187 - Fear & Loathing on the Electronic Frontier with Kevin Welch & David Hensley of EFF-Austin
Find the complete show notes for this episode on Patreon. This episode was recorded live in Austin, Texas at the West China Tea House in partnership with EFF-Austin, a non-profit committed to the establishment and protection of digital rights and defense of the wealth of digital information, innovation, and technology. Founded in 1991 as a local sub-chapter of The Electronic Frontier Foundation and run as an independent organization, EFF-Austin promotes the right of all citizens to communicate and share information without unreasonable constraint— as well as the fundamental right to explore, tinker, create, and innovate along the frontier of emerging technologies. In this episode, I talk with Kevin Welch and David Hensley about why digital rights matter to our analog lives; whether and how the genies of rampant technological innovation can be forced back into the bottle; how to think about the inherent tensions between individuals and institutions; what esoteric traditions and superhero movies may have to teach us about living in the 21st century, and considerably more. I also make entirely too many references to Michael Crichton novels.I’ve collaborated with EFF-Austin on previous episodes of Future Fossils you may also enjoy:33 - Jon Lebkowsky (Pluralist Utopias & The World Wide Web's Wild West)92 - Panel: The Pre- and Post-History of VR, Surveillance, and Swarm IntelligenceAgain, Patreon is really the place you want to be checking out the resources for this show (and, of course, it's the place to go to take a shower in the awesome stuff I reserve for supporters).
186 - A Manifesto for Weird Science
or, “Why Isn’t There A Science of X?”or, “Alchemy is to Chemistry as Astrology is to…?”“If people don’t believe us after all the results we’ve produced, then they never will.”“It’s time for a new era, for someone to figure out what the implications of our results are for human culture, for future study, and — if the findings are correct — what they say about our basic scientific attitude.”– Robert G. Jahn“We have been very open with our data. But how do you get peer review when you don’t have peers?”– Brenda Dunne“The culture of science, at its purest, is one of freedom in which any idea can be tested regardless of how far-fetched it might seem.”–Benedict Carey, writing on the PEAR Lab for The New York TimesFull show notes available at Patreon.com/michaelgarfield
185 - What Good Is Conversation? Jonathan Rowson, Bonnitta Roy, Jason Snyder, Ashley Colby, & Stephanie Lepp Play Liminal Lingo Bingo Amidst The Metacrisis
Don't waste another minute here. Go read the full show notes on Patreon!Be forewarned: This latest episode is some extremely heady stuff. But thankfully, it's also full of heart and soul...Back in February, Jonathan Rowson posted two clips (here and here) from his latest in-progress writing tlimito Twitter, where it succeeded in baiting a bunch of the folks with whom I regularly interact as members of the so-called "Liminal Web" into reflecting on the value of partitioning a global boil of loosely-associated "sensemakers," "meta-theorists," and "systems poets" into well-meaning but ultimately dubious cultural taxonomies.I had plenty to say about this (here, here, and here) from my awkwardly consistent stance of being both enthusiastic and skeptical about apparently everything. But so did numerous other brilliant and inspiring people, including Bonnitta Roy, Stephanie Lepp, Ashley Colby, and Jason Snyder –all of whom I've wanted on the show for a while (with the exception of Stephanie, with whom I had a great chat back on episode 154). So I took it upon myself to press for an on-the-record group discussion about the virtue and folly of putting labels on sociocultural processes and networks that are defined by their liminality: Is this ultimately a good thing, or does it just kill the magic in a foolish servility to economic pressures and the desire to be recognized as A Movement?When we finally met at the end of March for our call, the conversation turned to issues with more urgency and gravitas —namely: Is it even helpful to spend all of our time talking about crises and metacrises when there is so much work to be done?What transpired was easily one of the more profound and inspired conversations I've ever had the good fortune to host on this show, although it was also more beset with insane and infuriating technical problems that getting it ready for release took over thirty hours of excruciating editing. I am so immensely glad I am finally done and can get on with my damn life! But also that I get to share this with you and hear what the rest of our scene(s) have to contribute to this discourse.
