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47 - Eliot Peper (The Weird Turn Pro: Sci-Fi & Scenario Planning)

Ep. 47

In one of the most QUOTABLE episodes of Future Fossils yet, this week’s guest is Eliot Peper – a “novelist and strategist” writing fiction and consulting businesses about the social implications of disruptive technologies. In addition to writing a steady stream of sci-fi inflected techno-thrillers like True Blue and Cumulus, he’s an editor at Scout.AI (one of the cooler speculative fiction websites I’ve seen out there).

 

http://www.eliotpeper.com/

http://scout.ai/

 

We Discuss:

• The power of science fiction to help us imagine future scenarios;

• The possible social impact of radical life extension (gerontocratic radical conservatives vs. an emergent mature wisdom culture);

• The Superstar Effect and how it might play out in the digital age;

• The awesomeness of Cory Doctorow’s latest novel, Walkaway;

• Eliot’s skepticism of mind uploading and conscious AI;

• The specter of technological unemployment;

• Science fiction’s growing significance to corporate think-tanks and creative labs in a future-facing society;

• How science fiction is like traveling to a foreign country – and teaches us more about our own moment than it does about the future;

• And More!

 

Quotes:

“We don’t call it ‘life extension,’ we just call it ‘healthcare.’”

“I think there is a very misleading public discussion going on around these topics [mind uploading and conscious AI], for a very simple reason. And that is – and I know this as a storyteller – metaphors matter…the human mind is very poor at distinguishing metaphor from reality. That’s what makes art fun! That’s what makes novels entertaining. We experience them as if they are real. Money is that. It only exists because we can build these complex shared fictions. However, those fictions can come back and bite you in the ass. And one of the ways they do it is, we take the metaphor too far.”

“[Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein] takes the extension of the Industrial Revolution into the imagination of dystopia. And I think we’re doing that right now when we’re talking about uploading our minds, and about creating general AIs…I just think we’re taking the computer analogy too far.”

“Technology is most useful to the extent that it is inhuman.”

“The whole point of technology is that we can accomplish what we want to accomplish more effectively – or, said another way, we can do less of what sucks.”

“Getting better at the skill of putting yourself in another person’s shoes is really important, and fiction is a great training ground for that. It can illuminate so much about why we do what we do that we can apply in our lives.”

“I think what makes science fiction as a genre interesting is its insights about the PRESENT.”

“I seek out discomfort. I seek out novel experiences that challenge me and that are not always fun. And I try to talk to people from different fields and learn from them, because I’ve learned that in my own life that having a really strange and somewhat random set of life experiences allows me to have a fresh perspective sometimes on a new problem.”

“The most important things about the world and about what it means to be human are very obvious and very old. And I think it’s especially important to remember that when we feel like we’re in the midst of a whirlwind of change that we don’t understand. And that the world we want to build and the lives that we want to lead – either today in 2017, or in 2117 – is that we need to be kind to each other. We need to help our friends out. Even more important, to help out strangers. To pay things forward instead of trying to think about the benefits that accrue to us. To make sacrifices – meaningful, painful sacrifices – financial, emotional, or otherwise – to help each other out. I think that building a better world is just a thousand small acts of kindness.”

