A few stream of consciousness style thoughts for stories / settings:
Write a story about parallel worlds in which there are infinite possibilities and have characters move through different realities and branch off when they make decisions and readers vote on which timelines to write more of.
People live in a post-technological state. Artifacts are all around them, including in their own bodies, but there’s been a sort of collapse / decline / singularity. There is a sort of internet on which all these electronics and nanobots and shit are always communicating, and which people can tap into. You can go on a data terminal or something, but the real way to do it is with direct to brain immersive virtual reality.
Oooh! How about you have to meditate and take drugs and such to achieve that state, and it’s scary and trippy, but you can get information, communicate over long distances, and sometimes even accomplish things in the physical world. It’s done by a shaman type figure, presumably there are many such scattered around but in communication with each other.
People have 3D printers and self-replicating solar cells, can basically feed in organic sludge to get food, feed in other stuff to make whatever you want. So the level of tech you can make with self-replicating 3D printers is commonplace, while what you can’t is magic.
People live as post-scarcity technological hunter-gatherer groups, ranging from tiny bands to those cool complex hunter-gatherer societies. Other planets are terraformed, lifespans are long but not eternal for most. Communications is shitty because all the bandwith is taken up by machines.
The cores of planets have robo-bugs in them, there’s an interconnected network of nanocomputers everywhere, and AI’s and uploads live in it. Basically animism is correct. The “gods” that live down there have decided to let the humans live in peace, in that no one will destroy their civilization, but on a small scale it’s a free for all.
Also time in the computer world would pass much faster, with some kinds of intelligence rising and falling very quickly.
There could be something like my suspended animation elves, people froma more dynamic era preserving themselves, waiting for something or just seeing more of the universe temporally with their limited lifespan.
But it’s sort of a dangerous world: tribes of humans can fight over territory or artifacts or just dominance contests. Low casualty but not nothing. Plus there’s murder and such. And of course “spirits”, some friendly, some not. Mostly you’re supposed to stay away and let the shaman deal with them, but of course there’s always black magic.
Mystical powers are real, based on mental states. LSD is the equivalent of a gun back in the day: not necessarily superior to old ways of doing things, but a way to quickly get to a level that is usually a lot more difficult. Like just doing LSD gets you a little power if you know how to use it, and you can train to be on a high level in just a few years.
Democratizing magic away from domination mostly by a variety of weird cults, secret societies, religious orders, criminal syndicates, which all sort of blur together into a sketchy magical underworld ecosystem.
In the 1950’s the CIA starts kicking ass with LSD against these groups, but then the unexpected dissemination of the drug to the public results in something never before seen: millions of people accessing magical power, getting in touch with the spirit world – which maybe is the ruined quasi-computer system of an ancient alien super-civilization somehow built into the fabric of reality, or perhaps accessible from far away but housed in some megastructure. And psychedelics open your mind to it, and you are able to do things like create programs to run, or have some kinds of real world effects, particularly on yourself – maybe long life, resistance to pain or harm, maybe flight?
And so that’s the level that most people who study their whole life and have some training, or take LSD a few times, can do. True prodigies without LSD can do some more stuff, and people with decent LSD training can do telekinesis, teleportation, all sorts of perceptual enhancements, etc.