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FUTURE FOSSILS

It's About Time!

Provocative, profound discussions at the intersection of science, art, and philosophy with paleontologist-futurist Michael Garfield and new amazing guests each week. For anyone who digs the geeky, unconventional, free-ro... More
Latest Episode
2019-4-11

110 - Erick Godsey on (Why It's Too Soon To Give Up) The Myths That Make Us

Ep. 110

Erick Godsey was almost my roommate in Austin, and even though I trust our destinies I still consider it a bummer that we didn’t. He is a nobler beast than I. He’s also the host of The Myths That Make Us, which is an excellent program for reasons that have nothing to do with my recent appearance on his show, but that’s nice too…


What Erick IS is devoted to helping people live the absolute best stories that they can, which means first figuring out why we’re living the stories we already ARE.


Notes are slim for this episode but that’s because just go listen to it right now.


Erick’s website:

https://erickgodsey.com


“A great idea reconstructs your map. It’s one of the most painful things you can go through, but it’s beautiful.”


“I was an atheist but I prayed. At night, I would pray to a thing I didn’t understand and say, thank you, because all the people who were asking for things were stupid, and I was self-righteous.”


Don’t read Gödel, Escher, Bach and then take 5 grams of mushrooms. (Psychedelic Conservatives.)


“If you tell a twenty-eight year old, ‘Your story is an illusion,’ it f-cks more people up than it helps…especially in Western culture, it’s not the right medicine at the right time.”


Our stories are not useful for as long as they used to be. Are they no longer serving us in the “infoquake” of life online? How long will our evolutionary drives and archetypes persist amidst this metamorphosis?


Spiritual Bypass. It’s all perfect. There’s a season for bullshitting yourself. Or no, you shouldn’t ever do it. Don’t resist your own psychodynamic forces.


Most adaptive story: you are not a noun; you are a verb. Least adaptive story: you are a noun; you have to endure; the world is happening to you.


What to do about being disempowered in a global landscape of tragic news, in our own personal lives, to do anything about anything?


Is it better to be good or great?


How to be good ancestors.


Can we bring our full selves to work at our “day jobs”? What does it look like when we do? (AKA, What’s it like working at Onnit?)


What are your coping mechanisms and how can you channel them to make the world a better place?

2019-4-11

110 - Erick Godsey on (Why It's Too Soon To Give Up) The Myths That Make Us

Ep. 110

Erick Godsey was almost my roommate in Austin, and even though I trust our destinies I still consider it a bummer that we didn’t. He is a nobler beast than I. He’s also the host of The Myths That Make Us, which is an excellent program for reasons that have nothing to do with my recent appearance on his show, but that’s nice too…


What Erick IS is devoted to helping people live the absolute best stories that they can, which means first figuring out why we’re living the stories we already ARE.


Notes are slim for this episode but that’s because just go listen to it right now.


Erick’s website:

https://erickgodsey.com


“A great idea reconstructs your map. It’s one of the most painful things you can go through, but it’s beautiful.”


“I was an atheist but I prayed. At night, I would pray to a thing I didn’t understand and say, thank you, because all the people who were asking for things were stupid, and I was self-righteous.”


Don’t read Gödel, Escher, Bach and then take 5 grams of mushrooms. (Psychedelic Conservatives.)


“If you tell a twenty-eight year old, ‘Your story is an illusion,’ it f-cks more people up than it helps…especially in Western culture, it’s not the right medicine at the right time.”


Our stories are not useful for as long as they used to be. Are they no longer serving us in the “infoquake” of life online? How long will our evolutionary drives and archetypes persist amidst this metamorphosis?


Spiritual Bypass. It’s all perfect. There’s a season for bullshitting yourself. Or no, you shouldn’t ever do it. Don’t resist your own psychodynamic forces.


Most adaptive story: you are not a noun; you are a verb. Least adaptive story: you are a noun; you have to endure; the world is happening to you.


What to do about being disempowered in a global landscape of tragic news, in our own personal lives, to do anything about anything?


Is it better to be good or great?


How to be good ancestors.


Can we bring our full selves to work at our “day jobs”? What does it look like when we do? (AKA, What’s it like working at Onnit?)


