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Here be woodcuts: science, mysticism and early modern memes. Divine visions, terrifying monsters, bizarre beasts. The intricate woodcut prints of the 16th and 17th centuries capture the fear and wonder of a world transfixed by invention and transformed by knowledge. Known as the early modern period or, more lavishly, the Age of Discovery, these years represent a temporal space that was a liminal world: transitional, ambiguous, straining against thresholds. According to the philosopher A C Grayling writing in The Age of Genius (2016), this time was witness to ‘the greatest change in the mind of humanity than had occurred in all history beforehand’.

Bloody battles – both intellectual and physical – were fought between the acolytes of science and magic, religion and mysticism, orthodoxy and heresy, democracy and monarchy. The path was violent and wending, but by the mid-17th century in Europe, humans had radically revised their place in the Universe, and were groping towards modernity. Sign up for Aeon’s Newsletter Syndicate this Essay. How the bloody field of battle made way for precision drones. The image of the battlefield is one that exerts a powerful hold on our collective imagination. It immediately evokes in our minds the sight of massed troops clashing furiously with each other, culminating in a decisive outcome that determines the fate of a wider conflict. However, such military confrontations have largely vanished from the contemporary landscape of war. Infantry troops typically engage each other today at ranges of several hundred metres.

Sporadic skirmishes far outweigh large-scale engagements. The projection of uncontested air power is much the favoured use of force for risk-averse Western militaries. But the decline of the traditional conception of the battlefield is hardly a novel phenomenon. The primary cause of this crisis lies with the appearance of more accurate and far-ranging weaponry in the second half of the 19th century.

The new deadliness of fire had two major consequences for the tactical deployment of troops. Subscribe to Aeon’s Newsletter. Hannah Arendt on Loneliness as the Common Ground for Terror and How Tyrannical Regimes Use Isolation as a Weapon of Oppression. “Loneliness is personal, and it is also political,” Olivia Laing wrote in The Lonely City, one of the finest books of the year. Half a century earlier, Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906–December 4, 1975) examined those peculiar parallel dimensions of loneliness as a profoundly personal anguish and an indispensable currency of our political life in her intellectual debut, the incisive and astonishingly timely 1951 classic The Origins of Totalitarianism (public library).

Arendt paints loneliness as “the common ground for terror” and explores its function as both the chief weapon and the chief damage of oppressive political regimes. Exactly twenty years before her piercing treatise on lying in politics, she writes: Just as terror, even in its pre-total, merely tyrannical form ruins all relationships between men, so the self-compulsion of ideological thinking ruins all relationships with reality. The Origins of Totalitarianism is a remarkable read in its totality. How each generation gets the drugs it deserves | Aeon Essays. Few people’s views on drugs have changed so starkly as those of Aldous Huxley. Born in 1894 to a high-society English family, Huxley witnessed the early 20th-century ‘war on drugs’, when two extremely popular narcotics were banned within years of one another: cocaine, which had been sold by the German pharmaceutical company Merck as a treatment for morphine addiction; and heroin, which had been sold for the same purpose by the German pharmaceutical company Bayer.

The timing of these twin bans was not coincidental. Ahead of the First World War, politicians and newspapers had created a hysteria surrounding the ‘dope fiends’ whose use of cocaine, heroin and certain amphetamines allegedly showed that they had been ‘enslaved by the German invention’, as noted in Thom Metzer’s book The Birth of Heroin and the Demonization of the Dope Fiend (1998). But then, on Christmas Eve 1955 – 23 years after the publication of Brave New World – Huxley took his first dose of LSD and everything changed. What's Happening in Pakistan's 'Most Complicated' Region? - J. Weston Phippen. A suicide bomber in Pakistan killed 70 people last week, many of them lawyers, who had come to a hospital to mourn the death of a colleague. ISIS and a local Taliban faction both claimed credit for the attack in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, the scene of a longtime separatist rebellion. The roots of conflict in the province date back to 1947, when British India gave way to two countries, Pakistan and India.

For decades the separatist movements have been crushed by the Pakistani military, which blames India for fomenting the unrest. In one five-year period in the 1970s, more than 8,000 people were killed in a fight to separate from Pakistan . There is little journalism in the area, because, as one Pakistani paper put it, not being dead is itself a victory for reporters. To understand the gravity of such loss, and what it means for the region, I spoke with Hussain Haqqani, a former ambassador of Pakistan to the United States, and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. J. ‘The order could come at any moment’: two kamikaze pilots tell their story | Aeon Videos. The Crisis in European Security - Public lectures and events.

