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Fascists, intense weather, immigration panics, global health crises, authoritarian governments, ideological divisions, conspiracies, fake news and fake experts and fake press conferences, the singularities, the doomsdayers, the white power psychopaths. What do we do?
What do we come up with?
Well, that being human is the most radical and subversive strategy in an anti-human era. And what does it mean to be human? Finding the others, of course. But also seeing the others, and seeing the other in yourself.
This might sound like a simple answer, but getting there is complex. Also? It's exciting and bizarre and intense,
In case you've been missing out all this time, Doug is the author of a whole shelf of books; my favorite of which are his latest, Team Human, a manifesto based on his podcast; and Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now.
Doug is always one (or five) steps ahead of everyone else. I'm so happy to have had this conversation with him, and to share it with you. It's warm and full of laughter and connection.
ON THIS EPISODE
- What is the anti-human agenda, and what does it mean to be human?
- Why Malcolm Gladwell, Steven Pinker, and Richard Dawkins are, uh, a problem, and emergence is stupid.
- "Systems theory is spirituality for misogynists."
- Why localism still matters
- How (and why?) to organize with oppositional people
- The particular failure of straight people in dealing with coronavirus
- Drawing on a commonwealth to meet with each other
- Whether or not conservative conspiracy theorists are Very Online or not
- Why being bullied helps us in later life
- How to do judo with QAnon
- The benefit of becoming an outsider to every group you're in
- The opportunities of the ongoing conflict in the US
• For more on Doug, visit his website; and for a sampling of his podcast and its range, I recommend the episodes with Richard Metzger, James Lovelock, and Astra Taylor.
All the intro monologues to Doug's show are available as medium.com articles, too, which you can find here.
Since so many episodes of my show focus on anti-work politics and postwork worlds, you may also enjoy Doug's 2011 article, "Are Jobs Obsolete?"
You can also find (most of!) his books available via the bookshop.org link!
• In some ways, this episode is a follow up to the run I did on the challenges of technology: AEWCH 112 on occult tech with Peter Bebergal, AEWCH 113 on the mysterious magical technology of radionics with Duncan Laurie, AEWCH 114 on how to abolish Silicon Valley with Wendy Liu, and AEWCH 115 on the inner experience of the internet with Joanne McNeill. (And the forerunner - on AEWCH 105, talking apocalypse and AI with Mark O'Connell.)
• Okay, I keep sharing eps of my show in the show notes, but I talk a lot about the idea of creating a heart for the machine being with Scott Elliot Hicks on AEWCH 122.
• Doug gives a soft shout out to EF Schumacher and his "small is beautiful" ideology. I'm on board. Check out the Schumacher Center for New Economics, they do good stuff.
• The Social Dilemma is out. Haven't seen it, but I guess I will, keeping in mind that they ripped off Doug.
• Tony Norman has written a short article on the crossover between Q and antisemitism.
• Here's the Grant Morrison's amazing presentation on sigils, magic, and how we're all time-larvae. (And here's a picture of him when he was a young lad with a mop of hair.)
• In spite of my joke about Richard Metzger being a liberal, it's difficult to overstate how influential his work has been on me, as well as attending the Disinformation conference at the Omega Institute in 2005 (NOT 2003, Conner!). Here's Richard's blog, Dangerous Minds. And here's Doug's talk at the conference (and links to the other talks except Paul Laffoley's for some reason). And Lynn Margulis becoming my mentor was the other mindblowing event around that time.
• Byron Katie is still very important to me, for her ability to separate thinking from feeling and also her lived experience of the Tao. She's incredible. Plus, she wears cool lady scarves.
Until next time, be more human than ever,