Philip K Dick

Philip K Dick - his 2 basic topics

Philip K Dick said in his paper "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later" that "two certain matters absolutely fascinate me, and that I write about them all the time. The two basic topics that fascinate me are "What is reality?" and "What constitutes the authentic human being?" Over the twenty-seven years in which I have published novels and stories I have investigated those two interrelated topics over and over again. I consider them important topics. What are we?

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"Corporatized - An Alternative To Corporatism & Beyond" short online course @ MLA + more at GEI

I just saw the email for the upcoming Maybe Logic Academy courses - there's another by Douglas Rushkoff called Corporatized - An Alternative To Corporatism & Beyond coming up in January 2009 - scheduled for 6 weeks from January 12 to February 22. his last class "Technologies of Persuasion - From Propaganda to Paranoia" was great - the class was very popular and had a lot of people in it. the first few weeks moved really quickly, by the last few weeks it was running at a slower pace so I could try and catch up. I was doing the The Crazy Wisdom of Philip K. Dick class with Erik Davis at the same time, so I was running behind on the Rushkoff class as the PKD class was so interesting! Fingers crossed there might be another PKD class with Erik Davis too - I asked and they said Maybe! (excuse the pun :)

I think Rushkoff's new class will be really interesting, especially as in the Persuasion class he mentioned his thoughts on the global economy and how we should be using a different 'money' system & alternative currencies. He's written many books, and columns with newspapers such as New York Times & Guardian of London. He now also writes for Arthur Magazine, which I think in some ways has taken over from where Mondo 2000 and previously Reality Hackers magazines started. Arthur No. 29, May 2008 has one of his articles, Riding out the Credit Crisis which I think was very timely considering the state of economic affairs around the globe now with some regions stating they are in a recession. this month's Arthur # 31 - October 2008 has another article by Rushkoff called "No Money Down" (pages 26-27) which is worth a read too - the pdf's are available to download on their site (part A has this article). he also has a forum on his site where some of the discussions can take place & continue from previous (and I'm assuming future) MLA courses, boing boing posts, Arthur articles and his books.

from Riding out the Credit Crisis :
"Whatever the case, the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your interests is to make friends. The more we are willing to do for each other on our own terms and for compensation that doesn’t necessarily involve the until-recently-almighty dollar, the less vulnerable we are to the movements of markets that, quite frankly, have nothing to do with us."

...

"Think small. Buy local. Make friends. Print money. Grow food. Teach children. Learn nutrition. And if you do have money to invest, put it into whatever lets you and your friends do those things."

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transhumanism

transhumanism is a huge field encompassing many topics and arguments. concsiousness, what does it mean to be human, bio ethics, genetic modifications, nanotechnology, science, future technologies, spirituality, information technology, biopolitics, medical improvements, body enhancements, human computer interaction ... the list goes on

the World Transhumanist Association defines transhumanism as :

Transhumanism is a way of thinking about the future that is based on the premise that the human species in its current form does not represent the end of our development but rather a comparatively early phase. We formally define it as follows:

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air ::: wind & coincidences on the interweb

I'm doing another MLA course - this one with Starhawk called Earth As Teacher - Earth As Healer.

the coincidences abounded this week again - or perhaps I could refer to it as the interconnectedness Starhawk mentioned in week 1's class. she spoke more about the connections between the Gaian world though. apparently these messages are always there but when you start learning or noticing something new, then you are more open to seeing these messages. I noticed Dan, a facebook friend, joined a Sydney Permablitz- Changing the World One Garden at a Time fb group. so I took a look and joined also. this led me to the permablitz website. and friends of the earth website. I noticed one of the forum messages was for an Introduction to Permaculture - Sydney - Jun 08 - it's being held on the last weekend in June. I might even be back in Sydney by then, but I'll have to wait and see before signing up in case there's a delay. I took a look at their flickr photos and saw some of the previous projects they've done. the hidden garden in Newtown looks great.

then I noticed the flickr user was cicadas and the person was Kirsten Bradley - I've never met her but I've seen her name around heaps - at electrofringe and different festivals. she's always working on a great project! I was looking at flickr contacts and somehow I ended up on one which had INSPIRE!, a street / artist from Israel / Tel Aviv - who's messages I see around the streets all the time, bilateral, and a couple of the guys who do the ShiftSpace project (who are Israelis in USA) - I was trying this out earlier this year but after Angus died I didn't feel like doing much for a while. this is lifting now though so the links in the labyrinth are unwinding. it's amazing how interrelated we all are. I had an email from Daniel Liss of pouringdown.tv from videoblogging list (some of my favourites!) who said he knows the ShiftSpace guys too and is using it - I think he went to uni/course or something with one of them? there really is only 1 degree of separation. I'd love to do a festival and have them all in Australia - what an amazing collection of artists they would be!! if only I could afford it ...

