What’s the line between being inspired and getting broken by transcendental experience? This week’s episode was recorded live at the Hook & Ladder at Minneapolis as part of a special multimedia event I did with the Psychedelic Society of Minneapolis, a group led by neuroscientist Jessica Nielson. Jessica and her PhD student Link Swanson were both dear friends of mine before they met each other and I cannot be happier that they’re doing psychedelic neuroscience research together now at UMN. In this conversation, which involves me definitely talking too much (but in the role of honored out-of-town guest, which makes it somewhat excusable), we talk about the effects of psychedelics on perception, the continua between inspiration and trauma, and what it might mean to make a machine learning algorithm trip balls. Among other things…

Dr. Jessica Nielson

Link Swanson

The Psychedelic Society of Minneapolis

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Show music by Evan “Skytree” Snyder feat. Michael Garfield, “God Detector”


The hallucination-perception continuum
Trauma and novelty in biological and cultural evolution
The Stoned Ape Hypothesis Revived
Chapel Perilous & studying mental illness with machine learning
Do psychosis and the psychedelic state really have much in common?
Making AI trip
How do psychedelics affect the way our brain processes perception?
Pharmacogenomics and whether it might help explain The Experiment at La Chorrera
Novelty and the collapse of civilizations
Evolution, learning, and addiction


Saj Razvi (Our free and public Patreon discussion) • MAPS • Santa Fe Institute (FF Episode 75) • Andreas Wagner • Terence McKenna • Stuart Kauffman (FF Episode 125) • Stuff To Blow Your Mind Podcast on Urban Animals • Werner Herzog • Dinotasia • Richard Doyle • Erowid • Robert Anton Wilson • Dennis McKenna (FF Episode 88) • Geoffrey West • Rudolf Steiner