The Caliphate will cali-fail because of administrative incompetence

As the great general and military strategist Carl von Clausewitz noted in his 1832 book On War, war ‘necessarily involves the feelings’. War is waged as much in our emotions as it is on the battlefield. Each side tries to maintain their own emotional resolve and self-command, while at the same time using violence, shock, and unremitting pressure to ‘wear down’ the enemy’s emotional resources until their will is broken and they submit.

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On pop stars' alter-egos

In the early years of psychology, there was no hotter topic than multiple selves and their existence in the subconscious. Pioneering psychologists like Jean-Marie Charcot, William James, Frederic Myers, Theodore Flournoy, Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud were all fascinated by how other selves could exist within the same personality, and come out in moments of trance or subliminal consciousness.

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The Dancing Cure

Philosophy is a story told mainly by male intellectuals, nerds, thoughtful sedentry types. The hero of that story is the intellect, and the villain of that story is often the body, just as you’d expect. If accountants told the story of the human race, the hero of the story would be accountancy.

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ISIS and the recurrent virus of apocalyptic beliefs

Probably the worst idea in the history of religion is the End Times. It’s caused more bloodshed than any other religious belief. It’s still around, costing lives - the ideology of ISIS is soaked in apocalyptic expectation, as a new book by William McCants explores. It’s amazing that the big religions have survived so long, considering how often their followers' totally certain prediction of the End Times turned out to be totally wrong.

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On mysticism and metaphor

Last weekend I went to Wilderness festival and gave a couple of talks. It was a magical festival - the musical acts weren’t that stunning, but there was lots of marvelous, weird, dreamy stuff happening that I wandered into, like a Mardi Gras parade and a mock fertility ritual with a man dressed as a penis and a woman dressed as a vagina. It was all very Dionysian.

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Review: The Wellness Syndrome

How are you feeling? How well are you? Is your weight where you want it to be? Smoking too much? How happy are you on a scale of one to ten? Are you optimising your personal brand? How fast was your last five kilometre run? Would you like to share that via social media? Would you like a life-coach to help you overcome these challenges on a way to a better, happier, more awesome you?

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