PUTIN ISN’T THE ONLY AUTOCRAT MISUSING HISTORY

The Russian leader’s invasion of Ukraine is founded on a false retelling of history. He’s not the only strongman revising the past. By Katie Stallard About the author: Katie Stallard is a senior editor for China and global affairs at The New Statesman, and a non-resident global fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. She is the author of Dancing on Bones: History and Power in China, Russia and North Korea. Sitting in the basement of a community center in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, listening to shells being dropped all around us, I watched as a young woman sought to explain the violence … Continue reading PUTIN ISN’T THE ONLY AUTOCRAT MISUSING HISTORY

How the image of a victimized Russia got into the country’s psyche

Is there victory in defeat? by Gregory Carleton The range of anti-Russian measures taken by countries around the world since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is virtually unprecedented and hearkens back to the darkest days of the Cold War. They’ve assumed many forms but broadly include economic sanctions, military support for Ukraine and boycotts of Russian exports. Other forms of resistance, undertaken primarily by nonstate actors, focus more on Russian culture – its music, literature and arts – with the country’s conductors dismissed from European concert halls and pieces by Tchaikovsky excised from set lists. Yet there is no single country, … Continue reading How the image of a victimized Russia got into the country’s psyche

The problem with social media is not content but its distortion of reality

Social media distorts the reality of the public sphere. KEY TAKEAWAYS Social media has damaged society. If you ask most people to pinpoint the problem, they will focus on social media content.  The real problem is that social media distorts our perceptions of the public sphere. By targeting users with droves of content meant to resonate specifically with them, it causes us to create a false mental model of society.  We should push for transparency in targeting. Platforms need to clearly disclose the demographic characteristics of the exposed population when targeting us with any piece of narrowly distributed content. by Louis … Continue reading The problem with social media is not content but its distortion of reality

Book Review: A Doctor’s Impassioned Critique of Big Pharma

In “Sickening,” Harvard professor John Abramson chronicles the deceptive marketing practices of the drug industry. BY TROY FARAH COMPARED TO OTHER high-income countries, the fitness of Americans is in dismal shape — and has been declining for decades. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated health disparities, crisis on top of crisis has compounded to create even more devastating conditions for a growing number of people, especially marginalized groups. There is the diabetes crisis, the obesity crisis, and, of course, the despair crisis, which includes the rising tide of suicides, alcohol poisoning, and drug overdoses — claiming an average of 70,000 lives annually from 2005 to 2019. … Continue reading Book Review: A Doctor’s Impassioned Critique of Big Pharma

“The alarmists were right all along”: A Moscow journalist on Putin and the new Russian reality

An independent journalist describes what life is like inside Russia’s parallel universe. By Sean Illing Almost everyone outside Russia views Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine the same way: as an obscene and unnecessary atrocity. But that’s because the outside world can see clearly what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine. For the average Russian, the picture looks very different. They know there’s something happening in Ukraine, but it’s not a “war” — it’s a “special military operation.” And if you watch the news, which is controlled by the state, you’re not seeing images of bombed apartment buildings or dead civilians on the streets, … Continue reading “The alarmists were right all along”: A Moscow journalist on Putin and the new Russian reality

UKRAINE: a parallax view of Zelensky, Biden, NATO, Covid19, graphene debris and the New World Order

I sincerely hope that this seminal post will force a revision of how most observers view the recent history of Ukraine. Zelensky is not a hero, he’s a corrupt, nasty piece of work adopted by the usual suspects. Biden is not a democratic politician, he is a depraved old man with a greedy son. Putin is not a nice person, but he refuses to see his countrymen raped. EUNATO is an expansionist Empire with delusions of hegemony pushed from behind by the US Unelected State. Biolabs in Ukraine are inextricably linked to the origins of Covid19 and the contents of … Continue reading UKRAINE: a parallax view of Zelensky, Biden, NATO, Covid19, graphene debris and the New World Order

AS WAR DRUMS BEAT FOR UKRAINE, REMEMBER, LIES AND PROPAGANDA STARTED NEARLY EVERY WAR IN US HISTORY

Don Via Jr., Guest Waking Times War is one of the most primitive and senseless manifestations of the human experience, so naturally, most sane people with families, ambitions and kind hearts want nothing to do with such things. Unfortunately, as we are seeing with the Ukraine / Russia escalation, governments thrive on war, as it gives them a pressing excuse to grab more power and take extrajudicial measures—both at home and abroad. To get around the obstacle of public opinion, governments have an extensive history of lying their way into war. This is hard to believe for people who think that government … Continue reading AS WAR DRUMS BEAT FOR UKRAINE, REMEMBER, LIES AND PROPAGANDA STARTED NEARLY EVERY WAR IN US HISTORY

The man rethinking the definition of reality

By Tom Chatfield Across his career, the philosopher David Chalmers has challenged what we hold to be true about consciousness and the mind. As Tom Chatfield discovers, now he is questioning reality itself. If you woke up one day and discovered that you were living in a virtual world – that everything you’d ever known was, like the Matrix, a form of hyper-realistic simulation – what would this imply for your hopes, dreams and experiences? Would it reveal them all to be lies: deceptions devoid of authenticity? For most people, the intuitive answer to all these questions is “yes”. After … Continue reading The man rethinking the definition of reality

Wellness culture is destroying our bodies and the planet

Despite what Instagram would have you believe, our dietary choices are not the leading cause of the climate crisis. By Scarlett Westbrook Over the last few months, I have been inundated with requests from various wellness and ‘healthy eating’ organisations to promote their products or schemes, usually centred around their ‘climate friendliness’. After an endless stream of messages from CEOs trying to get me to help them cash in on the climate guilt felt by many in our generation, I’m here to debunk the myths they are peddling. Message after message tells us that buying ‘climate friendly’ protein shakes or supporting … Continue reading Wellness culture is destroying our bodies and the planet

Fringe theories stack

Believe in the Loch Ness monster and you’re more likely to believe the Apollo missions were fake. How do weird beliefs work? by Michael D Gordin, is the Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History and the director of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at Princeton University in New Jersey. His books include Einstein in Bohemia (2020) and On the Fringe (2021). Almost nobody holds to just one strange idea. By ‘strange’ here, I mean unconventional, unorthodox, contrary to conventional wisdom. (To attenuate some of the hostile judgment implied in those descriptions, from now on I will use the term ‘fringe’.) … Continue reading Fringe theories stack