1. How well is India doing? (Bloomberg)
2. The world of Cartel TikTok (NYT). The world is not as ruled by “the Woke” as you might think!
3. Robin Hanson on pandemic spending and prevention; see also my comment #2 in the list.
5. NHS to trial blood test to detect more than 50 forms of cancer. You know the scientific resurgence of the British (or should I say the English?) is a remarkable and much underreported story. Start with the Anglosphere and mix in a few top universities and the revenue-rich creative cluster of southeast England… There is much we can learn from this episode, and it is more important than say continuing to debate Brexit.
6. The Novavax vaccine. Nita Patel (guess where she is from? Try for the state) gets special praise and “Her all-female crew is an essential part of Novavax’s lab team.”
1. The EU drug regulator also does not have its act together. The Japanese, with vaccines, are being more cautious yet.
2. DuPont and Biden (WSJ).
3. “Sweden has reported 397 Covid deaths in the past nine days, more than either Norway or Finland — each with about half the population — have announced during the entire pandemic. Such figures led the normally cautious and measured state broadcaster SVT to declare that Sweden’s strategy looked increasingly like “a failure”.” FT link. And: “Remarkably, there were fewer (2.6) deaths/100K per day from *all causes* in SD [South Dakota] in Nov 2019 than are dying each day now just from COVID.”
4. Ed Lazear obituary (NYT). It is sad how they had to add in a “he had some left-wing views too,” so the readers have the liberty to feel sad about him dying. I would call that an underperformance of an obituary.
5. Rolf. Which kinds of political views are correlated with which kinds of academic priorities?
6. “There may even be a phenomenon like Dunning-Kruger at work, where the most conventional-minded people are confident that they’re independent-minded, while the genuinely independent-minded worry they might not be independent-minded enough.” Paul Graham.
7. Stripe and carbon removal (Atlantic).
1. Russian vaccine reports very good results. Maybe we shouldn’t believe this, but in expected value terms the Russian vaccine still is underrated.
3. Carrying costs exceed liquidity premium: Lion cheaper than a pedigree kitten in Japan. The lion might cost less than $1000.
3. Don Boudreaux on “Tyler vs. Tyler.” (Usually a rich topic, I might add.) In my view, the mobility data and cross-comparative data show that most of the real resource costs have come from fear and risk avoidance, not from lockdowns per se. See this work, or visit your local movie theatre.
7. John Lott update.
1. Short video, Beijing residents on Biden and Trump. They are better thinkers than the lot of you.
5. Best inventions of 2020? (not my picks)
4. A bit slow to start, but this is an excellent piece on how biologists think and why others might be slow to get it.
3. Where are the Covid deaths in Europe? Some people had been wondering. And cross-immunities from Asian history? And using wearables to detect pre-symptomatic Covid? And Dolly Parton Fast Grants. And more on Dolly. And “Hospitalizations are rising faster in Sweden than any other European country…”
4. Why do Chinese liberals support Washington conservatives? (NYT, excellent piece once you inject the Straussian reading; note the fear that liberalism will be redefined in the direction of Hayek).
5. FDA authorizes 30-minute at-home Covid test, supposedly to sell for $50, crazy though to still require a prescription (NYT).
6. The rise of undrafted NBA talent. A good piece and of general interest.
7. Reduce event size rather than general lockdowns: “Our model predicts that a small minority of “superspreader” POIs account for a large majority of infections and that restricting maximum occupancy at each POI is more effective than uniformly reducing mobility.”
1. State capacity: Italian Police Use Lamborghini To Transport Donor Kidney 300 Miles In Two Hours.
4. “A fact that was never mentioned ahead of time. If we had reached complete suppression vaccine development would have been impossible. Depends, on the math but I think this means that *if* a vaccine is out there slow burn saves lives compared to suppression that eventually snaps” From Karl Smith.
5. “Student loan debt forgiveness likely has a multiplier close to zero. Forgiveness is taxable. If this negative cash flow effect outweighs interest savings would even be net negative. And wealth effect small in short run. Arbitrary/regressive $1T for ~$0 GDP, not a great idea.” From Jason Furman.
2. Covid and complexity (Scott Sumner, I would note that much of Africa seems to fit this same story).
3. Sanity about Sweden (both sides were wrong).
5. China Belgium fact of the day: racing pigeon sells for $1.9 million.
7. Covid in Milan in September 2019? (speculative). Here is the paper. Cross-contamination, or might this be Cowen’s 17th Law: Most phenomena have origins earlier than you are at first inclined to think. It is true for “the marginal revolution” as well!