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THE DICE MAN

by Luke Rhinehart.

Published by Grafton Books.

The Dice Man is Luke Rhinehart, a bored psychiatrist who creates his own system, or anti-system, for living….
The book starts with his normal home and work situation, gradually leading up to this revelation of random choice. In his first experiment he simply states that if a die shows ‘one’ he will rape a woman downstairs. The die comes up ‘one’, and the woman is duly raped! This illustrates the inherent dangers to others, and society, from unlimited expression of choice. As society is made up of bored unhappy people who are conditioned to be productive, reliable and honest, Luke decides to provide people with happiness by helping them to be ‘whole’. The way to do this is to break the mono-mind and release the multi-faceted selves, which make up the human personality, to be random and give each minority a chance to appear.

So, Luke makes up a list of many options to a problem and ascribes each one a certain probability of being chosen (e.g.: 1 in 6). He then carries out the reply; the options, essentially the ‘voices’ of his composite persona, are then chosen (by the God Chance) to be executed. This is where the randomness comes in — not in the compilation of options, which flow from the psyche, but in which ‘voice’ will be heard and acted upon. The ability to conform to the “will” of the dice is essential, and he discovers that mixing a majority of pleasant experiences with a lesser number of nasty ones allows him to overcome his initial reservations. He finds sexual deviancy very much part of ‘dice living’. Luke practices all sorts of ‘perversions’ in his efforts to destroy his soul…. As with the notorious Clockwork Orange before it, this tale of The Dice Man raises many questions as to how far society should limit or permit the expression of individual choice.

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