Alexander Schmid Podcast

Side Quests 040: Conversation with Richard Bartle on Virtual Worlds

An episode of Alexander Schmid Podcast

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By Alexander Schmid
We are always surrounded by stories: movies, TV shows, plays, games, video games, books and even advertisements. So, why do humans tell stories, and what function do stories serve? Our goal is to unravel the fundamental structure of narratives old and new and to untangle what their connection to human consciousness is.
Virgil's Aeneid: Bk 7 Pt. 2 and Bk 12
In this final lecture on Virgil's "Aeneid", we discuss (a) the vitriolic hate which Juno (through Allecto) spreads into the hearts of Queen Amata, Turnus, and the Latin people en masse; (b) we witness the original skirmish between farmers and Trojans and the opening of the Gates of War; and (c) we witness the epic, rage-filled, conclusion of Virgil's "Aeneid" and how all has come full circle since the beginning of Homer's "Iliad".
32:10
May 22, 2019
Shakespeare's Macbeth: Acts 4 and 5
In this lecture we conclude Shakespeare's tragic masterpiece, "Macbeth". We specifically consider (a) the theme of nature itself rising against Macbeth's unnatural deeds, (b) the role of imagination and prophecy in the decisions and actions of Macbeth, and (c) the rapid denouement of the action of the play and just how quickly both minds and kingdoms can unravel.
36:47
May 21, 2019
Virgil's Aeneid: Bk 7 Pt. 1
In this lecture we discuss, (a) the portentous arrival of the Trojans to Latium (Ausonia, Hesperia), (b) the omens which gather about the Trojan visit and which prefigure the specter of war, and (c) we again witness the dreadful wrath of Juno and its malign effects on all encountered.
26:10
May 20, 2019
Virgil's Aeneid: Bk 6 Pt. 2
 In this lecture we consider (a) the differing sounds emitted from Elysium (singing) and Tartatus (screams) and their connections to Dante's "Inferno"; (b) we meet Anchises again, in memory, and from his memory we learn of the future of Rome; and (c) we leave through the Gate of Ivory, the gate of false dreams, which has plagued interpreters of this poem for millennia. 
30:04
May 16, 2019
Virgil's Aeneid: Bks 5 and 6 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we consider (a) the burning of Aeneas' ships and several connections between his "Aeneid" and Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey"; (b) Aeneas' "golden ticket" (golden-bough) into the underworld, and (c) the more developed Dis (Hades/Underworld) of Virgil in comparison to Homer's from his "Odyssey".
28:24
May 15, 2019
Shakespeare's Macbeth: Acts 2.2-3.5
In this lecture, we discuss: (a) The murder of King Duncan and its immediate after-effects; (b) the clumsy cover-up attempt of Macbeth and additional murder of Banquo; and (c) the increasingly obvious mental effects of Macbeth's increasingly evil choices.
35:15
May 15, 2019
Virgil's Aeneid: Bk. 4 Pt. 2
In this lecture, we continue to observe (a) Dido's descent into madness; (b) Aeneas' lame attempts at excusing his "escape at night" from Dido, and (c) the ability for deceit and emotion run rampant to create a "living hell" wherever one is!
32:04
May 13, 2019
Shakespeare's Macbeth: Acts 1:1-2:2
In this lecture we discuss (a) the geo-politcal situation Macbeth begins with: the treason of Macdonwald; the alliance with Sueno and the Norweyans (Vikings), and the perfidious acts of the Thane of Cawdor; (b) we consider whether Macbeth himself is determined (fated) to become king or whether his actions, and their consequences, lead to this eventuality, and (c) the inhumanity necessary for both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth himself must themselves embody to stick to their equivocating reasoning!
37:03
May 13, 2019
Side Quests 049: Zelda: Majora's Mask 003
In this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider the Mountain and Goron Villages. Therein we learn lessons about (a) birth and death and the cycle of life, (b) how death and dying and possibly even malfeasance contribute to the production of masks; and (c) how the gameplay and exploratory aspects of this game contribute to its implicit commentary on narrative and what a life really is.
47:31
May 12, 2019
Conversations at The Leaky Cauldron 020: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Chs. 19-23
In this episode, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider (a) Tom Riddle's ability to manipulate and frame people, (b) the nature of horcruxes and Slughorn's role in their utilization by Voldemort; and (c) what are the "uniquely deadly weapons" which Harry has been handed by Voldemort?
1:01:46
May 9, 2019
Virgil's Aeneid: Bk 4 Pt. 1
In this lecture, I discuss (a) Dido's heated passion and its relation to fire-imagery, (b) the connection between fire-imagery and rage and lust, and how the burning of Troy is in some way relating to the burning lust of Paris and Helen, and (c) discuss the plot of Juno and Venus to "marry" Dido and Aeneas and its immediate aftermath.
28:27
May 8, 2019
Shakespeare's Macbeth: James I and Macbeth Act I.1-2
In this lecture, we consider (1) further theatrical conventions of Shakespeare's time, and the relationship between the current king (James I) and the construction and themes of Macbeth; (2) the sorrowful history of James' parents (Lord Darnley and Mary, Queen of Scots) and his fascination with witches, demons, and the supernatural, and (3) we explain the relationship between the the Viking King Sueno, Macdonwald, and the Thane of Cawdor and their battle with the lion/eagle Macbeth.
37:46
May 8, 2019
Virgil's Aeneid: Bk 3
In this lecture, we consider (a) Aeneas' journey from fallen Troy through Thrace, Delos, Crete, the Strophades, Buthrotum, and finally to Sicily/"Drepanum's Unhappy Coast"; (b) Aeneas' several attempts at founding a city against fate, reception of helpful and confusing prophecies and ultimately (c) the unexpected death of his father, Anchises.
22:16
May 6, 2019
Shakespeare's Macbeth: Introduction to The Life and Times of William Shakespeare
In this introductory lecture to Shakespeare's "Mabeth", we consider (a) Shakespeare's birth, family, and death, (b) his time and place on the Elizabethan stage, and (c) his corpus of work and how it has been transmitted and maintained over time.
33:12
May 6, 2019
Recurrent Events 009: Public Charter Schools vs. Traditional Public Schools
In recent days, following strikes in both Oakland and Los Angeles, teachers unions have demanded increasingly onerous restrictions be placed on California charter schools while also increasingly demonizing charter schools based on misinformation. Some of the common claims made and addressed in this podcast are the following: (a) charter schools are not public and do not choose a representative sample of the population; (b) charter schools siphon necessary resources from traditional public schools and only serve caucasian populations, and (c) charter schools function to serve corporate interests at the expense of students, particularly underserved students. None of these positions is tenable in light of the data below and the reasoning shared.  Sources: 1) https://edsource.org/2019/proposed-legislation-would-substantially-curb-growth-of-california-charter-schools/609087 2) http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1507 3) http://www.publiccharters.org/sites/default/files/migrated/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/NAPCS-2010-2011-Race_Ethnicity-Details-from-the-Dashboard_20120516T152831.pdf 4) http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1505 5) https://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/fd/ec/ 6) https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cgb.asp 7) https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2018/09/18/california-gov-brown-signs-bill-banning-for-profit-charter-schools-will-it-really-do-that/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.92358de2fa50
46:14
May 4, 2019
Conversations at the Leaky Cauldron 019: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Chs. 11-18
In this discussion with Ms. Sarah Miller and Mr. Wes Schantz, we consider (a) the developing relationships in the text, their increasing complexity, and J.K. Rowling's and Harry Potter's (and even Albus Dumbledore's) increasing focus on them; (b) parallels and contrasts between Tom Riddle and Harry Potter's powers, natures, upbringings, and choices and even perspectives on personal responsibility; and ultimately (c) horcruxes, how they relate to tension between a desire for power vs. a desire for companionship, and the difference between Dumbledore's Army and the Death Eaters' perspectives on free-will and fate.
1:05:35
May 2, 2019
Virgil's Aeneid: Bk 2 Pt. 2
In this lecture, we consider (a) the lie of Sinon and entrance of the the Trojan Horse into Troy; (b) the deaths of Aeneas' friends and Priam's tragic and symbolic death, and (c) finally, we conclude with Creusa's, Aeneas' wife, disappearance and  profoundly sad death. 
27:46
May 1, 2019
Virgil's Aeneid: Bk I Pt. 1 and Bk 2 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we consider (a) Dido's disastrous relationship with her brother Pygmalion and his murder of her husband Sychaeus; (b) Venus' meddling influence on the heart and mind of Dido through Cupid (Eros), and (c) Aeneas begins his recounting of the fall of Troy and the role of the Achaean spy Sinon in bringing the Trojan Horse into the city of Troy (Ilion).
30:56
April 29, 2019
Side Quests 048: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 002
In this second conversation The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Mr. Wes Schantz and I field several astute questions and comments from Mr. Ben Kozlowski; we also consider (a) the nature of the archetype of evil as Lucifer and Prometheus and how mischief and evil are connected in the actions of Skull-kid, (b) we consider the importance of prejudice and diverse perspectives in this Zelda game as well as in classical literature: Homer's "Odyssey", Virgil's "Aeneid", and Dante's "The Divine Comedy"; and (c) we consider the relationship between the Deku Mask, the Butler, and the poisoned waters as metaphors within the "text" of the game! And more!
52:52
April 29, 2019
Virgil's Aeneid: Bk I Pt. 1
In this lecture, we discuss (1) the proem of the poem and its connections to Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey", (2) the stoic tradition and how Neptune's "oratorical" skill is a symbol for stoicism and the subjugation of emotion to reason, and (3) the future and fate of the Trojan and Roman peoples. I also say Rome rather Troy as the last word of the lecture by accident!
37:45
April 25, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Empyrean (Cantos 30-33) Pt. 2
In this final lecture, we consider (1) the relationship between human nature and divine nature, (2) the image of the trinity and the similarities and differences between the circles, and (3) what the ultimate purpose and meaning of Dante's work and the life of a human really is.
14:47
April 25, 2019
Virgil's Aeneid: Virgil's Life and the Roman Background
In this introductory lecture on Virgil's "Aeneid", we discuss (a) the Punic Wars (264 BCE-146 BCE) and Roman Civil War (49 BCE-45 BCE) as background to Virgil's "Aeneid", (b) the theories of the Aeneid as propaganda vs. glorification of a pacified state, and (c) the life of Virgil and his dying wish.
30:30
April 24, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: The Empyrean (Cantos 30-33) Pt. 1
In this penultimate lecture on Dante's "Paradiso", we discuss (a) Dante's entrance into the Empyrean (the mind of God), (b) Dante's drinking from a river of light (with his eyes), and (c) the disappearance of Beatrice in preparation for Dante's final revelation.
40:40
April 24, 2019
Conversations at the Leaky Cauldron 018: Special Norwescon 42 Edition
In this special episode of Conversations at the Leaky Cauldron, Wes and Sarah host a seminar at the Norwescon 42! They considered topics ranging from (1) our humble origins and where we first met, (2) perennial philosophical questions considered through the lens of fantasy literature, and (3) what the nature of good and evil is. And more!
53:54
April 22, 2019
Conversations at The Leaky Cauldron 017: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Chs. 5-10
In this episode of Conversations at The Leaky Caulron, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider the following topics: (1) parallels between Fleur Delacour (Phlegm) and Merope Gaunt, (2) the horrors of the Gaunt household and the tension between family and state (Ministry of Magic); and (3) Dumbledore's apparent vulnerabilities and lacunae in knowledge and his increasingly informal relationship with Harry.
59:40
April 11, 2019
Sophocles' "Antigone" Pt. 2
In this lecture, we observe (a) the distinction between the laws of man and gods, (b) the prophecies of Tiresias, and (c) the horrific denouement of Sophocles' "Antigone"!
20:09
April 10, 2019
Sophocles' Antigone Pt. 1
In this lecture we consider (1) Antigone and Ismene's differing value-systems (family vs. state; honors vs. fear); Creon's initial edicts and his own valuation of power vs. family, and (c) we finish by making connections between Oedipus and Creon.
19:36
April 8, 2019
Side Quests 047: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 001
Side Quests 047: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 001 I Nintendo a) Nintendo vs. Sega/Sony Aesthetic b) More childish graphics; c) Big faces, lots of bright colors d) A lot with sound, limited dialog and simplistic story d1) Zelda at first d2) Mario d3) Potentially deeper undercurrents II Playing with cartridges a) The controller III Game Play a) Very different from a turn-based (active battle system with random encounter) RPG b) Action-adventure/action RPG c) Real-time fighting d) Never hear own voice or see own dialog IV Picks up where The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time left off a) Have already fulfilled your destiny b) Have the Ocarina of time c) Sword d) Epona (Horse) V Setting is a dark forest a) Dante connection (also after-life) b) Have a big FALL (Lucifer, Hephaistos, Alice iWonderland; The Matrix) c) Stuck in a three day loop (like Easter/Dante)  a) All focused on time b) Collect masks b1) Personae b2) Interweave/create personality based on amount of roles played;  b3) also quality of role-played as measured by real impact on another’s life;  b4) that shows the puppeteer or actor behind the manifold masks VI The Antagonist is an outcast for tricks a) Hermes/Psychopomp b) Hephaistian/Luciferian (they don’t want to play anymore) c) Isolated and crying in a heartrending way;  d) Two fairies, one dark (purple) and one light (white) comand seem to hug/neck; e) The skull-kid (another reference to death) holds both e1) Will symbolically choose the dark one e2) You will get the light to form a full character VII The gonzo style a) Creepy/grotesque; a1) the scarecrow a2) The Great Fairie aa1) Further seem of re-integration VIII Running clock IX Similarity to FF7 a) Response to iterations in the past b) Seems to focus on ability to follow instructions and master basic eye hand sequencing drills. c) Basic strategy and learning from mistakes
58:37
April 8, 2019
Sophocles' Oedipus the King lines 1051-1530
In this lecture we consider the denouement of Sophocles' "Oedipus the King"!
