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Sunday, June 19, 2011

RAW's friends, the hippie physicists

Today's New York Times Book Review prints a review of a new book, How the Hippies Saved Physics, a book by David Kaiser about "Science, Counterculture and the Quantum Revival."

The review is accompanied by a photograph of Jack Sarfatti, Saul-Paul Sirag, Nick Herbert and Fred Wolf. Anyone who has read Robert Anton Wilson's Cosmic Trigger and some of RAW's other works will recognize some of these names. [Update: I checked, and all of the people in the photograph are mentioned in Cosmic Trigger. Saul-Paul Sirag, in fact, wrote an Afterword for the book.]

The reviewer in the Times, George Johnson, finds the book a very entertaining read but says none of these physicists contributed very much to science.

Can't wait to read the book. Thanks to Supergee for pointing it out to me.


michael said...

The Physics-Consciousness Research Group. See:

Illuminati Papers: 32 (diagram of "context-dependent language model of Nick Herbert); 56 ( Sarfatti on ETI contactees); pp.94-103

Leary's Info-Psychology: 33 (and 8th circuit); 49 (note Sarfatti in context); 129-131 (written by Nick Herbert)

Cosmic Trigger 2: 257 (Back To The Future best artistic expression of quantum logic: Sarfatti model fro Chris Lloyd); 267-268

Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy: 242 & 314, 426-427 (Herbert's QUIP); 274 (Capra's Tao of Physics); 343-344 (Sarfatti); 345-346 (Sirag's General Field Theory); 540-545

Trajectories May 1982 and Fall 1984: Nick Herbert and Bell's Theorem

Gnosis, Winter 1988-89:(Sarfatti and Faster-Than-Light ideas FTL); Edwin Harris Walker

Coincidance: 153-155 (Walker, Honegger, Sarfatti)

Semiotext(E) SF: 70-72 (Nick Herbert's wild particle physics story that includes RU Sirius)

Omni, Dec, 1979, "UFO Update" (Sirag's conjecture about time travellers)

Prometheus Rising: acknowledgment page: Sirag, Sarfatti, Herbert, who "clarified (RAW's) whole comprehension of epistemology;" 41 (and 8CB model); 183 (Barbara Honegger: cave paintings & 5th circuit yogic/shamanic brain: 30K yrs ago); 204 (Honegger's theory of synchroncity); 267-269 (Bell's Theorem and Sarfatti,

Mavericks of the Mind: 67-88 (Nick Herbert); 124 (Honegger); 125 (Walker)

Chaos and Beyond: 232-235 (review of Fred Alan Wolf's Eagle's Quest)

Everything Is Under Control: 138 (Sarfatti)

New Libertarian magazine Interview, 4/10-77: two pages on magick and quantum mechanics. Sarfatti as the head of the PCRG. RAW recommends Space-Time and Beyond, by Bob Toben, but Sarfatti says the ideas are his?

for another view of Sarfatti, see him as a North Beach denizen (San Francisco) in Herbert Gold's book on Behemia

Email To The Universe: 41 (Capra and Herbert); 244 (group mentioned); 223 (Mishlove might have been PCRG)

Michael Hollingshead interview (High Times?): RAW says he's the PCRG's "chief literary spokesman;" RAW talks about physicists who've used LSD

Wilhelm Reich In Hell: 33 (Capra and "fundamental holism")

see Sarfatti in Imaginary Weapons, pp.11-14

see Kripal's book on Esalen: 291-314 (Capra, Stapp, Sarfatti, F.A. Wolf, Nick Hergbert, Gary Zukav)

New Libertarian mag, RAW interview, 9/5/76: RAW recommends recent issue of Spit In The Ocean, for Sirag and Sarfatti on quantum consciousness Sarfatti as a "skeptical contactee"

Eight Circuit Brain by Antero Alli: 293-294 (mentions Saraffti and Sirag at RAW's salons in Berkeley hills, 1979)

I could list more if anyone's innarested.

Were they related to the SRI group with Targ and Puhoff: Scientologists? Who funded them? What role might Werner Erhard have played? How close was Ira Einhorn to the group?

How influential was Stapp? How did Barbara Honegger make it into the Reagan Administration? She wrote the first book titled October Surprise.

RAW had mentioned a few times that he sometimes played with the idea that he had been a "useful idiot" to the CIA or some other group.

Eric Wagner said...

Great stuff, Dr. Johnson and Tom.

Re: "The Big Bang Theory" - My favorite show on TV right now, the only show I won't miss. I recommend watching it from the beginning. My family has four generations hooked on it. I love the use of the Schroedinger's Cat experiment in the first season finale. The show has a staff physicist to help with the physics jokes and to keep the science accurate. This season included references to NLP and Chaucer in Middle English.

I don't like the show "Numbers." "The Wire" spoiled most cops shows for me - they seem so fake.

Does it seem appropriate to respond to a comment at Mike's blog here? The walls come tumbling down.

michael said...

A quasi-trivial note on the NYTBR reviewer of the book, George Johnson: He published a book in 1983 called _Architects of Fear: Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia in American Politics_, and RAW's in there. Johnson sorta "gets" RAW vis a vis conspiracies, but not as well as Mark Fenster does in his book on Cons, imo.