Timothy Leary’s Great-ish Escape

An interview with Steven L. Davis, co-author of The Most Dangerous Man in America: Timothy Leary, Richard Nixon and the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD.

On September 13, 1970, Timothy Leary escaped from a low security California prison by pulling himself on a high wire over a 12 foot chain linked fence topped with barbed wire. He was ferreted underground by the radical Weather Underground who helped him escape America. He ended up in Algeria with an exiled chapter of the Black Panther Party lead by Eldridge Cleaver.

All MONDO readers probably know this, but I thought I’d set the scene a bit.

While I was a participant in the late 1960s counterculture — to the extent that a high school student in a smallish town could be — I wasn’t particularly obsessed with Leary. I enjoyed reading his occasional piece in the underground press, but Abbie Hoffman was more my thing. Until the escape. After that, I developed a lifelong interest in his action adventure episode and how it impacted on his philosophical ideas.

That’s why I was excited to learn of the publication of The Most Dangerous Man in America: Timothy Leary, Richard Nixon and the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD  by Bill Minutaglio and Steve Davis.  The book doesn’t disappoint. The narrative is in present tense and fast forward. It’s a ripping yarn that bounces back and forth between Leary’s life on the lam and President Richard Nixon’s own personal delirium as he copes with the Vietnam war, extreme rebellion in the streets of America and his own obsession with capturing Leary. 

For those MONDO readers, who have followed Leary’s philosophical musings over the years, this period is kind of the last phase of Tim’s cosmic hippieishness. He comes across as deep into  mysticism; consulting the i Ching and the Tarot for strategic decisions and so forth. In some ways, his intellectual credibility would rely on things he wrote before this time and after it. And yet, I think he gained a lot, in terms of sophistication and insight from the experience, that showed up in his later writing.

I interviewed Steve Davis about the book via email

R.U. Sirius

Timothy and Rosemary Leary in disguise, leaving “Amerika”

R.U. There are a number of things that are illuminated for Leary fanatics (as many Mondo readers are) by your book. One of them is the degree to which many of the ultra-radicals of that crazy period in the early 1970s were not really Tim’s friends. Particularly the lawyer, Michael Kennedy. What can you tell us about this “alliance”?

Steve Davis: Well, you can see this alliance of “dope and dynamite,” as Michael Kennedy enjoyed calling it, play out throughout the book. In some sense both Tim and the radical left were using each other for their own purposes. For Tim, of course, the revolutionary outlaws provided the means for his escape from prison – something he wanted desperately. But then of course once he climbed over the prison fence he entered a blind maze of new prisons – and as you say, these people did not have Timothy Leary’s best interests in mind, from the Weather Undeground demanding his rhetorical fealty to their vision of a violent revolution to Eldridge Cleaver and the Black Panthers demanding that Tim renounce LSD and join them in calling for Death to the Fascists. On and on it went. Tim had to keep shape-shifting to save his own skin. He basically became a pawn of both the far left and the far right (Nixon and his cronies) during this era – and of course when everything ended and he looked back on it, he realized that the law-and-order struggles between the far left and the far right were two sides of the same coin. I think the experience made him suspicious of any alliance after that. Hell, it would do the same to any of us! Read more “Timothy Leary’s Great-ish Escape”

No. I’m not on Facebook

Chamath Palihapitiya

by Woody Evans

After watching this interview with Chamath Palihapitiya a couple of weeks ago, one of the early developers of Facebook, I deleted my social media accounts.  Well, I deleted my Facebook and Twitter accounts, but I had to keep my Goodreads (I’m a librarian, suckers!).

Palihapitiya talks about the deliberate use of dopamine and positive feedback built into social media — we get a buzz when we’re friended or liked — and he talks about the dangers of that model for individuals and society.  I realized that I was checking in on Facebook and Twitter several times a day and getting almost nothing from it.  A meme from my wife now and then, a like from a distant cousin or loving Auntee if I posted a pic of my son, or a 💖on Twitter for floating some political pith: gossamer bits of external validation through a screen that fits in my pocket.  So I dropped it.