What are your coping mechanisms and how can you channel them to make the world a better place?

2019-3-25

109 - Bruce Damer on The Origins and Future of Life

Ep. 109

Bruce Damer is a living legend and international man of mystery – specifically, the mystery of our cosmos, to which he’s devoted his life to exploring: the origins of life, simulating artificial life in computers, deriving amazing new plans for asteroid mining, and cultivating his ability to receive scientific inspiration from “endotripping” (in which he stimulates his brain’s own release of psychoactive compounds known to increase functional connectivity between brain regions). He’s about to work with Google to adapt his origins of life research to simulated models of the increasingly exciting hot springs origin hypothesis he’s been working on with Dave Deamer of UC Santa Cruz for the last several years. And he’s been traveling around the world experimenting with thermal pools, getting extremely close to actually creating new living systems in situ as evidence of their model. Not to mention his talks with numerous national and private space agencies to take the S.H.E.P.H.E.R.D. asteroid mining scheme into space to kickstart the division and reproduction of our biosphere among/between the stars…


I find it amazing that anyone as potently psychedelic as Bruce gets the focused listening attention of audiences at NASA, Scientific American, Google, and numerous esteemed academic communities around the world. A late-career PhD who spent his early years designing software that changed the world and going on adventures with his dear friend Terence McKenna, talking to Bruce is an inspiration and reminder that the big questions really DO take the dedication of a lifetime – and that dedication DOES bear fruit.


(Appropriately to the McKenna link, there were some connectivity issues during our call that stretched out Bruce’s voice in a way very reminiscent of the Shpongle grain delay remixes of Terence’s talks. I left these in because I think they’re funny and in keeping with the good doctor’s trippy ideas, but apologies regardless.)


Bruce was the second guest of this show way back in Episode 4, but that was three years ago and his work (and my ability to discuss it with him) has developed considerably since then. Enjoy this high-level update about one of the deepest questions we have on the table, right now…the profound implications of this new model of life’s origins for everything from business and politics to the strategies for thriving through an age of worldwide turbulence and transition…


Bruce’s Website:

https://damer.com


We Discuss:


• Updates on Bruce’s efforts to recreate the conditions of the original “progenote,” a living system before the invention of cells;


• How modern life prevents a second “Genesis” from happening on the Earth;


• Why life must have started in a wet-dry cycling pond, and not in the sea or on land;


• The three properties of life: crowding/containment; networks; and information storage – or P,I,M: Probability, Interaction, Memory;


• The origin of life as a niche-construction process;


• The origin of life vs. the origin of individuality and competition – likelihood that started as integrated consortia, not free-living cells in resource conflict;


• Scaling up the progenote origin of life hypothesis to human systems and the origins of human civilization with “social protocells”;


• Does life require organic molecules, or is it primarily an informational process?


• Are memes even a real thing? (Compared to genes, we can’t point to one…)


• Working with Google to simulate the origins of life with a chemistry-modeling deep learning system;


• The increasing evolvability of (some) genomes in ever-more complex environments leading to a transition from genetic to cultural inheritance;


• How evolutionary networks can bump themselves off local fitness peaks and into novelty to prevent becoming over-adapted to tiny niches;


• Cycles of federalism and fragmentation in both nature and society;


• The possibility of a global plan to build sea walls – to make it an issue of national defense, and a better use of our time than border walls;


• What can we learn from the origins of life about the future of planetary culture and the ongoing evolution of our “progenote planet?”


SEE ALSO:


Bruce on Future Fossils Podcast Episode 4:

https://shows.pippa.io/futurefossils/episodes/5a85dca3144c44bd2557158b


Michael’s Version 1.0 Mind Map & Bibliography of research on major evolutionary transitions in self-organizing systems:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/toward-new-1-0-24798022


Evolution Evolving Conference:

https://evolutionevolving.org/

2019-3-10

108 - Nadja Oertelt on Humanizing The Stories of Science

Ep. 108

This week’s guest is Nadja Oertelt – research scientist turned film-maker and founder of Massive Science, a science communication community that cares about restoring care to the storytelling of scientific discovery. Not only is the website wonderfully both rigorous and easy on the eye, the writing takes you on a journey. Clearly she and her colleagues are doing something right by teaching scientists it’s not just okay, but vital to the meaning-making of their work, to have a story and not just solutions.


