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FUTURE FOSSILS

Art & Philosophy for an Age of Accelerating Weirdness

A podcast for the bold and curious to help you navigate our world's accelerating weirdness —about science and the philosophy of it, prehistory and post-humanity and deep time, non-human agency and non-duality, science fi
Latest Episode4/27/2021

165 - Kevin Kelly on Time, Memory, Change, and Vanishing Asia

Ep. 165
“The most expensive part of making this book was time. I spent my time, which is my scarcest resource. For every one of the nearly 9,000 images in this book, I was standing directly behind the camera. I had to get there. It’s not just a long way from the US to Asia, it was usually a long way from the airport to the local town in the countryside. And then it took time to reach the right village. And then it took time to find the ceremony. And then I would have to wait. Then wait some more. More than money, or photons, this book is made from time.”“Our religion, which is the religion of quantification and measurement” has transformed the world. This week on Future Fossils, we talk to Kevin Kelly about his three-volume photojournal Vanishing Asia, a style archive collected over 50 years and countless miles, winnowed down from 200,000 pictures.We talk about what it is to remember, to preserve, to capture, to restore, to reimagine…Preservation bias in the archaeological history of technology,Cosmology and religion, the evolution of culture and faith in modernity,What kinds of value the economy is capable of capturing or even seeing, and what kinds it’s not capable of capturing,Ecosystem services and other invisible labor,When externalities are people,How long memories can make systems stubborn,How to optimize forgetting so as to be a good ancestor leaving more degrees of freedom,What makes an explanation good enough,The future of Asia and thus the world…Yeah, we squeeze a lot into 45 minutes.Pairs Well With:Future Fossils 128 - Kevin Kelly on Evolving with TechnologyComplexity 55 - James Evans on Social Computing and Diversity By DesignIf you believe in the value of this show and want to see it thrive, support Future Fossils on Patreon and/or please rate and review Future Fossils on Apple Podcasts! Patrons gain access to over twenty secret episodes, unreleased music, our monthly book club, and many other wondrous things.Music by Future Fossils co-host Evan “Skytree” Snyder.I'm slowly turning this podcast into a book, with help from Podscribe.ai —which I highly recommend to other podcasters. If you’d like to edit transcripts, please let me know!I’m @michaelgarfield on Twitter & Instagram.If you’re looking for new ways to help regulate stress, get better sleep, recover from exercise, and/or stay alert and focused without stimulants, let me recommend the Apollo Neuro wearable.I have one and appreciate it so much I decided to join their affiliate program. The science is solid.And for my fellow guitarists in the audience, let me recommend you get yourself a Jamstik Studio, the coolest MIDI guitar I’ve ever played. I’m using it in the studio right now.When you’re ready to switch it up, here aremy musicandlistening recommendationson Spotify.• Venmo: @futurefossils•PayPal.me/michaelgarfield• Patreon:patreon.com//michaelgarfield• BTC: 1At2LQbkQmgDugkchkP6QkDJCvJ5rv3Jm• ETH: 0x058aCaf2dd4DB222d89D65fdDF3f0500c5622448i
4/27/2021

