For you: a "virtual discussion" sampling from fifteen of this last year's most visionary Future Fossils Podcast guests, exploring all of this show's major themes:
• What it means to be human in an age of accelerating change;
• The philosophical, psychological, and cultural transformations required to navigate the evolving complexity of our world;
• The role of creativity and heart in alchemizing new solutions to the proliferating problems of a high-technology planetary civilization;
• Our relationship to both the distant past and future in this moment;
• How to keep the human spirit burning bright through turbulent and trying times...
And more, of course. This is by no means comprehensive. Some of this year's best guests (like Charles Eisenstein, Dennis McKenna, Shane Mauss, Sophia Rokhlin, and Jamaica Stevens) didn't make the cut because I couldn't figure out how to extract short soundbites from their episodes. One of my favorite episodes, "An Oral History of the End of 'Reality'," is science fiction and would never fit into a conversation format...and all of these tracks are theexcerpts I clipped out as pre-roll teaser quotes, so there's heavy sampling bias in that sense as well.
But that's just fine, because this his double feature playlist is itself a kind of fossil record – lossy and compressed, thin slices taken from a deeper, richer, living ecosystem – and paleontology has always been like trying to reconstruct the plot from handfuls of film stills. If we dug up the whole Earth's crust we'd probably still know just 1% of ancient species, and likewise, most of my favorite conversations never make it into the "official record." This podcast is both foolishly ambitious in its pretense – that these episodes will matter to unborn historians – and doomed to almost certain failure as just more ephemera to throw upon the digital bonfire.
But also, zooming out like this – to stand back and observe the layers at a distance, see the flow of time in stone, the history that's invisible to us until it's over – new insights emerge. We find new patterns, new connections. It's a kind of end-of-life review, the retrospective compilation, and maybe with enough compression we can start to see the wisdom that emerges from the mulch of information.
This is a show of thanks for everyone's support this year – if you gave anything to Future Fossils in this last year, you helped me keep this show afloat the months that I was making less than $50 a day, when I was working a new job with an 800-mile commute and going crazy, when I was struggling with depression, when the crypto markets crashed...
I am immensely grateful for this small community of listeners, each and every one of you, and I look forward to amazing new horizons for us in the year to come.
Every track is downloadable here as 160kbps MP3 but if you prefer 16-bit AIF, you can download those here. Tracks numbered first according to the playlist, secondly by episode in case you want to "zoom in and enhance" on specific topics.
Happy New Year!
101 - Dylan Curran on What He Hopes The Future Thinks of Us
102 - Lydia Violet on Uncertainty, Crisis, and Transformation
103 - Terry Patten on Countering Fragmentation with Wholeness
104 - Zak Stein on Making Sense of Tragedy
105 - Armin Ellis on Intelligent People
106 - Michael Strong on Quality of Life
107 - David Krakauer on Utopian Thinking
108 - Douglas Rushkoff on Being A Stranger to Your Future Self
109 - Patricia Gray on The Musical Brains of Whales & Humans
110 - Erik Davis on The Return of Animism
111 - Lydia Violet & MG on Being in Dialogue with Future Generations
112 - Terry Patten on How to Talk About Wicked Problems
113 - Charles Shaw on How to Have Fun and Change Things
114 - Kate Greene on Confinement in Space
115 - Erik Davis on Time and Subjectivity
201 - David Krakauer on The Meeting Place of Art and Science
202 - Armin Ellis on Teamwork
203 - Michael Strong on Treating Students Like People
204 - Onyx Ashanti on The Concrescence of Good IDeas
205 - David Krakauer on 21st Century Governance
206 - Douglas Rushkoff on The Actual Virtual
207 - Zak Stein on The Need for A New Metaphysics
208 - Lydia Violet on Art as Activism
209 - Onyx Ashanti on Cultivating a Harmonic Brain
210 - Patricia Gray on The Symphony of The Biosphere
211 - Erik Davis on Weirdness as A Moving Target
212 - JF Martel on How There's No Reason Something Can't Happen for No Reason At All
213 - Charles Shaw on The Corruption of the Women's Movement
214 - John Danaher on Robot Sex & Bundled Media
215 - The Teafaerie on Playing Life as an MMRPG I
216 - The Teafaerie on Playing Life as an MMRPG II
217 - The Teafaerie on Playing Life as an MMRPG III