CTP #029 - Shortcast (On Lulu and Nana the CRISPR Babies) to by Ryan Ferris

This episode is the first of a shortcast format. A shortcast is a shorter episode exploring topics that I have been pondering.

Since the world is in an uproar about the gene editing / CRISPR baby thing I thought I would zoom out a bit and look at the experiment from a larger, more transhumanist lens. 

Bratislave Milenkovic.jpg

For those unfamiliar with the story here is an article from Wired
Those that would rather read can find a transcript of the episode here

Artwork by Bratislave Milenkovic

Download episode here or just search “Cosmic Tortoise” in any podcast app.

Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand.

CTP #028 - Sara Gael (Safer Psychedelia) by Ryan Ferris

Sara Gael is the MAPS director of harm reduction. She coordinates psychedelic harm reduction services at festivals and events worldwide with the Zendo Project.

We cover safe use and best practices of psychedelic use; the difference between transformational festivals and mainstream events; MDMA and it’s therapeutic potential and the human yearning for a sense of purpose and meaning.


Sarah’s Work:
Zendo Project

Harm Reduction Resources:

Post-Psychedelic Integration and Support:
Psychedelic Support
MAPS Integration
Aware Project
Psychedelic Program

An index of Transformation Festivals is here

For those interested in studying Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy:
Certificate of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research

Download episode here or just search “Cosmic Tortoise” in any podcast app.

Recorded in Tel Aviv, Israel and Christchurch, New Zealand

CTP #027 - Jed Parsons (Midnight Feasting) by Ryan Ferris

Jed Parsons is a New Zealand musician. Over some delicious German beer we chat about music, songwriting and Jed performs some songs from his debut album Midnight Feast.


Connect with Jed:

Reading Me Wrong” @ 05:42
How Could You” @ 36:45
Move On” @ 1:01:26

Download episode here or search “Cosmic Tortoise” in any podcast app.

Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand and Berlin, Germany

CTP #026 - Libby Emmons (What it Means to Be Human) by Ryan Ferris

Libby Emmons is a writer and playwright that recently wrote a piece on Transhumanism for Quillette. 

We discuss whether transhumanism is synonymous with oppression; free speech; robot sex; utilitarianism and the ethics of a superintelligent AI govt; what a post human world might look like; free-range parenting; convenience vs human autonomy and the fragility of infastructure; transgenderism, trans rights and transhumanism; eco-anarchism, earthships and self-sustainability; artificial wombs and the future of reproduction; and what it might truly mean to be human. 

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Libby's Work:

Quillette Article
Puss Collective
Libby's Blog
Libby on Twitter


Herman Hesse - The Glass Bead Game
The Magicians
Airline Highway by Lisa D'Amour
Neuralink - Wait but Why

Download episode free here or just search Cosmic Tortoise in any podcast app. 

Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand.

CTP #025 - Robin Hanson (Hidden Motives, Assassination Markets and Twitter Mobs) by Ryan Ferris

Robin Hanson is an associate professor of economics at George Mason University and a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University

He runs the blog Overcoming Bias and is the co-author of recently released psychology book Elephant in the Brain.

We chat about The Elephant in the Brain; why Robin retweets negative criticism; what's compelling to humans about art and music; smartness signalling; intellectual norms and value signaling; Robin clears up the recent Twitter mobbing he endured; income inequality vs other types of inequality; modularity of mind and agency (free will) in humans; prediction markets, Augur, and potential assassination markets; the future of the blockchain; Robin's thoughts on what the Effective Altruism Movement may be missing; 3D printed guns + much more.

Robin's Work:
The Elephant in the Brain
The Age of Em
Overcoming Bias
Robin on Twitter

Kevin Simler's blog Melting Asphalt
Augur - Prediction Market Cryptocurrency
Effective Altruism Movement
Modularity of Mind

Download episode free here or search Cosmic Tortoise in any podcast app.

Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand

CTP #024 - JMR II (Nutrigenomics, Ecofacism and Floating Cities) by Ryan Ferris

I'm joined by Michael and James for our now more regular chat about anything and everything.

With all three of us running on 5 hours sleep and a few drams of whisky we chat:
nurtigenomics; ecofacism; mercantilism; The Expanse; Peter Thiel and Seastading; Trump's Space Force; Noopept + all sorts else.

...and we extend a very generous offer to analyse your dreams.  Send them in to cosmictortoisemusic@gmail.com  ;)

A reminder that these episodes are more of a hangout format compared to the researched interviews and shouldn't be taken too seriously.

