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Invisible Success, Civilizations that Die or Quit and Memes We Live By; Transcript of an Interview with Daniel Quinn

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Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio   

I interviewed Daniel Quinn on April 5th, 2013.  This is part one of a two part interview. Here is a link to the audio podcast: Daniel Quinn, Author of Ishmael, on Invisible Success, Civilization and Memes We Live By 

Thanks to Don Caldarazzo   for doing the transcript.

Daniel Quinn's book, Ishmael, about a telepathic gorilla, won a Ted Turner award for book with a hopeful vision of the future. It's become a bestseller translated into many languages and I recommend it as must reading if you've never read it. This interview discusses the book AND an essay on invisible success and civilizations that die or quit-- one he wrote specifically for this interview.

 
by Friends of Ishmael

Rob Kall:   And welcome to the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, WNJC 1360 AM out of Washington Township, reaching metro Philly and South Jersey, sponsored  by Opednews.com .  Tonight, I'm very excited to have as my guest Daniel Quinn.  "Daniel Quinn (and this is from Wikipedia) is an American writer popularly described as an environmentalist, and best for known his novel Ishmael, published in 1992, which won the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship Award in 1991.  Quinn does not, however, identify himself as an environmentalist, criticizing the term for 'creating a false dichotomy that frames the environment somehow separate from human life.'"  So.  Welcome to the show, Daniel!

Daniel Quinn   Oh, I'm glad to be with you.

Rob Kall:   So tell me: that's Wikipedia's take on you.  How would you like people to think about you?

Daniel Quinn   Well that's a question I've never been able to answer, and people have tried all sorts of things.  I've been called a primitive anarchist, and, as you say, I've been called by 'environmentalist.'  I suppose the closest is "Cultural Critic," whatever in the world that might be,.

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Rob Kall:   That's pretty wide and open.  That' gives you lots of room to do whatever you want.

Daniel Quinn   Yeah.

Rob Kall:   OK.  I contacted you because I've been a fan ever since you came out with Ishmael, a brilliant book that everybody should read.  Let me repeat that again: Ishmael is an incredible book that gets you to think about the world in different ways; that, I believe every person should read this.  How would you describe Ismael?

Daniel Quinn   You mean the book?

Rob Kall:   Yes.

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Daniel Quinn One of the great puzzles that people have is that when they tell someone about the book, they say "Well, what's it about?" (laughs), and that's really a difficult one.  What people have told me is that it changed their life.  Yeah, I've heard this a thousand times, I'm not making it up.  And they thank me for showing them that they're not crazy, because the people around them have been telling them for years that they're crazy.  Some people thank me for giving them hope, because it is a message that has a kernel of hope when I think hope is very desperately needed.

Rob Kall:   Well, you wrote the book, and it won Ted Turner's Tomorrow Fellowship Award, and the funny thing is, I remember ripping the ad announcing the contest out of the New York Times.  I've had some fantasies of being a Science Fiction writer at different times in my life; I've never really done it, but then the next thing I know, you won that award.

Part of the requirements of that award was that it be a hopeful vision of the future.  Did you write it thinking, "I'm going to write this for this contest," or -- how did it come about that you wrote it?

Daniel Quinn   It began twelve years before that.  I knew I had something to write, and that was desperately important.  'Important' means "What I was born to write."  And I wrote a book; it wasn't what I wanted, and I wrote another one -- call it 'versions.'  Over the next twelve years, I wrote eight versions, each one striving to be the book that I wanted it to be, and I left behind all seven of them.  The eighth one was Ishmael

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the (more...)
 

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