This episode features two conversations recorded at the kitchen table with people whom Erik Davis introduced to KMO and Olga. First up is stage magician Ferdinando Buscema who describes a memento mori ritual he has constructed for himself using playing cards. Later, KMO talks with Spiros Antonopoulos, a yoga teacher and seasoned psychonaut, about DMT, ayahuasca and what they may be able to tell us about ourselves and our life's purpose.
KMO welcomes Pentamental co-host John Maguire to the C-Realm to talk explicitly about consciousness. The conversation ranges from quantum physics and its relationship with fuzzy New Age belief systems to poker and epistemological humility. A final homage to the late Joe Bageant leads into a brief clip from a recent conversation about global geopolitics and the consequences of the triumph of the "bozo billionaire" variety of libertarian politics in the United States. Check out Background Briefing to hear the entire conversation between host Ian Masters and his guest, Alfred W. McCoy.
KMO attended the 2015 Left Forum, and while he found the presenters to be, on the whole, quite knowledgeable, he was, once again, struck by their flat presentations and lack of communicative polish. What’s up with that? In this episode of the C-Realm Podcast, KMO talks with Doug Lain about possible explanations for why the left seems to lag so far behind the right in crafting an engaging, accessible message. Following a clip from The Professional Left podcast, they consider whether it might have something to do with the generous support that the political right extends to their grassroots spokespeople and the lack of support for emerging voices on the left.
KMO attended the 2015 Left Forum gathering and recorded a panel discussion about the geopolitics of energy by Michael Klare, Micheal Schwartz and Daniel Volman. Ever since the world became dependent on petroleum for industrial and military expansion, the major powers have struggled for access to and control over the major sources of oil. Initially, this struggle was dominated by the major European powers, especially Britain, France, and Germany, but after World War II the United States entered the fray. Washington's determination to control the oil from the Middle East led to the introduction of a major U.S. military presence in the region and periodic military intervention. When other areas, including Africa and the Caspian Sea basin, became important oil producers, U.S. military involvement was extended to these areas as well. Now China is becoming heavily dependent on imported oil and it, too, is joining the global struggle for energy; Russia, although self-sufficient in energy, seeks to control the export of oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea area. As U.S.-Russian-Chinese relations become more contentious, energy geopolitics will play an increasingly pivotal role in world affairs. This panel will explore the growing contention among global powers for access to and control of Middle East oil and natural gas, and the connections of these struggles to resource competition in other regions.
Comedy by One Easy Bread Recipe Each Week.
KMO and Olga talk to educator and novelist, Zack Lehtinen, about his novel, World of Wounds. The novel is akin to Ishmael by Daniel Quinn in it's attempt to convey ideas through narrative which many readers might reject or ignore in non-fiction. KMO gushes about Paolo Bacigalupi's latest novel, The Water Knife, and Olga makes a sincere call to listeners and entertainment corporations alike to support struggling alternative media professionals. Music by Brodie Kinder.
Remember when you first saw videos of the humanoid robot, Asimo, walking on two legs, climbing stairs, hopping on one foot? Wasn’t it amazing? Asimo made “his” debut in the year 2000. That was 15 years and 7 cycles of Moore’s Law ago. If Singularitarian reasoning held together and advances in AI tracked Moore’s law, today’s robots would be 128 times more sophisticated than robots from the year 2000. We should see humanoid robots walking around today that make Asimo look quaint by comparison. Where are they? KMO talks with Eric Boyd about failed technoutopian visions in this episode of the C-Realm Podcast.
Music by Inspired Flight.
KMO welcomes Tom O’Brien, host of the From Alpha to Omega Podcast, to the C-Realm to talk about The Walking Dead, the unlikely visions of the techno-utopians, and how surprised he is to find that after three years of doing a podcast about economics he now describes himself as a Marxist. KMO concludes with a few remarks about why technology may still have an important role to play in the long descent, even if the Singularitarians are mostly engaged in wishful thinking and self-justification.
Music by Handmade Moments.
If you're human, you've probably had your heart broken. If you live in a post-industrial society, the loss of a long-term relationship may have been the most intense emotional trauma you've ever experienced. It sucks, but there is an upside. This week's guest, Emily Hursh, has some advice for getting through the acute heartache and turning a broken heart into a vehicle for transformational healing. Later, the discussion turns to the topic of NYC's continuous process of gentrification and it's supposedly environmentalist mayor.
Music by Jonathan Santos.
Recently, Brian Kaller posted a reflection to his blog, Restoring Mayberry, on the fact that ten years after the peak of conventional petroleum production, the world isn't nearly as broken as the most alarmist Peak Oil personalities warned us that it would be. Brian praises the Peak Oil community for not adopting a host of "deal breaker" positions that would alienate the mainstream the way counter-cultural movements did in the 1960s and 70s. Still, it has attracted more than a few people whose dissatisfaction with life in a consumerist culture prompts them to yearn for the apocalypse. Has frakking pushed the big crash a few years into the future, or do those who have learned to stop worrying and love the collapse need to make peace with the idea that it's not coming? Music by Handmade Moments.
KMO and Olga visited House of Collection to speak with Ahnika Delirium about intentional communities, gender identities & presentation, privilege, and whether a conservative Christian cakemaker should be required by law to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Links and discussion on these topics can be found in the Friends of the C-Realm community on Facebook.