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

Ep. 71

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This week’s episode features returning guest JF Martel, film-maker, culture critic, and author of Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice. In his first appearance on Future Fossils, we discussed art as an opening to the transcendent and his awesome three-part essay on the philosophy of Netflix’s Stranger Things, “Reality Is Analog”…so it only made sense to have him back to weigh in on Stranger Things 2 and the extremely artful Blade Runner 2049, both of which speak directly to the evolution of the soul and “the human tragedy” in an increasingly digital age. 


It’s ultimately a discussion of The Sequel, and how what distinguishes good simulacra from bad is all in the label, “Made With Love”…


JF’s book and blog:

http://reclaimingart.com


JF’s podcast:

http://weirdstudies.com


We Discuss:


- The humanization of replicants (and the “animalization” of a previously monstrous demogorgon) as empathetic characters in these stories, and how that provides a vital contrast to our future-shocked insistence on hard categorical divisions between made and born, human and non-human;


- Carl Jung and Jungian therapist James Hillman, The Velveteen Rabbit, and “earning one’s soul” through individuation of the self (soul as connection to the imaginal contrasted with soul as individuality);


- Where does order come from in the evolutionary process?;


- The theological angle on the soul as digital because it is the soul as the absolute appearance of a singular (non-evolutionary) form;


- Do things need to happen for a reason?;


- Is it better to act as if you’ll die tomorrow or to act as if you’ll live forever? (And does thinking “only now exists” make you a lousier person?);


- Balancing the two poles of “soul” in philosophy: that which exists beyond cause and effect, and that which is made through tribulation;

 

- Looking at our lives from the perspective of Nietzsche’s Eternal Return and Alan Watts’ notion of the life as a symphony, comprehensible only from the outside;


- The genius horror writing of Thomas Lugatti (sp?);


- Why it’s so important not to spoon-feed your audience the plot points of a film, to invite them into an interactive process with the narrative;


- Donna Haraway, John David Ebert, body hacking…and the shadow form of posthuman philosophy in the peril of ironic hipster detachment to human incarnation;


- Rachel Nagelberg’s book The Fifth Wall and how she figures our postmodern dissociation from self through a matrix of surveillance technologies and the out-of-body experiences they induce (see also Erik Davis and Technobuddhism);


- The difference between a good sequel and a bad one is “Made With Love” – and how the character of “Luv” in Blade Runner 2049 can be read as a statement on the evils irony is capable of;


- The Strong Female Lead as a major trope in recent cinema, from Silence of the Lambs to The X Files to Arrival, and what it means about femininity and institutions in our current Zeitgeist;


- An update on the writing process of Michael’s book, How To Live in the Future;


- More gushing about James P. Carse’s book, Finite and Infinite Games;


- Dungeons & Dragons. ;)


- And more! 


Quotes:


“There’s no reason why something can’t happen for no reason at all. The only way you can prove the Principle of Sufficient Reason - that things happen for a reason - is by presupposing the principle.”


“The universe might have come about in all its complexity ten seconds ago, and might disappear in another ten seconds for no reason at all.”


“We don’t know what death means, so we don’t know what it means to live your last day, in that context. But the idea to live as if you’re already dead – that to me has a lot of resonance, because it means that you live your life in such a way that the story of your life has been written somewhere. For me it resembles Nietzsche’s idea of The Eternal Return: it’s that every action you take should be something you would will yourself doing for the rest of time, for eternity, so that everything resonates at the deepest level.”


“Good stories don’t really work in such a way that everything has its place, morally, in the universe. It’s more like everything makes sense at the aesthetic level. It’s like everything fits together aesthetically somehow, through some weird synchronicity. And I think that it’s possible to look at life that way, and to experience life that way.”


“I would compare Jurassic World to one of those Old West roadshows that used to travel around in the 1910s and recreate the battles of the Wild West in the kitschiest, most facile way possible – and Stranger Things is more like a Pre-Raphaelite painting to me. It’s SO hyper-aware of what it’s doing, and at the same time it’s not ironic. It REALLY IS nostalgic. It REALLY IS pining for that lost time.”


“I don’t think technology is helping a lot of people ‘make a soul.’”

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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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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
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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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