Show cover of Fluidity

Fluidity

After the collapse of the 20th-century systematic mode of social organization, how can we move from our internet-enabled atomized mode, toward a fluid mode? We take problems of meaning-making, typically considered spiritual, and turn them into practical problems, which are more tractable. "Meaningness" begins with this episode: https://fluidity.libsyn.com/an-appetizer-purpose "Meaningness And Time" begins with this episode: https://fluidity.libsyn.com/meaningness-and-time-how-meaning-fell-apart 'In The Cells Of The Eggplant" begins with this episode: https://fluidity.libsyn.com/intro-to-metarationality You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold This is a nonfiction audiobook narrated by Matt Arnold with the permission of the author, David Chapman. Full text at: https://meaningness.com

Tracks

The Nihilist Apocalypse
A world of total license: the catastrophe some fear if nihilistic views become widespread.   https://meaningness.com/nihilist-apocalypse   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod.   This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
24:41 10/31/21
What Nihilism Is Not
This episode narrates the new pages “'Nihilism is OK' is not OK" and "The uncanny absence of nihil –ism".   “Nihilism is inevitable, but not a problem.” This is mistaken: it makes you miserable and ineffective, and erodes social and cultural capacity.   https://meaningness.com/nihilism-considered-harmful   Nihilism, like botulism, is not an ideology or conceptual system. It is a stance: an emotionally-charged way of being.   https://meaningness.com/nihilism-is-not-an-ism   Links mentioned in this episode:   In "Postmodernism vs. The Pomoid Cluster" John Nerst analyzes the relationship between postmodernism as an academic theory, and “pomo” as a popular way of relating to meaningness.   The TV Tropes page "Straw Nihilist".   I struggled with saying "schismatic subsects", but you only get the edited version in which I nailed it. :)   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
23:01 11/7/21
Nihilistic Reasoning Errors
The many justifications for nihilism rely on a handful of mistaken patterns of reasoning.   https://meaningness.com/nihilist-fallacies   Links mentioned in this episode:   Scott Alexander’s blog post “Proving too much”.   "Finding Meaning In An Imperfect World" by Iddo Landau   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
23:03 11/14/21
Varieties Of Special Meaning, Part 1
Lite nihilism, on the way to completion: Lite nihilism includes a valuable, accurate analysis of the failure of eternalism.   https://meaningness.com/lite-nihilism   Not really meaningful: “Nothing REALLY means anything” sounds plausible when you feel nihilistic. What does “really” mean, though?   https://meaningness.com/no-real-meaning   No extra-special fancy meanings: Nihilism rightly denies objective, ultimate, transcendent, absolute, cosmic, and eternal meanings. What is left?   https://meaningness.com/no-special-meaning   Original music by Kevin MacLeod.   This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
22:07 11/21/21
Varieties Of Special Meaning, Part 2
No absolute meaning: Are you adult enough to accept that the world offers no absolute guarantees?   https://meaningness.com/no-absolute-meaning   No transcendent meaning: If meaning lives only in Neverland, we can’t make much use of it. Fortunately, it’s here, now.   https://meaningness.com/no-transcendent-meaning   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
24:57 11/28/21
Varieties Of Special Meaning, Part 3
No ultimate meaning: “Ultimate” means “at the end of a scale.” What is the scale of meaning? Should you want to be at the end of it?   https://meaningness.com/no-ultimate-meaning   No eternal meaning: Meanings come and go; they are not eternally stable— and that is fine.   https://meaningness.com/no-eternal-meaning   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
31:23 12/5/21
Varieties Of Special Meaning, Part 4- No Cosmic Meaning
Intuitions of “cosmic meaning” root in hunger for personal significance, and in encounters with vastness. https://meaningness.com/no-cosmic-meaning You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
78:29 12/12/21
Vaster Than Ideology
When you discover you are owned by an ideology, you can escape. Better, you can find a larger space.   https://meaningness.com/vaster-than-ideology   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
36:46 12/21/21
Glossary, and Holiday Hiatus
At the start of every episode, I've said "Words with an entry in the glossary have an echo." Well, it's time for the glossary!   https://meaningness.com/whole-glossary   Terminology choices: "Complete." "Emptiness and form, nebulosity and pattern." "Non-dual."   https://meaningness.com/terminology/complete   https://meaningness.com/terminology/emptiness-form-nebulosity-pattern   https://meaningness.com/terminology/non-dual   Next week, the podcast will begin a hiatus for the holidays, returning in January 2022, with "Meaningness And Time." If you have ways of relating to meaningness through winter rituals, may they be as they put it in "Ritual And Its Consequences: An Essay On The Limits Of Sincererity".   "...the endless work of building, refining, and rebuilding webs of relationships in an otherwise fragmented world."   https://vividness.live/ritual-vs-mentalism   Original music by Kevin MacLeod.   This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
45:03 12/26/21
Meaningness And Time - How Meaning Fell Apart
Beginning the next book by David Chapman: "Meaningness And Time". Past modes of relating to meaning and meaninglessness have broken down. How do we move to the fluid mode of social organization?   The problems of meaningness we face now are dramatically different from those of the past. We also sense new opportunities, and have new resources.   https://meaningness.com/meaningness-and-time   How meaning fell apart: Over the past century, systems of meaning gradually disintegrated, and a series of new modes of meaningness developed.   https://meaningness.com/meaningness-history   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
