Monday, January 31, 2011

Liberaltarians 1, Randians 0

Robert Anton Wilson was a libertarian who believed there was a role for compassion and who thought that if government did anything, it should provide for people in need. From the Huffington Post (via Michael Johnson on, via Mark Frauenfelder at bOING bOING) comes word that Ayn Rand, while despising others who took government aid as parasites, took government money from Social Security and Medicare.

Reason's Tim Cavanaugh responds, saying the Rand fuss is "completely opportunistic." I'm not so sure. It's common for libertarians to assert that as they are forced to pay taxes, they should go ahead and try to get something back. But shouldn't Randians have a bit more sympathy from now on for people getting government aid? Or should aid only go to people who write bestselling novels?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today's book recommendation

I just finished a novel I enjoyed a great deal: The Last Trumpet Project by Kevin MacArdry. Many of Robert Anton Wilson's themes and ideas — libertarianism, immortality, enhanced intelligence, the Internet and nonviolence, for example — are developed in this new novel. Beethoven even makes a brief appearance, offstage. The book is self-published, and I admit to being surprised I liked it as well as I did.

It's been nominated the the Prometheus Award, although as yet no decision has been made on whether it will appear on the final ballot with about four other nominees. (The decision of the nominating committee judges — I'm one of them — will be announced in a few months.)

The book is available on Amazon, and also sold at the official site in various inexpensive electronic formats. There is a paperback version. Or you can just register at the site and read it free.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Out There Radio

Out There Radio is a collection of 50 podcasts on Timothy Leary, conspiracies, "Dropping Acid With the CIA," Church of the Subgenius, Wilhelm Reich, Kabbala and other topics that might interest sombunall Robert Anton Wilson fans. Then there's episode 35, "Farewell Robert Anton Wilson." If you put the RSS link for the site into a feed reader (such as Google Reader), you'll discover that there are a bunch of episodes in addition to the "final" 50th episode listed on the Web site. Hat tip: Michael Johnson.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Beethoven listening projects

The only way to understand Robert Anton Wilson's interest in Ludwig van Beethoven is to listen to Beethoven's music.

The easiest way to start is to take on the symphonies. But over at, Erie Wagner, author of the essential An Insider's Guide to Robert Anton Wilson, reports that he has taken on a more ambitious project. Inspired by the recurrence of the number 11:32 in Finnegan's Wake, he is listening to each of the 32 sonatas, 11 times in a row. He began by listening to sonata no. 1 eleven times, moved on to number two, and so on.

I'm not ready to imitate Eric's example, but inspired by his post, I am listening to all nine symphonies, in order, during my commute to work. (I'm ready for No. 7.) Of course, I have heard all of them before, but I thought it would be interesting to listen to them in sequence.

Eric's effort makes sense, however. The 32 sonatas are an important body of work, and listening to them is a great way to immerse yourself into Beethoven's work.

By the way, Eric has made it to the eighth sonata so far. This is the wonderful sonata known as the Pathetique, so Eric is in a good point in his life right now.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The messed-up footnotes in Lynx's 'The Widow's Son'

I have been reading The Widow's Son and enjoying it of course, but I have a gripe -- with the publisher, not with the work. The mass market paperback reprint put out by Lynx Books pays no attention to the fact that the location of the footnotes changes when the work was reformatted for paperback. So, for example, when Wilson writes a footnote in Part II, Chapter 10, about double agents in history, and ends it by saying, "See footnote, Page 88, for more on the Knights of Malta, the probable source of Yallop's expose," and one turns to page 88, there's no footnote. Could somebody please advise on whether the New Falcon reprint gets this right?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Parallel universes and quantum mechanics on NPR

Here is something that should interest anyone who enjoyed the Schroedinger's Cat trilogy: An episode of NPR's Fresh Air, featuring an interview with physicist and author Brian Greene, who talks about the possibility of parallel universes, the interesting world of quantum mechanics and other topics covered in the novels. The site I've linked to has an on-demand link, but also an MP3 podcast that may be downloaded and played on your favorite device.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Meditation can change your brain

Fans of Prometheus Rising, generally considered one of Robert Anton Wilson's best books, may want to see this report that meditation can produce beneficial structural changes in the brain.

The i09 science fiction and science fact blog, relying upon a study cited by Scientific American, reports that "Thirty minutes a day can actually increase people's capacity for learning while shrinking the parts of the brain responsible for stress," says the i09 science fiction and science fact blog, relying upon a study cited by Scientific American.

The meditation described by the Scientific American report appears to be mindfulness meditation, a Buddhist meditation practice emphasized by Theravada Buddhism. Here are resources.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A new zine from Arthur Hlavaty

Arthur Hlavaty, whose writings about Robert Anton Wilson have been reprinted at this blog, has a review of the new Robert Heinlein biography in his latest zine. If you follow the link, download the zine and like it, I suggest contacting him and getting on the email list for his work, as I am.

Everyone should read Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1 (1907-1949): Learning Curve, by William Patterson, despite its excess of subtitles and colons.

I read Stranger in a Strange Land in 1966, and it blew my mind, “Thou art God” even more than the sex stuff, and more. Much of it remains with me. From the git-go, though, I had some doubts about the book and its author: The strong sexual dimorphism bothered me at the very first reading, and it was soon joined by the put-downs of marijuana and homosexuality, and later more.

So I love the best of his work, but I do not belong to the school that appears to believe that his flatulences smelled like Chanel #5. (Though I think they’re a lot closer to the truth than the people who believe he was a fascist.) I like an idea I encountered in the writings of Edward Hall, of a tribe in Mexico that doesn’t have global categories of Sane and Insane but believes that some people don’t function well in some situations. It works at the top end of the scale, with Heinlein and with the only other writer who comparably influenced me, Robert Anton Wilson, who programmed me in ways that were not obvious for months or even years, but who from the beginning seemed neither feminist nor elitist enough.

