Rebirth of Psychedelic Futurism?

February 5th, 2004 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized


Let’s hope so! The future as told through the present has been awfully grim lately. In the US pessimism is fashionable once again (ironically Japanese futurism is enjoying a renaissance of optimism). Plenty of experts are warning us of impending catastrophe. It’s not uncommon these days to hear the average soothsayer predicting we have less than a 50% of making it through the next 100 years. You even have technophiles like Bill Joy keeps saying the future doesn’t need us anymore. History I’m sure will judge it more a symptom of 9/11 pathology than a clear view of the future.

In these “post 9/11 times”, Utopian thinking is considered fanciful, useless, even dangerous. At this point most people are simply afraid to think much of anything else. They are afraid of bogey men like Bin Laden, of the next terrorist strike, or that the future won’t include them. They have forgotten how to imagine a hopeful, positive, life-affirming future. Yet obviously that is exactly what we need. The future does need us, now more than ever!

The more optimistic our outlook is, the more likely we are to be on the lookout for solutions. The future has yet to be created, so I see no reason why we shouldn’t put all our efforts towards creating the most fantastic and hopeful future we can imagine.

I do understand this malaise. For me personally it started during the 80’s when the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded. Exploding along with that shuttle were all my dreams and goals inspired of going into space. Inspired by the Apollo program when I was a kid and later by the Space Colony prospects outlined by Gerald K. O’Neil, I figured I’d be living at L5 by now. Three weeks after the Columbia accident I received my termination notice from NASA, where I was working on a student cooperative, Around this time, the war on some drugs escalated, which was really a war against hippie culture first started by Nixon. So here I was watching both high frontiers (outer and inner) being closed down around me. During the rest of the 80’s we had Reaganomics, dystopian cyberpunk, and just all around bad news. Then in the middle 90’s, things started to pick up again with Wired Magazine and the birth of the World Wide Web. But then by 2001, it all came falling back to earth again with the dot-com crash and 9-11. Well, it’s time for another kick in the pants optimistic visionary quest.

When I dream at night, those wonderfully lucid flying dreams that I have often, I recall all of those wild-eyed, trippy, fantastically fun and pleasure filled dreams of far-out futuristic possibilities. And it got me wondering about bringing those types of visions to reality somehow. A vision to share with others. With everything going on now, I feel an inexorable drive to create more than ever before. It feels almost like a moral imperative. Perhaps if I can network with other sufficiently tuned-in minds on the planet I can least find some kindred spirits who share a vision of a much better future. A future where fun, pleasure, love and peace are pervasive – space colonies, interstellar pleasure cruise ships, orgasmatrons, sexy computers voices and intimate zero-gravity environments. And for those of you who haven’t heard of Ian Banks, I highly suggest you read his books about The Culture, a website I host on this server. Its my hope that this site will evolve into a compelling vision that will inspire people to rebirth the future anew. A refreshing, positive, life-affirming, creatively spirited future we can look forward to again. Remember, we create the future, so lets get started.


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2 Responses

  • ABliss says:

    I know I said only yesterday that I am willing to contribute to but I have now concluded that I am not as like-minded about the future.

    I don’t celebrate the future, rather thinking of the future makes me shudder. My dreams are a little different. I see attacks, suffering, scarcity, and more deceit. I feel that contributing to this site would be helping to obscure reality.

    I see you, many other Americans and heaps of others dealing with denial in a big way. I don’t believe thinking positive helps at all. I’m more interested in waking people up, to their misguided folly. I know you will not take it personally cause it is just a disagreement.

    Are you still planning on having Planet P as a personal blog?

    • paul says:

      Sorry to hear you think I’m living in denial. If you have followed my site for the past two years, you will see that I am very well aware of all the dangers we face, and there have been times that I have come close to throwing the towel in my self. But the future starts with you and me. And if we want a better future, then we better work to CREATE one fast.

      If you have not read Bucky Fuller then I highly recommend you do so as soon as possible. Good books to start with are:

      Manual for Spaceship Earth
      Utopia or Oblivion
      Grunch of Giants

      In these books Bucky addresses with utter seriousness the problems and dangers we are facing as a species – energy and resource depletion/shortages, war, famine, disease, overcrowding, overpopulation, pollution, ecological ruin, corruption, power hoarding… you name it. And he concludes quite simply that all of these problems can be solved with a Design Science Revolution. And here is the clincher, according to Bucky, we don’t have an energy or resource or pollution crisis, we have a:

      Crisis of Ignorance and lack of imagination.

      Imagination applied intelligently can solve all the worlds problems. According to Bucky, we could feed, house and cloth 20 Billion people on spaceship earth, while retaining complete health of the biosphere, using 1970 technology. So it all comes down to not a lack of know how, but a lack of VISION, IMAGINATION and WILL. And that is precisely what I’m trying to provide with this site.

      I will continue to blog on my personal site, although based on the urgency our planet is in, I’m going to be spending more time waking people up out of their negative world views using this site as my mouthpiece. Obviously I’m looking for other positive conspirators to help me with this endeavor. 🙂

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