Temptation in the Neurons

by Wray Herbert Lack of self-control is at the root of many personal and social ills, from alcoholism to obesity. Even when we are well aware of the costs, many of us are simply unable to curb our desires and control our impulses. Indeed, so daunting is this psychological challenge that an estimate four in every ten American deaths is attributed to self-control failure of one kind or another. Yet many other people do succeed at self-regulation, all the time and seemingly with ease. Why is that? Why, in the face of everyday temptation, do some individuals fail miserably while … Continue reading Temptation in the Neurons

Not tonight dear, I’m texting: How sex lives are suffering because we’re in love with smartphones

Couples are using their smartphones so much in bed they’re ‘living in different worlds’, researchers found Durham University researchers highlighted our love affair with gadgets 40 per cent of those questioned had put off having sex to use technology One third even admitted to having answered their phone during sex Phones led one couple to feel like they were ‘living in different worlds’ By Fiona Macrae, Science Correspondent for the Daily Mail Our love affair with mobile phones, iPads and other gadgets is ruining our sex lives, research shows. In-depth interviews with couples from across England revealed that modern technology … Continue reading Not tonight dear, I’m texting: How sex lives are suffering because we’re in love with smartphones

Fast-world values

by Judy Wajcman (Judy Wajcman is professor of sociology at the London School of Economics. Her latest book is Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism (2014).) Edited by Sam Haselby For all the smart tech, we still feel pressed for time. Are digital services the problem, or are we humans to blame? More than 40 years ago, as a young woman in Melbourne, Australia, I had a pen friend in Papua New Guinea. She lived in a coastal village, an hour’s slow boat trip from the city of Lae. I went to visit her. The abundant … Continue reading Fast-world values

Bad thinkers

by Quassim Cassam (Quassim Cassam is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick in Coventry. His latest books are Berkeley’s Puzzle: What Does Experience Teach Us? (2014) and Self-Knowledge for Humans (2014).) Edited by Ed Lake Why do some people believe conspiracy theories? It’s not just who or what they know. It’s a matter of intellectual character Meet Oliver. Like many of his friends, Oliver thinks he is an expert on 9/11. He spends much of his spare time looking at conspiracist websites and his research has convinced him that the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC, … Continue reading Bad thinkers

Network theory sheds new light on origins of consciousness

Enlarge The black dots correspond to the 264 areas of the cerebral cortex that the researchers probed, and the lines correspond to the increased strength of the functional connections between each of these brain areas when subjects consciously perceive the target. The “hotter” colors are associated with stronger connections. This figure illustrates that awareness of the target corresponds to widespread increase in the strength of functional connections (Credit: Marois / Godwin). by Melanie Moran Where in your brain do you exist? Is your awareness of the world around you and of yourself as an individual the result of specific, focused … Continue reading Network theory sheds new light on origins of consciousness

The Electric Mood-Control Acid Test

By majestic We recently ran a post about brain-altering devices like Zen Vibez and Thync. MIT Technology Review dives deep on the latter: I’m working on a story that’s almost due. It’s going well. I’m almost finished. But then everything falls apart. I get an angry e-mail from a researcher who’s upset about another article. My stomach knots up. My heart pounds. I reply with a defensive e-mail and afterward can’t stop mentally rehashing my response. Taking deep breaths and a short walk don’t help. I can’t focus on finishing my story, and as the deadline approaches, that makes me … Continue reading The Electric Mood-Control Acid Test

Father Faces 20 Years Prison for Treating Daughter’s Cancer with Cannabis Oil

Is this how we should treat medicine? by Christina Sarich Adam Koessler wanted to cure his 2-year-old daughter’s rare, stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a cancer of the abdomen that can be very painful. He learned about the positive medicinal effects of cannabis oil on cancers like his daughter’s and tried to administer the oil in an attempt to heal her. What followed is a complete nightmare. Despite the fact that: There is video evidence that cannabis oil attacks cancer cells on the spot The undeniable reports from doctors that cannabis treats cancer And the US government has been aware of cannabis’ … Continue reading Father Faces 20 Years Prison for Treating Daughter’s Cancer with Cannabis Oil

This is What Shamanism Can Teach Us About Ourselves and Our Future

by Gilbert Ross, Guest, Waking Times Shamanism is a topic that is still more prevalent in anthropologic studies than in mainstream discussions of culture and society. For the western psyche, shamanism is a thing of the past, some type of sorcery used in relatively ‘primitive’ societies and cultures. The lack of understanding inherent in this cultural bias or stereotype prevents us from appreciating what shamanism is all about and more interestingly, how it is relevant to today’s society and to our future more than ever before. Shamanic wisdom has been partly transmitted down through the eons and fragments of it … Continue reading This is What Shamanism Can Teach Us About Ourselves and Our Future

Calming the Not Now Mind

I’ll just get a cup of tea first. Maybe sip it slowly, look out the window. Oh, better check my email too. . . Meditation tips for procrastinators and perfectionists by Kate Johnson Some mornings, the part of my mind that would rather meditate any time but now seems to wake up five minutes before the rest of me does. By the time my alarm rings and my eyes crack open, it is as if Not Now Mind were already sitting on the edge of the bed, drumming its fingertips, tapping its foot, and batting its eyelashes at me. Not … Continue reading Calming the Not Now Mind