By Lambert Strether of Corrente
Bird Song of the Day
Speckled Nightingale-Thrush, Milpe Bird Sanctuary, Pichincha, Ecuador. “Two cuts of song from the same bird, sitting on a fallen log in dense foothill forest. The first cut is of song at full volume, the second at a much quieter volume (for unknown reasons).”
“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51
“Here’s food for thought, had Ahab time to think; but Ahab never thinks; he only feels, feels, feels” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick
“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles
“White House’s hopes for a lame-duck debt ceiling deal are fading fast” [Politco]. #MintTheCoin.
“The Midterm Elections and U.S. Policy on Public and Global Health” [ThinkGlobalHealth]. “[T]he need to strengthen domestic public health in the wake of a devastating pandemic played no apparent role in political campaigns or when ballots were cast.” • After a million dead under two administrations. In World War II, 880,000 British soldiers died. In return, after the war, they got the NHS. What do we get?
“Was crime as bad as it was portrayed ahead of the midterm elections?” [ABC]. No. It never is. “However, surveys show Americans are continuously bad at perceiving just how much crime is actually happening. The Pew Research Center found that 61% of voters say violent crime was a key issue of importance when voting in this year’s congressional elections, despite reports from the Bureau of Justice Statistics that show no significant increase in the U.S. violent crime rate. The crime rate — for both violent/property and overall offenses — has been at a steady decline since the crime peak of the 1990s, and remains much lower than that. Pew found that Americans’ poor perception of crime has been seen in many elections before it: in 2020, 2016, and beyond.”
“Abortion and the 2022 Elections” [RealClearPolitics]. “Pew Research reports that over 60% of ‘Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.’ This isn’t much of an issue for Democrats, Ziegler says, because the party is unified in its support of abortion. There is more dissent on the Republican side, which presents a problem likely to emerge within the party: disagreement between state lawmakers and their fellow partisans on Capitol Hill. Legislators at the state level have shown a willingness to pass uncompromising statutes. Hardline abortion bans passed at the state level could stymie efforts to present GOP congressional candidates as caring and understanding. If Ziegler is right, abortion will vex Republicans for elections to come. But Democrats may be tempted to press their advantage beyond what the market will bear. If Democrats try to ‘see how far they can go’ they may ‘forget political realities’ and push an absolutist position. That would be the very ‘mistake that the GOP has made,’ she says. Does that portend endless, bitter conflict between Americans who insist that abortion on demand is a right and those who believe all abortion is murder? Mary Ann Glendon doesn’t think so. She suggests that the push and pull of politics allows the electorate to work out its differences rather than acting them out.”
* * *
NY: “The New York establishment is beating up on AOC. It should be looking in the mirror” [NBC]. Absolutely brutal, justifiably so. “Democratic losses in the Empire State appear to be pivotal in the narrow majority in the House of Representatives that Republicans are likely to have starting next year. The icing on this rotten cake is that New York Democrats have no one to blame but themselves.” More: “On a night of many disappointments, the party’s most egregious own goal was the one scored for Republicans by no one less than the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman himself, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. Maloney, whose DCCC role is to elect as many Democrats to the House as possible, not only presided over the loss of four previously Democratic New York districts, but failed to win his own race after putting his ego above the warnings of party officials and activists. Maloney isn’t the only one to blame for Democrats’ Big Apple bludgeoning, however. The Democratic legislators who control the statehouse fumbled the ball when they were given the task of drawing up new congressional districts to reflect the results of the 2020 census. Their new congressional maps failed to satisfy the courts that they didn’t violate the state constitution’s bar on partisan gerrymandering, leading to the appointment of a nonpartisan election expert as a special master to draw new maps that cut deeply into Democrats’ previously safe districts. But even facing those tough maps, Democrats could have prevailed had their state party — which was busy deflecting progressive criticism of their conduct — marshaled better infrastructure and financial support for swing-district candidates. The maps were a problem; the party’s malpractice was fatal.” • Liberal Democrats would rather hammer on “progressives” than beat Republicans. No surprise, but the evidence is laid out here.
