Pimpage: Me and Neill on The Bridge.

Turns out I’ve made a fair number of podcast/interview appearances over the past year or so, across a bunch of jurisdictions all the way from Russia to the Free Republic of Guelph. Never really pimped them because A) I was raised by Baptists, B) I generally cringe when people thump their own tubs too loud, and C) a little of me goes a long way anyway. I didn’t even call out when I showed up on Tales From the Bridge a few weeks back, even though those guys hail from my old grad-school stomping ground.

But I’m mentioning it now, because they had me back and it wasn’t just me this time, it was me and Neill Fucking Blomkamp. And we talked about everything from prog rock to our secret collaboration (that stopped being so secret when Neill blurted it out on Joe Rogan a while back), to a thought experiment in which I mow down Neill’s wife, child, and pets in a hail of machine-gun fire to test a philosophical point. Also sentience, the three-act-structure, and antinatalism. So whatever you’re into, there’s a good chance you’ll find it there.

Commercial over. Please continue talking about planarians.



This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021 at 8:37 am and is filed under public interface. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

34 Responses to “Pimpage: Me and Neill on The Bridge.”

  1. Jason Grossman

    Peter Watts and prog rock! Two of my thirteen favourite things! Thank you!

  2. jouka

    I listened to both, good stuff. About lithium: extracting it from the seawater should be viable? There have been several recent papers on this tech, but battery tech is advancing rapidly and lithium might be out of fashion if metal-aerogel batteries or graphene supercapacitors become practical, so there’s no saying if it would hold up.

  3. Nestor

    Do Joe Rogan next, I’m sure the whole “Convicted Felon” thing would intrigue his audience.

    (Yes he’s a meathead, but he has reach)

  4. Peter Watts

    Don’t I know it. Neill was on Rogan a while back and kinda squeed about Blindsight. Resulted in a big mesa of sales on Amazon that lasted for weeks.

    I couldn’t do Rogan even if he asked me to. Not allowed into the States, remember? (Actually, Lex Fridman approached me a couple of weeks ago and I had to turn him down on the same grounds. Probably only the second time that I’ve regretted being banned.)

  5. Nestor

    I DO remember, but many of the podcasts I follow have taken to remote format, Tim Ferris and Sam Harris do them, I believe in some cases they send the interviewee equipment to make sure the recording is as good quality as possible and Joe “100 meelleon spotify contract” Rogan could probably afford it too.

    Those two would be much more interesting podcasts to be invited to, imho but Rogan has heard your name recently, so there’s that.

  6. Phil

    Rogan has done at least two interviews with Edward Snowden, and ES sure as shit wasn’t in the US.

  7. Phil

    I’ve been enjoying watching “Taming Yesterday’s Nightmares for a Better Tomorrow – FizerPharm” which I came to from the podcast. Really nicely worked out. It sounds like something Stanley Milgram might have produced if he chose to work for a drug company instead of humanity.

    How come you didn’t post it to YouTube yourself? (YouTube tip: include a cat doing something stupid at the beginning and boost your views by 15,000,000. The future we deserve…)

  8. Dale Allen

    What, you’re doing vampires with Neill BlomKamp?!! How utterly thrilling! I, oh, shhh, shhh, shhh, must calm down.

  9. Ashley R Pollard

    Now caught up with both your appearances on the podcast. Excellent talks. Can listen to you talking science and fiction any-day, which given I’m a reluctant listener of podcasts is a compliment.

  10. Gary Flood

    I listened to both, and really enjoyed them. Are these guys Canadian? Good podcast.

    Most horrifying thing for me was the incorrigible love of The Tull. There are some things from my Prog days (brief, as I came into music late then it was soon into Punk) I do still love, like Da Floyd and Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, but I just can’t go back there. Think I’d prefer vampirism.

  11. Nestor

    I like how polite you are when your interlocutors go off the deep end. In this one, when Neil starts to go solipsistic. That older podcast from a few years ago, the host also started to babble something off left field, I forget the details, and you also managed to stay remarkably engaged. You even do it with the occasional crank here in the comments, so it’s not just “Better humour this hollywood dude that is collaborating with me on a big project”. You’re a patient man.

  12. Cagey

    Nestor,

    I’ve always felt the same way re: the crank commenters. Noticed it as well in the podcast.

  13. Phil

    Phil,

    Phil:
    Rogan has done at least two interviews with Edward Snowden, and ES sure as shit wasn’t in the US.

