The very first Quantified Self meetup, held at Kevin Kelly’s home. Here, Dr. Seth Roberts is speaking, and I’m seated third from the right. (Photo: Kevin Kelly)
Below are the notes I took at the very first Quantified Self meet-up on 9/10/08.
It was held in the picturesque home of Kevin Kelly, the founding editor of WIRED magazine. Surrounded by books, wood paneling, and white boards, we had one hell of a jam session.
From that small, 28-person gathering, “QS” has since grown into a pop-culture term and international phenomenon, with organizations in more than 20 countries. Forbes has even called 2013 “The Year of the Quantified Self.”
Here’s where it started…
Next, just for fun…
Next, just for fun: a term paper (and some random notes) from my sophomore year in college. It’s far from perfect, but it explores some worthwhile questions.
The late Professor Hoebel, a pioneer in food addiction research, was a fascinating man and incredible teacher. This paper was written when I was interested in later joining the lab of Dr. Barry Jacobs, which was focused on brain monoamine neurotransmitters. Alas, I couldn’t hack the requisite animal testing and later switched from neuroscience to East Asian Studies with a focus on language acquisition.
And now to the question: could LSD function as a cognitive enhancer? Hmmm…
For posts on my own self-experimentation, click here and scroll through.
A huge styrofoam robot — one of many wonders in Kevin Kelly’s home. (Photo: Telstar Logistics)
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.
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90 Replies to “The First-Ever Quantified Self Notes (Plus: LSD as Cognitive Enhancer?)”
Quantified Self is getting huge. I wish I was at that first meeting 🙂
I’m not a fan of the new blog design / color scheme. It doesn’t look as professional or appealing as the previous design. The content section also seems smaller.
The overall aesthetics aren’t as pleasing in my opinion.
I appreciate the feedback. That’s how this works, after all 🙂
What would be your ideal design/scheme?
The vibrant green on the sides is distracting and straining to the eyes. Earth tones, very light colors, or very dark colors seem to be best to me. Compare to some of these: http://spyrestudios.com/creative-blog-design-layouts/
Agree on the color- it looks like a bad diaper…….
Agree that the current design could use some work, but I checked out Christopher’s link and with just a few exceptions those were way too busy. I’d find some more attractive sidebar colors and add just a few simple html elements.
The designs you showed are no doubt great but those are for people who have more to to show off than to teach. For readers this design and layout is spot on (I’m not saying perfect) because the width is narrow which keeps more focus on the actual content + the darker background works as a “Turn off the light” extension where more focus is emphasized on the center.
If you even study conversion optimization these things do matter 🙂
I have some experience in this field. If you’re interested, I’d be happy to see if I can help you improve the blog design.
Also, the search field is hidden on small screens. While out and about recently, using the site on my phone, I had to wait till I was back home at my laptop to find what I wanted.
It would be nice to have that in somewhere. Even as a small magnifying glass icon that wouldn’t interfere much with the small header screen real estate. Clicking the icon could slide reveal the search field.
Agree : )
Almoust entered out from here thought it is wrong page
That. Is. So cool.
Any chance someone has/will perform a similar experiment?
Really cool to see the notes and thought processes on paper, thanks Tim!
This is why I love this blog. I can find validation for my good and my bad habits…
Tim, can we get some music related posts? I’ll totally reblog on Exit 77.
Hip hop head? Maybe…
Check out the “80/20 Guitar” as a start! Hopefully more to come….
Tim, you rock man! From the language learning to the travels, you are living my dream life. Keep up the good work.
So, this proposed experiment is interesting to think about. Memory is a huge science and could be an awesome new market. My question is… have you ever tested on yourself and what was your experience?
=) I’m headed to a QS meeting in Boston tonight (went to one two weeks ago too) to talk about telomere measurement and tracking. TeloMe has a new saliva-based, DTC telomere analysis that they’re offering for $99/test (via Indiegogo: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/telome-telomere-testing-take-control-of-your-long-term-health/). Very cool. I’m always impressed to meet self-quantifiers. They are, by definition, stranger than most, but also uniquely important to everyone. Who else but a QS-er would determine that 3 hours of wearing orange-tinted glasses before bedtime helps reduce the time to sleep? Awesome group. Glad to be a part.
