There’s been a lot of articles published recently about the astonishing results people are getting using psychadelics to treat difficult psychological conditions like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety/depression around end of life/terminal illness. The mind-altering substances being used for these studies are mostly psyllocibin (as found in “magic mushrooms”), MDMA (ecstasy) and LSD. A recent book exploring this is by Michael Pollan: How to Change Your Mind.
Facebook has implemented a news sharing ban in Australia.
Facebook and other social media companies make their money by selling advertising. In that respect they are like the old-style media companies – newspapers, radio, television. The difference is that Facebook, Google etc don’t pay for the content that is essential to getting people engaged on the platform so that they can keep serving up ads.
I am Mike Lowe and welcome to my personal blog where I explore topics that are interesting to me and, hopefully to you too. These are thoughts on psychology, spirituality, politics and how we repair a broken culture. They arise from the curious mind of someone who has always loved learning (even though I didn’t love school) and new experiences.
I believe that we are in a time of transition. Old systems, old ways of doing the economy, politics, health, food production, culture and spirituality are failing and breaking down and we don’t yet agree on what should replace them. Part of the problem is that just as a goldfish can’t see the water it swims in, we are so immersed in our culture that we don’t see how its assumptions are deeply embedded in our thinking, our behaviour and even the kinds of questions we ask ourselves.
What we get from the mainstream media and education tends to either ignore the deeper problems, or offer simplistic explanations which don’t go deep enough. Much of the “alternative” movements (alt-right/alt-left politics, alternative health, New-Age spirituality) is also too simplistic and lacks depth and appreciation of the complexities involved. I’m no expert on anything, but I do try to make sense of complex issues without dumbing down, and I share my thoughts in the hope it will stimulate deep thinking and questioning in you, the reader. I don’t expect you to agree with me on every point, but if you go away stimulated and questioning then I am satisfied.
Finally I want to stake my claim as an optimistic realist. That can sound contradictory – and often seems that way to me as well. To be a “realist” given the multiple, vast challenges facing us as a species and a culture, would seem to point to a dark future. But I hold out hope that we can change course rapidly, that there is a core of human nature which is capable of love, self-sacrifice, generosity and kindness – even if these virtues are often dormant and un-rewarded in our mainstream capitalist society. I hold out hope that as our dysfunctional economic and political structures collapse, we will replace them with a generative, generous and co-operative culture which better reflects who we are and can be as a species.
One of the things I love about the film-maker Adam Curtis’s work is that he doesn’t just accept the way things are. He keeps inviting us to look deeper and question the assumed truths of our culture.
One of those assumptions is that revolutions don’t work because the people who come into power always turn out to be just as bad as old lot.