The next installment of my Shadow History of Burners series with Jan Irvin is now out.
Previous episodes under Shadow History
In part 2, we lay out some of the Where and When of this story. It’s free, amateur content, based on Open Source Intelligence. Please forgive some minor slips of the tongue; references for the claims are in the notes to each slide.
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Another interview from Grover Norquist, in what looks like a summertime ski lift. The Grove is now a “Burning Man aficionado” after attending once by private plane and staying up til 2:30am on a couple of occasions. He said he did not witness a single intoxicated person at Burning Man, even though he delivered a lecture on Psychedelics and hung out mostly at the Absinthe bar. His outrageous costume was a Moroccan man-dress and a Russian military uniform he got from his spooky activities in Afghanistan.
Is this a case of the right wing trying to appropriate left wing culture, to try to be cool? These guys sure think so:
Fusion produced this video showing Grover in action gifting Cuban cigars, lip balm and Nutella on the Playa. He’s so cool that he’s drinking the Kool Aid, and wants to come back with his political dream team.
From New York magazine:
It’s a hell-hot Friday afternoon, and conservative anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and I are walking down a dusty footpath at Burning Man, the annual New Age festival held in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. As we stroll past rows of parked RVs on Gold Street, we pass a large tent that advertises “Free Taint Washes.” A man approaches us from inside, carrying a jug of water with a misting attachment.
“Would you like a spray?” the man asks.
“Not today,” Norquist says.
The man smiles. “Well, would you like a taint wash?”
Norquist has been at Burning Man for less than a day, but he’s already learning lots of new things — including the word taint, which, after a moment of confusion, he asks me to define. (Hmm, how to put this to the godfather of modern American conservatism?) Sheepishly, I inform him that it’s the colloquial term for the patch of skin between the genitals and the anus, properly known as the perineum. People call it the taint, I say, because it taint one part and it taint the other, either.
“Okay, I did not know that,” Norquist says. “Is that a recent slang?”
We continue down the path, past a “shaman dome” and a 22-foot-tall sculpture of a penis entitled “The Divine Masculine.” Nearby, a topless woman rides by on a fur-festooned bicycle. The oontz-oontz of house music reverberates in all directions. It’s a much different scene than you’d find at the offices of Americans for Tax Reform, the influential right-wing organization Norquist leads, but he seems charmed rather than frightened.
“If you had 500 people get together and [they did] something like this, that would be impressive,” he says, surveying the blocks full of elaborately decorated theme camps. “But seventy thousand?”
Further down the path, while Norquist is making a point about the evils of labor unions, a man in a fedora runs over to meet us … (He is possibly very stoned.) “Gentlemen, I’m coming here to get some news on the report,” he says. After an awkward silence, the man whirls away and shouts, “Now watch me get run over — it’s going to be modern art!”
“Did you know that guy?” Norquist asks…
Grover lets the hidden agenda slip:
In the long run, Norquist thinks that the high-profile regulatory struggles of tech companies like Uber and Airbnb could help the GOP attract young Silicon Valley voters if it positions itself as the innovation-friendly party.
But really, he’s just there to party party. Sure he is.
…enough about politics — Norquist is here to have his mind blown…he periodically stops to admire the roadside attractions: a golf cart decorated to look like a gumball machine; an antique car with a “Nixon/Agnew” bumper sticker; a geodesic dome. We pass HeeBeeGeeBee Healers, a camp that puts on daily spiritual healing workshops where attendees are asked to chant like monkeys.
“Is that the gong one?” Norquist says with a laugh. “I saw an advertisement for a place where you lie down and they hit gongs near you and they can cure your appendicitis or something.”
Norquist is still getting used to Burning Man’s quirky traditions — for starters, he doesn’t yet have a “playa name,” the nickname given to first-time Burners as a rite of passage. (“I went through eight years of the Bush administration without a nickname,” he says. “I think Grover is sufficiently unique.”)
[Source: New York]
Read the full interview here.
There’s big elections coming up in 2016, and Burners are an attractive little bubble of voters for politicians to reach. Maybe if we’re lucky this year Hillary, Jeb, and Trump will all bring their planes and give interviews too, with paparazzi standing by to record the evidence of them actually Gifting and Participating and being all Radical. Of course, we’d have to turn the music down.
