In this MAPS interview, Mark Pesce, co-inventor of the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), talks about LSD’s influence on his creative process:
I’m not sure that I’d be doing any of the work that I’m doing now [without psychedelics]. My use of psychedelics and my intellectual career essentially began synonymously somewhere in the first or second year of college. And so there was an opening up that came from the psychedelic experience, which resulted in my becoming attracted to certain types of ideas…certain types of research. It’s not that it established the agenda, but it gave me a magnetic center [..] And from that, what I had to do was just follow where that center would take me, and listen to it. And the times in my life when I’ve gotten fucked up are the times when I haven’t done that.
They’ve certainly been facilitators or catalysts for [solving specific problems]. The most striking example is all the cyberspace protocols that came to me. I mean “wham,” it came to me like that, and I just saw them. I got the big picture, but the big picture said, “Okay, well you know roughly how to make it work. Now you have to go in and do the detail, right?” I spent three years doing that detail work, and out of that detail work came VRML, and some stuff which you’ll probably still see in a couple of years. So in that case it was very direct… I’ve done a bunch of research work on the ethics and the effects of virtual environments. And that also was catalyzed specifically in a psychedelic experience. You know, it was like “snap.” It’s a moment of clarity. [..] Just because you see it, doesn’t mean that you’re immediately able to talk about it. I spent six months with that, and managed to sort of piece it together, and say, “Okay, well I’ve got this great tapestry up there. All right, I think I see a relationship within the elements, let me spend some time with it and get it codified into something that’s visibly solid in feel.”
Read more the whole interview here.