Sunday, February 24, 2008

Just a coincidence!

If you read the extended Comments on the previous post, you will know that Ben Mack shares a respect for RAW (Robert Anton Wilson) and Bucky Fuller, and others that this blog references (like Hakim Bey, or Kurt Vonnegut) - and for honesty in communication.

Poker Without Cards

For fellow MLA students interested in treating Poker Without Cards as a text for our Reading Group, but who feel resistance to Ben as a ‘marketeer’ – I recommend taking an hour to watch/listen to this interview. The book does not refer to all his thinking, but covers a period when BM found himself incarcerated in a mental institution after a breakdown, and got casually informed that he ‘was’ a paranoid schizophrenic. Later that diagnosis got retracted (because he rebuilt himself in a way that someone with that diagnosis couldn’t have done). He didn’t receive any kind of apology. It brings to mind Timothy Leary’s incarceration for ‘dangerous thinking’ – and also the approach that R.D.Laing took to people in similar states of mind, back in The Sixties.

Go to Grey Lodge for a pirate PDF edition Or Second Attention.
[spoiler alert: Lulu Review of the book]

You could also research Ben Mack’s marketing lectures (1h20m), and books, and stuff, but that might set off your prejudices. Some of us have remarked on the fact that he set up a website entitled “What Would Bill Hicks Have Said”, and have countered it with Bill’s quotes about people in advertising. Well, BM makes a distinction (in this video) between marketing and advertising. I leave you to tease out the distinction. Having nothing in particular I wish to sell, I don't know how he can help me with his seminars (I don't even have much desire to 'make more money') but if he can use all those skills to get fresh drinking water to everyone on the planet, then I think he deserves all the support he can get. (rant over)

Genius comes in many forms
The cause is hidden, the results well-known
It seems that BM counts as some kind of ‘genius’ and they sometimes prove uncomfortable as companions, and often get 'misunderstood'. Think of Orson Welles, maybe.

Please bear in mind that what I write here remains a personal opinion, and not a ‘policy statement’ that the MLA Admin supports – this blog has no direct affiliation with the management group of MLA or RAW’s literary estate. You can see it as a critical fanzine if you like.

The Maybe Logic Academy

The Maybe Logic Academy attracts people fascinated by a wide range of subjects and approaches (magick, NLP, intelligence increase, conspiracy theory, psychosomatic medicine, creativity, etc) – we don’t always agree, but we got given one rule (just the one) by RAW when he set this place up online where we could study with him (and other tutors), and interact with each other - and which forms some kind of legacy.

If you can’t achieve tolerance, at least attempt courtesy.

Such an approach to debate still seems rare (if not unique!) in online discussion spaces, and remains one of the reasons that I still spend many unpaid hours promoting and supporting it (even with the current incarnation of the forum 4.0, which has bugs which annoy some of the participants).

I have failed several times in my own attempts at courtesy, especially around the area of magic/magick (which Ben lucidly elucidates in the interview), but have learned from that, and continue to attempt to improve my communication.

Please do not find any significance in the fact that my avatar shares initials with Ben Mack! I remain an entirely separate entity. It’s just a coincidence, just a coincidence (repeat this mantra after me “It’s just a coincidence!”)

PS: This seems like a good place to throw a link to Bobby's summary of Rushkoff's Technologies of Persuasion course - over at DeOxy.


The Purple Gooroo said...

He seems like an interesting critter--I only read some of his loooooooong post in the previous comments section.

I like the fact that he's into RAW, Fuller, Hyatt, etc., but I'm still not completely convinced about whether his pitch "is" not a cash-in. Masks within masks within masks...

Fly keeps talking up "Poker Without Cards", so I'll give it a try, as I trust Fly's opinions. Even if I don't agree with it, it'll be a good exercise.

Bogus Magus said...

heh heh

Well, I still don't know if I am just a 'useful idiot' for RAW (Leary's CIA 'babysitter' or even Real Head of the Illuminati) so I certainly won't feel certain about Ben Mack/Howard Campbell/Benjamin Garth.

Still - I don't mind playing with someone who knows about the mask behind the mask, and strange loops.

People wondered in the forum if the 'quotes from famous authors' on PWC were real [cat among pigeons warning] well, in FreeBookWorthReading which you can find at Frequency23 HC claims he paid RAW $350 for the privilege of writing his own blurb in RAW's name. !!!

Confused? You will be...but it must appeal to people who did Rushkoff's course on Technologies of Persuasion, almost surely?

What can I say? We have similar backgrounds (magic, fire-eating, etc) but we have entirely different pasts (I have no money and no ambition, and he has a basically American and/or capitalist delight in 'money' and a high salary past).
Synchronistically, however, I recently wrote a piece about magic/magick (one of Ben's interests) as a meeting between Houdini and Crowley, and the thing I decided they had in common was the hustling self-promotion, and the desire to remain famous forever (become immortal). Magical Means

Bobby Campbell said...

I really enjoyed the Ben Mack interview and especially the Think 2 Products Ahead show!

I'll even brand a blurb his way: He's good bad, not evil!

