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Carl Sagan on Pot

Carl Sagan on Pot
This account was written in 1969 for publication in "Marihuana Reconsidered (1971)". Sagan was in his mid-thirties at that time. He continued to use cannabis for the rest of his life. The cannabis experience has greatly improved my appreciation for art, a subject which I had never much appreciated before. Thanks Josh! Related:  Essays

Harry Frankfurt's "On Bullshit" One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Another worthwhile source is the title essay in The Prevalence of Humbug by Max Black. Humbug: deceptive misrepresentation, short of lying, especially by pretentious word or deed, of somebody’s own thoughts, feelings, or attitudes. A very similar formulation might plausibly be offered as enunciating the essential characteristics of bullshit. Deceptive misrepresentation: This may sound pleonastic. Short of lying: It must be part of the point of saying that humbug is “short of lying,” that while it has some of the distinguishing characteristics of lies, there are others that it lacks. Especially by pretentious word or deed: There are two points to notice here. Now it is unlikely that Black wishes that the referent of humbug is in every instance the state of the speaker’s mind.

On youth and old age, on life and death, on breathing / Aristotle WE must now treat of youth and old age and life and death. We must probably also at the same time state the causes of respiration as well, since in some cases living and the reverse depend on this. We have elsewhere given a precise account of the soul, and while it is clear that its essential reality cannot be corporeal, yet manifestly it must exist in some bodily part which must be one of those possessing control over the members. This organ, then, must be numerically one and the same and yet possess multiple and disparate aspects, for being animal and living are not identical. Plants are the reverse of animals in this respect. All perfectly formed animals are to be divided into three parts, one that by which food is taken in, one that by which excrement is discharged, and the third the region intermediate between them. It is true that the nutritive soul, in beings possessing it, while actually single must be potentially plural. But these theories are untenable.

How Obama tapped into a powerful—and only recently studied—human emotion called "elevation." For researchers of emotions, creating them in the lab can be a problem. Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California-Berkeley, studies the emotions of uplift, and he has tried everything from showing subjects vistas of the Grand Canyon to reading them poetry—with little success. But just this week one of his postdocs came in with a great idea: Hook up the subjects, play Barack Obama's victory speech, and record as their autonomic nervous systems go into a swoon. Barack Obama In his forthcoming book, Born To Be Good (which is not a biography of Obama), Keltner writes that he believes when we experience transcendence, it stimulates our vagus nerve, causing "a feeling of spreading, liquid warmth in the chest and a lump in the throat." Elevation has always existed but has just moved out of the realm of philosophy and religion and been recognized as a distinct emotional state and a subject for psychological study.

Play The Past | Were Paleolithic Cave Painters High on Psychedelic Drugs? Scientists Propose Ingenious Theory for Why They Might Have Been July 8, 2013 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Prehistoric cave paintings across the continents have similar geometric patterns not because early humans were learning to draw like Paleolithic pre-schoolers, but because they were high on drugs, and their brains—like ours—have a biological predisposition to "see" certain patterns, especially during consciousness altering states. This thesis—that humanity’s earliest artists were not just reeling due to mind-altering activities, but deliberately sought those elevated states and gave greater meaning to those common visions—is the contention of a new paper by an international research team. At its core, this theory challenges the long-held notion that the earliest art and atrists were merely trying to draw the external world. “Researchers also generally claim that the geometric hallucinations experienced by the subject are mental representations of these neural patterns,” they write.

Noam Chomsky: What I'd like to see on front pages of newspapers By Noam Chomsky – 12 October 2013 In these comments I'll focus primarily on the United States for several reasons: One, it's the most important country in terms of its power and influence. Second, it's the most advanced - not in its inherent character, but in the sense that because of its power, other societies tend to move in that direction. The third reason is just that I know it better. American power is diminishing, as it has been in fact since its peak in 1945, but it's still incomparable. According to received doctrine, we live in capitalist democracies, which are the best possible system, despite some flaws. There are several versions of this. In the United States, one of the main topics of academic political science is the study of attitudes and policy and their correlation. As you move up the wealth/income ladder, you get a little bit more influence on policy. These characteristics of RECD show up all the time. The same is true on national healthcare. And it works pretty well.

Opinion | Wreath Lectures | Burn Up The Floor: Pop & Politics In 2013 Dance Music Photo by Anna Spysz It felt like you couldn't move ten metres for a four-to-the-floor beat during 2013. Quite literally, too, during the summer months, when the perpetual pulse of pop-house stompers from Disclosure and Breach leaked from shopfronts, market stalls, car radios and cheap earbud headphones to mingle with Daft Punk's ubiquitous tune-of-the-summer 'Get Lucky'. Beyond their undeniable hook-led charms, though, it all added up to a rather anodyne sonic backdrop to the warmest and most outdoor dancing-friendly summer the UK experienced in years. Some of this year's oddest and most perversely enjoyable moments were those that found chart dance rubbing shoulders with what you'd perhaps consider rather more niche concerns. Joe - 'Maximum Busy Muscle' (Hessle Audio) These porous borders manifest themselves in the new dance music that's being written too, in the way that sonic signifiers once considered limited to particular genres now leach out across styles and tempos.

