Steve Silberman has published a long, lyrical review of the re-issue of the psychedelic classic Be Not Content, William Craddock's legendary novel of the glory days of US psychedelic counterculture, which has just been re-issued by Rudy Rucker as an ebook from his Transreal Books imprint. The new edition includes an introduction by Rudy Rucker.
To bestir himself from his suburban ennui, Egregore restores a vintage Harley and starts hanging around with the Night Riders, one of many local gangs -- including the Hell's Angels and Gypsy Jokers -- who fancied themselves the last true American outlaws, the "1% free," while throttling alleged pansies with pool cues and treating women like disposable shop-rags for mopping up excess splooge. Into this Pabst-drenched milieu, Sandoz chemist Albert Hofmann's "problem child" -- LSD! -- arrived like a Zen bomb, opening unutterable chasms of profundity between those who could Dig It and those who couldn't.
With each safari into hyperspace, that "It" became more and more vast, swelling in significance until it became a free-floating cypher standing in for the whole universe. There are no better descriptions of what it must have felt like to be a head in the first days of the acid flash -- when it was still a secret, self-selecting club of adepts -- than those in this book. Egregore instantly disowns the "hard-guy game" and casual brutality of his biker brothers, and embraces a munificent Eternal Now uncovered by the drug, "a zone where everything's just about ready to have already happened, making it all cool."
This zone was disorienting at first, as the gaga scripts and hollow pantomimes of ego and consensus reality were sandblasted away, but "it was good," Egregore concluded. "A new kind of good. No, an old kind of good, almost remembered from early inferred promises." Of course, soon he had a new problem -- figuring out how to stay in the zone, when the Tao grace of the golden molecules only lasted for 8 to 12 hours. But with new shipments of synthesized enlightenment arriving daily from the labs of highly skilled and meticulous (artisanal, one might say) underground chemists like Owsley Stanley, there was no need to ever come down. Right?
Rudy Rucker Resurrects a Lost Classic of Psychedelia
This/next week, I’m speaking in events in Park City, Utah (Future in Review); Boston (The Freedom to Innovate Summit, the Berman Center and Suffolk University); Toronto (Seneca College); Markham (In Conversation and Storytellers); and the University of Waterloo! Come say hi! (Image: Terri Oda, CC-BY)
When I was a kid, I was terrified of farting in class. At home, it was no big deal: it was a daily fart festival with my family. But at school? TOTAL FEAR OF FLATULENCE. But then it dawned on me: EVERYBODY FARTS. And that’s one of the reasons why I’ve decided to write a graphic novel about how our bodies work. It’s about all the stuff that goes on inside our bodies daily, or throughout our lives, and that this stuff – whether it’s digestion, or respiration, or defecation – is necessary for us to live. And it gives you excellent come-back material if anyone teases you for farting in school!
Alan Turing and the codebreakers of Bletchley Park invented modern crypto and computers in the course of breaking Enigma ciphers, the codes that Axis powers created with repurposed Enigma Machines — sophisticated (for the day) encryption tools invented for the banking industry — to keep the Allies from listening in on their communications.
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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