Long Before It Was Groovy, LSD Was a Medicine and a Weapon

How the Positive Side of Psychedelic Drugs Got Lost in the Mayhem of the 1960s

In the fall of 1965, a 33-year-old father of three named Arthur King—a patient in the alcoholics ward at Baltimore’s Spring Grove Hospital—swallowed an LSD pill and lay back on his bed in a special unit called “Cottage Thirteen.” Sanford Unger, the chief of psychosocial research at the Maryland State Psychiatric Research Center, knelt beside King’s bed, holding his hand and reassuring the patient as he started to feel the drug’s mind-altering effects.

This was not a normal psychotherapy session. During his 12-hour experience, designed to help stop his destructive …

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Arrival’s Aliens Reflect How We Treat One Another

We React With Distrust and Paranoia, While They (Literally) Rise Above

In the recently released film Arrival, Earth is visited by an intelligent alien race, the heptapods, and the contact forever changes humanity’s sense of place in the cosmos. The movie …

In California, Big Data Is Getting the Wrong People Arrested

Blame the Software—and a Lack of Incentives to Check for Errors

Managing information is central to the criminal justice system, and so it’s inevitable that mistakes happen. Names get confused, files lost. When these errors occur, the police can mistakenly arrest …

Just Because the RNC Says It Wasn’t Hacked Doesn’t Change Reality

When a Party Leader Implausibly Denies a Data Breach, We All Lose

Cybersecurity professionals are fond of saying that there are two kinds of companies: those that have been hacked and those that don’t yet know they’ve been hacked. Right now, the …

Facebook Could Fix Our Local News Problem

The Media Behemoth Is Perfectly Positioned to Lead Investment in Civic-Minded Journalism

Facebook may not be quite ready to stand up and say the words, “My name is Facebook and I’m a media company.” But it has begun to accept that its …

Why North Koreans Prefer Word of Mouth Over Email

In a Country Where Dissent Is Harshly Punished, a Digital Footprint Isn't Worth the Risk

Twenty years after it began changing lives in other countries, the internet isn’t even a concept for the average North Korean—so much so that most people in the country of …