Wirehead hedonism versus paradise-engineering Postmodernism and Its Critics - Anthropological Theories - Department of Anthropology - The University of Alabama The guides to anthropological theories and approaches listed below have been prepared by graduate students of the University of Alabama under the direction of Dr. Michael D. Murphy. Daniel Salberg and Robert Stewart and Karla Wesley and Shannon Weiss (Note: authorship is arranged stratigraphically with the most recent author listed first) Basic Premises: As an intellectual movement postmodernism was born as a challenge to several modernist themes that were first articulated during the Enlightenment. The postmodernist critique of science consists of two interrelated arguments, epistemological and ideological. Postmodernism has its origins as an eclectic social movement originating in aesthetics, architecture and philosophy (Bishop 1996). According to Kuznar, postmodernists trace this skepticism about truth and the resulting relativism it engenders from Nietzsche to Max Weber and Sigmund Freud, and finally to Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and other contemporary postmodernists (2008:78).

Walking, Talking, Planning: The Friendship of Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne Patrick James Dunagan features Walking, Talking, Planning: The Friendship of Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne My first year fresh out of college with a dual B.A. in Philosophy and Literature, I headed to Riverside, CA for a year's stay with my sister who was completing her PhD in Dance History and Theory at UC Riverside. With Moby-Dick Melville set a forward-looking precedent within American literature, boldly embracing a seer-driven hybrid mixture of forms and styles unlike anything previously gathered between two book covers. Innumerable books addressing Melville's colossus of a text have appeared over the years. Melville clearly was moved by whatever words he exchanged with Hawthorne on the hike. Moby-Dick, exactly as it appears, is nonetheless exactly the book Melville intended to write. Hawthorne inspired and reinforced Melville's conviction to elevate the writing of Moby-Dick beyond any of the parameters he had previously explored with his earlier work.

Poe’s Shadow | The Weekly Standard There he is on the cover of Sgt. Pepper, tottering between Carl Jung and Fred Astaire, breathing fumes over Marilyn Monroe’s bare back and William Burroughs’s bald pate. Edgar Allan Poe, the original Man in Black—before Johnny Cash, before the Beatles in Hamburg, before the bohemians in Paris. Edgar Allen Poe The Sgt. Sgt. There were carpers, however. Jerome McGann believes that Poe has been underrated as a poet. Poe is an acquired taste, like whiskey or opium. Poe was a peerless self-destructor: He was a liar and a plagiarist, a drunk in the office and a beggar in the street, who pandered to a public he despised and married his 13-year-old cousin. It is true that in “The Poetic Principle,” posthumously published in 1850, Poe describes a Modernist theory of poetry as purely subjective—a refined private music, an art for its own sake. It is no less true that Poe exaggerated his originality. As Mallarmé saw, Poe could not be taken at his own word.

George Orwell: Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool Tolstoy's pamphlets are the least-known part of his work, and his attack on Shakespeare(1) is not even an easy document to get hold of, at any rate in an English translation. Perhaps, therefore, it will be useful if I give a summary of the pamphlet before trying to discuss it. Tolstoy begins by saying that throughout life Shakespeare has aroused in him ‘an irresistible repulsion and tedium’. Conscious that the opinion of the civilized world is against him, he has made one attempt after another on Shakespeare's works, reading and re-reading them in Russian, English and German; but ‘I invariably underwent the same feelings; repulsion, weariness and bewilderment’. Now, at the age of seventy-five, he has once again re-read the entire works of Shakespeare, including the historical plays, and Tolstoy's final verdict on Lear is that no unhypnotized observer, if such an observer existed, could read it to the end with any feeling except ‘aversion and weariness’.

Why Libertarians Are Hopeless - Christopher Cantwell I’ve come to some revelations as of late which have radically altered my worldview. It has been as upsetting as it has been exciting. For several years I have expressed my frustrations against certain elements of the libertarian movement which might most recognizably be categorized as leftist. I am far from the first to see their presence as a disaster and even dangerous. This is a very old problem, and it gets worse by the day. I have recently become convinced (and I welcome your efforts to convince me otherwise) that this is a natural and inescapable biological phenomenon, which dooms our efforts in man’s present evolutionary state. Why Libertarians Are Hopeless Before explaining why I believe this to be the case, I should note that I speak here of libertarians, not of libertarianism. Libertarians, to our credit, have worked very hard to spread our ideas by way of reasoned logical arguments. In so doing, we have largely overlooked the crux of the issue. Old Dogs, New Tricks 1. 2.

Extermination or Expulsion? | The West’s Darkest Hour Excerpted from the 10th article of William Pierce’s “Who We Are: a Series of Articles on the History of the White Race”: And what a contrast between the Hellenes and their achievements, on the one hand, and what existed before—and has existed since—in Greece! That is not to say that every Greek of today is unimaginative or insensitive or ugly, but it is clear that something essential has been lost between the time of Aristotle and the time of his late namesake, Mr. The Hellenic genes are still there, the genes of the race which gloried in single combat between equals facing one another on the field of battle and pitting skill, courage, and strength in a contest to the death, but they are now submerged in the genes of a race which always preferred to sling its stones from afar, to lie in stealthy ambush, to give a surprise knife-thrust from the rear. Extermination or Expulsion Economics over Race Like this: Like Loading...