I was DISTINCTLY TOLD, in the 1990s, that if we put computers into all the things it would make us all super-smart and super-sexy and super-kind and we would all live in houses made of translucent plastic and acid dance and rainforests and we would specifically NOT become a society of giant raging dumbass jerks selling fake nutritional supplements to Nazis.

There were RECEIPTS. Money changed HANDS.

I wish to complain to the MANAGEMENT.

@natecull My mentor in graduate school once wrote a book that expounded the former.

He now writes books mostly about how money and technology have formed an unholy marriage that is ruining the whole world. He's the most gentle and kind and wonderful human, and the most heartbroken person I know, because not only did he believe, he was one of the *prophets*.

@TheGibson @natecull Yeah, but not all of us published books and built our public reputation and our writing and teaching careers on it. I was a proselytizer, but he was John the bloody Baptist.

@natecull @TheGibson Maybe? Probably, if you remember the 90s the way I do. 💖

His name is Douglas Rushkoff.

@SuzanEraslan @thegibson

omg Yes I remember him. Not personally, but he was out there with William Gibson, Douglas Coupland, Ray Kurzweil, and the ghost of Timothy Leary


@SuzanEraslan @thegibson

Those were the BBS years for me. Just getting plugged into Usenet. the Web still only a faint a glimmer on my horizon.

@SuzanEraslan @thegibson

<<a very special moment in our recent history – a moment when anything seemed possible. When an entire subculture – like a kid at a rave trying virtual reality for the first time – saw the wild potentials of marrying the latest computer technologies with the most intimately held dreams and the most ancient spiritual truths. It is a moment that predates America Online, twenty million Internet subscribers, Wired magazine, Bill Clinton, and the information superhighway.>>

@SuzanEraslan @thegibson

<<Rushkoff's first book was originally penned in 1992 but was not published until 1994 due to publisher concerns that electronic mail and the Internet were still obscure topics unlikely to gain traction.>>


@natecull @TheGibson Oh, if only they hadn't, and it was still just a bunch of us dorks on BBS and chat rooms making friends all over the world.

@SuzanEraslan @natecull

Um... at the risk of taking the cyber-shaman thing too far...

Is that not what we are doing right now?

I believe the fediverse to be the cure to the missing future we once envisioned.

Given time, we could have the simple good we had hoped for.


@thegibson @SuzanEraslan

In 1993, I was at Bible college and wrote a paper on how I thought the future of the church was going to be on electronic discussion forums

(cos I was doing Fidonet at the time)

I don't know what my tutor made of it.

tbh that year was in the middle of my my 'finding myself 'period and I... am still somewhat lost, though maybe less so

but yeah.

@natecull @SuzanEraslan

I was already so far into "occult" beliefs... I had a strange early path though...

A form of privilege in it's own right.

I grew up poor, but had just the right combination of influences to believe I could do anything.

And thus far it's worked out pretty ok.

@TheGibson @natecull I think there's more similarity between the church (at a level where you're in basically divinity school) and the occult than people want to acknowledge. The ecstasy of the divine crosses the details of belief, you know?

@SuzanEraslan @thegibson

Very yes.

I think that most people who have practical meditative / contemplative / psychedelic experiences are glimpsing part of the same reality. At least, from the stories I've heard, I see repeated elements that match up.

The idea that we're all united under the hood, so to speak, and it's more about how long it takes us to *realise* that.

@natecull @SuzanEraslan

Damn, it feels good to know we are not alone out there.


@SuzanEraslan @TheGibson
I like to call it the transcendental nature of subjective human experience. Its fascinating.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!