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This week, Scott and Karl read Lysander Spooner's 1870 essay No Treason No. 6: "The Constitution of No Authority." Spooner was an American anarchist, abolitionist, and legal theorist of the nineteenth century. He is known for competing with the U.S. Post Office with his American Letter Mail Company, later forced out of business by the United States…
 
Scott digs up an old treasure from his music vaults -- the gospel music of Florida which features an unusual instrument, the steel guitar. Played with a tonebar pressed over a horizontal neck with 6 or more strings, the steel guitar is usually found cooing and whining behind country western troubadours, but in sacred steel gospel, it's the primary …
 
Scott and Karl finish their discussion of Martin Heidegger's ten-page lecture "What is Metaphysics?". A friend of the void, Heidegger's writing style isn’t for everyone. Karl points out, “Part of the problem with any of these early 20th-century continental philosophers is that you can get seduced by them. Every now and then you have to step back an…
 
Scott and Karl begin their discussion of Martin Heidegger's ten-page lecture "What is Metaphysics?". This lecture was presented to the faculties of the University of Freiburg on July 24, 1929, as Heidegger's inaugural address. Taking the typical continental approach, Heidegger isn't telling us what metaphysics is; instead, he's instructing us on ho…
 
This week Scott and Karl finish their discussion of Edmund Morris's Ten Acres Enough: The Classic 1864 Guide to Independent Farming. After giving up city life and buying a small farm in the New Jersey countryside, Morris chronicles his family's experience and ends up writing of the most popular books of the time. He emphasizes that agricultural suc…
 
This week Scott and Karl begin their discussion of Edmund Morris's Ten Acres Enough: The Classic 1864 Guide to Independent Farming. The book chronicles Morris leaving the Philadelphia business world in the early 1800s and buying a small farm in the New Jersey countryside. Karl says, "It's a back-to-the-land book for 1864." Scott later adds, "These …
 
Oscar Peterson at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival is a 1956 live album by Oscar Peterson, accompanied by Ray Brown and Herb Ellis. The Peterson trio is celebrated for their seemingly telepathic sense of interplay and its virtuosity. In listening to this album, Scott, Karl, and Trent discuss how certain kinds of creativity can't be done in a pr…
 
Scott and Karl are joined by special guest Thomas Mirus, Director of Podcasts for CatholicCulture.org, to finish their discussion of Jacques Maritain’s Art and Scholasticism. What does contemplating beautiful art do for the soul? Mirus says that if you have metaphysics going into your art, "It's going to make you aware of what art is leading you to…
 
This week, Scott and Karl are joined by special guest Thomas Mirus, Director of Podcasts for CatholicCulture.org, to discuss Jacques Maritain’s Art and Scholasticism. Maritain argues for an objective view of both art and the artist, bringing an orderly, scholastic, Thomistic approach to understanding aesthetics. Mirus says, "Maritain gets art bette…
 
The trio discusses The Planets, Op. 32, a seven-movement orchestral suite by the English composer Gustav Holst, written between 1914 and 1917. When you first listen to this, you might just be recollecting it— The Planets comes with a long list of imitations churned out by film composers. Karl says, "It's the form of 20th-century film score." You'll…
 
Scott and Karl finish their discussion of “Good and Evil, Good and Bad,” the first essay from Friedrich Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals. Nietzsche demonstrates that the Christian world is steeped in false piety and infected with slave morality. Slave morality is based on resentment over the beauty, wisdom, power, and glory of the master clas…
 
This week, Scott and Karl begin their discussion of “Good and Evil, Good and Bad,” the first essay from Friedrich Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals. This essay questions the value of our moral concepts and examines their evolution. Karl says, "Evil is not the same as bad. Once you figure that out, the rest of the essay is easier for you." Niet…
 
This week, the trio discusses an album on Trent's shortlist: Neko Case's album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. Released in 2006, it's a mix of folk, country, and early rock elements. Case classifies her style as “country-noir." "She defies genres... she doesn't fit comfortably into any of those worlds," Trent says. Along with her booming voice, Nek…
 
What is a lie? What does it take to be a good liar? This week, Scott and Karl finish their discussion of one of Plato’s earlier Socratic dialogues, Greater Hippias and Lesser Hippias. These two dialogues make you ask all the questions to figure out what is fine, what makes a good person, and whether the liar is better than the non-liar. Karl says, …
 