I've recently thought maybe:

I'm going to play around w/ his ideas a bit, see what cooks out.

Thanks for the link to the Technologies of Persuasion material, Bogus!

Come to think of it I have a real RAW blurb that I've never even used before:

"intelligent, playful, terrific"

already I'm learning!?!

Bogus Magus said...

Well, if nothing else, I have plans for a book, and I can only learn from both his successes and failures at selling a 'book' to the modern world.

Why not share with someone else wanting to make a living by writing? I already have my secret title (like Joyce with psst! FW) and I think the title says it all, now I just have to write those other few words, and then market the damned thing...and I will sure get back to you (Bobby) for some images...

Who cares if we succeed or fail, surely the fun's the thing?

I already made my Bucky Bet with Universe years ago - Guinea Pig TP.

The Purple Gooroo said...

Hmmm..well, I suppose that may make me a "useful idiot" for RAW as well--seeing as I've bought almost all of his books and re-read most of them at least a couple of times.

I dunno, though--I still feel a bit queasy about RAW's, Bucky's, Hyatt's, etc. memes being used for the marketplace..the same way I felt about The Beatles' "Revolution" being used to sell Nikes and Nick Drake's "Pink Moon" being used to sell VW's. I realise that almost every counter-cultural meme eventually gets co-opted, it doesn't mean I like when that happens.

Ha Ha Ha Ha - Bogus with the self-promotion. I liked "Magical Means"--I read that whole MQ issue, as I did design the cover for it (how's that for self-promotion)? ;-)

Bogus Magus said...

Oh I do understand yer reservations PG - I feel the same uneasiness (maybe the Hyatt influence, which often bothers me).

At the same time, I don't think I own RAW, and don't always agree with people who also like him - I don't wanna become his St Paul!

I'm thinking of the battles I had with Kent in the forums, and how I couldn't understand how someone who loved RAW, Bill Hicks, Hendrix, etc could appear so entirely and utterly different from me, to the point where I had real difficulty even talking to him without getting ratty.

I learned something in the three years - and now attempt courtesy with rather more success than I did at the beginning.

And I didn't get through 33 years as a freelance without a certain amount of self-promotion...without a steady job you actually do have to push a little. I just did it minimally (and with as much grace as I could manage) which explains why I didn't do as well as many others! Who cares? I don't like hustling. However, I find people with different reality tunnels (or 'takes on RAW') often teach me more about myself than people I spend the whole time agreeing with.

And if BM can get clean water to everyone on the planet (or manifest any other of Bucky's projects) I'd like to encourage him. Is all.

Ben Mack said...

Bogus, your even handed-ness is worthy of much praise.

I'm sorry if I'm too extreme for Gooroo below. I'm writing under the influence of disappointment...

It looks like my engineering of me being a New York Times bestselling author are thwarted. I'm not happy.

Bobby, glad you liked the video. The Howard Campbell videos that still exist out there are better.
Bobby, FEEDBACK=CURRANCY. That's brilliant. Wes Unruh would dig that. If you want to hear an audio on effective magic that may help you flesh out these ideas please consider listening to Mike Long here... he's listed as mystery magican marketer x here...

This Hyatt video I imagine is most relevant to this group...

Gooroo, my learn to swim essay on Frq23 might as well have been written to you. My backs and forths with Rushkoff in Arthur magazine might as well have been written to you. You remind me too much of the incompetents on If effectiveness is your goal, communicating the perspectives you hold dear in such a way that they impact this planet before its too late then you need to learn to swim in the memepool.

Bogus, below you can see the one correspondence I received from RAW. I reached him through Hyatt. I asked him about a Bucky essay of his and you can see what he says below.

Your comic story is strong.

From: olga666 (
Medium riskYou may not know this sender.Mark as safe|Mark as unsafe
Sent: Sat 2/14/04 7:05 PM
Cc:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Paul Holloway (; Dominic Luzi (;;;; Aaron Leitch (;; D. Scott Apel (; JLee (;;; EWagner382 (;;;;;;;

~Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2004 23:29:51 -0700
~From: New Falcon Publications
~Organization: New Falcon Publications
~X-Accept-Language: en
~MIME-Version: 1.0
~To: "Wilson, Robert Anton"
~Subject: [Fwd: To RAW]
~-------- Original Message --------
~Subject: To RAW
~Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 05:01:45 +0000
~From: "ben mack"
~Please forward to Robert Anton Wilson:
~Mr. Wilson,
~I am currently reading your book RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE SITTING NOW (Ronin
~Publishing, 1982/1992). I have a question about your section on Bucky.
~You state that if Fuller’s prediction of an evolutionary crisis does not
~occur by 1989 that he would be “just a starry-eyed visionary.” Did the
~evolutionary crisis happen? I don’t see a specific event.

Within a few weeks 1989 contained fall of Berlin Wall, end of
Apartheid/dawn of power sharing in S Africa, end of Cold War.
Things did not follow smootly, but pace of CHANGE definitely

Has your
~admiration for his ability to predict cultural events diminished from 20
~years ago?

Still consider him one of the Big Four of Futurism; other 3
Korzybski, Shannon, Hubbard [Barbara. not elRon]
~I have benefited greatly by both of your works—yours and Bucky’s. I was
~thrilled to find your commentary on him. I had the opportunity to
~him as a child. His thoughts have been in me ever since. I would like
~share with you how your ideas benefited me yesterday when I was reading
~I loved the retort you included of Bucky’s about stating that he had an
~average brain and if anybody tried his experiment, they may develop
~minds in many ways. I laughed. I had never come across that before.
~More importantly to me, you mention the influence Claude Shannon’s
~MATHEMATICAL THEORY OF COMMUNICATION on Bucky. This was important to me
~because I have been a student of memetics. The insight I came to was
~Bucky created the concept of memetics, but on a larger scale than simply
~patterns that a mind can recreate. I have no idea if memetics is of
~interest to you. If you aren't familiar with memes and memetics, I
~mean to confuse you. The topic of "memetics" is quickly evaporating. If
~aren't familiar with the terms, just skip to the end of this email where
~continue to thank you for your ideas.
~Here's how Bucky defined Pattern Integrity:
~“A pattern has an integrity independent of the medium by virtue of which
~have received the information that it exists.”
~--R. Buckminster Fuller
~I first had this inkling while working on my own book, GUERRILLA
~I noticed that if we replace the word “pattern” with the word “brand,”
~create the statement: “A brand has an integrity independent of the
~medium by
~which you have received the information that it exists.” A brand then
~an integrity independent of the product, product name, product logo,
~advertisements, or any other brand accessory. A brand is in the
~universe of
~metaphysical. Bucky included this domain within synergetics. I got
~notion from your comments.
~In essence, Bucky had created the ability to notice a meme when he
~the expression "pattern integrity."

Just amazing! part of wot I'm writing lately -- meme explosion,
Shannon & Fuller. Just add Internet and you've got major themes
of my next book!
~We all see what we are looking for. You may see this as skewed. It
~good for me to get there and I wanted to: 1) Thank you for helping get
~there. 2) Ask about if your perception of Bucky has changed.
~On a closing note, I appreciated your commentary on THE GOSPEL ACCORDING
~PHILIP K DICK. Thank you for making your ideas so accessible!
~I hope this email finds you well. Thank you for your time and attention.
~Best regards,
~Ben Mack

Keep in touch,


Steve Fly said...

"~Here's how Bucky defined Pattern Integrity:
~“A pattern has an integrity independent of the medium by virtue of which
~have received the information that it exists.”
~--R. Buckminster Fuller

Hooo Fasa!



The Purple Gooroo said...

Ben: Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! I suppose I'm a bit slow, but I don't know about or "swimming in memepools". I will check those articles out--if you provide links to them.

As I say, you seem like an interesting cat and I like the fact that you're into some of the same reads as I am. I hope I didn't come across as if I were dissing you personally, because I'm not. I try to aim for tolerance as much as I can--even if I don't understand others' reality tunnels at all.

As Bogus says, none of us "own" R.A.W., as none of us own each other. I'm just wary of seeing ads for "Robert Anton Wilson Toothpaste" ("It'll make your teeth Illuminated!") or "Bucky Fuller Condoms" ("They make sex ephemeral!"). I know, those are very broad jokes--but you get what I'm saying.

P.S. I've started reading "Poker Without Cards" and it seems pretty good, so far--lotsa cool name-drops.

P.P.S. Sorry about your not making the NYT best-seller list--better luck next time.

Bogus Magus said...

Guerilla News Network

Wiki gives loads of information on the memetics model (just a model remember)

Howard Campbell Interviews Dr Hyatt (about 2 hours)

Bogus Magus said...

Thanks Ben!

The Hyatt vid gave me a couple of great hours of fun.

A wonderful presence, I just love to see and hear people for real – it works so much better than words on paper.

Like the first time I saw/heard Alan Watts (highly recommended if you can find some).

Hyatt looks like a non-paranoid PKD and/or Orson Welles (of course)

I couldn’t get past the sound of my own sub-vocal reading of the few Hyatt books I came across before (don’t have enough money to just have the library lined up to pull books as I need them). I guess now that gets called Bit Torrent, but for a long long time it involved hunting down individual copies of books one by one in libraries, used-book stores, special interest import bookshops (so sad that the Camden Town Compendium Bookshop got killed, apparently by Amazon and Internet) – oh, and the ‘great library in the sky’ (by which I mean random individuals handing me stuff while travelling).

Thanks, man. Recommended 2 hours.

Bobby Campbell said...

I really enjoyed both the Mike Long & Dr. Hyatt interviews!

Dr. Hyatt struck me as well in disposition as Richard Bandler did, it's that same street level, real talk, intelligence that brought me to RAW in the first place.

Thanks for the links!

Ben Mack said...

Wes Unruh is worth following and this review is relevant here...

Bogus Magus said...

Thanks Ben, it may not convert someone like me (neither into magick nor paganism - just a kind of dropped out simple life, although I have had bursts of high income) - but following the book to Amazon led me to a hilarious exchange in Amazon's Religious Forum (who knew?)

What Did Mary and Joseph Do With The Gold?


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