Monday, May 3, 2010

beginner + mushrooms = go master

After playing go for about three years, I was beaten by a complete beginner who was tripping on mushrooms.

Go is not a game in which a beginner beats even someone of modest skill. Between two players of perhaps 2 or 3 kyu difference, the better player will win close to 100% of the time. In that system, I was at least ten kyu above this guy.

But he ate his mushrooms, waited about twenty minutes, sat down, learned the rules, and proceeded to mop the board with me.

While this is anecdotal to the max, it implies that mushrooms do not merely "distort" perception, but unlock powerful intelligence which is usually unaccessible to the human mind.

The best non-alien, non-god explanation I can think of for this is that the human brain is capable of feats of intelligence much greater than normal, but it is severely inhibited by a safety mechanism or something, and that mushrooms produce their "crazy ass" imagery by disabling these safety mechanisms.

Two questions:
1. Do mushrooms enhance performance?
2. If that's the case, then what? Should we practice our alien diplomacy protocols by speaking with people who are tripping (i.e. because they are intelligent beings who only loosely resemble normal humanity)? Should we use psychedelics to solve problems in science and engineering? Should we make psychedelics illegal because of the potential damage caused by activating superhuman intelligence?

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