Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘worst financial crisis since World War II

Wednesday News Brief, This Is All the News Today

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* The US is now on track to have the worst outbreak anywhere. In the end we will have handled this worse than any nation on earth, because our leaders lied to us, said it was under control, said it wasn’t a big deal, said we were doing great, privately sold their stocks, told us to *buy* stock, ignored science, ignored experts, lied.

* Vox has some details on the coronavirus bailout, including how UI will be extended to freelancers and the self-employed and when you’ll get your check. Here’s another read from Forbes. This thread on Twitter seems to have more information on how the UI expansion will work for the self-employed.

Anti-Capitalist Politics in the Time of COVID-19. Reclaim our homes. Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here’s How. How the Covid-19 recession could become a depression. European countries are writing blank checks to save their economies from coronavirus.

Astonishingly, America’s ramshackle private healthcare system is about to suffer a financial crisis in the midst of the corona epidemic! Both family practices and hospitals are in shock as all their lucrative business is cancelled and they are hit by corona cases.

*  “Herd Immunity” Is Epidemiological Neoliberalism.

* On Monday afternoon, the Food and Drug Administration granted Gilead Sciences “orphan” drug status for its antiviral drug, remdesivir. The designation allows the pharmaceutical company to profit exclusively for seven years from the product, which is one of dozens being tested as a possible treatment for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

* Reading in a time of coronavirus: download your free ebooks until April 2. From the list let me recommend Four Futures by Peter Frase, which I thought was great.

* We are in a time of wild magical thinking: miracle cures, coronavirus parties, Disney reopening next week, return to work by Easter, life without fear. Meanwhile, as a direct result of Trump administration policy: Scramble for medical equipment descends into chaos as U.S. states and hospitals compete for rare supplies.

* An Actual Trolley Problem.

* New York has 5% of Covid-19 cases worldwide as city becomes battlefront. “Our single greatest challenge is ventilators,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo says. “We have 11,000. We need 30,000.”

Trump Shrugged Off Repeated Intelligence Warnings About Coronavirus Pandemic. DHS wound down pandemic models before coronavirus struck. U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak. Coronavirus and Fox News.

* How the virus got out. How the Coronavirus Could Take Over Your Body (Before You Ever Feel It). What I Learned When My Husband Got Sick with Coronavirus.

* A Day in the Life of an ER Doc. A Medical Worker Describes Terrifying Lung Failure From COVID-19 — Even in His Young Patients. Nursing Home Worker: “Everything About This Is Designed for Disaster.”

* Higher Education in the Age of COVID-19. How Is Covid-19 Changing Prospective Students’ Plans? Here’s an Early Look. Central Washington University Board of Trustees declares exigency. “To be an adjunct right now is to be exhorted to expend ever greater efforts while one’s efforts are treated as ever more expendable.” Embrace the Canavan plan for pass/fail.

Amidst a global health crisis, porn finds a way.

The Very Specific Reason We Shouldn’t Bail Out the Cruise Industry.

We Need a Hard Pause, Followed by a Soft Start.

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief. I Study Prisons and AIDS History. Here’s Why Self-Isolation Really Scares Me.

* It will only get worse: ICE Detainees Are Being Quarantined. DOJ Wants to Suspend Certain Constitutional Rights During Coronavirus Emergency. ‘Terrified’ Package Delivery Employees Are Going to Work Sick. Coronavirus hits rural Kansas, Missouri towns. Many don’t have a single hospital bed. U.S. Hospitals Prepare Guidelines For Who Gets Care Amid Coronavirus Surge. White House Pushes U.S. Officials to Criticize China For Coronavirus ‘Cover-Up.’ Funeral Homes Change Their Practices In Response To Coronavirus. Coronavirus Is Spurring a New Era of Digital Funerals. “This week, it’s going to get bad.”

* Science you can use: the Great Depression and death rates.

* DoE won’t let this crisis go to waste.