17:03
April 5, 2019
Oedipus the King Lines 701-1050
In this lecture, we consider (a) Oedipus' slowly dawning revelation that the man who killed Laius was he; (b) that Polybus and Merope whom he believed his parents are not, and (c) that he may have brought the corruption of Thebes about himself if only the herdman who was the man who witnessed Laius' murder says so.
23:08
April 3, 2019
Oedipus the King Lines 316-700
In this lecture, we (1) consider Oedipus' insecurity and his accusations of Teiresias and Creon, and (2) we conclude with Jocasta entering to converse with Oedipus.
20:35
April 2, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of the Primum Mobile (Cantos 27-29) Pt. 1
In this lecture, we consider (1) the path of Ulysses, and how much farther Dante has come, and how much higher his perspective is now than it was on earth; (2) the choirs of angels and how they relate to the spheres of heaven, and how the spheres of heaven which appear slowest are actually fastest and brightest and closest to the source (God), and (c) we conclude by considering the (1) creation of the world (why it was created), (2) how long it took Lucifer to fall, and (3) how act (form) and potentiality (matter) were first intertwined together.
35:08
April 2, 2019
Conversations at the Leaky Cauldron 016: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Chs. 1-4
In this first conversation on J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr Wesley Schantz, and I discuss (a) the duality and unity between the muggle and magical worlds in the Harry Potter universe; (b) what the cost of choice is, and how that relates to time, blood, and mistakes in the past; and (c) we gave a very rich analysis of Rufus Scrimgeour and Horus Slughorn's differing characters and characteristics. Classical references to Homer's "Odyssey", Dante's "Inferno", and Milton"s "Paradise Lost" abound.
1:04:06
April 2, 2019
Side Quests 046: Final Fantasy VII Pt. 29
In this final epic podcast, Mr. Wes Schantz and I conclude our final foray into Final Fantasy VII. Specifically we consider (a) upward and downward spirals and connections between the end of the game and the beginning; (b) Sephiroth as a Luciferian figure and in comparison to Achilleus in Homer, Lucifer in Milton's "Paradise Lost", and Voldemort in  the "Harry Potter" series, and (c) Wes and I conclude by thinking about hope and its relationship to power, and then reflecting on what this experience has meant to us. In this final epic podcast, Mr. Wes Schantz and I conclude our final foray into Final Fantasy VII. Specifically we consider (a) upward and downward spirals and connections between the end of the game and the beginning; (b) Sephiroth as a Luciferian figure and in comparison to Achilleus in Homer, Lucifer in Milton's "Paradise Lost", and Voldemort in Harry Potter, and (c) Wes and I conclude by thinking about hope and its relationship to power, and then reflecting on what this experience has meant to us. 
1:10:46
April 1, 2019
Sophocles' "Oedipus the King": Lecture on Lines 1-315
In this lecture, we (a) review Sophocles' biographical information, (b) introduce Oedipus in all his glory and seeming hubris, and (c) lay-out the scene (plague) in Thebes and the initial steps that have been taken to combat it.
32:51
March 27, 2019
Conversations at the Leaky Cauldron 015: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chs. 34-38
In this conversation, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wesley Schantz, and I conclude the fifth installment of the Harry Potter series: "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". We specifically consider (1) The Department of Mysteries and what the mysteries of the magical world are (death, life, time, mind, love), and how they relate to our own primary world mysteries and questions; (2) we observe the epic battle between Voldemort and Dumbledore and make varied Luciferian (both Dantist and Miltonian) and Christological connections between the characters and the specific powers they manifest (division vs. unity); (3) we conclude by considering the nature of trauma, physical and spiritual (mental), and the role of the counselor/Dumbledore in guiding one back towards inner harmony by acceptance of difficult truths.
1:07:35
March 27, 2019
Sophocles' "Oedipus the King": Introduction to Sophocles, Greek Drama, and the Athenian Stage Pt. 2
In this lecture, we consider (1) Sophocles' biographical details, (2) his innovations to the Athenian stage over a near 50 year career, and (c) the experiences his accumulated and expressed seeing ninety years of life and the great Persian and Peloponnesian Wars!
33:02
March 26, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of the Fixed Stars Pt. 3 (Cantos 26-27)
In this lecture, we consider (a) the four questions Dante puts to Adam, the first man, (b) the connections between Dante's time in heaven (6-7 hours) and Adam's time in Earthly Paradise (6-7) hours and how the language of man and man himself is like "leaves on a tree" ever changing (falling); and (c) the reasons of Peter's anger against the church (1) the misuse of the papal seat, and (2) divisiveness. 
30:28
March 26, 2019
Sophocles' "Oedipus the King": Introduction to Tragedy
In this lecture, we (1) present the difference between a tragedy, comedy, and epic; (2) discuss what distinguishes a hero from an anti-hero, and (3) and begin explaining the historical context of Sophocles (and the War at Thebes), and the conventions of the Athenian stage.
18:39
March 25, 2019
Side Quests 045: Final Fantasy VII 028
In this episode of Side Quests, Mr. Wes Schantz and I have our penultimate discussion on Sqauresoft's epic role-playing game from 1997: Final Fantasy VII. We consider the following topics in detail: (1) the motifs of endings and beginnings, in the game itself and in our project covering it; (2) motivations and changing motivations in approaching a long-term game and the personal character growth (bildungsroman) required not only of your characters, but in you as you play through the game; (3) we consider nostalgia, missed opportunities, and the value of goal-oriented action in games and how that translates to a meaningful life. 
56:23
March 25, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bks 22-24 (Conclusion)
In this lecture, we (1) review the slaughter of the suitors, the execution of the serving maids, and the dismemberment of Melanthios; (2) we observe the touching reunion of Penelope and Odysseus (after Penelope tests Odysseus, of course), and (3) we observe how Zeus, king of the Gods, finally puts an end to the conflict that started with the taking of Helen so long ago.
37:14
March 21, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of the Fixed Stars (Cantos 22-27) Pt. 2
In this lecture, we observe (a) Dante's definition of "faith" and his defense of his belief in the words of the Old and New Testaments, (b) Dante's definition of "hope" and St. James' famous distinction between faith and acts, and (c) we witness Dante go blind and then speak to St. John about what love and sacrifice truly are.
37:57
March 21, 2019
Conversations at The Leaky Cauldron 014: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chs. 29-33
In this episode, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I consider (a) Harry's career advice, and the power dynamics between Professor Umbridge and Professor McGonagall; (b) the growing differences between Hermione and Hagrid (including touching on the theme of "the seen" vs. "the unseen" in these chapters and the series at large; (c) and the exit of the Weasley Twins in body and spirit! Bonus screed about arithmancy at the end.
1:04:32
March 21, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of the Fixed Stars (Cantos 22-27) Pt. 1
In this lecture, we discuss (1) the nature of the garden and food similes and metaphors as we near the top of heaven, (2) the examinations on faith, hope, and love Dante will now endure, and (3) the character and inconsistency of Peter, the first pope.
28:09
March 20, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bk 21 Pt. 2 and Bk 22
In this lecture, we (a) observe Odysseus in rags string the bow and win the contest for Penelope's hand; (b) we witness the deaths of Antinoos, Eurymachos, Amphinomos and all the other suitors; (c) we witness the punishments of the serving maids and Melanthios!
33:40
March 19, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bk 19 Pt. 1, Bk 20, and Bk 21 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we consider (a) the dream of Penelope and the famous gates of horn and ivory; (b) the rising portents suggesting the doom of the suitors, and (c) Odysseus recruits Eurykleia, Eumaios, and Philoitios to his cause!
35:48
March 14, 2019
Conversations at the Leaky Cauldron 013: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chs. 25-28
In this conversation, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I consider: (a) Neville, St. Mungo's and our deepening impressions of the character in the magical world; (b) Occlumency, what goes unseen or hidden, and Snape and Harry's  deepening relationship? (c) Also, bonus talk about how painfully awkward Harry and Cho's romance is. Quickly followed by an exposition of the Weasley Twins' (after Dumbledore's) grand hijinks. Audire!
1:09:16
March 14, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bk 19 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we (a) review Odysseus' recent troubles with Iros, Melantho, and Eurymachos, (b) we view Penelope and Odysseus sit across from each other for the first time in twenty years (Odysseus in disguise as Aithon, the beggar), and (c) we observe the subtleties of the conversation between long estranged husband and wife!
33:36
March 12, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bk 18 Pt. 2
In this lecture, we discuss (a) Arnaios (Iros) and his fight with Aithon (Odysseus in disguise); (b) the rude mistreatment of Odysseus by Melantho and Eurymachos, and (c) Odysseus' doleful plea to Amphinomos about the sorry state of mankind.
23:19
March 7, 2019
Homer's Odyssey Bks. 16, 17 Pt. 2 and Bk 18 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we consider (a) the inhospitable actions of Melanthios, the goat-herd, (b) Argos, Odysseus' ruined, old, and tick-ridden dog as a symbol for Ithaka (and any place gone to seed); and (c) we see the dark foreboding of the inhospitable actions of the leading suitor, Antinoos (throws a foot-stool at Odysseus!).
25:10
March 5, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of Saturn (Cantos 21-22) Pt. 2
In this lecture, we review (a) the contemplatives of Saturn, including Peter Damian and St. Benedict; (b) we consider the nature and fate of all human institutions according Dante/St. Benedict (Rome, Florence, the Benedictine Order, the Franciscans, the Dominicans, etc...); and (c) we move forward to the Fixed Stars where we will meet St. Peter, St. James, St. John, and Adam, the first man (in Canto 26).
21:49
March 5, 2019
Conversations at The Leaky Cauldron 012: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chs. 19-24
In this conversation, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I discuss "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" chapters 19-24. Specifically, we consider (a) the relationship of language to domination, subjugation, and liberation ontologically, psychologically, sociologically, and mythologically; (b) we consider the nature of the thestrals, and Hagrid's "giant" problem; (c) and we conclude considering differing ways in which we, as wizards, might observe "Wizard Lent".
1:04:27
March 5, 2019
Side Quests 044: Final Fantasy VII 027
In this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I continue trudging towards the end. We consider (a) the nostalgia of artificially extending the game-time by exploring and ferreting out new side-quests, (b) the importance of a narrative being a coherent whole rather than a chimerical attempt at "being everything to everyone all at once"; (having character and thus limits); and (c) what is it about a video game laced with narrative that makes it so addictive to us?
52:07
March 4, 2019
Recurrent Events 008: Teachers Unions, Strikes, and Charter Schools
In this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I talk (1) teacher strikes in West Virginia, Oakland, Los Angeles, and New York; (2) what the teachers unions are demanding (higher pay; fewer or no charter schools (West Virginia)), and (3) what charter school teachers are (successful by the numbers) and are not (cherry-pickers slowly rotting away the core of public education while profiting off failing children). 1) http://thefederalist.com/2019/03/01/west-virginia-teachers-parents-scared-disagree-striking-teachers-unions/?fbclid=IwAR1JQHzHn3RERQ2ryBkzj_gV4MH6fCajCkKUobr3z1mxqqWPnResWI0psao 2) https://www.city-journal.org/los-angeles-teacher-strike?fbclid=IwAR1lEUgaqYy_gDYJ8G8xc1J9kRIPvc_ymSBjbuojIqv-3dWfsYd1dwb6WrQ 3) https://theintercept.com/2019/02/01/oakland-school-district-teachers-strike-charter-schools/?fbclid=IwAR0vTyNvkkWvlKEAHjmAi7r7TUvy8ltvGWUnBsm5DRvrfRos_n9gtHKUrjc 4) https://nypost.com/2019/02/28/charter-schools-deliver-for-new-yorks-neediest-kids/?fbclid=IwAR1qB5rO2TXY-uZLl94N0_DPuGHu1uQM9l4nfZ4XKR0bWUiHIK5L7iIB52g 5) https://www.city-journal.org/charter-schools-teachers-strikes?fbclid=IwAR1lEUgaqYy_gDYJ8G8xc1J9kRIPvc_ymSBjbuojIqv-3dWfsYd1dwb6WrQ 6) https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-teachers-school-district-deeply-divided-13654007.php?fbclid=IwAR2Zb3BdS38vdOojql3Pd7BpFXkbF-VbSnAb6bPOJ1_dwwyLFdEUv9psmhk 7) https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/Trend19-Remediation-Main
33:29
March 2, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bks 16 and 17 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we discuss (a) Odysseus and Telemachos finally reuniting, (b) the new plan for ridding Ithaka of the opprobrious suitors, and (c) we see Odysseus start on his (new) long-journey home.
40:58
February 28, 2019
Conversations at The Leaky Cauldron 011: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chs. 13-18
In this conversation with Ms. Sarah Miller and Mr. Wes Schantz, we talked about chapters 13-18 in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". Specifically, we consider (1) Dolores Umbridge and her particular brand of "educating" and disciplining; (2) the contrasts and parallels between Percy, Umbridge, and Sirius Black, and (3) how power and wisdom interrelate (or contrast) in an educational setting! And much more!
1:00:37
February 28, 2019
Side Quests 043: Conversation with Jason Hawreliak
In this conversation, Mr. Wes Schantz and I are joined by Dr. Jason Hawreliak, PhD, Assistant Professor of Game Studies at Brock University in their Centre for Digital Humanities. Dr. Hawreliak, Wes, and I consider (1) ideology, death-anxiety, and the relationship between "shooters", game-play mechanics, and the relationship between shooting games and times of war; (2) we consider video games as a vessel for narrative compared to literature and film, and (3) we consider to what extent a hero is a cultural construction, and how the image of a hero evolves over time and across media. Below are a few sites which Dr. Hawreliak has helped start or been a part of and a link to one of his books: https://brocku.academia.edu/JasonHawreliak http://www.firstpersonscholar.com/johan-huizinga-in-the-shadow-of-tomorrow/ https://brocku.ca/humanities/digital-humanities/faculty-and-staff/ https://www.routledge.com/Multimodal-Semiotics-and-Rhetoric-in-Videogames/Hawreliak/p/book/9781138065734 http://twinery.org/ https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/KarenSchrier/20180124/313566/Using_Games_to_Inspire_Empathy__Pros_and_Cons.php https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us https://www.amazon.com/Playing-War-Military-Video-Games/dp/147980522X https://gonehome.game/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17euo2DzBZI (the infamous Virtual Boy)
46:31
February 28, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bks 14-16 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we discuss (1) Odysseus waking up in Ithaka and plotting the destruction of the suitors with Athene, (2) Odysseus, now disguised as a beggar, meeting and lying about his identity to Eumaios, and (3) Telemachos being summoned from Sparta by Athene and finally making it to Eumaios' house.
