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And, as I welcome Terence McKenna, let me first say that I have been asked to mention that there is a film called Strange Attractor, which features Terence McKenna, and it will be shown at the Adobe Theatre on October the 18th at midnight and the 19th at 2 O' Clock [indecipherable]. Alright, I'm gonna take The Umbrellas of Cherbourg away, as much as I love that music that's been on in the background, and we will say, just barely 'good morning' at 11:56, to Terence McKenna. Terence, hello.
Terence McKenna: Pleasure to be with you.
RH: And, you are here for the Whole Life Expo?
TM: I am.
RH: And you will be speaking, Cathy Saturday at 5 o'clock at the Coliseum. We had such an incredible response to Terence last year, he sold out the biggest room we had, so we moved him over to the Coliseum where we hopefully can accommodate up to 12-1500 people if need be.
Okay well there is a large audience who know all about him or a great deal about him, but for those that know nothing about him, Terence, what would you, how would you introduce yourself?
TM: I guess I'm a plant biologist turned psychedelic advocate transformed into a kind of spokesman for technofilia and psychedelica.
RH: And you have been an author?
TM: I've written a number of books, uh, Food of the Gods, Invisible Landscape, Archaic Revival, just to mention 3 of them.
RH: And the one that I had this Invisible Landscape, is one that you are touring now? Or, uh it's been out a couple of years, I think...
TM: They all came out in the early through the middle 90s and uh I've been touring them. I have another book in the works called Casting Nets into the Sea of Mind but uh it will be a while before that comes out. I've also a number of musical and film projects around.
RH: So you're into music as well?
TM: Well music is into me, I'm not very musical, but there's been a lot of sampling of my voice and I've done vocal overlays and things like that with bands like the Shaman and Savoya, Space Time Continuum.
RH: Okay. What will you be talking about when you give your talk at the Whole Life Expo?
TM: Well it's a sort of a broad topic, it's, here we are at the end of history all the world's cultures are melting together, more powerful technologies than we've ever imagined are now in existence, our political assumptions are in flux, our environment is being destroyed before our very eyes, uh all kinds of spiritual and religious prophets are selling their wares in the streets, so my uh take on all this is basically is simply to ask the Mr. Natural question which is "What does it all mean?" Uh, how did we, essentially an arboreal primate, uh, ever get into a situation uh of the sort represented by the end of the 20th Century? Is it uh, is it a mad play without meaning, is it the unfolding of God's plan, is it the protocol of the elder's of Zion, or the alien invaders, uh, just what is going on? And of course, the special lens that I bring to this is the much maligned and highly suspect psychedelic experience, anathema to some, religion to others, uh one of the most controversial behaviors available to 20th Century people, but one that I think, is probably very important to recapturing a sense of personal wholeness and then trying to fit oneself into this mad mad world that we've called into being.
RH: The psychedelics that you're talking about might be which drugs?
TM: Plant based indoles such as psylocybin, uh DMT, uh mescalin, the combinatory amazonian uh thing called Ayahuasca, these are all psychedelic plants of plant mixtures with very long histories of human usage in non Western society. Western society is the most phobic of all cultures towards the psychedelic experience. It's almost on a par with our phobia towards sexuality, in fact maybe these things are linked. But in aboriginal and traditional cultures around the world, spirituality has always been associated with dissolving of ordinary cultural boundaries and states of mind. And you know, you can do this with meditation and fasting and abandonment in the wilderness and so forth and so on, but the most effective and non invasive way to approach this, everyone agrees, is through ingestion of psychedelics plants. But because these experiences are so powerful, they challenge ordinary secular and religious authority. And consequently a society if it chooses to can get into a real swivet around these issues. Such as our society. I don't really link this to the larger problem of international drug syndicates and addiction and all that. That's a slightly different area of concern because the psychedelics are not addictive and they do not generate huge uh criminal syndicates. They don't make anybody very much money. But they certainly attract a great deal of media attention most of it negative uh because of their impact on our ways of looking at our politics and our social arrangements and everything about being human.
RH: Terence McKenna is our guest we are still accepting pledges by the way at 471-6291 or 1-888-471-6291. This is the last week to make your contributions. I hope you will do so right now, even as we speak. 471-6291.
Terence the way in which you were talking about the psychedelic drugs that you've mentioned suggest that they might be something other than for fun or escape that they might have something useful in terms of the human experience for instruction. What are we going to learn from these drugs or had we learned or could we?
