Chess boom thanks to “Queen’s Gambit” style

The World Chess Championship began on November 9, 2018 in London’s Central School of Art and Design, and for a handful of euros you could buy an online pass from the world association FIDE and be there. The setting was the rejection of everything that promised shine, which had become a rolling carpet and standing cardboard. In front of the sponsor wall, the reigning champion Magnus Carlsen and his challenger Fabiano Caruana sat at a community college table and were sealed off from the rest of the world by a pane of glass through which 500 spectators could look in, but the players could not look out. In this setting, many things happened for twelve match days: nothing.

First of all, nothing happened because twelve games in a row ended in a draw. In addition, nothing happened because the opponents ignored each other and largely dispensed with facial or gestural impulses that would have indicated that their super-brain belonged to a sentient human being. Last but not least, nothing happened because half an hour passed between the trains, or rather trickled as thickly as raspberry syrup through a bottleneck that was too narrow.

In the studio next door sat the Hungarian grandmaster Anna Rudolf and the best player ever in chess history, Judit Polgár (8th place in the world rankings in 2005), and spent many hours describing what didn’t happen. They did it with esprit, devotion and an intensity that was surging in places, which indicated that something unheard was happening on the board, which you just couldn’t see yourself. Sometimes celebrities like the actor Woody Harrelson, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales or Stephen Hawking’s daughter Lucy stopped by and admitted that they didn’t see anything either.

Failures of fate and brilliant strokes of genius, invisible

It was utterly fascinating. A language that you couldn’t understand. Images that couldn’t be deciphered. Failures of fate and brilliant strokes of genius, theirs Suspense was hopelessly hidden from you. Much would have been given to look for a single minute through the eyes of these two masters at the constellation of black and white figures, to see the twitching patterns of lines of attack and defensive positions, the pulsating currents of energy. But this privilege was not available for any money in the world.

Carlsen And Caruana Set For Quickfire World Chess Final

The reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen (left) and his challenger Fabiano Caruana at the 2018 World Chess Championship in London.

(Photo: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images)

When Carlsen finally won the tiebreaker and the whole thing was over, a void spread inside you that otherwise only finished soccer world championships are able to create. Which was silly, since you hadn’t understood anything and hadn’t learned a thing. The short-term interest of others, i.e. the media and the usual stepping stone aspirants, then died down just as quickly. “The World is watching”, had been written at the tournament table. If it had been, the world would have admitted its impotence and turned to other things. Until October 23, 2020, when Netflix released “The Queen’s Gambit”.

The series set in the sixties about the rise of the (fictional) child prodigy Beth Harmon to the reigning queen of chess has, as is well known, broken records within a few weeks and also caused a stir. Most successful Netflix mini-series of all time. Number 1 on the streaming charts in 63 countries around the world. An explosion of interest in the form of search queries on Google (“learn chess”), five times the number of new registrations on and unprecedented download figures for the chess app Stockfish. In addition, the wooden case clocks at Schach Niggemann in Münster are now sold out.

“Mechanical chess clocks with a push button”, Christoph Kamp trills into the phone, “just imagine! They still have a share of five percent on the market, nobody uses them anymore. Many manufacturers have long since stopped production. And now this demand – because of of the series! “

Overall, one would rather not imagine the annoyed eye roll of seasoned chessmen. They have been trying for years to refine their opening variants, or are grudgingly working on the middlegame, and suddenly millions of unsuspecting people are standing there and want to participate – only because of a Netflix fruit named Beth Harmon. The fact that experts in the series have certified flawless chess credibility doesn’t necessarily make it any easier.

The demand for chess accessories has increased tenfold

Also out of stock or at least in short supply at Schach Niggemann, Europe’s market leader for chess supplies: wooden pieces, wooden game boards (plastic still exists), chess computers, books for beginners. The demand has increased tenfold since November, and not only in Münster, which the owner Christoph Kamp already notices when he receives hand-wringing inquiries from American dealers: Do you still have boards lying around? Can you send them over? Delivery costs do not matter!

