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154 - Stephanie Lepp on Pro-Social Deepfakes, Post-Normal Science, and The Future of "Reality"

Ep. 154

This week I chat with artist Stephanie Lepp, producer of Infinite Lunchbox, the Reckonings podcast, and — most excitingly, for me — Deep Reckonings, a stunning new project exploring the “pro-social” uses of AI-generated “deepfakes” and other synthetic media for education, therapy, and other beneficial outcomes. 


While I’ve been speculating on the ominous (albeit numinous) social and psychological consequences of deepfakes since my 2017 sci-fi short “An Oral History of The End of ‘Reality’”, it never really occurred to me that these tools aren’t just dangerous but potentially healing and transformative. Stephanie, however, has made it very clear in her new videos, and in her extensive statement for the project, that sometimes all we need to imagine a better world is to see it faked convincingly. 


In this discussion, we explore how deepfakes can expand and enrich the potent benefits of earlier media like theater and the novel; why it’s so controversial to portray wrongdoers finally accepting accountability and moral leadership, even when it’s an explicit fiction; and how science itself is going to have to change to accommodate a more nuanced and multi-dimensional understanding of truth.


Stephanie at IFTF | LinkedIn | Twitter


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’re up for helping edit Future Fossils Podcast transcripts, please drop me a line at futurefossilspodcast@gmail.com.)


Intro and outro music is from Skytree’s new LP of spacey downtempo electronica, Infraplanetary, which I highly encourage you to purchase.


Enjoy, and thanks for listening!

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4/8/2021

164 - Violet Luxton on Scientific Reductionism vs. Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Ep. 164
This week we talk to artist, musician, and community organizer Violet Luxton, who works and lives at the intersection of Indigenous wisdom traditions and Indigenous rights movements, #LandBack and #BlackLivesMatter, afro-futurism, yoga, and visionary biotechnological speculation. In a conversation far shorter than the subject matter deserves, we explore some of the themes in and related to her profound academic paper, "Transtemporality and The Technology of Indigenous Kinship: The Science of Remembering Ourselves."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.Enjoy, and thanks for listening!_,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,_Also Discussed In This Episode:Violet Luxton at LinkedInSaki Mafundikwa —Ingenuity and Elegance in Ancient African Alphabets [video]Ron Eglash —The Fractals at The Heart of African Designs [video]_,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,__,.-'~'-.,_Additional Resources:Buy the books we mention on Future Fossils at Bookshop.org/shop/FutureFossils, which supports local bookstores instead of Amazon and pays me 10% at no additional cost to you.When you’re ready to switch it up, here aremy musicandlistening recommendationson Spotify.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!• Venmo: @futurefossils•PayPal.me/michaelgarfield• Patreon:patreon.com//michaelgarfield• BTC: 1At2LQbkQmgDugkchkP6QkDJCvJ5rv3Jm• ETH: 0x058aCaf2dd4DB222d89D65fdDF3f0500c5622448i
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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
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162 - "AHA" (Ask Him Anything) #1: Aliens, Death, Creativity

Season 1, Ep. 162
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