Scott and Karl discuss one of Plato’s earlier Socratic dialogues, Greater Hippias and Lesser Hippias. The dialogues are named after Hippias of Elis, an eminent sophist and contemporary of Plato. What is a sophist? According to Scott, “A sophist is someone who says what he needs to say in order to teach you something so that he can take money from y…
 
This week, Scott, Karl, and Trent discuss Joe Cocker's live album, Mad Dogs & Englishmen. Released in 1970, the album was spontaneously formed on a few days' notice to meet Cocker's contractual obligations. These concert tapes ended up being just as much a showcase for Leon Russell, who helped organize and perform the tour, as it was for Joe Cocker…
 
This week, Scott and Karl read one of Agatha Christie's greatest mystery novels, Murder on the Orient Express. The novel features Hercule Poirot, a Belgian detective known for his shrewd intuition or "little grey cells." While this scrupulous sleuth may be the epitome of refinement and intelligence, Scott points out that he is no Sherlock Holmes. U…
 
Scott and Karl break with tradition to talk about the OGB seminar standard of conduct. As our members know, the seminar experience is really the backbone of the program. Written by Karl, these ground rules have been a great help in setting boundaries that lead to better discussions. The duo also dives into the role of dialectic as aided discovery a…
 
Scott, Karl, and Trent discuss an album you may have heard of: The Dark Side of the Moon by English rock band Pink Floyd. As Scott points out, Pink Floyd is one of those bands that you either love or hate. Released in 1973, this particular album became one of the most critically acclaimed records in history, tallying 741 weeks on the US Billboard C…
 
Scott and Karl wrap up their discussion with special guest Malachy Walsh, author of Socratic Scribbling. If you don't know what goes into good writing, it may look like a mystical art form or exclusively for the gifted. Malachy argues that we can all use the socratic method to deal with the blank pages in our life, empowering us to pick our own min…
 
Scott and Karl are joined by special guest Malachy Walsh to talk about his new book, Socratic Scribbling. As a retired advertising man, Malachy had to write on demand for 30 years. In Socratic Scribbling, he reveals secrets he learned from Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintillion, Shakespeare, and other Great Writers and Thinkers that helped him make …
 
Scott, Karl, and Trent discuss Depeche Mode's 1990 album Violator, a synth-pop smash. Featuring nine tracks of synthesizer dominant grooves, this English electronic music band created what Trent calls "a perfect album." The trio discusses how this highly stylized exploration of the dark side of human emotion became a mainstream, chart-climbing albu…
 
Scott and Karl finish their two-part discussion of Unrestricted Warfare: Two Air Force Senior Colonels on Scenarios for War and the Operational Art in an Era of Globalization. As Scott points out, this book was largely born out of an analysis of the Gulf War. Karl asks, “If the media, as these Chinese authors argue, was a weapon of war in the First…
 
This week, Scott and Karl read Unrestricted Warfare: Two Air Force Senior Colonels on Scenarios for War and the Operational Art in an Era of Globalization. Written in 1999 by two colonels in the People's Liberation Army, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, this book offers a sobering study on war in the modern era. Karl says, "We don't kill each other ve…
 
Buckle up! In this much-anticipated episode, Scott, Karl, and Trent discuss outlaw country music. Starting as a movement about freedom, authenticity, and rebellion, outlaw country is all about breaking the rules. During the 1970s, Nashville's country music stars had to fight for creative control of their songs. When Willie Nelson bucked the Nashvil…
 
Scott, Karl, and special guest Brett McKay finish their discussion of Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. The trio discusses the novel's unforgettable assortment of characters and their virtues (or lack thereof). Brett says, "This book makes me reevaluate my telos. What is guiding me through mortality? If you don't have it, you might end up like some o…
 
This week, Scott and Karl are joined by special guest Brett McKay, founder of The Art of Manliness, to discuss Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove. An epic of the frontier, Lonesome Dove may be the grandest novel ever written about the lawless American West. It also happens to be Brett's favorite fictional novel of all time. While western novels are som…
 
Da-Da-Da-DUM — hardly any succession of notes is as famous as Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. This week, Scott, Karl, and Trent discuss the life and legacy of Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music. Trent says, "I hear him having all of the virtuosity and command of the musical vocabulary that Bach, Moza…
 
Scott and Karl finish their discussion of The Tower Treasure, the first volume in the Hardy Boys Mystery Stories. The Hardy Boys books have never been out of print since first coming onto the scene in 1927, have been translated into 25 different languages, and continue to sell over a million copies annually. Is there a formula for creating a page-t…
 
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