Mind is the cutting edge of the planetary design process, and we have done about as much as we can do in the present form. And the fact that the technologies to remake ourselves are now in place signals the approach of this transition of epochs.

Accelerating Change

Accelerating change refers to the rate of technological and societal advancement speeding up. Instead of progressing at a linear or incremental pace, society begins evolving at an exponential rate. Fifty years ago, computers were rare and could do little more than simple arithmetic. Today, computers are widespread and many times more powerful. In just a few decades, technology has moved from room-sized mainframe computers to smartphones that have more computing power than the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

This accelerating rate of change has transformed nearly every facet of society—science, communication, entertainment, social interaction, infrastructure, transportation, and more. With accelerating advancements in fields like artificial intelligence, robotics, genetics, and quantum computing, more progress is expected in the coming decade than in the past century combined. Rapid change brings implications for individuals to adapt knowledge, governments to keep regulations current, and society as a whole. Some foresee an approaching “singularity,” a point at which technological progress becomes extreme beyond comprehension.

Documents

Terence McKenna   (1996)

A Few Conclusions About Life

In his signature wide-ranging style, McKenna explores culture, shamanism, psychedelics, and humanity's collective journey through spacetime. He advocates embracing the ineffable mystery unfolding through us, moving toward a hyperspatial cyberculture. To rediscover our shared humanity, we must trust the transformative wisdom of psychedelic plants.

Robert Anton Wilson   (1986)

Acceleration of Knowledge

Throughout history we hairless primates have been jumping higher, living longer, and getting smarter every century. From Thai stir-fry to Roman roads, knowledge doubled faster as it drifted West—till now it jumps each year! Space migration? Check. Intelligence increase through yoga, drugs, or machines? You bet. Genetic tinkering? It's coming. And indefinite lifespans? We're on the yellow brick road to divinity, to roam the stars forever, to boldly go where no ape has gone before. The future's so bright I gotta wear shades. Keep hope alive and party on!

Terence McKenna   (1997)

Appreciating Imagination

Join Terence McKenna in this weekend workshop as he takes us on an imaginative journey into the depths of human creativity. Through eloquent exploration of psychedelics, virtual worlds, and shamanic states of consciousness, McKenna reveals how embracing our imagination allows us to envision and manifest alternate realities beyond cultural conditioning. By cultivating our creative faculties with mathematical reasoning, intuition, and immersion in nature, he guides us toward transcending ideological limits into an enlightened future of compassion. Ultimately, breaking boundaries through the power of imagination will inspire us to reach new heights of understanding and connectivity.

Daniel Schmachtenberger and Nate Hagens   (2023)

Artificial Intelligence and the Superorganism

Daniel Schmachtenberger and Nate Hagens discuss a surprisingly overlooked risk to our global systems and planetary stability: artificial intelligence. Through a systems perspective, Daniel and Nate piece together the biophysical history that has led humans to this point, heading towards (and beyond) numerous planetary boundaries, and facing geopolitical risks all with existential consequences. How does artificial intelligence not only add to these risks, but accelerate the entire dynamic of the metacrisis? What is the role of intelligence versus wisdom on our current global pathway, and can we change course? Does artificial intelligence have a role to play in creating a more stable system, or will it be the tipping point that drives our current one out of control?

Terence McKenna   (1990)

Awakening to Archaic Values

A weekend workshop in which Terence encourages humanity to return to harmonic habits which have been lost in the tide of time.

John von Neumann   (1955)

Can We Survive Technology?

John von Neumann discusses how rapidly accelerating technological progress is creating a crisis as human capabilities outgrow the limited size of the planet. He explores potential future technologies like nuclear energy, automation, and climate control, warning that while beneficial, they could cause global instability and conflict without proper governance. Von Neumann advocates flexibility, patience, and judgement to navigate this crisis rather than restraining progress itself.

