ASFO 2024–01–27

This episode, in all honesty, slides rapidly off the rails. 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 and reassurance in the concrete form of a declarative social order. 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 for 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, perhaps the greatest threat to our future.

Two mailing envelopes, with space stamps on them, one with a space-station hologram cachet. Also, circular stickers with mottoes "Atomic Power to the People", "Split Atoms Not Wood" and "No Blood for Oil / Atoms for Peace"
Some of the contents of the envelopes pictured above, including a "coin card", a sample copy of "blast", and leaflets.
An example of premiums received by Patreon supporters

ASFO 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.

US Postal Service pre-printed postcards from 1989 (15c "America the Beautiful" issue), four to a letter-size sheet, overprinted with a "Man and Atom" return-address cachet, with 36c of postage added, and printed on the other side with a promotional message, and a "Split Atoms not Wood" sticker attached.
Outgoing mail!

ASFO 2024–01–13

Mail call! In this episode, I try (following on from a perhaps–surprising observation last week) to consider the reasons why people might employ, in public discourse, racialized ideas which are clearly defective. Also a gas explosion.

Coin card presentation folder, laid over the envelope it came in, in such a way as to obscure the address but show the postage stamps
Photo of a “Man and Atom” coin card, as received by a Patreon supporter

ASFO 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.

On a worktable, a white ceramic roller-moistener sits, accompanied by envelopes in manila, cream, and white, and the working end of a long-arm stapler
“The Moistener” sounds like a Silver–Age comic–book villain, but is actually a very useful piece of office equipment