Bryan

THE BEGINNING OF INFINITY + More from Jason Silva

Posted on 15 February 2012 by Bryan

 

My favorite podcast right now is the Joe Rogan Experience and recently Joe had a guest on named Jason Silva.  I’d never heard of this guy before, but he talks a million miles a minute and every second of it is well informed, fascinating and mind warping.  He has a couple of  videos on Vimeo, so I thought I’d share them.

 

 

From Jason Silva on Vimeo:

“The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.” – Steven Johnson

INSPIRATION:

This video is inspired, in part, by the ideas explored in David Deutsch’s new book, THE BEGINNING OF INFINITY. We hope it moves you.

‎”The topographical shape and the material constitution of the upper surface of the island of Manhattan, as it exists today, is much less a matter of geology than it is of economics and politics and human psychology. The effects of geological forces were trumped (you might say) by other forces — forces that proved themselves, in the fullness of time, physically stronger. Deutsch thinks the same thing must in the long run be true of the universe as a whole. Stuff like gravitation and dark energy are the sorts of things that determine the shape of the cosmos only in its earliest, and most parochial, and least interesting stages. The rest is going to be a matter of our own intentional doing..” – David Alpert on David Deutsch’s new book.

“Some time in the last fifty thousand years, with the invention of culture, the biological evolution of humans ceased and evolution became an epigenetic, cultural phenomenon… technology is the real skin of our species. Humanity, correctly seen in the context of the last five hundred years, is an extruder of technological material. We take in matter that has a low degree of organization; we put it through mental filters, and we extrude jewelry, gospels, space shuttles. This is what we do. We are like coral animals embedded in a technological reef of extruded psychic objects.” – Terence Mckenna

**

In our work, we use the tools of editing: we juxtapose ‘transcalar’ imagery, cutting and overlapping the very small and the very large… From the nano to the galactic, stretching and compressing time, we feature time lapse to reveal the repetitive and recurring patterns across different scales of reality. The aim is to provide multiple perspectives all at once, whose simultaneous presentation might cause spontaneous epiphanies. “These patterns are omnipresent, but only when we see these patterns in a more compressed mode of presentation to we start to attend to them as such.” — This is KEY!

Paul Stamet’s superb book, Mycelium Running, begins with a discussion of what Stamets calls the mycelial archetype. He compares the mushroom mycelium with the overlapping information-sharing systems that comprise the Internet, with the networked neurons in the brain, and with a computer model of dark matter in the universe. All share this densely intertwingled filamental structure.

A recent profile of Stephen Johnson on Dumbo Feather described his work like this:

“Johnson uses ‘The Long Zoom’ to define the way he looks at the world—if you concentrate on any one level, there are patterns that you miss. When you step back and simultaneously consider, say, the sentience of a slime mold, the cultural life of downtown Manhattan and the behaviour of artificially intelligent computer code, new patterns emerge.”

On their own, these areas of study are fascinating. Together, a more profound view takes shape.

The article continues, “Put simply: cities are like ant colonies are like software is like slime molds are like evolution is like disease is like sewage systems are like poetry is like the neural pathways in our brain. Everything is connected.”

PERFORMING PHILOSOPHY:

Our stated goal is to re-ignite the art of the “performing philosophers” … like Timothy Leary and Buckminster Fuller… A post on Space Collective wrote about “thinkers who act as substantial agents of change, who drastically alter the infocologies they interact with, in the process transforming and meshing the different dimensions in which our minds operate.”

We care about the pleasures derived in forming new connections, mash-ups and innovative solutions for the next step in human evolution.

We are working to articulate our understanding through the creation of recombinant media mashups meant to epiphanize audiences—-the creating and sharing of awe; “performance philosophy” in an age of collapsing boundaries and exponential creativity.

The director of the Imaginary Foundation described our work as “some kind of Ontological DJ’ing, recompiling the source code of western philosophy by mixing and mashing it up into a form of recombinant creativity, which (hopefully) elevates our understanding from the dry and prosaic, into the sensual and transcendent.”

