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Sci-Fi Books Media Book Reviews Science

Lysergically Yours 486

scsiiscs writes "I have just had the pleasure of reading Lysergically Yours, the first offering from author Frank Duff. As the chemically aware among you may have guessed from the title, this is a novel which deals in part with the synthesis of and culture surrounding LSD. It is much more than just a drug book though, and what's better, it has been released under a Creative Commons license. " Read on for the rest of his review.
Lysergically Yours
author Frank Duff
pages 120
publisher Insurgent Productions/No Media Kings
rating Excellent (10)
reviewer Ben Konrath
ISBN 097348070X
summary Clandestine chemists accidentally open the doorway into new modes of human consciousness.

April 16th, 1945: Dr. Albert Hoffman's work on obstetrics pharmacology at Sandoz Laboratories is unexpectedly interrupted by a "stream of fantastic pictures and extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors."[1]

The following weeks saw Dr. Hoffman and his colleagues perform a series of self-experimentations which led to the discovery of the psychotropic effects of D-lysergic acid diethylamide 25, the most potent hallucinogen yet discovered -- and better known as LSD. The doors were suddenly flung open for a new age of exploration into the human mind. Government sanctions however quickly put an end to this line of research. Lysergically Yours, the first novel from Toronto-based author Duff supposes that this research program is still going strong, but not in the places one may traditionally think to look for it.

The reader is first introduced to Johnny, a computer science student at the University of Toronto and one-time high school acid dealer. It is through the lens of Johnny that the reader meets the book's delightfully diverse cast of supporting characters. From Lyle the punk-rock chemist to Tinka the manic witch and surprisingly affable career criminal Ivan, Duff continuously delivers with characters that you almost expect to run into the next time you're on campus despite the fact that they are so eccentric as to verge on unbelievable. As a former University of Toronto student myself, I must admit that the setting of the book was also wonderfully realized. From Convocation Hall to Lash Miller Chemical Laboratories to the basement of Hart House, Lysergically Yours romps across the university and the city bringing to life each locale that it touches.

The story itself is somewhat hard to classify. The opening throws Johnny and the reader into a very tense scene in which Johnny is the prisoner of Korean and Vietnamese mobsters and the building in which he is being held is being assaulted from outside by unknown forces. From this action-movie introduction, the story flashes back and begins to relate a decidedly non-action-movie drug culture caper story wherein Lyle and Johnny attempt to fund illegal research and a hedonistic lifestyle through the synthesis and sale of LSD. By the end however, as Johnny and Lyle find themselves deeper and deeper in trouble, the plot of Lysergically Yours verges strongly on the science fictional, yet Duff manages to wrap it all up into a bundle which leaves the reader feeling both entertained and satisfied.

At times the discussion of the technical details of drug synthesis and of various less than legal money-making schemes seem unnecessarily verbose, but perhaps they will be appreciated by those who are more familiar with the fields or even looking for a few pointers. In general however, Duff's prose is poetic in its spareness and simplicity. His dialogue also is unflowery and believable, conveying a real sense of character and situation. Even the far-sweeping conclusion of the novel, suggesting a world forever and fundamentally changed by the actions of a couple of punk rockers, is presented in a crisp and unapologetic style. As a reader, I could not help but be reminded of Neal Stephenson and, to a certain extent, Philip K. Dick.

My largest complaint with Lysergically Yours is that it is too short. Weighing in at 120 pages, the book is an easy read but leaves you feeling that it could have easily been expanded to fill twice as many. Still, in a time when most books seem to be guilty of the opposite sin, I am willing to forgive Frank Duff this indiscretion.

Another thing which makes this novel worth noticing is that it is released in affiliation with No Media Kings, an organization started by Toronto-based author Jim Munroe to promote a return to grass-roots media. In accordance with this "media of the people, by the people and for the people" ethos, Frank Duff has released the novel as a free e-text under the Creative Commons Attribution/Non-Commercial/Share-Alike license. This license not only allows the text of the novel to be freely distributed in any medium, but also explicitly allows for anyone to create derivative works from the novel for any non-commercial purpose. The use of this contract follows in the footsteps of successful science fiction author Cory Doctorow. The book is available as a physical artifact at a variety of small bookstores or directly from the author via his website where the e-book and several of his other shorter works are also available for free download.

