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The New Atlantis recently published a great piece about how tech people are leaving the Rationalist religion for spiritual stuff.

It's a must-read . . . well, for me, anyway. It is exactly the kind of thing I'm writing about in Part III of Existence Strikes Back: The Tao keeps coming, erupting in various forms, from Kerouac drinking at the Vesuvio Cafe in the late 1940s/early 1950s to computer geeks consulting a Tarot card reader in the Haight today.

I've only skimmed the essay so far, but it's important enough that I'll be printing it out and reading it carefully, just as Alan Jacobs did in this neat post (where he annotates the essay). I won't bring the same acuity to the task as an experienced reader like Jacobs, but I'll give it a shot.

Rational Magic
Tara Isabella Burton at The New Atlantis

I urinated on the outside wall of the Vesuvio Cafe (possibly in Jack Kerouac Alley . . . I'm not sure). I was desperate, so Marie watched to make sure no one was looking or coming. I learned later it was Kerouac's favorite haunt in San Francisco and kicked myself for not grabbing a drink there.

And lest you're disgusted by my actions, I assure you: Kerouac would've done the same. Plus, I was merely ten years ahead of the current San Fran fad, where everyone seemingly urinates and defecates outside all the time. I was retro and trend-setting at the same time.

Jack Kerouac Alley