Where does nihilism come from?

Nihilism is not a choice or intellectual commitment, but a feeling that simply arrives.

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Friedrich Nietzsche was most famously concerned with the problem of nihilism.
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Anxiety and depression can affect your learning ability

An excessive focus on past failures can make learning about new situtations more difficult.

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  • A new study confirms that anxiety and depression can lead to difficulties in analyzing data.
  • Test subjects with symptoms of those conditions were slower to realize that changes in the game they were played occured.
  • The study is not the last word on the topic, but its findings will prompt further investigations.
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Is rap music destigmatizing mental health disorders?

A new study shows that the top rap songs in the U.S. are making increasingly frequent references to depression and suicidal thoughts.

  • The most popular rap songs in the U.S. are more frequently making references to mental health problems, particularly suicide and depression.
  • A research team analyzed lyrics from the top 25 most popular rap songs released in the years 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013, and 2018, examining the lyrics of artists such as Eminem, Drake, Post Malone, Lil' Wayne, Juice WRLD, Kanye West, and Jay-Z.
  • References to suicide rose from 0% to 12%, and references to depression from 16% to 32% over the last 20 years.
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Psychedelics: The scientific renaissance of mind-altering drugs

There is a lot we don't know about psychedelics, but what we do know makes them extremely important.

  • Having been repressed in the 1960s for their ties to the counterculture, psychedelics are currently experiencing a scientific resurgence. In this video, Michael Pollan, Sam Harris, Jason Silva and Ben Goertzel discuss the history of psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin, acknowledge key figures including Timothy Leary and Albert Hoffman, share what the experience of therapeutic tripping can entail, and explain why these substances are important to the future of mental health.
  • There is a stigma surrounding psychedelic drugs that some scientists and researchers argue is undeserved. Several experiments over the past decades have shown that, when used correctly, drugs like psilocybin and LSD can have positive effects on the lives of those take them. How they work is not completely understood, but the empirical evidence shows promise in the fields of curbing depression, anxiety, obsession, and even addiction to other substances.
  • "There's a tremendous amount of insight that can be plumbed using these various substances. There's also a lot of risks there, as with most valuable things," says artificial intelligence researcher Ben Goertzel. He and others believe that by making psychedelics illegal, modern governments are getting in the way of meaningful research and the development of "cultural institutions to guide people in really productive use of these substances."
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What will 'psychedelic therapy' look like when it's legalized?

Psychedelic therapy will become legal in Oregon in 2023. That's thanks largely to a renaissance of psychedelic research that's changing attitudes on the substances' medical potential.

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  • In November, Oregon voted to legalize psilocybin therapy.
  • Psilocybin is already being used in clinical research settings, but it remains a controlled substance on the federal level.
  • At the 2020 Web Summit, two experts in the field of psychedelic research and therapy shed light on what the future of psilocybin therapy might look like.
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