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Vadim Nikitin reviews ‘A Terrible Country’ by Keith Gessen · LRB 11 October 2018
Following Moscow’s 2014 annexation of the Crimea, Gessen’s dispatches from Odessa and separatist Donetsk gave voice to the ‘losers’ from the fall of the USSR, whose many legitimate grievances, often flailing and inarticulate or couched in dated rhetoric, are dismissed by both local liberals and Western observers.
russia  books  society  west  liberal 
58 minutes ago
Philip Ball reviews ‘Something in the Blood’ by David J. Skal, ‘The Cambridge Companion to ‘Dracula’’ edited by Roger Luckhurst and ‘The Vampire’ by Nick Groom · LRB 25 October 2018
‘There is a semi-heroic, Everyman quality about his intense command of the mediocre,’ the critic Ludovic Flow wrote, ‘as if the commonplace had found a champion who could wear its colours with all the ceremony of greatness.’
books  fear  race  sex  pop 
1 hour ago
James Angelos reviews ‘Adults in the Room’ by Yanis Varoufakis · LRB 27 September 2018
Populism, after all, as the political scientist Cas Mudde has put it, is ‘an illiberal democratic response to undemocratic liberalism’.
greece  europe  debt  finance  politics 
1 hour ago
A Response to Yuval Harari's 'Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind' > C. R. Hallpike
Summing up the book as a whole, one has often had to point out how surprisingly little he seems to have read on quite a number of essential topics. It would be fair to say that whenever his facts are broadly correct they are not new, and whenever he tries to strike out on his own he often gets things wrong, sometimes seriously.
book  history  entertainment  pop  human  evolution 
5 days ago
The Millennium Villages Project: Was it cost-effective?
Across the key impact areas of income, health and education, the MVP compares unfavourably with other projects in terms of the cost- effectiveness of service delivery.
poverty  africa  help  aid  failure 
8 days ago
Do Proteins Hold the Key to the Past?
New methods are allowing a group of scientists to reëxamine the world’s libraries and archives, in search of the hidden lives of authors.
history  genetics  protein  books 
11 days ago
Why Doctors Hate Their Computers | The New Yorker
Digitization promises to make medical care easier and more efficient. But are screens coming between doctors and patients?
computers  healthcare  medicine  technology  process  hierarchy 
11 days ago
The godfather of fake news - BBC News
“We took their pages over and replaced everything with pictures of goats,” he says. “I called the army of trolls and they showed up. For days it was goats on top of goats.” Schenk knows the story well. “They called themselves the ‘goatherd’,” he says. The episode was more evidence of Blair’s real motivation - politically motivated pranksterism.
news  internet  troll  media  fake  left  right  politics 
11 days ago
In the Age of A.I., Is Seeing Still Believing? | The New Yorker
We make sure the image hasn’t been manipulated in transit.
ai  video  news  truth  media 
11 days ago
The Predatory Lending Machine Crushing Small Businesses Across America
For David Glass, they were the solution to a problem: People were stealing his money. Among the hustlers and con men who work the bottom rungs of Wall Street, Glass is a legend. Before he was 30, he’d inspired the stock-scam movie Boiler Room. Later busted by the FBI for insider trading, he avoided prison by recording incriminating tapes of his old colleagues. Even his enemies say Glass, who declined to comment for this story, is one of the sharpest operators they’ve ever dealt with.
debt  finance  legal 
11 days ago
‘New World Order’: The ‘Natural Family’ Franchise Goes Global :: Balkan Insight
Under the [US President Barack] Obama administration, the American Christian right felt it was losing the battle at home and expanded its commitment to ‘the culture wars’ overseas
politics  right  family  value  us  europe  franchise 
11 days ago
The Second Half of Watergate Was Bigger, Worse, and Forgotten By the Public
Until the early 2000s, corporate bribes in Germany were actually tax deductible.
business  history  politics  bribe  corporation  red  tape  international 
11 days ago
How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet | The New Yorker
With wildfires, heat waves, and rising sea levels, large tracts of the earth are at risk of becoming uninhabitable. But the fossil-fuel industry continues its assault on the facts.