Btw, you can learn more about the low-cost telomere testing on TeloMe’s website: http://www.telome.com/index.php
this is spam
This is not spam. This is a related…plug. But it’s a plug for something interesting and relevant to this thread of ideas: deep-diving into self-quantification. But thank you for the criticism.
Why not? LSD can cure alcoholism.
Hopefully one day it will become acceptable again to further these type of studies and gather more hard scientific data instead of the usual scare-mongering stuff.
[Guided] self-experimentation for the win 😉
Tim, the fact that you were able to write ‘just a term’ paper as shown above shows that you are definitely not one of the general populace who happened to make it big…you had the right cognitive baseline to start the interesting and well-published life journey you find yourself currently on.
Don’t stop the journey any time soon… it is too fascinating to follow!
I agree. His journey has been very inspirational to me. I am also a teacher. Now a days I am back in my country ( Spain ) and my hometown. The economic crisis, paralleled with an illness and my start up closing after 7 years kinda forced me to return home. Thanks to lessons like Tim´s I can keep connected to like minded people and keep my morale. Both things are not easy in Spain´s general economic and social mindset. THANK YOU
It saddens me, and makes me enraged too, knowing that there are drugs, aswell as natural cures, out there improving and curing “lost” cases but there are restrictions making it difficult to access them. ( I am not speaking about LSD in particular, but I am saying…why not? I am sure it is worth a serious trial )
James Fadiman in his book The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide
writes about studies he did on LSD and creativity, before it became illegal to do so. He had experts from different industries prepare with problems that they couldt solve and had tried for some time, to try to solve them under the influence of LSD and therapy. The result was very promising, and many breakthroughs was made. He also mention the use of small doses of LSD, around 10 mcg, as nootropic. This dose will give a extra edge, you’ll be more creative, achieve flow much more easy and so on. In my on experience its quite a powerful tool for solving difficult problems.
Interesting to see some information on LSD research. Haven’t seen anything “mainstream” in a while. 🙂
Awesome post. It’s so important to be around like minded people and stay creative.
I have a bit of a tough time with “staying in the mix” because I’m living in the Chicago suburbs and have a 2 year old kid.
Thanks for sharing your notes. Really makes the experience concrete.
Lately I have had much success with micro-doses at 20-70 mcg as a generalized nootropic. Non-hallucinogenic, promotes flow, dissolves the ego. Much calmer and more balanced for the following month; no noted downsides.
Immediate duration still lasts the full ~8 hours so best not to have too much on the docket for that day (other than writing/creating, etc). You’re functional, but alone time is still best. Really great for bringing things to the surface that the subconscious has been wrestling with.
Easy to get from vetted sellers on the ‘silk road’ using the Tor browser. Great for monthly insights in-between an annual hero dose. Worth trying.
Thanks for the comment, Todd. What is your dosing schedule/amount to produce the “following month” effect you write about here?
“Much calmer and more balanced for the following month; no noted downsides.”
I’ve experimented with a few schedules and amounts. Initially I bought a few pieces of blotter advertised as being 150mcg and cut them into 4ths, to roughly 35 mcg a pop. I was solely looking for nootropic benefits, not just wasting time or escaping reality. My first experience was with 1 of these (35mcg) and was the first time I’ve done anything past drinking or the very occasional weed vape.
It was fantastic and easily one of the best experiences of my life. There were a few phases: the first 2 hours were very clear (sharper vision, brighter colors), hours 3-4 were very goofy and euphoric (laughing to myself for no reason, dancing alone to music in my room), hours 5-6 were very introspective (opened a notepad file on my desktop and poured amazing insights out) and hours 7-8 were very focused with extra bloodflow to the prefrontal cortex (intellectual music, like Dylan, was not only very stimulating but really shook me to my core and connected).
I was much more focused in the following days and weeks; not in my usual speedy overcompensation, but more of a relaxed, balanced, constant clarity. Outside judgements and norms became totally irrelevant (i already did my own thing, but this took it to the next level). Striving for external rewards and acceptance became pointless; like the neurochemical backend to agreeing conceptually with “Fight Club”.
Which is not to say I became some passive hippy. On the contrary, I’ve experienced passion and energy like never before since. Its just that its 100% self-directed.. and whenever someone disagrees with me, I now just smile. It’s cute. Like I’m on a higher plane of consciousness and awareness. “They know not what they do”. Let the masses have their distractions.
