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OCD helps with timetable building. Yep. - Tactical Ninja

Apr. 15th, 2013

11:09 am - OCD helps with timetable building. Yep.

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Right now I'm batching. This is probably a good thing because otherwise I'd be driving Dr Wheel a bit nuts with my last minute excitement and preparations. This morning I made my timetable for the conference, complete with colour-coding for "Must attend", "Would like to attend" and "Grab the notes".


Talks that I will be at because they look really interesting and useful
Love and Transcendence: Transformative Themes From Patients' Experiences in the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study - how magic mushrooms are helping people come to terms with their mortality.
Q&A Session: “Understanding the Shadow” - Ann Shulgin talks about how drugs can help people come to terms with the negative aspects of their personality.
The Psychedelic Apprentice - the next generation of therapists are likely to have psychedelics available in their toolkit. What should we be teaching them about this?
2C-B: Subjective Effects and Potential Clinical Uses .
Scientific Problem Solving with Psychedelics - you know how LSD is held partly responsible for the development of the internet? Research into how those processes actually work.
Beyond Fear: MDMA and Emotion - why is MDMA so damn good at making people feel safe?
Repositioning Psychedelics in the Public Mind - how to get some mature communication going about psychedelics.
Communicating the Unspeakable: Linguistic Phenomena in the Psychedelic Sphere - how people explain their drug experiences, and what that says about consciousness.
Notes on Progress in the New Zealand Ibogaine Study - yep, Ibogaine as a potential aid to addiction therapy, right here in Unzud.
State of the Stone 2013: Drugs of the Future, Now - the Erowids talk about trying to keep up with the explosion of new substances, and the need for effective transmission of real information about them.
Why People Climb Mountains - the neuroscience of risk-taking and how it relates to drug use.
Quantitative Analysis of Narrative Reports of Psychedelic Drugs - mostly useful for my own planned research.
A Phenomenologically Grounded Ethnographic Study of the Life-World of Ecstasy Users - someone taking ecstasy use as part of a normal life seriously. Nice. Could be awesome, could be wanky. I'll find out.


Talks that I will make it to if I can
Uses of Psychedelics in Shamanism and Psychotherapy
Ayahuasca Admixture Plants: An Uninvestigated Folk Pharmacopoeia
Psilocybin in the Treatment of Smoking Addiction: Psychological Mechanisms and Participant Account
The Essence of Psychedelic Therapy
MAPS’ Drug Development Strategy: MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD
An Analysis of the Working Alliance in MDMA-Assisted Therapy
From the Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Findings to the Reconstruction of Religion
Clinical Perspectives in Preparing and Managing High Dose Psilocybin Sessions: Insights from Johns Hopkins
Psychedelic Psychotherapy: Insights from 25 Years of Research
The Neural Correlates of Altered Consciousness: From Hypnosis and Meditation to Drug-Based Changes
Psilocybin-Facilitated Treatment for Addiction: Smoking Cessation
In Search of Entheogenic Molecules: Phytochemical Analysis from the DMT-Nexus

Talks that I will grab the notes of
Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Research Project: Studies of Mystical Experience and Meditation in Healthy Volunteers
Learning from Listening: Qualitative Data in MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Research

I'm also going to spend Thursday at this workshop - Psychedelic horizons beyond psychotherapy:

"In addition to their psychotherapeutic uses, experimental evidence shows that psychedelics deepen daily life and enrich most academic fields. As popular use still is 99% of all experiences, it is important to be aware of the effects of rising religious use, microdosing, problem–solving, self-help groups, effects on education and popular culture. Entheogenic uses promote spiritual growth including heightened senses of significance, meaningfulness, and sacredness. Personality growth promotes altruism and open mindedness. Future leads propose advances through microdosing, developing a Multistate Theory —even exploring previously unknown mindbody states that may contain unusual, rare and even undiscovered human abilities."


Because I'm a bit concerned about the way that drug use is currently pathologised, and also about the recent focus on medical uses for substances in order to give them legitimacy. While I understand that this is the paradigm we currently live in, and that proving a medical use for a substance is a way of changing its classification under the law (most classifications cite medical uses and risks of harm as their basis), that still delegitimises all use that is not for a specific medical purpose.

There have been some exceptions made for substances that have long traditional religious uses, but that still discounts the validity of other uses. My question is, why do we have to prove some 'higher purpose' in order for drug use to be recognised as legitimate? Why are fun, life enhancement, community building, or changes to creativity and problem-solving processes not valid reasons for using drugs as part of a normal, healthy life?

I fear that the current focus on legitimising drug use through medicine still buys into the view that drugs are for people who have something wrong with them, and that the only valid use of a drug is to fix a problem. This perpetuates the view that anyone who chooses to use a drug is somehow flawed, and that makes it very easy to continue to stigmatise drug users and to ignore what I consider to be valid choices, and valid reasons to use drugs. I resent the implication that doing something because it's fun is a character flaw, and frankly, I think it's stupid to assume that enjoyment isn't a legitimate pursuit.

So, um, yeah. I could rant for a while about that but I think you get the picture. So I'm going to the workshop. Hopefully I won't be disappointed. Either way, I'll get to meet people and that is always a good thing. There is also a marketplace - I am very curious as to what a marketplace for a conference relating to psychedelic substances looks like - and a dinner and show on the Saturday. I R EXCITE! (cos you couldn't tell, eh?)

