Digital Drugs

This theme, and a well-known brand in particular, came up in conversation the other day. I haven’t thought about it for a while, but I now know that which I suspected when I first encountered iDoser.

At the time of my first encounter, I was still in no doubt about the physiological effects of binaurals (having only learned of them moments before). I was not skeptical. I listened and listened, relaxed, relaxed, really, really wanting to have the experiences implied. It didn’t happen.

Here’s the thing. They give away a couple of samples – alcohol and caffeine. If you had never experienced alcohol or caffeine, you would be none the wiser. Any half-decent session designer can write a beta session to give a bit of a lift, or a highly dissociative session with lots of minor keys to induce, for example, the disorientation that arises with a bit too much ethanol, or maybe just stick with the beta session used for caffeine with a different background – focus on the initial party-party-party phase of inebriation. Anyway, whatever effects you experience from the session, you are filling in the gaps and looking for any signs of the characteristics you associate with the substance.

If you look hard enough at your overall physical and mental state at any moment, you will always be able to find fragments of a named “condition”. So it is with iDoser. They are half-decent audio only sessions based on binaurals. You already know what I think about binaurals – they have an effect but not by true entrainment, most popular in AVS-scamland, indication of dated knowledge, can be made to sound really nice. If you play a “dose” of a substance you are familiar with, you will, if you are generous, find that it will assist you in materialising your recollection of the real thing. If you have a strong conception of what it would be like to use a certain substance, then that is the experience you will likely have. If you go in with an open mind, that’s what you’ll come out with – no new information.

That is one facet to my understanding of Digital Drugs. The other facet comes from my own work where I have been successfully triggering quite specific CNS responses. There are ways to come much closer to digital drugs than are currently being used. The subject raises interesting moral/ethical questions. I realise that there are several forks in my ummm-research that have more in common with science-fiction, or even science-fantasy, than with empirical science.

Until I know better what’s going on with myself as a lab-rat, I’ll be taking great care with what I say and do. Once again, I would advise cautious skepticism in the face of any product that promises highly specific effects – they are not out there yet!

Cheers,
Craig

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Comments

  • CraigT  On January 19, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    I’ve been thinking (a phrase so often used as an opener, but most often meaning I just had an unconsidered thought that I need to blurt out).

    In writing this post I had psychedelics, hypnotics and stimulants in mind. There’s no shortage of promising leads for emulating nootropics.

    Cheers,
    Craig

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