TTOTT 2013: Go git’ yr’ pens and pads

TTOTT 2013 by Steven ‘fly’ Pratt.

Some of my readers, and a small portion of friends may be familiar with Robert Anton Wilson and his tale of the tribe, but, alas i imagine that most are not. If you stumbled upon this writing, and are out of facebook well done, I dearly wish you might give me a chance to turn you on.

I have shared the continued relevance and impact that the individuals and ideas from ‘the tale of the tribe’ have had, and are having on global humanity through a network of blogs and posts. I am also resending the same simple message here: read Robert Anton Wilson’s books and try out his ideas, again! This post consists of a short review of his ideas from TTOTT and current 2013 events and breakthroughs that have a direct correspondence to the characters.

Swooping from the global banking and credit circus to ‘open source’ software ‘The tale of the tribe’ forms a unique doorway into a coherent system, running from the renaissance to the present day, that helps frame some big questions pertaining to our times, a bawdy bunch and global cross-section of individuals and their works selected by Dr Wilson for an equal balance of high-brow and low brow, art and science and mysticism, all innovators and ahead of their time.


Most of them, worryingly to me, are still understudied overlooked and almost forgotten in the majority of mainstream Academic institutions, yet, together in synchrony and as the TRIBE, they bootstrap their influences and coherence into a group of 13–relatively unknown–super geniuses. A kind of renaissance super hero-gang. I think that Dr Wilson picked these characters very very very carefully, and of course, they still hold infinite potential for anybody crazy enough to begin studying em’ and carefully scaffolding between ideas, and, furthermore, I am certain they will be important for the future scenarios and technological breakthroughs during 2013 and ahead, in the spirit of the poet as early warning missile defence system.

“Pound & Joyce supplement each other
like Jefferson & Adams
each created a NEW non-aristotelian
for the tale of the tribe”–RAW

In one sense, the tale of the tribe includes some of the most complicated and scholarly works known to man: Finnegans Wake, Information Theory, General Semantics, Pound’s Cantos, Cybernetics, Ulysses, Media Studies and Quantum Mechanics. On the other hand, I think that Dr Wilson recognized this ‘too complicated’ factor, and might have been hinting, in part, that in the age of internet search engines and masses of shared data, translation software etc. the once esoteric works and ideas available to the select few, can now be read, decoded, studied and poured over, even when high…by anyone and everyone who can connect to the net. You don’t need no stinking Yale or Cambridge library, or even their professors, in many cases, you require a connection and whole lot of time, will and energy to invest in things that at first may not seem worth your while pursuing. I hope to persuade you otherwise.

“Distinguish also between faith-based programs [NO FEEDBACK]
and research-based programs [MAXIMUM POSSIBLE FEEDBACK].–RAW

For me today, the tale of the tribe boils down to the concept of humanity. The problems confronting everyman man, women and living system on planet earth today. Dr Wilson stressed a comprehensive strategy, a GLOBAL view, and he was known for having at least seven models for explaining anything. This wish to communicate and show compassion to all-around-humanity remains a goal of ‘TTOTT’ and at the same time liberate humanity, consciousness and our  daily doings from the boot and chains and guns of the oppressors:

Those who champion closed systems, surveillance, secrecy, violence, war and clandestine attacks on the emotional and physical strings of a mostly innocent humanity-as-a-whole. Those that fan the flames, do damage to names, switch the rules, the sneaky pundits and spin doctors, the war advertisers and the TV Mirage salespeople, those that wish the majority of us live in fear and in debt, be it to Gods or States-entities, they’re surely watching you even now. I hear you, and I think ‘TTOTT’ provides an historical current that runs counter to the above trending towards centralized control and secrecy, to shallow pools of bullshit passing as news and bad, wrongheaded single mindedness and bullying throughout the mediasphere. The decentralized universe of the mystics, poets, shaman & shawomen, neuro-scientists, design scientists and information theorists pushes against centralized control, both psychological and political (via. The digital hacktivist revolution) these are new forces that we have all heard about, if not felt in our daily life.

