10 Geniuses Who Got High on Drugs and Changed The World
Aug 24, 2013 01:27
Geniuses are more often than not a lot quirkier than you. They (and their ideas) are not always socially accepted, which makes them extraordinary human beings with great capabilities regular folk can't seem to understand.
But sometimes geniuses also enjoy things that expand or relax their minds, like drugs. Steve Jobs openly mentioned that he had experimented with LSD in his youth, and that the experience had been incredibly important to him. Famous astrophysicist Carl Sagan had secretly loved weed - a fact that only surfaced after his death.
Here are other geniuses who got high* on something and yet changed the world:
1. Thomas Edison: Cocaine
He invented the lightbulb, and he was also famous for sleeping only four hours a night. This might have had to do with his love for Vin Mariani, which was essentially wine with cocaine in it. 2. Sigmund Freud: Cocaine
Freud was a cocaine fan. He believed in it so much that he used it to treat a morphine-addicted friend only to slowly kill him with it over a seven-year period. But Freud was still convinced that it was a miracle healing drug. Howard Markel writes:
Yet like most humans ensnared by cocaine’s addictive grip, for the next 12 years, [Freud] continued to sing its praises and consumed a great deal of cocaine to quell his physical aches and mental anxieties. In a perverse way, Freud loved how cocaine made him talk endlessly about memories and experiences he previously thought were locked in his brain for no one to hear, let alone judge.
3. Carl Sagan: Marijuana
Astrophysicist Carl Sagan kept mum about his casual marijuana use. He wrote an essay extolling the plant's virtues under the pseudonym Mr. X for a 1969 book called "Marihuana Reconsidered."
"[T]he illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world."
4. Bill Gates: LSD
Gates told Playboy in 1994:
PLAYBOY: One LSD story involved you staring at a table and thinking the corner was going to plunge into your eye.
PLAYBOY: Ah, a glimmer of recognition.
GATES: That was on the other side of that boundary. The young mind can deal with certain kinds of gooping around that I don't think at this age I could. I don't think you're as capable of handling lack of sleep or whatever challenges you throw at your body as you get older. However, I never missed a day of work.
5. Dr. William Stewart Halsted: Cocaine
Dr. Halsted invented the mastectomy, the life-saving surgical procedure for stopping the spread of breast cancer. He often used cocaine as an anesthetic, in the operating theater on his patients, and out of the operating theater on himself.
6. Francis Crick: LSD
Francis Crick reportedly discovered the double-helix structure of DNA in 1953 while under the influence of LSD.
7. Steve Jobs: LSD
As he once famously said:
"Throughout that period of time [1972-1974] I used the LSD approximately ten to fifteen times," Jobs said. "I would ingest the LSD on a sugar cube or in a hard form of gelatin. I would usually take the LSD when I was by myself. I have no words to explain the effect the LSD had on me, although, I can say it was a positive life changing experience for me and I am glad I went through that experience." 8. Richard Feynman: Marijuana and LSD
Feynman was celebrated in the physics world. He had an early interest in the phenomenon of hallucination, which he talks about in his book "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman." He often explored his interest sober, by plunging himself into pitch-black isolation tanks until stimulation-starved senses started manufacturing their own effects. This took up a lot of time. So you can imagine how much time he saved with the help of weed and acid. 9. Kary Mullis: LSD
This scientist is known for making a major improvement on a process called the polymerase chain reaction (PCR technique). When BBC asked him if his achievement would have been possible without his use of LSD, he said, "I don't know. I doubt it. I seriously doubt it." 10. Stephen Jay Gould: Marijuana
Gould is a noted paleontologist and biologist who shocked the scientific community when it was revealed he was a medical marijuana user. It was the best way to treat his nausea associated with cancer treatments.