Episode 28

Ukraine Update, Psychedelics, Putin’s Media Spin, Homeschooling

In today’s show, the hosts discuss the escalating invasion of Ukraine as Russia captures its first major city, a potentially substantial rise in homeschooling when compared to pre-pandemic numbers, and surprising legislation in Utah to study the positive impact psychedelics can have on mental health conditions. 


Cory gives an update on Ukraine and Russia’s progress in the invasion. Ravi gives a comprehensive rundown of the economic sanctions on Russia and how they’re affecting their intended targets versus the general populace caught in the financial crossfire. He explains that Russia will have to find workarounds to maintain cash flow and keep their economy afloat. (01:15)

Rikki and Ravi discuss cryptocurrency’s role in the wake of the invasion and how conflict zones and reeling economies present a potential use case for crypto in the future. They explain the debate around crypto and how the war in Ukraine is pushing it in new directions. (05:37)

Rikki highlights Russia’s suppression of war reporting as well as the false narrative pushed by the Kremlin in its stead. She also discusses how despite these efforts, some Russian citizens are still finding the truth via social media platforms. (10:29)

The hosts talk about how both Ukrainians and Russians have been using TikTok to paint a holistic picture of the invasion, and how this coverage has weakened the already shaky accounting of the war that Putin’s been pushing. (13:25)

The hosts then turn to the refugee crisis emerging from Ukraine, and the unsubstantiated but credible reports of racial discrimination aimed at non-white Ukrainians as well as foreign students fleeing the country. (19:09)

Cory challenges the narrative that eastern Europe is any more racist than the rest of the continent before mentioning that racism along the border only supports Putin’s false narrative that his invasion of Ukraine is aimed at de-Nazifying the country. (20:50)

Cory introduces the significant rise in homeschooling in the U.S. Ravi explains how families of color are driving this trend, identifying issues throughout the pandemic with their children’s education and taking action to teach their kids themselves. Rikki cautions that the national numbers derived from the census are difficult to parse before providing concrete numbers that coincide with rising support for school choice. (23:41)

Ravi elaborates a bit more on the reasons why this shift is happening, especially among families of color. Cory and Rikki pitch in with personal anecdotes of homeschooling and independent learning options such as learning hubs, touching on the pros and cons that they’ve observed. (26:55)

Cory remembers his time in San Francisco fondly as he explains a Utah bill to study the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelic drugs. Ravi argues it’s encouraging on a bipartisan front alone, especially on an issue this historically progressive. (32:33)

Rikki points out an important piece of nuance: the potentially adverse effects of psychedelics in those with schizo-effective disorders, even those who were previously undiagnosed. She argues that although this bill as a whole seems like a good thing, we need to maintain a sense of caution to avoid unintended harm from wider adoption. (35:36)

Live Updates: 1 Million Flee Ukraine as Russia Bombards Key Cities (The New York Times, 03/03)
Russia’s Looming Economic Collapse (The Atlantic, 03/02)
How new sanctions could cripple Russia’s economy (The Economist, 02/27)
Russia sanctions list: What the west imposed over the Ukraine invasion (Financial Times, 02/27)
Russia eyes sanctions workarounds in energy, gold, crypto   Facebook  Twitter  Flipboard  Email (NPR, 03/01)
How Putin tried — and failed — to protect the ruble from sanctions (The Washington Post, 03/03)
Iran, Russia, and the Limits of Financial War (Bourse & Bazaar Foundation, 02/28)
Iran’s experience signals banning Swift will not work as expected (Financial Times, 03/01)
The ruble has plummeted. It’s not the first time. (The Washington Post, 02/28)
Bitcoin surges 9.3% over demand from Russians and Ukrainians (New York Post, 02/28)
Bitcoin jumps as Russia-Ukraine conflict continues and U.S. imposes further sanctions (CNBC, 03/01)
Bitcoin Keeps Pulling Away From Stocks Roiled by Ukraine War (Bloomberg, 03/02)
Russia Could Use Cryptocurrency to Blunt the Force of U.S. Sanctions (The New York Times, 02/23)
Bitcoin jumps as Russia-Ukraine conflict continues and U.S. imposes further sanctions (CNBC, 03/01)
Ukraine: Watching the war on Russian TV – a whole different story (BBC, 03/02)
How Putin Wants Russians to See the War in Ukraine (The New Yorker, 03/01)
The Impossible Suddenly Became Possible (The Atlantic, 03/01)
They Called Ukraine Home. But They Faced Violence and Racism When They Tried to Flee (TIME, 03/01)
Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine May Trigger a Refugee Crisis. Here’s How the World Is Preparing (TIME, 02/25)
Africans Say Ukrainian Authorities Hindered Them From Fleeing (The New York Times, 03/01)
Foreign students fleeing Ukraine say they face segregation, racism at border (CNN, 03/01)
‘Ugly, Unprofessional’: International Students Describe Racism at the Ukrainian Border (Rolling Stone, 03/01)
“You’re on your own”: African students stuck in Ukraine seek refuge or escape route (Reuters, 02/25)
Is Eastern Europe Really More Racist Than the West? (The New York Times, 11/03/2015)
Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis Won’t Get U.S. Money (Bloomberg, 06/12/2015)
Violence ‘in the Name of the Nation’ (ABC News, 10/17/2007)
Homeschooling reaches critical mass (Axios, 08/31/2021)
Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey Shows Significant Increase in Homeschooling Rates in Fall 2020 (United States Census Bureau, 03/22/2021)
The Pandemic’s Effect on Demand for Public Schools, Homeschooling, and Private Schools (Wheelock Educational Policy Center, 09/2021)
San Francisco School Board OUSTED (Lost Debate, 02/18)
Has the number of homeschoolers doubled? Or are the lines blurring? (CRPE, 09/2021)
In Virginia, frustration with schooling during the pandemic played a part in Youngkin’s win. (The New York Times, 11/14/2021)
The Overlooked (BellWeather Education Partners, 08/2021)
Home schooling nearly doubled in NYC since pandemic’s start (Chalkbeat New York, 02/17)
All But 2 Utah Legislators Just Voted to Investigate the Psychotherapeutic Potential of Psychedelics (Reason, 03/01)
Bill could open the door to legalize medical-use psychedelics in Utah (Fox 13 Salt Lake City, 01/19)
H.B. 167 Mental Illness Psychotherapy Drug Task Force (Utah State Legislature, 03/01)
Bipartisan Congressional Lawmakers Tell DEA To Allow Psilocybin Treatment For Terminal Patients (Marijuana Moment, 01/18)
Where Can One Legally Take Magic Mushrooms? (Way of Leaf, 02/01/2021)
Psilocybin Treatment for Major Depression Effective for Up to a Year for Most Patients, Study Shows (John Hopkins Medicine, 02/15)
Efficacy and safety of psilocybin-assisted treatment for major depressive disorder: Prospective 12-month follow-up (SAGE Journals, 02/15)
All-Inclusive Magic Mushroom Retreats Are the New Luxury ‘Trips’ (Bloomberg, 08/19/2021)
10 active US clinical trials for psilocybin (ClinicalTrials.gov, 03/03)
Psilocybin Found to Rapidly Improve Depressive Symptoms in Clinical Trial (Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, 11/17/2021)
COMPASS Pathways announces positive topline results from groundbreaking phase IIb trial of investigational COMP360 psilocybin therapy for treatment-resistant depression (Compass Pathways, 11/09/2021)
How ecstasy and psilocybin are shaking up psychiatry (Nature, 01/27/2021)