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  • Writer's pictureArnold Schroder

#70: Social Complexity after the Machines: Interview with Dr. Shane Simonsen

(10/02/2023) Rejecting both the empty promise of a future of magically sustainable resource extraction and a return to what has already been, Dr. Shane Simonsen examines possibilities for social and ecological complexity based only on biology and the human imagination. In his Zero-Input Agriculture blog, Going to Seed podcast, and Our Vitreous Womb fiction series, Dr. Simonsen explores a set of themes strongly overlapping with those of Fight Like An Animal. He imagines futures in which the human evolutionary trend toward diminished reactive aggression has resulted in a nearly complete loss of the fear of death; hybridizes plants on his experimental farm in an effort to develop subsistence ecologies which will thrive after the age of machines, and looks for ways to condense the bewilderingly complexity of current scientific knowledge into fables or other narratives that can be concisely transmitted when the server farms die. In this episode, we talk about the long decline we are currently witnessing as an epoch of amazing opportunity for shaping the trajectory of the future; examine the frontiers of biological innovation, including his incredibly low-cost and low-tech methods; and evaluate evolution's propensity for hybridization between totally unrelated species.

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