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In the News 29.04.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets


In the News 29.04.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets



1. The Spotless Mind

“Also last year, a paper in the journal Nature described researchers from the Netherlands using electroconvulsive therapy to successfully stop the brain from reconsolidating memories. The doctors sat 42 depressed patients down to watch slideshows of two emotionally traumatizing events, a sexual assault and a car crash. The following week, those patients were split into three groups to test their memories. One contingent was tested a day after receiving electroshock therapy, a second 90 minutes after and a third tested just based on what they’d seen the week before, with no neural tampering. The results were pretty insane: the researchers found the first group’s recall to be no different from “chance level”—like they’d never witnessed the traumas at all.”

Read the rest of this article at Hazlitt





2. The Austerity Delusion

“I don’t know how many Britons realise the extent to which their economic debate has diverged from the rest of the western world – the extent to which the UK seems stuck on obsessions that have been mainly laughed out of the discourse elsewhere. George Osborne and David Cameron boast that their policies saved Britain from a Greek-style crisis of soaring interest rates, apparently oblivious to the fact that interest rates are at historic lows all across the western world. The press seizes on Ed Miliband’s failure to mention the budget deficit in a speech as a huge gaffe, a supposed revelation of irresponsibility; meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is talking, seriously, not about budget deficits but about the ‘fun deficit’ facing America’s children.”

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian





3. The Untouchable John Brennan

“Brennan has been many things: a CIA official, a CEO, and even, briefly, a television pundit. He was a top official at the CIA during the torture years of the Bush administration, and the architect of Obama’s shadowy, controversial drone program. But for all that, he remains largely unknown, the gray heart of United States national security policy. Of the dozens of former and current government officials I reached out to, men and women from both the Bush and the Obama administrations, few seemed to have a handle on him. Some saw him as strong and principled, a warrior-priest who could do no wrong. Others saw him as a yes-man who sucked up to power and got lucky.

Read the rest of this article at BuzzFeed News





4. A Rare, Personal Look at Oliver Sacks’sEarly Career

“This past February 19, fans and friends of Oliver Sacks learned, by way of an article he published in The New York Times, that the great neurologist and medical chronicler had terminal cancer. ‘Nine years ago,’ he explained, ‘it was discovered that I had a rare tumor of the eye, an ocular melanoma. The radiation and lasering to remove the tumor ultimately left me blind in that eye. But though ocular melanomas metastasize in perhaps 50 percent of cases, given the particulars of my own case, the likelihood was much smaller. I am among the unlucky ones.’”

Read the rest of this article at VF Culture





5. Do the charts matter in the age of Spotify?

“Democracy is imperfect. But it is the best system we’ve got. Similarly, since their invention in the NME in 1952, the UK pop charts have been far from bulletproof. Indeed, the history of the metrics of music consumption would – and does – fill books. In the past decade, the UK charts have been rejigged to accommodate downloads and streaming plays, in an attempt to best reflect what music is most popular. Earlier this month, charts just for vinyl were introduced, reflecting the unexpected resurgence of the connoisseur’s format.”

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian



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



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