The National Botanical Garden is so great I can’t even stand it

I’ve been going around tripping at cool locations in DC while tripping on LSD. First I went to the zoo, then to the art gallery, and yesterday I took a nice trip to the National Botanical Gardens. It was pretty awesome. Italics represent later annotations, plain text is notes I took at the time:

It’s 11:35, acid is under my tongue.

Primitive culture probably has a lot of valuable things to say about nature, especially if psychedelics do produce useful insights, but unless they’ve at the very least grappled with the realities of evolution, I can’t take their ideology seriously.

1:37 PM

The botanical gardens made me think a lot about evolution. I really recommend reading The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins, back when he was more focused on biology than on atheism. Really digging into that stuff is SO important for understanding how life works and why the world is the way it is.

OMG so I’m at the botanical garden and it’s just so indescribably wonderful. It’s like someone knew exactly what I was missing in this long, cold winter, and gave it to me.

1:39 PM

I get a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD – best acronym ever) and the botanical gardens were great for it. Warm temperature, lots of plant smells, humid air, bright light, it was glorious.

It is what I’d hope gardens on spaceships would be like

Squeezing a ton of really nice living space into a small 3-D volume. Nice smells, nice place to chill, medicine production, food production even

1:42 PM

If you’re living long term in space you’d want to keep a nice garden / park, and would want to preserve useful plant in it. The botanical gardens have a lot of interlocking paths all through this big cube of space, going in and out of some other nearby rooms, that creates the illusion of a lot of space to wander in a relatively small area.

I’m going to start taking photos for analysis later

1:46 PM

And so I did:

I got really into this plant:

20150302_13470920150302_134715 20150302_134724 20150302_134735

It’s one of those really soft ones, the leaves feel like velvet.


I thought these flowers were unrealistically blue. They’re some sort of crossbreed super-flower it seems.


Heh heh, Orlando.


I was very curious how these would taste.20150302_140853 20150302_140902 20150302_140919

I thought this would be a very disturbing illusion if you lived within that painting, like a two dimensional creature.

20150302_141209 20150302_141230

I salute you Quinine, noble soldier against Malaria.


Being a plant explorer would be a cool job.


Spoken like a person who looks at a lot of flowers and is rarely hungry.


Unsurprisingly, no one was interested in the room with the fake plants.


I was unbelievably blown away by how these plants hung down.

20150302_142250 20150302_142410

Is there a word for things that have been faked to look like evidence of a real thing? Check out the photo above: it’s made to look like Hawaii, with the land made of multiple layers of lava flows. 

20150302_144159 20150302_144334


I went out side briefly so when I came back I would appreciate the warmth more20150302_144920

Did you know this is what coffee trees look like? I did not. Apparently practically nothing that we call a bean really is a bean: coffee beans, vanilla, at least one other kind of bean.


Writing here

Switched to writing stuff on my phone at this point.

I don’t know what level people are expected to enjoy looking at flowers on, but I feel like I am enjoying them on at least that many levels.

Okay unconsidered wrinkle: don’t empathize too much with the plants, or else it really becomes some body horror shit.


I feel like I’m in a starship. There are a couple hippies. I took their picture.

2:56 pm

On acid I always feel like people are giving me weird looks / mugging for the camera like Parks and Rec

3:00 pm

Which I then ended up watching for like 6 hours after I got home. I appreciated what a good message it has for young women.

I just took an hour-ish long tour of the garden. Endlessly fascinating! If you want to learn about life on Earth, this is where to come. Screw zoos and museums and all that shit with having a nervous system. We’ll see if it’s a fad.

The tour guide was really great. She was this nice old lady who was volunteering at the garden. She had an accent like Frank Underwood in House of Cards, but in all other ways was the opposite of him.

Botanical gardens are basically zoos for plants. I find it’s much easier to understand adaptation and evolution when looking at plants than animals. It lets you just think about what the genes are ‘trying’ to do without getting distracted by the somewhat different goal structure of an animal’s mind. Genes build brains to accomplish certain tasks, but sometimes the brains get ideas of their own and feel like they’re in charge.

3:49 PM

Where do flowers come from? Apparently they don’t know they didn’t exist in dinosaur times. They’re an adaptation to animals being a thing. Some plant realized you can manipulate animals ON PURPOSE, get them to choose the best flower, best fruit, spread your genes for you. We are all just helping plants have sex with each other.

