sephiriz

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In 'City Of Blades,' The Gods Are Dead. So What Happens Next?

Imagine if you could kill God. Literally just roll right up on him and shoot him in the face.<p>Now imagine that it's gods, plural. And while putting them down isn't by any means easy, it is <i>possible</i>. You can kill them. All of them. And free the world from their dominion, their miracles, their slavery …

The Author of Our Best SF Military Novel Explains the Future of War

Sci-fi's reigning king of war fiction on 3D-printed weapons, why interstellar war is impossible, and how, one day, we might actually see the end of war.<p>For my money, the best novel to read about the future of war today, in 2015, was published in 1974. Joe Haldeman's <i>The Forever War</i> is an all-time …

The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration

American politicians are now eager to disown a failed criminal-justice system that’s left the U.S. with the largest incarcerated population in the world. But they've failed to reckon with history. Fifty years after Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report “The Negro Family” tragically helped create this …

Trump and Obama: A Night to Remember

Once, and only once, in 2011, have I attended the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington, D.C., on the grounds, as I explained then, that Voltaire is said to have cited when he declined a second invitation to an orgy: once a philosopher, twice a pervert. Luckily for the …

Is This a Sandwich?

Teaching the Platonic Dialogues through sandwiches, by Dr. M. Ritchey, PhD<p>I met Mike 15 years ago, when he moved to Portland after getting kicked out …

The Fall of the Meritocracy

<b>In 1958, my father, Michael Young, published a short book called The Rise of the Meritocracy, 1870–2023: An Essay on Education and Equality. It</b> …

The Deadly Business of Human Smuggling

Every day, thousands of refugees entrust their lives to human smugglers as they make their way to Europe -- and many of them die en route. The …

How DuPont Slipped Past the EPA

MIKE ROMINE GREW UP in Blennerhasset, West Virginia, not far from DuPont’s Parkersburg plant. Throughout his childhood and young adulthood, Romine …

The believer: How Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi became leader of the Islamic State

Baghdadi would almost certainly have met jihadists in Zarqawi’s circle during his time in Bucca, and would doubtless have been attracted to a …

A provocative article says the Islamic State is a mystery. Here’s why that’s wrong.

By Costantino Pischedda<p>In a widely read article in the New York Review of Books, an anonymous former official of a NATO country despairs of a solution to “The Mystery of ISIS.” According to the author, “nothing since the triumph of the Vandals in Roman North Africa has seemed so sudden, …

26 Books Every 'Spiritual But Not Religious' Seeker Should Read

If you're on a spiritual quest, these books will open you up to wonder.<p><i>"There are things you can't reach. But</i><p><i>you can reach out to them, and all day long.</i><p><i>The wind, the bird flying away. The idea of God.</i><p><i>And it can keep you as busy as anything else, and happier."</i><p>-- "Where Does The Temple Begin, Where …

Books

The 51 Best Fantasy Series Ever Written

Whether you're a Swords and Sorcery type of fantasy reader, a fan of battles and betrayal, or you just want a few more goddamn elves in your life, there's something for you here. These are the truly great fantasy series written in the last 50 years.

Corn Wars

On September 30, 2012, agents from the FBI contacted U.S. Customs and Border Protection at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago with an urgent …

What Happens When a Failed Writer Becomes a Loyal Spy?

ARE YOU THE SOCRATES of the National Security Agency?<p>That was the question the NSA asked its workforce in a memo soliciting applications for an …

The Coddling of the American Mind

In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health.<p><b>S</b>omething strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and …

What Made This Man Betray His Country?

How a troubled past turned a Soviet military engineer into one of the CIA’s most valuable spies.<p>His family and friends called him Adik. His eyes were the color of ash, under a broad forehead and thick brown hair, with a crook in the bridge of his nose from a boyhood hockey accident. He stood about …

Scenes from Inside Aleppo: How Life Has Been Transformed by Rebel Rule

A Syrian writer revisits the city he attended college in, with sketches by Molly Crabapple.<p>I first moved to Aleppo 10 years ago. At that time, the city was the world for me: the glorious past and the present, the bitter and the sweet. I attended university in mid-Aleppo’s wealthy neighborhoods. To …

Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway—With Me in It

I was driving 70 mph on the edge of downtown St. Louis when the exploit began to take hold.<p>Though I hadn't touched the dashboard, the vents in the …

Inside the Secret World of Russia’s Cold War Mapmakers | WIRED

A military helicopter was on the ground when Russell Guy arrived at the helipad near Tallinn, Estonia, with a briefcase filled with $250,000 in cash. …

Whistle-blower: How doctor uncovered nightmare

From the blue yarns tucked in a woven basket to the earth-tone carpeting and the solidity of the stone fireplace, every detail of the Crittenton …

Why Final Fantasy VII matters

I’m <i>that person</i>, watching an E3 press conference and hoping for “<i>Final Fantasy VII</i> remake”, like every other old easily-bought, backward-facing …

The Ketamine Connection

From Far East karaoke bars to an unlikely English city - the story of how a worrying new drug trade is made in China.<p>By Celia Hatton<p>One of the biggest drug raids in China's history took six years to plan and 14 hours to execute.<p>The target? The village of Boshe, a drug haven known by local people as …

Communist Party

America's top colleges assigned these books to freshmen

The book choices this year range from personal essays to classic fiction, hitting topics that include race, climate change, and sexuality.<p>While students will get to enjoy the books over the summer, at most colleges they're expected to come to campus ready to debate and analyze the book alongside …

College & University

The Rise and Fall of the Human Terrain System

The most expensive social science program in history–the US Army’s Human Terrain System (HTS)–has quietly come to an end. During its eight years of …

Military

How Art Became Irrelevant

A<p>In 1971 the performance artist Chris Burden stood against the wall of a California art gallery and ordered a friend to shoot him through the arm. …

Who Lost Iraq?

Did George W. Bush create the Islamic State? Did Barack Obama? We asked the insiders to tell us who’s to blame.<p><b>For a brief, happy—and misguided—moment, most</b> Americans stopped thinking about Iraq. After withdrawing the last U.S. troops in 2011, President Barack Obama declared the country “sovereign, …

Why We Need Philosophers Engaged In Public Life

Say "philosopher" and most people imagine a bust of Socrates, obscure texts or intellectual tête-à-têtes in the so-called Ivory Tower, away from the muddle of real-life concerns. But three issues this past week made something clear: We need philosophers engaged in public life — and a public willing …

How Isis crippled al-Qaida

Photograph: Mustafa Khalili<p>Abu ­Muhammad al-Maqdisi, the intellectual godfather of al-Qaida.<p>276<p>image/jpeg<p>http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/6/10/1433954982833/1b7d66ce-79f0-4547-b570-f68f1f82bd4e-460x276.jpeg<p>460<p>Photograph: Mustafa Khalili<p>Abu ­Muhammad al-Maqdisi, the …