April 16 is the anniversary of the discovery of LSD. Which prompts the sober reflection that sometimes in history, while the character of an era seems to depend on a particular person, idea or thing, that person, idea or thing needed the era to become significant too.
For instance, LSD was "discovered" in 1943 by a Swiss chemist who accidentally ingested a small amount of a substance he'd actually first synthesized in 1938.
But it was basically unknown except to a small group of psychological researchers until it caught the attention of activists like Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey who felt, in the 1960s, that their entire society needed its head examined including from within.
The result? One can hardly imagine "the '60s" without "acid."
But equally, LSD-25 would not have become "acid" without the upheaval of that decade. Historical causation is complex, and clearly sometimes the time and the person, idea or thing must meet for either to become truly extraordinary.
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