Tag Archives | Robert Anton Wilson

Is Technology Making The World Too Complex?

Pic: Theon (CC)

Pic: Theon (CC)

Can Moore’s law abet neutralization of Buckminster Fuller’s ephemeralization? Will Georges Anderla’s statistical model (coined the information explosion by Robert Anton Wilson) equalize the complexity?

via Aeon

Human ingenuity has created a world that the mind cannot master. Have we finally reached our limits?

Despite the vastness of the sky, airplanes occasionally crash into each other. To avoid these catastrophes, the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) was developed. TCAS alerts pilots to potential hazards, and tells them how to respond by using a series of complicated rules. In fact, this set of rules — developed over decades — is so complex, perhaps only a handful of individuals alive even understand it anymore. When a TCAS is developed, humans are pushed to the sidelines and, instead, simulation is used. If the system responds as expected after a number of test cases, it receives the engineer’s seal of approval and goes into use.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Robert Anton Wilson Trashes the Unbridled Arrogance of Carl Sagan

305px-Carl_Sagan_Viking

NASA (PD)

You know, I’ve never been a Carl Sagan fan. Not that I’ve read a whole lot of his stuff outside of some opinion pieces that have shown up online after his death. I guess the reason I’ve never been a fan is because I’ve frequently run into people arguing against the legitimacy of neo-spiritual/Occult concepts who reference his book The Demon Haunted Universe, which I’ve admittedly never read. You know why I haven’t read it? Because I have no idea why I would read a book about spirituality or altered states of consciousness written by an astronomer. Not really his area of expertise now, is it? What I didn’t know until just recently is that Robert Anton Wilson not only thought he was an arrogant douchebag, but wrote an entire chapter about that very topic in his book Cosmic Trigger III: My Life After Death:

“If anybody possesses all the qualifications necessary for a fully ordained Expert in America today, Carl Sagan certainly has that dizzying eminence.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Kerry Thornley, Discordianism, and the JFK Assassination

Kerry ThornleyIt’s been fifty years since the Kennedy assassination.  Fifty years since the conspiracy subculture came screaming out of the hivemind’s womb.  Fifty years since the CIA made “conspiracy theorist” a derogatory term (if you believe some people).  I planned to acknowledge the day with some kind of drinking game associated with the Zapruder film, but I couldn’t make it work.

Everyone remembers where they were when Kennedy died, but no one seems to be able to pinpoint the moment they were dragged into conspiracy land.  I was ripe for it.  I believe everything I hear for at least five seconds.  And there’s something sexy about an intricate web of connections.  Thankfully, I was exposed to Robert Anton Wilson’s playful brand of agnosticism at an early age and escaped delusion’s evil clutches.

So, of course, he just had to be tied into the JFK assassination.

Wilson, in his introduction to the Prankster and the Conspiracy, says he was accused of being a CIA “handler” by author Kerry Thornley, who was convinced that he had been the subject of MK-Ultra experiments along with his army buddy, (here it comes) Lee Harvey Oswald.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Wisdom of Robert Anton Wilson

Via our friends at Daily Grail:

On October 23rd, the London Fortean Society celebrated “The Late Great Robert Anton Wilson” at the Horse Hospital in London. featuring lectures by our good friend John Higgs as well as Daisy Eris Campbell. John’s well-presented talk, in which he riffs on RAW’s thoughts about belief and reality, has been uploaded to YouTube and I heartily recommend it – in fact, I wish everyone on Earth would hear what John is talking about, because it’s such a key aspect of the ways in which we fool ourselves (often to the detriment of others).

Read more about Wilson and the lecture here.

