Episode 16 – Decker and Philosophy

Hard to Believe #016 – Kevin S. Decker – Pop Culture and Philosophy

Kevin S. Decker is a professor of philosophy at Eastern Washington University in Spokane, WA. In his classes, he works from science fiction, comic books, and other popular culture reference points to explore and explain concepts of philosophy to his students.

He has also contributed to and edited a number of books from the “…and Philosophy” series, including Alien and Philosophy, Star Wars and Philosophy, Star Trek and Philosophy: The Wrath of Kant, and Terminator and Philosophy: I’ll Be Back, Therefore I Am. He is also a devoted Whovian, and the author of Who is Who, an exploration of philosophy in Doctor Who.

For this episode, John is joined by Nico Vasilo, from CageClub podcasts .html and X is for Podcast

#2.7 – Grigori Rasputin and Anastasia Romanov – Part Two of "Disinformation" Hard to Believe – A Podcast About Belief

At the dawn of the 20th century, Russia was in the midst of a political wildfire, and the Tsarist regime was under threat like never before. Enter Tsar Nicholas II, Russia's last monarch, and a man uniquely and catastrophically unfit for the job. Compounding his problems, he and his wife struggled to produce a son to serve as heir. When they finally did, they soon discovered he was a hemophiliac, his life and health constantly under threat. The inevitable demise of the family and the ruling regime would be remembered less for the complicated real-life history that led to it and more for the conspiracy theories, rumors, and active disinformation campaigns centered around two individuals – the family's resident holy man, Grigori Rasputin, and the youngest Romanov daughter, Anastasia. John once again welcomes Mike Manzi and Jess Collins to discuss these two stories, and how the diverse cast of pretenders claiming to be the Romanov children – most notably the notorious Anna Anderson – may well have had their roots in the Soviet Union's first successful exercise in politically useful disinformation. John is on Twitter @ProbablyRealJB Mike on Twitter @the_mikestir Jess on Twitter @jayarekay
  1. #2.7 – Grigori Rasputin and Anastasia Romanov – Part Two of "Disinformation"
  2. #2.6 – Chris Kluwe – On standing up for others, being a nerd, and his first science fiction novel "Otaku"
  3. #2.5 – Sebastian Major – The host and creator of "Our Fake History"
  4. Trailer – Hard to Believe: A Podcast About Belief
  5. #2.4 – Nina MacLaughlin: on Metamorphoses

New Episode Tomorrow (8/26): Kevin S. Decker “and Philosophy”!

Eastern Washington University philosophy professor Kevin S. Decker has written and taught extensively about philosophy and popular culture. He has been a regular contributor to various entries in the “….and Philosophy” series of books, and is also the author of Who is Who: The Philosophy of Doctor Who.

Nico Vasilo from X is for Podcast and .html joins the conversation.

Available tomorrow here or wherever you get podcasts!

Episode 15 – The Lovecraftian: S.T. Joshi

S.T. Joshi is an author, researcher, and scholar based in Seattle, Washington. Since the age of 13, he has immersed himself in studying and chronicling the life and works of the enigmatic and highly influential American author H.P. Lovecraft.

Since this month sees the release of HBO’s adaptation of Matt Ruff’s novel Lovecraft Country, I asked Joshi to speak to me about the author’s complex legacy on literature, philosophy, and atheism and how we should think about his problematic views on race.

Joshi, who proudly describes himself as “technologically inept”, can be found here: http://stjoshi.org/

He is the author of the superb biography I Am Providence

#2.7 – Grigori Rasputin and Anastasia Romanov – Part Two of "Disinformation" Hard to Believe – A Podcast About Belief

At the dawn of the 20th century, Russia was in the midst of a political wildfire, and the Tsarist regime was under threat like never before. Enter Tsar Nicholas II, Russia's last monarch, and a man uniquely and catastrophically unfit for the job. Compounding his problems, he and his wife struggled to produce a son to serve as heir. When they finally did, they soon discovered he was a hemophiliac, his life and health constantly under threat. The inevitable demise of the family and the ruling regime would be remembered less for the complicated real-life history that led to it and more for the conspiracy theories, rumors, and active disinformation campaigns centered around two individuals – the family's resident holy man, Grigori Rasputin, and the youngest Romanov daughter, Anastasia. John once again welcomes Mike Manzi and Jess Collins to discuss these two stories, and how the diverse cast of pretenders claiming to be the Romanov children – most notably the notorious Anna Anderson – may well have had their roots in the Soviet Union's first successful exercise in politically useful disinformation. John is on Twitter @ProbablyRealJB Mike on Twitter @the_mikestir Jess on Twitter @jayarekay
  1. #2.7 – Grigori Rasputin and Anastasia Romanov – Part Two of "Disinformation"
  2. #2.6 – Chris Kluwe – On standing up for others, being a nerd, and his first science fiction novel "Otaku"
  3. #2.5 – Sebastian Major – The host and creator of "Our Fake History"
  4. Trailer – Hard to Believe: A Podcast About Belief
  5. #2.4 – Nina MacLaughlin: on Metamorphoses

Episode 14 – J.W. Rinzler

Rinzler is the bestselling author of The Star Wars, the Dark Horse Comics adaptation of George Lucas’s original draft for Star Wars.

He joined us to talk science fiction, science fact, and the possibilities of life beyond Earth.

