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In the News 07.11.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 07.11.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@londonispink
In the News 07.11.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@alinakolot
In the News 07.11.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@glamourmag

The Staggering Rise
Of India’s Super-Rich

On 3 May, at around 4.45pm, a short, trim Indian man walked quickly down London’s Old Compton Street, his head bowed as if trying not to be seen. From his seat by the window of a nearby noodle bar, Anuvab Pal recognised him instantly. “He is tiny, and his face had been all over every newspaper in India,” Pal recalled. “I knew it was him.”

Few in Britain would have given the passing figure a second look. And that, in a way, was the point. The man pacing through Soho on that Wednesday night was Nirav Modi: Indian jeweller, billionaire and international fugitive.

In February, Modi had fled his home country after an alleged $1.8bn fraud case in which the tycoon was accused of abusing a system that allowed his business to obtain cash advances illegally from one of India’s largest banks. Since then, his whereabouts had been a mystery. Indian newspapers speculated that he might be holed up in Hong Kong or New York. Indian courts issued warrants for his arrest, and the police tried, ineffectually, to track him down.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

On Coincidence

In the 1920s, one of Carl Jung’s female patients proved particularly frustrating to him – notwithstanding her ‘excellent education’ and ‘highly polished Cartesian rationalism’. She was ‘psychologically inaccessible’, the Swiss psychiatrist later wrote in his Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle (1960), by which he meant that she wasn’t accepting his pseudo-scientific methods.

To better understand her subconscious mind, Jung had her recount her recent dreams. She told him that, the night before, she had dreamed that she’d been given a golden scarab as a piece of jewellery. As she was describing the dream, there was a tapping on the window and Jung turned around. ‘I opened the window immediately and caught the insect in the air as it flew in,’ he wrote. ‘It was a scarabaeid beetle, or common rose-chafer (cetonia aurata), whose gold-green colour most nearly resembles that of a golden scarab.’ Jung knew this was just what his skeptical patient needed to see. ‘I handed the beetle to my patient with the words, “Here is your scarab.” This experience punctured the desired hole in her rationalism and broke the ice of her intellectual resistance. The treatment could now be continued with satisfactory results.’

Jung called this an instance of ‘synchronicity’, a concept whose application to psychology he developed with the Austrian-born theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli to describe the way that seemingly unrelated events can in fact be significantly related and held together by an unseen force – in this case, his patient’s dream and shared reality coalescing with the appearance of the scarab beetle. Jung believed in an unus mundus, or a unitary world, in which there is no separation between mind and matter. Everything is connected; every event has a reason behind it. It spurred his belief in even wilder ideas such as telepathy, and fed his concept of the ‘collective unconscious’, for which he claimed there were certain universal ideas, beliefs and archetypes implicitly understood by everyone from birth.

The Austrian biologist Paul Kammerer, a contemporary of Jung’s, built on ‘synchronicity’ with his theory of ‘seriality’, which says that coincidences are a basic force of the Universe, like gravity. Albert Einstein, always pushing the boundaries between faith and reason, found the quasi-spiritual idea of seriality intriguing, and is rumoured to have called it ‘original and by no means absurd’.

Read the rest of this article at: aeon

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The Fast And Furious Michael Avenatti

The attorney Michael Avenatti stands just under six feet tall, with blatant blue eyes and thinning hair he shaves down to stubble, exposing the crumpled vein at his left temple. Before February, when he agreed to represent Stephanie Clifford — the pornographic film performer better known as Stormy Daniels — in her legal battle with the president of the United States, Avenatti was in the best shape of his life: 185 pounds, 9 percent body fat. The ever-expanding pressures of the case have meant less time at the gym, and in recent months he has lost some muscle weight. But his cheeks and chin remain Cubist in their geometry, and in motion, head lowered and shoulders hunched, he still has the bearing of a light-heavyweight brawler.