Immediately I wanted to share things!  I wanted to tweet out fundraising campaigns for political issues important to me, and I found myself longing to amber fleeting family moments into Facebook posts — my son fencing a dry bout at a local gym, my wife’s work on a new knitted shawl, my cat peeking out above a paper screen.  It was less about the ‘like’ and the retweet, and more about the archiving of these passing intimacies.  Not relying on a living, multi-media scrapbook, as I had done for some ten years, how would I organize what was important enough to ‘share’?  How did my memory work before 2006, and how would it work differently in 2018 and beyond?  I’m going to carry these concerns around for a while, no doubt, but the possible value of this cold turkey experiment seems worth it to me — though the librarian in me wants the archive, of course.

My demeanor is mellowing.  My outrage is becoming less spikey and more ember-like.  Rather than tweeting my representatives in government, I’ve called their offices and written to them more often.  And rather than watching my homelife for “social media moments”, I’m sinking more deeply into the baldness of chopping onions, of dusting picture frames, and of petting my dog.  For years I’ve blabbered plenty about the importance of living in the here and now, all the while letting a layer of “there” and “then” mediate my private moments — a sense of performance had crept into things.  The mediating filter, by letting more and more through, had altogether stopped doing its job.

I don’t know which way this may snap and mutate, but for now, for today, I am having conversations in real time with real people, or spending purposeful time on emails and pen-and-ink correspondence, and taking things more slowly.

I know that I’m going to miss a lot of breaking news, a lot of cool pics and poems, and a lot of smart retorts.  I also know I can live with that deficit.

 

Woody Evans is a librarian from Southern Mississippi living now in North Texas.  His work appears in Blunderbuss Magazine, Boing Boing, Rain Taxi Review, Teknokulturaand many others

See Also Previous Woody Evans Article

A Mouse In The Noddles Over Mars

Who Mad The Nazis… Cry?

The 7B2 in Handel Gothic (It is steampunk)

Pink Lexical Goop: The Dark Side of Autocorrect

 

By Dmitry Mazin.

Illustrations by Sean McOmber.

We’ve awaited the age of artificial intelligence for decades. In our fantasies, AI is usually humanoid, straight out of the Jetsons. But while we anticipate the great arrival of the robotic butlers, AI has, in fact, already quietly permeated the fabric of our daily lives — from shopping, to driving, to communication.

Consider autocorrect, an AI-driven input assistant so ubiquitous that you likely don’t even realize how much it impacts your life. Without it, typing on a smartphone would be exceedingly difficult. That utility comes with a price, however, as autocorrect has begun to significantly alter the way we communicate.

Though you probably first encountered autocorrect as telltale squiggly red lines under your spelling mistakes, its breakthrough came with the smartphone. As you mash the tiny keys on your phone’s virtual keyboard, a sophisticated language model, working behind the scenes, determines which keys you actually intended to press. The iPhone, for example, invisibly enlarges those keys you are likely to hit next, so they are harder to miss[1]. Naturally, spelling is automatically checked in the process. This hybrid of input assistance and spellchecking is what we now know as autocorrect.

Prior to autocorrect, spellcheck was constrained to word processors. Its impact was limited, affecting primarily formal documents like letters and essays. Now, thanks to autocorrect, which mediates everything typed on a smartphone — casual and formal speech included — spellcheck is essentially universal. While the Standard English which spell check enforces may be preferable within the context of a formal document, this isn’t necessarily the case elsewhere.

Autocorrect’s insistence on “ducking” (instead of the much coarser exclamation) is infamous, but its rigidity goes beyond cursing. If you actually prefer the spelling “miniscule,” you must wrestle with autocorrect. And because actual humans adapt quickly to change (and even anticipate it), a human-edited dictionary like Merriam-Webster actually includes words that autocorrect doesn’t, such as “abridgement.”

Autocorrect fundamentally alters English. Since there are many ways to spell most English sounds, its spelling tends to drift. Autocorrect slows this evolution, enforcing Standard English in spaces where novel or informal spellings would have previously gone unmolested. Indeed, a 2011 study concluded that in a 20-year period prior to the introduction of autocorrect, spellcheck was already largely responsible for an accelerating death of English words, while the creation of new words contracted sharply, causing an actual shrinkage of the English lexicon[2].

Nevertheless, autocorrect undeniably provides a net benefit. Using our smartphones would simply be intractable without it. However, a new class of input assistant AIs operates on a level beyond spelling, affecting the very way we choose our words. These AIs cross into dangerous territory, threatening to render the English language into lexical pink slime.

