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129 - How to Live in the Future (Michael Garfield at Boom Festival 2016)

Ep. 129

…in which I talk about Jurassic Park, Terminator, Pokémon, cat videos, Radiolab, Google, DARPA, Charles Stross, the Singularity, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Martine Rothblatt, Genesis P Orridge, neo-advaita nondual philosophy, and angels. (“Do you guys believe in angels?”)  


DISCUSSED:


Bringing Heart Back To Futurism. 

Technological Acceleration As Psychedelic Yoga. 

It Doesn’t Have To Be Either/Or. 

Scan Lovers. 

Can We Have Identity Politics In A Posthuman Society? 

Control or Liberation?


Recorded at Boom Festival's Liminal Village, 16 August 2016 — here’s the official Boom Festival video of the talk.


Originally published on my archive of public talks at bandcamp, this lecture became the basis for the essay series with the same name, which you can read on my Medium blog.


Support The Show: patreon.com/michaelgarfield


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


QUOTES:


The future is an idea that is constructed socially, just as insanity is constructed socially.


Most people spend most of their time thinking about what the world we’re moving into is going to look like, and very little time thinking about what it’s going to FEEL like. Who we are going to be, once all this transformative change has settled into a newly-constituted world age?


It’s very telling that so much of the conversation around artificial intelligence is this notion that there’s some kind of demon emerging through the machine for us to encounter and to reckon with. That there is something we have to confront…something that may destroy us even as it transforms us. And I think that the problem here is that this is a half-chewed sandwich. We’re right there on the precipice of recognizing that we too are implicated in this global conspiracy, that we too are participating in the evolutionary process, and it falls upon us all to heal this alienation from the natural world – especially as it appears in non-human living systems and as it appears in non-human machine intelligences. And to recognize, first of all, that we are a function, we are an action, of Earth’s geology.


It’s by failing to identify our own transcendental nature – our own identity beyond the opposites of subject and object, self and other, nature and culture, the made and the born – that renders the transcendental as something against which the limited identity of the egoic self has to be defended. And so we experience what could be regarded as the emergence of a planetary Christ child – as the internet swallows us and we awaken together into this planetary identity, we experience this as the intrusion of a Borg mind or Terminator: Rise of the Machines. We are capable in our understandably anxious paranoid delusion of seeing only the demonic manifestation, because it’s so much easier to reject this kind of radical transformation than it is to embrace it and to steer it. And I’m hoping that by the end of this talk you all feel slightly more empowered to participate in this future, and to participate in the growing number of people worldwide that recognize that it falls upon us as we birth a new age, to love what we create. And to infuse it with love and creativity, and not to reject this baby, but to raise it right.


The mirror was believed to have terrifying spiritual properties: that a mirror can steal your soul, or that a vampire couldn’t be seen in a mirror because it had no soul. And likewise with the camera: anything that renders the previously unconscious as the conscious, anything that shows our selves to ourselves in a new way and thus creates an object out of what was originally the subject, a new “it” out of what was “I,” is going to appear to us as the monstrous.


As we become more transparent to one another, we become more accountable to one another. And the accountability is in some sense the masculine structure that we see growing as the companion to the desire to share with one another as a sort of feminine urge for intimacy.


As a river runs all possible ways down a mountain, the future will have more options for how to be a human being than before. It will have more ways for us to become partial and non-inclusive of the future than ever before.


We are becoming more and more compatible with the machine and it is becoming more and more compatible with us, in the same way that we domesticated corn and corn domesticated us.


We have this profound opportunity to invest as much beauty and love and creativity into this new space as we possibly can. 

More Episodes

7/8/2020

147 - How to Live in The Future (Parts 1 - 4)

Ep. 147
This week is something different: author-read audio of the first four essays from my ongoing book-in-progress, How to Live in The Future.These essays are the first in my feature-length interrogation of the insufficient ways we think about the future…a poetic exploration of the fruitful interface between psychedelic mysticism, evolutionary theory, and critical futurism.For more along these lines, check out Future Fossils Episode 129 for the Boom Festival 2016 talk that started it all…You can read these pieces —rich with explanatory hyperlinks and graphics —at the links below:Part 1: The Future is A PlacePart 2: The Future is More of EverythingPart 3: The Future is Both True and FalsePart 4: The Future is Exapted/RemixedMusical interludes from my 2017 live album, Pavo: Music for Mystery, recorded live on tour across Australia.Episode cover art by Collin Elder, whose paintings feel to me like the fine art approximation of what I am trying to communicate in words. Follow him on Instagram.Support this show on Patreon for over a dozen secret episodes, the Future Fossils book club, and weekly community calls, and much more.Later essays in this series, which I’ll likely read in a fall episode:Part 6: The Future is DisgustingPart 7: The Future Acts Like YouPart 8: The Future is Indistinguishable from MagicAlthough I’d rather you shop elsewhere, you can grab the books we talk about on Future Fossils at Amazon and they’ll chip me a piece of the proceedings at no cost to you.
6/25/2020

146 - Raising Earth Consciousness with Ralph Metzner, Dennis McKenna, Gay Dillingham, Valerie Plame Wilson, Allan Badiner, and Michael Garfield at Synergia Ranch, April 2016

Ep. 146
Where do I even start explaining this week's episode? Probably with a vignette: someone came up to me after I was on this all-star panel discussion featuring five living legends — psychedelic researchers Ralph Metzner and Dennis McKenna, author Allan Badiner, film-maker Gay Dillingham, and former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson —and asked me who I was and what I was doing there. I was the youngest person on stage by twenty years, and had done nothing with my life yet that put me in the same weight class as any of them. And yet there I was to offer my synthetic insights and play music to a packed house in a geodesic dome on an utterly magical evening. We had an intense discussion about nuclear disarmament, ecological destruction, and psychedelic medicines hosted by my then-new friends at Synergia Ranch. Rick Doblin of MAPS and Johnny Dolphin of Biosphere 2 fame got up on stage that night as well (although not for this panel). It was a night I'd dreamt about weeks in advance with uncanny accuracy, and was the catalyzing moment that ultimately led to my moving to Santa Fe in 2018. I'm deeply grateful to Synergetic Press for hosting the event, inviting me to join this panel, and letting me share this recording as a podcast episode.Read all about this awesome April 2016 symposium and salon here:https://www.synergeticpress.com/raising-earth-consciousness-at-the-synergetic-symposium-and-salon/So much has changed since then and honestly, it isn't the most timely episode to publish at this moment, but I'm working hard to get some awesome people on the show soon who can speak to what we're living through in history right now.I would have more to say about this, but it's been a very busy week. If you'd like more new listening material, I strongly recommend checking out the recent conversation that I had with physicist Geoffrey West of the Santa Fe Institute about how the science of cities undercuts the economic myth of endless open growth and forces us to seriously study other paths to a sustainable planetary culture.Please take a moment to leave a glowing review of Future Fossils at Apple Podcasts.If you would like to link up with other amazing Future Fossils listeners, please email me and I'll invite you to our Discord server.Support this show on Patreonfor over a dozen secret episodes, the Future Fossils Book Club (next up: Lilith's Brood by Octavia Butler!), and muuuuuch more.Theme Music:“God Detector” by Evan “Skytree” Snyder (feat. Michael Garfield).Additional Intro Music: "Lambent" by Michael Garfield.Thank you for listening!

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