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RE: Meth and hacking?
From: <auto465651 () hushmail com>
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 06:32:44 -0800

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Ah yes, substances and hacking... I've dabbled with most things over
the years...

grass doesn't really help, but makes the experience of creative programmer
a bit more enjoyable. ("Wow, Perl's OO is soooo cool! It's all so logical
and consistent!") Alcohol is a complete no-no for anything but passive
activities (reading mailing lists, staring at the latest pictures of
rocks from Mars,..). Speed is just horrible and not worth taking for
any reason. Coke is silly; I'd have loads of amazing ideas and insights,
 then woke up (very late) the next day to find that not only were they
all bollocks, but I'd emailed half the world (including people at work)
at 4am to explain them. Crack I only dabbled with briefly, long enough
to realise that NOTHING is worth that kind of downer. Amazing that there's
a worse drug than speed but there you go. I didn't try hacking on crack,
 you don't really want to do anything except very still, waiting for
it to wear off and wondering whether to get another rock.

On Ecstacy and acid I just stared at screensavers. Man oh man Jamie Zawinski
has a lot to answer for... :)

On a serious note, I don't think anything that changes your consciousness
can actually improve your attention span, focus etc - AFAIK the only
substance clinically proven to do so (this includes caffienne - all that
does is make you tired and unable to sleep) is actually nicotine, but
there are fairly severe side-effects to that.

I did actually manage to get a fairly big project completed whilst using
smack - not whilst actually high, of course, cos you'd keep nodding out
in the middle of a line...  But this is also of course strongly deprecated
for all the well-known reasons. Interesting place to visit but you wouldn't
want to live there...

Finally I do think that selected hallucinogens can help with your general
mindset. Hacking is certainly all about creative thought, which means
looking at things in a new way, or applying techniques from one area
to another. I like to take a trip every few years or so, just to blow
the cobwebs away, and I stay away from everything else these days except
fags (uh, tobacco) and a beer & a spliff or two in the evening to accelerate
relaxation. If any young impressionable kids are out there, I strongly
recommend you AVOID the well-known bad drugs - smack, crack and coke.
I've never seen crystal meth but it certainly sounds like it fits into
those categories. I had problems with a couple of the things mentioned
above but I'm clean (of them!) now and enjoying life, work & recreational
hacking much more as a result. It's hard to enjoy computers when your
skin is trying to crawl off into the next room or you're "sweating, shaking,
 your body's aching badly, feel the fever in your bones" - gripped by
violent stomach cramps and every cell of your brain is telling you to
go and get just one more bag... but I think everyone should have at least
one experience with LSD.

Language and OS bigots may be interested to hear that I most enjoy Perl,
 Linux and emacs, respectively ;)

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