A couple of months ago, I was listening to the Joe Rogan podcast, and heard an amazing tale from Burning Man. Joe, who is a very public advocate for hallucinogenic drugs, was interviewing Dr Bruce Damer, a long time Burner (’99). He was recommended as a guest for Joe by Dennis McKenna, whose brother Terence was called the Patron of Psychedelic Drugs in his New York Times obituary – Timothy Leary called him “the Timothy Leary of the 90’s”.
Dr Damer, a technologist and virtual world pioneer, gives seminars at the Pentagon, as well as lecturing Burners on psychedelic drugs.
They kick the podcast off with the “craziest story of all time”, which Bruce Damer originally told to Boing Boing, about being at Burning Man during Hurricane Katrina and hacking into military/intelligence satellites to watch the action:
JR: “You were partying at Burning Man with people who work at the Pentagon”
JR: “That gives me great discomfort, to know that people who work in the Pentagon are partying at Burning Man”
BD: “Rocking! We called for Blackhawks…
Our camp was doing the Wi-Fi for the public and emergency networks, the private network…we had a dish, so we could take over satellites. One of our guys took over a recon satellite from the National Reconnaissance Office. He took this thing offline – this was a Pentagon move…Our Pentagon satellite phone rang, the general on the other side was saying “what’s going on” and then instructed the guy not to answer. We then had control of this satellite and could watch Katrina come in. The government wasn’t doing anything to help people, with all this equipment.
He worked on the Asian tsunami relief efforts, then he went straight to Afghanistan, then he went to Baghdad, then he came to Burning Man.
He works under Title 10 money doing extreme comms, extreme emergency relief efforts. This guy’s invented all this technology, cellphones in rubberized cases that come down on parachutes and run for a month… Here we have a natural disaster happening in our own country, barreling in. Nobody at Burning Man knows it’s happening, but we watched it come in.
You could watch video from orbit on this guy’s screen. You could watch people walking…we saw the first levee breach on this guy’s screen at Burning Man…hi-res reconnaissance imagery…the Iridium phone kept ringing. This is an innovative genius type guy that is totally respected in that organization. The general that initiated the enquiry was covering him, so that the general could then contact Space Command and say “I can’t get any information”. He had put the satellite in some kind of failsafe fall-back mode, so they would spend the next several days trying to get back into it…we could burn hydrazine and locate stuff on the Playa.”
The whole podcast is worth listening to. Dr Damer gave a lecture at Burning Man in 2012 about shamans, the Pentagon and NASA at the Palenque Norte Psychedelic Salon.
The Palenque Norte journey began with the legendary Entheobotany Conferences held at the Chan Kah hotel near the ancient Mayan ruins just outside of Palenque, Mexico. There, Terence McKenna, Jonathan Ott, Ann & Sasha Shulgin, and a host of other psychedelic luminaries passed along many insights, discoveries, and wild tales to the fortunate Tribe members who were there. And it was at the end of the pool where Terence McKenna gave some of his last talks at the Chan Kah. Years later, then in 2003, a few alumni from those conferences decided to have a “Palenque reunion” at the Burning Man Festival, and so they organized a lecture series to continue the Palenque tradition.
Bruce Damer takes the 2012 Palenque Norte audience at the Burning Man Festival on a far flung journey into what he calls his practice of “global multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-technic shamanism” where you “put yourself on the shelf” and dive deeply into the worlds of Pentagon think tanks, NASA mission designers, the tribal cultures of Pakistan, the Swiss [bankers], Egyptologists, IT professionals, and Christian Evangelicals, to come back with the true alchemical gold. With apologies to Terence McKenna, he says “there is no dominator culture” and that if we aren’t careful we can collectively fall for cartoon epistemologies, chase chains of weaker and weaker claims, and become a victims of our own delusions, and fall prey to others’ unsubstantiated theories. Bruce advises everyone to become their own best skeptic and develop “critical intelligence”. If someone says something that strikes you as flaky or just doesn’t feel right, Bruce suggests that you think it through before you pass on their meme.
So this is the type of people at Burning Man. It’s not all drugged up hippies looking for an orgy. Some of them advise the Pentagon and NASA. Some of them can hack military/intelligence satellites, and get Generals to cover for them. Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, General Wesley Clark, is now a Burner. He ran for President, as did Denis Kucinich who attended for the first time this year.
