Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Doing Time

Found on the Posthuman Blues "Doing Time" re-cap page

As I write this post, I'm listening to Greg Bishop's 2006 Radio Misterioso podcast, Can Ufology Be Saved? (in two parts) featuring Paul Kimball and Mac Tonnies. Mac is currently speaking about Mars - specifically, anomalies on Mars - how timely!

It's a podcast (feed page here) I haven't heard before, found via Paul Kimball's latest post on his Tears in Rain blog. But wait, there's more. The link to this podcast is found embedded in a featured PDF file of a script for a play entitled "Doing Time", a collaboration between Paul and Mac I blogged about here in 2009. I was always curious about the content, so it was a real treat to finally read it... so, many thanks to you, Paul, for posting it!

His post also features some Doing Time production shots - more can be found on this Semaphore Theatre Company page.

Regarding the play, well it's good, unwholesome, trippy fun - kind of like Alfred Hitchcock on "Martian pharmaceuticals"...  or a collaboration between Jean Paul Sartre and Philip K. Dick. You do yourself a disservice by missing it!

Paul also recounts an earlier blog discussion with Mac in the play's introduction. Here's an excerpt from Mac's side of the equation:

"While in California I phoned an author acquaintance to say hi. We ended up talking about Kurzweilian life extension, which my friend thought indicated an unhealthy fear of death. I offered that, without definitive proof that there is an afterlife, radical life extension –perhaps via mind-uploading – is both sensible and justified. My friend, the author of a nonfiction book dealing with spiritual matters, countered that one can achieve subjective validation that consciousness is more than epiphenomenal. In other words, some aspect of our awareness persists after biological death – but, so far at least, it's impossible to prove this to anyone who hasn't experienced his own sense of cosmic rapport. Fair enough. 

So how to experience consciousness as an abiding energy (if such it is) and not merely as the output of millions of synchronized synapses? Drugs, perhaps – although I've been warned that the "tripping" experience is confused and noisy, leading to false positives and replete with neurological static. Meditation seems a better, safer route. Still, how does one know that a moment's spiritual insight is anything more than an experience cooked up by the brain as a way of appeasing our incredibly deep-seated fear of death and obliteration? Not having experienced any deep insight into the nature of consciousness, I have no choice but to remain agnostic."

Meanwhile, I'll continue listening to the podcast - it's great to hear Mac's voice again. (And, a special thanks to Greg Bishop for this cool offering from Radio Misterioso's vaults - a link will appear shortly on the sidebar of this blog!)

UPDATE 8/18/12: Paul has just announced a Doing Time film adaption!


  1. Hi Dia,

    Considering Mac was the Dick fan (I've never actually read anything by PKD), and I'm a big Sartre fan, I guess that makes me Sartre and mac Dick. Which sounds a bit weird, in a junior high school way. :-)

    Glad you liked the play. One of these days, I'll re-stage it.


    1. What, you haven't even read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" (http://www.philipkdick.com/works_novels_androids.html), the basis for "Blade Runner"? Well, you should! ;-)

      I was a Sartre fan as a teenager... always made me want to slit my throat, if I remember correctly.
      But, yeah, I think my comparison was apt - Mac (I think) would've enjoyed it.

      Meanwhile, you should definitely do more with "Doing Time"! And, If you decide to expand the extraterrestrial art angle, let me know. :-)

  2. P.S. That Radio Misterioso broadcast was as much fun as I'll ever have doing a radio show. It was also the night we first hatched the idea of the Cabal, over pie at the House of Pies. Good times.

    1. I'm not finished listening yet - but part of the charm of Greg's broadcasts is that he and his guests are obviously enjoying themselves. Good memories are fortunate ones!