The new bio tells us much about how Heinlein got that way (including sleazo inputs like Ouspensky, Social Credit, and Hinduism that he passed along to me). I’m eagerly looking forward to the second half, promised in two years or less.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A name change

I have registered, and that's now the official name of this blog. ( will still work.) It seems like a logical step to make the name of this blog a little more professional and easier to remember. If you care to recommend this blog to anyone, please refer to was taken, although it doesn't appear the domain name owner is using it for anything.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Book notes

Via Booksprung comes word of a novel called The American Book of the Dead by Henry Baum. Here is the blurb from Amazon, which I think explains why I mention it here:

Eugene Myers is working on a novel about the end of the world. Meanwhile, he discovers his daughter doing porn online and his marriage is coming to an end. When he begins dreaming about people who turn out to be real, he wonders if his novel is real as well. Which isn’t good news: the radical and demented President Winchell is bent on bringing about worldwide destruction. Eugene Myers may just be the one to stop the apocalypse.

This history of the future covers every conspiracy imaginable: UFOs, secret societies, and World War III, as well as theories on life after death and human evolution. In the tradition of Philip K. Dick and Robert Anton Wilson, The American Book of the Dead explores the nature of reality and the human race’s potential to either disintegrate or evolve.

The Kindle version of this book costs just 99 cents and it appears to be self-published. The Amazon page, however, does include this endorsement from Philip K. Dick's former wife, Tessa Dick: “If you read Lolita or A Clockwork Orange without drop-kicking the book out into the garden on a rainy day, this novel is for you.” The Amazon page says it also won "Best Fiction at the DIY Book Festival" and "The Gold IPPY Award for Visionary Fiction."

So it might be worth checking out. I plan to try it when I get time. I've been a nominating judge for the Prometheus Award for a couple of years, and some of the self-published books submitted to us have been pretty bad. On the other hand, the nominating committee is giving serious consideration to a self-published novel called The Last Trumpet Project by Kevin MacArdry and I'm enjoying it myself (I'm 100 pages into it so far.) So you never know.

A search Mr. Baum's blog reveals that he is indeed a RAW fan.

Meanwhile, the Unusual Book Blog features Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons by John Carter, which as I mentioned earlier has a long introduction by Robert Anton Wilson.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A rare RAW interview

The very popular and successful bOING bOING blog originally was an offbeat magazine edited by gurus of cool Mark Frauenfelder and Carla Sinclair. It was my favorite magazine (I once phoned it because I was so upset that it hadn't published any new issues) and Mark and Carla have ever since been big favorites of mine. I let my subscription to "Playboy" magazine expire after it dropped Mark's Internet column. (Carla once was photographed for the magazine, so they both have a connection with the publication where Wilson worked and conceived ILLUMINATUS!)

But I missed the first couple of issues of the magazine, and so I did not know, until Thursday, that the very first issue included an interview with Robert Anton Wilson. A PDF of that first issue is available for $2. I bought a copy after being tipped off by a friend, Gary Shindler, who keeps on eye on pop culture for me.

A taste:

BB: I was disappointed when I learned that last year's Libertarian candidate for president, Ron Paul, is an anti-abortionist.

RAW: I didn't know that. I'm theoretically a Libertarian, but I know they're never going to win so I don't even pay that much attention to the Libertarian Party. What I like about the Libertarian Party is they throw good parties. They invite me to their conventions and I have a good time. I kind of wish that they would have nominated Russell Means. I thought he would have been a colorful candidate. The idea of a Native American running on the Libertarian ticket would have gotten more publicity. I mean, it's all show biz these days. I keep telling all the Democrats I know they should persuade Paul Newman to run for president. He's been a Democrat all his life and he'd win hands down. The Republicans have nobody they can put up against him. Could they get Charlton Heston? Hell no! Heston looks his age, Newman doesn't. Newman hands down, a walk in. The Democrats don't think that way. The Republicans are way ahead of them in terms of PR.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

'Eight Ways to Listen to Beethoven'

(Here is a reprint of a new posting on by Eric Wagner, which brings together various statements from Robert Anton Wilson about Beethoven. For more on RAW and Beethoven, click the tag. Even better, go read the "Beethoven as Information" essay in The Illuminati Papers -- Tom)

TOPIC: Eight Ways to Listen to Beethoven

I. As for music – where did we first hear it, who sang or hummed to
us, and against what part of her body were we held? - Prometheus
(revised edition), pg. 48.

II. We are not talking about mere increase in linear IQ – third-
circuit semantic cleverness. We are talking of also the kinds of
right-brain intelligence that Nicholl acquired from Jungian
neurogenetic research and Gurdjieff’s meta-programming techniques. We
are talking of say, Beethoven’s intelligence, which so disturbed
Lenin, who could not bear to listen to the Appassionata (Sonata 23)
because it made him “want to weep and pat people on the head, and we
mustn’t pat them on the head, we must hit them on the head, hit them
hard, and make them obey.” More of Beethoven’s intelligence is
needed, desperately, to create a signal that the current Lenins cannot
ignore, that will make them weep, and stop hitting heads. – Ibid, pg.

III. The left-handed, on the contrary, specialize in right-brain
functions, which are holistic, supra-verbal, “intuitive,” musical and
“mystical.” Leonardo, Beethoven and Nietzsche, for instance, were all
left-handed. Traditionally, left-handed people have been the subject
of both dread and awe – regarded as weird, shamanic, and probably in
special communication with “God” or “the Devil.” – Ibid, pg. 98 – 99.

IV. “To me, the Hammerklavier sounds like an unsuccessful
attempt at Tantric sex. And the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies sound
like monumentally successful attempts.” - Frank Dashwood in
Schrödinger’s Cat Trilogy, pg. 426.

V. Beethoven, we remember, was left-handed. Since the left
hand is neurologically linked to the polymorphous right brain, one
might say he was genetically inclined to right brain activities, that
is, to sensing coherent wholes, to plunging into neurosomatic bliss
almost “at will,” and to sensory-sensual raptness and rapture.
Everybody “knows” that the Sixth Symphony is “pantheistic,” but
whether Beethoven was an ideological pantheist or not, that way of
responding to nature is normal and natural right-brain Circuit V
functioning. That is, anybody on the Fifth Circuit will “talk like a
pantheist” whether or not he has developed a “philosophy” about
pantheism. The miracle of Beethoven is not that he felt the universe
that way – a few thousand fifth-circuit types throughout history have
also felt and sensed nature that way – but that he mastered the third-
circuit art of music with such skill that he could communicate such
experiences, which is precisely what the ordinary “mystic” cannot
do. - Prometheus Rising, pg. 183.