I did 2 of those 1/4ths (thus 70mcg) 2 weeks later when I was a bit drowsy one day and had determined that the day was already a waste, so why not try and salvage it. No euphoria that time, but still some great insights. Fundamental truths about my character and path. Like a mirror directly to the soul. Also opened me up emotionally- have since gotten much, much closer with the difficult factions of my family and friends. No more repressions: I cry at movies now. But, again, not just some sissy: so long as “Rudy” isn’t playing, the emotional pendulum swings in the other direction and I’m more driven and forceful than ever before. Think Steve Jobs.
After a little more experimentation I’ve decided that 35-70mcg no more than once per month (marginal benefits after first use of the month; receptor downregulation, etc), and no fewer than once per quarter (significant benefits so long as it is segmented), is an ideal dosing schedule. After about 6 weeks one time I noticed myself becoming more of a dick (had been experimenting with lots of fasting; neurochemically shifting back into a ‘scarcity’ mindset, rather than ideal ‘abundance’) and 35mcg got me right back to being whole again.
If you’re on the fence in regards to what lies ahead for your next chapter, I can’t recommend it enough.
Lastly I’m a big fan and beneficiary of your work. If you’d like to discuss any of this in more depth, including easiest/safest procurement, I would be happy to help- stratford dot td at gmail. I’m the guy who brought you the bottle of rombauer carneros at the end of the panera bread 5th ave NYC 4HC signing in november.. still owe you though.
interesting.Think it would aid in luring in the females?
Haha — it doesn’t hurt. It definitely helps with self-actualization, inner confidence, “inner game”, etc.
Its a two sided coin though. You notice people chasing the wrong things and ignorant of their shackles; dumb girls trolling for D can be even more annoying than usual. But, other times I’m at peace with those types and despite our differences can just have a fun time.
When you meet the right girl, the emotional connection is way stronger than usual, which is a big plus.
It’s more of a fringe benefit than a main draw. More direct results with “noFap” [http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap] ..
It makes you less interested in racking up a huge body count and more interested in finding a real partner though. Fair warning!
The first paragraph was what I was wondering about. Yea my interest in now piqued ,might have to give it a shot, thanks for reply.
This probably goes without saying [at least to Tim] but effects will vary considerably depending on whether one has a full/empty stomach prior to dosing [and, to a diminishing extent, afterwards].
Anyone planning to follow Todd down the rabbit hole of self-experimentation should keep that in mind.
I think the benefits of LSD microdosing are overstated.
Not too long ago, I finished a well-powered 120-day-long randomized blind self-experiment using ~15ug microdoses. I analyzed metrics including a daily self-rating of mood and daily scores from spaced repetition memorization software. There was a negative decrease in the self-rating which almost reached significance, no effect on the memory scores, and no effect on the other metrics except a sleep metric.
This is, as far as I or Fadiman know, the only such self-experiment ever done. Since it was methodologically infinitely better than any of the anecdotes circulated online…
Threshold effects start for most subjects around 30mcg. Half a fluid ounce of beer seems “overrated” also.
The dose might make the poison, but it also makes the medicine.
You do understand the concept of ‘microdosing’, right? LSD microdosing is not done with >30ug doses. At doses that high, you begin tripping. Normal LSD microdosing is done with <=15ug, which is the range my microdoses fell into.
The word microdosing is just a placeholder for the concept of taking enough to feel something but not so much that you go trippy.
So a statement like “microdosing is not done with >30mcg doses” is not as concrete as you make it out to be. Everyone’s tolerance is different.
If your “microdose” experiment was using amounts that were too small to even really register, perhaps next time you could try using a bit more.
Think you need to go check out the testimonials of ayahuasca at http://forums.ayahuasca.com/viewforum.php?f=30&sid=754597f0be93e77fca623ac15dec1e7a if your into some next level mind altering stuff.
This is also a fascinating cousin:
To everyone: as with all such things, caveat emptor and do your homework. Drugs aren’t to be taken lightly, whether aspirin, LSD, or otherwise.
This shit needs to go mainstream for sure. Cool to see your already on the ball tho.
I’ve heard you say this many times regarding drugs: “Do your homework.” To me, there are a ton of studies on every drug, and conflicting studies at that.
