Links for The Post: Psychedelics and the Evolution of Information Technologies: Richard Doyle online lecture, 9 October Webcast from Rice University: Event Site
The webcast will go live 20 minutes before the scheduled start time which is October 9th, 4 PM EDT. Here is the abstract of the talk:
Before its possession became a criminal offense in the United States, the psychedelic compound LSD-25 was given to engineers and designers to break "creative logjams" and promote innovation in the Cold War United States. In the late 1950′s and early 1960′s, for example, the Ampex Corporation(inventor of the Video Tape Recorder) studied the effects of LSD on their engineers, and the result was a growing body of literature and data on psychedelic regimens and their effects on technical innovation.
These regimens included precise and intensive algorithms for
psychedelic experience such as the epigraph above – although essentially ineffable, psychedelic experience was treated as fundamentally and essentially programmable. This talk will offer an historical, evolutionary and ecological framework for comprehending and evaluating recent claims by innovators such as Mitch Kapor (Lotus, spreadsheets), Mark Pesce(Virtual Reality Markup Language) and Kary Mullis (Polymerase Chain Reaction) that psychedelics played an integral role in the invention of their breakthrough information technologies. Given the importance of programming to psychedelic experience, the talk will suggest that psychedelic adjuncts were useful to engineers and scientists less because they "expanded" consciousness than because they trained subjects in practices of focused attention.
Continuing his collaborative work on the “transhuman imperative”, Doyle is currently completing the trilogy with a scholarly book about archaic and contemporary psychedelic media technologies and the evolution of mind. Other current projects include [a novel about the life of writer Philip K. Dick and a book, Admixtures: Dialogues After Genomics with Mark Shriver. Doyle directs the Penn State Composition Program and serves as Expert, Wetwares and Human/Machine interaction for international organizations.
You can visit the site linked at the top to get more information or to view the webcast at the appropriate time.