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Howard Bloom: Imagination Takes You Everywhere

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In this very special Free Speech TV media production, we go behind the scenes and into the mind of legendary Howard Bloom, scientists, innovator, Author and Publicist to the Stars.

Bloom bio, the short version:

Howard Bloom has been called “next in a lineage of seminal thinkers that includes Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Freud, and Buckminster Fuller” by Britain’s Channel4 TV and “the next Stephen Hawking” by Gear Magazine.  Bloom is the author of seven books, including The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History and the new Einstein, Michael Jackson & Me: A Search for Soul in the Power Pits of Rock and Roll.  The Office of the Secretary of Defense threw a symposium on Bloom’s second book, Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century, and brought in representatives from the State Department, the Energy Department, DARPA, IBM, and MIT. The eleventh president of India, Dr. A.P.J. Kalam called Bloom’s third book, The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism, “a visionary creation.”  And the Sheikh who runs Dubai named a racehorse—the Beast–after that same book.  Bloom has published or lectured scholarly conferences in twelve different fields, from quantum physics and cosmology to neuroscience, evolutionary biology, psychology, information science, governance, and aerospace.  His work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, Knight Financial News Service, Cosmopolitan, The Village Voice, and the blog sites of Psychology Today and The Scientific American.  In a full-page article in Business Insider, SpaceX’s Elon Musk praised one of Bloom space projects, the Two Billion Dollar Moon Prize. The Two Billion Dollar Moon Prize was also covered in Time, Newsweek, CBS, NBC, Fox News, and Politico. And Jeff Bezos tweeted a Bloom blog from the Scientific American calling for the establishment of a permanent transport infrastructure in space.

Bloom bio, the long version.  Brace yourself:

“I know a lot of people. A lot. And I ask a lot of prying questions. But I’ve never run into a more intriguing biography than Howard Bloom’s in all my born days.” Paul Solman, Business and Economics Correspondent, PBS NewsHour

“By any standards, Howard Bloom has achieved great things. Scientist, publicist, and author barely begin to describe it. … So great is his body of work that it would be easy for even a superbly accomplished individual to read the bio at the back of his recently published book and come away with a general feeling of inferiority.”  Simon Constable, Forbes

Howard Bloom has been called “next in a lineage of seminal thinkers that includes Newton, Darwin, Einstein, [and] Freud,” by Britain’s Channel4 TV, “the next Stephen Hawking” by Gear Magazine, and “The Buckminster Fuller and Arthur C. Clarke of the new millennium” by Buckminster Fuller’s archivist Bonnie DeVarco.   Bloom is the author of seven books:

  • The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History (“mesmerizing”-The Washington Post),
  • Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century  (“reassuring and sobering”-The New Yorker),
  • The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism (“Impressive, stimulating, and tremendously enjoyable.” James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic),
  • The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates (“Bloom’s argument will rock your world.” Barbara Ehrenreich),
  • How I Accidentally Started the Sixties (“Wow! Whew! Wild! Wonderful!” Timothy Leary),
  • The Muhammad Code:  How a Desert Prophet Gave You ISIS, al Qaeda, and Boko Haram–or How Muhammad Invented Jihad (“a terrifying book…the best book I’ve read on Islam,” David Swindle, PJ Media), and
  • Einstein, Michael Jackson & Me: a Search  for Soul in the Power Pits of Rock & Roll (“Amazing. The writing is revelatory.”  Freddy DeMann, manager of Madonna and Michael Jackson), to be published by Rowman and Littlefield in April, 2020.

Howard Bloom’s website is found here.

Bloom is the subject of two documentary films: The Grand Unified Theory of Howard Bloom (https://youtu.be/rGkOkChazUQ)from three-time Emmy-winning director Charlie Hoxie; and My Dinner With Howard from Buckminster Fuller’s film biographer Noel B. Murphy.

Bloom’s second book, Global Brain, was the subject of an Office of the Secretary of Defense symposium in 2010, with participants from the State Department, the Energy Department, DARPA, IBM, and MIT.  Bloom is founder and head of the Space Development Steering Committee, a group that has included astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Edgar Mitchell (the sixth man on the moon), and members from the National Science Foundation, NASA, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and the National Space Society. He is also co-founder and co-chair of the Asian Space Technology Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai’s ruler, who doubles as the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, has named a racehorse The Beast after one of Bloom’s books, The Genius of the Beast. The eleventh president of India, Dr. A.P.J. Kalam, has called The Genius of the Beast “a visionary creation.”

