mdp thesis

a cognitive mapping experience

Month: November, 2015

Moving Forward, Go Deep (Post-WIP review)

So don’t make an App… that was loud and clear. However being the embodiment of my methodology and research, I believe it was a good survey of the current foundational problems and assessment of the topic within reality right now. As drugs are approached by power or authoritarian forces, it meets resistance and control, which is where I approached it from the beginning, due to the nature of my own personal processing and creation. However in the long scheme of things, this resistance might just be a bump in the road right now so to put forth designs that use the affordance of an altered state of consciousness might be more fruitful for the future.

Possible Design Briefs to Tease Out:

1)  New States of Consciousness: How can the affordances of being in this particular state under the influence of drugs inspire new social moments, new relationships, new communication models, structures of Q+A testings or behavioral systems, or new empathy interactions? If a drugs brings out the particular nuances of certain cognitive functionalities that affect our senses, invoke mild hallucinations or warp our current sober or normal understanding of concepts like time and space, what kinds of new designs can be created to work within these mental imbalances? (From disability to superpower enhancing) …How can we use these drugs as cognitive tools with the aid of new kinds of technological tools that provide support? …What are the specific moments of interactions within these states?

2) Moment #1: The point of the Unreal within a Real Space – When does the unreal seemlessly interacts with the sober reality that we’ve come to know? When is that tipping point of hallucinating (from altered states to even the in between dream state of exemplified by sleep paralysis (with its symptoms of being fully conscious but hallucinating due to being asleep-in the in between state of awake and sleep, aka hypnogogia)? Usually these moments in normal healthy human beings cause fear, anxiety and confusion, but can also be a source of insight, awe and wonder in the other extreme. How can the ambiguity in what is real and unreal create new meanings and understandings? Can these unreal gestures superimposed or composited into the real world create ways to deal with our own human nature – like our past memories or our desires and intentions on a personal scale? Instead of overloading the senses like the psychedelia artists (projection artists, infinity machines and psy-clubs) of the sixties sought to convey to disrupt and drop out of reality, how can these experiences be moments of processing and assigned meaning? Symbology like that of Freud’s interpretation of dreams realized through design that creates an interpretation of unreal reality… what can designed experiences like this do for a user?

What if what you are experiencing is real?

Does it matter if it is real or not?

Why do you want to know if it is real?

What even is reality right now?

3) Moment #2: Guided Moments in Times of Fear – This aptly connects with moment 1, mostly as a precursor to that moment but more focused on mental moods and changes in sensations that lead to confusion and then fear or anxiety and the trappings that can happen within that state rather than visual or apparent hallucinations. How can you actively turn something negative into something positive or even expressive? Where and when and how do these switches happen? How can the Guide be developed and pushed further into an empowering tool or one set based on your intention and focus?

4) Moment #3: New forms of Social Media/Spaces & Expressive Communication – With the influence of an altered state, how can our current understandings of technology and social media change? If current technology makes us more individualized and secluded from each other, with interactions based on screens and in the digital realm, how can drugs bring out these needs to physically interact with each other or be connected in new ways? What are physically empathetic and connected ways to interact intimately on MDMA? How do we communicate when vibrating on similar frequencies, reading minds or activating “God mode” in suspended disbelief on LSD (or even at all with each other on a psychedelic when we are bombarded with sensory overload or traveling to other realities)? If taking such natural medicines make us more aware of ourselves in our body and in our society and how connected we are fundamentally to each other (like such of DMT), how can we create better social structures that house such states?

Analogous Inspiration:

  • Octopus’ Expressive & Telepathic Communication
  • Virtual Reality Technologies
  • The World of magic and fantasy (if everything has life and energy, technology has the power to breathe life into objects and things… part of the ideas within psychedelics that everything is living in a connected web)
  • DeepDream Algorithm, Pattern and Image Recognition and Learning
  • Tie In to Wearables and IoTh Tech somehow and throughout…

HTID (Flexy Perspective)


A fiction of events

We took the first half when we arrived, it took about 30 minutes for the initial effects to take over. I began to feel very chatty, my mind was floaty and began to feel my eyes feel heavy. I sat down finding it hard to dance in a coordinated way. After sitting we began to talk about everything, life, our friendship, and the project. I felt so happy to be with a close friend sharing this experience. It was then that we met friends sitting next to us, we talked to them for what seemed like a few minutes but when we checked the time we had been sitting and talking for about an hour.