    Sorry, this came out wrong. I’d just finished his book and was freshly pissed that when the US breaks the law they exile the guy who calls them on it. The vehemence was directed at US perfidity.

  14. listedproxyname

    Phil: How come you didn’t post it to YouTube yourself? (YouTube tip: include a cat doing something stupid at the beginning and boost your views by 15,000,000. The future we deserve…)

    Perhaps the future we deserve isn’t the one with the YouTube cat videos, just as many people avoid certain services for reasons that are not sensitive to others (yet).

    Luckily for those who expect a miracle, the availability of such big audience shouldn’t influence the outcome too much – and there’s no innate necessity to go all out on sponsored popularity to forge a successful project (something that Blomkamp highlighted in the interview, if I got it right).

  15. Phil

    listedproxyname,

    I agree. I find it extraordinary how many excellent videos have only a handful of views, while idiotic ones have millions. So, not saying the future will be good, just that it will be the one we deserve (paraphrasing the FizerPharm tag line, “The future you deserve”).

  16. Greggles

    Great interviews and great podcast, am now a subscriber.

    I was a little surprised to hear that only two theories about were circulating about who/what broadcasting Siri’s narrative. I’ve been assuming it was a third from the other two mentioned in the podcast.

    And yeah, any timeline for an announcement with Mr. Blomkamp?

  17. GMM

    You are a having a bit of a Pop Culture moment, Peter. Your short story the things just got shouted out on the (very popular) Youtube channel Red Letter Media:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSuKs44w_vI&t=1285s

    29:44 for the shoutout.

  18. Nestor
  19. Pyro650

    Usually, serendipity on the internet is a good thing. Usually, a search term will lead to an interesting site or unexpected snippet that takes the digital explorer down a whole new rabbithole.

    Usually.

    I forgot the search term that first brought me to this site. It’s of little relevance anyway, since it’s the end result that counts. But after a few hours spent browsing through the blog posts and reading a fair bit of the atrocity on literature that goes by the name of Behemoth, I felt compelled to leave this comment here even though it’s not directly related to the post topic, as the comments sections on older posts have long since been closed.

    Peter Watts is a nihilistic idiot who harbours a deep hatred of humanity and openly calls for its destruction. He expresses these views through badly written books, articles, and his blog that amount to little more than bouts of verbal diarrhoea. Not to mention the fact that he’s utterly wrong on every metric and prediction related to the so-called “climate catastrophe” and current pandemic. His talking points have been repeatedly debunked by any true environmentalist with even a modicum of common sense, such as in this discussion between Jordan Peterson and Michael Shellenberger – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLxZF_EWaLE

    The only good thing that can be said about him is that at least he practises what he preaches and has chosen not to procreate, meaning that his third-rate genes won’t be propagated. That’s quite a favour he’s done humanity.

    Speaking of favours done to humanity, I’d like to conclude by thanking that stalwart member of America’s law enforcement, Andrew Beaudry, who performed a yeoman service to mankind all those years ago by macing Peter Watts in the face (Details here: https://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=932). While the author may not have deserved the treatment he received over a decade ago, the torture he has inflicted upon the curious but unwary visitor to his site more than justifies the punishment he received. Cosmic karma, it would seem, balances out over time.

  20. Peter Watts

    Hi Pyro. Fitting name.

    I hope you feel better now. (I doubt you feel much better about yourself, necessarily, but hey, we take what we can get.) Thank you for providing yet more evidence supporting my deep hatred of humanity.

    Note that I’m not openly calling for your destruction. I’m pretty sure you’ll self-destruct before too long without any help.

  21. Nestor

    Ignore the troll. Hideo Kojima!! I guess you’re more of a PC gamer, but you have to have heard of him.

  22. Fatman

    It’s a testament to the power of your writing that it still has the ability to trigger unfortunate flat-earthers into paroxysms of incoherent rage, a decade or more down the line.

  23. The K

    Nestor,

    Now im trying to imagine what game Hideo Kojima would make out of the Blindsight Universe. A dating sim where you have to convince the Moksha Hivemind to go to Highschool Prom with you? Stealth Action Game in the Alien superstructure where you have to evade Scramblers? Just staring at the inside of a cryo-coffin for 50 hours while Norman Reedus narrates the entirety of Blindsight as Siri Keeton?

    I guess anything is possible with that fantastic madman.

