Collective psychiatry

A mental patient is seen at a hospital for those suffering from mental illnesses in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, 6 October 2010. Photo by Jie Zhao/Corbis via Getty Chinese psychiatry remains committed to the political ideal of mental hygiene, long after its discrediting in the West by Emily Baum is an associate professor in history at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of The Invention of Madness: State, Society, and the Insane in Modern China (2018). Edited by Sam Haselby In English, the term ‘mental hygiene’ likely sounds a bit stale. Having gained a brief but widespread ascendancy in the first half of … Continue reading Collective psychiatry

Masters of reality

A Mongolian shaman or böö sits with his child before a fire ritual during the summer solstice in June 2018 outside Ulaanbaatar. Banned under communist rule, shamanism has seen a resurgence in Mongolia since 1992, when the ancient practice became protected by the country’s Constitution. Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty The trances and healing powers of shamans are so widespread that they can be counted a human universal. Why did they evolve? by Thomas T Hills is professor of psychology at the University of Warwick in Coventry, UK. Edited by Sam Dresser Shamanism is as varied as those who practise it. Its practitioners range from indigenous … Continue reading Masters of reality

Here’s China’s Massive Plan To Retool The Web

The following is adapted from LikeWar by P. W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking, a book by two defense experts – one of which is the founder of the Eastern Arsenal blog at Popular Science – about how the Internet has become a new kind of battleground, following a new set of rules that we all need to learn. “Across the Great Wall we can reach every corner in the world.”
 by Tyler Durden Via PopSci.com, The most ambitious project of mass control is the country’s “social credit” system. All Chinese citizens will receive a numerical score reflecting their “trustworthiness.” So read the first email … Continue reading Here’s China’s Massive Plan To Retool The Web

Are Cities Making Animals Smarter?

Vidhya Nagarajan A mysterious wild cat in Sri Lanka may hold a clue. by PAUL BISCEGLIO The goldfish were the first to vanish. Every so often, a few would go missing overnight from the office’s tiny outdoor pond. But goldfish were cheap, so no one in the building—an environmental nonprofit in the bustling, sweaty center of Colombo, Sri Lanka—bothered investigating. Then the dragon koi began to disappear. Lustrous and ethereal, each of these whiskered Japanese carp cost around 10,000 Sri Lankan rupees, or $65. In a fit of extravagance, the building’s landlord had bought 10. Soon, he had seven. Then three. … Continue reading Are Cities Making Animals Smarter?

When Climate Change Starts Wars

Rising temperatures are bringing ethnic tensions to a boil in Central Asia. BY JOHN WENDLE The Kyrgyz soldier stepped quietly out of the dark green bushes and swung his Kalashnikov rifle in the direction of our car. Another emerged and did the same. Their checkpoint was a skinny log dragged across a broken asphalt road heading toward an ethnic Uzbek village and the disputed waters of the Kasan-sai, a reservoir that irrigates the agricultural heartland of the ancient Fergana Valley. With a sleepy shake of his head, the special forces sergeant waved his rifle and made us turn our beat-up … Continue reading When Climate Change Starts Wars

A Photo Trip to China’s Qiandongnan Prefecture

In south central China’s Guizhou province sits Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, home to nearly four million people—approximately 50% from the ethnic Miao group, and 30% from the ethnic Dong people. The mountainous landscape is lined with terraced farm fields, the valleys dotted with villages made up of traditional wooden structures, and the local festivals burst with color. by ALAN TAYLOR  28 PHOTOS Dusk in Zhenyuan ancient town, along the Wuyang River, in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou province, China. # HelloRF Zcool / Shutterstock Aerial view of terraced fields on Leigongshan Mountain in Qiandongnan, Guizhou Province, on … Continue reading A Photo Trip to China’s Qiandongnan Prefecture

As Cambodia Educates More Girls, Boys Fall Through the Cracks

Visuals: Nathan A. Thompson for Undark  BY Nathan A. Thompson Girls now complete lower secondary school nearly 20 percent more often than boys, and in some provinces, 1.5 girls complete school for every boy. SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD Sokha works as a delivery boy ferrying boxes on his trolley at O’Russy Market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where scores of vendors sell everything from cuticle cutters to bedspreads. He earns about $100 a month here, sending almost half of it to his home village near the Vietnam border. Sokha moved to the capital to work after dropping out of school two years ago, when his father … Continue reading As Cambodia Educates More Girls, Boys Fall Through the Cracks