Future Fossils

It's about time! Provocative, profound discussions at the intersection of art, science, and wonder with paleontologist-futurist Michael Garfield and a growing list of awesome guests... A podcast for the future archeologists digging through our digital remains. Conversations of the unconventional, bizarre, free-roaming, fun, irreverent, and thoughtful auditory psychedelic to get you prepared for living in a wilder future than we can imagine. Support this podcast and get rewards: Join our discussion group and meet like minds:
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Now displaying: May, 2017
May 24, 2017

This week I sit down with Rak Razam and Niles Heckman – psychonauts, journalists, provocateurs, and the film-makers responsible for Shamans of the Global Village.

In a conversation too full of awesome neologisms, delightful turns of phrase, one-liners, and weird genius for me to convey it all, we talk about the role of creative media in helping usher in new modes of human consciousness – and what we’re learning those new modes might be.  We finally get into WHAT those unborn archeologists listening to Future Fossils might be like…and our conjecture’s going to surprise you.

Books we Reference:

(Links are through my Amazon Affiliate account – if you buy any of these books, I get a small percentage of the sale at no cost to you.  Or you can bookmark this link to the Amazon Homepage and they'll send me a tiny cut of anything you purchase.)

Octavio Rettig – The Toad of Dawn

Gabor Maté – In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

Steve Kotler & Jamie Wheal – Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work

Richard Doyle – Darwin’s Pharmacy: Sex, Plants, & The Evolution of the Noosphere

Alva Noe – Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons From The Biology of Consciousness

Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment

Michael Murphy – The Future of the Body: Explorations into the Further Evolution of Human Nature

Rudolf Steiner – How to Know Higher Worlds: A Modern Path of Initiation

Ramez Naam – Nexus

Terence McKenna & Dennis McKenna – The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, & The I Ching


Among the topics we fly by:

• 5-Meo DMT and psychedelic neurochemistry;

• Nondual philosophy and the methodologies by which the dissolution of the self-other boundary can be achieved;

• The correlation between flow states and gamma brainwaves;

• “God’s Factory Reset” and the relationship between 5-Meo DMT and endocrinological healing;

• The bizarre mystery that snails apparently operate on gamma brainwave states (“SNAILS MAKE GAMMA”);

• New forms of social media (and new ways of engaging social media) that emphasize community, fellowship, equity, listening, and other real human values;

• The possibility that it is actually the cardiac and enteric nervous systems experiencing and reporting from deep psychedelic states, while the frontal lobe is down-regulated;

• The curious phenomenon of spontaneous gesturing (automatic “mudras”) during tryptamine experiences, and what might be the cause and purpose of them;

• Intelligence in nature, distributed through countless species and systems but potentially orchestrated at an incomprehensible level of unity;

• The importance of direct experience in understanding the strange realms divulged by psychedelics, and beginning to investigate them scientifically;

• The coming wave of “technodelics” that can link human minds together into new meta-organisms and launch us into novel states of consciousness and modes of interacting with reality;

• Experimental designs for exploring the content and revelations of threshold tryptamine doses in “group mind” protocols;

• …We actually talk A LOT about snails.


• Gary Weber -



“I’m on the outer edge, the lip, the cauldron of Deep Source itself.  And there’s an event horizon within which, just before I can lose full egoic consciousness and the drop has become the ocean, that drop can see the entire ocean like a tsunami wave cresting on the horizon.  And on that lip, on that event horizon, EVERYTHING is there.  I get this incredibly tangible, intuitive sense of the ancestors – and I don’t mean just my chronological, biological ancestors, I mean all those who have gone before in the species and are still perhaps alive as discarnate intelligences on the akashic frequency level on this bandwidth just before the edge of Deep Source, or perhaps intelligences that live within the lights and within the outer edge of Deep Source.”
- Rak Razam

“Within the last ten, fifteen years, we’ve learned an incredible amount about the brain and about psychedelics and about the physical correlates of human consciousness.  And we’ve found – without any shadow of any kind of a doubt – with the most rigorous neurological methods available to us – that these spaces that shamans and zen masters and other enlightened or awakened people have been getting into for thousands of years – we’ve found that these things are real.”
- Michael Garfield

“Most social media is not social media, it’s anti-social media.”
- Niles Heckman

“It’s not that the ego needs to be killed - it needs to be brought back into right relationship.  And psychedelics have proven throughout the 20th Century - and no entheogens and shamanic sacraments again in the 21st - when we reduce the default mode network and lower the egoic self, we rejoin a larger sense of being, and a planetary being, and a divine being, and it seems to be the antidote to history.”
- Rak Razam

