good to read


One of the key insights of the systems approach has been the realization that the network is a pattern that is common to all life. Wherever we see life, we see networks.

Fritjof Capra
 
A Holistic Worldview

25 july 14 | Capra, Luisi, The Systems View of Life
A new systemic conception of life has emerged at the forefront of science. New emphasis has been given to complexity, networks, and patterns of organisation leading to a novel kind of ‘systemic’ thinking. This volume integrates the ideas, models, and theories underlying the systems view of life into a single coherent framework.

 

 

 

Conversations around the Vine of the Soul

17 july 14 | Razam, The Ayahuasca Sessions
This companion volume to the author’s memoir Aya Awakenings, Australian journalist Rak Razam documents the thriving business of 21st century Amazonian hallucinogenic shamanism from multiple perspectives, revealing the stark differences between indigenous and foreign approaches as well as the commonalities.

 

 

 

The Medium and the Message

9 july 14 | Rock, The Survival Hypothesis
This anthology assembles a team of experts from the fields of psychology, parapsychology, philosophy, anthropology and neuroscience to examine critically the tentative statement or prediction that some aspect of our personhood (e.g., consciousness) persists subsequent to the death of the physical body.

 

 

 

Zero, zip, nada, zilch

4 july 14 | Webb, Nothing
With twenty chapters and contributors like Paul Davies, Jo Marchant, and Ian Stewart, along with two former editors of Nature this fascinating and intriguing book revels in a subject that has tantalised the finest minds for centuries, and shows there’s more to nothing than meets the eye.

 

 

 

Plant Biochemistry in Human Brain Expansion

1 july 14 | Wright, Gynn, Return to the Brain of Eden
The authors explain how humanity’s prehistoric diet change led to a neurodegenerative condition characterized by aggression and a fearful perception of the world, and present a strategy of food, sexuality, shamanic practices, and entheogens to reverse our mental degeneration and restore our advanced abilities.

 

 

 

Hail Eris!

23 june 14 | Gorightly, Historia Discordia
Born from the bowling-alley epiphanies of Greg Hill and Kerry Thornley, its disruptive teachings disseminated through the incendiary writings of Robert Anton Wilson and other Eristic luminaries, the Discordian Society has unexpectedly become a landmark of gleefully aggressive sanity in a chaotic and incoherent world.

 

 

 

Our Quest for Understanding

19 june 14 | Gleiser, The Island of Knowledge
To be human is to want to know, but what we are able to observe is only a tiny portion of what’s “out there.” Physicist Marcelo Gleiser traces our search for answers to the most fundamental questions of existence. He reaches a provocative conclusion: science, the main tool we use to find answers, is fundamentally limited.

 

 

 

good to know

Votes for the Future

culture | 1 june 14 | Thomas Wells, Aeon
Democracies are notoriously short-sighted. Yet with one simple device, we could give unborn citizens a say in our present.

The Power of Imagination

mind | 1 june 14 | Chris Hedges, Truthdig
Through imagination we can face our mortality and the brevity of existence. Through imagination we can recover reverence and kinship. Through imagination we can see ourselves in our neighbors and the other living organisms of the earth.

How to Become Productively Generous

mind | 1 june 14 | Adam Grant, Psychology Today
The three biggest myths about giving.

The Paradox of Wu-Wei

mind | 27 May 14 | Edge
A conversation with Edward Slingerland, Professor of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia, and author of Trying Not to Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity, about wu-wei, the Chinese concept of effortless action.

Interactions Matter for Longevity

science | 27 May 14 | Brown University
A new study shows that complex interactions among diet, mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA appear to influence lifespan at least as much as single factors alone.

Empathy Between Algae

life23 May 14 | Marlene Cimons, National Science Foundation, livescience
Darwin “was obsessed with competition,” biologist Bradley Cardinale says, “but we found that one-third of the species of algae we studied actually like each other. It may be that nature has a lot more mutualisms than we ever expected”.

Psilocybin inhibits the processing of negative emotions in the brain

science | 23 May 14 | University of Zurich
Researchers have now shown that the bioactive component in the Mexican magic mushroom, influences the amygdala, thereby weakening the processing of negative stimuli.

Free Sexuality and Partnership

culture | 21 May 14 | Dieter Duhm, Reality Sandwich
Both halves of the human being, man and woman, have searched for one another for generations and always missed each other. Is there a solution for the apparent contradiction between free sexuality and marriage?

The Case for Animal Personhood

life | 19 May 14 | Jeff Warren, Psychology Tomorrow
Where human empathy and imagination go, the law eventually follows. Are whales on the verge of a civil-rights movement and, if so, what is the science? What would a “Cetacean Nation” even look like?

How to live forever

life | 14 May 14 | Frank Swain, BBC
If more and more people are living past 100, how much older can we survive to, in theory. And what would it take to achieve this in practice? Ideas and thoughts for prolonging life.