I’d love to see a post about your process for researching a drug and sifting through the immense amount of studies and forum hear-say. For example – you hear about Provigil for the very first time and it sounds interesting. How do you “do your homework”?
That would definitely be helpful.
I’ve certainly found 5-Meo-DMT very interesting. Not entirely hallucinogenic though, and much more ‘power’ than a ‘glory’. Bufo Alvarius venom is a particularly interesting source of it. However, if you really want to hit the reset switch, pure DMT is a much more engaging prospect..
Its nice to see you like my site Liam (Ayahuasca.com) 🙂
I heard you on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast and you were great. Just recently, Joe had a discussion with Stanley Krippner about topics similar to this. Hopefully, both Joe and yourself can touch base again and delve into this subject. Any plans on going back on his podcast?
I’ve never tried lsd, but i’ve tried this
it will put you in a different place, and you won’t even know you’re there, you go mad for a few hours, quite interesting
I’m very interested in experimenting, but I’m having a lot of trouble finding a “spotter”. Is having one essential?
Everyone has different sensitives and your decision making should involve more than just reading some random guy’s comment on a blog entry.
With that being said, the point of a true micro-dose is to avoid hallucinating entirely and instead enjoy a state of enhanced creativity and inspiration. Using resources like erowid.org , if you can determine the proper small/threshold dose, a spotter shouldn’t be needed.
Obviously be smart, don’t drive, stay lowkey in your apartment, and other disclaimers. Its better to start small and work your way up / get comfortable than the alternative.
Wow! These are along the same note taking style I have, but I must remember to reference some of the sources, thoughts and dates.
I just did a Google search and I’m still confused as to what this is. Anyone care to explain this further?
I have the understanding that it is about taking notes on your life. Kind of like a a timelog, but extremely detailed?
Here is an example of what Quantified Self promotes. Years ago right out of college when I got my first gig in Silicon Valley as a sales rep working the phones I started to feel like my life was being wasted. It was one of those existential breakdown moments. To compensate and prove to myself that my work was not the cause of my sadness I performed a 30 day mood study. The design was as follows (using a website called MercuryApp which saved my data through text message):
– Receive a text 3 times per day randomly.
– Reply to text with a number between 1 and 5 with one equaling extremely bad mood and five equaling a fantastic mood.
– Include any relevant information after the number that may help me understand my mood (recently drank coffee, got X hours of sleep, currently stoned, etc.)
After the 30 day study and analyzing the 90 data points I concluded that my job didn’t suck as much as I thought it did. In fact at the end of the day my job wasn’t strongly correlated with a low mood score. The strongest correlation was with the amount of sleep I got the night(s) before! This was a complete surprise to me and I was able to discover my optimal sleep amount to optimize my emotional well being.
Quantified Self is about using data to improve yourself. Fitness and health are almost always hot topics at QS events because the information those categories describe are often easily measured and quantified. Through the data you collect you can draw conclusions and hopefully become a better person.
A word of caution. It is VERY easy to go overboard with quantifying your life. I am a firm believer that life was meant to be lived and not over analyzed. Use the ideas behind quantified self as a tool to answer specific questions, but not to drive your entire life.
I have to give you a big thanks for introducing me to Quantified Self. Back in 2010 when I had just moved to the Bay Area to chase my startup dream you referred to QS in a blog post and after a quick google search I found them on Meetup.com. To say I was hooked was an understatement. One of the best tangible changes in my life that came directly from your advice (along with Stoicism).
K, warm fuzzy moment over. Back to work in startup land!
Be careful with LSD stuff. We need you. I read somewhere in legal case law that after an individual takes LSD more than 7 times that he is defined as legally insane by US Federal Court.
BTW, Quantified Self very intriguing. Have fun with it…
It’s a myth, don’t worry.
I’m afraid your research on LSD as a cognitive enhancer is a little late. Timothy Leary did the pioneering work in the Sixties and going by the usual lethargy in science, it means that his research won’t be taken seriously for another twenty years or so. There’s tons of stuff written about it if you’re looking for a head start
… *proceeds to spend the next couple hours watching talks on QS*
This is pure genius… again.
So just like 4HWW was a game changer for me a couple years ago I imagine that Quantified Self will soon become my obsession of choice. Thank you Tim for bringing the rest of us with you on your journey.