anyway, it's week 2 already in the Earth course - time seems to fly. I've been doing the MLA courses pretty much non-stop since the PKD class last year. each has been interesting and I've learnt much - some I hadn't known much about to start with.

this week we've had readings and audio talks and forum questions about AIR. we were asked to share our observations about Wind - especially if we've been noticing any differences in our weather patterns.

here's my reply. I might start keeping the course journal online (I won't include the course specifics - just my notes / impressions)

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this morning I walked into the city to the post office - it was a little cool but I didn't put my jumper on so I could feel the sun & the wind more whilst I walked. I noticed some of the trees' leaves flutter only on the edges whilst with others, the whole tree sways in the wind (even if the trees near it just have the light fluttering leaves). so it was interesting to notice the difference. also next week is the 60th year celebrations so many of the cars have flags on them and also people have hung flags and banners from their balconies. so the wind is very noticeable at the moment - it's adding life & movement to the ideas and celebrations of the people. similarly for the protesters banners being held outside the prime ministers house in the city. the wind moves the banners and makes them more noticeable as people seem to notice movement of things around them.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aliak_com/2459378005/ is a quick video of a flag in the wind (on a parked car) - I love watching the flags move - they have bursts of energy, then the wind dies down and they take a rest.

the wind for me also brings relief on a hot day - a light breeze is enough to cool your skin when you're overheated. a couple of weeks ago (I was overseas) there were a few days of 40degree heat - unusual for this time of year. now it's back to being cool in the evenings again.

the city here doesn't have tall highrises casting shadows over the streets so it doesn't seem as cold as some cities I've been in. and the wind doesn't catch between them. I've stayed in highrises in Auckland where the wind howls past the buildings. I used to record some of the sounds it made. it was almost like the sky was making the noise to annoy the building as the wind & sky's space was being taken up by the buildings! it's a strange feeling being up so high and hearing the power of the wind around the building. the sounds are much more pronounced than what you hear from the lower & ground levels. Auckland is known for it's wind at certain times of the year so it can get pretty strong.

deoxy readings and irc chats

This weekend I've been trying to catch up on some of the MLA courses. the PKD course has finished. Rushkoff's Technologies of Persuasion finishes this weekend. I've enrolled in another self-study class called Tales of the Tribe - by Robert Anton Wilson (RAW) who has since passed away.

NaVloPoMo 15 - day # 15 the Philip K Dick online course has finished

I've been doing an online course called "The Crazy Wisdom of Philip K Dick" at Maybe Logic Academy for the past 8 weeks. the teacher is Erik Davis, a PKD scholar (amongst other topics). it's been great. each week we read parts of a book (The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch & VALIS) or watch a film (Bladerunner & A Scanner Darkly), then answer questions posted on the MLA course forums. the discussions have been great - I've learnt so much from it and have many things to keep researching. lots of different topics - religion, technology, parallel worlds, different meanings of time, gnosticism, philosophy, modern culture, and many more.. I'm sad it's over really.

I'm also doing the Technologies of Persuasion course with Douglas Rushkoff teaching - though I've fallen behind in this one. Also I've just enrolled in a self-study class of Robert Anton Wilson's (RAW) called Tales of the Tribe - so far it's about studying ideas in different literature works.

so if you're looking for a short course to do that will make you think - I highly recommend these!!

http://www.maybelogic.net

http://www.maybelogic.org

http://techgnosis.com

original movie file @ http://blip.tv/file/489020
blog post @ http://www.aliak.com/node/14216

nettime archive finds : DJ Spooky interview by Erik Davis+ new science & new minds thoughts

whilst looking for the original posting and thread of Erik Davis' nettime-l posting on "Philip K. Dick's Divine Interference", I came across an interview by Erik with DJ Spooky from 2003. the closest I came to the PKD post was a later reply to the thread - I can't seem to find the original post though. maybe it had a different title.

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Vast Active Living Intelligence System (VALIS) - reading notes

I'm having to look up almost every second word to decipher VALIS, the book for the next few week's PKD course. so, some reading notes & research below ...

VALIS - by Philip K Dick

preface of the book
VALIS (acronym of Vast Active Living Intel-
ligence System, from an American film): A
perturbation in the reality field in which a
spontaneous self-monitoring negentropic vortex
is formed, tending progressively to subsume
and incorporate its environment into arrange-
ments of information. Characterized by quasi-
consciousness, purpose, intelligence, growth
and an armillary coherence.
-Great Soviet Dictionary
Sixth Edition, 1992

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VALIS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Author_surrogate

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logos

There is a line in the I Ching reading, "Always ill but never dies." (pg 10)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logos

"Philip K. Dick’s Divine Interference." by Erik Davis
http://tinyurl.com/2xa3gf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Free_Albemuth

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulated_reality

The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick by R. Crumb
http://www.philipkdickfans.com/weirdo/weirdo1.htm

PLATO AND THE SOPHISTS
http://www.web-books.com/Classics/Nonfiction/Philosophy/Pater_Plato/Pate...

nous, or noos (Greek philosophy)
http://www.britannica.com/eb/topic-420882/nous

Adherents.com: Religious Groups in Literature
http://www.adherents.com/lit/Na/Na_367.html
Platonism California: Oakland 1971 Dick, Philip K. Valis. New York: Bantam (1981); pg. 17.

