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Gender: Female
Hometown: London
Home country: USA/UK/Sweden
Current location: Stockholm, Sweden
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2018, 07:25 PM
Number of posts: 12,367

Journal Archives

Elissa Slotkin Is Sounding the Alarm. Will Democrats Listen?


When one of Elissa Slotkin’s staffers passed along a New York Times report alleging that Russia had put bounties on the heads of American troops in Afghanistan—and that President Donald Trump either did not consume the relevant intelligence or did not act upon it—“my stomach,” the Michigan congresswoman says, “dropped to my knees.”

Slotkin spent the next 72 hours in an incredulous haze. A veteran CIA analyst before coming to Congress in the Democratic wave of 2018, she thought she had seen it all. She had served at length in the Middle East, lost friends and gained Top Secret clearance. She had personally briefed both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, in the White House situation room and in the Oval Office, on grave national security threats. And yet Slotkin’s imagination could not stretch far enough to accommodate either of the two scenarios now confronting her. How could something so sensitive not reach the president? Or, if it had, how could he have ignored it?

The congresswoman inhaled every bit of news coverage, watching carefully for conflicting details or any confirmation of the original Times story. She called former colleagues in the intel community in search of explanations. Finally, she took to social media, writing a series of uncharacteristically pointed tweets about Trump and Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. “Something has been off about that relationship since the beginning,” she wrote, “and Americans are quite literally paying in blood for his pandering to Putin.” The irony was not lost on Slotkin. Here she was, four months out from Election Day, one of the most endangered Democrats in the country, representing a district Trump carried by 7 points, spending her Sunday morning doing precisely what she had vowed to avoid: picking a Twitter fight with the president of the United States.

There will be consequences—of this, Slotkin is certain. She cannot hope to win reelection this fall without persuading a significant number of voters in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District to split their tickets—four more years for Trump, two more years for her—and every feud with the White House is equivalent to a few more straight-party ballots being punched. Whether Slotkin can have it both ways, speaking her mind about the president and winning over some of his supporters, may well determine not only her fate but the fate of Democrats in swing districts and battleground states across the country.


Attention-seeking cat won't stop lying in road with eyes closed pretending to be dead

A 14-year-old cat named Lolly keep tricking his neighbours by lying in the road outside his home to fake his own death - and his owner says the bizarre prank has seen him become a local celebrity


A cat owner has been forced to post notes to her neighbours reassuring them they haven't killed her cat due to the moggy's continuous attention-seeking pranks. Lolly the cat likes to lie down motionless in the road with his eyes closed and tongue hanging out, tricking motorists into thinking he has died as a result of a tragic accident. Mum-of-two Lesley Southam says her mischievous pet is simply after some concerned attention and has even created a flyer to post through letterboxes to warn others on the street in Banbury about his behaviour. "He just loves attention and people," said the 47-year-old. "He can lay so still people will stop to check he is alive.

"He's literally famous at this end of town. Everybody knows Lolly." It's not the only prank 14-year-old Lolly is known for, as he often enjoys jumping into stranger's cars and making himself at home after wandering into offices. The note posted around the neighbourhood includes a picture of the prankster cat and reads: "Hi, my name is Lolly. "My favourite thing is people and pretending I am dead at the side of the road.

"I am also quite old and ignorant. Please don't worry about me. "All the local businesses and vets know my owners. If you're really worried call my mum. "I have also been known to get into vehicles." Lesley included her mobile number for people to get in touch if they had any concerns.

Trump Gave CIA Secrets To Putin And There's Nothing We Can Do About It

Trump handed over counterterrorism secrets to a hostile foreign government that attacked our elections and continues to attack our elections today.


