About The Show
The Neutral Ground Podcast is a place for bringing people into a neutral space where thinking can happen. It isn't always going to be pretty, but it's going to be genuine. My name is Dr. Joe Meyer. I teach in the Program in Writing & Critical Inquiry at the University at Albany. My PhD is in early American literature. I've been teaching composition and literature courses since 2006. In that time, I've used literature, philosophy, heroic narratives, and pop culture to help guide my students into a space from which they can learn, reflect, and use that knowledge to create the best versions of themselves. I often tell my students that the world does not need more versions of me; it needs one version of them. That is how we maximize our strength as a species.
Today, it seems like we are being screamed at constantly. Whether it's through social media, the news, or just with friends and family. Everyone seems to be either pushing or being pushed into an extreme stance of some kind. But, that's not what is best for us--and I think deep down we know this to be true. Extreme thoughts limit so much of the possibilities that we can generate to better the world around us. More than anything, extreme thoughts are particularly great at one thing: isolating us from each other and creating enemies. How do we push back against this?
My goal is that The Neutral Ground Podcast becomes a place where we can consider all sides of an idea. I want to have guests; I want to talk about the great thinkers from the past. By maintaining a connection to the great writers of the past we help preserve the present and the future for ourselves and others. We'll use great texts like Herman Melville's Moby-Dick to talk about how we each have a white whale that, if we are not careful, we will chase to our own destruction. We'll talk about philosophy. Was Nietzche correct? Are we living in Nihilism? What does it mean if we are? Let's talk about it.
Finally, I want this podcast to be a source of excitement in thought and tranquility in feeling. Oftentimes, podcasts and videos that discuss these kinds of topics tend to produce a physical reaction in us--an immediate feeling to either argue against or argue for with great passion. Being emotionally connected is wonderful. But, I would rather us listen with a mind for wanting to hear something that can change us for the better. Be prepared and open to new ideas. However, as I often tell my classes, if an idea or philosophy starts to make you a worse version of yourself, don't be afraid to shed it and get rid of it. As to whether one particular idea can make you better or worse is ultimately up to you to decide.
So, join me on the neutral ground. Subscribe today, and let's build a large community of thinkers.
Note: The thoughts expressed in the podcast are my own and do not represent the University at Albany.