Mindful Cyborgs: Contemplative living in the age of quantification, augmentation and acceleration.
Hosts: Chris Dancy and Klint Finley.
Transcript, show notes and more inside.
I interviewed Richard Metzger and R.U. Sirius last week at Contact. We talked about the Occupy movement, what it’s like to start a new publication today and whether tools for free speech have room for improvement.
I apologize in advance for the audio quality – I didn’t have a windscreen for my microphone, so things get pretty noisy when the wind picks up.
R.U. Sirius was the co-founder and editor of the influential cyberculture magazine Mondo 2000. He also ran for president on the Revolution Party ticket in 2000 and has worked for publications such as Wired and H+ Magazine. He recently started a new online publication called Acceler8or. He’s also working on an open source history of Mondo 2000. My previous interview with him is here.
Richard Metzger was the co-founder and creative director of Disinformation, where he served as the host of the online show Infinity Factory and the Channel 4 show Disinfo Nation. He’s now the editor and host of Dangerous Minds. My previous interview with him is here.
If it’s collaborative, but also your memoir, what happens when there’s conflict of memory? When your memories of what happened are completely different than the people participating in the book?
That’s kind of the experiment. That’s something you discover in the process of writing, co-writing, or editing the book. I have no particular prejudice towards the truth. If somebody gives me a colorful story, I may run with that. I may run with some people denying that it happened, or I may choose to deny something happened that someone else thinks, or I may not.
To me, it’s not a process of journalism or a conventional memoir, but a process of trying to create a piece of literature largely out of reality — but not confined entirely to reality. It’s become a cliche, like in Kurosawa’s Rashomon, in which each character goes through the same experience but remembers it in vastly different ways.
It could be interesting to have some of that in a way that’s literary and exposes something about the human being. And also, hopefully, amusing and funny.
Kickstarter: An Open-Source History of Mondo 2000 (Audio interview and transcript)
I started Technoccult as a teenager living in rural Wyoming (Sheridan to be exact) almost 8 years ago as a way to share links and research. Here are the 5 biggest influences on Technoccult, in chronological order:
Mondo 2000 – This one should be both first and last on the chronology. I started reading transcriptions of Mondo articles, mostly interviews with musicians like Nine Inch Nails and Revolting Cocks, way back in the day. I actually saw one of the last issues (the one with Nina Hagen) at a Hastings in Billings, MT. But I could only buy one magazine and decided to get the “electronic music and culture” magazine Interface instead because it said they were seeking submissions. I ended up writing for Interface, which was my first “pro” writing when I was 16. So I guess it was a good decision. But I always also kinda kick myself for not getting that Mondo while I had the chance.
Hyperreal – So I ended up reading about Mondo at places like alt.culture rather than actually reading it. And I started reading about this “smart drugs” stuff, which led me to Hyperreal. Now finding Hyperreal’s drug archives seems to be impossible, they just forward to Erowid. And the archive.org pages are blocked. Anyway, this site gave me a bit of exposure to rave culture, which I basically completely missed.
The Process mailing list – I ended up on this mailing list because I thought it was a Skinny Puppy fan list. It ended up being one of my first exposures to esoteric subjects, though I didn’t really know much of what was going on. I wrote about the Process here.
Anders Transhuman Page – I have no idea how I came across this site, but it was my introduction to the concept of transhumanism. I was particularly interested in the self transformation page. Thanks to this, transhumanism wasn’t just about waiting for a singularity in some distant future, but about enhancing the self in the here and now with what was already available. I’m apparently the only person in the world who thinks this way, so I don’t really identify as a transhumanist anymore.
Disinfo – I got into Disinfo initially for the political and cultural stuff. Technoccult actually basically came about because I really wanted to work on the Disinfo site, but my e-mails to them went unanswered. I wasn’t even into the occult stuff at all when Technoccult launched… it just sounded like a cool name (I hadn’t read the Invisibles yet either, but it’s possible I came across the term “Technoccult” somewhere on the Disinfo site and just forgot about it). But since all the occult material was so present, I ended up exploring that as well. I did eventually end up doing an internship for Disinfo – “telecommuting” during my sophomore year of college.
Mondo 2000 (again) – In college, Honky Tonk Dragon let me borrow a bunch of his old Mondo 2000 magazines, and I bought several off eBay. This was late 2001, early 2002 when Technoccult had already been around for a couple years, but was really just getting going.