WASHINGTON, DC -- Since the beginning of the Trump Crisis, we’ve talked about the firehose of news, and how the vast laundry list of horrible deeds committed by the president have turned out to be too much for the people and the press to keep up with, making it nearly impossible to hold him accountable for all the things that would have otherwise destroyed previous chief executives. There’s also the prophylactic benefit of having a subservient attorney general who’s willing to kill investigations and prosecutions of the president and his various henchmen. Having Bill Barr around certainly helps Trump, but indeed his presence is, itself, another item ejaculated out of the firehose of news. In normal times, Barr would be impeached for shielding Trump, and Trump would be further scrutinized for obstructing justice via Barr. Among the other contents of the firehose, there are two major foreign policy stories in the past week or so that ought to be impeachable offenses, or, at the very least, the subjects of national security investigations by the FBI into Donald Trump’s unwavering fealty to Russia and its dictator, Vladimir Putin. A little more than a year ago, by the way, news about the alleged “counterintelligence investigation” into Trump’s relationship with Russia more or less disappeared.

Adam Schiff and other House investigators were mostly left wondering what happened, but, returning to Barr for a second, it’s obvious that the attorney general canceled the investigation somehow. It’s part of Barr’s mandate, and so he’s erased several Trump-related investigations, including, in all likelihood, this one. And so, this is the context, more or less, for two Russia related national security stories in recent days. First, we all read about how Putin was paying Taliban fighters around $100,000 per American soldier killed in Afghanistan. Trump predictably did nothing. In fact, he claimed to have not been briefed about it despite reports that he was absolutely briefed, yet didn’t personally believe the intelligence was actionable. So, no response, publicly or privately, aimed at Russia. No new sanctions, no warnings -- nothing. Even if Trump were telling the truth, and it’s almost certain he’s not -- he never does -- he should have at least issued a written statement warning Putin to stay away from that theater. But again, nothing. Meanwhile, according to a bombshell new report published by Just Security, Trump “decided not to confront Putin about supplying arms” to the Taliban. In other words, Trump was informed at some point that Putin was arming the Afghan militants, and, again, did nothing about it. Not even a side-eye. On top of that, journalist Ryan Goodman reports that Trump secretly “directed the CIA to share intelligence information on counterterrorism with the Kremlin despite no discernible reward.”

Trump literally handed over counterterrorism secrets to a hostile foreign government that not only attacked our elections in 2016 and continues to attack our elections today, but also a government that put bounties on the heads of American soldiers. The first question I’d like to have answers to is whether any of the intelligence Trump gifted to Putin was exploited to attack our troops in the field. With this president, it wouldn’t shock me if we were to learn that was the case, but we don’t know for sure. Nevertheless, it’s just a detail in a broader narrative about an American president who’s quite obviously owned by the Kremlin. There are several theories about why. First, Putin could be holding embarrassing, compromising information on Trump, essentially blackmailing him into subservience. This could involve sex or other personally damaging materials. Second, and related to possible kompromat, is the theory that Trump is engaged in felonious activity with Russian oligarchs, perhaps money laundering or some other finance-related scheme. Third, it could be that Trump is motivated to appease Putin because the president wants to move forward with Trump Tower Moscow. My guess? It’s all three. Trump is up to his bulbous ass in Russia, including myriad dubious contacts with Russian operatives during the Russian attack in 2016 on top of a series of unreported calls with Putin himself. Regardless of why the president is prioritizing Russian interests over American ones, the fact remains that he’s doing it. It’s as obvious as Trump’s dandy-ish face makeup.

The real question is whether anything can be done about it, and as of now, the answer is a profoundly frustrating “nope.” It’s too close to an election for impeachment. Bill Barr won’t investigate Trump. And there’s no chance of Mike Pence leading a 25th Amendment remedy. All that’s left is the election, and if Russia and other voter suppression tactics win the day, Trump will have four more years without any real accountability -- no elections or anything else. He’ll be unstoppable. The lesson here is that the president -- any president -- is capable of subverting American national security at his own discretion, and there’s practically nothing we can do about it. As long as there are a thousand different crimes and other episodes of indecency flooding out of the White House, no single event can be addressed in any significant or meaningful way. Not even an impeachment for confessed cheating in the 2020 election could pry this crook from his underground bunker. The presidency has grown far beyond its constitutional strictures and therefore must be yanked back to a more accountable place. Hopefully there will be the political will during the next administration, be it next year or whenever, to propose a slate of new laws or even the ratification of new constitutional amendments to close all of the loopholes Trump has exposed. Even if Trump loses in November, there will be tons of heavy lifting to do. On the bright side, as long as he doesn’t destroy us in the meantime, the Trump Crisis could lead to positive and mandatory changes to Article II powers. It’s up to us.

