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TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information Paperback – November 16, 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 68 ratings

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Paperback, November 16, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Exploring the mystical impulses behind our obsession with information technology, TechGnosis presents a fascinating and passionately original perspective on technoculture.

Today we often assume that the triumph of technological rationality has condemned the spiritual imagination to the trash heap of history. But as Erik Davis explains, religious impulses and magical dreams permeate the history of technology. Ranging from the printing press to the telegraph, from radio to the Internet, David peels away the utilitarian shell of technology to reveal the mystical and millennialist fervor that attends each new communications breakthrough. As he unveils the hidden history of techno-mysticism, Davis shows how the religious imagination continues to feed the utopian dreams, apocalyptic visions, and alien obsessions that populate today's technological unconscious.
In these pages, Davis offers a lucid, playful, and astonishingly erudite journey through our hyper-mediated environment. Anyone grappling with the morphing boundaries and terminal speed of our present moment will want to take the ride.

About the Author

Erik Davis has written for Wired, The Village Voice, Details, Spin, Gnosis, Rolling Stone, Lingua Franca, and The Nation and has lectured internationally on topics related to cyberculture and the fringes of religion. He lives in San Francisco.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Three Rivers Press (November 16, 1999)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 060980474X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0609804742
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.2 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.25 x 1 x 9.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 68 ratings

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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

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
68 global ratings

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