Bloom recently led a team assembled at Caltech by the Keck Institute for Space Studies to co-design a proposed multi-planetary mission—an energy infrastructure for the solar system.  His fellow team members came from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Air Force Research Lab, Carnegie Mellon University, and GE.

In May, 2019, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Bloom pieced together a Two Billion Dollar Moon Prize in which his partners are three-star Air Force General Steve Kwast and Newt Gingrich (Bloom, by the way, is a liberal Democrat).  The Two Billion Dollar Moon Prize has been covered by Time, Newsweek, CBS, NBC, Fox News,  Politico, Ars Technica, CNET, and Business Insider.  The Business Insider piece was a full page of Elon Musk enthusing over the Two Billion Dollar Moon Prize.

Topping it off, Bloom has probed the untold story of the Syrian Civil War with Nancy Kissinger.  He has debated one-one-one with senior officials from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Gaza’s Hamas on Iran’s global Arab-language Alalam TV News Network. He has also dissected headline issues over forty times on Saudi Arabia’s KSA2-TV, Ekhbariya TV, and on Iran’s global English language Press-TV.

Why this diverse range?  Bloom calls his area of expertise “mass behavior, from the mass behavior of quarks to the mass behavior of human beings.” And his goal is to “master as many disciplines as my limited brain can handle.”  Why? “My job,” he says, “is to soar over the silos of the specializations and to use them as pixels in the biggest picture a 21st century human can see.”  How is he doing at this task?  Bloom has published and/or lectured at scholarly conferences in twelve different fields: including quantum physics, cosmology, evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, biopolitics, governance, economics, history, information science, and aerospace. He has lectured at Yale, Stanford, and Columbia University’s Department of Neuroscience.  His scientific work has appeared in: arxiv.org, the leading pre-print site in advanced theoretical physics and math; PhysicaPlus; Across Species Comparisons and Psychopathology; New Ideas in Psychology; The Journal of Space Philosophy; and in the books: Research in Biopolitics; The Future Information Society; and NASA’s Cosmos and Culture.  In addition, Bloom lectured an international conference of quantum physicists in Moscow—Quantum Informatics 2006—on why everything we know about quantum physics is wrong.  The concepts Bloom introduced were later used in a book proposing a new approach to quantum physics, Constructive Physics, by Moscow University’s Yuri Ozhigov.

Bloom aims for a style that reads like what he calls “a dessert tray for the intellect.”  As a result, his writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Quartz, Knight-Ridder Financial News Service, The Village Voice, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and the blog sites of the Psychology Today and The Scientific American.  In fact, one of Bloom’s Scientific American blogs was tweeted by Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos. Bloom has also appeared 325 times for up to five hours on 545 radio stations on the highest-rated overnight talk radio show in North America, Premiere Radio Network’s Coast to Coast AM, where he has discussed everything from the biome in the gut and the evolution of the stars to the presidential primaries, the impeachment of Donald Trump, and North Korea’s nuclear weapons.

Bloom has founded  three international scientific groups.  In addition to the Space Development Steering Committee (2007), he pulled together the Group Selection Squad (1995), which gained acceptance for the concept of group selection in evolutionary biology; and The International Paleopsychology Project (1997), which created a new synthesis between cosmology, paleontology, evolutionary biology, and  history.

Bloom started in science at the age of ten in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, diving into cosmology and microbiology.  At the age of twelve, he built his first Boolean Algebra machine, co-conceived a game-playing computer that won local science fair prizes, was granted an audience with the head of the State University at Buffalo’s graduate physics department to debate the Big Bang versus the Steady State theory of the universe.  Still just twelve years old, Bloom was tutored in outside-the-box scientific thinking by the head of research and development for the Moog Valve Company, the firm that made engine valves for the first airplanes to break the sound barrier and to reach space—the Bell X-1 and the Bell X-2.

At sixteen Bloom was a lab assistant at the world’s largest cancer research facility, the Roswell Park Memorial Institute in Buffalo, NY.  At Roswell Park in 1959, Bloom generated The Bloom Toroidal Model of the Universe, otherwise known as the Big Bagel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdJyafSBCb0), a theory that predicted something that would not be discovered for another 39 years—dark energy.

At thirteen, Bloom zeroed in on what he felt was a towering scientific puzzle—the relationship between the ecstatic experience and the mass passions that shape the forces of history.  Bloom saw these experiences as “the gods inside.”   So in 1968 Bloom turned down four fellowships in cognitive neuroscience and set off on a scientific expedition into a field he knew nothing about: popular culture. He was hunting for the forces of history in “the belly of the beast where new myths and new mass movements are made.”  And he found them.

