ASFO 2022–06–04

Western converts to Buddhism are somehow in my line of ire? Honestly, it’s more about writers who begin statements consisting of bare assertion with the phrase “we know that…” This show is notable for long quotations from people I whose positions I feel the need to assail. As Levar Burton always said on Reading Rainbow, “don’t take my word for it!” Also I use backyard swimming pools as an extended metaphor, or something.

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ASFO 2022–05–28

Speech! It is at the heart of what we do and how we experience the world, as humans, and yet it is inherently limited by distance and ephemerality. That is, it was limited until the second half of the 19th century, when the telephone and the phonograph utterly changed that key aspect of human existence. Was this the “real” Singularity? What kinds of technologies might come in the future which could have any such effect on the human condition?

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ASFO 2022–05–21

Doomsayers and death–cultists receive a stinging rebuke, as I explain why ― even if you are chary of trusting me with a billion dollars ― you ought at least to vouchsafe me a hundred million to rehabilitate the NS Savannah. Also, what is my beef with solar power, anyway?

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ASFO 2022–05–14

TANSTAAFL! But that doesn’t preclude reduced–price lunches… Also, Power Outrage! Also also, why Starlink is exactly the wrong way to do satellite broadband ; the latest film transfers (here and here) inspire the question of what deserves to be called democracy ; a nifty DVD ; “activist investors” ; and high–end overcoats. Where else would you get this value?

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ASFO 2022–05–07

Who pays for your power? What have we learned from Chernobyl, and what does that have to do with airlines? How do we make the human the focus of a machine civilization? Where and when can you watch my newly–transferred films? And why do I keep buying light bulbs? All this and more in a sizzling new episode with an experimental audio setup!

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ASFO 2022–04–23

An exceptionally rambly show without proper planning or any kind of theme. Mostly I talked about my latest film transfer, and the great work of Bazalgette in creating the London sewer system. Could you really get away, today, with naming a sewage pump after a member of the Royal family? Hopefully next week will be more organized, although I say that pretty often.

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ASFO 2022–04–09

What will the people do with the atomic power? asks my grandmother. It turns out that this is related to the vital question of what is going on in France. First time as tragedy, second time as farce : the lights are going out, all across Europe. Also a parable (or metaphor if you like) concerning a seed, and a greeting to some friends of mine who went out to eat.

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ASFO 2022–04–02

Two definitions of power, McJobs in the context of the social implications of energy policy, and the perennial question “what does the House of Thurn und Taxis have to do with the regulated utility model, and what can that teach us about alternatives to profit–maximizing capitalism?” (Also why there are special coffee mugs for nuclear power plant refueling outages, and an update on the film transfer situation.)

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ASFO 2022–03–19

Starting (somehow) from a British condiment known as clotted cream, I discuss various world problems which I would not advise trying to solve with nuclear energy or space travel, or for which I have no particular solution, including French pension funding and the supply of paper in India. Of course, I end up circling back to the topic of the current fuel stringency, the absurdity of measures being advocated to deal with it, and the possibilities of a global Messmer Plan.

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ASFO 2022–03–12

Not my most edifying, informative, or entertaining show ever, by a long chalk. It’s thirty minutes of sheer, uninterrupted “something has gone horribly wrong with the humans on this planet and I need to vacate, soonest.”

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