Date   

Re: Chapter 4 - Mycelial Minds

Becky Lindroos
 

My late husband used to grow marijuana for personal use. He had some big lovely plants. When we moved from San Jose back to Porterville (1976) he harvested the one big plant he had left. He dried it and packaged it up and that was that. One day a couple months later he made some pot tea. Okay fine. He put it in a mason jar and put that in the refrigerator - it was just for him anyway.

Well, either that very night or the next, I saw the jar in the fridge and thought to myself that it sure would make a nice batch of French onion soup - (I thought it was chicken broth which I’ve regularly made myself since I was 20 or so.) - Later that evening we were all sitting around the dining room table and I’m tasting the soup and thinking well, this is a little bland - lol!. Tim asked what I’d used. I started to tell him and the realization floated up into my mind - "You dummy! You made pot soup!”

No one was impressed - . I had to throw it all out (about 1 1/2 quarts). The kids didn’t like onion soup at it’s best and this wasn’t anything really - onion-pot soup (because tea for broth).

Becky

On Nov 16, 2021, at 3:55 PM, Merilee Olson <merilee.olson@gmail.com> wrote:


I’m with you on reality being fascinating enough, Magda. Have never been interested in psychedelics. I tried pot eons ago but like Bill Clinton(🤣) didn’t/ couldn’t inhale. Have never smoked cigarettes and except for tiny occasional sips of dark beer, don’t like alcohol. Caffeine doesn’t agree with me (except in chocolate). Did eat a pot-filled oatmeal cookie once, and did NOT like the effects, which kicked in while I was driving…
On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 7:08 AM Magda <fotka.kalinowska@gmail.com> wrote:
I must say that I find consciousness and reality as is fascinating enough, so I don’t do drugs at all. I might be allergic to marijuana, as it a cousin of ragweed, and I found that out the hard way a couple of times as well, so I don’t do it either.
Actually, my older son ordered magic mushrooms once when he was still living with us, and we were to try them together - me watching him, and then vice versa. We had them at home for a few years, he managed to move out and get married, and plans stayed plans :). He reported trying them not so long ago, but I never did.

Magda

On Nov 15, 2021, at 9:09 AM, David Markham <davidgmarkham@gmail.com> wrote:


The current practice and research is being done with "micro doses". It is different from days of yore when people took much larger doses and went on a "trip" for several hours.

I have some clients who use micro doses like once a month and report it is a big help with their mood and cognitive organization. The problem now days is that the quality control for the drug ingested and strength is not available so one never knows for sure what is being ingested.

I, myself, have never used them. I see no need.

Here is a great presentation by James Fadiman about the question of micro dosing and what he calls "citizen science."

David Markham


On Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 2:55 AM Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
Yes - I took LSD 2 times. Long ago and far away. My late hubby talked me in to it in 1969 (I think). The second time was yukkie so I quit and I quit smoking pot, too. Quite honestly I really never did like pot or any “drugs.” I never did Psilocybin or mescaline/Peyote a hallucinogen that comes from a small cactus.

Becky

On Nov 15, 2021, at 1:19 AM, Jeffrey Taylor via groups.io <jatta97=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:



On Monday, November 15, 2021, 12:27:21 AM EST, Merilee Olson <merilee.olson@gmail.com> wrote:


Scares me too much.

On Sun, Nov 14, 2021 at 10:58 PM Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
Have you ever experimented with hallucinogens? Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybin, LSD or ???) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallucinogen
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_McKenna

Why? (Your friends were doing it, spiritual experience, it sounded fun, health reasons, part of a scientific study, other?)

Any opinions on if they might be beneficial to individuals with problems?

*******
Terence McKenna (and Ken Kesey and Timothy Leary and

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-magic-mushrooms-22085

Fwiw, psilocybin is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has a high potential for misuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-magic-mushrooms-22085

Becky
















Re: Veterans Have Become Unlikely Lobbyists in Push to Legalize Psychedelic Drugs - The New York Times

Becky Lindroos
 

It seems like a no-brainer, but what’s the downside? Vets stealing them (or getting extra) and selling them on the street? That’s going on with other, less effective, drugs anyway. Even veterinarians find their drugs being retailed on the street. Psychedelics are not a huge problem so let’s let those who need them have them. (Unless someone can give me a good reason not to.)

Becky


tom waits green grass lyrics - Google Search

Merilee Olson
 


Re: Chapter 4 - Mycelial Minds

Merilee Olson
 


I’m with you on reality being fascinating enough, Magda.  Have never been interested in psychedelics.  I tried pot eons ago but like Bill Clinton(🤣) didn’t/ couldn’t inhale. Have never smoked cigarettes and except for tiny occasional sips of dark beer, don’t like alcohol.  Caffeine doesn’t agree with me (except in chocolate). Did eat a pot-filled oatmeal cookie once, and did NOT like the effects, which kicked in while I was driving…

On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 7:08 AM Magda <fotka.kalinowska@...> wrote:
I must say that I find consciousness and reality as is fascinating enough, so I don’t do drugs at all. I might be allergic to marijuana, as it a cousin of ragweed, and I found that out the hard way a couple of times as well, so I don’t do it either.  
Actually, my older son ordered magic mushrooms once when he was still living with us, and we were to try them together - me watching him, and then vice versa.  We had them at home for a few years, he managed to move out and get married, and plans stayed plans :).  He reported trying them not so long ago, but I never did.  

Magda

On Nov 15, 2021, at 9:09 AM, David Markham <davidgmarkham@...> wrote:


The current practice and research is being done with "micro doses". It is different from days of yore when people took much larger doses and went on a "trip" for several hours.

I have some clients who use micro doses like once a month and report it is a big help with their mood and cognitive organization. The problem now days is that the quality control for the drug ingested and strength is not available so one never knows for sure what is being ingested. 

I, myself, have never used them. I see no need.

Here is a great presentation by James Fadiman about the question of micro dosing and what he calls "citizen science."

David Markham

On Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 2:55 AM Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@...> wrote:
Yes - I took LSD 2 times.  Long ago and far away.  My late hubby talked me in to it in 1969 (I think).  The second time was yukkie so I quit and I quit smoking pot, too.  Quite honestly I really never did like pot or any “drugs.”   I never did Psilocybin or mescaline/Peyote a hallucinogen that comes from a small cactus.

