good to read


How we design and interact with our increasingly autonomous machines will determine the nature of our society and our economy. It will increasingly determine every aspect of our modern world, from whether we live in a more or less stratified society to what it will mean to be human.

John Markoff
 
A Human Decision

27 aug 15 | Markoff, Machines of Loving Grace
Science writer John Markoff offers an unmatched perspective on the most drastic technology-driven societal shifts since the introduction of the Internet. On the brink of the next stage of the computer revolution he urges us to remember that we still have the opportunity to design ourselves into the future – before it’s too late.

 

 

 

Why are we as we are

21 aug 15 | Lane, The Vital Question
Biochemist Nick Lane reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a solution to conundrums that have puzzled generations of scientists. To explain how life evolved on Earth, he explores the deep link between energy and genes, the emergence of multicellular organisms, leading to deep insights into our lives and deaths.

 

 

 

A "mind manifesting" Anthology

13 aug 15 | Dickins & Read, Out of the Shadows
This collection of original papers from the Psychedelic Press UK journal takes us on a fascinating journey through such topics as: Use of psychedelics in medicine and psychotherapy; Archetypal psychology and spiritual awakenings; Creative surges – literature, myth and visionary art; The great questions of life and death.

 

 

 

Progress of Humanity

3 aug 15 | Shermer, The Moral Arc
In his latest book, Michael Shermer explains how abstract reasoning, rationality, empiricism, skepticism –scientific ways of thinking – have profoundly changed the way we perceive morality and, indeed, move us ever closer to a more just world. Epic in scope, The Moral Arc is the Cosmos of human history.

 

 

 

Spiritually Open Minded

29 july 15 | Badiner, Grey, Zig Zag Zen
Both Buddhism and psychedelics are inevitable subjects encountered on the journey to wisdom. Examined together, the reader may understand more deeply the essence of each. Zig Zag Zen features numerous essays, interviews, and art, that lie outside the scope of mainstream anthologies.

 

 

 

Nonviolent ways to respond to violence

23  july 15 | Braatz, Peace Lessons
For students, this book is an introduction to the field of Peace Studies. For scholars, it is a study in how to apply Peace Theory to history. Instructors will appreciate the classroom exercises that dramatize the book’s conceptual lessons. The general reader will gain a new understanding of nonviolence.

 

 

 

They speak and sing and listen

17 july 15 | Fischer, Animal Music
Since the discovery of whale song in 1967, the idea of complex animal sentience has been gaining strength within the scientific community. A growing number of researchers are exploring the idea that animals enjoy music on a similar level to human beings. This is the first anthology to present an overview of the current state of this vital debate.

 

 

 

good to know

The Social Fabric of a Technically Advanced Society

culture | 29 aug 15 | Nicole Sallak Anderson, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
There is so much human potential. Yet something seems to hold us back from becoming a stable species. We have two choices before us, begin to cooperate and live in harmony, or destroy everything, including our planet.

Why we're smarter than chickens

science | 27 aug 15 | Jovana Drinjakovic, University of Toronto
Researchers have discovered that a single molecular event in our cells could hold the key to how we evolved to become the smartest creatures on the planet.

The Cellular Origins of Intelligence

life | 21 aug 15 | Bill Miller, h+ Magazine
Our clearly superior intellectual abilities for certain skills has seduced us towards a dismissive attitude towards the surprisingly deep and broad range of analytical gifts of our companion creatures.

Surfing the Subtle Planes of Reality …

mind | 17 aug 15 | James O’Dea, Reality Sandwich
… (Ego Restricted) … One thing is clear: if ego is restricted from entry to the subtle planes, intellect won’t take you there either – just as intellect won’t help you fall in love.

There's No Such Thing As Race

life | 13 aug 15 | Trace Dominguez, TestTube Plus
According to science, race is just an adaptation of humans living in different parts of the world, but ethnicity is very real. Video.

Into the deep

mind | 11 aug 15 | M M Owen, Aeon
Just when you crave one more sensual hit, the void of the float tank stops time, strips ego and unleashes the mind.

Paranormal experiences with psychoactive drugs

science | 7 aug 15 | David P. Luke and Marios Kittenis, Academia
A preliminary survey about the psychological experience of psi and the neurochemistry of the psi experience. Paper.

Buddhism vs. Utilitarianism

mind | 5 aug 15 | David Pearce, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
If suffering and its abolition are central to life on Earth, can differences between the two traditions that seek to abolish suffering be resolved to questions of means, not ends?

Self-Awareness

mind | 3 aug 15 | Peter Russell, YouTube
The video from a recent talk by Peter Russell puts things together in a new way, and contains quite a bit of material he hasn’t spoken on before.

The Rise of Computer-Aided Explanation

science | 3 aug 15 | Michael Nielsen, Quanta Magazine
Computers can translate French and prove mathematical theorems. But can they make deep conceptual insights into the way the world works?

The end of capitalism has begun

culture | 29 july 15 | Paul Mason, The Guardian
Without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era. The old ways will take a long while to disappear, but it’s time to be utopian.

Mysticism – Contemplative and Chemical

mind | 29 july 15 | Roger Walsh, Reality Sandwich
Mystical experiences are conceived of as coinciding with altered states of consciousness, and a consideration of mystical states should begin with a discussion of consciousness itself. An excerpt from Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics.

The Sustainability Conundrum

eco | 27 july 15 | Richard Hamption, Millennium Alliance for Humanity and Biosphere
Both human population and consumption drive the impacts we are having on the Earth, but how do we reduce both to sustainable levels at the same time?

Human Brain 2.0

life | 23 july 15 | Hank Pellissier, Instititute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
Our human brains obviously needs improvement, in multiple different capacities. But – what is the most important upgrade? Increased Rationality? Increased Empathy? Elevated Happiness?

Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong

mind | 17 july 15 | Johann Hari, TEDGlobalLondon
What really causes addiction – to everything? And how can we overcome it? Johann Hari’s questions unearthed some surprising and hopeful ways of thinking about an age-old problem.

In the beginning

science | 13 july | Ross Andersen, Aeon
There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies. Science has limits. One day, we might feel ourselves pressing up against those limits, and it might be necessary to retreat into the realm of ideas.

Traditional medicine encyclopedia

eco | 13 july 15 | Jeremy Hance, Mongabay
The 500-page encyclopedia marks the first time that a tribe in the Amazon – the Matsés peoples of Brazil and Peru – have created a full and complete transcription of their medicinal knowledge written in their own language and words.

What is the Duration of a Thought?

science | 9 july 15 | Tim Welsh, The Conversation
As inquisitive beings, we are constantly questioning and quantifying the speed of various things, like light and sound. But what about the speed of thought? It’s a challenging question that’s not easily answerable – but we can give it a shot.

Why Materialism Fails

mind | 7 july 15 | Larry Dossey, Open Sciences
The dogma of physicalism suffers from two fatal defects: the sheer poverty of evidence that brains produce consciousness, and the enormous human costs of a world that is sanitized of a spiritual outlook, which the dogma forbids.

Below Our Feet, a World of Hidden Life

science | 1 july 15 | Elizabeth Svoboda, Quanta Magazine
The soil teems with billions of hidden microbes. Researchers have begun to catalog how these organisms are changing the world. The study underscored just how necessary microbial activity is to plant health and productivity.

Initiatives for a better world

culture | 29 june 15 | Catherine Taibi, The Huffington Post
An alliance of 45 newspapers from all around the world participate in a day dedicated to focusing on solutions-based stories about people, places and events, inspiring change on a global level.

Imagination Beats Practice

mind | 29 june 15 | Association for Psychological Science
Practice may not make perfect, but visualization might. People who imagined a visual target were faster at finding it in a display than those who did an actual practice run.

Aboriginal people …

eco | 29 june 15 | David Suzuki, The Vancouver Sun
… not environmentalists, are our best bet for protecting the planet.

A Thread in the Vine

mind | 23 june 15 | Jeff Baker, ResearchGate
This thesis uses the philosophy of deep ecology as a theoretical framework to explore ecospiritual themes as a key feature of increasing discourse around the ayahuasca phenomenon. The broad objective of the research is to use contemporary ayahuasca discourse to reveal the way cross-cultural seekers engage with and discuss shamanic practices that inform a postmodern ecosophical ontology and deep ecological praxis.

Inevitable or Accident?

science | 23 june 15 | Rick Searle, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
The “anthropic principle” makes the claim that not just life, but life of ever growing complexity and intelligence is not just likely, but the inevitable result of the laws of nature.

good to see


Kensho
In the Zen tradition Kensho signifies the first insight – the moment that one intuitively perceives their true nature. Aaron Paradox’s film celebrates with an audio-visual pointing out instruction second to none, with a narration by Alan Watts.




The Scientist
The documentary traces the story of Dr Raphael Mechoulam, the father of modern cannabis research; he ascertained that THC interacts with the largest receptor system in the human body, the endocannabinoid system.




Nature's Wisdom
Plants that teach us sacred geometry at its finest.




good to hear


What is Creativity?

Media artist, futurist, philosopher Jason Silva inspires us to reflect about the creative process and to gain creative insight in our modern, connected, technological world.




Earth in Space

Delve deep into the healing sound current as Crown of Eternity takes you on a cosmic journey through the harmonic resonance of multiple gongs, bells and singing bowls.




Just let go

The piece, featuring Natasha Khan, is taken from British composer and musician John Metcalfe’s new album The Appearance of Colour.




Dreamland Security

David Westbom, aka Asteroids and Earthquakes studied electronic production and design at Berklee College of music; his debut album was released this spring.




Uncertainty, Green

Fabio Perletta’s new album Unseed takes its name from the Japanese tradition of contemplating the transient beauty of nature. Green tea and sandals are recommended, but not required.




Divine Waves

From the opening cymbal swoosh and laconic bass riff, Cory Allen’s new album The Source breathes a deep, ritualistic air.




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