In 2014, years after the iPhone’s initial release, typing on a smartphone apparently remained too slow[3]. With iOS 9, Apple launched a new product called QuickType, a small bar above the keyboard which automatically suggests the next word in a sentence, dramatically reducing the need for typing itself. “Typing as you know it might soon be a thing of the past,” Apple promised[4]. For simple phrases like “on my way,” QuickType works perfectly, and for more complex phrases, its suggestions are often good enough. Read more “Pink Lexical Goop: The Dark Side of Autocorrect”

Facecatraz: Becoming the Warden or Facebook as Penal Colony

or

How Facebook is becoming the digital Alcatraz of Social Media

by E.F Fluff

Written early 2016, extract from a larger work

A few weeks ago, for reasons still unknown to me, my Facebook account was suspended. Upon attempting to login, I was directed to a page requesting various types of ID to prove I was who my profile said I was. The foremost of these request was a scan of my passport with its ID number unobscured.

I am remaining anonymous for a variety of reasons including but not limited to needing to remain hidden from the man who attempted to blind and kill me. The same man I am trying to prosecute; the same man who has since been convicted of unrelated attempted manslaughter. With no information privacy or safety guarantees and the knowledge that this information would be handled by obtuse “subcontractors” and given their poor track record in everything, I provided Facebook with real documents with the artist pseudonym I have used for over seven years. None of them included a photo, as I have never linked a photo to that account.

Other equally intrusive options are available, though a quick search of the net will tell you depressing stories of people whose IDs were not accepted, even one or two whose passport were, apparently, not accepted. In some cases, people are using their real names or names slightly altered, (middle name spelt different, a common nickname such as Bob, no surname etc.).

There are very few times in life you will ever be required to provide your passport with its number.

Border control upon entering and leaving a country. Registering as a foreign resident in a country. Opening a bank account in a foreign country as a freelance worker. In some places, dealings with welfare or perhaps, when going to prison.

The passport is a very important document and was historically a document of “safe conduct.” Passport-like documents can be traced back to the Bible. With the current refugee crisis, it is clear the importance of the document has not diminished.

For example, in Finland, male citizens aged 18–30 years require military approval, or must prove that they have completed, or are exempt from, their obligatory military service to be granted an unrestricted passport. Otherwise, to ensure that they return to carry out military service, a passport is issued that is valid only until the end of their 28th year. Other countries with obligatory military service, such as Syria, have similar requirements. In Ireland, you do not own your passport; it is essentially on loan from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Government.

For a company such as Facebook to begin requesting passports, drivers licenses, employment pay stubs and other varied forms of confidential ID, you would think they were an extension of a State body rather than a stealth advertising company whose largest commodity is its “free” users. Users whose information it corrals and spins into billions. Some people are there by choice, other’s are there against their better judgement but feel compelled to use it due to its huge reach. One could possible draw analogies to the Prison-Industrial Complex, where prisoners become the bread and butter commodity, spinning money any way they are turned, in subsidies, contracts and penal labour.

In these days of doxxing, identity theft and swatting, the maxim should be, “You don’t know me, and that, unless I decide otherwise, is the way I want it.” Indeed, we should encourage obfuscation of identity, for safety, for cultural richness and truth-telling.

Increasingly, Facebook is being used as a means to background and credit check. Now, unless carefully hidden with maintained privacy and anonymity settings, soon your disparate Read more “Facecatraz: Becoming the Warden or Facebook as Penal Colony”

Richard Stallman : Last of The True Hackers? (MONDO 2000 flashback 1989)

When Richard Stallman first arrived at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab there were no officially sanctioned users of the equipment, no passwords, no security, no special privileges. Stallman liked it that way. But the retrenchment that was the 70s hit the MIT lab a few years after Stallman’s arrival. Passwords were assigned to Officially Sanctioned Users. So Stallman broke the computer’s encryption code and was able to get to the protected file that held people’s passwords. Stallman started sending people messages which would appear on the screen when they logged onto the system: “I see your password is (such and such). I suggest that you switch to the password ‘carriage return.’ It’s much easier to type, and also it stands up to the principle that there should be no passwords.”

Stallman is the inventor of the original, much-imitated EMACS editor. He also worked on the Lisp operating system and has worked extensively on compilers, editors, debuggers, command interpreters and the Incompatible Timesharing System. His current project is GNU “What’s GNU? GNU’s Not Unix. It’s a complete Unixcompatible software system that’s being written to give away free to everyone who can use it.”

