Monthly Archives: April 2012

Sound trip

A fascinating excerpt about a hallucinogenic drug called DiPT that only causes hearing distortions – from p310 of the book Hallucinations: Research and Practice: A member of the tryptamine chemical family, diisopropyltryptamine (DiPT) is a fascinating substance because, unlike most hallucinogens, its effect are predominantly auditory. It is also probably less sensitive than other hallucinogens […]

The evolution of London street gangs

A fascinating article in the journal Crime and Delinquency tracks the evolution of London gangs from their ‘boys on the street’ beginnings to organised crime syndicates. Sociologist James Densley has clearly spent a lot of time talking to gang members of the streets of London and has gained an intimate insight into how the organisations […]

The future of fMRI

Nature has an article looking at the future of fMRI brain scanning in light of its long-lasting hype and recently discovered problems. Brain scanning has become massively popular both in the scientific community and in the media, in great part because the pictures it produces seem quite intuitive: images of the brain with colours on […]

The complex motivations for self-harm

If you ask the average person in the street why some people cut themselves you’ll get the answer that they’re trying to ‘get attention’ which is a common but unhelpful stereotype. The reality is that motivations for self-harming are complex. Some people find it helps control their intense moods by externalising the pain, other are […]

Emperors, clothes, money

BBC Radio 4′s documentary series Analysis has a fascinating programme that explores the little-asked question ‘What is Money?’ – and the answer turns out to be scarily psychological. In fact, the definition is very close to William Gibson’s description of cyberspace as a “mass consensual hallucination” because money relies on us to believe in it […]

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