Re: Psychedelic singularities

Anders Sandberg (
Sun, 15 Dec 1996 11:13:03 +0100 (MET)

Interesting thread. The moral seems to be that there is an immense
variability of how drugs affect people and modes of thought.

The drugs used right now seem to be blunt instruments to change the
tricky structures in the mind, this is why I prefer cognitive methods of
altering my mind (not that they can't be supplemented with some chemistry

Whether an individual drug has a positive or negative effect probably
depends on exactly how the individual brain is organized; some people
have schemata/neurocircuits that hinder them and can be neutralized by a
certain drug, others have useful structures that are inhibited by the
same drug.

A lot of our thinking is also state-dependent, and doesn't transfer easily
to other states (both due to memory impairment like in sleep or
hallucinogenic experiences or simply being a very different mode of
thought, like in the psychedelic or mystic experience). I think it may be
a good idea to learn about what mental states one can reach, and what
properties they have (some can be surprising, I get better at set theory
when I have a cold and much more creative when dead tired).

The more I study the brain and its function, the more surprised I become
even rudimentary rational thought is possible. That changes in
psychochemistry would cause major changes in thinking and behavior is
obvious, but so far we have only been able to hit single neurotransmittors
or receptors (we are getting better). The next step would probably be
some way to interact with individual brain structures (perhaps determined
by cell morphology?), then we would really be on to something!

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