How to Kick a Man When He's Down

In 2020, Trump is Glenn Close and we are Michael Douglas trying to finish the job.


This isn’t the first essay you’ve read about not getting too comfortable with Joe Biden’s lead in the polls, and Lord knows it won’t be the last. It probably won’t be the most comprehensive one or the most authoritative. But my goal is only that it be the most paranoid. When looking for an opening analogy I landed first on my one year of scholastic football, during which I learned—in addition to learning not to play a second year of scholastic football—to tackle through the opposing player. Whereas novices often stop driving with their legs upon contact, proper execution is to continue driving—hard as you can—until the opposing player is down. Because, you know, a good running back, tight end, or wide receiver will wriggle out of a halfhearted tackle. But this lame-o analogy isn’t going to cut it with a serial rapist who would rather send countless Americans to their deaths than tweak his approach to the pandemic. What I’m talking about here, rather, is Glenn Close in the climactic scene of Fatal Attraction, where Michael Douglas has strangled her in a bathtub but she springs up suddenly with the knife and Anne Archer shoots her. In 2020, Trump is Glenn Close and we are Michael Douglas trying to finish the job. Because in November there might not be an Anne Archer.

Feel just a wee bit sorry for Trump as he staggers and mumbles about not being loved? Don’t. He is every ruthless criminal in every B movie you’ve ever seen rising as if from the dead to pick up that .45 on the ground and fire that one last bullet into your back. Enjoying the 12-point Biden lead in the polls? I call it even with the edge to Trump. Assuming there is an election, maybe less than even. As this publication has before so accurately pointed out numerous times, this is about the swing states and little more. A five-point or so lead for the challenger in Pennsylvania after a sitting president has gutted the federal government, rule of law, the economy, respect around the world, truth, and the very notion of the chief executive advocating for the American people tells me “freefall” in this case is little more than a slip down a half flight of stairs. Forget for a minute that in this, my adopted home state, I want to run wild in the streets, grab aging white male strangers, and shake them until they divulge what horrible things Mommy and Daddy did to them in the 1950s. One more half-decent post-COVID-onset jobs report and the Keystone State is a tossup. For those of you who don’t already know, July is opposition research month. The same oligarchs who brought you WikiLeaks in 2016 are hard at work mining dirt that will make Hillary Clinton’s treatment four years ago look like a lost episode of This is Your Life.

Since Facebook still plays by 2016 rules while technology has marched on, expect deepfake videos of Joe Biden engaging in autoerotic asphyxiation and rough sex play with the stars of Never Have I Ever. Expect Instagram posts of Hunter Biden stuffing stacks of crisp Ben Franklins and bags of white powder into carry-on luggage at Dulles Airport. Expect TikToks of whoever is the vice-presidential nominee burning American flags and using the remaining scraps to choke puppies at a Black Lives Matter protest. And in August, they start dumping the really damaging stuff. While the deepfake videos are the gift that will keep giving, August is complacency month. It’s hot, Congress has gotten the hell out of Dodge, folks are once again getting regular paychecks, mud wrestling and moshing, and getting haircuts without a mask. Sure a few more people have died, but they were haters. Wisconsin is a dead heat and Florida is leaning Trump by a point. Fewer undocumented immigrants than ever are streaming across the border, not so much because of a wall but because no one wants to risk coming here and getting sick, but why split hairs? September is voter suppression month. Final plans are being laid to close polls in Des Moines and Green Bay. Electric power failures in Tallahassee and Atlanta are being fine-tuned. Mail-in ballots are disappearing in Fairfax and Houston. “Consultants” are being hired to firebomb Minneapolis and Cleveland. Michigan is in play, and the great state of Texas is looking like it would assassinate JFK all over again if it could.

