Monday, June 30, 2014

Carnivore Husbandry - The Lion and the Lamb

Carnivore Husbandry.

I want to note that an alternative approach to animal husbandry is shaping up. Let me explain the reasons why. The actual balance of nature is grossly inefficient in terms of prey carnivore balancing. What happens is that predators focus on the young members of the prey species and go after adults rather sparingly. This suppress the population unnaturally.

Simply hunting out the carnivores is not a good solution either since we then must face the reality that we ourselves need to replace them. It is about picking your poison.

Yet we are approaching an age in which it will become possible for mind to mind communication between husbandman and local carnivores as well as the prey animals that he manages. With mind to mind he can choose when an older animal or weakling needs to be culled. This holds true for surplus carnivores as well. All this leads to meal animals merely laying down to die as needed and the maintenance of a scant effective carnivore population for the purpose of such scavenging from the herds.

In practice, the herds of prey animals will increase to a stable level several fold larger than at present, while the population of carnivores will perhaps double to provide enough demand for wastage. This is far superior to current practice where downers are simply buried or dealt with poorly. A handful of downers in a reasonable district would happily feed a bear or a wolf pack if they knew they were invited quickly.

In this way our predators become our servants tasked with maintaining the herds properly.

Thus the restoration of Eden does include a key role in the optimization of the overall animal kingdom that becomes central while protecting the interests of humanity. The idea of the lion laying down with the lamb is no longer far fetched and almost seems to evolve naturally. That was a story whose meaning has eluded me all my life and is now clearly understood.

The Global Financial Ponzi Scheme

What no one really grasps in all this is that the global currency and credit system has literally gone its own way and has removed itself from the direct control of any human agency whatsoever. Participants pretend that their actions have influence, but it is really a charade.

This has become Adam Smith's invisible hand with a vengeance. Of course those at the top of the credit bubble get to play king maker, but they are also in no meaningful form of control beyond managing their own appetites. Just how long such a group can sustain this remains to be seen and unfortunately well tested.

Recall that sitting on top of this monster, each day you have a massive pool of available credit to put out somewhere and somehow. Sheer size makes investigation and quality pretty chancy. Worse every time you get something right, you are expected to repeat. Good luck on all that.

12 Numbers About The Global Financial Ponzi Scheme That Should Be Burned Into Your Brain

 By Michael Snyder, on June 11th, 2014

The numbers that you are about to see are likely to shock you.  They prove that the global financial Ponzi scheme is far more extensive than most people would ever dare to imagine.  As you will see below, the total amount of debt in the world is now more than three times greater than global GDP.  In other words, you could take every single good and service produced on the entire planet this year, next year and the year after that and it still would not be enough to pay off all the debt.  But even that number pales in comparison to the exposure that big global banks have to derivatives contracts.  It is hard to put into words how reckless they have been.  At the low end of the estimates, the total exposure that global banks have to derivatives contracts is 710 trillion dollars.  That is an amount of money that is almost unimaginable.  And the reality of the matter is that there is really not all that much actual "money" in circulation today.  In fact, as you will read about below, there is only a little bit more than a trillion dollars of U.S. currency that you can actually hold in your hands in existence.  If we all went out and tried to close our bank accounts and investment portfolios all at once, that would create a major league crisis.  The truth is that our financial system is little more than a giant pyramid scheme that is based on debt and paper promises.  It is literally a miracle that it has survived for so long without collapsing already.

When Americans think about the financial crisis that we are facing, the largest number that they usually can think of is the size of the U.S. national debt.  And at over 17 trillion dollars, it truly is massive.  But it is actually the 2nd-smallest number on the list below.  The following are 12 numbers about the global financial Ponzi scheme that should be burned into your brain...

-$1,280,000,000,000 - Most people are really surprised when they hear this number.  Right now, there is only 1.28 trillion dollars worth of U.S. currency floating around out there.

