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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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7/9/2021

170 - The Ungoogleable Michaelangelo Rides The Transtempouroboros and Waits for The End of The World to End

Ep. 170
This week’s episode is a true return to form, in which my old friend Michael Jacobs (aka The Ungoogleable Michaelangelo, aka Void Denizen) and I talk about pretty much everything —including plenty of things I honestly can’t believe I spoke about so freely.Every once in a rare while I have a discussion on Future Fossils that truly exemplifies the spirit in which this show was born — the truly omnivorous amateur enthusiasm that pervaded it before I started worrying about defining these investigations for an audience.Here is just a set of sampling slices from our most heartfelt and epic yarn, in which Michael talks about taking care of his father, who suffers Alzheimer’s; about getting back out of city life and onto the road in the American Southwest, communing with the landscape; about nonduality and artistry and memory and transpersonal somatics and their implications…It is an honor to meld with this guy, especially as my first not-exactly-post-pandemic, back-in-person podcast with a friend in the same room since God Knows When. Throughout this episode: he and I bat 1000 on the revelatory portmanteaus:The IcarOS, Genre Fluid, Vagabondage, The Industry and The Artistry, (my Dantien used to be a) Dantwienty, (and of course) The Transtempouroboros (tasty!).✨ Housekeeping:Come out as a future fossil on Patreon for another 25 minutes of this awesome conversation, plus two extra episodes a month, invites to our book club, new weird inspired essays, art and music that I labor on late night sometimes for months, and other things that help me share the wondrous inquiry. And please leave a good review on Apple Podcasts!• Discord Server | Facebook Group(Where people go to be weird enough to make it.)•Bookshop.org Future Fossils Reading List(Buy the books we talk about. You support local booksellers and I get a cut. Bezos gets nothing.)Episode edited by this tired guy right here. Theme music by Future Fossils co-host Evan “Skytree” Snyder. For when you’d rather listen to music than conversation, followmeandmy listening recommendationson Spotify.✨ Discussed:“If time is circular, you can be behind the curve and ahead of the curve at the same time.”–MG[Topics]Life transformations; place-based spirituality; the praxis, challenge, and path of caregiving; knowing when it’s time to shake things up; time, loss, memory, the shedding of ego…realizing you’ve been forgotten; Improv vs. composition; genii loci; when the doer and the doing are the same; time travel in the music studio; the difference between emphasis on UFO craft or the aliens themselves; scrutinizing my UFO experiences as potentially “just” a social hallucinogenic placebo effect or accidental transpersonal charismatic gaslighting…[Listening]Michaelangelo on FF: 37, 101Bayo Akomolafe on Rune SoupSelf Portraits As Other People Episode 1 with LogaReincantations (theme of The Sentimental Centipede)Anthony Peake on Self Portraits As Other PeopleShea Hembrey at TED: How I Became 100 ArtistsJF Martel on FF: 18, 71, 126FF 150 on a Unifying Meta-Theory of UFOs and The WeirdMG on Aliens and ArtistsOn Dreams and Waking at the San Francisco Evolver Spore, April 2010FF 149 with Tada Hozumi, Dare Sohei, Naomi Most, Onyx AshantiFF 117 with Eric Wargo[Other People]Void Denizen, Stewart Brand, EOTO, Tyson Yunkaporta, Jeff Buckley, David Bowie, Ween, Mike Patton, Yeasayer, Ben Harper, Bo Burnham, eter and The Wolf[Reading]Michaelangelo’s Meowsoleum and new book, The He and She of ItMG’s The Evolution of Surveillance, Part 4: Augments and AmputeesMartin Nowak et al.’s The evolution of syntactic communication (paper)“Time binding” was coined by Alfred Horzybski (who also said, “The map is not the territory.”)Rolf Potts’ VagabondingDavid Eagleman’s SumArthur C. Clarke & Stephen Baxter’s The Light of Other DaysPola Olaixarac’s Dark ConstellationsDavid Abram, Becoming AnimalJohn C. Wright’s Count To A Trillion and The Golden AgePeter Watts’ BlindsightKurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse FiveAldous Huxley’s Heaven and Hell[Viewing]Westworld, Constantine, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Altered Carbon, Coco,Seven Pounds (re: organ transplants),Dark Crystal & Labyrinth (re: Brian Froud),Lucy with Scarlett Johannson (re: black goo),Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase✨ Products I Endorse:•I transcribe this show with help from Podscribe.ai —which I highly recommend to other podcasters. (If you’d like to help edit transcripts for the Future Fossils book project, please email or DM me: Email | Twitter | Instagram)•BioTech Life Sciences makes anti-aging and performance enhancement formulas that work directly at the level of cellular nutrition, both for ingestion and direct topical application.I’m a firm believer in keeping NAD+ levels up and their skin solution helped me erase a year of pandemic burnout from my face.•Help regulate stress, get better sleep, recover from exercise, and/or stay alert and focused without stimulants, with the Apollo Neuro wearable.I have one and while I don’t wear it all the time, when I do it’s sober healthy drugs.•Musicians: let me recommend you get yourself a Jamstik Studio, the coolest MIDI guitar I’ve ever played.I LOVE mine. You can hear it playing all the synths on my new single.✨ Support this show:• Venmo: @futurefossils•PayPal.me/michaelgarfield• Patreon:patreon.com//michaelgarfield• BTC: 1At2LQbkQmgDugkchkP6QkDJCvJ5rv3Jm• ETH: 0xfD2BC66586FA4FBA189992E9B0037CD5cb9673EF• NFTs: Rarible | Foundation
6/29/2021

