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  • So I'm here tonight talking to Howard bloom

  • Who's a fascinating person and an an author of many books and a polymath of sorts and we've known each other by?

  • Electronic communication for quite a long time, it's it's something exceeding a decade

  • but we've never met either in person or electronically by video until now and

  • Howard is definitely well he's a singular sort of person and he has a very broad range of knowledge

  • As broad as anyone I've ever encountered

  • I would say and so what I'm going to do first is turn this over to him so that he can tell you a little

  • bit about himself and about what he's done and

  • Then we're gonna talk about his newest book which is called how I accidentally started the 60s and then well

  • We're gonna see where it goes from there, so Howard. Thanks for

  • Showing up here and let's let's see where we can go, so why don't you tell everybody about yourself?

  • Well, it's a pleasure to see you in person because I think it's about been about 14 years

  • maybe 15 years that we've known each other I

  • Put together a science of the soul initiative a long time ago, and and you were one of those kind enough to sign on

  • but I am the author of six books the first book is called the Lucifer principle a scientific expedition into the force of history and

  • Even though it's about 25 years old

  • People are buying it at because it feels like it was written yesterday

  • For tomorrow and people call it their Bible the second book is

  • global brain the evolution of masked mind from the Big Bang to the 21st century and

  • the office of the Secretary of Defense in the United States the reform based on one of the on that book and

  • brought in people from the State Department the Energy Department DARPA IBM and MIT

  • The third book is called the genius of the Beast a radical revision of capitalism

  • I preferred its original title which was reinventing capitalism porting soul the machine and that

  • Book the man who runs Dubai the Sheikh who runs Dubai

  • named a racehorse after one of that after that book the

  • His former minister of development who's on Dubai's ruling council and runs a thirty

  • Three billion dollar sovereign real estate company to built the tallest building in the world

  • went in front of the Arabian Business and Economic Forum and

  • told them there is a book that I particularly resonate with it's the genius of the Beast and

  • It contains the future of Dubai and he proceeded to read passages from that book and dr. APJ Kalam the eleventh President of India

  • Said that that book is a visionary creation

  • And this is despite the fact that the Sheikh who runs Dubai his former minister of development and dr. Abdul J

  • Column are all Muslims

  • And I'm a Zionist atheist Jew so if there's any sign of hope for peace in this world

  • That's it I've done lots and lots of other things just a few months ago. I

  • Founded and shared the Asian space technology summit with a large

  • groups of representatives from china the chinese academy of space technology and from

  • England space program, I've done the weirdest variety of things you've ever seen in your life

  • Oh, and I should not forget once upon a time. I found it. I knew nothing about popular culture

  • I founded the biggest PR firm in the music industry

  • I used my scientific tools since it's my background of science my life is science my bones and my flesh our science and

  • It became the most successful PR on that firm in the record industry

  • So I worked with Michael Jackson Prince Bob Marley about Midler ac/dc

  • Aerosmith kiss Queen Run DMC Billy Joel Paul Simon Peter Gabriel David Byrne Run DMC Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

  • little things like that

  • Yeah, well it's a crazy biography

  • You'd think you'd have to think that someone was making that up if you didn't know it was true

  • And then you also accidentally started the 60s apparently yes, and it was just reading that book about a week ago

  • And thought what did you think of it? Oh? I thought it was very funny

  • It was it was it was I also thought

  • It was remarkable that you managed to have a foreword by or was it wasn't a foreword

  • I don't think it was caught it by Timothy Leary. Yes. Well. Let me tell you how that came about

  • There I was well. It was about 1981 and I

  • Started to go back to my science. Yes, I was running most successful PR firm the music industry

  • Yes, we were still on the ascent

  • Yes were establishing

  • Taking unknowns like prints and establishing them as major stars or joan jett who've been turned down by 23 record companies

  • And we made her double platinum in a year and a half

  • But I finally got a little time for you to go back to my science

  • And then I was taking a bunch of journalists out to Long Island to see REO

  • Speedwagon and a bunch of them said bloom all these ideas you keep talking about us

  • you need to write a book and one of them took me under his wing and

  • Actually mentored me Timothy white who wrote for The Associated Press and Rolling Stone

  • So I started working on a book in 1984 about

  • 1988 I had gotten up and running and written the first chapters on a vacation and then I came down

  • Well for two things happen first. I really needed to get out of publicity in the music industry

  • I had satisfied all of my intellectual questions because there were SATA questions. I was answer answering

  • What are the mass exhilarations the mass ecstasy's the mass emotions that are the forces of history that power?

  • historical change

  • that's what I was after and you see that in miniature with the Beatles or with Michael Jackson or with Prince so I

  • Gotten as far as I could I mean you two would approach me to represent them. I wasn't interested

  • Mick Jagger had sent an emissary talk about representing him. I wasn't interested I'd been through all of this so

  • Let me ask you. Let me ask you a couple of questions there, so I mean the first question would be I think

  • How what is it that you had done that had prepared you for that and how and how did you manage it?

  • So I guess that's two questions, but also what did you?