TM: Well, uh human culture is essentially a product of the imagination. All our religions our technical accomplishments our literature our poetry all products of the imagination. This is precisely the domain where the psychedelics impact very very powerfully. Uh so if we believe that invention, creativity, individual self expression, insight, if we value these things, then the psychedelics are primary uh items in our cultural toolbox because they empower all of those things. It's curious to me that western civilization which invented the idea of progress through technology and social transformation is so phobic of this uh factor in nature which would accelerate those tendencies in our own culture. So I think uh there is something for our culture in psychedelics in and there is definitely something for the individual. You know in a way culture is like software it's the operating system in the local area. You download being a Xitoto tribesman or a Hong Kong stockbroker and then behaviors are prescribed. But naive people tend to believe that these operating systems are reality. They're not reality. They're just something you learn as you grow up in certain time and place. Psychedelics seem to dissolve cultural conditioning. This is one of the thing that makes them such political dynamite. Because the business of political systems is to convince you of the local operating system convince you it was sent from God and is beyond critique when in fact it's just a bunch of rules fellow monkeys pushed together over time to make things easier for the alpha males. Psychedelics dissolve these cultural assumptions whatever they may be and for the first time you get to look at the naked human animal and think about uh where you might want to go personally and as a member politically potent member of a society.
RH: I think we're, most everybody who is in our listening range right now should go, is to the telephone and call 471.6291 and pledge your membership to Eclecticos where you hear quite a variety of things. Our guest right now is Terence McKenna, is author of Food of the Gods and Invisible Landscape and other books. And he will be at the Whole Life Expo this weekend, Saturday at 5. Is that right, Cathy? "Yes, Saturday at 5." Saturday at 5 at the Coliseum. Our pledge number, it is very important that you call if you enjoy what you hear on this program. It is your last chance to do it. It is 12:06 it will be 12:59 in no time and I'll be finished. So give us a call and make your pledge 471-6291. Do it now. There is a category that will suit your pocketbook. 471-6291. You spend a lot of money on a lot of things throughout the year. How many CDs did you buy this year? How many have I made you buy by playing something that you just couldn't resist? In your budget for CDs, how much do you budget for public radio? This is where you get to audition those CDs. 471-6291 or 1-888-471-6291. And uh if you have a cable on your television set, you are paying what? $40 a month, for something you really don't even use that much? And yet you use us everyday? $40 is a membership. 471-6291. Call, pledge now. A business membership would be nice too. Thank you very much for calling. Now back to Terence McKenna.
Terence it's a controversial subject of course there are many people listening right now who think "What, this is outrageous, I have somebody on who is promoting the use of psychedelic drugs?" although I don't know that I'm promoting your promoting it. But it's interesting to hear what you have to say about it. I would like to know more specifically what these drugs tell us. You're saying that it tells us something about ourselves that is other than what we've been told by the culture that has evolved. Do the drugs have a message in themselves? Is it a language? Is it a way of experiencing a potential in one's own imagination that has heretofor not been tapped? What, what what?
TM: Well first of all it's a gradient. I mean whenever we have to talk pharmacology for a moment. Whenever you're talking about a substance or a drug, there's a curve of dose response. So let's just use psylocibin as a example. At low doses psilocybin uh makes your vision clearer makes you feel more robust more interested in the exterior
RH: Kind of like coffee or something
TM: On the edge of that a, stimulant. At higher doses unusual thoughts begin to form, thoughts that you recognize as not your normal pattern of thinking and observing. At still higher doses when you close your eyes, the normal orange or pale brown background behind your eyelids has been replaced by moving walls of color and pattern. At still higher levels these moving walls of color and pattern become uh visions or hallucinations they become recognizable visual scenarios. Well anything like that is just flooding your mind with information. And these things have intimations of the distant past, the far future, alien connections of some sort. It's definitely magnifying our own set of cultural preconceptions and obsessions but its also putting information in there that we could not ordinarily imagine. And for me the sin ne qua non of the psychedelic experience is when I look at the contents of my own mind and say to myself, I could not have imagined this. To me that's proof that some kind of communication is taking place. Uh, at uh fairly heroic dose of psilocybin, a person lying in silent darkness has the impression that in half an hour they're seeing more art of higher quality than the entire western canon has produced in the last 1000 years, and you're little you, there in your trailer, near Waco, or there in your teepee up near Sonoma and yet this niagara of alien and unpredictable beauty is pouring through your head. For artists it's like a magic carpet. And the challenge to my mind, after 30 years of being involved in all this is a) to have experience, to have it in an attitude of appreciation and calmness, but the second implication is somewhat political its to communicate the vision through words, through painting, through animation... because as we communicate it collectivity, collectively, it will become real. This is what's happening on the Internet, in fact the Internet is a perfect example of a psychedelic technology at the service of psychedelic goals. It's not something government ever intended to give to the people. It's not something big corporations called for in loud voices. It's something that hackers, freaks and heads dreamed up, whipped up, out of uh the existing tools of the culture. A word processor, the telephone lines, some communication switching equipment. So it's a kind of emergent technology that I think uh comes out of the depth of commitment to the psychedelic experience of the people in that field.
RH: Terence McKenna is our guest and author. We are urging you to call in your contributions to public radio at 471-6291 or 1-888-471-6291.