3:55 PM

What if speaking a language made you think in a certain way?

Shit it totally does.

But what if that way had to do with how it makes you hold your face, and so it just makes you feel happy or sad to use those words?

Do linguists take that sort of thing into consideration? Because it really does seem like

Got distracted at this point. Think about the fact that your facial expression effects your mood. Not only do you smile when you’re happy, smiling makes you happy, since your brain apparently notices the smile, and figures it must be happy about something. This works for other, subtler, things as well, like squinting puts people in a bad mood. Anyway, I’d assume different languages make you hold and move your mouth in different ways. So what does that do to your mood, or indeed to your personality over the course of a lifetime?

Shit a kid came through acting like he was hurting the plants and I was very upset.

It’s funny comparing this to the art gallery or the zoo. It sort of has aspects of both. Old people, small children, stuff to look at…. social class or something… I will do that analysis later

The classiness of a place is determined by what kind of people like to go there. Zoos are low class because any idiot / small child can get a kick out of seeing cool animals. Art Museums are higher class because they’re less universally appealing – they appeal to people who are into art, which I imagine correlates pretty highly with education level. The botanical garden is sort of in between. 

The main thing I end up watching is other people

That’s still the social environment I’m in.

Is the real reason we have sexual taboos just so that people don’t think too hard about their own goal structure?

Your mind was designed to be an effective tool for your genes to produce copies of themselves back on the savanna. Everything else it does is just a side effect. 

Why is my number in my phone under someone else’s name?

I started typing it so I could text something to myself, and a contact popped up with my number but a different name. Very strange.

My Mind, My Digestive Tract: Two Complicated Systems I Know Little About

I feel sort of bloated, and I feel like I feel that way a lot. I don’t really know what it is.

I keep switching positions and whatnot, but nothing seems to help for that long. It helps to burp sometimes.

And sometimes things that I wouldn’t expect to help, do, in ways that makes me think that it’s psychological? But then other things like the burping make me realize that that’s probably not the case?

Idk, the human body and mind and whatnot are complicated.

4:21 PM

A flower implies an audience

4:25 PM

I’m now realizing all my Facebook posts and shit exist in a format only accessible through facebook. That sucks!

4:26 PM

I have a lot of feelings. Some of them are inside me trying to get out, some of them are outside me and they seem to want to come in.

4:49 PM

I didn’t really think anything that made me think that.


Still feeliand;kjfnaknvkjan kuanvk;uandvkjnadk;jvnajgha;lnvkj;afvkjaf;hkjnajf,nbkjfenb

Just visited the botanical gardens which were really great. Blalh albhalhbkjahbl;ka

Haha, I was getting annoyed at the process of writing at this point.

5:02 PM

I stumbled across this comic and it really spoke to me:

5:10 PM

I cannot recommend Dresden Codak highly enough. The current Dark Science arc works as a standalone, and I reread the whole thing yesterday. It starts a couple pages forward from the comic I linked to. Do yourself a favor and go read it. It’s a great trippy transhumanist alternate reality webcomic. The art is great, and the whole thing warrants careful examination. Tripping was a great state to look at it, both because of the attention to detail it gave me, and the fact that it slowed my reading speed and made me spend more time on each page.

I read about how Huxley or somebody first did a psychedelic drug and went on some rant about drapery, and what a great art form it was.

So definitely my thoughts about bloating shouldn’t be taken uncritically (when they come in a couple hours)

7:31 PM

I had an incredible trip to the botanical gardens. They are just so wonderful. And my house is so lame by comparison. Whenever I trip I come back to the house and feel sort of trapped.

I keep thinking I should just wait until it’s nice out, but then I keep thinking of fun things to do like this. This time for sure though: no more trips until it’s comfortable to chill outside all day!

7:33 PM

Rereading what I just wrote, maybe I should use footnotes? My paragraphs all seem to trail off into parentheticals.

7:49 PM

I think I’ve been having an issue with bloating.

Now if you’re a guy you may not even know what this is.

If you’re a girl you’re rolling your eyes at the existence of guys like that.

