Psychedelic hero Alexander Shulgin nearing death

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Our best wishes and deep respect to psychedelic pioneer and maverick chemist Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin who is preparing for his final trip on Earth; he is "surrounded by love and a lot of laughter," his wife and research partner Ann Shulgin posted on Facebook:

We are still blessed in that he has no pain -- or when he does have a twinge or even a needle-strike, it's over immediately, and we haven't had to give him any of the strong pain medicines which Hospice has available. We hope it continues that way.

But everything else is not good news. He's holding on to life, or at least his body is fighting the good fight (he was always extremely strong and healthy, until a few years ago), and it's possible that he may live to see his 89th birthday, but we can't be sure. For that matter, he may stay with us for several months more, but we would be surprised if he did.

Sasha knows that he's dying, but that doesn't bother him. He doesn't know he has cancer of the liver, and there's no need for him to know; that knowledge would give him nothing useful. After all, as he has said, "We all have to die of something!"

Notable Replies

  1. Absolute, proper mad scientist of the good kind. Shame.

  2. I'm sure the video shop owners are grateful for your cash. In reality they're the only ones getting it. The DVD has been purchased, the producers already got their cut of the disc you're renting.

    Then there's the question of libraries and timing. If a DVD is available from my library is it any less ethical to download it than to borrow it? How so? Also worth pointing out that when this documentary was released there was a period of a couple months where you could watch the doco in full for free on the documentary producer's website. How would taking a screencap of the film from there and watching it later differ from taking a copy from thepiratebay?

    I applaud your commitment to paying creators for their work, but I'd recommend reconsidering where and how you make that happen. Renting this from the DVD store doesn't help anyone but the DVD store owner. No change in exposure for the topic, no change in view count or ranking of the DVD and certainly no change in financial or social situation for the Shulgins. You're better off buying a copy of TiHKAL and PiHKAL if you want to send your cash to these great humans and to spread awareness of this exceptional man.

    I do not applaud your self-righteous anti-piracy screed since me pointing people to where they can get the doco for free unarguably increases popular awareness of the Shulgins far more than telling people to rent the DVD.

  3. He's inspired a lot of people to become and remain chemists, and these people do useful, world improving work during the day so that they can perfect PiHKaL in the evenings.... A true hero and a visionary of our time whose influence can't properly be measured

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