Facebook’s earnings come from our ‘likes’ and dislikes, our relationships and behaviours and connections. In this sense, Facebook is a machine which traffics in the things which make us human, and to understand its workings in full would mean seeing ourselves sold as bulk humanity. Stinging Fly: Bland God

Me, myself, bye: regional alterations in glutamate and the experience of ego dissolution with psilocybin

Following a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group design, we utilized an ultra-high field multimodal brain imaging approach and demonstrated that psilocybin (0.17 mg/kg) induced region-dependent alterations in glutamate, which predicted distortions in the subjective experience of one’s self (ego dissolution).  Nature Seems reduced activity in the default mode network correlates with increased ego dissolution. Interestingly, both regular […]

The South Atlantic Anomaly

ESA reports that over the last 200 years, the magnetic field over the south Atlantic has lost around 9% of its strength. Nobody knows if this correlates with an overdue magnetic pole reversal, but I’m intrigued to be living in the epicenter.

TIL: Zettelkasten

German for ‘note box’ or ‘index cards’. Method for organizing ideas and notes. Unstructured Notes + Bidirectional Links + Taxonomy. One note = one idea (atomicity). AKA scrapbooking for librarians. Haven’t tried Roam Research but have previously used NotationalVelocity, VoodooPad and Workflowy. See also: /r/zettelkasten, project xanadu. via @artsoares

Above all, we understand we went way too far. Our reckless actions have burned the house we live in. We conceived of ourselves as separated from nature, we felt cunning and almighty. Alessandro Michele


This is delightful; A fifty-year old Philip Glass recording has resurfaced. 21 minutes of instantly recognizable minimalist notes, recently recorded by members of the Philip Glass Ensemble from home. Via Kottke.

Question 15: Which technology makes you feel most connected to others?

Part of an ongoing interview series about the use of personal technology. Without a doubt, the most frequently cited technology making subjects more connected to others is WhatsApp, followed by Instagram, and other social media and the smartphone in general. The vast majority of subjects spontaneously name the above technologies, possibly primed from having spoken […]

Interview #58

Part of an ongoing interview series about the use of personal technology. When I did not have a phone, my friends treated our appointments like they were catching a train says Amanda, who recently acquired a smartphone after three years of not owning one. They had to be on time because I had no way of finding […]

Question 7: How does it feel to be offline?

Part of an ongoing interview series about the use of personal technology. Disconnecting is hard. Turning down distractions in order to truly focus on something can be a heroic act for some, including myself. It is easy to bounce between applications on my smartphone, easy to scan headlines, respond to text messages or double check email. Fills […]

Question 6: What worries you about the future?

Part of an ongoing interview series about the use of personal technology. Nothing truly worries me about the future. I believe humans are fundamentally capable of managing their collective affairs well, save for the occasional genocide. Despite showing virtually unlimited capacity for harming ourselves and the planet, I believe we tend towards betterment more often than descending […]

Question 8: How does the smartphone make you feel?

Part of an ongoing interview series about the use of personal technology. The smartphone to me is an extension of my nervous system. It augments my memory, my senses, my intelligence – it annihilates the distance between myself and everything else – people, ideas, distractions. The most intimate of devices, the smartphone bridges my inner world with the outer. […]

Disconnect to reconnect

I am writing this because we are lost. We are lost because we can no longer keep up with the amount of change affecting us. Our world has become unknowable. We create more information than can be made sense of. The pace of transformation grows incessantly, compressing our temporal experience. We perceive time to accelerate […]