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Chaos & Cyber Culture Paperback – October 1, 1994


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Welcome to ScreenLand, the picture window onto Cyberia! Noted LSD guru and pop-culture theorist Leary is back bringing his particular brand of logic to notions about what can and will happen when the masses merge onto the information superhighway. In Cyberia, says Leary, the mind-body paradox will be obviated as we trade in fleshware for brainware. Able to fantasize, hallucinate, learn, explore at will, we will gain a clearer image of our souls ("Think of the screen as the cloud chamber on which you can track the vapor trail of your platonic, immaterial movements."). Leary additionally predicts that "by the year 2000, pure information will be cheaper than water and electricity." Unfortunately, Leary deserts his most interesting ideas about computers after the first few chapters, turning instead to cyberpunk histories, awful fiction briefs and pointless interviews with celebs like Winona Ryder and William Gibson. What's more, he hasn't updated this collection of past articles and consequently seems stuck in the mid-1980s. Add to the mix statments like "If you don't like acid, rest assured, you're not going to like the future" and, well, to paraphrase Dionne Warwick's psychic hotline commercials, this book is best experienced by those with a computer and an open mind.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The great visionary and psychedelic guru of the 1960s is back. Leary's "cyberpunk manifesto" explores the relationship between the eternal philosophy of chaos and the future of cutting-edge technology. Here, he focuses his attention less on psychedelic excursions and more on "cyberdelic" trips into the uncharted reaches of "Cyberia," extolling the PC as the LSD of the 1990s. This is a fascinating collection of mostly previously published material from a variety of sources, printed and electronic. In one essay, Leary discusses the rapid acceleration of knowledge in our new, technology-based information society. He says the only way to understand and keep up is to accelerate brain function and suggests three possible solutions based on religion (since the apocalypse is inevitable, the only thing to do is pray), politics (grab what you can and protect what you've got), and science (increase intelligence, expand your consciousness, and surf the waves of chaotic change). The message here is that the future continues to spin faster and wilder and that we must therefore position our thinking toward multiplicity, complexity, relativity, and change. An important purchase for most libraries.
Joe Accardi, Northeastern Illinois Univ. Lib., Chicago
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ronin Publishing; 1st edition (October 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0914171771
  • ISBN-13: 978-0914171775
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,020,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By alien@hotmail.com on April 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Leary does it again! That brilliant Irish neuronaut has once again travelled far into the future of humanity and come back to the past to tell us all about it. It is the first fun and scientific analysis of cyber-culture ever written. What's astounding about this book is that Leary conceptualizes Cyberia like no one before or since has done, with crystal-clear vision, irreverent wit, and razor-sharp insight. Many of his ideas in this book, and it was written a few years ago, have already diluted into the popular culture through magazines, television, and movies. This book is not just about psychedelic drugs, virtual reality, and questioning authority. It epitomizes the philosophy of the future which we are creating in the present. It is a manual of the future written by one man who has seen it. Forget Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Esther Dyson, when we look at computers today, and what they are fast becoming, remember that Tim Leary has been telling us all about it decades ago.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 1997
Format: Paperback
i like tim leary's style. he keeps jumping in time, changing moods. one minute he's an entertainer, the next a philosopher. the next, a psychologist talking about his harvard psychedelic research project. he must have been at least 70 when he wrote this book, and it's very up-to-date. i can identify with a lot of what he's talking about it. somehow, being a very old man has not affected his abilities to see the spice in life.

there are pitfalls of course. he gets monotonous at times, repetative. but overall it's a good book. . .also, i don't think it's intended to be read from cover to cover. feel free to jump around. jump around.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Abrams on April 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
A wonderful feast for the mind and soul. If more of our books were like this, we wouldn't need--or even want--television!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on May 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this as a gift for a friend and I have heard nothing but good things. I can't wait to read it myself!
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