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Heraclitus, Nietzsche, John the Apostle, and a Wyoming Trip Report

On speech, truth, and the printed word


Been a crazy couple of months around here! In this issue:

  • Recap of the 4th annual meetup (at the Wagon Box Inn of Story, Wyoming)

  • Announcing the next round of seminars

  • The print newsletter is landing

  • New book shipping soon

This week:

The 4th Annual Other Life Meetup at the Wagon Box Inn

Thanks to everyone who made the trip to Story, Wyoming (population 900). It was amazing, beautiful, cinematic even. Riveting conversations all weekend. Ever since our first meetup with Curtis Yarvin in 2020, where Peter Thiel randomly showed up as an attendee lol… It’s become something of a tradition to have surprise guests.

This year we were graced by a handful of interesting comrades, thanks especially to the growing network around The Wagon Box. In addition to many active members of the community, we were also joined by L0m3z (co-founder of Passage Press), Rob Rinehart (also co-founder of Passage and previously Soylent), Justin Lee (editor at First Things), and quite a few others, all of whom are writers, too. Everyone read original writing throughout the weekend, it was really impressive and exhilarating.

Also huge shout-out to Nadine, a reader of the newsletter and professional food stylist who for some reason volunteered to help with the kids all weekend! Three people brought kid(s), which is a little less uptake than I hoped but at least that made it more manageable. Hopefully this successful test run with daycare will inspire more people to bring kids next year! It’s such a cool and beautiful place to have your kids experience for a weekend.

And of course the biggest thanks go to Paul the Wagon Box CEO, T. Chevéz Matthews, and Judah, who basically ran the show once everyone got there. Everything went off without a hitch.

If you are running any retreats/meetups/events this year, do it at the Wagon Box. Subscribe to their Substack, follow them on Twitter, and reach out to Paul if you want to learn more. What they’re doing is very special, and very cool. You can also just stay there for a weekend, or a week, at any time (they have normal bookings available online).

Thanks so much to everyone. It was my favorite meetup yet.

The Independent Scholar

For the past three weeks, I'm happy to say I’ve been locked-in on my next book.

Months ago, I released a draft PDF version of The Independent Scholar—outlining the lessons I’ve learned in the past 5 years about how to make it as a full-time independent scholar working on the internet.

Since then I’ve been adding more material and preparing it for print. I've learned so many lessons the hard way, I want to make it easier for those who will come after me. The indie scholar lifestyle is so distinct from all other “content creator” business models, and it’s taken a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to pin down the ideal model. I want this book to be the gold standard for anyone pursuing a scholarly vocation in the age of the internet.

The Monthly Print Issue

The print newsletter has been ironed out, and the first substantive issue has been landing for most subscribers in the past week or so.

New subscribers are now also sent a personal welcome letter as soon as they upgrade. Then again whenever the next issue ships.

Thanks to everyone who reached out with praise, I’m mostly just happy it’s landing. It was pretty complicated getting it all up and running. The next issue is shipping shortly.

The Next Round of Seminars

In the past year we’ve read and discussed dozens of works: From Plutarch to Montaigne to Shakespeare all the way up to William Gibson and Nick Land.

Overall it’s been amazing, we generally see 5-10 people come through each time and it seems to be edifying for all involved.

After a little break, I'm now announcing the next few months of seminars.

This time, I think it will be better if we focus on a theme. And I’ll take a little more leadership to situate works in their secondary literatures.

We’ll continue reading only the finest works, but for the next 3 months or so we’re going to focus on some questions related to truth and speech in Greco-Roman-Christian Antiquity.

All times in Central timezone (Chicago/Austin).

  • Heraclitus: Fragments (June 11, 7am)

  • The Gospel of John: 1-5 (June 24, 7am)

  • Aeschylus: Prometheus Bound (July 7, 12pm)

  • The Gospel of John: 5-10 (July 19, 7am)

  • Nietzsche: The Genealogy of Morals, Preface & Essay 1 (July 29, 7am)

  • The Gospel of John: 10-15 (August 9, 10am)

  • Plato: Trial and Death of Socrates (August 20, 7am)

  • Nietzsche: The Genealogy of Morals, Essay 2 (September 3, 7am)

  • The Gospel of John: 15-21 (September 13, 7am)

  • Nietzsche: The Genealogy of Morals, Essay 3 (September 21, 10am)

If any of these excite you but the time is bad for you, hit reply and tell me. I will rejigger times in the interest of new or particularly enthusiastic people. So keep an eye out, I expect some slight shuffling of dates and times.

Members RSVP for free in the Events channel of the community, guests are welcome via the public calendar.

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