3. Ross Douthat is back from paternal leave (NYT).
6. What are the macro benefits of large cities?, by Salim Furth.
1. Photos from Belarus, interesting in their own right but all the more so now.
3. The lockdown culture that is Ontario: “19-year-old charged after Mercedes clocked doing 308 km/h.”
5. Covid-19 has largely spared the baseball world (model this).
6. An argument that all will be well soon enough. Not my view, but happy to pass along this perspective from Lars Christensen.
1. Where have all the briskets gone? A good lesson in supply chain economics. And China to slap big tariffs on Australian barley exports.
10. Millie Small, RIP (music video).
11. To be clear, I am not against this kind of article (NYT). “Sweatpants and Caviar,” but in the paper edition it is called “A Chance to Think About Composing that Opera.” Still, we can learn a bit from doing a small amount of modeling of how it came about.
13. “Ethics of controlled human infection to study COVID-19.” That is what you might call “an establishment piece.” On one hand, it is nice to see them not reject the idea, though they cannot agree on monetary compensation for exposure. I wonder how they feel about fishing boats?
6. A thread threading threads on heterogeneous super-spreaders. Best update on this discussion I have seen lately.
8. “Far more mildly ill or asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in Japan are opting to self-isolate at home than hole up in hotels, leaving accommodations catering to them with abysmal occupancy rates, recent figures show.“
3. Who is at most risk from Covid? A new study based on very good NHS data.
4. Further new data on transmission. And useful overview of how Covid-19 “works.” Maybe it seems a little late in the game to be reading this kind of short survey piece, but it is actually the best one I’ve seen and it is quite up to date, recommended.
7. Why are coronavirus survivors banned from the military? How can that possibly make sense?
10. Epidemiological model from some data scientists at Stripe (but not a Stripe product). Do you have any comments or suggestions for improvements for them?
4. Source code for the Imperial College model. And Sue Denim is very upset about the quality of that source code. Another reader with a strong technical background wrote me equally critical remarks. Are there further opinions on this?
11. “A county in Washington State dealing with a coronavirus outbreak has identified a confounding new source of spread: “Covid-19 parties” organized so that people can deliberately mingle with an infected person in the hope of getting their own illness out of the way.” (NYT link) I wonder what they play for the music.
12. How are the social sciences evolving? Less rational choice, for one thing.
13. Why are meatpacking plants hit so hard? Holds true for numerous countries — is it the deliberate circulation of cool air?
9. Model this (Australian camel plunge, multi-camel plunge in fact).
11. How do the CRISPR tests for Covid-19 work? (pretty amazing stuff).
12. Are panviral defenses a real option? (NYT)
13. The Quebec plan for school reopening — feasible or not?
2. Conor Sen catnip: “For example, people in New York travel 38% fewer total kilometers and visit 14% fewer block-sized areas than people in Atlanta.” The paper has further interesting results.
4. Pareto: the virtual start-up assistant. A new product and company. The founder is EV winner Phoebe Yao.
3. U.S. prison CFR simulator (by Paul Novosad).
8. Matt Parlmer thread, recommended.
10. Straussian Swedes?: “In my household my opinion counts for little, and she has continued to live her life pretty normally (her high-school classes went online, however).”
4. New Taiwan test and trace data. Better and more relevant numbers than I have been seeing.
9. David Goldhill is upset. My short summary would be: “Public health experts insist on RCTs except when it comes to their own policy recommendations.” That’s right, isn’t it?
7. Innate immunology? (NYT)
10. Meara O’Reilly, Hockets for Two Voices, short distraction, by the way she is the daughter of Tim O’Reilly.
1. Black hole in the outer solar system? By Edward Witten.
5. Peruvian indigenous rap (NYT).
7. The culture that was French: France to sell some of nation’s antique furniture to support hospitals.
9. The culture that is Japan: should you video chat your local aquarium eel?
4. Words from Holman Jenkins (WSJ): “Please, if you are a journalist reporting on these matters and can’t understand “flatten the curve” as a multivariate proposition, leave the profession. You are what economists call a “negative marginal product” employee. Your nonparticipation would add value. Your participation subtracts it.”
5. NYT covers Sweden. In my view we still don’t know how well the Swedish experiment is working out, but a continuing verdict of “we still don’t know” does in fact favor Sweden relative to priors. And Thomas Friedman (NYT) on Sweden. And update on some Swedish numbers.
6. A reader email on why child abuse is not opposed more passionately: “Basically, I think it comes down to the problem of agency vs structure. The left (including myself) wants to emphasize that problems have large structural components so we need to change the system. However individual heinous acts don’t fit neatly into that paradigm. Plus, child abuse is pervasive enough that it is sort of structural itself, and talking about it can sound like blaming a community or demographic, or hitting close to racism. No idea why the right doesn’t emphasize it more other than the idea that it’s somehow “traditional”?”
7. Mel Baggs, disability advocate, RIP (NYT). Formerly known as Amanda Baggs.
8. Quarantine stereotypes (video, funny, some of it).
9. Will colleges lose twenty percent of their student body this year? Solve for the equilibrium.
10. Jason Furman: “If you had told me we would have a massive pandemic I would have predicted an increase in health spending. Shows why you shouldn’t listen to me. Health spending down 4.9% in Q1 (not annualized). Responsible for nearly 1/2 of the overall GDP decline. Likely down much more in Q2.” Correctly or not, that makes me feel better about the observed gdp decline. I am not minimizing the import of the non-Covid extra death toll (which is what exactly? Is it net even positive?), but I already felt bad about that.
2. Very good Derek Thompson piece on the evolution of retail (Atlantic).
4. Mulligan, Murphy, and Topel on Covid-related issues. They think like economists.
6. Osterholm and Olshaker on testing, good piece (NYT).
7. Coronavirus spreading in Africa more slowly than expected (FT but not gated).
8. Forced isolation.