Becky

> On Nov 15, 2021, at 1:19 AM, Jeffrey Taylor via groups.io <jatta97=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
>
>
>
> On Monday, November 15, 2021, 12:27:21 AM EST, Merilee Olson <merilee.olson@...> wrote:
>
>
> Scares me too much.
>
> On Sun, Nov 14, 2021 at 10:58 PM Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@...> wrote:
> Have you ever experimented with hallucinogens?  Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybin, LSD or ???) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallucinogen
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_McKenna
>
> Why? (Your friends were doing it,  spiritual experience,  it sounded fun, health reasons, part of a scientific study, other?)
>
> Any opinions on if they might be beneficial to individuals with problems?
>
> *******
> Terence McKenna  (and Ken Kesey and Timothy Leary and
>
> https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-magic-mushrooms-22085
>
> Fwiw, psilocybin is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has a high potential for misuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
> https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-magic-mushrooms-22085
>
> Becky
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>







Veterans Have Become Unlikely Lobbyists in Push to Legalize Psychedelic Drugs - The New York Times

Jeanne
 


Re: Chapter 4 - Mycelial Minds

Magda
 

I must say that I find consciousness and reality as is fascinating enough, so I don’t do drugs at all. I might be allergic to marijuana, as it a cousin of ragweed, and I found that out the hard way a couple of times as well, so I don’t do it either.  
Actually, my older son ordered magic mushrooms once when he was still living with us, and we were to try them together - me watching him, and then vice versa.  We had them at home for a few years, he managed to move out and get married, and plans stayed plans :).  He reported trying them not so long ago, but I never did.  

Magda

On Nov 15, 2021, at 9:09 AM, David Markham <davidgmarkham@...> wrote:


The current practice and research is being done with "micro doses". It is different from days of yore when people took much larger doses and went on a "trip" for several hours.

I have some clients who use micro doses like once a month and report it is a big help with their mood and cognitive organization. The problem now days is that the quality control for the drug ingested and strength is not available so one never knows for sure what is being ingested. 

I, myself, have never used them. I see no need.

Here is a great presentation by James Fadiman about the question of micro dosing and what he calls "citizen science."

David Markham

On Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 2:55 AM Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@...> wrote:
Yes - I took LSD 2 times.  Long ago and far away.  My late hubby talked me in to it in 1969 (I think).  The second time was yukkie so I quit and I quit smoking pot, too.  Quite honestly I really never did like pot or any “drugs.”   I never did Psilocybin or mescaline/Peyote a hallucinogen that comes from a small cactus.

Becky

> On Nov 15, 2021, at 1:19 AM, Jeffrey Taylor via groups.io <jatta97=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
>
>
>
> On Monday, November 15, 2021, 12:27:21 AM EST, Merilee Olson <merilee.olson@...> wrote:
>
>
> Scares me too much.
>
> On Sun, Nov 14, 2021 at 10:58 PM Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@...> wrote:
> Have you ever experimented with hallucinogens?  Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybin, LSD or ???) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallucinogen
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_McKenna
>
> Why? (Your friends were doing it,  spiritual experience,  it sounded fun, health reasons, part of a scientific study, other?)
>
> Any opinions on if they might be beneficial to individuals with problems?
>
> *******
> Terence McKenna  (and Ken Kesey and Timothy Leary and
>
> https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-magic-mushrooms-22085
>
> Fwiw, psilocybin is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has a high potential for misuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
> https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-magic-mushrooms-22085
>
> Becky
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>







Re: EL Chapter 5 Before Roots

Becky Lindroos
 

This sounds like perfect non-academic science writing for me. There’s some “meat” but it’s not got a whole lot of fiber. Otoh, it’s not all fluffy scrambled eggs. It’s descriptive with lots of nice adjectives but facts are piled up on each other. It has to be considered that it’s very near to the opening lines of the chapter and the more nitty-gritty stuff will come later. Nice opening.

Becky

On Nov 16, 2021, at 4:32 AM, Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

From the book - second paragraph of Chapter 5:

"Before plants, land was scorched and desolate. Conditions were extreme. Temperatures fluctuated wildly and landscapes were rocky and dusty. There was nothing that we would recognize as soil. Nutrients were locked up in solid rocks and minerals, and the climate was dry. This isn’t to say that land was completely devoid of life. Crusts made up of photosynthetic bacteria, extremophile algae, and fungi were able to make a living in the open air. But the harsh conditions meant that life on Earth was overwhelmingly an aquatic event. Warm, shallow seas and lagoons teemed with algae and animals. Sea scorpions several meters long ranged the ocean floor. Trilobites plowed silty seabeds using spade-like snouts. Solitary corals started to form reefs. Mollusks thrived.”

How does that strike you for science writing? Too metaphorical or poetic in some way? Too dry? Just right?

How does Sheldrake keep you involved (assuming you are).

Becky







Re: EL: Chapter 5 "Before Roots"

Becky Lindroos
 

I kind of like it but I’m not sure why Sheldrake put it there. I thought it was a love song. Oh well.

Becky

On Nov 16, 2021, at 4:31 AM, Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

Tom Waits / Kathleen Brennan

You’ll never be
Free of me
He’ll make a
tree from me

Don’t say good
Bye to me
Describe the sky
To me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXq1PBNuUt0

Any response?

Becky







EL: Chapter 5 - symbiosis and phtosynthesis

Becky Lindroos
 

The intimacy of strangers (Lynn Margolis) is front and center with symbiosis.
https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-mycophiles-plea-on-merlin-sheldrakes-entangled-life/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mushroom_at_the_End_of_the_World

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2013.00134/full

How about the chapter as a whole - too much scientific detail, too little, just about right?

Are these new ideas for you?

The efficiency of mycorrhizal exchange is closely related to climate change. Could that be important?

Would you be interested in doing experiments on the results of different fungi and the plants using it? Like the strawberries or the tomatoes or bread grown with different mycorrhizal fungi.
https://sciweb.nybg.org/science2/hcol/mycorrhizae.asp.html
And it’s gone commercial! (There are several companies.)

https://bigfootmyco.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAys2MBhDOARIsAFf1D1eV1QJ3WsXSJxGFYoCIC_e9IiWutdp38sk37Q2rsjurfFcbBKwm8JEaAhGdEALw_wcB

Becky


EL Chapter 5 Before Roots

Becky Lindroos
 

From the book - second paragraph of Chapter 5:

"Before plants, land was scorched and desolate. Conditions were extreme. Temperatures fluctuated wildly and landscapes were rocky and dusty. There was nothing that we would recognize as soil. Nutrients were locked up in solid rocks and minerals, and the climate was dry. This isn’t to say that land was completely devoid of life. Crusts made up of photosynthetic bacteria, extremophile algae, and fungi were able to make a living in the open air. But the harsh conditions meant that life on Earth was overwhelmingly an aquatic event. Warm, shallow seas and lagoons teemed with algae and animals. Sea scorpions several meters long ranged the ocean floor. Trilobites plowed silty seabeds using spade-like snouts. Solitary corals started to form reefs. Mollusks thrived.”

