When I look at the amazing description of the Universe created by science, I find that it is anything but meaningless

I would define “meaning” as something larger than ourselves that gives a sense of purpose and direction to our lives. Having meaning in life is one of the key ingredients of happiness, because for most people a life worth living needs to have purpose in a larger context.

Meaning and ethics

Meaning is also important as a foundation for ethics. Systems of values can be reduced to a few fundamental premises from which codes of ethics can be developed rationally. …


It wants to keep you sick so you can be its customer for life

Working on a cure for chronic pain

Science could cure chronic pain, but Big Pharma is into profits, not cures. This realization came to me during the 27 years that I worked on finding a cure for chronic pain. I studied biochemistry and molecular biology and did my doctoral thesis in neuroscience. In 1994, I moved to UCLA to do research on pain neurophysiology.

After studying some of the molecular mechanism of pain transmission and control, my lab switched to using an animal model of chronic pain called latent sensitization (Marvizon et al., 2015). …


I lost consciousness during a deep freedive, but a strange vision saved me from drowning.

Return to Galicia, land of my childhood

The day I cheated death dawned bright and sunny. I awoke in my father’s beach house in Galicia, Spain. I had come from the United States with my American girlfriend to vacation with my family. It was July 1988, and I was 31, in the prime of life and still brimming with that sense of immortality enjoyed by the young.

Galicia is a Celtic country in the northwest corner of Spain. Surrounded by the cold waters of the Atlantic, it is misty, rainy and green. It features tall mountains, deep valleys and a jagged coast of bays, islands, white sand…


The tactics used to censor erotic books and how to deal with them

How to lock a book in a dungeon

This is how they lock a book in a dungeon. You let the writer go through the process of publishing the book. Posting the formatted text, the cover and book description. Checking all the appropriate boxes. Filling in all the required information. Press ‘publish’ and the book appears on the dashboard as being sold online. However, if the publisher doesn’t like the book, he changes the algorithm so that the book no longer appears on searches. He does not alert the author of this little detail. The writer notices that the book is not selling and wonders why.

There is…


“Your kink is not my kink but your kink is okay.”

Most of the kinks you read about in Medium are pretty tame: spanking, bondage, role-playing, and maybe some light dominance-submission. However, the world of BDSM has some dark corners. There are many activities that are hard to explain to the mildly kinky, never mind to the vanilla folks. Things like…

  • Golden showers or “water sports” — urinating on somebody.
  • Choking — possibly the most dangerous BDSM activity.
  • Master/slave — hardcore Dominant-submission relationships that go on 24/7.
  • Consensual Non-Consent (CNC) or Total Power Exchange — people who put their entire trust in the choices of the Dominant.
  • Rape Play — simulated…


Fascism is not just an ideology, is a state of mind that keeps sprouting in the most unlikely places

There is much talk today about Fascism, anti-fascism (‘Antifa’) and whether Trump and the Republican party represent a slide of the United States towards this form of oppression.

I know a thing or two about Fascism because I grew up in a genuinely Fascist country: Spain under the dictatorship of general Franco. It lasted 40 years, from 1939 to 1978. I was born in 1957, so I lived for 20 years under it. My father was a Franco supporter and had high government positions as president of two state-run universities. He even had meetings with the Generalísimo himself. For me…


Cómo la evolución y la neurociencia pueden explicar la consciencia

Preguntas

¿Cómo produce el cerebro la consciencia?

Definiría la consciencia como la propiedad de nuestra mente por la cual nos damos cuenta de nuestro entorno, de nuestras sensaciones corporales y de lo que estamos haciendo. La consciencia también nos dice que existimos como mentes que tienen pensamientos, recuerdos y emociones.

Según la visión científica del mundo, todo lo que sucede en nuestra mente es producto de la actividad de nuestro cerebro. Sin embargo, algunos filósofos como David Chalmers sostienen que hay algo misterioso e inefable en la consciencia que la ciencia nunca podrá explicar como actividad cerebral. ¿Puede ser esto un…


Cuando contemplo la maravillosa descripción del Universo que ha creado la ciencia, encuentro que está llena de sentido

“Sentido” podría definirse como algo más grande que nosotros mismos que le da propósito y dirección a nuestras vidas. El que nuestra vida tenga sentido es uno de los ingredientes de la felicidad, porque para la mayoría de las personas una vida que valga la pena debe tener propósito.

Sentido y ética

El sentido también es importante como fundamento de la ética. Los sistemas de valores pueden reducirse a unas pocas premisas fundamentales a partir de las cuales un código de ética puede desarrollarse de forma racional. …


Psychology and neuroscience weigh in on whether jealousy is innate or cultural

In my previous article about jealousy, I showed that most violence against women in Western societies is intimate partner violence (also called domestic violence), and presented evidence that it is caused by jealousy. I further argued that jealousy is driven by false beliefs of our monogamy culture. By questioning those beliefs in real life, polyamory can help people deprogram their jealousy and reduce violence in relationships.

One of these beliefs is that jealousy is natural, that is, driven by innate biological compulsions outside our control. …


Practicar el sexo cuando envejeces te mantiene saludable y te ayuda a disfrutar de la vida

El pasado mes de enero pasado, en mi cumpleaños, puse la canción de Los Beatles When I’m Sixty-Four. La he venido escuchando desde que tenía 14 años, preguntándome cómo sería yo cuando finalmente llegase a esa edad. Ahora, cincuenta años después, creo que sorprendería a mi antiguo yo si pudiera ver en lo que me he convertido. Todavía practico buceo libre, como lo hacía cuando era adolescente, aunque prefiero ir a lo seguro y bucear con botellas. Esquío en pistas negras. Me hago vías de escalada de primero. …

Hermes Solenzol

UCLA professor. Neuroscientist doing research on pain. Writes about science, philosophy, politics and kinky sex. https://sexsciencespirit.blogspot.com/

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