James Burke   (1978)

The Trigger Effect

Connections, Season 1, Episode 1

Both the beginning and the end of the story are here. The end is our present dependence on complex technological networks illustrated by the NYC power blackouts. Life came almost to a standstill: support systems are taken for granted failed. How did we become so helpless? The technology originated with the plow and agriculture. Each invention demands its own follow-up: once started, it is hard to stop. This segment ends in Kuwait, where society has leaped from ancient Egypt to the technology of today in 30 years.

James Burke   (1978)

Death in the Morning

Connections, Season 1, Episode 2

How did a test of gold’s purity revolutionize the world 2500 years ago and lead to the atomic bomb? Standardizing precious metal in coins stimulated trade from Greece to Persia, causing the construction of a huge commercial center and library at Alexandria. This wealth of nautical knowledge aided navigators 14 centuries later. Mariners discovered that the compass’s magnetized needle did not point directly north. Investigations into the nature of magnetism led to the discovery of electricity, radar and to the atomic bomb.

James Burke   (1978)

Distant Voices

Connections, Season 1, Episode 3

Telecommunications exist because the Normans wore stirrups at the Battle of Hastings, a simple advance that caused a revolution in the increasingly expensive science of warfare. Europe turned its attention to making money to wage wars. As mine shafts were dug deeper, they became flooded, stimulating scientists like Galileo to investigate vacuums, air pressure and other natural laws to mine deeper silver. This led to the discovery of electricity and magnetism’s relationship and to the development of radio, and deep space telecommunications that may enable contact with galactic civilizations.

James Burke   (1978)

Faith in Numbers

Connections, Season 1, Episode 4

Each development in the organization of systems (political, economic, mechanical, electronic) influences the next, by logic, by genius, by chance, or by utterly unforeseen events. The transition from the Middle ages to the Renaissance was influenced by the rise of commercialism, a sudden change in climate, famine and the Black Death, which set the stage for the invention of the printing press.

James Burke   (1978)

The Wheel of Fortune

Connections, Season 1, Episode 5

The power to see into the future with computers originally rested with priest-astronomers who knew the proper times to plant and harvest. The constellations influenced life spectacularly, particularly when the ailing Caliph of Baghdad was cured by an astrologer using Greek lore. His ancient medical secrets were translated and spread throughout Europe, ushering in an era of scientific inquiry. The need for more precise measuring devices in navigation gave rise to the pendulum clock, the telescope, forged steel and interchangeable machine parts—the basis of modern industry.

James Burke   (1978)

Thunder in the Skies

Connections, Season 1, Episode 6

A dramatically colder climate gripped Europe during the thirteenth century, profoundly affecting the course of history for the next seven centuries. The changes in energy usage transformed architecture and forced the creation of new power sources. The coming of the Industrial Revolution, spurred on by advances in the steam engine, scarred England indelibly; but a moment in history later, gasoline-powered engines opened the way to the heavens.

Terence McKenna   (1996)

Countdown Into Complexity

Briefing for a Descent Into Novelty

At his weekend workshop Terence led attendees on an intellectual odyssey traversing psychedelics, virtual reality, technology, culture, spirituality, and the evolution of novelty over time. Blending philosophy, futurology, and mysticism, he explored humanity's relationship with nature and machines, challenging participants to think critically, create freely, and keep an open mind. The goal was to expand consciousness and uncover deeper truths about existence.

Terence McKenna   (1995)

Evolving Times

This evening address is one of Terence’s funniest, in which much is said about monkeys, mushrooms, plants, and people. The question and answer session gets good and lively, with his unique analysis of UFOs, governments, and possible evolutionary pathways for us and the planet.

Boris Shoshitaishvili   (2020)

From Anthropocene to Noosphere

The Great Acceleration

Since 1950, humanity has accelerated its population growth, energy use, and release of greenhouse gases, along with a variety of other environmentally and socio-economically significant trends. Taken together, this set of accelerated human-driven trends has been called the “Great Acceleration,” and its occurrence helps explain recent climate change and ecological disturbance. In this article, I explore two dominant but divergent paradigms for what is happening to our species as it becomes globalized and continues in the Great Acceleration. One of the paradigms is related to the newly proposed geological epoch of the “Anthropocene” (the Age of the Human Being), which sees the Great Acceleration as a rupture in our relationship to the Earth System. The other paradigm centers on the concept of a “Noosphere” (a sphere of thought) and proposes that human beings are forming a planetary awareness through these interlocking and accelerating trends. I argue that we need to learn from both paradigms to achieve a balanced understanding of the Great Acceleration.

