My debate with Žižek

It was quite something, the proceedings did not disappoint, here is the YouTube:

I can’t fully access video from this airport location, but I believe the actual debate starts at around 1:06.  After the debate proper, a particular highlight is the four video questions that were taped and sent in from humanities academics.

The Holberg people put on a great event.


Being far too lazy to search, anyone know what a Holberg Debate is, or why anyone should care if someone is still a communist? Whether Putin is a still communist or not has nothing to do with his actions today. At least compared to his KGB background that is, which seems quite relevant when it comes to ordering assassinations and approving masterful disinformation campaigns.

A 504 message seems to appear quite frequently - this blog is not suffering from being slashdotted, is it?

For the idiots: yes that’s anonymous/anonymouse.

The comment above is Thiago, and this thread should be deleted.

No, it is not, and, no, it shouldn't. You, fascists, are just afraid of being exposed as the bunch of self-serving cowards you actually are.

No, it's not. Just more voices in your head.

I tried. I jumped in a couple places. But I found Žižek unwatchable. Tyler does his best, but ..

I also thought kolopin was an interpolation.

Žižek looks like he has Parkinson's. Very uncomfortable to watch him speak.

Whatever. I'm a Cowen fanboy (even though, or because, we are so different). Speaking of Michael Shermer, his podcast with Cowen didn't work so well. Whatever. I recommend that Cowen not do that "format" again. But I was introduced (in the internet sense) to Debra Lieberman by Shermer. Lieberman is an evolutionary psychologist, and she changed my somewhat negative view of it. I encourage you to watch/listen to this:

Headline erratum: Žižek and not Zizek.

How can someone with a Ph.D. not be able to spell correctly? Solve for the equilibrium.

OK, smarty-pants but what name do you think is printed in his passport when he travels outside of Slovenia? English speakers reserve the right to render non-English names into the 26 characters of the standard English alphabet to make typing such names on Anglophone keyboards easier. Just as his friends over in Serbia reserve the right to render English names into the Cyrillic alphabet.

Why the Slovenian alphabet is "Cyrillic" and the English one "English"? Talk about being deluded.

Has Zizek ever answered a question once in his life? It's like if hugh grant was a philosopher who tried to constantly win you over with his clumsy charm

Hilarious analogy! Expresses what I felt perfectly. Well done.

"When we take over you will go to the gulag." -Žižek

Granted it was meant to be joke. But overall I found his first few answers to be extremely weak. Maybe it gets better, but I won't waste my time looking for the needle in the haystack.

A lady asked a very pointed question about how Zizek envisions the end of capitalism. She explicitly said she doesn’t want a metaphysical/philosophical answer. Practically, if Zizek has his way, what would our politics and society look like? He completely dodged the main question and engaged in some pedantic quibble. I don’t know why people pay attention to him.

The role of combative interviewer didn't do you justice Tyler.

He said he would kill his mother to see "V for Vendetta" part 2. Why doesn't he just do his job and write it? Right now all he has is a title "V for Vendetta 2: Communist Bugaboo."

I should have gone with "V for Vendetta 2: Communist Boogaloo."

On 32, It's mostly an attributive of a long arm. People think height is the carrot, and the stick are the eyes. Look at me, I can see das ding an sich. I am anti-gravity; I can see the bottom of the well; I can dig the same graves. The graves! They were so big, they built another spoken wheel. They spun like a twillzer; what is it about candy? It's the fact the instinct for love becomes transparent.
élégies duino

You should have gone with "V for Vendetta 2: Dialectic Boogaloo."

Will there ever be a transcript? I never watch videos (two and a half hours? really?), and read all the "Conversations with Tyler" transcripts instead of watching the vids. I know everyone loves videos now, but I find them slow and would rather just read.





We plan to release this as a bonus episode of CWT within the next few weeks with the usual transcript accompaniment.

A somewhat workable solution to your general problem is to rip video files from youtube to mp3 (or any other sound format) and then speed it up to 2 or 3x. Some people (though not me) tend to listen to podcasts this way, if they are more interested in the information within and not the realistic feeling of whatever conversation was being had.

Transcripts are for low energy beta males. Real men watch videos.

How can anyone trust the opinion of such an unstable person. Surely, he's well read and he's creative, but in the long run he's a bad proxy for a socially harmonic order.

Why do you need to "trust" someone's opinion?

Zizek only pretends to be a communist so that people will want to debate him.

