Thursday assorted links


The last time supposed virus parties were in the news (Washington State, I think), it was quickly acknowledged as a hoax.

Reminds me of the Rainbow Parties moral panic from ten or fifteen years ago.

Our parents warned us about those in high school; we spent weeks trying to find them.

A massive star has disappeared... Mama Cass?

That's my reaction as well: assume it's a hoax or fact-less rumor, until we get confirmation.

I can remember measle and chicken pox parties where you would bring your children so they could get it and get past that risk.

Be wary of stories without any data/numerical frame of reference. It’s essentially always Boomer moral panic clickbait garbage. The last time they did this bs they imprisoned a bunch of innocent preschool teachers for decades.

6. beware of postmodern jargon intensive marxist manifestos.
" lens based workers"
informed consent to document arsonists is +1 silly

Michelle remembers was written by one of the silent generation. The DAs prosecuting those cases would also have been silent generation, just going by their probable ages.

Some of them were innocent. Unfortunately, I know too much about this.

3. bbc babblers always omit the part where finland allied itself with Nazi germany in ww2
is it time to wreckon/ cancel finland?

It's mentioned in the seventh sentence.

cornpops has reading comprehension problems

was testing your reading comprehension.
we shall return!

is wondering if wondering comprehends postmodern cults
Ms H. Pluckrose comprehends cults

They also left out the Russian invasion of Finland in 1939. Sort of a bad neighborhood.

If anyone needed German friends, it was Finland. They came out of it fairly well at the end; the red army didn't turn north after Berlin to have another go at them.

The Finns were also lucky because the Germans did not demand much of them. Compare them with the Latvians or Estonians. They too had an even worse experience with the Soviet Union, which made Berlin seem like less of a problem.

Which was fine - as long as you weren't Jewish.

Arguably, knowing what we know now, the Balts were right to pick Germany as the lesser of two evils. But it is hard to make that argument. It is easier for Finland, even though they did the exact same thing. Largely because Finland did not have a significant Jewish population and were not asked to hand them over.

we seem to remember reading finland was involved
in killing thousands of Jews
during the holocaust

Not according to Wikipedia, which is always true:

The gem in the above link is this one: "Captain Salomon Klass, also of the Finnish Army, who had lost an eye in the Winter War, led a Finnish unit that rescued a German company that had been surrounded by the Soviets." Captain Klass was one of three Finnish Jews offered the iron cross for WW2 military service. Gotta wonder how Mr. Klass felt about all that in 1945. Shit really was flipped backward in Finland!

not according to the newwoketimes.con
which frankly is frequently f.o.s. (especially david brooks- todays headline "the national humiliation that we need") but this is probably mostly right
and then there is canada (also sorta iffy)

do you know how to read?

hey harvard
whats your reading on this one
it smells like postmodern gender theory

My 6th birthday was where everyone who was ANYONE in the neighborhood got chickenpox. It wasn't by my mother's design - I guess Buzzy was pre-symptomatic? Or maybe his parents sent him along anyway?

Are you sure it wasn't smallcox?

For #2 you are just linking to Bergstrom's general twitter page rather than to any specific tweets. Right now a user could scroll down to find some, but later on if somebody comes to this page that link will be far less useful. Here is a more specific link:

Can you tell when the CDC made that recommendation?

2. I love how much he talked around calling out Trump for bending theCDC to the whole trumpian way of viewing the world...aka through the lense and spirit of an advanced Russian disinformation campaign. What we are seeing is not incompetence from the CDC. It is the ongoing effect of America under attack.

The reality is that It is not safe to open up anywhere. Not schools, not grocery stores, not anything other than the most absolute essential services and even those should be as contactless as possible. The deputy Administrator of the CDC has already said that there is too much virus at this point for it to be effectively controlled through preventative measures. We all need to be smarter about this.

I guess (hope) your comments about the Russians is a joke.

Scott Alexander (when he was with us) remarked that doctors have a hard time telling the difference between 'there is no evidence for X' and there is evidence against X.' We do have to be constantly reminded that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The same issue bedeviled the discussion about masks. Clearly if we had just taken a common sense approach to masks, used them as some East Asian countries do, and made sure they were widely available, the pandemic could have been reduced. I can't remember where Bergstrom stood on that issue early on.

This is a bad week to "know" anything about Trump and Russia. There has been a hanging question of why Trump acts the way he does, and this week that question ratcheted up 10x.

Trump Derangement Syndrome is a terrible thing. If Trump was to profess belief in God all the TDS people would immediately deny god. Oh, wait! He did and they did already.

If it is not safe to open anything at all when will it be??? Nov 4th!

Yawn. "TDS" is an ancient incantation to avoid the morning's news.

And just like that you proved my point.

Here's another CNN report that makes you dumber.

We see you as stark raving mad.

Time to take some time offline. Sincerely.

