Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: What We Can Learn From Mass Extinctions | Metaphors & Meta-organisms | The Science of Transformation | Back in the Hat Game

09 October 2013

What We Can Learn From Mass Extinctions | Metaphors & Meta-organisms | The Science of Transformation | Back in the Hat Game

"You don't own your reputation. Most people think they do, but the reality is different. Your reputation is the accumulation of what other people think about what they think you have done or said. In other words, your reputation consists of other people's projections. You don't own that and you don't control it. You can influence it, but only up to a point."

“If you don't have enemies, you don't have character.”


Thank you to everyone who supported my recent crowdfunding campaign!  We managed to raise enough to keep me warm and fed this winter as I get cracking on the backbone of my new book and continue to freely share more videos and writing through and about Google Glass (and living through intense technological change in general).

I've started a new FB group – "Life in the Glass Age: Technology, Art, & Consciousness" – to keep the conversation going.  Please join us there with your questions, comments, and news items.

If you'd still like to donate but missed the window for contributing to my Indiegogo campaign, don't sweat it - you can make a paypal donation, and just let me know in the "note" section which of the perks from my campaign you'd like as a gesture of my appreciation for your support.

And now for some big new stuff:



From catastrophe, new life.  Luckily I've been a compulsive note-taker for the last eight years...


My summer tour is over and I'm ready again for cozy months of painting while I listen to inspiring podcasts.  If you'd like a custom hat, feel free to drop me a line.  Orders start at $150 (including the hat) and I am not doing any more Bassnectar or Pretty Lights designs.  (Sorry, kids, but I'd rather not capitalize on someone else's stardom – and you'll thank me when you can still wear the hat in ten years.)


Since “no problem can be solved from the level of thinking that created it,” let’s look at our ecological crisis from the only angle that will help us solve it: not as an invasive species separate from the rest of the biosphere and “killing the planet,” but as something the Earth is doing, part of the story of life, participants in the distributed intelligence of the evolutionary process and thus performing a valuable function we cannot fully understand. This is the sixth mass extinction, so let’s look at how we (identifying with life as a whole, since we have never been completely removed from the layer of life that covers this planet) made it through a comparable crisis before.  (Read more...)


Or if you're more of a video person, here is the article above in improvised rant form.  Not as articulate, perhaps, but you can read along to the transcript and listen to the stirring musical accompaniment!


"Metaphorical thinking — our instinct not just for describing but for comprehending one thing in terms of another, for equating I with an other — shapes our view of the world, and is essential to how we communicate, learn, discover, and invent. Metaphor is a way of thought long before it is a way with words."

My talk from Rootwire Music and Arts Festival 2013 on how to use a suite of new metaphors to navigate the shifting landscape of 21st Century self and society. Topics include:

• What "The Great Oxygenation Event" of 2.5 billion years ago has in common with our current industrial eco-catastrophe, and how it might inform a solution;
• Why the universe is equally well-described as ramping "up" and "down" – and how these forces merge in the ever-morphing now;
• How every act of communication is both a manifestation of mind and an attempt to promote a specific perspective;
• How experiencing the Earth as a superorganism informs a more responsible theory of economics;
• And more ideas from the fractal horizons of human experience...


Mark Heley, author of The Everything Guide to 2012, speaks on taking a galactic perspective at Fractal Planet, Burning Man, 29 August 2013.  I sit in, along with my friends Mitch Mignano and Jonathan Zap, on the conversation.  We discuss the cosmic timing of mass extinctions, our need to understand the dynamic environment of interstellar space, and how we are learning to pilot "Spaceship Earth" into a new and stranger century...