2:00PM Water Cooler 9/7/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, as is usual over the weekend, I accumulated too much. More soon. –lambert UPDATE All done!

Bird Song of the Day

What a varied little song! Sorry for the “LMS catalog” at start; the best clips often have this.

* * *


At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site. I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching….

Holy moley, an enormous Labor Day reporting drop that shows up everywhere!

Vaccination by region:

53% of the US is fully vaccinated, a big moment, bursting through the psychological 53% barrier (mediocre by world standards, being just below Ecuador, and just above Switzerland and Malauysia). Every day, a tenth of a percentage point upward. However, as readers point out, every day those vaccinated become less protected, especially the earliest. So we are trying to outrun the virus… (I have also not said, because it’s too obvious, that if by Bubba we mean The South, then Bubba has done pretty well.)

Case count by United States regions:

I started muttering about the rising cases number on 7/30 (“a way to run”) and 8/4 (“the ‘First Step’ (November 25, 2019) with 178,466 looks in striking distance”). Then on 8/10:

As far as reaching the peak of January 8, 2021, with 295,257 cases per day … I’m not that pessimistic (modulo a new variant brought into the country by our ridiculously lax policies on international quarantines). What we might call, after Everest, the “First Step” (November 25, 2019) with 178,466 looks in striking distance, especially if the case count purple line continues go near vertical. When you look at those “rapid riser” counties on the CDC map, you’ve got to think this rise has a way to run. If things go on as they are, we should hit the first step just in time for Labor Day.

Looks like I was a little too pessimistic (a new thing for me). Right date, wrong number. And as a tapewatcher, I don’t think making a call a month out is especially impressive. However, I do think I was in great contrast to the bulk of press coverage. Nobody I can recall had re-opening the schools at or near a new peak on their Bingo card, for example.

Covid cases top ten states for the last four weeks:

Fresh-squeezed numbers from Florida.

NEW From CDC: “Community Profile Report September 3, 2021” (PDF), “Rapid Riser” counties, this release:

Midwest finally turning pink. Remember, however, that this chart is about acceleration, not absolute numbers, so the case chart still has momentum. This map, too, blows the “Blame Bubba” narrative out of the water. Not a (Deliverance-style) banjo to be heard. Previous release:

(Red means getting worse, green means bad but getting better. This chart updates Tuesdays and Fridays, presumbly by end-of-day.)

“Differences in rapid increases in county-level COVID-19 incidence by implementation of statewide closures and mask mandates — United States, June 1–September 30, 2020” [Annals of Epidemiology]. “Nationwide data on effect of community mitigation policies on COVID-19 incidence are limited. U.S. counties in states that closed for <60 days were more likely to have rapid increases in COVID-19 rates. U.S. counties in states with mask mandates were 43% less likely to have rapid increases in COVID-19 rates. Effects of mitigation measures are greater in less urban counties." Test positivity:

Hospitalization (CDC): This is where CDC moved its hospital data (and who the heck at Microsoft decided no header for a chart is a good idea):

A dip. Good news, and long may it last.

NEW Here the CDC’s hospitalization visualization, from the source above:

The Gulf Coast is red, but moderating. Look at Kentucky go! And I wonder if Alabama is flat because it’s at capacity. Several states in the West are pink and increasing, except for Wyoming, which is red.

Deaths (Our World in Data):

We are now well past the peak of last year at this time. Which I am finding more than a little disturbing. (Adding: I know the data is bad. This is the United States. But according to The Narrative, deaths shouldn’t have been going up at all. Directionally, this is quite concerning. Needless to see, this is a public health debacle. It’s the public health establishment to take care of public health, not the health of certain favored political factions.)

Covid cases worldwide:

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“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

Biden Administration

UPDATE “The coming weeks will define Biden’s presidency and shape the midterm elections” [CNN]. “The worst reality of the pandemic for Biden is that his options for suppressing it have already been used. He pleaded for months with vaccine skeptics — many of them Republicans — to save themselves. Now, around 150,000 Americans are getting infected every day and 1,500 are dying, and the political blowback is hurting him. A challenging fall looms as kids under 12 not yet eligible for shots resume in-person classes. The sense of national exhaustion is palpable and could brew wider perceptions that the country is heading in the wrong direction — a damaging sentiments for incumbents. Biden’s White House has not been blameless either. Recent pushback by medical officials over a White House announcement that Covid-19 booster shots would be ready by September 20 called Biden’s vow to always put science before politics into question. When he took office, after Trump’s disastrous handling of the virus, it was often said that Biden’s presidency would be judged on whether he restored normality. That is still the case. In a revealing aside last week, Biden mused: ‘Imagine if the other guy was here.; He was speaking, of course, of Trump and the former President’s misleading penchant for cheering stock market records as proof of an equitable economy. His comment also reflected the way in which in his first seven months in power, Biden’s presidency has often been judged as a contrast to Trump’s tempestuous term. But the time has come when he will be evaluated not against the malfeasance of his predecessor but on his own promises and decisions.” • Firing the starter’s shot. Could be problematic:

UPDATE “‘A train wreck’: Congress faces a daunting September as deadlines pile up” [NBC]. “The Democratic-controlled Congress is preparing to address a packed to-do list this month with tangible and self-imposed deadlines that carry high stakes for President Joe Biden. The government will have to be funded by Sept. 30 to prevent a shutdown. The debt limit will have to be extended this fall to prevent a global economic collapse. Flood insurance and surface transportation measures expire at the end of the month. Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has set a Sept. 27 deadline to vote on the $550 billion infrastructure bill. Progressives have said they will vote down the bill if the $3.5 trillion budget measure to expand the safety net isn’t ready by then, putting pressure on party leaders to write it quickly. And with both chambers still on recess this week, legislative days are in short supply.” • Since the molasses-brained Biden Administration has moved without urgency for the entirety of its term so far, none of this comes as a surprise.

This is it? This is all Buttigeig has got?

Democrats en Deshabille

UPDATE “To fight the recall, Newsom and allies spent $36 million in August alone” [Los Angeles Times]. “Newsom, who enjoys an overwhelming fundraising advantage over his opponents, used that edge to stoke Democratic enthusiasm after a series of polls suggested his fellow partisans were less engaged than Republicans and others supporting the recall. More recently, polls show the governor has as much as a double-digit lead. And anti-recall forces have raised $72.4 million, more than double that of candidates and political committees backing the recall…. In late July, the polling was near even. But an average of surveys in August show those opposed to recalling Newsom with a lead of more than eight points, according to Real Clear Politics and 538, two poll aggregators. A poll released Thursday by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California had Newsom with a 19-point lead.”