33:52
February 27, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of Saturn (Cantos 21-22) Pt. 1
In this lecture, we (1) consider the "Golden Ladder" of contemplation, (2) come to understand the "ineffability" of predestination in relation to free-will, and (3) learn that (perhaps ironically today) St. Benedict fled the city and its corruption for the contemplative life.
35:05
February 27, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bk 13 Pt. 2
In this lecture, we discuss (a) Odysseus' journey home in a Phaiakian ship, (b) the denouement of the Phaiakian disobedience to Poseidon (but obedience to Zeus), and (c) what returning "home" is.
33:03
February 26, 2019
Night School 032: The Poems of Robert Frost Pt. 3
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider "Mending Walls" by Robert Frost. Specifically, (1) we consider the haphazard meter/rollicking and disjointed language of the poem; (2) the necessity and beauty of walls, and how they relate to institutions, like the American political edifice; and how (3) relevant the lines, "Oh, just another kind of out-door game, One on a side. It comes to little more:" might be to America today.
26:52
February 26, 2019
Side Quests 042: Final Fantasy VII 026
In this episode, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I consider (a) making it to the third disc and how beginnings and ends affect our judgments of any communicative effort; (2) what Hojo and Aeris and Sephiroth mean as ideals, and (3) how the Final Fantasy series as a whole mimics the epic tradition through its serial growth, what the epic tradition is attempting to produce, and we begin to answer whether Final Fantasy VII is itself worthy of the moniker "great" or "epic". (Unfortunately, some of our best stuff was left unrecorded (due to operator error--me), and thus was lost to time like tear drops in the rain.)
25:00
February 25, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bk 12 Pt. 2 and Bk 13 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we (1) review the passing of the Sirens and Skylla and Charybdis (the Rovers/Roving Rocks); (2) we again witness the "brilliance" of Eurylochos, and (3) witness the catastrophe that befalls Odysseus' men when he again falls asleep and is not there to guide their judgment.
30:17
February 21, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of Jupiter (Cantos 18-20) Pt. 2
In this lecture, we discuss (a) can humans understand divine justice? (b)  What about people who existed before Christianity or outside its physical range (those born along the Indus)? And (c) how can Trajan and Ripheus (noble pagans) be in heaven, but not Virgil?
37:41
February 21, 2019
Conversations at the Leaky Cauldron 010: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chs. 7-12
In this conversation, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I consider (a) Harry's Hearing and the corruption at the Ministry of the Magic; (2) we consider Mr. Weasley and the introduction of Dolores Umbridge and Luna Lovegood, and (c) consider the source of Harry's new increasing humanity, quick temper, and his evolving relationship with his friends and the heroic ideal.
1:08:39
February 21, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bk 11 Pt. 4 and Bk 12 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we (1) finish considering Tityos, Tantalos, Sisyphos, and Herakles in the Underworld of Homer; (2) return to Circe's isle, Aiaia, and plan for the Sirens, Skylla and Charybdis, and Thrinakia (the Isle of the Sun); (3) we then witness the song of the alluring Sirens, and watch "the most pitiful thing [Odysseus'] eyes have ever seen".
35:25
February 20, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of Jupiter (Cantos 18-20) Pt. 1
In this lecture, we (1) enter Jupiter and observe its blush recede to objective paleness; (2) we learn about the just rulers who occupy Jupiter and the eagle that symbolizes and vocalizes their collective will, and (3) we consider whether divine justice is effable or ineffable for Dante.
26:08
February 20, 2019
Conversations at the Leaky Cauldron 009: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chs. 1-6
In this episode of Conversations, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wesley Schantz, and I open the fifth book in the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," and consider its first six chapters. Specifically, we considered (a) Harry's new attitude and the deepening layers in the fifth installment; (b) how Harry is dealing with the coming of the dark lord and the death of Cedric, and (c) how the darkness and awareness of darkness within the series of books mimics the developing darkness and awareness of darkness within Harry himself.
1:06:46
February 14, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bk 11 Pt. 3
In this lecture, we discuss (a) Odysseus' fate in relation to Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Ulysses", (b) why the shades in the underworld do in the underworld what they did while alive, and (c) we meet the three great tortured souls: Sisyphos, Tantalos, and Tityos.
32:21
February 13, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of Mars (Cantos 14-18) Pt. 2
In this lecture, we consider (a) Cacciaguida's foretelling of Dante's bitter future, (b) the philosophy and psychology of seeing good times in the future (heaven/promised land) or the past (Eden/Ogygia/Golden Age), and (c) we concluded with a consideration of how to turn catastrophe to one's immortal advantage.
28:48
February 13, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bk 11 Pt. 2
In this lecture, enter Homer's underworld and witness (a) Elpenor's folly, (b) the tragedy of Antikleia's death, and (c) meet some old friends: Agamemnon and Achilleus.
34:27
February 12, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of Mars (Cantos 14-18) Pt. 1
In this lecture, I (a) give an overview of Dante's sphere of Mars, (b) introduce the symbol of the cross, and (c) introduce Cacciaguida and illuminate the connections between him and Anchises from Virgil's Aeneid.
34:17
February 12, 2019
Side Quests 041: Final Fantasy VII 025
In this episode, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I consider (1) the Lucrecia side-quest and the emerging complexity of the question of good and evil in the game, (2) the emergence of hierarchies of antagonism in the emergence of Diamond Weapon, and (3) we question whether a video game can stand against the narrative force of epic literature.
58:00
February 11, 2019
Recurrent Events 007: Accommodations and Standards in Education
In this conversation with Mr. Wesley Schantz, we consider (1) Individualized Education Plans, the science and philosophy behind them, and what their impact is on students and educational systems of standards; (2) we think about the role of character development in education and its actual neuropsychological benefits, and (3) we consider what information and resources educators can access which are scientifically rigorous, rather than good-hearted but ideologically motivated (re: prejudiced).  Special Education Teachers on Decline: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0014402916684620?journalCode=ecxc https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/12/05/shortage-of-special-educators-adds-to-classroom.html LA Teachers and Pensions: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/the-los-angeles-teacher-strike-has-a-huge-problem-pensions Individualized Education Plans: https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/01/the-charade-of-special-education-programs/421578/
38:12
February 9, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bk 10 Pt. 2 and Bk 11 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we (a) review the Kikones, Lotus Eaters, Cyclopes, Aiolos, and Laistrygones episodes from Odysseus' story-journey; (b) we then move on to Circe's house and (c) observe the demise of poor, foolish Elpenor.
26:34
February 6, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of the Sun (Cantos 10-14) Pt. 2
In this lecture, we (a) review the shared perspective of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure, (b) outline how Solomon can be above all natures in perfection, if even perfectly made men (Adam and Christ) be included in that category, and (c) we speculate on the notion of resurrection in the context of Virgil's "Aeneid" Bk. VI (6).
24:37
February 6, 2019
Side Quests 040: Conversation with Richard Bartle on Virtual Worlds
In this conversation with Dr. Richard Bartle, Mr. Wes Schantz and I discuss the creation of virtual worlds, the difference between playing and designing a game, and whether the goal of developing a better world, rather than simply bettering the world, is possible. Richard Allan Bartle, Ph.D., co-wrote the first virtual world, MUD ("Multi-User Dungeon"), in 1978, thus being at the forefront of the online gaming industry from its very inception. A former university lecturer in Artificial Intelligence, he is an influential writer on all aspects of virtual world design and development. As an independent consultant, he has worked with almost every major online gaming company in the U.K. and the U.S. over the past 20 years. Richard lives with his wife, Gail, and their two children, Jennifer and Madeleine, in a village just outside Colchester, England. He works in virtual worlds. (From: https://www.amazon.com/Designing-Virtual-Worlds-Richard-Bartle/dp/0131018167/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1549457942&sr=1-1&keywords=designing+virtual+worlds)
1:11:08
February 6, 2019
Conversations at the Leaky Cauldron 008: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chs. 31-37
In this episode of Conversations at the Leaky Cauldron, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I conclude the fourth installment of the Harry Potter series. Specifically, we consider (a) Voldemort's merits as an evil antagonist, (b) what the nature of good and evil are in relation to games and choice, and (c) how Christian imagery and symbolism map onto the conflicts in the Harry Potter Universe.
1:08:10
February 6, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bk 9 Pt. 2 and Bk 10 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we (a) observe the recklessness of both Polyphemos and Odysseus, (b) meet Aiolos and his strange family and receive from him a strange gift, and (c) meet the lawless and savage Laistrygones.
29:48
February 5, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of the Sun (Cantos 10-14) Pt. 1
In this lecture, we (a) introduce the basic theme (shared perspective) and speakers (St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure) of the sphere, (b) speak to Dante's increasing clarity of sight/judgment, and (c) consider why these teachers extol the virtues of the lives of others and not their own.
24:06
February 5, 2019
Side Quests 039: Final Fantasy VII 24
In this episode of Side Quests, Mr. Wes Schantz and I discussed (a) the huge materia in the underwater reactor, (b) the space-flight in Rocket Town, and (c) what precisely the function and essence of an Role-Playing Game is.
52:10
February 2, 2019
Recurrent Events 006: The LA Teacher's Union Strike
On this episode of Recurrent Events, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider the recent (18 Jan. 2019) UTLA (Union of Teacher's of Los Angeles) teacher walk-out. We specifically wonder, (a) what were the specific demands of the teachers, and what problem were they trying to solve, (b) were their demands borne simply of love for children or also of envy or resentment (at their low pay), and (c) what is at the heart of inequalities in education? Articles and Resources Mentioned: 1) https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/01/28/teachers-strike-charter-schools-union-power-not-students-column/2694201002/ 2) https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-skelton-lausd-teachers-strike-20190128-story.html 3) https://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=ac29fd2e-c5ec-4c04-86a8-c1eabf6808b9 4) https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/profiles/districtprofile/overview/XL?cti=PgTab_OT&chort=1&sub=MAT&sj=XL&fs=Grade&st=MN&year=2017R3&sg=Gender%3A+Male+vs.+Female&sgv=Difference&ts=Single+Year&tss=2015R3-2017R3&sfj=NL 5) https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=9%2C500.00&year1=200701&year2=201701 6) https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-edu-lausd-strike-accelerated-school-20190114-story.html 7) https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-1466_2b3j.pdf 8) Information on Proposition 13 (1978): https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-prop-13-changes-20181017-story.html 9) Additional information on state vs. district funding: https://www.ppic.org/publication/financing-californias-public-schools/
38:37
February 2, 2019
Conversations at the Leaky Cauldron 007: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chs. 27-30
As we continue on our epic journey through the fantasy worlds of our youth, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I consider some of the finer points of Harry's most recent adventures: (1) What is the source of evil in the wizarding world and the primary world itself? (2) What is the meaning of the newly minted summoning charm and the idea of "summoning" evil or good into the world? And (3) what exactly is the relationship between muggles and wizarding folk?
1:02:24
January 31, 2019
The Great Men Podcast 004: Julius Caesar
In this return-episode of The Great Men podcast, Mr. Oscar Ortiz and I are joined by Mr. David Oldham to discuss Plutarch's "The Life of Caesar". Below are just a few of the topics we discussed: The Life of Julius Caesar Caesar as a boy Captured by pirates Gave speeches Hunted them down and crucified them Caesar as a Student Said to have been as gifted as any at rhetoric but that he chose the sword over letters; how does greatness differ for a man of action vs. a man of the intellect (Cicero or Aristotle) Caesar crying at the achievements of Alexander Caesar as public man and giver of gifts to the public Caesar as conqueror of Gaul Vercingetorix paraded about Caesar’s dais before sat at his feet Caesar as Emperor The Death of Caesar The Revenge of Caesar His remaining works and deification
59:14
January 30, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bk 9 Pt. 1 (The Cave of Polyphemos)
In this lecture, we hear Odysseus recount his tale of meeting (a) the Kikones of Ismaros, (b) the devastating Lotus Eaters, and (c) the man-eating Cyclops, Polyphemos!
36:29
January 29, 2019
Night School 031: The Poems of Robert Frost Pt. 2
In this episode, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I talk about Robert Frost's "Mowing". Specifically, we consider (a) what the American form of poetry is, (b) the purpose of poetic/imagistic self-expression, and (c) who wields the "scythe of time" along the "cutting edge" at present.
25:08
January 29, 2019
Side Quests 038: Final Fantasy VII 23
Side Quests 038: Final Fantasy VII 23 with Mr. Wesley Schantz and Mr. Alexander Schmid Fort Condor Selfish request: fight fund Take all risk But they are desperate; their wives sent away Fun strategy mini game; too broke, and then too broke to buy all Mideel Fight Weapon after no progress on Cloud Real bonding moment; don’t need Cloud to beat bosses Beta and region are killing it Hitting stride Fall into the Lifestream Cid shows real leadership Tifa assumes role of “piecing Cloud back together”; or rather guide to his process Though she herself runs from accusations in the darkness Cloud realizes that he was not the SOLDIER, but he was a Shinra normal trooper. Zach was defeated by Sephiroth and Cloud took Sephiroth from behind, but then through him off the ledge and into the mako of a mako reactor while impaired on Sephiroth’s disbelieving blade; also holding Jenova’s head Cloud also apparently did not fit in and was not close to Tifa and actually liked her and blamed himself for her injury as a child(impulsive journey by Tifa up Mt. Nibel on the night her mom died)which he felt kept them apart; felt also more mature like character in the Idiot So journey back to Mt. Nibel all the more symbolic, and Tifa rather than being second string to Aeris (now known to be attracted to Cloud only because he was like Zack) is the primary reason for Cloud’s pursuit of strength and eventual delusion!@
49:01
January 28, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of Venus (Cantos 8-9) Pt. 2
In this lecture, we first (a) recapitulate the beginning of Dante's argument on how a "sweet seed [could] go bitter," and a brief exposition of Aristotle's cosmology; (b) we then consider what the "various" effects and causes of man are, and (c) consider thus the mechanism by which siblings differ from each other and their parents, and why some people feel ill-suited to this world.