How does that strike you for science writing? Too metaphorical or poetic in some way? Too dry? Just right?

How does Sheldrake keep you involved (assuming you are).

Becky


EL: Chapter 5 "Before Roots"

Becky Lindroos
 

Tom Waits / Kathleen Brennan

You’ll never be
Free of me
He’ll make a
tree from me

Don’t say good
Bye to me
Describe the sky
To me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXq1PBNuUt0

Any response?

Becky


Re: Sandy K

Becky Lindroos
 

Cool! I’ve got a cousin no more than a few miles north of the border and I haven’t even gotten to see her. I’ll wave. :-)

Becky

On Nov 15, 2021, at 7:44 PM, Merilee Olson <merilee.olson@gmail.com> wrote:

By the way, we passed not too far north of you last month, Bekah, on our epic 9000 km road-trip to visit my son in BC. Drove the whole way through Canada so as not to undergo covid border hassles.

On Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 8:26 PM Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
Oh how fun! Now you’ll have to have a reunion - Harrisburg might be about half way but I think Montreal might be more fun. - lol!

Becky

On Nov 15, 2021, at 6:37 PM, Merilee Olson <merilee.olson@gmail.com> wrote:

Sandy, did you get my email? Sandy and I found out through FaceBook that we were at Stanford at the same time. I was 3 years ahead. Small world.






Re: Sandy K

Merilee Olson
 

By the way, we passed not too far north of you last month, Bekah, on our epic 9000 km road-trip to visit my son in BC.  Drove the whole way through Canada so as not to undergo covid border hassles. 

On Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 8:26 PM Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@...> wrote:
Oh how fun!   Now you’ll have to have a reunion - Harrisburg might be about half way but I think Montreal might be more fun.  - lol! 

Becky

> On Nov 15, 2021, at 6:37 PM, Merilee Olson <merilee.olson@...> wrote:
>
> Sandy, did you get my email? Sandy and I found out through FaceBook that we were at Stanford at the same time.  I was 3 years ahead. Small world.
>







Re: Sandy K

Becky Lindroos
 

Oh how fun! Now you’ll have to have a reunion - Harrisburg might be about half way but I think Montreal might be more fun. - lol!

Becky

On Nov 15, 2021, at 6:37 PM, Merilee Olson <merilee.olson@gmail.com> wrote:

Sandy, did you get my email? Sandy and I found out through FaceBook that we were at Stanford at the same time. I was 3 years ahead. Small world.


Sandy K

Merilee Olson
 

Sandy, did you get my email? Sandy and I found out through FaceBook that we were at Stanford at the same time.  I was 3 years ahead. Small world.


Re: Chapter 4 - Mycelial Minds

Carol Mannchen
 

Okay, I drink too much.  Possibly, I am an alcoholic, not sure.  Covid has certainly not helped.  I have never taken any kind of street drug, including pot.  I was up in Nova Scotia last year for 2 1/2 months and still did not take advantage of the opportunity to try pot.  But for pain, I might do it at some point.

A thing happened to my family while I was in college a long time ago that made me afraid of drugs.  My Dad had an incident of mixing a couple of beers with some anti-depressants, and it damn near killed him.  This was back when Librium and Valium were brand new meds.  It was scary and turned me off drugs and experimenting.  I'm not really even very adventurous when it comes to food.

Smoking -- I smoked from 1965-1985, quit after my Mom died.  That was a blessing.

Carol Mannchen

Hermitage, TN
oldlawmom@...
615-310-4504




On Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 3:10 PM Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@...> wrote:
Yes, I’ve heard the newer psychedelics are less  powerful - except pot.  The street pot these days is stronger.  (I would have no idea.).  I didn’t mention it but the last time I used any kind of recreational type drug was 1980 or ’81 - before my booze sobriety date. 

I heard that today’s LSD is like simple color trips.  What we took back in the day was very powerful and yes, the “trip” lasted for 8 hours or maybe more, 12 or 13 hours. We had “guides” - a friend or two who watched out for us while we were “tripping.”   As I said,  I didn’t care for the effects so after 2 times I quit. No mas. Not until the FDA approves it.  That’s what I said at the time but I’ve never even been tempted in the least. 

I’m listening to that link you sent.  I recognize the name Sandoz for sure. I think that might have been East Coast (?).   We did Owsley’s products which came out of Berkeley. The main types were called “Blue Cheer” and “Orange Marmalade” and other things.   

I guess this is one of those “I did my own own research” things. (Like the Covid mask horse dewormer stuff?) ?? I tried cocaine once or twice (at most) and it only made me stay up so I could drink more.  That was fine. I tried valium one time but it was for anxiety and my bro-in-law pressured me.  I would never fit in an NA meeting.  LOL!   

Indigenous peoples -  like the guy Carlos Castaneda met out there on the desert?  I didn’t care much for those books.  I really have a kind of aversion to most drugs. 

My drugs are prescribed plus aspiring,Tylenol, ibuprofen, calcium and vitamins. 

I think the data we have on most meds is that people have been using them for years - if there’s something wrong with taking Tylenol we’d know by now - and the doctors do know some.

Becky

> On Nov 15, 2021, at 8:09 AM, David Markham <davidgmarkham@...> wrote:
>
> The current practice and research is being done with "micro doses". It is different from days of yore when people took much larger doses and went on a "trip" for several hours.
>
> I have some clients who use micro doses like once a month and report it is a big help with their mood and cognitive organization. The problem now days is that the quality control for the drug ingested and strength is not available so one never knows for sure what is being ingested.
>
> I, myself, have never used them. I see no need.
>
> Here is a great presentation by James Fadiman about the question of micro dosing and what he calls "citizen science."
>
> David Markham
>
>
> On Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 2:55 AM Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@...> wrote:
> Yes - I took LSD 2 times.  Long ago and far away.  My late hubby talked me in to it in 1969 (I think).  The second time was yukkie so I quit and I quit smoking pot, too.  Quite honestly I really never did like pot or any “drugs.”   I never did Psilocybin or mescaline/Peyote a hallucinogen that comes from a small cactus.
>
> Becky
>
> > On Nov 15, 2021, at 1:19 AM, Jeffrey Taylor via groups.io <jatta97=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > On Monday, November 15, 2021, 12:27:21 AM EST, Merilee Olson <merilee.olson@...> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Scares me too much.
> >
> > On Sun, Nov 14, 2021 at 10:58 PM Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@...> wrote:
> > Have you ever experimented with hallucinogens?  Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybin, LSD or ???) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallucinogen
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_McKenna
> >
> > Why? (Your friends were doing it,  spiritual experience,  it sounded fun, health reasons, part of a scientific study, other?)
> >
> > Any opinions on if they might be beneficial to individuals with problems?
> >
> > *******
> > Terence McKenna  (and Ken Kesey and Timothy Leary and
> >
> > https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-magic-mushrooms-22085
> >
> > Fwiw, psilocybin is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has a high potential for misuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
> > https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-magic-mushrooms-22085
> >
> > Becky
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
>
>
>
>
>
>
>