We got up and wondered to the dance area outside, we danced and talked about the stages, the vibes, saying how amazing everyone looked. This Dane and chat continued for the rest of the dj set we were watching. We then moved to the indoor stage. We danced some more and enjoyed the environment. I then started to play with my orbit, it felt amazing to dance with it, to have it tug at my finger tips, massaging my hands as I dance. The feeling led to visuals when closing my eyes.

The time passed so quickly, I felt at times I would close my eyes and start to dance, then I’d get lost in the moment and time would fly by. One moment we an hour left of the show and the next I open my eyes, and boom the dj is saying good night.

I felt happy, disoriented, and energetic. …it was fun memorable experience.

Asking the Right Questions: How did America end up in this $#!+?

INSIGHTS from “Marijuana History” article and “The First & Last Days of the Drug War”:

Anslinger (the head of the Narcotics Bureau in the 1930s-1950s) became obsessed with drugs as the quintessential symbol for fear within the heart of the American people at the time. Coming to the end of the Prohibition era, alcohol had been resurrected as legal from a failed attempt at prohibition, spawned by the Temperance Movement earlier in the last century. Even though this was made legal again as many public wide opinions toward alcohol were changed because the demand was so great and the illegal operations of speakeasies were so popular, the other narcotics were still scrutinized, fallen short from the public eye overshadowed by alcohol. When Anslinger came on board, he was determined to eradicate all narcotics from the American system, including eventually marijuana, even though these drugs were used by medical practitioners for patient treatment.

Drugs became a game of who to blame, the sensationalist media had a scapegoat to rattle on all things drugs (marijuana) that made you insane and caused one to murder or commit suicide. This was the age of newspapers and crime where the public and of racist tendencies, a much different time than now.

INSIGHTS from Energy Control and Doctor X’s Drug Testing lab in Spain:


from their lab that works with the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and agreement with police to supply data about dangerous drugs to broadcast… (assumption) does this effect create a better society that enables more purer substances to be made? [Think Europills from Europe i.e. “DanceSafe Article”] are very potent and strong even compared to American standards. The fact of warning people on the streets which pills are laced or dangerous ensures buying effectively and safely in an unregulated market, but what kind of effect has it had on Europe?

The World of the Deep Web: an interesting tangent and investigation into the deep space of the internet in lieu of sites like Silk Road, which in effect the deep web or sites like Silk Road represent a type of lawless open anonymous space where anything goes and no one is judged… a mix of chaos, anarchy and liberalism at the heart. The deeper I dig into the drug world, I start to realize how synonymous drugs are as manifestations of ideas. So thus laws being the control of drugs, our ideas are monitored and controlled under this meta- surveillance.

Quality Control and DIY Policing within the Unregulated Market: So who produces these? The chemists and underground labs… It must take a mass operation, like the mafia or cartel, to supply our demands of course. Yet for those who are purists (i.e. Pokeballs manufacturer, Shulgin, Huxley) who care about quality at least are the ones set as an example of who to profile to catch [Bunk Police’s “What’s In My Baggie?” Documentary]. Their arrests made public and broadcasted or even just to be made an example of – and rightly so maybe because individuals are easier to catch than a shadowy organization, the real criminals. The lack of quality control in this unregulated market and the consequences of the drug war have created an imbalance of who to catch and what to look for – discouraging purity and education and (to bump up the arrest quota) encouraging big operations to lace or mix their ounces with poison or other unknown substances, which can surely lead to death.

This is the difference of today’s drugs than those in the 60s. Even then, lsd was stronger and very pure, compared to our weak and adultered variant today. (Maybe that’s why the hippies had such a profound holistic movement compared to our raver- E driven culture content to escape into the pleasure world than create change in the real world, it comforts you rather than catapults you out of yourself as a disruptive force…) Today, it is not about that all encompassing experience or quality. Demand is demand no matter what form or use and supply channels are only getting more complicated and dangerous, hence all the safety organizations that have recently formed in the past 5 years to try and address these problems with a DIY type of policing and health movement. When users grow and the demand for the high and pleasures of the mind are ever increasing, the need will only grow and become normal. It’s time to approach this complex problem sensibly.