Timothy Leary is typically associated with drug culture and the phrase, “tune in, turn on, and drop out,” but his contributions to futurism are just as significant — and surprisingly related. He developed his own futurist philosophy called S.M.I2.L.E, which stands for Space Migration, Increased Intelligence, and Life Extension. These ideas developed out of Leary’s life-long interest in seeing humanity evolve beyond its outdated morality, which would prove to be highly influential within certain segments of the transhumanist community.
As a futurist, Leary is also important in that he was an early advocate for cognitive liberty and potential for neurodiversity. Through his own brand of psychedelic futurism, he argued that we have the right to modify our minds and create our own psychological experiences. He believed that each psychological modality — no matter how bizarre or unconventional — could still be ascribed a certain value. What’s more, given the extreme nature of certain psychedelic experiences, he also demonstrated the potential for human consciousness to function beyond what’s considered normal. More.
“At the 1977 Libertarian Party Convention, mind-expansion advocate and LSD guru Timothy Leary gave a speech that few of us took very seriously. He spoke of something called the Internet, a network that would connect computers worldwide, allowing participants from around the globe to sign on and retrieve text, photographs, audio and video instantaneously, and to communicate in realtime with anyone in the whole world who also had a computer and a connection. He said that it would be the new revolution against the current social order and stifling status quo. He predicted it would be much, much bigger than drugs in its ability to overthrow the establishment. Whereas tuning in, turning on and dropping out had been of great interest to a somewhat narrow subset of the population, everyone would be able to use the Internet, in his own way, and thus the new revolution against the old order would transcend class, age, nationality and all other demographics…. nothing would ever again be the same.”
“But what really finally brought down the great Leary-Alpert Harvard drug experiment was an article in the school newspaper, the Harvard Crimson, by a very young Andrew Weil — the man who would go on to become America’s alternative medicine guru. Weil was jealous of Alpert over a relationship Alpert was having with an undergraduate. The article reported on the meeting and repeated claims by Leary-Alpert’s critics that the project was run carelessly and irresponsibly. This, in turn, led to a tabloid-style piece about druggies running wild at Harvard in a Boston daily. And with that, the Harvard psychedelic goose was cooked.”
CLE story makes it into my Tumblr via big time blog