Calling me raving mad does not invalidate my points, nor does it change the fact that, YES I AM MAD. Is being mad a bad thing? Are you laughing that you are seeing someone have a reaction to the desecration of humanity, civility and democratic institutions? I am sorry that you are not mad. YOU my friend, need time offline. Not me. You are not mad because internet culture has lobotomized you.

That you do not see my point is clearly true, and not at all surprising.

Well what I actually meant to say was that I do not see the RELEVANCE of your point. As I said, the things we KNOW about Covid tell us that school is not a good idea.

what's wrong with being "vaginal"...?

There has been no debunking of the Russia story. The Senate and AG are holding onto the full transcripts of the relevant report, and refusing to release all sorts of underlying documents. I guess you can believe Barr accurately summarized it, but I think that's a bad bet.

The subsequent folderol is politics. Nothing proved or disproven. I hope eventually we get a government that releases everything. I know the Republicans won't (as they haven't) and I doubt the Democrats will (which if that occurs probably says something).

The pee tape will probably never be released.

Thiago--there are a lot of new commentors here, you need to provide breadcrumbs....

I find the moral outrage at the COVID parties hilarious. It amazes me that otherwise intelligent adults can lie to themselves and others about the fact that anyone who does not lock themselves in their basement until 2022 are all going to get the COVID. The students have realized this and decided they would like to get it over with so they can fully participate in normal life. They are pursuing the most rational course of action.

Another great reason to go ahead and get the COVID for liberals, if you get sick of wearing a mask to signal how great of a person you are, the easiest way to stop is to get COVID and tell people you have immunity.

Did you just say the most rational thing you can do is contract Covid on purpose??????????

Think about that for half a second. Are you mental? That is like saying...hmm..I will just go ahead and get ebola so that I can be immune. You dumbass. Plus, people have contracted covid multiple times. Immunity is not even a given. Like what are you even saying dude?

Also, people who suffer ebola are immune for at least 10 years.
So his whole argument is even more nonsensical.

Because Covid is the same as Ebola.

Not agreeing with Nigel here but people are not getting reinfected with Covid-19.
And Ebola is a much deadlier virus which doesn’t spare the young, so the comparison doesn’t work.
Immunity to Covid-19 exists for at least 4 months since there isn’t evidence of anyone reinfected. Antibodies to SARS-CoV persisted for at least 2 years.

thanks for the "Science" article.

Here is what the CDC says:

The immune response, including duration of immunity, to SARS-CoV-2 infection is not yet understood. Patients with MERS-CoV are unlikely to be re-infected shortly after they recover, but it is not yet known whether similar immune protection will be observed for patients with COVID-19.

There are numerous cases of people getting it twice. THAT IS WHY THE CDC IS SAYING IT IS UP IN THE AIR AT THIS POINT. Ebola is a much deadlier virus yes....but arguably LESS dangerous to higher risk people since transmission rates for ebola are much lower. They are both extremely deadly, highly infectious diseases that have a very quick trajectory once a suitable host is fouind-- so yes, they can be compared.

And this is what you said about the CDC a few minutes ago:

“When the CDC is putting out garbage (formerly one of the most respected, thorough and consistent regulatory bodies in the world) because itis being leaned on by the Russian propaganda culture that is Trumpism, then we have clear evidence that we are under attack.“

The garbage CDC is putting out is in the form of its "weak" policy recommendations that leave the door open for people to basically, not change any of their behavior. The scientist there still know what they are talking about. The policy arm is what is being corrupted. Thanks for this opportunity to clarify that point.

Yeah, CDC’s policy arm was much better when it was putting out articles about Zombie Preparedness or spending millions to study the dreaded disease of bullying.

Damn Russians.

Bullying and troll culture is very much in CDC's wheelhouse. It is a mental health phenomenon. And btw, they were very perceptive to do so because just a few short years later the power of both would take over the government and society. But I do not expect you to see that. You are part of the experiment.

That argument might play if there wasn’t NIMH and SAMSHA

Because only one or two agencies can study mental health issues? Are you saying the CDC has no authority or responsibility to study internet culture and bullying?

For context, here is CDC's mission:

As the nation's health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.

Funny, you left this part out:

“Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.“

Note nowhere does it mention mental health. Keep spinning.

Mental health is definitely relevant to the study of diseases. Are you serious right now? Are you really saying that the CDC should not study bipolar disorder for example if a large part of the US population starts coming down with the disorder?????

Do you understand how rampant online bullying is? Do you understand that kids develop serious health issues as a result of their social environment? Again, multiple agencies can study a problem. That is a good thing. Why you are arguing against that is beyond me.

I do understand how rampant online bullying is. Cancel Culture is just politically correct online bullying.

And very nasty it is too.

