Monday, August 17, 2009

Synchronicity with 1967

A bit of Sychronicity with Friday's interview with Douglas Rushkoff and our conversation on Common Threads about setting up alternate economies and community-based organization "off the grid":

Lorenzo Hagarty just released through his Psychedelic Salon podcast a recorded conversation called "The Houseboat Summit" between Alan Watts, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, and others, all about the interpretation of Leary's famous "Tune In, Turn On, and Drop Out" motto.

The media and government interpretation of this phrase was frequently heard as a "lack of communicating community", as one speaker put it, which is quite the opposite of the point. Alan Watts characterizes this problem as essentially spiritual: the Western tradition revolves around the universe having a boss, whereas other cultures (he refers to the Chinese) have a sense that order arises from mutual agreements between the constituent parts. Given that human beings are essentially creatures of social coordination -- incontrovertible support given by prehistorical research and evolutionary biology -- the idea of falling to total bedlam without the cosmic boss (God, president, CEO, whatever) should be seen as fundamentally absurd.

The conversation revolves around practical movement to alternative community. What do people need to give up? What are the realities of turning away from modern technologies, which is often necessary when turning away from the popular mega-economy? Why have some communities succeeded and many more failed?

The year that this conversation took place -- 1967 -- and the sense of urgency with which this topic is discussed among these great thinkers, "elders of the hippies" as Hagarty puts it, puts our current sense of urgency for answers to problems created by over-reliance on distant industry and over-abstraction of human values into economic and political values here in 2009, in eerie recapitulating perspective.

"Every healthy culture provides for there being non-joiners." --Alan Watts


Fischerspooner's ODYSSEY was the phenomenological focus of my episode of LONGPLAYA on Pirate Cat Radio.

Here's the MP3: DJ Prefect on Odyssey (2 hours)

The LONGPLAYA challenge: make listeners feel even a SHRED of what you feel when you listen to an album in its entirety.

I broke it up song by song, playing one at a time and preceding each and/or following it up with commentary, using the Fischerspooner "emerge" remixes (and a few Drew Neumann cuts from Aeon Flux soundtracks) for background music.

As I stated a few times, I really don't care much about the Author. I focused on my own readings of each song as "image". However, at the end of the album there's an interview with Fischerspooner I quoted off
“We tracked ‘All We Are,’ and he was obsessed with the first line of the song: ‘The breaking light,’” Spooner says. “Literally, he made me sing that line for probably about three days. He kicked everyone out of the studio, turned all the lights off, and I was in a tiny little booth just like a glass box. I can't tell you how many hours I spent in a tiny glass box by myself — a hot, tiny, weird, little glass box. It was just like I was caged. It was literally like, ‘The breaking light.’ ‘No, the ‘breeeak’ needs to turn on the beat.’ ‘Okay, the breaking light.’ ‘No, that's not it; it needs to be a little bit more crackly.’ ‘The bre-ee-eeaking light.’ ‘No, too shaky.’ ‘The breeeeaking light.’ ‘Too long!’ ‘Thebreakinglight.’ ‘Too fast.’ ‘The breaking light.’ ‘Too — no, a little pitchy.’ ‘The breaking —’ I mean, on and on and looping and looping and looping. Finally, he just gave up. He was like, ‘Well, I guess that's the best you can do.’ And then, I went out to get some stuff for a Christmas party, and I came back, and he had muted all of my takes, and he was changing the entire song. And I was just like, ‘What am I doing here? This sucks.’”

The first 10 minutes contain some science news from Science Daily.


The Peopling Of The Americas: Genetic Ancestry Influences Health, Anthropologist Says

'Cash For Clunkers' Program Is Expensive Way To Cut Carbon Emissions, Expert Argues

Facial Expressions Show Cultural Limitations, Too

Cultural Evolution Continues Throughout Life, Mathematical Models Show


Flock of Seagulls / I Ran
Carl Douglas / Kung Fu Fighting
Fischerspooner / Emerge (Moguai Mix) / Emerge Remixes
Fischerspooner / Just Let Go / Odyssey
Fischerspooner / Emerge (Dave Clarke remix) / Emerge Remixes
Fischerspooner / Cloud / Odyssey
Drew Neumann / Dictator's Office / Eye Spy
Fischerspooner / Never Win / Odyssey
Fischerspooner / Emerge (Moguai Mix) / Emerge Remixes
Fischerspooner / A Kick in the Teeth / Odyssey
Drew Neumann / Time Pretzel Paradox / Eye Spy
Fischerspooner / Everything to Gain / Odyssey
Fischerspooner / Emerge (Radio Slave Edit) / Emerge Remixes
Fischerspooner / We Need a War / Odyssey
Drew Neumann / Demigods / Eye Spy
Fischerspooner / Get Confused / Odyssey
Fischerspooner / Emerge (Naughty's Chiefrocker remix) / Emerge Remixes
Fischerspooner / Wednesday / Odyssey
Fischerspooner / Emerge (Radio Slave Edit) / Emerge Remixes
Fischerspooner / Happy / Odyssey
Drew Neumann / Demigods / Eye Spy
Fischerspooner / Ritz 107 / Odyssey
Fischerspooner / Emerge (Moguai Mix) / Emerge Remixes
Fischerspooner / All We Are / Odyssey
Fischerspooner / [Circle] / Odyssey
Fischerspooner / Just Let Go (Tommie Sunshine mix) / Just Let Go Remixes

And now, a 3-panel Dilbert cartoon performs an argument for memetics.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Douglas Rushkoff on Common Threads

On August 14, 2009, author Douglas Rushkoff called in to our Common Threads show with Diamond Dave Whitaker. We talked about the sad state of affairs between society and economy; the fact that humans were not destined to be this way; and the idea of alternate economies and currencies and how to set these up in actuality.

