Saturday, August 16, 2008

This is your brain. This is your brain on audio files designed to induce drug-like effects. Any questions?

Our "Weekly Radley", the name I've given to the best post each week from ultra-libertarian Radley Balko, is about digital drugs.

Yes, digital drugs. Those mind-numbing, perception-altering, hallucination-inducing tracks your kid downloads into his iPod. Those who produce these "special" recordings claim that by subtly manipulating the beat patterns in the MP3's, they can help you reduce anxiety, overcome addictions, or help you lose weight.

Here is where it gets interesting, says tech radio host Kim Komando.

However, most sites are more sinister. They sell audio files ("doses") that supposedly mimic the effects of alcohol and marijuana.
But it doesn’t end there. You’ll find doses that purportedly mimic the effects of LSD, crack, heroin and other hard drugs. There are also doses of a sexual nature. I even found ones that supposedly simulate heaven and hell.

I worked in the Literary Retail industry during the beginning, peak, and end of the New Age boom. We used to sell New Age subliminal message music cassettes that would supposedly help you lose weight, be more assertive, stop smoking, stay out of the passing lane, and overcome a great host of other maladies. Customers would ask me if they really worked. If I was feeling particularly bold, I would respond with "Do you believe they work? That's 90% of their usefulness."

Most customers would laugh, and say something about a sucker being born every minute. But the True Believers would always look disappointed with that answer. So I would then sell them an expensive bag of special crystals and a book about where to bury the crystals around their house in order to improve their overall sense of optimism and well-being.

(I don't need to buy an audio file to simulate Hell, since I'm probably going there....)

Anyway, these digital drugs are something different and evil. We're talking about sounds that can replicate the experience and sensations of LSD, crack cocaine, and heroin ! ! ! !

It's just a matter of time before a politician decides we need government intervention.

I'm betting that the first one to do so will be a Democrat. Anyone think otherwise?


Jay@Soob said...

Christ where were these when I was a kid?

I don't entirely disagree though I think Dem opposition would be pro forma. Republican's would likely head up the charge and declare a new war on digital drugs. And then we'll have yet another cozy little facet of black marketeering to spend untold billions on exacerbating. Good times.

Anonymous said...

This sort of reminds me of the age-old scam of selling pornography that isn't pornographic.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I once toyed with the idea of setting-up a website: (or similar) which would contain nothing but pictures of young goats. It was a thought experiment, nothing more and I was curious about what response it would get (and whether I would go to jail).

Of course the kids would be naked. Anyone who puts a young goat in clothes is clearly an utter prevert.

then I came across this...

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Nick's link (above) is incomplete.

I went to the trouble of reposting it here, because I've been laughing out loud at this thing for the last 30 seconds.

Lord have mercy, it's hard to stay weirder than reality.