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Cosmic Tortoise is rebranding. The name was fun and memorable but as the podcast has evolved I feel it doesn’t properly represent the content of the podcast.

So here I present: The Good Timeline

We are increasingly in charge of our own evolution as a species. This is essentially what transhumanism is - the transition from homo-sapien humans to something different: post-humans. How might we safely move into such a world?

What makes us human? And what role as individuals do we play within this incredibly complex and interdependent system that we call Earth?

What are the best qualities of human nature, society and technology that we want to retain, and what might we want to eliminate or improve?  And how do we find meaning and peace within all of this?

These are the questions I will be exploring in The Good Timeline. 

This is a shortcast on overcoming fear in the face of extreme violent attacks. I grew up in Canterbury so this one truly shocked me. I don’t want the fear to spread, so I wrote these words which I have read aloud in this episode.


The attack on March 15 was explicitly designed to spread fear and to divide us. Fear spreads like a disease. I won’t let it take me.

Many of us were afraid during the earthquakes. Not knowing when another might hit. Whether our loved ones were okay. But we learned in Christchurch, that constant fear is no way to live. We learned to rebuild and continue with our lives despite the danger. It hasn’t been easy and it’s still an ongoing process but many of us have again found joy and peace in our lives. And many others do the same, in troubled areas around the world.

Terrorism is nothing new. Incidents have occurred globally for over a century. It has undoubtedly increased in the past decade. But let’s put things into perspective.

~ 55 million people die each year worldwide. In recent years ~ 35 000 have died yearly due to terrorism. This puts death by terrorism at roughly 0.06% of all deaths yearly. Not even 0.1 percent.

For comparison, the top 10 causes of death according to the WHO are (mostly preventable) diseases such as heart disease and stroke (15.2 million deaths in 2016) . The other main cause of death is road injury, with 1.4 million dying on the road in 2016. Combined, this is 54% of deaths.

Let that sink in for a moment.

If you are really concerned about dying early, eat real food, exercise properly and pay serious attention when driving. Especially in regards to the phone. The life of an 8 year old biking home from school is not worth the 5 minutes of time saved texting a friend whilst driving.

And do not be afraid of terror attacks. I know this is easier said than done. But it can be done. It does us no use to be anxious about earthquakes, terror attacks or anything else. Obviously this is not a call to ignore risky situations. Lot’s of risk can minimised. But not all of it can. And if something happens, we will respond to it the moment it happens. No amount of worrying will change this. We learnt this with the earthquakes. We can do it again.

I will continue with my life and will not change my behaviour. I will go to the city as usual and make use of the airport. I will not allow the actions of a deranged extremist to cause me to be afraid.

This post is not intended to invalidate feelings. Especially in regards to sadness. I feel immense sadness for the Muslim members of our community who have endured something I cannot begin to imagine. I feel immense sadness and love for Christchurch and New Zealand as a whole. This is devastating for us. As others have mentioned, these acts are not a part of our culture and we condemn them.

Support each other. Grieve with our Muslim brothers and sisters and show them kindness. Do not be pulled to the extremes of either side which speak in hate and fear.

Express love. Do not let this divide us. Do not be afraid.

Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand

Richie Ogulnick has worked with Ibogaine for decades and is a pioneer of the Ibogaine Movement.

We discuss: Richie’s story of ibogaine and how he brought it from Africa to the US; the allure of heroin and other drugs; the importance of surrender; ibogaine itself: experience, risks + post-session effects; common threads of addiction and relapse + why most therapy and drug rehab doesn’t work; iboga vs ibogaine; anecdotes of low dose ibogaine for conditions such as parkinson’s disease; Richie’s formulation of a vietnamese herbal opiate remedy and his subsequent encounter with the FDA; morality and the sense of good and evil; monism and dualism; divine will, psychosis and the different responses to each from east/west + much more.


Connect with Richie:
Iboga with Richie

Breaking Open the Head by Daniel Pinchbeck (describes the Iboga experience with members of the Bwiti faith)
Buddha at the Gas Pump


Stats - Ibogaine risk vs Opiates

The primary reason ibogaine is illegal in many places globally is because of “ibogaine’s potential to do harm”. Below are some stats to put that view into perspective.

There were an estimated 27 million people who suffered from opioid use disorders in 2016. 118 thousand people died in 2015 alone due to opioid use. (source)

In the US in 2017, 29,000 died alone due to synthetic pharmaceutical opioids such as methadone. (source)

Since presumably the 1960’s 27 deaths in total have been reported from from ibogaine use, 21 of which had pre-existing heart conditions. (source)

Some ibogaine-induced neurotoxicity has been demonstrated in rat models, however this was demonstrated with very high doses (100 mg/kg & 300 mg/kg.  Doses of 40mg/kg did not demonstrate neurotoxicity. (source)

For reference, a typical human dose of ibogaine is usually within the range of 12-20mg/kg. (source)

Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand

Paul Gilster curates space-blog Centauri Dreams and is an expert in interstellar space research. 

We chat: the current state of interstellar space tech; whether Elon Musk’s dream of colonising mars is possible; human speciation in colonies on other planets; space law and jurisdiction of new planets; Terraforming; the Kontiki expedition + the human impulse to pioneer and explore; existential threat posed by comets + bases on asteroids, the Oumuamua object; SETI; long term thinking and much more. 

Connect with Paul;

Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand

Zoltan Istvan was the 2016 US presidential candidate for the Transhumanist party; author of The Transhumanist Wager; former journalist for NatGeo; pioneer of volcano-boarding; and is often cited as the global leader of the radical science movement. 

We chat what Zoltan is doing to overcome death personally; nootropics he is experimenting with; the biological age he would choose if rejuvenation tech was invented; cyborg hearts and eyes; ethics of transhumanism and finding meaning in a post-human world; Zoltan's moral system and the morality of longevity/immortality; and whether he is the Zoltan referenced in Dude Where's my Car?. 


Connect with Zoltan:
The Transhumanist Wager

Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand


David Seymour is a Member of Parliament and the leader of ACT, the New Zealand Libertarian Party. 

We converse on David’s formative years; his thoughts on what might insulate New Zealand from the more extreme politics that are emerging globally; views on China’s influence on the world and NZ; Drug Legalisation and why it might not be as clear cut as portrayed; the politics of Transhumanism and David’s favourite Celine Dion song. 


Connect with David: 
ACT Party

Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand 

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. 


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 Bratislav Milenkovic

Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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


Recorded in Tel Aviv, Israel and Christchurch, New Zealand


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


Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand and Berlin, Germany

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. 


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

Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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