This week we’re joined by evolutionary biologist Toby Kiers and Bitcoin entrepreneur Brandon Quittem for an interdisciplinary trialogue on the analogy between digital currencies and the so-called Wood Wide Web. Toby studies fungal economies in the lab, and her research challenges the commonly-held assumption that my corhizzal networks are socialist utopia hippie love-fests. Brandon evangelizes “The Internet of Money” as an exemplary instance of biomimicry and argues that Bitcoin is doing for human finance what mycelial networks have done for terrestrial biology. And I wade in with more than my usual helping of paradoxically-critical enthusiasm to ask if “natural” really equals “healthy” or “desirable” in our rush to serve the evolutionary algorithm of technological development.

This one should appeal to anybody on the “Transhumanist Bitcoin Bro-to Luddite Biodynamic Farmer” spectrum…share your thoughts about the episode in our future Fossils Discord server or Facebook group, where it’s easy to link up with amazing fellow weirdos.

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Music by Future Fossils co-hosts Evan “Skytree” Snyder.

I transcribe this show with help from — which I highly recommend to other podcasters. If you’d like to help me edit transcripts for my upcoming Future Fossils book project, please let me know! I’m @michaelgarfield on Twitter Instagram.

And for my fellow guitarists in the audience, let me recommend you get yourself a Jamstik Studio, the coolest MIDI guitar I’ve ever played. I just grabbed one this year and LOVE it. Videos soon!

Enjoy, and thanks for listening!

Additional Resources:

Brandon’s Website TwitterBrandon’s article, “Bitcoin is The Mycelium of Money”

Toby’s Website TwitterToby’s TED talk, “Lessons from fungi on markets and economics”

Future Fossils 161 – Michael Phillip on Play & CreativityFuture Fossils 81 – Art Brock on Holochain and the Future of CurrencyFuture Fossils 56 – Sophia Rohklin on Anarchy, Ecology, Economy, and Shamanism

Complexity 35 – Geoffrey West on Physical Scaling LawsComplexity 13 – Brian Arthur on the History of Complexity EconomicsComplexity 8 – Olivia Judson on Life’s Major Energy Transitions

Deep Facebook thread on the un/sustainability of blockchains & cryptocurrencies

Regen Network

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