Tuesday , August 9 2022

Acid test: how the reality of psychedelic reality can help bring society's poor journey to the end of Technology


HHumans have not become more than data in meat suits. That's the essence of Team Human, TED Talk 2018 by Douglas Rushkoff theorist. Certainly, very few people could use social media now that they do not feel a sense of addiction.

That makes cybernauts the freedom fighters. The VR artists, academics and scientists gathered in this Brunswick warehouse have contributed to Melbourne's first “cyber-cystor incubator”, hosted by the Australian Psychedelic Society.

In line with Rushkoff's demand for technology built on values ​​before connecting, creativity and respect during a digital age, cyberdelia promotes the revival of a more technology-aware approach – one of self-transformation and engagement with others more valid than you would It's found on Instagram.

Such initiatives often have a light spiritual element; Take the simple example that Melissa Warner of the Australian Psychedelic Society is giving a meditation app to Guardian Australia, which is creating a flower that is growing increasingly beautiful and complex, on a biofeedback basis. -transfer how relaxed the user is.

So tonight there is an opportunity to try out virtual reality and extended reality experiences that go beyond leisure use – there is no diving with sharks or rollercoaster rides here. But users should strand in tightly anyway: these experiences are designed to facilitate a different journey.

Those technologies to try in the Brunswick warehouse include Crystal Vibes, which encourages some form of synaesthesia by using music to draw a visual journey; Subpac, a device has been strapped to the back to deliver bass vibrations to the vertebra as the user plays favorite songs on their phone; a Mirrors, which make your hand movements decompose into light particle paths. The prefixing of these for five minutes in a queue system is overwhelming, but it is immediately apparent that these experiences are designed for “set and set”, as are people who are passionate about psychedelic drugs t give it – the user needs to settle comfortably and self-reflect.

The event was created by Jose Montemayor and Carl H Smith, both of whom are here tonight, from Mexico and London respectively, and who has taken him to different countries. Smith says that cyberdelics fit well with meditation and breathing exercises. With this in mind, the official operations open with Warner leading led meditation, before talks by Montemayor and Smith (through the Powerpoint technological collection). In a way, Smith said, our day-to-day lives are a distorted reality: from pictures of the real estate that extend property dimensions through wide angle lenses, to the identities we are taking. It makes us believe that our noses are much bigger than they actually are, the apps that brush us to perfection – and that trigger an increase in cosmetic surgery – and the mirrors are Our reflections are in the back.

Smith and Montemayor are very interested in how to undo the damage done by smartphones and their apps. Extended reality technology, they say, could provide a more authentic sense of human contact and more empathy by allowing us to stand in other people's shoes (or borrow their eyes). We may experience what it is like to be another sex, or have schizophrenia, for example.

There is also a role that extended reality technologies can play in therapy, Warner tells Guardian Australia. “Combining multiple aspects of technology with psychedelic medicine and psychotherapy has very interesting implications for the future. In BrainPark at Monash University there are programs that allow someone with OCD to experience a graduation environment. If you are very reactive to irritability, they will have level one, where perhaps there is a little water on the bench. They get the client to become comfortable in that environment before increasing it. So, for example, the rubbish can be thrown over. ”

VR exposure therapy is even beginning to be used to treat trauma, as for those who have experienced car accidents and who will be deliberately triggered – in a controlled environment – by a scene like a similar road driving. “They have to be very careful that the patient is not outside a tolerance window so that they won't repeat them,” said Warner, “to do so they may collect bio- t feedback from the patient through heart rate monitors so that the psychologist or doctor can tell if the patient is becoming overweight. ”

Video of Crystal Vibes, one of the

But the most mentioned experience is one that few people will get tonight because of his need of 25 minutes in a peaceful location. Montemayor Death is just the Beginning that simulates an almost dead experience through virtual reality.

“The intention is to go deeper into the transformative benefits of the almost dead experience,” said Montemayor to Guardian Australia. “For me, it's been an amazing journey because it's about not focusing on what happens after that, but what happens from the front.” it's been designed originally for self-reflection, it is now being adapted as Being with Death, to be used with palliative care patients.

“We are working with us [London neuropsychiatrist] Peter Fenwick and I found a hospice, from the name Zen Hospice, in San Francisco, which is very cold and open, so we started the conversation, ”he said.

As with the rest of us, the late ethnobotanist and author, Terence McKenna, told an audience in Germany in 1991 that a virtual reality could offer a new kind of communication – that would be more like a delepathy, united with the tribal community we have behind.

But are we strong enough to cut the social media hooks that have been designed specifically to embed in the human brain? (If you think I've refused to post a picture of the night to Instagram, you're wrong.)

Rushkoff takes Timothy Leary's analogy that “the PC is LSD of the 1990s” and it's to be put on the internet. Our lack of understanding of the psychedelic landscape – and how a set and layout influences it – that causes a mass evil journey, he said. To the cybernauts, it's vital that we now find ways to use technology to thrive.

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