I’ve been feeling it on and off lately, and have been fairly annoyed by it, but didn’t really make an effort to do anything about it.

LSD seems to usually make it worse, but mainly in the sense of being hyper-aware, and thus obsessing over any discomfort.

Anyway, so my first revelation was basically just the above: that I should be looking into it at all.

I’ve had a whole interesting experience looking up remedies, because what I discovered was that bloating is a symptom women get during their periods. So I’m looking through all these websites for which I’m not the target demographic. There was plenty of helpful advice. Also I saw things that horrified me.

Think about what an awful feeling bloating is for women in our society: for any guys who aren’t familiar, it makes you feel like your stomach is overinflated, like a balloon with too much air in it (not a bad analogy for the whole gross situation). It seems like it’s not a feeling you’d want to have if you were already having any body image issues, since you just feel fat and overinflated, and well bloated (which makes sense, because how I made this connection in the first place was me googling my symptoms that I “felt bloated” and then realizing that that was already an incredibly common term for the symptom I was trying to describe.)

So this leads to me thinking “Oh hey, maybe I should drink tea instead of coffee today, and oh, I guess I’ll use my (female) roommate’s non-caffeinated peppermint tea, since more caffeine is not needed on acid day (by the way, did you realize that the word “caffeine” derives from the word “coffee”? Me neither, I just made that statement up, but I bet it’s true!)

Turns out it’s from “café”, the French word for coffee.

But then I got distracted (see above) and was looking up bloating remedies again, and the top thing being recommended was peppermint tea.

So clearly this is my roommate’s anti-bloating tea for when she has her period, and equally clearly, I’m not going to talk to her about this.

Anyway, the conclusion of my bloating story was that after looking at the risk factors, I think my issue is that I eat a lot in the evening and then go to sleep with a full stomach. Most likely a consequence of my getting high a lot in the evening. So yeah, cut down in on the munchies, eat a better breakfast to balance it out, onwards and upwards.

7:52 PM

I hate closing tabs on my computer. If I go to check what that tab was, then that page has to load up, and it takes forever. And it takes so long loading that I can’t just go and ex out

When I do LSD what I really get into is well craftedness – like being able to see the intentionality in something, and having it work. I can’t stop seeing the media rather than the substance, so what works is where they complement each other well.

Examples of things that have been great on LSD: Dresden Codak (above), Jurassic Park, Alien, Parks and Recreation.

I live in a row of houses, I always hear people going up and down stairs and whatnot next door, and when on acid it seems like they’re somewhere in my house.

The problem with centaurs is I don’t think they could be born with that spine shape. Just try to imagine it. Or better, don’t.

10:37 PM

How much of our sex culture is driven by getting hangovers the next morning? You’re much more likely to feel regretful. I wonder about the sexual cultures of different subcultures.

And that’s where it trailed off into the allure of my Parks and Rec marathon. Thanks for reading all the way through (or skipping to the end)!

2 responses to “The National Botanical Garden is so great I can’t even stand it

  • Scotland Tripper

    Sounds like a great experience, you had lots of profound thoughts which you described well.
    In particular you mentioned language influencing thought (or the Sapir-whorf hypothesis), although it sounds like you already recognise this! It is strange to think that language can have an effect on thought processes, in some cases even leading to some cognitive tasks being harder from one language to the next! It seems rather unfair in some ways, another part of life which seems like a lottery!

    As far as whether muscle movements can influence mood there may be some truth in that, you are more likely to laugh when you are forced into a smiling position (by biting a pen for instance) so it may be plausible that languages which naturally have words which the muscle movements are similar to smiling could cause a similar effect. Certainly an interesting thought.

    You are clearly quite intelligent and really seem to make the most out of your trips.
    There is a small, outdoor botanical garden which I’m looking forward to visiting next time I trip and this has made me even more excited.
    This was a good read and I look forward to your next adventure!


    Liked by 1 person

    • aciddc

      Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoyed it! It is interesting to think about how much of what we do is caused by factors we rarely consider, like external stimuli making us keep our face in certain positions. Whenever I think about that fact I smile, not because it makes me happy, but because hopefully smiling will.

      Definitely check out the garden on your next trip, it’s a great setting. I just checked out your blog page, looks like you’re having a lot of cool adventures of your own!


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