<p>Browser does not support script. </p> Download : Audio Speaker(s): Sir Robert Cooper, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Professor Karen Smith Chair: Dr Robert Falkner Recorded on 8 October 2015 at Old Theatre, Old Building European security is in crisis. 25 years after the Cold War, we are still far from the OSCE vision of "Europe whole and free" or "the common European home". Sir Robert Cooper and Ambassador Ischinger are Senior Fellows of the Dahrendorf Forum. Professor Karen Smith is Professor of International Relations and Director of LSE's European Foreign Policy Unit. Dr Robert Falkner (@robert_falkner) is Academic Director of Dahrendorf Forum at LSE IDEAS. LSE IDEAS (@LSEIDEAS) is a foreign policy think-tank within LSE's Institute for Global Affairs. Event posting Event organiser. After the EU Referendum: What Next for Britain and Europe? Slippery Slope: Europe's troubled future - Public lectures and events. <p>Browser does not support script.

</p> Download : Audio Speaker(s): Giles Merritt Chair: Professor Kevin Featherstone Recorded on 26 May 2016 at Old Theatre, Old Building Slippery Slope is far from the usual run of uncritical EU-related studies. Its aim is to set alarm bells ringing across Europe with its revealing insights into our increasingly troubled future. In his book which he will discuss in this lecture Giles Merritt argues that the steepness and suddenness of Europe's decline in the 'Asian century' will depend on the actions we Europeans undertake.

Giles Merritt was named by the Financial Times in 2010 as one of 30 'Eurostars' who most influence thinking on Europe's future, along with the European Commission's president and the secretary-general of NATO. Kevin Featherstone is Head of the European Institute, Eleftherios Venizelos Professor of Contemporary Greek Studies and Professor of European Politics at LSE. Event posting Event organiser European Institute Books. They Came in Through the Bathroom Mirror | Feature | Chicago Reader. Ruthie Mae McCoy was terrified. "Someone has threatened my life! " she gasped to the woman next to her. They were riding in a van that was taking them home from an outpatient psychiatric center at Mount Sinai Hospital. The woman urged McCoy to relate her fears to a staff member at the clinic, but McCoy said she didn't want to get anyone else involved.

McCoy, 52, went through much of her life afraid; she was hounded by paranoia. Her fears weren't soothed by her dwelling place the last four years—a high-rise building in a near-south-side Chicago Housing Authority project known as ABLA, where the van dropped her off this Wednesday afternoon, April 22. At a quarter to nine this April evening, Chicago police got a 911 call from McCoy. "What are they doing, ma'am? " "Yeah, they throwed the cabinet down. " Dispatcher: "From where? " McCoy: "I'm in the projects, I'm on the other side. Dispatcher: "All right ma'am, at what address? " McCoy: "1440 W. 13th St. Dispatcher: "1109? McCoy: "Ruth McCoy. " Death and Dishonor. Death and Dishonor (original story in Playboy--reposted at www.playboy.com) Death and Dishonor by Mark Boal www.playboy.com In the May 2004 issue, Playboy published Death and Dishonor by Mark Boal, an article that followed a retired Army Staff Sergeant as he searched for his missing son, an active soldier and veteran of tours in Bosnia and Iraq.

Specialist Richard Davis was listed as AWOL by the military, a classification former Sergeant Lanny Davis found ludicrous. As Boal resolves some of the questions surrounding Davis's disappearance, it becomes clear that this story is more than a simple mystery. The nature of the events uncovered here touches upon some of the most troubling and complex issues to arise from the invasion in Iraq including the consequences of overwhelming firepower in urban areas, the endless tours of duty and the unrelenting stress of day-to-day combat. Death and Dishonor was the first of a triptych of non-fiction features by Boal to run in Playboy. Occupation. Febraury 2010: William Langewiesche on American Snipers. Outside of Austin, Texas, where the farming begins in earnest, the land turns suddenly to the deepest sort of country, with no hint of the city that stands nearby. Russ Crane prefers it that way.

Crane is not his real name. He wants to remain obscure. He is an experienced military sniper, a serious man in a serious profession that, however, excites a fringe of pretenders and psychopaths. He knows those people are out there. They inhabit gun shows, firing ranges, and war-porn recesses of the Internet; they have a poor idea of how real snipers do their work, or of its effect upon their lives. Crane dips, too, with a pinch of Copenhagen when he’s in the mood. He does not enjoy killing coyotes. I said, “Do you mean that literally?” He said, “I know that God has been with me actively in battle.” “You’ve been fighting Muslims who believe the same thing.” He said, “It’s a conundrum. Muslims are mortals, it’s true. Special Forces had the resources. “Negative. Danielle wanted to go home to Texas. Greatescape(1) I’m With The Banned — Welcome to the Scream Room. The car pulls up outside a dinner being held by Fox News, and two giant, besuited security guards get in on either side of me.

They are the single most massive individuals I have ever met. Then, at last, Milo arrives. He slides into the front seat, all bleach and bling and giant sunglasses—I won’t get to see his eyes all evening. He asks me how I’m feeling. Milo is excited. This is his night. “It’s fantastic,” he says, “It’s the end of the platform. He was planning for something like this. Milo shows no remorse for the avalanche of misconduct he helped direct towards Leslie Jones, who is just the latest victim of the recreational ritual abuse he likes to launch at women and minorities for the fame and fun of it.