[1] Hoffman, A. (1980) "LSD: My Problem Child," New York: McGraw-Hill.

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Lysergically Yours

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  • More information... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Eric(b0mb)Dennis ( 629047 ) * on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:45PM (#9595557)
    Very interesting to see this on slashdot.

    Lysergically Yours is a good book, but is nothing compared to some of the other books available out there.

    I would suggest TIHKAL [] and PIHKAL [] by Alexander and Ann Shulgin

    That is, if you're interested in the chemistry... but for more casual psychonaughts, I would explore Erowid [] for information.

    The best part both TIHKAL and PIHKAL's more interesting and (knowledgable) parts are available for FREE online via those two links. Have fun, and remember, psychoactives can be a valuable learning experience but to anything good there's equal if not more bad. Read everything with logic and don't go and turn out like Huxley.
    • by TheCarp ( 96830 ) * <> on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:13PM (#9595784) Homepage
      I wholeheartedly agree that these are great books, and I think that before anyone forms an opinion about people who use psychedelics based on those idiot kids that eat too much E and go to parties and get themselves in trouble, that they should read these books.

      The portions that are available for free, while wonderful for their own reasons, pale in comparison to the first half of the books. That is the story.

      These books are the "true story" (names changes etc in an attempt to avoid prosecution which worked well enough to keep the shulgins free, but not enough to save Sasha's Schedule 1 chemicals license as the opening of tihkal tells) of a chemist and psycopharmacologist.

      This man has invented drugs that later hit the street. He is so well respected in the community, that his job is a consultant. The DEA often brings him in to testify as an expert witness on chemistry and drugs. He is the real deal.

      More than that he is personally amazing. I saw him speak at MIT last year, and for an 80 year old man (or just about hes what 79 or so?) he is vibrant and totally with it. If I am half as with it as he is when I am 70, I will be thankful for how I ended up.

      Not exactly what many people would expect from a person who has had the experiences he has.

    • Although I have not read those books, I would highly recommend Erowid [] as an amazing resource for all kinds of information. Anything from chemistry, to religion/psychology, to laws and culture surrounding various substances. Seriously, even if you have the slightest curosity (don't we all?) then check it out. I used to keep a printed out copy of one of Erowid's FAQ's [] (*very* good I might add) on my coffeetable while living in my fraternity house and still in college. It was amazing the wide range of peop
  • 2P (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    All your hits are belong to us.
    • So is this creative commons license the LSD book was licensed under, free as in beer, or free as in drugs.

      And remember
      Microsoft [] = "Free as in Drugs"(*)
      BSD = "Free as in Beer.
      Linux = "free as in Speach.

      (*) "With Microsoft, the first hit is always free - remember that all your life. They're going to all these different websites and having them become .Net websites. They say they're not going to make any money. For now, they'll not charge you for access to your Passport environment. Maybe soon

  • Ah, LSD (Score:3, Funny)

    by Neil Blender ( 555885 ) <> on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:46PM (#9595566)
    So many memories.....erased.
    • So many memories.....erased.

      What do you mean? I take it you've never use the stuff. Some of my most vivid and amazing memories have come via LSD.


    • High on life (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:48PM (#9596027) Homepage Journal
      It's people with no actual LSD knowledge who hallucinate such side effects as memory loss, significant "flashbacks", and brainfry. There are tiny percentages of actual users who have experienced some of these effects, but they're traceable to repressed psychotic drives of people who foolishly take the drug, often out of a selfdestructive urge. Drugs aren't for everybody, but fearmongering is apparently less exclusive.
  • Whoa (Score:5, Funny)

    by stoneymonster ( 668767 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:46PM (#9595568) Homepage
    I'll download this as soon as my mouse stops snapping at my like an alligator.
  • by Jetson ( 176002 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:48PM (#9595577) Homepage
    ... that it would be posted by someone named Timothy.
  • Mmmmmmmmm.... Duff Brand LSD... (Drool)...
  • by fantomas ( 94850 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:50PM (#9595592)

    Releasing a valuable literary work under such a hippy, liberal, communist style copyright agreement? with all sorts of potential financial opportunities such as sales to Hollywood, serialisation in popular magazines, web based commercial exploitation? Is the author mad? IS HE ON DRUGS?