Tyler, why are you wasting your time with Žižek?
Call Douglas Murray and have a real discussion with a worthy counterpart.

I hope Tyler will now seek out the most prominent Nazi for a debate. The left gets to define what are acceptable extremists and Tyler should oppose that.

Do you have any in mind? Marxism has produced my scholars but I can't think of a single Nazi thinker.

Charitably, Carl Schmidt is one of the greatest legal thinkers of the last century.

Uncharitably, Martin Heidegger is a profound “Nazi” thinker.

I don’t know others. I’m sure there are some. Or we can defer to the SJWers who opine that Jordan Peterson is a nazi.

Affectionately refered to as "Heidi".

Tyler's thought process is this:

Nazis are evil. But communists are interesting!

Tyler, your patience is admirable. I’ve listened to hundreds of podcasts, talks, lectures, and long interviews, and I’ve never heard someone ramble like Slavoj Zizek. Tangents on tangents on tangents. His voice is bad too. The fact that someone like him could even become a prominent figure shows that intellectuals aren’t about ideas.

His debate with Peterson was more interesting, this one is much worse for some reason.

Ughhhh why do public intellectuals continue to insist on giving this communist charlatan a microphone and an audience. Not even worth dignifying with a click or a watch.

Why does anyone bother talking to Zizek? He seems mentally ill.

This isn't an attempt at insult. He genuinely appears ill. Pressured speech, incoherent discursive associations. I don't think he made a single coherent point in that entire video.

This was unwatchable. Not Cowan’s fault; he tried and tried with interesting questions. But Zizek simply cannot, or will not, respond with an interesting answer. Whatever he did say was rambling incoherence. This is the first interview of Cowan’s interviews I have had to skip through and eventually give up on

The Holberg debate and the Holberg prize are named after Ludvig Holberg. A good though pricey book:

Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754): Learning and Literature in the Nordic Enlightenment, edited by Knud Haakonssen and Sebastian Olden-Jørgensen. Routledge, 2017.
(The book is in the GMU library.)

I suspect that Holberg would deem Haakonssen worthy for a prize named in his honor.

Tyler has done some unorthodox things, but I still can’t understand why he spent 2+ hours trying to talk to someone who appears to be mentally ill. I gave up in minutes.

Zizek is an extremely learned and clever goof. I like him for some reason, as you obviously do too. I mean, he calls you a Stalinist and you give him a flustered "I know".

He sure has figured out how to carve out a comfortable existence for himself in this capitalisitic hellscape. Which is a piece of cake of course compared to carving out a fun existence flying to Western capitals from the communistic Yugoslavia in the late 1960s, as he described. Good for him.

Your deference didn't seem warranted to me and made you look weak. Again, though, maybe you just couldn't corral his rambling firehose (including several staples like the Neil Bohrs horseshoe), so he ran you right over.

The questions from the audience revealed a set of much more dour and tiresome true believers. They actually live inside these jargon worlds they create. Scary if it weren't so pathetic.

When a speaker gives his or hers discourse, one should pay attention to speakers words only, and not on his or hers accent, looks etc.

Thanks for that. Had a really bad impression about him from that dreadfully pointless Peterson event, but this was fun and engaging. Before watching this I'd have said that Zizek is overrated. Now I feel he's correctly rated.

Žižek fascinated me with so many of his tangents on tangents. I also now feel he is correctly rated.
YouTube allows playing at 1.5x speed - use this feature.

Where's audio only?

Probably show up eventually.

Already as audio via Michael Brooks show. Likely just as weird, Slavoj meandering into rabbit holes, in no way awkward for Slavoj, but quite awkward for Mr. Brooks. It's the way Slavoj roles.

Audio will be available in a few days, apologies for the delay.

Imo. too much polemics and jokes from Zizek. When I watched the Jordan Peterson debate he was quite strong but now we he was way worse imo.

Why was this called a debate? Tyler was barely given the opportunity to speak and (probably out of undue courtesy) let Zizek totally dodge his questions. Calling it a debate makes it seem like Tyler "lost." So now there are tons of comments like this on youtube:
"(Cowen) didn't have enough staying power to contest the majority of zizek's statements so allowed him to talk uncontested for the majority of the discussion and only spoke on the very simplest points of contention."
"So the interviewer basically had just one question to fill an hour? Because of nostalgia, will you stop using the 'communist' label?"
"WTF this guy have with "nostalgia". Does he know some other words?"
"Tyler Cowen didn't understand anything. Boring bastard."

This was such a waste.

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