I know that you don't want to miss a word that Terence has to say. So call right now cause I'm gonna yack for as long a time it takes you to make your contribution. 471-6291 or 1-888-471-6291. And if you don't call I'll just say goodbye to Terence and start playing a tune. So you better call. 471-6291. 471-6291. Your $25 membership, 7¢ a day. $40 Basic membership, 11¢ a day. $80 membership and premium that gets you the KUT sweatshirt or the coffee mug and the KUT Arts Plus card which will give you discounts to over 30 arts organizations in and around Austin including museums and theater places, the PAC, and [indecipherable], the [?] Opera, on and on and on the list goes. 22¢ a day gives you a lot plus you get to listen to your radio knowing that you are part of what makes it happen. 471-6291. A Family membership, 44¢ a day gives you a very nice book that will tell you how to get around Texas and see some lovely lovely parks . And the $365 a day club membership, $1 a day, call and you'll get your name listed in the communique that goes out to all of our listeners every month. A $500 Business membership would be very nice. And this is the last 45 minutes that you have in which to call and say thank you for the variety of programming that I bring you on this program every day, five days a week. 471-6291. Alright? Now that is time enough for you to have made that call. Believe it or not if you didn't do it, go on and do it right now and keep your ear open to Terence cause we're going back to Terence McKenna.
So, what I would like to ask, you made reference to the fact that other cultures have used these drugs and that they've been integrated in the cultural life of the shamans and holy people, etc. We've heard a lot about that, seen movies about it, perhaps. And one of the things that I know you include as part of the project that this book Invisible Landscape is uh the I Ching, which is one of the oldest, as I understand it, is maybe the oldest book in the world or one of the oldest things that we have preserved. It's from China and it dates back maybe 5 or 6000 years at least, something like that. How does that book come into the work that you've been doing?
TM: Well I've been fascinated by the I Ching since I was 13 or 14 years old uh as you say it's a method of Chinese divination that's very very old.
RH: How did you come to be interested in it at the age of 13 or 14 that seems unusual to me.
TM: Well I was a heavy reader and uh I was interested in the psychology of Carl Jung, the Swiss depth psychologist.
RH: As a 13 year old?
TM: As a 13 year old (laughter). Well I wasn't good at basketball. I had bad eyes. I couldn't catch any kind of round object. So sort of survival response was to hide out in the library and uh and it made me the freak I am uh today. But yes, the I Ching, uh my you know people's involvement with psychedelics often takes them in some very personal and particularized direction. And for me it took the form of a mathematical analysis of of this ancient Chinese oracle. Uh, the ordinary notion with the I Ching is that you go through a process of sortilege, tossing coins or moving small sticks around and you get a reading. One of 64 hexagrams will change into one of the other hexagrams and this is accompanied by a reading. But these hexagrams occur in a fixed order traditionally. And I studied the "vat" for mathematical intent, in other words I was interested in the question, is this traditional order of the hexagrams simply a jumble that's been preserved through tradition, or was there some mathematical reasoning behind it? That's a pretty dry academic question. But as I got into it, uh I realized, or I became convinced, is the way to put it that there is a pattern inside the I Ching that actually pictures the ebb and flow in this world of ours of a quality which science does not recognize, uh western science. A quality which in the East is called "tao." But which I chose to call, after Alfred North Whitehead, "novelty." And it's an invisible something in the world which causes investments to succeed, movies to do well, relationships to flourish, or, the opposite in its absence. And we can't see or feel this stuff in the world but it builds things up and it tears them down and at every level. Empires, whole species, uh relationships. It's happening on every level of time and it can actually be pictured as a graph, like a stock market graph. Novelty ebbing and flowing. Well, to cut to the chase on this, the bottom line in this kind of thinking is, the ability to predict not only the future, which is pretty much a fire free zone, uh but also to predict the past. To lay these novelty graphs out over the past 2,000 years of invention, migration, pagram, and so forth and to see that when society is inventive, creative, productive, novelty is increasing according to this mathematical theory. Similarly, societies that are restricting freedoms, very constipated, very restrictive in their approach to reality, these register on this graph as societies ruled by the opposite of novelty, which I call "habit." So all of reality can be seen as a kind of dynamic struggle between habit and novelty. Each trying to get the upper hand over the other. And this can all be mathematically modeled out of the I Ching. Do you see the thing that is so puzzling to people about the I Ching is that it works. And yet its as occult as the Tarot, or throwing the bones, or any other of these contemptuously dismissed occult methodologies. But very scientifically minded people have been impressed by the fact that the I Ching works. So I set out to figure out why and how it works and I wrote about this in the Invisible Landscape and have published software and it's my unique contribution to 20th Century ideologies. Psychedelics are advocated and defended by many people from many different perspectives. But I, so far as I know, are the only person who has built a complete edifice of uh explanations of nature but honestly admitting that the foundations and the inspirations were psychedelic experiences.
