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Who loves ya, baby?
The Quietus just published something for the 50th anniversary of Ubik which isn't particularly great, but has a little quote I like about an experience he had with a beetle as a kid.

An early incident from his third-grade year provided a sense of enlightenment that shaped the empathic intelligence Dick later utilised so successfully in his writing. The young Phil was tormenting a beetle that had hidden in a snail shell. As Lawrence Sutin relates in his PKD biography, Divine Invasions:

"He came out, and all of a sudden I realized - it was total satori, just infinite, that this beetle was like I was. He wanted to live just like I was, and I was hurting him. For a moment I was that beetle. Immediately I was different. I was never the same again."

I've only ever read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and it's possibly the worst book I've ever read along with On the Road but his ideas were brilliant; I loved that Crumb strip on his religious experience with the pink rays too. Also this cover for The Zap Gun's been stuck in my head since seeing it on my dad's shelf about twenty years ago, no clue what it's about - presumably a "zap gun" - but that image just grabbed me and never let go...

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Sometimes it merges with Black Sabbath's Technical Ecstasy.

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luka, didn't you say you recently read or reread Ubik?
 
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luka

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I don't understand people who say the writing is bad. I think they must hold some ridiculous and regressive concept of the literary. The writing does exactly what It needs to. I recently reread valis, UBIK and something else. UBIK was the best this time around. First time I read these books it did something which doesn't happen very often, they made me basically trip out. It put me in that mental possibility space, e.verything massively exciting and alive
 

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I'll reread it at some point, but my issue with Androids at the time was that it seemed incredibly clunky, like the words didn't fit together properly or he didn't quite understand how to make a sentence flow. I don't think it was as bad as someone like Crichton but I remember reading it and just thinking "fuck me, this is terribly written". I also read it having already seen Blade Runner and struggled with Deckard as some tubby bald guy in place of Harrison Ford.
 

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I stumbled across this on some blog about The Wake and it made me want to give him another chance.

“It's impossible that James Joyce could have mentioned "talk-tapes" in his writing, Asher thought. Someday I'm going to get my article published; I'm going to prove that Finnegan's Wake is an information pool based on computer memory systems that didn't exist until a century after James Joyce's era; that Joyce was plugged into a cosmic consciousness from which he derived the inspiration for his entire corpus of work. I'll be famous forever.”
 

luka

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I like it. It's just a voice isn't it. A kind of drug damaged sun-bleary California burnout voice. It's part of the whole set up. It's essential.
 

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He's one of those like Stephen King where there seem to be a ton of things based on his novels and short stories. I didn't know Minority Report was him at first.
 

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The list of friends he'd lost to drugs that popped up at the end of the A Scanner Darkly film hit me harder than I'd have thought it would. I think it's at the end of the book too.
This has been a story about people who were punished entirely too much for what they did.

I loved them all. Here is a list, to whom I dedicate my love:

To Gaylene, deceased
To Ray, deceased
To Francy, permanent psychosis
To Kathy, permanent brain damage
To Jim, deceased
To Val, massive permanent brain damage
To Nancy, permanent psychosis
To Joanne, permanent brain damage
To Maren, deceased
To Nick, deceased
To Terry, deceased
To Dennis, deceased
To Phil, permanent pancreatic damage
To Sue, permanent vascular damage
To Jerri, permanent psychosis and vascular damage

... and so forth.

In Memoriam. These were comrades whom I had; there are no better. They remain in my mind, and the enemy will never be forgiven. The "enemy" was their mistake in playing. Let them all play again, in some other way, and let them be happy.
 
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luka

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The thing Phillip K Dick got right about the future is the move to the subscription model, which is a rent model over an ownership model. In UBIK the door to your apartment demands money to open. The push behind the internet of things is likely motivated by switching things like fridges to a subscription model.
computer games have already gone this way to a large degree as have other bits of software like microsoft word. the idea of owning something is becoming obsolete
'you have no rights only privileges and these we can revoke at any time.'
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The IoT's really worrying. It's so unnecessary too, you don't need your thermostat and your kettle and everything else hooked up to the internet.
 

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Apparently this was Dick too:

“There will come a time when it isn't 'They're spying on me through my phone' anymore. Eventually, it will be 'My phone is spying on me'.”
 
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luka

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More UBIK http://k-punk.org/ubik-as-petit-objet-a/

Steven Shaviro explains that ‘[f]or Dick, Being is not a plenitude. It is always somehow fake, or trashy, or incomplete, or unstable or radically inconsistent. And Dick’s novels describe, in excruciating detail, the lived experience of this unreality, or not-quite reality, that is not yet simply absence or nonexistence’. These experiences are not a consequence of finding oneself in a particular, low-grade reality; rather, they follow from living in any reality, which will be experienced as seedy and second-rate simply because one lives in it.
 

luka

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One of the best insights I've read is that the black iron prison is zebra. The black iron bars are the black stripes.
 

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More UBIK http://k-punk.org/ubik-as-petit-objet-a/

Steven Shaviro explains that ‘[f]or Dick, Being is not a plenitude. It is always somehow fake, or trashy, or incomplete, or unstable or radically inconsistent. And Dick’s novels describe, in excruciating detail, the lived experience of this unreality, or not-quite reality, that is not yet simply absence or nonexistence’. These experiences are not a consequence of finding oneself in a particular, low-grade reality; rather, they follow from living in any reality, which will be experienced as seedy and second-rate simply because one lives in it.
"Everyone knows that the moment of vertigo in a Philip K Dick novel occurs not when one level of reality has been exposed as fake, but when the second level, the supposedly more real level, turns out to be inauthentic too."

Did you think this occurred in The Matrix films? Zion and all that are supposedly the real world, but Neo being able to do things like influence the sentinels seems to suggest it could be just another layer.
 

luka

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I've only seen the first one. It happens in world on a wire, the fassbinder thing. Have you seen it?
 
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