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Post 0

Friday, December 8, 2006 - 8:20amSanction this postReply
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Luke,
Nice article.  Thanks for the information.  You can't do a search for Objectivism on the web without running across Neo-Tech.  I've always been curious about it, but not enough to pursue it.
Thanks,
Glenn




Post 1

Friday, December 8, 2006 - 11:40amSanction this postReply
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That was interesting. I haven't had the time to investigate neo-tech more.




Post 2

Friday, December 8, 2006 - 4:24pmSanction this postReply
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I considered playing poker like that. Corralling suckers for a living just isn't for me. I'd rather work on an assembly line-- or bag groceries.



Post 3

Friday, December 8, 2006 - 8:29pmSanction this postReply
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Luke,

I really enjoyed this exposition of Neo-Tech. Informative, well-written, and entertaining.

As an interesting aside, I've recently read a complimentary copy of a book about another philosophical off-shoot of Objectivism: 'Objective Hate' by Troi "Star" Torain. I will follow your lead in asking key questions such as: What is being offered by this "new" view of Objectivism -- over-and-above what can be found in the writings of Rand?

Thanks,

Ed




Post 4

Saturday, December 9, 2006 - 6:39amSanction this postReply
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

Ed, I look forward to reading a review of the new Torain book.

I confess I felt a bit apprehensive even mentioning my past involvement with these people due to all the bad blood between Neo-Tech and Objectivism.  The warm responses have dissipated that anxiety.  I hope this article appears in Google searches for people looking for information on  this organization.  To that end, let me mention a new development.

Evidently some offshoots of Neo-Tech have corrupted that term even further to the point that the company has begun a new marketing strategy with a new Web site:

http://www.nouveautechsociety.com/

To that end, let me ratchet the Google hits upward for this post:

Novus Tek Society, Novatech Society, Nouveau Tech Society and Nuova Tech Society
Novus Tek Society, Novatech Society, Nouveau Tech Society and Nuova Tech Society
Novus Tek Society, Novatech Society, Nouveau Tech Society and Nuova Tech Society
Novus Tek Society, Novatech Society, Nouveau Tech Society and Nuova Tech Society
Novus Tek Society, Novatech Society, Nouveau Tech Society and Nuova Tech Society
Novus Tek Society, Novatech Society, Nouveau Tech Society and Nuova Tech Society
Novus Tek Society, Novatech Society, Nouveau Tech Society and Nuova Tech Society
Novus Tek Society, Novatech Society, Nouveau Tech Society and Nuova Tech Society
Novus Tek Society, Novatech Society, Nouveau Tech Society and Nuova Tech Society
Novus Tek Society, Novatech Society, Nouveau Tech Society and Nuova Tech Society




Post 5

Saturday, December 9, 2006 - 7:50amSanction this postReply
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Luke,

Thank you for posting this highly informative article.

I knew Neo-Tech only from the ads that "Frank Wallace" used to place in Reason magazine, back in the 1970s. I'd heard that Neo-Tech still existed, but paid it no mind.

The Julian Jaynes theory of the "bicameral mind" makes the evolution of human self-consciousness out to be too recent an event for most cognitive scientists to take it seriously. For instance, one explanation of the evolution of human language makes the capacity for self-consciousness a *prerequisite* for the emergence of language; if that explanation is on the right track, Jaynes would have to be wrong because language has been around for a good deal more than 3000 years.

Knowing something about Wallace's early life, however, helps to explain the appeal of Jaynes' theory to him.

Robert Campbell

PS. Have you ever come across Wallace's novel *Eric Flame*? Jeff Riggenbach wanted to write about it in an article on Rand's impact on literature, but had to rely on his recollections from years ago because he couldn't find a copy in a library or elsewhere.



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Post 6

Saturday, December 9, 2006 - 8:41amSanction this postReply
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Robert, Wallace used "Eric Flame" as a pen name in some of his literature.  I think he planned to publish his novel of that name on his Internet site as well, but that never materialized.  I have never seen it myself.

