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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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New analysis claims the FDA rushed ketamine's approval for depression treatment

Clinical trials by Janssen Pharmaceuticals showed troubling results.

"Depression, Edinburgh" by Ninian Reid/Flickr
  • A new analysis in The British Journal of Psychiatry claims the FDA approval process for ketamine was rushed.
  • Only one of three clinical trials showed efficacy, while the discontinuation trial produced troubling outcomes.
  • Ketamine's side effects include anxiety, poor appetite, delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, rage, and craving.
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DMT drug study investigates the ‘entities’ people meet while tripping

Why do so many people encounter beings after smoking large doses of DMT?

Pixabay
  • DMT is arguably the most powerful psychedelic drug on the planet, capable of producing intense hallucinations.
  • Researchers recently surveyed more than 2,000 DMT users about their encounters with 'entities' while tripping, finding that respondents often considered these strange encounters to be positive and meaningful.
  • The majority of respondents believed the beings they encountered were not hallucinations.
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Should politicians, en masse, do 'shrooms?

Just for giggles, would it be a good idea to have our leaders take shrooms?

Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Image. Edit by BigThink
  • The idea of mass ingestion of psychedelics to drive people to environmental activism has been put forward lately, inspiring much debate.
  • Suppose we gave it to people with power instead. It seems like it would be more effective.
  • While psychedelics can offer some benefits, they won't necessarily be the right ones to get the job done.
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How the '60s counterculture created Silicon Valley

How did psychedelics and computers converge?

  • Steve Jobs was influenced by an important counterculture and computing periodical.
  • San Francisco went from hippie haven to technological hub in the years that followed the 1960s.
  • The Homebrew Computer Club was founded by a draft resister and spawned dozens of tech companies.
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Humans take psychedelics. Should robots?

Psychedelics are crude drugs. Could neuroscience and super-intelligent AI help us design something better?

  • The illegal status of psychedelic substances is a terrible thing, says Ben Goertzel. With everything happening behind closed doors, our societies are not developing the right set of cultural institutions to guide people in the productive use of psychedelics.
  • Once scientists have mastered artificial general intelligence (AGI), the psychedelic experience could be engineered for the modern world – it would be safer, less haphazard, and more meaningful. We would "trip" by jacking our brains into the superhuman AGI mind cloud.
  • "We're going to be exploring states of consciousness that go way beyond anything we can imagine now and way beyond anything that the very crude psychedelic drugs that exist allow us access to," Goertzel says.
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