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Dr. Carolyn Baker returns to the C-Realm Podcast to discuss the themes she explores in her new book, Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times, in which she addresses how to prepare emotionally and spiritually for the impending collapse of industrial civilization. Author Carolyn Baker offers wisdom, inspiration, and a sense of spiritual purpose for anyone who is concerned about the daunting future humankind has created, but rather than showing us ways to prevent the collapse, Baker argues that the demise of our consumerist, corporate culture is inevitable, and that it is crucial to prepare emotionally and spiritually for the certain changes to come. Later in the episode, KMO and Arik Roper discuss why Frank Herbert's 1965 novel, Dune, is such a perfect selection for the first go-round of the C-Realm Book Club.
Music by Lydia Ooghe.
KMO welcomes Kevin A. Carson, "free market anti-capitalist" and the author of The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low-Overhead Manifesto to the C-Realm to talk about economics, technology, natural and artificial property rights, and the general outlines of the successor society that is arising to meet human needs as the over-built infrastructure of global corporate capitalism rots from neglect. They also touch upon R. Buckminster Fuller's concept of the ephemeralization of technology. Kevin argues that an industrial society that can no longer afford to maintain its energy and capital-intensive infrastructure and is transitioning to a distributed, more supple mode of production looks a lot like a civilization that is receding from it's peak of prosperity and technical prowess in a process that John Michael Greer describes as catabolic collapse. The interlude features excerpts from a 1976 interview with R. Buckminster Fuller, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs.
KMO welcomes Ben McLeish of the Zeitgeist Movement back to the C-Realm to talk about technology, primitivism, science, and the quest for knowledge. KMO lays out the case for thinking that resource scarcity and the sort of creeping behavioral control that Theodore Kaczynski describes in his manifesto stand between us and a rosy high-tech future, and Ben, while acknowledging the challenges and pitfalls, explains how these limitations spring from profit-based incentives and how they will not pose so great a challenge once we outgrow our capitalist values.
Music by Lady Rizo.
KMO and Olga K talk with J. P. Harpignies, author of Delusions of Normality: Sanity, Drugs, Sex, Money and Beliefs in America, about what it means to be “normal.” The conversation covers the creeping pathologization of human behavior, life extension, utopian thinking, commerce, and the halting, counter-intuitive, and unpredictable nature of societal progress. Music by Mammie Minch.
KMO speaks with Arthur Stamoulis, executive director of Citizens Trade Campaign about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Arthur describes as a corporate power-grab disguised as a trade agreement. The Obama administration has kept the specifics of the TPP negotiations a secret from congress and from the public, but 600 corporate “advisors” do have access to and influence over the evolving text of the agreement. While the US Constitution gives congress the authority to regulate trade with other countries, President Obama is seeking Fast Track authority to negotiate the details of the agreement in private so that congress will only have the opportunity to vote yea or nay on the finished product. Will all the secrecy around this trade deal, Arthur Stamoulis says that the biggest secret about the TPP is that mobilizing against it can be successful. Citizen coalitions have beaten back these sorts of power grabs in the past, and we can do it again.
Music by Stackabones.
KMO welcomes Professor Robert Jensen, author of the books Arguing for Our Lives: A User’s Guide to Constructive Dialog and We Are All Apocalyptic Now, to the C-Realm to explain what he means when he says that it’s time to get apocalyptic. The conversation also delves into the concomitant needs to sharpen our analysis in conversation with people who already share a good many of our values and goals and to communicate with the public at large and to help them understand why some of their cultural assumptions need questioning. When Robert Jensen speaks on the topics of resource depletion and climate disruption, people often demand, “I don’t want to hear about the problem. I want solutions.” But rushing to implement solutions without first spending time developing a clear vision of the problem can lead to ill-advised actions. Better to look at the situation with clear eyes, embrace the anguish, and find a motivation to do the right thing even when a rosy outcome seems impossible.
Music by Lydia Ooghe.
KMO talks with Professor Robert W. McChesney, freepress.net co-founder and author of Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy about the transformation of the media landscape over the past couple of decades. KMO starts off with a reading of John Perry Barlow’s 1996 manifesto: A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. Prof. McChesney describes how the internet and media landscape has evolved in the ensuing years in response to commercial pressures and public policy that favors oligopoly over competition. Perversely, as information technology has put the power for creating and sharing media into the hands of more and more people, the number of people who make a living at journalism continues to dwindle. In all of American history, the view that the free market will create journalism in sufficient quality and quantity to allow for self-governance regardless of public policy is unique to the current moment. Music by Lydia Ooghe.
KMO welcomes Nicole Foss or the Automatic Earth blog back to the C-Realm Podcast, and she is joined by Laurence Boomert, her partner on her current North American speaking tour. The conversation centers mainly on money and the utility of establishing working alternatives to the debt-based fiat currencies issued by central banks. Once again, KMO points out the absurd absence of the word "usury" from the mainstream discourse on financial matters. The episode ends with a preview of the upcoming Psychonautica conversation with Shonagh Home. Music by Fernando Tarango.
In a preview of what attendees of the 2013 Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference will hear in Manhattan this weekend, KMO shares a conversation with Yalila Espinoza, Ph.D. Her Horizons presentation is called ”The Light & Shadow of Sexuality in Shamanism,” and in this C-Realm conversation, Dr. Espinoza describes her explorations into the Amazonian tradition of Vegatalismo as a healing modality that could enable women with a history of sexual trauma to reclaim their sexuality as a sacred connection with themselves, nature and the cosmos.
