John Derbyshire, author of the new book We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism, sat down for a discussion of atheism and conservatism, math cranks and more in our first proper episode. Your host Kevin I. Slaughter discusses the post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy and touches on the myth of the noble savage by way of a quote from an author stolen from an interview on the Skepticality Podcast and by lifting a passage from Pinker’s The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. We also hear an archival recording of HL Mencken discussion his philosophy of drinking, and a plug for the new UA release Laffs & Juggs.
John Derbyshire has previously released the novels Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream: A Novel (1997), a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”, Fire From the Sun (2000) a storyline written in an astounding 76 chapers in 3 volumes. His non-fiction books Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics (2003), Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra (2006) and now We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism (2009).
In addition to the books, he has over three and a half decades of journalism and reportage under his proverbial belt. A selection of the magazines and newspapers he’s written for: Nat. Review, NYT, Boston Globe, Weekly Standard, Mathematics Magazine, Wall Street Journal and many others. He’s contributed to National Review Online, V-Dare.com and the New English Review websites.
The Underworld Amusements Variety Hour is a podcast covering an eclectic mix of subjects, guided by the interests of its host. This is the first episode proper, but so far there have already been multiple special episodes, short format extras and pdf files of free materials. Underworld Amusements is a small media company focusing on publishing books of forgotten and marginalized works, our podcast and other products and even events.
I’ve started posting excerpts of interviews on YouTube under a dedicated account in 720p high definition… of course, they’re audio interviews with still images, so it’s easy to get that High Def quality.
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Please note: I misspoke, well, a few times as usual, but specifically in the discussion of Islamophobia where I say that Derbyshire believes “Christianity is slightly crazier than Islam”, but that should be “slightly less crazy than Islam”. A small, but important difference.
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