DNA From Beethoven’s Hair Reveals Surprise Almost 200 Years Later ScienceAlert (Chuck L)
We’re All Conspiracy Theorists Now. Psychology Says So. Jessica Wildfire. I am sure readers will have fun with this. The part I object to (aside from her CT level overbroad claims) is the “they are desperate to feel safe.”
I was in NYC during 9/11. I noticed the degree of unhingedness among people I knew in the five boroughs did not correlate as much as you would expect with how close they were to the site (as in were below 14th Street, where regular traffic was blocked, or were near enough to get the acrid smoke most of the time. Note that even where I was way uptown you’d hear the sound of what must have been emergency vehicle caravans, the din of many sirens moving all together).
Visible anxiety did correlate with: how much TV they watched and if they operated on the assumption the world was safe. Yours truly, due to frequent moves before college, as in having most of what I thought I knew disappear, didn’t hew to that belief. Having said that, I do see far too many comments here make overly confident, simplistic and not well substantiated claims about various powerful individuals and interests.
President of the Moon Committee: Walter Benjamin’s radio years. Nation (Anthony L)
— War Monitor (@WarMonitors) August 10, 2023
My heart hurts. Sending love to Maui.
Native Hawaiians lost their right to sovereignty, to water, to exist. Their homes & livelihoods are now perished before their eyes.
Colonialism caused the climate crisis. This country must stop its addiction to extraction & exploitation. https://t.co/PTGugIyJe1
— Elise Joshi (@EliseJoshi) August 10, 2023
Your electric bill payments may be funding climate delay Heated (Dr. Kevin)
Videos denying climate science approved by Florida as state curriculum Guardian (Dr. Kevin)
If this keeps going the Chinese economy will vastly outpace the American, but American companies and pension funds won’t have any opportunity to get in on the action. They’ll be stuck with their cash in the latest central bank-induced S&P500 bubble. Winning, I guess? pic.twitter.com/hSYPoPTsSz
— Philip Pilkington (@philippilk) August 10, 2023
The Hami-Chongqing UHV DC transmission line began construction today.
It will span 2,290 kilometers and 5 provinces to provide an 800kV power link between Xinjiang and Chongqing.
Projected to complete end of 2024, this will supply desperately-needed flexibility to SW China. 🧵 https://t.co/t6YDEDHa6D
— David Fishman (@pretentiouswhat) August 8, 2023
US-Japan whaling spat threatens Indo-Pacific trade deal Financial Times. The Japanese pushed me into trying whale (thank God only a sushi-sized piece). Gaijin in business settings lose lots of points if they refuse these eating tests. It was really terrible.
Is North Korea Reopening Eastern Angle (Micael T)
Niger rejects rules-based order Indian Punchline (Bill Malcolm via Kevin W)
Chronic Threat Inflation American Conservative
Cyber-attack on UK’s electoral registers revealed BBC (Kevin W)
Incompatible London Review of Books (guurst)
Marks & Spencer boss slams the demise of Oxford Street as the decline of city centres fuels rise of crime including US-style flashmob looting… and TikTok-inspired chaos moves to Southend Daily Mail. I can’t opine on London, but I recall IIRC Alexander Mercouris saying how stunning it was to see how hollowed out tonier (at least when I lived in London) Piccadilly Road had become…and this right before Christmas. But it is not hard to see that more work from home has reduced commutes and retail spending in city centers, and the loss of income, foot traffic, and jobs would feed a decline that could become self-reinforcing.
Summer 2023 Thoughts on Post-Brexit Britain BEERG Brexit Blog (guurst)
Gas price spike underscores Europe’s vulnerability to global energy shocks Financial Times (Kevin W)
New Not-So-Cold War
"Mobilization in Ukraine will affect every man, the country will have to send hundreds of thousands more men to the front, everyone will go to war", says Taras Chmut, head of the Come Back Alive foundation that raises funds for & supplies the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
— Russians With Attitude (@RWApodcast) August 10, 2023
Alarm grows as Ukraine’s counteroffensive falters The Hill. As Alexander Mercouris pointed out, IIRC Wednesday, this became official with the publication of a fairly realistic CNN story.