165 - Kevin Kelly on Time, Memory, Change, and Vanishing Asia

Ep. 165
“The most expensive part of making this book was time. I spent my time, which is my scarcest resource. For every one of the nearly 9,000 images in this book, I was standing directly behind the camera. I had to get there. It’s not just a long way from the US to Asia, it was usually a long way from the airport to the local town in the countryside. And then it took time to reach the right village. And then it took time to find the ceremony. And then I would have to wait. Then wait some more. More than money, or photons, this book is made from time.”“Our religion, which is the religion of quantification and measurement” has transformed the world. This week on Future Fossils, we talk to Kevin Kelly about his three-volume photojournal Vanishing Asia, a style archive collected over 50 years and countless miles, winnowed down from 200,000 pictures.We talk about what it is to remember, to preserve, to capture, to restore, to reimagine…Preservation bias in the archaeological history of technology,Cosmology and religion, the evolution of culture and faith in modernity,What kinds of value the economy is capable of capturing or even seeing, and what kinds it’s not capable of capturing,Ecosystem services and other invisible labor,When externalities are people,How long memories can make systems stubborn,How to optimize forgetting so as to be a good ancestor leaving more degrees of freedom,What makes an explanation good enough,The future of Asia and thus the world…Yeah, we squeeze a lot into 45 minutes.Pairs Well With:Future Fossils 128 - Kevin Kelly on Evolving with TechnologyComplexity 55 - James Evans on Social Computing and Diversity By DesignIf you believe in the value of this show and want to see it thrive, support Future Fossils on Patreon and/or please rate and review Future Fossils on Apple Podcasts! Patrons gain access to over twenty secret episodes, unreleased music, our monthly book club, and many other wondrous things.Music by Future Fossils co-host Evan “Skytree” Snyder.I'm slowly turning this podcast into a book, with help from Podscribe.ai —which I highly recommend to other podcasters. If you’d like to edit transcripts, please let me know!I’m @michaelgarfield on Twitter & Instagram.If you’re looking for new ways to help regulate stress, get better sleep, recover from exercise, and/or stay alert and focused without stimulants, let me recommend the Apollo Neuro wearable.I have one and appreciate it so much I decided to join their affiliate program. The science is solid.And for my fellow guitarists in the audience, let me recommend you get yourself a Jamstik Studio, the coolest MIDI guitar I’ve ever played. I’m using it in the studio right now.When you’re ready to switch it up, here aremy musicandlistening recommendationson Spotify.• Venmo: @futurefossils•PayPal.me/michaelgarfield• Patreon:patreon.com//michaelgarfield• BTC: 1At2LQbkQmgDugkchkP6QkDJCvJ5rv3Jm• ETH: 0x058aCaf2dd4DB222d89D65fdDF3f0500c5622448i
4/8/2021

164 - Violet Luxton on Scientific Reductionism vs. Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Ep. 164
This week we talk to artist, musician, and community organizer Violet Luxton, who works and lives at the intersection of Indigenous wisdom traditions and Indigenous rights movements, #LandBack and #BlackLivesMatter, afro-futurism, yoga, and visionary biotechnological speculation. In a conversation far shorter than the subject matter deserves, we explore some of the themes in and related to her profound academic paper, "Transtemporality and The Technology of Indigenous Kinship: The Science of Remembering Ourselves."If you believe in the value of this show and want to see it thrive, support Future Fossils on Patreon and/or please rate and review Future Fossils on Apple Podcasts! Patrons gain access to over twenty secret episodes, unreleased music, our monthly book club, and many other wondrous things.Music by Future Fossils co-host Evan “Skytree” Snyder.Enjoy, and thanks for listening!_,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,_Also Discussed In This Episode:Violet Luxton at LinkedInSaki Mafundikwa —Ingenuity and Elegance in Ancient African Alphabets [video]Ron Eglash —The Fractals at The Heart of African Designs [video]_,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,_Additional Resources:Buy the books we mention on Future Fossils at Bookshop.org/shop/FutureFossils, which supports local bookstores instead of Amazon and pays me 10% at no additional cost to you.When you’re ready to switch it up, here aremy musicandlistening recommendationson Spotify.I transcribe this show with help from Podscribe.ai —which I highly recommend to other podcasters. If you’d like to help me edit transcripts for my upcoming Future Fossils book project, please let me know!I’m @michaelgarfield on Twitter & Instagram.If you’re looking for new ways to help regulate stress, get better sleep, recover from exercise, and/or stay alert and focused without stimulants, let me recommend the Apollo Neuro wearable.I have one and appreciate it so much I decided to join their affiliate program. The science is solid.And for my fellow guitarists in the audience, let me recommend you get yourself a Jamstik Studio, the coolest MIDI guitar I’ve ever played.I just grabbed one this year and LOVE it. Videos soon!• Venmo: @futurefossils•PayPal.me/michaelgarfield• Patreon:patreon.com//michaelgarfield• BTC: 1At2LQbkQmgDugkchkP6QkDJCvJ5rv3Jm• ETH: 0x058aCaf2dd4DB222d89D65fdDF3f0500c5622448i
3/11/2021