22:00 1/9/22
A Gigantic Chart That Explains Absolutely Everything
This chart is an overview of Meaningness and Time: the past, present, and future of culture, society, and our selves.   https://meaningness.com/modes-chart   Also - "In praise of choicelessness." The choiceless mode of understanding meaning has no “becauses.” Explanations are unnecessary because you are unaware of any alternatives.   https://meaningness.com/choiceless-mode   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
34:37 1/16/22
The Glory Of Systems
Systems of society, culture, and the self were the foundation of the modern world. Their glories have passed.   https://meaningness.com/systematic-mode   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
25:09 1/24/22
Invented Traditions And Timeworn Futures
Ideological time-distortion strategies are highly effective in propaganda. The Victorian age and the twentieth century gave us many new things that were supposedly ancient. These include:   - British royal coronation ceremonies. - kilts and almost the entire Scottish national identity. - almost all of the history of Buddhism. - and don't get us started on Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is a fun episode.   https://meaningness.com/invented-traditions-and-timeworn-futures   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
26:16 1/30/22
Systems Of Meaning All In Flames
How and why modernity failed. All systems of meaning—religious, political, artistic, psychological—began to fall apart. Nihilism seemed the only alternative. https://meaningness.com/systems-crisis-breakdown If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
35:44 2/8/22
The Collapse Of Rational Certainty
Modernity was built on certainty in science and mathematics. That was revealed as delusional during the early 20th century. An hour-long episode! For many of my acquaintance, this is an important entry point into Chapman's work, tying together Meaningness And Time with his other book In The Cells Of The Eggplant. It's also the most recent page he's written. https://meaningness.com/collapse-of-rational-certainty   If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold   Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
60:13 2/13/22
Countercultures: Modernity's Last Gasp
The hippies and the Moral Majority both tried to rescue systematic eternalism—and failed. We live amongst their wreckage.   https://meaningness.com/countercultures   Countercultures defined as new, alternative, universalist, eternalist, anti-rational systems: there were two in the late 20th century.   https://meaningness.com/counterculture-definition   If you want to support this podcast, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold   Original music by Kevin MacLeod.   This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
19:13 2/20/22
A Bridge To Meta-Rationality Vs. Civilizational Collapse
Taking a break from narrating "Meaningness And Time" to give you a standalone essay by the author, David Chapman, which I call the Bridge essay. It will be helpful in our next few episodes, in which "Meaningness And Time" describes the counter-cultures' renegotiation of the relationship between self and society.   The Bridge essay provides the urgency behind this entire audiobook podcast, and the reason I titled the podcast "Fluidity". When I first read it in 2020, that was the moment I decided I wanted to narrate David Chapman's work on my podcast.   https://metarationality.com/stem-fluidity-bridge   The Bridge essay references Chapman's summary of Robert Kegan's framework of adult cognitive development, which I narrated on this episode:   https://fluidity.libsyn.com/developing-ethical-social-and-cognitive-competence   Original text of Chapman's summary of Kegan here:   https://vividness.live/developing-ethical-social-and-cognitive-competence   Yesterday I encouraged David Chapman to link from the Bridge essay to an enlightening recent article by John Nerst on his blog Everything Studies (later published in Aero Magazine) clarifying the difference between postmodernism and "pseudo-pomo":   https://areomagazine.com/2018/06/30/postmodernism-vs-the-pomo-oid-cluster/   Original music by Kevin MacLeod.   This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
30:01 2/28/22
Hippies And Evangelicals: Monist & Dualist Countercultures
The hippie counterculture was structurally and functionally similar to the Moral Majority Christian Right counterculture a decade later.   https://meaningness.com/monism-dualism-countercultures   Original music by Kevin MacLeod.   This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
38:28 3/6/22
Renegotiating Self And Society
How—and why!—countercultures sought to reform psychologies and polities: to counteract alienation, anxiety, and anomie. Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
17:25 3/13/22
Rejecting Rationality, Reinventing Religion, Reconfiguring The Self
The 1960s-80s countercultures abandoned rationality because they believed it negated all meaning. They were wrong. Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
45:24 3/20/22
The Personal Is Political
The 1960s-80s countercultures dissolved the boundaries between self and society, ethical and political—setting us up for decades of culture war. You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
49:03 3/27/22
Rotating Politics 90 Degrees Clockwise
In the 1960s-80s, American politics shifted from economic to sacredness issues. This damaged public discourse, but created a new two-track class system.   https://meaningness.com/political-left-right-rotated   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon:   https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks   If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold   Original music by Kevin MacLeod.   This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