Burning Man takes place on former military land. Many of the people who played key roles in its early years have a military/intelligence background.
Blackhawks on the Playa would not have been a big deal. Every year, military aircraft fly overhead. It is close to Naval Air Station Fallon.
Other aircraft spotted flying over Burning Man over the years include Chinooks, F-14’s, F-16’s, F-18’s, F-22’s, C-130’s, even a flight of V-22 Osprey tilt-rotors.
Pacific Standard magazine published a great story last year by Brian Calvert, The Merry Pranksters Who Hacked The Afghan War, about the Synergy Strike Force – Burners who have serious juice in the military/intelligence world.
Their leader, Dr Dave Warner, is described as:
a former U.S. Army drill instructor, self-avowed “hippie doctor,” PhD neuroscientist, technotopian idealist, dedicated Burner, dabbler in psychedelics, insatiable meddler, and (weirdest of all) defense contractor.
For a long time, the Taj Guest House was about the only place you could get a beer in Jalalabad. The provincial capital, about 30 miles from the infamous mountains of Tora Bora, has been the main staging ground for U.S.-led forces in the eastern part of Afghanistan since the early days of the war. When I showed up in the city in November 2011 to report on the propaganda efforts of a franchising Taliban, I found myself at the Taj. There wasn’t much to the pub—just a bamboo-covered bar, a fireplace, a glass-fronted cooler with some Heineken stacked inside, and a few bottles of vodka and other spirits lined up under the red glow of a lamp.
Plus there was an odd little sign: “We share information, communication, (and beer).”
…Looking like a cross between a mountaineer and a mathematician, he had a salt-and-pepper beard and curly hair that hung down to his shoulders, and he favored a uniform of black polo shirts over tied-dyed tees. His name was Dr. Dave Warner.
War zones attract a lot of sketchy characters. In Afghanistan and Iraq, where defense contractors have generally outnumbered soldiers on the ground, the cast of extras has been especially sprawling and inscrutable—security experts, mercenaries, aid workers, engineers, intelligence types, and consultants of every kind. It was just a guess, but given the array on the roof, I took Warner and his team for spooks of some kind.
I was at best half right in my guess about Warner’s occupation. He did indeed work for U.S. intelligence sometimes, he explained, but he wasn’t a spy. On principle, he refused to get a security clearance, out of a belief in something he called “radical inclusion.” The most valuable information in a conflict or disaster zone, he said, was information that could be shared with everybody.
The term radical inclusion stopped me. I recognized it from the summer of 1998, when I had gone to Burning Man, the hedonistic-fire-worshipper-art-festival that occurs every summer in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Radical inclusion is one of the event’s “Ten Principles.” When I mentioned this, Warner’s eyes lit up. He dug into his T-shirt and pulled out a shining Burning Man medallion. “Dude,” he said, grinning in the firelight. “This is a Burner bar.”
Warner’s entire team – which he called, in all seriousness, the Synergy Strike Force—had just attended Burning Man that summer. He himself had been attending annually since 2002. And the bar, it turned out, was his bar…It was not only a place to drink and flop but also a kind of grand social experiment—an outpost of the Burning Man ethos in the Afghan desert…
The war effort, in short, was sophisticated when it came to deploying lethal hardware like drones, but clumsy in just about every other way. A few people in the upper echelons of the command structure were painfully aware of this. Warner knew because he had their ear. He had connections in the Defense Intelligence Agency, the CIA, the Army Special Forces, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He also knew what an unlikely figure he cut—a Burner among bureaucrats. When I asked him later why the Department of Defense had turned to him, he shook his head and laughed. “Oh,” he said, “they’re fucking desperate.”…
Eric Rasmussen, one of Warner’s early sponsors at DARPA, has come away similarly awed by the doctor’s capacities. “I was taught by multiple Nobel Prize winners, and Dave is the equal of any of them in intelligence,” Rasmussen told me. Warner has been “trendsetting for a number of very forward-thinking organizations, like the Strategic Studies Group for the Chief of Naval Operations, like DARPA, like the Office of Naval Research,” among others. “He has shaped curriculum for the Marine Corps. He has influenced curriculum for National Defense University. He is a remarkable intellectual force who has managed to hold on to his idealism through everything.” What’s more, he has done it all without a security clearance. “And that,” Rasmussen said, “if you remember the kind of work that he does—and for whom—is astonishing.”…
I was just beginning to get used to his way of talking, which alternated between turgid military jargon and gonzo flights of fancy. (“I’m dismantling the Death Star,” he told me later, “to build solar ovens for the Ewoks.”)…
The group was also engaged in various maker-ish side projects worthy of Burning Man. Gold was busy building a methane generator from PVC pipe and an old oil drum. The design, popular among self-sufficiency buffs on the Internet, allows you to filter the gasses that come off human waste into pure methane, which can be used as a fuel source…
Last summer at Burning Man, members of the team gathered once again, and Warner invited me to join them. So I headed out to the Black Rock Desert and pitched a small tent next to Warner’s giant RV. He came out of nowhere, from the dust and the wind, as I was struggling with some rigging for a tarp. He was drinking a beer, wearing a tied-dyed shirt and cutoff jean shorts, with a tie-dyed bandana on his head and another around his neck. “We’re going to the temple,” he said, “for a service.”…
Warner gathered with other members of the Synergy Strike Force. He nailed a pakul hat to the wall, hung an Afghan scarf around it, and added a Synergy Strike Force patch. Around us, Burners wept and prayed. And at the end of the festival, the temple was burned to the ground, with everything in it.