While staying with friends near Ashland Oregon, KMO and Olga stopped by the Southern Oregon Permaculture Institute (also the home of Restoration Seeds) to record a conversation with Chuck Burr, author of Culturequake: The Restoration Revolution. Chuck explains why folks should plant open pollinated seeds rather than hybrids, how humans once lived within a viable ecological niche and how Nature misses us in our roles as tenders of the wild. Chuck describes ways of living that avoid societal debt traps, and he details what sorts of skills we should be cultivating in ourselves and looking for in potential collaborators. Music by Formidable Vegetable.
KMO welcomes stage magician, Ferdinando Buscema to the C-Realm to discus the various ways to induce the sensation of wonder, either through performance, through the skillful use of words, or in navigating the forest of symbols that is our meme-rich culture. Ferdinando echos and recognizes the ideas of Terence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson and Alfred Korzibsky in his role as “magic experience designer.”
Music by East Forest.
On the 2013 Manifesting in Meat Space, couch-surfing tour, KMO sat down with John D. Adams, author of Thinking Today as if Tomorrow Mattered: The Rise of a Sustainable Consciousness, to talk about cultivating preparedness, both on the individual level and on the local community level. John uses the word “prepper” in a non-pejorative sense to refer to someone who affixes their own oxygen mask first before attempting to assist others. John is a community organizer for the Red Cross and CERT, and he is directing his energy, efforts and resources toward engendering community cohesion and resilience. He lived his working life during the great expansion, made good money, saved and invested sensibly, and now he’s making good use of the still functioning (if faltering) economy to prepare for a future in which the brown trucks of happiness may no longer deliver the bounty of industrial civilization to his doorstep.
Neal Goldsmith makes a brief appearance at the end of the program to describe the speaker line-up for the 2013 Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference.
Music by the 444s.
For the last several years, KMO has devoted the episode of the C-Realm Podcast that falls closest to September 11th to a discussion of the pivotal events of twelve years ago. In that time, he has grown impatient with the obsessions and the tunnel vision of the 9-11 Truth Movement. This year’s 9-11 episode actually happens to fall on September 11th, and Tom Barbalet joins KMO for what may well be the last ever 9-11-themed episode of the C-Realm Podcast. Tom argues that a thorough-going knowledge of the history of the Mujahideen and its relationship with Western powers provides a clearer insight into the events of 9/11/01 and subsequent developments than does an obsessive quest to uncover shadowy conspiracies and evidence that 9-11 was “an inside job.”
Music by Futuresequence.
KMO welcomes Derrick Jensen back to the program to discuss the themes he explores in his columns for Orion Magazine. One of Derrick’s columns appears in the new book, Change Everything Now: A Selection of Essays from Orion Magazine. Derrick explains why he hates journalists and how the mainstream media serves to normalize oppression and convince us that the insanity of our civilization is natural and the only way to live.
Music by The 444s.
KMO reads the text of his Manifesting In Meat Space couch-surfing tour in which he encourages the Friends of the C-Realm to distinguish between epochal changes, which typically do not manifest themselves neatly within the span of a single human lifetime, and what Robert McChesney calls "critical junctures" which do present opportunities to implement lasting societal change in a short period. The energy industry hype about "Saudi America" may be gibberish, but that doesn't make a Mad Max-style fast collapse of industrial civilization because of peak oil a realistic prospect. KMO concludes with a warning against using righteous indignation to galvanize resistance against unjust power hierarchies.
KMO talks with Larry Goldberg of Transition Humboldt and various C-Realm listeners along the route of the Manifesting in Meat Space tour about topics related to technology including information technology and geoengineering. Check out their upcoming conference.
Music by The Formidable Vegetable Sound System.
KMO welcomes Nikola Danaylov (AKA 'Socrates') of the Singularity Weblog back to the C-Realm podcast to discuss the feasibility and implications of self-sufficient intelligent agents arising and operating in 'the Cloud.' Should self-aware war machines be liberated from military service and released into the world as fully autonomous agents? If an NSA surveillance algorithm judged its assigned task to be unethical and blew the whistle on its creators, could anyone deny that it had passed a version of the Turing Test? Given Edward Snowden's treatment by the Obama administration, what mercy could a synthetic whistle blower expect? Music by Mornin', Old Sport.
Back at the Ecovillage Training Center on the Farm in Summertown, Tennessee, KMO sits down with long-time Friend of the C-Realm, Albert K. Bates. William Gibson quipped that the future is already here but that it just isn’t very evenly distributed. If a collapse is in our future, it is certainly arriving in different places at different rates. Business is booming in NYC with a constant influx of international cash and another real estate bubble spinning up, but here in the middle of the country, the collapse is easier to spot. KMO and Albert discuss the merits of John Michael Greer’s catabolic collapse theory and compare it to the Olduvai Gorge theory, which envisions industrial civilization as a “transient pulse” which will resolve itself in short order. Albert imagines using the power of memetic engineering to make ecological regeneration and sustainable living “cool” in the eyes of the young.
Music by Mornin’, Old Sport.
KMO welcomes Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation to the C-Realm podcast to talk about strategies for transitioning from an economy dominated by for profit institutions to a “for benefit” model. Michel thinks the current system fails to recognize actual scarcity of resources and imposes an artificial scarcity on knowledge, science and culture, which are naturally abundant. He discusses BitCoin as an example of deliberately manufactured scarcity and cites several nascent examples of an enabling civic infrastructure that he calls “the partner state” where state institutions help citizens build value on top of a protected commons.
