Monday, May 07, 2007

Timothy Leary's Dead

As ANK points out in yesterday’s comment, Timothy Leary’s predictive faculties could have been regularly clouded by certain chemicals. Reading his list of predictions from ca. 1981 reminded me of 1981 itself, when Leary spoke at Vanderbilt. He was in predictive mood at that time, I guess, since he told us about some of the wonders ahead. The main burr up his butt was space travel: it was due to change everything in the decades ahead. Everything!

But I also recall a couple of promised pharmaceuticals, and I can only ask now, with hindsight and the experience of decades behind me: where are they? It wouldn’t be long, he thought, before you could take a pill to “become more horny than you’ve ever been!” You might say Viagra, but I don’t think that’s quite what he had in mind.

Then there was “businessman’s acid,” which he thought was going to be quite a hit (no pun intended). He didn’t identify it by name, but I assume he meant the extremely intense hallucinogen DMT, whose effects only last a few minutes. I can only speculate why there has been a crack epidemic or a meth problem or the popularity of ecstasy, instead of a businessman’s acid boom, since I have no first-hand experience with any of those. But it seems that DMT is entirely too strong for a short recreational break. You might take it during lunch, but it sure would be hard to go back to work after meeting your spirit dwarf guide for a quick tour of the nine pastures of Goloka, complete with dancing cows.

Anyway, it just goes to show you how hard making good predictions is. Timothy Leary missed the boat when it came to predicting drug trends, of all things.


At 8:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Cows! I hate cows worse than coppers."
attr. George "Babyface" Nelson

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dees do you remember the date on which Leary came to campus?


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