One good text with Kipp Hebert, a Fetterman advisor https://t.co/QUqobgp8lu pic.twitter.com/q8x8Hh9fOS
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) November 18, 2022
WI: “15 Takeaways from the 2022 Midterm Election in Wisconsin” [The Recombobulation Area]. “Going into Election Night, one of the big picture questions I had for the state results at large was about suburban voters in Wisconsin. This 2022 midterm seemed like it would shape up to be a test case on whether or not the suburban shift towards Democrats that largely began during Donald Trump’s presidency was still unfolding, or if it had reached a point where there would be some level of backlash and a return to the GOP for some suburban swing voters. The suburban trend toward Democrats seemed to happen more slowly in the Milwaukee suburbs than it did in other parts of the country. Perhaps this is in part due to the deep rifts in the region that prompted the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Craig Gilbert in the 2010’s to identify the Milwaukee area as one of the nation’s most politically polarized metros. The polarization was so deeply entrenched, it took awhile for it to shake loose. But this shift has been happening here for several election cycles now, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all. In fact, it seems to be picking up steam. After the election, the verdict is in: That shift is still happening….”
“Trump and the Fight Republicans Need to Have” [Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal]. “In the coming 18 months of the big argument, Trump supporters can fairly be asked to consider a thought experiment. What if it had been Barack Obama in 2012 who refused to accept a democratic outcome to a presidential election? What if we later found out he probably knew he’d lost but didn’t want to accept it so he incited the Obamaites with accusations and false claims and made speeches insisting the election was stolen? What if he’d made a big outdoor speech and sent his forces, including some antifa chapters, to storm the Capitol in an attempt to thwart the Constitution and stop the counting of electoral votes? What if he refused to stop them once he saw on TV what they were doing? What if Democrats had done that? Republicans would feel righteous rage. They would never forgive Mr. Obama, who’d have shown the worst of himself and his movement. He and his actions would make you feel democracy itself was in the balance, and you would pledge to never let him enter the White House as president again. You’d feel as Liz Cheney does now: This must end.” • But see Taibbi’s post below…
Democrats en Déshabillé
Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert
I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:
The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.
Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.
* * *
“The real story of the making of Nancy Pelosi” [Ryan Grim]. Well worth a read on Democrats going back to 1980. For those who don’t know this: ” If your knowledge of her comes from Republican attack ads, you know her as a “San Francisco liberal” or even “radical,” but she was raised in Maryland by her father Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., the boss of the Baltimore political machine, who was by turns a congressman and mayor of Charm City. D’Alesandro’s operation, like most big-city machines of the era, was linked in public to local Mafia figures, according to his FBI file.”
“REVEALED: Oil Industry Lobbying Group Funded ‘Dark Money’ Ad Campaign for Conservative Democrats” [Read Sludge]. “The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) 990 tax form for 2021 shows it paid more than $3.5 million to the Better Jobs Together Campaign, an opaque Virginia corporation that was formed in April 2021, for advocacy services it performed as an independent contractor…. The group’s ads praise Cuellar, Schrader, Rep. Vincente Gonzalez, Rep. Marc Veasey, Rep. Lizzie Fletcher, and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, according to copies that can be viewed on its website. The bulk of Better Jobs Together’s spending went towards ads that praise Cuellar, on which they spent at least $1.4 million, according to AdImpact. Cuellar has been labeled “Big Oil’s favorite Democrat” for his tendency to cross the aisle and take votes aligned with Republicans and the fossil fuel industry. He has the worst environmental voting record of any House Democrat, according to the League of Conservation Voters’ scorecard. The American Petroleum Institute’s 2021 990 shows it paid Better Jobs Together as an independent contractor This is the second election cycle in a row that Cuellar has been boosted by a dark money political group that Sludge later uncovered was funded by API.” • It’s a big, beautiful tent!