This progression, from primate emotion to post-hominid tranquility,
from “man” to “super man,” is the Next Step that mystics forever talk
of; you can hear it in most of Beethoven’s later, major
compositions. – Ibid, pg. 188.

VI. Beethoven, to cite him one more time, said, “Anybody who
understands my music will never be unhappy again.” That is because
his music is the song of the Sixth Circuit, of Gaia, the Life Spirit,
becoming conscious of Herself, of Her powers, of Her own capacities
for infinite progress. - Ibid, pg. 204.

VII. Mind and its contents are functionally identical: My wife
only exists, for me, in my mind. Not being a solipsist, I recognize
the converse: I only exist, for her, in her mind. Lest the reader
exclaim, like Byron of Wordsworth, “I wish he would explain his
explanation!”, let us try it this way: If I am so fortunate as to be
listening to the Hammerklavier sonata, the only correct answer, if you
ask me suddenly, “Who are you?” would be to hum the Hammerklavier,.
For, with music of that quality, one is hypnotized into rapt
attention: there is no division between “me” and “my experience.” -
Ibid, pg. 219.

VIII. Mystics stammer, gibber and rave incoherently in trying to
discuss this. Beethoven says it for them, without words, in the
fourth movement of the Ninth Symphony. The words of Schiller’s “Ode
to Joy,” which Beethoven set to this virtually superhuman music, are a
linear third-circuit map conveying only a skeleton key to the multi-
level meanings of the 8-circuit “language” of the melodic construction
itself, which spans all consciousness from primitive bio-survival to
meta-physiological cosmic fusion. – Ibid, pg. 269

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wilson and the KLF

monkeysaloon, a blog devoted to "revitalising NLP, one idea at a time," ran a long post on Monday entitled "RAW THOUGHTS," which is worth reading all the way through for the comments on the number 23 meme and other topics.

The biggest surprise to me, though, was the assertion that the KLF, an electronica group I used to see occasionally on MTV's "120 Minutes," was a band that "entirely appropriated its mythology from ILLUMINATUS!"

I never paid much attention to the band and never made that connection. I can't remember ever seeing RAW mention the band in any interview. The Wikipedia article on the KLF, however, goes into great detail about this. I guess I have some listening to do.

Here is an article on "The KLF and ILLUMINATUS!"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today in history

Today is the birthday of Robert Anton Wilson.

"You are precisely as big as what you love and precisely as small as what you allow to annoy you."
-- RAW

Monday, January 17, 2011

Twitter as hero for free speech

I always thought Twitter was kind of cool, but according to this article, the organization also is a hero for free speech. The AlterNet piece by Ida Hartman says that Twitter has challenged a subpoena from the U.S. government aimed at Wikileaks and its supporters. According to the piece, the subpoena could give the U.S. government access to information on the more than 634,000 people who follow Wikileaks on Twitter. (I'm one of those folks.)

Hat tip to Fly Agaric 23 for calling my attention to this on his blog. RAW of course was always a champion of free speech.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tracing a pattern in U.S. history

Robert Anton Wilson admired the revisionist historians of World War II who argued that Pearl Harbor was not simply an unprovoked, unexpected attack. (See the Lewis Shiner/Trajectories interview, Part Two.)

Related to that, I liked the posting Michael Johnson put up the other day. During a discussion on patterns and seeing patterns, he wrote:

I see 1898 and the US becoming an Imperial power starting with a
trumped-up bogus "attack." The Reichstag fire. Then, FDR or his people
knew about Pearl Harbor. Then, the Gulf of Tonkin. Then...9/11. Then:
Bush/Cheney lying and the press swallowing it: Iraq War.

But then: I know how EASY it is to see patterns.

I suspect I'm fooling myself somewhere along the line.

I SUSPECT. I don't "know."

Michael leaves out the Korean War; perhaps he hasn't researched it enough to offer an opinion. My only quibble with the events he does cite — not much of a quibble — is that I suspect the standard narrative that Al Qaeda carried out the attack as likely true but don't believe any of the attempts to tie it to Saddam Hussein.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Steve "Fly" Agaric has posted a comic describing his meeting with RAW in California in September 2002.

Lots of interesting stuff and links to follow if you scroll down the page. I have a link on the right to DJ Fly Agaric's techno music tracks featuring RAWs spoken words.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Free book of libertarian essays

Among other things, Robert Anton Wilson was a philosopher of anarchism and libertarianism. So I thought I would pass along that the Ludwig Von Mises Institute has published a new book, a collection of short autobiographical essays by various libertarians called I Chose Liberty. It looked quite interesting, and I look forward to reading it as soon as I can. You can buy it if you wish, but the free PDF download is here. (I checked the index and RAW is mentioned only once, in passing.)

The editor of the book is Walter Block, author of the contrarian classic, Defending the Undefendable. It's available as a free download, too.

The Ludwig Von Mises Institute has a commendable attitude towards its books, giving the contents away for free. The Cato Institute occasionally gives away free titles of electronic books (subscribing to the email Weekly Dispatch from those folks is a good way to keep track of such giveaways), but only for limited times. This makes no sense to me. If you're in the business of spreading ideas and changing minds, rather than making money, give away free electronic books to anyone who wants them.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Alan Moore reads from 'Masks of the Illuminati'

The Only Maybe blog displays a video of Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta, etc.) reading a passage from Masks of the Illuminati. I would ordinarily post the video here, but I wanted to give you a chance to follow the link and see Bobby Campbell's illustration.

The Wikipedia biography of Moore lists Robert Anton Wilson as an influence on Moore's work.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Douglas Rushkoff podcast on his new book

Our British friends over at Right Where You Are Sitting Now have released a podcast of an interview with Douglas Rushkoff about his great new book, Program or Be Programmed. Click the Rushkoff tag to find other Rushkoff material at the site.

If you missed our interview with Rushkoff, go here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A sad anniversary

Today is the fourth anniversary of the death of Robert Anton Wilson, on Jan. 11, 2007, in Capitola, Calif.

