192 episodes

Join paleontologist-futurist Michael Garfield and an avalanche of amazing guests for deep but irreverent discussions at the edge of the known and knowable: on prehistory and post-humanity and deep time, non-human agency and non-duality, science fiction and self-fulfilling prophecies, complex systems and sustainability (or lack thereof), psychedelics as a form of training for proliferating futures, art and creativity as service and as inquiry. New episodes on a roughly biweekly basis.
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FUTURE FOSSILS Michael Garfield

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 214 Ratings

Join paleontologist-futurist Michael Garfield and an avalanche of amazing guests for deep but irreverent discussions at the edge of the known and knowable: on prehistory and post-humanity and deep time, non-human agency and non-duality, science fiction and self-fulfilling prophecies, complex systems and sustainability (or lack thereof), psychedelics as a form of training for proliferating futures, art and creativity as service and as inquiry. New episodes on a roughly biweekly basis.
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    192 - My Cataract: An Initiation 👁✨

    192 - My Cataract: An Initiation 👁✨

    This week I go solo and get reflective on age, noise, loss, mystery, stars and angels, dreams and seasons, modern science and the retrieval of magic...
    Read the ✨ EXTENSIVE ✨ show notes, and join the Future Fossils community, at Patreon.
    cataract (n.) 
    early 15c., "a waterfall, floodgate, furious rush of water," from Latin cataracta "waterfall," from Greek katarhaktes "waterfall, broken water; a kind of portcullis," noun use of an adjective compound meaning "swooping, down-rushing," from kata "down" (see cata-). The second element is traced either to arhattein "to strike hard" (in which case the compound is kat-arrhattein), or to rhattein "to dash, break." Its alternative sense in Latin of "portcullis" probably passed through French and gave English the meaning "eye disease characterized by opacity of the lens" (early 15c.), on the notion of "obstruction" (to eyesight). (from etymology.com)
    Episode Art & Music:
    Aldebaran by Michael Garfield (2020) (prints available)
    Pavo: Music for Mystery by Michael Garfield (2017)
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    • 51 min
    191 - Roland Harwood on Learning To Be Liminal

    191 - Roland Harwood on Learning To Be Liminal

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    This week on the show I chat with the storied, insightful, multidimensional Roland Harwood (Twitter | LinkedIn | Liminal | Participatory City Foundation) — a “compulsive connector,” generalist, “failed astronaut,” pianist, Founder, CEO, Trustee, impresario of international collective intelligence projects, and generally fascinating person. In a conversation that already feels somewhat archaeological (it was recorded in November 2021 and references discussions that have already developed significantly over the last year), we explore the martial art of living in transition, of thriving in the in-between spaces, of dealing with the unpredictable and the fundamental uncertainty of our lives. We also rap on the subjects of innovation, global weirding, organizational evolution, technology, hope, and happiness. Dig into the complete show notes for plenty to follow up on!
    Intro and outro music is from my forthcoming EP, “Ephemeropolis,” available soon at Bandcamp and Patreon.
    Special thanks to Tami Pudina for her help with this episode! Check out her work at hyperdriveanthropology.com.

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    • 1 hr 9 min
    190 - Lauren Seyler on Dark Microbiology & Right Relations in Science

    190 - Lauren Seyler on Dark Microbiology & Right Relations in Science

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    This week we’re joined by Lauren Seyler, Assistant Professor of Biology at Stockton University (Lab Website, Twitter @darkmicrobio, Google Scholar), who studies the microscopic living world that flourishes in dark places: the mud of coastal marshes, inside rocks, and in sediments at the bottom of the sea. She’s also co-authored a number of publications on how scientists can work ethically with Indigenous peoples, and applies her scientific research to questions of astrobiology: the search for life and intelligence in outer space.
    In this episode, we discuss the life/non-life boundary, evolution as thermodynamics, anaerobic microbes as the invisible labor supporting all life on Earth, the origin of life: in the light, or in the dark?, the wonderful world of -omics, individual vs. Institutional agency and the necessary revolution of consciousness required for effective collective action at planetary scale, power and responsibility, best practices for working with the Indigenous as a scientist, stepping up to biospheric stewardship, and practicing right relations across scales (not just micro-macro but also across space and time).
    Special thanks to Tami Pudina for her help with editing this episode! Check out her work at hyperdriveanthropology.com.
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    • 1 hr 25 min
    189 - Planet-scale Musical Chairs: 21st Century Human Geography with Parag Khanna

    189 - Planet-scale Musical Chairs: 21st Century Human Geography with Parag Khanna

    This week on Future Fossils, we sync up with globe-trotting (Singapore-based) futurist Parag Khanna, author of several internationally best-selling books on the shifting landscape of human geography and technological evolution. My acquaintance with Parag dates back all the way to 2011 when I found his Hybrid Reality Institute, and started writing for his BigThink blog, thanks to the writing of Jason Silva — I knew this was a party I couldn’t miss, even though I was then, as now, deeply ambivalent about the contours of the futures he and his colleagues were making visible with their rigorous research. This spirit has defined my entire adult life: if you want to help steer something in a better direction, you might just have to get your hands down into the murk and engage with it deeply enough to be in the position to make a difference. So when his agent contacted me about interviewing him about his latest book, 2021’s Move: The Forces Uprooting Us, I knew it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. But let me be clear that Parag sees things very differently than I do, and I appreciate that about him: he has a keen sense of the risks and dangers of our times but emphasizes the opportunities because the facts are there to support it. If you move around as much as he does, and always has, you get a kind of synoptic view of the planet and the tension between individual destiny and collective momentum comes into a new tuning. This is a beast of a conversation. It was hell to edit. I’m glad it happened. Here you go!
    Complete, extensive show notes at Patreon.
    ✨ Housekeeping:
    • Intro music is "You're In My Self-Portrait" from my 2012 album Golden Hour. Outro music is "City of Jewels" from my 2013 EP of the same name. For something completely different, check out my latest live album, recorded at Meow Wolf Santa Fe while opening for DeVotchKa.
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    • NFTs: Rarible | Foundation | Voice | Hic Et Nunc | Mint Songs
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    • 1 hr 19 min
    188 - LARPing as a Nation-State with Jon Hillis & 0xZakk of CABIN DAO and Christian Lemp of Diamond DAO

