Seducing the Artists

Hey beautiful people,

Anna Gát from Interintellect invited me to host an ii salon on my least favorite topic to talk about—Stoicism! Actually, I am quite looking forward to talking about Stoicism this time, as the salon will be about how the philosophy relates to the meta-crisis. The salon is called …

Will Stoicism Save the World? The Case for Being a Stoic During the Meta-Crisis

It will also serve as a good opportunity for me to take off my stewarding hat and put on my galaxy brain hat. I will deliver a slide presentation, then we’ll have over 2 hours of salon-style conversation, with a "Stoic Provocation” twist. I would love to see some beautiful Stoan faces at the session.

If you’d like to purchase a ticket ($20 USD), you can do so here.

Tomorrow’s events:

  • Collective Presencing w/ Ria Baeck and Co-Hosts. Every Friday @ 8:00 AM ET. RSVP here. 90 mins.

  • Collective Presencing w/ Ria Baeck and Co-Hosts. Every Friday @ 12:00 PM ET. RSVP here. 90 mins.

Newly posted events:

  • Dead Cool: Unmasking Coolness w/ Alex Ebert. May 21st @ 6:00 PM ET. RSVP here.

  • The Genius & Philosophy of Black Music w/ Greg Tate and Greg Thomas. June 2nd @ 2:00 PM ET. RSVP here.

  • The Fathoming Body: Embodiment and Inherent Intelligence w/ Ece Utkucan Anderson. June 16th @ 12:00 PM ET. RSVP here.

An event to get excited about:

  • Stewards on Stewardship w/ Luea Ritter and Nancy Zamierowski. May 12th @ 12:00 PM ET. RSVP here. 60 mins

Luea Ritter and Nancy Zamierowski from Collective Transitions visits The Stoa to discuss stewardship with the steward of The Stoa. One of the questions that will be explored will be: What does it mean to steward a "field" or "organism"?

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April 29, 2021

I’ve been having interesting correspondences with the musician Alex Ebert. He is a musician whose secret is that he also happens to be a pretty cool philosopher. He is coming to The Stoa to do a session on “cool,” the rules of cool, the real reason people attempt to be cool, and how cool can be weaponized. 

I will not spoil what Alex will discuss, but I am excited about the session. Alex is interesting, because he is one of the only musicians I know of who is aware of our space, who is famous, successful in his domain (received a Golden Globe Award), and yeah, he’s cool. 

It is cool that he is intellectually plugged into what is at the edge of the noosphere, which is where The Stoa resides, and is not captured by the “nebulous woke egregore” that most artists who are weaponizing cool are plugged into.

I am reminded of The Stoa’s “game plan” entry I wrote earlier in the year. The three steps of the game plan were: step 1) seduce the intellectuals, step 2) seduce the artists, step 3) seduce the normies. Having Alex join The Stoa fam feels like step 2 is on the horizon, and I sense the game plan’s order of operation is still spot on.

Seducing the intellectuals, which we are well on the way with, is important because intellectuals are like programmers writing code for the noosphere. Getting them attracted to a space where aporia is home, in such a way that is welcoming and not frightening, affords unexpected existential openings for them and their followers.

Despite the incredible influence of intellectuals, seducing the artists will be super important, because they are the ones who are going to inspire the masses. Musicians like Alex also have an important place. It seems like there are good arguments that music evolved before language, which intuitively feels right.

I’ll let my panentheism show for a moment, and make a bold claim: music is the purer language of God, more so than any spoken language can be. 

Seducing the normies comes last of course. When I brought up the seduce the artist thing to Alex, he mentioned seducing out “the artist” within all of us. So much yes to this. This is that emancipating of the daemon thing. Yes, I can “see” it. We can all listen to the daemon, and live our lives as a lifework.

We can totally do this fam, and the cool thing is that we can do this in the open, because nobody knows what the fuck we are talking about. The two things that are important here are: avoiding culture war battlefronts, and not directly threatening powerful sociopaths.

The former requires becoming egoically untethered from your propositions (aka visit Chapel Perilous), while being Stoically untriggerable. The latter requires a sound power literacy, and not letting one’s thumos morph into what Francis Fukuyama calls megalothymia. 

This is when one’s thumos is in service of becoming superior to others, while denying the thumos of others. Instead, we need isothymia. This is when one’s thumos still strive to be recognized, but with the spirit of recognizing and encouraging the thumos in others. 

In that journal entry where I was peak crazy, filled with an abundance of thumos, I declared the following: 

… the Stoics have officially entered the liminal war. 

I probably should have said the Weird Stoics have officially entered the liminal war, because I am in no position to speak on behalf of the Modern Stoic movement. I also stopped using the “liminal war” meme in these journals—perhaps because I am getting fatigued with all these war metaphors, and being in favor of the culture dance meme—but you (maybe) get what I mean. 

I sense this declaration is still important though. People, even good friends of mine, are playing the game where they think influencing the clearnet is the primary thing to do. No. That is not the primary thing to do. That is so Game A. For Game In-Between, we need to play differently.

I do not know how to language all of this at the moment, and it is propositionally at my edge, so this is just going to sound crazy, but we need to play in a different realm.

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