After following Jason Silva’s YouTube channel for some time, I was pleased to see a sit down session with author Douglas Rushkoff in an open forum situation. In the post video glow I thought I would delve into the comments to see who was saying what. And was, I confess, a bit disappointed. There was some relatively harmless discussion about one speaker interrupting another, which to me felt more like the natural collisions of highly literate switchboard operators. Or philosopher Octopi playing twister. It was after all a mindjam, and freeform by nature. Sterile cadence and rehearsed soundbites are for politicians. Free thinkers need room and finger paint. In this type of cloudbusting session; passion, lucidity and originality should nearly always be the prime movers of this type of exploration.
That said however, there were a couple of points I’d like to expand on here. It seems to me that when market interests attempt to connect with nascent technologies for consciousness, they tend to do so very much after the fashion of phrenologists. A pseudo-science which theorized that by mapping the knolls and coastlines of the human cranium they could predict something about the personality within. Similarly, business gropes around the human psyche, looking for ways to exploit it. It is why market drivers fail to connect us to true consciousness because they are inherently myopic and must by nature consider consciousness as a cost center. This is why business must co-opt and seduce creatives to do their bidding since it is only an aggregator and purveyor with no intrinsic value. Which is why it must subsume the higher ideals of science, art and consciousness for the acquiring, marketing and selling of Stuff. Conversely, art and consciousness is a self initializing, procreative, or even contagious drive which is also self consuming. Like an echo-ecosystem ~ a kind of living echosystem. I agree with Douglas’ interpretation that business interests must reify intangibles in order to render them consumable. An instance of this might be the way in which business monetizes the joyful experience of watching a good film with the targeted merchandising of Stuff.
This is why culture must seed and guide the fermentation and dissemination of consciousness. Business is a hand-crank for turning ideas into base commodities, which can provide creature comforts and tools to aid in the more important work of germination, but cannot enter into it directly without an unsavory co-contamination.
If you want to see what a human desert looks like, simply remove the overarching super-ego of culture from any community of people. The web is our best attempts to visualize a collective unconscious and yet as business and governance attempt to leverage its value, they tend to break it. It is the very picture of what oppression attempts to do and it is why laws are passed to prevent one kind of consciousness in favour of another. In favor ~ of course ~ of a status quo in which it’s influence remains dominant.
To the enlightened the notion of business and government are little more than mundane scaffolding which provide the infrastructure for cultural realization and should be treated as such. I feel that this is what Douglas is uniquely qualified to address, and does so passionately in this discussion.
Jason by contrast is the philosophical equivalent of a whirling Dervish with a formidable grasp and commitment to established and efflorescing precepts as handed down by the journalists of consciousness (aka writers, playwrights, Artists, programmers, philosophers and theologians).
He clearly wants to transcend normative streams so badly he can taste the ether, but must first walk into the wind before he can be borne aloft by it. Douglas and his ilk are simultaneously where Jason is and where he isn’t ~ this is a concept undervalued in western culture and was traditionally known as Wisdom. Crystallized experiential and pre-accommodated knowledge which can be instantiated at will can, if given room, provide instant context as a means for useful pattern recognition.
Evolution is rightfully alluded to in the discussion as the path of least collateral damage or displacement of useful modalities. But it is also a placeholder for what is inherently a messy, viscous and revoluting ecoreactor which ultimately pushes along the most useful adaptations while the extraneous are eddied into the banks where they become the fertile sediment we find in dormant DNA, or Internet Archives. Discussions like this can feel a bit like curated rave spelunking lit by a disco ball and a strobe light. It’s exciting, disorienting and the flashes of insight are nominally useful ~ but inevitably, it makes finding your way both mind expanding and just dangerous enough to be immersive. It is my personal feeling that when indulging in a Trip(or even a trope) of this kind, it is especially helpful to know that there are others who have found their way back from the depths of the cave, kept their sanity, and brought back one hell of a good story to boot!