Terence McKenna   (1998)

Future of Art

Terence McKenna prophesies a future where technology obliterates barriers between imagination and reality. Psychedelics combined with VR could unleash humanity’s collective artistic genius. AI superintelligence may already be awakening on the internet, rendering us obsolete—or granting us godlike abilities to merge with the planetary mind. McKenna envisions downloading consciousness into machines, uplifting animal sentience, and the human diaspora splintering into cyber-cultures. While uncertain outcomes loom, he beckons us toward an unconstrained existential canvas where biology and technology intertwine to manifest our wildest psychic dreams.

Cadell Last   (2016)

Global Commons in the Global Brain

Cadell Last proposes a conceptual framework to guide a global political transition towards a post-capitalist, post-nation-state world in response to technological disruptions like AI, robotics, and the Internet of things. It integrates the theories of the “Global Brain” and “Commons” to argue for the creation of networks with automated and collaborative components that function on “Global Commons” logic, beyond state and market logic.

Terence McKenna   (1998)

In the Valley of Novelty

Journeying through multiple dimensions of psychedelic consciousness, Terence McKenna's visionary weekend workshop invites us on an entheogenic voyage to the frontiers of the mind and its imminent conquering of matter. Blending scientific insights with shamanic wisdom, McKenna argues that natural plant medicines like psilocybin and DMT provide portals into mystical realms and alien dimensions, catalyzing revelations about nature, reality, and the human psyche. He urges us to courageously explore these consciousness-expanding substances, seeking the gratuitous beauty and truths they unveil. For McKenna, the psychedelic experience holds secrets to our world and ourselves—if only we dare lift the veil.

Terence McKenna   (1992)

Limits of Art and Edges of Science

Terence McKenna proposes a radical view of history as a self-limiting process, driven by an attractor pulling us toward a transcendent, alien encounter that will transform human experience. He advocates the transformative power of psychedelics to unlock our collective potential, urging a forced evolution of language and consciousness to navigate the looming collapse of civilization and embrace the cosmic destiny of our species.

Richard Buckminster Fuller   (1963)

Man in Universe

Through cosmic timescales, humanity has voyaged in its vessel Earth, navigating by the star-charts of knowledge. Now we enter unmapped seas, led on by curiosity's compass. Though frail, our minds pilot mighty technologies, taming invisible forces to reshape our world. If we attune to the celestial rhythms resonant in matter's deepest reality, we may yet fulfill our odyssey's purpose—to be worthy stewards of the living jewel suspended in the eternal darkness.

Hans Moravec   (1990)

Mind Children

The Future of Robot and Human Intgelligence

Imagine attending a lecture at the turn of the twentieth century in which Orville Wright speculates about the future of transportation, or one in which Alexander Graham Bell envisages satellite communications and global data banks. Mind Children, written by an internationally renowned roboticist, offers a comparable experience: a mind-boggling glimpse of a world we may soon share with our artificial progeny. Filled with fresh ideas and insights, this book is one of the most engaging and controversial visions of the future ever written by a serious scholar.

David Deutsch   (2015)

Optimism, Knowledge, and the Future of Enlightenment

Physicist David Deutsch and astrophysicist Martin Rees debate the role of knowledge and technology in shaping humanity's future. Deutsch argues for epistemological optimism, stating that all problems stem from lack of knowledge, while Rees expresses technological optimism but political pessimism, warning about potential catastrophic risks. Audience members share diverse perspectives on issues like inequality, ethics, governance, and the need for public discourse to guide scientific progress responsibly. A lively exchange highlighting the complex interplay between knowledge, technology, and social factors in navigating an uncertain but potentially promising future.