184 - Henry Gee on The History & Future of Life on Earth (& Much Else!)
I don't even know where to start with this amazing episode. Henry Gee is the Senior Editor of Nature, the author of many cool science books including his latest, A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth; an accomplished musician; a riveting storyteller and humorous fellow; the Founding Editor of Nature's Futures sci-fi series; and a total joy in conversation. We met to discuss his brilliant tour of evolutionary history past and future, and did, but also occupied a fair bit of our two hours together sharing stories about paleontologists, talking music, gabbing about our love of science fiction, and being ridiculous.I've decided to not bother editing this one because (1) I'm finally getting bold enough to give not-editing a shot; and (2) it was SO VERY ENJOYABLE that I am not sure I could survive a second listen without a second conversation already on the calendar. Consequently, you don't get the normal intensely-detailed show notes, but among the many things we discusses are: synthesizers; feathered dinosaurs; symbiosis as the defining feature of the future of the biosphere; the relationship between good science and good science fiction; why Olaf Stapledon is one of the most important sci-fi authors of the 20th Century; and as I've already said, much else.Visit the episode page on Patreon for a heap of related episodes if this one lights a fire in your mind...✨Housekeeping•If you want to see these conversations thrive,support Future Fossils on Patreonand pleaseleave a good review on Apple Podcasts! As a patron you get extra podcasts each month, book club calls, early access to new writing, art, and music, and special access to our exclusive (and very active) Facebook group and Discord server.•Find and obtain all the books we discuss on this show at the Future Fossils Bookshop.•When you’d rather listen to music, follow meonBandcampand (if you must)Spotify.
183 - The Evolution of Poetic Song Verse with Mike Mattison & Ernest Suarez
Find the complete show notes and support the show at Patreon.This week on Future Fossils, Orpheus is in the building for a soulful and visionary conversation with Grammy-winning blues singer-songwriter Mike Mattison and inveterate English professor Ernest Suarez of Catholic University, co-authors of the new book Poetic Song Verse: Blues-based Popular Music and Poetry. Their book explores the history of the complicated love affair between literature and rock, tracing the tangled roots back through slave work songs and Beat poetry into the age of the mythic rockstar through the definitive contributions of acts such as Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder, and with inspiration from The Merry Pranksters, Walt Whitman, and many more.This is the story of the cultural air we're all breathing and taking for granted. As a lifelong disciple of songwriting and poetry, I DEVOURED this book and this DELIGHTED in this conversation; and in the tense atmosphere of current events I can't think of a better way to emphasize what makes life worth living and what beauty grows from hardship than by turning our focus to the fruits of human creativity across and between cultures.
182 - Siv Watkins on Microanimism: Living with The Smalls
Microbiologist, independent scholar, ritualist, equestrian therapist, and overall badass Siv Watkins joins the show this week to discuss right relationship with the world of the invisibly small: mood-altering gut flora, the COVID-19 pandemic, Lyme disease, AIDS, and other chronic ailments…as well as with the all-encompassing tapestry of microbial life from which we evolved and within which we exist from birth to death. It’s turtles all the way down! Tag an anti-natalist friend and have them give it a listen…Learn more about and register for Siv's 2022 course on Thinking Like A Plague.Find the complete, extensive show notes —and support the show for superb extras — on Patreon.
