28 Years Later, Pioneering Tech Magazine 'Mondo 2000' Relaunches Online
Sunday August 13, 2017. 05:59 AM , from Slashdot
In 1989 Mondo 2000 magazine ran an editorial promising they'd cover 'the leading edge in hyperculture...the latest in human/technological interactive mutational forms as they happen.' 28 years later, they're now heckling that editorial as they relaunch into a web site. Slashdot reader DevNull127 quotes Motherboard's interview with R.U. Sirius, the founder of Mondo 2000 (as well as its predecessors High Frontiers and Reality Hackers):
'It was my idea to merge psychedelics and emerging technologies, and the culture around technology,' Sirius said, citing Timothy Leary, writer Robert Anton Wilson and counterculture magazine The Whole Earth Catalog among his inspirations... 'I kind of found my way into that particular stream of bohemian culture. It was probably a minority, but there had always been that idea of letting robots replace human work.' Soon High Frontiers evolved into a glossy magazine, Reality Hackers ('Some distributors at the time thought it was about hacking people up, and put it on the shelf next to murder mystery magazines'), and later Mondo 2000, which ran from 1989 till 1998...
'We really had to work to convince people that technology was defining the future. Nobody really got it. Doug Rushkoff wrote his book Cyberia, and his first book company cancelled its publication because they said the internet was a fad and that it would be over by the time the book came out'... While he uses Facebook and Twitter, Sirius is critical of their role in colonising what was once a more democratic and open space. 'People are being herded into little buildings -- or huge ones -- in what was supposed to be a wide open space in which everybody created their own sites. It's a complete corporate takeover of the net, Facebook in particular... It's definitely not what we were expecting.'
Mondo 2000's new online relaunch includes audio of a conversation between William Gibson and Timothy Leary about a Neuromancer game to accompany a proposed film back in 1989. (Gibson complained 'That was no interview! That was a drunken business meeting!' when first informed of the magazine's plans to publish it, though he eventually 'became friendly.')
There's also a 1987 discussion about mind technologies with 73-year-old William S. Burroughs (who was also 'an advocate of high technology, and the 'brain machine''), plus an unpublished John Shirley essay titled 'The Next Fifty Years: Why I'm Optimistic Because Everything Will Be Terrible' and new pieces by Paul Krassner ('Alternative Facts') and M.Christian ('La Petite Mort: The Death Of Sex').
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