If you’ll recall, about a month ago I read Gary Lachman’s new book about Aleister Crowley (totally worth checking out) and ranted off about how I personally can’t stand the self-proclaimed Great Beast. But I must confess that my motivations for being that snarkingly harsh were quite similar to why I was such a Christianity-hating, angry, metal dude in my late teens and early twenties (it was the 90’s after all). I grew up believing in the church. When I got older, I started contemplating it a bit more and realized that I literally couldn’t go all-in believing in dogmas. I was pissed. This happened to me quite some time ago with Crowley, but dealing with dicks on the internet, the sorry state of the modern Occult, and reading Lachman’s book rekindled the fire.
The true story behind the crack scourge, featuring exclusive interviews with characters who lived it. Their stories reveal a crack in the system that implicates the centers of power in our government, their mass incarceration policies and militarization of police, the spread of gangs and guns, and the loss of entire generations to the war on drugs...
Bryce Covert via Nation of Change:
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In an interview Monday morning with CNBC, Berkshire Hathaway CEO and billionaire Warren Buffett was asked what he thinks of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and her views of Wall Street.
“I think that she would do better if she was less angry and demonized less,” he responded. “I believe in hate the sin, love the sinner, and I also believe in praising by name and criticizing by category.”
He continued that while there are “plenty of other candidates” whose political style he doesn’t agree with, “I do think it’s — I think it’s a mistake to get angry with your, with people that disagree with you,” he said of her. “In the end we do have to work together… And it does not help when you demonize or get too violent with the people you’re talking to.”
Rates of substance use are higher in people with mental health problems compared to the general population and particularly in people with bipolar disorder, with cannabis the street drug most frequently used. Estimates suggest that up to 64% of this group have tried cannabis at least once in their lives, against about 30% of those without the disorder, despite only being about 2% of the overall population.
Specific reasons for the high levels of cannabis use in bipolar disorder are not yet fully understood. Retrospective studies (using case histories and qualitative interviews) suggest that individuals see cannabis as sometimes useful for managing symptoms of mania and depression. However, a number of large scale research studies have found that cannabis use is associated with significantly more manic and depressive episodes.
The daily experience
Thor Steinar, German neo-Nazis’ favorite clothing brand, is expanding throughout Europe, reports Berlin-based Thomas Rogers for New Republic:
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Around 2010, Pavel Klymenko started noticing a curious brand of clothing gaining popularity with Kiev’s upper-middle class. The hoodies and shirts weren’t especially fashionable. They were covered in garish Nordic imagery, like a wolf howling at the moon, and fit into the macho style favored by many Ukrainian men. But Klymenko, an activist who monitors the extreme right in European football, recognized the name often emblazoned on the clothes in Gothic letters: “Thor Steinar,” two words that, for the past decade, have been synonymous with Germany’s fascist fringe. “Previously it had been worn by Ukrainian neo-Nazis who want to show off,” he says. “Now it was becoming popular among wealthy people.”
Klymenko learned that Thor Steinar had just opened a Kiev store in Dream Town, an upscale mall co-owned by a flashy Jewish businessman.
Ryan Whitwam via ExtremeTech:
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Despite being a well-established tenet of modern physics, the particle-wave duality of light can be a real mind-bender. This approach to understanding the universe was pioneered by scientists like Albert Einstein and Max Planck, eventually leading to quantum mechanics. Researchers have been trying to visualize light in both forms ever since, but haven’t had success until now. A team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) claim they’ve devised an experiment to photograph light as both a particle and wave.
Einstein’s eureka moment in the study of light came when he described the photoelectric effect. When UV light hits a metal surface, it results in an emission of electrons. Einstein explained this phenomenon by proposing that light can act as a particle in addition to a wave. We now know these particles as photons, but that term wasn’t coined until later. Subsequent experiments have confirmed the dual property of light, but actually seeing both at once would be something.
Stephen King’s short story, “A Death” (originally titled “The Man in the Black Suit”) is released in this month’s edition of the The New Yorker:
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Jim Trusdale had a shack on the west side of his father’s gone-to-seed ranch, and that was where he was when Sheriff Barclay and half a dozen deputized townsmen found him, sitting in the one chair by the cold stove, wearing a dirty barn coat and reading an old issue of the Black Hills Pioneer by lantern light. Looking at it, anyway.
Sheriff Barclay stood in the doorway, almost filling it up. He was holding his own lantern. “Come out of there, Jim, and do it with your hands up. I ain’t drawn my pistol and don’t want to.”
Trusdale came out. He still had the newspaper in one of his raised hands. He stood there looking at the sheriff with his flat gray eyes.
“The vocal fervour of today’s missionary atheism conceals a panic that religion is not only refusing to decline – but in fact flourishing,” writes John Gray in a very #longread at the Guardian:
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In 1929, the Thinker’s Library, a series established by the Rationalist Press Association to advance secular thinking and counter the influence of religion in Britain, published an English translation of the German biologist Ernst Haeckel’s 1899 book The Riddle of the Universe. Celebrated as “the German Darwin”, Haeckel was one of the most influential public intellectuals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century; The Riddle of the Universe sold half a million copies in Germany alone, and was translated into dozens of other languages. Hostile to Jewish and Christian traditions, Haeckel devised his own “religion of science” called Monism, which incorporated an anthropology that divided the human species into a hierarchy of racial groups. Though he died in 1919, before the Nazi Party had been founded, his ideas, and widespread influence in Germany, unquestionably helped to create an intellectual climate in which policies of racial slavery and genocide were able to claim a basis in science.
Social media had all the appearance of a democratic revolution, hailed after the Arab Spring as the power of the people. But there’s now a growing army of government and corporate propagandists seeking to control and influence opinion. Has social media become a threat to democracy? Or is it still the voice of freedom? Lyse Doucet, Carl Miller, Steve Richards and Caspar Melville discuss.