In his farewell message on his blog, Wilson wrote:

Various medical authorities swarm in and out of here predicting I have between two days and two months to live. I think they are guessing. I remain cheerful and unimpressed. I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying.

Please pardon my levity, I don't see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd.

The New York Time obit interpreted the lasagna remark thusly: "Mr. Wilson contended that people should never rule out any possibility, including that lasagna might fly."

I've never really quite understood the lasagna reference, although of course I've seen it elsewhere, too, so I asked Michael Johnson to explain, and with his usual generosity he wrote back to me with an interpretation I found rather more plausible:

RAW read and enjoyed a popular neuroscience book released in 1986 that contained "the latest" in neuroscience, The Three Pound Universe. It was written by Judith Hooper and Dick Teresi. From what I recall reading that book, a description of the appearance of the human brain either said explicitly that it looked like lasagna, or something close to it, with its color and convolutions. I have seen letters from around 1987 that contain the "keep the lasagna flying" riff.

I'm not 100% sure, but RAW's 1992 screenplay/book Reality Is What You Can Get Away With, was the first time he used the term in one of his books. See page 9, with photo of a plate of lasagna hovering over a suburban landscape like a UFO.

The Nobelist Charles Sherrington called the brain an "enchanted loom" circa 1920; RAW's friend and fellow writer Bernard Wolfe called the brain a "hive of anarchy" (RAW quotes Wolfe w/this term in Sex, Drugs and Magick), and then, late 1980s, "lasagna," which seemed to fit RAW's surrealistic philosophical style well.

So "Keep the lasagna flying," was code for "keep your brain alive" or "keep thinking and using your imagination." Something like that.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A few questions for Douglas Rushkoff

Douglas Rushkoff's Wikipedia biography states that "Rushkoff worked with both Robert Anton Wilson and Timothy Leary on developing philosophical systems to explain consciousness, its interaction with technology, and social evolution of the human species, and references both consistently in his work." Rushkoff has been an instructor at the Maybe Logic Academy.

While I am not enough of an expert on Mr. Rushkoff to intelligently discuss all of his intellectual influences, and how his insights related to Robert Anton Wilson's, I feel comfortable making a couple of assertions: (1) Fans of RAW will enjoy listening to Mr. Rushkoff, too and (2) Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age is a really good book. (It's also a physically beautiful little book, making a nice argument for old-fashioned book production in a digital age.)

Rushkoff has been described as a "media theorist," but a number of other labels could be applied. A sentence from the official biography: "Winner of the first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, Douglas Rushkoff is an author, teacher, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other’s values."

Reading the biography makes me feel like a hopeless underachiever, but here's another couple of sentences: "Rushkoff is a PhD candidate at Utrecht University’s New Media Program. He has taught regularly for the MaybeLogic Academy, NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, and the Esalen Institute. He also lectures about media, art, society, and change at conferences and universities around the world." There's also information about his articles that appear all over the place, his PBS documentaries, his graphic novels, and so on.

Despite his busy schedule, Rushkoff immediately agreed when in the wake of finishing his new book, I asked if I could pose a few questions.

Program or Be Programmed is a slim book, but I thought you packed a lot into it. I had the impression when I read it that it synthesizes years of thought, reading other books about the Internet and personal experience using technology. Was that how it felt to you writing it?

Yeah. Each sentence could be a paragraph, each paragraph a chapter, and each chapter a whole book. It's twenty-five years of thinking about interactive media in there. I haven't really written a book explicitly about digital technology and the net before, even though it's the field of study I'm best known for. So I had hundreds of articles and talks worth of material and collected insights to share.

The trick was doing it in a way that made sense to people immediately - especially to people who are used to engaging with ideas through Twitter feeds. There's no time to make an argument. I had to write sentences that functioned one way while being read and then unpacked themselves later in the reader's brain.

I definitely felt like I was on solid ground throughout, though. I've thought about these issues so much, and tested my conclusions over a course of years, heard the counter-arguments, and had time to refine my thinking. So of everything I've written, it's the most cured, smoothed out, and densely packed.

I agree completely with your first command, "Do Not Be Always On," but it isn't always easy to follow. This morning, for example, I made a conscious decision to read the first chapter of a novel I wanted to start before I turned on the laptop to check my email. Have you trained yourself not to be always on, or is it still a struggle sometimes?

Well, just the fact that it's only a struggle *sometimes* means we're not always on, right? I still struggle with the incoming flow of media and messaging, absolutely. I have over 3000 unanswered emails in my inbox right now. It varies from about 1000 to 5000 at any given moment. I used to get really anxious about it, and now I just dig through what I can and then go off and do something I actually want or need to.

The bias of the medium makes the incoming messages seem more important than whatever we were doing. But just because something is pinging at us does not mean we have to look at it. It's a real-time thing, anyway - that's the whole point of the chapter you're referring to. It's not a living breathing human being on the other end of a phone line, it's a message.

One of my favorite sentences in your book is "I've only used one name on the Internet: Rushkoff." I try to post under a clear identity, and I hate it when I'm attacked anonymously.

My newspaper finally began making people register before posting online. Before we did that, I noticed there was a split in the building on what people thought of the comments. The editors liked making it easy to comment, because they wanted pageviews, but the reporters hated it, because people didn't want to talk to us. Our sources were afraid of being attacked online. Have you noticed similar situations at other places?

Yeah, sure. The short-term needs of the market are always what bring down the quality of something. On the net, that effect is amplified. Publications want hit counts by any means necessary - but instead of just getting stupid readers, the stupid readers are actually contributors to the publication. Those comments fields are still under the masthead. They create the culture of the publication.

So a lot of places are realizing that registration is a good idea - plus they can leverage more when they know more. Advertisers love that user data, don't forget.

But yeah - this notion that we have to leave comments on to all comers no matter what just yields the angriest and least informed crap. There's nothing wrong with making people say who they are. If they're in real danger of being killed for speaking the truth, we can make exceptions. But it's not the rule.

Another of your commands is "Share, Don't Steal." What do you do, if anything, about people trying to steal your work and distribute it on the Internet? Have you ever felt any temptation to release any of your books under Creative Commons, the way Cory Doctorow does?

