Category: Alternative

Question: Which Preindustrial Society was the Most Energy-Rich?

Some years ago I had a discussion with Ian Morris about the approach he took to quantify the social development of East versus West in his book, The Measure of Civilization. So I asked him: Which pre-industrial society was the…

Cliodynamics is Not “Cyclical History”

Matt Yglesias, responding to a tweet by Noah Smith today, wrote: Seen a lot of Turchin citations lately but I think the bar for buying into cyclical views of history should be *really* high. There were other, similar comments on…

The Pandemic is Changing Online Activism’s Reputation of Being Just ‘Slacktivism’

Activists place thousands of protest placards in front of the Reichstag building, home of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, April 24, 2020, staging a long-planned global climate demonstration online because of restrictions on public protests during the pandemic. Photo courtesy…

My First Night as a Drag Queen Was Both Terrifying and Life-Changing

Amrou Al-Kadhi. Photo: Alia Romagnoli If you’ve spent much time in UK queer clubs over the past decade, there’s a chance you’ll have come across Denim, the drag troupe slash girl band made up of Glamrou La Denim, Aphrodite Greene,…

This European Country Has Some of the World’s Worst Air, and ‘It’s Too Expensive’ to Fix

Toni Nikushevski gazed sternly at the two old garbage trucks that wobbled up the hill to the Drisla landfill, one of the largest in Europe, ready to deposit their day’s load. A blanket of trash—from bottles and cans to plastic…

WATCH: How Britain Stole $45 Trillion from India with Trains

In Empires of Dirt, we unpack that oft-repeated phrase “But what about the railways?” – a message that invariably comes up when you start to discuss British rule in India. Sure, colonialism wasn’t great, but didn’t Britain at least give…

COVID Deniers Are Buying Useless Mesh ‘Freedom Masks’ on Etsy

Screenshot via Etsy, Collage via Canva Chiffon and cheesecloth, mesh and lace: These aren’t the materials that make up a face mask designed to protect its wearer from catching or transmitting COVID-19, according to World Health Organization guidelines. But the…

Mutilated Horses Keep Showing Up in the French Countryside

In recent months, there have been multiple discoveries of mutilated horses, mares, ponies and donkeys in rural France. Animals have been found stabbed through the heart, beaten with bricks or with their throats slashed. Some have had body parts –…

KinkTok is Filling the Void Left Behind By NSFW Tumblr

TikTok can be a pretty horny place. While the app might have gained popularity for viral dance challenges, you’re now just as likely to stumble across the “good girl challenge”, where creators – usually male, deep-voiced – respond to comments…

Remember That Viral Wuhan Pool Party? Here’s Why Residents Say It Wasn’t a Big Deal

  Pictures from a crowded music festival in Wuhan, China set the internet ablaze last week.   Many foreign observers expressed outrage at the lack of social distancing in the packed pools, where thousands of party-goers stood shoulder-to-shoulder without masks.…

Inside the Lavish, Secret Vacations Celebrities Are Taking During COVID-19

The One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives. Photo courtesy of the One&Only While all of us lowly plebes have spent the past six months whiling away our simple, monotonous, and altogether depressing lives at home, Timothée Chalamet escaped to Cabo…

Researchers Announce First-Ever Clinical Trial Combining MDMA and LSD

Scientists are set to investigate whether outcomes for patients undergoing psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy can be improved with a combined dose of LSD and MDMA. The Phase 1 clinical trial, led by psychedelic pharmaceutical company MindMed and set to commence later this…

How to Safely Practice Non-Monogamy During the Pandemic

For polyamorous people—especially those who are living with primary partners and seeing them all the time, with far more exclusivity than usual—the COVID-19 pandemic has meant rethinking how to practice non-monogamy. The way people are relating to and adjusting their…

Australian Government Urged to Review Laws that ‘Silence’ Sexual Abuse Survivors

An Australian state attorney-general has launched an “urgent” review into newly-introduced legislation that allegedly silences victims of rape and sexual assault. Advocates say amendments made to Victoria’s Judicial Proceedings Reports Act in February mean many such victims who want to…