-$17,555,165,805,212.27 - This is the size of the U.S. national debt.  It has grown by more than 10 trillion dollars over the past ten years.

-$32,000,000,000,000 - This is the total amount of money that the global elite have stashed in offshore banks (that we know about).

-$48,611,684,000,000 - This is the total exposure that Goldman Sachs has to derivatives contracts.

-$59,398,590,000,000 - This is the total amount of debt (government, corporate, consumer, etc.) in the U.S. financial system.  40 years ago, this number was just a little bit above 2 trillion dollars.

-$70,088,625,000,000 - This is the total exposure that JPMorgan Chase has to derivatives contracts.

-$71,830,000,000,000 - This is the approximate size of the GDP of the entire world.

-$75,000,000,000,000 - This is approximately the total exposure that German banking giant Deutsche Bank has to derivatives contracts.

-$100,000,000,000,000 - This is the total amount of government debt in the entire world.  This amount has grown by $30 trillion just since mid-2007.

-$223,300,000,000,000 - This is the approximate size of the total amount of debt in the entire world.
-$236,637,271,000,000 - According to the U.S. government, this is the total exposure that the top 25 banks in the United States have to derivatives contracts.  But those banks only have total assets of about 9.4 trillion dollars combined.  In other words, the exposure of our largest banks to derivatives outweighs their total assets by a ratio of about 25 to 1.

-$710,000,000,000,000 to $1,500,000,000,000,000 - The estimates of the total notional value of all global derivatives contracts generally fall within this range.  At the high end of the range, the ratio of derivatives exposure to global GDP is about 21 to 1.

Most people tend to assume that the "authorities" have fixed whatever caused the financial world to almost end back in 2008, but that is not the case at all.

In fact, the total amount of government debt around the globe has grown by about 40 percent since then, and the "too big to fail banks" have collectively gotten 37 percent larger since then.

Our "authorities" didn't fix anything.  All they did was reinflate the bubble and kick the can down the road for a little while.

I don't know how anyone can take an honest look at the numbers and not come to the conclusion that this is completely and totally unsustainable.

How much debt can the global financial system take before it utterly collapses?

How recklessly can the big banks behave before the house of cards that they have constructed implodes underneath them?

For the moment, everything seems fine.  Stock markets around the world have been setting record highs and credit is flowing like wine.

But at some point a day of reckoning is coming, and when it arrives it is going to be the most painful financial crisis the world has ever seen.

If you plan on getting ready before it strikes, now is the time to do so.

Laser Therapy Can Recover damaged Teeth

 This is very good news. It means that teeth that are simply damaged can be induced to regrow outright. The protocol is not well defined yet, but the principle is clear enough. The tooth is cleaned up and stimulated. It is then likely temporarily protected as well and allowed to grow in with some additional stimulation likely required.

Thus the next several years will see both this therapy and the actual implanting of fresh buds to produce new teeth where lost. This means that a full recovery of a mouth of teeth is becoming practical and way more important, worth planning for. Hang on to what you have, baby them if necessary and full recovery will be that much easier.

The impossible just keeps coming on the dental front.

Laser therapy could replace dental drills and fillings forever

Michael Trei
Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 2:13pm

Few things in life are less pleasant than going to the dentist to get a filling. With all of that drilling, poking and scraping, it's no wonder people try to avoid going to the dentist at any cost. Lasers have been used by dentists for years both for tooth whitening, and in place of a drill for prepping a cavity. That's great, but when it comes to actually filling the hole, we're still stuck with the age old trowel and spackle approach.

What if your broken teeth could be made to heal by themselves, in much the same way as your skin and bones will grow back after trauma? That's the thinking behind a new type of laser therapy that uses infrared laser light to stimulate natural tooth growth.

Researchers at Harvard University's Wyss Institute have been working on methods to stimulate this type of natural tooth repair, and they think they have found a winner using an infrared laser technique called low-level light therapy. They drilled holes in the teeth of rats, and discovered that when they directed an infrared laser at the affected area, it stimulated stem cells to create new dentin, the basic building block material used at the core of teeth.

