Saturday Links: Sunday, September 10

Illustration from Leadbeater's book.

Illustration from Leadbeater's book.

What to do when Nazis are obsessed with your field - Pacific Standard

How medieval studies scholars duel with neonazi fanboys.

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A Brave Old World: An Analysis of Scientific Racism and BiDil® - McGill Journal of Medicine

From 2006, how the approval of a drug targeted at African-Americans reveals scientific racism is alive and kicking in the pharmaceutical industry. “Racialized pharmaceuticals” are growing in number.

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Tropical Depressions - The Baffler

“The problem, it turns out, is not an overabundance of humans but a dearth of humanity. Climate change and the Anthropocene are the triumph of an undead species, a mindless shuffle toward extinction, but this is only a lopsided imitation of what we really are. … If humanity is the capacity to act meaningfully within our surroundings, then we are not really, or not yet, human.”

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Victorian Occultism and the Art of Synesthesia - The Public Domain Review

I have a Leadbeater book on the Liberal Catholic liturgy and its strange illustrations are my favorite part. The link to modern art is fascinatingly underexplored.

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Demon-Haunted World - Locus Online

“Computer science [has been called] ‘applied demonology.’ … Non-human life forms – limited liability corpo­rations – are infecting the underpinnings of our ‘smart’ homes and cities with devices that obey a different physics depending on who is using them and what they believe to be true about their surroundings.” (via)

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The Sucker! The Sucker! - London Review of Books

“The octopus threatens boundaries. Its body, a boneless mass of soft tissue, has no fixed shape. … [They] are the closest we can come, on earth, to knowing what it might be like to encounter intelligent aliens.”

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Americans Are Confronting An Alarming Question: Are Many of Our Fellow Citizens Nazis? - New York Times

Relevant to yesterday’s rant.

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Why Freud Survives - The New Yorker

“Nineteenth-century science of the mind was a Wild West show. Treatments included hypnosis, electrotherapy, hydrotherapy, full-body massage, painkillers like morphine, rest cures, “fat” cures (excessive feeding), seclusion, “female castration,” and, of course, institutionalization. There was also serious interest in the paranormal. … That wasn’t “bad” science. It was science. Some of it works; a lot of it does not.”

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Myths Over Miami - Miami New Times (via Longform)

From 1997, the myths and legends told by homeless children in Miami:

“On Christmas night a year ago, God fled Heaven to escape an audacious demon attack -- a celestial Tet Offensive. The demons smashed to dust his palace of beautiful blue-moon marble. … No one knows why God has never reappeared, leaving his stunned angels to defend his earthly estate against assaults from Hell. … The demons' gateways from Hell include abandoned refrigerators, mirrors… and Jeep Cherokees with ‘black windows.’”

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A Requiem for Florida, the Paradise That Never Should Have Been - Politico Magazine

“South Florida is an artificial civilization, engineered and air-conditioned to insulate its residents and tourists from the realities of its natural landscape. We call animal control when alligators wander into our backyards, and it doesn’t occur to us that we’ve wandered into the alligators’ backyard.”