Government has not performed well enough in the current crisis to justify its current structure, so I would say no. There should be a high-profile agency whose sole purpose is to be the public health equivalent of the army. It exists to prevent, prepare for, and combat pandemics that can pose serious if not existential risks to our civilization.

By all means, have NIH study chronic conditions, mental illness and accident prevention but we should not have multiple government agencies each with mission creep to the point that they start stepping on each other's toes and confusing the public.

By the way, the CDC's website is poorly organized, confusing and parts of it are embarrassingly out of date. Meanwhile, as the New York Times reported, they botched the early effort to develop testing kits and the FDA reported a surprising lack of technical know-how in the CDC labs tasked with developing kits.

I don’t believe that reinfection happens. Please point to the evidence that it does.
If it doesn’t, then obviously immunity lasts at least 4 months since the virus started last December in Wuhan.
Testing PCR positive can go on for a while after infection since it doesn’t test for a live virus.

My point is reinfection rates are not well known or understood. There are plenty of cases of the virus flaring up again after someone was considered virus free. This could be caused by numerous factors, including reinfection. That is why the CDC is staying mum about it for now. So, in a world where reinfection is possible, and even in a world where immunity lasts 4 months, we know that having Coronavirus parties is well....stupid. Especially when the transmission rate of the virus is so high. One person's immunity and return to normalcy is another persons death warrant. Let's not pretend like what I am saying does not make sense.

Own what you actually said.

“You dumbass. Plus, people have contracted covid multiple times. “

When challenged to provide proof, you’ve just moved goalposts and deflected.

*Awaits proof of people contacting it multiple times*

I was wrong to state that people have contracted it multiple times. I should have stated that it is unknown if the cases of people who experience the symptoms twice have been reinfected or if it was just a reactivation of the virus that was already there. Jury is still out on that (which is what the CDC is saying).

Anyways, I see that I clearly made a misleading statement and that my attempt to clarify was the same thing as moving the goalpost. So I commend you on your ability to see through the BS to the truth. I just implore you to use those same skills in all aspects of your life. know when someone is giving you BS and act accordingly.

I think they track a lot of the 're-infections' back to false positives on the tests.

"There are numerous cases of people getting it twice."

I don't believe there is even one case of someone getting it twice. There are many cases of someone testing negative and then positive again and it's always a big brouhaha about whether they could have gotten it again but it never is.

A lot of people who can work from home and practice basic public health measures outside of it will not get sick with covid.
Also, there is no such thing as "get it over with". SARS-CoV-2 can and will reinfect you. A simple fact - yet too complicated for those of you simpletons chasing the imaginary herd immunity (that cannot exist for this virus ever).

Also, Herd Immunity is a scientific concept that virologist and public health officials use to describe the immunity level of a population. It is something quite different when politicians and the general public begin speaking of pursuing "Herd Immunity" as a public health strategy. That is the same as saying, let's calculate the most extreme unacceptable loss for this virus and then, lets let this thing run rampant until we get there. In other words, let's let people die so that we do not have to worry about keeping them alive. Its incredibly heartless, lazy, and irrational... Hmm... Sound familiar? theres a certain saying in leadership studies that comes to mind at this time... IT ALL STARTS AT THE TOP.

And it turns out that John isn't John anyways.

Which is OK, as vodka is the only thing available to drink between shift in the meme mines.

1. +1 for the dark forest theory.

3. I can’t really blame people in Finland for not being as anti-Nazi as elsewhere given their history with being invaded by the USSR and an alliance with the Nazis was their only shot at recovering the land lost in the Winter War. It seems the same with how many people in former British and French colonies saw the Nazis as potential liberators for their countries so there isn’t quite the same Nazis-as-epitome-of-evil stigma in those countries and every now and then we’ll see some media from those areas displaying Nazis in a heroic light. Some find that stuff outrageous but I think it’s more amusing to see these cultural differences.

"an alliance with the Nazis was their only shot at recovering the land lost in the Winter War."

they coulda/shoulda allied with the allies.

The Soviets were the nearest Allies; the rest of the allies were willing to let the Soviets her away with quite a bit because of their alliance with them against the axis.

the rest of the allies had their hands full fighting both nazis & japan rather than "were willing to let the soviets have their way".
the allies were also fighting fascist Italy , vichy france, & dutch ss.
the allies would have appreciated a little help from finland

The magnificent nation of Brazil on the other hand does not need the help of Vietnam at all.
We can just soccer through the pandemic without any casualties.

Schools should be reopened, with or without testing. Education is more important than a few deaths (*). We have already lost almost half a year of schooling for one entire generation. Let's not add another half-year.

(Even from the point of view of pandemics, what we need more than any vaccine is a more educated population that doesn't believe the trivial mistakes and blatant lies of epidemiologists and politicians).

(*) In any case, it is not even clear that opening schools will increase the total number of deaths -- by infecting more quickly young people whose risks to covid is very small, it builds an herd immunity that will eventually protect all people, including the most fragile, and may reduce the total number of deaths.