Lead researcher Dr. David Mooney says that this stimulative method holds great promise for reparative therapy beyond teeth, but for now they plan to focus on dental repair. The next step is to start human trials, and to establish a set of safety protocols by working with the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Mooney says that because lasers are already widely accepted in dentistry, he doesn't see any major hurdles in the path of the regenerative therapy.

I'll be happy if I just don't have to hear that whining drill anymore.

Trouble With the Pineal Gland?

I am not sure if any of this helps, but all inputs like this may. I put this into my list of associations and hope it pops up if it helps.

The pineal gland has attracted a lot of attention but even that is openly disputed so that it merely informs as to the the real depth of our ignorance.
What I do know for sure is that a few individuals become opened and can with coaching and some discipline find ways to convert experience into usable words. Lucid dreams may or may not be part of the story and those I can confirm.

Trouble With the Pineal Gland?

By June 6, 2014

There is much hype about activating the pineal gland. I touched briefly upon it in another post since it can be very problematic. I’m well aware that I’m going upstream on the hype. My aim is not to take it down but maybe to put it into context.

The problem about those very easy shortcuts to activating the pineal gland is that they are more or less reckless. I can compare it to the gym: It would be like someone told you it would be rational, evolving and transcending only to work-out with the left leg!

After a while you would look very asymmetrical, maybe and for whatever reason though, you would have a very good working left leg. What about the rest of the body?

Asymmetrical is not what’s needed in this world. Symmetry is.

The chakra system is a very well organized system of different vortexes each with it’s own specific quality.

Every chakra has its own significance and our inner and outer symmetry is very dependent on their interaction.

People seem to disregard what they refer to as lower chakras and only go for the pineal. It’s like building a house, but only the top floor. Not a stable place to be.

The chakra system is like a candlestick with 7 candles.

When I first noticed that I thought: Very clever, even though the western church doesn’t speak ‘chakra’ it has it anyway.

The candle in the middle sticks out – the Heart – and is the only one that is connected to all the others. Precisely how the Chakras are designed.

That is similar to the energetics of the chakras and it holds a very clear truth: Only through the energy of the heart, and by using that, can we impact our whole being.

Going further into that example it’s not very hard to imagine what will happen to the 7-armed candlestick if we put in a too heavy or long candle. It will fall. And so will we.

The way the energetics are designed as a flow is:

Root – Crown
Hara – Pineal
Solar Plexus – Throat

Let me give an example with the Root – Crown.

The root is grounding. The crown is Celestial connection.

If one should overlook the grounding and only go for the celestial like meditating on the Crown Chakra it will have some severe consequences: Religious hysteria, severe headaches, ‘way-out there’ space cadet and so on.

So the recipe here would be:

Pray and do the garden, just as an example. That is a Dao approach: Chop wood – carry water – meditate.

An example with the Pineal Gland and the Hara:

The second chakra (Hara) is tied in with many things: Sexuality, money, and obsession with both, to pick a few.

The raw and basically sociopathic pill popping stand alone Hara-chakra can be observed in the Powers That Be, the control system, because they DON’T have the connection to the pineal gland which is the consciousness.

 The connection to the antenna of the soul is not present.

As goes for the other way: from Pineal to Hara:

Connection to grounding with regard to sexuality and the need for bringing home the bacon by desire and not by obsession with it.

Then there’s the issue of psychic  powers.

If psychic powers stand alone without the necessary grounding they will bend the same negative way as I mentioned with the Hara Chakra. That’s where the big kahuna spaceships fly in and ascend the chosen few. That’s where all the distorted ‘channelings’ are born and more problematic; it opens up to ‘false’ connections to more or less weird ‘celestial’ helpers. Food for Ghouls playing the Celestial trick.

