Summary: The C-Realm is a weekly, interview-based program which features discussions on topics ranging from a possible technological singularity, to entheogenic exploration, the re-localization of community and agriculture, and the competing narratives by which we define ourselves and navigate our world.
KMO speaks with Arthur Stamoulis, executive director of Citizens Trade Campaign about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Arthur describes as a corporate power-grab disguised as a trade agreement. The Obama administration has kept the specifics of the TPP negotiations a secret from congress and from the public, but 600 corporate "advisors" do have access to and influence over the evolving text of the agreement. While the US Constitution gives congress the authority to regulate trade with other countries, President Obama is seeking Fast Track authority to negotiate the details of the agreement in private so that congress will only have the opportunity to vote yea or nay on the finished product. Will all the secrecy around this trade deal, Arthur Stamoulis says that the biggest secret about the TPP is that mobilizing against it can be successful. Citizen coalitions have beaten back these sorts of power grabs in the past, and we can do it again. Music by Stackabones. You can listen to lots of their songs on the band's MySpace page.
KMO welcomes Professor Robert Jensen, author of the books Arguing for Our Lives: A User's Guide to Constructive Dialog and We Are All Apocalyptic Now, to the C-Realm to explain what he means when he says that it's time to get apocalyptic. The conversation also delves into the concomitant needs to sharpen our analysis in conversation with people who already share a good many of our values and goals and to communicate with the public at large and to help them understand why some of their cultural assumptions need questioning. When Robert Jensen speaks on the topics of resource depletion and climate disruption, people often demand, "I don't want to hear about the problem. I want solutions." But rushing to implement solutions without first spending time developing a clear vision of the problem can lead to ill-advised actions. Better to look at the situation with clear eyes, embrace the anguish, and find a motivation to do the right thing even when a rosy outcome seems impossible. Music by Lydia Ooghe.
KMO talks with Professor Robert W. McChesney, freepress.net co-founder and author of Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy about the transformation of the media landscape over the past couple of decades. KMO starts off with a reading of John Perry Barlow's 1996 manifesto: A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. Prof. McChesney describes how the internet and media landscape has evolved in the ensuing years in response to commercial pressures and public policy that favors oligopoly over competition. Perversely, as information technology has put the power for creating and sharing media into the hands of more and more people, the number of people who make a living at journalism continues to dwindle. In all of American history, the view that the free market will create journalism in sufficient quality and quantity to allow for self-governance regardless of public policy is unique to the current moment. Music by Lydia Ooghe.
KMO welcomes Nicole Foss or the Automatic Earth blog back to the C-Realm Podcast, and she is joined by Laurence Boomert, her partner on her current North American speaking tour. The conversation centers mainly on money and the utility of establishing working alternatives to the debt-based fiat currencies issued by central banks. Once again, KMO points out the absurd absence of the word "usury" from the mainstream discourse on financial matters. The episode ends with a preview of the upcoming Psychonautica conversation with Shonagh Home. Music by Fernando Tarango.
In a preview of what attendees of the 2013 Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference will hear in Manhattan this weekend, KMO shares a conversation with Yalila Espinoza, Ph.D. Her Horizons presentation is called "The Light & Shadow of Sexuality in Shamanism," and in this C-Realm conversation, Dr. Espinoza describes her explorations into the Amazonian tradition of Vegatalismo as a healing modality that could enable women with a history of sexual trauma to reclaim their sexuality as a sacred connection with themselves, nature and the cosmos. Music by Donato Epiro (courtesy of Stunned Records).
While staying with friends near Ashland Oregon, KMO and Olga stopped by the Southern Oregon Permaculture Institute (also the home of Restoration Seeds) to record a conversation with Chuck Burr, author of Culturequake: The Restoration Revolution. Chuck explains why folks should plant open pollinated seeds rather than hybrids, how humans once lived within a viable ecological niche and how Nature misses us in our roles as tenders of the wild. Chuck describes ways of living that avoid societal debt traps, and he details what sorts of skills we should be cultivating in ourselves and looking for in potential collaborators. Music by Formidable Vegetable.
KMO welcomes stage magician, Ferdinando Buscema to the C-Realm to discus the various ways to induce the sensation of wonder, either through performance, through the skillful use of words, or in navigating the forest of symbols that is our meme-rich culture. Ferdinando echos and recognizes the ideas of Terence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson and Alfred Korzibsky in his role as "magic experience designer." Music by East Forest. Join KMO and Olga for the 2013 Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference, and click here for the video of a presentation that KMO gave at a sustainability conference in November of 2012.