181 - Jim Rutt on The Pre- and Post-History of GameB
Get the AMAZING full show notes on Patreon (free public post).Jim Rutt joins us this week to explore the pre- and post-history of “GameB”, an antidote to the social script of rampant ecocidal profit maximalization. Of course, Jim himself is an optimizer par excellence, a true Boomer if there ever were one who saw the wave of personal computing coming in and rode it like a champion surfer from one tech company to the next. What is the relationship between making it big by connecting people and fighting the entropic onslaught of externality production? We take it back to the middle of the 20th Century to find out: from kid gangs in the DC Beltway to MIT to writing computer models of the atmosphere of Jupiter, car salesman and college textbook peddler, suddenly we’re talking about building planet-wide networks of gravity wave detection telescopes and mutually non-commensurable village sex cults? Rivalry and non-rivalry in companies and governance. Holocracy and sociocracy. Are we prophets or fools? Or perhaps more importantly, How do you steal back the train from GameA? The code is simple: intellectual honesty and “a war on politics”. I had a blast talking with Jim and hope you have as much fun listening. Can’t wait to hear what conversations come from this…Yours in systems poetry,Michael
180 - Web3 & Complex Systems with Park Bach, Sid Shrivastava, Shirley Bekins, & Avel Guénin-Carlut at Complexity Weekend
This week I talk with four brilliant people working in and around the study of complex systems about the World Wide Web’s co-evolution with cryptocurrencies and other distributed ledger technologies: the promise AND the peril; the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s a hugely complicated topic and there wasn’t enough time in this panel for Complexity Weekend (recorded on 14 November 2021) for everyone to get on the same page, much less come to a final agreement about anything —but the real value of discussions like these lies in the tension between perspectives, and the intertidal zone is fertile, here, indeed.You can watch the unedited panel recording on YouTube (but I recommend listening instead, as the work that went into editing this was immense).For the COMPLETE show notes, including copious additional learning resources, find this episode on Patreon.More About Our Guests:Park BachRESEARCHER AT FIGMENT.IO; LIBRARIAN AT GITCOINCoordination Problems • Initial Conditions • Emergent Intent • Group PrioritySiddhant ShrivastavaRESEARCHER AT SINGAPORE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN’S iTRUST CENTRE FOR RESEARCH IN CYBER SECURITYCyber-physical Systems Security • Extended Reality • Distributed Teams • Workforce Training • TeleroboticsAvel Guénin-CarlutFOUNDER AT KAIROS RESEARCH; RESEARCH COORDINATOR AT ACTIVE INFERENCE LABPhysics of Life • Cultural Evolution • Epistemology • Active Inference • ConsciousnessShirley Bekins, MPAINDEPENDENT WRITER AND RESEARCHERSystems Feedbacks • Path Dependence • Poverty • Homelessness
179 - Scout-Lieder Wiley on Transrational Oracles & Magical Thinking in The 21st Century
This week on Future Fossils, metamodern magick ritual artist, yogini, songwriter, and delicious weirdo Scout-Lieder Wiley and I ask: “How are you supposed to repair the darkness if you don’t own the darkness?” And we have much fun and profound exploration besides, into the performance of expertise, the virtue of naïveté, integral theory without the jargon, being unfinished, speaking the unspeakable, heyoka medicine, astrology, the enneagram, the tarot, hermes the scientist versus hermes the communicator, the “flaveregore”, a speculative science dao that can and will fund taboo research, how the street finds its own uses for things, time binding and prediction and tarot and algorithmic policing, the divine value of boredom, and more.Scout on Twitter | FacebookFind the COMPLETE show notes for this episode here.✨Housekeeping•If you want to see these conversations thrive,support Future Fossils on Patreonand pleaseleave a good review on Apple Podcasts! As a patron you get extra podcasts each month, book club calls, and early access to new writing, art, and music.• Meet great people and have awesome conversations in ourDiscord Server&Facebook Group, which is going to convert to patrons-only in January 2022.•When you’d rather listen to music, follow meonBandcamporSpotify. (Here aremy listening recommendations.)✨Music by Michael Garfield•“Transparent,” “Always Catching Up,” “You Don’t Have To Move,” “Life Finds A Way,” “Hyperstition” from The Age of Reunion✨Other ways to support the work that goes into Future Fossils• Venmo: @futurefossils•PayPal.me/michaelgarfield• BTC: 1At2LQbkQmgDugkchkP6QkDJCvJ5rv3Jm• ETH: 0xfD2BC66586FA4FBA189992E9B0037CD5cb9673EF• NFTs:Rarible|Foundation|Voice|Hic Et Nunc|Mint Songs