Philip K Dick on Disneyland, reality and science fiction (1978)



Very interesting. :smile:

I had been hoping for a Philip K Dick thread here which I might comment on, and here it is.

Interesting to me this perspective of his, as my understanding of him, later in life, anyway, was of someone who was kind of stuck in two different worlds… and in a most unfortunate way. This said, for me, this is a deeply ironic statement to come from PKD.

My pet theory is that PKD has influenced a very wide range modern of television and cinema in a specifically rather odd, but important way: his stories fleshed out a model which involved individuals operating in two very different realities, where both realities are real, but in some conflict with each other.

So, I view his work as being instrumental in influence in much the way today so many stories are being told in cinema. While most heavily influencing modern fiction and science fiction, I believe his work has also deeply influenced many areas of fiction which have no ties to fantasy or science fiction, at all.

In a sense, I credit him then with having fleshed out a very successful sort of metamodel for storytelling which other writers could take from and apply to their own stories to add considerable realism, by contrasting the individual in definition apart from the realities and reality conflicts they found themselves in… and so giving a model for more realistically defining both the character and the worlds in which they interact in.

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Timely. Today’s entries are giving me that sense of ‘the multiplicating realities of pkd’ mixed with an unhealthy dose of orwellian nightmare fuel, it’s always in the background but y’know. I mean, tomato feeding robots that sit on your shoulders as you jog? Seriously!?

An eleven-year-old watching adult TV = ‘Fail

Interestingly, there are two synonyms for reality in German: “Realität” and “Wirklichkeit”. Realität represents exactly what PKD means with “doesn’t go away” - it’s a concrete complex of the Universe, most of which we aren’t aware of. Wirklichkeit is what he means about interpretation of Realität, it comes from “wirken”, to take effect on somebody.

I’d so love if this linguistic differentiation would exist in English, it makes the definition easier. Since reality is something nobody can (or even dare) to talk about, it would be igorant, arrogant and egocentric, because nobody knows Realität, as wholeness. We just know the Wirklichkeit - and there are as many Wirklichkeiten as there are minds in this world (or even more - don’t forget the split personalities) - every Wirklichkeit is build by the narrow information field we get from the small circle of Reality around us (with our limited and biased receptors) plus our interpretation. Understanding this distinguishing would prevent sooo many conflicts, misunderstandings or even wars!

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I think Robert Anton Wilson said it best: “Reality is what you can get away with.”

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