Re: Chapter 4 - Mycelial Minds

Becky Lindroos
 

I’m the same with coffee, Johanna. I used to drink about 3 pots a day but at some point that just slowed down. Now I drink 3 cups maybe and then I go for the decaf. Sleeping is hard enough without adding stimulants.

Sugar can be a problem for some people.

There are lots of things to become addicted to - sex and gambling, video games. Of the chemical variety I found these:

Tobacco (Nicotine) – Over 40 Million
Alcohol – 18 Million
Marijuana – 4.2 Million
Painkillers – 1.8 Million
Cocaine – 821,000
Heroin – 426,000
Benzodiazepines – 400,000
Stimulants – 329,000
Inhalants – 140,000
Sedatives (Barbiturates) – 78,000
https://www.addictioncenter.com/addiction/10-most-common-addictions/

Back in the day we didn’t think that marijuana was addictive but I understand the stuff they sell these days is so powerful it probably is. I have a friend who is very hooked on pot but says she isn’t addicted because you can’t be. She’s a bit older than I am - she’s going by old standards.

Becky

On Nov 15, 2021, at 10:19 AM, johannakurz <johannakurz@t-online.de> wrote:

I never took Magic Mushroom but my brother tried it in Bali. It must have been quite an experience and it was offered in a restaurant ...in an omlette.
I took LSD when I was young...needed someone who guarded me because I always wanted to lay down on the street and watch the oncoming cars...actually the lights fascinated me. I quit after I experienced a horror trip. Wanted to throw myself down a high rising building. When on LSD I wrote a lot of poetry. It was really good but it always dealt with death.
I also smoked pot....only with other people and because of fun....I loved to philosophize when I was stoned.
I quit taking it when I got pregnant also wuut drinking alcohol. 20 years ago I smoked some grass again but the pulse went up and I felt awful....so never again.
I hardly drink anything...occasionally a beer or a glas of wine.
I also quit smoking cigarettes...was a chain smoker....and quit drinking coffee....I was addicted to it..I drank 3 pots a day.
Now I am trying to stop with sugar...my last addiction...and probably with reading and books...lol

Johanna



Von meinem/meiner Galaxy gesendet


-------- Ursprüngliche Nachricht --------
Von: Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@sbcglobal.net>
Datum: 15.11.21 04:58 (GMT+01:00)
An: AllNonfiction@groups.io
Betreff: [AllNonfiction] Chapter 4 - Mycelial Minds

Have you ever experimented with hallucinogens? Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybin, LSD or ???) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallucinogen
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_McKenna

Why? (Your friends were doing it, spiritual experience, it sounded fun, health reasons, part of a scientific study, other?)

Any opinions on if they might be beneficial to individuals with problems?

*******
Terence McKenna (and Ken Kesey and Timothy Leary and

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-magic-mushrooms-22085

Fwiw, psilocybin is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has a high potential for misuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-magic-mushrooms-22085

Becky











Re: Chapter 4 - Mycelial Minds

Becky Lindroos
 

Yes, I’ve heard the newer psychedelics are less powerful - except pot. The street pot these days is stronger. (I would have no idea.). I didn’t mention it but the last time I used any kind of recreational type drug was 1980 or ’81 - before my booze sobriety date.

I heard that today’s LSD is like simple color trips. What we took back in the day was very powerful and yes, the “trip” lasted for 8 hours or maybe more, 12 or 13 hours. We had “guides” - a friend or two who watched out for us while we were “tripping.” As I said, I didn’t care for the effects so after 2 times I quit. No mas. Not until the FDA approves it. That’s what I said at the time but I’ve never even been tempted in the least.

I’m listening to that link you sent. I recognize the name Sandoz for sure. I think that might have been East Coast (?). We did Owsley’s products which came out of Berkeley. The main types were called “Blue Cheer” and “Orange Marmalade” and other things.

I guess this is one of those “I did my own own research” things. (Like the Covid mask horse dewormer stuff?) ?? I tried cocaine once or twice (at most) and it only made me stay up so I could drink more. That was fine. I tried valium one time but it was for anxiety and my bro-in-law pressured me. I would never fit in an NA meeting. LOL!

Indigenous peoples - like the guy Carlos Castaneda met out there on the desert? I didn’t care much for those books. I really have a kind of aversion to most drugs.

My drugs are prescribed plus aspiring,Tylenol, ibuprofen, calcium and vitamins.

I think the data we have on most meds is that people have been using them for years - if there’s something wrong with taking Tylenol we’d know by now - and the doctors do know some.

Becky

On Nov 15, 2021, at 8:09 AM, David Markham <davidgmarkham@gmail.com> wrote:

The current practice and research is being done with "micro doses". It is different from days of yore when people took much larger doses and went on a "trip" for several hours.

I have some clients who use micro doses like once a month and report it is a big help with their mood and cognitive organization. The problem now days is that the quality control for the drug ingested and strength is not available so one never knows for sure what is being ingested.

I, myself, have never used them. I see no need.

Here is a great presentation by James Fadiman about the question of micro dosing and what he calls "citizen science."

David Markham


On Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 2:55 AM Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
Yes - I took LSD 2 times. Long ago and far away. My late hubby talked me in to it in 1969 (I think). The second time was yukkie so I quit and I quit smoking pot, too. Quite honestly I really never did like pot or any “drugs.” I never did Psilocybin or mescaline/Peyote a hallucinogen that comes from a small cactus.

Becky

On Nov 15, 2021, at 1:19 AM, Jeffrey Taylor via groups.io <jatta97=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:



On Monday, November 15, 2021, 12:27:21 AM EST, Merilee Olson <merilee.olson@gmail.com> wrote:


Scares me too much.

