TechGnosis

Author: Erik Davis
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
ISBN: 1583949313
Format: PDF, ePub
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How does our fascination with technology intersect with the religious imagination? In TechGnosis—a cult classic now updated and reissued with a new afterword—Erik Davis argues that while the realms of the digital and the spiritual may seem worlds apart, esoteric and religious impulses have in fact always permeated (and sometimes inspired) technological communication. Davis uncovers startling connections between such seemingly disparate topics as electricity and alchemy; online roleplaying games and religious and occult practices; virtual reality and gnostic mythology; programming languages and Kabbalah. The final chapters address the apocalyptic dreams that haunt technology, providing vital historical context as well as new ways to think about a future defined by the mutant intermingling of mind and machine, nightmare and fantasy. From the Trade Paperback edition.

TechGnosis

Author: Erik Davis
Publisher:
ISBN: 1583949305
Format: PDF
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"A reissue of a classic media studies book exploring the connection between digital and spiritual realms and their effects on technological communication"--

Nomad Codes

Author: Erik Davis
Publisher: Verse Chorus Press
ISBN: 1891241826
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In these wide-ranging essays, Erik Davis explores the codes—spiritual, cultural, and embodied—that people use to escape the limitation of their lives and enrich their experience of the world. These include Asian religious traditions and West African trickster gods, Western occult and esoteric lore, postmodern theory and psychedelic science, as well as festival scenes such as Burning Man (of which Davis is the best-known chronicler). Articles on media technology further explore themes Davis took up in his acclaimed book Techgnosis, while his profiles of West Coast poets, musicians, and mystics extend the California terrain he previously mapped in The Visionary State. Whether his subject is collage art or the “magickal realism” of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, transvestite Burmese spirit mediums or Ufology, tripster king Terence McKenna or dub maestro Lee Perry, Davis writes with keen yet skeptical sympathy, intellectual subtlety and wit, and unbridled curiosity. The common thread running through all these pieces is what Davis calls “modern esoterica,” which he describes in his preface as a ‘no-man’s-land located somewhere between anthropology and mystical pulp, between the zendo and the metal club, between cultural criticism and extraordinary experience, whether psychedelic, or yogic, or technological.” Such an ambiguous and startling landscape demands that the intrepid adventurer shed any territorial claims and go nomad. Davis wanders with sharp eyes and an open mind, which is why Peter Lamborn Wilson calls him “the best of all guides to modern American spirituality.”

The Visionary State

Author: Erik Davis
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 9780811848350
Format: PDF, Mobi
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More than 150 full-color photographs are interwoven with a study of California's rich cultural history to provide a compelling study of religion, faith, and spirituality throughout the Golden State, bringing together both immigrant and native religious influences that have shaped California, from UFO cults and Zen Buddhism to televangelism and neopaganism. 12,500 first printing.

Led Zeppelin s Led Zeppelin IV

Author: Erik Davis
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 9780826416582
Format: PDF, Docs
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In this wickedly entertaining and thoroughly informed homage to one of rock music's towering pinnacles, Erik Davis investigates the magic—black or otherwise—that surrounds this album. Carefully peeling the layers from each song, Davis reveals their dark and often mystical roots—and leaves the reader to decide whether [FOUR SYMBOLS] is some form of occult induction or just an inspired, brilliantly played rock album. Excerpt: Stripping Led Zeppelin's famous name off the fourth record was an almost petulant attempt to let their Great Work symbolically stand on its own two feet. But the wordless jacket also lent the album charisma. Fans hunted for hidden meanings, or, in failing to find them, sensed a strange reflection of their own mute refusal to communicate with the outside world. This helped to create one of the supreme paradoxes of rock history: an esoteric megahit, a blockbuster arcanum. Stripped of words and numbers, the album no longer referred to anything but itself: a concrete talisman that drew you into its world, into the frame. All the stopgap titles we throw at the thing are lame: Led Zeppelin IV, [Untitled], Runes, Zoso, Four Symbols. In an almost Lovecraftian sense, the album was nameless, a thing from beyond, charged with manna. And yet this uncanny fetish was about as easy to buy as a jockstrap.

Escape Velocity

Author: Mark Dery
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 0802196500
Format: PDF
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An Unforgettable Journey into the Dark Heart of the Information Age In Escape Velocity Mark Dery takes is on an electrifying tour of the high-tech subcultures that both celebrate and critique our wired world: would-be cyborgs who believe the body is obsolete and dream of downloading their minds into computers, cyber-hippies who boost their brainpower with smart drugs and mind machines, on-line swingers seeking cybersex on electronic bulletin boards, techno-primitives who sport "biomechanical" tattoos of computer circuitry; and cyberpunk roboticists whose Mad Max contraptions duel to the death before howling crowds. Timely, trenchant, and provocative, Escape Velocity is the first truly critical inquiry into cyberculture-essential reading for everyone interested in computer culture and the shape of things to come.

The Stories of Ibis

Author: Hiroshi Yamamoto
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
ISBN: 1421540843
Format: PDF
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In a world where humans are a minority and androids have created their own civilization, a wandering storyteller meets the beautiful android Ibis. She tells him seven stories of human/android interaction in order to reveal the secret behind humanity's fall. The tales Ibis tells are science fiction stories about the events surrounding the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. At a glance, these stories do not appear to have any sort of connection, but what is the true meaning behind them? What are Ibis's real intentions? -- VIZ Media

DIY Magic

Author: Anthony Alvarado
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0399171797
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Previous edition published in 2012 by Floating World Comics.

Digital Dharma

Author: Steven Vedro
Publisher: Quest Books
ISBN: 0835630498
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Digital Dharma has something for everyone. It is for technology experts and yoga fanatics alike. Whether you’re simply seeking the spiritual, already practicing a spiritual tradition, or a Body-Mind-Spirit reader with ambivalent feelings about your computer and cell phone, this book will guide you on the path toward a new consciousness. Similarly, novices of the digital world, media junkies, and technology "utopians" who understand at some level there is much yet to be learned from the Infosphere, will all find intriguing, useful material here.

The Lucifer Principle

Author: Howard Bloom
Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
ISBN: 0802192181
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The Lucifer Priciple is a revolutionary work that explores the intricate relationships among genetics, human behavior, and culture to put forth the thesis that “evil” is a by-product of nature’s strategies for creation and that it is woven into our most basic biological fabric. In a sweeping narrative that moves lucidly among sophisticated scientific disciplines and covers the entire span of the earth’s, as well as mankind’s, history, Howard Bloom challenges some of our most popular scientific assumptions. Drawing on evidence from studies of the most primitive organisms to those on ants, apes, and humankind, the author makes a persuasive case that it is the group, or “superorganism,” rather than the lone individual that really matters in the evolutionary struggle. But, Bloom asserts, the prominence of society and culture does not necessarily mitigate against our most violent, aggressive instincts. In fact, under the right circumstances the mentality of the group will only amplify our most primitive and deadly urges. In Bloom’s most daring contention he draws an analogy between the biological material whose primordial multiplication began life on earth and the ideas, or “memes,” that define, give cohesion to, and justify human superorganisms. Some of the most familiar memes are utopian in nature—Christianity or Marxism; nonetheless, these are fueled by the biological impulse to climb to the top of the heirarchy. With the meme’s insatiable hunger to enlarge itself, we have a precise prescription for war. Biology is not destiny; but human culture is not always the buffer to our most primitive instincts we would like to think it is. In these complex threads of thought lies the Lucifer Principle, and only through understanding its mandates will we able to avoid the nuclear crusades that await us in the twenty-first century.