* Africa’s mountain gorillas also at risk for coronavirus.

* The 2021 Olympics.

* The podcasts are ready.

* In some happier dimension, this would be an Onion headline.

* The Dark Forest Theory of the Internet.

* Comrade Britney Spears shares post calling for general strike and redistribution of wealth.

* Chess in the time of coronavirus.

Joe Biden Pivots to Video. ‘There’s no playbook for this’: Biden trapped in campaign limbo. You know it’s bad when the political cartoons start agreeing with you.

* A really exciting new book series: Palgrave SFF: A New Canon.

* Remember comics?

* Best joke of the week if you ask me.

* And ICFA lives!

CoronaFRI!vus

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Why the Coronavirus Has Been So Successful. No other country has been this far into the pandemic and still had the number of cases growing at the rates the U.S. is seeing. Without Urgent Action, Coronavirus Could Overwhelm U.S., Estimates Say. I’m not saying we won’t get our hair mussed.

* David Harvey: Anti-Capitalist Politics in the Time of COVID-19. The Politics of the Pandemic. You and Your Boss Have the Same Interests Right Now. That Is a Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity. Sara Nelson Says People Are Ready for Solidarity. COVID-19 Emergency Tenant Protections. Homeless families occupy vacant homes in LA. Dealing With Coronavirus Requires Bold Action. The Democratic Leadership Won’t Take It.

* 9% of Working Americans (14 Million) So Far Have Been Laid Off As Result of Coronavirus; 1 in 4 Workers Have Had Their Hours Reduced; 2% Have Been Fired; 20% Have Postponed a Business Trip; Shock Waves Just Now Beginning to Ripple Through Once-Roaring US Economy. U.S. Jobless Claims Jump to Two-Year High Amid Closures. 2700% increase in unemployment claims in Ohio — midweek. [Calfornia] averages 2,000 unemployment applications a day. Two or three days ago, it received 40,000. On Tuesday, 80,000 applications were filed. JP Morgan is forecasting -14% RGDP growth in Q2. That’s so bad it isn’t even on the historical axis.

So, It’s Bad. Free, Widespread Testing Is The Only Way America Goes Back to Normal. This Is How We Can Beat the Coronavirus. Coronavirus will radically alter the U.S. US sales of guns and ammunition soar amid coronavirus panic buying. The Stimulus Plan That We Need Now.

* Curb Your Enthusiasm: “The Virus.”

* I’m reminded somehow of the way you end a SimCity game by unleashing every disaster on your city as once. The Midwest Is Preparing To Get Hit With Major Floods During The Coronavirus Outbreak. How the Coronavirus Crisis May Hinder Efforts to Fight Wildfires. Locust crisis poses a danger to millions, forecasters warn. Earthquake in Utah. A Huge Chunk of Yellowstone Is Pulsing.

* Weeks Before Virus Panic, Intelligence Chairman Privately Raised Alarm, Sold Stocks. Senator Dumped Up to $1.7 Million of Stock After Reassuring Public About Coronavirus Preparedness.

* Coronavirus Is Speeding Up the Amazonification of the Planet. Amazon Workers Shut Down Warehouse After Employee Is Infected With Coronavirus. The tech execs who don’t agree with ‘soul-stealing’ coronavirus safety measures.

Mitt Romney’s $1,000 Isn’t Our Universal Basic Income. Americans may see first round of checks from US government by April 6. I really should have known.

* Before Virus Outbreak, a Cascade of Warnings Went Unheeded. In Coronavirus Testing Ramp-Up, U.S. Called Private Sector in Late. How the CDC Botched Basic Science in Its Attempt to Make a Coronavirus Test. Don’t Let Trump Off the Hook.

* I had a lot of question about this, so perhaps it will be useful to you too: No, The World Health Organization Is Not Recommending Against Ibuprofen For Coronavirus Symptoms.