“GOP turns focus to Hunter Biden business dealings after winning House” [The Hill]. • Good, because the intelligence operatives, Democrat operatives, and their assets in the press and the platforms who suppresse the story of Hunter’s laptop before Election Day all need to be punished severely and driven from public life. OTOH, the Republicans can’t pull another Benghazi. No more yarn diagrams, because I’m not having it. Clear narratives, evidence, timelines, and no posturing. “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
Realignment and Legitimacy
“”Election Denial” for Me, But Not for Thee: YouTube Censors TK-Produced Videos, Again, Despite Factual Accuracy” [Matt Taibbi, TK News]. “This video after all is packed with clips of people like Karine Jean-Pierre saying the 2016 election was ‘stolen,’ Joe Biden saying ‘I absolutely agree’ Trump is an ‘illegitimate president,’ Kamala Harris saying ‘you’re absolutely right’ Trump didn’t really win in 2016, and even Jimmy Carter saying ‘Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016.’ Old pal Keith Olbermann proclaimed the public wouldn’t stand for this ‘bloodless coup’ called voting, Chris Hayes said Trump ‘cheated,’ and a conga line of officials from Adam Schiff to Elizabeth Warren insisted foreigners had ‘hacked our elections.’ These videos made what we believe to be a powerful and legitimate point about the framing of the last two presidential elections. The first is that despite Hillary Clinton’s reluctant capitulation on Election Night in 2016, the Democratic Party as a whole as well as key officials in the government never recognized Donald Trump as a legitimate president. Clinton in fact spent four years leading a public relations campaign insisting that a) she actually won in 2016 b) Trump only won because of fraud and actual vote tampering and c) Democrats going forward should not recognize his victory should he win a second time. Our view is that whether it’s Stop the Steal or Russiagate, denying a president’s legitimacy because you believe a conspiracy theory is the same behavior, and should be treated the same way. YouTube by administering a strike to [videographer] Orfalea is sending a message that you may leave videos of Hillary Clinton saying ‘we know that they were into voting rolls’ (they being the Russians), or Olbermann warning ‘It will not be a peaceful change of power!’ or the current president and vice-president agreeing their predecessor ‘didn’t really win,’ all without YouTube’s required Surgeon General-type warning called ‘EDSA’ (YouTube’s clunky acronym for ‘Educational, Documentary, Scientific, or Artistic’ context). In other words, you may leave up such statements without pointing out they’re unproven, incorrect, or irresponsible. This is a de facto endorsement of such behavior when committed by certain people. When others do exactly the same thing, it’s conspiracy theory, incitement, even insurrection.” • Wait ’til YouTube starts censoring videos on paper ballots, because the Democrat Party doesn’t support them.
Lambert here: I can’t call a winter surge, though we’ll really have to wait for Thanksgiving travel. However, high transmission (CDC), the elevation and continued increase in positivity (Walgreens), and the steady takeover of BQ.1* (CDC; Walgreens) are all a little unsettling (as is the apparent proliferation of variants). Stay safe out there! (As far as Thanksgiving travel goes, lacking CDC’s “Rapid Riser” counties feature, the best we can do, I think, is follow the news and look at wastewater. I would order risk from highest to lowest at JFK/LGA (New York), LAX (Los Angeles), ATL (Atlanta), and ORD (Chicago). Since New York — as of this writing, and of course all the data is delayed, making personal risk assessment an effort in delusion, but I digress — is a BQ.1* hotbed, I’d try to use EWR (Newark) not JFK/LGA. My $0.02!