Ahh, good! Experimentation with hallucinogens, I love it! This reminds me of the documentary, “DMT The Spirit Molecule”.
Do you have any experience with DMT, and if so could you share your opinions/experiences? I would love to hear your take on it.
This was a real blast to read. I’m attending the MAPS conference  in SF this month where I hope to get up to speed with all the latest research… pumped.
To the point – over the past 9 months, I’ve been thoroughly destroyed and rebuilt from scratch many times over, through working with Ayahuasca – about once every 4-8 weeks, in retreat and ceremonial settings. These involve very unscientific, large, repeated doses, spaced over 3-4 days, with each journey lasting 6–10 hours or so (but realistically, there’s no “time” in that place…)
I deeply wish I could quantify the myriad subjective changes, but this seems impossible. Different doses (and indeed the stuff itself) affects everybody differently, and even the same person very differently on different days… and the experience itself is completely beyond anything relatable…
On a neuro level, I’m fully convinced my IQ has jumped, my bodily health has skyrocketed, and many long-standing psychological blocks, addictive patterns and traumas seem to be completely removed – having been painfully worked through during the journeys.
On a more esoteric (but somehow more real) level, my self-esteem becomes increasingly grounded in consciousness itself, instead of the comings and goings of the world. Stressful or fraught situations just don’t seem to bother me so much any more.
But how to quantify? How can you quantify something like the sudden realisation that you were never born, and will never die, and that there is only ever this moment, and you are it? I feel there is no way to relate in words, numbers and concepts, a realisation that is so far beyond the conceptual realm… hence anything we say about it is automatically wrong.
That said – if looking for hard numbers as our minds tend to enjoy doing – you could probably measure ongoing effects of decreased brain activity in certain places, vastly increased in others, more happy-hormones pumping around the body, blood pressure lowered, heart rate slower, etc… and no doubt a huge improvement in mental health scores.
Haven’t really had a chance to write much about this before. Hope to get a blog entry out soon!
Always happy to see more like this on here in future 🙂
The use of LSD for life enhancement is slowly coming back on the radar in some psychological research studies. Personally, I think all the hippies from the 60’s and 70’s have finally gotten tenure and can do the research they’ve always wanted to do without fear of being fired! Anyway, this summer at a conference for APA division 32, a group from Johns Hopkins presented research on psylocibin treatment given to end stage cancer patients. Apparently the experience allowed them to enhance their spirituality, feel more connected to everyone around them, and to ease psychological suffering. The theory, as I understand it, is the drug inhibits the hippocampus, which is responsible for the way we structure and group things around us (among other things) and the amygdala, so there is no fear response (or “bad trip”). Participants reported that the way they saw the world was radically shifted for the better (lack of hippocampus regulation..) so that they could see there were no boundaries between us, and that we are all one.
It’s worse than that, they had to wait until they were close enough to take retirement if there was too much backlash, after all, LSD was made illegal something like 47 years ago.
Semi-related question. Have been doing some alternation between slow carb and occam’s protocol for the last 6 months or so – was wondering what you maintain as your target body fat % when not explicitly pursuing either a minimum %, max mass gains, or some other specific goal. What stasis do you think is healthiest and why?
I listened to you on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast where Joe and yourself had extensive, fascinating discussions about psychotropics and psychedelics in application. Did Joe participate at all in your study or provide input in your findings?
the first post that i don’t understand lol
Just got your book (The Four Hour Workweek) and opened randomly to the page of you suggesting people get out of their comfort zone and you specifically said, “For 50 yr plus women, …” as it relates to getting phone numbers of attractive strangers. You discounted them as though there was no scenario where this could work in real life and I think it is offensive and stereotypical. I thought the purpose is to help people gain confidence, but by putting that qualifier in you insult women that are over 50. I am not over 50 but will be one day, and if I wanted to ask a stranger for their phone number would that be laughable? Just had to vent. I am a make up artist and work with women on helping their self esteem and one way I do that is to never discuss age as a number.
I listened to you on the Jay Mohr podcast and I became instantly interested in the 4 hour body. I bought your book and I have a couple questions. I am a camera operator and I often travel for work. I work 8-15 hrs per day. I usually stay in hotels from 2-8 days at a time. Then I will be home for 2-7 days at a time. My biggest challenge is the lack of routine for meal planning since my environment is always different.
