TagDangerous Minds

Alejandro Jodorowsky Interviewed by Richard Metzger on Dangerous Minds

Occupy Your Mind: An Interview with Alejandro Jodorowsky from DANGEROUS MINDS on Vimeo.

Richard talks to Jodorowsky about Occupy Wall Street, why revolutions fail but mutation succeeds, the magical side of reality, the search for gurus and wisdom and why Twitter is the haiku of this century.

Dangerous Minds: An Interview with Alejandro Jodorowsky

William Gibson Interview on Dangerous Minds

A Discussion with William Gibson from DANGEROUS MINDS on Vimeo.

The other night in Portland, Gibson said Twitter was the equivalent of only $300 worth of imported magazines – guess the value has already inflated.

I thought Richard’s comment about how there may never be another LOST was interesting.

See also:

i09′s interview with Gibson

My interview with Richard at Mediapunk.

Richard Metzger – Mediapunk Interview

Richard Metzger

Richard Metzger was the co-founder and creative director of Disinfo. He’s now the online editor at the LA Times’ alt weekly Brand X and the host of his own online talk show Dangerous Minds. He talked to me by phone on May 24th from his home in LA about the end of Hollywood as we know it, the future of advertising, and the circus that is the right-wing media.

You co-wrote a book treatment, which was originally called Hollywood Ending and then you renamed it Free for All, on the subject of digital piracy. Could you tell us about the research you did and the conclusions you came to?

This was written in the beginning of 2007 and I co-wrote this extended treatment, which ended up reading like a mini-book, with my old friend Steven Daly, who is a long-time contributing editor at Vanity Fair*. It was taken from what I had seen as someone who was working in the DVD distribution business and also as someone who was downloading quite a number of things myself , true for Steven as well and so seeing it from that insider’s perspective and as someone who was also doing a lot of downloading. We looked around and that story wasn’t really being told. Parts of the story were being told in a lot of different places, but it had never been told in one place with a narrative arc. Since the time we wrote that treatment, a number of books have come out on the topic, but nothing exactly like what we wrote about.
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Boing Boing’s Mark Frauenfelder on Dangerous Minds

Boing Boing’s Mark Frauenfelder: Made By Hand from DANGEROUS MINDS on Vimeo.

Speaking of Boing Boing, here’s Mark Frauenfelder on Richard Metzger’s Dangerous Minds.

Richard Metzger’s Dangerous Minds web site

Dangerous Minds now has a web site, including a group blog.

Dangerous Minds

Douglas Rushkoff on Richard Metzger’s Dangerous Minds

Turns out there’s already another Dangerous Minds episode. This one features Douglas Rushkoff and covers some familiar terroritory for readers of Rushkoff’s columns (which I link to frequently).

I agree with quite a lot of what Rushkoff has to say, and I respect him a lot. But there are a few important things he gets wrong or doesn’t account for.

There’s a contradiction in his assertion that the government/corporate complex will be too broke to enforce monopolies – but he also mentions, when questioned about US foreign debt, that we still have the strongest military. And that’s the thing. Entrenched powers aren’t going to roll over and die as long as they’ve got the bomb and the gun.

Alternative currencies are great. But governments tend squash them as soon as they start disrupting the status quo. See The New Currency War and George Monbiot’s history of alternative currency. There’s a really question of how much the “powers that be” will let “us” get away with – in terms of growing our own food, creating our own currency, and anything else that reduces their power over us.

Much of Rushkoff’s optimism stems from romanticizing a future where Americans break free from our cubicles and start actually “doing stuff.” I’ve noticed a tendency for a lot of people to think that jobs need to be more like what they think their ideal job should be like. Some people say “people need to be out doors” or “people need to work with their hands” or “people need more creative jobs.” They miss the fact that a lot of people genuinely like working with numbers, or programing computers, or doing detailing oriented office work.

Anyway, the millions of people who work in (or have recently worked in) the health care, education, restaurant, hotel, farming, gardening, manufacturing, trucking, rail road, utility, and construction industries may be surprised to hear that all the economy needs is for Americans just need to get off their fat cubicle dwelling asses and “do something.” What percentage of the population is actually employed in just pushing numbers around and managing outsourced labor?

I’m fairly confused on this point because Rushkoff also talks about how the financial industry is essentially extracting value from the rest of us. So are we producing value or not?

Rushkoff is correct in tracing the modern collusion of government and corporations back to the very beginnings of corporations, but he falls into a certain trap that libertarians tend to fall into: the idea that getting rid of the government influence would solve the problem of megacorporations (or other large institutions) would stop their meddling in the market and lead to a laissez faire utopia.

The problem is that the government is not the only way large institutions (be they for-profit corporations, religious institutions, unions, professional organizations, or non-profit organizations) manipulate the market. We could try splitting up megacorproations – but that requires government intervention and gets sticky quick (for all the reasons that libertarians warn against government intervention).

The typical libertarian assumption, as I understand it, is that without government intervention the market would quickly self-correct – all those decades of entrenched power and influence would cease to matter as real competition came to the fold. Needless to say, I don’t share this belief. And actually, I rather doubt Rushkoff does either.

I look forward to Rushkoff’s book. I suspect many of my points will at least be addressed.

Rest of the episode after the jump.

Richard Metzger’s new show: Dangerous Minds, episode one

Since I’ve been a little soft of socialism lately, here are some thoughts on this episode: they talk a lot about the problems with capitalism and the need for more welfare to support the large numbers of people who will be unemployed long term as the economy continues to change.

However, they do not propose any real solutions (granted, this is just a short interview). The Welfare State needs a tax base to fund its social programs. Metzger mentions that he doesn’t see the market proposing any solutions to our problems. “The market” (a dubious term in its own right – what we should actual say is “private industry”) is perhaps the only thing proposing solutions – alternative energy, biotechnology, and other initiatives to increase actual, non-fictitious capital. Even solutions like permaculture, co-ops, credit unions, and alternative currency are “market” solutions, in that they are they are the private undertakings.

The good news is that McCain was, probably inadvertently, right when he said that the “fundamentals of our economy are strong.” We remain amongst the largest manufacturing countries in the world and one of the biggest exporters in the world. (Here’s an interesting article about the modern US manufacturing industry)

The bad news of course, we’re all familiar with: heavy debt both as a nation and as individuals, lack of individual savings, a serious trade deficit, etc. Some of these problems may have some governmental solutions. But redistribution of wealth require wealth to redistribute, and tariffs and trade regulation require commerce to regulate (whatever the advantages and disadvantages may be). This is what “the market” is good for.

Rest of the episode after the jump.

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