Posted by: goatberg | June 2, 2008

Sunday Videos – Robert Anton Wilson

Hey readers.  Here’s five youtube videos featuring the extraordinary writer, thinker, “stand-up philosopher,” and Brooklynite, Robert Anton Wilson.  There’s a lot of material here, more than an hour’s worth, but if you’re unfamiliar with Wilson it’s a representative collection of footage.  Enjoy. 

Everything is Under Control, Part 1

| Part 2 | Part 3 |

 

E-Prime – Metaphor is all there is.

 

Dr. Wilson on Quantum Mechanics

 

R.A.W. on Conspiracy

Quality insights here on the nature of conspiracy theories and actual conspiracies.

 

The Eye in the Triangle

 

Posted by: goatberg | April 11, 2008

Food For Thought

Disclaimer: This could be my last post here for a while. 

Taken from The C-Realm, Episode 86 around minute 50, a reading from Thomas Homer Dixon‘s The Upside of Down.

We can’t know exactly what breakdown will look like, and we don’t know when it will happen, but we can start figuring out now how we’ll respond. In vigorous, wide ranging yet disciplined conversation among ourselves we can develop scenarios of what kinds of break down could occur. In this conversation, we shouldn’t be afraid to think “outside the box”; to try to imagine the unimaginable. Because in a non-linear world under great pressure we’re certain to make wrong predictions if we just extrapolate from current trends. Then we need to lay down plans and orgainze ourselves so that we’re prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that various types of breakdown might offer to build a better world. For instance, depending on the scenario, we might plan to aggresively disseminate information through the itnernet, mass media, and social networks to frame the rapidly changing situaion in a humane and constructive way, or we might plan non-violent distruption of efforts by extremists to organize themselves, or we might organize and coordinate mass civil disobedience like the kind we’ve seen recently in democratice popular protests in the Serbia and the Ukraine. In general, we can be sure that when breakdown happens, we’ll be much better off if we have contigency plans ready to go. In preparing for breakdown, we need to keep one thing in the forefront of our minds: people who aren’t extremists face a huge disadvantage in any kind of political struggle with extremists. To use the jargon of social scientists, non-extremists have a formidible “collective action problem.” They are rarely organized into coherent groups and thus find it hard to act in a coordinated way. They differ widely in their values and perspectives, and they vary in the strength of commitment to political and social causes. Extremists, on the other hand, are often orgainzed in coherent and well coordinated groups that have clear goals, distinct identities and strong internal bonds that have grown around a shared radical idealogy. As a result they can mobilize resources and power effectively. Also, since extremists usually believe that their ends justify any means, they’re williing to be violent and ruthless to get what they want. Faced with such adversaries, people who aren’t extremists must work hard to build bonds of trust and understanding among themselves, and lay down action plans for a wide range of possible futures.

 

Posted by: goatberg | April 8, 2008

Magic Spice = Psilocybe Mushroom?

B pointed me to this boingboing gadgets post in which Joel offers an excerpt about Dune’s inspiration from Paul Stamets’ newest book.  Here’s the excerpt:

Frank Herbert, the well-known author of the Dune books, told me his technique for using [mushroom] spores. When I met him in the early 1980s, Frank enjoyed collecting mushrooms on his property near Port Townsend, Washington….

Frank went on to tell me that much of the premise of Dune–the magic spice (spores) that allowed the bending of space (tripping), the giant worms (maggots digesting mushrooms), the eyes of the Fremen (the cerulean blue of the Psilocybe mushroom), the mysticism of the female spiritual warriors, the Bene Gesserits (influenced by tales of Maria Sabina and the sacred mushroom cults of Mexico)—came from his perception of the fungal life cycle, and his imagination was stimulated through the experience with the use of the magic mushroom.

 

Posted by: goatberg | April 8, 2008

Ted Turner on Charlie Rose

If you didn’t think Ted Turner was the real thing, an honest-to-god drunken billionaire eccentric in the flesh, you need look no further than this Charlie Rose interview which aired last week.  The two giants of their respective fields engage on pretty controversial stuff like peak oil, famine, and the rise of China.  It’s actually quite entertaining, Turner is truly a caricature of himself at this point, and he comes off as a real nut.  It’s great.  Fielding a question about the consequences of unchecked global warming he remarks, “Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals.”  I can’t embed the flash on wordpress, but you can stream or download the interview here

Posted by: goatberg | April 8, 2008

Chemical Salvation

From Boing, a brilliant LSD chick track, rivaled in simplicity only by the real thing. Some of my favorite pages:

 Seriously good stuff. 

Posted by: goatberg | April 3, 2008

Alternative Agriculture on Coast to Coast

One of my favorite youtube users, theduderinok, posted a Coast to Coast interview recently with Jon Biloon, activist and subsistence farmer.  It’s a great show.  The subject matter is a little bit of a departure for Coast to Coast, it strikes me, and as a friend pointed out earlier today, it’s fascinating to see how a number of healthy subcultures (e.g. UFOlogists and permaculturists) are coming together – an inspiring turn in the evolution of our society. 

 Here’s part one:

 Find the other ten parts of the interview here

Posted by: goatberg | April 2, 2008

Flickr Wednesday (Be Kind Rewind)

Two of Andrew’s shots from our playtime at the installation for Be Kind Rewind:

trainmini.jpg

 

car.jpg

Posted by: goatberg | April 2, 2008

Wanderlust

There’s been a bit of internet buzz the past few days about Bjork’s latest music video, Wanderlust.  Last night I watched it online.  It’s stunning.  Now I am going to make a bold assertion, but unlike many of my bold assertions, I will stand by it: Anyone who knows psilocybin well will definitely recognize certain key visual aspects of the world created in this video. I first saw the stills (posted below) for the video a few weeks ago, I can’t remember where, but I do remember thinking what a fully realized psychedelic vision those stills represented.  Upon closer inspection of the stills, the flowing yet lumpy nature of all the objects depicted – that foreign yet somehow familiar smooth bulkiness that matter curiously inhabits – it’s all, in my experience, very unique to the psilocybin world. So it was to my utter delight to hear the creators confirm my conviction in, of all places, a New York Times video segment. From the interview in the video:

“It involved using psilocybin mushrooms, going into nature in kind of  perturbed state.  I can’t really elaborate on the full weight of that experience because it doesn’t really translate back into language, so.” 

“Are you serious about the mushrooms.”

 “Yes.” 

The grass is especially well conceived. There are a handful of shots, particularly the ones in which the hand is digging up earth beside the river, that truly capture a visual aspect of the psilocybin experience in a way I’ve never seen before.  As the creators note in the interview, there is so much from that experience that is impossible to put into language, but in the video they were able to accurately capture a certain essence of the mushroom, I don’t know how else to put it, that totally blows me away.  Even the 2-D verison is awesome!  Needless to say, I am stoked to eventually watch this video in three dimensions, and I don’t use the word ‘stoked’ lightly.

47273_wanderlust3.jpg

Well done!

Posted by: goatberg | March 31, 2008

McKenna Monday

From the Psychedelic Salon # 126, minute 22-ish.

In this part of the trialogue McKenna is reflecting on the rise of digital media and the decline of print media and it’s effect on our economic model, especially in regard to McLuhan’s ideas about digital culture.

Money, as understood by moderns, is almost entirely a print created phenomenon. Before the invention of the printing press, money was something that you hid under your mattress. Now money is this completely abstract medium that is moved around by electronic banking transfer and investment capitalism and this sort of thing, and it has become, like the concept of the citizen, a way to uniform-ize all the complex spectrum of phenomena down to a single variable: money. And so the world of print is the world based on money. Now the computer is very able to insinuate itself into that environment and build on it, but that is not the natural millieu of the computer. The natural millieu of the computer is information, which is very different from money. Money is a downloading of compelxity into a kind of medium of exquisite simplicity. Information is an exploding of the apparent here and now into a much more multi-dimensional domain that can only be grokked intuitively, that can only be grokked through feeling.

So the abandonment of money and the substitution of information as a medium of exchange is having a feminizing, psychedelicizing, and visually-enhancing effect on our values and the direction that society is going. And this is all happening without planning, I think; this is the hidden agenda of the technologies that we imagine we can manipulate and appropriate without being re-infected by the hidden effects that they carry. But of course this is not true at all; we are completely now infected by these hidden assumptions.

Posted by: goatberg | March 31, 2008

Sunday Video (Chalmers Johnson on the fall of America)

On Monday this week. Just one video: An episode of Conversations with History from University of California Television, more than a year old but quite relevant. The youtube description:

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Chalmers Johnson for a discussion of his new book, Nemesis. In the interview, Johnson, an Emeritus Professor of the University of California, analyzes the impact of the American empire on democracy at home. Comparing the United States to Rome and Great Britain, he argues that a combination of military Keynesianism, the Bush administration’s attempt to implement a unitary presidency, and the failed checks on executive ambition point to political and economic bankruptcy.

The portrait Johnson paints is indeed grim. He goes as far as to say the entire situation may be hopeless and that the best a consciencious citizen can do is secure a life outside the states to escape to once the real collapse begins. The interview may seem dry at the beginning, but it’s one of the most vital discussions I’ve heard about just how far we’ve fallen and how far we still have to fall. (I came to it via this article, a worthwhile read.)

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