Notes from Underground: Transformation, Intersections, and the Road to Ultra

sf road to ultra flyer

With qw3ries and the intersection between writing, activism, entrepreneurship, psytrance, and transformation (and in so many other ways), I’m not just rejecting choices but finding ways to synthesize and combine them.

— from DJ Anomaly at the party without a name

Indeed!  It’s looking like my startup qw3ries‘ first forays into helping everybody get answers and find information may include an ebook about pitch competitions, questions and answers about Patriot Act activism, partnerships with startups specializing in transformation — and who knows, maybe even psytrance.   Meanwhile the re-enegerized #snubor was a hit at SXSW just as politicians including McCain, Kerry, and Obama are calling for an online bill of rights.  And starting next month I’ll be serializing revising my novel about the diversity-friendly social network site  About those intersections …

It’s a banner weekend for electronic dance music in San Francisco.  Tonight John Digweed’s at Ruby Skye, Paul van Dyk’s at 1015, and the Road to Ultra at Mighty including Saturnia, Christine, Helios, David Christophere of Rabbit in the Moon, and more.  Tomorrow it’s Tall Sasha at SupperClub — or Pisces with Kode IV, Michael Liu, and an early (!) set by Witchdokta and Spook.  I heart SF.  I heart psytrance.

I remember listening to Rabbit in the Moon’s remix of The Phoenix a lot back in late 2003 and so may well have had it on while writing.  I wonder how people would react if I posted Can Fantasy Stand Against Hegemony? on Quora?

today, hierarchical organizations (consolidating corporations) and totalitarian states are even more powerful and hegemonic than they were. what can stand against them? religion: belief in something else translates to a different set of rules, so not only the ability to overcome fear to resist but also the non-linearity to avoid getting crushed by the power.

can fantasy – as in living out fantasies, not cute little books involving magic and unicorns – also fill that role?

there’s power in unleashing fantasy. there’s power in connecting people and finding shared fantasies. but fantasies – as with religion – are too often used as a tool of oppression: too many fantasies relate to things that are unachievable (being an anorexic model), and both the attempt to get there and the envy of those that have succeeded are harmful.

is it possible to construct fantasies that are liberating instead of repressive?

These days I’d say the answer is “yes”: fantasies revolving around empowerment, happiness, and freedom from oppression are fundamentally liberating.  And finding people who share the fantasies and the desire and skills to bring them closer to reality is also the best way to make day-to-day life steadily more and more like the future fantasy worlds we’re trying to create.  For me working together with people I really like on activism, diversity, and startups is that kind of fantasy and I hope I’m able to bring that sense of shared purpose to the fictional and reality of qw3ries.

in 2004, I wrote “there is almost always a third option to ‘reject the choice’ or even ‘defer the choice’ which means there are many options.”  Back then I didn’t really have the theory or lived experience to understand what it meant or the language to express it.

And now I do.  No wonder I’ve been in such a good mood for the last two months!