Tag Archives | Interviews

Professional hoax-busters on Planned Parenthood, anti-vaxxers, and the disinformation age

I recently organized a roundtable discussion with a rumor expert, a cognitive deception researcher and skeptical investigators about their never-ending work to expose the truth at Hopes&Fears:

The Experts:

SUSAN GERBIC: Co-founder of Monterey County Skeptics, founder of Skeptic Action, leader of Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW), and a regular contributor to Skepticality and Skeptical Inquirer.

BENJAMIN RADFORD: Deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine, a Research Fellow with the non-profit Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, has written over a thousand articles on  urban legends, the paranormal and media literacy.

PETER A. HANCOCK, D.SC., PH.D.: Author of Hoax Springs Eternal: The Psychology of Cognitive Deception, a book that defines and explains cognitive deception and explores its prominent potential historical instances.

GARY FINE PH.D.: American sociologist and author, cowrote the book Whispers on the Color Line: Rumor and Race in America,  areas of research involve the contemporary legend, particularly political and economic rumor.

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Apocalypse Now: The Changing Face of Mass Destruction

Nora Khan via Hopes&Fears:

Living in the 21st-century global pantheon means we live alongside unprecedented existential risks, which can come from above and below, from outside and from within. Scientists, scholars, policymakers, defense strategists, risk analysts and experts in nearly every field have been organizing themselves around the issue of looming catastrophe. In this spirit, let’s take a clear-headed look at the nuclear, chemical, biological, and ecological perils that might befall us in the not-too-distant future.

The cover of The Boston Globe’s Business Section recently described think tanks devoted to predicting technological doomsday scenarios that might close out the Anthropocene. They included the Pardee Center for the Study for the Longer-Range Future at Boston University, which looks at global climate change, and the Future of Life Institute—funded in part by Elon Musk—which focuses on nuclear weaponization, biotechnology, and military AI. The Global Catastrophe Risk Institute, based in cities around the world, is comprised of a worldwide network of scholars and risk analysts thinking through threats to human civilization.… Read the rest

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Ray Bradbury on Madmen

“Nobody else is going to give a damn what you’re doing, so you need a few other people like yourself”
— Ray Bradbury as told to two college kids on road trip in 1972

In the autumn of 2012, Lisa Potts rediscovered — literally, behind her dresser — a taped cassette of a long-lost interview with author Ray Bradbury that she made as a college student journalist back in 1972.

The recording was made in a car plying the Los Angeles freeways between Bradbury’s home in West L.A. and Chapman College in Orange County. Potts and a fellow student named Chadd Coates were taking Bradbury to present a lecture. Bradbury had a lot of advice for Lisa and Chadd.

On tape we get to hear Bradbury telling the students about the keys to friendship, why he was afraid of himself and would never drive, his keys to writing and telling a story, why Mars was the center of his fascination, what’s the secret to love, and why he called himself “a madman”.… Read the rest

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Breaking Up the Narrative: the 2015 Philip K. Dick Film Festival

FilmFestivalDaniel Abella is the founder and director behind the Philip K. Dick International Film Festival, which just held its third annual event this January at Tribeca Cinemas, NYC. I spoke with him about Philip K. Dick’s ongoing, reality-bending influence on cinematic expression.

J: What compelled you to start a Philip K. Dick film festival?

D: I have been a big fan of Philip K. Dick since learning he was compared to Jorge Luis Borges by Ursula LeGuin. After reading VALIS, Ubik and The Divine Invasion, I found a writer of great depth approaching some modern day philosophers. Philip K. Dick represents a distinctive voice that speaks of a bygone era in science fiction where humanity is prized and valued. My first film feature The Final Equation(1) was inspired by Philip K Dick’s mind bending 2-3-74 experience of meeting an alien intelligence he called VALIS. Based upon the good reception of the film it occurred to me that other filmmakers may want a forum to express their ideas and stories.… Read the rest

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Hail Satan Your Own Way


Satanists are nonconformists. We all know that. So when most of us think “Satanic music,” we think of Satanic death metal. However, there are quite a few musicians that Hail Satan in a different way.

Satanism is based on individualism, epicureanism, and an “eye for an eye” morality. So it just stands to reason that a lot of Satanic bands don’t follow the leader when it comes to what it means to play music influenced by Satan.

The High Priest of the church of Satan, Magus Peter H. Gilmore studied music at NYU and holds a B.S. and M.A. degree in composition. He listens exclusively to classical music and film scores. He is most intrigued by the work of Mahler, Bruckner, Shostakovich, Vaughan Williams, Brahms, Sibelius and Beethoven.

The above maestros influence what he composes.

His works are piano, voice, instrumental ensembles—some of which he has realized with synthesizers and samplers.… Read the rest

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Project Bring Me to Life Podcast Interviews Nick Meador

On episode #5 of the Project Bring Me to Life Podcast, host Selomon and co-host Nick Mielnicki interview Nick Meador about his work as a facilitator and writer. Throughout the 90 minute discussion they touch on Process Work (or process-oriented psychology), Meador’s book project about the life and work of “Beat Generation” author Jack Kerouac, body awareness, ecstatic dance, dream interpretation, transformational festivals, and more.

Nick Meador facilitates self-development training on communication and awareness within a supportive community-building space.

He uses a type of psychology called Process Work plus Nonviolent Communication. Check out his group Dreaming Feeling Background for more information.

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Interview with David Lynch – Transcendental Meditation, “True Detective,” and More

"David Lynch (cropped edit)" by Sasha Kargaltsev - http://www.flickr.com/photos/kargaltsev/3603597312/. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“David Lynch (cropped edit)” by Sasha Kargaltsev. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Daily Beast just ran an awesome interview with David Lynch. I’ve pulled some snippets here, but you should read the whole thing if you’re a Lynch fan!

via The Daily Beast:

I just saw your fantastic ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video.

[Laughs] Oh. Great trumpet playing, huh? I had to do two buckets because two people challenged me, so I thought it should have some music to it. And I’m agreat trumpet player. And for some reason, I wanted to nominate Vladimir Putin. He might want to take part in helping some people.

Were there some demons you were dealing with when you turned to TM? You started on Eraserhead in ’72, and I understand that was a very fraught production early on.

You don’t have to be in bad shape.

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Harmony Korine Interviews Kenneth Anger

Picture of Harmony Korine via Creative Commons.

Picture of Harmony Korine via Creative Commons.

Sorry about having two Harmony Korine posts in one day, but I couldn’t wait to share this one. In the interview, Kenneth Anger touches upon his beliefs in Thelema, his filmmaking style, the missing Malaysian plane, and more.

via Interview Magazine:

To describe Kenneth Anger as a “cult filmmaker” seems requisite but incomplete. The 87-year-old native Angeleno is indeed the writer and director of the surrealist shortsInauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954-66), Scorpio Rising (1963), and Lucifer Rising (1970-81)—some of the wildest and most profoundly influential experimental films of the last century. But his salacious narrative history of the industry, Hollywood Babylon, originally published in 1960, is also kitsch-famous, a kind of gossip gospel in the land of holy celebrity. His film and video works are in the permanent collections of various museums of modern art. And he is also the most famous living practitioner of Thelema—the ritual-based doctrine dictated to Aleister Crowley by the spiritual messenger Aiwass.

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The Delightful Art of the Macabre: An Interview With Gigi DeLuxe and Ugly Shyla

(L) Gigi Deluxe (R) Ugly Shyla. Gigi pic (c). Ugly Shyla Pic courtesy of Alas Vera.

(L) Gigi DeLuxe (R) Ugly Shyla. Gigi pic courtesy of the artist (c). Ugly Shyla Pic courtesy of Alas Vera (c).

Gigi Deluxe and Ugly Shyla made names for themselves as artists who give us a glimpse into the macabre and delightfully dark corners of art. Their work grants us a perspective into subject matter that is often imitated, never replicated. Gigi DeLuxe lives in Chicago, where she is a tattoo artist, painter and jeweler. Ugly Shyla originally hails from Louisiana and has now moved to Austin, Texas, where she continues to craft dolls and jewelry.

Aonie Anfa: What is your personal mission statement or mantra as an artist? Both of you work in the realm of the occult or traffic in the delightfully strange. What recurring themes or images present themselves in your work and how do those subjects resonate with you personally?

Gigi DeLuxe: I don’t have a personal mission statement or mantra but I do have a favorite quote from Gustave Flaubert that I set as an ideal goal for my daily life.… Read the rest

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DragonCon 2013 Exclusive: The Transmedia of Tomorrow

Exclusive: DragonCon 2013 – The Transmedia of Tomorrow: The Art That Lies To Tell The Truth

01-dragonconlogoFiction and non-fiction, fact and myth, often aren’t opposites.

These lines blend a little more every day. When these things play such a crucial role in our news as well as entertainment media, and in a world where social media platforms are often at the front lines of cultural revolutions, it is increasingly necessary that these things are understood. Join us for a discussion on this topic, along with links to a variety of articles that expand upon and support the limited amount that can be discussed in a 45 minute panel.

This three person panel is a truncated transcript of the initial Dragon*Con discussion, moderated by David Metcalfe. The other two participants were transmedia artist James Curcio and Damien Williams, who you may have caught at one of many other panels at Dragon*Con this year including “How To Be a Comics Scholar,” “Devouring Selfhood: Zombies In Narrative,” “Gender, Race, and Identities in Comics,” and many others.  Read the rest

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