#25 ep1.3-1.7_Philosophy of Psychedelic Technology_AM

CLICK HERE to listen to Season 1 Episodes 3-7

Late last night I finished recording my entire thesis for your audio enjoyment. The five episodes are the five chapters that make up my thesis: introduction, chapters 1-3, and conclusion. I read each chapter as slowly and clearly as possible. All five episodes will be released over three weeks instead of one episode per week. The reasoning behind this is because the thesis is a single unit and I thought it would be too drawn out to need five weeks to release my audio thesis, so I compromised with myself and will release all five episodes over a span of three weeks instead. You’ll see how I spaced them out when they’re all released finally. As well, the reason I decided to produce one episode per chapter is for your listening convenience. What a mess that would be if I put the whole thesis into one episode. It would likely be difficult to find the starting points of chapters; you’d be rewinding, fast forwarding, etc., to find exactly where you left off. No need for that. Now, you can go at your own comfortable pace knowing that each chapter is partitioned in separate episodes. Note: there won’t be podcast transcripts for episodes 3-7 for obvious reasons: if you want a hard copy of podcast episodes 3-7 you can simply download my thesis from the University of Twente’s website (see link below). Other reasons for downloading the thesis: you’ll have access to all in-text citations, the bibliography, the footnotes, etc. Additionally, I’ll leave a link down below to many other theses produced by PSTS master’s students over the years. 

The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has slowed things down a bit, from my research readings to blog and podcast production. The news moves as quickly as the virus it seems, and last week, the week starting Monday, March 9th, 2020, we went from zero to one hundred in a matter of days. I’m in Oslo, Norway at the moment. Starting tomorrow, it seems we’ll be in total lockdown as Norway shuts all schools, most public gatherings, and all ports of entry. There may be some weeks I don’t post at all and I’ll usually have a good reason for not doing so for some unforeseeable reason. 

The series of five thesis podcasts was my first very long monologue. The five episodes clocked in at 2 hours and 52 minutes. It’s a long time to speak. My throat dried and my voice cracked at times. Even though I try to do all audio tracks in a single take with minimal editing, I had to break up some chapters into reading sessions and then link them together in post-production. You’ll notice my voice cracking and the occasional cleared throat. In the final podcast I took sips of water while recording, so I hope that doesn’t negatively affect the listening experience too much. 

Reading aloud and recording my thesis was an experience that gave me insight into the world of audio books. My 3-hour thesis is about one half or one third of the audio book lengths I normally listen to. I wonder for how long authors or audio book actors record, how many takes they do, what their standard is for producing the “perfect” listening experience? I mention in the podcast that I aim to read aloud other works I produce. Expect in the coming year and going forward the capability to consume my future written works in audio format. For example, any research article that my name is on will be turned into a podcast. As well, I intend to read the first 1-2 chapters of my future books to give a sample of what said book is about and which gives you an opportunity to “try before you buy.” Now that I think about it, there could be other ways to read short excerpts on the podcast, particularly if my guest for that week just came out with an interesting book or article, or better, guests might read a portion of their text on the podcast.

I want to say a final word about the framework and environment from which my thesis sprung. I highly recommend my master’s program for aspiring researchers that want to think about psychedelics in more scientific and philosophic ways. I didn’t think at first I’d be able to finagle writing about psychedelics, to turn my hobby into an academic piece of research. In fact, my first book on psychedelic science, the book I’m currently writing, is a direct extension of my master’s program and thesis. I’m going to incorporate many ideas that I couldn’t cram into my thesis but that I think must be discussed in the context of philosophy of psychedelics, particularly in the philosophy of psychedelic technology. I won’t disclose much what I mean by the above statement, not yet, since the book hasn’t been fully written. When the time is right, you’ll understand why the PSTS master’s program is an invaluable framework, which combines philosophy of technology with science and technology studies (STS), to understanding psychedelic experiences in new and wonderful ways. I can’t wait to share with you my thoughts on all this. If philosophizing about psychedelic states of consciousness is for you, if you don’t want to go down the current trendy avenues of psychedelic research (e.g. anthropology, neuroscience, psychology, psychotherapy, etc.), then the University of Twente master’s program called Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society is for you, and tell them hi from me!

Best,

AM

Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society (PSTS) master’s programme

PSTS master’s theses

Toward a Philosophy of Psychedelic Technology: An Exploration of Fear, Otherness, and Control

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