“The goal is to prove a fresh framework and a new narrative to fill our old storytelling needs in our ever-increasing process of self-description.”

Information technologies have become instruments of mind expansion, sensorial scaffoldings that increase and augment our capacity to process greater amounts of information, allowing us to extract richer gradients of meaningful data about the world and our experience.

Whether its a telescope, a microscope or a marijuana joint, we need to think of these tools as aids, contact lenses through which we can see so much more than before.

In the digital dimension we use the term resolution. Certainly we can appreciate how much more can be ‘revealed’ by having higher resolution….. and technology offering complex visualizations literally ups the resolution of our internal and external perceptions .

Different Scales and perspectives of reality show how much of what we perceive is dictated by our point of view–literally by where we are and how we think. The most exhilarating realization, then, is that we all have the power to shape our experience by our linguistic and creative choices.

“A random scrap of information can trigger just the right conceptual collision. It’s hard to know which scrap might do the trick, but that’s the beauty of things like social networks, interconnectivity, and these kinds of media mashups — they constantly produce potential sparks, for free.” – Seth Godin

FREEMAN DYSON says it beautifully:

“To me the most astounding fact in the universe is the power of mind which drives my fingers as I write these words. Somehow, by natural processes still totally mysterious a million butterfly brains working together in a human skull have the power to dream, to calculate, to see and to hear, to speak and to listen, to translate thoughts and feelings into marks on paper which other brains can interpret. Mind, through the long course of biological evolution, has established itself as a moving force in our little corner of the universe. Here on this small planet, mind has infiltrated matter and has taken control. It appears to me that the tendency of mind to infiltrate and control matter is a law of nature.”

 

 

From Jason Silva on Vimeo:

INSPIRATION:

The Imaginary Foundation says “To Understand Is To Perceive Patterns”…

Albert-László Barabási, author of LINKED, wants you to think about NETWORKS:

“Networks are everywhere. The brain is a network of nerve cells connected by axons, and cells themselves are networks of molecules connected by biochemical reactions. Societies, too, are networks of people linked by friendships, familial relationships and professional ties. On a larger scale, food webs and ecosystems can be represented as networks of species. And networks pervade technology: the Internet, power grids and transportation systems are but a few examples. Even the language we are using to convey these thoughts to you is a network, made up of words connected by syntactic relationships.”

‘For decades, we assumed that the components of such complex systems as the cell, the society, or the Internet are randomly wired together. In the past decade, an avalanche of research has shown that many real networks, independent of their age, function, and scope, converge to similar architectures, a universality that allowed researchers from different disciplines to embrace network theory as a common paradigm.’

Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From, writes about recurring patterns and liquid networks:

“Coral reefs are sometimes called “the cities of the sea”, and part of the argument is that we need to take the metaphor seriously: the reef ecosystem is so innovative because it shares some defining characteristics with actual cities. These patterns of innovation and creativity are fractal: they reappear in recognizable form as you zoom in and out, from molecule to neuron to pixel to sidewalk. Whether you’re looking at original innovations of carbon-based life, or the explosion of news tools on the web, the same shapes keep turning up… when life gets creative, it has a tendency to gravitate toward certain recurring patterns, whether those patterns are self-organizing, or whether they are deliberately crafted by human agents”

Patrick Pittman from Dumbo Feather adds:

“Put simply: cities are like ant colonies are like software is like slime molds are like evolution is like disease is like sewage systems are like poetry is like the neural pathways in our brain. Everything is connected.

“…Johnson uses ‘The Long Zoom’ to define the way he looks at the world—if you concentrate on any one level, there are patterns that you miss. When you step back and simultaneously consider, say, the sentience of a slime mold, the cultural life of downtown Manhattan and the behavior of artificially intelligent computer code, new patterns emerge.”

James Gleick, author of THE INFORMATION, has written how the cells of an organism are nodes in a richly interwoven communications network, transmitting and receiving, coding and decoding and how Evolution itself embodies an ongoing exchange of information between organism and environment.. (Its an ECO-SYSTEM, an EVOLVING NETWORK)

“If you want to understand life,” Wrote Richard Dawkins, “don’t think about vibrant, throbbing gels and oozes, think about information technology.” (AND THINK ABOUT NETWORKS!!

