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LSD Microdosing Gaining Popularity For Silicon Valley Professionals (rollingstone.com) 446

An anonymous reader writes: Rolling Stone reports that an unusual new trend is popping up around the offices of Silicon Valley companies: taking tiny doses of LSD or other psychedelic drugs to increase productivity. "A microdose is about a tenth of the normal dose – around 10 micrograms of LSD, or 0.2-0.5 grams of mushrooms." According to the article, the average user is a 20-something looking to improve their creativity and problem-solving skills. Some users report that the LSD alleviates other problems, like anxiety or cluster headaches. That said, it's important to note that such benefits are not supported by scientific research — yet.
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LSD Microdosing Gaining Popularity For Silicon Valley Professionals

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  • Important to note (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2015 @10:17AM (#51012869)

    I guess it isn't important to note that this is a Schedule I compound? That many people are jailed for life over such things? That if they were not rich silicon valley elite there's a good chance their lives would be ruined for doing such a thing?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tomknight ( 190939 )

      Indeed.

      I'm tired of the total acceptance of drug taking in the higher echelons of society. The little jokes in the media world about powdering your nose, about the use of Bolivian Marching Powder to help get through deadlines.

      These are drugs, no matter how wealthy or powerful you are, and using these drugs helps criminals.

      Let's have a little equality.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2015 @10:34AM (#51012957)

        Right! Drugs should be available to all.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2015 @10:37AM (#51012977)

        Fortunately LSD has very little association with violent organized crime. The profit is way too low for them to bother, as it's not addictive (in fact, after taking it you cannot take it again within a few days).

        • Maybe not minority street gangs. LSD and ecstasy were the drugs of choice in the early aughts within the rave scene. I have seen one prominent dealer gunned down in the parking lot of a venue for a backpack full of either/or, and plenty of violence jockeying for the position of local dealer at the venues. Profit margins are HUGE because the cost to make either is minimal if you have the lab. An individual hit is pennies to produce and sells for up to 20$.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2015 @10:37AM (#51012979)

        My point was really that we should take this enthusiasm and use it to push for legalization so it ISN'T just a rich man's game.

        Instead over the past 10-15 years we have expanded prosecution of the Analog Act to ban anything REMOTELY psychedelic.

      • by Kokuyo ( 549451 )

        I agree, let's stop it with this prohibition bullshit.

        • by DamonHD ( 794830 ) <d@hd.org> on Friday November 27, 2015 @10:56AM (#51013063) Homepage

          Exactly: GP is attempting to fix the wrong problem...

          Regulate, manage, tax, but don't prohibit except possibly a tiny number. Two of the four most harmful drugs are alcohol and nicotine so we should be able to regulate most of the rest at least as well...

          Rgds

          Damon

          • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Friday November 27, 2015 @03:13PM (#51014453) Homepage Journal

            Funny thing, strip the nicotine from the terrible delivery system (and the MAOIs it contains) and nicotine becomes much more benign.

            But in general, most of the actual harm from drugs comes from the prohibition itself.

          • by HiThere ( 15173 )

            They are by no means the most harmful drugs. Belladona would be a good choice if that was what you were considering.

            Tobacco and nicotine are two of the most attractive of the moderately harmful drugs. Most people aren't really attracted to strychnine.

            What happened is there is a puritanical groups that seized control, and they decided that they had the right to tell everyone what they should be like, and that what they should be like is the way god made them. There are advantages to this as well as disadv

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        These are drugs, no matter how wealthy or powerful you are, and using these drugs helps criminals.

        Only if you acquire them through illegal channels. If you can obtain them through your doctor (or from confiscated drugs if you have friends at DEA) you don't help criminals.

        Still, being tired is the way your body tells you to slow down. While studies haven't been done on these drugs in particular we know that using caffeine instead of sleeping is bad for you in the long run. I don't see how any other drugs will be different.
        Any substitute for sleep and relaxation is going to be a lot more complex than just

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The music industry has a well documented path for those who think this is the solution to higher creativity, higher productivity, and dealing with crunch times.
        In fact, it is not hard to find a dozen well known names that have passed due to drug overdose, in the industry that "used" them just to get through the schedules.

        And these aren't stupid people. They were good enough to learn how to play instruments better than you or I, train their voices for singing, and in some cases write their own music. They

        • One could not practically OD on LSD using any kind of reasonable street dosage. However, it Heroin or alcohol, yes, but there is a huge gap between the effective doses of lethal doses. A lethal dose of LSD would require the equivalent of chugging several hundred beers.
        • The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long

        • A memorable life experience was seeing a debate between Timothy Leary and G. Gordon Liddy. If you want to know what a life of using LSD is like, Leary was the poster child.

          Of course, another memorable life experience was a mushroom shake in Haad Rin at the full moon party, but I digress...

      • by GLMDesigns ( 2044134 ) on Friday November 27, 2015 @10:55AM (#51013055)
        Of course if it was legal one wouldn't be "helping" criminals now would we?
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        " and using these drugs helps criminals."

