Reply All: #44 Shine On You Crazy Goldman
November 11, 2015 9:59 AM - Subscribe

A website for people who are way too high. Plus, could LSD unlock our better selves? Does PJ even have a better self? We investigate.
posted by Nelson (9 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I thought this was a fascinating episode and it's stuck with me. I've read or listened to a fair number of "LSD changed my life!" testimonials and they are uniformly awful. But not this one. PJ's self-deprecation and general nerdiness works great in this episode and having Phia join him and narrate really made it work better. I was a little uncomfortable with how this episode might have mythologized LSD a little bit, but in retrospect maybe it didn't.

Here's a link to Tripsit, the "I'm too high and need to talk to someone" website that the first part of the show is about.

Both halves of the show highlight how damaging it is that scientists can't study psychedelics in a methodical and controlled fashion.
posted by Nelson at 10:03 AM on November 11, 2015

By the end of the week PJ sounded so high on tape I couldn't believe Alex couldn't tell just from talking to him.
posted by rikschell at 10:44 AM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

The idea of PJ and Phia experimenting with LSD and then going to work to inflict their altered selves on their co-workers really bugged me for some reason. It seems disrespectful in the same way that going to work tipsy would be disrespectful.

But there's got to be a line somewhere, because I wouldn't have a problem with anyone taking a prescription mind-alterer (say an anti-depressant or adderall) and going to work, even if they didn't have their meds fully dialed in yet. I guess it's the at least nominal professional supervision?

I was also kind of concerned that it wasn't made clear that PJ was not the one driving when he had his road trip freak out.
posted by sparklemotion at 10:58 AM on November 11, 2015

I mean, the expectation was that it was a microdose that wouldn't affect them consciously. Like having a beer at lunch. That would be totally okay at the places I've worked. And considering that nobody noticed, maybe it really wasn't as big a deal as it seemed. He probably should've called the guy at tripsit more, though, because to me the episode felt like a "PJ thing," not an "internet thing."
posted by rikschell at 6:13 PM on November 11, 2015

At the very least, I now know to listen to Emancipator when I'm stressed. (It's pretty good.)
posted by schmod at 11:49 AM on November 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I thought Alex's response at the end was delightfully vaguely patronizing, I could see him patting PJ on the head and saying "sure, sure, you did acid" before launching into his story about really doing acid. So basically every conversation about mind altering drugs you've ever heard between a newbie and that guy (you know who I'm talking about).

The microdosing and going to work part sort of bothered me. I thought microdosing was supposed to be akin to more routine pharmacological assistance with life and its tribulations and not "tripping", but I feel like maybe PJ and Phia wanted or were expecting LSD lite: all the fun of doing acid without the calories. Which comes off wrong to me, this is your job and not North Country Fair (or whatever you call your local "do drugs and listen to music in the woods" festival). But maybe that just reflects on my own straight-laced biases about work life balance.

I was once on a road trip where the driver was on acid but managed to quietly hold it all together such that none of the rest of us (admittedly not in our best frames of mind) had any idea! It was both fun at the time and terrifying in retrospect. Since then I've been a lot more diligent about ensuring I have a plan for how I'm going to get home, who's going to drive, and what is expected of them (i.e. being sober and well rested).
posted by selenized at 1:44 PM on November 12, 2015

The idea of PJ and Phia experimenting with LSD and then going to work to inflict their altered selves on their co-workers really bugged me for some reason.

Yes, that made me feel very uneasy too. As did the fact that they conducted the experiment secretly -- only dropping the "oh hai I'm on acid" bomb on Matt Lieber halfway through. Like, damn: isn't this the sort of thing that needs a bit more oversight than "my producer decided to do it with me"?

I did like how touched Alex was by PJ's kindness; and the "couldn't you just be nicer" / "ah, that'd be option C" exchange.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:01 PM on November 12, 2015

How LSD Microdosing Became the Hot New Business Trip: doesn't mention this podcast, but is also heavily sourced from James Fadiman.
posted by Nelson at 8:05 AM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

The idea of someone microdosing at work really doesn't bother me in the least. People go to work in all sorts of states: hung over, sleep-deprived, irritable, half sick, on hormones, and on psychopharmaceuticals. It's really none of my business what someone's on unless it disrupts work. I couldn't really tell that it did, here.
posted by Miko at 9:01 PM on December 10, 2015

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