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joined 27 Feb 2023


User ID: 2222



0 followers   follows 0 users   joined 27 Feb 2023


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User ID: 2222

Safety being both a major problem with illicit drugs and a major concern of rationalists, this raised an eyebrow. The simplest explanation is that the people concerned with safety aren't the people using psychedelics and that I underestimated the availability of psychedelics through whatever the normal drug-buying channels are (and perhaps self-experimenters overstate the precision of the doses?), but I'm curious about other possible explanations. Assuming commonality, which I do not take for granted, the two most plausible explanations I came up with were:

Is there a rationalist Bear (preferred name of Augustus Owsley Stanley III, another early psychedelicist who started weird and became extremely weird) out there? As I understand it, synthesizing LSD requires serious know-how and equipment, but there are surely rationalist synthetic chemists and perhaps one is willing and capable.

Dark-web sales and purity testing labs? That meshes with the techno-libertarian side of things, but I have no idea how those labs operate and I'm guessing buying drugs online practically requires you to commit a federal crime in the US, which is a pretty big hazard.

I'm guessing the simplest explanation is the correct one, to the extent that there's a connection between rationalists and psychedelics, in the first place, but if someone actually knows, I'd rather know than guess.

There have been claims of this by commenters, but only anecdotal evidence given. Last I checked, the accepted/preferred scientific explanation was "central sensitization," though I couldn't find an experiment showing chronic sensitization exists. (Lots with decerebrated mice who were immediately euthanized, though, going back to the 1980s, if I remember correctly.) Psychosomatization, to the best of my knowledge, is non-falsifiable and conditions have been misattributed to it in the past. It hasn't yet been replicated, so far as I know, but there was a clever experiment published 18 months ago that may prove fibromyalgia (one of the chronic pain conditions most commonly regarded as psychosomatic) is actually an auto-immune disorder, which would be a big blow to "psychosomatization of the gaps" proponents. (E.G., The "Unlearn Your Pain" author.)

Is this just a case of Scott making an off-hand comment and others running with it beyond what the evidence can support?