Tag Archives: Emma Stamm

Electric Kool Aid Turing Test slides

Yesterday I gave a conference talk; it was nominally about qualitative research on the use of psychedelic drugs and the implications this has for machine learning. But the issues here have as much to do with philosophical problems of induction and the narrow view of human intelligence which gets emphasized in AI. I’ve uploaded the slides for […]

the plastic flowers of perception

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche called psychedelics “plastic flowers for the mind,” meaning that they’re false prophets, insufficient for self-realization. Meanwhile, Anaïs Nin (a psychonaut if there ever was one) described her LSD experience beautifully in her diary, but came to a similar conclusion — its meaning is diminished because it’s fake. “Fake.” Of course acid trips are “unnatural.” They […]

the darkness of narrative

On the “theory/data” problem, the notion that more data diminishes the need for theorization. Let’s assume this is true for a second: now, instead of developing hypotheses and testing them à la the scientific method, we simply subject our curiosities to computational operations. Feeding more data into better algorithms equals better living (through science!). This vision […]

opaque, fragile and performative selfhoods

Recently I’ve discovered some overlaps between various works of contemporary psychedelic scholarship. Over the summer I started reading Nicolas Langlitz’s book Neuropsychedelia and came across the work of Chris Letheby not long after (when he himself reached out to me after an introduction I made on a grad student listserv… +1 for email networking). Letheby co-authored a philosophical paper […]

problem children

In November, I’m presenting a paper tentatively titled “The Electric Kool-Aid Turing Test” at this conference  in Brighton, England. My argument is that emerging paradigms in research on the use of psychedelic drugs as psychotherapeutic tools problematize machine learning. To be more specific: the recent resurgence of psychedelic drug research has, generally, privileged quantitative and empirical […]


“Everybody keeps talking about how the world is ending, but I see it differently” — Circuit des Yeux 2016 was good to me, and I am glad it’s 2017. This will be a great year, I can feel it.