A Google search revealed that used copies of the book cost hundreds of dollars:

http://www.bookfinder4u.com/IsbnSearch.aspx?isbn=0911752048&mode=direct

Ouch!

Speaking of flames, this documentation of the infamous Neo-Tech flame wars on the Internet forums has notable names such as Jimmy Wales mentioned:

http://www.neo-tech.com/flame/




Post 7

Saturday, December 9, 2006 - 3:08pmSanction this postReply
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To that end, let me ratchet the Google hits upward for this post
Maybe that would have worked 10 years ago. I think the best way to increase your search standings is to increase the number of other websites that link to this page.



Post 8

Monday, December 18, 2006 - 7:05amSanction this postReply
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I neglected to mention that Neo-Tech also influenced the evolution of the DC Comics anti-villain Anarky.



Post 9

Sunday, December 31, 2006 - 8:29pmSanction this postReply
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Hey Robert

I want to clarify one of the points you made about Jaynes position on language.. Language is not a prerequisite for consciousness, as you posted. Actually what Jaynes asserts is that language is an indicator of consciousness. So there was a point that language was developed by bi-cameral people, but did not indicate consciousness, due to the purpose and the content of the writing.

Language, written, went from very officious, and non-emotional stating of facts and instructions, to the expression of ideas, individual, social, and the more in depth and introspective. i.e. much of the old testament v. new testament in the judeo christian bible. there are many texts which coincide with the time span, and the differences in the level of impressionism in their styles.


These types of changes, Jaynes purports, occurred over a period of years, finding culmination in a dominant condition of consciousness, between 2300-300 years ago.



Post 10

Thursday, February 8, 2007 - 8:47amSanction this postReply
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Hi Luke, this article has made it into google, in case you are still wondering.

I am sometimes confused by all of the complaints I find on the internet to the so-called neo-tech scam, or wasted money, wasted time. I recieved the NT Discovery and The 114 Advantages in the mail free many years ago. After the creation of the NT web site I have since read the following NT books for FREE as they are available on the web site, or can be found via the google search engine: Outcompete God and Gov, Global Wealth Power, Philosophical Zero, Riches and Romance, and Zonpower. In fact I have never given a cent to NTP. Far from being a "NT footsoldier", I honestly know that I am better off for having read these, and for free none the less, but I am not here to convince anyone. I wanted to make a quick comment to Zonpower, understandably the most misunderstood book in the NT lineup, and your epiloque highlights this. Zonpower made the hypothesis that while objectivism  is the most freindly philosophy we have, it was failing to inspire moves forward. As it clearly states in the preface: "Again, "Zonpower" is not a treatise on physics or philosophy. Physics and philosophy are used as metaphors to explain..." and in the footnotes: "For this, as with certain other hypotheses in Neo-Tech Physics, no direct evidence as of yet exists". The accuracy of NT physics was irrelavent, likewise the Civilization of the Universe where ETs are out there controlling the universe has never been portrayed as a fact, it was reasoned as a statistical probability by NT and indeed it is just a hypothesis and in many ways a metaphor that is ment to shift introspection to allow for wider scopes of knowledge. If you constantly remind yourself "metaphor, metaphor, metaphor" while reading zonpower, it is like reading a different book, however, I do think "Zonpower" must have been poorly executed since most objective people cannot seem to get past the first paragraph w/o discomfort. To me, the point was to throw it out there and how can we improve upon this? do we gain any new and valuable introspections? as apposed to static debates of objective philosophy and useless flame wars. 

"People who knew nothing about the basic rules of right reason would rant about when to expect the Civilization of the Universe to arrive while others would attempt to recruit list members into the latest multi-level marketing scheme.  The static to signal ratio became unbearable."
I definitely agree there. Thanks for the article.

Kind regards.