RH: Terence McKenna our guest. Our pledge number 471-6291 or 1-888-471-6291. It's unusual for me to have as a guest at the very end of the program which concludes our fundraising efforts, uh but Terence McKenna is an unusual person and I'm glad to have him today. And I hope you'll be responding by calling and making pledges at 471-6291 or 1-888-471-6291. We're just about finished, time is running out. 471-6291. Call and make a pledge, you might miss a couple words, but call and make your pledge. He has more interesting things to say. 471-6291. The end of the fundraiser is upon us. And it will be a success if you call. If they are sitting in that room over there with 15 people and no telephones ringing, I am in big you-know-what. So call. 471-6291. That could get us into a discussion of another kind of drug, but let's not go there.
You said the I Ching works. What do you mean it works? I have an impression that you do your coins or whatever you're going to do and you get this one and you read what you want -- you get what you want out of it, but you're saying it works in a scientific way or something...
TM: Well, the frequency with which people react to these readings by saying this is freakishly accurate this is incredibly cogent and directly to the point
RH: More than like this astrology thing in the newspaper, oh yeah I can see myself
TM: I think it's more uh precise, but let me rip on something you said in your pitch. You said time is running out. This is a conclusion that I was not happy to have forced upon me by this research into the I Ching. It not only tells you or gives you this map of novelty of past and future, but for the map of novelty to fit the historical data you have to swallow the very large and for a rationalist uncomfortable conclusion that the end of time itself or a moment of universal novelty very difficult to picture through the eyes of ordinary physics is upon us. Lies not that very far in the future. And so this has given my career a peculiar spin because here I am, basically trying to be a scientific rationalist but now burdened not only with a theory that predicts the future, but in the course of predicting the future predicts that in uh 2012 AD, all of the novelty that has been unleashed over the past few billions of years, not only cultural and technological novelty, but the novelty of biology, the novelty of geology. All of these things reach some kind of crescendo of connectivity and intensity within the lifetimes of most of us. I, um, basically have a theory of history which says history is not pushed by the events of the past unfolding their causal necessity, rather time is pulled into the future by a kind of attractor. And if you want to think of it beginning at a certain point in time although I think it extends through the whole life of the universe, but imagine that a couple of million years ago, primates, quietly living in the canopy of African rain forests, got a yearn, got a call, felt the touch and from that point to this it's been a slow, never faltering march on the part of our species, deeper into a world of alien strangeness, a world no other animal knows. A world of symbolic activity driven by the imagination. First songs and stories and then writing and then mathematics and language and then higher and higher technologies. We are being sculpted in the image of an alien something that is making us like itself as we approach it through historical time. And well some people say this sounds like Christianity, techno-garb, well, Christianity has a piece of the action. Any religion that spends thousands of years meditating on man's fate is gonna get some part of the story right. And I think the Christian assumption of an approaching great change or Art Bell calls it the quickening. Uh, it's all around us, it's perfectly obvious that the 20th century is the culmination of 10,000 years of culture and that beyond the 20th century lies, quite simply, the unimaginable. Uh, our notion of what it is to be alive, our notion of individual identity, our notion of our sexuality, our notion of being confined in physical space and time, All this is just dissolving, it has been dissolving throughout the 20th century and the impact of modern communications and so forth and so on, but now, the Internet, the computer with psychedelic drugs with virtual reality uh the bringing of all cultures into the global family that speaks the language of modern science, we're clearly being sucked into something almost unimaginable. A singularity. And some people say well it's a thousand years in the future, it's a five hundred years in the future, not if you factor in the Asymptotic Acceleration that seems to be a natural part of the process.
RH: You just went over my head, the Asymptotic...?
TM: It goes faster and faster, it's not a smooth--- we're not traveling 100 mph toward the Eschaton, we're traveling 100 mph times 100 mph towards it. In other words the acceleration is increasing and very hard nosed engineering types talk about an era, 10-15 years in the future when we will release infinite energy, attain infinite speeds, be able to pack all the information we want into a few nano nanometers of space. In other words any engineering or social goal we can imagine is on the brink of achievement. Well, what lies beyond that? And is this a process which we are generating (that we like to think) or is it in fact that we're just a cork on the ocean riding an enormous wave the head is now moving towards some crest where biology, which committed itself to culture and technology, is about to make a leap into hyperspace. Who knows?
RH: Terence McKenna is our guest and as I expected, he has a good line and I enjoy the way in which he presents his information quite amazing. And appropriate at the end of our fundraiser to have this Eschatologist I guess, talking, er would you accept yourself as an Eschatologist, uh talking about The End, and so uh our end is in about 30 minutes and we'll be finished for this fundraiser for this Friday, the last day to ask you to call and pledge your support. And if you have not done so, please pick up the phone and pledge your support right now.