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:52PM (#9595601)
    Jerry Garcia (quoted during an interview with Rolling Stone in 1991):

    Psychedelics showed me a whole other universe, hundreds and millions of universes. So that was an incredibly positive experience. But on the other hand, I can't take psychedelics and perform as a professional. I might go out onstage and say, 'Hey, fuck this, I want to go chase butterflies!'
  • My largest complaint with Lysergically Yours is that it is too short. Weighing in at 120 pages, the book is an easy read but leaves you feeling that it could have easily been expanded to fill twice as many.

    Oh the irony!
  • by MooseByte ( 751829 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:53PM (#9595610)

    "this is a novel which deals in part with the synthesis of and culture surrounding LSD."

    I see. So basically a tale of the origins of unix? :-)

  • by toasted_calamari ( 670180 ) <> on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:54PM (#9595625) Homepage Journal
    I have never taken hallucinagens, so I cannot comment from personal experience, but I have always wondered whether the "new modes of conciousness" so often reported are actually new ways of looking at the world, or merely hallucinations themselves.

    As a reference point, I would suggest reading the book Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman [] by Physicist Richard Feynman. One chapter in particular discusses the authors experiences with halluncination in a sensory depravation chamber.

    During one experience in the chamber, Feynman came to understand exactly how memories were organized in the brain. It made perfect sense, however, upon leaving the chamber, he realized that what had made perfect sense an hour ago, was absolutly rediculous. His understanding had been no more real than the things he was seeing in the chamber.
    • They change your perception and subsequently understanding of the world around you. A powerful psychoactive such as LSD distorts reality around you and inside you.. so much so that illogical understandings arrise.

      But, those understandings are the most logical thing ever when on said psychotropic.
      • But, those understandings are the most logical thing ever when on said psychotropic

        I have to disagree. I wouldn't call my understandings while under the influence of LSD logical. Yeah, illogical things can make "sense" while under the influence, but they never seem particularly logical. The LSD understanding is much more akin to intuition. Just as valid, IMO.


    • Reality is basically just an agreement--most /. readers, for example, agree on the english language, and can communicate. People agree that houses are built a certain way, people of certain standing/class/taste dress a certain way, etc. This creates a social landscape.

      Psychedelics and extreme shock (grief, physical shock, etc.) put you in a different frame of reference, a different set of agreements, or a different reality. So, you may have some great insight as to why that tree appears to be growing w

    • by pclminion ( 145572 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:17PM (#9595811)
      I have never taken hallucinagens, so I cannot comment from personal experience, but I have always wondered whether the "new modes of conciousness" so often reported are actually new ways of looking at the world, or merely hallucinations themselves.

      It is difficult, as a person who has experienced hallucinogenic states, to explain to someone who hasn't, just what it's really like. There is definitely something to be learned by experiencing these altered states. It helps to remind us that what we experience in our minds as "reality" is anything but real, and that we really don't have direct access to "reality" as it truly exists. It even might cause you to doubt that there is anything such as the "true nature" of things.

      Feynman had an idea, which when he moved to a profoundly different mental environment, appeared ridiculous. The important lesson to be learned here is that what seems very reasonable and sane about reality could be equally ridiculous, and we're just in the wrong frame of mind to "see" it.

      His understanding had been no more real than the things he was seeing in the chamber.

      That's really the entire point. Who knows what "real" is, when your conscious perceptions of reality can be so profoundly altered by taking a few milligrams (or in this case, micrograms) of some chemical compound?

      In a psychedelic state, it is common to look at normal waking life that used to seem so normal, and feel that it is completely ridiculous.

      In fact, there is no logical basis to claim that either state is "real," or "ridiculous." Drugs whack you upside the head with the philosophical truth that "reality," as we commonly define it, doesn't really exist in any relevant way. It is only psychological reality which matters.

      (BTW, I haven't taken any psychedelic compounds in a long time, and don't plan to again.)

      • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:35PM (#9595938) Homepage
        Who knows what "real" is, when your conscious perceptions of reality can be so profoundly altered by taking a few milligrams (or in this case, micrograms) of some chemical compound? In a psychedelic state, it is common to look at normal waking life that used to seem so normal, and feel that it is completely ridiculous.
        But surely you see where one could make the argument that this is more rationally seen as evidence of a chronic dysfunction of the brain caused by the use of drugs than as evidence of any "heightened mental state." You're going to experience what most people accept as "reality" for all of the period of your life that you spend not under the influence of psychedelic drugs. It's the default state of the organism. Why assume that it's an aberrant or erroneous state, just because you can produce a different state by introducing foreign chemical compounds into the system? It makes more sense to assume that the post-chemical state is aberrant.

        Or, to put it another way, countless books, pamphelets, plays, movies, and rambling diaries have been produced attempting to explain or prove the profound revelations produced by the use of hallucinogens, and in every case, it seems to me that the "revelations" can be very simply illustrated with the following statement:

        Drugs get you high.
        Can't we all just admit it and move on?
      • It helps to remind us that what we experience in our minds as "reality" is anything but real, and that we really don't have direct access to "reality" as it truly exists.

        this was the most profound revelation i had during my limited experience with hallucinogens. it made me aware of how limited our perceptions are - both sensory and logical.

        that said, i don't think i'll ever touch the stuff again (it's been 13 years for me). while it's important to know about the fallibility of your senses, it's also k

    • The best way I can think to explain it is that the hallucinations aren't so much about perceiving things that aren't there, but rather having the aspects of the things around you emphasized in various ways. This may lead the user to make connections between things that they otherwise would not have.

      For example, as the walls begin to weave back and forth like the room is breathing, you gain new appreciation for the detail of woodgrain, and see how it's not just a static pattern represented on a surface, bu
    • by Pedrito ( 94783 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:37PM (#9595956)
      Like many others here, I'm sure, I've had some experience here in the past. While many times the hallucinations might appear to be meaningless after the effects have worn off, and maybe in many senses they are meaningless, it's that they're profound and meaningful at the time that is often what's important.

      In many ways, we are the sum of our experiences, whether based in "normal reality" or some altered state of it. LSD causes the reality you experience to be very profound, emotionally and psychologically, and this can lead to very important changes after the fact.

      While I think there is a great deal of potential for therapeutic LSD use (in the 60s, they had fairly good success in combatting alcoholism with it), it can be equally dangerous.

      In my own case, I managed to overcome a good deal of shyness through a single LSD experience, that has lasted to this day (some 18 or 19 years later). I chalk this up to the power of the emotions I felt regarding my shyness at the time. On the other hand, I know people who have been emotionally scarred for many years from "bad trips" for precisely the same reason.

      As for other "uses" that are productive, there is sometimes an ability to handle abstract problem solving that can be associated with LSD experiences. In many cases, people have solved real-life problems through LSD, in fields of Architecture, Physics, and I'm sure others as well. I don't know that I would ever use it for that purpose, but I've seen a good deal of anecdotal evidence that it exists, and from my own experiences, I would tend to believe it. After all, you're simply much more open to different ways of looking at or approaching problems and sometimes that's all it takes to solve it.
    • by blincoln ( 592401 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @06:09PM (#9596148) Homepage Journal
      My experience was that the value of psychedelics was not in any supposed revelations about the outside world, but what they revealed about me.

      It's been a long time since I've used any psychoactives other than alcohol (I even gave up caffeine last year), but I tried LSD, mushrooms, dextromethorphan, and even PCP once (that was an accident, we thought it was something else) when I was younger. My memory of all of them was kind of like the cave in Empire Strikes Back - what you experience is "only what you take with you."

      Seeing the entire world visibly altered by your perception of yourself can be a really powerful experience, and tell you a lot about who you are. I worry about the people who take LSD, then see a monster when they look in the mirror. Maybe it's just self-doubt, but maybe there is a valid reason why they see themselves that way.

      It's really too bad that the majority point of view seems to be that psychedelics are something that should be banned. There are certainly some dangerous drugs out there, but other than nightmare-incuding substances like PCP I would say that they're all in the same general safety range as alcohol, especially when used in the proper setting.
    • by back_pages ( 600753 ) <back_pages@c[ ]net ['ox.' in gap]> on Friday July 02, 2004 @06:14PM (#9596170) Journal
      Just have a few moments to drop a note.

