The Vimcast

The Vimcast

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The Vim Podcast is philosophers talking about pol…


Sam Harris Responds
Nov 3 • 74 min
Long ago, Zach published a critique of Sam Harris (https://thevimblog.com/2018/09/21/wake-up-sam-harris/) that accused Sam of a point of hypocrisy with respect to his treatment of Islam and race. Shockingly, Sam released a recent podcast in which he…
Can there be a Left-wing Authoritarianism?
Oct 20 • 79 min
Justin and Zach reunite to consider the question of whether there an be a left-wing authoritarianism. In the previous episode, they discussed what it means to have an authoritarian personality, to be someone inclined to support authoritarian candidates.…
Are You an Authoritarian?
Oct 6 • 69 min
Justin and Zach discuss what it means to have an authoritarian personality. The topic is not strong men who lead governments but the sort of people who are inclined to support them. How do political scientists detect authoritarian personalities? Why have…
Should You Get Married?
Sep 22 • 82 min
Kevin, Sarah, Gabe, Zach, and Yohana discuss the philosophy of marriage. What does marriage mean? What political implications does it have? If marriage as an institution is unjust, is there something wrong with participating in it? These are issues that…
Why Politicians’ Lies are Especially Bad
Sep 10 • 89 min
A special re-release of an early Vim podcast episode that was initially in two parts but has here been fused into one. No need to break the flow! Justin, Dylan, Justin Clardy, and Zach unite to discuss politicians’ lies and what makes them so bad. Dylan…
A Leader Returns
Sep 2 • 35 min
In this unusual episode, Justin, the long lost founder of the Vim Podcast, makes his triumphant return. Dylan and Zach join him to discuss the circumstances of his mysterious absence, why he has returned, and the profundities of the philosophy of…
When Will Machines Deserve Rights?
Aug 18 • 52 min
When is a machine deserving of moral consideration? When does it have rights? Zach and Dylan discuss these questions and more in this episode. It mainly focuses on Zach’s article, “Stop Talking about the Moral Status of Machines.” He has an argument that…
The 50th Episode Extravaganza!!!
Aug 4 • 78 min
Zach and Dylan get reflective and autobiographical in this special episode. They discuss whether the Vim podcast is too dense or too difficult for non-philosopher listeners. Then they turn to talk about how they got into philosophy and give some…
Arendt on the Banality of Evil
Jul 21 • 65 min
Finally! 2 years later, we deliver on the promise to record another Arendt episode. Gabe, Kevin, Zach, and Yohana discuss the concept of the banality of evil, the subject of Hannah Arendt’s 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem. They start with some background…
The Free Speech Episode
Jul 8 • 56 min
Dylan, Gabe, Lisa, and Kevin unite to discuss free speech, deplatforming, and rights. What should we make of conservative complaints that their free speech is being trampled on by protestors? Is deplatforming a harm? Do social media companies have an…
Harry Frankfurt’s Bullshit
Jun 23 • 79 min
Is Trump a liar? Or is it more accurate to call him a ‘bullshitter’? On occasion, people will talk about bullshit as a political phenomenon. And when they do, they will reference a philosopher called Harry Frankfurt. Frankfurt wrote the essay “On…
Is the President Above the Law?
Jun 9 • 45 min
Is the president above the law? We’ve all been wondering. Ishan, Dylan, and Zach discuss what a phrase like ‘above the law’ could mean. This is the final installment in a trilogy on the Mueller Report. Listen to the other episodes here:…
Are We in a Constitutional Crisis?
May 26 • 61 min
An unofficial sequel to the discussion on the Mueller Report, Dylan, Gabe, Ishan, and Zach reconvene to figure out what a “constitutional crisis” is. Like good philosophers, they distinguish a variety of types. Then they try to determine whether America…
Why Isn’t Something “Real” Until it is Online?
May 12 • 69 min
An epilogue to the episode titled, “Why Isn’t the Internet the ‘Real’ World?” Dylan and Zach consider a phenomena that might be in tension with Zach’s idea that we, in some vague and unarticulated way, take the internet to occupy a lower level of reality.…
Philosophy and the Mueller Report
Apr 28 • 57 min
The Mueller report—along with Attorney General William’s Barr’s accompanying antics—have come. They have also largely gone from the news cycle. But that is a shame. There is a lot to digest and think about. Like good philosophers, Dylan, Zach, Ishan, and…
Why Isn’t the Internet the “Real” World?
