Patient readers, i[pastes]f you see any missing “[pastes]f’s,” that’s because my keyboard is having an issue. –lambert
What Makes Foxes So Fantastic? JSTOR Daily
Octopuses Redesign Their Own Brains When They Get Chilly Scientific American
6 Swing States Will Decide the Future of Geopolitics Foreign Policy. Brazil, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey. The deck: “These middle powers of the global south should be the focus of U.S. policy.”
Earth: A global map of wind, weather, and ocean conditions Cameron Beccario (QuarterBack). Animated. QuarterBack: “I have followed the world wind map site for years, and this is the first time I have seen NO WIND over CONUS.”
How safe is the air? Here’s how to check and what the numbers mean AP. Meanwhile, AP News has exactly one story on the Aranet4 for the whole of the pandemic: A press release.
Biden weighs in:
Folks, head to https://t.co/D4mQzhQUbO to stay up-to-date with the air quality in your area and take the right precautions to help keep you and your family safe.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 8, 2023
I went to AirNow.gov. The mask recommendation is buried two levels deep:
So is Biden modeling the behavior his own source recommends? Oh, hell no. Biden’s anti-masking Administration is resolutely committed to the bit.
How Restaurants Are Handling the ‘Unhealthy’ Smog Eater. Of course, if we had taken the oppportunity to improve ventilation and make masking a cultural norm a year or two ago….
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Tim Flannery: No counsel of despair Actuaries Digital. Austrialia.
COVID cases trend down in all world regions Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy
Do pathogens always evolve to be less virulent? The virulence–transmission trade-off in light of the COVID-19 pandemic Biologia Futura. The Abstract in full:
The direction the evolution of virulence takes in connection with any pathogen is a long-standing question. Formerly, it was theorized that pathogens should always evolve to be less virulent. As observations were not in line with this theoretical outcome, new theories emerged, chief among them the transmission–virulence trade-off hypotheses, which predicts an intermediate level of virulence as the endpoint of evolution. At the moment, we are very much interested in the future evolution of COVID-19’s virulence. Here, we show that the disease does not fulfill all the assumptions of the hypothesis. In the case of COVID-19, a higher viral load does not mean a higher risk of death; immunity is not long-lasting; other hosts can act as reservoirs for the virus; and death as a consequence of viral infection does not shorten the infectious period. Consequently, we cannot predict the short- or long-term evolution of the virulence of COVID-19.
Predicted clinical and economic burden associated with reduction in access to acute coronary interventional care during the COVID-19 lockdown in two European countries (corrected proof) European Heart Journal. “The effect of a 1-month lockdown on STEMI treatment led to a reduction in survival and QALYs compared to the pre-pandemic era. Moreover, in working-age patients, untimely revascularization led to adverse prognosis, affecting societal productivity and therefore considerably increasing societal costs.”
Metformin reduces SARS-CoV-2 in a Phase 3 Randomized Placebo Controlled Clinical Trial medRxiv. From the Abstract: “Literature review identified metformin, widely known as a treatment for diabetes, as a potential suppressor of protein translation…. Our results demonstrate, consistent with model predictions, that a safe, widely available,12 well-tolerated, and inexpensive oral medication, metformin, can be repurposed to significantly reduce SARS-CoV-2 viral load.”
China’s central bank chief calls for ‘confidence, patience’ amid weak economic data South China Morning Post
Hanoi scorches under high heat VN Express
New Not-So-Cold War
Russo-Ukrainian War: Dam! Big Serge. Excellent on the Dnieper watershed.
Kakhovka dam breach is a perfect crime Indian Punchline. Recommends–
Postmortem Analysis on Kakhovka Dam Breach Simplicius the Thinker(s)
Nord Stream revelations should chasten Ukraine dam ‘hot takes’ Responsible Statecraft. Commentary:
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) June 8, 2023
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Russia claims it repelled one of war’s most serious cross-border attacks AP. We know that Russia will “step back” and trade space for casualties. If they have not, then, no significant losses. On the other hand–
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Mick Ryan assesses Ukraine’s counter-offensive The Economist. An Australian general sets the baseline:
President Volodymyr Zelensky, his armed forces and their supporters in the West will be hoping for something similar. They need a decisive campaign that not only recaptures swathes of Ukrainian territory but also destroys a significant part of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine so they cannot conduct offensive operations again in 2023. The best case would see all of Ukraine liberated this year. The most likely is that large parts of the east and south of the country are liberated, placing Ukraine in a good strategic position to regain Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.
Let me know how that works out….
What to watch as Ukraine’s counter-offensive heats up Axios. Another baseline: “Forcing major Russian retreats across the 20% of Ukrainian territory Moscow currently holds would indicate to Ukraine’s people and its Western backers that the war can be won.”
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Nato members may send troops to Ukraine, warns former alliance chief Guardian. The deck: “A group of Nato countries may be willing to put troops on the ground in Ukraine if member states including the US do not provide tangible security guarantees to Kyiv at the alliance’s summit in Vilnius.” A guarantee of a Russian “maximalist stance,” since a security guarantee to a state which no longer exists becomes the ideal outcome for Russia.
Ukraine: cooling pond at Zaporizhzhia plant at risk after dam collapse – report Guardian. I think we’d better send in some NATO paratroopers.
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An Unwinnable War Foreign Affairs
The Karabakh Problem and the Nature of International Conflicts Valdai Discussion Club
Trump charged over classified documents in 1st federal indictment of an ex-president AP. Apparently under the Espionage Act. Commentary:
Excerpts from a 2016 amicus brief by the ACLU arguing the unconstitutionality of the Espionage Act. Get ready for lots of people to conveniently forget about all this pic.twitter.com/SoW1tMOtho
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) June 9, 2023
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Scientists claim >99 percent identification rate of ChatGPT content The Register. That was fast.
Evaluating Artificial Intelligence Responses to Public Health Questions JAMA. “ChatGPT consistently provided evidence-based answers to public health questions, although it primarily offered advice rather than referrals.”
Lionel Messi Chooses Inter Miami Defector
Press Silence on Latest Twitter Files Scandal a New Low Matt Taibbi, Racket New
The illusion of moral decline (PDF) Nature. From the Abstract:
In a series of studies using both archival and original data (n = 12,492,983), we show that people in at least 60 nations around the world believe that morality is declining, that they have believed this for at least 70 years and that they attribute this decline both to the decreasing morality of individuals as they age and to the decreasing morality of successive generations. Next, we show that people’s reports of the morality of their contemporaries have not declined over time, suggesting that the perception of moral decline is an illusion. Finally, we show how a simple mechanism based on two well-established psychological phenomena (biased exposure to information and biased memory for information) can produce an illusion of moral decline, and we report studies that confirm two of its predictions about the circumstances under which the perception of moral decline is attenuated, eliminated or reversed (that is, when respondents are asked about the morality of people they know well or people who lived before the respondent was born). Together, our studies show that the perception of moral decline is pervasive, perdurable, unfounded and easily produced.
Antidote du jour (via):
— Zoo Zone Update (@MHarrin00254376) June 9, 2023
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.