I-Like to Party (Audio Ecstasy for the Digital Generation)

Welcome to the digital era. Technology has brought us a world of augmented reality, where almost anything can be digitised, replicated, and downloaded to your Iphone at the push of a button. One of the more recent editions to your downloadable lifestyle is the Idoser application by idoser.com. An application that boasts to replicate certain mental states such as heroin, marijuana, first love, out-of-body experience, and orgasm.

At first glance it seems like they’re taking the piss. But ‘resonant entrainment’, as it’s known in physics, has been around since the 60’s. Binaural beats work similarly by sending two slightly different tones through each earphone and the indifferent frequencies cause the illusion of a beat. This is because your brain takes the difference between the two frequencies and ‘synchronises’ them; the supposed result being that you when you listen to digital drugs your brainwaves synchronise with the phantom frequency and it’s this frequency that causes the desired effect. Audio ecstasy.

Before you get excited and start downloading the ‘multiple-orgasm’ app, have a look at the research first. There have been numerous studies and none of them have replicated the desired results. Even so, the research suggests there is a fundamental cause-and-effect issue. It’s the desired mental states that causes the brainwave pattern and not the other way around. So even if your brain did mimic the same frequencies as when you’re high it wouldn’t cause your brain to trip out.

I had a look around these websites and the reviews were extremely mixed. The word ‘scam’ was thrown around a lot. But amongst all the unhappy customers, disappointed their Itouch didn’t make them spray their shorts, there were a few people who reported positive results, no matter how brief. It was enough to say, arouse my interest and give it a go; after all, they said it was safe.

So in my most scientific of experiments I found the LSD ‘beat’ on youtube and decided to subject a cross-section of the public, mainly a few friends and my flatmate. I could have downloaded the app for authenticity, but for about £2.39 a go I thought it could wait until we did some preliminary tests.

I tested it myself first and after ten minutes the only thing I felt was irritated and slightly cheated. The ‘LSD effect’ was slightly lacking, except for a slight ringing in my ears and a feeling of nausea. If this is what the kids are passing as tripping they’re in for a shock if they ever get hold of any real drugs. Strangely, one of the other supposed ‘uses’ for binaural beats is to aid relaxation and meditation. I can imagine having an annoying tone blasted in your ears while you try to relax is about as helpful as having a small child repeatedly tapping on your forehead with a small hammer as you try to sleep.

I put this down to possibly being unsusceptible to its suggestive powers, much like hypnotism. But when I tried it on a few other people they disappointingly remarked on having that same feeling of being cheated out of the last ten minutes. Could this have been the ‘desired’ LSD effect? If so, I think they would’ve got their money’s worth with the price to download the bloody thing, let alone the time spent finding out it was bollocks. I could be wrong. It could be one of things like Magic-Eye, or 3d movies, where it only works for a certain percentage of the population and makes the rest of the world sick into their shoes because they don’t have 20/20 vision.

Either way I’m not convinced. I have uploaded the video so if it does interest you and you’re not of the faint of heart, or stomach, I urge you to conduct your own scientific experiments. Do leave a comment if you report any pink elephants.

http://www.i-doser.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN2X1Kgb5Ag

http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4147