This is where I post short articles about things that I discover.

Road ahead
Credit: Midjourney

Woman with dreads

May 15, 2023

A drawing of an african woman with dreadlocks, in the style of poodlepunk, luminous shadowing, genderless, anime-inspired, handsome

Psychedelic use by facilitators

May 3, 2023
psychedelics, therapy, opinion

Abstract: The use of psychedelics in therapy may benefit both the client and the facilitator, and there is a debate about whether facilitators should have personal experience with the substance. While some traditions expect the facilitator to partake in the same dose as the participants, modern medicine expects the facilitator to remain sober. Facilitator sobriety is important to attend to the risks associated with psychedelic use, while communal use of the substance may increase empathy and compassion. ...

Psilomethoxin, My Case Report

February 16, 2023
psychedelics, science

At the end of 2022, a new psychedelic became available. Psilomethoxin (Pm) offers soothing comfort similar to MDMA, but without MDMA’s stimulant-like effects. <—> In 1965, Marc Julia’s group at the Pasteur Institute synthesized psilomethoxin (Pm) from ortho-vanillin extracted from the Mexican vanilla orchid. The molecule was never bioassayed nor preserved as a reference sample, and that is how things stood for decades. The synthesis of Pm is an intricate and time consuming process, with some chemists claiming that it would take a month. ...

Fiber is not necessarily fibrous

December 29, 2022
nutrition, semantics

In nutrition science, the word fiber refers to the type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. This definition of fiber is so different from the kind of fiber found in many plants that they might as well be completely different words. <—> Coconut coir fibers are obtained from the outermost layer of the husk. They are typically light brown in color, durable, and resistant to water. Credit: Midjourney Indeed, these are a kind of fiber that your body cannot digest. ...

A Relativistic Theory of Consciousness (2022)

August 30, 2022
research paper
science, physics, consciousness

The most ordinary and obvious of experiences, the first person perspective, has puzzled scientists and philosophers for centuries. <—> In recent decades, the scientific study of consciousness has significantly increased our understanding of this elusive phenomenon. Yet, despite critical development in our understanding of the functional side of consciousness, we still lack a fundamental theory regarding its phenomenal aspect. There is an “explanatory gap” between our scientific knowledge of functional consciousness and its “subjective,” phenomenal aspects, referred to as the “hard problem” of consciousness. ...

The Case Against Reality (2019)

June 25, 2022
science, physics, consciousness

Just when you thought that science and spirituality were hopelessly irreconcilable, cogntive psychologist Donald Hoffman proposes a very interesting perspective. <—> Hoffman, D. (2019). The case against reality: Why evolution hid the truth from our eyes. WW Norton & Company. Tim Ferriss interview Apr 13, 2022 Lex Fridman interview Jun 12, 2022 The Convergence of Science and Spirituality | Donald Hoffman & Rupert Spira Mar 26, 2023

The alphabet versus the goddess (1999)

November 28, 2020
history, religion, spirituality, meditation

Many assume that the invention of a phonetic alphabet only brought benefits. In a somewhat speculative reassessment of history, Shlain makes the case that the phonetic alphabet advanced lawyer-style thinking that greatly facilitated the justification of violence. The book is unlikely to be 100% true, but also unlikely to be 100% false. <—> Shlain, L. (1999). The alphabet versus the goddess: The conflict between word and image. Penguin.