He Was a Science Star. Then He Promoted a Questionable Cure for Covid-19.


1302396-prodlibe-2020-0439

The results of his initial trial have yet to be replicated. “I think what he secretly hopes is that no one will ever be able to show anything,” Molina told me. “That all the trials conducted on hydroxychloroquine will not be able to even reach a conclusion of no efficacy.” In recent weeks, Raoult has in fact tempered his claims about the virtues of his treatment regimen. The published, peer-reviewed version of the final study noted that another two patients had died, bringing the total to 10. Where the earlier version called the drugs “safe and efficient,” they were now described merely as “safe.”

He has shown flickers of what appears to be doubt. In one interview, Raoult quoted Camus, from the fatalistic coda of “The Stranger,” hoping that “on the day of my execution there should be a huge crowd of spectators, and that they should greet me with howls of hatred.”

Ram Dass is ready to die.


08mag-talk-ramdass-04-master675

Insightful interview of Ram Dass – a spiritual guru who has been relevant for quite some time in the US.

Ever want to take acid for old times’ sake? Yeah. I think I want to delve into planes of consciousness. I gave my guru in India LSD, and he said that plants with similar effects were around in the olden times and that by taking them you could stay in the room with Christ for only a few hours instead of living with the Lord. That’s why I went to the east. They had methods for living with the Lord.

The complete article

David Marchese — The New York Times Magazine

Image source

How Much Is Anyone ‘Entitled’ To, in the End?


We are clearly galled by people we believe think they deserve something the rest of us don’t. The unsettled issue, of course, is what anyone deserves in the first place, a question over which we are constantly erupting into pitched battles. Sometimes the issues are broad and societal. (Do you deserve health care, or a home, or a lawyer? Should the government formally entitle you to more of these things?) Sometimes they are personal or mundane. (Do you deserve a thank-you card or to have your text responded to? Is it “entitled” to expect either?) We are able to bring a surprising emotional intensity to our fights over any of these things.

The complete article

Carina Chocano — The New York Times Magazine

Strangers on an 18-Hour Train


khanewal_junction_station

These days there is a lot of mistrust in the air. Many times simple communication can help remove suspicion.

The night wore on, and people began to close their eyes, but the seats were so uncomfortable that only a very heavy sleeper could manage to get any rest. The train continued its slow pace, stopping every so often at another station. Because of the heat and suffocating air in the compartment, many windows were kept open. The woman with the child on her lap looked over at the man in Seat 54. He was still staring at her. I was beginning to get angry with him. Even under such filthy and uncomfortable circumstances, he couldn’t resist indulging his desire to gaze at an attractive woman. She began to look back at him with fire in her eyes.

The complete article

Rafiq Ebrahim — The New York Times Magazine

Image source