Yes, I know…. but I have to say it. Seen it, heard it. Not pretty.

If the flow and the balance are kept between those chakras, sexuality will still be there but flow into sensuality towards every manifestation on this planet, and a sacred and pristine connection is made. That is the raw sexual power of the Hara being smoothed out by the Pineal Gland and it will transform the possessiveness of the Hara into: Desire/Passion. That’s a very sweet process.

The Solar Plexus, the center or the melting pot for anger, jealousy, hate, will be smoothed out by a healthy connection to the throat charka, which gives us a hint: Use communication to solve issues (Throat Chakra) not violence or wars (Solar Plexus).

We cannot take a single chakra out and pump that spiritual iron only. It will take years to come back in the flow.

Except for the heart.

Everything flows in the chakra system and passes through the alchemy of the heart. The inner life we have and the external life we have. The heart bringing together what has been divided.

Though… it can be high impacted and change our life in a second and all of our energetics.

Someone could say: I love you.

If somehow awake we will get impacted by the deeds of the hearts of others.

And that openness to change is what we really need. Change the heart and everything changes and will never be the same again.

The Heart is what we need to activate and our sacred system will provide for the rest.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Archaeologists Recreate Elixir of Long Life Recipe from Unearthed Bottle

It could be said that this was more for fun than any practical reason. But the history does show a long lasting interest and serious claims been made. I suspect that vtnhe interest was well grounded in ancient practice and a real elixir. Work today in this field is plausibly drawing close to such a concoction.

It is certainly not to be deemed impossible and may well be plausible. As well we have a scattering of recent evidence supporting this theme that come with excellent credentials. It may well not be that difficult in practice. At least now I see work ongoing.

Our own civilization needs such a concoction in order to take a long collective breathe and sort out how to actually manage a real civilization.

Archaeologists recreate Elixir of Long Life recipe from unearthed bottle

19 JUNE, 2014 – 03:10 APRILHOLLOWAY

Beneath a construction site for a glassy, 22-story hotel in New York, archaeologists unearthed a history of drinking, eating and lodging, along with a tradition of consuming cure-alls and potions for good health, according to a report in DNA Info.

The discovery included a two hundred-year-old glass bottle that once contained the “Elixir of Long Life”.  Now the research team have tracked down the original German recipe used to create the elixir for fending off death. “We decided to engage in our own brand of experimental archaeology,” said Alyssa Loorya, the president of Chrysalis, a company regularly hired by the city to oversee excavation projects.

Loorya enlisted researchers in Germany to track down the recipe in an old medical guide, which revealed that the potion contained ingredients such as aloe, which is anti-inflammatory, gentian root, which aids digestion, as well as rhubarb, zedoary, and Spanish saffron – ingredients still used by herbalists today. The raw ingredients for an ‘Elixir of Long Life’.

Photo credit: DNAinfo/Irene Plagianos In addition to the Elixir of Long Life, archaeologists also discovered two bottles of Dr Hostetters Stomach Bitters, a once-popular 19th century medicine, which contained a complex mixture of ingredients including Peruvian bark, which has malaria-fighting properties, and gum kino, a kind of tree sap that is antibacterial.

Loorya and her team are have recreated both types of elixir, which they say taste very bitter.  The search for the Elixir of Life has been the supreme quest for many.  In medieval times, there are accounts of the alchemists looking for the philosopher’s stone, believed to be required to create the elixir but also to convert lead to gold. Bernard Trevisan, an alchemist of the 15th century said that dropping the philosopher’s stone into mercurial water would create the elixir, and we have multiple cases of alchemists who claim to have found the Elixir of Life, including the infamous Cagliostro or Saint Germain.

Images depicting the Elixir of Long Life Ancient references to immortality, or extremely long life spans, can be traced back thousands of years. The 4,000-year-old Sumerian King’s List, for example, refer to rulers who reigned for tens of thousands of years. Even the Bible refers to individuals who lived for hundreds of years, prior to the ‘Great Flood’. Ancient myths and legends from numerous cultures around the world refer to special food or drink that were reserved for the ‘gods’ and kept them immortal.