A bit bombastic but not a bad summary of the day’s events. Tick tock, Kupyansk. https://t.co/lxfTdz9TnS
— Big Serge ☦️🇺🇸🇷🇺 (@witte_sergei) August 10, 2023
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on threats to Russian security posed by Finland’s NATO membership and Poland’s military build-up Gilbert Doctorow. Note that the fact that Russia feels the need (again) to warn Poland does not mean Poland is (yet) serious. As our post today suggests, the Polish leadership is signaling it is cooling on Ukraine. Recall also that Poland has long been the bad boy of the EU and thus may not be as easily cowed as other EU members. But Western hawks are talking up this idea and no doubt working private channels hard too.
The US Blew Up any Russian Concerns – Problems in Niger Jeffrey Sachs, YouTube. As the title indicates, the talk ranges beyond Ukraine, but may be useful to send to colleagues who might be open to non-orthodox views about US-Russia relations. Sachs is hard to dismiss on this topic.
Die USA wollen den früheren Bundesanwalt Michael Lauber mit Sanktionen belegen, die für Kriminelle aus Autokratien gedacht sind. Was ist da los? Neue Zürcher Zeitung (furzy). Weirdly Google will not translate this from the URL…so the headline: “The United States wants to impose sanctions on former federal prosecutor Michael Lauber intended for criminals from autocracies. What’s going on there?” No one seems to have worked out that if you sanction your friends, pretty soon you won’t have any friends.
American Neo-Nazi Training Forces in Maine to Fight for Ukraine Libertarian Institute (Kevin W). Erm, this looks to be a way to reduce the population of domestic neo-Nazis.
Saudi Arabia’s Ukraine peace talks agree on nothing Asia Times (Kevin W). Well reported by The Duran boyz but I have not seen (or managed to miss seeing) the outcome crisply stated in print.
A security pact with Saudi Arabia would be a disaster for US interests Responsible Statecraft
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
Say hello to Downfall, another data-leaking security hole in several years of Intel chips The Register. BC: “VERY bad.”
Imperial Collapse Watch
Remember how the US spends more than ten times of everyone else combined on the military? Yeah that’s not true. US and Chinese military spending is roughly comparable.
— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) August 10, 2023
US Eyes Australia as Missile Testing Ground Antiwar.com. Kevin W: “They could always start with Canberra.”
Justice Department Wants to Ring in the New Year With Trump’s Jan. 6 Trial Rolling Stone (furzy)
…Doocy said that the White House called him as soon as he made it to his car to refute the specifics of the allegations on discussing business. The use of White House staff to repeat these positions could magnify the problems for Biden. https://t.co/30HRB1CDFX
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) August 10, 2023
Knives are coming out:
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.—The Right’s Trojan Horse Big Picture
Judge rejects Dems’ bid to keep No Labels Party off 2024 ballot AZCentral (albrt)
Historic Supreme Court case could imperil the entire US tax code The Hill (Kevin W)
August 10, 2023 Heather Cox Richardson (furzy). On Clarence Thomas’ lavish vacations.
Patriot Front: White Nationalists Sue Over Exposure as White Nationalists Rolling Stone (furzy)
Oregon’s Greater Idaho movement echoes a long history of racism in the region High Country News (furzy)
Google “We Have No Moat, And Neither Does OpenAI” SemiAnalysis. Important even if from a few months back. BC:
I just came upon this May 4, 2023 article about a leaked internal Google memo that confirms my suspicions that OpenAI’s ChatGPT, while being an amazing technical accomplishment, is not something that cannot be (relatively) easily reproduced (and ultimately surpassed) by others in the field. I believe this is the primary motivation for OpenAI’s aggressive push for Senate oversight and regulation of AI. Their intent is to try to place as much friction and barriers in the way of other competitors, while also creating a government-funded competitive intelligence collection mechanism controlled by their “panel of experts”.
Hospital bosses love AI. Doctors and nurses are worried. Washington Post (Kevin W)
Visualizing the $105 Trillion World Economy in One Chart Visual Capitalist (furzy). GDP, not PPP basis.
Not much discussed but a very important component of the cost of living crisis are runaway car insurance premiums. The industry is blaming this on rising costs of repairs, but that seems unlikely to explain a 35% increase. pic.twitter.com/oFimqoKOHg
— Philip Pilkington (@philippilk) August 11, 2023
Antidote du jour. Tracie H:
This is a current photo (7/23/23) of Sherlock, so named for his curiosity. Yes, I know, all cats are curious, but he was the first in his litter to display the trait.
And a bonus:
so squishy pic.twitter.com/eEqdwleKlu
— why you should have an animal (@shouldhaveanima) August 10, 2023
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.