R.U. Sirius

 

THE ORIGINAL HACKERS


MONDO 2000:
We are talking to the last of the hackers.

RICHARD STALLMAN: My name is Richard Stallman, my rank is general nuisance, my cereal is frosted flakes. The term hackers was invented by Steve Levy. According to him, the true hackers were the ones at universities in the mid 60’s and into the early 70’s —they were working on large computers. Then the hardware hackers who designed the personal computers in the 70’s —they’re second generation. The third generation is the game hackers of the late 70’s and 80’s. So when he calls me last of the true hackers he means the last of that generation, the last person carrying on the attitudes and spirit of that generation.

M2: Would you agree that you’re the last holdout from that generation in terms of staying true to the hacker’s ethic ?

RS: It’s certainly true that a lot of them sold out. I don’t know if there actually is a hacker’s ethic as such but there sure was an MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab ethic. This was that bureaucracy should not be allowed to get in the way of doing anything useful. Rules did not matter —results mattered. Rules, in the form of computer security or locks on doors, were held in total, absolute disrespect. We would be proud of how quickly we would sweep away whatever little piece of bureaucracy was getting in the way, how little time it forced you to waste. Anyone who dared to lock a terminal in his office, say because he was a professor and thought he was more important than other people, would likely find his door left open the next morning. I would just climb over the ceiling or under the floor, move the terminal out, or leave the door open with a note saying what a big inconvenience it is to have to go under the floor . . . “so please do not inconvenience people by locking the door any longer.” Even now, there is a big wrench at the AI lab which is entitled “the 7th floor master key” to be used in case anyone dares to lock up one of the more fancy terminals.

 

The original hackers didn’t break security just to be naughty.

M2: So the ethic, to some extent, lives on. Would you say it permeates the computer industry, or a large portion of it ?

RS: The basic desire is widespread. But most people just think, “Boy, this company is stupid. They pay me a lot of money and then arrange for me to waste a lot of my time. Aren’t they silly? Well, it is their money.” So they’re bought and no longer have the morale to say, “Shit —I am not going to put up with this bureaucracy.”

The term hacker has come to be associated exclusively with breaking security. That isn’t what it is at all, but hackers were willing to state their total contempt for security people, because security was one form of bureaucracy.

First generation hackers would break security because it was in the way of doing something useful. Now a lot of kids do it ’cause it’s naughty. Though it is true that showing that you can break security that’s said to be unbreakable is a nice hack, the original hackers did not break security just to be naughty. We broke security if somebody had locked up a tool that you needed to use.

M2: A lot of kids who break security think of it as a challenge to get into a system.

RS: They’re caught up in playing a game where they and a system administrator are trying to show who’s more powerful. Which is a waste of time, and that’s the exact opposite of the original hackers’ intention. What happens is a system administrator puts in more security measures, and then the security breaker tries to beat those. It’s a waste of time and energy. A tedious, sick game.

System administrators don’t realize that by playing the game they keep it going. Most security measures don’t provide security. They simply raise the level of sophistication at which the game is played. The game gets in the way of people trying to do any work. Read more “Richard Stallman : Last of The True Hackers? (MONDO 2000 flashback 1989)”

Excerpt from 3 Essays on Virtual Reality: Overlords, Civilization, and Escape

by Eliott Edge

 

It is worth pointing out that we have been making virtual realities for a very, very long time. That language, spoken language, is the original code for hacking virtual reality. When you sit the children down around the fire and begin to tell the old, old stories and pictures rise out of the flames—that is virtual reality

We live in a condensation of our imagination.”

Terence McKenna

An idea that tended to ride alongside this “VR is covertly equivalent to civilization” reading arrived through my years in psychedelic publishing and research. I picked up a line supposedly attributed to Timothy Leary, but popularized by Robert Anton Wilson—Reality Tunnels. A reality tunnel refers to the cultural virtual reality and the belief system that you acquire through socialization, conditioning, and exposure; the psychosocial orthodoxy that arrives thanks to everything from your local place of worship, to your language, to the shape of your home. You are what your neighborhoods make you. We become our scenery and our scenes. We become the local VR. Indeed, VR headset technology is designed to throw us into a reality tunnel in the exact same way that walking through a metropolitan street boggles our senses into a very particular worldview.