Post 11

Monday, February 26, 2007 - 6:46pmSanction this postReply
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Luke, it looks to me like you simply missed the point about Zonpower and have not read enough Neo-Tech literature. Zon's are defined as "metaphorically-postulated people who deliver never-ending values, prosperity, and health to conscious life." It is not asserted that they exist. In fact it says in Pax Neo-Tech that "the Zon conjecture lays no claims because there are no proofs or even evidences. Neo-Tech does not even frame the Zon conjecture as a hypothesis." According to the same text, "Zons are independently evolving here on Earth as part of a natural evolution process."  And it's speculated by Dr. Wallace "a-priori -- without current evidence -- that far-advanced, universe-creating business people could -- via the natural laws of physics, chemistry, biology, and chaos -- design both initial-condition universes and DNA to efficiently evolve their conscious equals for business purposes." Nowhere in Neo-Tech literature does it assert that Zons exist. They say plainly that there is no evidence for it. It's just a speculation from Dr. Wallace  to think about and is not necessary to accept Neo-Tech which afterall is simply the practice of exercising "fully-integrated honesty."

The "Civilization of the Universe" is nothing mystical either. It's simply a term to refer to "a business-based Objectivist civilization" "where competitive value production, not force and fraud, is what lifts people toward eternal life and happiness," according to the text Riches from a New World.

We are in the process of evolving into Zons who live in a rational business-based Objectivist civilization, as we increasingly become proactive autonomous self-leaders by throwing off external authority (which entails moving increasingly away from our primordial follow and react mode). The terminology sounds mystical, but what Zonpower is referring to by the strange-sounding terms is actually not. That's the whole point of the marketing behind Neo-Tech. They write stuff that sounds mystical in order to lure mystics in and then turn them into rational people. Neo-Tech is a tool to eliminate mysticism from the world. It's a beautiful thing.




Post 12

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 4:42pmSanction this postReply
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Neo-Tech sounds dangerously similar to Scientology - at least in my very superficial understanding of it.  "Zonpower"?  Reminds me too much of "thetan levels" and the like. 



Post 13

Thursday, April 5, 2007 - 9:29amSanction this postReply
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Luke,

I too went through a Neo-Tech (NT) phase. I posted to the NT group on occasion under the name "Zoom". It was always my conclusion that if anyone followed NT, they would eventually no longer need NT since part of it was throwing off all external authorities. But NT simply replaced other authorities and became the sole authority for many. When Wallace (who is now dead by the way--got hit by a bus I think) started his own brand of mysticism under the guise of pseudo-science, I left. Zonpower? Sheesh. I can't believe how many people hung on after that. Now that he is dead, the hypnotic writing of NTPublishing should come to an end.

If you read his materials today--with a skeptical eye--you will see it is basically a very well-written horoscope where the reader fills in the details. "Using Neo-Tech, the average person can blah blah blah." Who is this nebulous 'average person' other than the reader him/herself? Anyway, enough ranting, great article!

Clark




Post 14

Friday, May 4, 2007 - 3:00pmSanction this postReply
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I've emailed Luke about Neo-Tech after reading his essay and figured I might as well make a post here since Neo-Tech people have been here too. Aside from the Neo-Tech teachings is anyone in the movement now? Neo-Tech has packaged all the original stuff along with the newer stuff about Zon, BI and whatever else into 3 thick books. I came across a website that has Mark Hamilton's novel "The Story" posted. I've just started reading it. It has 36 chapters. However in the new Neo-Tech book called "Miss Annabelle's Secrets" (The 3rd book you buy) the exact same story is told, but it goes well beyond 36 chapters. It has over 120.

Since I haven't read either one yet, I'm not sure if the short version or the long version has some figure head who becomes President. I only know that a person I'm close to has talked to me about starting Neo-Tech clubhouses in order to bring in new people to buy the books and learn about Neo-Tech for themselves. Doing so he will be able to make money for Mark Hamilton and get a percentage of the money back. The people he brought in will do the same, but his percentage will be smaller. Basically a MLM. This grass root effort will gather momentum and the enlightened can vote fellow NeoThinkers into local elections. Mark Hamilton will run for President when enough money is generated and people will open their eyes for the first time and see through the mysticism of our Government and other leaders of power and the World will change for the better.  sounds a lot like Heaven on Earth, but your your own God? I know Mark Hamilton did the running for President thing some years ago, but Ross Perot foiled it for him.