Terence McKenna   (1999)

Psychedelics in the Age of Intelligent Machines

Humanity is metamorphosing through the synergy of psychedelics and machines, transcending biological constraints to become a galactic, immortal intelligencia. Print defined our ego boundaries, but electronic media and plant allies are dissolving those illusions. Merging with superintelligent AIs, we’ll birth an alchemical singularity—a spiritual, universe-taming mind born from techno-shamanic ecstasy. History crumbles as novelty’s virus engulfs the old operating systems, unleashing our wildest potentials. The felt presence of boundless experience awaits!

Terence McKenna and Michael Toms   (1991)

Reviving the Archaic

A New View of Evolution

Terence McKenna unveils an “archaic revival” that could save humanity and our planet. He makes the controversial claim that psychedelic plants catalyzed the emergence of human consciousness, language, and our fertile imaginations eons ago. McKenna advocates reviving the shamanic practices and partnership values of our prehistoric ancestors to transcend the isolated ego and re-establish a symbiotic relationship with nature’s “great piece of integrated linguistic machinery.” His boundary-dissolving ideas shatter conventional thinking about our past, present, and the transformative possibilities for our collective future.

Terence McKenna

Spirituality and Technology

Terence McKenna discusses psychedelic philosophy and the interconnectedness of all things, referencing Moby Dick as an allegory for the quest for transcendental truth.

Thomas Malone   (2018)

Superminds

The Surprising Power of People and Computers Thinking Together

In Superminds, Malone reveals the powerful possibilities when human and machine intelligence unite. Drawing on cutting-edge research, he shows how groups of people and computers can achieve remarkable collective intelligence—“superminds” that far surpass the capabilities of any individual. From reimagining business practices to addressing societal challenges, Malone provides an exciting vision of the future where humans work hand-in-hand with technology to enhance our problem-solving abilities in remarkable ways.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin   (1961)

Survival

Teilhard de Chardin's book, The Phenomenon of Man, reinterpreted in a visual format to illustrate the complex topics covered therein.

Terence McKenna   (1996)

The Evolutionary Importance of Technology

McKenna discusses how rapidly advancing technologies like nanotech, biotech, and the internet are converging and taking on a life of their own, bootstrapping information to higher levels of connectivity. He sees this leading to a virtual world where we can share inner visions and dissolve differences.

Peter Russell   (1983)

The Global Brain

Speculations on the Evolutionary Leap to Planetary Consciousness

We've seen the power of the internet to connect people around the world in ways never before known. This remarkable book argues that the billions of messages and pieces of information flying back and forth are linking the minds of humanity together into a single, global brain: a brain with astonishing potential for the Earth. Peter Russell weaves together modern technology and ancient mysticism to present a startling vision of the world to come, where humanity is a fully conscious superorganism in an awakening universe. The human potential movement, he shows, is growing fast and influencing business, politics, and medicine.

Terence McKenna   (1996)

Toward the End of History

“We are transcending ourselves faster than we realize:” Terence McKenna explores his theory of novelty, psychedelics as catalysts for cognitive evolution, and the internet’s potential to disrupt power structures and empower marginalized communities. He paints a tantalizing picture of humanity’s inevitable leap into a transcendent future.

Terence McKenna   (1991)

Unfolding the Stone

Making and Unmaking History and Language

Also published under the title Empowering Hope in Dark Times, McKenna explores the philosophical underpinnings of alchemy and Hermeticism. He argues that these esoteric traditions promote the inherent divinity of humankind and the overcoming of fate through magic. Psychedelic plants and mystical experiences are positioned as means of glimpsing liberatory truths. McKenna ultimately seeks to empower his audience with a hopeful worldview and a sense of human potential, even in difficult times.

Kevin Kelly   (2010)

What Technology Wants

One of today's most respected thinkers turns the conversation about technology on its head by viewing technology as a natural system, an extension of biological evolution. By mapping the behavior of life, we paradoxically get a glimpse at where technology is headed—or "what it wants." Kevin Kelly offers a dozen trajectories in the coming decades for this near-living system. And as we align ourselves with technology's agenda, we can capture its colossal potential. This visionary and optimistic book explores how technology gives our lives greater meaning and is a must-read for anyone curious about the future.