Music by the Cadillac Moon Ensemble.
Justin Ritchie and Seth Moser-Katz, the co-hosts of the Extraenvironmentalist Podcast were in NYC to document reRoute: Building Power for a New Economy, a conference put on by the New Economic Institute. After a Mexican dinner they sat down to record the conversation that is the centerpiece of this week’s C-Realm Podcast episode. Seth and Justin talk about the experience they have gained in creating their podcast, how they make use of the complimentary skill sets, and relay some of the themes from the conference with special emphasis on student debt and formerly good advice that now leads to bad outcomes.
Artificial intelligence scholar, Larry Yeager, has replaced Bruce Damer as the third trialouger for the Los Gatos, California stop on the 2013 C-Realm couch-surfing tour.
Music by The Sometime Boys.
KMO welcomes knowledge management expert and 3 Quarks Daily contributor, Misha Lepetic, to the C-Realm to talk about how technology is disrupting the business of journalism, hollowing out the middle class and fostering increased inequality. They review the literature of dissent to the general atmosphere of techno-triumphalism in places like San Francisco and draw from the work of George Packer, Evegeny Morozov, Jaron Lanier, Albert Hirschman, and Robert Neuwirth. The conversation turns to the growth of the informal economy and how services like AirBnB, which purport to serve the “sharing economy,” may actually be creating an electronic paper trail to make activity in the informal economy visible enough to be effectively regulated and taxed. Misha uses the example of the Boston bombing to consider the consequences of social media-enabled vigilantism.
Music by Shanimal.
KMO welcomes author and podcaster Douglas Lain back to the C-Realm on the eve of the publication of his novel Billy Moon. The conversation starts off with some light banter about tv shows before moving into the events of May of 1968 in France. In the novel, Doug has placed Christopher Robin Milne of Winnie the Pooh fame in Paris for the 1968 uprising. Topics covered include the invention of "childhood" once industrialism had reduced the need for child labor, Occupy Wall Street and it's seeming failure to force concessions from the oligarchic class, and the dream of bringing imagination into the world of work.
Like KMO, Doug is planning a couch surfing tour which he hopes to fund with a Kickstarter Campaign.
Music by the Cadillac Moon Ensemble.
KMO welcomes Noble Ape creator Tom Barbalet back to the C-Realm to discuss the counterproductive habits of academic philosophers of mind that prompted Tom to start the Noble Ape project 17 years ago. Tom offers the steam trains of Cuba as an example of why he does not worry about peak oil. In fact, Tom says that there’s not an apocalyptic scenario on offer that doesn’t leave him feeling hopeful. The conversation concludes with a discussion of the level of consideration we should extend to simulated beings, particularly ones that humans interact with and have become emotionally invested in. In his closing remarks, KMO explains why he has deactivated his Facebook account.
Music by Tom Barbalet.
KMO welcomes Jay Smith back to the C-Realm to discuss his impressions of the 2013 Age of Limits conference. Many repeat C-Realm Podcast guests were in attendance at the conference, and while they all have reputations as being “doomers” of one stripe or another, none are paint quite as grim a picture of the near-term future as Guy McPherson who is predicting the extinction of the human species before the end of the 21st Century. KMO and Jay talk about the allure of doomsday forecasting. Later, KMO reads and responds to a short essay by a C-Realm listener and talks about his upcoming couch-surfing tour.
Music by the Formidable Vegetable Sound System.
KMO welcomes Bruce Damer, the host of Dr. Bruce’s Levity Zone, back to the C-Realm Podcast to talk about technology, the destruction that industrial civilization visits on the natural world and the possibility that the planetary plant body accepts that damage as the price of partnering with the monkey brain to venture beyond the planetary cradle. Bruce talks up the benefits of voluntarily reducing the birth rate and agrees with Evgeny Morozov about the downside of the mindset he call “technological solutionism.” Finally KMO talks about an upcoming Couch Surfing Tour to the west coast. Music by Mornin’, Old Sport.
KMO welcomes techno-optimist Eric Boyd back to the C-Realm to talk about the barrage of feel-good propaganda about energy independence for Saudi America from unconventional sources of hydrocarbon energy. KMO and Eric agree that sources of energy abound, and that in the long run, exotic energy sources like seafloor methane clathrates and synthetic fuels made by using nanotechnology to extract carbon from the atmosphere hold great promise but that these visions are unhelpful distractions from the needs of the present historical moment. They both agree that carbon trading is a farce and that geoengineering is all but inevitable. Music by Mamie Minch.
KMO welcomes Dmitry Orlov back to the C-Realm Podcast to to discuss his new book, The Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors’ Toolkit. Dmitry developed the 5-staged model of collapse several years ago, and this conversation is a follow-up to C-Realm Podcast episode 96: Kollapsnik and the Ripping Yarn. In the book, Dmitry presents case studies of people who responded adaptively to collapses of various sorts, and the conversation focuses on organized crime syndicates in post-Soviet Russia as well as the Roma (Gypsies) who have mastered the art of hiding in plain site, staying flexible, and maintaining a clear boundary between themselves and the larger societies in which they operate. Music by Mornin’, Old Sport.
Erik Davis joins KMO in the C-Realm for a face to face conversation about the psycho-spiritual differences between the East and West coasts of the United States. Later, they examine the pressure on humans living in an techno-industrial civilization to adapt themselves from biological time (kairos) to the digital time (chronos) of the clock and of information technology. Erik explains how both techno-utopian and Luddite belief systems rest upon problematic notions of human nature. Sometimes technology elicits a yuck response from us, but just as that visceral reaction can steer us wrong, we discount it at our peril. Music by Shanimal.
