In Search of Psi

At the tender age of 13, I embarked on a serious mission to tap the psychic waveband. While other kids were playing team sports or ogling girls, I was fabricating divining rods and a Hieronymus Machine.

My guide into the queasy world of quasi-science was John W. Campbell, Jr., the irascible editor of Astounding Science Fiction magazine. He sounded like one part engineer, one part wide-eyed visionary, and two parts drill sergeant. His enemy was unthinking orthodoxy. His precept was that you could crack any problem with the scientific method, so long as you didn’t pay too much attention to “experts” warning you that what you wanted to do couldn’t be done.

In 1956, Campbell published an informal position paper, asking his readers ...

Get Make: Technology on Your Time Volume 09 now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.