Here’s her amazing publication:

https://massivesci.com/


And an interview she did with Forbes:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/catescottcampbell/2017/04/10/the-limit-does-not-exist-nadja-oertelt-has-a-massive-take-on-science/


Super cool short film series Nadja did for HarvardX Neuroscience:

https://vimeo.com/channels/972301 


We Discuss:


How working with scientists was a revelation into the social process of knowledge production and translation.


Anna Wexler & DIY brain interfaces.

http://www.annawexler.com/


David Cox, Director MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab.

https://researcher.watson.ibm.com/researcher/view.php?person=ibm-David.D.Cox


The erasure of the subject in academic writing.


Integral psychology and the application of psychometric information to the addressing of truth claims.


How do psychedelics change the way we understand and practice science?


Alex & Allyson Grey’s Chapel of Sacred Mirrors.

https://cosm.org

https://evolution.bandcamp.com/album/technologists-of-attention-at-the-chapel-of-sacred-mirrors


The Fundamentalism-Zen Continuum in the thermodynamics of computation.


Creating a new neural ecology of science by including more kinds of people in the investigations.


“We’re approaching some sort of memento mori for reality.”


The “black box” of AI is not as big of a problem as the “black box” of why we feel the need to create these technologies in the first place.


The human reality and personal sacrifices of science and knowledge production.


The pain of becoming a storyteller for so many who have been trained as scientists.


How social media has changed the subjectivity of young researchers.


The importance of care in all of this.


Allison Parrish - artist & programmer.

https://tisch.nyu.edu/about/directory/itp/853082171


Irreversible Dictation: Gertrude Stein and the Correlations of Writing & Science - Steven Meyer

https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=750


This episode is backed by Mike Schwab of KnowYourMeme.com, a fascinating living document/community exploring memes and their effects.

2019-2-19

107 - Epiphany Jordan on Human Touch & Safe Intimacy in The Internet Age

Ep. 107

This week’s guest is Epiphany Jordan of Austin, Texas – a nurturing touch professional whose therapy sessions help triage the crisis of loneliness and touch-hunger facing billions of tech-immersed but intimacy-stranded people. In her new book, Somebody Hold Me: The Single Person’s Guide to Nurturing Human Touch, Epiphany explains how to get your basic touch needs met – consensually – outside of romantic relationship. In our conversation we talk about why this is such a widespread issue, how people are fumbling their attempts to connect with one another, and what to do about it.


Her Website:

nurturinghumantouch.com


Printed Book:

amazon.com/gp/product/1732879206?pf_rd_p=c2945051-950f-485c-b4df-15aac5223b10&pf_rd_r=VGPWK0WEF50A2TD8YA3T  


E-Book:

amazon.com/Somebody-Hold-Me-Persons-Nurturing-ebook/dp/B07MM6FFBD/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=somebody+hold+me&qid=1550610978&s=gateway&sr=8-2


Support Future Fossils on Patreon and get access to secret episodes, our sci fi book club, and more:

https://patreon.com/michaelgarfield


Join the (lively, interesting) Facebook Group:

https://facebook.com/groups/futurefossils


Subscribe on any platform you desire:

https://shows.pippa.io/futurefossils


We Discuss:


The internet has not replaced human intimacy; it has only convinced many of us that it can.


“Because our culture identifies sex with touch, if you’re not in a romantic relationship, you’re not getting your touch needs met.”


“Nonconsensual touch is like a starving person stealing a loaf of bread, or something.”


When hugging someone is their worst nightmare.


Is not wanting to be touched something that should or should not be seen through the lens of trauma-induced disorder?


The future of getting touch needs met by nonpersons: heavy blankets, hugging machines, womb simulators, intimacy robots…


Eliza Schlesinger’s Elder Millennial standup special and how women in their 30s start displacing mother impulses onto their pets.


Why don’t we extend the same rights we give people to other nonhuman beings? (e.g., nonconsensual touch of animals…)


Is professional cuddling a symptom of a tragic dehumanizing trend in the evolution of civilization?


“Paleo-cuddling”


Tips for effective, safe, consensual, non-sexual cuddling.


The tribal joy of the pseudo-anonymity of cuddle puddles.


The double-edged sword of oxytocin.


Teaching touch to teenagers.


Touch deprived, or touch illiterate? Multicultural societies and trouble navigating overlapping rules about intimacy.


“Part of what I’m trying to do is have people write another story about what it means to be human and how humans treat them. There’s so much distrust and fear of other humans, and humans can be nice to each other, and kind and gentle and look out for each other. I think it can help us be more of a global village…”

“I don’t want to be a part of the revolution unless it has to do with people being nice to each other.”


2019-1-30

106 - Stowe Boyd on The Future(s) of Work and How to Thrive Amidst Accelerating Change

Ep. 106

This week it's a deep dive into futurist Stowe Boyd's research on Social Scaling, Boundless Curiosity, Deep Generalists, Emergent Leadership, and other major features in the metamorphic landscape of the 21st Century workplace.


We live in an age when our human cognitive limits are being tested against a proliferation of possibilities in the digital space – and we zealously rush into always-on internet work, open office co-working spaces, enormous distributed online collaborations, and other novelties that seem to be more about the infinite capacity of our electronic tools than the finite reality of our minds and bodies.


Stowe Boyd has been studying and reporting on the future of work for over a decade, and his blog Work Futures is one of my cherished news sources for understanding how “we shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” Talking with him is a blast of cool reason and warm humor about the insanity of the modern work environment and the impossible demands that it makes on us – pointing toward more lucid, grounded, manageable, and yes productive new modes of labor in the dizzying technological milieus to come.


Learn More:

StoweBoyd.com

WorkFutures.org


Check out a recent edition of his Work Futures newsletter:

https://workfutures.substack.com/p/work-futures-daily-the-human-spring


Support Future Fossils on Patreon and get access to secret episodes, our sci fi book club, and more:

https://patreon.com/michaelgarfield


We Discuss:


Invented the term “social tools” and founded the Work Futures blog.


How do we live in an unstable landscape in which new platforms are constantly replacing the ones where we’ve established merit and earned currencies?


The return of publishing to human scale as a response to ubiquitous weaponized advertising.


Book: Douglas Rushkoff, Present Shock


The modern era of social networking isn’t about social concerns but business concerns…human curation returns to the fore in its primacy: newsletters, list management, etc.


Why is it that certain tools and practices “work” for work, and some don’t?


How certain ill-conceived collaboration software recreates the scaling problems of cruiseship tourism’s effects on local economies.


Anywhere-ism and “The horrible sameness of the places we’re working these days”


The paradox of blocking out open-office distractions with recordings of people talking in cafés.


“If you want to be creative, turn the lights down. You are more creative if you have high ceilings and dark. So if you take all that away, which is usually what they do in open offices…”


>>> Ten Work Skills for the Post-Normal Era


Laszlo Bach at Google using a data-driven approach to correlate skills with work success…not Ivy League degrees, not ability to solve certain IQ test type problems…


“BOUNDLESS CURIOSITY is the #1 skill for the future. The most creative people are insatiably curious. They want to know what works and why. And so that’s the skill you should seek. If you’re not naturally insatiably curious, then you should learn the techniques and skills involved with that and practice that so that you’re acting as if you’re insatiably curious, even though it’s a learned and not innate characteristic.”


How curiosity leads to unexpected second-order insights in at-first “unrelated” areas.


Bill Taylor, founder of Fast Company Magazine: four styles of leadership useful today.


The leader as a learning zealot.


The posthuman workplace: collaboration with radically other entities, be they AIs or transgenic persons.


The future of work looks like freestyle chess.


How and why to be a “deep generalist.”


“There’s still a lot of the Bronze Age in how typical companies are run…Bronze Age thinking is still 70% of companies.”


Emergent Leadership 21st Century Management, and Liquid Democracy.


AI and technological unemployment – a kind of “tragedy of the commons” as we each try to do the best thing for our organizations and race to the bottom.


Book: Amy Goldstein, Janesville


The collision of AI, climate change, and the collapse of globalist neoliberalism.


