Astral Jet Lag: On William Gibson's 'Pattern Recognition'

Episode 53 · August 14th, 2019 · 1 hr 2 mins

About this Episode

William Gibson's Pattern Recognition was published in 2003, in the wake of 9/11. You would think that a novel about the early Internet's effects on the collective psyche would feel dated today. But Gibson's insight into the deeper implications of digital culture and soul-rending consumerism are such that we are still catching up with Cayce Pollard, the novel's protagonist, as she journeys into the hypermodern underworld, searching for the secrets of art, time, and death. In this episode, JF and Phil read Pattern Recognition as an exploration of the attention economy, an ascent of the all-seeing pyramid, a subtle rewilding of postmodern culture, and a handbook for the magicians of the future.


William Gibson, Pattern Recognition
Malcolm Gladwell, "The Coolhunt"
Douglas Rushkoff, Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now
Alvin and Heidi Toffler, Future Shock
Weird Studies Episode 30 -- On Stanley _Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut_
Weird Studies Episode 50 -- Demogorgon: On _Stranger Things_
Austin Osman Spare, The Focus of Life: The Mutterings of AOS
Douglas Rushkoff, Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age