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From the Publisher
"Yes, he's back....the ex-Harvard professor who encouraged a generation to 'turn on tune in drop out' now counts himself as a cyberpunk. 'The PC is the [new] LSD,' he says."
"An amazingly dense compendium of lengthy provocative essays, philosophical nuggets, intriguing interviews, and useful information — all from the fractured mind of Timothy Leary. Like the culture it explores, this book is organized around chaos. That's not really a problem though, it's more like printed hypertext, where you can jump around from page to page and idea to idea exploring the fringes of reality."
— Factsheet Five
"Chaos and Cyberculture by Timothy Leary. The LSD guru has a lot to say about society, culture, technology and the human mind. This book offers up thirty years of Leary's experience and knowledge. A good retrospective and introduction to his work."
— Skip Stone, Happy Planet
"Timothy Leary's Chaos and CyberCulture is his futuristic vision of the emergence of a new humanism with an emphasis on questioning authority, independent thinking, individual creativity, and the empowerment of computer and other brain technologies. This cyberpunk manifesto describes a new breed that loves technology and uses it to revolutionize communication and tweak Big Brother while being successful, achieving political power and having fun. Timothy Leary is a leading figure in the consciousness revolution of the 1960s. Chaos and CyberCulture brings together his provocative, futuristic writings, lively interviews and cogent conversations with a variety of writers and thinkers. Chaos and CyberCulture defines the emergence of the New Breed of the Information Age, who are creating the cyberdelic politics and culture of the 21st Century. Chaos and CyberCulture is a substantial work (over 100,000 words) consisting of over forty chapters and conversations with leading figures. There are eight main sections and a epilogue."
— Alternative Philosophy
"In the 1960s Timothy Leary was the guru of the hippie generation and now he takes his philosophy of questioning authority, independent thinking, individual thinking to the Silicon Age, and shows that there can be personal empowerment through computers and other technologies. This is Timothy Leary's most important work since the sixties with over 100,000 words in 40 chapters, and over 80 illustrations, as well as conversations with William Gibson, Winona Ryder, William S. Burroughs, and David Bryne. In the age of cyberpunks Leary has reemerged to be the icon of the Silicon Age. Leary interviews William Gibson who explains how the writings of William Burroughs influenced his writings and how Case could of been one of Burroughs wild boys and why Bruce Sterling is one of his favorite science fiction writers. Why computers will not replace real people, computers will only replace middle and low level bureaucrats. How in 1456 Johannes Gutenberg invention of the moveable-type printing press and the invention of personal computer and the development of desktop publishing in the 1980s had the same impact on society. How that freedom in any country is measured perfectly by the percentage of personal computers in the hands of individuals. The definition of a cyberpunk is a person who is a maverick, with bravery, high curiosity, and super self esteem Prometheus was the first cyberpunk, and even Mark Twain, with his fascination of technology and questioning conventions, is a cyberpunk. A look at the works of William Burroughs and a conversation with Burroughs who has had an impact on so many. And so much more that proves that Timothy Leary knows what is going on in the future and how you can be part of it."
"In Chaos and CyberCulture, Leary writes that computers taught him that the human mind (i.e., processes in the brain) could be perfectly explained with this principle of 0 and 1, and that computers helped him to control the processes in his brain and create his own digital realities (cf. ibid.). Leary discovered that computers were actually very similar to LSD. More than that, in an interview with P. Johnston in 1986, Leary said that the computer is a technology for brain change that is even more effective than LSD: "Computers are the most subversive thing I've ever done. [...] Computers are more addictive than heroin. [...] People need some way to activate, boot up, and change disks in their minds. In the 60s we needed LSD to expand reality and examine our stereotypes. With computers as our mirrors LSD might not be necessary now" (quoted in Bukatman 1993: 139). This discovery led Leary to proclaim that "The PC is the LSD of the 90s" (CC cover-page). Leary found out that his experiences with this new medium were far from being unique and original but seemed to be part of an enormous cultural metamorphoses. As a result of personal computers, millions of people, especially the young generation, would no longer be satisfied "to peer like passive infants through the Terrarium wall [TV screen] into ScreenLand [sic] filled with cyberstars like Bill and Hillary and Boris and Sadam and Madonna and Beavis and Butt-Head"(CC 4). People would begin to learn how to "enter and navigate in this world behind the screen" and avoid television dictatorship. Computers would change the young generation's appreciation for their own intrinsic worth and ability to alter reality. Leary had a vision of the emergence of a "new humanism" based on questioning authority, independent thinking, and the empowerment of computers and other technologies. A new global "cybernetic culture" would be emerging, creating a post-political society based on individual freedom."
— Michael Helm, Way Back Machine
"Crackling with satiric wit and the impudence of a born provocateur, Timothy Leary's essays have delighted cognitive dissidents for many years. The most coruscating of these have been combined in the pages of one book, Chaos and CyberCulture (Ronin) — a cyberpulp graphics book where text is sometimes underwhelmed by visual image. The book was produced and directed by a wizard team of "chaos engineers" who deconstruct words and images and then weave them together like film editors. Leary is merely the writer ("The lowest on the totem pole. Nobody in Hollywood wants to brag that they've fucked the writer," he quips). One is struck by how 'futique' — a Leary neologism for the opposite of antique — his thinking has always been; each essay emphasizes the importance of thinking for yourself and questioning authority. Way back when, he was taking exception to the modern meaning of 'cyber' ("Personal Com-puters, Personal Freedom", discussing info-chemicals and drug wars ("The Case for Intelligent Drug Use"), and decrying millennium madness ("God Runs for President on the Republican Ticket"). But "Just Say Know: The Eternal Antidote to Fascism" is Leary at the top of his form: sane, sweeping, and latitudinarian as he describes the fascist repression that lurks behind paternal protectionism. Fascinating encounters with such luminaries as Keith Haring, William S. Burroughs, David Byrne, William Gibson, and Winona Ryder crop up throughout the book, making this a star-studded tour of the cognitive galaxy with some of Leary's best scientific and philosophic musings. Vintage and golden!"
— Jas. Morgan, Spin
"Chaos and Cyberculture is a dazzlingly optimistic collection of interviews, essays and irreverent stray thoughts on where the universe has been and where it may be going, bound together with graphics, illustrations and a fast-reading layout that makes you feel like you're browsing the Web instead of reading a book."
— Barbara Strickland