      I had a rather peculiar home life and developed into an extremely self concious, introverted, self loathing kid. My mother was chronically depressed, my dad worked enough so that I only saw him on weekends, I found out later that my siblings and I were intentionally kept seperated from our extended family because of emotional rifts between my (Ma & Pa) and their siblings. I had an incredibly difficult time interacting with my peers, was gifted (enough to eventually score 2200 on the GREs without studying) but on the fast road to flunking out of high school.

      And then after some experimental tries, I dosed on 7.5 hits of gel tab and sat around a playground at 1am. I climbed up the slide, sat on the top, and intended to slide down it. As I sat at the top, I looked up at the stars and was immediately struck by the oddness of my situation. I was legally insane, sitting on a slide on a cloudless moonlit night, and staring straight up at the stars.

      And then I was hit with the question: "What am I like?" It just kept going through my head over and over until the syllables didn't even sound like English. The phrase was just some gibberish that inquired about the most fundamental core of my whole identity. "What am I like?"

      Then I felt like the star above me was perfectly in line with my spine, that the universe was locked onto me and turning around me. (This has always been my way of relating to Achilleus - the one Man in history with the audacity, confidence, blackened heart, and glory to defy the gods. This is mostly tangential, hence the parenthesis, but at the time Achilleus was my most idolized literay figure and therefore this had great coincidential significance.)

      I sat like this for probably 15 minutes. "What am I like?" Fuck it, at my core, I am everybody else.

      I did not slide down that slide. While I was up there, the act of sliding down really took on a monumental significance to me, but I can't really define it. I climbed back down the ladder.

      Ever since that night, I've felt like I'm just as valuable a person as anyone else. I assert myself, I speak up, I feel like I'm worthy of being liked.

      As another poster described, it is incredibly difficult to relate your LSD experiences to someone who hasn't taken them, but that was my two cents. LSD can be some dangerous shit, but rightly or wrongly, I feel like I got 15 years of therapy in 15 minutes.

    • I think an important distinction many people don't make is between thoughts that occur during altered states and thoughts that occur when reflecting upon one's experience in altered states.

      With almost any psychoactive drugs, thoughts will occur to you that "seemed like a good idea at the time". Alcohol might have you convinced that you want to take your pants off and dance on the bar. Pot might tell you that you really need some nachos. Cocaine will tell you that thing that will make your life better is
  • LSD in my hometown (Score:2, Informative)

    by Nos. ( 179609 )
    Most of the early research on LSD was conducted in my hometown of Weyburn (before I was born).
  • by proj_2501 ( 78149 ) <> on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:58PM (#9595661) Journal
    is the license under which a book is released more interesting than the book itself.
  • If you can't obtain real LSD, you can always use banana peels []. For real history see Michael Hollingshead [] [clue: he's the guy that turned Leary onto LSD!]

    • by cubic6 ( 650758 )
      Did you actually read the page you linked to? They drank water with LSD dissolved in it, then smoked the "banana joints". Wonder which one caused the psychadelic experiences?
  • by Saeed al-Sahaf ( 665390 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:01PM (#9595691) Homepage
    It is much more than just a drug book though, and what's better, it has been released under a Creative Commons license.

    So if it was crap, it would still be "much better" crap because it's Creative Commons? Or, if it was brilliant, it might not be quite as brilliant, not quite as good if it where not under Creative Commons? What does the quality of the read have to do with the licensing?

    • well, because you can now read it and say, "hey this sucks. But just barely. If i were to change this part and this part... add a giant robot here, it would actually be a really good story." Then rewrite those parts, keeping all the rest original, rename it, and not be sued for plagerism or anything else.

      or i could just say "...and what's better" is a common phrase also meaning "hey, there's more value here that you might not have noticed". /. has to stop taking everything so literally
    • Would a failed collision-test on a car make driving it less fun? No, but it's still an even better car if it has airbags.
  • by Boiling_point_ ( 443831 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:04PM (#9595713) Homepage
    British troops testing LSD [] - 14mb video, but essential viewing for those considering mixing hallucinogens with the workplace
    • Re:Ob. video link (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Coupons ( 793098 )
      ...for those considering mixing hallucinogens with the workplace...