Today, I'm going to see if I can extract some money from my bank. And also do the finishing on the Brainfart parts, so they won't get damaged as I fiddle around making it bigger. Wish me luck!

Comments:

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From:rivet
Date:April 14th, 2013 11:23 pm (UTC)

the thin end of the wedge

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As I'm sure you are aware, this is a common long-term legitmising strategy that gets the door open but causes a lot of frustration in the middle of the process for the people defined as being *legitimately* on the wrong side of the door. It is divisive, but it works. I can't immediately think of a social change that blew the door off all at once, can you?

Thinking of: labour safety by applying it to women and children first, voting for black men before women, acceptance of catholics before jews or muslims...
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From:tatjna
Date:April 14th, 2013 11:28 pm (UTC)

Re: the thin end of the wedge

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I can't either, but I think it's very important for us who are at the thick end of that wedge and still outside the door, to keep throwing our weight behind it - and also to keep agitating for recognition, because it would be very easy for the rest of us to be forgotten in this particular case, once the scientific community thinks its job is done.

Look at how many of those talks are framed within the health paradigm or the religion one, for example. I'll be over here, advocating noisily for fun - because someone has to.
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From:rivet
Date:April 14th, 2013 11:35 pm (UTC)

Re: the thin end of the wedge

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Fight the good fight! I understand its necessity, I just can't immediately see my way through to approches that don't require this two (or more)-step process of normalising and othering.

Remember the dude in the cafe at Rainbow with the barbie doll heads hanging from his hat? That's my friend Ash, and it turns out that he is active in a nacent anti-prohibition party here in AU. Next time you're here, I want to introduce you-- should make for interesting conversation.

I also met a guy here who seems to be doing Entheogenic stuff and hosted Bob Jesse when he was last in town. He had that slightly creepy new age guy thing about him, but still might be a useful connection.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 14th, 2013 11:37 pm (UTC)

Re: the thin end of the wedge

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I definitely plan to be over some time this winter - maybe even twice. There should be conversations about that when I get past all this busyness - should be in a couple of weeks.
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From:rivet
Date:April 15th, 2013 12:29 am (UTC)

Re: the thin end of the wedge

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*happy dance*
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From:bekitty
Date:April 15th, 2013 12:18 am (UTC)
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Civil unions as a stepping stone towards full marriage equality is another example. Oddly enough, it's the one that first sprang to mind for me. :)
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From:rivet
Date:April 14th, 2013 11:25 pm (UTC)
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Also, congrats on travelling when the NZD is at a historic high! Good time for shopping...
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From:tatjna
Date:April 14th, 2013 11:30 pm (UTC)
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I am indeed pleased by this. I might be able to indulge in the mysterious marketplace.

I envision a strange combination of ayahuasca art, hippie stuff, religious symbolism and fat scientific tomes.
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From:richdrich
Date:April 15th, 2013 01:27 am (UTC)
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Maybe they'll have one of those 3D printers that Williamson was on about;
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/132626/3d-printers-a-border-security-threat-minister
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From:pombagira
Date:April 14th, 2013 11:26 pm (UTC)
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ohh.. that looks like a most excellent line up of talks.. *Glee and excite*

it would be wonderful if they could record all of the talks.. mmm...


wheee... you will have an awsomesause time!!

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From:tatjna
Date:April 14th, 2013 11:29 pm (UTC)
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They will be recording them, having them translated and making them available online afterwards. But that might take a while. ;-)
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From:pombagira
Date:April 14th, 2013 11:52 pm (UTC)
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ohh.. to be able to listen to those recordings at work.. that would be great!! not to mention interesting.. whee!!
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From:kehleyr
Date:April 15th, 2013 12:08 am (UTC)
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That marketplace sounds interesting... Look forward to hear all about it :-)... Take pictures if you can... I'd love to see them :-).
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From:tatjna
Date:April 15th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
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I will probably be all rubbernecking and buying souvenirs all over the place like a tourist. Yep.
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From:meathiel
Date:April 15th, 2013 08:29 am (UTC)
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Sounds like a pretty interesting conference.

How long will you be gone?
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From:tatjna
Date:April 15th, 2013 08:13 pm (UTC)
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I'm leaving at lunchtime on Wednesday, and will get back at OMG o'clock the following Tuesday morning. Somewhere in there, I lose a day (Monday) for the trip home, but I gain it by landing in SF about 7 hours earlier than I left Auckland on the same day.

Timezones are weird. ;-)
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From:danjite
Date:April 15th, 2013 09:29 am (UTC)
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I am excited for my country that you are going to this.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 15th, 2013 08:13 pm (UTC)
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I am excited for everyone's country that this is happening! ;-)
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From:brynhilda
Date:April 15th, 2013 04:29 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I would be so interested to hear this one: Uses of Psychedelics in Shamanism and Psychotherapy

I once tried some kind of flying ointment...but I'm still not sure if it really had an effect on me...hahaha :).
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From:tatjna
Date:April 15th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
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You are supposed to apply it to the *ahem* mucous membranes, so I hear... I've never been game to do that.
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From:brynhilda
Date:April 16th, 2013 01:15 pm (UTC)
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That's right...I chose the nose though for the first time;)
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From:pundigrion
Date:April 16th, 2013 05:24 pm (UTC)
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Oooh, looks like you'll have lots to keep you busy! Look forward to hearing your reports on them :-)
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