I Think I Hated This Tech Conference on Psychedelics

I stood in a silent auditorium and stared obediently into the eyes of a stranger. His eyes were brown. His nametag said Mark. He had a soul patch so tiny I wondered if he had to tweeze it into shape. Around me, several hundred other people were similarly engrossed in this “experiment in connection.” I snuck a glance to my right, where a woman was beaming at her partner. Another pair were clasping each other’s shoulders like slow-dancing eighth graders, one of them weeping. I looked back at Mark. It was like making eye contact with a harbor seal. “That was 30 seconds,” said the man with the microphone. “Ten minutes to go.” I was at Awakened Futures, a conference …