October is anything goes. Look for a war with China, a capitulation from Kim Jong-un, a COVID-19 vaccine made from tobacco leaves, a trade deal with Jupiter, and a televised French kiss from Melania. On the evening of November 2, the whole thing is a statistical tie, heavy rain is forecast for the eastern seaboard, and Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t taken down the viral sponsored ad about Joe Biden hanging on for dear life in a Bethesda ER after a reported near fatal stroke. Trump is poised for four more years of shameless brutality, utter indifference to life, and state visits to his bankrupt golf courses. As empty as his head is, the vacuum has been filled with the name of every American citizen who opposed him, including your name and mine. The coming bloodbath is going to make the McCarthy era look like Woodstock, Soviet collectivization look like a flea market, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution look like a job fair. And you and I will spend our final minutes as semi-free Americans on November 3 regretting not sending in those few extra bucks to the Amy McGrath campaign or driving 80-something radical feminist Aunt Sue with phlebitis to the polls because Sumter County, Georgia was probably going blue anyway. The problem here is you and I. The problem is you and I were taught not to kick a man when he’s down. But allow me to help us both. The candidate in question is not a man unless you’re really stretching the definition, and he is not down. He is a scorned lunatic with bad hair faking paralysis in a bathtub and clutching a 12-inch carving knife. It’s up to us to drain the tub.

The Replacements - Dope Smoking Moron/Skip It - Live 1981, Minneapolis

Studio version

Kanye West 2020? That's Quite Enough, America.

What if we could create an America where Kanye West would never think of running for President?


When I read the news that rapper and former Trump supporter Kanye West had thrown his hat into the 2020 presidential race on Sunday, I barely batted an eyelid. “Did you hear that Kanye is running for president?” I asked my wife. “Yeah, I read that. What would you like for desert?” she replied. And that was that. No further discussion, no remarks on how insane it is that a mentally unstable narcissist has decided to run for President of The United States based on his experience as a rap artist. We are living in a global pandemic under the leadership of a fake billionaire reality TV star who believes ingesting bleach is a viable way to treat the Coronavirus. Kanye West for President? Whatever. This is 2020, and barring a real life alien invasion and the enslavement of humanity, very little is now shocking. [Note: the Pentagon did actually release bonafide footage of Unidentified Flying Objects in late April of this year….].

Kanye Is Not Serious

Physicists may well confirm suspicions that we are actually characters in a giant simulation, and the creators of that simulation are now trolling us for their own enjoyment. First, they gave us Donald Trump, then a global pandemic, and now Kanye West as the latest disruptor sent to destabilize the planet at a time when it least needs it. The creators of our reality really do have a very spiteful sense of humor. Mercifully, Kanye West’s ludicrous presidential bid (backed by fellow egomaniac Elon Musk it should be noted) is unlikely to go anywhere. West might have a lot of followers on Twitter, but most of them are there for his music, not his truly bonkers views on politics. West, it must be remembered, backed Donald Trump because of his “Dragon energy” and believes slavery was a “choice”. “When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years? That sounds like a choice” West said in an interview with TMZ two years ago. “You was there for 400 years and it's all of y'all?” Presumably Native Americans chose to be wiped out by European settlers too, inviting disease, war and famine on themselves because they didn’t have the right “winning” mindset. Either way, West certainly won’t be able to count on the African American vote in his bid for the presidency.

“I am a Black gay man who was raised in Texas by a grandmother who was born 46 years before the Voting Rights Act became law,” wrote Michael Crawford in The Independent this week. “She stressed the importance of voting just as she extolled the importance of going to church every Sunday. She experienced life before and after African-Americans could vote and the election of Barack Obama as our first non-white president. She passed away in 2013, three years before Trump launched his campaign with racist dog whistles louder than any candidate since Ronald Reagan popularized the slur “welfare queen.”” “Black people know better than anyone else the clear and present danger Trump is to the country. That’s why in 2016, 89 percent of us voted for Hillary Clinton.” So no, Kanye isn’t going to “split the vote” and help Trump get re-elected. He hasn’t even registered with the Federal Election Commission, collected any signatures to get on the ballot or drafted a public campaign platform, so it isn’t clear West is actually serious about running. The election is four months away and West has already missed the deadline to run as an independent candidate in several states, making it about as serious as Trump’s non-existent Obamacare alternative. Kanye is basically about to spend a lot of time and money humiliating himself in a pointless vanity project. Which is of course, perfectly on brand.

