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Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica Paperback – November 8, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Yeti Publishing (November 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891241540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891241543
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Erik Davis is an astute guide through the heavens and hells where cyber-reality, pop culture, and spiritual impulses arm wrestle each other for dominance." — Jay Kinney, author of The Masonic Myth and the Inner West

About the Author

Erik Davis is the author of three other book, Techgnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information, Led Zeppelin IV, and The Visionary State: A Journey through California's Spiritual Landscape. He lives in San Francisco.

More About the Author

When I'm abroad, I usually tell people I am from California rather than the United States. I'm not just trying to be clever, or to slough off the increasingly heavy load of being an American in foreign climes. I actually identify that way.

I was born in the Bay Area in June of the Summer of Love, and grew up in Del Mar, a town of university profs and mellow longhairs name-dropped by the Beach Boys in 'Surfin' U.S.A.' When I was a teenager, my family moved to Rancho Santa Fe, into a rambling ranch house that lay about a mile from the Spanish Revival mansion where the Heaven's Gate UFO cult later committed mystic suicide. Since 1995, I have lived in San Francisco, where my great-great-great-grandfather I. C. C. Russ disembarked with his family from the Loo Choo in the fortuitous year of 1847. My roots lie in this rootless place.

That said, I spent a good ten years on the east coast, at Yale and then in the freelance trenches of New York City, where I wrote tons about music, philosophy, and television for The Village Voice, The Nation, Details, Spin, and other more or less glossy rags. I started covering virtual reality and Internet culture long before the World Wide Web hit, and wrote the first national piece about Burning Man. I have always been interested in exploring the margins where spirituality, media technology, and culture intertwine, giving us flashes of possible futures.

Essays about this sort of stuff have appeared in over a dozen books, including AfterBurn: Reflections on Burning Man, Zig Zag Zen: Psychedelics and Buddhism, and The Disinformation Book of Lies. For years I was also a contributing writer for Wired.

I have also spent a good deal of time traveling the world, playing music, and fitfully practicing yoga, martial arts, and meditation. In politics and philosophy, I strive to be multi-perspectival; in temperament, I am both enlivening and prickly. I am committed to the life of mind and soul, even in these claustrophobic, competetive, potentially catastrophic days.
Cheers.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. on February 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
Erik Davis is adept at balancing between full immersion and blind belief, experiencing a myriad of different out growths of cult and cultural with an enthusiasm that never endangers his critical eye. A participant observer par excellence, he brings us with on an odyssey into the subliminal spaces of human expression.

It's rare to find a writer whose work serves as a memory of your own experiences and revelations, but Davis is one who you can return to and find he has already been to those fields you thought untouched. He leaves no obvious markers though, as his writing illuminates what he sees rather than seeking to subvert it into strange propaganda or a perverse party line.

Nomad Codes, hash marks tic'd subtly on the trail to lead the traveler on into the the weird world around them, and recommended without hesitation for all those eager to see into the future of our still living past.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J.P. Harpignies on January 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
Erik Davis' is a completely unique voice. No one explores psycho-spiritual and aesthetic subcultures with such penetrating intelligence, profound empathy, and such zest. He covers a wide range of seemingly disparate individuals, groups, movements and impulses, from Burning Man aficionados to Klingon language enthusiasts to Burmese transvestite spirit mediums to H.P. Lovecraft to Reggae Dub madman/genius Lee Perry, and too many others to enumerate, and he reveals how these at-first-glance totally unrelated, obscure nooks and crannies of global culture, are in fact some of the most fascinating attempts at some sort of transcendence. Following this playfully rigorous participant-observer nomad on his inner and outer travels is a journey well worth taking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Lane on January 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
I'm an Erik Davis fan. Have been ever since he was writing for the Village Voice way back when. His essays are always far-out, incisive, very intriguing & stimulating, and superbly written. This is his latest collection: Need I say more? For Burners & related tribes: Erik is the best explicator of the scene, and this collection also contains an essay on the last interview ever held with Terence McKenna, whose mantle Erik has in some ways inherited. However, his interests range far and wide: trance & rave, contemporary spirituality & technology (particularly some of the more poignant examples). For those with literary and artistic inclinations: not only does Erik cover these subjects in depth, but he's got great antennae. You might want to get this book for his recommendations alone...he'll take you down some paths well worth following...although there's so much more to the book than that. What are you waiting for?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By smonkey on January 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
I'm not sure if I thought this up, or read it somewhere (the curse of the postmodern boy), either way its true;
Erik Davis is a modern Virgil, leading all of us wanna-be Dante's through the heavens and hells of modern culture.

Whether it is exploring the Sixth Circle of Hell...I mean California...(Land of the Heretics...see how i did that...sweet huh?)
and touring its stranger "Sacred Spaces", or wandering through Southeast Asia in search of Transvestite Spirit Mediums, he's bringing us along and pointing out the things that matter.

Thanks to his broad knowledge of all things weird (you don't need to take my word for it, go check out his website!) he easily switches between pointing out the cool and discussing its metaphysical antecedents. A bit about drugs here, a bit about deleuzian rhizomes there.

Its all lovely lovely grist of the mill of his churning erudite mind!

This collection is particularly wonderful because it acts as a great sampler of Davisian delights. An amuse bouche to the coming Apocalypse that is American fringe culture.

Get it, read it, cogitate and be smarter.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When you shake this psychedelic snowglobe of a compilation, what do you set in motion? Ideas, books, music, drugs, people & things, times & places, beliefs & delusions, rituals & spectacles; the whole panoply of Modern Esoterica, chronicled with the impeccable sensibility of this Meistersinger of the Strange. Always erudite, but never obscure, Davis can wax academic without talking down or over your head. His first book, Techgnosis, is still required reading.

While the Yeti edition lacks the scholarly amenity of a list of first appearances, and the pricey nicety of an index, I'll still be packing this tasty tome on that generation ship to the stars, for when I want to remember my home planet, so inexhaustibly weird.
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