40 - Andrew J. O'Keefe (The Sacred Task of Record-Keeping)
This week’s guest is Andrew J. O’Keefe II – documentarian, archivist for Singularity University, devoted recordist of the emergent planetary culture, and a dear old friend I met back in the Dawn of Time when he was working as the personal assistant to Android Jones.
We talk about the motivations for preserving and reliving the significant (AND insignificant) moments of our lives.
From the role of “tapers” in the success of The Grateful Dead & STS9, Terence McKenna and Robert Anton Wilson, and The Exegesis of Phillip K Dick…to how a donation of 600 books started Harvard University…to a vision of our artificial intelligence augmented descendants living in a world of totally recorded life and currently incomprehensible richness and insight…this is a conversation about why we “save” things, and why we should treat our record-keeping as the sacred task it truly is.
“If we don’t preserve what’s important to us, then we run the risk of not sharing it ever again. Nobody might never even know that it happened.”
“What exactly ARE our priorities?”
“The control of where this stuff is headed is out of any one organization or individual’s hands. On the other hand, we have these central systems of control…if we don’t find a way to decentralize what humanity has developed up to this point, we’re probably going to lose it.”
“If we let market forces run [the world]; if we let meaningless trends of shit, surface level culture that’s not even real culture, that’s like iterative loop culture, if we let that dictate things, then as everything gets increasingly out of control or asymmetrical, what the hell else do we have to fall back on?”
“I think the paradoxes of living in society are only going to increase at an exponential rate. It’s going to terrify people; it’s going to cause mass chaos in unprecedented ways because we have these centuries-old resentments that technology is not going to erase. It’s only going to make further asymmetrical. The history of all borders: there’re losers. Those people are upset…have a right to be upset. Both psychedelics and the ancient modalities of healing…are going to be the most critical tool that we use to move forward.”