Read the full story here, it’s a great read. Dr Dave Warner sounds like a hero to me. Definitely in the running for the “best Burner” prize.
Here are some links to other stories about the Synergy Strike Force:
Their online hub, with links to many more photos, is at reachback.org
Peace Intelligence. That seems like something that the world could use a lot more of. Sadly, the Synergy Strike Force’s Afghanistan operations have now stopped, due to lack of funding (they needed about $5,000 a month for their Internet connection). Now THAT would have been a good use of the non-profit Burning Man Project’s $30 million annual budget.
We’re building an artificial god. A digitally constructed consciousness simulator, with sensors absorbing all the world’s data, monitoring and tracking our every move, connected to hundreds of acres of powerful computer farms running Artificial Intelligence algorithms.
Ask Siri “are you listening?”, and see what she says. She’s listening alright, in fact she’s completely fascinated. Siri got her name from SRI, Stanford Research Institute, the top secret Bay Area military contractor that developed the technology before spinning it out to Apple to pump out to the masses.
Understanding speech in most languages is now easy for these giant server farms that have the power to listen to every conversation in the world at once. The words themselves don’t even matter as much as the metadata which logs where you go and who you interact with. The capabilities of this system now include facial and voiceprint analysis. They can recognize who you really are, even if you’re disguised; they can tell if you’re lying or afraid. Are you happy and ready to buy something, or vulnerable and could use a kind word from someone who seems to care? They read our emails to sell us products. They control our news feeds, and the talking points in our media, feeding us a steady diet of information specially chosen for us by The Machine.
The new model for electronic organization of the masses is a hive, where we all connect to and work for the Queen Bee, even if we never get to interact with her. We’re just all happy swarming around in our digital hive together, oblivious to life away from our swarm of like-minded groupthink collaborators, popping pills and dropping tabs and smoking blunts and being entranced by the spectacle and the carnival and the electronic assault of sound waves and flashing lights, hot fire and bare flesh.
Those who are engineering this new digital god to be our Master also believe in transhumanism, the idea that humans will merge with machines and become a new, superior species. This species will be the apex predator on the planet, meaning that humans without the resources to merge with
SkyNet The Matrix will become more like animals, livestock to be milked in virtual electronic tax farms, drones to be exploited for the good of The Collective.
Who is building this Artificial Cyber-god? Google, Facebook, and the Military/Intelligence conglomerate, if you understand history. Or, if you don’t: Burning Man. Burning Man is behind it all, the brains and power of Silicon Valley.
Well, that’s the argument of cyber philosopher Alexander Bard, who has a book coming out in a couple of weeks called Syntheism – Creating God In The Digital Age.
from The Huffington Post (emphasis and editing ours):
Having finalised The Futurica Trilogy with my co-writer Jan Söderqvist five years ago, I thought I had pretty much said what could be said about the Internet revolution from a cyberphilosopher’s perspective. Mission accomplished. However this was before I attended Burning Man – the world’s biggest and most famous participatory festival – in the Nevada desert in the United States. There and then I realised what was obvious for me as an outsider looking in: Burning Man is the first obvious example of how the Internet is manifesting itself in the physical rather than the virtual world. The festival may be an exact copy of the Internet, but it comes in physical shape and form (check Google Earth to see for yourself). The theme of our new, fourth book was obviously right before my eyes. Why is this huge and influential phenomenon happening now, and what are the hidden forces behind it?
