Search results for: dancing-naked-in-the-mind-field

Dancing Naked in the Mind Field

Author : Kary Mullis
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Here is a multidimensional playland of ideas from the world's most eccentric Nobel-Prize winning scientist. Kary Mullis is legendary for his invention of PCR, which redefined the world of DNA, genetics, and forensic science. He is also a surfer, a veteran of Berkeley in the sixties, and perhaps the only Nobel laureate to describe a possible encounter with aliens. A scientist of boundless curiosity, he refuses to accept any proposition based on secondhand or hearsay evidence, and always looks for the "money trail" when scientists make announcements. Mullis writes with passion and humor about a wide range of topics: from global warming to the O. J. Simpson trial, from poisonous spiders to HIV, from scientific method to astrology. Dancing Naked in the Mind Field challenges us to question the authority of scientific dogma even as it reveals the workings of an uncannily original scientific mind.

Darwin s Pharmacy

Author : Richard M. Doyle
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Are humans unwitting partners in evolution with psychedelic plants? Darwin�s Pharmacy shows they are by weaving the evolutionary theory of sexual selection and the study of rhetoric together with the science and literature of psychedelic drugs. Long suppressed as components of the human tool kit, psychedelic plants can be usefully modeled as �eloquence adjuncts� that intensify a crucial component of sexual selection in humans: discourse. Psychedelic plants seduce us to interact with them, building an ongoing interdependence: rhetoric as evolutionary mechanism. In doing so, they engage our awareness of the noosphere, or thinking stratum of the earth. The realization that the human organism is part of an interconnected ecosystem is an apprehension of immanence that could ultimately benefit the planet and its inhabitants. To explore the rhetoric of the psychedelic experience and its significance to evolution, Doyle takes his readers on an epic journey through the writings of William Burroughs and Kary Mullis, the work of ethnobotanists and anthropologists, and anonymous trip reports. The results offer surprising insights into evolutionary theory, the war on drugs, the internet, and the nature of human consciousness itself. Watch the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xof-t2cAob4

Conversations on the Edge of the Apocalypse

Author : David Jay Brown
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In his latest interview collection, David Jay Brown has once again gathered some of the most interesting minds of today to consider the future of the human race, the mystery of consciousness, the evolution of technology, psychic phenomena, and more. The book includes conversations with celebrated visionaries and inspirational figures such as Ram Dass, Noam Chomsky, Deepak Chopra, and George Carlin. Part scientific exploration, part philosophical speculation, and part intellectual rollercoaster, the free-form discussions are original and captivating, and offer surprising revelations. Conversations on the Edge of the Apocalypse is a new look into the minds of some of our groundbreaking leaders and is the perfect gift for science fiction and philosophy fans alike.

The Complete Idiot s Guide to Choosing a College Major

Author : Randall S. Hansen, PhD
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How to figure out what you want out of college - and life. Choosing a college major is the biggest decision of one's college experience, and there are many factors to consider. Here, you will discover which majors will give the best chances of finding employment, which majors are most likely to lead to the highest-paying jobs, what major best suits each personality, and what skills and background you need to realize your goals.

The Believing Brain

Author : Michael Shermer
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Synthesizing thirty years of research, psychologist and science historian, Michael Shermer upends the traditional thinking about how humans form beliefs about the world. Simply put, beliefs come first and explanations for beliefs follow. The brain, Shermer argues, is a belief engine. Using sensory data that flow in through the senses, the brain naturally looks for and finds patterns - and then infuses those patterns with meaning, forming beliefs. Once beliefs are formed, our brains subconsciously seek out confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, which accelerates the process of reinforcing them, and round and round the process goes in a positive-feedback loop. In The Believing Brain, Shermer provides countless real-world examples of how this process operates, from politics, economics, and religion to conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and the paranormal. Ultimately, he demonstrates why science is the best tool ever devised to determine whether or not our belief matches reality.

The New Alchemists

Author : Mariano Bizzarri
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Fifteen years after the first genetically modified (GM) seeds and food, only four GM plants have achieved significant market positions: corn, cotton, rapeseed and soybeans. Most of the other new constructs have caused unsolved problems or are only at the project stage, demonstrating the complexity of the task facing biotech companies. Doubts are also emerging about the real economic and agronomic benefits of genetically modified organisms. Little is known about their potential for upsetting environmental biodiversity in an irreversible way. Worries about their impact on human health have not been dispelled but have increased with the evident incapacity of current international standards to ensure controls and enforcement. Reliable risk assessment models and methodologies have not yet been developed and cannot be expected soon: this makes it impossible to assess the nature (qualitative aspects) and extent (quantitative aspects) of the risks, and prevents estimates based on the risk/benefit ratio. In this situation it seems prudent to resort to the precautionary principle, defined in the Cartagena Protocol and incorporated in the Rio Declaration. The stakes are high and discussion needs to be brought to a level of scientific proof that leaves no room for ambiguity or alibis. Governments, companies and scientists must be called to respond to the specific questions raised by the vast scientific literature. There have been too many accusations of poor science and too many unproven claims and statements, symptomatic of conflicts of interest. It is time for fair debate with all sides on an equal footing.

