Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Claudia Boulton has died

I am sorry to have to report that our British friends on Twitter are reporting the death of Claudia Boulton, environmental activist and Eris in the Cosmic Trigger Play. Here is one report. And here is another. You can listen to her on a podcast. Above image is from Bobby Campbell

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Claudia Boulton is ill

Claudia Boulton, Eris in the Cosmic Trigger play and heavily involved in the play in other ways, is gravely ill, Daisy Eris Campbell reports on Twitter.  I am sorry to see this news. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

RAW book event in London to be streamed for free

The Prometheus Rising discussion group will return soon. In the meantime, I have some news.

As previously announced, there will be a Halloween event at 7 p.m. Oct. 31, Halloween, at The Cockpit in London to mark the Hilaritas Press republication of Robert Anton Wilson's Sex, Drugs & Magick: A Journey Beyond Limits. The event is featuring Daisy Campbell, Andrew O'Neill and others. 

In the latest Mycellium news update, Michelle Olley has announced that the event will be streamed for free for those who cannot attend in person. Details at the link. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

New Hilaritas podcast


Episode Two of the new Hilaritas Press Podcast has been released. The topic this time is Wilhelm Reich. 

"In this episode, we chat with Dan Lowe about the life, work and ideas of Wilhelm Reich. Dan works as a counsellor, therapist and educator in London. He has been studying Reich since discovering him through Robert Anton Wilson over 25 years ago while at university. Dan’s clinical work as a therapist is heavily informed by relational therapy and Reich’s somatic therapy."

A couple of comments: The RSS feed doesn't work. Also, it would be nice if the podcast was searchable by any podcasting app (as many podcasts are.) I finally gave up trying to figure out how to make it work for my main podcasting app, Podkicker, and downloaded Podbean, one of the four apps the producers use. (The other options are Google, Spotify and TuneIn.) I have to admit Podbean looks pretty good in the early going, although I don't like being pushed to sign up for right wing podcasts. Let me choose, please. 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

'Crawdaddy' is excommunicated

The famous but no longer existing rock music magazine Crawdaddy, founded by Paul Williams, was excommunicated in 1975 in a letter to the editor from the "Wrong Rev. Mordecai Malignatus," probably Robert Anton Wilson. The text of the letter is here, via Martin Wagner. It's a fairly recent Tweet I guess, as Twitter is telling me it was posted 23 hours ago.

Paul Williams, who died in 2013, also was Philip K. Dick's literary executor. I met him once years ago at a Readercon and was pleased when I spoke to him to find out he was a big fan of The Beatles' song, "Things We Said Today."  His final years were very sad, due to a brain injury suffered in a bicycle accident, but his life was interesting. 

Friday, October 22, 2021

'Which One of Your Body Parts Needs More Amour?'

"Nick Herbert contemplates his 108 chakras."

From Nick Herbert, everyone's favorite "hippie physicist."

"Quantum Tantra represents an as yet unrealized new kind of physics that hopes to connect with Nature in a direct and more intimate way than merely "physicists making measurements". Quantum tantrikas seek a new way of knowing the "inanimate world" analogous to the mysterious way we presently experience our own bodies. Systematically experiencing our own bodies could be good practice for some day experiencing the physical world in a brand new (quantum) way.

"To that end, Nick Herbert has been developing an original system of body chakras to aid in exploring this great corporal gift we've been given, both for its own sake and in preparation for a new (possibly quantum) way of enjoying our own body and the physical world."

More here. 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Leftist Ayn Rand and the right wing New York Times

On Twitter, Jesse Walker publicizes the oddball chart published by Samuel Konkin in 1980, depicting what Konkin saw as the political spectrum from left to right. If you look at it, you'll see that Konkin (a libertarian activist and publisher whose periodicals ran many Robert Anton Wilson pieces) sees the "left" as libertarian and the "right" as statist, a point of view endorsed by other libertarians, such as  the late Jeff Riggenbach, defined as a "Kochtopus leftist" in Konkin's scheme. The furthest left in Konkin's analysis is reserved for Konkin's own Agorist faction in the libertarian movement. Jesse describes the chart as "gloriously eccentric." 