“The End of Vaccines at ‘Warp Speed’” [New York Times]. A must read. “But as a third pandemic winter begins in the United States, its vaccine-making effort has lost steam. Efforts to test and produce next-generation Covid vaccines are bogged down by bureaucratic problems and funding shortfalls. Foreign rivals have raced ahead in approving long-awaited nasal-spray vaccines, including one invented in St. Louis, creating a scenario in which Americans would have to travel abroad for the latest in American vaccine technology. The Biden administration has launched a last-ditch effort to restore the country’s edge. In a bid to resurrect Operation Warp Speed, President Biden asked the lame-duck session of Congress this week for $5 billion for next-generation vaccines and therapeutics, as part of a broader $9.25 billion pandemic spending request. But Republicans, having blocked requests for next-generation vaccine funding since the spring amid complaints about how the White House spent earlier pandemic aid allocations, have shown no signs of dropping their resistance. As a result, even with the pandemic still taking a heavy toll, prospects have dimmed for the two most coveted kinds of next-generation vaccines: nasal sprays that can block more infections, and universal coronavirus shots that can defend against a wider array of ever-evolving variants…. China, India, Russia and Iran have all approved vaccines delivered through the nose or the mouth, even though they have not released much data about how the products work. In the United States, nasal sprays have been held back by the same funding constraints and logistical hassles that, before the pandemic, often made developing vaccines a decade-long ordeal. The delay could not only weaken the country’s defenses against a more lethal coronavirus variant but also hurt preparations for a future pandemic, depriving the world of an oven-ready nasal vaccine platform that could be adapted to a new pathogen.” • Biden should have implemented his own Operation Warp Speed on the first day of his administration, not two years on. Of course, when you look at who profits — and who will live and who will die — everything’s going according to plan. (And of course, both Pfizer and Moderna denied nasal vaccine researchers access to their mRNA machines, so the use case where nasal vaccines could be used as boosters could not be tested. Those executives need to be in the Hague, along with Walensky and Klain.)
• “Association between vitamin D supplementation and COVID-19 infection and mortality” [Nature]. From the Discussion: “Vitamin D supplementation during the pandemic was associated with a significant 20% and 28% reduction in laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 rates for vitamin D3 and vitamin D2, respectively. Vitamin D3 was associated with a significant 33% decrease in mortality within 30-days of COVID-19 infection. This decrease in COVID-19-related mortality is identical to the 33% observed in the Andalusian data for calcifediol when prescribed 15 days before hospitalization and similar to the 25% associated reduction in mortality for cholecalciferol21. For vitamin D2 the associated reduction in mortality was 25% but was not statistically significant. These associated reductions in risk are substantial and justify more significant exploration and confirmation using RCTs. This is particularly important given the high rates of vitamin D deficiency in the US population and COVID-19.” • Holy moley!
• A thread about how New Brunswick, Canada Public Health (PH) was formally told about Long Covid, but shared nothing with the public it’s their legal duty to produce:
PoP NB submitted a RTI request for records of discussions of Long Covid. The response brings to light a shocking level of deception perpetrated against the people of NB, under which true magnitude of risk was hidden and the fundamental precepts of public health were abandoned.
— Chris (@HallwayOrchard) November 16, 2022
• ”Aerosols from speaking can linger in the air for up to nine hours” [Building and Environment]. From November 2021, still germane. From the Abstract: “To understand the role of speech aerosols in the spread of COVID-19 globally, the lifetime and size distribution of the aerosols are studied through a combination of light scattering observation and aerosol sampling. It was found that aerosols from speaking suspended in stagnant air for up to 9 h with a half-life of 87.2 min. ” • Oh.
Here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to community transmission. (This is the map CDC wants only hospitals to look at, not you.)
From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, published November 17:
Wastewater data (CDC), November 14:
Lambert here: Queens County (JFK/LGA) is no longer orange, i.e., not increasing, so I thought I’d look at Cook (ORD) which isL
Lambert here: It’s beyond frustrating how slow the variant data is. Does nobody in the public health establishment get a promotion for tracking variants? Are there no grants? Is there a single lab that does this work, and everybody gets the results from them? [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk]. UPDATE Yes. See NC here on Pango. Every Friday, a stately, academic pace utterly incompatible with protecting yourself against a variant exhibiting doubling behavior.
• Handy chart:
The clearest evidence that without containment we are increasing the chances for SARS-CoV-2 to mutate further. Mutation rate increased by 30% in just 1 year. @TRyanGregory @denise_dewald @K_G_Andersen @EricTopol @kakape @ewencallaway https://t.co/KVajkqwx1M https://t.co/KRQuOAg1I6
— Daniele Focosi, MD, PhD, MSc (@dfocosi) November 17, 2022
Variant data, national (Walgreens), November 6:
Lambert here: BQ.1* moving along quite briskly, though lower than CDC. XBB present here, not in CDC.