22:02
January 25, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bks. 8-9 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we discuss (a) Demodokos' third and final song on Scheria, (b) Odysseus and Euryalos make amends and Odysseus is given gifts, and (c) Odysseus reveals his identity and begins telling of his journey from Troy to Scheria, starting with plundering the Kikones at Ismaros!
26:18
January 25, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of Venus (Cantos 8-9) Pt. 1
In this lecture, I introduce (a) Venus and the Venusians, those whose love transcended their lust; (b) we consider the connection between the "obscured" or "darkened" first three spheres of Heaven, and (c) we learn Aristotle's "trickle-down Theo-nomics" theory of how the primal good is transmitted through the heavens and down to earth.
26:34
January 24, 2019
Side Quests 037: Conversation on the art of Anime with Mikhail Koulikov
On this episode of Side Quests, Wes Schantz and I have the pleasure to host Mikhail Koulikov, who is an anime scholar, research librarian, and facilitator of anime-focused projects. He maintains the site www.animemangastudies.com, and he was kind enough to talk to us today about: (a) what first drew him to anime and what anime has to offer that other genres do not; (b) what makes anime worthy of academic rigor; and (c) major scholarly trends and current and classic shows to watch out for. And more. E-mail: mik@animemangastudies.com Twitter: @animestudies
54:23
January 24, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bks. 7-8 Pt. 2
In this lecture, we observe (a) hospitality gone wrong on Scheria and the confrontation between Odysseus, Laodamas, and Euryalos; (b) the strength and sagacity of Odysseus, and (c) we conclude with a consideration of Demodokos' song about the (cheating) affair between Ares and Aphrodite, and how the gods resolve conflicts!
33:55
January 23, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of Mercury (Cantos 5-7) Pt. 2
In this lecture, we lay out (a) Dante's reasoning behind the Incarnation, (b) Dante's argument for why humans ought to be charitable towards each other (as an ultimate ideal), and (c) how the first three spheres of Paradise emphasize the theme that "one's initial sensory perceptions are often wrong"/ "Nothing is as it seems [at first]".
27:14
January 23, 2019
Conversations at The Leaky Cauldron 006: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chs. 24-26
In this conversation, Ms. Sarah Miller and Mr. Wesley Schantz and I consider "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" Chs. 24-26. Specifically, we reflect on: (a) Rita Skeeter's yellow journalism and the difference between truth and propaganda, (b) Hagrid's hybrid nature and the lead-up to the second task (c) and finally, the second task and what it means for Harry to lose one level of the competition by actually winning at a "higher level"--or winning the game outside the game.
50:38
January 22, 2019
Side Quests 036: Conversation with the Ink-Stained Mage
In this episode of Side Quests, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I have the opportunity to talk to @AndrewTurnwall who writes as The Ink-Stained Mage  at https://thewellredmage.com/author/theinkstainedmage/. Though usually we talk Final Fantasy VII, in this conversation we ask Andy about (a) Dungeons and Dragons and what it is, (b) what draws one into the game and who creates its mythology (developer or players?), and (c) why the time spent in preparation and playing is good for the soul.
51:08
January 21, 2019
Side Quests 035: Final Fantasy VII 022
In this episode, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I continue into Disc 2 of Square's "Final Fantasy VII". Specifically, we consider (a)  Cloud's plight, (b) Cid and Barret as leaders and the new team dynamics, (c) what the difference between the beginning of a game is and the middle-end of a game, and how those trajectories correlate to the beginning and middle-end of a life. Wes also makes a bold claim about Majora's Mask!
44:02
January 20, 2019
Night School 030: The Poems of Robert Frost Pt. 1
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I discuss Robert Frost's most famous poem: "The Road Not Taken". Specifically, we consider (a) two leading theories on how to read this poem, (b) how the method of amplifying (expanding on) a poem brings to light embedded information within it regardless of the reception of the poem, and (c) we conclude with a consideration of what is lost when something is gained.
40:42
January 19, 2019
Side Quests 034: Conversation on Hayao Miyazaki with Helen McCarthy
In this episode of Side-Quests, Wes and I are joined by Helen McCarthy (http://helenmccarthy.wordpress.com), a learned scholar of anime, accomplished craftsperson, and engaging conversationalist. We specifically consider the subjects of (a) Japanese Culture and its perception vs. its reality, (b) mythology and whether anime melds the mythologies of the East and West, and (c) then we focus in on the works of Hayao Miyazaki, his leading ideas, his sense of nostalgia, and ultimately consider what his masterpiece is.
53:24
January 17, 2019
Night School 029: The Poems of Emily Dickinson Pt. 7
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I conclude our Emily Dickinson unit with two poems of hers about death: "Because I could not stop for Death – (479)", and "A not admitting of the wound (1188)."   
32:36
January 17, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bks. 7-8 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we (a) observe the divine house of Alkinoos, covered in gold and silver; (b) we enjoy the hospitality of the Phaiakians, and the wisdom of their leading men and women, and (c) learn about the history of the Phaiakians and the speed of their far-flung ships.
32:15
January 16, 2019
Conversations at The Leaky Cauldron 005: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chs. 18-23
In this episode, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wesley Schantz, and I delve into "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" Chs. 18-23. Specifically, we consider (a) the first challenge and the symbol of the dragon, (b) the Yule Ball and the discomfort of dawning "new robes" (roles), and (c) what is the role of transformation in these chapters, and is there a difference between superficial, aesthetic transformation and a deeper, more substantial one?
1:05:47
January 16, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bk 6
In this lecture we discuss (a) the interwoven olive bushes beneath which Odysseus spends his first night in Scheria, (b) the dream of Nausikaa and her mythological situation, poised before marriage (major theme), and (c) the interaction between the wild and savage appearing Odysseus and the courageous and taming Nausikaa!
29:59
January 15, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of Mercury (Cantos 5-7) Pt. 1
In this lecture, we meet (a) Justinian and Romieu de Villenueve, (b) consider the concepts of just punishment and just reward, and (c) provide Beatrice/Dante's account for why (1) God became mortal, and (2) why God forgave rather than punished man for his death.
37:54
January 15, 2019
Night School 028: The Poems of Emily Dickinson Pt. 6
On this episode of Night School, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I discuss two poems by Emily Dickinson: "There is no Frigate like a Book (1286)" and "The Poets light but Lamps — (930)". Specifically, we consider (a) classical images of the soul in "There is no Frigate,"(b) Christian and Greco-Roman imagery in "The Poets,", and (c) some analysis of the metempsychotic function of poetry. What is passed on through the poetic art?
29:24
January 15, 2019
Side Quests 033: Final Fantasy VII 021
In this episode, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I consider (a) our new restricted character list and physical constraints and incarceration, (b) the new immediate threats (WEAPON) and remote threats (METEOR) with which we now must content, down one Cloud, and (c) how to move forward from the idyllic past into the terrible and terrifying present, full of potentially world-ending problems?
1:05:02
January 14, 2019
Recurrent Events 005: Greatness and Education
In this episode of Recurrent Events, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I are joined by the wise Mr. Oscar Ortiz. Specifically, we talk about (a) the differences between teaching and leading as an administrator, (b) how glory and its pursuit relates to education, and (c) what it means to pursue greatness, and what a community based on such a pursuit might look like.
52:48
January 11, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of the Moon (Cantos 1-5) Pt. 2
In this lecture, I layout and give Beatrice's response to the following major questions from the Sphere of the Moon:    1)If heaven is perfect, and above the earth, it cannot be made of matter, but how do I, Dante, move in heaven if I have a body which is made of matter? (1-97-99)  2)Why does the moon appear to have dark spots if it is in heaven, and heaven is perfect? (2.49-51)  3)How do humans take what they see with their senses and then understand what they see with their intellects? (4.43-61)  4)What makes an oath unbreakable? What are the parts of an oath, and under what conditions may an oath be broken? (5.13-15)  5)If a vow is broken by the force of another, why would I be blamed for breaking the vow? (4.19-21)  6) Bonus: Why do souls not long for a higher place in paradise? (3.64-66) 
26:23
January 10, 2019
Recurrent Events 004: Education and Civic Virtue
In this episode of Recurrent Events, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I have the  pleasure to welcome Mr. David Oldham to talk to us. Specifically, we consider (a) the value of being a lifetime student as a teacher, (b) what is civic virtue and how does it relate to teaching, and (c) what is the highest pursuit of man, and how does it relate to teaching?
52:26
January 10, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bk 5
In this lecture, we (a) review the stories of Helen and Menelaos from Book IV (4), (b) we observe the Edenic/Paradisical nature of Kalypso's island home, and (c) we watch Odysseus restart his epic adventure knowing that much hardship awaits him.
34:15
January 9, 2019
Homer's "Odyssey" Bk 4 Pt. 2
In this lecture, we consider (a) the story Helen tells Telemachos (and Menelaos) of once giving a disguised Odysseus a bath! And (b) then we hear Menelaos' sorrowful account of his capturing Proteus, The Old Man of the Sea!
34:19
January 8, 2019
Dante's Paradiso: Sphere of the Moon (Cantos 1-5) Pt. 1
In this introductory lecture to Dante's "Paradiso", we consider (a) Dante's geocentric conception of the universe, (b) the difference between the (1) absolute will and (2) contingent will, and (c) consider the value of oaths and promises amongst the oath-breakers.
28:23
January 8, 2019
Night School 027: The Poems of Emily Dickinson Pt. 5
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I explore Emily Dickinson's "Publication – is the Auction (788)," "Fame is the one that does not stay — (1507)," "Fame is a fickle food (1702)", and conclude with the pointed "Fame is a bee. (1788)." We specifically consider (a) Dickinson's disparaging view of selling the work of the mind (art), (b) the tension between Christian monarchical symbolism and American democratic/capitalist value in Dickinson's work, and (c) the wistfulness inherent in fame and the poetic art. Alex also butchers the quote below. John 3:8 King James Version (KJV) "8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."
48:06
January 8, 2019
Consilience Conversations 007: The Neuroscience of Religion
On this episode of Consilience Conversations, Dr. Matt Roos and I discuss (a) the neuroscience behind giving vs. receiving, (b) how religious beliefs, practice, and experience relate to neuroscience and what we currently know, and (c) how humans naturally see the world socially and how that relates to conceptions of religion and well-being.
45:08
December 20, 2018
Conversations at The Leaky Cauldron 004: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chs. 15-17
In this fourth podcast on the 4th volume in the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I discuss chs. 15-17, and more specifically (a) the significance and relationship between Beauxbatons and Durmstrang; (b) the nature of Harry's heroism, (c) Hermione's developing social awareness, and (c) how does volume four figure within the series at large?
57:15
December 18, 2018
Side Quests 032 Final Fantasy VII 020
On this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider (a) the summoning of Weapon and to what extent "you" are summoned in the game; (b) what the relationship between Sephiroth, Jenova, and you is, and (c) what is the nature of Cloud's being, and Sephiroth's, and Jenova's, and how do they relate to Weapon?
57:36
December 17, 2018
Night School 026: The Poems of Emily Dickinson Pt. 4
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I consider Emily Brontë's "No Coward Soul Is Mine", and Emily Dickinson's "Some keep the Sabbath going to Church – (236)" and "I dwell in Possibility – (466)". We specifically consider (a) the relationship between Dickinson and Brontë's poetry in theme and structure ; (b) the ways in which Dickinson's view of religion may have clashed with norms and been rationalist in its approach, and (c) what the process of building a poem or "house of possibility" entails and brings out in or requires of a reader.
36:22
December 16, 2018
Homer's "Odyssey" Bks 3-4 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we (a) meet the old and wise Nestor and his son Peisistratos In Pylos, (b) venture forward to the land of sadness, Sparta, and meet Menelaos and the beautiful and observant Helen of Argos, and (c) learn the cost of experience and wisdom!
37:09
December 14, 2018
Dante's Purgatorio: Cantos 25-33 Pt. 2
In this lecture, we consider (a) the entrance of Beatrice and exit of Virgil in the story, (b) the end of the Biblical procession, and (c) a dramatic representation of the corruption of the Church throughout time.
22:50
December 14, 2018
Night School 025: The Poems of Emily Dickinson Pt. 3
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I consider Emily Dickinson's "All overgrown by cunning moss," and recite Emily Brontë's "No Coward Soul Is Mine". We specifically consider (a) the story untying the poem about the death of Charlotte Brontë; (b) the ways poems and perceptions of poets evolve over time, and (c) we recite the poem by Emily Brontë which Emily Dickinson requested be read at her funeral.
26:21
December 14, 2018
Homer's "Odyssey" Bks 1 and 2
In this lecture, we discuss (a) Athene's strategy for helping Odysseus and Telemachos, (b) Zeus' proclamation that man's own "wild recklessness" is often the cause of his own suffering, and (c) observed Telemachos' first disastrous public speech in assembly.
28:25
December 13, 2018
Dante's Purgatorio: Cantos 25-33 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we consider (a) the Terrace of Lust and its relation to chastity, (b) Terrestrial Paradise and how the end is just the beginning, and (c) what is the meaning of the Biblical Procession in Eden/Terrestrial Paradise?
38:59
December 13, 2018
Introduction to Homer's "Odyssey"
In this lecture, we consider (a) the fate of Agamemnon, (b) the dramatis personae of Homer's "Odyssey", and (c) the theme of "nothing is as it seems".
32:51
December 12, 2018
Dante's Purgatorio: Cantos 17-25
In this lecture, we consider (a) the terraces of Sloth, Avarice (and prodigality), and gluttony. Specifically, we consider how what sloth, avarice, and gluttony cost, (b) how love poetry may be tied to self-indulgence, and (c) the potential costs of sensual delights to lifetime achievement.
35:58
December 12, 2018
Night School 024: The Poems of Emily Dickinson Pt. 2
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider Emily Dickinson's "Surgeons must be very careful" and ""Faith" is fine invention". We specifically consider (a) the length and form of the short poems, (b) how a poem is a small manifestation of articulated being, and (c) how "faith" and faith differ in the context of the second poem.
28:30
December 12, 2018
Conversations at The Leaky Cauldron 003: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chs. 11-14
In this third podcast on the 4th volume in the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I discuss (a) the Unforgivable Curses and what is so unforgivable about them; (b) number symbolism surrounding threes and fours (trinities and quaternaries) in the text, and (c) what happens once one's view of the world now must reflect the darkness therein?
1:07:02
December 11, 2018
The Time Between Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey" Pt. 2
In this lecture, we review (a) the lost epics: "The Aethiopis" and "The Little Iliad" and move through (b) "The Sack of Ilium" and "The Returns". Specifically, we consider (a) the Trojan Horse, Sinon, and Laocoon, (b) the carnage at Troy the night it falls, and (c) the misbegotten ways home of the Achaian heroes. * Aigisthos, not Orestes, kills Agamemnon!
31:51
December 10, 2018
Side Quests 031 Final Fantasy VII 019
In this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider (a) the disorienting experience of moving on after tragedy, (b) the significance of the snowboard and the map, and (c) what real-world lessons the game has to teach us about behavior and adapting to change in the world.
54:26
December 10, 2018
Night School 023: The Poems of Emily Dickinson Pt. 1
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider the American poet Emily Dickinson's "Come Slowly--Eden!" and "Arcturus". Specifically, we consider (a) transitions between religious and naturalistic uses of language and perceptions of reality, (b) Dickinson's use of structure and form to convey meaning, and (c) the relationship between scientific knowledge and the experience of meaning and its changing relationship in language and time.
40:24
December 8, 2018
Recurrent Events 003: Education and Certification
In this episode of Recurrent Events, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider (1) what the role of educational certification is and how it relates to the craft of teaching, (2) how the responsibilities of substitute teaching differ from classroom (TOR) teaching, and (3) how one can transform the teaching profession from within the classroom.
34:58
December 8, 2018
The Time Between Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey" Pt. 1
In this lecture, we consider summaries of the lost epics: (a) "The Aethiopis", and (b) "The Little Iliad". Specifically, we consider the fates of (1) Achilleus, (2) Aias the Greater, and (3) Paris of Troy.
38:59
December 7, 2018
Side Quests 030: Final Fantasy VII 018
On this special episode of Side Quests, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I welcome Dr. Matt Roos from the Consilience Conversations podcast (https://anchor.fm/alexander-schmid9/episodes/Consilience-Conversations-001-Confirmation-Bias-e26n1v) to talk about addiction and gaming. We talk about (a) the positive and negative aspects of gaming, (b) the relationship of addiction to habit formation and how game developers can build addictive habits into gameplay (and the ethics of these practices); and (c) the relationship between narrative/fantasy and addiction in young people, and particularly in young men.
52:39
December 6, 2018
Night School 022: Song of Myself 020
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I conclude our foray in Whitman's "Song of Myself" with Pts. 50, 51, and 52. We consider (a) the interplay of time in poetry and life and what is eternal about both, (b) what the meaning of contradiction is within a poem and poet, and (c) what the meaning of the poem is writ-large, and what is the purpose of the poet.
32:18
December 5, 2018
Homer's "Iliad" Bk 24
In this lecture, we conclude the Homer's "Iliad" lecture course. We consider (a) the underworld journey of Priam to Achilleus, (b) the realization of his own mortality by Achilleus, and (c) the range of human experience and suffering.
24:10
December 4, 2018
Conversations at The Leaky Cauldron 002: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chs. 5-10
In this second podcast on the 4th volume in the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I discuss (a) what magical drinks we would have in the Leaky Cauldron, (b) the positive and negative aspects of groups at the Quidditch World Cup and (c) the ever more defined nature of darkness and the wizarding world in this fourth book of the series!
58:00
December 4, 2018
Homer's "Iliad" Bk 22
In this lecture we consider: (a) The duplicity of Apollo and Athene, (b) the fight and pre-fight between Hektor and Achilleus, and (c) the catastrophic consequences of Achilleus' actions afterward.
27:37
December 3, 2018
Dante's Purgatorio: Cantos 16-21 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we consider (1) the imaginative examples of wrath in Terrace III of Purgatory, (2) the nature of rational vs. natural love, and (c) the Moral structure of Purgatory and Dante's second dream of a witch/siren!
31:44
December 3, 2018
Side Quests 029: Final Fantasy VII 017
In this episode of Side Quests, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I discuss the Wutai side quest available at the end of Final Fantasy VII Disc 1. We discuss (a) one of the most pivotal scenes in all video game history, (b) the level of betrayal Cloud must feel and what a host of symbolic interpretations of the situation could be, and (c) how the game pokes at the player through the game; who is the real puppet,: Cloud or you?
56:57
December 3, 2018
Recurrent Events 002: Grand Narratives and the News
On this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider (a) what is the relationship between the news and grand narratives, (b) is there a more productive use of the internet, and internet data, than trolling, and is that what we are looking for? (c) We consider future guests and getting to the bottom of several political and educational issues in a sophisticated round-table format.
35:48
December 1, 2018
Night School 021: Song of Myself 019
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I consider Whitman's "Song of Myself" Pts. 48 and 49. We consider (a) the identity of God and Man in Whitman's poetry, (b) the identity, or egalitarian/democratic nature of experiences, and (c) what are Whitman's mature reflections on death and dying?
27:15
December 1, 2018
Night School 020: Song of Myself 018
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I consider Whitman's "Song of Myself" Pts. 46 and 47. We consider (a) the spirit of poetry and which flows through language and time, (b) what the interplay of tradition and inspiration are within poetry and language, and (c) what is the best teacher of man, his own experience or a school or even a poem?
38:57
November 30, 2018
Homer's "Iliad" Bk 21
In this lecture, we consider (1) the fight between Achilleus and Lykaon, (2) the rage of Xanthos against Achilleus, and (3) the theomachy, or battle of the gods on the Trojan battlefield!
33:17
November 29, 2018
Dante's Purgatorio: Cantos 16-18 Pt. 1
In this lecture, we consider (1) the definition and nature of Terrace 3: Wrath; (2) Marco Lombardo's exposition of Free Will vs. The Stars, and (3) Dante's ideal relationship between the Church and the State. Next time, we will consider the definitions and relations between Natural Love and Rational Love.
36:47
November 29, 2018
Dante's Purgatorio: Cantos 13-15 Pt. 2
In this lecture, we consider (a) the contrasting examples of Charity and Envy in Dante's "Purgatorio" Cantos 13-15; (b) we then consider the description of envy in Ovid's "Metamorphoses," and (c) define what the essence of envy is and why it is a problem/poison which keeps one from one's goals (dreams).
37:26
November 27, 2018
Homer's "Iliad" Bk 20
In this lecture, we discuss: (a) the release of the Olympian Gods back onto the battlefield, (b) the future of Aineias and his combat with Achilleus, and (c) the sad fate of Priam's youngest son, Polydoros.
27:16
November 27, 2018
Side Quests 028: Final Fantasy VII 016
In this episode of Side Quests, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I discuss the Wutai side quest available at the end of Final Fantasy VII Disc 1. We discuss (a) betrayal and loyalty between friends and enemies, (b) the liquid beauty of Wutai and the fusion of Eastern and Western mythologies and aesthetics, and (c) how the thief prefigures the hero and how one's investment/playing strategy evolves/progresses over time, just as one's attitude develops over one's real life.
55:14
November 26, 2018
Night School 019: Song of Myself 017
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider Parts 44-45 of Whitman's "Song of Myself". We specifically consider (a) Whitman's expanded use of time and man's place within time; (b) Whitman's suggesting of directionality or intentionality in history/nature, and (c) how Whitman is an American and an epic poet.
27:48
November 21, 2018
Conversations at The Leaky Cauldron 001: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chs. 1-4
In this first podcast on the 4th volume in the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I discuss (a) the Riddle House and inauspicious beginnings,(b) darkness and the growing potential for darkness in Harry's perspective and choices and (c) we considered the settling of themes and segments to come including: fire, snakes, and riddles and more!
55:20
November 20, 2018
Consilience Conversations 006: Free Will
On this episode of Consilience Conversations, Dr. Matt Roos and I are joined by special guest: Daniel Babcock, from Contemporary Commentaries on Westworld (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKdLUOouUfd5sejP8id34olqtwzbKsD3Y or https://anchor.fm/alexander-schmid9/episodes/Episode-048-Westworld-Season-II-Episode-I-e1cb4e). We discuss (a) contemporary experiments on movement and neural imaging, (b) Christian and Greco-Roman epic and philosophical views on free-will, and (c) the potential legal, moral, religious, and educational impacts these questions could have.
1:06:30
November 20, 2018
Side Quests 027: Final Fantasy VII 015
On this episode of Side Quests, Mr. Wes Schantz and I discuss (a) the Temple of the Ancients; (b) we question what exactly the sort of being or parasite Sephiroth may be, and (c) we conclude by talking about addiction, fantasy, and their relationship in contemporary American culture.
50:21
November 19, 2018
Night School 018: Song of Myself 016
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider Parts 42-43 of Whitman's "Song of Myself". We specifically consider (a) Whitman's musical imagery and its relation to the experience of living; (b) Whitman's identifying with the whole of mankind and the universality of his message, and (c) his apparent statement of Christian faith and acceptance of the mysteries he does not comprehend.
25:57
November 17, 2018
Recurrent Events 001: What is the News?
On this first episode of Recurring Events, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider (a) what is the news, and how should it be covered, (b) what is civic virtue and how can one actually embody it, (c) the potential difference in spirit between public and private institutions, and (d) the neuroscientific basis for political partisanship and in-group bias/conflict.
32:51
November 17, 2018
Homer's "Iliad" Bks 18 and 19
In this episode, we (a) review the shield of Achilleus, (b) observe his reconciliation with Agamemnon, and (c) consider the divine origins of "Delusion" among men.
30:04
November 15, 2018
Dante's Purgatorio: Cantos 13-15 Pt. 1
In this episode, we discuss Dante's "Purgatorio" Cantos 13-15. First, (a) we review the proud and representations of art, (b) we consider the essence of envy and how love expiates it, and (c) we conclude with the disembodied representations of love which Dante hears on Terrace 2.
31:19
November 15, 2018
Night School 017: Song of Myself 015
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider Parts 40-41 of Whitman's "Song of Myself". We specifically consider (a) Whitman's view of America and his own epic experience; (b) Whitman's use of epic conventions and the meaning of Sleep, and (c) to what extent is a subjective consciousness an expression of an embodied idea? And to what extent is that what America is?
33:09
November 15, 2018
Potter's Pockets 021: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chs. 19-22
In this special Halloween edition of Potter's Pockets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I discuss (a) the theme of time and re-iteration, (b) the viability of Sirius as a father figure vs. Mercurial figure, and (c) we considered the increasing depth, complexity, and darkness of the story to come!
58:07
November 14, 2018
Night School 016: Song of Myself 014
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider Parts 37-39 of Whitman's "Song of Myself". We specifically consider (a) Whitman's use of Christian and naturalistic imagery to convey the universality of human experience; (b) Whitman's epic use of apostrophe and suffering as bond of human experience, and (c) is time best conceptualized as linear or circular?
33:48
November 13, 2018
Side Quests 026: Final Fantasy VII 014
On this episode of Side Quests, Mr. Wes Schantz and I discuss (a) the epoch-making "date" scene at the Golden Saucer; (b) we then discuss the significance of Cait Sith's betrayal, and (c) differing approaches to playing a video game, and how the game, like life, allows for this.
52:44
November 12, 2018
Night School 015: Song of Myself Pt. 13
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider Parts 34-36 of Whitman's "Song of Myself". We specifically consider (a) the juxtaposition of scenes of war with their functions in the poem, (b) the use of epic conventions within Whitman's continued "universalism of human experience", and (c) how a human is a collection of many stories, not only the heroic, and so is the epic.
42:54
November 10, 2018
Night School 014: Song of Myself Pt. 12
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider Part 33 of Whitman's "Song of Myself". We specifically consider (a) the purpose of the length of the part and its epic correlates, (b) the biblical and naturalistic and mundane imagery in the part, and (c) the purpose of the poet and the articulation of shared human experience and its relation to communion/digestion imagery.
47:04
November 10, 2018
Consilience Conversations 005: Habits of Excellence
In this conversation with Dr. Matt Roos, we discuss (a) the idea that words can do violence, (b) the necessity to expose one's self to danger to become antifragile, and (c) to what extent can one develop a habit of excellence?
40:57
November 9, 2018
Homer's "Iliad" Bks 17 and 18 Pt. 1
In this episode, (a) the errors of Hektor are compounded, (b) the workshop of Hephaistos is described, and (c) the shield of Achilleus is explained and analyzed.
30:27
November 8, 2018
Dante's Purgatorio: Cantos 10-12
In this episode, Dante's "Purgatorio" Cantos 10-12 are discussed. Specifically, (a) the three steps to Purgatory, (b) the seven "P's", and (c) the function of art amongst the Proud are considered!
30:58
November 8, 2018
Night School 013: Song of Myself Pt. 11
In this edition of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" parts 31-32. We specifically think through (a) Whitman's versatility and command of style, (b) the range of his poetic ambition and range of his naturalistic experience and expression, and (c) a consideration of what mastery really is for Whitman as a poet.
28:50
November 7, 2018
Homer's "Iliad" Bk 16 Pt. 2
In this episode, we discuss (a) the Fall of Patroklos, (b) the fight over his corpse, and (c) Patroklos' prophecy for the future.
21:39
November 6, 2018
Dante's Purgatorio: Cantos 7-9
In this episode, we discuss (a) Sordello and prayer, (b) the drama of the Angels and the Serpent, and (c) the dream of Ganymede and Jupiter.
32:38
November 6, 2018
Night School 012: Song of Myself Pt. 10
In this edition of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" parts 28-30. We specifically think through (a) Whitman's first showing of vulnerability and his confrontation with his own ethical/poetical limits, (b) the connection between a "golden age" and the world of culture produced and maintained by the articulated word, and (c) a return to his universalistic imagery.
37:43
November 6, 2018
Side Quests 025: Final Fantasy VII 013
On this episode of Side Quests, Mr. Wes Schantz and I discuss (a) the Rocket Launch Area and the new party member Cid; (b) we then discuss the tilted, failed, and rusted rocket as a symbol for a failed ideal which no longer serves one, and (c) how the romantic and competitive aspects of this game, and perhaps all, naturally interact, reinforce each other, and serve to create a memorable experience for the subject.
54:53
November 5, 2018
Night School 011: Song of Myself Pt. 9
In this edition of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" parts 25-27. We specifically think through (a) Whitman's questioning whether he is ready to attempt a poetic "magnum opus", (b) the connection between a poem, music, and the movements of the heavens, and (c) will Whitman take a stand for something beyond universality of experience/liberality of expression?
34:41
November 3, 2018
Night School 010: Song of Myself Pt. 8
In this morning edition of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" parts 23 and 24. We specifically think through (a) the contrast between poetic expression and scholarly knowledge, (b) the divinity of human subjective experience, and (c) Whitman's engaging with Dante and the epic tradition.
25:44
November 3, 2018
Night School 009: Song of Myself Pt. 7
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider parts 20-22 of Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself." We then specifically think through (a) Whitman's varied claims to both individuality and universality and their interplay, (b) his use of feminine figures of chthonic deitiies (Night, Earth), and (c) how he as a poet is responsible for representing all without judgment, and all thus as worthy of wonder as a creation of some abstract or embodied god.
42:21
November 3, 2018
Side Quests 024: Final Fantasy VII 012
On this episode of Side Quests, Mr. Wes Schantz and I discuss (a) the end of the Shinra mansion, Vince, and the ghostly enemies there, (b) the path and relationship of Sephiroth to you, Jenova, and Lucrecia, and (c) how the game rewards the Odyssean over the Achillean elements in one's character or style of play.
42:35
November 2, 2018
Potter's Pockets 020: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chs. 16-18
In this special Halloween edition of Potter's Pockets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I discuss (a) the Expelliarmus charm and the changing of one's perspective, (b) the spooky and the revealing element of the masks people wear, and (c) we considered the proper approach to conversation and the search for truth, and its most unlikely sources!
1:05:34
November 1, 2018
Night School 008: Song of Myself Pt. 6
In this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I discuss Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself," parts 17-19. We discuss (a) the poetic act and poet himself, (b) originality and ingenuity in poetry, and (c) the meaning of life being tethered to being-itself, and its self-reflection. And how articulation, poetry, is a specifically human, and thus glorious example of the manifestation of a human's being.
31:17
October 31, 2018
Consilience Conversations 004: Rewards and Habits
In this episode of Consilience Conversations, Dr. Matt Roos and I discuss (a) reward and pleasure, their differences, and how the neurotransmitter dopamine mediates the former; (b) the relationship between Dante's "Purgatorio", habit formation, and how the brain/body adapts to the world by developing skill, and (c) we considered one's capacity to use executive functioning to attend to and alter formed habits of action or thought developed during one's childhood past when one's brain (prefrontal cortex) was less mature.
42:08
October 26, 2018
Potter's Pockets 019: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chs. 14-15
In this episode of Potter's Pockets, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I discuss "Snape's Grudge," and "The Quidditch Final". We start with (a) a consideration of psychological types might see "the snitch" or the story differently, and then transition to (b) a consideration of Harry and Snape's run in with each other, and conclude with (c) a light and dark perspective on Harry and his victory at the Quidditch Final. Tune in!
58:21
October 25, 2018
Homer's "Iliad" Bk XVI Pt. 1
In this episode, we discuss (a) the consequences of Hera's subterfuge (Bks. 14-15), (b) the release of Patroklos and the Myrmidons into battle!; And we conclude with (c) The fall of the noble Sarpedon.
37:38
October 25, 2018
Dante's Purgatorio: Cantos 4-6
In this episode we discuss (a) Manfred (Canto 3) and those excommunicated, (b) Belacqua and the late-repentants, and (c) the ideal relationship between teacher and student.
37:41
October 24, 2018
Dante's Purgatorio: Cantos 1-3
In this lecture on Dante's "Purgatorio", I consider (1) Cato of Utica and his comments on putting the past behind one, (2) the cardinal virtues, their meaning, and (3) the connections between secular and sacred institutions.
32:08
October 24, 2018
Side Quests 023: Final Fantasy VII 011
*I mistakenly called this Side Quests 022: Final Fantasy VII 012! In this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I dig into Cloud's past in the town of Nibel. Once Cloud's home, this strange and eerie town seems to hold many dark secrets, culminating in a revelatory boss fight. We consider (a) the positive effects of re-integrating past (negative) experiences, (b) a Jungian approach to the re-integration of past traumas, and (c) how side-quests make you stronger and what the deepest diversity and unity between people can be.
55:25
October 23, 2018
Night School 008: Song of Myself Pt. 5
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I discuss parts 14-16. We consider (a) the poet as a bridge between nature and human nature, (b) the vast reaches of human experience and that which goes beyond it, and (c) what the diversity of the individual could mean.
40:23
October 22, 2018
Potter's Pockets 018: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chs. 11-13
In this episode of Potter's Pockets, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I consider: (1) "The Firebolt" and Hermione's brave but treacherous decision, (2) "The Patronus" and the process of learning and ideal student-teacher relationship, and (3) "Gryffindor vs. Ravenclaw" and Cho Chang's unique Seeking strategy.
1:00:35
October 18, 2018
Night School 007: Song of Myself Pt. 4
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider parts 11-13 of "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman. Specifically, we consider: (1) the Greco-Roman mythological imagery in parallel parts (11-12); (2) nature imagery vs. "sneaky" Christian imagery, and (3) is the harnessing of emotion by means of language an apex goal of the poetic art? Basic Motivational Systems as laid out by Jaak Panksepp: 1) SEEKING (anticipation, desire) 2) RAGE (frustration, body surface irritation, restraint, indignation) 3) FEAR (pain, threat, foreboding) 4) PANIC/LOSS (separation distress, social loss, grief, loneliness) 5) PLAY (rough-and tumble carefree play, joy) 6) MATING (copulation—who and when) 7) CARE (maternal nurturance) (http://mybrainnotes.com/fear-rage-panic.html)
35:07
October 17, 2018
Side Quests 022: Final Fantasy VII 010
In this episode of Side Quests, Mr. Wes Schantz and I discuss (a) Cosmo Canyon and the unity of opposites, (b) Bugenhagen and the heroic trip to the underworld, (c) the climb out of the Inferno and Plato's Cave and reintegration of the self and into society.
51:02
October 15, 2018
Consilience Conversations 003: Us vs. Them Thinking
In this episode of Consilience Conversations, Dr. Matt Roos and I consider (a) Chapter 3 of Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff's "The Coddling of the American Mind," "Us vs. Them". We then consider (b) the Stanley Milgram experiments as well as the Robbers Cave ones, (c) make a classical connection to "Us vs. Them" thinking in Homer's "Iliad", and (d) consider the neuroscientific/psychological roots of Identity Politics.
44:44
October 12, 2018
Night School 006: Song of Myself Pt. 3
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I discuss "Song of Myself" parts 8-10. We consider (a) the ethereal aspect of the potentially divine narrator, (b) the contrasts between ways of being, the city and country, and (c) conclude with an episodic look at a free America just as much an idea as a reality during Whitman's time.
29:53
October 10, 2018
Potter's Pockets 017: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chs. 9-10
In this episode of Potter's Pockets, Ms. Sarah Miller​ and Mr. Wes Schantz​ and I discuss (a) the mounting darkness and injustices in Harry's life; (b) parallels between Snape and Lupin, and what a werewolf could be; (c) and what could the symbol of the Marauder's Map mean?
51:01
October 9, 2018
Night School 005: Song of Myself (1892) Pt. 2
In this episode of Night School, Mr. Wes Schantz and I tackles parts 5-7 in Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself". We consider (a) how and when to use a dictionary and differing approaches to reading poetry; (b) what the relationship between man and the divine, and being and divinity in the poem; and (c) what the fundamental relationship between "being" and "object/thing" is.
48:39
October 9, 2018
Side Quests 021: Final Fantasy VII 009
In this episode of Side Quests, Mr. Wes Schantz and I discuss (a) the poverty of Corel and opulence of The Gold Saucer; (b) the underworld/hell motif in the "desert prison" beneath the Gold Saucer; and (c) how the development of the personality is mirrored in the development of one's character in an RPG video game.
1:07:16
October 8, 2018
Night School 004: Song of Myself (1892 version) Pt. 1
In this dialog from Night School, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I celebrate and analyze the American Poet Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself". We consider (a) his connection to the epic tradition of Virgil, Dante, and Homer, his (b) commitment to naturalism but also religious language, and (c) the tension between his "being-in-the-now" and his awareness of his being.
39:14
October 6, 2018
Potter's Pockets 016: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chs. 6-8
In this episode of Potter's Pockets, Ms. Sarah Miller and Mr. Wesley Schantz and I discuss (a) our first Divination class, and our impressions of the oft misunderstood art of reading the signs, (b) the purpose of education: practical or theoretical (/useless), and (c) what shape would the boggart take for us, and how would we ridicule it?!
1:04:44
October 4, 2018
Night School 003: The Raven Pt. 3
In this final dialog on Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven", Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider the final twelve stanzas, two at a time. We consider the emerging (a) Christian imagery, (b) the language of unconscious thought, and the power of affective language, and (c) we conclude with a question about what the narrator has learned, and what have we?
50:29
October 3, 2018
Night School 002: The Raven Pt. 2
In this episode, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I give a close reading (stanza by stanza) of the first six stanzas of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven." A strong focus is given to (a) the words used and tone taken by the narrator, (b) clues to the narrative structure of consciousness which Poe gives us, and (c) multiple interpretations on who or what Lenore and the narrator could be.
39:02
October 2, 2018
Side Quests 020: Final Fantasy VII 008
In this episode of Side Quests, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I consider (a) the idiosyncrasies of each character and how a hero must differentiate and identify with/from his culture all at once; (b) we considered the figures of the feminine and masculine in the most recent boss battle with Jenova/Sephiroth, and (c) we concluded with an analysis of the archetypal imagery behind Summons materia.
57:58
October 1, 2018
Night School 001: The Raven
In this first segment, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I enter the professional development arena. Inside we offer (a) a tandem-reading of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven," (b) a robust analysis of the mythological and psychological symbolism within the poem, and (c) an honest offer of analysis and guidance through this poem for teachers young and old.
40:17
September 30, 2018
Consilience Conversations 002: Cognitive Distortions
In this episode of Consilience Conversations, Dr. Matt Roos and I discuss (a) Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff's "The Coddling of the American Mind," and their list of cognitive distortions; (b) we consider concept creep, the figure of Medusa in mythology, and how both relate to trauma as well. We conclude with (c) a discussion of how much more sophisticated our general educational, social, and political discourse can be based on current data in science as well.
1:01:00
September 27, 2018
Potter's Pockets 015: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chs. 4-5
In this episode of Potter's Pockets, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I delve into Chs. 4, "The Leaky Cauldron," and 5, "The Dementor." We discuss (a) the transforming social and individual dynamics between Harry, Ron, and Hermione; (b) the necessity of facing one's own darkness during one's education, and (c) the value and use of communal dining to the expansion and stabilizing of a community/society.
58:03
September 26, 2018
Side Quests 019: Final Fantasy VII 007
In this episode of Side-Quests, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I (a) talk about the necessity of a shared "bounded space" to develop a meaningful and fun game. We then consider (b) the path of the hero and relate that to the symbolic nature of materia, and (c) finally we consider the changing and blending nature of Eastern and Western technologies, stories, and thus mythologies (manifestations of being in embodied form).
1:09:52
September 24, 2018
Potter's Pockets 014: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chs. 1-3
In this new episode, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I continue into the third volume of the Harry Potter collection: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban! Today, we consider (1) new beginnings, owls, and birthdays, (2) differing family dynamics, types of families, and the goals of families, and (3) how is Harry still acting similarly to Lord Voldemort? What is the Knight Bus? And is there more diversity produced within in-groups or between them?
1:05:53
September 18, 2018
Side Quests 018: Final Fantasy VII 007
In this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider: (a) The Midgar Zolom (serpent), and its Christian/Anti-Christian mythological significance; (b) the image of the "crucified dragon," and (c) symbols of transformation (Zolom, Chocobo, Condor, Sea-Serpent) manifesting along Cloud's new path.
44:49
September 17, 2018
Consilience Conversations 001: Confirmation Bias
In this new segment, Neuroscientist Dr. Matt Roos and I discuss the newly emerging relationship between hard science and the humanities, the relationship between story, emotion, and the ancient brain, and the evolutionary/neuroscientific reasons for the existence of the confirmation bias.
47:11
September 12, 2018
Potter's Pockets 013: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Chs. 15-18
In this episode of Potter's Pockets, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wesley Schantz, and I follow Harry Potter into the Chamber of Secrets. We consider (a) the meaning of talking monsters, (b) the differences between the path of the hero and villain, and (c) conclude with a consideration of the fundamental differences between Gryffindor and Slytherin, Abel and Cain, and Christ and Lucifer!
1:15:29
September 11, 2018
Side Quests 017: Final Fantasy VII 006
In this episode of Side-Quests, we lose a party member, but strive forward. (a) We talk about the reminiscences of Cloud in Kalm, (b) the unreal power of Sephiroth, and (c) the power of anomaly to change the course of one's existence and role in the world, fictional or otherwise.
1:02:58
September 10, 2018
Side Quests 016: Final Fantasy VII 005
In this episode, Mr. Vincent Reese, Mr. Wes Schantz and I talk about the ascent up the Shinra building; the appearance of Sephiroth, and the escape from Midgar. Broad connections between Gnosticism, Buddhism, and Christianity abound!
1:02:47
September 3, 2018
Episode 100: Contemplative Conversation 018
In this special episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I firmly mark our presence in the podcast scene by thrusting a metaphorical (metaphysical?) stake into the ground. We (a) declare our current goals, and how they have been shaped over our time collaborating so far; (b) we consider our current projects and other collaborators and their projects, (c) and just what it is that the true teacher seeks to convey to his students. (d) We also announce a new project analyzing selected American poetry as professional development for teachers.
1:01:37
September 1, 2018
Potter's Pockets 012: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets chs. 12-14
In this episode of Potter's Pockets, Ms. Sarah Miller and Mr. Wes Schantz and I talk (a) about the roots of "Writing on the Wall" in the Book of Daniel; (b) we spin a strange theory about Moaning Myrtle and Tom Riddle's potential connection, and (c) we consider what it means to get "sucked in" to a book!
55:56
August 27, 2018
Side Quests 015: Final Fantasy VII pt. 4
In this installment, Mr. Vince Reese, Mr. Wes Schantz and I talk up to the siege on Shinra HQ. We consider (a) each other's approach to battle strategy, (b) Aeris as a connecting force/superordinate goal shares between party members (now), and (c) how one has a limited time to realize one's self and dreams. Then Vince drops a bombshell (grenade) at the end.
50:30
August 27, 2018
Contemplative Conversations 017: Maps of Meaning Pt. 1
In this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I tackle Dr. Jordan B. Peterson's "Maps of Meaning." We consider (a) the significance of his mythological/archetypal project, (b) the significance of the lie, and (c) the necessity of the use of the logos and alignment with the path of the hero in life. I also lose my train of thought twice.
42:30
August 25, 2018
Potter's Pockets 011: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets chs. 9-11.
In this episode with Ms. Sarah Miller and Mr. Wesley Schantz, we consider (a) what is the real magic in these stories we weave? (b) is Gilderoy Lockhart and this book itself an embodiment of a "sophomoric" attitude all must pass through, and (c) is a changing world both among magic folks and in our own reality reflected in the pages of Harry Potter?
1:27:21
August 20, 2018
Side Quests 014: Final Fantasy VII pt. 3
In this episode of Side Quests, the enigmatic Vincent Reese, the studied Wesley Schantz and I explore Final Fantasy VII's (a) House of Aeris, and (b) Wall Market. We contend with (a) whether Aeris is a spirit in a dream, like Puck in a "Midsummer's Night Dream," or an archetype of the unconscious, the anima; (b) we consider traditional and contemporary views on gender and how this relates to Cloud's cross-dressing, and (c) we consider the meaning of life as manifested in play.
1:06:58
August 18, 2018
Side Quests 013: Final Fantasy VII pt. 2
In this episode, Mr. Vincent Reese, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I discuss (a) the second reactor and boss battle, (b) the nuances of ethics in gameplay choices and how they relate to our own lives, and (c) how a game or story read or played as a youth can have an orienting effect on a wayward (or on-target) adult.
1:21:44
August 12, 2018
Potter's Pockets 010: "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" chs. 6-8
In this episode of Potter's Pockets, Ms. Sarah Miller and Mr. Wes Schantz and I talk about "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" chs. 6-8. We consider (a) the relationship between hate-speech and changing power dynamics in the wizarding world, (b) the changing social dynamics that accompany the "sophomore" year, and (c) what is the treasure to be retrieved from the underworld of Sir Nick's Deathday party?
58:41
August 11, 2018
The Great Men Podcast 003: The Egyptian Kings, Cambyses, and Darius
In this episode, Mr. Oscar Ortiz and I discuss: (1) what is the strongest foundation of leadership, (2) what is the relationship between one's sacred and secular duty (what is the sacred?), and (3) how does one's role as a leader relate to the role of a father?
59:08
August 9, 2018
Side Quests 012: Final Fantasy VII pt. 1
In this episode of Side Quests (12 not 16 as I said!), we introduce Mr. Vincent Reese alongside Square's epic masterpiece: Final Fantasy VII. Is Shinra an oppressive and tyrannical regime? Why does Cloud use a sword and Barret a gun? Does the music bring you back to childhood? Is Heraclitus right that "one cannot step in the same river twice"?
1:08:42
August 8, 2018
Side Quests 011: The Wind Rises
In this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I discuss Hayao Miyazaki's final film, "The Wind Rises." Specifically we consider (a) the place of the artist as hero in culture, (b) the line between beauty and tragedy in limited and bounded existence, and (c) ask: what are the final lessons Hayao Miyazaki leaves us with?
1:00:45
August 5, 2018
Potter's Pockets 009: "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" Chs. 4-6
In this episode, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I talk about (a) seeds and parallels hidden within the text, (b) adolescence and the foibles of sophomore year, and (c) the themes of perception, altered perception, and misperception in this text and the series as a whole.
1:03:16
August 3, 2018
Contemplative Conversation 016: Maps, Marriage, and (Post)Modernism
In this episode, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I discuss: (a) the symbolism of maps, (b) marriage, and (c) the nature of the postmodern ideology and recent scientific research its proponents purportedly find objectionable.
50:43
August 3, 2018
Episode 082: Westworld Season 2 Episode 010
In this episode, Mr. Babcock and I talk about the season finale of Westworld, "The Passenger." In it we consider, (a) Cain vs. Abel as modes of consciousness, (b) what the birth of consciousness is, and (c) what the ultimate goal (telos) of life for a conscious being is. And then we wrap up and get ready for more.
56:14
July 25, 2018
Potter's Pockets 008: "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," Chs. 1-3
In this episode, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz and I talked about (1) Tolkien's idea of "eucatastrophe" and how this relates to Harry Potter, (2) the mythopoetic/cosmopoetic implications of high fantasy vs. Epic literature, and (3) what the appropriate relation between story and character is. And House-Elves!
1:25:37
July 23, 2018
The Great Men Podcast 002: Cyrus II
In this discussion with Mr. Oscar Ortiz on the life and deeds of Cyrus II in Book I of Herodotus' "Histories." We consider (1) the psychology of Cyrus as half Medes and half Persian, (2) the difference between builders and liberators as kings, and (3) the necessity of paying attention and using one's intellect as a leader.
58:02
July 18, 2018
Side-Quests 010: Nausicaä and the Valley of the Wind
In this episode of Side Quests, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I talk about 'Nausicaa Of the Valley of the Wind." We consider (1) the Hermetic nature of Lord Yuba, (2) the significance of a feminine hero, and (3) what the appropriate connection between man and nature (and man and his own nature) is.
1:13:52
July 16, 2018
Potter's Pockets 007: Conclusion to "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"
In this episode, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wesley Schantz, and I discuss the final two chapters of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." We get into (1) the difference between good and evil and truth and lies; (2) immortality vs. Self-sacrifice, and (3) Luciferian and Divine Symbolism shared between Dumbledore and Voldemort.
1:16:58
July 16, 2018
Potter's Pockets 006: "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" Chs. 14-15
In this conversation, we discuss (a) the meaning of the ever-enlarging Norbert the Dragon, (b) the meaning of centaurs and their epic predecessors, and (c) how good and evil play differing games with differing rules in the same space.
1:06:03
July 11, 2018
Potter's Pockets 005: "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" Chs. 11-13
In this episode with Ms. Sarah Miller and Mr. Wes Schantz, we discuss (1) the Mirror of Erised, (2) Dark magic and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone, and (3) the nature of desire and suffering and Dumbledore's overarching (underlying?) game.
1:11:02
July 9, 2018
The Great Men Podcast 001: Croesus
In this inaugural episode of "The Great Men Podcast," Mr. Oscar Ortiz and I talk about Croesus, made famous by Herodotus and Pausanius, and his ultimately ruinous attempts to outwit/pay-off fate.
1:22:30
July 6, 2018
Potter's Pockets 004: "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" Chapters 8-10
In this episode, Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I talk about chapters 8-10 of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," and specifically engage with (1) breaking rules and meta-rules as a child, (2) the foundations of friendship and good education, and (c) the proper relationship between justice and mercy as an educator (plus what sorts of wands we think we would have)!
1:11:23
July 4, 2018
Side Quests 009: Ponyo
In this episode, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I discuss (a) the differences between how children and adults see the world (Maslow's B and D perceptions), (b) what the animistic view of the world represents about children and humans, and (c) Ponyo's prescription for saving the world.
1:02:29
July 2, 2018
Potter's Passages 003: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Chs. 6-7
In this episode, Ms. Sarah Miller and Mr. Wes Schantz talk about (1) The Hogwarts Express, (2) Initiation Rituals at Hogwarts, and (3) what the meaning of the four houses is.
1:12:03
June 30, 2018
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 006: Ch. 7
In this episode, I consider Ch. 7, "The Sorting Hat," and talk about (a) the Sorting Hat itself and what it symbolizes, (b) the four Houses, and (c) Harry's dream.
34:05
June 29, 2018
Episode 070: Oscar Ortiz (Contemplative Conversation 15)
In today's Contemplative Conversation, we have Mr. Oscar Ortiz to talk about (1) leadership, (2) the connection between great books and free speech, and (3) the weight of a lost verbal expression.
49:43
June 28, 2018
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 005: Ch. 6
In third episode, I consider Ch. 6, "The Journey From Platform Nine and Three-Quarters."
35:31
June 27, 2018
Harry Potter Talk 002: Chs. 4-5
In this episode Ms. Sarah Miller, Mr. Wes Schantz, and I talk about (1) the limbic/in-between nature of Hagrid, (2) the nature of wands, and (3) what really counts in a Wizard at Hogwarts.
1:14:10
June 23, 2018
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 004: Chs. 4-5
In this episode, I discuss chapters four, "The Keeper of the Keys," and five, "Diagon Alley," from "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."
56:01
June 23, 2018
Episode 066: Harry Potter Talk
In this episode with Ms. Sarah Miller and Mr. Wesley Schantz (Bookwarm Games), we talk about (1) the structure of fantasy worlds, (2) the notion of fantasy as an escape, and (3) what first brought us all through the threshold on the cover of the first Harry Potter book.
1:16:46
June 20, 2018
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Lecture 003, Chs. 2 and 3
In this lecture, we consider (1) Harry's dawning adolescence and magical abilities, (2) how creativity fights back against tyranny, and (3) the inevitable catastrophe of ignoring problems!
19:47
June 20, 2018
Episode 064: Westworld Season 2 Episode 009
In this episode of Contemporary Conversations, we consider Westworld S2 Episode 009: Vanishing Point with a for-now vanished Mr. Babcock. We consider (1) what is a vanishing point? (2) whether the Man in Black is confirmed as a Miltonian/Dantian Lucifer figure, and (3) what is the purpose of "The Forge."
30:05
June 19, 2018
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Lecture 002, Chapter 1 "The Boy Who Lived"
In this episode, we consider (1) connections between Harry Potter and Virgil's Golden Age, (2) the differences between muggles and magical-folks, (c) the divine origin of Harry Potter.
31:51
June 18, 2018
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Lecture 001, Cover
In this first lecture on "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," I consider the symbolic nature of the cover of the American version of the text: (1) the liminal aspects of Harry passing through a gate, (2) what is the golden snitch? (3) And what is the meaning of the three-headed dog (Fluffy/Cerberus) and the unicorn?
18:04
June 17, 2018
Episode 061: Castle in the Sky
In this episode of Side-Quests (008), Mr. Wrs Schantz and I consider Hayao Miyazaki's "Castle in the Sky."
54:34
June 14, 2018
Episode 060: Westworld Season 2 Episode 008
In this episode, Mr. Babcock and I review (a) Akecheta's journey to consciousness, (b) the place of suffering and dissonance in coming to consciousness, and (c) what is individual and general in the path of the hero.
59:00
June 13, 2018
Episode 059: Contemplative Conversation 014
In this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I explore (a) the purpose of games and the LUDI MAGISTER, (b) what true diversity and the purpose of education is, and (c) the function of two types of thinking (synthetic/creative and analytical/logical/dry).
47:24
June 13, 2018
Episode 058: Contemplative Conversations 013
In this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I cover a wide field roaming about (1) home and its relation to the idea of heaven/paradise, (2) activities that explore the home in the home, and (3) what returning home is. We also cut out 2-3 times, so if the conversation abruptly shifts, that is LIKELY why.
40:04
June 10, 2018
Episode 057: Westworld S2 Episode 007
In this episode, we discuss the following themes in Westworld S2 Episode 7, "Les Ecorches": (a) moral responsibility and consciousness, (2) different paths of being once conscious, and (c) the nature of fantasy and science fiction stories and why they are meaningful to us.
36:30
June 4, 2018
Episode 056: Westworld S2 Episode 6
In this episode, Mr. Babcock and I discuss the role of (1) self-determined fate, (2) the role of suffering in attaining consciousness, and (3) made connections between the Man in Black and Milton's Satan.
57:17
May 30, 2018
Episode 055: Side Quests 007
In this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I talk about Hayao Miyazaki's "Howl's Moving Castle." We consider (a) Howl and Sophie as images of the animus and anima from Jungian psychology, (b) the process of personal transformation responsibility requires, and (c) how peace within the home parallels peace with external enemies.
59:23
May 29, 2018
Episode 054: Westworld S2 Episode 5, "Akane No Mai"
In this episode, Mr. Daniel Babcock and I consider Westworld Season 2 Episode 5, "Akane No Mai." We encounter parallels between (a) Westworld and Shogun World, (b) Dolores' totalitarianism and Maeve's libertarianism, and (c) consider the relationship between archetypes, suffering, and the birth of consciousness.
54:59
May 22, 2018
Episode 053: Westworld S2 Episode 4
In this episode, Mr. Daniel Babcock and I consider Westworld's Season 2 Episode 4, "The Riddle of the Sphinx." In it we consider (1) The Luciferian role of James Delos, (2) The growing character of The Man in Black, and (3) the way by which a God-like figure dissipates/embodies himself through his conscious creations.
1:02:56
May 15, 2018
Episode 052: Contemplative Conversations 012: Mythological Trees
In this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz and I consider (1) Tree symbolism in mythology (Odin, Christ, Odysseus' bed), (2) the necessity of communication between humans, and (3) the natural ways by which we process and share information.
51:30
May 12, 2018
Episode 051: Westworld S2 Episode 3
In this conversation with Mr. Babcock, we discuss (1) a new world (environment), (2) make broad connections to King Lear, and (3) compare Hell to Camp Forlorn Hope!
50:17
May 8, 2018
Episode 050: Westworld S2 Episode 2
In this discussion with Mr. Babcock, we talk Westworld Season 2 Episode 2.
41:46
May 1, 2018
Episode 049: Contemplative Conversations 011
In this conversation, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I discuss Fyodor Dostoevsky's "Notes from Underground."
1:17:41
April 28, 2018
Episode 048: Westworld Season II Episode I
In this episode, we welcome new guest Mr. Daniel Babcock on our new weekly series: "Contemporary Commentaries." (Spoiler Alert): we talk about (1) the new chaotic situation in Westworld, (2) the coming to consciousness of the Hosts (and who has and who hasn't), and (3) we compare the Season I Finale the great reaping of Revelation or Flood from Noah's time in the Old Testament!
47:14
April 24, 2018
Episode 047: Contemplative Conversations 010
In this episode with Mr. Wesley Schantz, we talk about (a) Poseidon's war of words with Zeus, (b) the function of the Furies, and (c) the relationship between marriage and trust and a flourishing society.
1:06:27
April 21, 2018
Episode 046: Homer's "Iliad" Bk XV Pt 1
In this episode (1) Zeus wakes up and is FURIOUS; (2) Zeus and Hera "civilly" resolve their differences, and (3) Zeus threatens Poseidon with physical combat.
38:13
April 19, 2018
Episode 045: Homer's "Iliad" Bk XIV
In this episode, we discuss the (1) deception of Hera, (2) the inscrutability of nature, and (3) how the unknown + the feminine =archetype of the seductress/witch.
34:16
April 16, 2018
Episode 044: Homer's "Iliad" Bk XIII Pt 3
In this episode, we consider (1) the brutal spear of Meriones, (2) the accusations and actions of Menelaos, and (3) the bravery of the Aiantes.
27:23
April 2, 2018
Episode 002: Educational?
In this brief podcast we examine whether this will be an academic or entertaining podcast.
04:00
March 31, 2018
Episode 001: Introduction
Introduction to the Alexander Schmid podcast. A run-down of literature and future topics of discussion will be covered.
04:15
March 31, 2018
Episode 043: Homer's "Iliad" Bk XIII Pt 2
In this episode, I consider (1) anger and sorrow as motivational forces on warriors, (2) differences between Idomeneus and Aineias, and (3) connections between Aineias and Dante and Christ (Easter-special).
43:36
March 30, 2018
Episode 042: Homer's "Iliad" Bk XIII Pt 1
In this episode, we discuss (1) the disobedience of Poseidon and his relation to Zeus, (2) the dualities and relationships of Book 13, and (3) the full depth of man's recklessness examined in the wake of conflict amidst the gods themselves.
43:15
March 27, 2018
Episode 041: Contemplative Conversations 009
In this episode, Mr. Wes Schantz of Bookwarm Games joins me to discuss: (1) morning creative rituals and setting the pattern of one's life during one's day; (2) Dante's notion of the Trinity and its connection to the drama of Easter, and (3) the necessity of seeing one's own inner evil before vilifying others, as portrayed in "Oedipus the King."
56:26
March 25, 2018
Episode 040: On the Origin of Language
In this episode, Wes Schantz asks me to give some details about the origins and evolution of language as transmitted through story and across culture. I also expound on the connections between the development of individual consciousness and the personal and cultural acquisition of the sophisticated tool of language.
29:34
March 18, 2018
Episode 039: Iliad Bk XII Pt 2
In this episode, we consider (a) the exploits of Sarpedon and the Lykians, (b) the defensive heroics of Aias the Greater, and (c) the breaching of the Achaian wall by Hektor.
22:24
March 11, 2018
Episode 038: Iliad Bk XII Pt 1
In Episode 038, we consider Homer's "Iliad" Bk XII. We observe (a) the future destruction of the Achaian wall, (b) the valiant efforts of the Lapithai, and (c) trouble between Hektor and his advisor Poulydamas.
32:41
March 4, 2018
Episode 037: Iliad Bk XI Pt 2
In Episode 037, we (a) recapitulate and expand the list of injured Achaian Champions, (b) witness the masterful persuasion/manipulation of Nestor, and (c) observe Patroklos start to make a heart-wrenching and noble decision.
25:10
February 26, 2018
Episode 036: Addendum to 035
In this addendum, I respond to six questions from a call-in by Major Radio!
12:26
February 25, 2018
Episode 035: Iliad Bk XI Pt 1
In Episode 035, we can consider Homer's "Iliad" Bk XI. We observe (a) the Achaians bravely fight in the face of failure, (b) Agamemnon's aristeia, and (c) Hektor's response.
32:07
February 25, 2018
Episode 034: Iliad Bk X
In Episode 034, we look in to Homer's "Iliad" Bk X. We consider (a) Agamemnon's stress, (b) Achaian and Trojan espionage strategies, (c) and we meet and say farewell to Dolon!
37:37
February 22, 2018
Episode 033: Conversation VI
In Episode 033, we consider the recent Florida school shooting through the context of Dante's "Inferno" with Mr. Wesley Schantz.
1:09:21
February 20, 2018
Episode 032: Iliad Bk IX Pt 2
In Episode 032, we consider (a) Achilleus' Luciferian motivations, (b) Phoinix's intelligent and good-hearted stories, and (c) Aias' misunderstanding of Achilleus' situation.
33:01
February 19, 2018
Episode 031: Iliad Bk IX Pt 1
In Episode 031, we observe (a) Agamemnon's moment of weakness, (b) the machinations of Nestor, and (3) the famous embassy to Achilleus.
37:44
February 18, 2018
Episode 030: Conversation V
In Episode 030, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I consider differing patriarchal archetypal images of the father, the place of art in culture, and where a new unifying cultural vision might come from and how it might affect/alleviate mental illness (anxiety and depression).
1:18:50
February 16, 2018
Episode 030: Conversation V
In Episode 030 Mr. Wesley Schantz and I consider differing patriarchal archetypal images of the father, the place of art in culture, and where a new unifying cultural vision might come from and how it might affect/alleviate mental illness (anxiety amd depression).
08:05
February 16, 2018
Episode 029: Conversation IV
In this conversation, Ms. Sarah Miller of Gonzaga Prep. joins me to discuss the importance of values in education, what the value of recognizing poverty is, and the necessity of recognizing life as a drama enacted between good and evil.
56:43
February 15, 2018
Episode 028: Iliad Bk VIII p2
In Episode 028, we consider (a) Teukros' aristeia, (b) Hera and Athene almost getting torched, and (c) Zeus foretelling victory for Troy.
22:02
February 14, 2018
Episode 027: Iliad Bk VIII 1
In this episode, we consider Homer's "Iliad" Bk VIII. We consider (a) Zeus laying down a major proclamation and threat; (b) we consider Diomedes and Odysseus as differing embodiments of Athene, and (c) see Diomedes learn a valuable lesson from Nestor.
29:28
February 13, 2018
Episodes 025/026: Iliad Bk VII
In this episode, we cover Book VII of Hektor's "Iliad". We watch (a) the negotiations of the gods, (b) one-on-one combat between Aias the Greater and Hektor, and (c) the crooked negotiations of the Achaians. We then take a few minutes to analyze the (a) bronze on Aias' shield, (b) Agamemnon's improving leadership, and (c) how betrayal begets dishonesty.
38:40
February 11, 2018
Episode 025: Iliad Bk VII
In this episode, we cover Book VII of Hektor's "Iliad". We watch (a) the negotiations of the gods, (b) one-on-one combat between Aias the Greater and Hektor, and (c) the crooked negotiations of the Achaians.
30:27
February 10, 2018
Episode 024: Conversation III
In this episode, Wes and I consider value systems ancient and modern, the degeneration of modern notions of truth, and the inability of Postmodernists to put their claims into rational arguments.
56:05
February 9, 2018
Episode 023: Iliad Bk VI
In this episode, we observe (a) a cruel moment with Agamemnon, (b) an odd exchange between Diomedes and Glaukos, and (c) Hektor's final trip to Troy (Ilion).
34:32
February 9, 2018
Episode 022: Iliad Bk V Pt 2
In this episode, we racpitulate Pandaros' death, the relationship between Athene and Diomedes, and the gods and men in general. What exactly is the relationship between the men and the gods?
30:25
February 8, 2018
Episode 021: Conversation II
In Episode 021, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I consider broad connections between the Iliad of Homer, the Divine Comedy of Dante, contemporary psychology, and the causes of the Trojan War.
1:08:16
February 3, 2018
Episode 020: Iliad Bk V Pt 1
In Episode 020 we consider the first part of Homer's "Iliad" Bk 5. We consider (a) Diomedes' interaction with Athene: god vision received; (b) the battle between Diomedes and Pandaros/Aineias, and (c) Aphrodite's removal from the battlefield.
22:30
February 2, 2018
Episode 019: Iliad Bk 4 Pt 2
In Episode 019, we discuss Homer's "Iliad" Bk IV Pt 2. We discuss Agamemnon's dressing down of the troops, the comparisons of Achaians army to the Trojans, and an explanation of the differences between Athene and Ares. The battle begins. The heroes get kills.
40:42
February 1, 2018
Episode 016: Conversation
In Episode 016, Mr. Wes Schantz and I discuss an array of topics: Being, Meaning, Purpose, Vocation, Education, and Jordan B. Peterson vs. Postmodernism.
51:27
January 29, 2018
Episode 016: Conversation
In Episode 016, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I cover an array of topics: meaning, purpose, vocation, and Jordan B. Peterson vs. Postmodernism
05:00
January 29, 2018
Episode 018: Iliad Bk IV Pt 1
In this episode we observe Homer's Iliad Book IV and particularly (1) the grim agreement between Zeus and Hera, (2) the tricking of Pandaros, (3) and the shooting of Menelaos and its fallout.
31:10
January 28, 2018
Episode 017: Addenda
In Episode 017, we correct the Adam and Eve interpretation and explain the terms (a) levels of abstraction and (b) differing levels of analysis.
14:59
January 27, 2018
Episode 016: Conversation
In Episode 016, Mr. Wesley Schantz and I cover a wide array of topics: Being, Meaning, Purpose, and Jordan B. Peterson vs. Postmodernism.
05:00
January 27, 2018
Episode 015: Iliad Bk III Pt 3
In this episode, we consider the one-on-one combat between Menelaos and Paris and the marital strife between Paris and Helen.
39:10
January 26, 2018
Episode 014: On Symbols
In Episode 014 friend and listener, Wes Schantz, calls in to ask two major questions: (1) how does a conk shell differ from a staff as a symbol? (2) Is this an analytic or creative endeavor?
14:15
January 25, 2018
Episode 013: Iliad Bk III Pt 2
In this episode, we consider the famous so-called Teichoscopia where Helen first describes the Achaians to King Priam.
22:17
January 25, 2018
Episode 012: Iliad Bk III Pt 1
In Episode 012 we discuss the first 120 lines of Homer's Iliad Book III.
28:56
January 24, 2018
Episode 011: Commentary Bk II
In Episode 011, we consider three major symbols in Homer's Iliad Book II: (1) proper use of speech, (2) the scepter of the king, (3) the sparrow and the snake.
24:28
January 22, 2018
Episode 010: Iliad Book II
In episode 010, I lecture on Homer's Book II: Agamemnon's Evil Dream, Nestor, Agamemnon's failed pump-up speech, Odysseus' fixing the situation, Thersites, and the Catalog of Ships
33:30
January 21, 2018
Episode 009: Iliad Book I Pt 2
In this episode, I account for the second half of the Iliad: Achilleus and Agamemnon argue; Achilleus leaves the war effort; Briseis is taken; Thetis requests of Zeus for Achilleus; Drama in Heaven between Zeus and Hera and Hephaistos mediates.
35:47
January 18, 2018
Episode 008: Intro to Iliad II
In this episode, I discuss the initial conflict which occurs between the two major Achaian champions: Achilleus and Agamemnon.
27:53
January 17, 2018
Episode 007: Intro to Iliad
In Episode 007, we provide an introduction to Homer's Iliad.
17:31
January 15, 2018
Episode 006: Safe Spaces II
In Episode 006 I consider representations of "safe-spaces" in art both ancient and modern and relate the concept of the safe space to the social contract and individual inequality.
09:53
January 14, 2018
Episode 005: Safe Spaces
In this episode I consider the relative value of safe spaces compared to shared spaces.
05:43
January 14, 2018
Episode 004: Self-Expression
In this podcast we consider the danger of failing to talk, argue, and think together with those who think differently.
06:57
January 14, 2018