How did Bloom pull off what he calls his Voyage of the Beagle?  At NYU, Bloom had edited and art-directed an experimental graphics and literary magazine that won two Academy of American Poets prizes. After he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, his magazine’s shockwaves allowed him to do something totally unexpected.  He co-founded a commercial art studio—Cloud Studio.  That landed him on the cover of Art Direction Magazine.  Cloud Studio was, he says, a “periscope position,” a position from which he could survey a world he did not know—the world of pop culture.  Three years later Bloom said yes to an offer to edit Circus Magazine, a rock monthly.  He knew nothing about rock music, but he studied like a madman, reinvented the magazine’s format, increased its circulation 211%, and was credited by Rolling Stone’s East Coast editor Chet Flippo with creating a “new magazine genre, the heavy metal magazine.”  Then Bloom founded the biggest PR firm in the music industry—The Howard Bloom Organization, Ltd–a company he  ran from 1976 to 1988.

Says former chairman and CEO of Mercury Records, Danny Goldberg in his book Bumping into Geniuses, Bloom’s “interest in rock and roll had more to do with the study of mass psychology in action than furthering the aggrandizement of spoiled rock stars. He approached PR as an applied science.” In fact, Bloom used his science to invent simple correlational techniques and no-cost market research tools.  He joined the resulting data to what he calls “tuned empathy” and “saturated intuition” to help build or sustain the careers of figures like Michael Jackson, Prince, Bob Marley, Bette Midler, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Billy Idol, Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, John Mellencamp, Joan Jett, Queen, Kiss, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Kool and the Gang, Chaka Khan, Run DMC, and roughly 100 others.  He contributed to the success of films like The Great Gatsby, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Outrageous Fortune, and Purple Rain.   In the process, he helped generate $28 billion in revenues (more than the gross domestic product of Oman or Luxembourg) for companies like Sony, Disney, Pepsi Cola, Coca Cola, and Warner Brothers.  And he did it by focusing not on profits but on soul.  The result?  Sterling Whitaker, author of The Grand Delusion: The Unauthorized True Story of Styx, calls Bloom, “probably the greatest press agent that rock and roll has ever known.”

Bloom did more than explore the forces of history, he helped make them.  He helped launch Farm Aid and he helped elevate Amnesty International’s North American presence.  He worked with the United Negro College Fund, the National Black United Fund, and the NAACP.  And he put together the first public service radio campaign for solar power (1981).

In 1988, Bloom came down with ME/CFS, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, an illness that confined him to his bed for fifteen years. For five of those years, he was too weak to speak or to have another person in the room with him.  But he had two computers hooked up next to his mattress, went on the Internet, founded his first two international scientific organizations (The Group Selection Squad and the International  Paleopsychology Project), wrote three books, and, when his voice returned, lectured via video to locations like San Francisco’s Exploratorium and Stanford University. He was featured in three specials on Dutch TV, and was named a visiting scholar in the Graduate Psychology Department at NYU.  Even though he could only visit via the Internet.

Bloom recovered in 2003, and was made a core faculty member at the Graduate Institute in Meriden, Connecticut.  He’s been flown to Moscow, Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Kobe, Japan, and Chengdu, China, to lecture.  He’s lectured at American locations from Nellis Air  Force Base and the Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense Studies to Yale University.  And he’s been on both the board and the board of governors of the National Space Society.

But Bloom’s chef d’oeuvre is a project of the kind that’s usually the sole province of lunatics, the 9,200 chapters of what he unabashedly calls “The Grand Unified Theory of Everything In the Universe Including the Human Soul.” Pavel Kurakin of the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Science in Moscow says of The Grand Unified Theory of Everything In the Universe Including the Human Soul that, “Bloom has created a new Scientific Paradigm.  He explains in vast and compelling terms why we should forget all we know in complicated modern math and should start from the very beginning. …Bloom’s Grand Unified Theory… opens a window into entire systems we don’t yet know and/or see, new…collectivities that live, love, battle, win and lose each day of our gray lives.   I never imagined that a new system of thought could produce so much light.”

Concludes Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of Evolution’s End and The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, “I have finished Howard Bloom’s books, The Lucifer Principle and Global Brain, in that order, and am seriously awed, near overwhelmed by the magnitude of what he has done. I never expected to see, in any form, from any sector, such an accomplishment.  I doubt there is a stronger intellect than Bloom’s on the planet.”

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