I've distributed a lot of stuff under Creative Commons. Three books, and a bunch of essays. Sometimes it's practical and great, but I don't see it as a requirement. I love the freedom to use Creative Commons.

On the other hand, my book Life Inc sold maybe 25,000 copies in hardcover, yet was downloaded 250,000 times as a torrent. That's pretty nuts. I'm glad a lot of people got to read it, but it feels like a whole lot of people and search engines and torrent sites extracted value out of something I did.

As I pointed out on my RAW blog, Robert Anton Wilson forecast First Amendment struggles on the Internet long before they really became an issue. What do you think he would make of the current controversy over Wikileaks?

He'd love it, but less from some constitutional perspective than that the whole story throws things out of balance. It makes people question the security of information, the power of government, the ability of the counterculture. It is cognitively destabilizing. That's all RAW was after, I think. So he'd be pleased.

When people describe you as an intellectual heir to Robert Anton Wilson, do you find it flattering, irritating, or a little of both?

Only flattering. Inspiring, really.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Rushkoff predicts Facebook will fade

Remember Friendster? Remember Compuserve? Douglas Rushkoff does, and he argues that the current noise about how big Facebook has become obscures an important fact: All social networks fade in time and are replaced by other social networks. (He doesn't use the word "Buddhism" but essentially argues that the Internet provides excellent examples of impermanence. I can remember, as Rushkoff does, when MySpace was considered a big deal.)

Rushkoff's fine new book, Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age, also talks about this. My interview with Rushkoff runs tomorrow.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

'What Are the Fnords?' An answer

The area on Quora devoted to Robert Anton Wilson has a series of answers to the question, "What Are the Fnords?"

Vincent Murphy supplies an interesting answer:

I was very lucky to study under RAW or 'Uncle Bob' for the last few years of his life and have pretty much read everything he has ever wrote (barring a few notes he left for the milkman). So here is Fnord I experienced: A national newspaper here in the UK published extracts from the memoirs of the woman who was head of our version of the CIA - reading one entry she said "Towards the end of my tenure I began to believe I was living in some kind of Kafkaesque nightmare."

Now remember: this is a woman who is in charge of our intelligence service, all the spies, spooks, secrets, black ops, the lot are all coming through her. "Kafkaesque" relates to a world in which one feels one has no control and that there are secret unseen forces working in mysterious ways. If a person at the very top of the pyramid thinks they are living in a Kafkaesque nightmare, what chance do the rest of us have? A very real-life fnord.

I'm not clear how this relates to the definition of fnord that I understand, but I thought the post was interesting.

Friday, January 7, 2011

One more letter to Edward Babinski

February 22, 1988

Sorry if I was a bit hurried and careless in my last epistle. I am rather extraordinarily busy these days.

Okay, I mistakenly wrote that Martin said Reich's "books" were like comic opera and he only wrote that about one of Reich's books, the one on the Oranur experiment. I stand corrected. I will be more careful in the future.

However, I did once meet one of the researchers who was at Reich's lab during that experiment and her account agrees with Reich's and it does not sound like comic opera to me at all, at all. It sounds damned serious.

I didn't answer all your questions because I am, as noted, busy and because, frankly, most of the questions seemed rhetorical. To answer the ones I remember -- yes, the books mostly survive, but no thanks to the book-burners.

They did not, as you seemed to imply, burn only some of Reich's books; they burned all that were in print in English. Some of the books are still not back in print and, hence, still unavailable to those heretics who want to investigate the evidence for themselves. I, for instance, only got a copy of Contact With Space by way of Amsterdam. Try to find a copy of that for yourself, if you have any lingering notion that book burning does not directly interfere with your personal right to read.

And this whole line of questioning seems bat-eyed and irrelevant to me. If the government had only burned one of Reich's books and left the others alone, it would still be a direct violation of the First Amendment -- insofar as I understand the English language. Cf. my quote from Justice Black (In WR in Hell) about the clear distinction in English between "no laws" and "some laws."

Nor do I think the Reich book-burning was an aberration from, or a deflection of, the main thrust of the work of CSICOP. They are continually trying to get college courses suppressed, or altered, just like the other Fundamentalists. They do not seek debate but try to browbeat publishers into printing only their side of each argument. They threw Prof. Truzzi the hell out for trying to open their journal to debate.

But I have no special animus against Martin Gardner. To be frank, I use him as a target so often only because his rhetoric is so full of great big gaping logical holes and therefore very easy to satirize. He's one of the few who expresses frankly the fascist mentality I suspect about the whole crowd, e.g. in his confessed desire to see SRI destroyed for coming up with laboratory results that contradict his prejudices. In a sense, I'm even grateful to him. If he didn't exist, I would have had to invent him.

My position, to try to clarify it one more time, is that every interference with anybody's civil liberties is an interference with my civil liberties. When Dr. Leary was in jail, my right to receive his signals was curtailed. When Dr. Reich's books were burned, my right to read what rouses my curiosity was suppressed. As I once said to Sean MacBride, I support Amnesty because everybody in jail for their opinions is a person who might have a signal that would enrich my brain, if bullies and tyrants did not prevent my receiving it.

"Liberty is not the daughter, but the mother, of order." -- Proudhon

Keep the lasagna flying over Napoli.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Yet another letter to Edward Babinski

[As with many of Robert Anton Wilson's letters written in this period, the header allows many different items to be checked, such as "Discordian Society Proper" and "House of the Rising Hodge." In this case, "Immediate release to all media" is checked, so naturally I reproduce it here -- Tom]

June 16, 1988

Thanks for the latest Lion's Den mailing, which was most stimulating, like all your productions.

I suggest that you and Bill Johnson should each write a commentary on the following verses (all from the late and disputed King James version, admittedly, but interesting nontheless):

Luke 3:38 -- "...Adam which was the son of God."

Ephesians 4:16 -- " God and father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

Romans 8:14 -- "For as many are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God..."

Romans 8:17 -- "...we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs: heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ..."

John 10:34 -- "Jesus answered them, is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are Gods."

1 John 3:2 -- "Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not appear what we shall be..."

As I say King James is late and corrupt etc. but taking these (and similar) verses as some kind of approximations of the original, it would appear to a simple mind like mine that the original Christian teaching was identical with Hinduism in holding each self to be Divine.