“can we see this emerging in psychedelics & internet?
or in Leary & McLuhan at least?”–RAW

Fly On The Tale Of The Tribe: A Rollercoaster Ride With Robert Anton Wilson

by Steven James Pratt


So what more is there to say? Get out there and pick up some of Dr Wilsons books and/or web texts, open a new folder called ‘the tale of the tribe’ or TTOTT, and begin making bookmarks at Wikipedia, youtube and other places (try google scholar for example) while searching the following names:

Giordano Bruno
Giambatista Vico
Friederich Nietzsche
Ernesto Fenollosa
William Butler Yates
Ezra Pound
James Joyce
R. Buckminster Fuller
Alfred Korzybski
Claude Shannon
Norbert Weiner
Marshal McLuhan
Orson Welles

You may eventually find some physical books concerning these entities, all the best information remains, for the most part, in old books, not yet freely available on the web, but you can track them down by Amazon and begin a small TTOTT library, depending how serious you are about looking deeper, and surrounding yourself with these fantastic works of art, poetry and scientific insight.

If you made it this far, and you want to know more, try visiting my TTOTT research study page: (

or contact me directly: flagaric23 @

p.s oh, I nearly forgot, here’s some current news items that have correlations to the TTOTT characters and some of their ideas. I hope you have fun mixing some of the ideas together and teasing out some poetic insight, I did. But I’m weird I suppose.  More soon, love, steve fly.

“Your Cantos, I now judge to be the first and only serious use of the great technical possibilities of the cinematograph. Am I right in thinking of them as a montage of personae and sculptured images? Flash-backs providing perceptions of simultaneities? (16 June 1948)–Marshal McLuhan to Ezra Pound

Consider the general mixture of English, Greek, Chinese, Italian and French languages in Ezra Pound’s Cantos, and think for a moment about the global economic crisis, including and triggered by the U.S. Does mixing up languages and symbol systems make better sense today than it did when Pound wrote them?


“China needs an expert team of qualified translators to promote Chinese culture at a global level,” Huang says.”–

Consider the cinematic innovations of Orson Welles, and how they are reflected in modern combinations of trickery and special effects ubiquitous throughout modern cinema.

There was no shortage of Asian hands involved in The Life of Pi, which beat out the competition for an Oscar for its breath-taking effects. —

Consider James Joyce and the recent success of Finnegans Wake in China, after a 9 year translation project.

“Dai was originally cowed by the scale of the undertaking – the French translation took 30 years to complete – and occasionally considered quitting. “It is a kind of torture,” she said. “In China, translation is not regarded as an academic achievement – I have to publish first, and then give my own time to translation.” —

Consider the expanding Global Village, a term coined by Marshal McLuhan: THE prophet of Facebook? and anti-social-networks, their impact, for better or worse, on humanity, from over 40 years ago!

“We have, it seems, arrived in the “global village” of Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian philosopher of communication theory, as ICT reduces the size of our planet, putting people in Cape Town within reach, in real time, of others at the opposite end of our continent.–

Consider Claude Shannon and his myriad of foundational innovations in compression algorithms, BIT theory, and cryptography, all still today at the forefront of cutting edge technology and culture.

“In the Scientific American of January 1990, his papers were described as the “Magna Carta of the Information Age” —

Consider Buckminster Fuller, who for me more or less owns the future, once you learn a little about what he has achieved on behalf of all-humanity, and what lies awaiting anybody interested enough to delve into his books, his philosophy, his practical methodology and critical design science. See Carbon60, Buckyballs, Fullerites and Geodesics in 2013 papers and scientific publications.

“The first all-carbon solar cell was fabricated using carbon-based electrodes with an active layer composed of sorted semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes and C60 fullerene. —


“Yu go right on writin’ me letters-but dont xpect me to answer questions-even if answers are known-(printed)” (18 [June] 1948).–Ezra Pound to Marshal McLuhan.

Love, Steve fly.

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