“Is it safe for us to say, then, that ‘Dream Juice Is The Antidote To History?”
- Michael Garfield

“I’ve seen enough around the corner to know what I need to do next.  And it’s a deep transformation of my habits, my rituals, my relationship with life, with myself, my family, my loved ones, my community…and I think it’s the deepening of the spiritual path.  And it makes it very tangible, whether I like it or not.  I can hide from it, it doesn’t go away.  The awareness of awareness of that thing is with me every day.  That’s what it [5 MeO-DMT] has done for me.”
- Rak Razam

May 16, 2017

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This week we chat with science journalist Jessa Gamble, author of The Siesta and The Midnight Sun: How Our Bodies Experience Time, about time in the body, circadian rhythms, lunar cycles, and the science of sleep.

– Topics We Discuss:

• Cultural dimensions of human communities at different latitudes;

• Organic human rhythms versus high-frequency trading algorithm digital rhythms;

• The evolutionary history of circadian rhythms and sleep;

• What are we going to do when we settle on other planets with days of different lengths?  (Like Mars, with a 24 hour and 25 minute day…)

• NASA scientists trying (and failing) to live on Earth on Martian time;

• The natural history of biphasic human sleep and the (VERY RECENT) cultural construction of the “8 hour night”;

• How the lengths of our circadian cycles actually differ from person to person;

• The ethical complexities and possible social consequences of research into human enhancement;

• How Douglas Rushkoff learned to hack his monthly schedule to align with lunar cycles and increase his productivity by 40% by doing LESS work;

• The differences between how humans and dolphins sleep;

• How and WHY we might want to defeat sleep once and for all…



– Media We Reference:

(Links are for my Amazon affiliate account - buy ANYTHING on Amazon through these links and a % of the sale supports this podcast, at no cost to you.)

• The Siesta and The Midnight Sun: How Our Bodies Experience Time by Jessa Gamble

Northern Exposure (episode with Joel Fleischmann going manic due to 24 hour sunlight)

30 Days of Night by Steve Niles & Ben Templesmith

Insomnia (Stellan Skarsgård & Robin Williams)

• Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff

An American Tail

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Harari

One Taste: Daily Reflections on Integral Spirituality by Ken Wilber


– Links:

The Last Word on Nothing:


Here’s her TED talk:


And here’s her archive of articles at The Atlantic:


On salt intake in Russian Cosmonauts and how we might be wrong about salt:


Giulio Tunoni at the University of Wisconsin and their Sleep Center’s work to minimize the amount of necessary sleep:


On the correlation between lunar cycle phase and neurotransmitters:


Vlad Vyazovskiy’s Oxford Sleep Lab:


– Jessa Quotes:

“The almost-definition of being sleepy is, you cannot really learn anymore.”

“Sometimes, the awful consequences that are supposed to be punishment for acting like a god don’t actually happen.”

“What we’ve decided to do [with sleep research] is look at the fact that we’re all sleep deprived, that it’s making us unhealthy, that it’s making us accident-prone, that it’s making us stupider – because sleep is the most effective cognitive enhancer that we know about.  The fact that we’re sleep deprived is then met with a whole slew of people who say, ‘Well, so we need to sleep more.  This is the solution.’  But there are other things that we could be doing, like seeing if we can cut down on our actual NEED for sleep, so we can do more of the things we’d like to do more of.”

“What I would encourage people to do, if they’re zooming out on the problem or question of sleep, is to think about quality of life, what makes life great, and maybe take a page from the actuarial tables – which adjust for things like disability, years spent with crippling diseases and so on.  And surely being unconscious has to be the most debilitating of all states.  And if we’re spending a third of our lives in this state, could this be different?  And should we put some effort into looking into this?”

– Michael Quote:

“Multicellularity was a technological singularity.  Photosynthesis and Glycolysis was a technological singularity.  Written language, and before that even, spoken language, was a technological singularity.  So it’s good to keep that in perspective.”

