January 2022

Friday, 28 January 2022

How Crypto Became the New Subprime

Paul Krugman: “The response, in my experience, tends to take the form of incomprehensible word salad.”


Tuesday, 25 January 2022

That Was A Football Game For All Time

Tom Ley: “A game has to end somehow, and the commencement of overtime should be acknowledged as an admission that not only are the two teams on the field an equal match, but that the original parameters of the game are insufficient for sorting out which side has the edge over the other. At that point, a resolution that more or less boils down to a coin flip is more just than one that would require the two teams to go on banging into each other and exchanging touchdowns until exhaustion or a mental error became the deciding factor.”


Lost in Thought

David Kortava: “Generally meditation is presented as something monastics aspiring to full awakening do […] an activity that is part of a way of being in the world that is ultimately aimed at exiting the world, rather than a means to a happier, more fulfilling life within it.””


Saturday, 22 January 2022

We’re All Trying to Find the Guy Policing Our Behavior

Alex Pareene: “This is why I find the tenor of discussion around Covid-19 restrictions genuinely bewildering. There basically aren’t any.”


Wednesday, 19 January 2022

The forgotten medieval habit of ‘two sleeps’

Zaria Gorvett: “It was not generally caused by noise or other disturbances in the night – and neither was it initiated by any kind of alarm (these were only invented in 1787, by an American man who – somewhat ironically – needed to wake up on time to sell clocks).”


Monday, 17 January 2022

The Biden administration has failed its Covid test

Steven W Thrasher – There’s a lot here and I think it’s worth reading the whole thing, along with Why Covid-19 will never become endemic and this Twitter thread about long Covid.


Sunday, 16 January 2022

CDC Announces Plan To Send Every U.S. Household Pamphlet On Probabilistic Thinking

America’s Finest News Source: “Walensky added that if Americans took away one easy lesson from the pamphlet, she hoped it would be P(H|E) = (P(E|H)*P(H))/P(E).”

It would be nice if the press would learn that last part, at least.


Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Jason Stanley: “[…] 45 states have considered 230 bills criminalizing protest, with the threat of violent leftist and Black rebellion being used to justify them. That this is happening at the same time that multiple electoral bills enabling a Republican state legislature majority to overturn their state’s election have been enacted suggests that the true aim of bills criminalizing protest is to have a response in place to expected protests against the stealing of a future election […]”



Matthew Brian Cohen: “Only a few varieties of scorpions can actually kill you. Most scorpion stings will only maim the victim, with symptoms ranging from brief bouts of unbearable pain, mild convulsing, and some slight difficulty breathing. Are we supposed to disrupt our children’s education just because a handful of teachers don’t feel comfortable teaching in a dank pit with a bed of scorpions crawling all over everyone?”


Sunday, 9 January 2022

My first impressions of web3

Moxie Marlinspike: “Even nerds do not want to run their own servers at this point. […] Once a distributed ecosystem centralizes around a platform for convenience, it becomes the worst of both worlds: centralized control, but still distributed enough to become mired in time. […] I think we should expect this kind of platform consolidation to happen, and given the inevitability, design systems that give us what we want when that’s how things are organized. My sense and concern, though, is that the web3 community expects some other outcome than what we’re already seeing.”


COVID-19 Measures Are Soft Compared With Tuberculosis Rules

Magdi Semrau: “The burden on individuals is virtually nonexistent. The harm prevented—both to others and to society as a whole—is immeasurable.”


Friday, 7 January 2022

Indiana life insurance CEO says deaths are up 40% among people ages 18-64

The Center Square: “Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three-sigma or a one-in-200-year catastrophe would be 10% increase over pre-pandemic …”


Thursday, 6 January 2022

Crypto: the good, the bad and the ugly

Laurie Voss: “Fundamentally: is a currency a practical model for general computing?”


Wednesday, 5 January 2022

The C.D.C. Is Hoping You’ll Figure Covid Out on Your Own

Zeynep Tufekci: “We can’t just keep telling parents that most children will be fine.”


Saturday, 1 January 2022

New year Brexit changes ‘permanently damage’ EU trade, says food body

Phillip Inman: “Mike Cherry, the chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said a survey in the autumn showed only a quarter of firms were prepared for the introduction of full import checks.”