169 - Leidy Klotz on Design, Behavior, and When to Subtract

Ep. 169
This week we talk to Leidy Klotz about his book, Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less.Leidy Klotz is an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia in the Schools of Engineering, Architecture, and Business. His wide-ranging, prolific, and highly-awarded research is filling in unexplored overlaps between design and behavioral science. Nationally recognized as one of 40-under-40 professors who inspire, Leidy has taught thousands of students, including 21 Ph.D. advisees, whose designing and teaching shapes the world. He founded and directs the Convergent Behavioral Science Initiative, which brings together scholars, funders, media, and practitioners to advance behavioral science for design.We discuss the human cognitive bias to try and solve a problem by adding new elements rather than by subtracting pieces from the problem; how deeply-rooted and pernicious this is in both our evolution and our economics, and how it has contributed to the complex and compounding crises in which we find ourselves today; the implications of subtraction thinking for civil engineering, governance and collective behavior; how to communicate a subtraction strategy as a net positive without setting off people’s loss aversion alarms; whether it’s possible to “subtract” systemic racism and other structural inequalities; and in what ways the evolution of the technosphere will make for future humans both more and less than we are…https://www.leidyklotz.com/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 can gain access to two extra episodes a month, our monthly book club, new art and music, and other wondrous things.•Join the Future Fossils Discord Server and/or Facebook Group•Buy the books we talk about while supporting local booksellers and the podcastRelated Reading & Notes:Edward Tufte - PowerPoint is Evilhttps://shorensteincenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/HO_SNOW_2014_PowerPoint-Is-Evil.pdfNPR - To Save The Science Poster, Researchers Want To Kill It And Start Overhttps://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/06/11/729314248/to-save-the-science-poster-researchers-want-to-kill-it-and-start-overMartin Nowak, Joshua Plotkin, Vincent A. A. Jansen - The evolution of syntactic communicationhttps://www.nature.com/articles/35006635Things:optimizationsatisficingcomplex systemstrafficcognitioninteroperabilitydaylightingscience communicationpersuasionParkinson’s LawJevons’ ParadoxhoardingdeclutteringpollutionThe Anthropoceneurban designlandscape architectureentropydefund the policeinformation designthe non-euclidean curved attention landscapePeople:Joseph LeidyAndrea Wulf’s The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New WorldGeorge Lakoff & Mark Johnson’s Metaphors We Live byBrian Eno / The Long Now FoundationDaniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and SlowSystems researcher Tim ClancyKate Orff’s Toward an Urban Ecology: SCAPE / LandscapeMarie KondoTyson Yunkaporta’s Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save The WorldRajiv Sethi & Brendan Flaherty’s Shadow of DoubtHunter MaatsAnn BlairHerbert SimonKirell BenziRichard Doyle’s Darwin’s PharmacyChris Ryan’s Civilized To DeathPierre Teilhard de ChardinMihalyCsikszentmihalyi’s FlowMichael PhillipsAffiliate Links: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.)BioTech Life Sciences makes anti-aging and performance enhancement formulas that work directly at the level of cellular nutrition, both for ingestion and direct topical application.I’m a firm believer in keeping NAD+ levels up and their skin solution helped me restore the face I had before 15 months of COVID-19 burnout.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 musicians in the audience, let me recommend you get yourself a Jamstik Studio, the coolest MIDI guitar I’ve ever played.I LOVE mine and you can hear it all over my new single.When you’re ready to switch it up, here aremy musicandlistening recommendationson Spotify.Program Info:Episode mostly edited by my amazing wife, Nicole Taylor.Theme music by Future Fossils co-host Evan “Skytree” Snyder. Intro bed music by Michael Garfield.Cover Image c/o Jad Limcaco/Unsplash.Support this show financially:• Venmo: @futurefossils•PayPal.me/michaelgarfield• Patreon:patreon.com/michaelgarfield• BTC: 1At2LQbkQmgDugkchkP6QkDJCvJ5rv3Jm• ETH: 0xfD2BC66586FA4FBA189992E9B0037CD5cb9673EF• NFTs: Rarible | Foundation
6/10/2021