The world’s fastest supercomputer identified chemicals that could stop coronavirus from spreading, a crucial step toward a treatment. Japanese flu drug ‘clearly effective’ in treating coronavirus, says China. Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID‐19: results of an open‐label non‐randomized clinical trial.

“I’m Not An Epidemiologist But…”: The Rise Of The Coronavirus Influencers. This is certainly a problem but I became attuned to the reality of coronavirus precisely through these sorts of non-experts while Trump and the CDC were still lying to everyone. I haven’t seen anything better for learning true information about this crisis than Reddit’s upvote/downvote system.

* Today in the trolley problem. Today in the simulation argument. Today in career goals. Today in Star Trek Studies. Today in Watchmen fan fiction. Weird time.

* Rikers Island inmate has contracted coronavirus: officials. How coronavirus could explode at Riker’s Island. Reducing prison population protects us all from coronavirus.

You Need Me to Have a Mask. ‘It Feels Like a War Zone’: Doctors and Nurses Plead for Masks on Social Media. A New York Doctor’s Coronavirus Warning: The Sky Is Falling. Simple math offers alarming answers.

* Rural America Isn’t Ready for a Pandemic.

* This picture tells a story about America.

* As Cities Around the World Go on Lockdown, Victims of Domestic Violence Look for a Way Out.

* The COVID-19 Crisis and International Students. Colleges offering dorms as hospital overflow for virus cases. A Brief Letter to an Institution that Believes Extensions are the Accommodations We Need Right Now.

* ‘Panic-gogy’: Teaching Online Classes During The Coronavirus Pandemic. As Schools Look for Guidance, Educators Are Left Asking, ‘What?’ New Coronavirus Package Could Unravel Protections For Students With Disabilities. Is online school illegal? With schools closing from coronavirus, special education concerns give districts pause.

* Waaaaaay ahead of you.

GameStop claims it is ‘essential retail’ to remain open amid coronavirus shutdowns. It didn’t work.

Minnesota and Vermont Just Classified Grocery Clerks as Emergency Workers.

* There’s plenty of food.

* The Quiet Emptiness of a World under Coronavirus.

* The desire for public sex is, of course, nothing new. In his book Tell Me What You Want, sex researcher and Kinsey Institute fellow Justin Lehmiller found it was one of the seven most common fantasies, but the way people are having it in a coronavirus-ridden world definitely is. Now, instead of treating it as nothing more than a novel thrill to “spice things up,” some people are using it as an act of resistance against the virus-induced lockdowns that have squashed so many of the liberties we hold dear. Sex etiquette during the coronavirus.

* Kim Stanley Robinson releases a chapter from his latest novel, though weirdly it’s listed as “news.”

I spent four months pretending to live on Mars. Here’s what I learned about staying sane and passing time.

* I’m beginning to think you just can’t trust billionaires: When he joined the race last year, the billionaire said he would employ his campaign staff through the November election, even if he weren’t the nominee. But Bloomberg dropped out after a poor showing on Super Tuesday, and he has since fired staffers in multiple waves. His campaign had announced earlier in March that it would launch an independent expenditure group to take on Trump that would employ former campaign staffers in swing states.

The Sanders worldview wins even as Bernie loses.

* You know it’s bad when politicians are leaving elected office to join the priesthood.

* A false accusation nightmare in the Times.

* Moffat leaving Doctor Who seemed like a good exit ramp for me, so I haven’t seen any of the new episodes — but wow, this latest retcon looks like a mess, as well as a pretty clear “find some way to tie this off and wrap it up” directive from the BBC.

* Rethinking the Apocalypse: An Indigenous Anti-Futurist Manifesto.

* Octavia Butler gave us a few rules for predicting the future.

An “Extinction Event” for the Comic Shop or “Too Stupid to Quit, Too Dumb to Die”?

The Ending of Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, Revisited.

* Star Wars in ruins: The Most Problematic ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Plot Twist Ruined Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy. Disney has embarrassed itself issuing Episode 9 retcons but it really ought to explain why it’s being so elliptical about this one issue for no apparent reason.