When you and Bill have written your comments, send one to me, send one to the Department of Mental Health for South Carolina, and nail one to the church door like Martin Luther.

I just got back from Europe. Astounding experience, as always. Ireland, Wales, England, Germany, Switzerland, Austria are all totally desegregated. Smokers and nonsmokers sit at the same table in restaurants, stand together at bars, dance together, even get married and have sex together...Incredible from an American point of view. Perhaps it means that desegregation is possible even here some day in the far future?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Another letter to Edward Babinski

[Written on an unusual letter form, with boxes that if checked would allow it to be addressed to Sir, Madam, Your Excellence, Professor, Ms. Steinam (sic), Rev. Falwell, Mr. President or Swine! In the letter to Mr. Babinski, the box next to "Sir" has been checked -- Tom]

July 25, 1988

Enclosed is a free sample -- gratis, for nothing -- of the marvelous newsletter, Trajectories, of which (ahem) I happen to be editor. Many have found it enjoyable and informative. Others say it is prolix, perverse and pedantic. All agree, however, that it is excellent for swapping flies.

Which means that yes, you can have an unpaid subscription to my magazine in exchange for an unpaid subscription to your magazine, in perpetuity, or as long as both of us survive. I'll even give you a free plug in return for your free plug for me.

Incidentally, I'm neither a Theistic Evolutionist not an Atheistic Evolutionist. I'm an agnostic. I like your journal because it provides an illuminating alternative to the boredom of hearing the Fundamentalist Christians and Fundamentalist Materialists restate their pet dogmas one more time ... Like G.W. Carver, I just don't feel competent to explain the universe, and feel a peanut is more on the scale I can deal with. But in my abyss of uncertainty I would rather peruse your original views than hear the old views over and over again. At least you provide novelty and stimulation.

What's worse than meeting a pit-bull with AIDS? Meeting the guy who gave the pit bull the AIDS.

Well, I have a lot of work today, so ...

I must be chugging along .... [graphic of a train]

Keep the lasagna flying over Greenville.

Bob W (signed)

Robert Anton Wilson

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A RAW rant on organized religion

[This is a letter that Robert Anton Wilson wrote to Edward Babinski, who generously shared it with me and gave me permission to reproduce it here, as it seems to be a letter that is not available at, or anywhere else on the Internet.

The TEF referred to in the first paragraph is Babinski's zine, Theistic Evolutionist Forum. Here is Robert Anton Wilson's review of that journal from RAW's newsletter Trajectories, Vol. 1., No. 2: "Editor Edward Babinski upholds his Theistic Evolutionist model against a motley horde of Fundamentalist/Creationists and Atheistic Evolutionists. A refreshingly open forum; Babinksy prints all dissenting correspondence uncensored and unabridged." -- Tom]

6 June 1986

Dear Ed,

Thank you for your invitation to participate in the ongoing discussion in TEF. I think I shall put my thoughts in the form of a letter rather than an article and comment on some of the highlights in the sample issue you sent me (Summer 1986.)

Robert C. Newman's attempts to reconcile the Bible with science seem to me as comic as an attempt to reconcile Mother Goose or the Arabian Nights with science. Of course, if one says "day" doesn't mean "day," then a day can be a billion years; and if one says "square" doesn't mean "square," one can talk of round squares; but such verbal tricks only convince those who invent them. It rather reminds me of a favorite joke of Abe Lincoln's: "If you call this dog's tail a leg, then how many legs does this dog have?" If some innocent replied "Five," Abe would give him some Zen enlightenment fast: "No, this dog still have four legs. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."

If some people want to believe the Earth is flat and the center of the universe and was created in seven days by a giant humanoid with a paranoid disposition and a violent temper, that's OK with me. Other people believe equally bizarre things. But if people try to defend such weird beliefs with even weirder word games, I must comment that even lawyers have a slightly higher standard of ethics (or respect for general intelligence) and do not try to convince juries that a kangaroo becomes a hypotenuse of a triangle if we call it the hypotenuse of a triangle.

Your quotations from the New Testament, indicating that Jesus promised the Last Days within one generation, are quite clear and convincing to me. I assume Prof. Newman will be back with an argument that, just as a day can be a billion years, a generation can be a few thousand years. I comment only that an hour can be ten seconds, a year can be 666,666,666,666,666 trillion centuries, a month can be two days, and a tail can be a leg -- if people are determined to abuse language in order to confuse themselves and one another. Philosphy, according to Wittgenstein, is supposed to attempt to avoid such use of language, however.

I have no objection to abuse of language per se; it can be quite funny in the hands of an expert, as in "Alice in Wonderland." My only point here is that it is also funny in the hands of Prof. Newman, even though he doesn't intend to be comical.

Your comments on animal behavior are quite interesting and amusing. One of the reasons I favor the evolution model (I don't "believe" anything, in the religious, or superstitious, sense) is that the differences between people and other animals are quite invisible to me, just like the alleged superiorities of one "race" over another. The dogs, I have often noticed, have the most intelligent expressions in Dublin, but I do not attribute that to a difference or superiority innate in canines.

The dogs are simply the only ones on the streets who haven't had their minds ruined by a Jesuit education.

The six-legged majority on this planet have kept their trip together for a few billion years; I do not observe any human politician with equal intelligence or loyalty to the "hive" or city or nation.

Although I accepted the evolutionary model since high school, as the best model around, I didn't feel it or intuit its meaning until I lived on a farm for two years (1961-62). The continuities were much more obvious than any basic differences when I contemplated the cows, the sheep, the dogs, the cats, the pony, my infant children, my school-age children, the mysterious fellers we saw sticking their snouts out of the ground and ducking back again, my wife, myself, our friends, etc. Human chauvinism seems as provincial and conceited to me as any national chauvinism or racism or sexism. Surely the intellect has better activities than dreaming up "reasons" to think one is superior to every other living being because of the body one was born into?

I recall one day in Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago around 1968, I came upon a Great Horned Owl. He or she was in a cage with a sign saying among other things that he or she was a "desirable" bird. The desirability of the Great Horned Owl was explained by the fact that he or she eats various critters that annoy farmers. This seems to me one of the silliest things I ever saw outside a Creationist journal. My own hunch is that the Great Horned Owl would consider itself desirable no matter what humans thought about the matter; and I also suspect that the critters eaten by the G.H.O. do not consider it a desirable bird at all, but probably regard it as actively nefarious.

