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.
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Joe Accardi, Northeastern Illinois Univ. Lib., Chicago
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.