Sunday, November 11, 2007

I Heart Wikipedia

Category: Fictional drugs is the kind of kooky Wikipedia entry I love. I stumbled on it while looking for an entry on Nepenthe, a mythical drug which brings complete forgetfulness.

Missing from this list, Can-D, from Philip K. Dick's science fiction novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. In the novel, Dick anticipated virtual reality and fantasy play, albeit with the assistance of a fictional hallucinogen:

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch takes place some time in the twenty-first century. Under the authority of the United Nations, humankind has colonized every habitable planet and moon in the solar system.

Life for most colonists is physically daunting and psychologically monotonous so the UN must draft individuals to colonize. Most colonists entertain themselves using Barbie-like “Perky Pat” dolls and the multitude of accessories manufactured by Earth-based P.P. Layouts. The company also secretly creates Can-D, an illegal but widely available hallucinogen that allows the user to "translate" into Perky Pat (if the user is female) or her boyfriend Walt (if male). This allows colonists to experience an idealized version of life on Earth in a collective unconscious hallucination.

I have resisted getting an account in Wikipedia, but this may push me over the edge.

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