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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:   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.


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


Ishmael was the first one that had a telepathic gorilla in it.  All of the others were different.  Oh, yeah -- about the Turner Tomorrow Award: that was definitely a nudge in a direction that I hadn't had before.  My wife had been telling me for years that I should write it as a novel, and I'd resisted that, thinking that people wouldn't take it seriously if I wrote it as a novel.  But the Turner Tomorrow Award was looking for a book that described my book very well.  So I wrote it for the first time as a novel, and that's when Ishmael was born.


Rob Kall:   Did you have contact with Ted Turner in response to this book?

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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 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. 

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Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is (more...)

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