We had every intention of releasing an episode soon, yet we were foiled by inferior audio technology.
For those wondering what we talked about, it was based on the essay A circumpolar night’s dream by anthropologist Tim Ingold. (If you try, you can probably find a [totally legal and acceptable] pdf which may contain this essay.) Read it. It’s long, and tough. But we made it through, and none of us have taken anything like an anthropology class in years!
It is discussing the ontology of the Ojibwa people, as it compares to western views. In particular, we discussed the idea of person, whether a person is necessarily human, or if there is a conceptualization of “people” that extends further. The agreed-upon point of interest was that much of what we do as humans, we view as an expression, or a projection, of what we are thinking inside ourselves: our physical selves are trying to relay (inaccurately) the inner-workings of our real, internal selves. However, in the Ojibwa tradition everything that is done is a manifestation of being: if we clap, or yell, or sing, or run, this is not an expression of our inner thoughts, rather a consequence of us interacting with the world. Those actions are a part of who we are, not an expression of it.
However, the more pertinent issue for us was our fiendish misuse of audio equipment. Jack was not properly prepared when he trekked to Norway to participate in such high-stakes recording. Mark, in a spacious room that differed greatly from his past meager recording spaces in a dorm, was unable to keep echoing under control. Somehow Mikhail, ever the rock on the back-end of the podcast, was unable to rectify the poor quality that was handed to him, and somehow his side of the recording was also problematic. And so, we look forward to late December, once finals have wound down and Jack has returned home, to engage in a (hopefully better) recording of something far less serious than cultural ontology.