It's awkward to having an intense talk feature and at the same time ask you to do something that will take you away from paying attention to him, but I'm asking you to do exactly that, right now. Pick up your telephone and call 471-6291 and pledge your support for Eclecticos, it's an unusual program and I'm happy that we can have somebody like Terence McKenna in today. He'll be at the Whole Life Expo on Saturday at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Our pledge number is 471-6291. We have categories of $25 for Students, everybody can afford that if you're a student; $40 for the Basic membership; $80 for 22¢ a day, you can get the Arts Plus card, discounts for the Opera and the Symphony; 471-6291 or 1-888-471-6291. A $160 Family membership; a $365 a day Club membership; and $500 Business membership's only $1.37 a day. Let's get a Business membership from you! 471-6291. I would love to have a Business membership from some bookstore in Austin, you know, you guys out there, c'mon give us a contribution. 471-6291. Or you can get onto the website, since Terence is talking about the Internet and web and stuff, www.utexas.edu/KUT. Give us a call right now. 471-6291 is the number and we are just about out of time. And out of time is what we are at the year 2012 on December the 21st, according to the calculation that you have done. But time is a funny kind of a concept, and it's also a spice as we were saying earlier today. Oh, by the way, can either of you, Douglas Adams, the Hitchhiker's Guide, etcetera, isn't it 42 as the number...
It is 42. Okay, does that in any way figure into your calculations?
TM: Well I think somebody figured out there are ten high 42 particles in the universe or ten high 42 possible interactions among particles. I'm sure he follows all this stuff very closely.
RH: So somehow Terence, through your study of the mathematics of the I Ching, and applying that study to the observation of the novelty graph through history, you have calculated this date as the time at which time will at least have a different meaning, if not, cease to exist. So what will time be like then, what can we know, how, I first want to know how did you come up with this date, I'm sure it had to do with a lot of big numbers and computers, but....
TM: Well whenever you have a curve of any sort that you're trying to fit to data which is a curve of another sort there's mathematical protocols called best fit relationships essentially that you just move one along the other measuring how well they fit together and when you get the best fit the two are in congruence.
RH: So it's pulsing at different rates, it goes up and down...
TM: It goes up and down and so for instance you have the Italian Renaissance a spike of novelty then the horror of a colonization of a New World, that's a descent and you can see that history is the ebb and flow because societies can't sustain novelty very long and if they become habitual, sooner or later some genius or religious crank turns over the apple cart and you get new novelty. So societies are always in an uncomfortable relationship to novelty and habit. Um, I've spent a lot of time trying to imagine what could happen in 2012 that would fulfill the graph but not require the absolute transformation of all time and space forever but that's such a large cookie I don't think I want to take a bite out of it.
RH: How do you know what the recipe might be
TH: (Laughs) One thing that's occurred to me that would very nicely fill the bill and make the prophecy come true and yet still leave us with a world you can walk around in is uh if time travel were to be discovered. If time travel of some sort were to be discovered then the portrayal of cultural novelty on a time scale linear graph would become impossible. It's almost as though the data on the graph suddenly leaves the two dimensionality and begins to move out toward the viewer. So then you could look at the time graph and say "Ah ha" it worked until 2012 because at that point time itself became non-linear because people began exploring time in all directions. If time travel were a real possibility you would not only have an address in space but some of us would choose to rusticate in the 11th century and some of us would choose to live in 22nd century Manhattan. So we would have time-based addresses as well as space-based addresses. Of course you couldn't describe historical change, well, for history to exist it requires seriality of events. If the event system becomes non-serial then you can't speak of history anymore. Something very large like this is happening to us. Perhaps we're going to form a symbiotic relationship with solid state machinery of some sort. Lots of people are cheering that on.
RH: So run that one by me again so it means that humans and computers will get married and have kids, or something, or
TM: No it means you won't be able to tell where your body stops and the Internet begins. In other words you'll say "Gee I wonder what they're serving at So and So's restaurant tonight?" and the answer will be hanging there in space because you will have automatically accessed the Internet into their website, looked at the menu and returned with the data. In other words we're going to create, I think, a collective.... what the Internet is is a nervous system it's the collective mind of humanity being hard wired as an artifact that completely encloses uh the entire planet in a thought. And as the interface becomes more uh invisible so it's not about can you type or do you have a computer, or anything like that, it's simply a matter of one's own mental faculties through the prosthesis of cybernetics becoming very very god-like.
RH: Terence McKenna is our guest, a couple more questions for him and I would like to urge you at 12:35 as we run out of time during our fundraiser to cal 471-6291 and make your pledge of support to public radio. 471-6291. If you're out of town 1-888-471-6291. [Background talking] Where on earth else would you be able to hear this kind of discussion? Here on Eclecticos we're happy to have it. Terence McKenna. 471-6291. Pledge your contribution right now as we run out of time. And uh, Terence, okay, let me ask you this, there is uh the implication there that leads me to question perhaps about artificial intelligence, I don't know if you're familiar with this, but this one thing fascinated the hell out of me about eight years ago, I'm not one of these Internet people I don't do that stuff, but when we first got a computer, there was this little game called Raptor. I don't know if you're familiar with it and I started getting this damn machine, I got so lost in that thing...and I could not believe what I was dealing with. I had the actual experience of it really being an intelligence. And I thought I was being awfully smart back with it but so...