Enough Of The Clown Show

The planet is facing a severe ecological crisis, a global economic meltdown, and one of the deadliest pandemics in modern history. These are issues we cannot focus on because we have a madman running the country who is incapable of controlling himself or taking anything other than his own interests seriously. Instead of cooperating with other nations and creating a global response to the pandemic, Trump has engaged in “America First” like behavior and made the US the pariah of the international community. Domestically, Trump has opened up a doorway for the most deranged, hateful members of society to enter into the mainstream, and made it far easier for bored rich narcissists to take their shot at the big time. Kanye clearly believes that if Donald Trump can become president, then so too can he. And in fairness to him, he is no less qualified to lead the country than Trump is. By electing Joe Biden in November and flipping the Senate — an increasingly likely scenario — America will have two good years to restore a sense of order, get the Coronavirus under control, and re-engage with the outside world.

Politics under Trump has been turned into a tawdry reality TV show that makes Jersey Shore look like first-rate theater. Without sane leadership and a return to the calmness of the Obama era, there will be more pandemic failures, more economic pain, and more Kanye Wests hurling themselves into frontline politics around the country. West’s announcement that he is running for president was about as ill timed as it possibly could be. The public is clamoring for stability, and they are reacting to West — who has an unfortunate history of mental illness and severe delusions of grandeur accordingly. Outside of his wife Kim Kardashian and fellow delusional narcissist billionaire Elon Musk, no one is paying any serious attention. Instead, they are focusing on the newly reported fact that his “Yeezy” brand took millions of dollars in PPP loans. Not exactly the best way to kick off a campaign. By voting for Joe Biden and Senate Democrats in November we have a chance to dramatically change the political and social climate in America. There is no need to “Make America Great Again”, send people to Mars, or “win” at everything. If America became a place where Kanye West would never think of running for President, that would be enough.


Our Minds Aren't Equipped for This Kind of Reopening

As states ease restrictions on businesses, individuals face a psychological morass.


Reopening is a mess. Photographs of crowds jostling outside bars, patrons returning to casinos, and a tightly packed, largely maskless audience listening to President Donald Trump’s speech at Mount Rushmore all show the U.S. careening back to pre-coronavirus norms. Meanwhile, those of us watching at home are like the audience of a horror movie, yelling “Get out of there!” at our screens. As despair rises, the temptation to shame people who fail at social distancing becomes difficult to resist. But Americans’ disgust should be aimed at governments and institutions, not at one another. Individuals are being asked to decide for themselves what chances they should take, but a century of research on human cognition shows that people are bad at assessing risk in complex situations. During a disease outbreak, vague guidance and ambivalent behavioral norms will lead to thoroughly flawed thinking. If a business is open but you would be foolish to visit it, that is a failure of leadership. Since March, Americans have lived under a simple instruction: Stay home. Now, even as case counts spike in states such as Arizona, Florida, and Texas, many other states continue to ease restrictions on businesses, and suddenly the burden is on individuals to engage in some of the most frustrating and confounding cost-benefit analyses of their life.

Pandemic decision making implicates at least two complex cognitive tasks: moral reasoning and risk evaluation. My academic subspecialty is the psychology of judgment and decision making. The foundational experiment in this discipline began with the prompt: “Imagine that the United States is preparing for an outbreak of an unusual Asian disease.” (The glibly xenophobic use of “Asian” as a shortcut to inducing fear and confusion is a subject for another article.) The experiment asked participants to choose between two public-health policies: In option A, one-third of the population survives for sure, but no one else makes it; in option B, there is a one-third chance that all survive, but a two-thirds chance that none do. For some participants, these options were described in terms of how many lives would be saved; for others, how many would die. Participants consistently chose option A, which offered certainty, if they were thinking in terms of potential gains (saving lives) but option B, which involved more risk, if they were thinking about potential losses (dying). A weighty decision was swayed dramatically by the semantic framing. (This observation earned one of the experimenters the Nobel Prize for economics.)