One of Wilson’s well-known remarks on the reality tunnel:

We’re all looking from the point of view of our own reality tunnels. And when we begin to realize that we’re all looking from the point of view of our own reality tunnels, we find that it is much easier to understand where other people are coming from. All the ones who don’t have the same reality tunnel as us do not seem ignorant, or deliberately perverse, or lying, or hypnotized by some mad ideology, they just have a different reality tunnel. And every reality tunnel might tell us something interesting about our world, if we’re willing to listen.

Wilson also observed: “‘reality’ is always plural and mutable.”

I think that culturally, once early humans started speaking and thinking in terms of an animal world and a spirit world, or distinguishing between a waking world and a dream world, we began to plant the seeds of the VR dialogue. VR then, is a way of discussing the multilayered shared fantasy called the human world.

Appreciating the worldview-generating effects of reality tunnels, civilization, language, culture, media, architecture, and seeing how they were all very much like VR, captured my imagination. Even the otherwise simple standing stones dotting the British countryside have VR-generating “magical” effects. They activate the imagination. It wasn’t long after that the observation came to mind: “There is likely no more singularly important consideration than the consideration of alternative worlds, illusory worlds, projected worlds, and manipulable worlds.” That is—there is likely no deeper issue, in philosophy or otherwise, than that of the possibility of more than one world or one worldview. For a worldview is merely a virtual reality. This is Plato and his Cave.

Yet another event that pushed me beyond the veil of hyperspace was the fateful arrival into my reality tunnel of Tom Campbell, a NASA, Department of Defense, Army Technical Intelligence nuclear physicist and consciousness researcher who I discovered around 2008. Campbell, who has a résumé longer than most people’s arm, published a model of the universe as a virtual reality simulation in 2007 called My Big TOE: A Trilogy Unifying Philosophy, Physics, and Metaphysics. In it he describes the universe as a simulation, and our consciousness as the nonphysical computer that “renders” the physical universe into existence via the act of what physicists call “measurement.” Campbell’s major follow up to his book was a paper published online in March 2017, in the International Journal of Quantum Foundations, called “On Testing the Simulation Hypothesis,” which also focused on the issue of measurement and “wave collapse.” After Campbell, I started reading other scientists who wrote about nature and computation, virtual reality worlds, simulated universes, digital mechanics, video game thought experiments, and observations in nature that we have historically branded with the moniker ‘spooky.’ I devoured Nick Bostrom, Edward Fredkin, Brian Whitworth, Seth Lloyd, David Chalmers, Sylvester James Gates, Roger Penrose, Paola Zizzi, Zohreh Davoudi, John A. Wheeler, and other mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers who were also absorbed in the issues of computation, simulation, and virtual worlds. Brian Whitworth may have summarized the longstanding problems in physics best when he wrote in his essay Simulating Space and Time:

VR theory is only on the table because objective reality theory doesn’t explain modern physics. In an objective reality time does not dilate, space doesn’t bend, objects don’t teleport and universes don’t pop into existence from nowhere. We would not doubt the world’s objective reality if only it behaved so physically, but it does not. Adjectives like “strange”, “spooky”  and “weird” apply, and common sense concepts like object, location, existence, time and space simply don’t work. The world of modern physics doesn’t behave at all as an objective reality should.

It became clear that virtual reality was not just a philosophical or cultural issue; it was a deeply scientific one as well.

After all, a universe popping into existence seemingly out of nowhere for apparently no reason—completely with freakishly fine-tuned physical laws, as well as with all the matter and energy that will ever exist simultaneously—makes a hell of a lot more sense once you think of a computer hitting GO.

Read more “Excerpt from 3 Essays on Virtual Reality: Overlords, Civilization, and Escape”

The modern (or post-modern) memory is an assault victim, if not an amputee.

 

(excerpt from an unused section of my upcoming MONDO 2000 book)

R.U. Sirius

Consider the disconnect that all of us feel from ourselves in the past. A few decades back, neurology imagined memory as a sort of computer file from which we could search and call up precise replicas of our experiences if only we had sufficient abilities to remember. These days, it’s understood that memories are fluid, composed of the detritus of actual observed occurrences; impressions that may have been inaccurate in the first place and may have mutated over time; temporally scrambled memories (events that are conflated); and, for many, false memories. At the extreme of memories’ malleability, there are even people who intentionally or unintentionally implant memories in others with measurable success — an alien abduction (and, yes, perhaps an autopsy) is recollected under “hypnosis” or guided visualizations; childhood abuse is remembered under the guidance of a psychotherapist trying to locate a primal trauma to explain someone’s unease.

