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Friday, March 3, 2023

Ross Douthat on whether we are becoming a magical culture

Ross Douthat

Ross Douthat, a right tilting but often interesting columnist in the New York Times, has a piece out  suggesting that some of the magical concerns of Robert Anton Wilson and his fans are becoming a mainstream part of the culture. "The Return of the Magicians" ran Thursday, and my link should get you behind the firewall. The first graph:

"In the last few weeks, I’ve found myself writing columns that touch on the rapid advance of artificial intelligence, the mystery of unidentified flying objects haunting American skies and the enthusiasm in certain circles for taking mind-altering substances that yield a feeling, illusory or not, of contact with supernatural-seeming entities." Douthat then suggests a few sentences later, "there is a shared spirit in these stories, a common impulse to the quests: the desire to encounter or invent some sort of nonhuman consciousness that might help us toward leaps that we can’t make on our own."

On Twitter, Joseph Matheny writes, "It's like the author of this story is on my Substack chat, LOL. Probably not, but it's an example of ideas arising when it's their time." And J.F. Martel writes, "We better pick up the pace, @weirdstudies. The normies are catching up." (See Martel's bio, he has a weird studies podcast). 

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