From the Space Studies Institute.
Before we get into discussion of this week's episode, I just wanted to thank Chad Nelson for preserving such an interesting interview in one of RAW's books.
Probably my favorite RAW interview is, so far as I know, not available on the internet; it's the interview of Wilson done by Scott Apel and Apel's late friend, Kevin C. Briggs. Apel has reprinted it twice: In Science Fiction: An Oral History (the Kindle is only $1) and in Beyond Chaos and Beyond.
This interview, which features Safransky patiently asking Wilson to explain points which might be unclear, covers many topics, and I will only comment on some of them.
1. Wilson says, "You can't live comfortably in Ohio, for example, if you're not brainwashed into a Republican, agricultural, Protestant reality tunnel." This is more true now than it was in 1987, when Ohio was known as a "swing state." At this point, it has definitely trended Republican.
Wilson adds (a few sentences later), "People who are uncomfortable as white, Protestant, small-town chauvinists become uncomfortable when they feel the alien signals coming in from New York and Los Angeles and from all around the world." I suspect they feel uncomfortable partially because they feel a loss of status. In terms of the eight circuit model, I think they are threatened in the second circuit.
2. There is considerable discussion in the interview about getting solar power from space. (The Space Studies Institute web page has a section on solar power from space which includes book recommendations). Given that SpaceX had reduced the cost of going to space, and given that awareness of the need for green energy to cope with global warming seems pretty strong, it seems odd to me that solar power satellites doesn't get more discussion.
3. At the end of the interview, Wilson talks about trying not to hold grudges and doing rituals of forgiveness every week, and Safransky alertly asks Wilson to explain rituals of forgiveness.
As I recently discussed, one of the virtues of the new RAW Memes book is that it covers many of Wilson's ideas in succinct fashion. I could not find a quote that deals directly with forgiveness, but here is a related quote: "Since most humans are still controlled by fairly robotic reflexes, the bad energy of the past far outweighs the good, and the tendency of the wheel to to keep moving in the same terrible direction, violence breeding more violence, hatred breeding more hatred, war breeding more war. The only way to 'stop the wheel' is to stop it inside yourself, by giving up bad energy and concentrating on the positive. This is by no means easy, but once you understand what Gurdjieff called 'the horror of our situation,' you have no choice but to try, and to keep on trying." (A quote from Cosmic Trigger, on page 124 of RAW Memes.)
I thought Wilson had talked about forgiveness shortly before he died; I don't see it on the blog he did the last few weeks of his life. Am I misremembering, or not looking in the right place?
A note in the interviewer: The interview is from a Chapel Hill, North Carolina, magazine called The Sun, which was founded in 1974 by Mr. Safransky. The magazine still exists, and Mr. Safransky is still listed as the "Editor and Founder."