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9/30/2021

174 - Evan "Skytree" Snyder on Sound Design for A Robotic Built Wilderness

Ep. 174
This week we're joined by robotics engineer, electronic music producer, and Future Fossils co-founder Evan “Skytree” Snyder — who has recently been asked to help design the sounds made by the next wave of Amazon warehouse robots. In this first part of our discussion, we explore the evolutionary and psychological considerations for designing human-compatible robot sounds, talk brilliant birds and their mimicry of people and machines, and riff on the manipulative utility of cuteness for both good and evil.In part two, available to Patreon supporters later this week, we talk about Evan’s work to reconstruct the soundscapes of The Age of Dinosaurs, his experiments with using radioactive mineral samples to control modular synthesizers, and his reflections on the use of sound for deep-time communication with future humans and/or extraterrestrials…✨Go Deeper•If you value this show and would like to see it thrive,support Future Fossils on Patreonand pleaseleave a good review on Apple Podcasts! As a patron you get extra episodes each month, invites to our book club, and new writing, art, and music.• Meet great people and have equally great conversations in theDiscord Server&Facebook Group.•Buy the books we talk about from theFuture Fossils shop at Bookshop.org.•For when you’d rather listen to music, followmeandmy listening recommendationson Spotify.✨Related Reading•Set My Heart To Five by Simon Stephenson•Unfettered Journey by Gary Bengier•Alex & Ada by Jonathan Luna & Sarah Vaughn•The Age of Em: Work, Love, and Life when Robots Rule The Earth by Robin Hanson•“Smooth Operator: Tuning Robot Perception Through Artificial Movement Sound” by Frederic Anthony Robinson, Mari Velonaki, Oliver Bown•“The maintenance of vocal learning by gene–culture interaction: the cultural trap hypothesis” by Robert F. LachlanandPeter J. B. Slater✨Related Listening•FF 13 - Rupert Till on Ancient Audio & Future Ritual•FF 29 - Sara Huntley on Raising Robots Right•FF 53 - Evan Snyder on A Very Xeno Christmas!•FF 73 - Patricia Gray on BioMusic, The New Science of Our Musical Brains & Biosphere•FF 149 - Tada Hozumi, Dare Sohei, Naomi Most on Cultural Somatics & Ritual as Justice•FF 159 - Michael Dowd on Post Doom: Life After Accepting Climate Catastrophe✨Music by Evan “Skytree” Snyder•“Telomere,” “Minas Gracia,” and “Sanitas” off Infraplanetary✨Support the countless hours of research and production that go into Future Fossils• Venmo: @futurefossils•PayPal.me/michaelgarfield• Patreon:patreon.com//michaelgarfield• BTC: 1At2LQbkQmgDugkchkP6QkDJCvJ5rv3Jm• ETH: 0xfD2BC66586FA4FBA189992E9B0037CD5cb9673EF• NFTs:Rarible|Foundation | Voice (available to non-crypto users)
9/7/2021

173 - Daniel Shankin on Psychedelic Integration - The Path of the Heart

Ep. 173
This week I commune with psychedelic integration counselor Daniel ‘Sitaram Das’ Shankin, founder of Tam Integration and The Psilocybin Summit, in a soulful conversation on grace versus good works, taking multiple perspectives, being the kindest version of yourself (rather than the smartest), belief systems as spirit possessions,his journey from yoga teacher to psychedelic integration counselor, personality types as insurance strategies, the good, bad, and ugly of memes, and how to live with the worst parts of psychedelic capitalism.Learn more about Daniel at tamintegration.com, sitaramdas.com, Instagram, and Twitter.Get 10% off your ticket for the The Third Annual Psilocybin Summit (16-20 September 2021) and enjoy my live Future Fossils panel with Richard Doyle, Sophie Strand, and Sam Gandy —as well as presentations by dozens of other amazing contributors — at psilocybinsummit.com/garfield.✨Housekeeping•If you value this show and would like to see it thrive,support Future Fossils on Patreonand/or pleaseleave a good review on Apple Podcasts! As a patron you get extra episodes each month, invites to our book club, and new writing, art, and music.• Meet great people and have equally great conversations in theDiscord Server&Facebook Group•Buy the books we talk about from theFuture Fossils shop at Bookshop.org•For when you’d rather listen to music, followmeandmy listening recommendationson Spotify.✨Related Reading•“What the heck happened to Reality Sandwich?” by Faye Sakelladaris•Thread on suffering and coping strategies on my Facebook timeline•Thread on lateral thinking & creativity in the Future Fossils Facebook group✨Related Listening•FF 58 - Shane Mauss on Psychonautic Adventures at The Edge of Genius and Madness•FF 63 - David Bronner on Psychedelics, Activism, and Trans-foam-ation•FF 88 - Dennis McKenna on Psychedelics as Scientific Instruments•FF 103 - Tricia Eastman on Facilitating Psychedelic Journeys to Recover from An Age of Epidemic Trauma•FF 112 - Mitsuaki Chi on Serving The Mushroom•FF 156 - Stuart Davis on Zen, Aliens, and Psychedelics•SolPurpose Conversations 2 - Richard Doyle on The Cloud of Unknowing•MG and Saj Razvi on MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy at BDYHAX 2018✨Music by Michael Garfield•“Whispering At Night” & “Autonomous Zone” off House Ship On A Hill (2021)•“Tin Heart” off Double-Edged Sword (2007)✨Support the countless hours of research and production that go into Future Fossils• Venmo: @futurefossils•PayPal.me/michaelgarfield• Patreon:patreon.com//michaelgarfield• BTC: 1At2LQbkQmgDugkchkP6QkDJCvJ5rv3Jm• ETH: 0xfD2BC66586FA4FBA189992E9B0037CD5cb9673EF• NFTs:Rarible|Foundation
8/18/2021

