Wednesday, October 21, 2020

A fifth of countries worldwide at risk from ecosystem collapse as biodiversity declines, reveals pioneering Swiss Re index

  • Almanac: James Thurber on light
    “There are two kinds of light—the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures.” James Thurber, Lanterns and Lances Continue reading Almanac: James Thurber on light at About Last Night.... Read more
    Source: About Last Night 

    The Internet, smart phones, and social media (ISS) have set human communication back about 20,000 years. That is, we now rely more on gossip than we have since we lived in small tribes.

    Human evolution produced gossip. Cultural anthropology sees gossip as an informal way of enforcing group norms. It is effective in small groups. But gossip is not the search for truth. It is a search for approval by attacking the perceived flaws of others.

    Gossip at Scale

    Mary Oliver knew something about this. The poem ‘Shadows’ opens with the lines

    Everyone knows the great energies running amok cast
    terrible shadows, that each of the so-called
    senseless acts has its thread looping
    back through the world and into a human heart.


    High minds, low politics

    The lives of four revolutionary thinkers

    Time of the Magicians: The Invention of Modern Thought, 1919-29 by Wolfram Ellenberger, (trans. Shaun Whiteside), reviewed by David Motadel at the Times Literary Supplement.

A fifth of countries worldwide at risk from ecosystem collapse as biodiversity declines, reveals pioneering Swiss Re index Swiss Re. Handy map ...

Kathleen Delaney Thomas (UNC) presents Taxing Nudges 106 Va. L. Rev. ___ (2020), virtually at UC-Hastings today as part of its Tax Speakers Series hosted by Heather Field and Manoj Viswanathan

Why the George Floyd Protests Succeeded Where Others Failed

Looking at what the George Floyd and later Black Lives Matter protests over the summer did right.

How Henry Ford’s Production Model Shaped Our Politics Ford would likely find his relevance to the current crisis of globalization a testament to his “producerist” philosophy. But as historian Stefan J. Link writes in his new book, Forging Global Fordism: Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and the Contest over the Industrial Order, Ford’s peculiar ideals “projected a political (and moral) economy that hardly anticipated the American consumer modernity that emerged after 1945.” – Boston Review

The price of refrigerators needs to rise.  And Ghost kitchens are flourishing

Reinfection is a rare event

On the Lilly antibody trial halt

The Progress Network.

Some NYC retail spaces sell for 80% below peak 2014 values (WSJ).

Our results unambiguously show how planning vaccination by priority groups can achieve dramatic reductions in total fatalities (more than 70% in some cases) compared to no prioritisation.

Flying still seems pretty safe

Public opinion has softened its view on brutalism.

In case you had forgotten this ongoing story: “By Thursday evening’s fourth round the 29-year-old from Oslo had extended his world record unbeaten streak to 125 games, with his last defeat coming in July 2018.”

 Which 21st century works will merit a close reading or rereading in 2050?  I tend to think virtually everything will be superseded, but I mean that as praise for what is to come, not pessimism about current work.

As the upward trajectory of crime continues, the gulf between the rates of violence in Black and White communities widened by 106 percent in the nation’s largest cities.” (WaPo)

 Further results on falling mortality rates and diminishing viral load.  The broad upshot is that diminishing viral load seems to be more important than we had thought, and a variety of other factors less important.