In fact, neurological evidence now suggests that childhood trauma may have less to do with who we are than last month’s ill treatment at the hands of a bank, law enforcement or an abusive relative. In fact, given the recent evidence, it has been conjectured by longevity nuts that humans who live 400-600 years will likely not remember their childhoods at all.

If memory, by nature, is so vague that one needs to act as one’s own detective to gather up the bits of one’s biographical life, the situation is rendered even more dire when living in mediated and populated times. To wit: we may see more people in an afternoon on a city street than were alive on planet earth at the start of agriculture. If you’d lived through the Civil War in 1861-‘65, your memories would probably have been more intense than those of a boomer hipster who avoided Vietnam to hang out in the counterculture, but they would likely be far fewer. Your human interactions would probably have taken place in your hometown and would have involved a few thousand people, and out on the battlefield with a few thousand more. If you were literate, you may have filled your mind up with ideas and characters from books – still, this leaves you with the possibility of an uncluttered and leisurely stroll down memory lane compared to what we contemporaries have experienced.

The modern – or if you prefer, postmodern memory – is, by comparison, an assault victim, if not an amputee. We have been filled up by a thousandfold more interactions and a millionfold more observations of fabricated, mediated realities — the memories of thousands of television shows and films, probably hundreds of thousands of songs, and the nearly infinite variations of content and interaction that have passed before our seemingly conscious minds online. Our memories are filled largely with the trivial — discards that don’t get discarded, but fade and are swallowed into the mashup that constructs our alleged selves. And none of this matters much. There is no absolute necessity for most of us to make a connection to a personal biographical narrative.   There is, in fact, as postmodernists and neurologists have told us, no central self — no little homunculus sitting at the seat of the nervous system or soul making the movie of our selves 24/7.

The sense of self, in fact, seems to be an epiphenomenon that arises out of distributed, disconnected thoughts and experiences that are only nominally and occasionally integrated and variously recombined dependent on the circumstance and the kind of effort it does or does not require. A different self then occurs every moment, albeit it’s a self with habits and attitudes very much like the one from the moment previous.

So it may be the better part of wisdom not to locate one’s life story, but rather – like the ancient Chinese Taoists, to go with the flow… in this time, the flow being entirely forwards, a flow of acceptance of speed and distraction, of involvements – frequently mediated — with the present and future, with past memories only valued in accordance with the statute of limitations and if under indictment.

Predictions for the Future

R.U. Sirius

 

Immediate Future 2017-2019

I predict that these predictions will be proved incorrect but it was fun to write them. All kinds of crazy shit will occur that no one could predict.

In 2018, the Democrats will win back the Senate. They may or may not win back the house.

If the Democrats win back the house, Trump will be impeached.

If Trump is impeached, many liberal/feminist pundits will express qualified praise for Mike Pence’s sexual morality.

“The internet” will continue to get its collective knickers in a twist (or is it panties in a bunch?) every day over something that some celebrity said that doesn’t matter a soggy fucking banana.

 

2020s

We will be in a state of constant crisis brought on by…

  • increasingly apocalyptic weather events
  • economic mini-collapses resulting from a) Wall Street bubbles, b) currency confusion due to digital/alternate currencies c) hackers finally cashing in their ownership of everyone’s data… largely in the service of global “cyberwarfare.”
  • Increasing international conflicts

This state of constant crisis will be greeted by a fair amount of cheery positive thinking, do-gooding and community activism. Good feelings about diversity will be cranked up to 11.

 

The far right will recede as a force in American politics. The anxiety about immigrants will also recede. There will be enough remaining dead-enders to distract and let us all feel superior.

A liberal/neoliberal centrism will maintain power in the US and be credited, correctly, with getting the lid back on enough to prevent total chaos.

The world will continue to be mostly owned by about a hundred people.

The multi-trillion dollar surveillance state will continue and grow and rarely be questioned.

US Foreign interventions will be limited, more frequent and seem, on the surface, pretty necessary as berserkers go ever-more berserk on a global scale. Resistance will be sparse and tepid. We will always seem on the verge of a big war.

 

 

There will be slow but certain improvements in our justice system and in its treatment of people of color.