On Sun, Nov 14, 2021 at 10:58 PM Becky Lindroos <bekah0176@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
Have you ever experimented with hallucinogens? Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybin, LSD or ???) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallucinogen
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_McKenna

Why? (Your friends were doing it, spiritual experience, it sounded fun, health reasons, part of a scientific study, other?)

Any opinions on if they might be beneficial to individuals with problems?

*******
Terence McKenna (and Ken Kesey and Timothy Leary and

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-magic-mushrooms-22085

Fwiw, psilocybin is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has a high potential for misuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-magic-mushrooms-22085

Becky
















George Packer’s Liberal Faith

Jeanne
 

Trying to get myself "back" now that I'm home...spotted this and thought it may be of interest since book is nominated.

https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/george-packer-last-best-hope/


Katie Mack: The Ending of Everything

johannakurz
 


My second nomination:

Katie Mack: The Ending of Everything


Beschreibung

Product Description

NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2020
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY * THE WASHINGTON POST * THE ECONOMIST NEW SCIENTIST * PUBLISHERS WEEKLY * THE GUARDIAN

From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an “engrossing, elegant” (The New York Times) look at five ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in cosmology.

We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it expanded from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life as we know it. But what happens to the universe at the end of the story? And what does it mean for us now?

Dr. Katie Mack has been contemplating these questions since she was a young student, when her astronomy professor informed her the universe could end at any moment, in an instant. This revelation set her on the path toward theoretical astrophysics. Now, with lively wit and humor, she takes us on a mind-bending tour through five of the cosmos’s possible finales: the Big Crunch, Heat Death, the Big Rip, Vacuum Decay (the one that could happen at any moment!), and the Bounce. Guiding us through cutting-edge science and major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory, and much more, The End of Everything is a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of all that we know.

Review

“A thrilling tour of potential cosmic doomsdays....Beyond her deep expertise, Ms. Mack’s infectious enthusiasm for communicating the finer points of cosmological doom elevates The End of Everything over any other book on the topic I have read.” — The Wall Street Journal

“Excellent, far-reaching...The book is the perfect antidote to the malaise of mundane worries.” — Science

“Mack turns the end of the universe into a starting point and delivers an accessible, enthusiastic survey of scientific forces. Lively and original, this is science writing done right.” — Publishers Weekly, Best Nonfiction of 2020

“Engrossing, elegant...Despite the book’s sobering title, [Mack] sprinkles in delightful esoterica along the way, while providing a guide to some of the most plausible scenarios about the end of the universe.” — The New York Times
 
“ The End of Everything is a pleasure. Mack’s style is personal and often funny as she guides us along a cosmic timeline studded with scientific esoterica and mystery... I found it helpful — not reassuring, certainly, but mind-expanding — to be reminded of our place in a vast cosmos.” — James Gleick, The New York Times Book Review

“Mack offers a whirlwind tour of our possible demises and what investigating the options can reveal about physics. Through informal but rigorous prose, she describes the weird wrinkles and implications of these potential endings.” — Scientific American

“If you need a moment to be distracted from everyday life and journey to the deep cosmic future, I highly recommend  The End of Everything. In it, Mack seems unable to help describing complex physics concepts as ‘fun’ and ‘cool.’ She is right, and her book is also fun and cool.” — New Scientist

“Far from being depressing, Mack’s account mixes a sense of reverence for the wonders of physics with an irreverent sense of humor and a disarming dose of candor.” — ScienceNews

“Reading about the ultimate death of the universe…will immerse you in the astonishing weirdness of our wider surroundings, and remind you of the ingenuity of scientists who have spent centuries trying to read the cosmic tea leaves.” — Vice.com

“In Mack’s hands, this speculation [about the end of the universe] makes for a fascinating story.… She is a talented communicator of complex physics, and the passion and curiosity about astronomy that have made her a popular speaker and Twitter presence are evident here.” — Nature

“[Mack] creates an accessible, easy-to-digest guide to how the universe might end, speaking in a casual way that feels like sitting down for coffee with a good friend — one who can break down the physics of destruction into bite-sized delights.”  — Discover

“While there’s general agreement about the broad outlines of the Big Bang, there’s far less certainty about how everything will end, as Katie Mack expertly explains…[She] avoids getting too technical even when discussing frontiers of cosmology and theoretical physics, and keeps it entertaining as well.” — The Space Review

"An 'Interstellar'-level of mind-bending and eye-opening theories as to what the end of our universe could hold." — USA Today

“Mack takes an otherworldly subject—the death of the universe—and brings it down to earth.... The End of Everything will delight both casual science readers and those looking for more in-depth analysis of theoretical astrophysics.” — BookPage

“Thinking through the science of end times is actually a thrill....Mack's pleasing writing style makes speculating about the death of the universe unexpectedly entertaining.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Anyone wondering what to read after Brian Greene’s  Until the End of Time will relish this blend of wit and deep thought.” — Library Journal

“Mack’s endlessly entertaining survey is infused with a palpable love of her subject, and will transmit to readers the same joy she finds in exploring the wide and fascinating universe.” — Publishers Weekly , STARRED review

“ The End of Everything combines deep thinking about physics and big-picture awe in the style of Carl Sagan.” — Randall Munroe, author of xkcd and What If?

“This book teaches you that the universe could end at any moment, but is so good that you will be rooting for it not to —at least, not until you finish the book. Katie Mack’s witty, lucid prose is endlessly delightful.” — Alexandra Petri, Washington Post columnist

“Everything dies, even the universe. But will it be a peaceful fading away, or a dramatic cataclysm? Scientists don’t know for sure, but Katie Mack provides an expert and entertaining guide to the possibilities. Who knew a book about the end of the universe could communicate so much passion for science?” — Sean Carroll, author of Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime

“Joyous, beautiful and strange. . . filled with brilliant moments where you just have to stop and stare out of the window for a while.” — Robin Ince, author of How to Build a Universe

“Katie Mack is a great scientist, a passionate inquirer of nature, a great companion in this exploration, full of wit and lightness. I have learned from her plenty of things I did not know. And I have found myself staring out of the window, meditating about the end of it all.”  —Carlo Rovelli 

About the Author

Dr. Katie Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist, exploring a range of questions in cosmology, the study of the universe from beginning to end. She is currently an assistant professor of physics at North Carolina State University, where she is also a member of the Leadership in Public Science Cluster. She has been published in a number of popular publications, such as Scientific AmericanSlateSky & TelescopeTime, and Cosmos magazine, where she is a columnist. She can be found on Twitter as @AstroKatie.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Cosmos

CHAPTER 1: Introduction to the Cosmos
Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice.

