ranprieur.com

Can you condense your political ideas to under 100 words?

The most fundamental freedom is the freedom to say no. In a zero-coercion society, there is so much overlap between what's necessary to keep the system going, and what people want to do anyway, that nobody cares if you do nothing. Telling stories to make people want to do things is unsustainable. Utopia must be constantly reinvented at the level of basic actions that people enjoy in

. I don't care how we get there, and we have a long way to go, but right now I support an unconditional basic income paid for by a financial transaction tax.

How about your philosophical ideas?

There is only one place, there is only one time, and there is only one mind. All the varieties of these things are just different ways of looking. There is no third person reality -- it's all first person. Mind is hardware and matter is software. The brain is a user interface for a filter. Atoms and planets are desktop icons on an incomprehensible computer. Physics and astronomy are squinting at pixels, that only fill themselves in when we look. Humans are some kind of experiment in not knowing that the universe is alive.

Who is your biggest role model?

Paul Erdos, who was such a good mathematician that he traveled around staying with other mathematicians, and they would take care of all his practical needs while he just talked with them about math. Erdos said this when he took a month off from amphetamines: "Before, when I looked at a piece of blank paper my mind was filled with ideas. Now all I see is a blank piece of paper." That's how I feel about cannabis and fiction.

How much weed do you smoke?

I use a Silver Surfer vaporizer, which is extremely efficient, so it comes out to only a gram a month. Weed gives me creative superpowers, and raises my emotional intelligence to nearly normal. It makes me feel like my life is a video watched by God.

But the more I use it, the more it just makes me feel numb. Also it gives me low-quality sleep that feels like high-quality sleep, but wears out my body. So I do all kinds of self-experiments to figure out how to maximize benefits and minimize costs. Lately I've been doing one to three days on, two to four days off.

What about other drugs?

I do LSD and mushrooms, not at the same time, a few times a year. I've never hallucinated, but things look different. LSD is like the white keys on a piano, and mushrooms are like the black keys. LSD is like walking on the sun, and mushrooms are like walking on the moon. On LSD, nature is heaven and clouds of insects are angels. On mushrooms, nature is fairyland and trees are literal fairies.

What is your favorite long fiction?

In order of when I read them:

Roadmarks

by Roger Zelazny,

Wuthering Heights

by Emily Bronte,

Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou

by Hitoshi Ashinano,

Little, Big

by John Crowley,

A Splendid Conspiracy

by Albert Cossery.

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Instead of fixating on goals, practice quickly noticing fleeting opportunities.