/Links 10/12/2020

Links 10/12/2020

After 3,000 years, Tasmanian devils are returning to Australian mainland CNN

Harry Reid Confirms Federal Government Covered Up UFOs For Years HuffPo. Reid: “There’s more than one up there.” Apparently, 2002’s showrunners decided murder hornets and venomous caterpillar aren’t enough. I think they’re flailing.

Central bank digital currencies: foundational principles and core features (PDF) Bank of Canada, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, Sveriges Riksbank, Swiss National Bank, Bank of England, Board of Governors Federal Reserve System, and Bank for International Settlements.

OECD drafts principles for $100bn global corporate tax revolution FT

Bank of England asks banks how ready they are for sub-zero rates Reuters

Next Big Shift in Economics Takes Shape Under Covid Shadow Bloomberg

Endowment Velociraptors Are Best Left to Roam Free John Authers, Bloomberg

The company that has a monopoly on ice cream truck music The Hustle

California kept prison factories open. Inmates worked for pennies an hour as COVID-19 spread LA Times


The effect of temperature on persistence of SARS-CoV-2 on common surfaces Virology Journal. From the Abstract: “While the role of fomite transmission is not yet fully understood, precise data on the environmental stability of SARS-CoV-2 is required to determine the risks of fomite transmission from contaminated surfaces.” In the lab, in the dark (no UV): “We obtained half lives of between 1.7 and 2.7 days at 20 °C, reducing to a few hours when temperature was elevated to 40 °C. With initial viral loads broadly equivalent to the highest titres excreted by infectious patients, viable virus was isolated for up to 28 days at 20 °C from common surfaces such as glass, stainless steel and both paper and polymer banknotes. Conversely, infectious virus survived less than 24 h at 40 °C on some surfaces.”

Community and Close Contact Exposures Associated with COVID-19 Among Symptomatic Adults ≥18 Years in 11 Outpatient Health Care Facilities — United States, July 2020 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. From the Summary: “Findings from a case-control investigation of symptomatic outpatients from 11 U.S. health care facilities found that close contact with persons with known COVID-19 or going to locations that offer on-site eating and drinking options were associated with COVID-19 positivity.”

COVID-19: faecal–oral transmission? Nature. From March, possibly germane: “”Physicians and caretakers of potentially-infected children need to be aware that stools might be infectious,” adds [Mary Estes at Baylor College of Medicine]. The results are preliminary and further research is needed. ‘We are now assembling a much larger cohort to confirm our results and will test more patients to confirm faecal–oral transmission,” says [Kang] Zhang.’” Worth adding to the fomite v. aerosol discussion; there was, after all, a fecal plume in Amoy Gardens case, during 2003’s SARS outbreak in Hong Kong.

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The “herd immunity strategy” isn’t part of a scientific debate about COVID-19. It’s a well-funded political campaign. Medium

Focused Protection, Herd Immunity, and Other Deadly Delusions The Nation. Speculating a bit: Aerosols are like cigarette smoke. We tried “focused protection” with cigarettes with smoking areas, etc. At best, protection was partial, below expectations, and far inferior to prohibition. Focused protection won’t work with the virus, either; fortune, like smoke, passes everywhere. As with cigarettes, the only solution will be to change our ways, collectively. But see below.

‘It’s been so, so surreal.’ Critics of Sweden’s lax pandemic policies face fierce backlash Science

Hotspots of resurgent Covid erode faith in ‘herd immunity’ FT

I think the toothpaste might be out of the tube:

Go long domestic tourism, because passports are gonna be a problem. (To be fair, it would be nice if this service was like BLM marches (no known cases), and not like indoor political rallies (cases), or Wisconsin in-person voting (cases). It is outdoors. But I’m not seeing masks, people are singing and shouting, and they remain close to their neighbors for an extended period of time. So I’m not hopeful. Tennessee isn’t doing well, either.)

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Air cleaner notes Potrzebie Review. “Notes from reading up on air cleaners to help deal with the current California wirefire smoke.”


Mainland Chinese bankers are taking over Hong Kong’s financial sector, displacing their local peers in top roles South China Morning Post

Asia Today: China to test 9 million after new outbreak AP. Impressive.

