Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Dice Man

The Dice Man is a novel published in 1971 by George Cockcroft under the pen name Luke Rhinehart and tells the story of a psychiatrist who begins making life decisions based on the casting of dice. Cockcroft wrote the book based on his own experiences of using dice to make decisions while studying psychology. The novel is noted for its subversivity, anti-psychiatry sentiments and for reflecting moods of the early 1970s. Due to its subversive nature and chapters concerned with controversial issues such as rape, murder and sexual experimentation, it was banned in several countries. Upon its initial publication, the cover bore the confident subheader, "Few novels can change your life. This one will" and quickly became a modern cult classic.

The book tells the story of a psychiatrist named Luke Rhinehart who, feeling bored and unfulfilled in life, starts making decisions about what to do based on a roll of a dice. Along the way, there is sex, rape, murder, "dice parties", breakouts by psychiatric patients, and various corporate and governmental machines being put into a spin. There is also a description of the cult that starts to develop around the man, and the psychological research he initiates, such as the "Fuck without Fear for Fun and Profit" program.

It's recommended by RAW and Rodney Orpheus so I got my hands on it, also cause the thought of doing it myself sort of terrifies me a bit, in any case I don't see myself throwing a pair of dice around at work but I may in my free time after I finish the book. To start the migration process to the new version of the software I give support for at work uses a pair of dice as the icon to click, the choice of this image made me laugh out loud the first time I saw it. Though it features sixes on all sides of the dice and there is no real choice to not upgrade as the communication protocol X.400 that the old version uses will be unsupported soon.

The dice decide my fate and that's a shame.
In these trembling hands my faith.
Tells me to react, 'I don't care.'
Maybe it's unkind that I should change.
A feeling that we share.
It's a shame.

Such a shame. Number me with rage.
It's a shame. Such a shame.
Number me in haste. Such a shame.
This eagerness to change. Such a shame.

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