What happens when AI and neuroscience are fused with psychedelic experiences

A business news announcement on April 9 heralded Compass Pathways Investor Peter Thiel’s new stake in a device that allows “ computer interfaces to help treat people with mental conditions.”

Psyber, Thiel’s newest acquisition, is a brain computer interface which enables direct communication between a human brain and an external device.

Psyber forges surveillance capitalism to a stilletto point, and plants it in your cerebral cortex.

A prototype brain computer interface already exists, demonstrated on a monkey with brain implants playing Pong, brought to you by Elon Musk’s new company Neuralink. …


He’s been implicated in a drug death — not the kind of truth they are seeking

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

UPDATE: I decided today to look at what else UC Berkeley School of Journalism had to say about women’s history month, after my reply to their tweet was deleted. But: they’ve deleted not only my replies to the tweets on their PR timeline and the timeline of the dean, Geeta Anand — @GOAnand — but all tweets about women’s history month have been summarily deleted.

The way to protect “male violence and systemic sexism” perpetrated by your boy psychedelic plagiarist wannabe guru professor — who has now been implicated in a drug death — is to CANCEL women’s history!

Here’s a screen shot of the tweet:


He’s professional journalism’s success story poster boy

The arrogant sneer is a pretty good likeness (photo Rana Sawalha on Unsplash)

Here’s the scene: famous white male food writer who has never had an original thought reads a woman’s original autobiographical story in Scientific American Mind— about psychedelics as medicine — does a light rewrite — substituting interviews with white males for her personal accounts — and sells rewritten article to The New Yorker. Then he sells the pitch to Penguin, gets a Radcliffe Grant (because he has no access to libraries?) and re-invents himself as the go-to guru on psychedelics. Now he’s a professor a famous west-coast journalism school.

Here’s the link to the original article I wrote about my…


Pushing the highly-addictive dissociative drug ketamine confounds the clinical introduction of psychedelics as therapy

Image credit: Wall Street Insanity

I was surprised a few months ago by an announcement in the trade magazine, Psychedelic Spotlight proclaiming the world’s first psychedelic-assisted therapy clinic was set to open its doors in Bristol, England.

UK on the Brink of a Psychedelic Therapy Revolution” shrieked another headline in Filter Mag.

Like anything that seemed too off-the-wall to be true, it wasn’t. None of the psychedelic drugs currently candidates for legal therapeutic treatment — MDMA, psilocybin, LSD (in Switzerland there are trials to treat cluster headache, major depression and anxiety related to severe somatic diseases) have graduated from clinical trial status, not in…


Corporations will own all of your relationships one day, including your psychedelic experience

Photo of Aminita Muscaria by James Wainscoat on Unsplash

It’s not really that hard to guess what was going through the head of venture capitalist and Paypal founder Peter Thiel who is worth $2.2 billion, when Compass Pathways, a company in which he’s heavily invested, filed a patent application for psychedelic therapy — not for the drug itself, psilocybin is in the public domain and can’t be patented. It intends to own via patent the way in which a guide interacts with a subject during a psychedelic session. Compass Pathways, which began life as a not-for-profit, is now a publicly-traded psychedelic mental health company with questionable intentions.


Photo by Nsey Benajah on Unsplash

I’ve been trying to find women who are affiliated with psychedelic medicine — not wannabe practioners, but those who have done real work. I came across a not-exactly-scientifically-sound paper written by a psychologist associated with the University of Ottowa titled: ‘Diversity, equity, and access in psychedelic medicine.’ Her prior written work was singularly focused on “microaggressions” dozens of articles, and even a textbook devoted to them: fighting microaggressions, locating and identifying people who might have committed them; the ways in which microaggressions could cause harm.

Despite her questionable scientific credibility, I contacted her anyway. Including women’s voices in the psychedelic…


Releasing psychic energy tied to the fear of death and worry about the future allows patients to live more meaningfully in the present

Amanita muscaria, a toxic hallucinogenic mushroom grows symbiotically with the roots of pine trees. Photo by Robert Weideman on Unsplash

Over the last fifteen years, psychedelics have begun to make a slow but inexorable return to the psychotherapeutic treatment space. Clinical findings from the years prior to their 1971 banishment were consistent. No other method had been found to be as effective for alcoholism, depression, drug addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, smoking addiction, or anorexia nervosa. That said, it’s not possible to talk about the re-emergence of psychedelics without first talking about their disappearance.

Although psychedelics had been used widely in psychiatric medicine for many years prior to their 1971 ban, the first scientific study to examine the drugs’ effects in healthy…


A mis en scène of fake humility

A young woman, shocked. Photo by Amir Taheri on Unsplash.

A multi-tweet advice thread calling itself “HARSH WRITING ADVICE” popped up in my Twitter feed a few days ago from someone I don’t know and don’t follow. Its aim was to dispense tough girl “HARSH WRITING ADVICE” tips to aspiring writers. I rarely react to Twitter. I’ve got better things to do. But her series of HARSH WRITING ADVICE tweets provoked me. They were misguided, they were sad, but above all, they were an auto-da-fé denouncing the very idea of women being competitive or ambitious.

I gathered from the context she’s a screen writer. …


I failed to see my father for the predator he was until I saw him through my friend’s eyes.

The Burghers of Calais by August Rodin, Stanford University Campus. Author’s image.

It is summer and I’m at my parents’ house in Palo Alto, on the Stanford campus. I have a newly-minted MA degree in English from Brown.

I’ve hunkered down in my old bedroom, which is no longer mine, really, because the moment I left home, my parents rented it out to Stanford students as a kind of up-the-hill-faculty-ghetto-dorm-room. The room happens to be vacant for a few weeks because the paying occupant has gone away. My parents’ message is clear: you’re not welcome; and you’d better believe we’re going to recoup our costs for having raised you.

Located at the…

Erica Rex

Writer for NYT, Sci Am Nat‘l Mag Award. Climate, mental health, wild things. erica.rex@gmail.com. Newsletter https://psychedelicrenaissance.substack.com/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store