Thursday, September 09, 2021

Masks Work, Major Study Finds

 The people who bind themselves to systems are those who are unable to encompass the whole truth and try to catch it by the tail; a system is like the tail of truth, but truth is like a lizard; it leaves its tail in your fingers and runs away knowing full well that it will grow a new one in a twinkling.

— Ivan Turgenev,  died in 1883

The empathy riddle. Witnessing injustice can just as easily hinder responsible political action as spur it   Riddle  

Torn between the esoteric Judaism of Scholem and the materialism of Brecht, Walter Benjamin was a Marxist awaiting the Messiah  - Benjamin 

One chilly morning in February 2017, a tall Chinese scientist in his 50s named Yuan Zhiming showed Bernard Cazeneuve, then the French prime minister, around Wuhan’s new high-security pathogen lab.

Built with French engineering, it was China’s first P4 lab, one of several dozen in the world with that highest security designation. Yuan, the director of the lab, had worked for more than a decade to make it a reality…

The lab had “the newest technology, a huge complex,” recalled Boris Klempa, a Slovak Academy of Sciences researcher who visited in 2017.

Inside the Wuhan lab: French engineering, deadly viruses and a big mystery

The Chinese control revolution: the Maoist echoes of Xi’s power play FT


George Soros ups the ante in war of words with BlackRock over China, exposing contrast of bets on world’s second-biggest market South China Morning Post


Chinese hull market overtakes Lloyd’s Lloyd’s List


After using the Japanese gas stove, I went home and immediately removed the Chinese stove in the kitchen What China Reads

Masks Work, Major Study Finds - GizmodoGizmodo: “An enormous randomized trial of communities in Bangladesh seems to provide the clearest evidence yet that regular mask-wearing can impede the spread of the covid-19 pandemic. The study found that villages where masks were highly promoted and became more popular experienced noticeably lower rates of covid-like symptoms and confirmed past infections than villages where mask-wearing remained low. These improvements were even more pronounced for villages given free surgical masks over cloth masks. Plenty of data has emerged over the last year and a half to support the use of masks during the covid-19 pandemic, both in the real world and in the lab. But it’s less clear exactly how much of a benefit these masks can provide wearers (and their communities), and there are at least some studies that have been inconclusive in showing a noticeable benefit. One problem in interpreting all this information is that we’ve largely relied on observational studies, which can only ever show a correlation between any two things, not establish a cause-and-effect relationship. There might be other factors that both explain why one city has a higher rate of mask-wearing and a lower rate of diagnosed cases than another city, for instance, rather than the former helping cause the latter. Last late year, however, dozens of scientists teamed up with public health advocacy organizations and the Bangladesh government to conduct a massive randomized trial of masks—often seen as the gold standard of evidence. And on Wednesday, they released the results of their research in a working paper through the research nonprofit Innovations for Poverty Action…”

NEW DETAILS EMERGE ABOUT CORONAVIRUS RESEARCH AT CHINESE LAB: “Newly released documents provide details of U.S.-funded research on several types of coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. The Intercept has obtained more than 900 pages of documents detailing the work of EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S.-based health organization that used federal money to fund bat coronavirus research at the Chinese laboratory. The trove of documents includes two previously unpublished grant proposals that were funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as project updates relating to EcoHealth Alliance’s research, which has been scrutinized amid increased interest in the origins of the pandemic.”

A different view

Londons – The Polycentric City, an exhibition by eight photographers, Luca PiffarettiFrancesco RussoHenry WoideSue BarrCaroline CharrelSimon KennedyAndrew Meredith and Polly Tootal / Considering Immersive Art Rooms and Why We Love to Escape (via TMN): drawing a line between panoramas and frescos and Cycloramas and the modern hunger for ‘experiential spaces’ / an oral history of Mr Blobby / Vieux Pays of Goussainville, a ‘forgotten’ village (too) near (to) Paris CDG / Peter Hook: The New Order Collection. For bootleg enthusiasts / not sure how accurate the BPM Databaseis / Oh my fucking God…

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The man who went up a hill

The Secret City, the latest map from Herb Lester / O and Planks have a split 7″ covering two unexpected classics (via DoomRock) / Aoko Matsuda’s The Woman Dies, at Granta. See also, Let’s All Be Final Girls / the boat houses of Equihen-Plage, France. Originally a functional necessity, now a somewhat ersatz choice / ‘Stop that! It’s not Tourette’s but a new type of mass sociogenic illness‘, or, as this Wired article explains, the new phenomena of ‘mass social media-induced illness’ / 6 Echo Chambers That Shaped the Sound of Pop Music / the Mound goes free. You now have the right to roam over this not-so-secret temporary part of London. 

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A mixed bag

A mixed bag. This Islington apartment has a bunker(via b3ta). Housed in the Research Building at the New River Head site / another property, this time in a former WWII observation tower in Nova Scotia / Chipperfield vs Mies. It seems that only now have we got the technology to achieve the vision of architects like MvdR, but when it comes down it, their visions aren’t really worth expending all that energy on to achieve / some neon-drenched future cityscapes by nagafujiriku / velour-drench 1974 motorhome / Douglas Coupland, in defence of Elon Musk / the evolution of Android / see also, Google’s muddle of messaging apps (via MeFi) / The Ides of August, a good read on Afghanistan / some light insights into the drumming of Charlie Watts /  The Cursed History of the Sexy Green M&M / photo essays collated at Landscape Stories, including Bedroom Rockers by Christopher WoodcockFrom the study on Post Pubescent Manhood, by Stacy Kranitz and Notting Hill Sound Systems, a 2004 project by Brian David Stevens / Dog days of summer, a new album by Owl in the Sun.

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