Links 9/1/19

Manta rays form close friendships, shattering misconceptions National Geographic

Ethereum ‘Almost Full’ as Controversial Coin Gobbles Up Capacity Bloomberg

RIP Shareholder Primacy Boston Review

Superhuman AI for multiplayer poker Science

Crowdsourced archaeology shows how humans have influenced Earth for thousands of years


Brexit: Michel Barnier rejects demands for backstop to be axed BBC

Hard Brexiteers simply don’t know their Irish history The Irish Times

What to expect from Boris Johnson RTE

Investors pull billions from UK on prospect of no-deal Brexit FT

French Businesses Wake Up to the Reality of a No-Deal Brexit Bloomberg

Brexit bombshell: Archbishop Welby savages Remoaners by telling them to ‘stop whingeing’ Express

Final sovereignty on Brexit must rest with the people Jeremy Corbyn, Guardian. Via a general election, not a referendum.

UK’s reputation takes global hit with Parliament shutdown AP

Brexit in the Garden Places Journal


India–Pakistan nuclear escalation: where could it lead? Nature

Annexation of Kashmir and India’s nuclear threat The News

Diverging Gulf Responses To Kashmir And Xinjiang Ripple Across Asia Lobe Log

A Mass Citizenship Check in India Leaves 2 Million People in Limbo New York Times. And then there are the Rohingya, another stateless people. And when the waters rise, the Bangladeshis.

Hunger for concrete eats away at mountains Agence France Presse

Water Wars: A Song of Oil and Fire Lawfare


Protesters Are Using Old Tools in New Ways (cf.) and If we burn, you burn with us Bloomberg. We ran the latter article two weeks ago, but I’m re-upping it because it’s still germane.

Fire and Tear Gas as Hong Kong Engulfed by Chaos Agence France Presse. “Chaos” in the headline is lazy, but the article is pretty granular.

Bravery and Nihilism on the Streets of Hong Kong The New Yorker. Dunno about “nihilism.” I’ve been tagged with the label plenty of times by liberal Democrats because I rejected TINA.

UK risks being pulled into Hong Kong crisis over citizenship row FT

* * *

Well, so much for filial piety:

Not to mention socialism. Granted, such an app might be an improvement over that we have in the United States.

Trump Transition

China, U.S. kick off new round of tariffs on each other’s goods Reuters

The Trump Narrative and the Next Recession Robert Shiller, Project Syndicate

Donald Trump’s spat with Jay Powell is a conflict for the ages FT


The Oddest and Most Awkward Diplomatic Posting in the World Bloomberg. Deck: ” For months, envoys to Venezuela shunned Maduro for Guaido. Now they are — uncomfortably — flipping back to Maduro.”

Campesinos Defending Chavez’s Project: A Conversation with Andres Alayo Venezuelanalysis

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Uh-oh: Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system Fast Company

Our Famously Free Press

How Sarah Schulman managed to get ‘Pinkwashing’ into the New York Times Mondoweiss (CL). And a young editor learns an important lesson.


What You Need To Know About U.S. Election Security And Voting Machines NPR. “Some experts fear that without a paper record for a person’s ballot.” It remains an article of faith in the political class that paper provides a record of the “ballot.” No. Paper must be the ballot, and be hand-marked, and hand-counted, because digital is hackable, by definition.

Labor Day

Appalachia’s Long, Proud Tradition of Labor Militancy Teen Vogue

Five Reasons for Workers to Celebrate This Labor Day Truthout

Auroras may light up the night sky this Labor Day weekend National Geographic

Los Angeles invites doggos to swim in their public pools on Labor Day Boing Boing. No.

Then again:

‘I don’t know why you’re freaking out,’ a 911 dispatcher told a woman minutes before she drowned The New Yorker (KW).

Guillotine Watch

Sacklers could hold on to most of personal fortune in proposed Purdue settlement WaPo. Well, surely they should lose something to which they are greatly attached.

Class Warfare

Elon Musk and Jack Ma agree: The biggest problem the world will face is population collapse CNBC. Everything’s going according to plan!

How a Trump Tax Break to Help Poor Communities Became a Windfall for the Rich NYT (jerryb).

Black Socialists of America Is Putting Anti-Capitalism on the Map The Nation

If You’re Over 50, Chances Are the Decision to Leave a Job Won’t be Yours Pro Publica

World’s oldest scuba diver Ray Woolley breaks own record aged 96 Sky News. Diamond geezer.

How to lose weight with intermittent fasting: Alternate day fasting benefits Today

Antidote du Jour (Amfortas the Hippie):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.