Exclusive Articles and Interviews

5-HTP 
Aharon and Amalia Barnea 
Albert Hofmann, Ph.D 
Alex Grey 
Alex Grey – 2 
Alexander and Ann Shulgin 
Allen Ginsberg 
Andrew Weil 
Annie Sprinkle 
Antioxidants Extend Life 
Arlen Riley Wilson 
Art and Psychedelics 
Aubrey de Grey 
Barry Sears 
Bernie Siegel 
Bruce Sterling 
Brummbaer 
Candace B. Pert 
Carolyn Mary Kleefeld 
Charles Tart, Ph.D. 
Chemo-Eroticism 
Clifford Pickover 
Colin Wilson 
Dan Baum 
Daniel Siebert 
David Jay Brown 
Dean Radin 
Dean Radin – 2 
Deepak Chopra 
Dennis McKenna, Ph.D. 
Douglas Rushkoff 
Dr. Motoji Ikeya 
Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw 
Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw – 2 
Edgar Dean Mitchell 
Elizabeth Gips 
Etho-Geological Forecasting 
Etho-Geological Forecasting 
Eugene Roberts Ph.D. 
Fakir Musafar 
Francis Jeffrey 
Garry Gordon 
George Carlin 
Hans Moravec 
Hans Moravec – 2 
Hydergine and Albert Hofmann 
Jack Kevorkian 
Jacob Teitelbaum 
James Berkland 
James Ketchum, M.D. 
Jaron Lanier 
Jean Houston 
Jeff McBride 
Jeremy Narby 
Jerry Garcia 
Jill Purce 
John Allen 
John C. Lilly 
John E. Mack – 2 
John Guerin 
John Mack 
John Morgenthaler 
John Robbins 
Jonathan Wright 
Joseph Knoll 
Julia Butterfly Hill 
Kary Mullis 
Kary Mullis – 2 
Larry Dossey 
Laura Huxley 
Leonard Hayflick, Ph.D. 
Marija Gimbutas 
Marios Kyriazis 
Marsha Adams 
Mati Klarwein 
Matthew Fox 
Michael Fossel, Ph.D., M.D. 
Michael West 
Motoji Ikeya 
Nick Herbert 
Nina Graboi 
Noam Chomsky 
Oscar Janiger 
Paul Krassner 
Penny Slinger 
Peter Duesberg 
Peter McWilliams 
Peter Russell 
Pregnenolone and Psoriasis 
Ralph Abraham 
Ram Dass 
Ram Dass – 2 
Ram Dass – 3 
Raphael Mechoulam 
Ray Kurzweil 
Ray Kurzweil – 2 
Reverend Ivan Stang 
Riane Eisler and David Loye 
Rick Strassman 
Robert Anton Wilson 
Robert Anton Wilson – 2 
Robert Trivers 
Robert Williams 
Robert Williams 
Roland Griffiths, Ph.D. 
Rosemary Woodruff Leary 
Rupert Sheldrake 
Rupert Sheldrake – 2 
Secrets of Caloric Restriction 
Sex and Cabergoline 
Sex and Cialis 
Sex and Damiana 
Sex and Deprenyl 
Sex and DHEA 
Sex and L-arginine 
Sex and Pheromones 
Sex and Salvia divinorum 
Sex and Tribulus 
Sex and Uprima 
Sex and Yohimbe 
Simon Posford 
Stanislav Grof. M.D., Ph.D. 
Stephen La Berge 
Terence K. McKenna 
Theories of Aging 
Timothy Leary 
Timothy Leary – 2 
Understanding Sex on Viagra 
Valerie Corral 
Valerie Corral – 2 
William Irwin Thompson 
William Kautz 
William Regelson 

Clifford Pickover

Clifford Pickover
 
David Jay brown

 

Clifford Pickover is one of the most popular and prolific science writers in America. He is the author of over thirty popular science books, and science fiction novels, which investigate a diverse range of mind-expanding topics–such as time travel, black holes, extraterrestrial biology, mathematics, creativity and computers. Some of Dr. Pickover’s more popular books include Chaos in Wonderland, Surfing Through Hyperspace, Time: A Traveler’s Guide, The Science of Aliens, and The Paradox of God. What all of his books share in common is a transcendence of the ordinary world, and a fascination with the beyond. “My primary interest,” said Dr. Pickover, “is in finding new ways to continually expand creativity by melding art, science, mathematics and seemingly-disparate areas of human endeavor. I seek not only to expand the mind but to shatter it.”

Dr. Pickover received his Ph.D. from Yale University’s Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. He is currently a Research Staff Member at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, where he has received over 35 invention achievement awards, and three research division awards. Dr. Pickover is also the associate editor of Computers and Graphics magazine, and he holds over 30 U.S. patents for unusually innovative inventions, mostly in the field of computer hardware, software, and novel ways of interacting with computers. According to Omni magazine, “Pickover is van Leeuwenhoek’s 20th century equivalent.” Wired magazine said, “Bucky Fuller thought big, Arthur C. Clarke thinks big, but Cliff Pickover outdoes them both.”

Dr. Pickover published his first book in 1990, Computers, Pattern, Chaos and Beauty, an introduction to mathematics, filled with dazzling computer graphics and mind-challenging puzzles. “No human being should pass up the experience of stepping through the portals of this beautiful book,” said Martin Gardner in Scientific American. This was the first of a series of educational books designed by Dr. Pickover to make science and mathematics more fun and exciting. The latest book in this series, Calculus and Pizza, may be the easiest route there is to learning calculus. 

