- 2024–01–06 First show of the year, and I manage to flub the date. No, I didn’t announce that it was 2024 ― I announced that it was January 7th! I mention a couple of money–related annoyances that may perhaps be relevant to the topic of robustness and resiliency ; and briefly wax rhapsodic about a piece of antique office equipment I bought ; before spending some time attacking the concepts of nationality and race which loom so large among the reasons why people today are willing to kill one another.
- 2024–01–13 Following on from a perhaps–surprising observation last week, I try to consider the reasons why people might employ, in public discourse, racialized ideas which are clearly defective. Also, a gas explosion.
- 2024–01–20 This should be the last I talk about “racism” for a good long while. I try to connect it with what appears to me to be the desire, among many people for a declarative social order. Also, news from Morris, Illinois, and the Moon ; and burning hoverboards, possibly the most futuristic–sounding calamity of the past few months.
- 2024–01–27 This episode, in all honesty, slides off the rails fairly quickly. If you didn’t expect to hear the term “bronies” on this show, you’re scarcely alone ― I didn’t expect to use it! But it turns out to be relevant to the notion I explored last week, of a yearning for stability as expressed in a declarative order of society. And this seems to be connected to something I have discussed before, the fear of decay and collapse and catastrophic loss. So I spend a while discussing how this affects, and is in turn affected by, our prospects for space settlement. We have reasons to hope, we have the means to endow that hope with materiality, but we have to believe that or it is worthless. And that lack of belief leads to radical and destructive politics, which truly threaten us.
- 2024–02–03 Hope is the necessary thing for making the world better! That’s a message you frequently hear from me, and the reason for it is that humans have immense power to re–shape the world in which we live, to make it better for ourselves. Therefore it is of vital importance to spread a message of hope, and it is very disturbing to see the efforts being made to spread despair, and the success they meet with. Hence I renew my pleas for support. Also I speculate on whether Washington DC local news might have more of an effect on US policy than electoral or strategic considerations, and propose steps which the Federal government can and should take towards a sound domestic and global energy policy.
- 2024–02–10 Rickshaws (Japanese 人力車 jinrikisha, “human–powered vehicle”) considered ; the Myth of the Golden Age and its dangers ; and the real answer to the Nuclear Waste Problem. Also I get to make one of my utterly megalomaniacal statements. Plus, Mail Call!
- 2024–02–17 Cryptocurrency ― leading contender for “scam of the century” before generative AI came along ― was estimated to account for approximately 2% of US electricity consumption last year. That is twelve times what was used by electrified railways, and exceeds the whole consumption of the States of Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont, and the District of Columbia put together ― more than seven and a half million people, in a country which uses more than half again as much electricity per head of population as the average for wealthy countries, and almost four times the average for the world as a whole. And to what end? Yet it is almost certainly one example among many.
- 2024–02–24 Congratulations to Intuitive Machines for the soft landing of their Nova–C vehicle “Odysseus”. Also, economics, real and virtual – the subordination of the former, which supplies the goods and services people actually consume, to the latter, seems to be a major cause of trouble in our modern world, and inspires the question, what exactly is a market? Also, BANANAs on the march ; “Stranger Danger” a dogma in America ; and Mail Call!
ASFO airs weekly at 19z00, with occasional bonus shows at 15z00 Tuesdays or Fridays. In this post you will find links to recordings of the shows from 2024, each accompanied by a brief description.