Book: William Irwin Thompson, Evil and World Order


“You have to start thinking about things at the watershed level. When you’re thinking about geography, it can’t just be the outlines of nation states, which are the remnants of old empires and other kinds of craziness. It has to have some logical relationship to the actual world, and that means city states, watersheds, and so on. And when you have that mindset and start to see through that lens, well, the desire of the Catalonian people to have their own state – it seems like an inexorable direction, and the notion that the EU is resisting that, fighting it, well…they’re fighting the future.”


The end of trucking and the inevitable riots.


Book: Project Hieroglyph, edited by Neal Stephenson


Using science fiction instead of futurist scenarios to make different futures truly palpable.


Three Visions of the future: Humania, Neo-Feudalistan, & “Just Horrible.”


“You can’t talk about the future of work without talking about the future in general, and the future in general is not just more of what we have today. It’s certainly not what we had in 1970.”


––

Cover Image Photo Credit: (CC) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.combub.blicio.us

2019-1-21

105 - The Hypermoderns talk Clowns, Dead Souls, & UFOs (Part 2)

Ep. 105

This week is part two of the intense, bizarre, and wonderful roundtable conversation with The Hypermoderns – John David Ebert, Michael Aaron Kamins, and Mimetic Value/Ikkyu Sojun) where we discuss the puzzling connection between clowns and DMT; John’s voyage into the strange realm of mediumship; and Michael’s life-altering series of UFO encounters right after college. Among other things…


The Guests:

Michael Aaron Kamins

https://twitter.com/michaelaaronk

John David Ebert

https://twitter.com/johndavidebert

Ikkyu Sojun

https://twitter.com/mimeticvalue


Subscribe to Future Fossils on any platform you desire:

https://shows.pippa.io/futurefossils


Support this show on Patreon. It’s good for you and makes you feel good:

https://patreon.com/michaelgarfield


We Discuss:

How everyone gets their own language once we invent the universal translator.

Addressing the question of hyperspace “entities” from nonduality and landscape agency.

Clown/Harlequin Theory in the psychedelic realm.

JDE:

“Now I don’t wanna do DMT. You’ve ruined it for me, because I don’t wanna see a clown.”

Ikkyu:

“Imagine Meow Wolf…but a thousand times more.”

The Joker is a floating signifier.

Ikkyu talks about an extremely potent and disturbing N,N-DMT trip.

The Mantis-Clown connection, vis-a-vis Michael’s Peruvian ayahuasca experiences.

The clown in Eastern philosophy as Lao Wonton, the childlike “crazy” old man in kung-fu movies.

Michael’s ONE critique of William Irwin Thompson (hint: “Lindisfarne,” what’s in a name?).

What is the difference between the techno-optimism of Buckminster Fuller and the techno-optimism of Peter Thiel, Peter Diamandis, and Jeff Bezos?

Trump the Clown, the Magician, the Alchemical Fool.

Ikkyu:

“What if I were like Duncan Trussell or Joe Rogan but I interview ideas, rather than people?”

JDE interviews Rudolf Steiner through a medium, Shruti Campbell. He tells us of his love affair with Steiner.

JDE explains how he become convinced that there are in fact legit mediums who can communicate with dead people.

The theme of confinement in world myth.

Exoteric lab institution science and esoteric wilderness field prospecting discovery science.

Michael goes into unprecedented detail about his UFO sightings in 2006.

Sufjan Stevens’ song “Concerning the UFO Sighting…”

Tucker Carlson interviews Nick Pope about UFOs.

Book: Who Built The Moon?

Peter Gabriel’s “Don’t Give Up” music video (feat. Kate Bush)

Michael’s eternalist/quantum-democracy theory of our self-fulfilling origins/histories.

Dan Larimer vs. Vitalik Buterin on the limits of crypto-economic governance.

The connections between alien abductions and shamanic initiations.

Searching for metaphors complex enough to allow us to inhabit and dwell in hypermodernity.

Carl Jung

Crowley’s Thoth Tarot

Timothy Morton’s Hyperobjects

James Hillman

Nassim Taleb

The Flying Spaghetti Monster

Rupert Sheldrake

John C. Wright

Sam Harris

Stephen Hawking

Erik Davis

Zechariah Sitchin

Westworld

“The Moon” Tarot Card

Greg Egan’s Distress

Finnegans Wake - HCE (“Here Comes Everyone”)

Blade Runner 2049

Charles Stross’ Accelerando

Jeff Noon (Vert & Pollen)

Steven Greer & CE-5

Jacques Vallee

J Allen Heinich (sp?)

Prometheus & Atlas

Mircea Eliade

2019-1-4

104 - The Hypermoderns Talk Snow Crash, Language, Mind, & Video Game Metaphysics

Ep. 104

This week, we have a rad roundtable conversation with The Hypermoderns – John David Ebert, Michael Aaron Kamins, and Mimetic Value/Ikkyu Sojun) where we talk Snow Crash, Linguistic Entropy, and The Metaphysics of Video Games; spoil Meow Wolf and Annihilation (warning!); and go deep on the origins of Hypnotherapy and NLP. It’s just part one of an intense three-hour hoedown with some of the sharpest minds I know…


The Guests in Order of Appearance:


Michael Aaron Kamins

https://twitter.com/michaelaaronk


John David Ebert

https://twitter.com/johndavidebert


Ikkyu Sojun

https://twitter.com/mimeticvalue


Support this show on Patreon. It’s good for you and makes you feel good:

https://patreon.com/michaelgarfield


We Talk About:


Michael Aaron Kamins:

“Shigiro Miyamoto is the Dante of the Hypermodern Age.”

Mario is a shaman, Link is Percival of the Round Table…


NextNature.net, the Anthropocene, and the Wood Wide Web


Are videogames more effective than books as a form of storytelling?


John David Ebert likes Grand Theft Auto:

“Video games aren’t the problem; they’re the SOLUTION to the problem of living in these bizarre cosmopolitan cities, these huge megalopolitan cities that we’re constantly stressed out by.”


Narrative collapse in the shift from the serialized dramas of print-era TV and the reality shows of web-era TV


Michael Aaron Kamins:

“What does the hero’s journey mean in a world where we have to work 9-to-5 jobs?”


Skeumorphism in digital spaces:

Video games that mimic office life seem inevitable…

…but unlike in Snow Crash, we don’t want to walk everywhere in VR.


Lists, Explosions, & Flows


Why Michael Aaron Kamins disagrees with Daniel Pinchbeck about UFOs.


If Jordan Peterson is our Confucius, who is our Lao Tzu?


MG:

“History is a thing that you make.”


JDE:

“We’ve lost the metaphysics. We have to bring back the metaphysics.”


Why and how civilizations disintegrate.


MG:

“If you’re going to upload me, at least upload me in HD.”

JDE:

“It’s gotta get more fractal.”


Meow Wolf is The Shimmer in Annihilation


Archangel Michael & Garuda, archetypes expressed across the world in time and landscape


Michael and Michael talk about the dragon fighting St. Michael meteor-dinosaur connection thing.


Everybody tries to guess MG’s sign.


Dr Blue aka Norman Katz, student of Milton Erickson


Jungian vs Ericksonian psychotherapy and the importance of combining the two.


We talk smack on the sociopathic founders of NLP.


Mimetic theory.


Evolution, entropy, and the Tower of Babel.


Shout-Outs:

RadioLab

Douglas Rushkoff

Pac Man

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Carl Jung’s Red Book

Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash

Google Glass

Kevin Kelly

William Burroughs

Meow Wolf

Rudolf Steiner

“The Fighting Dinosaurs”

Paleontologist Robert Bakker

Houston Museum of Nature & Science

Timothy Leary

The Fourth Turning

History, Big History, and MetaHistory by SFI Press

Being John Malkovich

Gilles Deleuze

Peter Sloterdijk

The Joseph Campbell Foundation

Robertson Jeffers

Jon Steinbeck

Buddha Bomb

Timothy Morton’s Hyperobjects

Tom Hui Hu - A Prehistory of the Cloud

The Square in the Tower by Neil Ferguson

The Architects of the Internet Apologize - New Yorker Magazine

Jeff Van Der Meer

Tool & Alex Grey

Parvati

Scott Adams

NLP