What Is Consciousness

mind | 12 May 14 | Peter Russell, You Tube
One thing we know for sure is that we are aware. Yet this very fact is an anomaly for the current scientific worldview. A talk by Peter Russell.

Eye Candy

culture | 7 May 14 | Mohan Matthen, Aeon
In every culture on Earth, people decorate their possessions and themselves, and enjoy visual art. They stare in awe at vast landscapes and the starry sky, and they sing and dance, and make instrumental music. Why? It gives them pleasure.

Thinking about death

mind | 5 May 14 | Nathan Heflick, The Conversation
Go ahead and contemplate your own mortality. How does it feel? Would you be surprised to learn that it can potentially improve your mental health to think about your death more often?

Approaching the post-Internet age

culture | 1 May 14 | Barry Levine, VentureBeat
Once, the Internet was the paradigm of decentralized, anonymous, citizen-based, secure communication. Now, mesh networks are being touted for that role.

Embrace the Unexplained

mind | 1 May 14 | Jeffrey J. Kripal, The Chronicle of Higher Education
How ‘fantastic’ stories unlock the nature of consciousness.

Psychedelic Wisdom

mind | 1 May 14 | Interview: Zoe Helene, Reality Sandwich
A conversation with ethnobotanist and ethnopharmacologist Dennis McKenna. He and his late brother, Terence, began their lifelong curiosity-driven quest for exotic hallucinogens in Amazonian jungles in 1971.

Do Psychic Phenomena Exist?

mind | 1 May 14 | Steve Taylor, Psychology Today
There are some good reasons for being open to the idea that telepathy and pre-cognition may genuinely exist.

Watch Proteins Do the Jitterbug

science | 28 Apr 14 | Carl Zimmer, The New York Times
If you could shrink down to the size of a molecule and fly into a cell, what would you see? In 2006, a team of scientists and illustrators offered a gorgeous answer in the form of a three-minute video called The Inner Life of the Cell.

Gateway Drug, to What?

culture | 25 Apr 14 | Charles Eisenstein, Open Democracy
Substance abuse has less to do with the substance than it has to do with the lives we live. But what has the War on Drugs done to us, and what will follow it?

Sex, Drugs and Jimi Hendrix

culture | 23 Apr 14 | Ed Vulliamy, The Observer
At 16 he saw Jimi Hendrix blow the crowd away on the Isle of Wight. Today, at nearly 60, he is still chasing the festival spirit round far-flung fields. Here is Ed Vulliamy’s tale of peace, love and mud.

Every Scientist Should Be An Anarchist

science | 21 Apr 14 | William Gillis, Instititute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
The first time I encountered the claim that an anarchistic society would impede scientific progress I was too shocked – and later busy chortling – to sketch out a thorough response.

Decoding Dolphin

life | 18 Apr 14 | Hal Hodson, NewScientist
Software has performed the first real-time translation of a dolphin whistle – and better data tools are giving fresh insights into primate communication too.

The End is Not Near

culture | 15 Apr 14 | J L Schellenberg, Aeon
Thanks to science, most of us accept the deep past – so why are our imagined futures so shallow?

Mindapps and The Neurosingularity Project

mind | 11 Apr 14 | Thomas B. Roberts, H+ Magazine
When scientists discover the genes that control nerve growth, will they be able to control the production of brain cells? Will the Neurosingularity Project then move from brain repair and enhancement to enlargement or even brain design?

Ultra-secure Internet?

9 Apr 14 | Swinburne University of Technology
Einstein’s skepticism about quantum mechanics were highlighted in a phenomenon known as “spooky action at a distance,” which is the strange way entangled particles stay connected even when separated by large distances.

good to see


The Moment of Beauty

An fascinating short film by Japanese artist Takayuki Sato and friends.




Planetary Panoramas

A multiple camera, 360 degree, night-sky time-lapse by photographer Vincent Brady accompanied by musician Brandon McCoy.




Juxtapoz Psychedelic

The art book bridges the musings of early explorers of the psychedelic experience and its visionary expressions, to those working in metaphysical and surrealistic modes today. A review by Hendrik Dahl.




Kanesh Bosm

Chris Bennett takes a look at the fascinating references to cannabis in the Old Testament text that have been suggested by anthropologist Sula Benet and other researchers.



good to hear

 
The Song of the Butterfly
An improvisation by Hungarian musicians Istvan Sky Kék Ég, Estas Tonne, Pablo Arellano, and Indrė Kuliešiūtė.


 

 
Psychedelic Secret Agent
At the occasion of presenting Adam Gorightly's book Historia Discordia, here the unique brand of his SciFi-adelic music, a blend of heavy guitars and haunting theremins singing songs of end times revelations and future civilizations.


 

Maľovanie dúhy
Strom noir finds a spot somewhere between drone, drifting ambient and post-rock transmuted guitar textures.




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