        Wait, I'm confused. Exactly how does using these drugs help the US Government?

        • by plopez ( 54068 )

          By spreading fear and creating a need for prisons for contractors, guards, cops, wardens, etc.

          • The "Spreading Fear" part doesn't make any sense to me; perhaps you could give an example.

            To your second point you have confused "using" with "possessing." Possessing them certainly helps them that way if they can catch you, and we are on the same wavelength of course, but when I am using LSD those silly men with tin badges can't do a thing. They certainly aren't going to find 5 to 500 micrograms of LSD in my system, and then confiscate it :-)

            It wasn't uncommon in the old days for people to circle up, an
            • there is literally no way they can arrest the 50 people in a circle for possession

              I'd suggest taking a long hard look at how the federal conspiracy laws are written and utilized in this country. There are many many people rotting away in prisons across the US for doing a lot less association with "criminal activity" than what you've suggested here. Sucks but it's true.

      • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2016q1@virtual-estates.net> on Friday November 27, 2015 @11:40AM (#51013285) Homepage Journal

        Let's have a little equality.

        Absolutely. Maybe, LSD should not be prohibited to begin with. Maybe, nothing should be prohibited at all — citizens of a free country ought to have the right to kill themselves in any way they wish. But the rules must be the same for everyone.

        On that note, I argue for automated law-enforcement wherever practical — such as with traffic-cameras, which would fine an upstanding resident of the same town just as much as passer-by from 2 states away.

      • by plopez ( 54068 )

        So what? That's just anopion, not a logical argument. Also the only reason criminals are involved in illegal drugs is because the drugs are illegal.

      • If the worst thing about drugs is that buying them helps criminals, I think the solution to that would be easy...

      • I have done over a year total in jail (Georgia, USA), mainly for marijuana possession (also not reporting to probation), less than an ounce, no intent to distribute. This was mostly due to having to use the crappy public defender, which are usually working more closely with the prosecutor and the judge rather than the defendant. I was falsely arrested in Santa Monica, CA for "possession of burglar tools", an electric lockpick I had made myself. I spent a few nights in jail and the public defender gave me a

      • Indeed.

        I'm tired of the total acceptance of drug taking in the higher echelons of society. The little jokes in the media world about powdering your nose, about the use of Bolivian Marching Powder to help get through deadlines.

        These are drugs, no matter how wealthy or powerful you are, and using these drugs helps criminals.

        Let's have a little equality.

        You only help criminals by criminalizing drugs.

      • ..., and using these drugs helps criminals.

        On the contrary. Making these drugs illegal helps the criminals. If you could buy these drugs in the supermarket (like that other drug, alcohol), no criminal would be interested.

      • There is no good reason for these drugs to be illegal, and they are not manufactured by organized crime cartels that import cocaine and heroin. LSD is much more potent, so a small batch distributed among friends goes a long log way. Furthermore, most of the manufacturers are chemists associated with tech; its somewhere between a hobby and a religious devotion. Think of LSD more like making beer during prohibition, and sharing with friends. If you think that someone who made beer during prohibition is a c
      • by sudon't ( 580652 ) on Friday November 27, 2015 @03:57PM (#51014637)

        I'm tired at the lack of acceptance, entirely based on ignorance and received disinformation.

        The important question to ask is, how does the government have the right to tell people what they can and cannot consume? After all, it took a constitutional amendment to prohibit the sale and manufacture of alcohol, yet, they could not prohibit the consumption! Our forefathers still understood they did not possess this right over citizens. How was this lost? In what way are other drugs any different? Indeed, most recreational drugs are, if not entirely harmless, certainly less harmful than alcohol. The majority of harms associated with drug use are a direct result of prohibition, not the drugs themselves. The truth is, the government does not have this right. Drug prohibition is simply unconstitutional. The federal government has usurped the Constitution via the Commerce Clause, which has been interpreted to allow the government to do practically anything.

        Why does drug-taking help criminals? Because taking drugs has been criminalized. Let us not forget that all drug prohibition has its roots in racism. "Health" is a much later justification, a justification made necessary by the slow erosion of the acceptability of overt racism, and made possible only by prohibition itself.

    • by plopez ( 54068 )

      As a drug it is safer, at a pharmaceutical level of purity, than alcohol. However, street acid can be a bit spotting in terms of quality.

    • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday November 27, 2015 @11:52AM (#51013395)
      such things don't apply. In America we have a multi-tiered justice system. It's pretty well documented. Wealthy and educated people get treatment programs, while poor (and let's face it, black) people get jail. It's because what we're really using our drug policy for is to keep the poors in check. Think of it this way. If your poor chances are you or one of your friends is using drugs to cope with poverty. Now, our drug laws, in particular our asset forfeiture laws are basically guilt by association. Combine that with juries that are inherently conservative (since you generally have to be well off to be able to afford to server on a jury for any length of time).

      So when poor people show up in wealthy neighborhoods they not only stick out like a swore thumb, but odds are good the cops can bust them for the drugs at least one of them is carrying. This keeps poor people out of wealthy school districts and parks, and lets the wealthy enjoy their (much, much better) public services.

      Basically, our drug policy is central to maintaining our class divide...
    • I guess it isn't important to note that this is a Schedule I compound?

      Yes, that is correct. It i not important to note that for numerous reasons. The first and most obvious is that your statement is US specific, and there is rest of a whole world outside US Borders. But that isn't the biggest reason the information is completely irrelevant. This is a matter of science. While the power mongers would love to be able to legislate the facts, they can only misrepresent them in order to pass offensive laws;

  • Obvious idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Friday November 27, 2015 @10:31AM (#51012941) Homepage

    Actually, I'm surprised that it's taken so long for this idea to be tried.

    LSD was the first of the serotonin-modification drugs to be discovered; and apparently the most potent of them. The problem with LSD use in the '50s and '60s was that the doses were so high that the users went off on psychedelic trips. Serotonin modification drugs developed later, starting with the SSRI family such as Prozac and its derivatives and work-alike compounds, turned out to be very valuable in treating depression (although they have their own side effects). The idea of switching back to the original serotonin-modification drug, LSD, but using it at a dosage that doesn't cause the tripping, always seemed like an obvious approach to try.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2015 @10:53AM (#51013049)

      "The problem with LSD use in the '50s and '60s ... "
      Problem? What problem?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by aliquis ( 678370 )

        "The problem with LSD use in the '50s and '60s ... "
        Problem? What problem?

        60s? What 60s?

  • So this is like homeopathic drugs where you get all the effects of getting high minus the hangover?
  • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Friday November 27, 2015 @10:32AM (#51012949)
    How we got the Internet of Things.
  • This might just explain some of the product/service claims that sales persons tend to make.

  • The problem... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by i.r.id10t ( 595143 ) on Friday November 27, 2015 @10:35AM (#51012965)

    The problem I see with this - and base this statement on first hand experience - is that you either tend to be very distracted and always looking at the next thing, or you tend to be incredible focused on one single thing for a very long time.

    Granted, dosing wasn't an exact science and far from measured, much less consistency of product between uses. And the only "micro" part of any dose I did was when a friend found some 15+ year old purple microdots when he was moving (they still worked, sorta... only had a couple and there were 4 or 5 of us sharing them and we all ended up adding some blotter to our systems to really get going)

    • The problem I see with this - and base this statement on first hand experience - is that you either tend to be very distracted and always looking at the next thing, or you tend to be incredible focused on one single thing for a very long time.

      My brain is like that already without any help from drugs! So does this mean I'm living a free, perpetual low-level acid trip?

  • Micro doses of potent drugs explains the whole concept of windows 8 and a lot of the invisible features of iphone operating systems. Yep - I've been wondering if they were on drugs as the current designs kinda look like it.

  • We could take a break when we hit a creative block.

    • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

      We could take a break when we hit a creative block.

      Take that crap with you to Canada, you Commie.

  • Digging through older code the only logical conclusion I can reach is a lot of LSD must have been involved.

  • The Reply All podcast did an episode on this. One of the podcasters even went as far as microdosing himself to see if it really worked. It made for an interesting show:

    https://gimletmedia.com/episod... [gimletmedia.com]

    (I don't work for Gimlet. I just thought that it was a good episode.)

  • Now I think I know what he was on. We knew he didn't know what he was talking about and he spewed out Death by PowerPoint that was so bad.

    He had to have been on something like LSD to convince himself that he was so damn good, or a damned God.

    Very short half life.

  • LSD doses at tripping strength are tiny by measurement standards. How are they cutting something measured in such tiny amounts with any accuracy? And how do they know the strength of their sources?

    • Dissolve a tab in 1L water. Mix well. Pour 100 mL portions as needed
    • by clovis ( 4684 )

      LSD doses at tripping strength are tiny by measurement standards. How are they cutting something measured in such tiny amounts with any accuracy? And how do they know the strength of their sources?

      This, and also, we know how people are.
      If they don't get that creative flash with 10 micrograms, they'll keep taking more throughout the day.
      And then he's going to try to drive home.

  • Whatever fancy term you call it, taking drugs at work doesn't sound like an entirely sane thing to do, and most certainly not a longterm solution to anything. Because you just know it will become somewhat compulsory once this new creativity becomes the new norm and you won't be able to keep up sober. Oh, Silly Cone Valley...

  • It can help reduce prison recidivism. See http://www.psypost.org/2014/01... [psypost.org]

    The first studies on this were done in the 50's and 60's by Leary et. al. , who also pioneered the use of group therapy for prisoners.

    It also seems to help alcoholics. If you google it up you will find that it has a huge potential for therapeutic use and Further research.

    Despite growing evedence for useful applications of LSD it was banned in 1966 in a "Reefer Madness" like hysteria.

  • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Friday November 27, 2015 @02:59PM (#51014375) Journal
    That explains a lot about the recent trends in UIs...

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