Republican Funhouse

“Heeding Steve Bannon’s Call, Election Deniers Organize to Seize Control of the GOP — and Reshape America’s Elections” [ProPublica]. • The horror is apparently not felt by the Democrat leadership, or they’d be doing something about it.


“Your Birthday Is One Day” [The Cut]. “You get one day. Every year, once a year, you may celebrate your birthday however annoyingly you want, but you must confine those celebrations to one day. If I hear one more person over the age of 17 refer to their ‘birthday week,’ I’m going to throw up. That is not how this works.” • From 2019, still germane, as the Mighty Wurlitzer cranks up the 9/11 celebrations memorials. Never forget, brave troops, first responders, national unity, and so forth. I’m all choked up. But not with tears…

“9/11 militarized law enforcement and made every American a suspect” [Responsible Statecraft]. “In analyzing the expansion of the national security state in the twenty years after 9/11, it is clear that the powers adopted by the U.S. government as part of the war on terror cannot simply be reversed. At a minimum, it would require a marked ideological shift among the population. While some object to the government’s surveillance programs, for many they are viewed as “necessary.” Many people adopt the attitude of, ‘I have nothing to hide.’ Even if this shift were to take place, rolling back these various programs, and even merely preventing their expansion, would necessitate a complete unraveling of the relationships built between national bureaus, local state agencies, and private companies and contractors over the course of two decades. As a result, privacy is an undoubtedly casualty of the war on terror.” • You could say the same thing… just about anything.

“20 years after 9/11, mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed still awaits trial. What went wrong?” [NBC News]. • I always felt that we should have focused on capturing the perps (I assume Bin Laden) and putting them on trial at The Hague. And never mind the question of whether we, as a nation, have the moral standing to do that; we don’t (nor any other great power, I would think). But if you really wanted a “rules-based international order,” that would be the way to go; an international court with teeth. Oh well.

Realignment and Legitimacy

Come on, man:

The Constitution is not in fact a “safe space,” although not for NARA‘s reasons, I would think.

Fundamentally, nothing will change:

UPDATE What is this “public health” of which you speak?

And both sides in the culture war frame the issue as “individual choice,” Democrats and Republicans alike.

UPDATE “SCOTUS Delenda Est” [Talking Points Memo]. “[Liberal legal academics] in recent years have penned editorials confidently informing us that while they disagree with now-Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett they are nonetheless learned and brilliant jurists of integrity who deserve our support in ascending the bench…. [Their claim] imagines that constitutional jurisprudence is a specialized professional discipline that commands our public assent and support regardless of the outcomes it delivers. If a lawyer has mastered the technical processes of constitutional jurisprudence and has a keen mind they should be supported regardless of their beliefs or likely decisions, the argument goes. This is an argument both dangerous and absurd. As civilians we don’t presume to judge the personal beliefs or research ambitions of physicists who do advanced research at universities or build our nuclear weapons. We defer to all sorts of specialized domains of knowledge. With all due and real respect to various friends and peers who do important work in the field of law, lawyering is not such a field of knowledge. The suggestion that it is is part and parcel of the same general institutional arrogance of the elite academic legal profession that leads countless law professors to head out on disciplinary safaris into economics, history, psychology and virtually every other domain of knowledge. They actually imagine, risibly, that a JD – a limited and largely technical credential – enables one to launch off on this sort of intellectual tourism as easily as a member of the New York bar might get waived in to try a case in California as a matter of professional courtesy. Both claims are products of the same professional arrogance. And in the case of deference to Court appointees it is an arrogance that menaces democratic and civic life itself.” • I don’t know what the world is coming to. I’m not only linking to Josh Marshall, I’m agreeing with him.

UPDATE “These corporations bankrolled the sponsors of Texas’ abortion ban” [Popular Information]. “The politicians who sponsored Texas’ abortion ban are backed by some of the nation’s most prominent corporations. These same corporations hold themselves out as champions of women’s rights. AT&T, for example, is one of the top donors to the sponsors of Texas’ abortion ban, also known as SB 8. Since 2018, AT&T has donated $301,000 to the sponsors of SB 8. Yet, in AT&T’s 2020 Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Report, CEO John Stankey said one of the company’s ‘core values’ was ‘gender equity and the empowerment of women.'” • I suppose if AT&T were an Indian company, it would have crore values.

Stats Watch

Supply Chain: “United States LMI Logistics Managers Index Current” [Trading Economics]. “The Logistics Manager’s Index was little changed at 73.8 in August of 2021 but still pointed to the fifth-highest growth on record in the logistics sector driven by rapid price growth and significant tightening of capacity. The gauge for warehousing prices remained at an all-time high (88) mostly because of the lack of available capacity. Inventory levels continued to rise at an above-average rate (63.8 vs 66.4) as firms were abandoning JIT principles and ordering earlier and in larger quantities to avoid stockouts.” • That’s big news. Readers, please correct me, but I don’t think JIT is something you can just swap in and out.

* * *

The Bezzle: “Why China’s bitcoin miners are moving to Texas” [BBC]. “Headquartered in Hong Kong, Poolin is the second largest bitcoin mining network in the world, with most of its operations in mainland China. The country was home to around 70% of global bitcoin mining power, until the clampdown sent the price of bitcoin into a tailspin and caught miners off guard. Now China’s ‘bitcoin refugees’ are urgently scrambling to find a new home, whether in neighbouring Kazakhstan, Russia or North America, because for bitcoin miners, time is literally money. ‘We had to find a new location for the [bitcoin mining] machines,’ Poolin’s vice-president Alejandro De La Torres said. ‘Because every minute that the machine is not on, it’s not making money.’ In what some call the ‘Great Mining Migration,’ the Poolin executives are among the many bitcoin miners who have recently landed in a place reputed as part of America’s wild wild west: Austin, Texas.” • “Because every minute that the machine is not on, it’s not making money.” Like any printing press.

The Bezzle: “An Open Letter to Airbnb” [Surviving Tomorrow]. “As far as we’re aware, only 8% of Airbnb hosts are renting a room in a single house, and that number is falling fast. How many million houses has Airbnb taken off the market so far, and how many more are being stolen each month? It’s only fair that the commons knows what we’re up against. If you want to build real public trust, your company needs to allow independent auditors to track how many of your hosts are actually owners who rent rooms in houses they occupy full-time, versus how many investors have taken a housing unit off the market and turned it into an unregulated clerkless hotel.” • Exactly.

The Bezzle: “Meet the entrepreneur teaching computers to understand human emotions” [CNN]. • Servant robots with the ability to cringe. I bet they would sell well. Where’s the fun in having servants without that?

Tech: It will start with the homeless, but it won’t end there:

Kill it with fire.

Tech: “Report details how Airbus pilots saved the day when all three flight computers failed on landing” [The Register]. “Three seconds after touchdown, an autobrake system fault was recorded. A second after that, faults were recorded on the primary flight control computers and the spoilers were retracted. Reverse thrust could not be applied and, a few seconds later, the captain called to the first officer to assist with manual braking. Both pilots then applied full brakes and the aircraft was eventually brought to a halt. ‘Seems the pilots did a good job,’ a tame Airbus pilot told The Register. ‘You know it’s bad when the captain tells the FO to help him on the brakes to stop the aircraft!’… In a world of increasing automation, the incident serves as a reminder of the importance of keeping a human backup in the loop.”

Tech: “Facebook says its AI mislabeling a video of Black men as ‘primates’ was ‘unacceptable'” [The Verge]. “Facebook is apologizing for an incident where its AI mislabeled a video of Black men with a ‘primates’ label, calling it an ‘unacceptable error’ that it was examining to prevent it from happening again. As reported by the New York Times, users who watched a June 27th video posted by the UK tabloid Daily Mail received an auto-prompt asking whether they wanted to ‘keep seeing videos about Primates.’ Facebook disabled the entire topic recommendation feature as soon as it realized what was happening, a spokesperson said in an email to The Verge on Saturday. ‘This was clearly an unacceptable error,’ the spokesperson said. The company is investigating the cause to prevent the behavior from happening again, the spokesperson added. ‘As we have said, while we have made improvements to our AI we know it’s not perfect and we have more progress to make. We apologize to anyone who may have seen these offensive recommendations.’ The incident is just the latest example of artificial intelligence tools showing gender or racial bias, with facial recognition tools shown to have a particular problem of misidentifying people of color.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 52 Neutral (previous close: 54 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 53 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 7 at 12:30pm.

Rapture Index: Closes up one on Climate. “It’s very odd for this category to be this high. Hurricane Ida and the Northeast floods forced it up” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 188 (Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing, so higher is better.)

The Biosphere

Note the Rapture Index’s comment, above.

“U.S. Civil Engineers Bent the Rules to Give New Orleans Extra Protection from Hurricanes. Those Adjustments Might Have Saved the City During Ida” [Time]. “Don Resio, then a technical supervisor in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) coastal program, was assigned in 2006 to lead a group of specialists tasked with using statistics to model the likely threat that future storms would pose to New Orleans. He toured the city’s devastated defenses in the days after Hurricane Katrina, and today remembers the sight of children’s toys floating in the rancid floodwaters, along with the stench of rotting bodies emanating from waterlogged houses. He knew that legislators in charge of allocating funding for the project likely didn’t understand that building for a 100-year storm, the standard in many such projects, would leave populations at significant risk. For instance, there would be a cumulative 26% probability of a 100-year storm hitting sometime in the next 30 years. Across 65 years, it would be equivalent to the flip of a coin. And as climate change brought stronger and more frequent extreme storms, the likelihood of such events would only increase. So the engineers tasked with designing and building the city’s new defenses fudged the numbers so that their work would actually protect New Orleans from the inevitable. After all, no one knew when Congress would get around to funding New Orleans protective measures again, and Corps engineers had a unique opportunity to win the resources needed to do their job properly.” • Sounds like the engineers understood about tail risk. Unfortunately, our sclerotic political system does not — or prefers to cull the population, in this case by drowning them, take your pick — and so they “fudged the numbers.” I’m sure some administrator turned beet red when they read this, and even now is taking steps to make sure it never happens again.

Health Care

UPDATE An optimistic story:

And you can do the same!

Interesting approach:

“Effects of Ivermectin therapy on the sperm functions of Nigerian onchocerciasis patients” [Archives of Applied Science Research]. From 2011. Via Trisha Greenhalgh. Peer-reviewed; Gavin Publishers (who was, at one point, on a now-defunct list of predatory publishers). n=37. “The above parameters were measured before and after the patients were treated with 150µg/kg body wt of ivermectin for eleven months and the results were compared and also with normal control reference range. We observed significant reduction in the sperm counts and sperm motility of the patients tested.” • Readers may wish to comment further. The description of the treatment regimen does not as being in any way comparable to any Covid treatnent protocol I know of. Watching scientists lose their minds over Ivermectin has been really discouraging to me. It’s like one of those pod people horror movies. And perhaps I should check to see if some horrid insectoid meme is not, even now, inserting its brainworm-infested ovipositor into the back of my own neck, as has obviously happened to so many others, so why not me?

The single message:

No mention of masking, social distancing, or ventilation. The denial of a layered approach (defense in depth), and the single-minded focus on one solution is stunning. The single solution won’t work by itself, either, so Harris is setting herself up for failure.

At this point, we’re not comparing ivermection users to animals; we’re saying they are animals:

* * *

UPDATE “Steps per Day and All-Cause Mortality in Middle-aged Adults in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study” [JAMA]. “In this cohort study of 2110 adults with a mean follow-up of 10.8 years, participants taking at least 7000 steps/d, compared with those taking fewer than 7000 steps/d, had a 50% to 70% lower risk of mortality. There was no association of step intensity with mortality regardless of adjustment for step volume.” • As I keep saying: Walk! (And look up, too!) For me, 7,000 steps is about 3.25 miles.

Our Famously Free Press

I’m so old I remember when liberal Democrats were “the reality-based community”:

“Horse paste” is the new “RussiaRussiaRussia.”


A great thread on The Official Genre of Fuckup Protagonists:

“The Philosophy of SimCity: An Interview With the Game’s Lead Designer” [The Atlantic]. From 2013, still germane:

Librande: Yes, definitely. I think the biggest one was the parking lots. When I started measuring out our local grocery store, which I don’t think of as being that big, I was blown away by how much more space was parking lot rather than actual store. That was kind of a problem, because we were originally just going to model real cities, but we quickly realized there were way too many parking lots in the real world and that our game was going to be really boring if it was proportional in terms of parking lots.

Manaugh: You would be making SimParkingLot, rather than SimCity.

Librande: [laughs] Exactly. So what we do in the game is that we just imagine they are underground. We do have parking lots in the game, and we do try to scale them — so, if you have a little grocery store, we’ll put six or seven parking spots on the side, and, if you have a big convention center or a big pro stadium, they’ll have what seem like really big lots — but they’re nowhere near what a real grocery store or pro stadium would have. We had to do the best we could do and still make the game look attractive.

“Porno Hustlers Of The Atari Age” [Kotaku]. “This is the history of the Mystique line of pornographic Atari 2600 games like you’ve never heard it before.”

Zeitgeist Watch

Symbol manipulators gotta symbol manipulate. Sounds like derivatives:

Still, what better time?

Groves of Academe

Little infants:

The nice thing about “the right to feel safe” — putting the class aspect aside — is that “feeling safe” is an ever-receding horizon. Safe is never safe enough. Administrators love that kind of thing.

Class Warfare

I cannot find the Babylonian equivalent for plus ça change….

News of the Wired

Fantastic (I hope in the complimentary sense) thread on the printed book:

(Tangentially, a very good point on ham and cheese. Food preservation is important if you’re going to hunker down.)


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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (petal):

Petal writes: “I have a very good sweet onion crop coming but they haven’t been pulled yet. Softballs this year. Quite pleased. The rainiest July on record was great for the garden.” We look forward to the onions!

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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.


  1. ChrisFromGeorgia

    Not to be doomer, but the big drop in reported. cases/deaths over the weekend is likely due to the Labor Day weekend. We see the same distortion effect over last Thanksgiving and Christmas – it stands out like a sore thumb.

    We’ll know if Delta has peaked for sure by the end of the week, I suspect.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > the big drop in reported. cases/deaths over the weekend is likely due to the Labor Day weekend

      Yes, that is why I wrote “Holy moley, an enormous Labor Day reporting drop that shows up everywhere!”

      I would be very surprised if we did not see another rise shortly. But this drop nevertheless makes a nice inflection point from a peak driven by summer travel to a peak driven by school reopening. If in fact that happens; the virus has surprised us before.

      1. BlakeFelix

        Not to be depressing, but in my view, even if it has peaked, if its seasonality matches last year, which isn’t guaranteed, it would be the small peak, with the big one still coming this winter…

        1. Kevin

          Looking at all the packed college football stadiums over the weekend ..I’d say we might see a big bump in a few weeks.

  2. petal

    The mRNA era has arrived thanks to COVID-19. What’s next in the pipeline?
    “COVID-19 wasn’t even in the picture when mRNA was developed as a new medicine, but with the regulatory runway cleared, biotechs that have been working on the tech for years are ready for liftoff.

    Yes, Moderna and BioNTech are the rock stars in the business—launched to household name status with the authorization of the COVID-19 vaccines at the end of 2020. These biotechs are expected to rake in as much cash from their pandemic vaccines as AbbVie does each year for the best-selling drug of all time, Humira. The shots are expected to generate revenue of more than $40 billion for each company in 2021 and 2022, according to Mizuho Securities.

    About a dozen companies besides Moderna and BioNTech are working on mRNA vaccines and therapeutics for a range of diseases from flu to cystic fibrosis. The market opportunity is huge, and Big Pharma is hungry for promising companies to snap up or make licensing deals with.”

    Lots more at the link.

    1. petal

      On another note, went to get covid tested today at the gym and noticed all of the windows were wide open. In all the years I’ve been going there, I’ve never seen this(much to my frustration at times). Maybe the ventilation thing is sinking in.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      i became aware of this…”platform”…in late 2018…while hanging around the hospital with an ipad and iphone during wife’s initial cancer craziness.
      i realised immediately that this…if all the bugs were worked out…would revolutionise medicine.
      but most of those bugs persist…and have not been worked out.
      i worry about autoimmune things the most, currently….since that was the biggest concern in the lit back then….ie: before it was the only approved way to get out of this mess.

      we’re all(vaxxed folks) Phase 3-4 of the Drug Trials, now.

  3. RockHard

    “Report details how Airbus pilots saved the day when all three flight computers failed on landing”

    There was a crash outside DFW Airport in 1985 which was when the idea of a “microburst” entered public conciousness. I remember reading an analysis of that crash about a year later that was done by a retired pilot. The one line that stuck with me all these years was something like “People ask, why do you pay pilots so much money when all they do is turn on the autopilot? The answer is: you don’t pay pilots to turn on the autopilot, you pay them to take over when the autopilot fails”.

    Sullenberger and his copilot proved that again not so many years ago. Basically every commercial airline incident boils down to how the pilots handle the unexpected.

      1. The Rev Kev

        In a Michael Moore book, he says that he was talking to a young pilot while at an airport and found that the pilot was making less than a guy at a take away which was not a source of confidence for him. Actually, that near disaster with that Airbus could have been worse. The fact of the matter was that that plane still had manual backup in the form of actual brakes that a pilot and co-pilot could still use. Imagine a software upgrade where brakes can only be done using the plane’s computer systems. Yeah, very much a fan of manual backup systems here.

        1. Carolinian

          It was the failure of the thrust reversers (those clamshell things at the back of the engine that close and send the exhaust forward) that was apparently the real problem.

    1. Carolinian

      Basically every commercial airline incident boils down to how the pilots handle the unexpected.

      Except in the Max incidents when it was all Boeing’s fault? (not to get that argument started again)

      I’ve been reading about the Nader era auto safety debates and before Unsafe at Any Speed the attitude of the Detroit big three and much of the government was that the appalling accident rate was due to poor traffic enforcement and bad drivers. Whereas the view of Nader and his fellow reformers was that in the real world cars had to be more inherently safe to compensate for human fallibility. Both were probably right and the moral case goes to Nader since those bad drivers were killing others and not just themselves. Arguably the sterling airline safety record of the last few decades has to do with increasing use of automation as well as better pilot training. But when a child walks in front of your car or the power fails on runway touchdown you need a competent human.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > when it was all Boeing’s fault

        I don’t think we can say that. I do think we can say that the UI/UX of the Max was uniquely bad in the industry, and that Boeing bears the brunt of the blame.

  4. Chris

    Covid in Kentucky:

    Wife is a nurse in the largest city here. They are struggling for staff. Highest bonuses they have offered so far are $50/hr on top of your regular (or OT) pay. So about $80-100/hr depending on if you’re in OT or not yet.

  5. trainreq

    So 90% of patients had low sperm count and had to be left out. Maybe don’t be surprised when some 10% of other patients with “normal” sperm counts drop over time. Maybe try to figure out why 90% of patients had low sperm counts.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > So 90% of patients had low sperm count and had to be left out.

      Since Tricia Greenhalgh propagated that link, I would expect it to become a talking point shortly. Best have answers ready!

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > It seems like about 2x the recommended covid prophylactic dosage

          The parameters: “the patients were treated with 150µg/kg body wt of ivermectin for eleven months.” The frequency of the dose is not given, so we have to assume per day. (I searched the piece again on “150” and didn’t see anything.) So the dose could have been given once a week, for all we know. Or once a month.

          “Of course…” etc. Well, no. We have to be told. That’s how a peer-reviewed journal should work.

          1. Skip Intro

            I assumed daily… I expect there is a huge market for the Merchants of Doubt to FUD up any out-of-patent treatment for Covid. We ain’t seen nothing yet.

  6. Nikkikat

    Re: Pete B from the transportation dept. Can Pete ever get enough attention? He must keep a clerk on full time just so he gets his minute in the Sun. I see pictures of him riding his bicycle, pictures of him by a train and now he has adopted children and of course more pictures. This guy is one of the most insufferable publicity hounds and while he makes these inane statements of blithering blather. Please Pete stop with the pictures all ready. We know you are on the list for VP to Kamala Harris so stop trying so hard. I’m sure Obama will venture out to campaign for you.

    1. Pat

      Makes you wonder what poor Amy Klobuchar got for dropping out, oh sorry, endorsing Biden. Kamala gets VP and presumably President. Pete gets Transportation and presumably VP, and Amy?

    2. Wukchumni

      Asked the general where he wanted to be
      He said, “Bagram, make it snappy”
      I want to be famous, a star on the DC scene
      But I can pad my bonafides in between

      He said “Buttigieg you can drive my car”
      Yes, I’m gonna be a star
      “Buttigieg, you can drive my car
      And maybe I’ll promote you”

      I told the general that my prospects were good
      And he said, “Buttigieg, it’s understood
      Working for peanuts is all very fine
      But it’ll make you seem like you did military time”

      Buttigieg, you can drive my car
      Yes, I’m gonna be a star
      Buttigieg, you can drive my car
      And maybe I’ll promote you

      Beep beep’m beep beep yeah


    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Is Pete still a cabinet secretary? With all the pieces about transit and infrastructure, his pr campaign amount to he now has kids. He’s noticably absent from discussions where his actual job is concerned.

      This is really all he has.

      1. Pookah Harvey

        When (If) the infrastructure bill passes, a trillion dollars will pass thru his Alfred E. Neuman hands. Many political favors will pile up.They made him Transportation Secretary for a reason.

        1. SteveD

          This is in fact why I, despite being all-in for MMT, kind of dread the (supposed) $3.5T “Infrastructure” bill. Our government at most levels has lost the ability to execute, and the $3.5T, instead of creating a new level of productive capacity for us, will be squandered on politically connected contractors and the like, and we’ll never see a single material concrete benefit from it. Not gonna be WPA part II

    4. The Rev Kev

      I can only make the same observation that others have made online. That appears to be a hospital bed that Pete and his hubby are laying in. Ummm, why are they in a hospital with those babies? I’m not sure that that is how it actually works.

      1. c_heale

        I found the picture really strange. Normally when people have a baby, the parents are photographed looking at the baby…

  7. Wukchumni

    The Bezzle: “Why China’s bitcoin miners are moving to Texas” [BBC].
    Texas is an oil-driven apportion clinic, it makes sense to make nothing out of something really and use a shit ton of energy doing it.

    1. Eclair

      “….. make nothing out of something ….”

      I had a sudden flash of insight yesterday, while driving and discussing bitcoin, its enormous electricity usage, and China’s crackdown on bitcoin “miners,” (miners, WTF!), with my spouse.

      What if the whole bitcoin thing is a huge cosmic joke? A gigantic metaphor for late-stage-capitalism? Where charlatans labor mightily, consuming enormous, irreplaceable resources …. all to produce …. money. Which, in the case of bitcoin, does not even exist, except in electronic databanks, somewhere. It’s all a bit and byte mirage, which can vanish in an instant, when some joker god, an Elon Loki, pulls the plug.

  8. Amfortas the hippie

    “So now there are sliding scale reparations dance parties in Seattle. That’s…Seattle. It’s the very same logic of an urban liberal class that would rather “fight oppression” than address the material conditions of the poor. And it will probably also be Portland and San Francisco, if it isn’t already. And maybe soon the rest of urban America.

    The United States will have cities full of a new urban class making performative gestures about racial justice while glutting themselves on consumer goods produced by dark-skinned people in the Global South. They’ll step over the homeless people on their way to dance the injustice away, wave rainbow flags and tweet #BLM and #transwomenarewomen, while never once criticizing the economic exploitation of the poor by their tech giant employers who tweet those very same things.”

    don’t know if this has been put forward, around here, as i’ve been far too busy and discombobulated to check in, let alone post(or remember to check that email thing)
    but Rhyd is one of my favorite dudes on the web.
    …and i’m dealing in real life with the same sort of mental illness(Narcissistic Personality Disorder, both overt and covert, with bipolar features , OCD and a little Psychotic Rage thrown in for good measure) that afflicts the PTB, en masse ,down here in the weeds.
    likely a giant, threadstealing post forthcoming about all that…as above, so below, and all,lol…whenever i can catch my breath.
    in the mean time, if you can catch the (long) pork, i’ll frelling cook it.
    edo dives

    1. Eclair

      Oh, Amfortas, you describe my friends and family, all of whom I dearly love. I smile when they send me gifts from Amazon but I talk about the importance of unions and buying locally. Things are beginning crack, though.

    2. JBird4049

      At least half the poor I have seen walking or driving around the Bay are white. Heck, the majority of the homeless are, though of course minorities are over represented. Regardless, the numbers that I can see keep going up and it all contains a little bit of everything and everyone.

      I have been seeing this increasing seemingly schizophrenic dichotomy for decades where the more poor or homeless, the greater the difficulties of just trying to survive there are, the less constructive are any of the actions. More money that doesn’t do anything. More bloviations, noise, energy, and symbolic acts, but nothing is done to actually solve problems except to create the designated Evil Ones.

  9. Tim

    “That’s big news. Readers, please correct me, but I don’t think JIT is something you can just swap in and out. ”

    It took decades to get to the level of JIT we were at pre-covid. Cutting the middleman back out can be much quicker (few years).

    The real question is if the middlemen will survive. If they do, it will only take a few years to go back, but some changes are likely to be made permanent, as the memories of being burned by JIT will linger for a generation.

    1. Lee

      “Hospitals turn to just-in-time buying to control supply chain costs” Health Care Finance From 2015 but relevant now more than ever.

      Well, at least they’ve got their priorities right:

      “Just-in-time isn’t without financial risk, however. The biggest — and the reason it took this type of inventory management a while to catch on in healthcare — is the potential lack of availability of a product under the system, said Spence. “Hospitals take financial risks everyday, but the one they don’t want to incur is a patient event becoming a negative event.” For example, occasionally, situations arise where a patient procedure must be rescheduled because an implant, due to arrive the night before, is unavailable, said Spence. Then the surgery must be moved, which costs the facility more money.”

      1. Synoia

        And a Epidemic arrived just in time to puncture their just in time bubble.


        Because their just in time supplier hit a disaster.

    2. farmboy

      Grain markets go from scarcity to surplus every year as harvest approaches. Those years, like this one where there are multiple droughts and production problems where shortfalls happen, turns everyone into a turtle (remember turtle and rabbit). Extra storage at every step in the supply chain cushions the demand pull when shortages happen, getting refilled when the next bin buster comes around. Buyers might pay twice as much, but they can STILL GET GRAIN. Derivative markets, speculators, provide liquidity to get from one end to the other. Gotta have inventory!

  10. Eustachedesaintpierre

    Nice Bonnard but I prefer his warmer colours many of which feature his much maligned wife Marthe, who I once believed was a madwoman, but her story as is also the case with many other artist’s models, is much more interesting to that which is usually given to those usually considered as mere footnotes of history.

    ” Visiting a Bonnard exhibition needn’t be a guilt trip. But we might acknowledge that, as his model, Marthe played a role in his artistic success & that, like one of his paintings, the rich layers of her life extend beyond what is visible on the surface “.


      1. Phil in KC

        I am only mildly enthusiastic about Bonnard. Yes, he rivals Matisse in color, but more important to me is how well he rewards the patient viewer. There’s not much payoff in this piece. A lot of green and blue, which makes me think of his bathrooms, and a clever juxtaposition of near and far, but I want to see someone or something lurking around the edges. It’s just not there.

  11. Mildred Montana

    Re: Covid

    Even normally mild-mannered Canadians have had enough. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on the campaign trail, was subjected to the indignity of a gravel shower from vaccination protesters.


    In the ’90s, then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien was hit by a well-aimed pie. Twenty-five years later it’s gravel.

    From lemon meringue to sharp-edged pebbles, I see a dangerous escalation of violence here.

    1. Arakawa

      The local blue-checks currently losing their minds over this do have a theory that it’s just right-wing meme-magicians paying the same 10 guys to fly around the country and shout ‘boo!’

      Of course, they’re missing the broader point that this is the year the hypothetical meme-magicians have decided such an event would play well on social media. That speaks volumes about the shift in public opinion, volumes that the blue-checks would prefer to avoid reading. I could never have imagined feeling so betrayed by the governments’ paternalistic mandate policies, and I also bet Trudeau could never have imagined people would be throwing very small rocks at him on campaign stops.

      I would place very long odds, maybe about 5%, on a scenario along the lines that Trudeau has read the next steps in the ‘Build Back Better’ handbook, decided that being the PM of Canada in 2022 will be a very unpleasant job vulnerable to various types of angry mobs, and decided he may as well throw the election. Or at least end up with a sufficiently borked minority that he can report to the shadowy globalist-elite meme-magicians that he can’t send out the vaccine swat teams yet because he doesn’t have a mandate.

  12. Michael

    “Facebook is apologizing for an incident where its AI mislabeled a video of Black men with a ‘primates’ label…”

    Wait FB isn’t an AI, they own one?

    1. Arakawa

      Why not both? A common trope in science fiction is an evil AI that spawns numerous smaller AIs to do its dirty work.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      When they find out that the Corona was ordered by and paid for by Fauci, I might just bet the ranch on Trump, Part deux

  13. Michael McK

    Re. Birthdays- I do the Hare Krishna thing on the anniversary of the day I was born. I do service, thanking the Universe for existing. Extra service, not just the normal stuff, and I enjoy it as much as possible.

    1. griffen

      My day of celebrating is typically muted, & just hope amid the winter holidays I get a shout from an old friend. Once I’ve hit 40, it’s a combination of expectations. Does anyone really remember, and do I actually care if they don’t?

      I still care just a little bit; but I’m also not great at birthdays myself. December birthdays aren’t for everyone.

  14. curlydan

    Here’s a non-paywalled version of the David Leonhardt “1 in 5,000” article from the NYT featured in this morning’s links. I didn’t realize it was 1 in 5,000 daily. Although he immediately jumps from 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 10,000 with little to no justification.

    At that 1 in 5,000 rate, the vaccinated have a 7% chance of getting COVID over a year. At a 1 in 2,500 rate, it would be about 13% to 14%. Of course, nary a word about long COVID, ventilation, mucosal vaccines, or under-reporting infections in the whole article.


    1. curlydan

      P.S. If 53% of Americans are vaccinated or let’s say about 170M, and each of the vaccinated has a 7% chance of getting COVID in the next year, that’s 11.9M infections of vaccinated people or about 32,600 “breakthrough” cases per day.

  15. Phillip

    “We need everyone to roll up their sleeves and get their shot. This is about protecting you, your family, and your community.”

    — Vice President Kamala Harris

    First the chicken feed:
    “Ian Sams, the national press secretary for the Harris campaign, told CNN on Monday that Harris “is not taking any money from pharmaceutical executives.”
    Federal Election Commission campaign finance records, however, show that the California senator has received thousands of dollars from executives at drug companies this year, most of which has not been returned.”

    Then the payoff:
    Kamala Harris’ husband is Douglas Emhoff – a big Pharma lawyer for Merck

    Friday, 9-Oct-2020
    “During his decade as a lawyer at the corporate firm Venable, Mr. Emhoff represented the pharmaceutical giant Merck…”

    Wonder how many stock options he got as part of his pay? California is a community property state, therefore the Kamaleon also owns those stock options.

    “DLA Piper’s Douglas Emhoff is on temporary leave, the law firm said Monday, less than a week after his wife, California Senator Kamala Harris, was tapped as the presumptive Democratic U.S. vice …”

    Gee, a dead link at Reuters, BTW Thomas H. Glocer – CEO and a director of Thomson Reuters Corporation is on the Board of Merk too.
    How stupid do they think we are?

  16. ChrisPacific

    Nobody I can recall had re-opening the schools at or near a new peak on their Bingo card, for example.

    Which is odd, since all you had to do was look at the graph and extend the line. I guess everyone else either wasn’t looking at it, or thought it would change direction and drop again for some reason, even though there was no real change in the Covid response. Perhaps an illustration of exactly how much public policy is based on wishful thinking and fantasy, rather than data.

    (To be fair, I will admit there have been situations where Covid infections have substantially dropped for no apparent reason, but we seem to have little ability to predict when that will happen).

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Which is odd, since all you had to do was look at the graph and extend the line.

      Which is exactly what I did! Now, where’s my Nobel?

      > I will admit there have been situations where Covid infections have substantially dropped for no apparent reason

      It would be very nice if that happened after Labor Day, but I am hearing too many anecdotes about schools to be confident in that. I think there will be a drop, then a rise again. And nobody will know what to do, because everything that should have been done would have had to be done months ago, and wasn’t (ventilation infrastructure) and important non-pharamaceutical interventions have been discredited (masks).

      “Let ‘er rip” 2.0 (the first version didn’t have enough public relations or mitigation).

      1. ChrisPacific

        Which is exactly what I did! Now, where’s my Nobel?

        I do feel like you deserve something, so I had a look around, but all I could find was a Nobel Prize for Economics. I decided against offering that to you as I didn’t want to insult you.

        It would be very nice if that happened after Labor Day, but I am hearing too many anecdotes about schools to be confident in that. I think there will be a drop, then a rise again. And nobody will know what to do, because everything that should have been done would have had to be done months ago, and wasn’t (ventilation infrastructure) and important non-pharamaceutical interventions have been discredited (masks).

        “Let ‘er rip” 2.0 (the first version didn’t have enough public relations or mitigation).

        Even though you are just a layperson looking at graphs with no medical background, I very much fear that (a) you will turn out to be right and (b) it will, yet again, catch pretty much everyone else by surprise.

  17. Geo

    “Watching scientists lose their minds over Ivermectin has been really discouraging to me. It’s like one of those pod people horror movies. And perhaps I should check to see if some horrid insectoid meme is now, even now, inserting its brainworm-infested ovipositor into the back of my own neck, as has obviously happened to so many others, so why not me?”

    Can we run a study to see if cranial injections of Ivermectin on these scientists gets rid of their brain worms?

    1. pjay

      Lambert: “Horse paste” is the new “RussiaRussiaRussia.”

      I am not as certain about the effectiveness of ivermectin as I was that the various Russiagate narratives were complete bulls**t. But I am certain that the anti-ivermectin hysteria is just as malicious, and just as destructive of what’s left of any rational public discourse in favor of polarizing demagoguery. I hope our Best and Brightest are happy.

      1. Aumua

        Well we don’t know how effective it really is because of lack of studies. And we’re not going to know. I mean what self respecting virologist is going to touch the stuff now?

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          The studies will go on apace, even if not in the United States. One of the interesting things about the ivermectin moral panic, leaving aside the hysteria, is how deeply provincial it is. Framing a globally prescribed, Nobel Prize-winning anti-viral used by hundreds of millions as “horse paste”? Really? Faraway brown people don’t matter? Wait, don’t answer that.

  18. sharonsj

    History is no longer taught in schools. I argued with my 30-year-old nephew (a Trumper) that all those Latin Americans trying to get into the U.S. were the result of our meddling with elected governments and replacing them with dictators. He never heard of Peron, Ortega, Noriega, death squads, and the Mothers of the Disappeared. We are doomed.

        1. The Rev Kev

          You have to admit it was a neat twist to not so much control the past but to have people ignore it and to not even teach it.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      so teach it to them.
      one thing the righties have right is that it is, ultimately, up to us parents to teach our children well….whether that’s with the ISD, or in spite of them.
      of course, all those lunatics have the same right, so being quiet and waiting for the state school board to rule in your favor is just silly.
      bull by the horns, and all.
      i strongly recommend applying the socratic method(asking questions) as soon as they start to form words.
      my boys(15&19) are congenital socialists and philosophers…even if they toy with trumpyism on occasion.(socratic method, again)

      also: read to them…from the womb.
      eldest heard Idylls of the King(Tennyson) in his momma’s belly….youngest, Leaves of Grass(Whitman)…both continuing into their aliveness.

      anything that we all can do to stop the Stupid is worth a try, at least.

  19. Stillfeelinthebern

    Just release Sarah Chayes: https://www.sarahchayes.org/post/national-interests

    “International terrorism, it seems, still. U.S. officials still seem to think that a splashy attack is of a greater threat to the American people than systemic corruption abroad or at home.

    Is that analysis correct? Is a shadowy “ISIS-K” more dangerous to U.S. citizens than, for example, private equity partners or real estate speculators, who nearly brought down the world economy in 2008, then presided over an eviction frenzy that continues today? Or who take over struggling corporations and pay themselves generous “management” fees out of the pension fund, bankrupting it? Is ISIS truly more dangerous to humans and the irreplaceable air and forests and the creatures in them than the fossil fuel companies that, not content to tear down mountains, are now shattering the very bedrock to extract ever more natural gas?”

    And this:

    “I remember how often, over the years, friends and neighbors would insist: “The U.S. must be supporting the Taliban.” In the early days, I would scoff. But as time went on, such remarks got harder to rebut. It got harder to convince people that U.S. officials could actually be so stupid. Finally it became impossible, and I stopped trying. How do you explain — to Afghans and to Americans — that U.S. officials are sending American men and women to fight and die at the hands of an “enemy” that we are simultaneously financing to the tune of $1 billion per year, via its sponsor, the Pakistani military? How do you explain such contempt for those our civilian leaders called heroes?”

    On FIRE:

    “How do you explain that those talks in Doha were carried out by an Afghan-born U.S. official who had worked as a lobbyist for the Taliban when they were last in power? How do you explain that those talks were carried out in Pashtu, with no other U.S. official present, or none who understood the language?

    In whose interest was the U.S. envoy really negotiating? Where is that envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, right now?”

  20. Amfortas the hippie

    this is playing on the wilderness bar speakers:
    the young Jakes(adolescent male turkeys) respond by doing their “come here” rallying whistle.
    so i reply as i’m coming back over here with an octave lower yet identical whistle.
    …and the Jakes didn’t know who to go towards..me or the bar playing “their song”.
    remember that , to them, i remain Momma, who brings jars upon jars of disabled grasshoppers in the early.
    these little dudes follow me around…and do the Challenge Dance when my male buds come over(wing down, all puffed up(1Corinthians 13:4),strutting back and forth)
    i can call them by whistling, is the point…which is helpful in the evenings…because i can call these guys….not the older chickens(mom-raised)…whom i must instead wait on sunset and their desire to come in.
    The Geese, on the other hand, respond…quite loudly and vociferously…to saxophones….they like Coltrane and Cannonball Adderly , especially…judging by their antics.
    everybody hides when i play Bach.

  21. drumlin woodchuckles

    . . . .” The horror is apparently not felt by the Democrat leadership, or they’d be doing something about it.” . .

    Just because the Democrat leadership apparently does not feel the horror does not mean the horror is not there to be felt. But it is left up to mere lay-citizens in the field who have little or no firepower to concentrate against the Republanon conspiracy against elections to feel the horror and feel helpless about it.

    It could well lead people to a terminal desire to ” burn this bitch down” so that if the Republanons are destined to rule, they are left with nothing of value worth ruling.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      worse than useless.
      burn the f&&ker.
      and eat those who attempt to flee the flames.

      i’ve expected the Burning Times for most of my life.
      Mighty Inertia makes that the most likely outcome.
      let us get it over with without too much destruction way down here.


  22. The Rev Kev

    “The Philosophy of SimCity: An Interview With the Game’s Lead Designer”

    The timing of that article for 2013 is interesting. My son played SimCity all those years ago and in fact recently he has wondered about reinstalling an older version in a VirtualBox on his ‘puter so that he can play it again. Watching him play I could see how decisions played out in that city so that if you turned your city into a hell hole, people would move out and your revenue would drop off a cliff. Somehow that sounds familiar.

    But then came 2013 when that article was written and the new version was a case of what-the-hell? That game demanded that even when you were playing alone that you had to have an active internet connection but players often had difficulties connecting to the servers. The amount of land for players was dramatically reduced and the concept was brought in that it would be like social media in that you would have players building their cities not far away. It was hideous so my son never brought that version of the game and eventually lost interest.

  23. Tom Stone

    The censorship of Pierre Kory and other Doctors investigating treatments for Covid 19 is horrifying.
    And concerning on a personal level because I was undoubtedly exposed to Covid during my 6 hours in the ER last Friday ( Cardiac event).
    Likely due to a drug interaction, I have an idiosyncratic reaction to many drugs.
    So I’m isolating again.

      1. Eustachedesaintpierre

        Wishing you very best Tom – been there, done it & got the T shirt cut off my back, but I’m still fine now after 6 years as I hope you will be.

      1. Carolinian

        I’ll defend my rhetoric by pointing out that “in the air” covers a lot of ground including talking about revolution as well as doing it. i.e. The Beatles “so you say you want a revolution.”

        By contrast many of today’s left seem to be supporters of the (Dem) government rather than opponents. Lawrence makes his centerpiece Chicago 68 where Dem’s and more broadly the establishment were the targets of the protestors.

  24. LawnDart

    Dr. Thrasher tweet…

    I thought it’d give rise to at least a few responses. A comment appeared over the weekend that gave a stastistic which stated that of USAins who follow news, 45% primarily get it from broadcast news, another 15-20% from social media news feeds. These numbers seem plausable to me.

    Thrasher seems right to me when he mentions the former “critical thinkers” who have been lost to cable news. I approach my interactions with them much the same as I would converse with the schitzophrenics under my watch when I worked as a mental health clinician: gentle but firm, understanding that while they are objectively and clinically nuts, their reality is real to them and that they often see themselves as helping you to get a grip on reality.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Do you do a lot of saying things like ” that’s very interesting”, ” hmm, I see . . . ” , ” I hadn’t thought of that” ,
      “I’ll have to think about that”, etc.?

  25. drumlin woodchuckles

    Here’s a Guardian article I found on the reddit. It is titled . . . ” 20 meat and dairy firms emit more greenhouse gas than Germany, Britain or France ” . . .

    I’ll just about bet that all of those 20 firms are involved in CAFOs and Feedlots. I’ll bet none of them have much or any range-and-pasture fed carbon-biocapture animals on range-and/or-pasture.

    Here is the link.

    I just skimmed the article and saw where it said vast reductions in meat-eating would be needed to reduce this greenhouse gas output. And it occurs to me that the vast reductions can be achieved by banning feedlots and CAFOs of all kinds and every kind, one way or another. Or carbon-taxing them to death.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Worried about bad people doing bad things in their Hotel Accomadations?

        ” Room Service? This is room 118. Send up a fifth of Captain Morgan spiced rum, an electric cattle prod, and two female iguanas.”

      2. Questa Nota

        AirBNB hosts and their ilk factor into apartment hunting.

        If you have friends and relatives looking for housing, remind them to find out which homes or apartment buildings have any ilk ownership. Such owners will milk the properties while there is demand and will not care about the neighbors. The following is based on eyewitness accounts.

        Party tenants behaving badly has become the norm at many such places, where that weekend-away partying allows carte blanche noise and odors like cigars and pot to permeate the area.
        Those tenants having resident cars towed to get parking spaces?
        And overfilling up trash bins?
        And blocking garage access?
        And crying babies at all hours?
        Hot tubs compound the problems.

        There is a tipping point in neighborhood livability and civility, and that point is remarkably low.

        In other words, a typical day and night for many.

  26. drumlin woodchuckles

    About that Boston Dynamics police camera-scanner robo-dog . . . perhaps people could design innocent looking hats with a tiny concealed spray-painter in them to spray-paint the doggie-camera just before it takes the scan of you.

  27. eg

    From “Scotus Delenda Est”

    “the same general institutional arrogance of the elite academic legal profession that leads countless law professors to head out on disciplinary safaris into economics, history, psychology and virtually every other domain of knowledge. They actually imagine, risibly, that a JD – a limited and largely technical credential – enables one to launch off on this sort of intellectual tourism as easily as a member of the New York bar might get waived in to try a case in California as a matter of professional courtesy. Both claims are products of the same professional arrogance.”

    A professional arrogance exceeded only by that of orthodox Economists?

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