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HamiltonMorris_332 karma

During the PCP episode I really wanted to film in an active PCP lab. I became friends with a cook (who's interviewed in the piece, he's wearing a ski mask) and we started talking and trying to build a trusting relationship with one another. This cook had a bombastic group of friends who were very self-promotional and wanted to exchange lab access for producer credits on my TV show, which they believed would help them break into the industry. I gave the cook some of my scholarly writing on arylcyclohexylamines and he was impressed and started warming up to the idea of allowing us to film, even then I could tell he was deeply conflicted as he knew the shoot represented an unnecessary risk.

Eventually his friends told us to meet them in an abandoned building in Compton in the middle of the night and to bring a handle of vodka, we arrive and our fixer immediately starts to feel suspicious and agitated. He turns to me and says, "I think some shit's about to go down. I just want to make sure you know how to fight, you know how to throw a punch right?" I tell the fixer that, in fact, I do not know how to fight, and even if I did it wouldn't be a good solution in this abandoned building in the middle of the night.

Eventually the PCP cook and his friends arrive and there was no need for concern, we laugh and share stories until dawn. The moral is that the sketchiest person in this encounter was someone on my own crew who got nervous and made the situation more frightening than it had to be. If you are honest, knowledgable, and direct people will generally respect that.

HamiltonMorris_327 karma

The question I'm asked most frequently is some variation of "How did you get your job?" It's a question that's built on a lot of interesting misconceptions. Most people would never ask a novelist or a filmmaker or a musician they admire "How did you get your job?" Because they weren't given what they do, and what they're doing isn't a "job" in a typical sense of the word (they didn't apply for it after seeing a listing). They create things and then sell them to record labels or film distributors or publishers. (How they do THAT is a different question entirely and one that's rarely asked.) So if the question is how did I get where I am, the simple answer is that I went to the Vice office when I was twenty and pitched some stories that interested me, wrote them, got them in print and then never stopped writing stories.

Creative work isn't something you do because you took a special class or have a certain degree. It's work you do because you want to communicate something, so if there are stories you want to tell you should go tell them however you can.

HamiltonMorris_194 karma

As a general rule I don't believe in blaming dealers for problems associated with drug use, assuming there is no misrepresentation of the product. This applies to all forms of drug dealer from the psychiatrist to the pharmaceutical company to the Chinese RC vendor to the stereotypical pusher in an alley. I believe we all must take responsibility for the drugs we ingest wherever they come from. For that reason I hesitate to wag my finger at Purdue over rampant overprescription and use of oxycontin.

That said, the cases of fen-phen and benfluorex are truly horrifying chapters in medical history. The manufacturers knew these drugs could cause irreversible cardiac fibrosis that would not be detectible by the user until it was too late and sold them anyway. It's unacceptable any time a pharmaceutical company suppresses information that would allow patients and physicians to make informed decisions about the drug.

HamiltonMorris_182 karma

Yes. I really like the idea of crowdsourcing research. Obviously the signal-to-noise ratio is going to be heavily skewed toward noise but within the hordes of unthinking commenters there really are smart people who sometimes have amazing insight into very specialized research problems.

HamiltonMorris_169 karma

I'm not in a huge rush to try 4-chloroamphetamine or 6-hydroxydopamine or domoic acid or ciguatoxin.