The full podcast for 8/14/2009 (2 hours) - Douglas calls in around the 1 hour mark. (shorter edit coming soon)

An 8-minute "trailer" for his book, Life, Inc:

Life Inc. The Movie from Douglas Rushkoff on Vimeo.

You can grab more movie clips by and about Rushkoff and regarding his book from his own website on this page.

Rushkoff has expressed his desire for people to get out of the rut of talking about solving problems and get into actually DOING -- creating the scenarios in which people can get to the levels of community self-sufficiency that will begin to resolve the dangerous corporate dependencies in which American culture (and beyond) has become entangled.

We brought local organizers into this show involved with and Just Alternative Economics to discuss their strategies and talk about the successes they've had in growing community-based micro economies.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Confessions of an Alien Imposter

On behalf of the Pirate Cat Radio calendar being produced for 2010 (HOLY SHIT IT'S THE FUTURE, YOU GUYS), Miss Deena and her amazing crew of cosmetic artisans transformed me into the incredible sight you see here. We were going for "mad science frankengirl". Three gorgeous ladies painted my skin with sponges. My life rules.

In cosmic alignment of some sort, Kishore (pictured left) had arranged for Senior Astronomer Seth Shostak from Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence for this evening's Down to a Science cafe.

This all went down within a few blocks of Pirate Cat Radio. So, I walked into Atlas painted green and wearing welding goggles. A greybeard at a table with his laptop looked up at me and said, "Oh! You're here!"

Yep! I'm here! Take me to your chai!

Brian Malow, Earth's foremost Science Comedian[.com], came out for conversation about Seth's new book, Confessions of an Alien Hunter.

I took a recording of this event using my spiff new Zoom H4 recorder (courtesy of a very special donation received last week! you know who you are--thank you.) Cafe operator Kishore new has the audio from me, so a podcast is most
likely in the works. Live tweeting happened under the hashtag #dtas and (irregularly) #seti.

At one point, Seth asked the audience, "how many of you believe there definitely are aliens? How about... on this planet?" I replied, "I abstain!" His response, "yeah, well, you're one of 'em."


Check out Seth Shostok on Steven Colbert.

Some future this is. Where are the flying cars, robots doing my laundry, and universal translators. Come on.

Grand Theft Audio Jacked

DJ Prefect filled in for DJ David Downs on August 10, 2009.

HERE IS THE PODCAST (2 hours, mp3, 82.5 MB)

Evolution and Biology:

Physics and Computing:


At PCR: tonight's No Reservation viewing in honor of Anthony Bourdain's visit to PCR (bacon fest!)


BT / The Last Moment Of Clarity / Emotional Technology
Imogen Heap / Headlock / Speak for Yourself
Sloan / All I Am Is All You're Not / Parallel Play
Drew Neumann / Monican Jam / Eye Spy
Bis / Starbright Boy / The New Transistor Heroes
Frank Black / I Switched You / Pistolero
Drew Neumann / Time Pretzel Paradox / Eye Spy
Nine Inch Nails / God Given / Year Zero
Beck / Milk and Honey / Midnite Vultures
Depeche Mode / Blasphemous Rumours / Catching up with Depeche Mode
Flock of Seagulls / I Ran
And One / My Warrior / Nordhausen
Ladytron / International Dateline / Witching Hour
Yoko Kanno / Cats on Mars (DMX Krew rmx) / Music for Freelance
Sloan / Living with the Masses / Never Hear the End of It
The Damned / Diamonds / So, Who's Paranoid?
And One / Creatures / Nordhausen


DJ Prefect quote of the day: HOLY SHIT IT'S 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Periodic Apocalypse: Extermination of the Human Host???

On July 31st, 2009, The Periodic Apocalypse brought Daniel Coffeen, PhD, to perform an rhetorical diagnosis of the ways in which Parasitic Capitalism Consumes, Confines, and Controls.

DJ Prefect (that's yours truly) came prepared with sources, dropping doses of science on the discussion to widen the frame. Find links to the books and articles referenced below.

A PODCAST of this event can be downloaded here. (1hr 45mins)

The Pirate Cat Radio Cafe was packed! Representatives from Berkeley, Noisebridge, Pirate Cat Radio, and many independents made their appearance.

Many thanks to all who gave donations, which go to support having more shows like this in future.


The End of Overeating Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David Kessler (from whence the Cinnabon example in this discussion).

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely - watch the author's talk at TED 2009 about "our buggy moral code".

Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille, expert marketing consultant to Fortune 500 companies.

Coffee versus Naps:

Food and/or Drug:



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