163 - Bitcoin & Fungal Economies with Toby Kiers & Brandon Quittem

Season 1, Ep. 163
This week we’re joined by evolutionary biologist Toby Kiers and Bitcoin entrepreneur Brandon Quittem for an interdisciplinary trialogue on the analogy between digital currencies and the so-called Wood Wide Web. Toby studies fungal economies in the lab, and her research challenges the commonly-held assumption that mycorrhizal networks are socialist utopia hippie love-fests. Brandon evangelizes “The Internet of Money” as an exemplary instance of biomimicry and argues that Bitcoin is doing for human finance what mycelial networks have done for terrestrial biology. And I wade in with more than my usual helping of paradoxically-critical enthusiasm to ask if “natural” really equals “healthy” or “desirable” in our rush to serve the evolutionary algorithm of technological development. This one should appeal to anybody on the “Transhumanist Bitcoin Bro to Luddite Biodynamic Farmer” spectrum…share your thoughts about the episode in ourFuture Fossils Discord server or Facebook group, where it’s easy to link up with amazing fellow weirdos.Brandon’s Website & TwitterBrandon’s article, “Bitcoin is The Mycelium of Money”Toby’s Website & TwitterToby’s TED talk, “Lessons from fungi on markets and economics”If you believe in the value of this show and want to see it thrive, support Future Fossils on Patreon and/or please rate and review Future Fossils on Apple Podcasts! Patrons gain access to over twenty secret episodes, unreleased music, our monthly book club, and many other wondrous things.Music by Future Fossils co-host Evan “Skytree” Snyder.I transcribe this show with help from Podscribe.ai —which I highly recommend to other podcasters. If you’d like to help me edit transcripts for my upcoming Future Fossils book project, please let me know!I’m @michaelgarfield on Twitter & Instagram.If you’re looking for new ways to help regulate stress, get better sleep, recover from exercise, and/or stay alert and focused without stimulants, let me recommend the Apollo Neuro wearable.I have one and appreciate it so much I decided to join their affiliate program. The science is solid.And for my fellow guitarists in the audience, let me recommend you get yourself a Jamstik Studio, the coolest MIDI guitar I’ve ever played.I just grabbed one this year and LOVE it. Videos soon!Enjoy, and thanks for listening!Additional Resources:Future Fossils 161 - Michael Phillip on Play & CreativityFuture Fossils 81 - Art Brock on Holochain and the Future of CurrencyFuture Fossils 56 - Sophia Rohklin on Anarchy, Ecology, Economy, and ShamanismComplexity 35 - Geoffrey West on Physical Scaling LawsComplexity 13 - Brian Arthur on the History of Complexity EconomicsComplexity 8 - Olivia Judson on Life’s Major Energy TransitionsDeep Facebook thread on the un/sustainability of blockchains & cryptocurrenciesRegen NetworkWhen you’re ready to switch it up, here aremy musicandlistening recommendationson Spotify.And if you're in a tipping mood:• Venmo: @futurefossils•PayPal.me/michaelgarfield• Patreon:patreon.com//michaelgarfield• BTC: 1At2LQbkQmgDugkchkP6QkDJCvJ5rv3Jm• ETH: 0x058aCaf2dd4DB222d89D65fdDF3f0500c5622448i
2/23/2021