I am happy that my university, under pressure from students and parents,
has decided to largely reopen its campus and offer a number of courses in-person.

Is it more important that 2-3% of your students getting permanent lung fibrosis in their early 20s? That's of course on top of the CFS and other organ damage that will also be a consequence of your idiotic policy.

After every other model of the virus's effects has proven to be wildly alarmist, one might think you'd be a bit less adamant about predictions of this nature, particularly as to the fake precision.

Most models have not been "wildly alarmist", infecious disease specialists have widely cited 0.5% to 1% as the IFR back in February (exactly what it turned out to be) and it's not rocket science to see what percentage of SARS survivors had lung sequlae, scale it back with the same factor as the deaths and see where it takes you.

LOL at the IFR being .5% to 1%.

lung Fibrosis is a scary word for something that most peoplw won’t even notice if they gave it.

You are a moron and, if you have lung fibrosis, you will notice it every time you try to run. Or just walk briskly.

So what happens if you go to school and contract the virus and end up in ICU? Are you just going to say, oh well!!?

Your point makes no sense. Education is not more important than SURVIVAL. You idiot. Only a privileged, sophomoric, narcist would make the counterpoint. You do not know real struggle. That is why you think it is okay to mortgage the lives of countless people (including professors) in the name of in person education. Like what kind of society do you want to have dude? One that makes every decision a black mirror-ian cost-benefit analysi, or one that says, WE VALUE OUR CITIZENS, ALL OF THEM. PERIOD.

Have you ever considered that screaming at people and calling them names doesn't really address their argument? That instead it makes you look immature.

Perhaps it would be better to construct a rational counter argument. Preferably backed up with widely available Data.

Not everyone is as patient and civilized as you Jwatts. THanks for the advice though, pops.

You're welcome junior. Enjoy the long summer until school starts back. ;)

A society in which a privileged narcissist doesn’t deem himself the voice of “we”?

You didn't answer the question though....

Do you want to live in a society that values all people or one that makes public health decisions based on the political interests of the man in charge.

My answer is simple, I don’t value you or your lunatic rants at all, except as a temporary form of entertainment.

Why is it entertaining?
You are a sick person. Did you grow up watching those "Reaction" videos?
I hear that is like porn for narcissists.

You “hear”, hehe.

Are you even a person to be taken seriously?

Do you know what it is to have a real conversation? WHy are you hehe-ing and running all over the place when I am trying to talk to you directly. Thas some BAN stuf. Dont fool wid dat.

It’s a risk most 20 years old will be willing to take because the probability of them landing in the ICU for Covid-19 is tiny unless they are immuno compromised in some way ( HIV, etc..). In that case they should consider not attending as it’s just common sense.

You should take your mask off and go out and socialize. You might meet a healthy someone in their 20s or 30s who had it. They might tell you it was like a weird cold at worst and at best they lost the sense of smell. You might meet a nurse who tells you the only person under 40 who died in their ICU weighed 600 pounds. You might meet someone who put off getting some dental work done and has lost their teeth and their job along with the health insurance that would have paid for the now worse dental problem. You might decide the real collective action problem is the moralizing about keeping things locked down and the pressure people feel to wear masks and not spend money at restaurants and bars.

Or you may meet someone who is no longer able to work forever because of the disease. Or the one who lost their sense of smell may never recover it. Or you may meet the parents of a 20 year old college athlete who died from it.

But don't worry, the important thing is to open the restaurants and bars without which our shit economy collapses apparently. Despite the fact that no one actually needs their services.

6. "Snitches get stitches." I liked the one guy who said that if they let their journalism be used for the left's political advantage, they'll open themselves up to the right-wing smear that they're using their journalism for the left's political advantage.

#6. The point of a protest is to make a public display. There's really no point of a protest if you don't want to be seen protesting. So the idea that anybody has to ask pretty please to photograph such a public display is both A) insane and B) totally on-brand for the late 2010s.

I feel sorry for photojournalists if they have to go through all the hoops described in this article just to take and publish a picture of a public protest. We're all carrying really good cameras in our pockets and are free to post a picture on Facebook or Instagram where, who knows, more people may see it than subscribe to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

I've often been tempted to take a protestor's photo and photoshop their sign from "no justice no peace" to "I'm a self-righteous twit". If I posted that, I wonder if I would be breaking any laws.


Wait until these people both pro and anti-Antifa realize that they still left plenty of biometric data in the public sphere by simply being tattooed all over and run-through with various piercings, regardless of whether or not they covered their faces.

That's actually the only thing I like about former inmates will tell you, "If they can see your ink, it'll land you in the clink!"

Virtually all the anarchist protestors will be walking around with iPhones in their pocket. If the State really wanted to dox them, it would be no major challenge.