climate  environment  politics  fossil  global  waming  change  weather 
11 days ago
How Podcasts Became a Seductive—and Sometimes Slippery—Mode of Storytelling  | The New Yorker
In our frenetic age, audio narratives offer a rare opportunity for slow immersion. But this intimacy can become manipulative.
podcast  radio  media  internet  audio  story 
11 days ago
The internet of animals that could help to save vanishing wildlife
Martin Wikelski has spent 17 years getting an antenna into space to track animals around the world. That’s the first step in his plan to revolutionize biology.
wildlife  nature  animal  tracking  data  satellite  weather  citizen  science 
16 days ago
Macedonia, the Gruevski's escape / Macedonia / Areas / Homepage - Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso
Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski, sentenced to two years in prison for the illicit purchase of a luxury limousine, fled to Hungary seeking political asylum. The scandal has had a massive impact on the Hungarian as well as Macedonian political scene
politics  hungary  macedonia  eu 
17 days ago
The Comforting Fictions of Dementia Care | The New Yorker
Many facilities are using nostalgic environments as a means of soothing the misery, panic, and rage their residents experience.
aging  dementia  fiction  alzheimer  service  trust  deception 
19 days ago
The million-dollar drug | CBC News
If it's not commercially viable to produce a certain therapy, unfortunately, in our Western society, it does not happen.
capitalism  drug  medicine  business 
19 days ago
Compass Pathways is threatening to create a magic mushroom monopoly — Quartz
There are other groups that believed that this field should be completely not for profit and they don’t believe that anybody should start a firm that makes any money off of this treatment
capitalism  drugs  psychedelic  magic  business  therapy 
19 days ago
The fight against Islamic State is moving to Africa - Jihad’s next battleground
Violent Islamist groups are gaining strength in the Sahel. A report from Nigeria and Niger
africa  jihad  religion  war  extremism 
21 days ago
Latin America’s new media are growing up - A freer press online
As feisty news start-ups mature, the established media they set out to challenge are becoming more like them
media  internet  latin  america  politics 
21 days ago
When atheists lack the courage of their convictions - The valley of the shadow
A philosopher subjects atheism to the sort of scrutiny normally reserved for religion
book  atheism  religion 
21 days ago
Two new books explain the Brexit revolt - Bagehot
“Whiteshift” and “National Populism” unearth the causes of the great upset of 2016
book  uk  brexit  nationalism  populism 
21 days ago
Europe’s transport unions are growing in strength - Labour pains
That is good news for pilots and drivers, but less so for everyone else
trade  union  travel  europe 
21 days ago
Britain’s war on dirty money lacks oomph - Awash
It is strong on transparency but weak on enforcement
finance  crime  money  laundering  uk 
21 days ago
The welfare state needs updating - Repairing the safety net
Its designers did not foresee ageing populations, mass immigration or the gig economy
welfare  state 
21 days ago
Big corporates’ quest to be hip is helping WeWork - The capitalist kibbutz
Sceptics abound, but there may be more to the startup than meets the eye
real  estate  work  startup  office 
21 days ago
Life as you know it is IPOver - Schumpeter
An open letter to bosses preparing for an initial public offering
business  finance  management  ipo  company  ceo 
21 days ago
Mini-grids could be a boon to poor people in Africa and Asia - Empowering villages
When allied with microfinance, “green grids” can boost economic activity
africa  energy  solar 
21 days ago
Biosimilar drugs promise to slash health-care costs in rich countries - Pill bills
The world's top-selling drug now faces biosimilars that are 80% cheaper
drugs  business  ip  medicine 
21 days ago
China’s internet titan has had a bruising 2018 - WeFlat
Its boss, Pony Ma, has shaken things up in time for its 20th anniversary
china  internet  startup  business 
21 days ago
Japan is both obsessed with and resistant to robots - Human endurance
Manufacturing is more automated than in most rich countries, but not service industries
japan  robotics  society  manufacturing 
21 days ago
Libya’s feuds cross the Mediterranean - Too many cooks
Italy will host a peace conference that is mostly about France
libya  italy  france  power  energy 
21 days ago
Why house prices in global cities are falling - Buttonwood
The value of homes in the posher parts of global cities move in sync because they have become a distinct asset class.
