Seated in Action

Seated in Action

As you may have noticed, we are living in divisive times. We are experiencing sociocultural change at a seemingly faster rate than any other time in recent memory, and these changes manifest in the political realm. These notions are compounded by the way we tend to interface with social media and media at large; as such, your hosts, Ryan and Andrew, have come together to advance a philosophy of pragmatism in an attempt to remedy certain toxic cultural phenomena.... Show More

Episodes

Episode 22 — Can Political Violence Ever Be Justified? Disclaimer: The first half of the episode came out a bit tinny and lo-fi. We don’t know why and we aren’t sure what we did wrong, but we will attempt to change things on the backend to ensure the podcast’s quality is as high as it can be. Sorry. Please love us. In the first half of this episode, your hosts spend some time meditating on the issue of violence. Is it ever just... Read more

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October 1, 2018 86 min

Episode 22 — What is Postmodernism? In the first half of this episode, Ryan and Andrew talk about the notion that people on both sides of the aisle, but primarily those on the right, use and misuse the term “postmodernism.” This begs the question, “what is postmodernism?” Is it an epistemology? Is it a theoretical lens? Is it an ideology that, when mixed with Marxism, will bring about the downfall of the West? But, before Ryan and... Read more

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In the first half of this episode, your hosts talk about their recent appearance on Steve Zelt's podcast, "A Small Good Thing" (for more information about the podcast, visit https://www.asmallgoodthing.org/). The conversation lasted about two hours, but the content will be redacted to a trim thirty minutes. Within this conversation, your bois and Zelt grappled with the notion of what universities ought to do, though they did not do... Read more

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In the first half of the episode, your hosts congratulate themselves for reaching twenty episodes and usher in the new age of "season two." They move on to apologize about the episode's title. From there, they elaborate on the emotional responses that lie beneath the prevalence of clickbait and other such annoying internet attention grabbers. In the second half, Ryan and Andrew discuss how clickbait titles work to create a less i... Read more

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At first, your mindful, forward-thinking hosts wanted to make a state of the union podcast for the 20th episode, but then we realized that we already technically released a 20th episode; so, before releasing the actual 20th episode, we're releasing a state of the podcast episode (as, technically, our 22nd episode...). Are we illogical? We like to think not. Is our podcast scheduling odd? Maybe a little. Is this arbitrary? Absolutel... Read more

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In this episode, Ryan and Andrew discuss a compilation film called Ten Years. The film is split into five distinct chapters, all of which were written and directed by different auteur Hong Kongese directors. The first episode, Extras, follows two characters (an immigrant from India and a middle-aged failed-Triad) who are caught in a plot to instigate a false flag attack on two public officials; the second episode, Season of the End... Read more

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In the first half of this episode, Ryan and Andrew attempt to identify the constitutive elements of political populism. Of course, one cannot define populism without first talking about the notion that both left and right populism often manifest as anti-establishment, anti-elite ideologies; however, your hosts attempt to more fully flesh out American populism. In a rare (maybe?) disagreement, Ryan claims that populism is a neutral ... Read more

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Episode 17 - The Aesthetics of Separation: Hou Hsiao Hsien's THREE TIMES In this, our first official film review, episode, your bois discuss Hou Hsiao Hsien's 2005 triptych, THREE TIMES. THREE TIMES is a film divided into three 45-minute sections. Each section is played by the same actors, though the times and characters are different (one takes place in 1966, one in 1911, and one in 2005). In exploring the themes and motifs of ... Read more

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In this episode, Andrew and Ryan discuss the lessons that can be taken from the newly coined "Intellectual Dark Web." The hosts cover the ideological connective tissue between the members of the collective, their points of departure, and the limitations of the movement. They move on to the rhetorical strategy of rebranding and manipulating language in order to persuade listeners and give a movement new life. They then grace the aud... Read more

