171 - Eric Wargo on Precognitive Dreamwork and The Philosophy of Time Travel

Ep. 171

This week we welcome back anthropologist and science writer Eric Wargo, for a conversation about his book Precognitive Dreamwork and The Long Self — as well as: how tautology (not paradox) rules a time travel universe, what it means to become a time-faring species, the future of precognitive technologies, the concern of a quantum computing financial singularity, why lying to yourself about your own future-sight might be of evolutionary benefit, why retrocausalists don’t believe in randomness, how culture is a tesseract and dreams are future fossils, the controversy of divinatory astrology, and how pre-shocks of future traumas explain some of the more puzzling facts of history.


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• Intro music: “Olympus Mons” by Michael Garfield | Outro music: “Otolith” by Skytree

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 Thanks to Naomi Most for helping edit the first half of this episode! It isn’t easy work.

If you like thinking about mind-expanding future technologies, I recommend you check out David Kelley’s WeFunder for a new human-AI symbiosis governance system that seems like it could shake things up in a good way. If you know people who like to fund tech projects, this one seems worth checking out. (David’s Transhumanity.net is a supporter of the show.)

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• Listening

FF 117 with Eric Wargo

FF 124 with Norman “Dr. Blue” Katz

FF 150 with Sean Esbjörn-Hargens

FF 156 with Stuart Davis

Complexity Episode 9 with Mirta Galesic

• Reading

NPR - Paradox-Free Time Travel Is Theoretically Possible, Researchers Say

Nautilus - This Tenet Shows Time Travel May Be Possible

Johnjoe McFadden - Quantum Evolution

Jonathan Zap - Crossing The Event Horizon

Jacques Vallee - The Invisible College

Ted Chiang - Stories of your Life and Others

Ted Chiang - Exhalation

Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse Five

Timothy Morton - Hyperobjects

Russell Targ & Jean Houston - Limitless Mind

Jessica Flack - “Coarse-Graining as a Downward Causation Mechanism”

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• 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.

More Episodes


188 - LARPing as a Nation-State with Jon Hillis & 0xZakk of CABIN DAO and Christian Lemp of Diamond DAO

Ep. 188
Complete, EXTENSIVE show notes at Patreon.com/michaelgarfield!As guest 0xZakk says at the very end of this conversation, most of the construction projects throughout the history of civilization have been coercive. What does it look like when we actually build things in a really cooperative way? This episode was recorded in November 2021 when the cryptocurrency markets were insanely bullish and the world relatively stable…but releasing it now, in July 2022, seems more aptly-timed than I could have anticipated.The United States Supreme Court has failed the great majority of American citizens not just once but several shocking and historic times in one week, hacking away at women’s reproductive rights, the EPA, and gun safety all at once. The Supreme Court majority was largely appointed by presidents that lost the popular vote, our nation is embroiled in hearings about a violent coup attempt spearheaded by the former President, and people on both sides of the constructed political divide seem more desperate than ever before in living memory. At the same time, both stocks and digital currencies, and the economic possibilities they support, are suffering through what seems like it will be a protracted winter. So it’s a PERFECT moment to talk about the visions we commit to building through the hardship, and the new responsibilities we must assume as citizens — not just of nation-states, but of the digital communities and cultures that we voluntarily participate in, the neighborhoods and cities that we live in.When a big tree dies in the forest, its falling lets in light that stimulates a contest between saplings — and we’re seeing something similar now in this rapid blooming of experiments in governance and finance, legal regulations and privately-organized society. Suddenly projects like the CABIN DAO seem prescient and urgent, so I’m glad to share this potent conversation with Jon Hillis and @0xZakk of CABIN DAO and Christian Lemp of Diamond DAO —three of the many people working hard at the frontiers of blockchain-based social innovation. In this episode we talk about what it means to live-action roleplay as a city-state, how physical geography and online culture overlap in their experiments, and what should stay illegible and wild amidst this wave of techy change…If you enjoy this show, please take a moment to subscribe, rate, and review wherever you prefer to listen. I’ve been extremely busy backstage working on a suite of Future Fossils projects that extend beyond the podcast, some of which you can glimpse on my Instagram and Twitter feeds…big changes coming soon, and inspiration’s flowing. If you want the inner track on all the music, art, and writing I am cooking up — or if you simply see the value in these conversations and my work at large, I hope you’ll join the other awesome people chipping in with listener support at Patreon.com/michaelgarfield— where I’m sharing an enormous folder of new A.I. artwork, updated every day.Lastly, I just re-launched my now thirteen-year-old blog on Substack — for roughly monthly digests of new work, join 7,500 other readers at michaelgarfield.substack.com. More soon.

187 - Fear & Loathing on the Electronic Frontier with Kevin Welch & David Hensley of EFF-Austin

Ep. 187
Find the complete show notes for this episode on Patreon. This episode was recorded live in Austin, Texas at the West China Tea House in partnership with EFF-Austin, a non-profit committed to the establishment and protection of digital rights and defense of the wealth of digital information, innovation, and technology. Founded in 1991 as a local sub-chapter of The Electronic Frontier Foundation and run as an independent organization, EFF-Austin promotes the right of all citizens to communicate and share information without unreasonable constraint— as well as the fundamental right to explore, tinker, create, and innovate along the frontier of emerging technologies. In this episode, I talk with Kevin Welch and David Hensley about why digital rights matter to our analog lives; whether and how the genies of rampant technological innovation can be forced back into the bottle; how to think about the inherent tensions between individuals and institutions; what esoteric traditions and superhero movies may have to teach us about living in the 21st century, and considerably more. I also make entirely too many references to Michael Crichton novels.I’ve collaborated with EFF-Austin on previous episodes of Future Fossils you may also enjoy:33 - Jon Lebkowsky (Pluralist Utopias & The World Wide Web's Wild West)92 - Panel: The Pre- and Post-History of VR, Surveillance, and Swarm IntelligenceAgain, Patreon is really the place you want to be checking out the resources for this show (and, of course, it's the place to go to take a shower in the awesome stuff I reserve for supporters).