Variant data, national (CDC), October 29 (Nowcast off):
BQ.1* moving along quite briskly. New York/New Jersey (Region 2) numbers are higher:
• As a check, since New York is a BQ.1* hotbed, New York hospitalization, updated November 17:
Lambert here: Looks like it’s leveling out, for the moment.
Death rate (Our World in Data):
Total: 1,101,843 –
1,101,370 = 473 (473 * 365 = 172,645 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease).
It’s nice that for deaths I have a simple, daily chart that just keeps chugging along, unlike everything else CDC and the White House are screwing up or letting go dark, good job.
• “Who Is Dying from COVID Now, and Why” [Scientific American]. “Older people were always especially vulnerable and now make up a higher proportion of COVID fatalities than ever before in the pandemic. While the total number of COVID deaths has fallen, the burden of mortality is shifting even more to people older than age 64. And deaths in nursing homes are ticking back up, even as COVID remains one of the top causes of death for all ages. COVID deaths among people age 65 and older more than doubled between April and July this year, rising by 125 percent, according to a recent analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. This trend increased with age: more than a quarter of all COVID fatalities were among those age 85 and older throughout the pandemic, but that share has risen to at least 38 percent since May. Where people live also affects their risk level. The pandemic first hit urban areas harder, but mortality rose dramatically in rural areas by the summer of 2020—a pattern that has held. The gap is currently narrowing, but people living in rural areas are still dying at significantly higher rates. Rural death rates fell from 92.2 percent higher than urban rates at the end of September to 38.9 percent higher in mid-October. Racism and discrimination also play an outsize role in COVID deaths. While differences in age-adjusted death rates based on race have recently become smaller, experts predict inequities will likely skyrocket again during surges. For the past several weeks, the COVID death rate in the U.S. has stayed fairly steady, with 2,344 people dying of the illness in the seven-day period ending on November 9, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even so, the U.S. still accounts for a large portion of all confirmed COVID deaths happening around the globe, and it has the highest number of confirmed COVID deaths of any country. There have been 1.2 million excess deaths in the U.S. since February 2020, according to the CDC—losses that have reshaped almost every part of American life. The viral illness has remained a leading cause of death throughout the pandemic. And overall U.S. life expectancy has dropped significantly since the crisis began. ‘That is unprecedented,’ says Kristin Urquiza, co-founder of Marked by COVID, an advocacy network memorializing the victims of the illness. ‘And I don’t think that’s going to stop anytime soon.’”
There are no official statistics of interest today.
The Bezzle: “Let crypto burn” [Financial Times]. “In the aftermath of the collapse of FTX, authorities should resist the urge to create a parallel legal and regulatory framework for the crypto industry. It is far better to do nothing, and just let crypto burn. Actively intervening would convey undeserved legitimacy upon a system that does little to support real economic activity. It also would provide an official seal of approval to a system that currently poses no threat to financial stability and would lead to calls for public bailouts when crypto inevitably erupts again…. Banks, dealers, insurers, and pension funds should not be allowed to purchase and hold crypto or accept it as collateral. For the most part, crypto today is just a multiplayer online video game (like World of Warcraft). If virtually all the transactions remain internal to the crypto world without links to the real economy, the process might as well be occurring on Mars, leaving traditional finance unaffected. The overriding goal of policymakers should be to keep crypto systemically irrelevant. The best way to do this is let it implode under the pressure of its unsafe and unsound business practices. Meanwhile, authorities should constantly point to the record that crypto is rife with failures and fraud.” • Commentary:
This is a useful reminder that some top crypto people — executives, whales, investors — are in small private group chats discussing other market players and coordinating activity. There’s a club and they’re in it. https://t.co/7thi054UUt
— Jacob Silverman (@SilvermanJacob) November 18, 2022
The Bezzle: “Binance in Hot Water After Moving $2.7B Out of Proof of Reserves Wallet” [Be In Crytpo]. “All eyes are turning to Binance as the crypto community noticed that the exchange had moved $2.7 billion out of its “proof of reserves” wallet. Another Reddit post also stated that the exchange did not hold adequate proof of reserves on the BNB chain. Some community members claim that Binance moved 2.7 billion USDT 20 hours after it had published its report. It was noted that the destination address wasn’t mentioned in the report. 200 million USDT was later moved back, leaving 2.5 billion USDT in the undisclosed wallet. Binance has since responded to the post, noting that the undisclosed wallet is a TRX cold wallet. The executive stated, ‘the asset movements [highlighted] are the result of standard operations which move funds between our internal wallets.’” • Of course, of course.