162 - "AHA" (Ask Him Anything) #1: Aliens, Death, Creativity

Season 1, Ep. 162
This week, I embark on a new experiment and respond to three "advice column" questions from the Future Fossils listening audience:•How do I know if aliens would like my music?• How do I talk to my five-year-old about death?• How do I be creative without training or experience?This was a lot of fun and I'll definitely do this again. Enjoy, and thanks for listening!Please rate and review Future Fossils on Apple Podcasts! And if you believe in the value of this show and want to see it thrive, support Future Fossils on Patreon. Patrons gain access to over twenty secret episodes, unreleased music, our book club, and many other great things as they spill out of my overactive imagination.We’d also love to have you in our thriving little Discord server, if you’re interested in meeting other members of our awesome scene. (And if you’d like to edit Future Fossils Podcast transcripts, please drop me a line at futurefossilspodcast[at]gmail.com.)Show theme music is by original Future Fossils co-host Evan “Skytree” Snyder.Further Resources:IntroEpisode 70 with Steve Brusatte on the Golden Age of Dinosaurs Episode 100 with The Teafaerie Episode 158 with The Teafaerie & Ramin Nazer Episode 117 with Eric Wargo on Time Loops How do I know if aliens would like my music?Eight Two Music Complexity Podcast 1 with David Krakauer Hook (film) 1991Episode 161 with Michael Phillip on Creativity, Play, and Cryptocurrency Weird Studies 75 on 2001: A Space Odyssey Southpark Season 23 Episode 2 ("Band In China") Complexity 41 with Natalie Grefenstette on Agnostic Biosignature DetectionThe Physical Limits of Communication (1999) Edward Snowden talks with Neil DeGrasse Tyson about aliens Episode 42 with William Irwin ThompsonSFI Musicology & Complex Systems Working Group (YouTube Playlist)Episode 125 with Stuart Kauffman on Evolution & The Adjacent PossibleKing Kong (film) 1933How do I talk to my five-year-old about death?The New York Times: 10 Annoying Kids' Toys Complexity 52 with Mark Moffett on Canopy Biology & The Human Swarm Episode 116 with Kevin Wohlmut reading Ugo Bardi & John Michael Greer The Lion King (film) 1994 Complexity 37 with Laurence Gonzales on Surviving SurvivalThe Future Acts Like You The Addams Family (film) 1991How do I be creative without training?Alicia Eggert's Stewart Brand artwork at The Smithsonian The Exaptation of the Guitar The Future is Exapted/Remixed "You're only as original as the obscurity of your sources" And when you’re ready to switch it up, here aremy musicandlistening recommendationson Spotify.If you're in a tipping mood:• Venmo: @futurefossils• PayPal.me/michaelgarfield• Patreon: patreon.com//michaelgarfield• BTC: 1At2LQbkQmgDugkchkP6QkDJCvJ5rv3Jm• ETH: 0x058aCaf2dd4DB222d89D65fdDF3f0500c5622448i
2/6/2021

161 - On Play & Innovation with Michael Phillip: Hermes, EvoBio, Bitcoin, and Good Noise

Ep. 161
This week I talk play, innovation, noise, disruption, cryptocurrency, and trickster creativity with Michael Phillip, host of sister podcast Third Eye Drops, which I’m on A LOT –episodes102,88,58, 44 withDoug Rushkoff, 38 withNiles Heckman, 28 withBruce Damer, 21 withErik Davis, 9 withShane Mauss, 4 withErik Davis, andthis special mashup episode. This one was originally recorded as Third Eye Drops Episode 239, but I went ahead and painstakingly edited out over ten minutes of filler language and head-scratching to give you the sharpest and most-polished conversation possible. If you appreciate these conversations and the extra work I put in to make them shine, pleasesupport Future Fossils on Patreon! Patrons gain access to over twenty secret episodes, unreleased music,our book club, and many other great things as they spill out of my overactive imagination.And if you’re broke as a joke, consider rating and reviewing Future Fossils on Apple Podcasts. It helps more than you know.We’d also love to have you inThe Future Fossils Discord server, where you can find the others…Lastly, if you’re a podcaster, I recommend you get your show transcribed affordably at Podscribe.AI.Intro and outro music bySkytree.Michael Phillip has appeared on Future Fossils before:Episode 14 on WestworldEpisode 52 on Blockchain with Jennifer SodiniEpisode 67 on Magic & Media with Douglas RushkoffEpisode 135 on The Cosmic YesRelated External Sources:Buy all the books we talk about on this show from my Amazon Storefront.Lewis Hyde - Trickster Makes This WorldAndreas Wagner - Life Finds A WayAndreas Wagner - Arrival of the FittestRichard Dawkins - Climbing Mount ImprobableRichard Doyle - Darwin’s PharmacyWilliam Irwin Thompson - The Time Falling Bodies Take To LightAndreas Wagner at Nautilus - Why It Pays To Play Around(*I mistakenly said the article was published at Quanta)William Irwin Thompson et al. - The Lindisfarne TapesAdi Livnat - Simplification, Innateness, and the Absorption of Meaning from ContextPhil Ford’s Musicology Lectures on the Weird Studies PatreonWJT Mitchell - The Work of Art in the Age of Biocybernetic Reproduction(*I mistakenly said this was “Biomechanical Reproduction”)Chris Ryan - Tangentially Speaking 69 with Daniel VitalisJames Nestor - The Future of Breathing at The Long Now FoundationEvolutionary fitness landscapes visualized by @_baku89 on TwitterRelated Future Fossils/Michael Sources:MG - Cosmic Perspectives From A Fractal Planet (Burning Man 2013)MG - Advertisement is Psychedelic Art is Advertisement (2011)MG - We Will Fight Diseases of Our Networks by Realizing We Are Networks (2020)MG - “Ride It” music video (2005)Future Fossils 125 - Stuart Kauffman on Life, Physics, and the Adjacent PossibleFuture Fossils 160 - His Dark Materials: Narnia, Fillory, and Coming of Age in the Multiverse, with Stephen Hershey & Kynthia BrunetteFuture Fossils 159 - Michael Dowd on Post Doom: Life After Accepting Climate CatastropheComplexity Podcast 51 - Cris Moore on Algorithmic Justice & The Physics of InferenceAnd when you’re ready to switch it up, here aremy musicandlistening recommendationson Spotify.If you're in a tipping mood:• Venmo: @futurefossils• PayPal.me/michaelgarfield• Patreon: patreon.com//michaelgarfield• BTC: 1At2LQbkQmgDugkchkP6QkDJCvJ5rv3Jm• ETH: 0x058aCaf2dd4DB222d89D65fdDF3f0500c5622448i
1/21/2021