Juhi Khemani takes guest co-hosting duties. You can follow her on Twitter @juhikhemani.

#2.7 – Grigori Rasputin and Anastasia Romanov – Part Two of "Disinformation" Hard to Believe – A Podcast About Belief

At the dawn of the 20th century, Russia was in the midst of a political wildfire, and the Tsarist regime was under threat like never before. Enter Tsar Nicholas II, Russia's last monarch, and a man uniquely and catastrophically unfit for the job. Compounding his problems, he and his wife struggled to produce a son to serve as heir. When they finally did, they soon discovered he was a hemophiliac, his life and health constantly under threat. The inevitable demise of the family and the ruling regime would be remembered less for the complicated real-life history that led to it and more for the conspiracy theories, rumors, and active disinformation campaigns centered around two individuals – the family's resident holy man, Grigori Rasputin, and the youngest Romanov daughter, Anastasia. John once again welcomes Mike Manzi and Jess Collins to discuss these two stories, and how the diverse cast of pretenders claiming to be the Romanov children – most notably the notorious Anna Anderson – may well have had their roots in the Soviet Union's first successful exercise in politically useful disinformation. John is on Twitter @ProbablyRealJB Mike on Twitter @the_mikestir Jess on Twitter @jayarekay
  1. #2.7 – Grigori Rasputin and Anastasia Romanov – Part Two of "Disinformation"
  2. #2.6 – Chris Kluwe – On standing up for others, being a nerd, and his first science fiction novel "Otaku"
  3. #2.5 – Sebastian Major – The host and creator of "Our Fake History"
  4. Trailer – Hard to Believe: A Podcast About Belief
  5. #2.4 – Nina MacLaughlin: on Metamorphoses

New Episode Tomorrow (8/12): Bestselling author J.W. RINZLER

Tomorrow, Juhi Khemani takes her first turn in the co-host chair as we’re joined by author J.W. Rinzler, who discusses his life as Lucasfilm’s resident historian, his The Making of Alien, his new novel All Up, and why he loves sci-fi and the movies.

We also talk about whether or not he thinks we should believe in aliens (real ones).

All Up, a wonderful novel about the dawn of the Space Age, is available now.

The critically-acclaimed The Making of Alien, which came out last year and has since become regarded as one of the best “making of” books ever written, was recently made available at a discount on Amazon.

His follow-up, The Making of Aliens, is due for release on August 25th and can be pre-ordered now.

Rinzler also wrote the bestselling comic book adaptation of George Lucas’s original draft of Star Wars, The Star Wars, which is available as a bound graphic novel.

Episode 13! Cats! With Jess Collins

Egyptians really loved cats! Like, they would literally kill you over them!

Medieval Europeans, uh…often felt differently.

In an effort to bring some levity after a string of more “serious” episodes, John decided to investigate the history of the role cats have played in religion. Surely that would be an adorable story! Things got dark quick. Jess Collins (who really likes the movie “Kedi“) makes her second appearance to hear all the delightful cat stories.

SOURCE LINKS:

Tao Tao Holmes – “Ritualistic Cat Torture Was Once a Form of Town Fun” 

Joshua L. Mark – “Cats in the Middle Ages”

Irina Metzler – “Why Cats were hated in Medieval Europe”

#2.7 – Grigori Rasputin and Anastasia Romanov – Part Two of "Disinformation" Hard to Believe – A Podcast About Belief

At the dawn of the 20th century, Russia was in the midst of a political wildfire, and the Tsarist regime was under threat like never before. Enter Tsar Nicholas II, Russia's last monarch, and a man uniquely and catastrophically unfit for the job. Compounding his problems, he and his wife struggled to produce a son to serve as heir. When they finally did, they soon discovered he was a hemophiliac, his life and health constantly under threat. The inevitable demise of the family and the ruling regime would be remembered less for the complicated real-life history that led to it and more for the conspiracy theories, rumors, and active disinformation campaigns centered around two individuals – the family's resident holy man, Grigori Rasputin, and the youngest Romanov daughter, Anastasia. John once again welcomes Mike Manzi and Jess Collins to discuss these two stories, and how the diverse cast of pretenders claiming to be the Romanov children – most notably the notorious Anna Anderson – may well have had their roots in the Soviet Union's first successful exercise in politically useful disinformation. John is on Twitter @ProbablyRealJB Mike on Twitter @the_mikestir Jess on Twitter @jayarekay
  1. #2.7 – Grigori Rasputin and Anastasia Romanov – Part Two of "Disinformation"
  2. #2.6 – Chris Kluwe – On standing up for others, being a nerd, and his first science fiction novel "Otaku"
  3. #2.5 – Sebastian Major – The host and creator of "Our Fake History"
  4. Trailer – Hard to Believe: A Podcast About Belief
  5. #2.4 – Nina MacLaughlin: on Metamorphoses

New Episode Tomorrow (8/5): CATS! (not the movie) with Jess Collins

Be sure to check out our new episode tomorrow. In an effort to bring some levity after a string of more “serious” episodes, John decided to investigate the history of the role cats have played in religion. Surely that would be an adorable story!

Things got dark quick.

Jess Collins makes her second appearance to hear all the delightful cat stories.

In the meantime, be sure to check out this collection of cat pictures from the Middle Ages!