    Also, gigakek @Pyro for quoting Shellenberger and Peterson on environmental issues. There is a reason the former is called a hack by his more esteemed peers and the latter..well lets not go there. Whats next, the CEO of BP telling us that fossil fuels are good for the climate?

  24. Jack

    Hey Pyro,

    Speaking of cosmic justice, I’m pretty sure you’re due for a rectal examination next time you go through airport security.

  25. Pyro650

    Peter Watts,

    Why thank you, I’m feeling MUCH better. It’s quite cathartic to vent out one’s dissatisfaction at having spent the only non-renewable resource in the universe – time – with no payoff at the end. It’s even more pleasing to see said rant actually published by its intended target, which I definitely wasn’t expecting. This is something I must doff my metaphorical hat to: for all your demented value system and principles, at least you have the courage to live by your convictions, which is more than I can say for your double-digit-IQ fans in the comment section.

    Allow me to apologize if I came across as overly acidic in certain parts: I was fresh off a whirlwind tour of your blog posts after having just finished the last chapter of Behemoth, and I was feeling rather uncharitable at the wastage of the aforementioned non-renewable resource. When I look back on this experience with a clear head, I did learn something from this experience: how to let go.

    You see, obsessive-compulsive completionist that I am, I was still unable to bring myself to finish Behemoth. After labouring through B-Max and the first few chapters of Seppuku, the copyeditor in me couldn’t take any more of the frequent tense changes (often in the same paragraph), tepid plot, gratuitous torture porn that Freud would have a field day analyzing, and insipid heroine. Thus I ended up skipping to the final chapter – an act of heroic willpower that a fellow completionist like yourself will appreciate, what with your numerous references to unread emails.

    Just like Spartacus liberated its host from guilt, Behemoth liberated me from the compelling need to see things through. Thanks to your pandemic-themed magnum opus, I finally learnt that some things (or many things) are just not worth the time and effort. For this, I shall remain eternally grateful. Or until such time as I self-destruct, which my recent cathartic experience has now pushed into the unforeseeable distant future.

    Since you’ve done me this favour, I feel obliged to respond in kind with some unsolicited advice. By choosing not to breed, you now have no stake in humanity’s outcome. So ditch the teeth-gnashing, hand-wringing mess that is your blog’s sidebar and take a chill pill. The Gulf Stream is not shutting down any time soon, and the ice caps won’t melt for at least 700 years. Plenty of time for you to kick back and sip a cool drink.

    Unless your plan is to whip your fanbase into a frenzy of such despair that they choose to follow you into becoming evolutionary cul-de-sacs. In that case, you’re making great progress. Though seeing as they’re largely comprised of basement-dwelling incels, the idea seems kind of redundant.

    With that, I forever leave the cesspool of literature that is Rifters.com, never to return. I depart with the assurance that even if this comment doesn’t get published, it will most certainly be read in its entirety by you.

    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  26. Peter Watts

    Congratulations, Pyro, on learning to Let Go. Of course, people who’ve truly Let Go don’t generally spend so much time obsessively crafting 500-word essays on how they’ve learned to Let Go, so I imagine you might still be lurking around somewhere. Still. Baby steps.

    Incredible as it seems, you’ve apparently missed the obvious fact that my sidebar isn’t actually a personal opinion piece. It’s a collection of annotated links to peer-reviewed studies by qualified experts, and sometimes to stories in the press about those studies. A bit surprising that your “inner copyeditor” didn’t catch that (although granted, your inner copyeditor seems to be kind of a moron, or it would have figured out the obvious pattern to those tense shifts that confused you so). You’re not dismissing the paranoid delusions of Peter Watts, midlist author; you’re dismissing the 99.7% consensus of thousands of scientists who’ve spent their entire careers researching climate and environmental issues—not to mention the findings of the oil industry itself (although they did keep those findings to themselves, for some reason).

    I don’t quite know how to interpret your ability to assure us with such confidence that the Arctic ice cap has another seven centuries in it. It’s certainly not based on any evidence (maybe you spend your days watching ONAN). And there’s no way an astroturfer on the Koch payroll would waste their time trolling an obscure blog like this one. The most reasonable explanation is that—no matter how many times you consulted thesaurus.com to up your literary game—you’re just not very smart. A pretty obvious conclusion to have wasted 250 words on, granted. But at least I didn’t spend any of them desperately trying to convince you that I was Letting Go.