Tbh I almost expect they are doxxed on some system and it simply isn't much used for arrests and action in order to prevent protestors embracing counter-surveillance measures.

It suggests that people aren't actually protesting for a cause but rather are just looking to break stuff.

Yes, but what you want to display is that there are many people who are protesting. You may have legitimate reason (first, fear of retribution) for not letting people now that you, in particular, are part of the protest.
Publishing the photo of an identifiable protester is like doxxing an anonymous blogger. Except under very specific good reason, it should be avoided.

Protestors are people who seek to change society through direct action, circumventing normal civil process.

If anyone in society deserves to be photographed, made public and held accountable, it's probably them. Accountability for these people for the consequences of social changes they demand is important, or they'll simply advocate for any old social cause that seems exciting, without thought of the consequences, judgment, prejudice and social exclusion they should face if what they advocate does not work out.

I insist, because your are all deadly wrong in this thread. Many people may want to let us known their opinion or reasoning, and protests, as well as blog posts (or comments on blog post) are means to do that. Sometimes one can do that under one's real name, but other times
we do not want to because we fear retribution (from the government, the mob, our employer, our family, a random fascist or feminist, etc.) Protecting anonymity is valuable for us all otherwise there are a lot of
opinion we would not hear.

Protests are not different. Our democracy is indirect which has the disadvantage that the elected officials may fall to reflect (and even to know) the changes of public opinion util the next election. Protests, like petitions, are a way for a part of the people to let know its opinion, and
anonymat should be protected for protesters.

Whatever our stance, it should be consistent. Don't want the BLM protestors to be photographed and reported without permission and in unflattering ways? Ok, but that also applies to:

- anti-mask protestors
- cops on security footage proclaiming their dislike of mask orders
- confrontations between persons in public places, filmed by third parties, where one expresses a social or political opinion

Privacy for left wing protesters (to allow them to carefully curate flattering images and avoid accountability whilst they try to change society), social media surveillance in any public place for the rest of society, is just not a stable or fair equilibrium. Surveillance for all, or surveillance for none.

7. Hope springs eternal. Seeing the headline about Luhrmann, the heart leapt, and I thought, "Oh, they're making a film of Master and Margarita!" This, even though I know perfectly well, after a lifetime of movie-going, that great books do not make good movies.

Popular, even bad fiction makes good movies. Sherlock Holmes. Tarzan. Gone with the Wind. Harry Potter. Grand Hotel.

Doctor Zhivago was a great movie from a popular novel. But does anyone remember the Brothers Karamazov starring William Shatner?

But who knows? Baz Luhrmann may be just bad enough to pull it off.

"Doctor Zhivago was a great movie from a popular novel. But does anyone remember the Brothers Karamazov starring William Shatner?"

Does anyone remember any non-Star Trek movie starred by William Shatner? Besides Judgment at Nuremberg?

The fault, dear Faze, is not in our books,
But in our casts and crews, that we make bad movies.

With no regular gig after Star Trek was canceled, Shatner was a frequent and effective guest bad guy in early '70s shows such as Mission Impossible and 5-0. He also starred in The Andersonville Trial, which was made for TV in 1970 but was a fairly prestigious PBS production

Shatner was in a substantial amount of TV shows. TJ Hooker, the Twilight Zone episode, etc, but I couldn't recall a lot of movies off the top of my head, that were actual roles and not just cameos.

Not just "substantial". Shatner has been a guest on pretty much *everything*. He was in Gunsmoke, Kung Fu, Hawaii-5-0, The Twilight Zone.

He has even starred in My Little Pony.

I thought Shatner was quite good in Miss Congeniality.

Fair enogh, but I had forgotten he was in it until now.

Surely everyone remembers Shatner in „Inkubo“. Perhaps the best Esperanto language ever made.

There was a pretty good Russian TV version of Master and Margarita about 15 years ago. I’d rather see a high-budget HBO version with decent special effects, I think the book is too large to compress into a single movie.

The 10-part Russian mini-series from 2005 is highly faithful to the novel. Scenes and dialogues are simply reproduced verbatim, without narration or exposition. It is simply assumed that you've read the book. If you haven't, you'll flounder.

Any English version would have to be approachable as a standalone work. It would need to take the traditional route of adaptation by drastic simplification and compression.

The title might be a problem even though master in Russian just refers to mastery of some skill or trade. Think "master craftsman", of wordsmithing in this case, rather than people-owning or domination.

The sommeliers struggled with this same thing a few days ago and dropped Master from their titles.

My heart sank at the words "Baz Luhrman". No offense, but he has always struck me as a little too .... fabulous. For a married man.

On the other hand my personal choice of Michael Mann might not be the best either. A pity that Stnley Kubrick is also not available.

However they will have to do something about that title. Can't have the word "Master". And I am pretty sure there is some heavy duty cultural appropriation going on in Margaritas.

