Philosopher of the apocalypse

From the ashes of the Second World War, Günther Anders forecast a new catastrophe: technology would overwhelm its creators Audrey Borowski is postdoctoral fellow at the MCMP at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, as well as a research associate at the University of Oxford where she completed her DPhil. Her interests range widely from the early modern period to the 21st century, from Leibniz to catastrophe and the philosophy of artificial intelligence. As the commander of the weather plane that supported the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, Claude Eatherly did not feel any particular animosity … Continue reading Philosopher of the apocalypse

The Power of Laughing at Russia

‘If you are a good comedian in the U.S., you can have a late-night show. If you are a good comedian in Ukraine, you can destroy Russia.’ By Veronika Melkozerova, is a journalist based in Kyiv. She is the executive editor of the New Voice of Ukraine, an English-language news site. Late last month, a couple of days after Russian missiles hit Kyiv, killing a Ukrainian journalist; a few weeks after Russian forces laid siege to this city, my hometown; two months after Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded my homeland, I went down into a converted bomb shelter and laughed. A lot. And … Continue reading The Power of Laughing at Russia

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

Tectonic shifts’: How Putin’s war will change the world

A former CIA leader imagines Russia, NATO and China in 2023 — and how the war in Ukraine will change them all. by John McLaughlin Making predictions just as the Ukraine war delivers a series of huge surprises feels like a fool’s errand. But let’s try to peer a bit through the fog of war. What got me thinking about this was the memory of a conversation with military historian Tom Ricks in the mountains of central Sicily a few years ago. We were there with Johns Hopkins University graduate students who were studying the 1943 Allied campaign against Germany. … Continue reading Tectonic shifts’: How Putin’s war will change the world

How Putin’s War Is Sinking Climate Science

I fled Russia as the war broke up the international collaboration key to climate research in the Arctic. BY ANDREA PITZER In the end, the war came three days early. It found me in Moscow, where I watched a Russian news anchor on state television call tanks crossing into Ukraine a “special operation.” A Russian friend watched with me. We sat without speaking, dull and blank as the snow outside. Soon after, another Russian friend came over, and we discussed whether the ticket I’d bought for the next day would get me out of the country soon enough, or whether … Continue reading How Putin’s War Is Sinking Climate Science

What You’re Feeling Isn’t A Vibe Shift. It’s Permanent Change.

I was born during the longest period of global stability. Now, it appears all of that is fleeting. By Elamin Abdelmahmoud Two-thirds of the way through his claustrophobic 2021 comedy special Inside, Bo Burnham briefly strips away all the humor and launches into “That Funny Feeling.” It’s an intimate, quiet song that draws its power from its lyrical conceit. His verses are constructed of modern contradictions (“stunning 8K resolution meditation app”) and phrases that at face value are absurd (“the live-action Lion King”), while the chorus once again contends with the titular feeling. Except Burnham does not name the feeling. Instead, he evokes a … Continue reading What You’re Feeling Isn’t A Vibe Shift. It’s Permanent Change.

A Zen Priest in Ukraine Says He Needs to Connect with His Sangha Now More Than Ever

Meet Kaidō Washin Tsarenko, a Zen priest in Odessa, Ukraine By Jundo Cohen Iwould like to ask for metta or sitting for our Treeleaf sangha priest, Kaidō Washin, in Odessa, Ukraine. He continues to tend to the members of his local sangha under very difficult conditions. Right now, his community is connected by internet, which is still available, and Washin is somehow also finding time to join our Treeleaf activities online. In fact, he is scheduled to lead a zazenkai on Sunday, March 6, via Zoom (information below).  He wrote to me this week, concerned that he might not be able to lead his group meditation.  … Continue reading A Zen Priest in Ukraine Says He Needs to Connect with His Sangha Now More Than Ever

Fossil-Fueled War: Ukraine’s Top Climate Scientist Speaks Out

For Svitlana Krakovska, recent events have clarified the human, economic, and geopolitical catastrophe of fossil fuels. BY OLIVER MILMAN FOR SVITLANA KRAKOVSKA, Ukraine’s leading climate scientist, it was meant to be the week where eight years of work culminated in a landmark U.N. report exposing the havoc the climate crisis is causing the world. But then the bombs started to crunch into Kyiv. This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Krakovska, the head of a delegation of 11 Ukrainian scientists, struggled to help finalize the vast Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report ahead of its release … Continue reading Fossil-Fueled War: Ukraine’s Top Climate Scientist Speaks Out

“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