An old Sufi teaching-story is a propos here. Somebody asked the divine Mullah Nasruddin, "Why do crickets make that noise all night?"The mullah replied, "To give philosophers something to argue about all day." Who has ears, let them hear.

Dave Matson, on the flood: I agree totally. The concept of "God" in the early books of the Old Testament seems to be a giant humanoid of low intelligence, paranoid-grandiose temperament and sadistic or psychopathic tendencies. This "God" seems, in fact, as stupid as his worshippers. A "God" intelligent enough to design a molecule, let alone a whole universe, would, if he-she-or-it went loony and decided to take up murder, still be intelligent enough to murder ONLY the people he-she-or-it disliked. Accepting the dubious Warren Commission report, even Lee Harvey Oswald was not so clumsy as to shoot everybody in Texas: even Oswald only hit one innocent bystander (the governor). The early Old Testament "God" appears not only as crazy as Oswald but clumsier, stupider and generally less civilized. The Mind that seems to underlie the beauty and coherence of nature cannot be confused with that Stone Age Idol any more than a Beethoven quartet can be confused with "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?" King Kong is as convincing a portrait of the Mind of the universe as that killer-God in the Old Testament, it seems to me. Trying to imagine Old Man Jhvh designing even a quark, let alone a molecule, is absurd; He would mess it up, go into a temper, and destroy five nearby cities to express his childish rage.

I am amused by Robert Lysons' letter, claiming that "Man" is a special creation. What about woman, I wonder? Oh, well, one does not expect semantic sophistication from creationists. Anyway, Man, with a capital (and maybe woman, too?) is in bad shape, according to Lysons, and "only Jesus Christ can save him and restore him to his lost state of peace with God, himself and others." Yeah, sure, Lysons. And only new Pepsi makes you feel really happy, and only our brand is better than the competition, and only our country is the best country. It is truly amazing to me that people can utter such arrogant nonsense with no humor, no sense of how offensive they are to others, no doubt or trepidation, and no suspicion that they sound exactly like advertisers, con-men and other swindlers. It is really hard to understand such childlike prattling. If I were especially conceited about something (a state I try to avoid, but if I fell into it ...), if for instance I decided I had the best garden or the handsomest face in Ireland, I would still retain enough common sense to suspect that I would sound like a conceited fool if I went around telling everybody these opinions. I would have enough tact left, I hope, to satisfy my conceit by dreaming that other people would notice on their own that my garden and/or my face were especially lovely. People who go around innocently and blythely announcing that they belong to the Master Race or the Best Country Club or have the One True Religion seem to have never gotten beyond the kindergarten level of ego-display. Do they have no modesty, no tact, no shame, no adult common sense at all?

Do they have any suspicion how silly their conceit sounds to the majority of the nonwhite nonchristian men and women of the world? To me, they seem like little children wearing daddy's clothes and going around shouting, "Look how grown-up I am! Look at me, me, me!"

There are more amusing things than ego-games, conceit and one-upmanship. Really, there are. I suspect that people stay on that childish level because they have never discovered how interesting and exciting the adult world is.

If one must play ego-games, I still think it would be more polite, and more adult, to play them in the privacy of one's head. In fact, despite my efforts to be a kind of Buddhist, I do relapse into such ego-games on occasion; but I have enough respect for human intelligence to keep such thoughts to myself. I don't go around announcing that I have painted the greatest painting of our time; I hope that people will notice that by themselves. Why do the people whose ego-games consist of day-dreaming about being part of the Master Race or the One True Religion do not keep that precious secret to themselves, also, and wait for the rest of the human race to notice their blinding superiority?

To Edward Frielander: I do admire your lack of the "Christian" arrogance that seems so comical in Robert Lysons. To your question on what being made in God's image means, I can only give an opinion, since I have no special access to "God." Alan Watts in The Supreme Identity argues that all that exists, not just humans, is a reflection, or image, of the divine mind. Watts argues this on the basis of Bible texts and esoteric Christian traditions. You might find him interesting. The Hermetic maxim, "That which is below reflects that which is above" is also interesting in this connection. So is Ephesians 4: 4-10. Note especially verse 9.

On the Bagley-Leonatti argument or quarrel or donnybrook or whatever it is: the only point that interests me is the Leonatti thesis that we can't judge "God" by our standards. I have never been able to see any sense in that and Leonatti does not make it sound more sensible to me than anybody else who has tried it. The main problem is that anyone can "win" an argument, or least confuse the issue, by the same basic semantic trick. To go back to my round squares again. I can write 33 pages of nonsense about round squares, and if somebody points out logical flaws and inconsistencies in my flight of fancy, I can them reply, "You can't judge round squares by the standards of ordinary squares." A con-man with a particularly dense sucker could do the same thing with a deed to a tapioca mine in Timbuctoo: "You can't judge a tapioca mine by the standards of iron or coal or other ordinary mines." In my ignorant way, if something sounds like nonsense to me, it still sounds like nonsense even if I am assured that it only sounds like nonsense because I am not as bright as the guy who is trying to sell me the tapioca mine, or the round square, or the concept of a "Just" God who tortures and kills people. I'm sorry, but it sounds like a swindle to me. I will believe in a round square when I see one, in a tapioca mine when I understand how tapioca can be mined, and in a "Just"-God-who-is-Unjust-by-any-thinkable-standard when the unthinkable becomes thinkable. In the meanwhile, I suspect I am being taken for a fool by somebody who likes to play word-tricks.

Confucius said something to the effect that knowing justice is like loving a beautiful person or enjoying a flower in bloom and can be called "respecting one's nose." The same eminent Chinese philosopher remarked: if you hate something done by the man at your right, don't do it to the one at your left. Such simple ideas make sense to my simple mind. When I am told that sadism and torture and mass-murder and jealousy and all the worst in adults and the silliest in children are the supreme virtues of the Mind behind or within the universe, I can only conclude that I am listening to the superstitions of an uncivilized savage, and [when] I am told that I can't judge because I am not smart enough to judge, I can only conclude I am listening to a superstitious savage who has learned a few of the tricks of a con-man.