For the Greek gods it was ambrosia and nectar, in Zoroastrian and Vedic mythologies, we can see reference to a special drink known as Soma and Haoma respectively. In Egyptian mythology, Thoth and Hermes drank ‘white drops’ and ‘liquid gold’, which were said to keep them immortal.

In Sumerian texts, we have references to the Ninhursag’s milk, which was drunk by the kings of ancient Sumer.

In the Hindu religion, the gods would harness a milk called Amrita, a nectar that was collected and drunk by the gods to give them immortality, but forbidden for humans to drink.

In Chinese mythology, we have the ‘peaches of immortality’. Are all these references simply the imagination of our ancient ancestors? Or were their cultures that really achieved significant longevity? Perhaps there is at least some truth behind the Elixir of Long Life…

The Impossibility of Growth?

The impossibility of the growth model always misses the power of resource displacement. We use scarce resources only because it is presently cheap. When that changes a new resource is applied. This whole blog has been about discovering those inevitable options and telling you about it.

After seven years, I how know that energy will be almost free and that it will be available to every human on Earth. I even know how to deliver it. Otherwise, sustainable surface agriculture can support 100,000,000,000 souls in comfort and delight and fabulous health.

If we then get bored we can then go underground and we should anyway to provide refugia in case of cosmic emergency. That is for many more such one hundred billions as we occupy thre dimensional space.

This blog has shown us that it is a done deal.

The Impossibility of Growth Demands a New Economic System

Why collapse and salvation are hard to distinguish from each other.

by George Monbiot

Published on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 by

Let us imagine that in 3030BC the total possessions of the people of Egypt filled one cubic metre. Let us propose that these possessions grew by 4.5% a year. How big would that stash have been by the Battle of Actium in 30BC? This is the calculation performed by the investment banker Jeremy Grantham(1).The trajectory of compound growth shows that the scouring of the planet has only just begun. We simply can't go on this way.

Go on, take a guess. Ten times the size of the pyramids? All the sand in the Sahara? The Atlantic ocean? The volume of the planet? A little more? It’s 2.5 billion billion solar systems(2). It does not take you long, pondering this outcome, to reach the paradoxical position that salvation lies in collapse.

To succeed is to destroy ourselves. To fail is to destroy ourselves. That is the bind we have created. Ignore if you must climate change, biodiversity collapse, the depletion of water, soil, minerals, oil; even if all these issues were miraculously to vanish, the mathematics of compound growth make continuity impossible.

Economic growth is an artefact of the use of fossil fuels. Before large amounts of coal were extracted, every upswing in industrial production would be met with a downswing in agricultural production, as the charcoal or horse power required by industry reduced the land available for growing food. Every prior industrial revolution collapsed, as growth could not be sustained(3). But coal broke this cycle and enabled – for a few hundred years – the phenomenon we now call sustained growth.

It was neither capitalism nor communism that made possible the progress and the pathologies (total war, the unprecedented concentration of global wealth, planetary destruction) of the modern age. It was coal, followed by oil and gas. The meta-trend, the mother narrative, is carbon-fuelled expansion. Our ideologies are mere subplots. Now, as the most accessible reserves have been exhausted, we must ransack the hidden corners of the planet to sustain our impossible proposition.

On Friday, a few days after scientists announced that the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet is now inevitable(4), the Ecuadorean government decided that oil drilling would go ahead in the heart of the Yasuni national park(5). It had made an offer to other governments: if they gave it half the value of the oil in that part of the park, it would leave the stuff in the ground. You could see this as blackmail or you could see it as fair trade. Ecuador is poor, its oil deposits are rich: why, the government argued, should it leave them untouched without compensation when everyone else is drilling down to the inner circle of hell? It asked for $3.6bn and received $13m. The result is that Petroamazonas, a company with a colourful record of destruction and spills(6), will now enter one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, in which a hectare of rainforest is said to contain more species than exist in the entire continent of North America(7).

