Issue 09: Flight Instructions
We’ve never met but Michael Pollan is my shaman and my guru.
I read The Omnivore's Dilemma in 2007. I was a twenty year old, vegan-curious and very influence-able college student. If The Omnivore's Dilemma wasn’t a required reading, I wouldn’t have read his books until much later. His Netflix series might have been our first handshake, and my Academic and Professional interests would have been different. My obsession with working at the intersection of food and space might have never been spiked. I'll even go out on a limb and say that if it weren’t for Michael, I might not have applied for a job at ICRAVE six years ago, nor would I be writing an intro to the Chop’s ninth Issue Flight Instructions.
Michael Pollan’s books use science, history, and anthropology to deliver a moral ethos on global topics - such an food systems, environmentalism, and botany. Each book aims to convince us that all living organisms have a strong symbiotic relationship far more complicated than the simplistic us “humans” and them “nature”.
When he announced that he was pivoting from food to focus on psychedelics, I was shocked. There is still so much work to do to, I thought, why switch gears now, Michael? My initial confusion dissolved (pun intended!) and turned into curiosity when I heard him speak about the topic some more. I was excited to see how my guru would turn a marginalized topic into a something worth reading.
Most of us at The Chop were born in the 80’s and missed the peak of psychedelic culture but we're curious of its impact then and now. We wanted to approach the topic from a different angle to better understand the culture it generated and the designs it fueled. We are not encouraging any type of illicit behavior but rather a portal into an underground culture we know little about. We want to discover the psychedelic culture with curiosity and rigor, just like Michael.
We are excited for you to take this journey with us and learn about how altered states of consciousness influenced art, movies, design, and culture. We hope to come out on the other side awake and enlightened.
These are our Flight Instructions on how to change your mind.