Robert Frost, 1920

The question of how the world will end has been the subject of speculation and debate among poets and philosophers throughout history. Of course, now, thanks to science, we know the answer: it’s fire. Definitely, fire. In about five billion years, the Sun will swell to its red giant phase, engulf the orbit of Mercury and perhaps Venus, and leave the Earth a charred, lifeless, magma-covered rock. Even this sterile smoldering remnant is likely fated to eventually spiral into the Sun’s outer layers and disperse its atoms in the churning atmosphere of the dying star.

So: fire. That’s settled. Frost was right the first time.

But he wasn’t thinking big enough. I’m a cosmologist. I study the universe, as a whole, on the largest scales. From that perspective, the world is a small sentimental speck of dust lost in a vast and varied universe. What matters to me, professionally and personally, is a bigger question: how will the universe end?

We know it had a beginning. About 13.8 billion years ago, the universe went from a state of unimaginable density, to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball, to a cooling, humming fluid of matter and energy, which laid down the seeds for the stars and galaxies we see around us today. Planets formed, galaxies collided, light filled the cosmos. A rocky planet orbiting an ordinary star near the edge of a spiral galaxy developed life, computers, political science, and spindly bipedal mammals who read physics books for fun.

But what’s next? What happens at the end of the story? The death of a planet, or even a star, might in principle be survivable. In billions of years, humanity could still conceivably exist, in some perhaps unrecognizable form, venturing out to distant reaches of space, finding new homes and building new civilizations. The death of the universe, though, is final. What does it mean for us, for everything, if it will all eventually come to an end?

WELCOME TO THE END TIMES


Despite the existence of some classic (and highly entertaining) papers in the scientific literature, I first encountered the term “eschatology,” the study of the end of everything, by reading about religion.

Eschatology—or more specifically, the end of the world—provides a way for many of the world’s religions to contextualize the lessons of theology and to drive home their meaning with overwhelming force. For all the theological differences between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, they have in common a vision of the End Times that brings about a final restructuring of the world in which good triumphs over evil and those favored by God are rewarded. Perhaps the promise of a final judgment serves to somehow make up for the unfortunate fact that our imperfect, unfair, arbitrary physical world cannot be relied upon to make existence good and worthwhile for those who live right. In the same way a novel can be redeemed or retroactively ruined by its concluding chapter, many religious philosophies seem to need the world to end, and to end “justly,” for it to have had meaning in the first place.

Of course, not all eschatologies are redemptive, and not all religions predict an end time at all. Despite the hype around late December 2012, the Mayan view of the universe was a cyclic one, as it is in Hindu tradition, with no particular “end” designated. The cycles in these traditions aren’t mere repetitions, but are imbued with the possibility that things will be better the next time around: all your suffering in this world is bad, but don’t worry, a new world is coming, and it will be unscarred, or perhaps improved, by the iniquities of the present. Secular stories of the end, on the other hand, run the gamut from a nihilist view that nothing matters at all (and that nothingness ultimately prevails) to the heady notion of eternal recurrence, where everything that has happened will happen again, in exactly the same way, forever. In fact, both these seemingly opposing theories are commonly associated with Friedrich Nietzsche, who, after proclaiming the death of any god that might bring order and meaning to the universe, grappled with the implications of living in a cosmos lacking a final redemption arc.

Nietzsche isn’t the only one to have contemplated the meaning of existence, of course. Everyone from Aristotle to Lao-Tzu to de Beauvoir to Captain Kirk to Buffy the Vampire Slayer has at one point asked, “What does it all mean?” As of this writing, we have yet to reach a consensus.

Whether or not we subscribe to any particular religion or philosophy, it would be hard to deny that knowing our cosmic destiny must have some impact on how we think about our existence, or even how we live our lives. If we want to know whether what we do here ultimately matters, the first thing we ask is: how will it come out in the end? If we find the answer to that question, it leads immediately to the next: what does this mean for us now? Do we still have to take the trash out next Tuesday if the universe is going to die someday?

I’ve done my own scouring of theological and philosophical texts, and while I learned many fascinating things from my studies, unfortunately the meaning of existence wasn’t one of them. I may just not have been cut out for it. The questions and answers that have always drawn me in most strongly are the ones that can be answered with scientific observation, mathematics, and physical evidence. As appealing as it sometimes seemed to have the whole story and meaning of life written down for me once and for all in a book, I knew I would only ever really be able to accept the kind of truth I could rederive mathematically.

LOOKING UP


Over the millennia since humanity’s first ponderings of its mortality, the philosophical implications of the question haven’t changed, but the tools we have to answer it have. Today, the question of the future and ultimate fate of all reality is a solidly scientific one, with the answer tantalizingly within reach. It hasn’t always been so. In Robert Frost’s time, debates still raged in astronomy about whether the universe might be in a steady state, existing unchanging forever. It was an appealing idea, that our cosmic home might be a stable, hospitable one: a safe place in which to grow old. The discovery of the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe, however, ruled that out. Our universe is changing, and we’ve only just begun to develop the theories and observations to understand exactly how. The developments of the last few years, and even months, are finally allowing us to paint a picture of the far future of the cosmos.

I want to share that picture with you. The best measurements we have are only consistent with a handful of final apocalyptic scenarios, some of which may be confirmed or ruled out by observations we’re making right now. Exploring these possibilities gives us a glimpse of the workings of science at the cutting edge, and allows us to see humanity in a new context. One which, in my opinion, can bring a kind of joy even in the face of total destruction. We are a species poised between an awareness of our ultimate insignificance and an ability to reach far beyond our mundane lives, into the void, to solve the most fundamental mysteries of the cosmos.

To adapt a line from Tolstoy, every happy universe is the same; every unhappy universe is unhappy in its own way. In this book, I describe how small tweaks to our current, incomplete knowledge of the cosmos can result in vastly different paths into the future, from a universe that collapses on itself, to one that rips itself apart, to one that succumbs by degrees to an inescapable expanding bubble of doom. While we explore the evolution of our modern understanding of the universe and its ultimate end, and grapple with what that means for us, we’ll encounter some of the most important concepts in physics and see how these connect not just to cosmic apocalypses, but also to the physics of our everyday lives.