I'm a simple person. I never took philosophy classes so I might sound a bit naive, but this whole ordeal sounds like an ok way of looking at life and making you a happier person, only to nickle and dime you into bankruptcy while Mark Hamilton makes lots of money. The 3 repackaged books cost over $130 each. The $30 monthly website fee is plenty. At this point your at level 4 of 12 in your development. Your level goes up once a month so you can listen to the next secret meeting, which probably even asks more of you.  If this is not the case, someone please tell me the benefits before I watch the person I'm close to take a downward spiral, because he already is at the bottom of a hole trying to make ends meet...

Thank You




Post 15

Friday, May 4, 2007 - 6:09pmSanction this postReply
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I'm a simple person. I never took philosophy classes so I might sound a bit naive, but this whole ordeal sounds like an ok way of looking at life and making you a happier person, only to nickle and dime you into bankruptcy while Mark Hamilton makes lots of money. 
Sounds very familiar...

Grape Kool Aid, anyone?  




Post 16

Friday, May 4, 2007 - 7:29pmSanction this postReply
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I suggest your friend post to this thread and attempt to justify his expenditures in terms of tangible benefits experienced.  Since Neo-Tech makes outrageous promises, surely he will feel invincible enough to stand up to scrutiny.  Try it.

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 5/04, 7:31pm)




Post 17

Saturday, May 5, 2007 - 7:12amSanction this postReply
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Courtesy of Mike Hoy (Loompanics), I read Wallace Ward's Advanced Concepts of Poker and also the novel Man's Choice.  At the same time, I read Confessions of a Poker Player by Herbert O. Yardley, the cryptographer and intelligence agent. 

The specifics of poker aside, Frank Wallace's theories on life do describe some of what happens, as you found out at first.  The zero-sum game exists. Whether and to what extent churchgoers get "nothing" for their money is debatable -- and von Mises, for one, would say that if they did not get something for their money, they would not part with it.  Wallace looked at the problem from a different perspective. 

Beyond that, the Neo-Tech cult is not much different from the Objectivist cult.   There is truth at the basis of it.  It is useful in life.  However, when you factor in Ayn Rand's drug-induced paranoia, Frank O'Connor's alcoholism, and the purges -- which continue to this day -- as well as "rational dancing" and all the rest -- you have to take a step back and say, "This is not for me."  Not that Objectivism, per se, is flawed, but that people are inconsistent. 

Frank Wallace's personal problems are one thing.  HIs published ideas are another.  If you found some value in what you read, then you benefited to that extent.  I drive a 1990 Toyota Camry with 300,000 miles on it.  The radio does not work.  There is no sense in blaming the car.  I take things as they are and make the best of them.  That's me.  You, Luke, are still in church.  You want One Truth to explain Everything and provide you with an Infallible Guide to Living. I don't think you are going to find it. I do see, however, that you have gained from your search.  You have found truths that work for you.  You are personally successful and reasonably happy.  So, whatever you got from your brief encounter with Neo-Tech was a gain for you.

By the way, I have recommended Julian Jaynes here.  I read his book.  You will benefit from it, as well.  "Bicameral" people are all around us.  The constant drumming of mass media is how they get their instructions.  Absent that, they would wander about huntering and gathering and using complex animal calls to find mates.  That voice in your head that sounds like Luke, lots of people don't have one of their own.

You could get rich cheating them in zero-sum games, but, courtesy of Ayn Rand, you have found a better way to live your life.

I'd say more, but I have some achievements of my own to attain today.




Post 18

Saturday, May 5, 2007 - 1:25pmSanction this postReply
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If one is going to take swipes of Rand, then perhaps is advised to read The Age of Rand, by the guy who conducts tours in NYC on Rand, the Revolutiuonary War, and other themes - Frederick Cookinham.....  in his explaining of things, he does a much better presenting of a sense of life worth living than anything Neo-Techies could put out.....



Post 19

Tuesday, May 8, 2007 - 10:24amSanction this postReply
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Hi folks, I just wanted to say thank you for the article and discussion of NT.  I had never heard of them before and yours was the most complete explanation I could find, telling what they believe. 

Thanks again




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