Technoptimism is Techonaivité

Technoptimism is Techonaivité

Believing in one’s story until it collapses is a common theme of those failing to live up to Eudaimonia, the notion of a life well-lived. Those whose lifework becomes discredited and desecrated in the twilight years of their life, no matter how successfully they were, or thought they were, cannot be said to have died happily. The Silicon Valley in which I live, a culture infused with the cocaine high of technological breakthroughs, grates against my earthly sensibilities. Riding on the crest of adrenaline, discovery, and money, what many in the fair Bay Area know, is not in fact what is. This temporary party-atmosphere, around until catastrophe hits, is the last hurrah of capitalism . Whether technology will trap us in a surveillance state, or liberate us from mediating political, economic, and social predators, dangles in the hands of deliberate planning and meta-organizing on the part of those developers. As users and citizens, we are all developers. Not knowing the implications of one’s discoveries is very different from saying that there aren’t any. The neoteny of tech bros and gals, and those few beyond and between, is part of the enforced juvenilization of tech “campuses” and a society that values brain plasticity over wisdom. After all, wisdom doesn’t sell. You can’t fake wisdom or put lipstick on a pig’s face with wisdom. No, but with new forms of glitz and glanz, mind control, and exploiting our dispositions as mammals, money is to be made! Thus, tech people are predisposed to think, act, and do as children do. They are rewarded to do so. But this has consequences for where...

Root Flute

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I had to give a shout out to my homie Dan and Divya. Dan, rootflute.com   is one helluva sound healer. He does it right. All C# tuning. My homie itom lab would get a kick out of that. As a Hang and handpan player, and general musician, I’ve shared my portion of sound healings, and participated in some awesome ones and some I have not been so stoked on. but Dan’s approach is uncanny. Everything is in tune. He understands the deep shamanic principles that are also scientific principles of theta brainwave trance states, and knows how to deliver. If you ever get a chance to do a sound healing with him, do it. I’m still reverberating.  ...
what meditation is

what meditation is

“There are many concentration excercises involving coordination of breathing and attention. Many pseudo-Zen cults teach people to count their breaths and call this zazen or meditation, but concentration without insight is dangerous in that it actually hardens the shell of the ego and concentrates psychological pollutants rather than removing them.” -Wang-sung in Kensho: Heart of Zen. p....

the next 4 years

My predictions for the US in the next 4 years: Drug use will go up, both prescription drug use, and non-prescription drugs. Marijuana and coke, alcohol and numbing agents. There will be less jobs, not more. Jobs will just be redistributed to the hell-on-earth sectors, such as mining, lumber, oil and gas drilling, security. And there will be a loss of jobs in the health and human services sectors, in social work and welfare, in community organizing, in solar and wind,...

Enter The Chtulucene

“With public opinion on our side, we can do anything, without it nothing.” George Washington   A meme was circulating just days before the fateful Nov. 2016 election, discussing El0n Musk’s proclaimation that ‘We need a revolt against the fossil fuel industry.’ While quoted from May 2016, it had no less poignancy in November. The world stood at a precipice–American exceptionalism supporting shadow government interests, or transition to a new ecological and social dawn. It was clear early on that Clinton’s campaign had problems. Emails, minimized and dismissed. Here waffling and hawkishness. Her insider politics and lack of transparency in disclosing transcripts of speeches to Goldman Sachs and other financial tools. And all of this was dismissed as ancillary, not to her real stances on issues, but to the heralded historic moment of becoming the first US female president. It was “Her Turn,” a presumptive, privileged rich white woman haughtiness if ever there was one. She failed to connect with people in distress, with those who actually cared about their communities, their families, and their ecologies in disrepair. Her response to Flint was lackluster. Yet she was so overqualified, so went the script.   Instead, here’s a piece of speculative realism, that flips that good liberal’s script:   I don’t think anyone has a clue how devastating a Republican Whitehouse, Senate, and House, and Supreme Court is for the planet. No country left alive, after this doozy. And these aren’t your parents’ Republicans. They are alt-right neo-fascist GMO Republicans created in the Koch laboratory. They are ready for war, for ecological destruction, and for massive oligarchic rule. They feed...
More than just voting

More than just voting

Bill Nye, the science guy, has a new Al Jazeera call to environmental action.   This would be good, if he actually addressed some real issues, instead of having the moral of the story as “Go Vote!” I call weak sauce. The problem is that we think a technological deus ex machina is going to fix the problem. It’s not. We need to fundamentally change the very gears of government, both reduce the fat while making it far more effective and less beholden to the global executioners (i.e. oil companies, insurance companies, banking companies, agrobusiness, car companies, chemical manufactures, big data, etc.) and start nudging society in a virtuous rather than vicious direction. This requires not just voting, but organizing, running for office, recalling corrupt politicians, having much stricter laws for elected officials, demilitarizing the police, demilitarizing the military, getting rid of private militaries, paying teachers more than wallstreet hucksters, spending more on education and environment than the military and police. We do this by divesting our money from these companies, showing up to city council meetings, calling (not just liking or emailing) your representatives, spending your money more appropriately and tithing to worthy causes, using your car less, loving more, living in community rather than alone, simplifying your hipster life, living more sustainably and with the land, cultivating humility, and finding joy as an inside job. We also need to be growing more of our own food, spending less money on resources from afar overall, and praying and sending goodwill to the freedom fighters in this golden cage of...