"Yet, in all fairness, I have to admit that God--or someone calling himself God, a distinction of mere semantics--had fired precious information at Horselover Fat's head by which their son Christopher's life had been saved. Some people God cures and some he slays. Fat denies that God slays anyone. Fat says, God never harms anyone. Illness, pain and undeserved suffering arise not from God but from elsewhere, to which I say, How did this elsewhere arise? Are there two gods? Or is part of the universe out from under God's control? Fat used to quote Plato. In Plato's cosmology, noos or Mind is persuading ananke or blind necessity--or blind chance, according to some experts--into submission. Noos happened to come along and to its surprise discovered blind chance: chaos, in other words, onto which noos imposes order (although how this 'persuading' is done Plato nowhere says.) " [Also pg. 32, 220.]

week 5 VALIS
http://www.maybelogic.net/pkd/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=...

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Philip K. Dick's Divine Interference - by Erik Davis (originally posted on nettime)
http://www.maybelogic.net/pkd/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=...

In the excepts of the Exegesis reworked into the "Tractates Crytptica Scriptura" that close the novel VALIS, Dick expresses the MIT computer scientist Edward Fredkin's view that the universe is composed of information. The world we experience is a hologram, "a hypostasis of information" that we, as nodes in the true Mind, process. "We hypostasize information into objects. Rearrangement of objects is change in the content of information. This is the language we have lost the ability to read."[4] With this Adamic code scrambled, both ourselves and the world as we know it are "occluded," cut off from the brimming "Matrix" of cosmic information. Instead, we are under the sway of the "Black Iron Prison," Dick's terms for the demiurgic worldly forces of political tyranny and oppressive social control. Rome is the eternal paragon of this "Empire," whose archetypal lineaments the feverish Dick recognized in the Nixon administration.

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Philip K Dick - further reading on the net

I've been learning heaps at the Philip K Dick course taught by Erik Davis. I've done a few web searches and as well as a few of the links posted by Erik & other classmates, I've started making a list. many of them are on the Total Dick Head blog which has heaps of great info & links to follow up on. the discussions have been great. I've been learning about some different religions and belief systems (eg Gnosticism)

We've been reading The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch so far so a lot of the links below relate to that. this week we're watching Blade Runner (one of my favourite films). I'll try add some links as I come across them.

(not in any particular order & some aren't strictly PKD)

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Philip K Dick

The Crazy Wisdom of Philip K. Dick with Erik Davis, an online course at Maybe Logic Academy
Sept 17 - Nov 11 2007

http://www.maybelogic.org/erikcrs.htm

" Once a purely cult figure, Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) is now widely recognized as a pulp visionary of the highest order. This course will approach his work not as science fiction but as crazy wisdom. We'll explore how his texts seem designed to illuminate our posthuman problems and our most ancient philosophical questions — and to then scramble those insights with a cheap ray gun. We will read two of Dick's major novels, both chosen for their heavy gnostic themes. We will discuss drugs and archons and machines that break down, including, possibly, yourself. We will also explore the two greatest examples of the many PKD movies to date — further evidence that Dick's spirit will only continue to permeate the culture at large. "

The Crazy Wisdom of Philip K. Dick - online course

I'm starting an online course tomorrow called " The Crazy Wisdom of Philip K. Dick". I'm not sure how I'm going to go, but I enjoy his books so it'll be interesting to find out more. the lecturer is Erk Davis who's well known for his studies on the author. I've just logged into the course page and read the intro and it sounds really interesting. I have a feeling I'm going to need to take it twice!

there's another one by Douglas Rushkoff which sounds interesting also - he sent the note about his course via his blog mail list, so that's how I came across the PKD one. there's others by R.U. Sirius of Mondo 2000 fame which I wouldn't mind checking out also. some of the others on the site seem a bit out there! but it's interesting to find out about things I don't know much about.

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mondo 2000

Finding my old bookmark files has made me nostalgic for the early computing days when everything was new and exciting and full of possibilities. One of my favourite magazines back in the early 90s was Mondo 2000. It was hard to get - only a few places in Brisbane stocked it, actually only two that I recall and even then it was occasional. By the time I got round to subscribing to the magazine it had finished being published and I lost my subscription renewal to the cause so to speak. At the time, it was cutting edge and the full gloss images and interviews with leading thinkers made it a great read. R.U. Sirius who was the editor of the mag has a podcast these days and can be found around mondoglobo.net. Here's a collection of links to mondo 2000 stuff:

mondo articles from the well (link updated : original link broken 25/09/2008 : http://www.well.com:70/1/Publications/MONDO )

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