160 - His Dark Materials: Narnia, Fillory, and Coming of Age in the Multiverse, with Stephen Hershey & Kynthia Brunette

Season 1, Ep. 160
It’s time for humankind to grow up —but it might also be more important than ever that we reconnect with our inner children and play like our lives depend on it (because they do). And so, given the in-progress BBC/HBO adaptation of Philip Pullman’s masterful fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, it feels like a great time to talk about this coming-of-age story and its cosmological questions. This week on Future Fossils, we link up with my friends Stephen Hershey and Kynthia Brunette, whose perspectives from acting and the study of human-computer interaction, as well as their deep fanship of Pullman’s writing, add up to a refreshingly fun and casual discussion of some of the biggest questions human beings ever thought to ask themselves.We talk about how translations from one medium to another affect the way we tell our stories; the media theory and logic of reinterpretation; C.S. Lewis and the important critiques of The Chronicles of Narnia; how Lyra Silvertongue is like and unlike Anakin Skywalker and other complex heroes whose success is the fall of an established social order; evolution in a cosmos where tension and opposition are required, and unity rhetoric deeply suspicious; the collapse of networks and how His Dark Materials anchors in the same archetypes as Dan Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos; 21st Century religion and faith in the absence of objects of faith; and much more.You can follow Stephen Hershey on Twitter (twitter.com/stephenhershey) for hot takes and on Twitch (twitch.tv/stephenhershey) for games and philosophy/astrology talks.You can link up with Kynthia Brunette on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/kynthia) or LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kynthia/) to learn more about her and her work with MAPS.Please rate and review Future Fossils on Apple Podcasts! And if you believe in the value of this show and want to see it thrive,support Future Fossils on Patreon. Patrons gain access to over twenty secret episodes, unreleased music, our book club, and many other great things as they spill out of my overactive imagination.We’d also love to have you inour thriving little Discord server, if you’re interested in meeting other members of our awesome scene. (And if you’d like to help edit transcripts, please drop me a line atfuturefossilspodcast@gmail.com.)Intro and outro music bySkytree.Related Reading:NBC News —HBO’s His Dark Materials Does Philip Pullman JusticeThe Ringer — Jack Thorne interviewed on the HBO AdaptationEsquire —HBO Show vs. Books DifferencesRadio Times - HBO Show vs. Books DifferencesBBC - Philip Pullman WebchatRelated Future Fossils Episodes:111 - Android Jones on Analog + Digital, Painting the Sutras, & Being an Artist Dad71 - JF Martel (On Sequels & Simulacra, Blade Runner 2049 & Stranger Things 2)61 - Jamaica Stevens (On Crisis, Rebirth, Transformation)55 - "Creativity & Catastrophe" (Talk at Palenque Norte, Burning Man 2017)53 - A Very Xeno Christmas! with Evan "Skytree" Snyder14 - WESTWORLD Problems (feat. Michael Phillip of Third Eye Drops)And when you’re ready to switch it up with some psychoactive music, here'smy musicandmy listening recommendationson Spotify.
1/6/2021

