Giordano Bruno, Timothy Leary And The Starseed Transmissions

Einstein's equations. Nuclear energy. The revelation of DNA code as literally a code to be deciphered. Neurological imprinting. Anti-matter. Mankind clings to the old myths, avoiding the new truths.
It happened before.
Towards the end of the sixteenth century, Giordano Bruno aroused the groggy world, asking it to fling its mind far beyond the planets. He speculated that the cosmos extended to infinity.
This in itself was not so shocking; but Bruno went considerably further—he postulated a multiplicity of world: suns and planets with life, unseen companions for the race of man. He toyed with man's conception of himself; for this, and for magical claims and political entanglements, he was burned in 1600." The Discovery of Our Galaxy,Charles Whitney.
Shortly before Bruno's death, in 1600, Tycho Brahe made the first announcement of a 'new' star in the sky. A few years later he observed a comet, and proved that it moved among the planets; thus he shattered the crystalline spheres which had been supposed to carry the planets and stars about the heavens.


Dr John C. Lilly on human/dolphin communications.

You're probably best known as "Dr. John Lilly, the dolphin man." What is the aim of your current dolphin research? 

At Marine World, we're working with computers to develop a human/dolphin code, analogous to the Morse code used in telegraphy. The project is called JANUS -- for Joint Analog Numerical Understanding System. Like the Roman god Janus, it has two "faces" -- a dolphin side and a human side.

A human/dolphin language must contend with the fact that dolphins communicate at frequencies ten times above the human range. While our speech falls between three hundred and three thousand hertz, or cycles per second. dolphins talk to one another underwater at frequencies from three thousand to thirty thousand hertz. If you go into a pool with a dolphin and he starts whistling, you'll hear what sounds like very high-pitched squeaks. So the problem is to bring their frequency down into our sound window and ours up into theirs.

We're using a computer system to transmit sounds underwater to the dolphins. A computer is electrical energy oscillating at particular frequencies, which can vary. and we use a transducer to convert the electrical waveforms into acoustical energy. You could translate the waveforms into any kind of sound you like: human speech, dolphin-like clicks, whatever.

Read the whole interview here:

Douglas Rushkoff Rocks The Google Bus

Douglas Rushkoff Rocks The Google Bus

Douglas Rushkoff is one of those rare writers and friends. He can ask big gnarly questions, and then before you know it, present a buffet of solutions that leave you with a ravenous appetite to dig into the future.

In Program or Be Programmed, Rushkoff made the compelling case for the need for all of us to be programmers. Choose to program and “you gain access to the control panel of civilization. Choose the latter, and it could be the last real choice you get to make.” Yikes, I read that and immediately went to use my limited HTML skills on my nascent website.

Despite my admiration for his past work, I approach his new book with some trepidation. I guess I thought Rushkoff was going to be the one throwing rocks. Nope. I should have known better. Rushkoff is always more complicated than that. 

In Throwing Rocks At The Google Bus, Rushkoff begins with some powerful truth telling. 

The digital economy is breaking things. The media can’t seem to survive digitization. Drivers are losing to Uber. Airbnb is turning neighbors apartments into rentable dorm rooms, and as he lays out the current state of play – event tech visionaries find the demands of the startup economy closing their vision.

But Rushkoff isn’t claiming Google GOOGL -1.03% is at fault. He says: “there is something troubling about the way Google is impacting the world, but neither it’s buses nor the people in them are the core problem; they’re just and easy target. He says we’ve brought a set of industrial age. “We are running a 21st-century digital economy on a 13th Century printing-press era operating system,” writes Rushkoff. 

Now it’s not all bad. “On the bright side, millionaires and billionaires are being minted, maybe not enough to compensate for the millions of people being displaced, from their jobs, but they are inspiring just the same.”
Looking for an example, Rushkoff settles on Uber, and he takes on the company with relish. “By calling itself a platform rather than a taxi dispatcher, Uber has been able to work in a regulatory gray area that slashes overhead while inflating revenue. This is how Uber can be valued at over $18 billion dollars while many of its drivers make below minimum wage after expenses.”

The crux of the argument that Rushkoff makes is that the digital economy is a house of cards built on fictional growth metrics that drive companies to raise money, undercut human workers, sell on the public markets and then – almost inevitably – collapse under the weight of public market demands. And he’s not alone in his concern. Quoting Union Square Ventures founder Fred Wilson, the book shares Wilson’s blog post. In it Wilson “worries aloud that digital entrepreneurs are more focused the increasing monopolies and entreating value than they are on realizing the internet potential to promote value creation by many players.”

Growth, it turns out, may be an illusion. “If infinite growth is no longer a possibility or even desirable, then you must shift your sights away from the big “win” in the form of an IPO, acquisition or growth target” writes Rushkoff. “Think of it less like a war, where total victory is the only option, and a bit more like peace, water eat objective is to find a way to keep it going.”

The core message of the book is that the current state of play in funding, driving, and exiting digital companies is unsustainable. And to bring that point home, Rushkoff shares his stories of  Ventureless Capital: the Patience of the Crowds. His example is a good one – his friend, and mine, Scott Heiferman. Heiferman founded Meetup after selling his first startup at the hight of the dot-com boom. Meetup aims to be a civic platform rather than a platform monopoly. “We’re not trying to vertically/horizontally integrate or get into news busses or invent self-driving space elevators. We know what business e want to be in, it’s a big opportunity and we don’t see ourselves and empire-building imperialists.” Meetup aims to be Meetup, and to grow that business – a perfect Rushkoff example.

In Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, Rushkoff calls on business to:
  • Accept that era of extractive growth is over. 
  • Reject platform monopolies like Uber in favor of distributed, worker-owned co-ops, orchestrated through collective authentication systems like bitcoin and blockchains.
  • Resist the short-term, growth-addicted mindset of publicly traded markets.
  • Recognize contributions of land and labor as important as capital, and develop business ecosystems that invest in the local economies on which they ultimately depend.

“None of us can wave a magic wand and transform the economy from an extractive endgame into a prosperous commons,” writes Rushkoff in his conclusion. “However, I do believe we can reposting our careers and our businesses to become less a part of the problem than participants in the solution. There’s a lot of hope here.”

Steven Rosenbaum is serial entrepreneur, author, and filmmaker. His latest book, Curate This! is in print and ebook on Amazon.com. He is the CEO of Waywire.com (enterprise.waywire.com)