Re: Hemp

Anders Sandberg (
04 Feb 1998 13:11:33 +0100

Mark Crosby <> writes:

> Anders, later:
> < The problem with drug experiences (or for that
> matter a lot of our subjective experiences) is that
> they are highly unreliable - how much of the effects
> are real, and how much is just delusion? >
> Is it delusion, or merely annecdotal, when certain
> affects are replicated time after time over many
> years of trials, under many different environmental
> conditions, especially when the subject has
> attempted, with varying levels of success, to achieve
> this affect with other substances and methods?

That sounds like anecdotal evidence unless it has been carefully
collected and analysed. I don't trust individual reports like the
above, since they are heavily biased in a lot of directions - most of
the reports are made by people who are convinced about beneficial
effects, each case is completely different from the others, there are
plenty of confunding variables etc. There are a lot of areas where you
could make the same claim, like the danger of swimming shortly after
eating (there is no real danger, but try telling that to a mother) or
the dangers of electromagnetic fields (where the real dangers appear
to be rather diffuse). I prefer more careful studies, even if the
anecdotal evidence may sound convincing.

> Perhaps the more serious delusion is the belief that
> useful information can be obtained primarily by
> chemical studies of the effects of a single substance
> without sufficient regard to the "set and setting"
> influences that Michael mentions.

The goal IMHO should be drugs that are as independent of set and
setting as possible - they should work even if you don't believe in
them. Sure, set and setting can build a lot on this, but without a
strong pharmacological basis you could as well eat sugar pills and use
the placebo constructively.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y