Watch Aggressive Orcas Target Another Sailing Ship Off the Coast of Europe Field & Stream. Fascinating to watch, but I don’t think it will scale.
Christine Lagarde: Breaking the persistence of inflation Bank of International Settlements
Indexing is Well Understood Barry Ritholtz, The Big Picture
Out of the Wild The New Atlantis (Henry Moon Pie).
Breaking the Mold Atmos
Monsoon in July is cumulatively expected to be ‘normal’, says IMD Business Standard
New Zealand falls out of love with sheep farming as lucrative pine forests spread Guardian. Worked for Quebec! Oh, wait…
The looming fate of Fukushima’s contaminated water The Interpreter
Systemic Risk of Pandemic via Novel Pathogens – Coronavirus: A Note (PDF) Joseph Norman, Yaneer Bar-Yam, Nassim Nicholas Taleb. From 2020, explicated here at NC, still highly germane. “It will cost something to reduce mobility in the short term, but to fail do so will eventually cost everything—if not from this event, then one in the future.” On “mobility,” see below on Okinawa.
The government had to make a choice as to who would survive Covid. The choice was people or financial services. It made the wrong choice Funding the Future. Stochastic eugenicism.
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Intrinsic and effective severity of COVID-19 cases infected with the ancestral strain and Omicron BA.2 variant in Hong Kong Journal of Infectious Diseases. The Conclusion: “Omicron has comparable intrinsic severity to the ancestral Wuhan strain although the effective severity is substantially lower in Omicron cases due to vaccination.” So, not “mild.”
Okinawa’s plea on COVID: Avoid visiting this summer if unwell Asahi Shimbun. Useless plea, since Covid spreads asymptomatically. Alert reader SG writes:
I thought I’d add some personal observations about the general situation in Okinawa, since I returned from a two week visit there a couple of weeks before this most recent outbreak seems to have started.
First, as you noted Okinawa is a major domestic vacation destination in Japan – it’s semitropical with a lot of beaches, a somewhat different culture from Japan proper but still familiar and quite comfortable for visitors from other parts of Japan. What you don’t mention is that it has also become a major vacation destination for Chinese tourists as well. The Japanese government lifted all testing and vaccination requirements for entry a couple of months ago, so it’s certainly likely that some infected foreign tourists may have made it in and started this outbreak. One certainly can’t rule out the large number of American military personnel and contractors as a source, either.
The Japanese government seems to have promulgated the same “the emergency is over – Covid is just like the flu now” line of BS that other governments have been selling. Some of my Okinawan friends seemed to believe it, unfortunately.
Masking is still a lot more common on Okinawa than it is in the US. I’d estimate that around 50% of the riders on the Naha monorail (the only rail line in Okinawa) were masked. Every taxi driver and hotel employee I encountered was masked. A lot of servers in restaurants were masked as well and quite a few people in small businesses. Flight attendants and agents for ANA were all masked, as were most of the international flight attendants on United. That’s the good part. The bad part is that I didn’t see any well fitted respirators – just surgical masks or cloth masks with ear loops. It was stiflingly hot and humid during my visit, which might have discouraged people from masking. I wore a discreetly camouflaged N99 elastomeric respirator when indoors or on transit, with one exception.
I seem to have been lucky since I’m past the typical incubation period and haven’t had any symptoms.
Still, between the increase in tourism on the island and the Japanese government’s “everything is normal” propaganda, I think this outbreak was entirely predictable.
Airport of the future: a seamless, high-tech urban oasis Axios. “Many airports are quickly moving toward “touchless” technology using facial recognition, AI, automation and biometric scanners to smooth check-in and security or immigration clearances.” Nothing about ventilation, filtration, CO2 monitoring, social distancing, toilets spreading aerosols, or variant sample collection.
Is the US Stronger than China? Policy Tensor
Modi’s much-hyped US visit has shifted no sand in the Indo-Pacific alliance South China Morning Post
Egypt gets China-funded satellites in step towards space industry ambitions South China Morning Post
The EU’s Digital Services Act Confronts Silicon Valley The Wilson Center. From February, still germane. The Act seems to be barreling toward passage (here; here). Do any EU mavens have views?
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The politics of the French riots and In French town under curfew, wave of violence leaves locals dazed and angry Politico. Gotta say, Politico sounds a little huffy here.
Violent protests in France spread to Switzerland Anadolu Agency
Dear Old Blighty
The many headaches of Rishi Sunak Politico
New Not-So-Cold War
Ukraine says Russian troops advancing in ‘fierce fighting’ Agence France Presse
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Explosion rocks Zaporizhzhia Ukrainska Pravda. “An old mine or some kind of munition.” Pravda’s headline really had me going!
SITREP 6/30/23: Winds Gather Before the NATO Summit Simplicius the Thinker(s). Well worth a read. “The Zaporozhye nuclear falseflag scenario is still rolling along, stronger than ever with a spate of new developments.” Götterdämmerung-bent Ukro-Nazis lusting to turn the Donbas into a radioactive wasteland is a parsimonious explanation (and no doubt Nuland would give them more cookies). That said, here is a map of the prevailing winds:
As you can see, blowing Zaporozhye sends a radioactive plume toward Crimea, which the Ukro-Nazis are said to cherish. So strategically, we have a precedent:
Trying to game this out from my 30,000-foot armchair: Big Z (see below) badly needs a stunt before Vilnius. Perhaps Ukraine could somehow engineer a failed or abortive plant explosion, which the radioactivity monitors so conveniently installed by the United States could then detect. All of the outrage, none of the strontium-90….
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Diplomacy Watch: How is the West responding to Prigozhin’s abandoned revolt? Responsible Statecraft
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Please tell me this is a fake:
Every time you need more money … you gotta give ‘em a good show! pic.twitter.com/lxyAY2ayD9
— Lord Bebo (@MyLordBebo) July 2, 2023
Uncle Sam cracks down on faked reviews and bad influencers The Register. The deck: “Big $50,000 fines for misleading posts… unless it’s political, natch.”
The Biden administration guaranteed attorney access for all migrant screenings. Most don’t have it AP. On the bright side, Biden doesn’t owe them six hundred bucks. So there’s that.
Breakthrough quantum computer instantly makes calculations that take rivals 47 years The Telegraph. Great! Now maybe Google can finally fix search!
EBT Skimmers Are Draining Millions of Dollars From the Neediest Americans Bloomberg. I’m sure contactless will be fine.
Our Famously Free Press
Imperial Collapse Watch
Empire Destroyed (video) Andrei Martyanov, YouTube. Shipping materiel across the Atlantic. Or not. Now do the Pacific!
Who built this roller coaster? Boeing?
A visitor at a North Carolina amusement park spotted a large crack on a roller coaster's pillar on Friday. The ride, which was billed as one of the tallest of its kind, has now been closed as crews make repairs. https://t.co/9xqRRgXyWl pic.twitter.com/HTHculBdl9
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 2, 2023
Ensorcelled by þe Devil of Malthus Brad DeLong’s Grasping Reality
Decapitalizing Culture New Left Review
Antidote du jour (via):
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.