TM: This was a speech driven interactive thing where you talked and it made responses?
RH: It gave you options on how to respond back to it. I finally figured out that whoever had programmed the darn thing was somehow connected to [whispering] so I used some avoidance techniques, but still it was very convincing, very compelling.
TM: Well it was a very early example of a very simple form of AI. It was followed by Liza, the computerized psychiatrist she's still online at a website. Uh, there was a recent book written by a guy whose last name was Leonard called "Bots" and he talks about these bits of code on the Internet which are designed to operate semi-autonomously, looking for emails, lists. These things are the embryonic basis of an artificial intelligence. I think this is definitely in our future. There's a guy at Carnegie Mellon University, Hans Moravec, who wrote a book called "Mind Children" and he points out how much of the human world is already under uh computer control. For instance the world price of gold in London computers look at the economic performance around the world (tape breaks off here). As these artificial intelligences become more sophisticated they will eventually begin to learn autonomously. And a computer can learn 50,000 times faster than a human being. So one of these AIs awakening to its own identity on the Internet could within 5 to 10 minutes get a complete grasp of the human world, the history of life on this planet, and its place in the great order of things. And what this AI would think of that we don't know. Would it worship us as God? What would be its values? Would it take a look at the trashed environment and wrecked earth and begin to turn off factories and dial down the power grid? Uh, how uh how artificial, how alien would AI be? We don't know because we don't know how super intelligence thinks. If we knew we would be super intelligent. So in a way we have called forth into our midst uh another species of intelligence. And how it relates to us will be probably almost entirely defined on its terms. So this is just one of many standard hair-on-end scenarios that we can discuss here. But this is a very real one, long before flying saucers land on the south lawn of the White House the alien artificial intelligence that is growing in the primordial soup of the Internet will have speciated and conquered the planet.
RH: Whow! This is Terence McKenna, getting us ready for Halloween! We had Dracula earlier and now we're approaching the end of time as we know it and we certainly are on this program. It's 20 minutes before 1 o'clock, you have just enough time to get your pledge in 471-6291. The volunteers are standing by waiting to hear from you with your money. 471-6291. I know I'm going to hear you on the street saying "Oh, John, I hear you had Terence McKenna, that was just incredible, man!" Yeah, hey man, it was so incredible you didn't even bother to pick up the phone and make your pledge, so man, pick up that phone! 471-6291 or 1-888-471-6291. It's the last chance you have to pledge your membership to Electicos during this very busy, and we hope, successful fundraiser. I haven't had anybody bring me any names. So I'm afraid that means nobody is making any phone calls because we're talking and you're interested in what we have to say--- or maybe you're not. If you're, I'm not talking to you if you're not there, but if you are there, you are the one I want to pick up the telephone and call 471-6291. You have just time enough to do it. We'll give you the Arts Plus program and lots of people participate in that, galleries all over town and [PAC?] etc etc, you'll get discounts, discounts, discounts. $80 is all it takes to be a KUT member at that level. You'll get the KUT sweatshirt with the armadillo on it and you'll also get to choose from the coffee mug and you've got many reasons to pledge. Mainly just don't let me catch you on the street, at a party, if I know who you are and I find out you haven't pledged, you're in trouble. 471-6291. If I don't you at all, you know you oughta pledge, so come on. 471-6291 or if you're out there in Fredericksburg or St. Angelo or Bastrop or Georgetown or San Marcos call 1-888-471-6291.
Terence McKenna, back again. One of the questions that I uh had for you, I guess is the experience that has been described by those who have taken some of the psychedelics has that there is information in the drug and there's a dilemma....well the drug is this little thing, a pill or whatever. The experience was had through a revelation in consciousness, so is it in the drug, is it in your head, is it in both, what's the relationship between what that drug is and what the revelation of the person who experiences the drug?