I suggest they give it a better name. I am sure Luhrmann is on it right now. He will probably call it "Talking Cat in Moscow - the Musical!"

#2. I got blocked by Bergstrom for suggesting, in a mild way, that public health experts like him put black lives at risk by pretending the virus wouldn’t hurt protestors. In sensible world no one would trust him after his stance there.

2. As I said in the other thread, testing elite college students first, before broadly testing seniors verges on dystopia.

It is not the sign of a healthy, moral, or competent society.

+1 +1 +1 +1. Drop your mic, walk away sir or madam.

Seniors are social distancing and wearing masks the most. They are the least likely to contract the virus. If you thought it was worth knowing who has the COVID, would you want to test those in situations most likely to spread? Right now, for the most part, people get tested when they get symptoms. There seems to be plenty of capacity in my area for those who want to get tested to get tested. These guys want much larger scale testing and have been advocating it since the beginning. They envision scaled up production such there would be plenty of tests for everyone.

"Seniors are social distancing and wearing masks the most. They are the least likely to contract the virus."

Just read that back a few times. Seniors are most likely to suffer the serious effects of this virus that will overwhelm the healthcare system and kill people.

Idk what you mean by “the healthcare system”. Maybe ICUs and ERs have a few tough months but my dentist, GP, pharmacist, I see maybe once a year will be fine.

A few tough months? *faceplant*

The entire health xare system. Hospitals, primary care doctors, dentists insurers. All of them suffer from this outbreak. I refuse to connect the dots for you on thos because it is too obvious. And you just admitted that they would have a few tough months... wel, if the outbreak gets bad and reaches a critical mass, those tough months can turn into a year or two.

#4. I think the moral outrage wrt COVID parties is outsized. As long as infected students aren't then purposely going out to reinfect other people outside the party, COVID parties seem like a responsible way to contract the virus on your own terms, self-isolate, and recover without walking around asymptomatic and accidentally infecting a large number of people. At-risk individuals will self-select out of attending these parties and fewer people may end up dying in the long run. Because students are young and unlikely to require hospitalization, they will not drain public health resources. Therefore, COVID parties are, in fact underrated.

Why on earth would you think the people who go to COVID parties would be the same people who understand and implement effective distancing protocols to protect their communities?

3. I'm fine with the canceling of all current swastikas in the West but at some point in the future, we need to allow these symbols with their original ancient meanings to inhabit the public space. Many people from Asia (who are 2/3rds of the world) or who follow Asian traditions don't see these symbols the same way. In a sense this is the ultimate act of cultural appropriation.

(yes, this is a comment about cancel culture, cultural appropriation, and fascism; all hot topics but let us speak rationally about it)

It is a commonly used symbol in Asia to denote a Buddhist temple - on maps and the like. Often used in the decoration of temples as well.

There is a Buddhist temple in Arizona or somewhere that has been repeatedly vandalized because they use a swastika in just this way.

I used to think that the guilty parties were probably inbred red necks. Now I guess I will have to re-evaluate my priors and accept they might be Ivy-League-educated Upper Middle Class woke-lings.

I think we can, and should, tolerate the odd swastika.

Agreed with both. Similarly we have to accept Iranians being called this way rather than Persians even if "Iran" is just the modern form of "aryans" that the Nazis used in their sinister way.

#2. I believe either TC misread the CDC paper. It says (June 30) "Testing of all students, faculty and staff for COVID-19 before allowing campus entry (entry testing) has not been systematically studied. It is unknown if entry testing in IHEs provides any additional reduction in person-to-person transmission of the virus beyond what would be expected with implementation of other infection preventive measures (e.g., social distancing, cloth face covering, hand washing, enhanced cleaning and disinfection). Therefore, CDC does not recommend entry testing of all returning students, faculty, and staff." It doesn't not take a college degree, and certainly not an advanced degree, to appreciate the difference between "not recommend" and "recommend not". But as usual, it isn't clear which 'side' TC finds "deeply irresponsible". Bergstrom's tweets, whoever he is, are lame. He fails to mention the most obvious reason that entry testing might be harmful: the queues for it. I'm advocating neither 'side', but what are the chances that the kids 1) would not be likely to be exposed to active infections for 10-20 minutes while waiting for their test as well as for their results 2) would be notified within 24-36 hrs of their results? I know both problems *could* be eliminated, I'm not at all confident that Institutions of Higher Educations (IHE) have the capacity to do so. Devil's in the details.

Thank you for the calm comment

6) Calling the current mayhem "an uprising" is rather romantic and undermines credibility right from the start. Maybe Hong Kong qualifies as an uprising but the American binge of acting out by spoiled children does not come close.

No, this is about putting an end to the "the white, Western, cisgender male gaze" that has colonized the peaceful protesters setting fire to police cars.

