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145 - Weaving A New Prehistory to Rewild The Future - Michael Garfield at Earth Frequency Festival 2017

Ep. 145

"We are living through a health crisis, an economic crisis, a racial crisis, and a democratic crisis. Each would be historic on their own. All of them are connected. That they have struck together in this way just might be what compels our transformation."

– Anand Giridharadas


This week’s episode is over three years in the making: my talk from Earth Frequency Festival 2017, about a revised narrative of prehistory from which we can grow new myths better suited for our times. I almost didn’t post this episode at all, even after nearly two full days of editing, because it felt tone deaf to zoom out so far and discuss topics like mass extinctions, the evolution of plant-pollinator symbiosis, my critiques of transhumanism and SpaceX, and how fish and clams represent complementary strategies for dealing with turbulent environments. 


But this feature-length rant erupted from me at a time that rhymes intensely with our current moment: I was scheduled to present on futurism immediately following a heart-wrenching and visceral presentation on the (then ongoing) Standing Rock protests, and it felt right then as it does now to wield what I know in service of new stories that better serve the work of social justice. After all, it is only the alienated and colonized mind that sees climate change, racism, economic inequality, and ecological devastation as separate issues.


No: if we are to truly embrace our interbeing with the biosphere (and we must), then we cannot exclude other human beings — or even nonhuman sentient beings — from our maps and models of the nondual truth of who we are. 


One more disclaimer: This is the last unpublished talk I gave before I started work at the Santa Fe Institute, where my poetic intuitions and armchair science scholarship have been challenged to rise to far greater rigor and discernment. I regard this two-hour screed as both one of my most inspired riffs, the closest that I ever got to a Terence McKenna sermon…but it’s also full of embryonic, raw ideas that have evolved A LOT since this recording happened. I share it with you not as a completed document but as a snapshot of a story in the weaving, and I hope you hear it as the work in progress that it was and is.


Thank you and I hope you’ll take a moment to read the supplementary materials below, and support the crucial social justice orgs helping protect the lives and freedom of your neighbors here on Earth, in this especially intense and pivotal moment. 


For the next few weeks I am donating 100% of the sales of my original paintings and inventory of canvas prints to ACLU and Unicorn Riot. If you would like to put your money to a good cause and get some cool art for doing so, please visit https://instagram.com/michaelgarfield for details.


Support this show on Patreon for over a dozen secret episodes, the Future Fossils book club, and weekly community calls, and much more. Or, better, read and share the resources below.


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


My embarrassingly white and male list of mentions from this talk:


Bruce Damer, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Ernst Haeckel, Proteus (documentary), Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, Diane Musho Hamilton, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Kary Mullis, Francis Crick, The Bardo Thodol (book), Ram Dass, Neem Karoli Baba, Biosphere 2, William Irwin Thompson, Marshall McLuhan, Alvin Toffler, Marie Toffler, Stewart Brand, Wall-E (film), Gregory Bateson, John Muir, Richard Doyle, Darwin’s Pharmacy (book), Thomas Henry Huxley, Gideon Mantell, Colin Elder, Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Baxter, The Light of Other Days (book), Albert Einstein, John C. Wright, Timothy Leary, Elon Musk


Share these resources:


–––> Ally Tools <–––

http://www.ally.tools


“Whether or not you think you hold them, stereotypes shape the lives of everyone on Earth. As human beings, we lack the ability to judge each situation as unique and different…and how we group novel experiences by our past conditioning, as helpful as it often is, creates extraordinary complications in society. As modern life exposes us to an increasing number of encounters with the other in which we do not have time to form accurate models of someone or some place’s true identity, we find ourselves in a downward spiral of self-reinforcing biases — transforming how we practice law enforcement, justice, and life online. Our polarized, irrational world calls for an intense look at what it will take to humanize each other — at traffic stops, in court, on social media, and anywhere our doubt about an unfamiliar face can lead to tragic consequences.”

https://complexity.simplecast.com/episodes/7


Complex systems science resources on algorithmic justice, moral economics, nonviolent policing, healing slums, countering hate on social media, and more:

https://santafe.edu/news-center/news/sfis-statement-support-victims-injustice


“One can’t claim to be an ally if one’s agenda is to prevent his or her own future dystopias through actions that also preserve today’s Indigenous dystopias. Indigenous environmental movements work to reject the ancestral dystopias and colonial fantasies of the present. This is why so many of our environmental movements are about stopping sexual and state violence against Indigenous people, reclaiming ethical self-determination across diverse urban and rural ecosystems, empowering gender justice and gender fluidity, transforming lawmaking to be consensual, healing intergenerational traumas, and calling out all practices that erase Indigenous histories, cultures, and experiences.”

https://www.yesmagazine.org/issue/decolonize/2018/04/03/white-allies-lets-be-honest-about-decolonization/


“Racial and economic inequities need to be tackled as this country seeks to recalibrate its economic and social compass in the weeks and months to come. Racism, in short, makes it impossible to live sustainably. Here’s what three prominent environmental defenders had to say in interviews this week about how the climate movement can be anti-racist.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/03/climate/black-environmentalists-talk-about-climate-and-anti-racism.html


Thank you for listening. Reach out any time.

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10/30/2022

193 - Kimberly Dill on Environmental Philosophy: In Defense of Wildness & Night

Ep. 193
This week I talk with environmental philosopher and Santa Clara Clara Assistant Professor Kimberly Dill, an old friend of mine from Austin, Texas whom I met at Bouldin Creek Coffee over lemon maté sours and a deep dive into Eastern nondual traditions while she was in school studying arguments against free will under acclaimed analytic philosopher Galen Strawson. She has since grown into a formidable scholar and ethics instructor in her own right and positively exudes a studious, diligent, caring, and starry-eyed vibe at all times…an utterly unique and finely-honed heart and intellect who stands out from the rest of my belovedly strange cohort of Austin festival-going slacker friends.I’ve been chasing her down to be on the podcast for years and am delighted she and I finally managed to link up to record this potent dialogue on the relationality of humankind and the wild world in which we are inextricably entangled, the substantive differences between our simulations and the originals they fail to fully reproduce, the importance of forests and dark skies to our psychospiritual well-being, where modern Western festival culture fails in its declared goal of delivering us back into right relations and ecstatic harmony with our kosmos…plus much else.Read the ✨ EXTENSIVE ✨ show notes, and join the Future Fossils community, at Patreon.Rate and review the show at Apple PodcastsBrowse my newsletter, original art, prints, merchandise, NFTs, etc.✨ Side Note:My big, BIG thanks to everyone for being so patient with me while my family and I suffered through some extraordinary challenges over the last months. I can’t tell you enough how much it means to me to have retained nearly everyone’s Patreon support while my wife and I dealt with two constantly sick kids, a number of our own health issues, and major upgrades to our home and big transitions at work.The good news is that I also managed to record interviews with the legendary Simon Conway Morris and Robert Poynton in that time and will be sharing those with you in short order! So, again, thanks for your subscriptions, your glowing Apple Podcasts reviews, and your engagement in the Future Fossils Facebook group…and stay tuned for several exciting big announcements soon!(Big thanks to my father-in-law Kevin Taylor for helping edit this episode!)

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