Silicon Valley Has a Surprising New Source of Inspiration

Extremely small doses of hallucinogen supposedly inspire new insights and ideas.

It was one popular solution to expanding mental horizons in the 1960s, influencing the decade’s art and music in multiple ways. LSD—the powerful hallucinogen discovered by a Swiss chemist who was simply trying to make a new decongestant—has never gone away, but as toxic, deadly drugs like crack and smack took over headlines it receded a little from the news. Silicon Valley, reportedRolling Stone, hasn’t forgotten it at all. In fact, the magazine reports that Valley thinkers and tinkerers are bringing it back—albeit in a small way. 

One of Rolling Stone ‘s examples of a new-school LSD user was a startup bro they chose to call “Ken.” Ken is not alone in the Valley; many there are finding that with LSD, just a very little dab will do you:

Ken is one of a growing number of professionals who enjoy taking “microdoses” of psychedelics – in his free time and, occasionally, at the office. “I had an epic time,” he says at the end of one such day. “I was making a lot of sales, talking to a lot of people, finding solutions to their technical problems.”

Microdoses, reported Rolling Stone, are just a tenth of what a user might take to trip balls all night—think just a snip from the corner of one of those small cardboard tabs bearing some cartoon likeness.

Author James Fadiman apparently introduced the idea of beneficial mini-hits of LSD about four years ago. Fadiman told Rolling Stone that so far, experiential reports from San Francisco-area microdosers in particular indicate it beats the hell out of a more legal alternative—Adderall. Just a little taste of LSD, according to Fadiman, is perhaps even better for you than the prescription amphetamine. Rolling Stone quotes him as calling it “an extremely healthy” alternate route into productivity and inspiration. In fact, Fadiman said users report alleviating a host of issues with LSD, including depression and migraines. 

This is all pretty intriguing but it’s a good idea to remember that LSD is still a schedule 1 drug, listed alongside the likes of heroin and ecstasy. That may even be unnecessarily restrictive, but the cops won’t listen to that argument if they catch you hoverboarding trippily through the Valley with a few tabs in your messenger bag.

Still, we’re looking forward to what kind of crazy apps these micro-tripping developers come up with in the future.

Photos by Psychonaught / Wikimedia / Public Domain