Dark Web Virtues: What We Can Learn From White House Market

Darknet markets, where people can browse and buy illicit drugs and forged documents, are not going anywhere. They remain highly popular and involve transactions totalling over a billion dollars. Darknet markets frequently rise and fall, with their closure seeming inevitable. The way that highly popular darknet markets cease to be, however, tends to be abrupt…

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Can Psychedelics Make People More Drawn to Conspiracy Theories?

It is widely known that psychedelics and cannabis are associated with non-conventional thinking. The way that these psychoactive substances change how people think – including cannabis, which can have mild and sometimes profound psychedelic effects – can be viewed with serious interest; psychedelics can, after all, alter people’s metaphysical beliefs, including those of psychologists and…

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Metaphysical Insight: Psychedelics, Noetic Experiences, and Spinoza’s God

The feeling of gaining direct knowledge of something grand or important about reality is a common aspect of mystical experiences generally and psychedelic mystical states more specifically. This is known as a noetic experience, one of the four defining qualities of a mystical experience, as propounded by the American psychologist and philosopher William James in…

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The Relationship Between Personality and Sensitivity to Psychedelics

When different people take the same dose of any psychedelic, some will have a more subjectively intense experience than others. This is due to dose-independent factors, or what many psychonauts, psychedelic enthusiasts, and researchers call set and setting. Set is your mindset going into the experience, whereas setting refers to all the environmental factors that…

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Mescaline Revelations: Hume, Buddhism, and the Illusory Nature of the Self

One of the most interesting aspects of psychedelics is how the experience ties into philosophy. I am especially drawn to the notion that they can attract one to – or concretise – certain philosophical ideas, theories, and systems. For example, in The Subjective Effects of Nitrous Oxide (1882), the psychologist William James wrote how the…

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