The UK oil company Soco is now hoping to penetrate Africa’s oldest national park, Virunga, in the Democratic Republic of Congo(8); one of the last strongholds of the mountain gorilla and the okapi, of chimpanzees and forest elephants. In Britain, where a possible 4.4 billion barrels of shale oil has just been identified in the south-east(9), the government fantasises about turning the leafy suburbs into a new Niger delta. To this end it’s changing the trespass laws to enable drilling without consent and offering lavish bribes to local people(10,11). These new reserves solve nothing. They do not end our hunger for resources; they exacerbate it.

The trajectory of compound growth shows that the scouring of the planet has only just begun. As the volume of the global economy expands, everywhere that contains something concentrated, unusual, precious will be sought out and exploited, its resources extracted and dispersed, the world’s diverse and differentiated marvels reduced to the same grey stubble.

Some people try to solve the impossible equation with the myth of dematerialisation: the claim that as processes become more efficient and gadgets are miniaturised, we use, in aggregate, fewer materials. There is no sign that this is happening. Iron ore production has risen 180% in ten years(12). The trade body Forest Industries tell us that “global paper consumption is at a record high level and it will continue to grow.”(13) If, in the digital age, we won’t reduce even our consumption of paper, what hope is there for other commodities?

Look at the lives of the super-rich, who set the pace for global consumption. Are their yachts getting smaller? Their houses? Their artworks? Their purchase of rare woods, rare fish, rare stone? Those with the means buy ever bigger houses to store the growing stash of stuff they will not live long enough to use. By unremarked accretions, ever more of the surface of the planet is used to extract, manufacture and store things we don’t need. Perhaps it’s unsurprising that fantasies about the colonisation of space – which tell us we can export our problems instead of solving them – have resurfaced(14).

As the philosopher Michael Rowan points out, the inevitabilities of compound growth mean that if last year’s predicted global growth rate for 2014 (3.1%) is sustained, even if we were miraculously to reduce the consumption of raw materials by 90% we delay the inevitable by just 75 years(15). Efficiency solves nothing while growth continues.

The inescapable failure of a society built upon growth and its destruction of the Earth’s living systems are the overwhelming facts of our existence. As a result they are mentioned almost nowhere. They are the 21st Century’s great taboo, the subjects guaranteed to alienate your friends and neighbours. We live as if trapped inside a Sunday supplement: obsessed with fame, fashion and the three dreary staples of middle class conversation: recipes, renovations and resorts. Anything but the topic that demands our attention.

Statements of the bleeding obvious, the outcomes of basic arithmetic, are treated as exotic and unpardonable distractions, while the impossible proposition by which we live is regarded as so sane and normal and unremarkable that it isn’t worthy of mention. That’s how you measure the depth of this problem: by our inability even to discuss it.
2. Grantham expressed this volume as 1057 cubic metres. In his paper We Need To Talk About Growth, Michael Rowan translated this as 2.5 billion billion solar systems. ( This source gives the volume of the solar system (if it is treated as a sphere) at 39,629,013,196,241.7 cubic kilometres, which is roughly 40 x 1021 cubic metres. Multiplied by 2.5 billion billion, this gives 1041cubic metres. So, unless I’ve got the wrong figure for the volume of the solar system or screwed my units up, which is eminently possible, Michael Rowan’s translation looks like an underestimate. I’ll stick with his figure though, as I don’t have much confidence in my own. Any improvements, comments or corrections via the contact form gratefully received.
3. EA Wrigley, 2010. Energy and the English Industrial Revolution. Cambridge University Press.
12. Philippe Sibaud, 2012. Opening Pandora’s Box: The New Wave of Land Grabbing by the Extractive Industries and the Devastating Impact on Earth. The Gaia Foundation.
15. Michael Rowan, 2014. We Need To Talk About Growth (And we need to do the sums as well.)