172 - Tyson Yunkaporta on Indigenous Systems Thinking, Fractal Governance, Ontopunk, and Queering W.E.I.R.D. Modernity

Ep. 172
This week’s guest is one of my favorite discoveries of the last few years, and someone I’m honored and delighted to know. I can hardly express how strange and exciting it was when I reached out to Tyson Yunkaporta, author of Sand Talk and Senior Research Fellow at Deakin University, and found out he was already a fan of my podcasting…so this episode is a seriously chummy session of mutual discovery by too people perhaps already a little bit TOO familiar with one another’s work. Tyson inhabits an awesome position at the intersection of Indigenous knowledge systems, complexity science, cultural criticism, multimedia art and design, and dreaming and scheming on applications for ancient wisdom in the digital and post-digital eras.If you value this show and would like to see it thrive,support Future Fossils on Patreonand/or pleaseleave a good review on Apple Podcasts! As a patron you get extra episodes each month, invites to our book club, and new writing, art, and music.• Meet great people and have equally great conversations in theDiscord Server&Facebook Group•Buy the books we talk about from theFuture Fossils shop at Bookshop.org•For when you’d rather listen to music, followmeandmy listening recommendationson Spotify.•Thanks to Naomi Most for helping edit most of this episode!It isn’t easy work.✨Short Reads• “Building The Ark” - Tyson at e-flux architecture on GameB• Tyson’s feature for Melbourne Design Week 2021• “Transformational Festivals Are A Symptom of Dissociation” - Michael Garfield• “Australian Aboriginal techniques for memorization: Translation into a medical and allied health education setting” – David Reser et al. (Tyson is last author)• The Weirdest People in The World — Joseph Henrich• William Irwin Thompson on “The Ghost Dance of the Rednecks”• “The Information Theory of Individuality” - David Krakauer et al.• “Unchained: A Story of Love, Loss, and Blockchain” - Hannu Rajaniemi✨Podcasts• Future Fossils Book Club Discussion Recording: Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta• “What Can I Do?” on The Other Others• “Maori MAGA” on The Other Others• “Queering Dignitas” on The Other Others• FF 100: The Teafaerie on DMT, Transhumanism, and What To Do with All of God's Attention• FF 86, 87: Onyx Ashanti on Surfing Exponential Change (Part 1, Part 2)✨Books• Sand Talk - Tyson Yunkaporta• Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now - Jaron Lanier• Scale - Geoffrey West• Count to a Trillion - John C. Wright• Cat’s Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut✨Music• Intro Music: Live at The Chillout Gardens, Boom Festival 2016• New Release: House Ship On A Hill (2021)✨Notes• “The bourgeousie is always plundering the margins for menu options.”• eating peacocks: diverse diets for biodiversity vs. for dominion• how to restore the lost topsoil of Settler culture without stepping on others to do it• culpability (and the role of intent) in the West versus in Indigenous communities• COVID trauma, climate change, and Indigenous postapocalyptic insights for Settler cultures• critiquing the Myth of Primitivism and the Myth of Progress• the destruction of the clan by marriage law and papal decree• sanguinal, geographic, and noetic polities• showing up in society not just as individuals, but as members of family groups• why Indigenous people fall for conspiracy disinformation• getting a smartphone as an adult and how it changes you — firsthand recollections• Marshall McLuhan, neotribalism, banishment, and cancel culture• fractal sovereignty & continental commonlaw• genderqueerness as ontological revolution• decolonizing language and sexuality vs. transhumanist escapism/linguistic reterritorialization• guerrilla weddings in the Age of COVID• trust, smart contracts, and the unsustainability of economies of scale• Megan Kelleher, Holochain, Jim Rutt, Ben Goertzel• liquid democracy• How do you prevent an autonomous zone from being subsumed by colonial forces?• being happy to not have final answers, to be one step in an age of transition• “Land is your smart room [except] it’s reciprocal. One of you isn’t ‘The User.’ … Most of the affordances you’re seeking through technology and sci-fi: these are pre-existing things. You find them through a relation and an interspecies communication with your bioregion.”✨Support the countless hours of research and production that go into Future Fossils• Venmo: @futurefossils•PayPal.me/michaelgarfield• Patreon:patreon.com//michaelgarfield• BTC: 1At2LQbkQmgDugkchkP6QkDJCvJ5rv3Jm• ETH: 0xfD2BC66586FA4FBA189992E9B0037CD5cb9673EF• NFTs:Rarible|Foundation

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