Apr 22 • 73 min
We often talk about a distinction between the online world and the “real” world? We say text or email conversations aren’t real conversations. We say we want to meet people IRL—’in real life’. What does this distinction mean? And is there such a…
Are We Prejudiced Against Machines?
Jan 14 • 55 min
This episode is a bit unusual. It is a talk that Zach gave to some students at University of Cincinnati on Oct. 18, 2018. However, since we’ve been wanting to do a technology episode for a while, we thought we’d release it. In the talk Zach explains the…
The Hypocrisy of Sam Harris
Dec 17, 2018 • 69 min
The trilogy is complete! In this episode, Zach makes his case that Sam Harris’ attitude on racism is hypocritical. Zach thinks that Harris’ critique of religious moderates should lead him, by the same logic, to critique people with moderate attitudes on…
Sam Harris vs. Jordan Peterson. What’s the difference?
Dec 3, 2018 • 72 min
Zach and Dylan are back with part 2 of their series on the “Intellectual Dark Web,” a group of thinkers/political figures held together by god-knows-what. Scroll back for part 1! In this episode, Dylan makes his case that Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris…
Introduction to the “Intellectual Dark Web”
Nov 18, 2018 • 47 min
In this first of three episodes on the so-called “Intellectual Dark Web,” Dylan and Zach start with the basics. - What is this group? - What unites them? - What makes them intellectual? - What makes them dark? We focus mainly on Sam Harris and Jordan…
The Vim’s Voter Guide
Nov 5, 2018 • 42 min
Not your typical voter guide! We are always eyeing the next election. So the Vim is here to give you some guidance in the ballot box. Zach lays out his theory of ‘democratic holism’: we should vote on behalf of a whole, like the planet, groups of…
The Truth about Post-Truth
Oct 22, 2018 • 72 min
“Post-truth” was the 2016 word of the year, inspired by Trump and Brexit. But what does it mean? Is it coherent? Can we ever actually be post-truth? If so, are we now? Dylan and Zach subject the concept to some analysis. They base their discussion on an…
BONUS: More on the Uninformed President
Oct 15, 2018 • 14 min
We bring you an unusual, first of its kind, bonus episode. It is kinda like a behind the scenes look. In the last episode, Justin and Zach explored the consequences of having an uninformed president—or rather, a president who takes no interest in…
The Uninformed President
Oct 8, 2018 • 56 min
Justin and Zach sit down to talk about what it means to have a fundamentally uninformed president. There are more philosophical issues here than you might think. What does it mean to be informed? How informed should we expect a president to be? Is there…
Objections to Open Relationships. And Replies
Sep 12, 2018 • 78 min
Justin, Alex, and Zach return to respond to all of your objections—well, 10 of them. If you are skeptical of the idea that you should reject monogamy and be in an open relationship, the vimmers follow up to assuage your doubts. See the article…
Should You Reject Monogamy?
Sep 9, 2018 • 99 min
Justin and Alex join Zach to discuss his claim that open relationships are for everybody. They define some terms—like amatonormativity, dyadic, monogamy, and open relationships—and then set out some arguments for why we should reject monogamy. But if we…
Facebook Should End
Jul 31, 2018 • 62 min
The Californians return to talk about the ethics of Facebook. Zach follows up on his article, “Facebook Should Shut Itself Down,” and tries to convince Dylan and Adam of his radical claim. In the episode they discuss potential objections to the idea—for…
Why Accusations of Hypocrisy are Never Effective
Jul 5, 2018 • 42 min
In the stunning conclusion, Dylan and Zach discuss 3 more fundamental and inescapable insights into the concept of hypocrisy. They focus on the question of why accusations of hypocrisy are ineffective, especially in politics. And yet, sometimes (not in…
What is Hypocrisy?
Jun 28, 2018 • 68 min
It is the glorious return of Dylan! He joins Zach to dig into the concept of hypocrisy. They focus on two questions: 1) What is hypocrisy? 2) Why are accusations of hypocrisy so appealing? Like typical philosophers, they find the concept to be more…
Cheating, Polyamory, and Open Relationships
Jun 20, 2018 • 49 min
Lila, Zach, and Justin discuss ‘amatonormativity’, the notion that monogamy is normal for all humans and a universally shared goal. They give philosophical treatment to concepts like cheating, polyamory, and open relationships. (There is also a discussion…
Pro-Choice Arguments for Pro-Life People
Jun 7, 2018 • 35 min
Sarah and Zach talk to single issue abortion voters. Sarah puts forward an argument that being pro-life doesn’t imply that one should always vote for pro-life candidates. The discussion covers all sorts of important questions along the way. - What should…
The Politics of Public Philosophy
May 28, 2018 • 61 min
Zach, Lila, and Adam get self-reflective and talk about public philosophy. What is it? What should it be? And what should we make of the attitude many ‘private’ philosophers take towards it? This episode digs into the political dimensions of public…
The Politics of Anti-intellectualism
Mar 1, 2018 • 70 min
In the second installment of the What Philosophy Owes Society series, Zach and Justin discuss a putative American epidemic, anti-intellectualism. But what is anti-intellectualism? Why is it brought up so often? Why is it as prevalent as it is? Could it be…
What Does Philosophy Owe Society?