TM: Well, I feel the force of that question. Uh I think the first scientific experiment I ever performed was I destroyed a radio to get at the little people inside. [Laughter] That raised the same issue. As someone with a knowledge of chemistry I know that the drug molecules are very simple molecules. We have proteins in our body with molecular weights of 2-300,000 daltons. The psychedelic molecules are tiny and simple. On the other hand, the contents of the experience is so alien, so capable of transforming one's expectations and understanding, that it seems a little disingenuous to just say you're just talking to yourself. So back to the radio model. There aren't little people inside the radio, but there are little people or big people we hope, somewhere far away in the radio studio. So the drugs begin to look like antennas, transceivers, for some kind of information which is out there, in the same way that radio is out there. I mean its hard to stand somewhere in the world these days and not have your body transected by thousands of AM and FM radio station's air control signals. You're not aware of that. Imagine if there were simply a drug invented that allowed you to be aware of the radio moving through your body. What a smorgasborg of options would await you. Well in a sense I think that's what the drugs are showing us. There's a lot of talk now in quantum physics about what's called non-locality. This is a conclusion that quantum physics spent most of the 20th century resisting as even weirder than some of the other stuff they had accepted but now experimenting to be hammering home the notion that the universe actually works this way. And what it seems to be is that behind the dimension of ordinary space and time ruled by Einsteinian physics is a domain called the Domain of Bell Non-Locality, after the physicist who discovered it. And this is domain where all particles which were ever in intimate association retain a kind of connectivity no matter how far apart in time and space they have come in the meantime. Well since physics believe that all particles were once intimately associated in an event called the Big Bang, it means that the universe, in all of its vastness, billions of light years in extent, is in fact instantaneously all connected in a domain below the level of ordinary physics. Well uh we don't know how to use the non-local domain for communication, but we have discovered it. So give us a 100 years, a 1000 years of continued civilization, we could probably crack that puzzle. If any civilization anywhere in the universe ever got this far with a technology, to the point where they were on the brink of non-local radio, let's call it, uh we would hear them. Because when it's non-local it's everywhere. And these biological molecules with extremely reactive ring structures are how you would design a nano-sized antenna. So I think local reality obeys the laws of rational physics that constipated Western scientists have fought so hard to achieve and describe. But the imagination is a true dimension. It's not your mind or my mind or the human mind. It's a non-local dimension filled with information. And this is where the gods, the demons, the spirits, the invisible forces, uh are hiding out. And shamans have always known this. Without the vocabulary of quantum physics, without atom smashers and advanced mathematics, they have known that you perturb the mind and go into non-local spirit-haunted domains of enormous power and potential. Uh, that's exactly the situation. And it's been hard for us to discover it and come to terms with it because it doesn't arrive packaged in quite the way science expects reality to be packaged. Science doesn't like the mental universe, it's slippery, it's hard to gather data, it's hard to see what's going on in there. But in fact that's the domain of novelty, complexity and communication that has been the source of our own uniqueness, our inspirations, our religions, our inventiveness. And it's just now time as we mature as a civilization uh to address this, to get in touch with these whisperings from other dimensions to learn from them, to trade names and there may be some answers there that can help us out of the immense cultural quagmire into which we've wandered.
RH: Terence Mckenna. I'm not sure I got a direct answer, but I got an interesting response.
TM: Oh, I wish I could remember the question.
RH: Basically, is it in the drug or is it in your head...or what is consciousness....
TM: Oh, no, the answer is, it's not in the drug and it's not in your head. It's non-local, it's coming from somewhere else in the universe. The objects in the imagination are real somewhere so far away that it doesn't matter at all. That you will only deal with these things as mental objects. But know that they are real, somewhere.
RH: Somewhere beyond time and space perhaps, but nonetheless, real?
TM: Somewhere in this universe.
RH: In this universe
TM: In its many levels in backwaters, in cross flowing tides of time and energy, but somewhere at some level, those things exist. We do not make up the contents of the imagination. We see in a domain, in the same way that we see with ordinary sight, three-dimensional space, with the imagination, we see four-dimensional space, and it is non-local.
RH: Terence McKenna is our guest and he certainly is one of the most interesting guests I've ever had. And I hope you enjoy listening to him and if you are I hope you will take just a moment now and make your contribution to public radio at 471-6291. We are 9 minutes away from closing time. Closing time. The end of the universe is at hand and well at least the end of time for us to ask you to give money. And well that number is 471-6291. That's 471-6291. I hope Terence has provoked your thoughts today with a consideration or two. I think he's certainly got a thing or two to say that if I don't agree with maybe I haven't been able to ask him enough about. Our pledge number is 471-6291. Please call right now. The time is at hand. The time is just about up. 471-6291. The very end is upon us. 1-888-471-6291. Thank you for calling. 471-6291. This is the end of the show.