Is there anything you could recommend for people in my situation for easy meals and may or may not require a stove/microwave/fridge. I usually have a fridge but only have a stove or microwave on the road about 25% of the time.
Interesting post Tim.
I watched Quantifying Curiosity yesterday using your link. I’ve been studying epistemology, thinking about thinking is right up my alley.
Thanks for sharing.
I noticed that it says you are a speaker of 5 languages. I have been studying Spanish for a year now while living in Argentina and I was wandering if there were some techniques and/or strategies you used or I could use to speed up my learning? I currently speak the language on average 2-3 hours per day, read for about an hour to an hour and a half per day and write for about 2 hours per week. I also take one 2 hour hour spanish lesson per week.
I like Memrise.com a lot for memorising the most frequently used words
It’s always great to see your notes first hand.
I’m not so comfortable experimenting with LSD though. I’d prefer to rely on willpower and good sleep/REM sleep to bring things to the surface. Otherwise you don’t know if “it’s just the drugs talkin’ “.
exactly, watchin leary and all the crazy bunch why would you bother to go that way? or just trying to catch some left field experimenters? we know CES and specific breathing techniques can bring clean results, or trying to outsmart AI? I’m intrigued…
I was so shocked and pleased to read this post! I currently work for the Quant Doctor as the first medically supervised quant coach. It was a pleasure to see some intimate details about the first QS meeting!
What a fascinating string… One of my favorite so far because I’ve been in a stuck state for a while after my 3rd successive start -up failure / “learning experience ” and this could work for breaking down the bad funk and re-awaken the creative processes that have served me so well before. . I’ve had my share of great successes in the past, but am in the midst of a nasty dry spell.
Anyone out there who has been through successive start up bombs knows the gun-shy feeling and it SUCKS!!
I have a sort of embarrassing question and hope someone can direct me here; Where would one go to find this, other than the local college campus? I’m 43 so roaming around a campus trying to score LSD seems too wierd (and creepy).. I’m in a major Midwest city (ok, Chicago). Any suggestions? Thanks!!!
Silk Road, as mentioned above. Don’t forget your Bitcoins.
Thanks for pointing out Silk Road. When I first read it, I though it was an actual place, like in Burma or something!
Just shows me how f’d up my thinking’s been lately.
Now I’m off to Bitcoins….
Doe anyone have any comments to share regarding salvia divinorum?
Having tried it recently it seems to me that it would have similar potential for life-enhancing benefits, even though the effects are very different from LSD/DMT.
As an added plus, it’s not currently illegal in some jurisdictions.
Quantified self is definitely the future.
I wish you the best!
I just had a look at the schedule for the convention. From a study of walking styles – something which always intrigued me for how theuy leak personality – to caring for the elderly. Seems like a ballanced approach to life. Other contempory important issues in between.
Salvia Divinorum should not be taken lightly. Very intense when smoked; even at marginal doses. Effects last approx 30-45 min. Useful if you don’t have a whole day to destroy. Risky if you are not familiar with extreme / adverse reactions to hallucinogens.
I was introduced in Niagara Falls, Ontario. I asked the clerk at a head-shop if the stuff had any real effects. To quote her, “You will be walking into cars”. Very true.
I heard from somewhere (not sure of reliability) that the guy who discovered the DNA helix was high on a very minute dose of LSD, apparently he said it allowed his mind to freely find new concepts; and a bunch of his other scientist friends were doing the same.
I’ve personally tried the stuff (albeit at a normal “balls to the wall” dose) and I must say WOW! It will basically reveal the essence of creativity to you in the most amazing way possible. You wouldn’t even believe it’s possible to experience what you’d experience.
Paintings become alive, with people moving and talking to each other, wind blowing through trees- anything that’s painted will automatically begin to animate in the way the artist had originally envisioned it! Art is typically an imperfect representation of an artists pure and perfect inspiration (the way it looks in their mind) and you can see this perfect form, the inspiration behind art, in this case the fact that a painting is a snapshot of an envisioned scene. You won’t see the snapshot anymore. You’ll see the SCENE.
Music will become visual, you can literally see music as an energy force, and you’ll instantly understand how sound, vision, emotion, and motion (dance) are all intrinsically linked through music and one and the same. You won’t “hear” music anymore. You’ll “experience” it as forms of colored emotional energy swirling and rhythmically grooving around you, to the point where they take over your body and cause you to move (dance).
