The 5 biggest influences on Technoccult

I started Technoccult as a teenager living in rural Wyoming (Sheridan to be exact) almost 8 years ago as a way to share links and research. Here are the 5 biggest influences on Technoccult, in chronological order:

Mondo 2000 – This one should be both first and last on the chronology. I started reading transcriptions of Mondo articles, mostly interviews with musicians like Nine Inch Nails and Revolting Cocks, way back in the day. I actually saw one of the last issues (the one with Nina Hagen) at a Hastings in Billings, MT. But I could only buy one magazine and decided to get the “electronic music and culture” magazine Interface instead because it said they were seeking submissions. I ended up writing for Interface, which was my first “pro” writing when I was 16. So I guess it was a good decision. But I always also kinda kick myself for not getting that Mondo while I had the chance.

Hyperreal – So I ended up reading about Mondo at places like alt.culture rather than actually reading it. And I started reading about this “smart drugs” stuff, which led me to Hyperreal. Now finding Hyperreal’s drug archives seems to be impossible, they just forward to Erowid. And the archive.org pages are blocked. Anyway, this site gave me a bit of exposure to rave culture, which I basically completely missed.

The Process mailing list – I ended up on this mailing list because I thought it was a Skinny Puppy fan list. It ended up being one of my first exposures to esoteric subjects, though I didn’t really know much of what was going on. I wrote about the Process here.

Anders Transhuman Page – I have no idea how I came across this site, but it was my introduction to the concept of transhumanism. I was particularly interested in the self transformation page. Thanks to this, transhumanism wasn’t just about waiting for a singularity in some distant future, but about enhancing the self in the here and now with what was already available. I’m apparently the only person in the world who thinks this way, so I don’t really identify as a transhumanist anymore.

Disinfo – I got into Disinfo initially for the political and cultural stuff. Technoccult actually basically came about because I really wanted to work on the Disinfo site, but my e-mails to them went unanswered. I wasn’t even into the occult stuff at all when Technoccult launched… it just sounded like a cool name (I hadn’t read the Invisibles yet either, but it’s possible I came across the term “Technoccult” somewhere on the Disinfo site and just forgot about it). But since all the occult material was so present, I ended up exploring that as well. I did eventually end up doing an internship for Disinfo – “telecommuting” during my sophomore year of college.

Mondo 2000 (again) – In college, Honky Tonk Dragon let me borrow a bunch of his old Mondo 2000 magazines, and I bought several off eBay. This was late 2001, early 2002 when Technoccult had already been around for a couple years, but was really just getting going.

R.U. Sirius’s Open Source Political Party

R.U. Sirius has setup a site for a new project: the Open Source Political Party. It appears to be a relaunching of his old Revolution Party idea, but more… serious.

The Revolution Party was a huge influence on me. I’ve always had a sort of mix of libertarian and progressive ideals, and the Revolution Party platform was the first I saw that tried to reconcile both modes of thinking.

In college, I tried to start a Washington State Revolution Party. We had a couple meetings, but the interest just wasn’t there. I went on to spend some time working with the local Democratic Party and doing community work, and after the crushing defeat of the Dems in 2002, decided that the voting public was still pretty far from supporting progressive or libertarian policies.

It wasn’t long after that “Dean-mania” hit and suddenly the “netroots” was born. 2004 came and went, but people were looking to the successes of Democrats in the “libertarian” mountain-west (such as Brian Schweitzer in Montana and Dave Freudenthal in Wyoming) as the model for the future of the Democrats. Looking back it was an exciting time. Reid seemed to be whipping the remaining Dems into some sort of a cohesive opposition party, and Howard Dean become the DNC chairman, pushing “50 State Strategy.” In 2005 I started Rose Colored News, partially to track the successes of this “new progressivism.” The crowning achievement of the netroots movement came in 2006, with the Democrats taking back both the Senate and the House and of course wins by Jim Webb and Jon Tester.

But this year has been a big disappointment. Back in charge, the Dems seem to have accomplished precious little and have taken to playing it safe now that they’re in charge (Reid has been particularly infuriating). The netroots hasn’t really found a candidate in the Democratic presidential race, instead splintering support amongst pretty much everyone running. Meanwhile, Ron Paul has become the Republican Howard Dean, preventing a sort of libertarian/progressive coalition from forming around any Democratic presidential candidate (Richardson and Gravel seem like particularly choice candidates for something like this).

I guess maybe it’s because it’s more fun to root for the underdog that I’ve found myself drifting back over to the thought of 3rd parties, so I guess the timing of R.U.’s new party is apt. But I can’t really get that excited about the prospect of starting a whole new party from the ground up. Lately I’ve been more interested in stuff like Kevin Zeese’s run for senate in Maryland on a Libertarian-Green-Populist fusion ticket, and the libertarian Freedom Democrats.

I’ve actually been working on an Extreme Democracy inspired “open political platform” myself. The basic idea is not a platform for a party, but a collection of policies and solutions that can be modified and used by candidates running for different offices on different party tickets. So I’m sure I’ll participating in the Open Source Party, at least in the platform discussions. Maybe this will finally motivate me to get my stuff into some sort of presentable form.

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