But now the question is why all this actually happens. Good entertainment alone cannot explain it. Sure, people have been sitting on their sofas at home for months, netflixing and overall have more time with which they can do something bold new that they would never have thought of before. Learn chess, for example. But that’s only part of the answer. Another part is the fact that “The Queen’s Gambit” looks insanely good. Costumes, backdrops, actors, chess clocks in wooden cases, everything is top notch. Every reflex that was to be expected on this front was dutifully executed: Interior experts praised the plush retro charm of the sofas and wallpapers, architecture magazines proclaimed the return of Art Deco, fashion and people magazines cheered the authentic sixties look and prepared the 20 most successful outfits for re-styling. None of that mattered immensely and could hardly hide the fact that, according to Netflix’s will, the branch of car salesmen, insurance agents or opera cloakrooms could also be transformed into pure sex.

Come in, you blind, unimaginative, cripples of the intellect!

But the correct answer has to do with beauty. Because what you see for the first time in “Queen’s Gambit”, or at least think you see it, is the great beauty of chess. Or, to put it more precisely: the overwhelming aesthetics of a mind highly gifted with imagination, concentration and nerve strength. In its essence, the series is an open-sesame: Come on in, you blind, unimaginative, you cripples of intellect! Go ahead and take a look around. Isn’t it lovely?

Pressebild The Queen's Gambit, Netflix

The Beauty of Chess: Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon in the Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit”.

(Foto: PHIL BRAY/NETFLIX/Phil Bray/Netflix)

Indeed it is. The lines, patterns and surging energy fields that no money in the world could have made visible at the World Cup in London: Here they are happily present, turned inside out using the means of film. The static duel situation is translated into pairs of eyes watching each other, the psychological warfare into provocative gestures, swelling music signals that the board is now about the sausage. The elitist glamor of a mind running at full speed is reflected in the luxury of the backdrops, and how this thinking actually works, you can see it on the ceiling above Beth’s bed: night after night, giant chess pieces slide back and forth.

It’s brutal. Its scary. It’s breathtaking and very sexy. If one were so presumptuous as to infer millions of others from oneself, one would say: The idea of ​​having a small clod completely under control through the sheer power of mind and will in this chaotic, pandemic, world drifting into the unknown , and put them together from something as insignificant as 64 chess fields – there is something insanely seductive about this idea.

How Kasparov won against the rest of the world

At this point, three examples of what the human mind is able to achieve when it can and will:

On October 25, 1999 Garry Kasparov won against the rest of the world. Three and a half million players submitted a total of more than 25 million move suggestions, the most astute of which were carried out every day. After four months and 62 moves, the world gave up.

In October 2003, Sigrun and Henrik Albert Carlsen signed their son out of school for a year, sold their house and drove with him from tournament to tournament in their motorhome. In April 2004 Magnus Carlsen was the youngest chess grandmaster. He was thirteen.

On November 27, 2011, the German chess player Marc Lang set a world record in blind simul. Without being able to see the boards, he scored 34.5 to 11.5 points against 46 players. For 1040 moves he had to remember where the initially 1472 figures were posted.

Against this background, there is something pleasantly de-escalating when Stefan Kindermann says: “Of course you can play chess like ‘Don’t get angry’. But then you don’t experience the true depth and beauty of the game of chess.”

Stefan Kindermann

The grandmaster Stefan Kindermann brings young people with physical and mental disabilities closer to the art of chess.

(Photo: oh)

Kindermann, 61, has been holding the title of grandmaster for 33 years and has advanced to 70th place in the world rankings. He writes the weekly chess column for SZ and analyzes World Cup games online. You can meet him at the Munich Chess Academy, of which he is a co-founder. And here at last, between the magnetic boards, rows of tables with recessed chessboards and meters of specialist literature, the king’s game shows itself to be what it is at its core: hard work. You can go from beginner to advanced within one to two years, he says, assuming continuous practice and playing practice.

Chess therapy: a sense of achievement and self-confidence

The chess academy and the chess foundation affiliated to it are particularly aimed at focus schools as well as children and young people with physical and mental disabilities. It’s not about tournament success and flickering genius, rather Kindermann believes passionately in the therapeutic potential of chess: “You can compete with others beyond the physical at eye level, have a sense of achievement, gain self-confidence for life. For many children, with whom we can it’s a whole new experience. “

He himself took a different path back then, of course, and that’s the “Queen’s Gambit” again because ultimately it’s about obsession. At eleven he lost a game of chess in the school camp to a classmate whose last name was Königsbauer of all places. Then he bought a chess book and played the games of the masters. At 14 he wanted to be a professional, at 18 he became one. For twenty years the tournament player Kindermann has experienced the splendor and misery of chess, the intoxicating moment when a successful move condenses into pure luck as well as the fear of failure, the stress, “the mental knock-out of defeat that haunts you for days” . After a tournament, they often wandered through the bars to come down again. It was funnier back then, but also unprofessional. “Today’s top players employ entire coaching staff who analyze databases for them and are as physically fit as athletes.”