25:28 4/3/22
Modern Mythologies, & Fundamentalism Is Countercultural Modernism
The Religious Right and New Age Left both promoted time-distorting meta-myths—imaginary past golden ages and implausible future utopias—to hide their defects.   https://meaningness.com/counterculture-history-myths   Fundamentalism is not traditional; it is a modern, countercultural movement, opposed to tradition and to post-modernity.   https://meaningness.com/fundamentalism-countercultural-modernism   This references David Chapman's essay on another site, "Ritual Vs Mentalism":   https://vividness.live/ritual-vs-mentalism   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon:   https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks   If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold   Original music by Kevin MacLeod.   This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
34:46 4/10/22
Counter-cultures Thick And Wide - And - Why Both Countercultures Failed
The hippie and Moral Majority movements both developed broad, deep cultures, with innovative approaches to every aspect of life, from music to dentistry.   https://meaningness.com/countercultural-culture   Failure to find new foundations for meaning, to recognize diversity, to provide community, and to transcend opposition: all doomed counterculturalism.   https://meaningness.com/countercultures-fail   An atomized masterpiece by DJ Lobsterdust, "Queen Vs Satan, featuring pastor Gary G., in: It's Fun To Smoke Dust".   https://youtu.be/pdXek5d2ocw   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon:   https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks   If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold   Original music by Kevin MacLeod.   This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
29:01 4/17/22
Wreckage: The Culture War
The culture war, political polarization, Baby Boomer bafflement: the unending zombie slugfest pairing the two countercultures of the 1960s-80s.   https://meaningness.com/counterculture-war   "Five Case Studies In Politicization", by Scott Alexander.   https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/10/16/five-case-studies-on-politicization/   "The Toxoplasma of Rage", also by Scott Alexander.   https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/12/17/the-toxoplasma-of-rage/   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon:   https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks   If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold   Original music by Kevin MacLeod.   This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
52:50 4/24/22
Completing The Countercultures
At root, the culture war is not about abortion, gay marriage, or marijuana. It is about shared misunderstandings of the nature of meaning. https://meaningness.com/completing-countercultures You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
33:02 5/1/22
Subcultures
Subcultures: the diversity of meaning - The subcultural era (1975-2000) recognized the diversity of meanings, and provided a new type of supportive, voluntary social group.   https://meaningness.com/subcultures   Subcultures: meanings at play - With no responsibility to justify universal norms, or for solving social problems, subcultures were freed to play with meanings. https://meaningness.com/subcultural-culture Subsocieties: urban tribes - Subsocieties, close-knit social groups organized around subsocieties: a possible model for positive future social oganization. https://meaningness.com/subsocieties Geeks, MOPs, and sociopaths in subculture evolution - How muggles and sociopaths invade and undermine creative subcultures; and how to stop them. https://meaningness.com/geeks-mops-sociopaths If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
41:29 5/8/22
Archipelago
“Archipelago” is a political model in which everyone can choose what social system to live in. It’s impractical, but points to better solutions. https://meaningness.com/archipelago-politics In this episode, I narrate the blog post "Archipelago and Atomic Communitarianism" by Scott Alexander, with his permission. https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/06/07/archipelago-and-atomic-communitarianism/ If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
49:05 5/15/22
Atomization
The global internet atomizes cultures, societies, and selves into tiny brilliant shards. Meaning has lost context and coherence. Now what? https://meaningness.com/atomized-mode   Cultural atomization—the widespread loss of conceptual coherence—has made serious intellectual work much more difficult in the twenty-teens. https://meaningness.com/thinking-after-atomization   If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold   Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
24:18 5/22/22
Fluidity
Fluidity addresses the atomization of culture, society, and self with ships that sail the sea of meaning: collaborative, improvised, intimate, and playful. https://meaningness.com/fluidity-preview   Desiderata for any future mode of meaningness - A positive and realistic vision for the future of society, culture, and self, drawing lessons from recent history. https://meaningness.com/fluidity-desiderata   The Terra Ignota series of science fiction novels by Ada Palmer, which illustrates one vision of the fluid mode of social organization: https://us.macmillan.com/series/terraignota   You can support the podcast and get episodes a week early, by supporting the Patreon:   https://www.patreon.com/m/fluidityaudiobooks   If you like the show, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mattarnold   Original music by Kevin MacLeod. This podcast is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial International 4.0 License.
37:37 5/29/22