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Take Me To Church, or The Honesty of a Good Punch – Episode 144

In this episode Dara tries to understand the connection between the advancement of AI-generated images and his desire for the simplicity and austerity of certain places and practices. There is something about the ornate and ostentatious perfection of AI images that reminds him of the roots of the Protestant movement as a response to the grotesque greed and riches of the Catholic Church.

Thinking of the aesthetics of traditional Protestantism puts Dara in mind of the stripped-back design of karate dojos and martial arts training halls. He sees a connection also in the empty spaces of theatres. These spaces accommodate human endeavour and creativity and vibrate with the energy of that collective effort and yearning to make the ideal tangible. AI has no such vibration.

Dara starts the episode with thoughts on the death of Alexei Navalny and the desire of Vladimir Putin to silence his critics. He’s not sure how Putin’s strong man politics will connect to his critique of AI, but the connection reveals itself before he signs off.

Amongst other things touched on are the honesty of a punch, the benefits of occupying your own space, being a lone traveller in the universe, shark hunts, and trying to move thoughtfully through life.

Article on sea swimming and the vagus nerve by psychotherapist Conor O’Leary:

Shark Drunk, the book about life, seafaring, and hunting sharks:

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