What does he think is essential to a talent for chess? Stefan Kindermann thinks about it. He says: “I think it’s a willingness to go beyond limits, to leave your comfort zone and to constantly challenge yourself. And not many people have this willingness.” Chess dealer Kamp estimated that five percent of the “Queen’s Gambit” converts would stay true to the game at the end of the day – “when it comes up”.

Learn chess with Stefan Kindermann: nine training videos


David-Bowie-Platz in Berlin: Honoring with obstacles – culture

There are more dignified places to honor the dead. The intersection at the Kleistpark underground station in Berlin looks quite gray this afternoon. Lots of cars, a kebab distance, around the corner, on the main street, there are tattoo studios, mobile phone shops and the offer for a Thai massage. A place like old West Berlin, where gentrification was still part of science fiction. So maybe not dignified – but with its own dignity.

If the CDU Tempelhof-Schöneberg has its way, this intersection will soon be called David-Bowie-Platz. The musician had lived at 155 Hauptstrasse between 1976 and 1978, a good hundred meters away. On Wednesday, the Christian Democrats in the district parliament want to bring in an audit order for the renaming. With Bowie, Berlin has “probably lost the most important musician since Herbert von Karajan who was connected to this city”, the music producer and then Secretary of State for Culture Tim Renner said immediately after his death in 2016.

A separate street would be more than deserved. It’s just – again – more complicated than expected. Because not every resident is also a Bowie fan and sees the practical problems. In addition, a gender quota also applies to new appointments in Berlin, and now it’s the turn of women. And there is another serious flaw: A young woman reported in 2015 that she and a friend had sex with David Bowie during his Berlin months – amicably, but she was only 15 years old at the time.

Otherwise, the debate about new street names in Berlin is currently largely political. It’s about the legacy of colonialism, for example in the African Quarter in Berlin Wedding, or linguistically questionable addresses such as Mohrenstrasse, which is now to be named after the black scholar Anton Wilhelm Amo.

The squabble about Marlene Dietrich is also unforgotten, because it is quite embarrassing

Aside from these often heated arguments, the city has honored a number of modern cultural workers in recent years. One street in the Marzahn district has been named after the musician Frank Zappa since 2007. In November last year it was decided to rename Heinrichplatz in Kreuzberg to Rio-Reiser-Platz. Reiser was the singer of the band Clay stones shardswho determined the sound of the left wing scene in West Berlin in the 1970s and 1980s. In the eastern part of the city, on the other hand, the writer and screenwriter Ulrich Plenzdorf is currently receiving extensive recognition. The Paul-und Paula-Ufer, named after the protagonists of one of his most famous films, has existed in Rummelsburger Bucht since 1998. Now Plenzdorf, who died in 2007, is to have its own street.

Unforgotten, because quite embarrassing, is also the tussle about Marlene Dietrich, who died in Berlin in 1992. The Schöneberg district wanted to adorn itself with its name just like the Tiergarten district. Since 1997 a place in front of a musical theater at Potsdamer Platz has been named after her.

For David Bowie Schöneberg was supposed to be a kind of health resort where he could recover from his excessive early phase. Photos show him drinking coffee on the street with his roommate Iggy Pop. “After many years of living under high pressure in the US, it was relaxing for me to come to a city where people took relatively little notice of me,” Bowie said in 2002 Daily mirror.

Gentlemen of rock;  Iggy Pop and David Bowie in Germany

Musician friendship: Iggy Pop and David Bowie in March 1977.

(Foto: Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Nevertheless, three of his albums were made during this time, including “Heroes”. This so-called Berlin trilogy is now the reason for the CDU to address the renaming, says Patrick Liesener, cultural policy spokesman for the CDU parliamentary group. “We want to initiate a debate with local residents.”

The CDU parliamentarians are not the first to come up with this idea. Shortly after Bowie’s death in 2016, a petition for the new name was started, and almost three years ago, the Green district politician Catherina Pieroth tested the mood. A change of name was not yet possible at the time, according to Berlin regulations that would not be possible until five years after death. Pieroth nevertheless invited the residents to his place: “I just wanted to know what people think about it.”