Feb 21, 2018 • 84 min
From Breaking Bad to Ken Burns, good things come in series. Accordingly, the Vim is here with not just one, but four articles and hence four episodes on “What Philosophy Owes Society”. These episodes are Zach Biondi’s j’accuse against the aloof…
Philosophy of Taxes
Feb 15, 2018 • 86 min
In the long-awaited follow up to the Vim’s previous episode on taxes, Justin and Zach go back to first principles and discuss the philosophy of taxation. This seemingly innocent topic spreads is tendrils from Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan and the…
Graduate Students Talking about the GOP Tax Bill
Dec 3, 2017 • 43 min
In this emergency (!) episode, three graduate students and two impartial panelists discuss the new corporate-tax cutting, graduate student-hating GOP tax plan. Trump is lying at his rallies and the GOP is back-stabbing their base. Or are they? We discuss…
How to Read (about) Hannah Arendt
Nov 22, 2017 • 57 min
Who is Hannah Arendt and why should we care? In this episode, Zach and Kevin introduce her work and discuss why there was a season of Arendt popularity in the “media elite.” How would Arendt feel about being the subject of partisan think pieces? Should we…
The Vim Watches Fox News - Hannity on Collusion
Nov 4, 2017 • 66 min
In this very special explosive episode of The Vimcast, Zach and Justin sit down to watch and analyze a Sean Hannity monologue. Whatever you thought about Mueller’s first round of indictments, prepare to have your mind changed. Or not. What is Hannity’s…
On Guns
Oct 9, 2017 • 51 min
In this episode of ‘The Vim Reads the News’, in light of the Las Vegas mass shooting, Justin, Justin, and Zach discuss a topical article from 2016, “The Argument Gun Rights Supporters Can’t Respond To” by Nathan J. Robinson at Current Affairs. How are…
The Vim Reads the News- Blame Facebook for Everything!
Oct 1, 2017 • 67 min
The Vim reads the news, philosophically! This is our second episode dedicated to an article not found on thevimblog.com. Adam, Dylan, and Zach jump into the world of social media and Russian PSYOPS. They discuss Erin Griffith’s piece, “FACEBOOK CAN…
A Guide to Nazi Analogies in Trump’s America
Sep 23, 2017 • 73 min
In this episode of the Vimcast, Zach, Justin and esteemed newcomer Clare critique the most famous critique of Nazi analogies, Godwin’s Law. Should we make Nazi analogies? If so, when should we make Nazi analogies? In the last segment they take a step…
The Vim Reads the News- Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “The First White President”
Sep 13, 2017 • 72 min
The Vim reads the news! This is the first of our episodes dedicated to articles not found on thevimblog.com. Today we discuss Ta-Nehisi Coates’ piece, “The First White President.” We unpack his argument and discuss a few other related issues. For…
The Politics of Wishful Thinking
Sep 9, 2017 • 62 min
In this episode, the normalcy bias becomes a normal topic. There are novelties, however. It’s the first time we mention crackpots and prophets of doom. Wishful thinking on the Left is also picked apart and we puzzle over the case of the missing tweets.…
Why We Cannot See Disaster Coming
Sep 2, 2017 • 59 min
In this episode, three Vimmers strive to match Keith Olbermann’s fever pitch of doom. They sound the alarm of the normalcy bias, a bias holding both Trump yea and naysayers in its thrall. Yes, both the Left and the Right stand accused of ignoring warning…
The Morality of “Economic Anxiety”
Jul 29, 2017 • 59 min
In the crescendoing finale of a three-part series on “economy anxiety”, Zach argues that pleading economic anxiety is akin to “slapping you and then telling you that you should empathize with my choice to slap you.” It’s moral harm ‘justifying’ moral…
The Origins of “Economic Anxiety”
Jul 22, 2017 • 50 min
Origins stories are in vogue. Economic Anxiety needs its origin story. Where does it come from? What’s its appeal? What’s its basis? Spoiler: it’s probably not reality. Justin and Zach explore the aspects of economic anxiety that made this Manichean meme…
