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5 Minutes on The Verge: R. U. Sirius

5 Minutes on The Verge: R. U. Sirius


5 MInutes on The Verge: R. U. Sirius

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R. U. Sirius
R. U. Sirius

Ken "R. U. Sirius" Goffman first gained substantial notoriety as the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Mondo 2000 in 1989. Since then, he's been in movies, a band (Mondo Vanilli), podcasts, and authored a number of books (including Counterculture Through the Ages and Design for Dying with Timothy Leary). He also ran for president in 2000 as the candidate for The Revolution Party — sadly, he lost. Currently you can find him at Acceler8or, a website that bills itself as "your thoroughfare to all the best transhumanist bits and bytes, with a side order of strangeness and charm."

Where are you right now?

I'm at home in Mill Valley, California, in my home office answering some questions.

Which of your current projects are you most excited about?

Well I'm excited about all of them and I'm not sure what they all are yet. At the moment, I'm most excited about the Mondo 2000 History Project. I've just been going through conversations from 1993-1994 on The Well computer network about Mondo Vanilli and I can't believe how confident and flip and — well, frankly — funny and brilliant and inspired we were... and so very dedicated to unapologetic absolute absurdism and surrealism.

Favorite album of all time?

Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan.

Favorite album of the last year?

Well, I was just listening to Kala by M.I.A. a couple of days ago and noticed that I was grooving harder than I do for anybody else these days. It's a few years old, but I guess that's my fave right now.

Have you ever edited a Wikipedia entry? Have you ever edited your own Wikipedia entry?

I've never edited anything on Wikipedia. I once asked someone to go into my entry and delete one line that I thought might bother a former girlfriend, particularly since it had nothing directly to do with me.

What is your first memory of the internet?

I started on The Well, which had better, smarter, more meaningful conversations than anything around today. Of course, I remember the pleasure when the modem made that sound of connecting. It took a long time but it seemed worth the wait. I think I dove right in, maybe even a bit too aggressively.

What’s your primary music listening setup?

Pretty much listen to MP3s through earphones, through my iPad or my 2009 MacBook. Sometimes hook up speakers to one of those. Any CD players and record players are packed away.

What do you think of the various 2012 theories going around?

I don't think there will be a cosmic transmutation or an apocalypse in 2012. Sorry.

What is the most exciting thing about transhumanism?

The possibility that there could be a transformation or transmutation of the human condition that could eliminate scarcity and, eventually, suffering. I see it as a slim chance but perhaps the best bet.

What was it like writing a book with Timothy Leary?

Well, he was already dead so there were no arguments.

Seriously though, I worked with Tim when he was a Contributing Editor for Mondo 2000 and he was always a delight to deal with at every level. A complete gentleman and quite diligent about delivering his stuff on time.