TagAlex Burns

Alex Burns on the Creation of The Book of Oblique Strategies

Alex Burns, who was editor of Disinformation from 1998 to 2008, has made his work The Book of Oblique Strategies available online as a free PDF. It’s not so much a work on Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s famous deck. Alex describes it as a channeled work in the vein of Aleister Crowley’s Book of Lies.

In addition to the work, Alex has explained how he came to write it and its significance to him. I don’t really understand the work itself and haven’t read the list of prerequisites that Alex suggested. But I appreciate the insight into Alex’s life and work and think anyone else who was shaped by Disinfo during his tenure as editor will appreciate it as well. Characteristic of Alex’s work at Disinfo, the write-up is more link dense Memepool and contains a huge number of references connecting seemingly disparate people and ideas.

My life changed dramatically in the next month. I hit a series of simultaneous inflection points or a Black Swan event cascade that overshadowed the document. REVelation Magazine folded and could not publish my interview with the late ethno-botanist Terence McKenna. 21C Magazine folded and could not publish my interview with space migration advocate Marshall Savage. The real estate sold out the rental house from beneath us. The relationship broke up. The 20th anniversary loomed of my mother’s death in a car accident on 28th March 1978. I experienced a period of referential ideation and had a nervous breakdown that my family helped me to recover from. I then struggled to pull together freelance magazine articles. When reconciliation was impossible with my former girlfriend, I attempted suicide (which influenced a later article on the Nine Inch Nails album The Fragile). A few months later I started to correspond with Richard Metzger and to write for the Disinformation alternative news site. I attended an academic seminar on process philosophy. Sean Healy invited me to This Is Not Art. I negotiated re-enrolling in my undergraduate degree on film and politics. Hence, the ‘Ordeals of Transmutation Fire.’

Alex Burns: The Book of Oblique Strategies

Front Wheel Drive’s summer reading list

Summer reading lists from Mark Pesce, Disinfo’s Alex Burns and Gary Baddely, Howard Bloom, and more.

Full Story: Front Wheel Drive.

Introduction to Spiral Dynamics

Speaking of Alex Burns, I’ve just started reading Spiral Dynamics by Dr. Don Beck and Chris Cowan which Alex is always recommending. Interesting approach to management. Here’s a short introduction to the theory.

A Mini-Course in Spiral Dynamics (PDF)

Disinfo Editor Alex Burns Has a Blog

He hasn’t updated it in a while, but it’s worth looking around the archives.

Aspect One: The status and traditional idea of the university is morphing into a new arrangement. Academics are pursuing independent solutions such as Media/Culture, Nettime and Fibreculture instead of the existing journal publishing/tenure-based structure. Research is either being bought up or bubbling out via new forms.

Aspect Two: A cadre of mystics, scholars and thinkers are exploring holonic and integralistic modes of thinking beyond the relativism exalted in the postmodern 1990s. But this isn’t simply due to the Elder Statesmen (and women) of the 1960s consciousness revolution. What’s occuring on the margins is taking quantum leaps (or “qauntum loops”) in strangeness, difficult to capture using age-cohort and social trends techniques. It’s up to a new generation to draw the line and bridge the Boomer/Gen-X/Millennial intergenerational gap.

Alex’s Live Journal

Alex’s blog

See also: Alex Burns on the Creation of the Book of Oblique Strategies

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