      Rumor spread around the ship that we were going to be hit with a locker inspection. I rumaged and found an old tab of acid under some socks. Didn't think it would be any good after six months, so I ate it, put on my dress blues and headed topside for my quarterdeck watch. Took about half an hour to add three lines to the log. The Officer of the Deck looked at me kinda funny, but I didn't get too paranoid and it never crossed my mind to u
  • by BadDoggie ( 145310 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:04PM (#9595715) Homepage Journal
    Try Albert Hofmann's own book, LSD - My Problem Child [], which has been available on the Web -- for free -- for about a decade already. It's also available here [] as a single text file.

    Much more interesting, exciting and enlightening.

  • From how I read the review I got the impression that this book sorta glorifies the use of hallucinogenic drugs. Well, they have interesting effects but troubling side effects, such as the infamous LSD flashback. The latter outweigh the former, believe me. If you're interested in what it's REALLY like, go and read Burroughs' Naked Lunch. That should cure ya :)
  • What a shame... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DynaSoar ( 714234 ) * on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:06PM (#9595731) Journal
    that Albert Hoffman is remembered only for LSD.

    Fact is, he created the first nootropic (cognitive enhancing) drug, hydergine, and deserves far more recognition for that than for LSD, or any of the other drugs of far more utility that he created.

    The fact that he's not recognized for this only indicates that most people would rather be stoned than smart. That's a damn shame for him, and shame on them.

    Oh, and shame on the US for not approving hydergine for use. It's one of the safest drugs there is, and useful to most anyone. Unfortunately, like many good drugs, the patents are owned by non-US companies, so no US company stands to profit, and so the FDA doesn't approve it. If it were the case that nootropics weren't useful, then Nobel laureate Eric Kandel wouldn't have announced devoting the remainder of his career to creating them.
    • So, how about a few links on hydergine, and nootropics in general?
    • Re:What a shame... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Grond ( 15515 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @06:23PM (#9596229) Homepage
      Oh, and shame on the US for not approving hydergine for use. It's one of the safest drugs there is, and useful to most anyone. Unfortunately, like many good drugs, the patents are owned by non-US companies, so no US company stands to profit, and so the FDA doesn't approve it. If it were the case that nootropics weren't useful, then Nobel laureate Eric Kandel wouldn't have announced devoting the remainder of his career to creating them.

      I don't know if you're misinformed or just didn't check your sources (I would certainly hesitate to claim that you're lying outright), but hydergine is most defninitely approved for use in the US. Furthermore, while the company that makes it (Novartis) is primarily a Swiss company born out of the merger of Ciba and Sandoz (the company Hoffman was working for), I imagine any patents they had on the stuff have long since run out as it was discovered in the late 1940s.

      My sources:
      FDA approval []
      Discovery date []
  • by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:11PM (#9595768) Homepage Journal
    Don't do drugs kids. There is a time and place for everything. It's called college. - Chef


  • since the war [] on drugs eliminated drugs [].

  • PDF Version (Score:2, Informative)

    I made a quick and dirty PDF (with the cover art) for those of you who aren't into reading flat text files (i prefer PDF's myself).
  • Slashdot and Drugs? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by misleb ( 129952 )
    I find it interesting that a drug related article made it to slashdot. I spend a lot of time in psychedelic news forums. I've consumed my fair share of LSD as well. Sometimes I just assume that slashdot readers have similar interests, but then I think that is a silly assumption. Was my original assumption correct? Are most slashdot readers (geeks?) at least sympathetic to psychedelic/cannabis culture? If so, why do you think this is?

    • by dporowski ( 670734 ) <mycroft@[ ] ['mad' in gap]> on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:46PM (#9596016)
      Speaking as a slashdot reader, geek, and one who may have been known to--purely hypothetically speaking, of course--indulge in an occasional bit of recreational chemistry... (Though violently allergic to cannabis, it seems.)

      Cannabis "culture" can f*ck right off. So can "psychedelic culture".