Tech: “Twitter API Status” [Twitter]. • Another site to check to see if Twitter is really down (although in a world totally without trust, the green checks could be faked).
Tech: Twittergeddon (1):
it should’ve been Facebook 💔
— Rob DenBleyker (@RobDenBleyker) November 18, 2022
Tech: Twittergeddon (2):
Sergey Brin revives Google Plus team from cryogenic chamber.
— Alex Parker (@AlexParkerDC) November 18, 2022
Tech: Twittergeddon (3):
i truly believe that i will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity when i get every single post on hthis fucking website deleted by 2022
— wint (@dril) August 24, 2017
Tech: Fond farewell (1):
if twitter is really done, i just want to say thank you all so much for helping me provide over 12,000 n95 masks to people in need this year. you all LiTERALLY & in a very direct way helped save lives.
— Wendi Muse (@MuseWendi) November 18, 2022
Tech: Fond farewell (2):
it was always your love and support that helped me to improve my art (even though they’re still poorly) and create something beautiful, i hope i can see you on other social medias! (and i still hope twitter will survive)
— poorly drawn cats (@poorlycatdraw) November 18, 2022
Tech: Still buying green bananas?
That “last night on Twitter” thing was fun last night! Do it again tonight?
— Stephen Silver (@StephenSilver) November 18, 2022
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 61 Greed (previous close: 62 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 65 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 18 at 1:48 PM EST.
Fiat rules, crypto drools:
The inescapable, permanent, non-reciprocal obligation requiring e.g. USD for final discharge says “hello!”. 😉
— Greek Stav (@GrkStav) November 18, 2022
Our Famously Free Press
Thank you @joerogan https://t.co/eU2quwA3z3
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) November 17, 2022
Most pitches or blurbs for podcasts include the phrase “or wherever you get your podcasts.” (Technically, this is because podcasts are distributed via good old-fashioned Web 1.0.) I cannot help thinking that the lack of a monopoly podcast platform is what’s making the creativity and resulting growth possible.
This is the video on NFTs, Bitcoin, crypto, and so-called Web 3.O I was looking for. The consistent thread is NFTs, but all the other topics are covered. This is an extremely thorough stomping:
(I have started it with Chapter 1 (at 7:19) because Chapter 0 is on the Great Financial Crash, where he doesn’t emphasize the critical role of CDOs). Definitely grab a cup of coffee, but if you want to dig into the bullsh*t behind FTX, this is an excellent introduction. Chapter 6 is an excellent introduction to the culture of crypto. It really is fraud all the way down.
“She Was In the CIA. Now She Makes Pajamas for the Royals” [Wall Street Journal]. • Why isn’t she running for Congress as a Democrat?
News of the Wired
“Why This Universe? A New Calculation Suggests Our Cosmos Is Typical” [Quanta]. “Our universe is the way it is, according to Neil Turok of the University of Edinburgh and Latham Boyle of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, for the same reason that air spreads evenly throughout a room: Weirder options are conceivable, but exceedingly improbable.” • Oh no. Not the stupidest timeline?
Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. From JT McPhee:
JT McPhee writes: “Most of the front yards in my neighborhood are just mowed weed jungles. These little beauties are the size of a nickel (anybody recognize that measure any more?) and open to the morning sun and then fold neatly closed in the late afternoon. Worth getting down close — many species of bees, skipper butterflies and other pollinators frequent the blossoms.”
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