The cognitive-science canon is replete with uncanny predictions relevant to the coronavirus era. Researchers have studied the human tendency to discount preventable harms that arise from nature and to overreact to harms that arise from human action. The literature predicts that people will take comfort when a coronavirus fatality is attributed to “underlying conditions”—for instance, a patient’s age or chronic maladies—that they do not share, and they will be tempted by the quick dopamine hit associated with shaming those who fail at social distancing. Cognitive scientists even have experiments to explain the “declining marginal disutility” that people associate with others’ deaths—the feeling that the difference between no deaths and one death is really bad, but the difference between 110,000 and 111,000 deaths is negligible. Evocatively termed “psychophysical numbing,” this confounding juxtaposition of the mathematical and the existential is where Americans live now. As states gradually reopen, seemingly simple judgments are likely to grow more fraught. What does six feet between people look like? The literature suggests that I am more confident I’m six feet away from a friend than from a stranger, that I’m more likely to blame people not of my race for standing too close, that I overestimate my compliance with public-health guidance but underestimate yours.

Humans have difficulty calculating exponents, which is particularly crucial to understanding the speed of disease spread. They struggle to estimate the correct answer to a problem without drifting toward the answer that best serves their own interest. With more freedom of movement, Americans also have more opportunities to make judgments of others—who always seem to be doing it wrong. How can people be sitting in groups, chatting, at an outdoor bar? Who would take their kid to swim in a public pool? Are you inviting those people inside your house? Even when shamers have the risk calculus right, social-distancing shaming is still useless or even harmful to society. Each judgment is a chance not just to get the math wrong, but to let indignation outstrip empathy. Living in a dense, diverse city, I know that I place moral and practical value on playgrounds, parks, and, indeed, protest marches that I might have viewed as indulgences were I still living in my hometown in rural Maine. Individual citizens—citizens facing a range of permissible options, receiving confusing public-health messaging, triaging competing ethical commitments—are not the best targets of our practical and moral concern. Even within academic psychology, scholars are prone to focusing on individuals who make suboptimal choices—workers who do not save, or employees who choose bad retirement investments. In the pandemic, this urge is a red herring; it is too easy to focus on people making bad choices rather than on people having bad choices. People should practice humility regarding the former and voice outrage about the latter.


Crypto Community Seeks an Edge With Mind-Bending Designer Drugs

They could replace your morning coffee, so the saying goes on morning show broadcasts. Nootropics, sometimes called smart drugs, are a class of performance-enhancing supplements that are seeing widespread use in the tech and crypto sectors, and prompting much skepticism everywhere else.



The thousands of chemicals that could conceivably fall under the category are bought and sold online and in stores – coming in a pharmacopoeia of varicolored powders, pills and drinks – and are marketed by their ability to improve memory, mental acuity, boost energy and help users enter flow states. Though the term nootropics literally means “mind-bending,” the point is less about discovering untapped reserves of creative potential or losing inhibitions than to impose focus. “For most of nootropic history, it’s just been drug nerds sharing ideas, science and experiences with one another as a community,” CryptoDog, a crypto consultant popular on CryptoTwitter, said. But increased marketing, media reports, late-night advertising, Gwyneth Paltrow’s line of luxury Goop and an active internet subculture are thrusting these supplements into the spotlight.

Apart from college-aged students looking to balance curriculum and social life, CryptoDog thinks it’s a class of drugs designed for the modern, ultra-competitive corporate landscape. “If you don’t work extremely hard, you won’t make it into the top 1%. And as the world becomes increasingly less easy in comparison for the 99%, there’s more pressure,” he said. High-achieving executives, developers and traders in the crypto industry take these neuroenhancing drugs to achieve more, process more information and work longer hours. It’s become part and parcel to an industry that seeks the disruption of all others. “Being in frontier tech means you’re (a) more exposed to new ideas and tools, (b) in a community where experimentation is normalized and widely and openly discussed and often encouraged, and (c) more willing to try new things,” Meltem Demirors, CEO of CoinShares, said in an email. “And so many investors and entrepreneurs dabble with new tools like nootropics.”

