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Words In Review: Is the PNW "weird"? Is anything?

caption: High Weirdness Erik Davis book cover
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High Weirdness Erik Davis book cover
MIT Press

I've tried to ban the word "weird" from my home. If a dream is weird and that person you know is weird and AI is weird and clowns are weird and that art is weird and you want to keep Portland weird, what does weird mean? Instead of using a meaningless word, let's talk about how you're reacting and why.

But what if I met someone smarter than I am who loves the word "weird" — explicates it, taxonomizes it, embraces it? Erik Davis wrote "High Weirdness," about drugs. He wrote "Techgnosis" about myth, magic and mysticism. We discussed California weird vs. Pacific Northwest weird. We discussed the Silicon Valley/Redmond overlap in artificial intelligence. (How weird is AI?)

Other bits:

  • Wyrd meant fate, but Shakespeare made it an adjective. (Those witches talking to Macbeth sure are wyrd.)
  • AI can feel a specific kind of weird: uncanny.
  • "There's a reason quantum physicists have been using the phrase quantum weirdness since the 1970s."
  • Here's a link to his book
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