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It's where the Other leaks onto our plane -- whether we like it or not.

That makes it dangerous, a place indifferent to good and evil. In all of the images I collected, you could just as easily imagine something sinister afoot as something divine.

art: andres rios

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Odds are, there was always something peculiar about that land, and the robed priests simply built atop whatever had come before. Dig under the foundation and you're likely to find something older still. Keep digging, and you're likely to be in peril.

All churches are meant to be eruptions of the sacred onto the profane, but where a cathedral is an oil rig and your local church a pipeline, comfortable and contained, the chapel in the woods is a spontaneous geyser.

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Back when I was running an art blog, I had an ongoing collection titled "The Chapel in Woods." I'm drawn to such images for the same reason I'm drawn to images of doors. The chapel in the woods is a threshold, a place of transformation, a meeting of light and dark, of man and nature.

It's where old gods meet new.

We feel pain acutely, but there is nothing in our biology that tells us when we are reasoning well and when we are reasoning badly, and so nothing stops us from feeling very confident in our answer to that question, and when we are told that in fact both series are equally likely, there is nothing to stop our brains from immediately making up very plausible-sounding excuses.

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From one point of view, you can hardly blame us. Scanning our every utterance for all possible errors would make conversation unbearable. On the other hand, how many people will notice that (thus far) this text is guilty of the very crime it seeks to expose?

I'll put it another way. Which of the following two series of ten fair coin flips is the more likely?

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It takes all of two minutes to teach someone survivorship bias or the fundamental attribution error. Both are a Google search away. And yet, many otherwise educated people will still have genuine difficulty recognizing such things in the wild, and almost all will fail to recognize them in their own thinking almost all of the time.

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If you ask the diners at a restaurant whether murder is wrong, just about all of them will say that it is. If you then ask about some particular trial in the news, you'll get very different results.

Even where everyone agrees that murder is wrong, people will have very different ideas about what counts as murder. Is a battered wife justified in using lethal force to defend herself? Is a cop?

A lot of people I consider very intelligent seem to have an almost messianic faith in crypto, even as we watch it get capitalized in real time. This seems to me like a bad rerun of the '90s, when against the warnings of people like me, there was widespread belief that information technology was going to be a kind of amulet that enlightened and liberated mankind just for the wearing of it.

What am I missing?

In the deep, deep future, the earth will become a museum object that only the curators are allowed to visit. Just as we arrest the natural order by preventing forests from burning, we'll fuel the Sun to keep it from dying.

art: marcel deneuve

In your opinion, which Myers-Briggs type is the most woke?

It's Friday. Time for another round of "What does it do?"

art: dmitry boev

You believe in myths. We all do. We have to. We're thrown into the world without choice. At some point, we just show up, and everything is already here. We're called to act, as the philosophers say, which just means we have to wake up in the morning. We have to eat, to defecate. We have to keep ourselves warm and out of trouble. Somewhere along the way, if we're very lucky, we fall in love. We don't have much choice over that either.

It is simply too spectacular for some to believe such a thing could happen by chance, which is why the Falls are referenced in the index of nearly every book on the subject of theology. Across the full length of the Strand, we are told, there is no greater evidence of design than the Falls of the River Comi, which both feed and succumb to themselves.

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from the sea, erupted from the opening, the liquid carried enough force that it appeared as a steady jet, regardless of season.
While this explanation has been subsequently confirmed by divers, no shortage of visitors have remarked aloud and in letters home how extraordinarily unlikely it is that the volcanic tube should both narrow as it does and also lean just off the vertical such that the water it ejects leaps out in just such a way as to give the exact impression of falls flowing in reverse

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Iver Staunch completed his circuit of the Gasfan Basin and wrote his now-infamous guide. The phenomenon was indeed volcanic, he wrote, but it was not a geyser in the common sense. A tube in the rock that had once transported magma to the surface was left open after the cataclysm that cracked the planet drained most of the lava from the Basin. This tube narrowed as it rose, thereby increasing water pressure according to the Bernoulli equation. By the time the water table, under pressure--

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which made a thermogenic explanation unlikely. Citing ample visitor accounts, many of which were available to the good Meister, modern scholars have also noted that the water does not appear as a geyser. It does not shoot up and out in a violent spray but rather travels as a clean shot up at just the right angle to land on the cliff top, exactly as one would expect if the force of gravity had locally reversed.
This mystery remained until the early decades of our era, when the naturalist

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The Meister of Urg, expounding on the Vuldroni, argued that the sure reason the water was not hot at the top of the falls—or was it the bottom?—was because it had ample time to cool on its journey. But then, as many writers of our era have noted, neither the Vuldronic encyclopedists nor the Meister of Urg nor anyone else who expounded on the topic had ever actually visited the Falls. If they had, they would’ve seen that not only was the water cool at the top; it was also cool at the sea surface,

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The first travelers from lands distant could not explain this anomaly, and so to this day, many people across the universes believe there is something deeply uncanny at work. The first material explanation came during the Vuldronic Restoration, whose unnamed encyclopedists suggested there was a geyser at the bottom of the sea. Subsequent academics, citing the Encyclopedia, dismissed the phenomenon as nothing but the fancy of yokels.

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