Kevin Herbert

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Kevin Paul Herbert is a computer programmer and software designer.

  • "From my personal experience, psychedelics have helped me to get past some of my most challenging problems. Overall, I feel like it's affected the development of my ideas about what our responsibility is to society for the kinds of technologies that we develop. I think that it also has given me insight into how to create technology. So, extrapolating from there, I think that many technical people have been exposed to LSD - although, it's hard to say just how many people. This is because engineers working in corporate situations don't want to get into trouble. In general, engineers can't really talk about their psychedelic use the way that, say, Alex Grey can talk about how he was tripping on this or that while he was doing a painting."
  • "Psychedelics are especially helpful with the development of new computer technologies because recent developments have shifted toward more open technology, and an increased reliance upon software, as opposed to reliance on machines and mechanisms. I think the fact that everything in the world has become more and more flexible, and more programmable, is a result of people taking LSD at early times in their life, like in high school or college. It changes one's vision of the kinds of technology that one can build. It encourages a departure from things being rigid and imposing. Instead, contemporary computer software is flexible and malleable, changeable and not static."
  • "I think that the primary reason that we have networks like the Internet is because of graduate students at Stanford, MIT, and Berkeley who tried psychedelics. These psychedelic graduate students were influenced by ideas to build things that were open, distributed, and based on trust models."
  • "LSD showed me a lot about myself. It's helped me feel comfortable making the decisions that I thought were appropriate. Like, I think that LSD helped me realize my desire to skip college, and it contributed to my confidence in following through with that. In a technical context I've seen solutions that otherwise evaded me. I've had specific situations where I've had a really complex problem that I've spent weeks looking at - then I would end up having a psychedelic experience, like tripping on LSD while seeing the Grateful Dead, and I would have it figured out." --