CryptoDog was first exposed to nootropics about a decade ago through online forums, and since taking time off from a pharmacy PhD program – at a leading, though unnamed U.S. university – has started his own nootropics and wellness business. “I split my time between crypto and my nootropics startup,” he said, calling from Hong Kong at 1 a.m. his time. In addition to managing the U.S.-based nootropics startup, CryptoDog said he has done consultancy work for data analytics firm Glassnode as well as the crypto exchange OSL, among others. It’s a hustle that probably wouldn’t be possible without his “stack,” or personalized cocktail of nootropics, which includes L-theanine, alpha GPC, huperzine A, theacrine, beta-hydroxybutyrate and caffeine. “I think everyone is trying to get ahead because we all constantly feel behind,” he said.


CryptoDog’s interest in nootropics and crypto pair well, and not just because he discovered both at about the same time in his life. “We’re tinkerers. Biology is just the living version of computer science, DNA is just code.” Like the hacker ethos that runs through crypto, nootropics users believe that the human brain is a piece of software that can be improved upon through chemical upgrades. “The body is just a really complex computer that we’re writing code for, writing molecules that can come in and change how it operates,” he said. Taking this metaphor further, the key to both industries is to do your own research, or DYOR. Different people will respond in different ways to different substances, to say nothing of the rampant scams – from miracle pills to get-rich schemes – that pop up in any emergent field. “You read as much as you can, figure out as much as you can, and if you are brave, you try it out and see if it works for you,” CryptoDog said.


Trump is unravelling live on telly. He is insane. Every statement is either a lie, or an attack or

both.. He even said that American history started in 1492 when Columbus discovered America!

He is batshit cray.

Week in charts : The pandemic's relentless advance

It is astonishing how rapidly the pandemic has spread, despite all the efforts to stop it. The world is not experiencing a second wave: it never got over the first. Texas, for example, has become the centre of a viral wave sweeping America’s South and West. Worldwide, more than 10m people are known to have been infected. It took more than three months for global cases to reach a million; the last million came in less than a week. But even as the virus is rampaging through developing countries, people in the West are worried about a second wave. Data from the first wave show how important it is for governments to respond quickly. In many countries, including America, Brazil, Russia and Iran, politicians have lost the trust of their people through their handling of the pandemic. A vaccine remains the best way out of the emergency. To find one, governments are pouring money into what has become a more urgent version of the space race. Oxford University seems to be ahead.

In America the relentless spread of covid-19, added to nationwide protests and an unfolding economic calamity, have pushed Donald Trump even farther behind in opinion polls on voting intentions in the presidential election in November. Much of course could change before then. But at the moment, Joe Biden, his Democratic challenger, is in landslide territory. The Democrats may even secure a majority in the Senate, opening up the chances of a highly productive presidency. Reassuring and popular, Mr Biden boasts a more ambitious policy agenda than is often realised. He stands a good chance of being a surprisingly activist president. But his party is changing. In primary contests, self-proclaimed progressives (many of them African-American) are ousting moderate incumbents all over America.

Vladimir Putin, too, seems to be shaking the faith of some of his supporters. Russia’s president has been able to stage a rigged referendum, declare victory with 78% of the vote and secure constitutional backing to stay in power well into the next decade. It was less brazen than rolling tanks into Red Square and declaring a coup, but only just. Abroad, Mr Putin is suspected of sowing mischief, most recently in an alleged scheme to pay bounties to Islamic militants to kill American and allied soldiers in Afghanistan. But at home the economy is tanking, not helped by a world of low energy prices which, in America, have brought the bankruptcy of a pioneer of the shale-fracking revolution.

China, in contrast, has become a big international creditor. It lends more to many poor countries in Africa and elsewhere than all rich Westerm countries combined, even though new research suggests its total lending is smaller than had been believed. Some critics accuse China of creating unsustainable debt burdens as a way of accruing power. But its experience in Pakistan, an “all-weather friend” and neighbour lurching from one economic crisis to the next, suggests the limits to this approach. And abroad as at home, China’s Communist Party has shown again this week how it would rather be feared than admired. The new security law China has imposed on Hong Kong is more sweeping even than feared. The territory has already felt the chill.

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