Posts

Inside the Mind: Psychopath

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To be sure, most psychopaths neither have Hannibal Lecter’s brilliant mind nor his rather peculiar culinary taste. They usually do not eat the liver of their victims. And yet, Lecter’s character does illustrate one of the conundrums of psychopathy: they can be socially cunning if they want to. They are able to seduce their victims into a dark alley, and, seconds later, turn into cold blooded rapists or murderers. Unlike most murderers, who act in the heat of a passion, and later feel guilty about what they have done, psychopaths feel no such remorse.
So far, the dominant understanding of psychopathy was that they basically lack emotions such as fear or distress. If you clap your hands behind someone’s back, she will startle, and you can measure how her palms get sweaty. If you do that with individuals with psychopathy, experiments have shown that their response is flattened. They barely startle and their hands stay dry. Now imagine, if you had never felt real fear or distress, how co…

The Rise & Fall of Nikola Tesla

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By the end of his brilliant and tortured life, the Serbian physicist, engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla was penniless and living in a small New York City hotel room. He spent days in a park surrounded by the creatures that mattered most to him—pigeons—and his sleepless nights working over mathematical equations and scientific problems in his head. That habit would confound scientists and scholars for decades after he died, in 1943. His inventions were designed and perfected in his imagination.
Tesla believed his mind to be without equal, and he wasn’t above chiding his contemporaries, such as Thomas Edison, who once hired him. “If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack,” Tesla once wrote, “he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search. I was a sorry witness of such doing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety percent of his labor.”
But what his contemporaries may have been lack…

The Failed Conspiracy To Cover Up The Underground Railroad

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Okay, so my original plan this morning was to try and find a conspiracy that dealt with African Americans since today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but I quickly realized that there's probably a lot of horrible conspiracies that were (and might still be) specifically targeting anyone that wasn't "white." As if that means anything anymore. These days there are still racial tensions in most places, but at least we figured out, most of us anyway, that "white" doesn't mean white. If you live in America, there's a strong chance that if you shake the ancestral tree you'll find that most of us aren't just plain and simply "white". And that goes for most races of people. Unless you're from a country where literally everyone has the same skin color (which is basically impossible these days).
So, I wasn't sure how to go about looking for conspiracies that specifically worked against African Americans in the United States. Sadly this…

Near-Death Experiences & DMT

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Near-death experiences are one of the most puzzling phenomena in psychology. A near-death experience is when a person appears to be clinically ‘dead’ for a short period –when their heart stops beating, their brain registers no sign of activity, and the other 'vital signs' indicate death – and yet they report a continuation of consciousness. This may happen following a cardiac arrest, for example. For a few seconds or minutes, a person may show no biological signs of life, and yet when they are resuscitated, report a series of remarkable experiences.
NDEs have never been satisfactorily explained in neurobiological terms. Various theories have been suggested, such as hallucinations caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, undetected brain activity (during the period when the brain appears not to be functioning), the release of endorphins, a psychological ‘depersonalisation’ in response to intense stress, and so on. All of these theories have been found to be problematic. For ex…

Who is Jack Frost?

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It's beginning to look (and feel) a lot like winter finally, so I thought, since today is Mythical day, I'd talk about the guy whose been causing all this freezing weather.
You might have heard of him, the one responsible for nipping at your nose and frosting your windows with fern-like patterns during wintertime. His name is Jack Frost, and his legend dates back centuries. So who is Jack Frost? Who is Jack Frost? Jack Frost Origins There’s not one particular story that we can point to for the creation of Jack Frost, but rather a collection of stories taken from countries all over the world. In some cultures he’s considered a villain, in some hero, but in all of them he’s the personification of the winter season.
While there’s much debate over the origins of Jack Frost, many believe he originated from Scandinavian or Anglo-Saxon traditions. In one popular story, he’s the son of Kari, Norse god of the winds. In Finnish folklore, there is the legend of Frostman and Frostwoman, …

What is Anarchism?

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Whenever public protests ignite into violent behavior, the mainstream media are often quick to refer to “anarchy” and to “anarchists”. Those who are referred to as anarchists are protesters who burn tires or engage in battles with the police. In this narrative, anarchists are lawless hooligans and anarchy is about chaos and pointless violence.
Think back to the Million Mask March in London on November 5, 2015. This event was indeed organised by a number of anarchist groups – and there were limited outbreaks of violence – but the equation of chaos and violence with anarchism is about as productive as the equation of circles with squares. It is a crude and bizarre misrepresentation.
What is anarchism anyway? It is a radical and revolutionary political philosophy and political economy. While there are many definitions and many anarchisms, most would agree to the definition formulated by Peter Kropotkin. This definition is in an article which Kropotkin was invited to write for the 11th e…

What To Do When Existential Dread Strikes?

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Existential flashes — moments where you become very aware of your own existence — can hit anytime, anywhere, and without invitation or fair warning. Maybe you’re riding your bicycle on a brilliant, blue day taking in the sights and scents around you, or perhaps you’re meandering through the stuffy aisles of your local grocery store on a busy Saturday afternoon. You could even be chilling in front of the TV — a pile of potato chip crumbs sprinkled evenly across your chest, causing you to notice that yes, you’re still here.
That sudden hyper-awareness of your own existence feels uncomfortable. And though it sometimes passes quickly, it can leave you with a lingering sense of discomfort about your place in this world. Give it too much thought, and you could even find yourself in a dark and winding hole of listless melancholy, or worse, straight up dread.
WHAT IS EXISTENTIAL DREAD? “Existential dread is the terror we experience in our awareness that we are transient beings acting out lif…