Spirit and technology are the two words that define Rick Aster’s career. A Baroque composer at an early age, he learned to play the cello, and later, as he leaned more toward a hard rock style, the guitar and drum set. In college, he took every opportunity to learn about the business and technology of music, emerging as a recording engineer with a degree in economics. While trying to balance his work in engineering and economics with his talent for technology, he came upon SAS, a software system for working with data. Within a few years he become a globally known expert in SAS programming, writing a series of books on the subject.
Continuing his pursuit of music technology, Rick was searching for a way to ensure that the human element in music would not get lost in the technology of the music production process. This search led him to the timeless spiritual traditions of shamanism, from which he discovered that it was the strength of spirit, more than the quality of technology, that made music successful. Music production only needed to find the right energy surrounding the performer, then deliver that energy to the listener. With this insight, Rick began the transition back to being a musical performer.
The ideas of shamanism, along with a few ideas from music production and a few more from physics, completely changed Rick’s work in economics. Seeing economic forces as waves of intention gave him a new insight into economic decisions and led to him being known as “the shamanic economist,” a phrase that would become the name of his economics blog. His work in economics finally emerged in the 2009 book Fear of Nothing, a personal transformation book that promises to forever change the way the world looks at stuff.