There will be an inadequate universal guaranteed income that will, nonetheless, be less cruel and pinched than what is left of the welfare system.

The future will be much like Brave New World. A self-regarding, middlebrow, well behaved, quasi-liberal conformism will suffuse everything. It will be sharply satirized, mainly by British TV imports.

The margins around what’s ok in speech and creative work will continue to tighten.

 

 

The reputations of almost everybody who was interesting during the 20th Century, including those of many radical feminists, will fall before the expanding sex inquisition.

 

 

Sexuality will continue to evolve along the lines of a strange hybrid of prissiness combined with organized kink. Gender “non-conformism” will be the new gender conformism

The Apology will be the main social ritual of the society. It will be a source of gossip and social cohesion, giving 21st Century America a sort-of consensus narrative similar to the one that was once provided for by religion and alcoholism/drug addiction, i.e. sin and redemption.

 

At the end of the 2020s, we will be on the verge of prescription longevity medicine. It’ll be effective but have side effects. (By its nature, we’ll have to wait a real long fuckin’ time to find out how effective it is.)

Self-driving cars will not be mass market yet.

Psychiatrists will increasingly be allowed to prescribe psychedelic drugs and mind stimulants. They will be very effective.

Printable replacement organs will become increasingly available, mainly to the wealthy.

Proof of concept will be achieved for molecular machines that can make almost anything out of very little. Possible dangers and broad social chaos will stall its availability. The Pentagon will have a secret project that will have it weaponized and ready for use by the 2030s. It will be less lethal than conventional weapons.

We will have a major political figure who ends his or her talks by saying “Namaste.” (Jerry Brown will not live long enough to see this happen.)

 

The likelihood of a lot of cool and useful new toys/tools is largely dependent on the well-being and success of Elon Musk. Stand back! Give him some space!

Darren Aronofsky will film Illuminatus. It will be denounced as (Fill in the blank)ist by some but not all.

I Politician (The United Matrix of America) 1982

Satori D has really outdone himself with this psychotedelic video for the song I Politician recorded by Party Dogs in 1982 in Rochester New York. Also, proof that I was years ahead of the Wachowskis in the first use of “matrix” in a song.

R.U. Sirius

 

R.U. Sirius – Matt Sabo
Party Dogs were Ken Goffman aka R.U. Sirius Vocals
Hugh Edwards Bass
Patrick Lowery Drums
Matt Sabo Guitar

 

 

I’ve got a little think tank
I call it home
I ain’t too highly paid though
Just flesh and bone
I’ll put a little thingie out
On video cassette
And hope the Minister of Propaganda
Don’t get too upset

Still it all comes though
The United Matrix of America
Pagan rhythms out of Africa
Pagan shipments out of Kathmandu
From the Aztecs to the Ming
Genetic carnival on wings

We’ve got a little freak show
We call it “The Hunchback Squeaks”
And then I politician
I get on up and I speaks
“I got a lotta rage” he cries
“And lots of irony”
You’re baboons in a cage” he lies
“I’m going to set you free”

Still it all comes though
The United Matrix of America
Pagan rhythms out of Africa
Pagan shipments out of Kathmandu
From the Aztecs to the Ming
Genetic carnival on wings

Gotta get back to L.A. now
Got a media jones
Talking with the network boys
and taking out more loans
I get 3 minutes on NBC
Attack the ruling class
I’ve got 4 friends at NASA now
If I have to move my ass

Still it all comes though
The United Matrix of America
Pagan rhythms out of Africa
Pagan shipments out of Kathmandu
From the Aztecs to the Ming
Genetic carnival on wings

 

Recorded by Party Dogs 1982 at Blue Planet Enterprises in Rochester New York Video by Satori D 2017

Albert Hofmann – Everybody Has Cosmogonic Potency (1984)

“It was serendipity. I was looking for something. I did not find what I was looking for.
 I found something else. That’s the meaning of serendipity.”

From the first issue of High Frontiers, the magazine that became MONDO 2000, a great flashback interview with Dr. Albert Hoffman, who discovered LSD

Dr. Albert Hofmann, Swiss chemist, and discoverer of LSD, was in America last summer to celebrate and promote his book, LSD – My Problem Child. While here, he stopped by Shared Visions, where he was interviewed by Will Nofke, before an appreciative audience. As Will said in his introduction of Dr. Hofmann, he is a radiant being. Well into his seventies, he has maintained the good-natured flexibility and sense of humor of an enlightened man.