 

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Jean Gebser & Robert Anton Wilson: The Micro & Macro of Consciousness

Disinfonauts!  I spoke the other day at the Jean Gebser conference and had a great time learning more about the unsung muse of consciousness conversation, Jean Gebser.  As I read his magnum opus, The Ever Present Origin, I immediately saw a direct correlation between Gebser and Robert Anton Wilson.  If you would like to see what I mean, take some time to check out this presentation.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Chapel Perilous

chapel-perilous.net

teafaerie writes about her experience of Chapel Perilous.

via erowid.org

I’m writing a book. It’s almost done. Or so I tell people. Nobody but me can verify its existence, because I don’t seem to be able to share it with anyone. Yet. I’ve shown a few snippets of it to my husband, and to my best friend Seuss Dean with whom I can share almost anything, but in a way they are the most awkward audience for it because they both figure prominently in the narrative. So when people ask me what I’ve been working on, I just tell them that it’s a book about my experiences with psychedelics, flow arts, and polyamory. That’s usually enough to satisfy mere idle curiosity. If someone really presses me for information, I can sometimes be persuaded to divulge the working title: Playing With Fire – How I turned Chapel Perilous into the Flow Temple and Learned to Love God, the Devil, Myself, and Everyone Else.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Robert Anton Wilson & Operation Mindfuck

Picture: Richard Adams (CC)

Picture: Richard Adams (CC)

[Disinfo ed.'s note: The following is an excerpt from Jesse Walker's new book, The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory. The excerpt is part of the chapter "Operation Mindfuck" and focuses on the role of the Discordian Pope, Robert Anton Wilson.]

[Robert Anton] Wilson laid out the basic instructions for Operation Mindfuck in a memo sent to several friends (including [Paul] Krassner). Participants were “to circulate all rumors contributed by other members,” and they were “to attribute all national calamities, assassinations or conspiracies to the other member-groups.” The one great risk, he cautioned, was that “the Establishment might be paranoid enough to believe some wild legend started by one of us and thereupon round up all of us for killing Abraham Lincoln.”

So they sent a letter on Bavarian Illuminati stationery to the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade, just to confirm that “we’ve taken over the Rock Music business.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Committee for Surrealist Investigation of Claims of the Normal [CSICON]

Csicon-Logo

Pope Bob, one of Disinfo’s Patron saints. Six years done and gone but no way forgotten. Spectacles, testicles, brandy, cigars — you’re all popes! via The Robert Anton Wilson Website

Wilson describes himself as a “guerilla ontologist,” signifying his intent to ATTACK language and knowledge the way terrorists ATTACK their targets: to jump out from the shadows for an unprovoked ATTACK, then slink back and hide behind a hearty belly-laugh. – Robert Sheaffer, The Skeptical Inquirer, Summer 1990

Dublin, 1986.
I had given a talk to the Irish Science-Fiction Society and the question period began.

“Do you believe in UFOs?” somebody asked.

“Yes, of course,” I answered.

The questioner, who looked quite young, then burst into a long speech, “proving” at least to his own satisfaction that all UFOs “really are” sun-dogs or heat inversions. When he finally ran down I simply replied,

“Well, we both agree that UFOs exist.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Bombs & Karma

Picture: Richard Adams (CC)

Picture: Richard Adams (CC)

Ever since the tragedy at the Boston Marathon on Monday, I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of karma. Several posts have called out the irony (or Orwellian Doublethink) of the US licking its wounds, while it inflicts similar wounds on innocent bystanders worldwide. Clusterbombs, murdered Afghan and Pakistani wedding parties, “collateral damage” to the civilian population in Iraq, to name a few. I am trying to resist the reductionist conditioning of my western brain that wants to distill the vast cultural complexities of “karma” into a dualist cause & effect dynamic. However, there seems to be something darkly significant to the recent trend of our own innocents being killed by our own citizens. Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, possibly Boston, etc. Anyway, this train of thought led me back to an old classic essay on karma from Robert Anton Wilson. Deepleaf Productions hosts a nice collection of RAW audio & text, and here is an excerpt from Cosmic Trigger:

A Lesson in Karma

Robert Anton Wilson
from Cosmic Trigger – The Final Secret of the Illuminati

Lao-Tse says (at least in Leary’s translation) that the Great Tao is most often found with parents who are willing to learn from their children.

Read the rest
Continue Reading