FUTURE FOSSILS

Share

115 - Eliot Peper on The History of Technology and The Future of Society

Ep. 115

Eliot Peper (Episode 47) is back on the show this week to talk about the themes around and within his Analog trilogy of very adjacent and believable sci fi novels (Bandwidth, Borderless, and the new “conclusion” Breach): that is, about the complex interactions between people and technology, both the layer cake of deep utilities we take for granted and the new affordances that disruptive tools produce – and how we shape our lives within them.


https://www.eliotpeper.com/


“One of the most fun things for me as a novelist about writing fiction is that it is very much about the questions, rather than the answers…if the answer’s obvious, I don’t need to write a book about it.”


“You can’t really tell history without the history of technology.”


“Congress writes laws about what’s going on, not what might be going on ten years from now. Policymaking is largely a reactionary measure.”


“We haven’t figured out the new societies we want to build, given the new realities we’ve already invented.”


“If you start thinking about the entire internet as an AI, then Google is not a company that is building what could be in the future some kind of AI program. Rather, Google and its status as a corporation, all of the corporate hierarchies that exist within it, and all of the people working on teams there, are actually just one part of that AI.”


“I’m not a big believer in unitary self as an idea. I think we are all made up of MANY selves. We have these competing elements within us, and part of what it means to be human is to stitch these together into a coherent narrative. And we do that on the fly all the time.”


“Your solution is going to create new problems, and the best way to best way to deal with that knowingly is to try to keep an open mind, try to maintain your beginner’s mind, maintain your state of awareness about the world and continually challenge your own assumptions.”


“We are living in an age of acceleration – and yet, we have ALWAYS been confronted by a universe that defies our limited ability to make sense of it.”


“My hope is that by using it like reasonable, mutually respectful people, we can turn the digital world into a place that is still gonna have some of the nasty stuff, but is gonna have a lot of the good stuff.”


Mentioned: Kevin Kelly, Geoffrey West, Douglas Rushkoff


Theme Music: “God Detector” by Evan “Skytree” Snyder (feat. Michael Garfield)

https://skytree.bandcamp.com/track/god-detector-ft-michael-garfield


Additional Music: “On Higher Ground” by Michael Garfield

https://michaelgarfield.bandcamp.com/track/on-higher-ground


Support this show on Patreon to join the book club and for secret episodes:

https://patreon.com/michaelgarfield

More Episodes

7/3/2022

188 - LARPing as a Nation-State with Jon Hillis & 0xZakk of CABIN DAO and Christian Lemp of Diamond DAO

Ep. 188
Complete, EXTENSIVE show notes at Patreon.com/michaelgarfield!As guest 0xZakk says at the very end of this conversation, most of the construction projects throughout the history of civilization have been coercive. What does it look like when we actually build things in a really cooperative way? This episode was recorded in November 2021 when the cryptocurrency markets were insanely bullish and the world relatively stable…but releasing it now, in July 2022, seems more aptly-timed than I could have anticipated.The United States Supreme Court has failed the great majority of American citizens not just once but several shocking and historic times in one week, hacking away at women’s reproductive rights, the EPA, and gun safety all at once. The Supreme Court majority was largely appointed by presidents that lost the popular vote, our nation is embroiled in hearings about a violent coup attempt spearheaded by the former President, and people on both sides of the constructed political divide seem more desperate than ever before in living memory. At the same time, both stocks and digital currencies, and the economic possibilities they support, are suffering through what seems like it will be a protracted winter. So it’s a PERFECT moment to talk about the visions we commit to building through the hardship, and the new responsibilities we must assume as citizens — not just of nation-states, but of the digital communities and cultures that we voluntarily participate in, the neighborhoods and cities that we live in.When a big tree dies in the forest, its falling lets in light that stimulates a contest between saplings — and we’re seeing something similar now in this rapid blooming of experiments in governance and finance, legal regulations and privately-organized society. Suddenly projects like the CABIN DAO seem prescient and urgent, so I’m glad to share this potent conversation with Jon Hillis and @0xZakk of CABIN DAO and Christian Lemp of Diamond DAO —three of the many people working hard at the frontiers of blockchain-based social innovation. In this episode we talk about what it means to live-action roleplay as a city-state, how physical geography and online culture overlap in their experiments, and what should stay illegible and wild amidst this wave of techy change…If you enjoy this show, please take a moment to subscribe, rate, and review wherever you prefer to listen. I’ve been extremely busy backstage working on a suite of Future Fossils projects that extend beyond the podcast, some of which you can glimpse on my Instagram and Twitter feeds…big changes coming soon, and inspiration’s flowing. If you want the inner track on all the music, art, and writing I am cooking up — or if you simply see the value in these conversations and my work at large, I hope you’ll join the other awesome people chipping in with listener support at Patreon.com/michaelgarfield— where I’m sharing an enormous folder of new A.I. artwork, updated every day.Lastly, I just re-launched my now thirteen-year-old blog on Substack — for roughly monthly digests of new work, join 7,500 other readers at michaelgarfield.substack.com. More soon.
6/10/2022

187 - Fear & Loathing on the Electronic Frontier with Kevin Welch & David Hensley of EFF-Austin

Ep. 187
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).

Comments