    Judging by your talk of copyeditors and your over-the-top prose style, I’m going to go out on a limb and hazard that you might regard yourself as a writer in your own right. Based on the Hitchhiker’s reference I’ll even go further and wonder if you don’t consider yourself an SF writer. If that is the case, I can almost sympathize: it must really burn, knowing my semiliterate verbal sewage has been translated into so many languages, taught in so many college courses, won so many awards across so many jurisdictions while you’re stuck ranting behind a pseudonym in the comments section. (The movie option must have been especially hard to stomach.) For what it’s worth, I can only offer one piece of advice: if you want to write science fiction, it would help to actually know something about science. Given the delusional claims you’ve made here, you clearly don’t.

    This is the spot where I’d normally tell you to have a nice life. Don’t see much point to that, though.

    You’d have to get one first.

  27. T Davis

    Wow the Pyro comments are hard to read.

    I had no idea what I walked in to after that post, but I am Here For It in the comments.

  28. Phil

    Pyro650,

    First, as one of those writing in the comment section, I’d like you to know I object to having my IQ described as “double-digit.” It’s a solid single digit, and near the top. Welcome to the club.

    Second, as one whose bloodline dies out with me, yet who still worries about humans’ desecration of this planet, I’d like to point out that my concern for the biosphere has nothing to do with the coming pain that we’re bringing on ourselves. The death of the world’s coral reefs and other spaces once verdant is what makes me sad. I’m going to die whether or not we destroy our biosphere – that doesn’t mean witnessing its destruction leaves my feelings unaffected.

    Speaking of incels, you’ve reminded me of a conversation I had with a couple of guys back in high-school. It was an all-boy institution, so chicks were in short supply, and we were still virgins. The question someone raised was, if the world was going to end in a day, would you rape someone? I was disturbed that one of the guys answered in the affirmative. I still don’t understand why anyone would want to cause someone pain on their last day on earth (or any day for that matter). I bring this up because your logic seems to put you in that “yes” camp. Fuck you.

    Other than that, thanks for reaffirming my continued reading of this blog. It’s one of the few places where I never know what interesting or flat-out weird stuff is going to show up.

  29. Fatman

    T Davis: Wow the Pyro comments are hard to read.

    This fellow has definitely posted here before, under different names. He tries out different “writing styles”, too, but can’t keep his mental spew in any semblance of order, and toward the end it all dribbles out as world salad.

    This particular post is interesting because of the insults he resorts to, just to show everyone how he “doesn’t care”. I called him (them) a “basement-dwelling incel”, verbatim, in one of his (their) previous iterations. Pretty sure someone else used “double-digit IQ”.

    I hope he sticks around. Stupidity is nice and refreshing after a steady diet of logical arguments.

  30. Jack

    Nice one Peter. I almost missed it. I
    “(maybe you spend your days watching ONAN)”
    One American News Network (OAN)

    The term onanism has come to refer to “masturbation” in many modern languages

    Like how how snuck that in there.

    Speaking of IQ – mine is average but I appreciate and value the intellectual output of those smarter than I. I think this blog rocks and I enjoy reading the comments section. Did I understand all the stuff on worms? Hell no. But I still think I got something out of it.

    And I was offended by Pyro gloating over the abrogation of your civil liberties

  31. cobane

    No condoms in Pyro’s wallet. Just Zeiss lens wipes for when the snot bubbles explode.

  32. Nestor

    I gotta admit I too dropped Behemoth when the dude went off his meds and got his torture on… I’m pretty desensitized to awful stuff but I choose not to read about torture in my fiction if I can avoid it.

    As for inceldom I’m ashamed to admit I got the “I missed my period and we didn’t use a condom that one time last month” talk from a female friend recently, it’s much easier to keep your antinatalist cred when you’re celibate, voluntary or not
    (The period in question did arrive eventually, I’m happy to report)

  33. John Eff

    Phil,

    Or was he?

  34. has

    Nestor:
    I gotta admit I too dropped Behemoth when the dude went off his meds and got his torture on… I’m pretty desensitized to awful stuff but I choose not to read about torture in my fiction if I can avoid it.

    Completely understand. I toughed through it. It wasn’t pleasant, but I figure a marine biologist writes that stuff, we earned it. (’Cos what else could endless horrific corridors filled with splayed gutted female corpses possibly be a representation of?)

    Peter Watts may be a monster, but he’s a monster made by us—rest of the human race. We’re welcome.