LSD should be legal, but IMO many people overrate it. It seems like a typical trip creates "insights" that can't be communicated and don't have much effect on the world afterwards— Alyssa Vance (@alyssamvance) June 21, 2022
FWIW I've recounted my own adventure in Touchstones • Strange Encounters • Strange Poems • the beginning of an intellectual life.
An Ethnographer from Mars
In the Abidjan of 1973-75, I discovered all at once the most predatory forms of capitalism, the methods of ethnography, and the puzzles of anthropology. And one puzzling question in particular that has never left me: why do we use the ideas of modernity, the modernizing frontier, the contrast between modern and premodern, before we even apply to those who call themselves civilizers the same methods of investigation that we apply to the “others” – those whom we claim, if not to civilize entirely, then at least to modernize a little? ...
There was a flagrant asymmetry here: the Whites anthropologized the Blacks, yes, quite well, but they avoided anthropologizing themselves. Or else they did so in a falsely distant, “exotic” fashion, by focusing on the most archaic aspects of their own society – communal festivals, belief in astrology, first communion meals – and not on what I was seeing with my own eyes (eyes educated, it is true, by a collective reading of L’Anti-Oedipe): industrial technologies, economization, “development,” scientific reasoning, and so on: in other words, everything that makes up the structural heart of the expanding empires.
Whence the idea of applying the methods of the social sciences, ethnography in particular, to the most modern practices.
How could one explain that, here too, the appeal to an abusive transcendence had been able to dissimulate the layer of texts, of documents, that had to be continuously rewoven in order to produce a truth that could not be based, try as one might, on a firmer foundation? Was it possible that scientific veridiction was as far away from Double-Click information as the latter is from religious truth – in which case we would find ourselves faced with three types of veridiction, each entirely distinct from the others and true in its own genre and its own fashion?
At roughly the same time a rather different group of investigators was attempting to make sense of the experiences afforded by psychedelic drugs and by meditation. One of them, a psychologist named
Work, Love, Play, Adventure