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Sex, Drugs, Einstein & Elves: Sushi, Psychedelics, Parallel Universes and the Quest for Transcendence Paperback – January 1, 2005

73 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Smart Publications; 2nd edition (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890572179
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890572174
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #597,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

From my publisher:

Clifford A. Pickover received his Ph.D. from Yale University and is the author of over 30 books on such topics as computers and creativity, art, mathematics, black holes, religion, human behavior and intelligence, time travel, alien life, and science fiction.

Pickover is a prolific inventor with dozens of patents, is the associate editor for several journals, the author of colorful puzzle calendars, and puzzle contributor to magazines geared to children and adults.

WIRED magazine writes, "Bucky Fuller thought big, Arthur C. Clarke thinks big, but Cliff Pickover outdoes them both." According to The Los Angeles Times, "Pickover has published nearly a book a year in which he stretches the limits of computers, art and thought."
The Christian Science Monitor writes, "Pickover inspires a new generation of da Vincis to build unknown flying machines and create new Mona Lisas." Pickover's computer graphics have been featured on the cover of many popular magazines and on TV shows.

His web site, Pickover.Com, has received millions of visits. His Blog RealityCarnival.Com is one of his most popular sites.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
Cliff Pickover's view of himself and his life are displayed in a simple, straightforward, crazy, twisty manner in this very original book. We get glimpses of Pickover's musings about language and words while at the same time learning about how other "unleash" their minds to have visions on DMT and LSD.

But don't let that scare you off, O anti-drug proponents. I consider myself to be one of the most rigid anti-drug nuts that I know, and I'm a huge prude as well. But let it be said here that Pickover never advocates drug use, but only describes the common, nearly Jungian archetypical visions that people have while high on certain hallucinogens. Very factual - it doesn't push either side of the envelope.

And it is well worth going against whatever apprehensions you might have. I learned a lot from this book, from the philological to the philosophical. The only problem with the book is how to explain it! So many topics are covered, and yet they are all held together by the thread-that-is-Pickover. A great read for anyone interested in expanding his mind (by reading).
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Bill H. Joyce on July 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've read 90% of the book and felt that I just had to make a comment here. This book seems to be a wonderful departure from Pickover's other works in that it is part memoir. It also gives Pickover's opinions on various segments of culture and science. He discusses our perception of reality, which can be altered in various ways by reading Proust or by various chemical enhancements.

This is certainly a creative approach! He even has a wonderful "practical" chapter on the challenges of book publishing in which he discusses the route this unusual book took to getting published.

Here are some other topics: parallel universes, brain disorders, New York literary agents, strange Bibles, and the wisdom of Holiday-Inn founder Kemmons Wilson. Read the book, and pump up the neurons in your mind.

Here is the Table of Contents:

1. On Fugu Sushi and Transdimensional Reality Worms

2. The Quantum Mechanics of Hopi Indians

3. Bertrand Russell's Twenty Favorite Words

4. DMT, Moses, and The Quest For Transcendence

5. Brain Syndromes Open Portals to Parallel Universes

6. From Holiday Inn to the Head of Christ

7. The Business of Book Publishing: Unplugged, Up Close, & Personal

8. Neoreality and the Quest for Transcendence

9. Oh God, Einstein's Brain and Eyes are Missing

10. Burning Man and the Conquest of Reality
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ken Nickerson on February 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
Remember when you we're young and could lay back on a grassy hill, look into the sky and imagine all the things that flowed from an unconstrained mind. That's what it's like to read this Pickover book. The ideas are interesting, all over the map while he tries to grasp the issue of "what's it all about?". The references are terrific and it's printed jazz for the mind. Greatly enjoyed it, but still not totally sure why.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By B. F. Tallmadge on September 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
Wow, I should leave my review at just that one word, WOW.

This book is a unique gem. There is simply nothing else that is even remotely like this book. Pickover takes you on a tour of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, DMT, parallel universes, quantum immortality, and Marcel Proust; just to name a few of the diverse and disparate topics he touches on. A comprehensive bibliography allows the reader to undertake a more detailed exploration of the topics he or she finds the most interesting. This creates a slight problem, as everything mentioned in this book is fascinating beyond belief.

Sex, Drugs, Einstein and Elves makes no hard assertions. It is left to you, the reader, to draw your own conclusions and form your own opinions. After reading this you will never look at the world in quite the same way.

Pickover's book is eminently readable. No background in science or math is needed to appreciate and enjoy this book, just an open and curious mind.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Merat Amerthal on October 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
The book in question is basically a mingle-mangle of different ideas floating through Mr.Pickovers mind while he's walking around his neighbourhood. From linguistic theory, to seducing woman. From psychedelics to Jeffersons Bible. Jefferson tried to extract the teachings of jesus Christ by cutting out all religious , supernatural aspects, in case you didn't know.

In the same way, I'd love to see a Version of this book minus Mr.Pickovers constant self appraisal and self-advertising. He can't stop talking about how he is the most prolific writer, that his obscure SF Novels are awesome, that he prolific writer..oh did I mention? He's a prolific writer! Short: Mr.Pickover is full of himself.

Nevertheless, his collection of ideas is certainly entertaining and stimulating to the mind and I've enjoyed them. He's not quite the deep thinker, prophet and philosoph he paints himself. But his work was enjoyable despite his annoying antics.

Well..."you shouldn't care about it, as long as the book is good itself, right?" Wrong. It just annoys me. He paints his book as some sort of "reality carnival" but "ego carneval" would be more suitable.

The "talking" reaches it's climax as he confesses to never have taken DMT, yet he talks about the importance of establishing a center for DMT elve reasearch. But here's the real kicker: He says the reason for never taking the substance is because he is so "psychedelic himself" just like dali. To undermine his opinion, he lets his readers know, that his Artwork is featured at erowid alongside other psychedelic artists - go figure!

And just as you think it couldn't get any more ridiciolous he carrys on to talk about proust (he never stops to talk about him during the course of this book, he should be in the title!
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Sex, Drugs, Einstein & Elves: Sushi, Psychedelics, Parallel Universes and the Quest for Transcendence
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