Geoffrey West, from The Santa Fe Institute, also believes in the pivotal role of NETWORKS:

“…Network systems can sustain life at all scales, whether intracellularly or within you and me or in ecosystems or within a city…. If you have a million citizens in a city or if you have 1014 cells in your body, they have to be networked together in some optimal way for that system to function, to adapt, to grow, to mitigate, and to be long term resilient.”

Author Paul Stammetts writes about The Mycelial Archetype: He compares the mushroom mycelium with the overlapping information-sharing systems that comprise the Internet, with the networked neurons in the brain, and with a computer model of dark matter in the universe. All share this densely intertwingled filamental structure.

An article in Reality Sandwich called Google a psychedelically informed superpowered network, a manifestation of the mycelial archetype:

“Recognizing this super-connectivity and conductivity is often accompanied by blissful mindbody states and the cognitive ecstasy of multiple “aha’s!” when the patterns in the mycelium are revealed. That Googling that has become a prime noetic technology (How can we recognize a pattern and connect more and more, faster and faster?: superconnectivity and superconductivity) mirrors the increased speed of connection of thought-forms from cannabis highs on up. The whole process is driven by desire not only for these blissful states in and of themselves, but also as the cognitive resource they represent.The devices of desire are those that connect,” because as Johnson says “CHANCE FAVORS THE CONNECTED MIND”.

“Adrian Bejan takes the recurring patterns in nature—trees, tributaries, air passages, neural networks, and lightning bolts—and reveals how a single principle of physics, the Constructal Law, accounts for the evolution of these and all other designs in our world.

Everything—from biological life to inanimate systems—generates shape and structure and evolves in a sequence of ever-improving designs in order to facilitate flow. River basins, cardiovascular systems, and bolts of lightning are very efficient flow systems to move a current—of water, blood, or electricity. Likewise, the more complex architecture of animals evolve to cover greater distance per unit of useful energy, or increase their flow across the land. Such designs also appear in human organizations, like the hierarchical “flowcharts” or reporting structures in corporations and political bodies.”

Geoffrey WEST on The sameness of organisms, cities, and corporations:
blog.ted.com/2011/07/26/qa-with-geoffrey-west/

Stephen Johnson’s LONG VIEW
nytimes.com/2006/10/08/magazine/08games.html?pagewanted=all
dumbofeather.com/blog/post/on-slime-molds-and-sewage-steven-johnson-s-origin-of-the-idea/
guardian.co.uk/science/2010/oct/19/steven-johnson-good-ideas?cat=science&type=article

BARABASI’s Scale Free Networks:
scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=scale-free-networks

Manuel Lima’s Visual Complexity:
visualcomplexity.com/vc/

Andrian Bejan: Design in Nature:
amazon.com/Design-Nature-Constructal-Technology-Organization/dp/0385534612

Paul Stammets Myceilum is everywhere:
realitysandwich.com/google_and_myceliation_consciousness

 

 

From Jason Silva on Vimeo:

IMAGINATION IS….

… A Universe Of Possibilities

… Grey Infused By Color

… The Invisible Revealed

… The Mundane Blown Away By Awe

Dedicated to: Carl Sagan, Ray Kurzweil, Timothy Leary, Buckminster Fuller, Stewart Brand, The Imaginary Foundation, Chris Anderson from TED, Linda Mishkin, Richard Feynman, and all the curious and the wonderful…

Watch More related to Human Condition:

THE HUMAN CONDITION – vimeo.com/34416826

ECSTASY – vimeo.com/34358027

LOVE – vimeo.com/34415843

BEAUTY – vimeo.com/34416532

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Jami Says:

    Yes!! My favorite right now to. I laughed at " I’d never heard of this guy before, but he talks a million miles a minute and every second of it is well informed, fascinating and mind warping." because I'm often told to slow my talking. I find his enthusiasum is contagious. Bryan Great feature!

  2. chillustrated Says:

    That podcast is a double listen. One of the better ones.

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