The Liminalist # 249: Carbon-Based Conduits in an International Network of Affect (with Sheldon Solomon)

Return conversation with Sheldon Solomon on terror management theory, Trump, trauma, the false identity’s necessary fictions, and the quest for embodied wisdom.

Part One: The Alchemy of Hate (0 – 28 mins)

Two ways to look at terror management theory, existential terror and culture, Ernest Becker, advertising & status, perpetual terrorization of the commercial life, charismatic leaders, ridding the world of evil, Hitler’s strategy, alchemist of hate, turning fear into rage, when history repeats, Bush & Trump, Steve Bannen, harnessing terror, the Fabian Society, the orange swan, Hitler on steroids, America on the ropes, a bag of pus, where the buck stops, blaming Trump’s supporters, a latent pathology, terror focalization.

Part Two: A Momentary Cessation of Reason (28 – 54 mins)

Scapegoating death, fear of the unknown, a death-denying culture, the certainty of religion, American fundamentalists, a flight from death, the price of certainty, Prisoner of Infinity,  crucial fictions, Alan Wheelis, fear of identity death, unfinished business, fear of Hell, false ceremony masters, liminality & ceremony, Trump rallies, a momentary cessation of reason, Nietzsche prediction, 200 years of stark chaos, the global village burning, the Borg, carbon-based conduits in an international network of affect.

Part Three: Cave of Shadows (54 mins – 1 hr 24 mins)

Reading Heidegger, everything is affect, the primary mode of perception, coming to terms with death, fear of life, embodied wisdom, Norman O. Brown, eternity and time, the perennial now, the meaning of life, Life Against Death, an absence of repression, what prevents embodiment, the body as appendage, Freud & neoteny, the price of intelligence, proneness to anxiety, John Bowlby & raw terror, Cartesian dualism, transhumanism, the secular drive, storming heaven, studying trauma & dissociation, Joseph Chilton Pearce, the implant that fears death, character armor, the two selves, cave of shadows.

Part Four: The Future of Death (1 hr 24 mins – 1 hr 40 mins)

The ultimate question, Heidegger again, tranquilized by the trivial, anticipatory resoluteness, an ongoing adventure, the life of the dog, the future of death, a Mobius strip of time, death as advisor, infinite long shots, Dave Oshana.

Part Five: Back on Track (1 hr 40 mins – end)

Planet of the Humans, death anxiety & the environment, green movement as front for oil industry, irrationality as default setting, everything begins with relaxation, reasons to panic, means of managing annihilation anxiety, learning to relax, a natural support system, the right track.

Songs: “Pirates” and “Smile” by Entertainment for the Braindead; “Energy Hunters Unicorn Hard-on Mystic Materials Refuck” by Foot Village; “Illogical Boogie” by Coconut Monkeyrocket; “PTSD Blues” by Ex Luna; “Changes” by Short Hand.


2 thoughts on “The Liminalist # 249: Carbon-Based Conduits in an International Network of Affect (with Sheldon Solomon)”

  1. Great show. Looking forward to your next book.
    Just like to point out that “May you live in interesting times” is not a Chinese curse. Although it does sound like it could be Chinese, I believe that that old rascal trickster J.L. Borges just made it up. What surprises me is that no Chinese person has ever pointed that out before.


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