The creativity stems out of how it connects different sensory regions of your brain together; this is how you can experience a painting in motion (motion IS a sense too mind you) or “see” music. And guess what? The synapses created between these regions REMAIN afterwards! I’ve been able to profoundly experience art and music to such a deeper level… However the gift starts to fade after about 6 months to a year. I guess if you were to engage in practicing the strengthening of these connections in your mind (for instance by intensely visualizing music while you listen) you could keep the gift for life. And there are people who are born with this blending of the senses (it’s called synesthesia), or can develop it on their own without LSD- LSD is sort of like a sense blending steroid.
As for me it comes and goes, now, about three years after LSD, I still have moments of purely visual music (I can see it in my head) but they are increasingly rare- almost like I’m “chasing the dragon” trying to get that experience back. No amount of intense focus can cause it, weirdly enough it just comes and goes.
Just figured I’d sare my two cents as there isn’t a tremendous amount of research or anecdotal experience out there to truly understand the effects.
And as somebody tested at an IQ of 156 (I was 14 so I’m not sure what it is now- and IQ tests are bullshit and don’t really mean much mind you) I can surely say it was a profoundly intelligence expanding experience. Me and my friends would talk about the after effects we were experiencing weeks and months after, and “dude I think it made me SMARTER” was surprisingly the main one. Boosted the shit out of my emotional intelligence (EQ) too, I felt like through vibes, body language, and analysis I could read everybody in a rooms mind.
Wow this is incredible! In Steve Jobs biography he talks about LSD now you too?!? What is the world coming to?!? Ha! Great post mate!
I was dying to see what notes a cool guy like you would do. Oh my god you still do linear! You really want to read a book called the mindmap book by Tony Buzan, stop note taking with the handbrake on. Dont write long haul, seventy per cent of the words are mush, writing in a tough economic strip down nuts and bolts keywords, saves you writing a lot in the first place, and clogging up your brain capacity when you revise it. I got a four hundred page book down to four a4 pages in mindmap form. I could revise the book from the maps, and make all kinds of inter connection between the information. Using colour and pictures in mindmaps is similar to remembering a deck of cards methods, pictorialise.
Great post Tim!
Tim – You don’t appear to be a fan of news aggregation website advertising as a valid “muse”. Is this on accurate interpretation on my part? If so, is that because it is not technically a tangible product that can be put on autopilot, or is it just an all-around inferior approach to sustainable positive cash flow? I’m reading your book cover-cover a 2nd time. Great book! Takes courage to take the action necessary to become one of the NR, but you do a great job of spelling out the “how to” in detail, while providing an inspiring motivational vision. Thanks! – KG Farah, Dallas, TX
Definitely an interesting read and concept. I’ve been looking into various ways of cognitive enhancement and had come across nootropics for the first time in 2012 when I first tried Piracetam, since then I have created a nice “nootropic stack” to help assist in various memory and thought training exercises. There is plenty of information regarding nootropics on the information and there is a downloadable PDF at http://www.smartdrugsforthought.com/piracetam-research that covers all of the Racetam nootropic chemical class.
Very cool to read about your experiences. Drugs and their effect on the brain and the way we look at the world has always been very fascinating to me. What is also fascinating is that some of the most renowned figures in history (Freud, Jobs, many others) were users of drugs at some point in their life.
Keep the great content coming.
Curiously, that people (Freud, Jobs, many others), ended with a bad illness in their lifes…
Tim, I think the majority of the information in your LSD as a cognitive enhancer is wrong.
*”LSD as a Cognitive Enhancer” article. Also forgot to ask what your background is…
Tim, we need to talk… seriously. High possibility of win-win self exploration idea tying ancient wisdom & practices to the modern world with both its technological potentials and current sad state of ecological affairs mixed with blow-your-mind worldview and paradigm shifts. It is much more than Inception and The Matrix underneath…we also have a lot of parallels from Princeton to SF to eastern beliefs to the use of plants.
You talk about all the great benefits of using psychedelics. But the fact is they are illegal. Wrongfully so, but illegal just the same. I really get tired of hearing about all the great benefits they have to offer knowing I’ll never be able to experience it myself. The risk for me is too great. So stop talking about them until we can all actually possess them without fear of being locked away. Jesus enough already.