* And Star Wars resurgent: The Mandalorian Casts Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano.

* Because you demanded it: A new Disney Princess historical fiction series finds Belle in the French Revolution.

* And they were nearly almost done, too! I swear!

* Hey, it’s me, the first sign of civilization in a culture.

* Coming soon: The Collapsing Empire, Book 3. A Cixin Liu story collection. And some free coronavirus reading: Short Changes, a story collection by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

Sunday Reading!

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* Some late-breaking academic jobs (in Europe)! Assistant Professor Gender Studies & Postcolonial Studies. Tenure-track vacancy in Anglophone Literature.

* CFP: Call for Papers: Spanish Science Fiction. (couldn’t find a link)

Science Fiction Studies invites contributions to the monographic issue on Spanish SF (guest editors: Sara Martín and Fernando Ángel Moreno). By ‘Spanish SF’ we mean SF novels and short fiction written specifically in Spain, excluding other Spanish-language areas. We are particularly interested in articles dealing with writers Gabriel Bermúdez Castillo, Rafael Marín, Rodolfo Martínez or Javier Negrete and with SF women writers (excluding Elia Barceló). All submissions must be in English and conform to SFS submission policies, which includes a rigorous peer-reviewing process. Abstracts (150-200 words) are due by March 30, complete papers by 1 September (maximum 7000 words). Please, email your proposals to Sara Martín (Sara.Martin@uab.cat).

There were apparently no answers to these questions.  But the trend is clear. Without restored public funding, the New Normal means the permanent downgrading of all levels of public higher education, and the reversion of top-quality learning and research to small elites.  Unless we restore cut public funding, California will continue to pioneer educational post-democracy.

Are CEOs overpaid? Not compared with college presidents.

* Mount St. Mary’s now in trouble with its accreditor. Good! I can’t see how they can possibly retain accreditation with this leadership still in place.

Emails Show Michigan Aides Worried About Flint’s Water a Year Before Acting. When is someone going to go to jail over this? How the Flint River got so toxic.

* Riffing a bit more on this (“A presidential run by Michael Bloomberg could plunge the country into a constitutional crisis”), it seems to me there’s a real possibility of GOP leaders doing this on purpose, if they think a third-party run can keep both Clinton and Trump under a majority and thereby throw the whole thing to a presumably GOP House. Meanwhile: GOP elites “verging on panic.” Trump and the fake-university fraud. (Even the right-wing National Review, etc!) And then there’s just this morning. But you don’t have to take my word for it…

Jeb: An Elegy!

* Alas, Bernie.

* I don’t remember who said it, but someone on Twitter was remarking just the other day about how well Trump has turned the ignore-facts-trust-only-me ethos of Fox against Fox itself. And behold.

bdjones_2016-Feb-28* In your heart, you know she’s right.

* Meanwhile, on the other side of the cable news swamp: Melissa Harris-Perry Is Probably Not Coming Back to MSNBC. Scratch that “probably.”

Dow Chemical Co. said it agreed to pay $835 million to settle an antitrust case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death reduced its chances of overturning a jury award.

The Great Pennsylvania Government Porn Caper.

* Finland, education, and equality.

Ron visited the Burrow after he had gotten clean. He was dismayed to see how many photos of Hermione his mother kept on the walls. Harry Potter and Your Twenties.

* Truly, the cruelest month: Mississippi Governor Proclaims That April Is Now ‘Confederate Heritage Month.’

* …what is the best strategy for dealing with a body of thought that, on one hand, is riddled with internal contradictions and tensions and yet, on the other, is highly coherent and effective (for example, through the transformation of human subjects into financialized forms of capital)? Should we seek to destabilize neoliberalism by exposing its internal inconsistencies, or reject its market rationalities by embracing forms of sociality and politics that cannot be reduced to economic principles such as price, or perhaps both? These questions are, to some extent, left hanging, and the book leaves one with the feeling that the battle against neoliberalism is being lost, and perhaps even that there is an air of inevitability about where things are heading. This book, then, is at the same time enlightening and disheartening: it provides a brilliant insight into some of the darkest developments of our times while at the same time providing little hope for social and political change of a different kind.