Pieroth found out that the concerns about a new name were also very human. Because such a renaming has very practical consequences. Residents must have ID cards, driver’s licenses and other documents rewritten, friends, government offices and banks must be informed. Pieroth’s party friends would nonetheless “benevolently examine” the CDU’s application. A case like Bowie also allows an exception to the gender quota, says Pieroth. Because of the allegations of having sex with minors, “we should take a closer look around town”.

As far as the real-life fears of the residents are concerned, the CDU at least offers a way out in its application. Because not the entire main street should get a new name, just the intersection at Kleistpark. Residential buildings would then not be affected, the underground station alone would need a new name: David-Bowie-Platz underground station. Sounds good.


Clubhouse: Hype about apps: Endless panel discussion – media

Oh the sweet satisfaction of making it in Especially these days, when very few people can wait in line in front of clubs, Oktoberfest tents or the security check at the airport. And what a reliable endorphin trigger it is when you come through and are in. Turning the mechanism into a marketing strategy, artificially restricting access to something, is as stupid as it is promising. You want to go in instantly, where not everyone comes in, no matter what is waiting inside. In the Clubhouse app, these are now public live audio chats. The app launched in Germany at the weekend. And anyone who is self-respecting in the digital world wanted to get in immediately.

Users can open rooms at Clubhouse and speak live there. Everyone can join in, listen and have a say. So it’s kind of a mixture of podcast and chat, you can get in touch and get the floor from the moderator. Ultimately, this is a never-ending panel discussion. To get into the app, you need an invitation. At least a contact from the personal phone book has to let you in, similar to an exclusive tennis club. On Monday, Clubhouse shot to second place among the most downloaded free apps on Apple. Access to the club is further reduced by the fact that Clubhouse is currently only available to iPhone owners.

Whether architecture, psychedelics, dating, pregnancy or Formula 1 – in the app you can filter with the right emoji topics

Who romps around and so talks at Clubhouse? Media and tech people, entrepreneurs, politicians and social media gurus. People who want to use all platforms. You can follow others and receive notifications when they open rooms. As with other social networks, an algorithm also ensures that the content is offered. A first tour of the club rooms leads to the “Daily Habits of High Performers”. That sounds promising; if you listen briefly to the discussion, you will learn: If your business becomes too stressful and your relationships suffer, you should look at your areas of life like bank accounts. You can only withdraw where you have previously paid in and must now, uh, pay into your love account. At least that is the case with a British “coach” who, according to his profile description, has already generated “40 million sales”.

There are other rooms waiting with resounding titles such as “Millionaire Breakfast Club” and “E-Commerce Aktien”, where the unsuspecting user was fortunately not asked to speak and was able to sneak out of the room using the “Leave quietly” function. The algorithm and the user who has breakfast without a million on the account don’t really know each other, you have to teach the app your areas of interest first. Unlike Twitter or Instagram, for example, Clubhouse has its own corners for all kinds of topics. Whether architecture, psychedelics, dating, pregnancy or Formula 1 – in the app you can filter with the right emoji topics.

Martial arts or stocks – those who state their interests should come across corresponding audio chats in the app.

(Foto: Screenshot: Clubhouse)

So it should by no means only be entrepreneur talk and media blah blah. But that has yet to be proven. The fear of missing something on a new platform, triggered by the invitation system, naturally works perfectly with the target group of the app: people who want to have a say everywhere. By the way, by selecting the area of ​​interest “Germany”, the new user comes after a short time to rooms such as “Noon in the Government Quarter” where members of the Bundestag of the SPD talk shop with communication experts about “Politics as a linear process”, at least until the moderator of the room of a fire alarm, presumably somewhere in the government district. So it’s kind of exciting. It remains to be seen whether the fun will last beyond the initial hype of getting in.

Clubhouse has existed in the USA since April last year. Rapper Drake and actress Tiffany Haddish were among the first users there. German celebrities have so far mainly come from journalism and politics, you can follow Christian Lindner or Doro Bär. The app’s privacy issues don’t seem to stop anyone. Clubhouse demands access to all contacts in the iPhone’s address book, which is probably not compatible with the European General Data Protection Regulation. Fortunately, there are already quite a few discussion rooms to criticize Clubhouse.


Ring Light Trend: Does the super light make everyone beautiful? – digital

It happens again and again that objects experience an absolute reinterpretation of their purpose of existence. An SUV from Swabian origin, for example, was not so long ago considered the culmination of German engineering. Today it is above all a symbol of a traditional worldview.

The most recent example of these antithetical things is the Ring Light. Those circular lamps that are appearing in more and more home offices and are used to appear in the best possible light during video conferences. So far, the semi-professional lighting systems have been known primarily as a tool for vain influencers who insist that their cheekbones are perfectly lit even in every mundane situation. Instagram stars and YouTube personalities were among the pioneers of technology and left their audiences puzzled as to how they managed to look so fresh all the time.

After almost a year with the pandemic and an almost as long time in the home office, more and more ordinary people are now turning to professional equipment. That also seems to be urgently needed. Because the flat artificial light that illuminates his current living space makes the home worker look tired and slightly sickly in his video window. Contours become blurred, the skin looks greasy and the complexion turns gray. An association that one would rather avoid these days. Even the funniest virtual background that the software blinds to the bookshelf at home in the improvised office doesn’t help.

The manufacturers of the lighting systems are therefore reporting record sales and delivery bottlenecks, the former special instrument is becoming part of the mainstream equipment. At this year’s CES trade fair, which usually takes place in Las Vegas, but now online, in addition to the usual entertainment gadgets such as high-resolution televisions or powerful tablets, products that make life and work conveyed by the media are a bit more bearable and efficient. It’s about the bandwidth of the internet connection, fast routers, razor-sharp webcams or microphones with pop filters.

Ring Light

Influencer with Ring Light – manufacturers of lighting systems have recorded record sales and delivery bottlenecks.

(Photo: Elgato)

Users first have to get used to changing from being a mere recipient to being a sender again, from being a dull media consumer to being a smart producer. Everyone today knows which facial muscles they have to use to look reasonably presentable on a quick selfie. Surviving a video conference lasting several hours under the critical eye of the boss, on the other hand, is a different matter. While the children are screaming in the background and the pots are simmering on the stove at the same time, you have neither time nor leisure for a white balance.

If you use the new super light, you have ring-shaped reflections in the pupils

Once all the equipment has been set up, you can easily recognize those who are already participating by the ring-shaped reflections of the lighting system in their pupils. You literally have a golden shimmer in your eyes. The investment pays off. The gracious glow of the lamp creates a balanced skin tone and lets you look a few years younger.

The employee is now obliged to become an influencer on their own behalf. He has to develop new skills accordingly. It is no longer just the core skills of his profession that are in demand. It is just as important to communicate this appropriately, your own program must have a certain production quality.

The question is whether this is really as reprehensible as it sounds at first. After all, it was and is expected in real life that you present yourself as seriously as possible and, as they say, from your best side in a professional context. That means: Of course, until March 2020, nobody was surprised that you went to the office in a suit or costume.

As is usual in a crisis, the exodus to the home office caused by the pandemic only increased the stakes. In the past, you could still make up for a messed up appearance at the Jour fixe with a courageous performance over an after-work beer when the ties were loosened. The skin-friendly lights are just another means of legitimation for the employee.

With greatly reduced opportunities to make a direct impression on colleagues and superiors, you become the star of the world’s most boring YouTube channel – namely your own. The Me Channel also has the smallest possible audience, and yet it is more important than ever to come across as good. A single enthusiastic boss or a really convinced superior – they can still mean more to your own advancement than tens of thousands of online fans.


Lights on: Lukas Bärfuss on the Corona period – culture

My Best Strategy For Depression And Discouragement? The relentless confrontation with reality. Because the shit won’t go away unless we take care of it ourselves.

When I lose confidence about the bad news in these gloomy and dark days, then I call my inner pessimist to order. The warning and the consolation: The coming year is likely to be the same shit as the past – if we make an effort and are a lot of luck. Otherwise it will be worse. Inevitably. The signs are not good.


Capitol and Reichstag: How the Right of America Learns – Culture

Interview by

Alex Rühle

How does the German right discuss the storming of the Capitol in Washington? What connections are there between Alt-Right in the USA and identities here with us? And what have right-wing extremist groups in Europe copied from America? Information about this is provided by David Anbich, who has been a member of the right-wing extremism office at Mit Another e. V. in Magdeburg does prevention work.