The Myth of “Economic Anxiety”
Jul 16, 2017 • 73 min
Economic Anxiety? Economic Anxiety. Economic Anxiety! The meme-cum-trope came hard and took op-ed columns by storm in 2016. Two Vimmers open up a three-part series in which they peel back the layers of this specious analysis. In this first episode, they…
Lying to the Whole World (pt. 2)
May 28, 2017 • 58 min
The second half(ish) of our episode on Dylan’s article, “How to Apologize for a Lie.” We discuss dirty hands in politics, politicians’ lies, utilitarianism, strict liability, and Trump even makes a cameo. Everything one would want from a podcast Read the…
Lying to the Whole World (pt. 1)
May 20, 2017 • 32 min
This is the first half(ish) of our session dedicated to lying and the logistics of making amends via apology. And who do you need to apologize to? The Bowling Green Massacre, Tricky Dick, and an adumbration of more utilitarianism to come in Part II.…
Seven Ways to ‘Rig’ an Election
May 13, 2017 • 62 min
An episode dedicated to our number-one listener, Vladdy Pu. Herein we take a philosopher’s scapel to the term ‘rigged’ and see what rhetorical anatomy comes of it. We are sorry that the eighth episode is about seven things. If only ‘rigged’ had eight…
Dignifying Our Neighbors Pt. 2: Objections and Replies (and More Objections)
May 6, 2017 • 53 min
Kevin, Ally, and Zach return to finish their discussion of Kevin’s article, “On Dignifying One’s Neighbor” (https://thevimblog.com/2017/02/23/on-dignifying-ones-neighbor/). For starters, you’d best take a listen to Part 1, especially the explainer that…
Dignifying Our Neighbors Pt. 1: the Economy of Moral Value
Apr 30, 2017 • 57 min
Kevin, Ally, and Zach gather to discuss Kevin’s masterful article, “On Dignifying One’s Neighbor”(https://thevimblog.com/2017/02/23/on-dignifying-ones-neighbor/). In the first of two parts, they try to unpack Kevin’s abstract but uplifting ideas. They…
How to Talk to Trump Supporters Pt. 4: Appealing to the Constitution
Apr 23, 2017 • 45 min
In the last conversation on talking to Trump supporters, Zach, Adam and Justin discuss the role of the Constitution in across-the-aisle conversations. Must this be a case of ‘conservatives telling conservatives how to be better conservatives’, or can a…
How to Talk to Trump Supporters Pt. 3: The Socratic Method
Apr 15, 2017 • 94 min
In their (ante)penultimate episode on talking to Trump supporters (https://thevimblog.com/2016/11/29/a-guide-for-talking-to-trump-supporters/), Zach, Adam, Justin Clardy and Justin Dollman riff on the Socratic Method. But how is a long-dead, infamously…
What is Real Fake News?
Apr 8, 2017 • 59 min
Adam, Dylan, Kevin, and Justin get together to discuss Adam’s article, “Fake News: Why the Mainstream Media is Often Part of the Problem” (https://thevimblog.com/2017/01/20/fake-news-why-mainstream-journalism-is-often-part-of-the-problem/). A lot’s at…
How to Talk to Trump Supporters Pt. 2: Guidelines and Goals
Apr 2, 2017 • 81 min
Some California dreamers - Zach, Dylan, Adam - join Justin to continue the discussion of Zach’s “A Guide for Talking to Trump Supporters” (https://thevimblog.com/2016/11/29/a-guide-for-talking-to-trump-supporters/). On the today’s docket: General…
How to Talk to Trump Supporters Pt. 1: The Ethics of Engagement
Mar 23, 2017 • 52 min
In our first episode, Zach, Justin C, Justin D, and Max gather round their microphones to discuss Zach’s article, “A Guide for Talking to Trump Supporters” (https://thevimblog.com/2016/11/29/a-guide-for-talking-to-trump-supporters/). They address the…
Welcome One, Welcome All
Mar 23, 2017 • 12 min
In the 0th episode of The Vimcast, Zach, Kevin and Justin discuss what the Vimcast is, what the Vim is, and why they’ve brought all of it into existence. They mention promotion of political and media literacy, critical thinking, and utilitarian…