Japan’s Population Problem

The problem is actually simple to fix, but then no one has been willing to cast it in a proper framework. The difficulty is with the nuclear family concept engineered directly into our whole society is such that its natural inefficiencies are papered over but never addressed. This is also a leading cause of structural poverty as well.

The correct formula must be engineered around the natural community of one hundred and fifty forming a natural community. Communal childcare becomes practical and this allows for the security to produce larger families or even to have families at all. As such a society matures it also becomes possible to approve gestation to meet the needs of the community.
With the economics of child rearing resolved and limited demands on motherhood, it simply becomes easier which is what is needed to solve this problem.

It needs to be solved in Japan,but everywhere else in the developed world as well.

Japan’s Population Problem In Five Charts

06/07/2014 21:31 -0400

With Abenomics facing severe 'reality check' problems as base wages tumble for the 24th month in a row, inflation surges, and the "Misery Index" soars to 33 year highs, this week's release of the annual report from Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare paints a very grim picture of Japan's population problem.

Japan had 238,632 more deaths than births in 2013, a record.

Taking immigration into account, the total population in 2013 declined by 217,000 people compared to the previous year. Assuming the average woman has 1.35 children—a bit below the current level—Japan’s population is predicted to shrink to 99.1 million in 2048 and 86.7 million in 2060, according to a report by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research. That’s down from 127 million currently.

The biggest cause of death was cancer at 28.8%, followed by cardiac disease at 15.5% and pneumonia at 9.7%. Cancer has been the top cause of death since 1981 and has continued to increase. For the age group 15-29, the death rate for males was more than twice of that for females, and the predominant cause of death for both genders was suicide.
In 2013, Japan had 1,029,800 births, the fewest on record since World War II.

The number of births has been on the decline since the end of the second baby boom in 1973.
Women are having slightly more children but still well below replacement rate.

The total fertility rate in 2013 was 1.43, a 0.02-point increase from 2012. The figure represents the number of children an average woman will bear in a lifetime based on fertility data from a given year. The total fertility rate has been gradually rising since hitting a record low of 1.26 in 2005, but is still from the level—slightly above 2.0—needed to keep population steady over the long term.

Fewer couples are getting married.

In 2013, 661,594 couples got married, a postwar low. The average age at the first marriage was 29.3 years old for women, three years older than the average two decades ago. The average age for a woman to have her first child was 30.4 years old in 2013, and that figure is also rising.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said one reason for the trend is the difficulty women have balancing career advancement and family. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has proposed more support for working mothers, but the budget for supporting families with children is barely 1% of GDP for Japan, while it is over 3% of GDP in England and Sweden.

Scientific Truth About Psychodelics

I have long since come to the conclusion that regulatory policy at the government level regarding the scientific investigation of all psychological agents is at best psychotic and more likely it has been criminally diverted to preserve commercial advantage at the expense of serious competition. There is just too many outright willful lies been peddled to allow much forgiveness.

Now we are discovering that these illegal substances are clearly beneficial at a very low level of investigatory involvement. What this means is that the large laboratories knew this decades ago and then gamed the system to avoid them in exchange for their own schemes. Stupidity is no longer an acceptable defense.

If it is really this easy, it was always so.

The Truth About What Psychedelics Do to Your Brain

June 6, 2014

Tom McKay, 
Scientists Studied What Psychedelics Do to the Brain, and It’s Not What You’ve Been Told

It turns out that psychedelics aren’t just good for turning into an elf and jousting a car. Psychiatrists, psychologists and specialists in addiction and recovery from traumatic experiences have been investigating the use of hallucinogens in treatment programs, and the results indicate that psychedelics actually have practical therapeutic uses. And one drug has proven particularly useful. Repeated studies have found the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, can help people move past major life issues — like beating alcoholism and becoming more empathetic.