Next episode we're with economist and Elephant in the Brain co-author Robin Hanson. 

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CTP #023 - Jackie Turner (Bananageddon) by Ryan Ferris

Jackie Turner is the team leader for an upcoming documentary called Bananageddon about the impeding commercial extinction of the Cavendish Banana. 

We delve into the origins of the Banana, the global influence of "Big Banana" - companies like Chiquita and Dole, the potentially catastrophic economic impact of the loss of the Cavendish, Monoculture vs alternative agricultural systems, potassium, different banana varieties, what those certification stickers on bananas actually mean and how much longer we might still enjoy the Cavendish. 


Support Bananageddon:


Discussed in the Podcast:

Lord Cavendish
Panama Disease
Date Banana
Earth University
The Third Plate by Dan Barber
Cultivating and Ecological Conscience
Greenwave Seaweed Farming

Download episode here or find in any podcast app.

Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand

CTP #022 - J.M.R (The Summit Summit) by Ryan Ferris

This is the first of an experimental bi-weekly conversational podcast in which James, Michael and I have contemporaneous yarns about what's happening in the world, new things we've read/learned and just have a general hang. 

Nothing in this conversation should be taken too seriously.  Except Potassium. 

This episode is called the Summit Summit as it was recorded during the North Korea peace summit in Singapore.

We chat about North Korea, Dennis Rodman, Google and it's political sway, Terrence Tao, the Brainwashed mini series, signal theory and education, the excellent sci fi novel the Three Body Problem, whether the SJW movement is being overblown, Raelism, the incel movement and a bunch more. 

We've also put together a quick survey to find out a little more about who you wonderful listeners are, where you're based, what you like/dislike about the podcast and what you'd like to see more of. For those that would like to partake, the link is below.  It shouldn't take more than 4 minutes. 

For those more interested in the (slightly) more slick and researched expert interviews, we have more of those coming, they just take some time so they will be interspersed with these conversational pieces. 

Partake in the Cosmic Tortoise Podcast survey here

Episode download here; listen on youtube or simply search Cosmic Tortoise in any podcast app. 


Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand

CTP #021 - Andres Gomez Emilsson (Consciousness and Qualia Realism) by Ryan Ferris

Andres Gomez Emilsson is a consciousness researcher and data science engineer with a Master's in computational psychology from Stanford University. 

He is a member of the Qualia Research Institute and runs the blog Qualia Computing

My friend James Ormrod joined me to chat with Andres about many different aspects of his work and passion: What qualia are and the goals of Qualia Computing; transhumanist philosophy and why philosophy is important; questions of spirituality, happiness and personal identity; the current state of consciousness research, the hard and important questions in the field and Andres' outlook for the future; theories of time and time perception; why boredom is interesting; psychedelics and inherent geometries found within altered states; Andres' thoughts on Ibogaine, opiates and lesser known psychedelics; non-drug consciousness technologies; the philosophy of David Pearce and why we should eliminate suffering via technology; and a few sneaky tangents as per usual.


Download here; listen on youtube or just search Cosmic Tortoise in any podcast app.


From Andres:

" By the way, I realized I screwed up about the "real problem of consciousness". Here is a little correction:
- The ‘real problem‘ of consciousness is whether consciousness has crisp formal structure, or not;
- The ‘important problem‘ of consciousness is what makes some experiences feel better than others.
As you can see, 'important' is the one involving hedonic tone and taking care of ethics. 'Real', instead, is an allusion to the fact that formalizing the solvable problems of consciousness, a science of qualia will redefine our framework to talk about any "hard problem of consciousness". And this is not a way to dismiss the importance of consciousness. Rather, it is for the purpose of having a granular language to discuss it and establish value equivalences across other-wise unintelligible qualia varieties.


Theories of Consciousness @ Science of Consciousness 2018
QC "Burning Man" article which talks about personal identity
Podcast on Buddhism with Daniel Ingram
ELI5 “The Hyperbolic Geometry of DMT Experiences”
Alexander Shulgin
David Pearce and the Hedonistic Imperative
Penfield Mood Organ

Andre's Work and Collaborations:

Qualia Computing
Qualia Research Institute

Support Andres and Qualia Computing:

BTC: 3JikWQs9gVcRHLK6F89N9Q6hnKk2FzN7JJ
ETH: 0xd40287e1827e79E9eCA6e92E1c5E84cABB54393B

Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand