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I'm a historian and writer. Most of my time these days is spent working on the "New Books Network" (

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I certainly understand. We at the NBN ( have 92 "channels," each with a different subject. Those subjects are focused on distinct academic disciplines, and we think it's important that each discipline be "represented." Freud call this the "neurosis of minor differences." But neurotic or not, that's the way academics roll...

The disciplines of popular culture and popular music are different, and they are generally studied by different people. That said, there is considerable overlap. So we "cross-post" overlapping podcasts from the "home" channel to a "guest channel." This happens a lot on the NBN, as books are often about more than one thing.

Another issue (sorry to go on and on) is that we don't currently have hosts for certain channels, so they get no new posts/interviews. They are essentially "fallow." We cross-post more liberally to these "fallow" channels just to keep them alive.

And, I should add, we are always looking for good hosts. If you're interested, contact me! (

We are also "designed" to throw. We throw like birds fly. Really. Think about it.

Thanks for your good comments. I agree with most of them. It think the think Gat is trying to say--and I agree completely here--is that the propensity to what might be called generic nationalism is not out there but in us. The political preference for people who look and act like "us" has appeared countless times and in countless places independently. Unlike, say Communism, it did not spread from a single place and time. Like the idea of "family," "friend, or "enemy" it is common enough to be a human universal. Of course it appears in various guises and is stronger or weaker at different times. But it is almost always there. That isn't to say it won't go away--it's just not likely to very soon.

The interesting thing, to me, is that the workings that led to the conundrum were not personal. Demjaniuk did not make the situation in which he had to act; he was born into it. So to understand what he did--and whether or to what extent he was "evil" or a "war criminal"--we need to understand that situation, IMHO.

"How was it that this gathered momentum?"

The answer has to do with the persistance of Marxism (in the academy). Marx thought nations were a product of recent history. He said they would disappear. Marxists believed this, but there was a problem: nations weren't disappearing. So instead of facing the fact that nations are ancient and very, very persistant, Marxist began to investigate when they (supposedly) appeared to show that they were temporary. It they were "invented" recently, then maybe they would disappear sometime soon. No surprise that they found what they were looking for--"imagined communities."

And don't forget the part about it not mattering much that academia is liberal because, as it turns out, nobody listens to professors. (Actually, that's my conclusion after reading the book.)

Hi NG,

Thanks for your kind words. We take requests. Alas, the book you suggested was published in 2006, so it's a bit out of our range. If you could suggest something newer, I'll do it (or have it done). Warmest, MP

I ran through a plate glass window when I was about 8. He was the doctor who put me back together.

Thanks, benben. Yes, it's my site in the sense that I'm the founder and editor of the New Books Network (, of which New Books in Philosophy is a part. In my experience, the best way to get NBN podcasts is through an app called Stitcher. Works like a charm (and much better than iTunes...don't get me started).
mpoe  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Meme Weaver
Hi thenewgreen, Will do! MP
mpoe  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Meme Weaver
Hi AM, Thanks for your note, and for asking. All my time these days is taken up with a project called the "New Books Network" ( It's a consortium of author-interview podcasts on specific fields/topics. I'm the editor-in-chief of the network and I host the channel "New Books in History" ( Take a look. You might find something interesting there.
mpoe  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Meme Weaver
The title I suggested was "My Inner Marshall McLuhan," which would have been wry (I have no inner MM). But magazine editors like "clever," so we got "Meme Weaver."

BTW, someone in this thread asked what happened to the spiked book. It will forever remained unpublished. But the theoretical kernel of it germinated into a longer, more detailed, and more ambitious book that was, in fact, published. It's here:

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