Robert Anton Wilson just died. It’s sad, despite his wishes. I’ve loved his writing since I was a teenager and had just discovered Illuminatus! and Cosmic Trigger. He was a friend of Timothy Leary, Anton X. LeVey, Philip K. Dick, and lots of others from that crowd.
He’s the source of my skepticism and the reason I find it so beautiful. In the front flap of Shock: there’s a paean to Doubt, the source of learning. That’s a perspective I gained from him. His indulgence in the ridiculous was an exercise to see how much of the ridiculous was true, and how much perceived truth was just a somber mask over absurd reality.
He was a wild experimenter with his own nervous system, taking LSD every day for decades. He was a week short of 75, having survived polio as a child and considering every day to be an opportunity for a new perspective on life.