* “The Big Short is, in one sense, about our protagonists’ search for a villain as formidable as the crisis they identify.”

* Parenting corner: Are picky eaters born or made? Given how terrible I was about this when I was a kid, and how relentlessly I’m being handed back every inch of it now, I’ve got to say there’s a genetic component to it, or at least a karmic one.

Shazam for Plants Will Identify Any Plant From a Picture.

Space is the Place: The Architecture of Afrofuturism.

What Life on Minimum Wage Actually Looks Like in 2016.

* This is still the best story.

This Is What Darth Vader’s Theme Would Have Been If He Had Been The Hero

* If you want a vision of the future.

* And it certainly is pretty: Licensing agreement reached on brilliant new blue pigment discovered by happy accident.

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Class of ’98

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One of the odder side effects of my long time in graduate school has been missing the financial apocalypse that’s otherwise completely screwed over my age cohort.

Urban_Institute_Net_Wealth_of_the_Young

Zillow_Underwater_Homeowners_Age

Monday Links

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* Welcome to the future: Another grandmother gives birth to her own grandchild.

* Whiteness and Breaking Bad: America isn’t flooded with pure meth, and it’s not because our chemists are too ethical. The illegal drug market simply doesn’t reward peerless expertise in the same way celebrity cooking shows do.

The white guy who enters a world supposedly beneath him where he doesn’t belong yet nonetheless triumphs over the inhabitants is older than talkies. TV Tropes calls it “Mighty Whitey,” and examples range from Tom Cruise as Samurai and Daniel Day Lewis as Mohican, to the slightly less far-fetched Julia Stiles as ghetto-fabulous. But whether it’s a 3-D marine playing alien in Avatar or Bruce Wayne slumming in a Bhutanese prison, the story is still good for a few hundred million bucks. The story changes a bit from telling to telling, but the meaning is consistent: a white person is (and by extension, white people are) best at everything.

* Paging Kim Stanley Robinson: NASA seems to have violated its own Prime Directive by failing to consult its Planetary Protection Officer on the Curiosity mission.

Teachers are striking in Chicago. Meanwhile: How Michelle Rhee Is Taking Over the Democratic Party. Thank goodness Obama’s winning, so he can finally crush the teachers’ unions once and for all!

* Solitary confinement in schools? Jesus Christ.

* Richard Posner is making sense: The notion of using the criminal law as the primary means of dealing with a problem of addiction, of misuse, of ingesting dangerous drugs — I don’t think that’s sensible at all.

* Debt Collectors Cashing In on Student Loan Roundup.

“I couldn’t believe the accumulated wealth they represent — for our industry,” the consultant, Jerry Ashton, wrote in a column for a trade publication, InsideARM.com. “It was lip-smacking.”

Meanwhile, America’s defaulted student loans total more than yearly tuition at public colleges.

* Star Trek 2 has a title: Star Trek Into Darkness. Early returns: Pretty terrible! Star Wars on Poverty. Lord of the Rings That Bell.

* James Cameron always envisioned Avatar as 19 films.

I have an idea for a fourth. I haven’t really put pen to paper on it, but basically it goes back to the early expeditions of Pandora, and kind of what went wrong with the humans and the Na’vi and what that was like to be an explorer and living in that world. Because when we drop in, even in the first film in ‘Avatar 1,’ as it will be known in the future, we’re dropping into a process that’s 35 years in to a whole colonization.

But what happened before that? And before that? And…

* The director of Looper has a metaphor for a model of time travel logic I don’t think I’ve seen before: the universe as a body with an immune system that seeks to push out foreign objects.

