Here are some of my favorite interviews with me that are available on the web today. While it’s generally unfashionable, I like the interview format. For one thing, you get the persons voice unimpeded by any (frequently incorrect) assumptions imposed by the journalist doing the interview. Also, I think it’s sometimes good to have a prompt rather than finding some awkward way of getting to your point. Sometimes there’s more clarity in the interview than in the essay.
So here’s this dude, David Lory VanDerBeek, and he’s running for governor of Nevada. On February 23, he proudly posted a research paper he’d written in college titled Shamanistic Redemption: Entheogenic Intervention. The piece, in wooden and convoluted prose, makes an argument that psychedelics, and particularly Ayahuasca, hold a special ancient place in the human experience and that, unlike other drugs, they are redemptive and, in fact, a shamanic treatment for addiction.
OK, then. Given the unlikelihood that legal Ayahuasca (he’s for it) will be a popular issue in the upcoming Nevada Gubernatorial campaign, you have to give this fellow points for charming eccentricity (and for liking Ayahuasca!) So who is David Lory VanDerBeek and what sort of politics has his expanded awareness wrought?
Well, in the biographical section of his webpage (Wait… he and his wife look happy, but the kids look either tortured or Children of the Damned), he lets us know right off that he’s not from Kenya. Which he needs to do because Ayahuasca.
Image above: Seduction, part of the Phantom Limb Series, gsp, c. Lynn Hershman 1986
…and Spike Jonez knew all about it.
Lynn Hershman Leeson has been making art and films about the thin line between the real and the virtual for four decades. She is probably best known for two of her films — Conceiving Ada (I had a small role) (1997) and Teknolust (2002) — both starring Tilda Swinton, which explore emotions, sexuality and technology and the ways in which they converge. Around 1999, while Leeson was working on Teknolust, she contacted Spike Jonez, asked him to be in the film and introduced him to her online A.I. web bot ,“Agent Ruby.”
This interview is a combination of some text we exchanged via email recently with an interview I did with her back around 2005 for my long lost NeoFiles podcast.
The Verge, March 2013
This article, which predates the Edward Snowden affair (ongoing), seems to be getting renewed interest. One thing I would draw your attention to today is the segment that discusses the commercial availability of turnkey systems that can intercept all the communications of a medium sized country. In other words, the next revelation may be about private companies vacuuming up Big Data for their own uses, even without funding from the NSA. This, in fact, is entirely likely to be occurring. Read on…