housing  investment  city 
21 days ago
India’s banking system is flirting with a Lehman moment - Schumpeter
The collapse of a shadow bank has sparked fear and financial contagion
india  finance  scam 
21 days ago
Big Tech’s sell-off - Schumpeter
The shares of the world's tech giants have sunk. Wobble or wipeout?
stock  market  technology  value 
21 days ago
Volt wants to become the first pan-EU political party - Shock treatment
A startup launched by twenty-somethings has thousands of members, but will need a lot more
startup  europe  party  politics 
21 days ago
The promise and peril of gene drives - Extinction on demand
A new genetic-engineering technology should be used with care
genetics  species  mosquito 
21 days ago
Old-age homes boost Japan’s soft power in China - Chaguan
Despite a troubled relationship, Chinese value Japan’s expertise in caring for the elderly
japan  chine  elderly  aging  society 
21 days ago
A scramble to replace LIBOR is under way - The price of everything
Scandal and rickety economics have undermined the benchmark interest rate
finance  illusion  scam  business 
22 days ago
What Can We Learn from Utopians of the Past?  | The New Yorker
Four nineteenth-century authors offered blueprints for a better world—but their progressive visions had a dark side.
book  utopia  society  future 
4 weeks ago
The human league: what separates us from other animals? | Books | The Guardian
What humans uniquely do is that we accumulate culture, and build on it. Many animals learn, but only we teach.
book  human  biology  evolution  society  animal 
4 weeks ago
Can Economists and Humanists Ever Be Friends? | The New Yorker
One discipline reduces behavior to elegantly simple rules; the other wallows in our full, complex particularity. What can they learn from each other?
economy  society  utility  finance  book 
4 weeks ago
The real victims of campus activism are the students - Unsafe spaces
“The Coddling of the American Mind” chronicles an alarming turn in intellectual life in America
society  education  bullshit  equality 
5 weeks ago
Makers of very expensive cars want to be luxury-goods firms - Joining the high revvers
But they still have many of the trappings of the depressed car industry
car  luxury  business 
5 weeks ago
Stressed-out Chinese love melodrama about courtly life - Chaguan
If you can handle a bossy eunuch, you can survive in today’s China
china  society  media  tv  series 
5 weeks ago
A bail-out for IL&FS raises wider worries about non-bank lenders - Lurking in the shadows
The giant infrastructure lender has had to be propped up by India’s government
india  communism  bailout  finance  banking 
5 weeks ago
Loopholes allow some pensioners in the EU to retire tax-free - One foot in the Algarve
Countries are undercutting each other to lure elderly foreigners with money to spend
europe  pension  retired  tax  arbitrage 
5 weeks ago
What a controversial pastry says about China’s economy - Reading the crumbs
Mooncakes are a useful indicator of trends, from consumption to corruption
china  status  society 
5 weeks ago
Parents worry more about bullying than anything else - Mean girls and boys
Around the world, schools and governments are converging on ways of tackling it
children  crime  psychology  peer 
5 weeks ago
China’s Global Times plays a peculiar role - Chaguan
It is unfashionable in China to take the fiery tabloid seriously
media  china  tabloid  meme 
5 weeks ago
The CIA's communications suffered a catastrophic compromise
“We’re still dealing with the fallout,” said one former national security official. “Dozens of people around the world were killed because of this.”
china  cia  security 
5 weeks ago
Study: Laying Off Pot Improved Teens' Learning : Shots - Health News : NPR
Marijuana, it seems, is not a performance-enhancing drug. That is, at least, not among young people, and not when the activity is learning.
health  marijuana  youth  learning 
5 weeks ago
How can you eat dairy if you lack the gene for digesting it? Fermented milk may be key, ancient Mongolian study suggests | Science | AAAS
A woman milks a cow on the flat plains of Mongolia. People living here have ingested dairy products for millennia despite being lactose intolerant, a new study of ancient genes and proteins shows
food  milk  fermentation 
5 weeks ago
Arabic, a great language, has a low profile - Johnson
Part of the reason is that it is not really a single language at all
language  arabic 
5 weeks ago
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