Marlene Streeruwitz on the corona measures – culture

At the beginning of the year, the Austrian writer Marlene Streeruwitz compared the Corona measures with the Nuremberg race laws in an article for the newspaper “Der Standard”, because both had “the withdrawal of civil rights” as their goal. She then faced severe criticism. Also this feature section clearly objected to the choice of words. In the following reply she goes into why the language of applied virology, which is currently used by European governments, instead of a feeling of security, can also create a certain discomfort in her opinion – also and especially in Austria, where it has always been for decades another right wing party was involved in the governing coalitions.


On the Storming of the Capitol: What Makes Trump’s Fans Dangerous – Culture

The barbarians at the gates of Washington are no strangers like they were in ancient Rome. Some of them are completely normal compatriots. That is probably the real problem.

Anyone who as a person, i.e. as a reader, has made the experience that not only everything that has already happened, but also everything that can still happen can be found somewhere in a book, may right now in Edward Gibbons “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire “. In 1776, of all things, which for the USA is something like the birth of Jesus for Christianity, the first of six volumes by the English historian Gibbon appeared, in which it is told how first the Western Roman and then the Eastern Roman Empire dissolved like power and morals crumbled and then fell apart.


Jake Angeli, “QAnon Shaman”: The Vandal in the Capitol – Culture

It wasn’t long before the Internet community identified the Buffalo Man, the character who became the hallmark of the Washington Capitol storm. Jake Angeli is his name, in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, known as the “QAnon Shaman” for some time. Born in 1988. Some time ago he was looking for work as an actor, voice actor or singer on the industry website In Phoenix he has been appearing in his costume with the buffalo horns, the coyote tails, the fringed pants and the bare torso with the Viking tattoos for some time. Mostly on the verge of right-wing national protests.

Angeli became a meme during the storm. Not least because his headdress is on the stage clothes of singer Jay Kay of the British acid jazz band Jamiroquai, remind. Who then made it clear with a Twitter video on Thursday that he had not been to Washington, but like all other Englishmen at home in lockdown.

“,” authorTextHtml “:” Directly from the Reuters video channel “,” mainTheme “:” Singer “,” durationInSeconds “:” 01:06 “,” tags “:[“Kapitol”,”Sänger”],”autoListing”:true,”seoData”:{“seoTitle”:””,”seoDescription”:””,”canonicalUrl”:””,”facebookImageSrc”:”×315?v=1610098360000″}},”videoType”:”inline”}”>

If you dig a little further in the net, you come across all sorts of esoteric madness, which Jake Angeli deals with. He runs a website called Star Seed Academy, on which he offers courses such as “spiritual self-defense”, “karma purification” or “entry into the divine matrix”. He has also written a book about the “Deep State”, that ominous “deep state” around which most of the conspiracy myths have revolved since the 18th century.

“Traveler 0001” then tells us that you can use an AI quantum search engine to query future events

There are a few more interviews with him on Youtube. He explains (in costumes), for example, an ORF reporter on the sidelines of a Republican election event in Phoenix, the basics of the QAnon teaching. He also describes himself as a healer and someone who has opened his third eye and now understands why only Donald Trump can save people from the “New World Order”. And then there’s a Zoom conference with like-minded people that lasts almost four hours. Angeli (in civilian clothes) goes into a little more detail of his stories about the world conspiracy of child molesters and Kabbalists. A militarily dressed participant with the handle “Traveler 0001” then tells that one can query future events using an AI quantum search engine.

That would all be very funny and one would like to smile away these men as esoteric jokes. If it weren’t for this self-contained world of thought. Angeli himself describes how he gathered the individual parts of the QAnon doctrine from the net, how it clicked at some point and suddenly he understood the course of the world, which until then had been hidden behind the veil of conspiracy. In the depths of the Internet and the Hermetic Circle, these people have revival experiences that are reminiscent of the conversion mechanisms of sects. QAnon is solid superstition that, when mixed with esoteric practices and a vegan lifestyle, results in a crazy variation of the hippie utopias. On Wednesday the madness with Jake Angeli made it out of the fringes of the internet and into the heart of American democracy. And in the view of the world public.

By the way, Jake Angeli was still at large until Friday afternoon. A reporter spoke to him briefly when he was driving a car back to Arizona.