The AIDS Conspiracy

Author : Nicoli Nattrass
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Since the early days of the AIDS epidemic, many bizarre and dangerous hypotheses have been advanced to explain the origins of the disease. In this compelling book, Nicoli Nattrass explores the social and political factors prolonging the erroneous belief that the American government manufactured the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to be used as a biological weapon, as well as the myth's consequences for behavior, especially within African American and black South African communities. Contemporary AIDS denialism, the belief that HIV is harmless and that antiretroviral drugs are the true cause of AIDS, is a more insidious AIDS conspiracy theory. Advocates of this position make a "conspiratorial move" against HIV science by implying its methods cannot be trusted and that untested, alternative therapies are safer than antiretrovirals. These claims are genuinely life-threatening, as tragically demonstrated in South Africa when the delay of antiretroviral treatment resulted in nearly 333,000 AIDS deaths and 180,000 HIV infections—a tragedy of stunning proportions. Nattrass identifies four symbolically powerful figures ensuring the lifespan of AIDS denialism: the hero scientist (dissident scientists who lend credibility to the movement); the cultropreneur (alternative therapists who exploit the conspiratorial move as a marketing mechanism); the living icon (individuals who claim to be living proof of AIDS denialism's legitimacy); and the praise-singer (journalists who broadcast movement messages to the public). Nattrass also describes how pro-science activists have fought back by deploying empirical evidence and political credibility to resist AIDS conspiracy theories, which is part of the crucial project to defend evidence-based medicine.

Wetwares

Author : Richard Doyle
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The mind of the machine, the body suspended in time, organs exchanged, thought computed, genes manipulated, DNA samples abducted by aliens: the terrain between science and speculation, fraught with the possibility of technological and perhaps even evolutionary transformations, is the territory Richard Doyle explores in Wetwares. In a manner at once sober and playful, Doyle maps potentials for human transformation by new ecologies of information in the early twenty-first century. Wetwares ranges over recent research in artificial life, cloning, cryonics, computer science, organ transplantation, and alien abduction. Moving between actual technical practices, serious speculative technology, and science fiction, Doyle shows us emerging scientific paradigms where "life" becomes more a matter of information than of inner vitality--in short, becomes "wetwares" for DNA and computer networks. Viewing technologies of immortality--from cryonics to artificial life--as disciplines for welcoming a thoroughly other future, a future of neither capital, god, human, nor organism, the book offers tools for an evolutionary, transhuman mutation in the utterly unpredictable decades to come.

Pandemics

Author : Peter C. Doherty
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Pandemics. The word conjures up images of horrific diseases sweeping the globe and killing everyone in their path. But such highly lethal illnesses almost never create pandemics. The reality is deadly serious but far more subtle. In Pandemics: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Peter Doherty, who won the Nobel Prize for his work on how the immune system recognizes virus-infected cells, offers an essential guide to one of the truly life-or-death issues of our age. In concise, question-and-answer format, he explains the causes of pandemics, how they can be counteracted with vaccines and drugs, and how we can better prepare for them in the future. Doherty notes that the term "pandemic" refers not to a disease's severity but to its ability to spread rapidly over a wide geographical area. Extremely lethal pathogens are usually quickly identified and confined. Nevertheless, the rise of high-speed transportation networks and the globalization of trade and travel have radically accelerated the spread of diseases. A traveler from Africa arrived in New York in 1999 carrying the West Nile virus; one mosquito bite later, it was loose in the ecosystem. Doherty explains how the main threat of a pandemic comes from respiratory viruses, such as influenza and SARS, which disseminate with incredible speed through air travel. The climate disruptions of global warming, rising population density, and growing antibiotic resistance all complicate efforts to control pandemics. But Doherty stresses that pandemics can be fought effectively. Often simple health practices, especially in hospitals, can help enormously. And research into the animal reservoirs of pathogens, from SARS in bats to HIV in chimpanzees, show promise for our prevention efforts. Calm, clear, and authoritative, Peter Doherty's Pandemics is one of the most critically important additions to the What Everyone Needs to Know® series. What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.

Rigorous Intuition

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A welcome source of analysis and commentary for those prepared to go deeper—and darker—than even most alternative media permit, this collection from one of the most popular conspiracy theory arguments on the internet will assist readers in clarifying their own arguments and recognizing disinformation. Tackling many of the most difficult subjects that define our time—including 9/11, the JonBenet Ramsey case, and "High Weirdness"—these studies, containing the best of the Rigorous Intuition blog as well as original content, make connections that both describe the current, alarming predicament and suggest a strategy for taking back the world. Following the maxim "What you don't know can't hurt them," this assortment of essays and tools, including the updated and expanded "Coincidence Theorists' Guide to 9/11," guides the intellectually curious down further avenues of study and scrutiny and helps readers feel empowered rather than vulnerable.