🍿🦖👾 Join me tonight for a discussion and viewing party on the analog-digital transition!
PLUS: 📚 "The End of The World?" — Jurassic Park Book Club recording & breakdown
Join us tonight on Zoom at 4pm Pacific/7pm Eastern to talk about the Jurassic Park franchise's role in society's analog-digital transition! A talk, discussion, and viewing party at the nexus of genetic engineering, information technology, computer graphics, gaming, amusement park robotics, mixed reality, and epistemic crisis — all driven by people's inability to resist the thrill of escaped-dinosaur carnage.
Tonight starts with a short lecture followed by round-table discussion, and then we will watch the superb finale of Light and Magic "No More Pretending You're Dinosaurs" (available on Disney+), a fascinating documentary on how Jurassic Park changed the landscape of cinematic VFX.
This is a standalone part of my six-week course at Nura Learning. Participation is free but I'm immensely grateful to anyone who chooses to chip in with a sliding-scale donation. If you can’t make it, I’ll share recordings with Substack and Patreon supporters later. Enrolled participants can also access ongoing discussion in a private forum and explore a trove of related links and discussion in the Future Fossils Discord Server.
For those who have time beforehand, I recommend W.J.T. Mitchell's essay, The Work of Art in The Age of Biocybernetic Reproduction. And for bonus points, you might want to get ahead of our schedule by a week and read The Evolution of Surveillance, which chronicles my reflections on how Google Glass and Jurassic World augmented reality games fit into a much more ancient story about the evolution of intelligence as it unfolds through predator-prey arms races.
Hope to see you on the call tonight!
📚 For Patrons: “The End of The World?” — Call Recording & Reflections from The Future Fossils Jurassic Park Book Club
✨ Chapters & Topics:
Breakdown generated by Podium, which I heartily recommend:
(0:00:01) - Jurassic Park and Paradigm Shifts
Exploring the tension between creator and created and science's inability to address the misuse of power, and contrasting Jurassic Park with the Unabomer’s manifesto.
(0:06:44) - Hybrid Monsters & Metastatic Franchises
Comparing Jurassic Park compared to Jurassic World, discussing potential risks of data access, and exploring the ever-expanding Jurassic franchise.
(0:12:53) - Capitalism & Jurassic World
On how John Hammond's portrayal reflects 'settler colonialism' and 'ethic of care', while exploring the 'privatization of science' and 'internet of things.’
(0:29:35) - Science and Institutions in Society
Reflecting on hunter-gatherer lifestyles, capitalism, exponential growth, and their effects on science and modern institutions.
(0:38:50) - Modern Society and Technology's Impact
William Irwin Thompson's four-part hunting party model, Ralph Abraham and chaos theory, The Panic of 1837, Lewis Hyde's Common As Air, and tech’s impact on society.
(0:51:45) - Endless Conspiracy Remixing and Information Overload
The Internet, technology, Flat Earth Society, confirmation bias, motivated reasoning, personalized LLMs, argument making, and egregores.
(0:58:15) - Dinosaur Representations and Delinquent Behavior
Comparing T. rex representations, discussing Dr. Herculano-Hausul's study of the Tyrannosaur brain (1, 2), reflecting on the accuracy of Prehistoric Planet, and the humanization of Velociraptors.
(1:15:03) - The Circus & Pre-/Post-Industrial Society
W.I.T.’s riffs on Dickens and the circus as a community for misfits, reflecting ancient concepts in literature, films, and pre-industrial societies.
(1:19:12) - The Nomad Lifestyle and Artistic Expression
Vagabonds, art, film, spiritual practice, Chris Ryan & David Graeber, the nomadic lifestyle, Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds', and fractals