Guest speaker: Timothy Leary
[NOTE: All quotations are by Timothy Leary.]
“We deliberately keep kids dumb by treating them like kids.”
“We all know that if voting would change anything it would be illegal.”
“The future belongs to those who can see the future.”
“The smarter you are, the higher you want to be.”
“The key to the Sixties, as we see it now, was a period of self-discovery, of self-indulgence, and the refusal to accept the adult hive’s over-specialized models.”
“Show me a taboo, and I’m interested in it.”
PCs – Right click, select option
Macs – Ctrl-Click, select option
“As you move East, you will find the country’s run by older and older men. That’s the way it should be and I’m not knocking that whatsoever.”
Guess I have to finish the rest of the podcast before crabbing on the passé perspective.
I grew up on Leary and was very much influenced by his writings about DNA and cellular consciousness. This podcast was a nice refresher but it also helped me shape the way I’ve been looking at GMOs lately. I’ve recently found myself in the anti-GMO camp, my mind having long ago been informed much by (younger) Leary’s talks of the sacredness of Mother DNA. While at that time he did also speak of Evolution’s goal being to create a creature that was capable of understanding the DNA code and manipulating it to enhance living systems, the part that unconsciously stuck with me since adolescence was that life was sacred and we shouldn’t mess around with the code. But he actually never said any of this, it just got interpreted that way. Not that he ever knew about trans-kingdom genetics in our food system, and I wonder what he’d have to say about that. Surely there are some ethical and ecological considerations.
But what stuck with me today was that at a point we start to co-create with DNA. As Terence would say, the creative/novelty principle spills over from inorganic physics into biology, and from biology into the specifically human domain. Leary mentions in this talk a new longevity drug that is a chemical near-relative of LSD, and I am also reminded now that Crick intuited the DNA double helix pattern while under LSD, so this theme is now hard to ignore.
Blessed are reset buttons and fresh perspectives.
Lorenzo mentions at the end of this talk a couple of things. One, that he doesn’t think space migration should be a priority until we get things right on Earth. Well this is a common argument that I hear, and it’s pretty logical. Don’t go exploring other planets until we figure out how to live properly on this one. I’d counter only that at least we have the option of getting into high orbit (let alone other planets) before we completely destroy our niche on this one. We have the luxury of the LeGrange point or maybe Mars to give us a bit more time ..we are still learning to walk. To reinvoke Terence’s musings, Gaia did likely create us primarily to get the biosphere out of here before Sol goes nova. Or as Bruce Damer said, our leaving the planet is Gaia’s way of reproducing. A planet can’t divide the same way a cell can, so it uses monkeys.
Lorenzo also said that this isn’t the first crackpot idea that he’d bought into. I’d maybe just point out that not only, as he put it, does this make you less likely in the future to buy into crazy ideas, but that it’s absolutely imperative to buy into crackpot ideas once in a while. This is how we learn, this is how science works. A lot of times they turn out to be shit, but once in a while we get gold.