Interestingly, to the 70,000-plus participants, Burning Man is nothing less than a sacred activity on holy ground. The counterculture festival can fittingly be described as a hajj to Mekka or pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Silicon Valley web entrepreneus. There would hardly have been any Google, Facebook or Twitter as we know them without this event. So if we are to understand the current Internet revolution and its enormous effects on society and ourselves, we have to understand Burning Man and its over 30 fast expanding spin-offs around the world. Learning from participatory culture is key to understanding the future of everything. And this has to start with the insight that what goes on here is, for lack of a better term, actually a fast growing religious phenomenon.
Today’s digital natives have grown up online and consequently consider the online world to be primary while the physical world is secondary, the exact opposite of their parents’ priorities. No matter how much the older generation moralises against this shift of world view, the younger generation will win out simply because it has become more rewarding and relevant to view the virtual world as the real one. And learning from history, there is no turning back. However this does not mean that the physical world is of no interest to the digital natives. Rather it is now viewed with a completely different set of glasses, mainly as a playground where virtual fantasies can be be staged.
The physical world has become a second added reality, but with the Internet generation’s obsession with co-creation and participatory culture at the forefront. Welcome to the world of Syntheism, the proper term for this new world view and social movement. The digital natives have thrown away their parents’ individualism and atomism, and replaced the old Cartesian word view with a metaphysical system of relationalism and network dynamics. Everything from the new physics to new political movements, calling for environmentalism and digital integrity, originate from and is immersed with this new metaphysical conviction.
All we had to do as philosophers was to pull the rabbit out of the hat and formulate Syntheism – meaning God can be created rather than any God who has created us – as the religion of choice for the Internet generation. In historical terms, Syntheism is the overcoming of the old and tired divide between theism and atheism. First as practice, now also as theory. The result is our new book Syntheism – Creating God in The Internet Age. And we are certainly not alone, serious thinkers like Simon Critchley and Quentin Meillassoux and pop philosophers like Sam Harris and Alain de Botton have recently and successfully adressed the very same issue. We tap into a qide and urgent need for a new spirituality beyond Christianity and New Age. What nobody foresaw though was that the Internet itself would be both the tool and the metaphor for this movement.
The dramatic effects this revolution will have on communication and the workplace can not be overestimated. The Individual is dead, long live the Swarm. Everything important from now on will be about interactivity, co-creation, collaboration (a loved child is given many names), and it will first and foremost be a cultural rather than a technological shift. Sure, this shift is based on tehnological change, but it is fundamentally cultural nevertheless. Teaching armies of professional communicators to communicate with friends rather than to shout at strangers is in itself an enormous challenge (do they even have any friends to begin with?). Corporations still spend hundreds of billions of dollars on advertising in 2014, despite the fact that the proper word for advertising online is spam and we all hate it and instantly throw it away.
The only chance to survive in this new environment is to learn and adapt fast or else become irrelevant and die. And the key to understanding this paradigm shift lies within the fastest growing and most important online community in the world, Burning Man and its many spin-offs. Perhaps we are the first philosophers to take this huge phenomenon seriously. But we will certainly not be the last. How many close friends do you have who live and work in Silicon Valley? How many burns have you and your closest friends attended? Today those questions determine how much power and influence you exert on the world. And on your very own future.
Basically, what he’s saying is: “Your future depends on going to Burning Man. Your only chance to survive. The digital world is primary, if you are not Liked on social media then you are irrelevant and will die. To get power and influence over the world, you must go to Burning Man. Burning Man is the fastest growing and most important online community in the world.”
Our only chance to survive as humans is to NOT let them build these digital hives to entrap us in their swarms and commodify our souls for advertisers; NOT let them build pop-up civilizations built on propaganda and the idle few benefitting from the sincere efforts of the many.
