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GuiA · 2014-03-04 · Original thread
I'm glad the taboos around psychedelics research, especially as tools for therapy, are slowly falling down- there's some fascinating stuff in there.

To people who have never experienced drugs, grown up in a culture that demonizes them all indiscriminately, have a hard time wrapping their head around what they are/do exactly but are curious about them, I recommend this article by Sam Harris, a great neuroscientist[0]

For a slightly more in depth essay, Aldous Huxley's "Doors of Perception" [1] is a great book, albeit slightly dated.

There are also some extremely interesting synergies between the origins of the computer industry and the psychedelics/California counter culture era. John Markoff's "What the Dormouse Said" [2] is a fantastic read, although it requires knowing about computer history a little bit already. I learned from it that there was scientific research on LSD conducted in Menlo Park, a few blocks away from where I used to live.

There's also a great essay by Timothy Leary about parallels between psychedelics as tools for expanding the human mind and the computer as a tool to enhance the human brain in Brenda Laurel's book "Art of Human Computer Interaction Design". [3]

There's a great essay by Carl Sagan about his experiences using marijuana creatively/intellectually [4].

I had never tried any drugs before moving to California in my 20s, and had grown up in a fairly standard European culture of all drugs = the devil. Some changes occurred, and it turns out there's a really fascinating history and philosophy in there (especially w/ regards to parallels with computer history, as described in the aforementioned book).






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