On the 2013 Manifesting in Meat Space, couch-surfing tour, KMO sat down with John D. Adams, author of Thinking Today as if Tomorrow Mattered: The Rise of a Sustainable Consciousness, to talk about cultivating preparedness, both on the individual level and on the local community level. John uses the word "prepper" in a non-pejorative sense to refer to someone who affixes their own oxygen mask first before attempting to assist others. John is a community organizer for the Red Cross and CERT, and he is directing his energy, efforts and resources toward engendering community cohesion and resilience. He lived his working life during the great expansion, made good money, saved and invested sensibly, and now he's making good use of the still functioning (if faltering) economy to prepare for a future in which the brown trucks of happiness may no longer deliver the bounty of industrial civilization to his doorstep. Neal Goldsmith makes a brief appearance at the end of the program to describe the speaker line-up for the 2013 Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference. Music by the 444s.
For the last several years, KMO has devoted the episode of the C-Realm Podcast that falls closest to September 11th to a discussion of the pivotal events of twelve years ago. In that time, he has grown impatient with the obsessions and the tunnel vision of the 9-11 Truth Movement. This year's 9-11 episode actually happens to fall on September 11th, and Tom Barbalet joins KMO for what may well be the last ever 9-11 themed episode of the C-Realm Podcast. Tom argues that a thorough-going knowledge of the history of the Mujahideen and its relationship with Western powers provides a clearer insight into the events of 9/11/01 and subsequent developments than does an obsessive quest to uncover shadowy conspiracies and evidence that 9-11 was "an inside job." Music by Futuresequence. Join KMO and Olga for the 2013 Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference.
KMO welcomes Derrick Jensen back to the program to discuss the themes he explores in his columns for Orion Magazine. One of Derrick's columns appears in the new book, Change Everything Now: A Selection of Essays from Orion Magazine. Derrick explains why he hates journalists and how the mainstream media serves to normalize oppression and convince us that the insanity of our civilization is natural and the only way to live. Music by The 444s. You can find the entire Sam Harris talk excerpted at the end of this episode here.
KMO reads the text of his Manifesting In Meat Space couch-surfing tour in which he encourages the Friends of the C-Realm to distinguish between epochal changes, which typically do not manifest themselves neatly within the span of a single human lifetime, and what Robert McChesney calls "critical junctures" which do present opportunities to implement lasting societal change in a short period. The energy industry hype about "Saudi America" may be gibberish, but that doesn't make a Mad Max-style fast collapse of industrial civilization because of peak oil a realistic prospect. KMO concludes with a warning against using righteous indignation to galvanize resistance against unjust power hierarchies.
KMO talks with Larry Goldberg of Transition Humboldt and various C-Realm listeners along the route of the Manifesting in Meat Space tour about topics related to technology including information technology and geoengineering. Check out their upcoming conference. Music by The Formidable Vegetable Sound System.
KMO welcomes Nikola Danaylov (AKA 'Socrates') of the Singularity Weblog back to the C-Realm podcast to discuss the feasibility and implications of self-sufficient intelligent agents arising and operating in 'the Cloud.' Should self-aware war machines be liberated from military service and released into the world as fully autonomous agents? If an NSA surveillance algorithm judged its assigned task to be unethical and blew the whistle on its creators, could anyone deny that it had passed a version of the Turing Test? Given Edward Snowden's treatment by the Obama administration, what mercy could a synthetic whistle blower expect? Music by Mornin', Old Sport. KMO recently appeared as a guest on Expanding Mind with Erik Davis and Post Carbon Radio with Bing Gong and Bernie Stephan.
Back at the Ecovillage Training Center on the Farm in Summertown, Tennessee, KMO sits down with long-time Friend of the C-Realm, Albert K. Bates. William Gibson quipped that the future is already here but that it just isn't very evenly distributed. If a collapse is in our future, it is certainly arriving in different places at different rates. Business is booming in NYC with a constant influx of international cash and another real estate bubble spinning up, but here in the middle of the country, the collapse is easier to spot. KMO and Albert discuss the merits of John Michael Greer's catabolic collapse theory and compare it to the Olduvai Gorge theory, which envisions industrial civilization as a "transient pulse" which will resolve itself in short order. Albert imagines using the power of memetic engineering to make ecological regeneration and sustainable living "cool" in the eyes of the young. Music by Mornin', Old Sport.
KMO welcomes Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation to the C-Realm podcast to talk about strategies for transitioning from an economy dominated by for profit institutions to a "for benefit" model. Michel thinks the current system fails to recognize actual scarcity of resources and imposes an artificial scarcity on knowledge, science and culture, which are naturally abundant. He discusses BitCoin as an example of deliberately manufactured scarcity and cites several nascent examples of an enabling civic infrastructure that he calls "the partner state" where state institutions help citizens build value on top of a protected commons. Music by the Cadillac Moon Ensemble.