Like Confucius, I respect my own nose. A flower in bloom smells sweet, a lovely person looks lovely, and murdering millions of people does not seem very nice to me. I will not abandon those opinions or prejudices just because some snake-oil salesman assures me that the truth is beyond my comprehension and the flower really smells like garbage and the lovely person is really ugly and mass murder is really Divine Justice. I will change my opinions or prejudices when I hear a good argument to change them, not when I am told that I am unfit to have an opinion, by some grandiose chap who oddly thinks he himself is fit to have an opinion. That is bluff, or swindle, not logic, or philosophy. (Incidentally, I wonder why those who find that murder is okay when ordered by or committed by their "God," feel superior to the Greeks who thought adultery was okay when committed by their gods. Could not the same con-game logic apply: "We are not fit to judge" etc.?As for the Carthaginian God who ordered the murder of infants, surely we are not fit to judge Him either? Does anybody really believe such obvious swindles even when they utter them? I suppose by self-hypnosis one can learn to believe anything. Salesmen manage that, it appears.)

In conclusion, I admit in advance what all the Christians will say: namely, that I am a very ignorant chap. I don't have all the answers; mostly, I seem to have questions. All I can say is that, for all my ignorance, I don't try to call black "white" and convince people I am being profound when I am merely tricking them verbally. The Old Testament looks to me like an anthology of savage superstitions, Jewish war propaganda, erotic poetry and a few pages of rational philosophy not quite at the level of the Greeks of Chinese of that period. The New Testament looks like the collected ravings and rantings of all of the mental and nervous cases in Jerusalem c. 100 A.D., with a few borrowings of genuine mystic philosophy from the Gnostics. The atheist argument that we all got here, our brains included, by 11 billion years of statistical accidents followed by 4 billion years of genetic copying errors seems to me no more reasonable than the idea that if we dumped junk into the Pacific for the next 15 billion years it would eventually cohere into a 747 jet airplane in operational condition to fly properly. The mind that did design us, and our brothers the grass-hoppers and our sisters the fish and our cousins the noble redwood trees, seems more like the mind of the engineer who designed the 747, or like Einstein's mind, than it seems like the nut-case called "God" in the Old or New Testaments or the Koran or the Book of Mormon.

Victory Over Horseshit,

Bob W (signed)

Robert Anton Wilson

Monday, January 3, 2011

Robert Anton Wilson on Quora

One of the more promising new Web sites to arise within about the last year is Quora, a place where users can post questions and other users can answer them. The site is organized around various topics.

Quora includes a Robert Anton Wilson topic, and today I added myself as a "follower" of the topic and briefly answered a question about fnords. If you decide to try Quora, please check out the topic.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

RAWilson 23 Twitter account

I'm been more active on Twitter lately (as "jacksontom") and I've recent begun following, and am being followed, by RAWilson23, a Twitter account only identified by a link to the official site. It's a useful fan account that Tweets quotations, cool Wilson stuff on the Internet, etc.

Thanks to whoever does it for recommending my blog.

If you still don't have a Twitter account, please consider signing up.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Books read 2010

Every year, I post a list of books I read in the last year on my personal blog; I'm posting it here because it includes the Robert Anton Wilson books I read, and offers context by illustrating what other kinds of books I read (a varied lot, to be sure).

For the purposes of this blog, the key book was RAW's Coincidance, one of the few Wilson books I had never read before. I had so much to say after I read that book, I decided to start a quick blog on Blogger and record my thoughts. The project kind of took off.

I've put an asterisk next to four new books I particularly recommend. I discuss three of them here.

Happy new year, everyone.

1. The Killswitch Review, Steven-Eliot Altman and Diane Dekelb-Rittenhouse.
2. The Long River Home, Larry Smith.
3. The Revolution Business, Charles Stross.
4. This Mortal Mountain (collected stories Vol. 3), Roger Zelazny.
5. Exploring Classical Music, Robert Finn.
6. Game Change, John Heileman, Mark Halperin.
7. The Prisoner, Carlos Cortes.
8. Liberating Atlantis, Harry Turtledove.
9. 428 A.D., Giusto Traina.
10. Kitchen Chinese, Ann Mah.
11. Hidden Empire, Orson Scott Card.
12. The Crusades, Thomas Asbridge.
13. Unchecked and Unbalanced, Arnold Kling.
14. Gimme Rewrite, Sweetheart, John H. Tidyman.
15. While I'm Falling, Laura Moriarty (audiobook).
16. Heretics, S. Andrew Swann.
17. Coincidance, Robert Anton Wilson.
18. Up Jim River, Michael Flynn.
19. Schroedinger's Cat III: The Homing Pigeons, Robert Anton Wilson.
20. Last Call, Daniel Okrent. *
21. Little Chapel on the River, Gwendolyn Bounds.
22. Discover Your Inner Economist, Tyler Cowen.
23. A Mighty Fortress, David Weber (audiobook).
24. The Unincorporated War, Dani and Eyran Kollin.
25. An Insider's Guide to Robert Anton Wilson, Eric Wagner.
26. The Universe Next Door (Schroedinger's Cat I), Robert Anton Wilson.
27. Ancient Rome, Patricia Southern.
28. You Never Give Me Your Money, Peter Doggett.*
29. Schroedinger's Cat II: The Trick Top Hat, Robert Anton Wilson.
30. Prometheus Rising, Robert Anton Wilson.
31. The Inheritance of Rome, Chris Wickham.
32. Countdown to Valkyrie, Nigel Jones.
33. The Earth Will Shake, Robert Anton Wilson.
34. Ceres, L. Neil Smith.
35. Kecksies and Other Twilight Tales, Marjorie Bowen.
36. The Passage, Justin Cronin (audiobook).
37. Chasing Oliver Hazard Perry, Craig J. Heimbuch.
38. Fatal Error, F. Paul Wilson.
39. Chaos and Beyond, Robert Anton Wilson.
40. Surface Detail, Iain M. Banks. *
41. Kallocain, Karin Boye.
42. Program or Be Programmed, Douglas Rushkoff.*