On the second Tuesday in May, Avenatti, who is 47, strode down the hallway of his luxury Manhattan hotel and, toeing open the door, sat down at his desk to read a draft his paralegal had recently uploaded to Dropbox. In bulleted, 12-point Arial font, the document levied an astonishing charge: that in 2017, a Russian oligarch named Viktor Vekselberg had deposited around $500,000 into the same bank account Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former fixer, used to pay off Avenatti’s client in October 2016. If the details were accurate, as Avenatti was certain they were, the two dominant scandals dogging the Trump administration — a supposed 2006 affair between Daniels and Trump and the Robert Mueller-led investigation into election meddling by the Russian government — were about to merge.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

In the News 07.11.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Attack On Skull Island

In the News 07.11.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

He sent me a photo from his bed at the Franco-Vietnamese hospital. Gashes in his scalp ran toward a crater on his forehead. A CT scan and other tests revealed a fractured skull, contusions, hemorrhaging, and a cerebral air pocket. His head wrapped in gauze, Vogt-Roberts Facetimed Jason Mitchell. “I was in tears,” Mitchell said later. “I couldn’t help it. I’ve never seen him that vulnerable. After [the fire-pit explosion in which] he blew himself up, he was joking around in the fucking hospital. But this time shit got deep. It got really deep.”

Vogt-Roberts spent ten days in that bed, climbing out of a morphine haze and trying to find out who assaulted him. He texted people familiar with Saigon’s crime and nightlife scenes, many of whom had the same response: It’s better if you don’t look into who did this. When Vogt-Roberts would ask why, his terrified friends hinted that his assailants were protected and that their reach was global.

As he was driven away from the hospital after being discharged, Vogt-Roberts looked out the untinted windows of the van and had a full-on panic attack. Surrounded by an ocean of motorbikes and possibly wanted by mobsters, he was an easy target in a glass box. When he reached the Park Hyatt, he took the back service elevator up to the presidential suite and finally calmed himself down enough to sleep.

A couple of hours later, he woke up to a beep and a thump. Recognizing the sound of an opening door, he leapt out of bed and grabbed the steak knife from his room-service tray, crept up to the bedroom door, and pressed his ear against the wood, channeling Metal Gear tactics while his mind swirled with adrenaline. He headed knife-first into the living room. Empty. Then he edged over to the bathroom, where he discovered that the noises were a greeting from the mouth of his Japanese toilet.

The next day, Vogt-Roberts visited the office of the Vietnamese Crime Investigation Division and watched XOXO security footage of the attack. Even though a handful of people who were in the club that night had told him that his assault was seemingly random, he worried that he was about to watch himself provoke his own beating. “I remember I wasn’t being an asshole,” he says. “I remember I wasn’t instigating. I remember getting punched in the fucking side of the face. But you never fucking know. You’re out at a fucking nightclub.”

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

The Extinction Of The Middle Child

In the News 07.11.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

I don’t need to ask you what you’re doing on August 12, 2018. You’re no doubt planning to attend your local Middle Child Day parade, or take in a lecture on Famous Middle Children Throughout History (Abraham Lincoln, Anne Hathaway, Jan Brady), or perhaps treat your own middle child (or middle children — after all, every child born after the first and before the last is technically a middle) to a special Middle Child’s dinner, then come home and cut your Happy Middle Child Day cake into several perfectly equal pieces, then crack open a bottle of Middle Sister wine to celebrate. (It’s a real product, created for “middle sisters everywhere.”)

Or, more likely, you’re doing none of these things, because you had no idea that August 12 is National Middle Child Day. I am a middle child, and until very recently, I had no idea. Of course, to middle children, this exact brand of ambient neglect is what defines being a middle: Not the lionized firstborn, adored and groomed to succeed, and not the coddled lastborn, the baby of the family, who benefits from inexhaustible attention and experienced parents. No, the middle child is just that — the middle. Excluded, forgotten, shoved into the role of de facto peacemaker among squabbling kinfolk, stripped rudely at an early age of the privileged status as the youngest and taught instead to accept benign indifference from siblings, parents, and the world.

So here’s a suggestion as to how you can spend the next National Middle Child Day: contemplating the extinction of the middle child. Because, like the mountain gorilla and the hawksbill turtle, the American Middle Child is now an endangered species. As the ideal number of children per family has shrunk to two — that’s not me speaking, it’s demographics — the middle child, in a very real sense, is disappearing. According to a study by the Pew Research Center in 1976, “the average mother at the end of her childbearing years had given birth to more than three children.” Read that again: In the ’70s, four kids (or more) was the most common family unit. Back then, 40 percent of mothers between 40 and 44 had four or more children. Twenty-five percent had three kids; 24 percent had two; and 11 percent had one.

Today, those numbers have essentially reversed. Nearly two-thirds of women with children now have two or one — i.e., an oldest, a youngest, but no middle.

This holds true not just in space-and-time-and-money-crunched New York, but all across the country: Families with two or fewer kids have become the norm for every demographic group. Middle children, the most populous birth-order demographic throughout most of human history, will soon be the tiniest.

Read the rest of this article at: The Cut

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

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