OT: - analysis of 25 US counties most affected in initial wave finds extensive, ubiquitous voluntary social distancing before lockdown orders, little to no additional effect on mobility from lockdown date itself on mobility or transmission.

Consistent on similar models on Sweden and UK -

Lockdown orders don't seem to have done much, or any, more than the voluntary social distancing people were engaging with anyway... The effectiveness of that "natural social distancing" probably depends on the effectiveness of the media to effect behavioural change and report risk though.

No one is looking to imitate how Sweden, the UK, or the U.S. have handled the pandemic. On the other hand, Greece and Finland are still looking pretty good.

Japan too.

(And this concludes our scheduled detour onto the mandatory prior_approval non-sequitur of the hour....)

#1: I try to pay some attention to astronomy but I was ignorant of ... a lot of things mentioned in this article. Black holes can be created when stars simply collapse instead of going supernova -- and we've already observed this happen. Stars that are too large (more than 65 times the mass of the sun) can NOT go supernova (so, based on another article, apparently they have to either just collapse or go hypernova). I'd read about blue giant stars as a kid but I did not know about these Luminous Blue Variable stars.

In another comment to today's links crypto-Thiago made a clever comment combining Shakespeare's "the fault dear Brutus is not in our stars" with William Shatner trivia. Along the same lines "there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy" applies to me.

There was a scientific American article about this in 2015 based on the paper below. This failed supernova phenomenon that doesn’t fit the simulations of core collapse is not common. Perhaps one example has been found. Not sure.

6. What are the proper standards for informed consent in photographing the swells?

O/T. Goldman Sachs does the math. (Clearly a liberal outfit trying to make Trump look bad.)

#6: It's well established that legally, one has no expectation of privacy when out in a public place. Therefore, there is no need to ask permission before photographing anyone in a public place. There's certainly no ethical requirement for a reporter to get permission from a person before reporting about that person.

Actually, publishing photos of people commercialy is not at all settled law. and the right to controlling one's own image remains a significant consideration.

News coverage isn't "commercially." You couldn't take a photo of someone in the street and use that image in an ad, but you don't need permission to put it in a news story.

Consider this: "Mr. Trump, I'm planning to write a story about how you ignored the fact that the Russians were paying the Taliban to kill Americans. Do I have your permission to write that?" No, news reports don't need permission from the people they are covering. That includes photos.

Public Officials follow different rules than private individuals out in public

The Right of Publicity applies to people whose image or emanations (such as highly distinctive vocal style) etc., are economic resources for themselves and the unauthorized use impinges on their income. Entertainers, primarily.

Really? Being photographed at a socialite's party where many were infected with covid could seriously damage one's standing in that social circle. Read the article I link above. Fear of a lawsuit caused the photographs to be taken down from social media. Now, these were swells, not the riffraff at a protest.

Photographs taken in a socialite's back yard have different rules than photographs taken in the middle of main street. At a private party on private property, you usually do have some expectation of privacy. But not out in the street.

"when out in a public place. " Not Equal To "at a socialite's party"

The socialite's party was presumably a private event.

SO what is your position on the matter? Should the confed. monuments be removed?

I say no. They should all have plaques though, that give an honest reading of the persons history. America was made great on account of racism. America can not acknowledge its history at all if it is to exclude all racist people from it. Also, I think it is probably good that george washington, for example, is remembered for qualities other than his racism since it gives posterity something positive to look for in its hero. However, as I said earlier, it should also be a requirement to mention that as great as he was at being a statesmen, his morals were not high enough to escape the evil of that time.

So, leave them up, but require caveats.

Well, it is part of our history, but there's the fighting for slavery part, and the fact that they were traitors leading a rebellion against our nation.

So, unlike Geo Washington, their "good sides" were in fact the bad sides.

I suppose I'd be fine with leaving up the statues and base names, if we erect an equal number of statues for, I dunno, Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, and name a few military bases after people like General Rommel and Võ Nguyên Giáp

A government sanctioned/mandated statue for Bobby and Huey?

That sounds about as appealing as Harriet on the 20.

That is seriously dystopic and would not bode well for a society that openly struggles with understanding history and context...sort of like your contention about fighting for slavery and traitors. Neither of those points are true.
Civil war was primarily a tarrif dispute and a political and economic sovereignty issue for states - which was never resolved btw. And the south was not looking to overthrow the US. They were looking to separate and determine their own destiny. The US was the primary aggressor.

Unpopular analysis, but nontheless true.

not only an unpopular analysis, but a revisionist one as well.

Bottom line: the south made war on the north over the right to keep slaves. And lost.

fwiw, it's not really radical to acknowledge that economics are invariably tangled up in almost all national conflicts.

How did the south make war on the north? Lol. I do not know what your reading of the fort Sumter conflict is but I don't see how that can be interpreted as the south making war on anyone.

i dont see how anyone can read sumter as anything besides as the south initiating armed conflict

but apparently youve decided to try

Untrue and popular among racists---just part of the neverending Civil War revisionism attempting to escape the moral judgment the South deserved.

