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150 - A Unifying Meta-Theory of UFOs & The Weird with Sean Esbjörn-Hargens

Ep. 150

For Episode 150 we welcome back Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, one of the most formidable and daring intellects I know, and the author of a new paper integrating over 650 books on UFOs and the paranormal, from over 150 disciplines, to trace the outline of a unifying meta-theory of the weird. In this episode, we discuss how Sean reconciles ten different hypotheses for the UFO phenomenon with his “mutual enactment hypothesis,” an updated ontology based on reconstructive post-modernism and Indigenous ways of knowing. I tell the story of the most powerful and transformative experiences of my life, as a case study in high weirdness. We talk about the distinctions between the real, the Real, the hypo-real, and the hyper-real, and offer examples from film, literature, and comparative religion.


Do you have incredulous friends? Show them the extraordinary website Sean made with Tom Curren, WhatsUpWithUFOs.com

Read Sean’s paper, “Our Wild Kosmos!: An Exo Studies Exploration of the Ontological Status of Non-Human Intelligences”

Read its precursor, “An Ontology of Climate Change: Integral Pluralism and the Enactment of Multiple Objects”

Read Sean’s latest newsletter on recent UFO disclosures

Learn more about and enroll in Sean’s course on Exo Studies


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 whatever else spills out of my overactive imagination.


Dig deeper with the Future Fossils episodes we reference in this conversation, including:

37 - Michaelangelo aka Void Denizen (Excavating the Future with "Paisley-ontology")

60 - Sean Esbjörn-Hargens Goes Meta on Everything: Integral Ecology & Impact

71 - JF Martel (On Sequels & Simulacra, Blade Runner 2049 & Stranger Things 2)

91 - An Oral History of The End of "Reality"

99 - Erik Davis on How to Navigate High Weirdness

113 - Sean Esbjörn-Hargens on Exostudies: Philosophical Explorations of the UFO Phenomenon

117 - Eric Wargo on Time Loops: Precognition, Retrocausation, and the Unconscious

126 - Phil Ford & JF Martel on Weird Studies & Plural Realities

132 - Erik Davis on Perturbations in the Reality Field

149 - Cultural Somatics & Ritual as Justice with Tada Hozumi, Dare Sohei, and Naomi Most


And stay tuned for my three-part conversation with Stuart Davis about (most of) my UFO experiences on his awesome Aliens & Artists Podcast!


Music in this episode:

“Delta Pavonis” by Michael Garfield

“Olympus Mons” by Michael Garfield

“Your Heart Comes Back Online” by Michael Garfield

“Out There” by Skytree

More Episodes

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

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