It seems to me that in a sense, Prometheus Rising falls into a clear category of American publishing -- the self help book.
When I look at my reading for the past several years, recorded at Goodreads, I notice a number of books which could fall into the category of self-help books.
Probably my favorite is the last one I read -- How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life, by Scott Adams, which I thought was quite good.
But other books I've read in recently which fit pretty well into the category include Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America by Scott Adams, Don't Unplug: How Technology Saved My Life and Can Save Yours Too by Chris Dancy, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport and How to Listen to Jazz by Ted Gioia.
Obviously, many other books I have read aim to change my thinking about an issue or even change some of my behaviors. I would argue that all of Robert Anton Wilson's novels are not meant to be merely exercises in entertainment and escapism. But what all of these particular titles I have just mentioned have in common, although they are rather disparate titles, are that none of them are meant to be read merely to entertain or inform. All of them strongly seek to get the reader to take action to change one's life.
Wilson makes it clear that's his intent, too. "The reader will absolutely not understand this book unless he or she does the exercizes given at the end of each chapter," he writes.
Here is the first exercise at the end of Chapter One:
1. Visualize a quarter vividly, and imagine vividly that you are going to find the quarter on the street. Then, look for the quarter every time you take a walk, meanwhile continuing to visualize it. See how long it takes you to find the quarter.
As a blog housekeeping measure, I need to mention that I no longer have a handy quarter on the sidewalk near my house.
I blogged on September 5 that a sidewalk in my neighborhood where I often do my daily walk had two quarters glued to the sidewalk with a piece of gum, making it easy to carry out the first exercise in Chapter 1. Well, although the quarters stayed there for weeks, the lure of an easy 50 cents apparently proved too much for somebody, because the quarters are now gone.
So I am in the same position in hunting for quarters as anyone else. In fact, I am already worried that I might get stuck for weeks if I can't find any quarters and not be able to advance through the other exercises. I will give it an honest shot for a few weeks, but if I get stuck, I guess I will ask Eric for advice.
In any event, I walk every day that the weather allows, and I have begun on the first exercise.
I'll just have to see, also, what to do about the "go to a party" exercises, as I have been avoiding crowds since the pandemic began.
In any event, we are spending many weeks on the first chapter, and you should read it and be getting started on the exercises.
Next week you get Eric Wagner, and then Gregory Arnott returns.