Will Nofke: Dr. Hofmann, you’ve said that it’s necessary to be well-prepared to use the substance known as LSD, and it seems that your life prepared you for the discovery of this particular substance which has been such a catalyst in so many lives. I wonder if you could tell us a little bit about the process of that discovery. What lead to it ?

Albert Hoffman: It’s my belief that I was really prepared for this work. As you know, I was not searching to find a psychoactive compound. When I prepared this lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD, I had planned to get an analeptic compound with a circulatory stimulant activity, a stimulant for the heart and breathing. It turned out to be a psychic stimulant, instead. We made this kind of discovery not by chance. It was serendipity. I was looking for something. I did not find what I was looking for. I found something else. That’s the definition of serendipity.

W.N. Seems to be the definition of life itself.

A.H. Yes, maybe. Do you know who coined this word ?

W.N. No. I don’t.

A.H.- That was Horace Walpole in 1756, I believe. He had just read this fairy tale about the 3 princes of Serendip. Serendip is the ancient name for Salem. This was the story of some princes who went out on an expedition. They were searching for something they had planned to find, but then they did not find what they were looking for. But because they were open-minded and curious, they found other things which were all useful. After having read that story, he coined the word Serendipity.

W.N.- Could you tell us a little bit about how your discovery took place, because it is quite unusual ?

A.H.- Yes. I prepared this compound for the first time in 1938 with the intention to get an analeptic. I gave it, in the normal way, to our pharmacological department at Sandoz. There, compounds are tested in animals, and in isolated organs, but we did not find any extraordinary activity of this compound. And very strangely, quite unusually for me, 5 years later, I should, just once more, prepare this compound and make it available to our pharmacologists, and ask them to do broader, more extended testing, because I just had a feeling that there could be something more in this compound.

W.N.  You sensed something was there.

A.H. Yes. So, I just prepared this compound. I was working the afternoon of the 18th of April, ’43, and I was just at the final stage of this synthesis, which consists of the crystalization of a dilution in methanol, and the compound comes out in a pure state. I started to feel quite strange and I had a kind of daydream. I went out of the normal world, into a kind of other reality. I went home, laid down, and had a beautiful experience. Everything which I thought about, it was immediately before my eyes, just quite vivid and alive. Then these symptoms disappeared, and I thought, “Something has happened with me that is most unusual.” And I thought maybe I had used a solvent closely related to chloroform, which was known to be an intoxicant. I thought maybe the chloroform had caused this kind of inebriation, and I had reacted in such a strange way. The next day, I sniffed some of this compound (chloroform) and nothing happened. So, I thought that maybe some of this compound I had been working on, this diethylamide of lysergic acid, could have been the cause. I decided to get to the bottom of this problem and make a self-experiment with this compound. Being a cautious man, I started out with one-fourth of a milligram, which is unusually low, with the intention to increase, gradually, the amount. I then ingested this in the laboratory. Soon, after a half-an-hour, “Oh. That was the compound I had used. It came up very, very strong. It took me, and when I came home, I asked the laboratory assistant to accompany me. That was the famous bicycle ride. I rode the bicycle 6 kilometers, 4 miles home and, finally at home, I got into a very terrifying situation. All was so strange and I had the feeling maybe I have become insane now. Because I did not know if ever I would come back off this other reality, and that was very terrifying. At the climax of the experience, about 3 or 4 hours after I had ingested it, I had the feeling of being out of my body and I thought, “You may have died and you are now in another world, and you have made a big discovery, and now you cannot even enjoy it and use it, and you can never sell it to anybody, and you’ve left your family with 3 children.” It was really a terrible situation. But then, finally, I got the feeling that I would come back and then a beautiful, a joyful, a peaceful experience came and it was like a rebirth. After death, a rebirth. Then I enjoyed the stimulated fantasy, the array of colors and stimulated feeling of life, life coming again, and I was really happy, and it was a happiness which I had not experienced before. Finally, I slept, and the next morning I was a changed human being. I had the feeling I had died and been reborn. This was the beginning of my thinking about both these realities. Because I had left our everyday reality. I’d been in another reality, and that was the beginning of an insight into our world, which I never would have had without this experience. Read more “Albert Hofmann – Everybody Has Cosmogonic Potency (1984)”