QUANTIFYING COSMIC DOOM


Of course, for some of us, cosmic apocalypses are already a daily concern.

I remember vividly the moment I found out that the universe might end at any second. I was sitting on Professor Phinney’s living room floor with the rest of my undergraduate astronomy class for our weekly dessert night, while the professor sat on a chair with his three-year-old daughter on his lap. He explained that the sudden space-stretching expansion of the early universe, cosmic inflation, was still such a mystery that we don’t have any idea why it started or why it ended, and we have no way of saying that it won’t happen again, right now. No assurance existed to tell us that a rapid, un-survivable rending of space couldn’t start right then, in that living room, while we innocently ate our cookies and drank our tea.

I felt completely blindsided, as if I could no longer trust the solidity of the floor beneath me. Forever etched into my brain is the image of that little child sitting there, fidgeting obliviously in a suddenly unstable cosmos, while the professor gave a little smirk and moved on to another topic.

Now that I’m an established scientist, I understand that smirk. It can be morbidly fascinating to ponder processes so powerful and unstoppable yet precisely mathematically describable. The possible futures of our cosmos have been delineated, calculated, and weighted by likelihood based on the best available data. We may not know for certain if a violent new cosmic inflation could occur right now, but if it does, we have the equations ready. In a way, this is a deeply affirming thought: even though we puny helpless humans have no chance of being able to affect (or effect) an end of the cosmos, we can begin to at least understand it.

Many other physicists get a little blasé about the vastness of the cosmos and forces too powerful to comprehend. You can reduce it all to mathematics, tweak some equations, and get on with your day. But the shock and vertigo of the recognition of the fragility of everything, and my own powerlessness in it, has left its mark on me. There’s something about taking the opportunity to wade into that cosmic perspective that is both terrifying and hopeful, like holding a newborn infant and feeling the delicate balance of the tenuousness of life and the potential for not-yet-imagined greatness. It is said that astronauts returning from space carry with them a changed perspective on the world, the “overview effect,” in which, having seen the Earth from above, they can fully perceive how fragile our little oasis is and how unified we ought to be as a species, as perhaps the only thinking beings in the cosmos.

For me, thinking about the ultimate destruction of the universe is just such an experience. There’s an intellectual luxury in being able to ponder the farthest reaches of deep time, and in having the tools to speak about it coherently. When we ask the question, “Can this all really go on forever?,” we are implicitly validating our own existence, extending it indefinitely into the future, taking stock, and examining our legacy. Acknowledging an ultimate end gives us context, meaning, even hope, and allows us, paradoxically, to step back from our petty day-to-day concerns and simultaneously live more fully in the moment. Maybe this can be the meaning we seek.

We’re definitely getting closer to an answer. Whether or not the world is at any given moment falling apart from a political perspective, scientifically we are living in a golden age. In physics, recent discoveries and new technological and theoretical tools are allowing us to make leaps that were previously impossible. We’ve been refining our understanding of the beginning of the universe for decades, but the scientific exploration of how the universe might end is just now undergoing its renaissance. Hot-off-the-presses results from powerful telescopes and particle colliders have suggested exciting (if terrifying) new possibilities and changed our perspective on what is likely, or not, in the far future evolution of the cosmos. This is a field in which incredible progress is being made, giving us the opportunity to stand at the very edge of the abyss and peer into the ultimate darkness. Except, you know, quantifiably.

As a discipline within physics, the study of cosmology isn’t really about finding meaning per se, but it is about uncovering fundamental truths. By precisely measuring the shape of the universe, the distribution of matter and energy within it, and the forces that govern its evolution, we find hints about the deeper structure of reality. We might tend to associate leaps forward in physics with experiments in laboratories, but much of what we know about the fundamental laws governing the natural world comes not from the experiments themselves, but from understanding their relationship to observations of the heavens. Determining the structure of the atom, for example, required physicists to connect the results of radioactivity experiments with the patterns of spectral lines in the light from the Sun. The Law of Universal Gravitation, developed by Newton, posited that the same force that makes a block slide down an inclined plane keeps the Moon and planets in their orbits. This led, ultimately, to Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, a spectacular reworking of gravity, whose validity was confirmed not by measurements on Earth, but by observations of Mercury’s orbital quirks and the apparent positions of stars during a total solar eclipse.

Today, we are finding that the particle physics models we’ve developed through decades of rigorous testing in the best Earthly laboratories are incomplete, and we’re getting these clues from the sky. Studying the motions and distributions of other galaxies—cosmic conglomerations like our own Milky Way that contain billions or trillions of stars—has pointed us to major gaps in our theories of particle physics. We don’t know yet what the solution will be, but it’s a safe bet that our explorations of the cosmos will play a role in sorting it out. Uniting cosmology and particle physics has already allowed us to measure the basic shape of spacetime, take an inventory of the components of reality, and peer back through time to an era before the existence of stars and galaxies in order to trace our origins, not just as living beings, but as matter itself.

Of course, it goes both ways. As much as modern cosmology informs our understanding of the very, very small, particle theories and experiments can give us insight into the workings of the universe on the largest scales. This combination of a top-down and bottom-up approach ties into the essence of physics. As much as pop culture would have you believe that science is all about eureka moments and spectacular conceptual reversals, advances in our understanding come more often from taking existing theories, pushing them to the extremes, and watching where they break. When Newton was rolling balls down hills or watching the planets inch across the sky, he couldn’t possibly have guessed that we’d need a theory of gravity that could also cope with the warping of spacetime near the Sun, or the unimaginable gravitational forces inside black holes. He would never have dreamed that we’d someday hope to measure the effect of gravity on a single neutron. Fortunately, the universe, being really very big, gives us a lot of extreme environments to observe. Even better, it gives us the ability to study the early universe, a time when the entire cosmos was an extreme environment.

A quick note about terminology. As a general scientific term, cosmology refers to the study of the universe as a whole, from beginning to end, including its components, its evolution over time, and the fundamental physics governing it. In astrophysics, a cosmologist is anyone who studies really distant things, because (1) that means looking at quite a lot of universe and (2) in astronomy, faraway things are also far in the past, since the light that reaches us from them has been traveling for a long time—sometimes billions of years. Some astrophysicists explicitly study the evolution or early history of the universe, while some specialize in distant objects (galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and so forth) and their properties. In physics, cosmology can veer in a direction that is much more theoretical. For instance, some cosmologists in physics departments (as opposed to astronomy departments) study alternative formulations of particle physics that might have applied to the first billionth of a billionth of a second of the universe’s existence. Others study modifications of Einstein’s theory of gravity that could pertain to objects as hypothetical as black holes that can only exist in higher dimensions of space. Some cosmologists even study whole hypothetical universes that are very explicitly not our own—universes in which the cosmos has a totally different shape, number of dimensions, and history—in order to gain insight into the mathematical structure of theories that might someday be found to have relevance to us.