  • What did you learn from all of that well these were these are very good questions to prepare me for this Martin Gardner

  • From the time I was 10 I was reading two books a day

  • My teachers hated me because I was reading a book under the desk at all times and never ever paid attention

  • to them and many of these were science books and I read the Scientific American from cover to cover and

  • Martin Gardner who was a mathematician

  • Had a column called mathematical games, and I learned what I know from mathematical games it taught me certain techniques

  • I was able to bring into the record industry, so so that's it's a hell of a stretch

  • I mean yeah, but singular story, so okay, so elaborate on that well what it taught is how to look for correlations?

  • and more than

  • mathematical techniques for finding correlations it gave you a gut feel of what a correlation looks like so that you

  • didn't have to

  • Go off to a world of mathematics of a cell or Kane that had no relationship to reality you could take the search for

  • Correlations into the real world I listen to music as obsessively from the time

  • I was about 10 years old my uncle and I used to stand next to a huge old

  • Burlwood radio that was as tall as I was at the time

  • And it had a giant speaker in Jordan in those days 12-inch speakers nobody to receive 12in speakers

  • but it had one, and we've listened to the classical music station in Canada because we were in Buffalo on the border and

  • we would compete to see who can identify a

  • Piece of music by its first four notes well often we could both identify the piece of music by its first note however

  • It was all classical music it was Rachmaninoff Barto Beethoven Stravinsky

  • Mozart stuff like that so I can't really say that I was properly prepared

  • Because I was hated by the other peak it's my age in Buffalo nior and my parents didn't have any time for me

  • So I was an outcast and the crowd of people that shut me out

  • Listen to popular music, so popular music. What started is with Elvis Presley

  • What was around before Elvis Presley and then moved on that was alien music to me?

  • and I wasn't the least bit interested in it and but in the

  • 1970 will late 1960s and early 1970s

  • I

  • Knew I had fellowships at for grad schools in what is now called neuroscience at that point?

  • It was a do-it-yourself proposition

  • I was going to have to take courses in the med school at Columbia and put them together with courses in psychology

  • At Columbia and make my own neuroscience because there were no neuroscience courses

  • But I had four fellowships to do this, and I realized that grad school would be Auschwitz for the mine

  • Why because I was fascinated by these ecstatic mass

  • fashions that

  • give people that boost people out of themselves that lift them into something much bigger than themselves a

  • deep need that every human has to feel at some point a part of something much bigger than his or herself and

  • Those are the mass passions that create historical change

  • They are the forces of history, and I was not going to get to study mass fashions

  • I was not going to get to make contact with mass fashions if I went on to an academic career

  • I'd be spending the rest of my life

  • Giving paper and pencil tests to 22 college students in exchange for a psychology credit now exactly how much

  • Ecstatic experience are you going to see in a classroom of that sort with paper and pencil tests 0 the entire?

  • Phenomena I wanted to understand would not be there anywhere in my life

  • So I took advantage of the fact that I had basically been kidnapped in my junior year

  • By the poet in residence at NYU who had said he'd said look bloom when everybody rose out of the room

  • Close the door

  • I thought I need to talk to you well Jordan that means a bawling out right

  • So I waited till everybody left. I shut the door I sat down and you're about to be bawled out chair and

  • the poet in residence

  • Said to me look last year I asked you to be on the staff of literary magazine

  • You didn't even show up this year. You are the literary magazine

  • You don't even have a faculty advisor the minute you walk out that door

  • You're it now walk out that door and I walked out the door looking totally

  • Baffled because I hated literary magazines they were the most boring things you had ever seen you could have a group of

  • Vikings each of whom had drunk a quart of ale

  • Bunk parking up against the wall on bonking each other

  • And if you put a literary magazine in the room that pale blue cover and the mists chosen type would

  • Make you I'd to put everybody to sleep instantly or would drive them out of the room

  • So I looked very confused and a student walked up to me and said you look troubled about something can I help you?

  • Why don't I take you down for a cup of coffee?

  • I didn't know what a cup of coffee was I grown up with lab rats and and hamsters

  • not with human beings

  • but but I followed him obediently down the stairs and

  • When we sat down at the we shop, and I ordered water, and he ordered coffee

  • He said if you could do anything you want with this magazine. What would it be and I said a picture book so

  • That that'd be Jordan. I learned that question that question is a very valuable tool

  • So I turned it into experimental a graphics magazine

  • And it was a wild hit and it was a wild hit not just on campus where they doubled our budget for the second issue

  • It was a wild hit in the art directorial community

  • I think I think you covered that in in how I started accidentally started the 60s right I think yeah there

  • Yeah, you know so what that allowed me to do

  • is

  • When I and my wife was putting pressure on me

  • She had had a previous husband who was assuming she was tired of having student husbands

  • She made it clear in a kind of sotto voce way that if I went off to grad school at Columbia

  • I could kiss her goodbye not a nice idea after three years of marriage so with all these pressures on me I

  • threw my lot in with the artists that I'd assembled for this magazine we we formed an art studio and

  • the first year we are in $75 a piece which is

  • Which is just enough to get you food and possibly a little bit of shelter in New York City

  • But eventually I made another cover of Earth Direction magazine. I invented a new

  • animation technique for NBC TV and most important my studio did all of the graphics for

  • ABC 7 FM stations at a time when there was a revolution taking place in radio there was this brand new form of radio called