In the cyberdelic lineage of RU Sirius's publishing efforts, the 1980s 'zine High Frontiers morphed into Reality Hackers which eventually evolved into the massively-influential Mondo 2000. The transition from a "psychedelic magazine with a tech gloss" to a "tech magazine with a psychedelic gloss" was spurred primarily by its editors' growing interest in cyberpunk, virtual reality, smart drugs, and weird science. But as RU writes in a new essay from the Mondo 2000 History Project, he also hoped to turn the 'zine into a commercially-sustainable venture supported in part by tech company ads. After all, "acid dealers didn't advertise." During the 1988 birth of Reality Hackers, RU came up with a description of the emerging subculture:
What Are The Reality Hackers Doing
1: Using high technology for a life beyond limits
2: Expanding the effectiveness and enjoyment of the human brain, mind, nervous system and senses
3: Blurring the distinction between science fiction and reality
4: Making big bureaucracy impossible
5: Entertaining any notion — using what works
6: Infusing new energy into postmodern culture
7: Using hardcore anthropology to understand human evolution
8: Using media to send out mutational memes (thought viruses)
9: Blurring the distinctions between high technology and magic
10: Replacing nerd mythology with sexy, healthy, aesthetic, & artful techno-magicians of both genders.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.