Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Terrence McKenna Novelty Theory, 1998 1

Terence McKenna's last interview as presented by John Hazard.


We are always in awe of McKenna's genius and eloquence.  We produce this video via reality sandwich.
See These Pages: FUTURISM TECH TRENDS SINGULARITY SCIENCE CENSORSHIP SOCIAL NETWORKS eREADERS MOBILE DEVICES


Kindle eBook
Common Tech Problems,
Windows, OS X

He speaks of singularity, the I Ching, the oncoming cyborgs as well as a singularity of events leading to December 2012.

Although this video is available on a couple of other sites, we will provide something that we have not seen - a transcription of his interview.  We will also provide our own annotations in parentheses. Enjoy!

October 1998 Last Interview:
Novelty Theory
Well novelty theory is something I've been working on since the early seventies as inspired by psychedelic plant experiences in the Amazon, to attempt to look at time and really deconstruct it to understand what it is.  And this has been a wild intellectual ride leading to some easily stated conclusions.  One is, that novelty, which is my term for complexity or advanced organization, novelty increases as we approach the present moment.
Why should the universe have a preference for order over disorder, especially when we have something called the Second Law Of Thermodynamics which tells us exactly the opposite?

The universe you and I are living in is a far more novel and complicated place than the early universe was.  Well, some people say that's just a consequence of the unfolding of developmental processes.  But this asks the question, what are developmental processes?  Why should the universe have a preference for order over disorder, especially when we have something called the Second Law of Thermodynamics which tells us exactly the opposite?  Physicists believe the universe is running down ultimately into a state of disorder.
human technologies, languages, migrations, art movements, ideologies are not something different from nature, they're the same downloads of processes that we see in the movement of continents, evolution of new species of animals

But what I see, is everywhere the emergence of more and more complex forms, languages, organisms, technologies always building on the previously achieved levels of complexity.  So that was one one of my insights.  Coming out of that insight was the further understanding that this process of complexification through time is not proceeding at a steady rate.  It actually follows a kind of asymptotic curve.  In other words it's happening faster and faster.  And this was a revelation to me because it allowed me, philosophically, to contextualize the human world.  And to understand that human technologies, languages, migrations, art movements, ideologies are not something different from nature, they're the same downloads of processes that we see in the movement of continents, evolution of new species of animals except that, these human novel, emergent situations are happening much more quickly.

So I see the cosmos, if you will, as a kind of novelty producing engine, a kind of machine which produces complexity in all realms, physical, chemical, social, whatever and then uses that achieved level of complexity as the platform for further complexity.  Well, this explains our present circumstances, explains the rush towards all forms of  new technologies in social organization in the new millennium.  (We include a short video on the ideas of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and his view of the noosphere.  If you cannot see the embedded video, here is the link: http://youtu.be/eKALaL_zcmY).


But you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that if the universe is complexifying faster, an epoch, a time will come when this rate of complexification is occurring so rapidly that it will become itself the overwhelming phenomena in the world of three dimensional space and time.  I call this the omega point or the transcendental object at the end of history.    I believe it is not that far off.  With the emergence of global internet, a human population of several billions, an electronic noosphere that we are now within the shadow of this transcendental object at the end of time.  Our religions sense it, that's what gives them their apocalyptic intuitions and I think the ordinary man and woman in the street sense a kind of built-in acceleration to time itself.
We are about to become unrecognizable to ourselves as a species. Our technologies, our religions, our science has pushed us towards this for thousands of years without us awakening to what the denouement would be.

Well rather than dismissing that or reading it as psychological perception or something unique to our society, I took it as a basic perception about physics and have built elaborate, mathematically defined theories around this idea and then have found to my astonishment, incredible congruences with other work, I'm thinking of the Mayan calendar and it curious countdown type quality towards an extremely unique event, that the Maya felt would occur in the same timeframe that my own equations predicted, even though at the time, I wasn't aware of the Maya.

So what we have here is a new model of time, based on a very real intuition that I think most people share, which is, that time is speeding up, that human beings are part of that process, and that the culmination of that process, is now within the vein of historical time.  In other words, I believe it will happen in 2012, in December, co incident with the same events that the Maya placed at the end of their calendar.  Even if I am wrong, even if it's a hundred years or five hundred years later, these are spans of time that, when compared to the life of the planet, are fractions of a percentage.  So whether you believe as I do that we can know the precise moment of this transformation of the world of time or, whether you believe it is simply coming soon and fast, really does not make that much difference.  We are all gathered here at the end game of developmental processes of this planet.  We are about to become unrecognizable to ourselves as a species.  Our technologies, our religions, our science has pushed us towards this for thousands of years without us awakening to what the denouement would be.  Now we stand close enough to it, that all but the most lumpen among us, must feel the tug of the transcendental and the transformative.

No comments: