Summary of “The Russian Family That Cut Itself Off From Civilization for More Than 40 Years”

The man’s name was Karp Lykov, and he had a tale to tell: He and his family had been living in complete isolation from the world on the remote Siberian mountainside for more than 40 years.
Old Believers on the Run In the mid-17th century, the Russian Orthodox Church made alterations to its liturgical rituals to bring them more in line with Greek practices.
The children learned to speak both Russian and Old Slavonic, and though they knew little of the outside world, Karp did tell them stories about Russian cities and life beyond the hut-but it was through the lens of an Old Believer.
Aspects of life that are routine in civilization were a terrible struggle for the family, and the harsh Siberian weather wreaked havoc on the Lykovs’ makeshift food supply.
She died of starvation in 1961.A Family out of Time By the time the geologists made contact with the family, the Lykovs had been living away from the world for approximately 40 years.
Karp, on the other hand, seemed most excited by the geologists’ gift of salt, which the family patriarch described as “True torture” to live without.
Vasily Peskov, a Russian journalist who chronicled the family, observed that the Lykovs would have an internal struggle about the glowing box in front of them.
The Lone Lykov Since Karp’s death in 1988, Agafia remains the last of the Lykovs. She’s still in isolation, though she’s far more accepting of outside help than her family had been for decades.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Real estate for the apocalypse: my journey into a survival bunker”

The end of the world was trending, and it seemed as good a time as any to visit a place for sitting out the last days.
This had opened out on to a broader vista of apocalyptic preparedness, and to a lucrative niche of the real estate sector catering to individuals of means who wanted a place to retreat to when things truly went sideways.
The plan came to him instantly, he said, the whole idea for xPoint: he was going to pay the rancher the sum of one dollar for the property, offering him a 50% cut of all future profits from the vaults, which he was going to sell at a reasonable price to people willing to fit them out to their own specs, and it was going to be the largest survival community on Earth.
What if Vicino was a homicidal lunatic who had decided to immure me in here, like a poorly characterised antagonist in one of Edgar Allan Poe’s tales of terror? What if he’d decided I was going to sell him out, that I was likely to damage his business prospects by making him out in my writings to look like a fool, or a charlatan, or the kind of Poe-esque madman who might murder an adversary by entombing him in a decommissioned weapons silo.
The void then filled with sunlight, and as my eyes adjusted to the brightness I was able to make out Vicino’s prodigious silhouette in the doorframe.
Later, Vicino told me of how he’d made his money in advertising back in the 80s. He’d basically pioneered what was known as “Large inflatables”.
Vicino had at his disposal a lavish prospectus of end-time scenarios, an apocalypse to suit every aesthetic taste and ideological preference.
“Burying your head in the sand,” Vicino told me, “Isn’t gonna save your ass that’s hanging out.” He was, he said, paraphrasing Ayn Rand – his point being, I supposed, that not purchasing a place in one of his facilities amounted to an unwillingness to face down the reality of the world.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Gunnison, Colorado: The Town That Dodged the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic”

In late 1918 the world’s greatest killer – Spanish flu – roared towards Gunnison, a mountain town in Colorado.
Gunnison, a farming and mining town of about 1,300 people, had special reason to fear.
“The flu is after us” the Gunnison News-Champion warned on 10 October.
Gunnison declared a “Quarantine against all the world”.
“Gunnison’s management of the influenza situation, one hallmarked by the application of protective sequestration, is particularly impressive when one considers that nearly every nearby town and county was severely affected by the pandemic,” the University of Michigan Medical School said in a 2006 report for the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
“The town of Gunnison was exceptional.”
By early February, with state-wide flu cases ebbing, Gunnison lifted restrictions.
A mystery endures: how did residents endure the cabin fever? Those currently under quarantine in Spain, Italy, China and elsewhere could benefit from tips but Gunnison does not appear to remember.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Is a Pandemic?”

Pandemics have nothing to do with the severity of a disease but are to do with its geographic spread. According to the World Health Organization, a pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations.
How does the WHO decide whether to call it a pandemic? Cases that involve travellers who have been infected in a foreign country and have then returned to their home country, or who have been infected by that traveller, known as the “Index case”, do not count towards declaring a pandemic.
Once a pandemic is declared, it becomes more likely that community spread will eventually happen, and governments and health systems need to ensure they are prepared for that.
When is a pandemic declared? Ultimately, the WHO gets the final say.
The Sars coronavirus, identified in 2003, was not declared a pandemic by the WHO despite affecting 26 countries.
If declaring a pandemic triggers global panic, this can defeat the purpose of trying to raise awareness.
Much has been written about whether the declaration of H1N1, colloquially known as “Swine flu”, as a pandemic in 2009, caused unnecessary panic, overwhelming emergency departments and causing governments to overspend on antiviral medications.
Now the WHO has declared covid-19 a pandemic, what will it mean for the way the outbreak is treated and prepared for? The WHO has stressed that using the word “Pandemic” does not signal a change in its advice.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The History Behind Some of the World’s Most Beautiful Ceilings”

A book titled The Art of Looking Up focuses on one aspect in particular: the world’s most beautiful ceilings.
Divided into four thematic sections-Religion, Culture, Power, and Politics-the 240-page book surveys a collection of spectacular ceilings around the globe and shares their stories, as detailed by art history expert Catherine McCormack, along with vibrant photography.
The book includes information and important historical context about popular overhead artworks such as the painted dome of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City; the Chihuly glass masterpiece on the ceiling of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas; and the striking stained-glass and stone interiors of Barcelona’s Sagrada Família.
In addition to celebrating some of the world’s most famous ceilings, the book.
Spotlights somewhat lesser-visited ceiling art in religious buildings, libraries, concert halls, and metro stations where mosaic tile masterpieces and intricate oil paintings will almost surely make you crane your neck.
Here’s a look at just a few worth visiting from inside the pages of The Art of Looking Up. The T-Centralen station in Stockholm, Sweden, was the city’s first underground station to receive ceiling art.
Stockholm, SwedenBeginning in the 1950s, a citywide project transformed a number of Stockholm’s commuter hubs into cultural spaces by infusing the underground metro stations with lively wall and ceiling art.
Inside the 18th-century Baroque palace, a staircase with an impressive unsupported-vaulted ceiling features a fresco by the Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Physics Is Pointing Inexorably to Mind”

Matter is done away with and only information itself is taken to be ultimately real.
This abstract notion, called information realism is philosophical in character, but it has been associated with physics from its very inception.
Most famously, information realism is a popular philosophical underpinning for digital physics.
According to information realists, matter arises from information processing, not the other way around.
You see, it is one thing to state in language that information is primary and can exist independently of mind and matter.
“Information is notoriously a polymorphic phenomenon and a polysemantic concept so, as an explicandum, it can be associated with several explanations, depending on the level of abstraction adopted and the cluster of requirements and desiderata orientating a theory…. Information remains an elusive concept.”
The untenability of information realism does not erase the problem that motivated it to begin with: the realization that, at bottom, what we call “Matter” becomes pure abstraction, a phantasm.
This mental universe is what physics is leading us to, not the hand-waving word games of information realism.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I Don’t Wanna Do My Video Game Chores”

I’m not alone in thinking so – Mark Brown of Game Maker’s Toolkit called it “Quite boring” and Mashable said it’s a “Monumental disappointment.” There are a glut of Reddit posts from people complaining about how slow the game feels, usually with a tone of extreme self-consciousness.
That’s because well-made games make their chores “Fun” by giving the players meaningful incentives to complete them.
The only reward is the ability to continue playing the game.
No, it’s a somber, narrative-driven game simulating a slower, extinct way of life.
The Last of Us, for example, tells an intense, harrowing story while still being an exciting action survival game.
You spend large portions of the game leashed to idiotic NPCs. There are lumbering character animations for even the smallest actions, like opening kitchen drawers while looting houses.
A Real World Game also prizes supposed verisimilitude at the expense of fun.
A large portion of the game is spent killing time, looking at your watch, playing arcade games, waiting around for stores to open.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Magnus Carlsen, world chess champion, plays online speed chess under pseudonyms and livestreams his matches.”

It was the final game of the 2018 World Chess Championship, and reigning champ Magnus Carlsen was about to piss off almost every commentator in the chess world.
“DrDrunkenstein” is one of many aliases Magnus Carlsen has played under during the past two years, when he went on a killing spree across the speed chess tournaments of the internet.
Viewers of his Twitch broadcast report he had lag issues, but one comment near the top of the stream suggested that Carlsen’s handle might have been a little too accurate this time: “I thought Carlsen was sandbagging these tournaments to make it interesting,” user Cinnamon Cookies said, “But after watching his stream he’s just really drunk.”
On the eve of his world championship defense, Carlsen appeared in the next tournament as “Manwithavan,” playing a large chunk of his games on a phone from a minivan, where the touch screen presented a massive handicap.
Only a month before Carlsen defended his world championship title, he notched another win as Drunkenstein-including a gorgeous queen sacrifice against a top ranked Russian grandmaster-and experienced a surge in confidence.
One of the sweetest benefits of watching these matches is enjoying Carlsen’s dry, self-deprecating sense of humor-something no chess prodigy has any right to have.
“So here I am, trying to grab some space, playing nonsense moves. You know, your usual world champion stuff.” Carlsen trapped his opponent’s queen a few minutes later.
Hearing Carlsen think out loud is a rare treat in the world of sports.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Most Important Skill for 21st-Century Students Is the Discipline to Say “No””

Can you code? Speak a second language? How high is your IQ? There’s much debate on what students need most to succeed in an increasingly competitive world.
The challenges of automation, globalization, and political upheaval leave out the fact that we’re living an age of information overload. According to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, the one thing that children will need to learn is “Intellectual discipline.” The ability to recall facts and parrot popular arguments has become obsolete.
In a panel on “Education in the Post-Truth World” at WISE 2017’s summit for education, Zakaria contrasts how the barrage of media effect how young people take in and process information.
In other words, students need to return to the fundamentals of education where you question the information and the source, which allows you to gain a greater understanding.
The report concludes: “Overall, young people’s ability to reason about the information on the Internet can be summed up in one word: bleak.”
Our primary sources of information come from the internet and social media but this, in turn, becomes a minefield for sorting out fact from fiction.
We’re at an inflection point where paring down and drilling deep into information is going to be a necessity.
The future is always uncertain but what seems clear is that one of the most powerful tools anyone can harness is the single-minded pursuit of mastering how to seek the truth from information.

The orginal article.

Summary of “9 Books That Should Be Adapted as Video Games”

With the success of Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher, viewers are scrambling to read Andrzej Sapkowski’s series of Witcher books and play CD Projekt Red’s series of Witcher games.
In an article on how “The Witcher proves games should adapt books more often,” Malindy Hetfeld points out many reasons literature can make for successful game adaptations-not least of which is that when adapting a book, “Developers get to create a visual identity” without firmly preconceived notions about characters’ appearances.
There are too many to list comprehensively, but here are 9 books I would like to play as games right now.
If you’re an indie game company looking for a Witcher-sized success, you could do worse than adapting one of these books.
A swordswoman bound to serve her necromancer childhood nemesis, Gideon is a character I want to play games as, write articles about, and be best friends with.
Bordertown has already spawned a text-based role-playing game, but no videogames-yet.
As a story-driven adventure game, players could explore the city as Apollo, examining their surroundings for leads, talking to other characters for information, using that information to solve puzzles, and determining where to travel.
Do you like technologically mystical books-within-books that give you life advice? Do you also love oligarchal Neo-Victorian societies and the possibility of having a gun embedded in your skull? Okay, maybe you don’t love those, but you have to admit they are all potentially solid components of a game.

The orginal article.