May 9, 2017
This week we're joined by Daniel Rozenberg aka DADARA for a thoughtful discussion about Art in Virtual Realities, Information Overload, and Flow States.
The creator of Exchangibition Bank, Like4Real, and the upcoming Solipmission installation at Burning Man, as well as countless concert posters and album covers, DADARA has been one of my favorite artists for a while - in no small part because of how his works combine deep, challenging investigations with light-hearted play.
We discuss his work's overarching philosophical explorations and our age of proliferating realities…
• The breakdown of narrative and consensus reality in the virtual spaces of new media;
• Virtual Reality as the new frontier, now that we’ve mapped the surface of the planet – and the potential problems of considering a space a “frontier” (especially if it is already inhabited);
• The twin archetypes of the “Black Box” and the “Tabula Rasa” as they appear in science fiction, religion, technology, and philosophy;
• The relationship between Virtual Reality and psychedelics, and the consideration of VR as a psychedelic in its own right;
• What replaces narrative structure in VR storytelling, and how it relates to neuromarketing, cybernetics, and mind control;
• How humankind is struggling to maintain coherence in the barrage of contradictory realities online;
• How the sciences are coping with increasing specialization and the explosive proliferation of data, complicating the establishment and communication of expertise;
• The relationship between VR and floatation/isolation tanks, and why floatation tanks are more necessary now than they have ever been;
• Flow states and nondual awareness as a possible solution to information overload – and how we may have come to the end of the ego’s evolutionary usefulness;
• Does Virtual Reality as a medium for philosophical inquiry even stand a chance in this commercial environment?
Books We Mention In This Talk:
(Buy any of these books through these links, and Amazon will pay me a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.)

Ready Player One: A Novel by Ernst Cline
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Sex, Ecology, Spirituality by Ken Wilber
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Other References:
• Neuralink (brain-technology interface currently in development by Elon Musk)
• Inside Out (Disney movie)
• WNYC’s Note To Self Podcast 
• Nathan Jurgenson, Social Media Theorist for Snapchat
• Maria Popova’s
• Android Jones & Anson Phong’s Microdose VR
DADARA Quotes:
“Imagination is this endless unknown territory. We think we might have discovered it, but if we look, I don’t know…”
“Nowadays we think a photo shows how something really is. That that’s reality. But it’s just a surface. And that’s something that I love. Maybe stories show reality in a more realistic way.”
“People twenty, twenty-five years ago thought the world would be more defined [with the Internet] because we could find all the facts. But what’s interesting now is that it’s almost impossible to find any facts that we agree on, on the Internet.”
“Inside the box [of the Solipmission installation], it may be more Burning Man than the outside.”
“When people go to a city, they take photos of all the touristy [stuff] – it’s like the bucket list – but if you go to a place, and maybe if you haven’t seen any building but you’ve met this amazing person or gone through an amazing experience, doesn’t that give you a better understanding of that city than just seeing everything that’s there?”
“I think floatation tanks now, in this period of time, are probably more important than ever…we’ll have implants [soon] and how can you be in a floating tank when the Internet is in your brain?”
“Do you actually exist when you don’t Tweet? It almost feels like people, sometimes nowadays, if they haven’t posted that they’ve been somewhere, then they feel they haven’t been somewhere. But I think often, if you post that you’ve been somewhere, I don’t know if you’ve been there. Because you somehow were distracted. You only go to places when you DON’T post about them.”
Coinage of a new term: “information potato.”
“Art is about focusing our attention, and entertainment is about distracting our attention.”
“Zapping [TV remotes] and scrolling [social media] at the same time is probably also a kind of flow. It’s just not MY flow.”
Michael Quotes:
“Much as we, in the United States anyway, marched westward under this insane banner of Manifest Destiny into what we were calling the ‘frontier,’ it wasn’t actually a frontier. There were people living there already! And what was unfamiliar to us, what was unknown to us, was already this mature ecosystem. And so there’s this relationship between virtual reality and psychedelics that people like Android Jones have been exploring, that makes me wonder if, in our exploration of what it is that we can manifest into these spaces, if we aren’t somehow causing an ecological catastrophe of the imagination. You know? That there’s stuff there already, and we’re paving over it.”
“We assume that life is just given, but we’re actually involved in it, in its creation.”
“We’re in the machine already, and so the machine entering us is not that big of a leap.”
“Maybe a floatation tank isn’t enough. Maybe we need a Faraday cage, so you can go into this room of your house where it’s actually blocking electromagnetic radiation from entering the room and you can have your own thought for the first time in your whole life.”
“Maybe the problem is that we’re so preoccupied with narrative, so preoccupied with history and prediction and who we think we are…that there is a ‘real real,’ but it’s not something that can be understood through the interpretive lens of the self.”
More Links: