SILICON VALLEY (KRON) — With all the pressure to create the next new big thing, some tech workers in Silicon Valley are venturing off the beaten path to find an edge over the competition.
KRON4’s Technology Reporter Gabe Slate met with techies who told him they are using psychedelic drugs to boost their focus, motivation and creativity
LSD, or acid, exploded on the Bay Area scene in the mid 60’s with the counter culture movement on Haight Ashbury Street in San Francisco.
In 1970, the U.S. government exiled this psychedelic drug deeming it a dangerous illegal drug with no known medical value.
Today, LSD is still illegal but is still being used, for some in smaller doses for totally different reasons.
“It’s not a party time, what it is, is more creativity because I am more deeply connected to the work that I do. I would say I am more present in the moment while I’m working on this task if I’m microdosing.”
Microdosing is taking one tenth of a normal dose of LSD.
George Burke is currently on a regiment of microdosing every three days.
“I can feel and juggle the problem in my head a little better. I can see it from multiple angles.”
George founded and sold three start-ups, he is the current chief marketing officer of a start-up that delivers customized smart=meals through an app.
He says by taking a small amount of LSD he doesn’t trip out, hallucinate or feel intoxicated, it just clears the fog in his head and helps him work through complex projects.
“It’s offers a way for me to turn something that should not be visual into a type of visual memory that I could tangibly grasp,” George said.
“When you have some of your best ideas when going for a run or something, just imagine that, but stronger,” Sam Parr said.
Sam Parr is the founder of ‘The Hustle’, a popular tech and business news website among start-ups, entrepreneurs, and investors in the Silicon Valley.
There is a story on his website from an anonymous writer who microdosed over the course of 14 days. The article details the experience. Parr says once the writer started microdosing, everyone in the office immediately noticed a difference.
“When you go to work every day and you are surrounded by people who think similarly to you it’s easy to get caught in this box. In the same way that when you travel to a new city and meet new people you can come up with new ideas.. see things in a new perspective… it’s almost like that but never having to leave your surroundings”
Parr says techies are finding it easy to get the drug online.
“Having access to the dark web… we are able to try some of these things that previously…there’s a huge barrier to entry. So it’s a combination of easy access slightly destigmatized and increase awareness of these smart drugs.”
There has been an interest in psychedelics dating back to the rise of Apple.
“Every tech nerd idolizes Steve Jobs and he wrote about how taking LSD in India changed his life and helped him think out of the box.”
The man turning the light on for all these techies is a psychologist and one of the lead researchers in psychedelics, doctor James Fadiman.
His book the “Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide” that first introduced the idea of microdosing and how to do it.
“More focus, better attention, and ‘higher pattern recognition’ which is one the keystones of creativity,” Fadiman said.
He said he hears from dozens of new people a month who have tried microdosing and have had a positive experience.
“As one young man said, if I have a coding problem, that may be a day that I microdose.”
Doctor Moshe Lewis is based in Mountain View. He says lately, more of his tech worker patients have been asking him about microdosing and if it’s a safe way to get that edge.
“A big concern about microdosing is most of us are not chemists, and even a good chemists would have a challenge being able to figure out exactly how much could be used to achieve a benefit.”
LSD is not known for being physically addictive but doctor lewis fears users can become dependent on it craving that boost of creativity.
More about microdosing:
Book – A REALLY GOOD DAY by Ayelet Waldman –
A revealing, courageous, fascinating and funny account of the author’s experiment with microdoses of LSD in an effort to treat a debilitating mood disorder, of her quest to understand a misunderstood drug, and of her search for a really good day – http://www.ayeletwaldman.com/
Book – The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide http://www.psychedelicexplorersguide.com
Dr. James Fadiman – http://www.jamesfadiman.com & https://sites.google.com/view/microdosingpsychedelics/home
Dr. Moshe Lewis MD, MBA, MPH, QME – Founder / CEO/ Physiatrist Golden Gate Institute for Integrative Medicine or GGIIM – http://www.ggiim.org/
MeetUp – Peak Performance – https://www.meetup.com/PeakPerformance/
Do you want to have all-day energy? Improve memory? Get sick less? Stop destructive habits? Improve mood? Lose fat and gain muscle? Get great sleep nightly? Run a marathon? Be more present? In this meetup, we will all learn the shortest path to these and many more goals by hearing from experts and learning about cutting edge consumer technology wearables, devices, tracking softwares, and services to quantifiably measure progress toward our goals.
The Hustle article Microdose experiment – http://thehustle.co/how-to-lsd-microdose
MAPS – Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies – Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana – http://www.maps.org
MAPS – Psychedelic Conference April 19-24, 2017 — Oakland, California
At Psychedelic Science 2017, the international scientific community will come together to share and discover new research into the benefits and risks of MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, ketamine, ibogaine, medical marijuana, and more.
Reddit – Microdosing – https://www.reddit.com/r/microdosing