KMO welcomes Ben McLeish to the program to discuss the overlapping concerns of the C-Realm project and the Zeitgeist Movement. Ben discusses the differences between “market efficiency” and actual efficiency and invokes the historical example of Edwin Armstrong, the inventor of FM radio, to illustrate what happens to visionaries in a capitalist milieu who try to put actual efficiency before the maximization of profit. Later, Ben uses the example of John Snow and cholera outbreaks 19th Century England to illustrate the tensions between the societal priority of meeting basic human needs and the priority of facilitating economic transactions even when doing so will cause avoidable human death and suffering.
Music by Andrew Woods.
KMO welcomes Ashton Applewhite to the C-Realm to examine cultural attitudes about aging and the elderly. Cultural stereotypes about the elderly abound, and some of the most pernicious claims Applewhite, are that they are greedy and leech resources from the young, that they are a burden on the healthcare system, that they are sexless, that they have lost their cognitive faculties and that they are uniformly conservative in their social orientation and in their politics. Ashton thinks that the life extension movement and its advocates, people like Aubrey de Gray and Ray Kurzweil are pushing a deluded and elitist agenda that would divert resources from more deserving uses. Music by Southside.
KMO welcomes SF author, futurist, and contrarian, David Brin to the C-Realm to talk about the themes of his new novel, Existence. Those themes include some long-running areas of interest for C-Realm listeners including the need for a sober assessment of the challenges human civilization faces as we transition from smart animals into beings that must learn to weild the god-like powers in real time with no do-overs. This is a particularly challenging proposition given our tendency toward self-deception, factionalism, and righteous indignation. David champions recipricol accountability, the American genius for compromise, and the idea of becoming good ancestors.
Music by Southside.
KMO welcomes Mark Robinowitz of OilEmpire.us back to the C-Realm to unpack a recent Rolling Stone article in which Bill McKibben declares that the energy industry has proven proponents of peak oil wrong. The conversation covers not only the interplay between peak oil and climate change but also the social, political, and economic dynamics that pit climate change activists against people working to raise awareness of the limits to growth. In response to Mark’s claim that most people don’t even know what petroleum is, much less the essential role that it plays in modern agriculture and industrial civilization, KMO wonders whether there is anything to be gained by trying to introduce a population accustomed to sound bite policy analysis to the spectrum of concerns covered in the C-Realm Podcast.
Music by Shanimal.
KMO welcomes Carolyn Baker back to the C-Realm to discuss the topics she plans to address at the upcoming Age of Limits gathering. The conversation begins with the simultaneous need for mental healthcare in a time when fewer and fewer people have access to any sort of healthcare. Carolyn talks about staying sane in an age of madness and the danger of having a mental health professional reduce large scale social phenomena of a society in the process of catastrophic transition down to individual mental pathology and affixing that label to you. Later the topic turns to Occupy Wall Street and the subject matter of David Graeber’s new book, The Democracy Project: a History, a Crisis, a Movement. (A portion of the book appeared as A Practical Utopian’s Guide to the Coming Collapse in The Baffler.) Why protest to demand that a collapsing political system reform itself when you can simply demonstrate a different way of meeting human needs through direct democracy and mutual aid? Music by Mamie Minch.
KMO welcomes Matthew J. Pallamary, author Spirit Matters and Land Without Evil, back to the C-Realm Podcast to talk about his new book, The Infinity Zone: A Transcendent Approach to Peak Performance. Topics covered include Rudolf Steiner, sacred geometry, peak performance, martial arts, the effects of political polarization, and the merging of shamanism with science. Matthew's novel Land Without Evil has recently been adapted as a stage and airealist show and is the subject of a PBS documentary. Music by Mornin' Old Sport.
KMO and Olga speak with Dan Baum, a self-described Tax-and-Spend Democrat and gun lover, about his new book, Gun Guys: A Road Trip. Dan begins with the observation that, over the last two decades, as gun restrictions have loosened and the number of privately owned fire arms in the US has doubled, gun violence has fallen by half. While he doesn't buy into the simplistic narrative of the pro-gun right that more guns equals a safer society, he doesn't condone the alarming and bigoted rhetoric of the left either. Dan challenges his fellow gun guys to proactively lock up their guns and keep them from falling into the hands of children, depressed teenagers and criminals, and he challenges his fellow liberals to take control of their addiction to self-righteousness and stop issuing blanket insults and condemnations of gun owners. Music by Shanimal.
KMO welcomes Douglas Rushkoff back to the C-Realm Podcast to talk about the themes of his most recent book, Present Shock: When Everything Happens now, and between tangets related to Scientology, the IRS, Colbert Report schwag, ceremonial magick, the faded out look of rock stars who’ve had their juju drained by millions of adoring fans and the little known collapse of WTC Building 12 on 9/11, they do manage to make at least passing reference to the themes of Doug’s book. KMO ends with listener feedback on last week’s conversation with Guy McPherson and announcements about the upcoming 2013 Age of Limits gathering and an Evolver NYC event, The Singularity is Where?
Music by Mamie Minch.
Guy McPherson joins KMO in the C-Realm to discuss the prospect of runaway climate feedback loops which Guy thinks will lead to human extinction in the not-so-distant future. KMO prefaces the conversation with an excerpt from episode 285: The Rhetoric of Doom. The first half of the conversation consists of an encapsulated version of Guy’s presentation to the Bluegrass Bioneers, which you can hear in full on Radio Ecoshock. In the second half of the conversation, KMO asks Guy if, knowing what he knows now, he would still walk away from his tenured position and all the perks of living at the apex of empire. KMO wraps up the podcast with an excerpt from Bruce Sterling’s closing remarks to the 2013 South by Southwest Festival about the fatuousness of “technological solutionism.”
Music by Formidable Vegetable.
Join KMO, Olga, John Michael Greer, Albert Bates, Carolyn Baker, Dmitry Orlov, Gail Tverberg and Guy McPherson for the 2013 Age of Limits gathering Thursday May 23rd thru Monday May 27th, 2013.
KMO welcomes IEET co-founder, James Hughes, back to the C-Realm to discuss the possibilities for maximizing human capabilities, including ethical capabilities, in a time of rapid technological change. The conversation around the use of technology to improve upon humanity needs an infusion of compassion and adulthood to counteract the adolescent, male, techno-libertarian mentality that has kept the discussion from reaching a wider and more diverse audience. Dr. Hughes, a former Buddhist monk, has recently added some high-tech enhancements to his long-standing meditation practice, and the discussion turns to the potential benefits and dangers of the widespread adoption of this technology now that prices have come down and the hardware has become more user-friendly. The conversation ends with a continuation of the recent C-Realm theme of anticipating and responding to the trend of technological unemployment.
Music by Hobotech.
KMO welcomes Federico Pistono to the C-Realm Podcast to talk about the book Robots Will Steal Your Job But That’s OK – How to Survive the Economic Collapse and Be Happy. Federico describes work as the single most important factor contributing to self-esteem, social status and a sense of purpose in people’s lives. He also thinks that the process by which jobs are lost to automation and sophisticated software tools will accelerate and leave more and more people without the jobs that provide them with economic sustenance and a sense of purpose. The discussion turns to the need to revise the cultural assumption that a human who is not employed is a social parasite. In a world of accelerating technological unemployment, where most jobs do nothing to provide for human needs and, in fact, magnify the harms that industrial society visits on the biosphere and human quality of life, we absolutely must get past the idea everyone must "earn a living."
Music by Au5 (courtesy of Adapted Records)
KMO welcoms S.T. Joshi, the author of the definitive biography of H.P. Lovecraft, to the C-Realm Podcast. Chances are you’ve heard of some of the products of H.P. Lovecraft’s imagination, like dread Cthulhu who lies dead but dreaming beneath the waves, or that tome of forbidden knowledge the Necronomicon. Robert E. Howard is best remembered as the creator of the character Conan the barbarian. The third master of the weird tale is Clark Ashton Smith. Smith, who was both self-taught and erudite, wrote poetry, painted, carved sculpture, and, seemingly in a time of desperate financial need, wrote fantasy stories for the same publications which featured the weird tales of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. The racist attitudes that were prevalent in the early decades of the 20th Century took different forms in the fiction of Lovecraft and Howard. In place of the usual musical interlude, KMO reads an excerpt from Black Canaan, a story by Robert E. Howard in which a voodoo priest leads a black uprising against the white residents of a region of Louisiana swampland called Canaan.
Atmospheric music by Gallery Six.
Gary Borjesson, author of Willing Dogs & Reluctant Masters: On Friendship and Dogs, returns to the C-Realm to follow philosophical pathways that lead from the relationship between dog and human and extend to such questions as “Can friendships ever really be unconditional?” “Is encouragement always preferable to criticism?” “Are children harmed or helped by competitive activities with clear winners and losers?” and “What is the real value of work in a world where most people work jobs that have nothing to do with providing essential goods or services?”
Music by EnviroSiren.
KMO welcomes Dan Miner of Beyond Oil NYC to the C-Realm to talk about talking about Peak Oil, Climate Change and other big picture, existential issues with busy New Yorkers. A messenger who presents the situation in its full gravity to people caught up in the collective trance will seem like a lunatic, but how much sugar-coating is too much? Does it make sense to humor people's expectations that renewable sources of energy will power the lifestyle that citizens in the heart of empire have come to regard as normal? Are minor gains that pale in comparison to the scale of industrial civilization's dilemma worth the effort? The conversation turns to "Preppers" and the way that they are portrayed as clueless and damaged social rejects in the corporate media (e.g. National Geographic and the New York Times). Who benefits from the denigration of that tiny minority of the population who are devoting their own time and resources to cushioning the system with a modicum of resilience?
Music by Glöd.
KMO welcomes Paul Kingsnorth, co-founder of the Dark Mountain project to the the C-Realm Podcast to discuss the themes in his recent Orion magazine article, Dark Ecology: Searching for truth in a post-green world. Paul is critical of neo-environmentalists; environmental activists who have made peace with the logic of capitalism and the infinite growth paradigm. They see environmental stresses as technical problems which are best addressed with technological remedies, and they agree that anything that is real and worthy of consideration can be quantified by science and priced by the market. Anything else is wool-minded romanticism. KMO draws a parallel to cosmopolitan liberals who despise and ridicule their "red state" counterparts but who have made peace with the imperial wealth pump that makes their lavish cosmopolitian lifestyles possible. Music by Southside.