159 - Michael Dowd on Post Doom: Life After Accepting Climate Catastrophe

Season 1, Ep. 159
2021 comes in hot with Michael Dowd, ecumenical Christian preacher turned climate grief advocate, whose Post Doom Conversations are a well of wisdom for anyone prepared to stop fighting the inevitable* and start celebrating what actually can be done in these weird, scary, precious years to come. We discuss his time as an evolutionary biology evangelist and his friction with techno-optimists, what it means to live sustainably within a mature religion of place, urban scaling and collective action problems, a general theory for the collapse of market-based civilizations, and how to reorient one’s faith to planetary and secular values that allow us to accept reality as it is and avoid doing further evil to the Biosphere and each other. (*We spend a lot of time in this encounter digging underneath the surety to ask not “Is there hope,” but “Where am I still doomed by my conditioning?”)Please rate and review Future Fossils on Apple Podcasts! And if you believe in the value of this show and want to see it thrive, support Future Fossils on Patreon. Patrons gain access to over twenty secret episodes, unreleased music, our book club, and many other great things as they spill out of my overactive imagination.We’d also love to have you in our thriving little Discord server, if you’re interested in meeting other members of our awesome scene. (And if you’d like to help edit transcripts, please drop me a line at futurefossilspodcast@gmail.com.)Intro and outro music by Skytree.Further Reading:My appearance on Post Doom Conversationshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6d2VX3cx-zM“Irreversible Collapse: Accepting Reality, Avoiding Evil”https://youtu.be/iQeK04WOGaARafe Brown at the University of Kansas Natural History Museumhttps://biodiversity.ku.edu/herpetology“What if preventing collapse isn’t profitable?”https://www.postcarbon.org/what-if-preventing-collapse-isnt-profitable“Six ways to think long-term” by Roman Krznarichttps://medium.com/the-long-now-foundation/six-ways-to-think-long-term-da373b3377a4Gordon White and James Ellis on Accelerationism, Meaning, and Exithttps://runesoup.com/2020/08/accelerationism-meaning-and-exit-rune-soup-hermitix-swapcast/John Michael Greer’s The Long Descenthttps://www.amazon.com/Long-Descent-Users-Guide-Industrial/dp/0865716099Neil Postman’s Technopolyhttps://www.amazon.com/Technopoly-Surrender-Technology-Neil-Postman/dp/0679745408Zach St. George’s The Journey of Treeshttps://www.amazon.com/Journeys-Trees-Forests-People-Future/dp/1324001607Further Listening:MG on cultural mutation rates, network latency, and the collapse of civilizations:https://shows.acast.com/futurefossils/episodes/139MG with Geoffrey West on Complexity Podcast re: cities and scalinghttp://complexity.simplecast.com/episodes/35MG with Scott Ortman on Complexity Podcast re: even ancient rural human settlements obey “urban” scaling lawshttp://complexity.simplecast.com/episodes/48MG with Tim Kohler and Marten Scheffer on The Future of The Human Climate Nichehttp://complexity.simplecast.com/episodes/33MG with Mark Nelson on Biosphere 2 and the yoga of optimismhttps://shows.acast.com/futurefossils/episodes/95MG with Lydia Violet on deep ecology and community as medicinehttps://shows.acast.com/futurefossils/episodes/82MG with Jamaica Stevens on crisis, rebirth, and wisdomhttps://shows.acast.com/futurefossils/episodes/61Kevin Wohlmut reads The Next 10 Billion Years according to Ugo Bardi and John Michael Greerhttps://shows.acast.com/futurefossils/episodes/116And if you just need a breather, here's my music and my recommendations on Spotify.