According to Jesse, Konkin coined the term "Kochtopus" to describe libertarians funded by the Koch brothers. It was meant as a derogatory term disparaging the influence of the Kochs, but to tell you the truth describes most of the libertarians I like, including the Reason magazine gang, the Cato Institute, the George Mason University bloggers such as Tyler Cowen, Alex Tabarrok, Bryan Caplan, etc.)  

Here is how Jesse explains the Konkin political spectrum "Here's the key to deciphering the chart: Konkin puts anarchism on the left and puts Actually Existing States on the right, judges people by how much they concede to the latter, then flattens it all to one dimension. Presto: PLO and NR, side by side." Read Jesse's Twitter thread. 

Note that in Konkin's chart, Discordians such as "Robert Anton Wilson, Robert Shea, Arthur Hlavaty etc." are listed as being on the extreme end of the ultra left. Since 1980, Arthur has moved "right" according to Konkin's scheme but has moved "left" according to the usual notions of the political spectrum.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Prometheus Rising exercise and discussion group, Week 53 (start of Chapter 8)

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara 

By Eric Wagner
Special guest blogger

Bob alters Crowely’s attributions of the tarot, attributing the Knights to earth and the Princesses to fire where Crowley attributes the Knights to fire and the Princesses to earth. Many people have tinkered with the attributions of the tarot for various reasons. Bob also consistently reversed the order of the High Priestess and Empress trumps. He and Leary did that in The Game of Life, and Bob also used that ordering in a Finnegans Wake workshop I attended in Dallas in 1987.  

It seems clear that my two strongest imprints fall on the first and third circuits. I have wondered whether I fall more in the Prince of Discs category or in the Knight of Swords category as described in this chapter. I always wanted to fall in the Knight of Swords category (“sometimes the artist”), but I suspect I fall in the Prince of Discs category (if not the Knight of Discs category). My wife has frequently told me I should have become a lawyer. 

I find it humbling that I had forgotten that Bob mentions Scarlett O’Hara on page 117. I spent a lot over the last year thinking about Scarlett for the exercises for chapter five of Prometheus Rising, and I totally forgot that Bob mentions her in chapter 8. I sometimes arrogantly think I know this book backwards and forwards, but the space-time event of the actual book contains more than my memory of the book. (Part of me could become lost just rereading Proust’s In Search of Lost Time over and over again, since the actual novel contains so much more than my memory of that novel about memory.) 

I love Johann Sebastian Bach’s music, but I do not think he wrote “the sexiest music in history.” Bob Wilson radically affected my taste in music, but I think the thirty years that separate our births led me to my having a very different musical fourth circuit imprint than he did. 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Did the U.S. crackdown on drugs harm the economy and science?

Robert Anton Wilson used to write about the research inspired by LSD and other hallucinogens and argue that the banning of research was a major attack on science. You may have thought his claims were a little too much, but it's hard to disagree that repression isn't very good for innovation. 

There's now a very interesting essay, Higher than the Shoulders of Giants; Or, a Scientist’s History of Drugs, at a blog called Slime Mold Time Mold, which argues that passage of the Controlled Substances Act and the creation of the DEA (the Drug Enforcement Administration) caused the well-known stagnation in the economy and technology since the 1970s. 

The thesis may seem kind of out there, but the essay demonstrates that  coffee helped fuel the rise of science in England and that cocaine helped generate important science in Germany and the U.S. It also documents the well-known influence of LSD on music (i.e., the Beatles, but also the Grateful Dead and many others) and Silicon Valley (I'm sure many readers of this blog have heard about Steve Jobs and LSD, and the popularity of the drug among people involved in the computer revolution in California.)

Via Sam Enright, who writes, "A very intriguing argument that the slowdown in growth post-1970 is due to the Controlled Substances Act, and that cultures tend to see periods of artistic and intellectual flourishing after the introduction of new drugs. An excellent post."

I can't find any credits for who writes Slime Mold, but it seems very interesting. Lots of science writing. And in case, it seems very likely to me RAW would have been interested in Higher Than the Shoulders of Giants. 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

The art of Leosaysays

One of the things I was struck by when I read New Trajectories 2, the big zine put out by Bobby Campbell for Maybe Day this year (still available for download here) was the high quality of the art, including the art of Leosaysays.

Leosaysays has now updated the portfolio of his official website, and invites you to check out more of striking art. 

Friday, October 15, 2021