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Episode 127: The Cube Remains the Cube

"C" stands for consciousness

127: The Cube Remains the Cube

KMO explores the middle ground between techno-utopianism and and Peak Oil collapse fetishism with Digital Crusader, Eric Boyd, who attended the recent Singularity Summit. The Michael Tsarion provides his perspective on the mechanisms of political power and the significance of the Obama electoral victory.

Micheal Tsarion: http://www.michaeltsarion.com/

Eric Boyd: http://xprizecars.com/

Eric recommended some essays that can be found on Marshall Brain's webpage: http://www.marshallbrain.com/


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 6th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
Regarding your election comments:

1. It's somewhat more than a slight majority, 53% to 46%. Compare to 2000 (48.4% to 47.9%) and 2004 (51% to 48%). Clinton had larger margins, but that was largely because the Republicans were split by Perot, and even then he didn't get a majority (49% in '96, and only 43% in '92). The last time there was this sort of victory in a presidential race was Bush Sr. vs. Dukakis in 1988 after Dukakis's campaign tanked (so to speak), and to see a bigger margin I had to look back four more years to when Reagan trounced Mondale. There's a reason why some see Obama as a Democratic version of Regan.

2. You're right that electing Obama won't (in and of itself) cause monumental change (although it's certainly a monumental improvement), but (and you touched on this although you don't word it quite this way) the same grassroots political power that got Obama elected does have the chance to shape the monumental change we will face. Obama's position in the White House and his skill as an orator will be able to do much to lead, facilitate, and amplify the efforts of that movement.
Nov. 7th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
Also, regarding your comment that the candidate with the most money wins: Noting that's still the case misses an important change, which is how much grassroots support is correlated with raising the most money nowadays, as opposed to just being the other way around. In particular, the internet has made it quite easy to solicit and collect small donations from interested parties, as you've certainly noticed.
Nov. 10th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
I have to agree
This campaign was very much different than previous campaigns, over 3 million donors, 1.5 million volunteers. That's 1 in 20 of his voters gave money, and 1 in 40 volunteered. Those numbers are so much higher than any other campaign that it is just unbelievable. I don't think people expect him to solve all the problems we face but just to help those of us who have been dragging society(despite its kicking and screaming) towards a better society for thousands of years. Honestly I think it is disrespectful to those who have fought for voting rights, and labor rights for your guest to suggest that they were only changing around a Rubik cube. People have made great societal changes in the past, and I think we still can.

Love the show and will keep listening no matter what but honestly I think your guest is missing quite a bit about this election. The analogy for this election is not Bill Clinton in 1992, it is Reagan in 1980 or FDR in 1932.
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
Regarding your piece with Michael Tsarion: No, no, no. The other commenters have been far too kind. Frankly, I'm shocked. Your choice of guests is usually superb.

I am tired of pompous, self-important bags of hot wind spewing trite cliches in lieu of content. "They wouldn't exist without our complicity?!?" (Without specifying an alternative course of action, that alone is naught but BS, both incendiary and dismissible.) Redecorating the Titanic? Twisting the Rubic's Cube? Slamming voters who have little interest in politics -- for having little interest in politics?!?

Each and every one of his smug and pat soundbites -- more than a bit ironic, considering his contempt of "the media" (as if it is monolithic) -- makes huge and horrible assumptions that he never supports with fact. These bites are, instead, juicy tidbits of condescension hurled like pearls toward swine. His attitude: all those who do not agree with him and the pearly nuggets he tosses off are ignorant of the world in general.

Look, it's fine to shove an opinion down someone's throat -- provided you give citations tying that opinion to fact and not pure conjecture. And if you think a "system" is flawed, espouse another. Anyone can be a critic; few can make a movie, write a book, create a political movement. Why? It's hard.

If he thought to provoke, he succeeded. If he thought those provoked should curl up to his supercilious opinions like broken foals eager for more painful saddle time, he proves as delusional as he sounds. Pissed off horses kick and buck.

At this point I don't care if he spews the recipe for a cancer cure. If it comes from him, it's poison. I do hope you have something of substance to play from him, something that doesn't sound like the Ptmolemic blatherings of a first-year philosophy/art double major cocking a jaunty new angle on his first beret. I truly hope the rest of his content provides something worth hearing. If not, I'll listen again in a few episodes.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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