      Feel free to use them. Some of it's REALLY fun. A lot. Repeatedly. I approve. (Assuming one is aware of the potential risks, etc.)

      However, "psychedelic music" makes me itch, patchouli makes me gag, if I never see a dirty set of half-assed dreads on a white suburban boy again I'll be ecstatic, candy-ravers should have their own hunting season, and drum circles make me wish I owned a HMV so I could re-enact that line from Conan where he says "Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women." Vroom.

      Sorry. I find it indefensible. It's as if I tried to create "beer culture" or "vodka culture" or maybe "swiss cheese culture" and pass it off as a valid lifestyle choice. Not to mention it spoils it for everyone who may want to try the substance in question but just can't stand the people who DO it.

      Treat it like having a beer after work, y'know? Don't call it a "lifestyle" or a "culture" and then proceed to fail your hygiene check. I'm all down with being able to ingest whatever makes you happy. Have fun, just make sure to get the good stuff.

      (And stop HUGGING ME! STOP! BAD TOUCH!)
      • What a crock of flamebait.

        Just because you don't like a particular culture does not mean it is bad or dumb. Funny how geeks get so defensive when people criticize their culture but are so quick to assault others.

        Now, I personally don't enjoy "hippy music" or white boy rasta posers either. And having been a raver for some time, I get equally frustrated with the "e-puddles" that form on the middle of the dancefloor.

        However, that in no way gives me the right to pass judgement on them.

        They made their decision

      • There's more than one "drug culture". You and I may associate (or refuse to associate) with different crowds of stoners and psychedelic enthusiasts. Although there are exceptions, those I spend time with tend to be:
        • Intelligent and able to think logically and speak coherently. Obviously, this doesn't apply while intoxicated, but then I'm sure even Nobel Prize winners can turn into idiots when they're overindulged, and none of us have won a Nobel Prize yet.
        • Clean and well-groomed. Backwoods camping does
  • Is there a way to print it on blotting paper?

    Sheesh that should have been one of the first comments. Stupid slashdot. And I don't even do drugs. Just sweet, sweet beer.
  • I don't do drugs. In general, they don't interest me. Sure, during my university years I drank like a fish and still enjoy a bottle of wine or a few beers... and yeah... even the odd blinder now and then. I've never done any hard drugs (I don't count the odd joint as a hard drug, and anyway... pot gives me an hour of giggles then three of headaches and paranoia).

    But Acid has always struck me as something interesting. Something I'd like to try.

    So, for the newbie, what's your advice?

    - How do I ensure I'm g
    • - How do I ensure I'm getting the real thing?

      Short of watching them cook it in the lab, you don't know until you've eaten it. many times you just get strychnine. I believe LSD decays into strychnine too. If you get cramps, that's why.

      - What enviroment, music, people etc etc should I be in/with/etc.

      Something low-stress, relaxing, or whatever makes you happy. Whatever makes you happy now though won't necessarily make you happy on your trip.

      - If things go bad, what can others do to help me through it

    • by ktulu1115 ( 567549 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:56PM (#9596073)
      All of your questions (and more) can be answered right here []. But I'll answer these ones directly:

      -Getting the real thing? Only an issue if you choose to do shrooms, potency varies *greatly* between patches. LSD is always returns consistant results. On the other hand, the fungus gets you about 6 hours total, while acid is 12.

      -Music/environment/people? Tough one. Complex subject. I personally like the following: Pink Floyd/outside in the woods (no one else around plus nature is a great setting)/1-2 other people max who are tripping with me as well

      -Things going bad? Always remember you have complete control of the situation. At times you might lose yourself (you will if it's a good/strong enough trip) but keep in mind you can change the way the trip is going at any time. If you feel funny and don't like something almost guaranteed one of three things will change it: Change the music, change the lighting, or go to the bathroom.

      Since you mentioned you have smoked before, I highly recommend doing so right after popping whatever substance you choose. It will make the voyage from reality much smoother and not quite as abrupt. It sorta smacks you hard and fast if you do it sober.

      Only other advice I can give is: "relax, don't panic and enjoy it". Try to take your mind off of what you just did after you eat them so you're not thinking about it all the time. I like to take my watch off and if you're out in nature, take a walk somewhere that will last at least 30 mins, preferably an hour (you'll start to feel it definately by then).
  • by Mr. Bad Example ( 31092 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:45PM (#9596011) Homepage
    "The walls have melted, and my lab assistant Charles has turned into a a lemur that resembles the late Kaiser Wilhelm.

    However, the flying mice assure me that this is perfectly normal."
  • by localman ( 111171 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:48PM (#9596026) Homepage
    I wonder if anyone who has done LSD has also had experience with lucid dreaming []? I have experimented to some degree with lucid dreaming, and after discussing acid trips with friends who've had them, I kind of theorize that LSD is very similar dreaming while awake.

    I'm 30 and I haven't tried LSD. It's not likely that I will, but I don't think it's wrong or particularly dangerous. It's possible I'd try it at some point if I got exceedingly bored with other means of exploring conciousness.

    But for now when I get the inclination for some exploration of conciousness, I just crack out the dream journal and go from there. I guess I think of LSD as cheating a bit. Like steroids or something.

    Of course, someone with experience with both might feel differently.


    • I used to take LSD but haven't in many years. I have been Lucid Dreaming quite a bit in the last few years. They're nothing alike.

      Lucid Dreaming is just knowing that you're in a dream, and doing whatever you want. You know it's a dream, you know there are no consequences. It's like playing a video game. You can stop playing and go about your life.

      LSD completely alters your perceptions and how you think - or how you interpret your thought. You're committed to the experience. You can't just walk out.
  • My first trip... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Superfreaker ( 581067 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @06:07PM (#9596138) Homepage Journal
    My first week at college in undergrad. All decked out in my preppy kahkis and docksiders, trying to fit in, some of the other frosh invited me to a Grateful Dead concert in Boston MA (Fall 1993).

    When I got there I was overwhelmed with sensory overload and I had not taken anything yet. My previous experience up to that point had been some high school binge drinking (think Mad Dog 20/20) and smoking pot a few times.

    One of my new friends scored some paper and he offered to me what looked like a corner of some construction paper, no bigger than what a hole punch would spit out. I didn't think anything like that could do much so I ate it.

    An hour later I'm running around like a mad man, still decked out in a polo shirt and kahkis. It was an awesome experience and from that moment on I felt everyone should do acid at least once in their lives.

    I haven't done it in a few years, but I hope to change that. A lot of stuff builds up in your brain, locked away that needs to be cleansed every once in a while. You may have to fight some deamons along teh way, but once its over, the next day the world is a beautiful new place.
    Happy travels!

  • LSD for programmers (Score:4, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @07:12PM (#9596566) Homepage Journal
    The best book I've read about LSD was one of the first published: John C. Lilly's Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer []. Lilly invented the isolation tank (known from the amusing, but fictional, Frankenstein movie _Altered States_), and wrote Meta/Programming while one of the USA's foremost clinical psychoanalysts, a study for the NIMH just prior to the political outlawing of legitimate LSD research. In it, Lilly totally nails LSD's role as noise in the neurotransmission system, incidentally offering seminal insight into the nascent field of cybernetics (when the most advanced computers were dumber than your watch). And it's a really short book, without all the fancy indulgence in sensory hallucinations and utopian speculation so common in the field.

    Try reading it - you might learn more not only about your self, but about your computer, and how similar you might one day become.
  • by eyepeepackets ( 33477 ) on Friday July 02, 2004 @08:34PM (#9596997)
    He was doing psychotheraputic research with LSD before the Feds decided the research was too dangerous to be continued: Seems there was a considerable loss to the world when this research was shutdown.

    Interesting fella, this Dr. Grof. He has a fine mind and doesn't mind sharing his thinking, whether purely speculative or simply scientific and so his other works are often worth reading as well.

  • by sgage ( 109086 ) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @07:42AM (#9599104)
    If you are interested in how these inter-relate, you might be amused by Art Kleps' account of the Millbrook experiment in the 60's. It is quite informative, and hilarious at times. He can be a bit self-serving (and down right catty) in his take on the various personalities of the time, especially Leary, but even that is hilarious. Warning: Kleps was a nihilistic solipsist. Check it out!

    - Steve

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle