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Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.
And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.
P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:
Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commenter troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.
Male Chimps In Uganda Use Distinctive Rhythms When Drumming on Tree Roots To Make Themselves Known Laughing Squid. I can hardly hear the rhythms over the hooting and screaming. Like so much else.
Cockatoos Work to Outsmart Humans in Escalating Garbage Bin Wars Scientific American
Meal Ticket No More: The ‘Gold Standard’ Private Pensions Exposed Now as High-Wire Busts RealClearInvestigations
Empirically grounded technology forecasts and the energy transition Joule. From the Abstract: “Compared to continuing with a fossil fuel-based system, a rapid green energy transition will likely result in overall net savings of many trillions of dollars—even without accounting for climate damages or co-benefits of climate policy.” The Graphical Abstract:
‘Earth is our only shareholder’: Patagonia’s billionaire family transfers retailer’s entire ownership to climate-change efforts MarketWatch. If only this were true:
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) September 14, 2022
Sadly, unlike Lake Erie (at least before a Federal judge got involved), the Earth is not a person, and so cannot be a shareholder. Not to be churlish, but it might have been better for Chouinard to spend a billion winning the case for Earth’s personhood, rather than pouring money into the sand of the non-profit industrial complex.
Mapped: Countries With the Highest Flood Risk Visual Capitalist
Lambert here: It’s like watching an anesthesia mask being slowly, slowly lowered….
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Complexity of Covid vaccine program leads to concerns about potential for error STAT. “The current Covid vaccine schedule seems tailor-made to trip up people who are delivering the doses, with multiple vaccines that are administered in different volumes, some after dilution but many not, and with intervals between doses ranging from three weeks to several months.”
China warns against meddling in Kazakhstan ahead of Putin meeting Eurasianet. “Meddling” is one of those words to watch. See About page.
Modi, Xi, Putin Among Top Leaders To Attend First In-person SCO Summit After COVID Republic World. SCO = Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
India’s Congress Party Is Still in Decline Foreign Policy
US to move $3.5bn in Afghan assets to Swiss-based trust Al Jazeera and BIS statement on the establishment of the Afghan Fund Bank of International Settlements. A reader whose mail I cannot find supplied the Al Jazeera link. Take a bow in comments!
Labour’s weaponisation of anti-Semitism has never ended Palestine Is Still the Issue
Charles III retires to his beloved Highgrove estate – after dropping Camilla at her Wiltshire mansion – as the new monarch is afforded 24 hours of contemplation during the hectic schedule of events leading up to his mother’s funeral on Monday Daily Mail. With every new propaganda campaign, I think: “I’ve never seen anything like it.” This keeps happening.
Right, everyone. I need to be serious for a moment. Because the greatest thing that ever happened is happening right now.
I don't particularly care either way about the Queen. But the queue? The Queue is a triumph of Britishness. It's incredible.
— ❓🦎 (@curiousiguana) September 14, 2022
Tell me this isn't the greatest bit of British performance art that has ever happened? I'm giddy with joy. It's fantastic. We are a deeply, deeply mad people with an absolutely unshakeable need to join a queue. It's utterly glorious.
— ❓🦎 (@curiousiguana) September 14, 2022
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Requiem for an Empire Project Syndicate
Decolonizing the Mind Black Agenda Report. “Decolonization” is often used unseriously. But this is BAR, so no worries.
New Not-So-Cold War
Ukraine sliding into a real war India Punchline. For some definition of “real war.” If economic time > military time > political time, then perhaps “General Energy” will play the key role, not “General Winter.”
American Interests in the Ukraine War Defense Priorities
That “leaked” “RAND report”:
FWIW, this purportedly leaked Rand report that's going around looks like a fake to me. https://t.co/U3TktQumgH
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) September 14, 2022
I finally had ten minutes to look at a real RAND report (PDF). The “leaked report” clearly does not use RAND’s house style for formatting; the indented first paragraph under “Executive Summary” on the first text page is a dead giveaway. As are the fonts. Same page, paragraph four: “the major obstacle to it is growing independence of Germany.” A professional who reads and writes in an English-speaking milieu would not have left out an article before “growing independence.” Verdict: fake (and hat tip reader Michaelmas for the cleanup on aisle Johnson who (to mangle syntax and metaphors badly) should stay in his lane.
The American Mall’s Long Goodbye Sunday Long Read (Kengferno).
Hospital Admins Knew Star Surgeon Was Dangerous; Warned Before ‘Summer of Death’ MedPage Today. “Yet for years hospital management resisted reining in one of their leading rainmakers.”
“The Human Psyche Was Not Built for This” Pro Publica
Finding a New Mantra NEJM. Plot twist.
Big Brother Is Watching You Watch
Microchips in humans: consumer-friendly app, or new frontier in surveillance? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
File-Selves London Review of Books
UPDATE 1 Railroad Unions and Companies Reach a Tentative Deal to Avoid a Strike NYT. “The White House did not immediately release details of the agreement.” Nothing from the union side as of this writing. So that’s alright, then.
SCOOP: @JStein_WaPo and I have confirmed that railroads have agreed to give workers the ability to take days off for medical care without being subject to discipline.
This was THE key demand that railroad workers wanted to strike over, and they got it.
— Lauren Kaori Gurley (@LaurenKGurley) September 15, 2022
Big if true. I still want to see the actual contract.
Rail shutdown looms large even as Congress steps in Freight Waves. Good discussion of the various remedies (except for giving workers want they’re demanding and deserve. Naturally).
Railroad executives holding economy hostage Ryan Grim. The railroads are also shutting down services while workers are still on the job, so though nobody uses the word “lockout,” that’s what we’re seeing.
Biden faces a looming economic disaster that he can actually stop Politico. So give the workers what they want. How hard is that?
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Workers’ push to link wage rises to inflation unsettles bankers FT. You don’t say.
Nurses brought in at hospitals during strike offered $8,000+ for 5 days’ work CBS. It’s hard out here for a scab.
Antidote du Jour (via):
— Nature is Lit (@Nature_Is_Lit) September 3, 2022
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.