MonthMay 2002

New Robert Anton Wilson Book Coming Soon: TSOG: The Thing That Ate the Constitution

Counter-culture legend Robert Anton Wilson’s new book, TSOG: The Thing That Ate the Constitution will be released sometime soon. From the blurb: “Will the ‘war on terrorism’ put the last nail in the coffin of YOUR rights? Would Hannibal Lecter make a better president than George W. Bush?”

Buy it on Amazon

(via Barbelith Underground)

Jorge Luis Borges’ Influence on Other Writers

Here’s a great sub-site from a Jorge Luis Borges site with analysis of Borges’ influence on numerous writers, including: Grant Morrison, William Gibson, Joyce Carol Oates, Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison, Umberto Eco and others.

Morrison: I had a dream where I was on a train going through a horrible bone-like station. The name on the platform said “Orqwith,” so I’d thought I’d use it. Also, part of this dream was that this fictitious world was infiltrating parts of itself into our world. But like you say, it’s got a lot to do with stealing work of a blind Argentinian writer.

AH: I’m afraid I stopped reading after “The Garden of Forking Paths.”

Morrison: So you haven’t finished Labyrinths?

AH: I did read ‘”Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” and the one about Don Quixote.

Morrison: I think he’s wonderful. I just have baths in this sort of thing. That was one of the things I wanted to Introduce in Doom Patrol. All those strange paradoxes and philosophical curios.

Borges as an Influence

(via the Barbelith Underground).

MIT Lists History’s Top 10 Technological Failures

MIT’s Tech Review picked its top 10 worst technological disasters:

Many of the factors that make them go spectacularly wrong are surprisingly consistent: impatient clients who won’t hear “no”; shady or lazy designers who cut corners; excess confidence in glamorous new technologies; and, of course, good old-fashioned hubris.

MIT Technology Review: 10 Technology Disasters

(via Plastic)

A Web Guide to the Wisdom of Insanity

The link to the site “Tons of Trickster,” linked to in the below Utne Reader article, is broken, but can be found in the Way Back Machine. It’s an excellent collection of articles and links to information about the insights and wisdom of the insane.

Tons-o-Trickster

Road Testing Crazy Wisdom

The Utne Reader reviews ‘crazy wisdom,’ its history, and how to tap into your own crazy-wisdom consciousness:

Cover your own eyes, shout ‘Guess who!’ and see what you say. Write a story in first person, switching your gender. Invent a new superstition (‘Wearing red socks on Wednesday will attract wealth’). To humorously dislodge yourself from habitual routines, spend half an hour referring to yourself as ‘the robot.’ (‘The robot is a little bored. The robot has to go to the bathroom.’)

Utne Reader: A Beginner’s Guide to Crazy Wisdom

See also: A Web Guide to the Wisdom of Insanity

It happened to me

The Fortean Times has a new interactive section online, “It happened to me,” which runs reader submitted stories about inexplicable experiences. What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Fortean Times: It Happened to Me

Excellent Borges site

The Garden of Jorge Luis Borges is a collection of online texts that contains, in addition to criticism, some of Borges’ fiction and poetry; including “Library of Babel,” one of his most acclaimed and frequently referred to stories.

When it was proclaimed that the Library contained all books, the first impression was one of extravagant happiness. All men felt themselves to be the masters of an intact and secret treasure. There was no personal or world problem whose eloquent solution did not exist in some hexagon. The universe was justified, the universe suddenly usurped the unlimited dimensions of hope. At that time a great deal was said about the Vindications: books of apology and prophecy which vindicated for all time the acts of every man in the universe and retained prodigious arcana for his future. Thousands of the greedy abandoned their sweet native hexagons and rushed up the stairways, urged on by the vain intention of finding their Vindication. These pilgrims disputed in the narrow corridors, proferred dark curses, strangled each other on the divine stairways, flung the deceptive books into the air shafts, met their death cast down in a similar fashion by the inhabitants of remote regions. Others went mad … The Vindications exist (I have seen two which refer to persons of the future, to persons who are perhaps not imaginary) but the searchers did not remember that the possibility of a man’s finding his Vindication, or some treacherous variation thereof, can be computed as zero.

The Garden of Jorge Luis Borges

Spielberg on Minority Report, Philip K. Dick

The latest issue of Wired has an interview with Steven Spielberg about Minority Report:

I thought Ridley [Scott, director of Blade Runner] painted a very bleak but brilliant vision of life on earth in a few years. It’s kind of acid rain and sushi. In fact, it’s coming true faster than most science fiction films come true. Blade Runner is almost upon us. It was ultranoir.

Wired: Spielberg in the Twilight Zone

Jimmy Carter Spotted a UFO

It seems that back in 1969 former US president Jimmy Carter sighted an unidentified flying object:

The object stood still in the sky for a period of ten or twelve minutes, slowly changing its color, size, and brightness, and then gradually retreated into the distance, disappearing from view. Carter estimated that the object, at its closest, was some 300 to 1,000 yards away.

But it turns out that it was probably the planet Venus.

Straight Dope: Did Jimmy Carter really see a UFO?

Trippin’ at the GNC

Another gonzo-product review from Seth Stevenson, “Trippin’ at the GNC,” tells the tale of Stevenson’s experiences with supposedly psychoactive over the counter supplements. His greatest success was with St. John’s Wart:

It was not unlike a cocaine high (er, I’m told). That is, a surprise cocaine high that strikes at random. I’d be in a meeting with my boss and suddenly I was Robin Williams circa 1980.

Slate: Trippin’ at the GNC

I didn’t have much luck with St. John’s Wart, but unlike Stevenson I find kava tea relaxing. And although he doesn’t mention them, B vitamins give me a hell of a buzz and horrible diarrhea. What are your favorite herbs and supplements?

See also: Paxil and Sleeping Pills Reviewed by an L.L. Bean Version of Hunter S. Thompson

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