Washington Watching as Beijing’s Space Power Grows The Diplomat. From September, still germane.

Why the US Luxury Recovery Is Not Comparable to China’s Jing Daily

Southeast Asia Isn’t Interested In Joining A New Cold War The American Conservative

Man loses 200 times at crane game, calls police to investigate, staff member loses 300 times too Sora News


India’s Big Bad Billionaires Are United in Their Arrogance, Entitlement and Disdain for Laws The Wire


Lebanon explosion: Deadly fuel tank blast rocks Beirut BBC. There seem to be rather a lot of explosions just now:

Azerbaijan v. Armenia:

A Tajikistan poised on verge of economic calamity set for vote Eurasia.net


Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam’s Op-Ed GOV.UK. Yikes.

Boris Johnson faces rebellion over Covid job support for workers FT. Lack thereof.

UK At ‘Tipping Point’ As Millions Face New Coronavirus Rules HuffPo

Northern cities seek overhaul of national tracing ‘shambles’ Guardian

The anti-lockdown crusade gains oxygen from this government’s ineptitude Stumbling and Mumbling

France risks new lockdowns if Covid-19 surge worsens: PM Agence France Presse

Italy prepares new restrictions to fight spike in coronavirus cases Reuters

Trump Transition

Republicans Have Already Packed the Courts. It’s Up To Democrats How To Rebalance Them. Washington Monthly. Perhaps, in retrospect, Schumer waving Trump’s nominations through so the Senate could go on vacation wasn’t the best plan?

Fix America by Undoing Decades of Privatization The Atlantic


No and no:

Twitter is correct to flag this, though if platform have to make such calls, maybe there shouldn’t be platforms.

Protests and Riots

A profile of the conspirators in the Michigan plot WSWS

The Meaning of Timothy Mcveigh Gore Vidal, Vanity Fair. From 2001, still germane.

Security guard suspected in fatal protest shooting not licensed in Denver, city says Denver Post

Dangerous use of crowd-control weapons against medics and protesters in Portland, OR The Lancet

Police State Watch

Police killings more likely in agencies that get military gear, data shows Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Big Brother Is Watching You

Google Supplying Police User Information Based On Keyword Searches – Report Deadline

Lord Advocate Launches War on Twitter Craig Murray (GF). “[T]he Lord Advocate of Scotland is claiming in the contempt of court case against me that I am legally responsible for the content of replies to my tweets…. But neither you nor I nor any other user is the publisher of Twitter. There is no sensible view in which you are the publisher of replies to your tweets. Twitter is the publisher of tweets and users are responsible for what they tweet.”

Health Care

Further to my post on “bureaucratic” barriers to “access,” we have this (flora):

We have coding, we have upcoding (for profit), why not failcoding?

Health Care: The Best and the Rest New York Review of Books. Review of Ezekiel J. Emanuel’s new book. “Emanuel sees automatic enrollment as both essential and nonthreatening—a social good requiring little systemic change.” If Emanuel thinks that, he’s out of his mind, and not just because the Freedom caucus will hate it.

Our Famously Free Press

An Arrest in Canada Casts a Shadow on a New York Times Star, and The Times NYT. Picture caption: “The New York Times newsroom. The paper is in the midst of an evolution from the stodgy paper of record into a juicy collection of great narratives.” Oh.

ICO’s final report into Cambridge Analytica invites regulatory questions FT. “[I]t may shortly become even harder to disprove the uncomfortable proposition that Cambridge Analytica’s main data-related crime was overselling its own capabilities rather than actually hacking democracy with the help of the Russians.”

Black Injustice Tipping Point

A Nation of Walls Places Journal

Guillotine Watch

US companies rewrite bonus plans to prop up executive pay FT

Behold, the Texas home with America’s largest closet Inman

The Cultural Roots of Conservatism Roger Kimball, American Greatness

Class Warfare

Silicon Valley is famously liberal. Then, investors and employees started clashing over race. WaPo

Les nouveaux Misérables: the lives of Filipina workers in the playground of the rich Guardian

This Graph Shows How Car Paint Colors Have Gotten More Boring Over the Years The Drive

Kafka in Pieces The Baffler

Antidote du jour (via):

A second en-zoo-ed animal, I admit. But awfully cute!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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