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An excerpt from my book The Book of Real and Imaginary Drugs.

I will smell some glue while drinking a glass of absinth. It is called succession glue. But before saying anything about this drug, I need to tell you about the way we perceive the outside world. In fact, it is very simple. We do it instance by instance. And if the instances are close enough, that is, if we sample the outside world frequently enough, our mind fills the gaps between them, which makes us think that the sampling process is continuous. Movie screens use this principle. If you see twenty four pictures in one second, then you think that the pictures are actually moving.

The succession glue sticks between these instances, or samples. Hence, you can have that feeling of continuity even if the gaps are large. For a person who smelled the glue, there is no difference between a movie and a comic book.

The drug works for sound, too. Imagine a stick hitting a hard surface, creating a regular rhythm, say one beat per second. If the stick starts hitting the surface faster and faster, after some point, you cannot hear the individual beats. The rhythm turns into buzz with a certain pitch which can be expressed by a musical note. For instance 110 beats per second is called an A. So, pitch is just a deformation of rhythm, and vice versa. Thus, for a person who smelled the glue, there is no difference between rhythm and pitch. In particular, a polyrhythm sounds like a chord.

The mechanism of reasoning obeys the same rule. If we observe one event right after another, we usually think that the first one is the reason of the second. If an object disappears right after an illusionist says some magic words, we feel like the illusionist made the object disappear, though we may not believe it. For a person who smelled the glue, one of the reasons of French revolution is the invention of fire. And if he consumes a sufficient amount of the drug to the point of drug poisoning, he can see that the reason of his death is nothing but his birth.

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One Comment

  1. makes me want to drink alchoholic beverages


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