“There are windmills in northern Canada. In Norway. At the Antarctic research stations. If Texas’s windmills shut down during the storm, it’s not because we don’t know how to make cold-weather windmills – it’s because allowing windmills to fail in cold weather was profitable.” — Cory Doctorow
My whole life would have been better if there’d been social and financial support for letting people on the edge spend a few months away from the strains of workaday life. Bring Back the Nervous Breakdown
It is perpetually tempting to imagine letting the red states (whose voters imagine that they are getting the short end of the stick, when in fact they are vastly subsidized) go their own way. Tempting, but both impossible and harmful.
Much better, as cogently explained here by @interfluidity, is to build things up in the red states, so that their citizens perceive that they have an economic and political stake in the United States.
“The only way to mitigate this tendency towards corrosive crisis is to ensure that differences of interest between larger and smaller states are generally modest.”
A hundred-odd members of Congress did not understand this. I wonder if they understand it better now.
“An elected institution that opposes elections is inviting its own overthrow.”
Everybody knows that wearing a mask protects others from your illness, but now (as I’ve suspected right along) there’s good evidence that it protects the mask-wearer as well: https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/11/10/world/covid-19-coronavirus-live-updates/covid-cdc-guidelines-masks
On one of my top-two issues when it comes to means-testing benefits, @interfluidity gets it just right:
“Requiring demonstration of inadequate means up-front, rather than on the back-end, creates at best a delay between when a shock is experienced and when it can be ameliorated. “Delay” can mean your kid skips meals, you start rationing your insulin, or your family is evicted from its home. It’s a big deal.”
Today’s mail included the most recent issue of The Economist. Less usefully, it also included the previous issue, and the issue before that.
I blame Trump and Louis DeJoy. #SaveTheUSPS #SaveThePostOffice
Thought experiment: Imagine the death rate from Covid-19 were about 1/10th what we’re seeing, making it about as deadly as the flu; now imagine it’s about 10x what we’re seeing, making it about as deadly as smallpox. Would we respond differently?
The Innocent Pleasure of Trespassing: a delightful essay by Nick Slater.
“Trespassing is an act of resistance against this slow strangulation of our living spaces. Human beings should be free to wander where they please—indeed, for much of our history, this has been taken for granted. Nomadic and semi-nomadic civilizations like the Plains Indians or the Turkic tribes of the Eurasian steppe weren’t the only ones to prize freedom of movement; those who insist such a concept is incompatible with the property-loving values of Western civilization may be interested to know that ‘the right to roam’ has been ingrained in the cultures of many Northern and Central European countries for centuries.”
This article makes a good point:
“Ultimately, we the public will decide when the economy reopens, not the government.”
If people decide not to fly, not to stay in hotels, not to eat at restaurants, and to wait and see how things work out before making major purchases, it doesn’t matter if the “stay-at-home” orders are lifted or not.