“The book that launched the virtual reality debate is back in print - with four additional appendices”
"Films like The Matrix, Vanilla Sky, Avalon and Open Your Eyes explore the idea that we could be inhabiting a virtual universe. This book not only launched the idea in 1986, it explored the implications for magic, science and humanity in greater depth than any subsequent treatment."
“A powerful idea, years before its time” Richard Elen on Amazon.co.uk
I first encountered Ramsey Dukes, or whomever you may like to call him, via his book "SSOTBME", which I reviewed for an alternative technology magazine when it was first published. It was a ground-breaking work that still stands up today.
It was thus with great pleasure that I accepted the offer to design and produce the original edition of "Words Made Flesh" in I think 1988, which is now superseded by the present edition.
The book discusses how our world might look if it was in fact a computer simulation, and part of the way it does so is to intertwine within the first few chapters an engaging little science fiction story. Today, the idea is quite widespread, not least as a result of the Matrix movies and their ilk, but instead of looking at effects, with this book you can look a good deal deeper.
Ramsey Dukes has a wonderful sense of humour, a suitable disregard for convention, and an incredible depth. Every one of his writings has something to tell us, on several different levels, and on paper he comes across as our very own British equivalent of Robert Anton Wilson.
This latest edition of WMF includes additional material that contributes helpfully and meaningfully to our understanding of the material, while adding useful more recent insights into the original text."
This is the book that challenged basic assumptions about the nature of the physical universe by suggesting that we might all be living in a virtual reality - and that information might prove more fundamental than either matter or energy. At the time of publication (1988) this was still a revolutionary idea, but it is now growing familiar thanks to the success of films such as "Open Your Eyes" and "The Matrix". The ideas in this book have even been given an airing on the pages of New Scientist but, fourteen years on, this remains the most thorough and complete discussion of the virtual model of the universe. While others are beginning to explore the concept, the author had been working with it ever since the 1960s when he was studying mathematics at Cambridge university under Conway, himself a pioneer of artificial life studies. What struck the author was the division in society between those who fully accepted a materialistic view of existence and all phenomena, and those who felt there was 'something more behind it'.
This book was an attempt to bridge that division by pointing out how the most extreme materialistic viewpoint would tend eventually to blow open its own walls far more effectively than any spoon-bending exercise. What seemed like two irreconcilable structures of belief would turn out to be just two complementary ways of approaching mystery. This edition contains the original text with new introduction and two further essays plus two stories appended to carry the debate forward into the 21st Century
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