Why cats are crazy for catnip Science.
How management by metrics leads us astray Jakob Greenfield
J.D. Greear’s Church Announces Investigation Into Allegations Bryan Loritts Covered Up Sex Crimes The Roys Report. And we wonder why there’s a decline in trust.
Variants and chronic infection, a thread:
Indeed, this particular chronic infection evolved some of the exact same mutations seen in these variant viruses including 484K, 501Y and a 144 deletion. 16/19 pic.twitter.com/BUgESbp1uk
— Trevor Bedford (@trvrb) January 14, 2021
‘A bloody mess’: Confusion reigns over naming of new COVID variants Nature. Consistent naming conventions are important both for reporting and search.
The Second-Generation COVID Vaccines Are Coming Scientific American
Why Utah’s wild mink COVID-19 case matters High Country News
What Could I Have Done Differently? Medpage Today
With six months to go, cancellation fears cloud Tokyo Olympics Agence France Presse
Pompeo among key Trump officials sanctioned by Beijing for ‘disrupting China-US relations’ South China Morning Post. Note the timing:
"These individuals and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China. They and companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China," per Chinese Foreign Ministry
— Jennifer Hansler (@jmhansler) January 20, 2021
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Dozens of Bulkers Remain Stranded off China as Coal Standoff Drags On The Maritime Executive
China’s Xinjiang more than doubled its US exports in 2020, despite Trump’s sanctions and bans South China Morning Post. “Exports of Christmas decorations made in Xinjiang soared by 132 per cent last year to more than US$25 million.” Looks like whoever bet against our ability to social distance at Christmas made money.
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Growing of seawater rice to be greatly expanded China Daily
Then and now: Wuhan bustles a year after world’s first COVID-19 lockdown Channel News Asia
“Yes, but not in the South.” Handy chart:
"Don't invest outside the Southern Song dynasty": a look at the growing north-south gap in China's economy.
— Simon Rabinovitch (@S_Rabinovitch) January 21, 2021
Taiwan Invited To US Inauguration For First Time Since 1979 Agence France Presse
Trade Can Drive a Revived U.S. Strategy in Asia Foreign Policy
Eye on tractor rally, farmers prepare to start for Delhi Times of India
The Breakaway Perry Anderson, LRB. A two-cups-of-coffee-er, but surprisingly terse for Anderson. The history of the UK and the EU, and well worth a read.
British to face ban on entering EU under German plan to shut borders – The Times Reuters. Covid. “Separately, the EU is prepared to ease post-Brexit border friction if Britain drops its plan to create a ‘Singapore on the Thames.'” Oh.
Imperial Collapse Watch
The Can-Do Power Samantha Power, Foreign Affairs
New Cold War
Our advice to President-elect Biden: Break the dangerous pattern of nuclear competition with Russia Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Alexey Navalny’s Fearless Return to Russia Masha Gessen, The New Yorker. Navalny is having a moment (and I still insist that if [makes warding sign against evil] Putin poisoned him, he never would have been allowed to leave the country to go to a German hospital).
What the Navalny Arrest Means for Russia and the West The National Interest
Russia Sees Lowest Foreign Investment Since 1994 Moscow Times
Joe Biden Will Have to Address the War in Afghanistan—Again The New Yorker. Drives me nuts. As if the entire political class didn’t fight tooth and nail to keep the troops there, and still is: just read all the comments from The Blob in the article.
In Inaugural, Biden Calls for Unity (Against Trump’s GOP) Eric Levitz, New York Magazine
The Biden Era Begins Rod Dreher, The American Conservative
France Knows How This Ends The Atlantic. “The repugnant embrace of lies by of society.” Interesting historical analogy that in my view breaks down at the binary.
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Biden’s 17 Executive Orders and Other Directives in Detail NYT. 17 is a big number. My concern is not that the Orders are not good; the question is whether they are good enough; see especially re-entering the Paris Agreement. Institutionally, this massive and instantaneous rollout suggests to me that the direction of the Biden administration has been already been set during the massive transition efforts orchestrated by the Obama Alumni Association. (Medicare for All and then the public option (!!), for example, having been carefully moved “off the table,” and during a pandemic ffs.) The strategy of “pushing Biden left,” then, is a plan to alter the course of a ship that has already sailed. Not as easy as one might think. No doubt this thesis could be tested by an examination of all the jobs on offer at liberal NGOs, if that data could somehow be aggregated.
Joe Biden, welfare king Ryan Cooper, The Week
Joe Biden’s Long Road to the Presidency (photo essay) NYT. Try reading the prose and looking only at policy.
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Witless Ape Rides Helicopter National Review
Trump as Othello in a Corporate Theater Black Agenda Report
Our Famously Free Press
It Looks Like the Rich Aren’t Abandoning New York After All New York Magazine
Back from the Afterlife The Baffler
The wisdom of surrender Aeon. On Samuel Beckett.
Antidote du jour (via):
See Yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.