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99 - Erik Davis on How to Navigate High Weirdness

Ep. 99

This week’s guest is Erik Davis – one of my great inspirations, someone who has influenced me and this podcast in immeasurable ways since I first encountered his amazing criticism, histories, and “seen it all” visionary cool – I still recommend his first nonfiction book (Techgnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information) on a near-daily basis, and his show Expanding Mind has got to be my number one most-listened podcast of all time.


Erik is a native Californian Gen X mystic who played no small part in the explosive West Coast visionary cyperpunk scene in the 1990s alongside folks like Terence McKenna, Timothy Leary, RU Sirius, Doug Rushkoff, and Jaron Lanier. But he’s taking a profoundly different stance these days, with a Religious Studies PhD in hand and a new book at the printers, drawing on his thirty-plus years experience investigating modern life’s weird marginalia to help us navigate a world in which the weird’s no longer marginal.


https://techgnosis.com


https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/high-weirdness


High Weirdness Drugs, Visions, and Esoterica in the Seventies by Erik Davis


"A study of the spiritual provocations to be found in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terrence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson, High Weirdness charts the emergence of a new psychedelic spirituality that arose from the American counterculture of the 1970s. These three authors changed the way millions of readers thought, dreamed, and experienced reality— but how did their writings reflect, as well as shape, the seismic cultural shifts taking place in America? In High Weirdness, Erik Davis—America’s leading scholar of high strangeness—examines the published and unpublished writings of these vital, iconoclastic thinkers, as well as their own life-changing mystical experiences. Davis explores the complex lattice of the strange that flowed through America’s West Coast at a time of radical technological, political, and social upheaval to present a new theory of the weird as a viable mode for a renewed engagement with reality."


"Erik Davis is an American journalist, critic, podcaster, and counter-public intellectual whose writings have run the gamut from rock criticism to cultural analysis to creative explorations of esoteric mysticism. He is the author of Techgnosis: Myth, Magic and Mysticism in the Age of Information, The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape, and Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica."


We Discuss:


Enacting the weird through media


The 1970s understood as the sort of beginning of our darker, weirder time - capitalism, consumer credit, surveillance, paranoia, density, historical dread…


“The occult, conspiracy theory, a dark dreamlike character…is now central…the way fictions become operational as quasi-truths to navigate the post-truth environment…the popularity of psychedelics…”


Key literacies for navigating Our Weird Future


Slender Man as operationalized fiction, as a kind of “tulpa” or thought-form activated into quasi-life


The intermarriage of reality and the hoax


HP Lovecraft’s modern distance from his horrors vs. Phil Dick’s postmodern intimacy with his horrors


The Coming Age of DNA Monsters and Routinized Weirdness


“We are called upon to analyze our resistances to all variety of shifts, mutations, couplings – and unless we want to go reactionary and hold onto certain ideas we have about how humans should be, or how the world should be, we’re in a situation of a strange kind of embrace with the other.”


Distrusting the Apocalypse


Figure-ground collapse in the impression of planetary hyperobjects into our immediate awareness


Neuroplasticity and neoteny – becoming childlike in order to surf accelerating change


Future shock and getting drawn into (right-wing, fundamentalist, fear-based, racist, boundary-defending) stories as a bid for solid ground


“Not knowing who we really are is part of the game. In fact, it’s one of the great opportunities of our moment.”


Plasticity vs. Flexibility ~ Will or Flexibility 


The discipline of transforming subjectivity - religions as practical algorithms for self-transformation, not as collections of beliefs


Everything you do is a self-engendering practice


“I look at the 20th Century, and the most important thing that happened in the 20th Century is cybernetics – both the concept and the operationalism of creating communication feedback loops that begin to generate their own processes.”


“The further I go into a cybernetic model, at least for me, it needs to be ground out in a deepening relationship with animals, with weather, with food, with plants, with plant wisdom, and definitely with those peoples – in whatever traces, in whatever mutations we can encounter them now – those groups, those societies, that had a very different relationship that’s not really mediated by the machine.”


The return of the nonhuman, cultural retrieval, the archaic revival, “reanimism”


Intelligence is Everywhere


Present Shock & the collapse of history & Jurassic Park


The future of time - metaperspectival time


Zizek’s critique of Buddhism and how mindfulness has been coopted by neoliberal surveillance capitalism

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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
7/28/2021

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.✨ Housekeeping:If you value this show and would like to see it thrive, support Future Fossils on Patreon and/or please leave a good review on Apple Podcasts! As a patron you get two extra episodes a month, invites to our book club, and new writing, art, and music.• Meet great people and have equally great conversations in the Discord Server & Facebook Group•Buy the books we talk about from the Future Fossils shop at Bookshop.org•Intro music: “Olympus Mons” by Michael Garfield | Outro music: “Otolith” by Skytree•For when you’d rather listen to music than conversation, followmeandmy listening recommendationson Spotify.•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.)✨ 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✨ Discussed:•ListeningFF 117 with Eric WargoFF 124 with Norman “Dr. Blue” KatzFF 150 with Sean Esbjörn-HargensFF 156 with Stuart DavisComplexity Episode 9 with Mirta Galesic•ReadingNPR -Paradox-Free Time Travel Is Theoretically Possible, Researchers SayNautilus -This Tenet Shows Time Travel May Be PossibleJohnjoe McFadden - Quantum EvolutionJonathan Zap - Crossing The Event HorizonJacques Vallee - The Invisible CollegeTed Chiang - Stories of your Life and OthersTed Chiang - ExhalationKurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse FiveTimothy Morton - HyperobjectsRussell Targ & Jean Houston - Limitless MindJessica Flack - “Coarse-Graining as a Downward Causation Mechanism”✨ Affiliate Links:•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.
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

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