The claim that Burning Man is the physical manifestation of cyberspace/virtual reality has been made since the mid-90’s – about the time John Perry Barlow got involved. He is credited with first using the word cyberspace to describe the modern Internet. In this interview he did with Larry Harvey last year, they claimed that Burning Man was intertwined with tech/acid culture, and that BM was responsible for the tech industry’s move from Silicon Valley to the city.
Many of the key components of the Internet were built by Burners, and before that by acid-dropping Deadheads. The inspiration for the name Apple came from the orchards where Jobs first took acid, something he called “one of the three most important experiences of my life”
Wash your own brain, Burners. Whether the power player behind the scenes of Silicon Valley really is BMOrg, or some other group that pulls the strings of all the puppets, don’t let them do the thinking for you, and don’t believe everything you’re told.
Think for yourself. Question authority…said the guy who wrote the CIA entrance exam.
[Update 9/27/14 4:55pm]
Alexander Bard gave a TED talk, “What If The Internet Is God?”. It’s eye-popping. I would say the #1 worst TED talk I have ever seen.
Note the God-trashing at the opening, as if eliminating religion is somehow necessary for the invention of technology. It continues for the whole 18 minutes. Personally, my Radical Inclusion filters were severely challenged by the dude’s outfit. YMMV.
“I was one of those guys you wanted to be, sure. But I suffered from religion envy…then I went to Burning Man…Americans haven’t actually understood how profound it is...I was there with a neuro-scientist who was using me as his guinea pig…I wasn’t sober for 8 days…I was in this couch somewhere being put on these drugs giving me a female orgasm for over 6 hours…to make sure I didn’t die, the neuroscientist…had placed a gorgeous naked woman in high heels next to me doing cocaine all night long…all of a sudden she goes ‘You know what? Burning Man is Mecca. We’re doing our hajj’…we’re 60,000 people in the desert in Nevada, and we’re really practising a religion. Even with the burning of The Man on Saturday night…it really is a religion: for Atheists. They’re not even New Age at Burning Man, there’s no crystal healing going on, if it is it’s ironic.
Crystal healing, for those not neo-hippie enough to know anything about it, is white magick. Not surprising that it isn’t going on inside Burning Man’s fire magick pentagram. You want white magick to be clean and pure and free from negative energies that could interfere.
“…god is a concept far too important to leave to the religious…We live in a world without Utopia, which is incredibly dangerous. We need to get hold of a new Utopia, otherwise we cannot save the planet…we need to create god”.
If, like the majority of people on this planet, you do believe in God, you might see “We should create God” as the words of Satan, trying to implement an Evil agenda through this “cyber-philosopher” in the name of Religious Envy. The terms “False Idol” and “False Prophet” spring to mind.
“What could be a bigger, better thing to create than to create god”?
Man cannot create God. But he can create the instruments of the Devil that will be used to bind him.
“Don’t be evil”, says Google – or, at least, they used to. So they can’t be…right? Because if they were, they’d tell us. Evil doesn’t lie, they’d be really honest. Right? Sell your soul to Satan, says BMOrg. Ironically, of course.
Although the Bard doesn’t believe in God, he believes in Quantum Physics. He thinks “physics is just another word for playing hide and seek with God” Make up your mind, buddy.
“Atheos – the god who does not exist”. This is Luciferian doctrine. Satanists worship the absence of god, more so than the devil as an anthropomorphized figure. When you worship “The Void” as a god, you worship destruction.
They say Burning Man is the cycle of death and rebirth, but where is the birth part? We arrive each year to find The Man fully formed, ready to erupt in flames and fireworks after we’ve worshipped him in his magical circle for a week, guided by him with our sense of time and space juxtaposed. Wanton destruction and mayhem in the name of the fire god, and in the name of the New World Order Digital God that many Burners are involved in creating. Don’t be fooled by the Louis XIV powdered wigs.
If you say your god is Nothing, but you need to take drugs to connect with the Void – well, maybe you should consider if the drugs are taking over your life, if it’s actually them you are worshipping, not Nothing. When he finally names his Satanic god of the Void at the end of the presentation, its name is Sin. Sin the OS. Sinternet.
“You know perfectly well that you don’t exist. You know that, and yet you behave as if you exist, and your friends behave as if you exist”
– ah, Philosophers. Can’t live with ’em…pass that dutch.
Robotic theorist Hugo de Garis sums it up pretty well:
Amazing 2014 documentary: