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Illuminatus vs Atlas Shrugged


Stashed in: Interconnectedness!, Teh Internets, Religion, Peter Thiel, Awesome, Philosophy, The Future, books, Heroes!, books, Singularity!, Paul Ryan, The Internet is my religion., Dafuq?, Superman!, Conspiracy!, @nealstephenson, Ayn Rand, Apocalypse, THHGTTG, George Orwell, Reading

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I mentioned that it was time to read Illuminatus again.

And it struck me that Discordiansm along with Objectivism and Dianetics are three core belief systems to come out of the 20th century. All three originated from science fiction novels.

Then I remembered the comparison to Atlas Shrugged by JM Higgs:

As has been widely noted, the twenty-first century is strange, worrying and makes very little sense. Help is at hand, however, because the late twentieth century produced two huge novels which shed light on our current predicament. These two books are polar opposites, yet oddly similar - opposed twins, in other words, like Cain and Abel.

Both novels are ridiculously long. Both were largely ignored by the literary and educational establishments, due to their unmistakable whiff of madness (This fear of insanity is, of course, why the literary and educational establishments always miss out on all the good stuff.)

They have both, however, found a devoted readership, been hailed as life changing, and have remained in print since publication. Between them, they explain much of our current twenty-first century world, from the underground anarchism of Anonymous and the shift from hierarchies to networks, to the Tea Party and neo-conservative hijack of American politics and the massive shift in wealth distribution towards the super rich.

Paul Ryan loved Atlas Shrugged.

So did Peter Thiel.

I wonder if they saw the film.

Wait, what about Huxley and Orwell's theories?

Never spawned religions.

Therefore, unsuccessful.

Hubbard?

All books/authors mentioned are good reads even if they venture forth toward madness. I would also add my favorite, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, as a possible winner to the belief system rat race.

If Douglas Adams had downplayed the comedy, he'd have likely spawned a religion, too.

A religion whose members always carry towels. :)

Also, Tolkien and Rowling went too far into fantasy -- and Marvel and DC went too far into superheroes -- to create religions. Gotta stick to straight SciFi, like Promethus did. Oh.

Hubbard actually outdid Illuminatus and Atlas Shrugged with his Dianetics -- and created a full, non-profit, all-American religion in Scientology.

I believe Hubbard's the first American to create a complete religion from scratch since Joseph Smith created Mormons.

Who gets credit for the internet?

Internet as religion? Jim Gilliam.

SciFi author who might invent a religion around cyberspace? Neal Stephenson.

haha...you pull my heart strings with Stephenson

If anyone can come up with a thinking-person's religion that combines the best of cyberspace with what Singularitarians are hoping for in the future (from longevity to Nanobots), it's Neal Stephenson.

agreed...or some robot that Neal Stephenson creates to write the proper novel that leads to the final religion.

I do find the concept of "the final religion" to be a fascinating SciFi novel idea...

I think Nietzsche's Superman already attempted that. Unfortunately for him, it was a good intellectual exercise, but the "goodness" of valuing or serving oneself over others never quite proved out as a "better" way.

I think Nietzsche direct affected the thinking of the Nazi regime of 1930s Germany and if they had been victorious in World War II Nietzsche-ism would be a major religion today.

How ironic that also in the 1930s the Americans invented our own, completely different Superman.

And now I've got a pocket full of kryptonite. 

huh? also what a great reread post

It's 2016. Superman has his hands full with Batman. 

And yes, a great post to reread. 

Hadn't heard of the Illuminatus Trilogy prior to this. Just added to my book list.

You're either in for a treat, or a giant WTF. It's like that. :)

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