash pic for my first podcast with this libertarian luminary.

A few more minutes with the Great Dennis Pratt:

The Locofoco Netcast always sports a video version. This short episode, however, can be found as video only on LocoFoco.Locals.com.

Meanwhile, on Paul Jacob’s podcast, I get a few words in, if edgewise:

This Week in Common Sense, Sept. 20-24, 2021. Also on SoundCloud.

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Paul Jacob has an important basic point to make: “Wars that you cannot win with victories on the battlefield shouldn’t be fought.”

But that doesn’t mean that ending unwinnable wars in really stupid ways isn’t blameworthy. In this case: on the politicians, specifically Biden.

Paul’s co-host for his podcasts, Yours Truly, itches to blame the military, though. In this podcast there’s some debate. Who ya gonna blame?

The podcast is available on most podcatchers as well as on SoundCloud, above.
The video version will be up soon, and will be posted on Common Sense with Paul Jacob.

My podcast, LocoFoco, is on a hiatus. Personal issues have come up, the death of my younger sister not least of all. But I have continued to produce Paul Jacob’s This Week in Common Sense, which in one sense is easy: Paul is quite the talker, and every weekend he recaps what he wrote during the week at ThisIsCommonSense.org. Last weekend I contributed a bit more banter and argument than usual, going on several tears myself:

The audio version of the podcast is hosted on SoundCloud, and can be grabbed via the major podcatchers, and some minor ones.

And Paul’s current podcast is worth a listen, too:

The video version will be available in a few hours on YouTube.

But I’m wondering: which alternative to YouTube should I prioritize, and get Paul to use as well? I have tried Brighteon, but it is suppressed on Facebook and even on Facebook Messenger (yes, the company will not allow you to even share the URL with a few friends). Bitchute takes forever for me to upload and get a video published. Odysee/LIBRY seems to be the current favorite alt-Yt video program, but I am dubious.

I am thinking of going Gab Pro and investing in Andrew Torba’s new Gab TV project. What do you think?

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Paul Jacob’s latest podcast is up, in audio as well as his YouTube page. But it is also available on my Bitchute page.

This Week in Common Sense, May 8, 2021.

The latest episode of the LocoFoco Netcast features Professor James R. Otteson, author of Actual Ethics (2006) and the forthcoming Seven Deadly Economic Sins (2021). The video is up, now, on YouTube:

LocoFoco Netcast, April 6, 2021 (recorded a week earlier).