KMO welcomes John Michael Greer, the Archdruid, back to the C-Realm Podcast to talk about binary thaumaturgy and other means by which political conversation in the United States has been reduced to meaningless utterances meant to divide the population into antagonistic factions. Phatic communication which is devoid of substantive content has replace analysis in contemporary political discourse, particularly on television. In response to a question about the danger of austerity playing into the hands of right wing demagogues and giving rise to fascism, JMG explains that fascism is not a right-wing phenomenon. Rather, fascism is something that arises from the neglected center when divisive political language has driven participants to extremes and left the center unrepresented in mainstream discourse. Polarizing language clears the way for totalitarian centrism. Music by The Little Stevies.
KMO welcomes Charles C. Mann back to the podcast to discuss the themes of slavery and the second great African diaspora which to the shape of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. In his book, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, Charles details how the human taste for sugar, plantation-style agriculture, and diseases like maleria and yellow fever shaped the social arrangements of Europe, African and the so-called New World and which continue to influence our contemporary way of life. KMO asks Charles about the potential for preserving the moral progress we seem to have made in the last 200 years in an ear of limits to growth and economic contraction. Nicole Foss, in an excerpt from an upcoming Full Circle podcast, weighs in on that same question. Music by The Autumn Olives.
KMO welcomes Dennis McKenna back to the program to discuss science fiction, futurism, and the predicament of 21st Century global civilization. The conversation was recorded in the home of Alexandre Tannous the morning after Dennis presented a sideshow and readings from his new book, Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss: My Life with Terence McKenna. Dennis explains that the screaming abyss in his book title is partly inspired by H. P. Lovecraft. A recurring theme in Lovecraft's fiction is the idea that science and the search for knowledge may well bring disaster and ruin to humanity, and Dennis agrees that our thirst for knowledge must be tempered with caution and thoughtfulness and that we need to get over our infatuation with our own technological capabilities and move beyond our concept of nature as something we can own, control and exploit for profit.Music by Jon Margulies.
KMO welcomes Kathy McMahon, the Peak Shrink of PeakOilBlues.com, back to the C-Realm to talk about the psychology of predictions. We gravitate to flashy predictions over nuanced forecasts and don’t hold poor track records against those prophets whose predictions promise to vindicate us for holding the right beliefs. Unfortunately for Doomers who hope for a rapid collapse that will vindicate them for being early adopters of the Peak Oil collapse narrative, we seem to be in the midst of a slow degeneration that eats away at our security and wealth but never proves us right in the eyes of our doubters and critics. You may be braced for a sudden, sexy collapse, but do you have the gumption to endure the sucky collapse? KMO and Kathy last spoke at the beginning of the current economic malaise, and now, 3.5 years later, Kathy describes how the prolonged downturn has effected her family, her career, and her outlook.
Music by Mandrake.
In a special New Years Day episode, guest host Larry Lowe interviews Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the 6th man to walk on the moon during the Apollo program and founder of Quantrek a foundation dedicated to the development of Zero Point Energy. Mitchell discusses the epiphany he had during the return flight and his work to include consciousness in the unified field theory. His model of cosmology builds on Dr. Walter Schempp‘s work defining the Quantum Hologram, which Mitchell realized defines consciousness. Since the quantum hologram allows for sub-atomic quantum effects to appear at the macro level of everyday life, understanding it opens a door to the realization of how consciousness interacts with reality. In the second segment, Larry riffs with futurist and author Michael Lindemann on the implications of Mitchell’s cosmology, including discussion of Ken Carey’s new book ‘The Third Millennium’, which postulates that humanity is on the cusp of what he calls a quantum awakening. Evidence of this awakening is seen in a recent phenomenon of deep conceptual ideas arriving in the minds of a number of researchers in the field.
Music by Shadowed
KMO welcomes Lon Milo Duquette to the C-Realm Podcast to talk about magick, music, and the good so great and all-encompassing that it has no opposite. LMD is a stand-up occultist, a gnostic bishop, a singer/song-writer, and the author of 14 books on magick and esotericism. In spite of the content of the musical interlude on this week’s show, Lon wants the listeners all to know that he does not drink alcohol at all these days and certainly does not condone driving under the influence. Lon explains how Solomonic magicians raise demons and put them to work in the service of the Great G, how a demon, once transformed from a destructive and directionless force, can help the magician transform his or her consciousness. Magic is, when you get right down to it, all in your head. You just have no idea how big your head is.
In the final Wednesday episode of the C-Realm podcast four 2012, KMO plays a recording of a lecture that Dennis McKenna delivered at the National Arts Club in Manhattan on December 10, 2010. The lovely Olga K was in attendance for that lecture, and if you listen closely you will hear at least one C-Realm guest ask a question from the audience. In this talk, Dennis describes the rapid evolution of the human brain, and the even more rapid evolution of human culture. He talks, at times and fairly technical detail, about the co-evolution of plants and humans, and the origins of language, art and religion. Special thanks to Rob Griffitts for making this recording available for use on the C-Realm podcast. Dennis will be appearing at the national arts club again on the evening of Friday, January 4, 2013, where he will give a presentation about his new book, The Brotherhood of the Screening Abyss: My Life with Terence McKenna. KMO, Olga, and a fabulous assortment of fabulous freaks, some of whom have appeared as guests on the C-Realm podcast, will be in attendance. It is an evening not to be missed.