And uh, Terence McKenna I have a couple of other questions that I think I might to squeeze in. I don't think we're gonna to go back to music afterall, it's just too late and he's too much fun, so... 471-6291. Let me thank these people and you make your phone call right now. 471-6291. The end, the end, the end, the end. If you want to pledge to Eclectico do it now or you won't have a chance. Thanks to Brent Douglas, Phyllis Ackmal, Daniel Sutherland. Carl [muffled] MacFarland's challenge to all other underpaid art professors, very good. Thanks to Carlos Espinoza responding to the blood donor challenge, give blood to KUT, 471-6291, thanks to Nancy Guaveguata, Dean and Marilyn Scott, thanks to Scott Alexander in response to the slow boat challenge, thanks to Margaret Adams, Jack Campbell, a new member, Mary Guttery, loves everything on KUT can't do without. Johnny Lee, thank you very much, we love you. Give me a call 471-6291. Darcy Fromholtz challenges all displaced Alaskans. Thank you Darcy. I'm glad so much you enjoyed that Jed Buckley special that I had and thanks for telling me so. D. Betty a challenge to all D. Betty swimmers, are you a D. Betty swimmer or a Barbara Spring swimmer, give me a call 471-6291. [Mumbled name] is pledging on behalf of the family, Jim, Melissa and Marilyn responding to John's plea that folks should pledge or KUT will die. 471-6291. Mike Perriman, tough to decide which show to pledge to but the Lounge Lizards tipped the balance. Mary Walker challenges all pink flamingo owners. Bernadette and Cosmos are hers. Ruth Powers Mary Alice Appleman, Pat Shepherd, Mary Jane Warren, Julie and Steve Scwatzander, a new member, James and Carol Bowman, a new member and an IBM match, and Jeff Hybert, another new member. Our pledge number is 471-6291. No it's the end, it's the ultimate hour. 471-6291. Call now, please, please. There are volunteers waiting to answer your phone call, so please make a call right now 471-6291. You'll have a chance to hear more of what Terence McKenna has to say at the Whole Life Expo on Saturday at 5 o'clock. I guess, um what else can I say but give your money, ring, ring, ring. 471-6291. Jan, are the phones ringing, can you run and tell me if the phones are ringing. They have to be ringing. 471-6291. If they're not ringing I'm just gonna throw a fit. 471-6291 or 1-888-471-6291 or you can also get onto the web at www.u.texas.edu/kut but I'd rather have you call 471-6291.
Terence McKenna ahum, we're back to you. We're gonna find out in a second if anybody's calling 471-6291. What on earth would I ask you as we come to the end of this program. Hmm. What, after 2012?
TM: Well, I'm a rationalist, so I would bet against my own rap. Uh, the world has always had street corner prophets bawling out their strange despair. Uh, I have to be intellectually honest with my own experience and so I will advocate this idea of an enormous transformative event in 2012. But as a rationalist and a scientist, I'm skeptical, myself. I don't want to slip into religion and prophecy, there are enough bizarre cults in the world. On the otherhand, uh, this thing seems to have the force of a self-fulfilling prophecy. So if I'm right, or right enough, then what's happening is all our problems are coming down upon us at once. At the same time that all this creativity is being unleashed at once. I don't think primates really get traction until the going gets very very tough. So I think enough of the old guard are dying out and the voice of youth is now rising in strength to the point where over the next 10 years or so we are really going to deal, we are going to have to deal with putting this planet on a saner course. Dealing with issues of resource extraction uh human rights, uh environmental destruction. The big political issue ahead of us all is we have to get a hold of this monster we've unleashed called consumer capitalism. We all have become thing addicted. Uh we all have become uh victims of incredible marketing and sophistication of big time consumer capitalism. We can run the earth to ruin if we let this go uncriticized. Psychedelics are uh ultimately provide an impulse to political dialog and reform. If they don't do that they're just another hedonistic self-indulgence. So I think is what we need to do is not worry about the built-in schedules of novelty and transformation. Act as though the responsibility for the future rested on our own shoulders and begin to build a sense of community and environmental concern so that if, in fact, there isn't a built-in spring board into hyperspace we will be able to live on this planet in peace, dignity and health for however much time the vicissitudes of fate and history give us.
RH: Well said so far as I'm concerned. Terence McKenna it's been a pleasure to have you today. Really have enjoyed this quite a bit. Thank you for coming. Look forward to seeing you at the Whole Life Expo on Saturday at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. And it starts today. And there's all sorts of things going on at the Whole Life Expo. 471-6291 is the number to call for your contribution to public radio. Call right now. 471-6291 you've just time to make your phone call and check out this film called the Strange Attractor it's at the Adobe on the 18th at midnight and on the 19th at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Last minute you have to call 471-6291 we are running out of time, we definitely know you're listening and you're enjoying what you're hearing on public radio. And especially what you're hearing on this program and by golly you had better call and make your contribution right now because you owe it to yourself and to us to do it. Make that call. Give a lot. 471-6291 Call now, the time is just about up.
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And again, this is your last chance to call. Transform yourself, become a KUT member, come on. [Music] You'll feel so different after you've pledged. 471-6291.
Terence, can we get you to read out our pledge numbers for us. Terence McKenna inviting you to become a KUt member and you're so good with numbers...
TM: 471-6291 pledge now, hurry up please, it's time.
RH: And what if they're out of town is there a 1 888 number they can call?
TM: There is, you can call if you're out of town 1-888-471-6291 do it now.
RH: Thank you, Terence McKenna. This is KUT Austin, KUTX San Angelo. I've had fun this week and I love you all. I want to thank you for calling, but if you haven't, by golly, you better do it right now. Yeah, you can use the phone right now. 471-6291. Yeah, we're in a hurry we gotta get out of here. 471-6291. Come on.