Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Programming On LSD: Russian Roulette Factor

Recently I heard rumors that some idiot was going around telling people they should try programming on LSD. Let me give you a counter-example: I knew a guy who went straight from high school graduation to programming for Apple, about fifteen to twenty years ago. We'll call him Fred. Fred was an incredibly smart guy, and he loved acid. But I think he took too much. Recently he got back in touch with me via the Internet to tell me that a guy we both knew from our church had used Dungeons & Dragons to channel demons into his soul. I knew this guy Fred was accusing, and if he had been doing this, it would have been very uncharacteristic of him.

Apparently this crazy idiot who says programming on acid is a good idea cites Nobel prize winners Kary Mullis and Francis Crick using acid to assist in the discoveries which led to their respective Nobel prizes. Since both men achieved their Nobel prizes either working with or discovering DNA, this would suggest that acid is a unique competitive advantage in that area.

This may be true. But it doesn't alter the fact that for a small percentage of the population acid appears to unlock latent paranoid schizophrenia. This strongly suggests that paranoid schizophrenia has its roots in neurochemical imbalance. However, few experiments have been done exploring this link, due to the politicization of LSD research. Governments rarely permit experiments investigating LSD.

There's an argument to be made that, in the United States, government control of what scientists can and can't investigate constitutes a serious, systematic, and pre-emptive First Amendment violation on a grand scale. But that's another blog post. I just want to add a cautionary note of counter-argument to whoever this idiot is out there who is running around telling programmers that they should take acid.