Silicon Valley’s technolibertarian dream was invented by Timothy Leary

By 1980, Leary had become a counterculture icon, an international fugitive, a lodger in some of California’s finest penitentiaries, and eventually a resident of Beverly Hills. He had come far from his time as a young cadet at West Point and his subsequent career at Harvard researching psychedelic drugs. It was in this latter period that Leary’s theories emerged as a precursor to the weird transhumanist vision of Silicon Valley. In the 1960s, Leary’s pro-LSD jingle was “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out.” In the 1980s, his vision could be summed up in one word: SMI2LE.

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