168 - Mikey Lion & Malena Grosz on Festival Time, Life-Changing Trips, and Community in COVID

Ep. 168
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 a secret feed of biweekly episodes, unreleased music, our monthly book club, and many other wondrous things. And join us in the Discord!This week I talk with Mikey Lion, music producer and co-founder of Desert Hearts, and Malena Grosz, creator of The Party Pro Toolkit and director of Stargate Reunion, about the pandemic’s distortions of time and community, flow states and festival time, gatherings in the No New Normal, running a festival and record label at the same time, comparing the potentials of festivals and urban nightlife, the impact of stage design and architecture on how community events shape individual experience, the tension between intimacy and scale, my hatred of silent disco and multiple simultaneous competing sound systems, DMT and other life-changing experiences, the good parts of tribalism, psychedelic integration.We start talking about the initiatic inspirations for both of them as festival producers…and then things get weird.And beautiful and raw and real and intimate — surprisingly, intensely so.Mikey talks about a very bad trip and we help him integrate it. We aim to close with two questions: What would you tell people in the future if they had forgotten how to party?And what, if they’re better at partying than we are, would you want to ask them?But then we get to talking about the future of festival economics…Mikey Lion: Spotify | SoundCloud | Facebook | Instagram | TwitterDesert Hearts: Spotify | SoundCloud | Facebook | Instagram | TwitterMalena Grosz: Party Pro Toolkit | Future Fossils 96 | LinkedIn | Twitter | FacebookFrom the press release for Mikey’s new LP, For The Love:“Before nurturing his brand and record label into the behemoth that it is today, a young Mikey Lion had been living with his parents and questioning the direction to take his life. Mesmeric album closer ‘Talking To The Trees’ with its lush synth layers and gossamer vocals, sketches out how his path was revealed to him. During a fateful psychedelic trip, he was guided to spread love and community under the banner of House, Techno, and Love that fans know today. Desert Hearts was officially launched in 2012, and the rest is history."Support this show financially:•Shop my Bookshop.org reading lists and I get a cut of all the sales from local booksellers• Venmo: @futurefossils•PayPal.me/michaelgarfield• Patreon:patreon.com//michaelgarfield• BTC: 1At2LQbkQmgDugkchkP6QkDJCvJ5rv3Jm• ETH: 0xfD2BC66586FA4FBA189992E9B0037CD5cb9673EF• NFTs: Rarible | FoundationPeople & Topics in this episode:Malena Grosz, Peter Dodds, George Carlin, Burning Man, Coachella, UtopiaFest, Firefly Gathering, Stuart Davis, Aliens and Artists, Topher Sipes, Trinumeral Festival, The War of ArtRelated episodes:David Bronner, Shane Mauss, The Teafaerie, Lydia Violet, Tricia Eastman, Rak Razam and Niles Heckman, Dennis McKenna, Jessica Nielson and Link Swanson Program Info:Episode edited by my amazing wife, Nicole Taylor. (It’s even more amazing that she did this when you listen to me divulge our relationship on the show…)Theme 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.Affiliate Stuff: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.When you’re ready to switch it up, here aremy musicandlistening recommendationson Spotify.

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