Luxury Canal

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The Canal Papers

Scott Alexander | Astral Codex Ten | 14th June 2023

Notes towards a model of mind. A well-functioning mind is constantly absorbing and incorporating new information about the world around it. If particular beliefs and expectations become so fixed in the mind that they resist revision, then the mind is malfunctioning; it is becoming "canalised", ignoring new information in favour of inner fixations which may lose all contact with reality (4,100 words)

The Taliban's Luxury Hotel

Andreas Babst | Neue Z├╝rcher Zeitung | 26th September 2023

A visit to the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, where in years gone by the Afghan king was a regular at the nightclub, Ahmad Shah Massoud waged war from the penthouse, Osama Bin Laden stayed in Room 196, and suicide bombers left trails of destruction. Under its new Taliban management the hotel strives for an air of normality. "Peace is good for Afghanistan. But it's boring for us" (6,020 words)

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