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We’re talking about Russia today—but first, your hosts talk about a webcomic from The Oatmeal about the Backfire Effect, a psychological phenomenon that tracks the ways in which our brains respond to ideas that challenge our most fundamental ideological suppositions. Studies conducted at the University of Southern California suggest that, when we are faced with such ideas and challenges, our amygdalae fire up and put us in a state ... Read more

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In the first third (yes, third!) of the episode, your bois catch up on their adventures. Andrew sings the praises of the Milwaukee weather and the South Milwaukee DMV, and Ryan talks about gallivanting through the Scottish countryside. After they're done catching up, they begin a discussion about the notion of protest. Are all protests monolithic? If not, what are some of their key differences? What are the proximal and distal cons... Read more

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Today’s episode is atypical—Andrew is moving to Milwaukee and Ryan is vacationing around the United Kingdom, and, thus, they will not be able to put together an episode during the third week of July. So, they thought ahead—for once—and planned a bonus episode while they do their thing. So, while the bois are away, take a listen to this episode, wherein we talk about world cinema. Originally, your hosts wanted to put together an... Read more

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In the first half of the episode, your hosts discuss the next set of claims laid out in the PragerU video; they start their discussion off by talking about the differences between those who hold power within the university system and those who interface with students (hint: they are not often the same group of people). They then talk about the various levels of professorship within the academy and the types of classes each level of... Read more

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In the first half of today’s episode, your hosts tread carefully into the deep, hot water (though Andrew flubs this by making a spicy joke right off the batt) that is Jordan B. Peterson’s political and philosophical oeuvre. Your hosts begin their critique of Peterson’s PragerU by talking about the way the federal and state governments allocate funds into the education system (both lower and higher education systems) in order to add... Read more

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Today’s episode is something of a departure from the norm. Here at Seated in Action, we don’t really like to talk about people; rather, we like to explore ideas, arguments, and rhetorical strategies—that said, we feel as though our hand has been forced. A couple of weeks ago, the notorious Lobster King himself, Jordan B. Peterson, professor of psychology at University of Toronto, produced a video with PragerU (titled “Dangerous Peo... Read more

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In the first half of the episode, your hosts talk about the issue of moral reframing as presented in Rob Willer’s Ted Talk, “How to Have Better Political Conversations,” which asks a difficult question: why do we attempt to persuade someone by employing arguments that we find compelling (as opposed to arguments that our interlocutors might find compelling)? In doing so, they talk about how to reconfigure political arguments within ... Read more

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In the first half of the episode, your hosts finally introduce the topic of effective altruism. This topic was briefly alluded to in the previous episode (about global aid), and Andrew, of course, articulates the principles central to the effective altruistic movement by disparaging mainstream, traditional charitable organizations. Ryan re-centers the conversation, and the two discuss, at great lengths, the rational, empirical meth... Read more

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June 4, 2018 154 min

In this episode, Ryan and Andrew discuss the rains down in Africa. Responding to the documentary, Poverty, Inc, they articulate some of the ways that programs meant to help those living in poverty don't always achieve their intended effect. The conversation takes a turn into economics and sociology as they discuss which economic policies work best for connecting people with a steady income and how bad policies can effect even the m... Read more

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In today’s episode, Ryan discusses the concepts and notions advanced in Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson’s Why Nations Fail. In the first half, Ryan summarizes some of the main arguments—namely their claims about what types of policies are effective and which are not. Your hosts then discuss the disconnect between the efficacy of specific policies and the values that voters hold; in doing so, they pose the following question: I... Read more

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In the first half of the episode, Ryan and Andrew discuss Jonathan Haidt’s Ted Talk about what he calls The Righteous Mind (this later became a book of the same name). Haidt suggests that there are five pillars of morality, and that said pillars manifest through political outlooks and ideologies. For the first half, Ryan and Andrew discuss three of these pillars: care/harm, fairness/reciprocity, and in-group loyalty. In the second ... Read more

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