Dr. Pickover has a strong passion for mathematical puzzles, as evidenced by his books Wonders of Numbers, Mazes for the Mind,The Mathematics of Oz, and The Zen of Magic Squares. He is also the “Brain-Strain” columnist forOdyssey magazine, the puzzle writer for Studyworks, and, for many years, he was the “Brain-Boggler” columnist for Discover magazine. He even produces an annual puzzle calender, so that puzzle lovers can test their wits against a different logic, word, math, or mazelike puzzle each day of the week. Dr. Pickover enjoys tinkering with complex mathematical brainteasers the way most people play with jigsaw puzzles. “Pickover just seems to exist in more dimensions than the rest of us,” said Ian Stewart in Scientific American.  Some of Dr. Pickover’s other books which explore mathematics and physics include Computers and the Imagination, Keys to Infinity, Black Holes: A Traveler’s Guide, Circles and Stars, The Girl Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, The Alien IQ Test, and Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction. 

Dr. Pickover is drawn to enigmas of all sorts it seems, and one of the more puzzling associations that he has explored in depth is the peculiar relationship between psychopathology and creativity. He is the author of the classic book on the topic of how brain pathologies play a role in scientific and artistic creativity–Strange Brains and Genius: The Secret Lives of Eccentric Scientists and Madmen. On the surface, an association between genius and insanity seems paradoxical, yet Dr. Pickover uncovers quite a large and convincing pool of evidence for such a connection.

Some of Dr. Pickover’s more theological or philosophical books include The Loom of GodThe Paradox of God and the Science of Omniscience, and The Stars of Heaven. Dr. Pickover is also the author of several science fiction novels. There are four books in his NeoReality series: The Lobotomy Club, Liquid Earth, Sushi Never Sleeps, and Egg Drop Soup. He is also the co-author of Spider Legs, which he wrote with the eminent science fiction and fantasy writer Piers Anthony. 

Dr. Pickover lives in Yorktown Heights, New York. I met Cliff over the internet, where he has a very active presence, and we communicate regularly by email. His personal web site is www.pickover.com, where you can find his exceedingly popular Reality Carnival web log (RealityCarnival.Com), which “explores the edges of science, altered realities, near-death experiences, and unsolved mysteries, from parallel universes and exotic sushi to religion, science, and psychedelics.” 

I interviewed Cliff in February of 2003, and then again in January of 2004. Cliff’s mind is a rare blend of intelligence and imagination, and the breadth of thought that he explores is simply brain-boggling. He’s unusually focused and curious–like a laser beam and a search light–and he balances his eyebrow-furling skepticism with a radical kind of open-mindedness. We talked about the possibilities of artificial and alien intelligence, extraterrestrial zoology, and about setting up a DMT machine-elf research center. We also discussed the role that the creative imagination plays in science, the relationship between scientific creativity and mental illness, and how religious experiences can be the consequence of unusual brain states.

 

David: What were you like as a child, and how did you become interested in science, mathematics, and writing?  

Clifford: I’ve been interested in science and math since childhood. While growing up in New Jersey, my bedroom featured anatomical models of the heart, brain, and eye; posters of the human circulatory system; trilobite fossils, science-fiction books, and Ugly Stickers displaying those funny, alienlike creatures with names like ‘Bob’, ‘Sandy’, and ‘Iris’. My father would continually make mazes for me to solve with pencil and paper. Martin Gardner’s books were influential. 

My childhood fascination with science and mathematics arose from my interest in knowing more about how the world works and also from my passion for science fiction. I remember that one of my favorite science-fiction tales was Henry Hasse’s “He Who Shrank,” originally published in 1936, which describes the exploration of subatomic universes filled with machine civilizations. I think that many scientists and science popularizers got kick-started by reading science fiction. Additionally, my parents encouraged scientific pursuits. 

I should note that I have also been very interested in words and writing from an early age. In high school, whenever I came across an exceptionally colorful phrase or quotation in a book, I’d write it down in a notebook.  I still have that notebook today and refer to it. Obviously, language is the primary medium with which we think and communicate ideas to others. When one reads language in written form, one is really decoding symbols. It is through the interactions of such symbols that we create new worlds, new images, new thoughts. For a long time, I have held a fascination with colorful symbols and words. Words are meant to be petted and stroked. They are meant to allow us to transcend space and time, and to inspire visions.

David: What kind of an effect do you think science fiction has had on the evolution of scientific research and the development of scientific theory?   

Clifford:  I like to think of science fiction as the ‘literature of edges’ because the topics are poised on the edge of what is and what might be. Certainly, science fiction is a literature of change. Moreover, our universe is a science-fiction universe, filled with mystery–constantly fluctuating and evolving. Isaac Asimov said that “science fiction is the only form of literature that consistently considers the nature of the changes that face us, the possible consequences, and the possible solutions.” Most scientists grew up reading science fiction, so how could science fiction not affect scientific research and theories?  Note that many of my science books included science-fiction story lines to stimulate readers’ interest in the science. These science books with science-fiction plots include Black Holes: A Traveler’s Guide, Time: A Traveler’s Guide, The Stars of Heaven, Surfing through Hyperspace,

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Leave a Reply