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Monday, March 25, 2013

25 March 2013

Another week on The Daily Quota, and another great bounty for your minds.

In fact, The Daily Quota will discuss two superb TED talks over two days - not only double your dosage of knowledge, but double your dosage of recently banned knowledge.
Yes, Daily Quoters, we have for you two brilliant talks that were so controversial that they were taken down, later to be re-uploaded in a more discreet area of the webpage.

Today's Daily Quota is the first of these two banned TED talks - this one is by Graham Hancock titled 'The War on Consciousness'.
Graham starts off by noting the most significant evolutionary step taken by humans - the gaining of consciousness. 
Consciousness, in this sense, does not refer to literal consciousness, but rather, altered states of consciousness.

He discusses the ancient forms of shamanism, and the mind-altering effects of certain mushrooms and vines found in the Amazon and used by locals. The active ingredient is DMT, which causes psychosomatic thoughts and hallucinations. 
It is also produced naturally in our brain.

However, a certain enzyme in our stomach disallows this product to be digested. The Amazonian shamans mixed these mushrooms with certain vines (of all the 150,000 species of vine there) and they were able to inhibit this enzyme.

This psychedelic causes the user to envision certain entities, which "take a direct personal interest in us as individuals". Hancock recounts his own freedom from a 24-year cannabis addiction, and notes others who have managed to wane off cocaine and heroin addictions by following the messages of these 'entities'.
This is called 'ayahuasca therapy' - named after the plant-based mixture itself.

After recounting his own experiences, he goes on to criticize the West's disassociation with their spiritual side - noting some of the biggest and most infuriatingly trivial problems of our world today. 
He expresses his discontent for materialist, reductionist scientists who stress the purposelessness of every organism in the universe. He also shows concern at the fact that every Western authority seems to be adamant about restricting the use of any drug that can alter our consciousness - except for stimulants like sugar and caffeine and depressants like alcohol.

The second half of this talk is where it really gets interesting. This video is one for the open minded, and poses some fantastic questions about where our modern values and knowledge lies, and where it ought to lie.

Stay tuned for the second video in tomorrow's Daily Quota.


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