    188 - LARPing as a Nation-State with Jon Hillis & 0xZakk of CABIN DAO and Christian Lemp of Diamond DAO

    Complete, EXTENSIVE show notes at Patreon.com/michaelgarfield!
    As guest 0xZakk says at the very end of this conversation, most of the construction projects throughout the history of civilization have been coercive. What does it look like when we actually build things in a really cooperative way? This episode was recorded in November 2021 when the cryptocurrency markets were insanely bullish and the world relatively stable…but releasing it now, in July 2022, seems more aptly-timed than I could have anticipated.
    The United States Supreme Court has failed the great majority of American citizens not just once but several shocking and historic times in one week, hacking away at women’s reproductive rights, the EPA, and gun safety all at once. The Supreme Court majority was largely appointed by presidents that lost the popular vote, our nation is embroiled in hearings about a violent coup attempt spearheaded by the former President, and people on both sides of the constructed political divide seem more desperate than ever before in living memory. At the same time, both stocks and digital currencies, and the economic possibilities they support, are suffering through what seems like it will be a protracted winter. So it’s a PERFECT moment to talk about the visions we commit to building through the hardship, and the new responsibilities we must assume as citizens — not just of nation-states, but of the digital communities and cultures that we voluntarily participate in, the neighborhoods and cities that we live in. 
    When a big tree dies in the forest, its falling lets in light that stimulates a contest between saplings — and we’re seeing something similar now in this rapid blooming of experiments in governance and finance, legal regulations and privately-organized society. Suddenly projects like the CABIN DAO seem prescient and urgent, so I’m glad to share this potent conversation with Jon Hillis and @0xZakk of CABIN DAO and Christian Lemp of Diamond DAO — three of the many people working hard at the frontiers of blockchain-based social innovation. In this episode we talk about what it means to live-action roleplay as a city-state, how physical geography and online culture overlap in their experiments, and what should stay illegible and wild amidst this wave of techy change…
    If you enjoy this show, please take a moment to subscribe, rate, and review wherever you prefer to listen. I’ve been extremely busy backstage working on a suite of Future Fossils projects that extend beyond the podcast, some of which you can glimpse on my Instagram and Twitter feeds…big changes coming soon, and inspiration’s flowing. If you want the inner track on all the music, art, and writing I am cooking up — or if you simply see the value in these conversations and my work at large, I hope you’ll join the other awesome people chipping in with listener support at Patreon.com/michaelgarfield — where I’m sharing an enormous folder of new A.I. artwork, updated every day.
    Lastly, I just re-launched my now thirteen-year-old blog on Substack — for roughly monthly digests of new work, join 7,500 other readers at michaelgarfield.substack.com. More soon.
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    • 1 hr 21 min
    187 - Fear & Loathing on the Electronic Frontier with Kevin Welch & David Hensley of EFF-Austin

    187 - Fear & Loathing on the Electronic Frontier with Kevin Welch & David Hensley of EFF-Austin

    Find the complete show notes for this episode on Patreon. This episode was recorded live in Austin, Texas at the West China Tea House in partnership with EFF-Austin, a non-profit committed to the establishment and protection of digital rights and defense of the wealth of digital information, innovation, and technology. Founded in 1991 as a local sub-chapter of The Electronic Frontier Foundation and run as an independent organization, EFF-Austin promotes the right of all citizens to communicate and share information without unreasonable constraint — as well as the fundamental right to explore, tinker, create, and innovate along the frontier of emerging technologies. In this episode, I talk with Kevin Welch and David Hensley about why digital rights matter to our analog lives; whether and how the genies of rampant technological innovation can be forced back into the bottle; how to think about the inherent tensions between individuals and institutions; what esoteric traditions and superhero movies may have to teach us about living in the 21st century, and considerably more. I also make entirely too many references to Michael Crichton novels.
    I’ve collaborated with EFF-Austin on previous episodes of Future Fossils you may also enjoy:
    33 - Jon Lebkowsky (Pluralist Utopias & The World Wide Web's Wild West)
    92 - Panel: The Pre- and Post-History of VR, Surveillance, and Swarm Intelligence
    Again, Patreon is really the place you want to be checking out the resources for this show (and, of course, it's the place to go to take a shower in the awesome stuff I reserve for supporters).
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    • 1 hr 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
214 Ratings

214 Ratings

LOVE BLISS ,

Interesting topics, intelligent conversations

Great podcast with diverse perspectives on interesting topics. I’m looking forward to delving deeper into some older episodes, and keeping up with new ones as they come out!

WebDiva69 ,

Psychedelic Experience

Who needs psychedelics when you can just listen to Future Fossils. But seriously, what a great podcast. I feel smarter by the minute as I listen and it also makes me realize just how much I don’t know. Definitely a heady experience! More please! :)

Zeesaw ,

Excellent and unique

Well worth a continued listen. Full of fascinating topics, well expressed with exceptional people. Michael Garfield is thoughtful and clear, and willing to dive into the wide weird complex ocean of subjects in any direction the tide takes. I highly recommend you take the dive too. Enjoy

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