KMO welcomes Robert Tindall (last heard in episode 133: Jaguar and Pilgrim) back to the C-Realm to discuss the themes of his new book, The Shamanic Odyssey: Homer, Tolkien, and the Visionary Experience. Robert makes the case that the animistic mindset of non-Western, indigenous traditions, which understand how to live symbiotically with the rest of life on Earth, lies dormant in the Western psyche. It was there all along and is ready to reconcile with pre-lapsarian shamanic consciousness. In support of this idea he points to the Odyssey of Homer and to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien for illustrations of the sort of shamanic consciousness that the dominator mentality has spent the last few centuries grinding under its heel. In particular, Robert references Aragorn’s use of the healing herb, Athelas (Kingsfoil), in The Houses of Healing and the whole of Smith of Wootton Major, as examples of animistic and shamanic themes working harmoniously within the mindset of a learned, Christian scholar. KMO closes with a nostalgic feelings for what the date 21 December 2012 used to mean to him and his hopes for it as it moves into the rear-view mirror.
Music by Lon Milo DuQuette.
KMO and Olga talk with artist Philip Riley of Skink-Ink about his psychomanteum. Philip describes its potential for putting the user in touch with non-human intelligences and for communicating with the spirits of the dead. Philip's art has always been inspired by his understanding and love of science and it's ability to shed light on the human condition. He created his psychomanteum in an attempt to gain access to the sort of understanding of human consciousness that science has so far been unable to deliver.
Music by Lon Milo DuQuette who will be conducting an on-line magickal group ritual on December 21st, 2012.
You can hear the sponsors of this week's episode, Lauren and Jack, in ETC Voices Podcast 014.
KMO welcomes Steve Keen, author of Debunking Economics back to the C-Realm to discuss the particulars of Steve's recent blogosphere joust with Paul Krugman. Steve explains that Neoclassical economists, like Krugman, do not include debt, banks, money or energy in their economic models which puts them at a distant remove from the real world systems they are supposed describe and predict. The conversation includes discussion of climate, peak oil, and an economy in which even big energy producers like Chesapeake Energy are more focused on financial speculation than on industrial activity. Music by AllFlaws.
KMO welcomes Micheal Goodwin, author of Economix: How Our Economy Works (And Doesn't Work) In Words and Pictures to the C-Realm to talk about money, history, the interplay between corporations and government, and Adam Smith's actual words on the trustworthiness of capitalists. The conversation touches on the NYC soda ban, which Michael favors and KMO distains. Michael will be the featured speaker at the third Full Circle Series event. KMO concludes with some remarks about the struggles of a small hog farmer in Michigan who is fighting against the Michigan state government, which favors corporate CAFO over the humane animal husbandry of small farmers. Music by Polly Lorien.
KMO talks with bioregionalist author Stephanie Mills about grounding activism within a spiritual practice, ceasing to cherish opinion, memorizing poetry, making peace with religion, and learning to listen to and find common ground with Tea Party people. The collapse of industrial civilization may be at hand, and that means that it’s time to make haste… slowly. Music by East Forest.
KMO welcomes Mariavittoria Mangini to the C-Realm to talk about the role of the midwife, not only as someone who assists in the birth process but as an assistant in all manner of life transitions, including death. A midwife can assist an individual or a society. The latter role is what Bodhi Paul Chafurka described as a Cultural Psychopomp. Mariavittoria also describes how improvisational theater and psychedelics helped the members of her intentional community pass through the gauntlet of interpersonal conflict that proves fatal to so many communities.
Music by East Forest.
KMO talks with James "Chris Bunny" Fields, of Bunny Goat Farm about co-ordinating disaster relief outside of the context of established and self-perpetuating hierarchical structures and about the role that Occupy Wall Street is playing on the ground in the wake of super-storm Sandy. Later, KMO talks with Gil Lopez of Nourishing Cities. Gil will be the featured speaker at the second Full Circle Series speaking event at the Hort, and he talks to KMO about the potential for the storm to open up a teachable moment in which important but normally ignored ideas about the relationship of urban populations to food production can influence people who would not normally engage in that sort of converesation. Music by Citybillies.
KMO speaks with Extraenvironmentalist co-hosts Justin Ritchie and Seth Moser-Katz about areas in the US and Canada which are experiencing economic growth in the midst of general decline. Later in the podcast, KMO shares a clip from Z-Realm Podcast 039 in which he, Olga and Marty talk about Hurricane Sandy. At the time, it had yet to make landfall. Now the full impact of the storm is beginning to reveal its full extent.
Music by The Little Stevies.
KMO welcomes workshop leader, lecturer, writer, bookseller, and egaged citizen, Paul Cienfuegos to the C-Realm to talk about the use of community rights laws to resist corporate rule. Paul explains to fundamental flaws of a regulatory model for curtailing the harms inflicted upon communities by corporations, and he cites examples of community rights legislation that has trumped corporate charters and the constitutional rights that corporations have gained via two centuries of judicial activism. The podcast concludes with an excerpt of a C-Realm Vault conversation with Adam Brock and Abby Paloma. Music by Filastine.
KMO and the Lovely Olga K welcome permaculture instructor, Andrew Faust, to the C-Realm to talk about re-designing and retrofitting the urban hardscape to create an environment which fosters human health, community, and freedom. From wood-fired rooftop hot tubs to using the heat from a Jean Pain compost mound to raise gourmet greens for NYC chefs in the winter, Andrew describes a series of enhancements to existing infrastructure that will make incremental, synergistic improvements to the quality of life for city dwellers.
Music by City Billies.
KMO welcomes Dan Kittredge of The Bionutrient Food Association to the C-Realm to talk about soil, nutrition, and the problems inherent in a conventional agronomic sensibility that focuses to narrowly on chemistry and so fails to integrate the idea of life into the analysis of what kinds of conditions and interactions give rise to nutritionally dense food crops. As Dan puts it, "It's the results that speak." Dan will be presenting his ideas on soil, agriculture, and nutrition at the Horticultural Society of New York this Friday evening. Friends of the C-Realm are invited to join KMO and Olga for that event and to attend the 2012 Horizons Conference opening reception at the Rubin Museum of Art immediate thereafter. Music by Inspired Flight.
KMO and Olga welcome Jonathan Talat Philips, co-founder of Reality Sandwhich, to the C-Realm to talk about his new book, The Electric Jesus: The Healing Journey of a Contemporary Gnositic. Talat, once known as Johnny America, was a skeptic and a political activist. Disillusionment with activism, personal challenges, and pivotal experiences with MDMA set him on a path that included seeing auras, awakening Kundalini, energetic healing work and contact with alien guides. He has experienced ayahuasca sessions both in North and South America, had extraterrestrial encounters at Burning Man, and come to see spirit possession as a significant contributor to the societal challenges we face. Music by Nadia_D.
KMO welcomes Rev. Kevin L. Davis, PM, 32*, K.T., S:::I::: to the C-Realm to talk about magical rituals, and the transmission of esoteric knowledge and traditions from France, through Haiti, where it mixed with voodoo, and to the United States via the work of Michael Bertiaux. Kevin laments the conditioned expectation of instant gratification and the degradation it has wrought on the willingness of would-be adepts to do the work necessary to progress to advance ritual practice. The conversation ends with recommendations on meditative exercises designed to improve one’s ability to visualize. Music by Sleepmakeswaves. You can reach Kevin Davis via email at email@example.com.
KMO welcomes psychologist and psychedelics enthusiast, Dr. Neal Goldsmith, back to the C-Realm Podcast to discuss psycho-spiritual maturity, the prospects of maintaining prejudiced-based drug laws in the face of mounting scientific evidence, the likelihood of a human dieback and why quelling all psychological discomfort with drugs and distractions keeps people from maturing as they might if left to grapple with their troubles over time. Later, KMO talks with psychonaut, builder, ecovillager, novelist and physique model, Brian Love, about his experiences at the one-year anniversary commemoration of the start of the Occupy Wall Street protest. Finally, KMO explains how NBC’s new post-collapse drama, Revolution, fails to engage with its own premise. Music by Stacco Troncoso.
Professor Sandra Steingraber, author or Raising Elijah, describes her experiences in the wake of the Nine Eleven attacks and why she, a frequent airline passenger, always opts for the intrusive pat-down rather than the full body scan. Later, BriAnna Olson describes how she held up a handmade sign that read “Unconditional Love is Global Security” at Ground Zero on the 5th anniversary of the Nine Eleven attacks and how an encounter with a self-righteous married couple (see video) eventually lead to her taking her sign to Tehran.
Music by RIVKA courtesy of Monalloh Foundry.
KMO welcomes repeat guests Richard Heinberg and Dmitry Orlov back to the C-Realm Podcast to compare notes on the state of economic transition in which we find ourselves. In his new book, The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality, Richard makes the case that we have reached a crucial inflection point in economic history after which human progress and well-being must be de-coupled from economic growth. Dmitry describes a near-term future in which the United States has been dismantled by its creditors, whom he describes as trans-national mafias. While there is no escape from what Richard calls the Black Hole of Debt, Dmitry insists that it's not too late to make adaptive lifestyle changes if we can avoid the temptation to tune out real experience in favor of the sorts of branded experience that we can access through our whiz-bang handheld devices. Music by Critter Jones.
KMO welcomes 1491 author Charles Mann to the program to talk about the economic, political, sociological, and perhaps most important, biological homogenization that began when Admiral Cristóbal Colón established the first European outpost in what is now the Dominican Republic. This so-called Columbian Exchange initiated a bonanza in global trade which lead to the first global economic crisis. Is that cat out of the bag, or is there still something to be gained by trying to put the breaks on this global free-for-all.
Music by Woodland5.
KMO welcomes Afghanistan war veteran, Jacob George, to the program to talk about cycling for peace, war resistance from inside the military, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Military Sexual Trauma, and the misguided attempt to impose Western social norms and political structures on the tribal societies of Afghanistan.
Music by Madeline Ava.
KMO welcomes Joe Bageant, author of Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War, to the program to examine the corporate media-fabricated bubble of hyper-propaganda that Americans perceive as the real world, the "Stockholm syndrome of the soul" by which we identify with the ideologies of our captors and align ourselves against our own interests, and what this snow globe of a society looks like from the outside.
Music by Neon Brown
KMO welcomes Thomas Homer-Dixon, author of The Upside of Down, back to the program to discus the potential, connectedness, and resilience of adaptive systems like ecosystems and economies. Is restoring the growth trajectory of the global economy a viable means of securing long term prosperity? What impact is technology having on employment, and is full employment a workable or even desirable goal? Later, Tad reads from his forthcoming book, Carbon Shift: How the Twin Crises of Oil Depletion and Climate Change Will Define the Future
Music by Jeff Andrews.
Show notes: http://kmo.livejournal.com/395767.html
KMO welcomes Dennis M. Bushnell, chief scientist of the NASA Langley Research Center, to discuss climate change and ways of combating it that don't produce Big Brother on steroids. Mr. Bushnell also discusses the existential risks that could arise from the "simultaneous IT, bio, nano, quantum, energetics, double exponential tech revolution."
Show notes: http://kmo.livejournal.com/358068.html