ask a rock star neuroscientist.

(public post)

hallo loves

thank you for all your updates yesterday…i’m scrolling through them and still kinda dead to the world and a lot of them are making me happy, even the sad ones. maybe even especially the sad ones. since i still have my TED brain on, i’m reeling, listless and joyful at the way we might actually communicate mo’ better with one another given the very tight constraints of this platform. i am thinky thinky thinking.

one idea is this, and i may poke you to do it on certain posts more than others, but would you mind, if you have the time at moment-of-posting….would you mind posting WHERE YOU ARE when you post? and by that, i mean anything up to and including

-where on earth are you (city state country planet whatever)?

-what time it is?

-WHERE you are situated (on a couch? in bed? in bath? in car? on subway?) 

-on what sorta device?

 -and maybe…what else is going on that can paint a picture of our humanity?? like: maybe… are on your 4th glass of wine. you are tired. or you just woke up. or you are in your basement since your in-laws have stolen your house. there’s a cat in your lap. there’s a dead cat in your lap. there’s either a dead cat or an alive cat in your lap and you don’t know yet. you know…that sort of thing.

……i don’t know if this is going to muddy up the comments in the extreme…but i have found that when you share this information with me, it makes this place feels so much more human and emotionally tangible. you know? anyway, worth a shot. try it HERE!!


i have a simple question/task for you…

this wednesday, i am going to be in a conversation with david eagleman at the rubin museum in NYC. a small handful of you have tickets – the space is TINY.

we are recording the talk AND i’m going to interview david the next morning and i’m hoping to thread the whole thing together into a beautiful podcast for y’all. i’m still fiddling with the idea of HOW to do a podcast and this is all ingredients.

so that being the case, i’d LOVE for you to arm me with some questions and thoughts. if you’ve already read any of david’s books, you’re way ahead of the crowd. (they include a handful of bestsellers about OUR BRAINS…AND MORE….)



i’m reading this one right now and it’s mind-blowingly good…and ash just added some embellishments to the cover art:



it imagines 40 different scenarios in the afterlife, and starts like this:

“In the afterlife you relive all your experiences, but this time with the events reshuffled into a new order: all the moments that share a quality are grouped together.

You spend two months driving the street in front of your house, seven months having sex. You sleep for thirty years without opening your eyes. For five months straight you flip through magazines while sitting on a toilet.”

i mean….this is david; he is amazing.

BUT HAVE NO FEAR: if you have 20 minutes, PLEASE watch his TED talk…i embedded it in this post and it’s here:

i was in the audience in 2015 when david gave this talk and got chills. it’s impossible to explain, so just watch, but suffice it to say that it will change to way you think about your brain, the way it perceives reality, and what can be done for people with “sensory disabilities”.

the talk may disturb you….but this is GOOD! if it does, write down why in the comments and arm me with some good questions for david. he knows many many things about the brain, neuroscience and perception – ASK AWAY!!! as i’m putting my notes for the podcast and the events, i’ll scan through the comments – no question or idea is too dumb to toss out. but bear in mind; i’m going to be asking him the kinds of things *i* would ask – it’ll be way more about feelings than about the technicalities of receptors. nature of reality = good! really impossible to understand things from PhD neuroscientists = bad! be kind to me!

ok ASK.

i love you. and where are you? tell me that, too.

UND….try to get me your questions in the next 48 hours (before tuesday night).





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2. see All the Things i’ve made so far on patreon:

3. join the official AFP-patron facebook group:

4. new to my music and TOTALLY OVERWHELMED? TAKE A WALK THROUGH AMANDALANDA….we made a basic list of my greatest hits n stuff on this lovely page:

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  • James Gien Varney-Wong

    Hey Amanda!

    My name is Gien. I’m in Cape Town. There’s a cat by my feet (Sonnet) and another on the bookshelf by my head (Vishnu). I’m here because I saw my brother Henry’s Facebook post, which my wife alerted me to. Henry’s caption reads: “On stage with the Carnival Band and Amanda Palmer, at the sold out ninjaTED2018 Benefit for the
    Greater Vancouver Food Bank.” So naturally, I googled who Amanda Palmer is and found your page.

    I’m a big fan of David Eagleman and Umwelt. If you like David, you might like my other favorite neuroscientist, Donald Hoffman speaking at my favorite conference: The SAND (Science and NonDuality) conference:

    I’m a co-founder of, a global citzen collective sense-making and implementing pilots for citizen-driven rapid whole system change. The convergence of neuroscience, spirituality, quantum mechanics and relativity – SAND conference is perfect example of this, as well as, anthropocene studies, open source, circular economies, language and the big question about life and death is necessary as part of the transition humanity is going through. We are weaving David Eagleman and Donald Hoffman’s work into our Human Interior Transformation theory of change.

    Cool that you interviewed David! Did you ask him about Possibilianism? I look forward to hearing your interview with him.

  • Tianwei Liu

    Hi Amanda. I’m Tianwei. It’s 1:35am on a Sunday night (Monday morning), and I’m in my twin bed in a two-bedroom apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn. There is a half-finished beginner’s Amazon embroidery kit next to me because it’s two weeks till law school finals, and I always find some wildly novel new way to procrastinate before law school finals (last semester it was Neopets).

    Whether or not you remember, I was your last question-asker during your talk with David last week; I really wanted more to ask which of your songs you liked the best, but at the last moment impulsively decided it was a dumb question / not in keeping with the theme of the night. I loved your talk, and I loved your answer nonetheless.

    I don’t really have a question here – mostly I wanted to thank you for coming out and talking, in that way that both calms and takes up the whole room. And for talking about music, and babies, and productivity.

  • Beverly French Hi Amanda, this is Beverly. It’s 7:26pm on a friday night and I’m watching the sunset outside of my building in San Diego. Somehow (due to the machinations of my amazing officemate) I recently acquired an ocean-view office despite the fact that I am a Lowly Graduate Student in Marine Biology. (Sort of my office because I am leaving on Friday for six months of fieldwork on the island of Mo’orea, French Polynesia, and so my desk will be empty. The ocean itself will be my office for the next few months for which i am unimaginably grateful but also terrified.) I have been in love with your music (and you. and what you represent) since I was an Art Weirdo in high school and have followed you on this strange journey from the Dresden Dolls to now, on my parallel journey from Art Weirdo in high school and lover of Art and Magic and Words and Faeries and Nature to graduate student studying coral reef ecology. Life is strange. I didn’t make it in your 48 hours request, but was feeling lonely and overwhelmed on this precipice of life-changing things and thought I would go to your blog and feel connected to something bigger. I saw this title, couldn’t pass it up and really enjoyed David’s TED talk. I hope these pixels make it to you. I am full of the humanity that your music and words have filled me with for years. thank you for everything, and I hope your weekend (and week. and life) is full of love and hope. xoxo beverly

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