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Comment Re:Prove him right some more (Score 2) 263

Why do you assume it's just a trick? And how do you reach that conclusion just from the premise that induction works? Psychoactive drugs change how the brain functions. That's as accurate of a statement as you can make about mind-altering drugs in general. Whether your perception is more accurate or less is not implicit, and you give no evidence or logic to back up your assertion that marijuana's effect on one's sense of profundity is just a "trick".

Little kids think all kinds of "random crap" is profound, are they tricked into it too? No, things just become mundane once they become common. If anything your sober mind is tricking you into thinking that common things aren't significant, and smoking weed or dropping acid allows your mind to overcome that and see how amazing most things really are.

Comment Re:Prove him right some more (Score 4, Insightful) 263

If our perception is fallible and illusory, doesn't that necessarily imply that there is "something else out there" beyond what we perceive? How can someone believe their perception of reality is inaccurate while simultaneously dismissing the notion that there is more to our existence than we understand?

And how can our internal experiences (feelings) be meaningless when they're the essence of what we are as conscious beings and are the only things we can be certain of?

Comment Re:Prove him right some more (Score 1) 263

Life is profound. The fact that anything exists at all is profound, and much more profound is the fact that over billions of years vast hydrogen clouds eventually turned into self-aware sentient autonomous beings capable of debating which chemical reactions should be prohibited from occurring inside others of their kind.

I don't see why having a sense of profundity from common things is something to ridicule. Most people are too jaded or ignorant to appreciate the awesomeness and incredible complexity of everything around them. Drugs can put the mind into a different context and change its functioning in a way that reduces the complacency most people have towards life. There's nothing inherently invalid with the sensations induced by psychoactive drugs any more than one's improved health after taking penicillin is invalid.

If you want to talk about obsession, how about the obsession our society has with the default mode of operation of the human mind. There is nothing wrong with the sober mind, but there is no reason why it should be considered the end-all and be-all of conscious existence. The environment it evolved in is much different than the ones we spend much of our time in. If you're a hunter-gatherer on the savanna keeping a watch for predators you need to stay focused on survival. If you're an economically well-off human sitting in the woods with some friends, why not appreciate the magnificence of the world around you? Our species has toiled for all of history to enable us to take survival for granted and be able to enjoy life, so what's wrong with dropping out from the normal state of existence and playing with all the fun hidden features of our minds from time to time?

Comment Re:Agrarian shift caused mass underfeeding (Score 1) 254

No, I simply said I heard another explanation for why people got weaker when they became farmers that complicates the causal link WillAffleckUW was implying. I just figured I'd throw that information out there and that maybe someone else would respond with more info.

Besides, how do you know Will didn't get his information from something he read (it was video lectures actually) on the internet? Are you really criticizing me for providing context and a reference for my knowledge?

Comment Re:Agrarian shift caused mass underfeeding (Score 1) 254

I heard that the reason people got smaller and weaker when they moved to agrarian societies was because they went from consuming a wide variety of foods which together provided ample nutrition to consuming mostly a single crop, generally a high-carb grain, which was enough to keep them alive, but didn't provide the necessary amounts of certain nutrients needed for optimal health.

I'm not nessessarily trying to dispute your implication, I just remember this from the Brief History of Humankind course I took on Coursera and thought it was relevant.

Comment Re:Snake Oil (Score 2) 114

Facebook doesn't promise that your ads will only be shown to people who care about them, they offer the ability to target ads based on fine-grained characteristics. I often see ads for bands and DJs that I like when they're coming to my area. No one's guaranteeing I'll buy tickets, but if I "like" Bassnectar and "music festivals", and Bassnectar is playing a music festival in the midwest, (aside from the fact that I likely already know about it) targeting ads to people like me is about as effective as you can get for advertising.

Comment Re:Snake Oil (Score 1) 114

I help run the NORML chapter in Wisconsin. I can target ads for our page to people who "Live in Wisconsin" and "Like 'marjuana', 'legalization', 'weed', etc". Users tell Facebook their demographic info and their interests, Facebook lets advertisers target ads based on that information. What part of that system is deceitful?

Comment Re:It's just sad... (Score 1) 164

Why do so many people seem to think it's axiomatic that all drugs cause brain damage? Most psychedelic drugs are not known to cause any neurological damage. Our brains are constantly restructuring themselves to adapt and learn from the current environment, and drugs, like everything else you come in contact with, will affect that. But in general that's a neutral change; it's not necessarily good or bad, it could be either.

A few people do end up rewiring their brains in negative ways from psychedelics, but most people generally find the changes beneficial if they are using it safely (which I suppose is a subjective term). Many people who have used psychedelics report being better able to connect with people and nature, being able to watch the flow of their thoughts more easily, and having abstract thinking come more easily. Not to mention the new perspective on what it means to be you and the subjective nature of reality that the psychedelic experience itself gives you.

If you think people take LSD "to get cool dreams, feel bliss, or see things" you obviously don't know much about it.

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