News 02.18.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 02.18.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 02.18.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the InternetsNews 02.18.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 02.18.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Magical Thinking Of Guys Who Love Logic

Ian Danskin, who makes videos under the moniker Innuendo Studios, has made a name for himself on the internet for his YouTube series on the techniques and beliefs of the alt-right. His most recent video, “The Card Says Moops,” is worth watching in full, but there was one particular line in it that struck me. Danskin points out that, even when their beliefs skew towards the bizarre and conspiratorial, people on the online right often identify as “rationalists.”

This will be unsurprising to those who often engage with the wider online right, whether it is with someone who identifies as alt-right, libertarian, conservative, as a fan of the “Intellectual Dark Web,” or even “moderate” or “centrist” (turns out a lot of people online are self-identifying as moderate while also believing in conspiracies about “white genocide”). Although their beliefs may not be identical, there are common, distinct patterns in the way they speak (or type) that one can’t help but notice.

Read the rest of this article at: Outside

News 02.18.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Climate Signs

News 02.18.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Our son’s love of trains was once so absolute I never foresaw it could be replaced. New York City is a marvelous place to live for train-obsessed boys. When he was three and four, we spent many a rainy day with no particular destination, riding the rails for the aimless pleasure of it, studying the branching multicolored lines of the subway map, which he’d memorized like a second alphabet. I’d hoist him up to watch the dimly lit tunnel unfurl through the grimy front window of the A train’s first car as it plunged us jerkily along the seemingly endless and intersecting tracks. Some rainy mornings, our destination was 81st Street, where we exited the B or C with dripping umbrellas and his little sister in tow to enter the American Museum of Natural History.

There, at a special exhibition called “Nature’s Fury,” our son’s attention turned like a whiplash from trains to violent weather. Even before this show, the museum demanded a certain reckoning with the violence of the Anthropocene. What grownup wouldn’t feel a sense of profound regret confronting the diorama of the northern white rhinoceros in the Hall of African Mammals, or the Hall of Ocean Life’s psychedelic display of the Andros Coral Reef as it looked in the Bahamas a century ago? Meandering the marble halls of the Natural History Museum is like reading an essay on losing the Earth through human folly. Yet none of its taxonomies of threatened biodiversity, not even the big blue whale, moved my kindergartner like “Nature’s Fury.”

The focus of the immersive exhibition was on the science of the worst natural disasters of the last fifty years—their awesome destructive power and their increasing frequency and force. Accompanied by a dramatic score of diminished chords and fast chromatic descents, the exhibit meant to show how people adapt and cope in the aftermath of these events, and how scientists are helping to plan responses and reduce hazards in preparation for disasters to come.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Review of Books

Shopping: Brand New Arrivals at The Shop | November 2018

Shop the Brontë in Caramel
at Belgrave Crescent &

Sportswashing And The Tangled Web Of Europe’s Biggest Clubs

The game is about glory, a wise man once said. For many years it has been about money, too. Right now an updated version of Danny Blanchflower’s famous quote would point out something else: that the game is also about politics and placement, about soft power, about presenting a face to the world.

As the Champions League knockout stage kicks in, this element of Big Football is primed once again to take the main stage, the executive arm of a sport that has never looked so tangled.

Here’s an interesting circular equation. Manchester United are currently playing Paris Saint-Germain over two legs in the Champions League. Paris Saint-Germain are owned by Qatar. Qatar also sponsors Bayern Munich and Roma and has a “foundation” project with Real Madrid.

Real Madrid are sponsored by the Emirates airline of the UAE. Another of the emirates, Abu Dhabi, owns Manchester City. Manchester City are taking on Schalke, who are sponsored by Gazprom, which is owned by Russia, which is in effect at war in Syria with Qatar, which is being blockaded by Dubai, which is a financial services partner of Manchester United, whose next opponents will be Paris Saint-Germain, who are owned by Qatar. Which is pretty much where we came in.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

News 02.18.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Soothing Promise Of Our Own Artisanal Internet

News 02.18.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

TO PUT OUR toxic relationship with Big Tech into perspective, critics have compared social media to a lot of bad things. Tobacco. Crystal meth. Pollution. Cars before seat belts. Chemicals before Superfund sites. But the most enduring metaphor is junk food: convenient but empty; engineered to be addictive; makes humans unhealthy and corporations rich.

At first, consumers were told to change their diet and #DeleteFacebook to avoid the side effects. But now, two years into the tech backlash, we know that cutting the tech giants out of our lives is impossible. So among some early adopters, the posture is shifting from revolt to retreat.

In September, for instance, Nicole Wong, a veteran of Google and Twitter, said it might be time for a “slow food movement for the internet,” reminiscing about the early 2000s, when algorithms focused on showing users useful information rather than whatever keeps people on the platform. Behavioral advertising is to blame for “this crazy environment that we’re in now,” she told Recode. In December, Jake Shapiro, CEO of Radio Public, a podcasting company, said podcasts are “the media’s slow food movement” because they’re hard to share on social media and therefore less dependent on ad tech. “It’s pleasantly ironic that some of the internet’s oldest open protocols are shining through,” he told Nieman Lab.

Read the rest of this article at: Wired

News 02.18.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Untapped Promise Of LSD

In the fall of 1951, Humphry Osmond, a thirty-four-year-old British psychiatrist, travelled from London to Weyburn, Saskatchewan, to become the clinical director of the town’s mental hospital. About 110 kilometres southeast of Regina, Weyburn was a small community in the middle of nowhere, and its grubby, ill-equipped hospital was sometimes referred to as the last asylum in the British Commonwealth. The building was a mess, and it wasn’t uncommon for its ceilings to be spattered with patients’ feces. “Screams, stench, nudity—it was a place to keep out of your dreams,” was how Osmond poetically described it. But this prairie outpost was also a haven.

Back in London, Osmond had become fascinated by hallucinogenic drugs, particularly lsd and mescaline, which is found in the peyote cactus. He thought that these substances had the potential to unlock the mysteries of mental illnesses, but the British psychiatric community, still enthralled by Freud and psychoanalysis, was dismissive of Osmond’s outré biochemical theories. Saskatchewan, in contrast, was a hospitable place for new ideas of all kinds: it had the first democratic socialist government in North America, and the groundwork was being laid for the creation of medicare. Tommy Douglas’s ccf government had begun to reform hospital conditions, administration, and training, and it had also initiated a massive recruitment drive in medicine, bringing in the best researchers from around the world and granting them almost unlimited freedom and resources. Osmond was one of those researchers, and at Weyburn—initially, at least—he was considered a visionary.

Along with his colleagues John Smythies and Abram Hoffer, Osmond found that mescaline produces symptoms that are almost identical to schizophrenia, and he hypothesized that the drug could be used to essentially induce schizophrenic symptoms in healthy patients in order to help develop treatments for the illness. Osmond later experimented with lsd, finding particular success in using it to treat alcoholism. What Osmond realized was that the drugs’ promise wasn’t due to their ability to mimic madness but rather their ability to do something more nebulous, less quantifiable, and more revolutionary: induce a radical reorientation in what users saw, felt, and thought. As anyone who’s taken psychedelics knows, the drugs can refresh and enlarge the world even as they provide a glimpse of other meaningful worlds.

Read the rest of this article at: The Walrus

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

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