The upshot of all this is that cosmology means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. A cosmologist who studies the evolution of galaxies might be utterly lost talking with a cosmologist who studies the way quantum field theory can make black holes evaporate, and vice versa.

As for me, I love it all. I first learned cosmology was a thing when I was about ten years old, through encounters with books and lectures by Stephen Hawking. He was talking about black holes and warped spacetime and the Big Bang and all sorts of stuff that made me feel like my brain was doing backflips. I could not get enough. When I found out that Hawking described himself as a cosmologist, I knew that was what I wanted to be. Through the years, I’ve done research across the whole range, bouncing back and forth between physics and astronomy departments, studying black holes, galaxies, intergalactic gas, intricacies of the Big Bang, dark matter, and the possibility that the universe might suddenly blink out of existence. I even dabbled in experimental particle physics for a while, in my misspent youth, playing with lasers in a nuclear physics lab (despite what the records might say, the fire was not my fault) and paddling an inflatable boat around a 40-meter-tall water-filled underground neutrino detector (that explosion was not my fault either).

These days, I’m pretty solidly a theorist, which is probably better for everyone. This means I don’t carry out observations or experiments or analyze data, though I do frequently make predictions for what future observations or experiments might see. I work mainly in an area physicists call phenomenology—the space between the development of new theories and the part where they’re actually tested. That is to say, I find creative new ways to connect the things the fundamental-theory people hypothesize about the structure of the universe with what the observational astronomers and experimental physicists hope to see in their data. It means I have to learn a lot about everything, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun.

SPOILER ALERT


This book is an excuse for me to dig deep into the question of where it’s all going, what that all means, and what we can learn about the universe we live in by asking these questions. There isn’t just one accepted answer to any of this—the question of the fate of all existence is still an open one, and an area of active research in which the conclusions we draw can change drastically in response to very small tweaks in our interpretations of the data. In this book, we’ll explore five possibilities, chosen based on their prominence in ongoing discussions among professional cosmologists, and dig into the best current evidence for or against each of them.

Each scenario presents a very different style of apocalypse, with a different physical process governing it, but they all agree on one thing: there will be an end. In all my readings, I have not yet found a serious suggestion in the current cosmological literature that the universe could persist, unchanged, forever. At the very least, there will be a transition that for all intents and purposes destroys everything, rendering at least the observable parts of the cosmos uninhabitable to any organized structure. For this purpose, I will call that an ending (with apologies to any temporarily sentient bursts of random quantum fluctuation that may be reading this). A few of the scenarios carry with them a hint of possibility that the cosmos might renew itself, or even repeat, in one way or another, but whether some tenuous memory of previous iterations can persist in any way is a matter of rather intense ongoing debate, as is whether or not anything like an escape from a cosmic apocalypse could in principle be possible. What seems most likely is that the end for our little island of existence known as the observable universe is, truly, the end. I’m here to tell you, among other things, how that might happen.

Just to get everyone on the same page, we’ll start with a quick catch-up on the universe from the beginning until now. Then we’ll get on with the destruction. In each of five chapters, we’ll explore a different possibility for the end, how it might come about, what it would look like, and how our changing knowledge of the physics of reality leads us from one hypothesis to another. We’ll start with the Big Crunch, the spectacular collapse of the universe that would occur if our current cosmic expansion were to reverse course. Then come two chapters of dark-energy-driven apocalypses, one in which the universe expands forever, slowly emptying and darkening, and one in which the universe literally rips itself apart. Next is vacuum decay, the spontaneous production of a quantum bubble of death that devours the cosmos. Finally, we’ll venture into the speculative territory of cyclic cosmology, including theories with extra dimensions of space, in which our cosmos might be obliterated by a collision with a parallel universe… over and over again. The closing chapter will bring it all together with an update from several experts currently working on the cutting edge on which scenario looks most plausible now, and what we can expect to learn from new telescopes and experiments to settle the question once and for all.

What that means for us as human beings, living our little lives in all this inconsiderate vastness, is another question entirely. We’ll present a range of perspectives in the epilogue, and address whether or not sentience itself could have any kind of legacy that endures beyond our destruction.

We don’t know yet whether the universe will end in fire, ice, or something altogether more outlandish. What we do know is that it’s an immense, beautiful, truly awesome place, and it’s well worth our time to go out of our way to explore it. While we still can.

. Exactly how those rewards are doled out, and to whom, is not the part they have in common.

. This view is also espoused, though not explored in philosophical detail, in the classic early-2000s TV series Battlestar Galactica.

. apocalypsi?

. We do this by bouncing it. Really. First we cool the neutrons to almost absolute zero, then we slow them to jogging speed, then we bounce them up and down like a Ping-Pong ball on a paddle. And this also tells us something about dark energy, the mysterious something that makes our whole universe expand faster. Physics is wild.

. String theorists produce a lot of these theories. (String theory is a blanket term for theories that try to bring together gravity and particle physics in new ways, but most of the work done to develop it now relies on mathematical analogs rather than anything pertaining to the “real” world.) Sometimes when I’m in string theory talks, I have to resist the urge to raise my hand and clarify that none of these calculations pertain to our universe, just in case anyone in the room is as confused as I first was when I started attending string theory talks.

. This is, of course, one of the most fun things I’ve ever worked on, hence this book. I’m not sure why I like it so much. It may be a bad sign.

. And we’re talking about the universe here, so I really do mean EVERYTHING.

. Please stick around until Chapter 4, when the Boltzmann Brain community will get their proper due.

. Technically it is called a “bubble of true vacuum,” which, to be fair, also sounds pretty darn ominous.

. Another spoiler: it’s not looking great.

Produktinformationen

Herausgeber‎Scribner (4. Mai 2021)
Sprache‎Englisch
Taschenbuch‎256 Seiten
ISBN-10‎1982103558
ISBN-13‎978-1982103552
Artikelgewicht‎204 g
Abmessungen‎13.97 x 1.52 x 21.27 cm
Amazon Bestseller-Rang
Nr. 24,904 in Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Bücher)
Nr. 41 in Astrophysik
Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung4,6 von 5 Sternen 1.750Rezensionen

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