The research: 

One study concluded that controlled exposure to psilocybin could have long-lasting medical and spiritual benefits. In 2011, Johns Hopkins researchers found that by giving volunteer test subjects just the right dose (not enough to give them a terrifying bad trip), they were able to reliably induce transcendental experiences in volunteers. This provoked long-lasting psychological growth and helped the volunteers to find peace in their lives, all without side effects. Nearly all of the 18 test subjects, average age 46, were college graduates. Seventy-eight percent were religious and all were interested in finding a scientific experience.

Fourteen months later, 94% said their trip on magic mushrooms was one of the five most important moments of their lives. Thirty-nine percent said it was the most important thing that had ever happened to them. Their colleagues, friends, and family members said the participants were kinder and happier; the volunteers had positive experiences ranging from more empathy and improved marriages to less drinking.

Lead author Roland Griffiths told TIME’s Healthland that “The important point here is that we found the sweet spot where we can optimize the positive persistent effects and avoid some of the fear and anxiety that can occur and can be quite disruptive.”

What’s more, the researchers say that those changes in personality are highly atypical, because personalities tend to be pretty set in stone after the age of 25-30. According to postdoctoral researcher Katherine MacLean, who contributed to the study, “This is one of the first studies to show that you actually can change adult personality.”

Many years later, people are saying it was one of the most profound experiences of their life,” she continued. “If you think about it in that context, it’s not that surprising that it might be permanent.”

This is strictly do-not-try-this-at-home. Maclean says that “in an unsupervised setting, if that sort of fear or anxiety set in, the classic bad trip, it could be pretty dangerous.” But “On the most speculative side, this suggests that there might be an application of psilocybin for creativity or more intellectual outcomes that we really haven’t explored at all.”

More research: 

Within the past few decades, interest in hallucinogens has expanded from the counter-culture to dedicated, methodological research. For example, another study published in 2010 conducted research into whether psilocybin can lend some comfort to terminal cancer patients — finding evidence that it reduced death anxiety and experienced significantly less depressionAccording to study researcher Dr. Charles Grob, “Individuals did speak up and tell us that they felt it was of great value.” NYU’s Dr. Stephen Ross, who conducted a similar study, told SCPR that “To me it’s been some of the most remarkable clinical findings I’ve ever seen as a psychiatrist.”

Psychologist Clark Martin, Ph.D., who participated in the study as a volunteer, describes his experience below:

As well as participant Janeen Delaney:

As a result of the studies, a joint UCLA, NYU and Johns Hopkins team is conducting large-scale phase three trial next year.

Cluster headache patients say (with the backing of some doctors) that psilocybin and LSD provide them with significant relief, which researchers argue need further study.

A 2012 study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found evidence that psilocybin “enhances autobiographical recollection,” suggesting psychiatric uses in “the recall of salient memories or to reverse negative cognitive biases.” review of the pyschiatric research performed on psilocybin concluded that the risks of therapy were acceptable and that “most subjects described the experience as pleasurable, enriching and non-threatening.” And this year, Z├╝rich researchers released a study in which they administered psilocybin to 25 volunteers. The treatment was found to be associated with an “increase of positive mood in healthy volunteers.”

So basically, there’s at least some hard evidence that this:

Has the potential to be helpful, leading to introspection, self-reflection, and relief from psychiatric conditions.

Other drugs: 

Other illegal drugs have been linked to positive psychological outcomes. Trials with MDMA have had positive results in patients suffering from PTSD. Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies founder Rick Doblin, who works with Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, discusses why MDMA might be the first psychedelic to “open the door into traditional psychiatry and psychology”:

So why isn’t there more evidence? The federal government is only now beginning to loosen its restrictions on medical uses of mind-altering substances, and it’s doing so very cautiously. In 2013, a group of psychiatrists released a review saying government restrictions made even researching psychoactive drugs “difficult and in many cases almost impossible.”

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