The link on the use of the swastika in Finland left something important out. It went on about its use in India, but in fact it was used by the pagan Nordics, actually one with long spines coming off it, a version of which was in the lobby of the main airport in Stockholm until recently. It was a symbol of solar divine power. One can find them in a mansion on Rock Island in Door County, Wisconsin built in the 1890s by an Icelandic immigrant. Those are just plain old swastikas. That is a state park and no cars are allowed on the island, which is beyond Washington Island. As it is, in recent years apparently neo-Nazis have sometimes gathered in that place, but the swastikas were put there as good old Viking divine sun power symbols, nothing to do with Naziism.

1 a massive "hypothetical" star has ceased to exist
"This massive and exceptionally bright blue star was hypothesized to exist based on astronomical observations made between 2001 and 2011,"
this is the funny part
"Correction: Because of a typo, we wrote that the star was 2.5 times brighter than the Sun. It’s actually 2.5 million times brighter, which is a whole lot more."

We all have access to every single great insight every great artist has had access to, simply by virtue of being human beings who are capable of loving and being kind and virtuous, hating sin of all sorts - after all, the greatest paintings and the greatest poems were all a result of the painter or the poet understanding, with admiration, this:
"to love is to understand the reason God created the creature we loved".

In that context, what is, after all, the difference between a little star that is a couple times brighter than our neighbor star and a slightly less little star that is a couple million times brighter than out neighbor star?

Akron, Ohio ---
TCM ---

"Miracles have been leaning on lampposts at 18th and Fairfax"

#5: Britain as a science superpower, whatever that means, sounds like Harald Wilson's "white heat of technology" of 57 years ago, whatever that meant.

#1 is literally news from 75 million years ago...

And way more interesting than the slavery news from 300 years ago.

#4 there should at least make themselves useful by trying variolation

Of course Tom T. is probably right that it's a fake story.

Nope, not too late.

Trump's a Republican. He's yours. I don't remember blaming others for your own mistakes being a conservative value. What happened to self-responsibility or does that only apply to others?

BoJo is a clown and a buffoon much like Trump but not nearly as impulsive. The right is no longer the big tent party but a small tent of clowns.

Hang on, I didn't vote for him. I'm complaining, and you ought to instead of saying ... what are you saying? about those who did.

And had the Republicans ran 1 or 2 moderates at the primary instead of 20, none of this would have happened.

5. Is Ray Lopez on hiatus again? I didn’t see any mention of patents in that article about Britain being a science superpower. Nor any mention of non-compete agreements.


People thinking they can just reopen schools are nuts. You’ve got to get this thing under control before that happens. Teachers aren’t going back if they have any choice.

This is probably the best argument for actually saving money: you never know when your elected officials are going to go crazy and try and go for herd immunity. Grasshopper and the ants. Except the grasshoppers are running amok and insisting we pretend everything is normal. I’ve been told people searching for their second stimulus check is trending pretty high over at Google Trends. Go figure.

Whether you think its good or bad policy, that check is coming. And the road to a monthly check is no longer just hacking through a forest.

Hmmm. Frankly, Boris Johnson isn't particularly rightist in his policies. You can look at any of them; from quite a bit of favourability to national healthcare, to inviting millions of HK refugees. He's not even particularly as anti-EU as many of his voters; he described himself as on the fence until the last possible moment and claims to have written two letters for or against until the last possible moment (bendy bananas and all). He's a fairly centrist politician (whatever the bleating of the left).

He's been passable at best in most of his jobs (from London mayor to foreign secretary), no wonder of competence.

But he's not a socialist, not a post-nationalist, not a representative of the international managerial class and at least somewhat bound up with an expression of actual democratic national self determination. This seems to be enough for now.

You are a liar. The meuller report clearly showed impeachable and treasonous misconduct by trump and a succesful preemptive strike by Russia


Good policy, bad policy, such questions are beside the point. Once you live in a country where people aren’t ashamed to be taking a government handouts but feel entitled to them, you’ve done something wrong.

It’s an election year and the checks are just good politics. So I agree with you there. And I’m not against social welfare spending. Just a bit disgusted with how eager some people are.

Tyler, in your "New evidence that amino acid mutations matter for contagiousness" also posted today, you said "moralizing about the virus is premature". Isn't calling a policy "deeply irresponsible" the very premature moralizing you are moralizing to the rest of us to avoid?

Regarding Britain's investment in science: Pitiful. Singapore is more generous. Britain attracts people because its culture and friendliness, not its largess.

4. There is no evidence for these parties, as per

5. In Australia, now that foreign students are no longer bringing in money, the federal government has decided we don't really need universities. This may have some negative effects.

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