The problem isn’t that this is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen in my life; the problem is that it’s seven of the worst films I’ve ever seen in my life glued together haphazardly, their inexorable badness amplified by their awkward juxtaposition. Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski wanted to make a movie unlike any other, and they certainly did: Cloud Atlas is a unique and totally unparalleled disaster.

*  Study: There is enough wind on this planet to meet our entire energy needs.

* Tressie McMillan Cottom reviews the captivating documentary The Queen of Versailles, which I caught at the local independent movie house this weekend. It’s quite good—a stunning portrait of the wealthy’s perspective of the “normal” workings of the economy and of the 2008-2009 economic collapse.

* And when polls fail: Do 15% of Ohio Republicans really think Romney killed bin Laden? Probably not.

Wednesday Links

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DAVID BROOKS: Okay, so our act starts with us inflating a giant internet bubble. Then that collapses, taking the country’s economy with it, just as we massively cut taxes on millionaires because, we say, if we don’t the government will have too much money. Right after that we blow off warnings about terrorism and let 3,000 Americans get slaughtered. We use that as a chance to lie the U.S. into invading a country that had nothing to do with the attack, killing hundreds of thousands of people and turning millions into refugees. In the middle of all that we borrow torture techniques from the Inquisition and use them on people in secret sites around the planet. Then we make billions off another financial bubble, the biggest in human history, and do nothing as it collapses, plunging the world into the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression. To fix that we open up the national bank vault and shovel out money as fast as possible to all the criminals who made it happen in the first place. Then—as the amazing finale—we refuse to prosecute anyone for that, for the war, or for torture, and we start killing U.S. citizens with flying death robots.

[LONG PAUSE]

AGENT: …That’s a hell of an act. What do you call it?

DAVID BROOKS: The Aristocrats!

* Male privilege watch: For anyone who’s unfamiliar with her plight, Sarkeesian wanted to start a project to cover a subject that’s not exactly radical: the portrayal of women in video games. Her YouTube account, in which she explains the project, was flooded with comments equating her to the KKK, calling her a “fucking hypocrite slut,” comparing the project to an act of war, and flagging the video as promoting hatred or violence. Her Wikipedia page was vandalized, her picture replaced with pornographic images, and people tried to get the Kickstarter proposal Sarkeesian was using to raise money to support the project shut down. More from MeFi.

* To whit.

“The ability to see him as a human is even more enticing to me than the more sexualized version of yesteryear,” he said. “He literally goes from zero to hero… we’re sort of building him up and just when he gets confident, we break him down again.”

In the new Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones will suffer. His best friend will be kidnapped. He’ll get taken prisoner by island scavengers. And then, Rosenberg says, those scavengers will try to rape him.

“He is literally turned into a cornered animal,” Rosenberg said. “It’s a huge step in his evolution: he’s forced to either fight back or die.”

Patent for a wristwatch that tells you how much longer you could expect to live.

Obama Trade Document Leaked, Revealing New Corporate Powers And Broken Campaign Promises. Inconceivable!

* Wes Anderson: genius! Wes Anderson: fraud!

* People say M.C. Escher’s “Relativity” is an impossible space, but nothing is impossible with LEGO.

* North Dakotan communists rename racist mascots, endorse the existence of property tax.

* First as farce, then as…?: Romney Touts Presidential Salary Plan That Was Literally A Saturday Night Live Skit.

Goodfellas‘s famously ambiguous ending finally resolves: Henry Hill has died.

* And the kids are all right: Belief In God Plummets Among Youth. Update: Or not.

When It Smells Like It, Feels Like It, and Looks Like It, You Call It What It Is

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Krugman: It’s time to start calling the current situation what it is: a depression. True, it’s not a full replay of the Great Depression, but that’s cold comfort. Unemployment in both America and Europe remains disastrously high. Leaders and institutions are increasingly discredited. And democratic values are under siege.