Milo puts on a bulletproof jacket before his big entrance. The larger of the two security guards takes the wheel. “Get Laurie a cigarette, darling,” Milo says to his personal trainer, who has charge of the handbag. Milo swoops away to hold court. Social science at the crossroads: the history of political science in the USA and the evolution of social impact. What role should social scientists play in society? Louisa Hotson explores the evolution of the social sciences through four periods in the history of political science, each with different implications for how social science makes a difference.

These lessons from history encourage us to think more broadly than we have in recent decades about how we define the ‘impact’ of the social science disciplines. Just like cigarettes and air travel, the social sciences were much more glamorous in the 1960s than they are today. In the 1960s social science faculties were generously funded and scholars were well-represented among the upper echelons of policy makers. Nowhere was this more evident than in the United States where a new breed of ‘action-intellectual’ descended on Washington – writing in Time Magazine, Theodore White described how they ‘stalk[ed] the corridors of American power’, transforming the ivory tower into ‘a forward observation post on the urgent front of the future’. 1950s- 1960s.

The National Parks: America's Best Idea: Watch Video Check Local Listings The National Parks: America's Best Idea is a six-episode series produced by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan and written by Dayton Duncan. Filmed over the course of more than six years at some of nature's most spectacular locales – from Acadia to Yosemite, Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, the Everglades of Florida to the Gates of the Arctic in Alaska - The National Parks: America's Best Idea is nonetheless a story of people: people from every conceivable background – rich and poor; famous and unknown; soldiers and scientists; natives and newcomers; idealists, artists and entrepreneurs; people who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved, and in doing so reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy.

Mapping the National Parks Lesson Plan In this lesson, students research a National Park, document important information about that park, and present their findings. American exceptionalism, from Stalin with love | Aeon Ideas. Roosevelt and Stalin share a moment at Yalta. Getty Images Every time a public figure uses the term ‘American exceptionalism’, ordinary Americans turn to my website. It’s number one for a quick answer to the question: ‘What is American exceptionalism?’ My latest benefactor was Hillary Clinton, who used the term in a speech on 31 August. My website hits spiked. Until about 2010, few Americans had heard the term. American exceptionalism is not the same as saying the United States is ‘different’ from other countries. Some presume that the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville invented the term in the 1830s, but only once did de Tocqueville actually call American society ‘exceptional’.

American exceptionalism is an ideology. Some think that Werner Sombart, the German socialist of the early 1900s, invented the term, but he did not. Orthodox communists used the term to condemn the heretical views of the American communist Jay Lovestone. Without question, Reagan saw the US as an exceptional nation. Nothing Grows Forever. In essence, endless growth puts us on the horns of a seemingly intractable dilemma. Without it, we spiral into poverty. With it, we deplete the planet. Either way, we lose. Unless, of course, there's a third way. Victor wanted to find out. Victor's economic theory is radical, but he is not alone. THE IDEA IS actually quite old. Yet no-growth theory never took off. Classical economists didn't spend much time worrying about whether the environment could support infinite growth. It didn't help that the few early economic thinkers who did worry about exhausting the planet turned out to be a couple of centuries premature.

By the 20th century, growth had become not only an item of faith in economics, but a deeply held political belief. THE NEXT major challenge to the pro-growth orthodoxy didn't emerge until the early 1960s and publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. The results were bleak. Traditional economists went berserk. The idea didn't die, though. He is no longer so isolated. The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race. Explicit cookie consent. The Bonds of Catastrophe. What caused Haiti’s cholera epidemic? The CDC’s museum knows but won’t say. Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems | Books. How Reporters Pulled Off the Panama Papers, the Biggest Leak in Whistleblower History. On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs. Shane Greenstein: "How the Internet Became Commercial" | Talks at Google. Mexican Democracy’s Lost Years.

Richard Lloyd Parry · Ghosts of the Tsunami · LRB 6 February 2014. What every dictator knows: young men are natural fanatics | Aeon Ideas. Chernobyl 30 years on: Photographs from inside the exclusion zone - News. Pyramiden: population 6. The Soviet ghost town frozen in time high in the Arctic | Aeon Videos. Are book collectors real readers, or just cultural snobs? | Aeon Essays. Before Indiana Jones came Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron | Aeon Ideas. Is Climate Change Causing Pre-traumatic Stress Disorder in Millennials? The internet as an engine of liberation is an innocent fraud | Aeon Essays. Why Giordano Bruno is still a free speech hero today | Aeon Essays. Forget ideology, liberal democracy’s newest threats come from technology and bioscience | John Naughton | Opinion. The Disadvantages of Being Stupid.