Tech Ethics as Psychedelic Parenting

Date and Time:
Thursday, August 31st, 2017, 1 PM – 2 PM
Palanque Norte Tent at Camp Soft Landing


As above, so below: maps of the Internet look like maps of the inter-species symbiosis in a forest, which look like maps of the functional connections in an LSD-inspired brain. And evidence is stacking up that psychoactive plants have played a major role in the development of language, art, and culture – not just for human beings, but across the biosphere. And as within, so without: the dragons on the edge of our maps are turning into Pokémon in AR gaming; our science fiction narratives of de-extincted dinosaurs are looking likelier each day with radical advances in genetic engineering. Thanks to the psychedelic ("mind manifesting") power of our Promethean technologies, our dreams and fears have never been so fast to manifest as they are now. It is time for us to take a long, hard look at what might be, if ANYTHING is possible. What did the psychedelic revolution of the 1960s teach us about how to handle the immense and terrifying pace of change these days? Tim Leary said PCs would be the next LSD – and, in fact, it was their visionary journeys that they thank for inspiration, almost all the masterminds of the computing revolution. So maybe there is something to the notion that the insights from psychedelic psychotherapy and of indigenous plant medicine traditions are just what the doctor ordered to help navigate this age's waves of great accelerating transformations. Join paleontologist-futurist Michael Garfield on a whirlwind tour through an age "indistinguishable from magic" – and a lighthearted but deadly serious examination of the responsibility of bringing new life forms and minds into this world as parents in our psychedelic century. Watch Michael's lightning presentation of this talk at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Innovation Lab: View the slideshow for this talk: