KMO attended Hope X in NYC this past weekend (July 18 – 20, 2014) where he recorded an interview with tante (AKA Jürgen Geuter) about the unrealistic expectations we heap upon on idea of privacy. Specifically, he argues that our efforts are misdirected if we campaign against the invasion of our privacy when what we really want to prevent is discrimination and victimization. Lisha Sterling responds to this by admitting the limited benefit to be derived from beefed-up privacy laws, but she argues that privacy is a biological and psychological need. tante gets the last word with a discussion of the incompatibility of liberal democracies and unaccountable and secretive intelligence agencies.
Music by Lindsay Katt.
KMO welcomes David Chameides to the C-Realm Podcast to talk about his efforts to effectively communicate the implications of peak oil and climate change to teenagers. Dave has delivered this message to the students at the North Carolina Governor’s School, a summer program for high-achieving students, for the past six years. He sees this as an opportunity to shape the worldviews of future leaders before the obligations of adulthood make many of their lifestyle choices for them. After the conversation, KMO concludes with some comments about the dysfunctional tendency of left-leaning intellectuals to form circular firing squads and fight with one another over trivial differences in ideology rather than looking for common ground upon which to build alliances and coalitions.
Music by Not Waving But Drowning.
KMO speaks with Gary Weber, author of Happiness Beyond Thought: A Practical Guide to Awakening, about the means of breaking from of the self-referential internal monologue that keeps us obsessing over where we've been, where we hope to go, and the certainty that death awaits us at the end of our personal story. While some people raise concerns that focusing too much energy and attention on one's own mental states might take up cognitive and emotional resources that might be better directed outward toward social and political transformation, in Gary's experience, once one has achieved a state of non-dual awareness, one becomes even more effective in the social sphere. Ditching the I, Me, My narrative will make us more effective agents in the struggle for progressive societal transformation. According to Gary's research, people with a handful of psychedelic experiences under their belt have a significant head start in silencing the self-referential mental chatter over psychedelic virgins.
Music by Climbing Poetry.
KMO and Kevin Carson, the author of The Desktop Regulatory State: The Countervailing Power of Networks and Super-Empowered Individuals, met up at the public library in Springdale, Arkansas to record a conversation about radical monopolies, car culture, retrofitting the built environment to compensate for peak oil, and how government and corporations “conspire” to criminalize low-cost living. Kevin explains the problem with literal, simplistic conspiracy narratives and discusses the culture of Northwest Arkansas. Finally, KMO plays a bit of conversation recorded in 2007 with the founder of The Farm, Stephen Gaskin, who died yesterday.
Music by Rising Appalachia.
In this second episode of interviews recorded at CommonBound 2014, KMO talks with Ed Whitfield of the Fund For Democratic Communities about effective communication and the appropriate and inappropriate uses of private property. Next up is Hannah Jones of the Responsible Endowments Coalition about changing people's conceptions of risk and return on investment. Then comes a conversation with Gar Alperovitz about taking the long view when it comes to social progress. After a poetic performance by Alixa and Naima of Climbing Poetree, KMO talks to them about a possible end to the Drug War.
KMO talks with Vincent Horn of Buddhist Geeks about how Buddhist practices are adapting themselves to thrive and be useful in technological society. He sees Buddhism as co-existing in the same space as the DIY and Maker movements where bio-feedback, sophisticated sensors and psychedelics stand side by side with meditation as technologies for hacking one's own consciousness. KMO wraps up with some comments on individualism and community. Music by The Shiz.
KMO attended the 2014 Age of Limits conference, and he invited C-Realm listeners who were in attendance to join him in a recorded conversation that took place at the same time as the main conversation in the round described on the schedule. The setting was a campground in the woods in rural Pennsylvania at nightfall. The conversation began at dusk and ended by lantern light. There is a bit of electromagnetic interference toward the end of the recording, but the content was too good to sacrifice, so please bear with us. At the end of the program, KMO talks with Justin Ritchie of the Extraenvironmentalist podcast about the upcoming Common Bound gathering in Boston, organized by the New Economy Coalition.
In the conclusion to KMO's conversation with four C-Realm listeners about Margaret Atwood's dark, speculative vision, Oryx and Crake, they ask, "Where is the government?" How plausible is it that all government functions will have been subsumed by corporations by the middle of this century? What do they use as money? How do they enforce intellectual property regimes? Later, KMO takes up this question with Eric Boyd before offering up his own take on the lingering question from last week's show. "Why make the Crakers at all?"
KMO is joined by four C-Realm listeners to discuss Margaret Atwood's dark work of speculative fiction, Oryx and Crake. KMO and guests consider weather the liberal arts have been degraded and devalued by corporate culture. In the near future of Atwood's vision, science and technology reign supreme, and it is unfashionable to ask about consequences or ethical implications. Do you think that humans are part of nature or a plague upon the planet? If the latter, would you bother trying to design a successor species to replace us, or would it be better just to wipe the slate clean?
KMO speaks with Kelly Coyne and Erik Knuteson, the authors of The Urban Homestead and Making It. Kelly and Erik attended the 2013 Age of Limits conference and have each recently published their recollections and responses to that experience on their blog, Root Simple. Kelly thought that the overly specific predictions of near term human extinction from climate change she encountered at the conference said more about psyche of the prophet than about the state of the climate. Erik wasn't thrilled with what he called "Kumbaya moments" which came in the form of fabricated grief rituals. Later, John Michael Greer talks about ways to use ritual to good effect in coming to terms with the long decent of industrial civilization. Music by The Story is Everything.