MonthJune 2004

Old Superstitions database

A searchable collection of old superstitions.

Link (via Wes).

Madghoul interviews Richard Metzger

Another Technoccult pal and former guest editor Michael the Mad Ghoul interviews Disinfo figurehead Richard Metzger

He [Paul Laffoley] is becoming better known. There’s not really a short answer to that question. He should be hailed as one of our greatest geniuses, I think. It takes a long time for Paul to do a painting, and they’re really quite big. They’re six by six. They might take him about a year to finish, and by the time you’d have enough collected paintings for a one man gallery exhibit, you’re talking about ten years worth of work, so very often the paintings are sold as part of like a group show. He has had several solo shows and there have been books published on Paul, two of them. You know… because of things like my show, because of the [Disinformation] Interviews book, his own books, the big museum show he had in Texas, and most importantly, the Kent Gallery in NYC and its owner Douglas Walla being so completely behind Paul, his profile has been rising in recent years

Full Story: MadGhoul: Richard Metzger.

Outsourcing and the global economy

Seems like this idea is spreading: “India’s booming middle class has $420 billion to spend. Here’s how to grab your share.”

RU Sirius interview on Better Humans

Technoccult pal and former guest editor, Philip Shropshire, interviewed RU Sirius for Better Humans.

Self-enhancement in general is common sense. But I would say that when it’s taken into the realm of the transhumanist project it is uncommon sense. There’s an element of the grail quest in there that I wouldn’t sell short. I think it’s a sort of mythic adventure?this attempt to overcome the perceived limitations of biology, or gravity, or the brain, or what-have-you. I think it’s romantic as well as rational, and that’s a good thing. It’s logic but it’s not just logic. We know that inspiration, invention, great hacks tend to emerge. It seems that when we get the fullest possible picture of how our brains and nervous systems work at their peak, what we call logic will be a useful subset of a larger gestalt.

I’ve got to say that I don’t personally subscribe. I’m an issue-by-issue philosophic purchaser. I don’t embrace any belief systems. I’m a fuzzy believer. I might say that I 95% believe that humans will achieve a lifespan beyond the current biological limits; I 50% believe that this will work out well on a social-political level; I 95% believe that we will get really precise control over our minds and moods; I 60% believe that the future of most of humanity is pretty well fucked; I 10% believe that something very much like the singularity will actually occur; I 1% believe that it will happen in my lifetime. I could go on.

Better Humans:

(via New World Disorder)

Douglas Rushkoff Talks About His New Graphic Novel

Excellent interview with Douglas Rushkoff over at Pop Image.

Well, I always saw Club Zero-G as a way to express some pretty esoteric ideas in a very simple, and tangible way. So while the thinking might be inspired by Hegel, de Chardin, or Foucault, the story and characters are really straightforward. On the other hand, the premise for the story came to me in a dream – so while my dreams are probably affected by the kinds of stuff I read, this notion of a world we can all access together while we’re asleep came from my subconscious. Really, for a few days after this weird dream, I was convinced that I had been to a real place, inhabited psychically by hundreds of people I knew.

Pop Image: INTERVIEW: Douglas Rushkoff – Breaking Through

(via New World Disorder)

Somewhat Recent Grant Morrison Interview

Good stuff:

We countercultural luminaries all tend to hang out together at seminars and summits all round the world so I’ve known Doug for years (he was a fan of The Invisibles and I loved his Cyberia book, so we hit it off fairly quickly) and met Gen at the Disinfo Convention in 2000, when we were both speakers and felt like I’d known him all my life. The book we talked about doing together wasn’t Pop Mag!ck (that’s the name of the book I’m currently writing about the new magical system I’ve developed over the last twenty five years of occult practice) but the brief idea was for us all to get high on Ketamine and talk about the universe until a book of discussions popped out. I’ll be seeing Doug again soon at the Omega Institute workshops in August so we’ll probably get moving on this again in some form.

Open Buddha: Grant Morrison Interview

Blue Jacking

Blue jacking:

using a phone with Bluetooth, you can create a phonebook contact and write a message, eg. ‘Hello, you’ve been bluejacked’, in the ‘Name’ field. Then you can search for other phones with Bluetooth and send that phonebook contact to them. On their phone, a message will popup saying “‘Hello, you’ve been bluejacked’ has just been received by Bluetooth” or something along those lines. For most ‘victims’ they will have no idea as to how the message appeared on their phone. So, personalised messages like ‘I like your pink top’ and the startled expressions that result is where the fun really starts.

Rheingold on location based blogging

Will Location Blogging Take Off?

Although his customers are the operators who sell their services to consumers, WaveMarket’s founder and CEO Tasso Reoumeliotis believes his job is to enable users to create the content and the applications. My conversations with with Reomeliotis and product designer Julian Whitaker convinced me that their knowledge of social networks, reputation systems, blogging, buddy lists, privacy concerns, and user-generated content is more than superficial.

eBay fiction

Before I left for Europe, Brenden sent me this listing for a haunted wine cabinet on eBay. A few months ago I posted this ghost in a jar on Technoccult (the listing’s not online anymore, though).

I don’t remember what the jar sold for, but the wine cabinet sold for $280. I have no idea what it was worth. But it occurs to me that this sort of writing could be a new way to make money and find an audience in fiction. Taking an object, giving it an interesting backstory, and sell it on eBay. How much of this goes on?

And yes, I suppose the story could be true. I want to believe that there’s a John Constantine out there scouring eBay for magical objects as much as the next guy.

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