Monday, November 14, 2022
HomeEconomics2:00PM Water Cooler 11/14/2022 | bare capitalism

2:00PM Water Cooler 11/14/2022 | bare capitalism

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Chook Tune of the Day

Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Sector La Esperanza, Cartago, Costa Rica

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“However what’s authorities itself, however the best of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“Right here’s meals for thought, had Ahab time to suppose; however Ahab by no means thinks; he solely feels, feels, feels” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick

“So lots of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in actual fact a rational administration of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

Biden Administration

“Possibly the lunatics are proper about Ukraine: Defeating Putin isn’t value nuclear warfare” [Salon]. “As a kind of ‘woke leftists’ the Trumpists wish to complain about, I’m usually not within the behavior of agreeing with people like Carlson or McCarthy on fairly actually something. Nonetheless, as an educational whose analysis makes a speciality of human extinction — and who could be very involved that the prospect of nuclear warfare over Ukraine isn’t being taken practically severely sufficient — I’m compelled to confess that the conservative lunatics are proper. The present administration and common media shops have endorsed a plan of action in Ukraine that’s pushing the world inexorably towards a disaster that might not solely spell the demise of recent civilization, however might fairly probably put us on the highway towards human extinction. The administration is ready to pursue this reckless overseas coverage, in no small half, as a result of the mainstream media has orchestrated a near-flawless PR marketing campaign on Ukraine’s behalf, casting the battle as a story of noble David versus monstrous Goliath. I actually am responsible of contributing to this notion, framing Ukraine as a tragic protagonist in a Slate column earlier this yr. The issue is, whereas all that makes for a very good story, it performs quick and free with the reality — a reality that seemingly solely right-wing weirdos, who’re all the time greater than prepared to be rude or politically incorrect, appeared to have grasped. In response to the popularity that the U.S. is stumbling towards the nuclear cataclysm, Tucker Carlson has been characteristically blunt: ‘Why do I care what’s going on within the battle between Ukraine and Russia?’ he asks. Carlson is each a jerk and a conspiratorial loon, and his phrasing of the query betrays a complete lack of primary human sympathy for the individuals of Ukraine. But, nonetheless [glassbowl]-ish his wording is perhaps, he identifies an uncomfortable line of inquiry all of us must face: Is saving Ukraine, even within the ghastly occasion that Russia makes use of nuclear weapons in opposition to its individuals, value risking the way forward for our planet? In my opinion, the reply is clearly and overwhelmingly no.”


The Senate:

The Home:

“What wouldn’t it take for Democrats to maintain the Home?” [The Hill]. “[O]f the remaining 20 contests, Republicans want simply seven extra seats to clinch the bulk, whereas Democrats must notch 14. For Democrats to hit that focus on, they should win all the races they at the moment lead and some others the place Republicans maintain a slight edge. A little bit greater than half of the undecided races are in California, the place all lively voters are despatched mail ballots, making a extra sluggish tabulation course of. Arizona, Colorado, Oregon every have two uncalled races, whereas Alaska, Maine and New York every have one.”

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“As I Have Been Saying All Alongside” [Atrios, Eschaton]. “One factor I attempt to level out is . There isn’t exactly one motive Dems did higher than all of the extremely paid politics knowers thought. I’m not going to assert it’s as a result of they lastly took my recommendation and embraced full communism. I don’t even have robust opinions on what they did proper. My take is extra that perhaps individuals don’t like it all that a lot when Republicans are assholes, they usually haven’t tried a lot else currently.” • One other method of claiming that is that single causes are service choices from consultants and strategists.

“How a stunning Democratic technique might have staved off the midterm crimson wave” [Vox]. “A high-risk Democratic technique — financially backing far-right, Trump-endorsed Republicans of their primaries — seems to have paid off within the midterms. As NPR reported Friday, six Democratic challengers in races the place Democratic organizations donated to extremist Republican candidates have up to now gained their contests. The query that looms over this tactic has but to be answered: at what price?” • Hopefully, at the price of Democrats by no means once more yammering about fascism. In spite of everything, the nice and the nice of Germany thought they might management Hitler, too. How’d that work out?

The cash:

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“There’s by no means time to do it proper, however there’s all the time time to do it over.” Why not simply begin with the hand rely?

NY: “AOC: The New York State Democratic Occasion’s Corruption Could Have Value Democrats the Home” [The Intercept]. AOC: “[A]nother prime mistake is that in New York State, I believe that — Cuomo could also be gone, however his complete infrastructure, a lot of his infrastructure and far of the political equipment that he put in place remains to be there. And it is a equipment that’s disorganized, it’s sycophantic. It depends on lobbyists and massive cash. And it actually undercuts the power for there to be affirming grassroots and state-level organizing throughout the state. And so when that languishes and there’s little or no organizing taking place, yeah, I imply, mainly, you’re leaving a void for Republicans to stroll into. And so I truly suppose loads of these Republican video games aren’t essentially as robust as they could appear, I believe it’s actually from an absence. And it’s a testomony to the corruption that has been allowed to proceed within the New York State Democratic Occasion. ‘Cuomo could also be gone, however his complete infrastructure, a lot of his infrastructure and far of the political equipment that he put in place remains to be there.’ We noticed that with India Walton.” • Helpful map:

Not a very good look.

TX: “Beto’s Misplaced 12 months” [Texas Observer]. “O’Rourke’s private attraction, which helped propel him to untimely political stardom, was evident even in defeat. The gang evinced its ardour for him as a person. But the exhibiting was a shadow of 2018, when his concession speech was at a packed minor league baseball stadium. Again then—after falling simply 2.6 factors shy of unseating U.S. Senator Ted Cruz—O’Rourke stated: “I’m as hopeful as I’ve ever been in my life,” and it was plausible. All of us knew then he would run once more for one thing; it was just the start. However now, he says he doesn’t know what’s subsequent, he implies he’s carried out working, and it’s plausible.”


“A Biden coalition is (barely) saving democracy. POTUS 46 should run once more in ‘24.” [Will Bunch, The Inquirer]. “[Biden’s announcement of his Presidential run on May 18, 2019 in Philadelphia] was the birthdate of what we would have liked to start out calling ‘the Biden coalition.’ They’re the less-noisy majority of Individuals who imagine in counting the votes, in decency, in increasing civil rights as a substitute of curbing them, and — corny because it sounds to among the Beltway pundits — in democracy. From school campus to leaf-blown suburbs, from predominantly Black metropolis neighborhoods to Indigenous reservations, these voters proved simply sufficient to rescue America from a disastrous Trump second time period in 2020 — they usually did it once more in Tuesday’s midterms…. That is all very a lot in line with the groundbreaking analysis by the Harvard political scientists Daniel Ziblatt and Steven Levitsky, the authors of 2018′s How Democracies Die, who confirmed that the nations that efficiently thwarted dictatorships had been those through which rival factions dropped their ideological variations to as a substitute rally behind a protection of democracy. It wasn’t 100% clear earlier than Tuesday’s midterms, however the Biden coalition — the Democratic base, joined by Gen Z voters who would possibly usually want the democratic socialism of a Sen. Bernie Sanders, and white suburban “By no means Trumper” ex-Republicans — is starting to look precisely like what the authors described. This alliance have to be preserved in any respect prices.” • All prices? As a result of I can consider some prices that Bunch doesn’t point out….

Democrats en Déshabillé

Affected person readers, it appears that evidently persons are truly studying the back-dated put up! However I’ve not up to date it, and there are numerous updates. So I should try this. –lambert

I’ve moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Occasion (“the Democrat Occasion is a rotting corpse that may’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated put up, to which I’ll periodically add materials, summarizing the addition right here in a “stay” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It seems that defining the Democrat Occasion is, in actual fact, a tough downside. I do suppose the paragraph that follows is on level all the best way again to 2016, if not earlier than:

The Democrat Occasion is the political expression of the category energy of PMC, their base (lucidly defined by Thomas Frank in Hear, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Occasion didn’t exist, the PMC must invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” after all.) Second, all of the working components of the Occasion reinforce one another. Go away apart characterizing the relationships between components of the Occasion (ka-ching, however not fully) these components comprise a community — a Flex Internet? An iron octagon? — of funders, distributors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with belongings within the press and the intelligence neighborhood.

Notice, after all, that the category energy of the PMC each expresses and is restricted by different lessons; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial mannequin’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to thoughts. Suck up, kick down.

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First transfer in opposition to the gerontocracy:

Or not–

“Pelosi says Democrats asking her to remain in management” [The Hill]. “Pelosi on Sunday stated she has not made up her thoughts on whether or not she would search a Home management place, including she would decide by the tip of the month. She added that her focus now’s seeing the occasion by means of the tip of the midterm elections as a number of Home races have but to be known as and neither Democrats nor Republicans have captured a majority within the decrease chamber. Democrats have retained their management of the Senate after the midterms. ‘I’ve a day job,’ Pelosi stated. ‘A part of it’s to be the political chief and to get us the absolute best victory, after which not worrying about my future, however for the long run for the American individuals.’”

Realignment and Legitimacy

“‘Fascism has a Future’: Carlo Ginzburg interviewed by Joseph Confavreux” [Verso (NL)]. Ginzburg: “I believe it’s crucial to tell apart between the anachronism of questions and the anachronism of solutions. Doing historical past means beginning with questions which can be associated to the current, however which the dialogue with paperwork and a special society permits us to reformulate. The concept historical past teaches us to stay can’t be taken actually. Somewhat, historic data capabilities as an antidote to poison. I dedicate a chapter of the ebook to the analogy proposed by Machiavelli, primarily based on Michelangelo’s David, between founding a republic and modelling a statue. Already, in The Artwork of Struggle, he had in contrast the imposition of a type, i.e. of a behaviour, on ‘coarse males’ to the act of making a phenomenal statue from a block of tough marble. For me, it is a downside that has spectacular resonances with the current as a result of it touches on the manipulation of the plenty. The Mussolini regime has disappeared, but it surely leaves a legacy that may be reworked by completely different applied sciences.” • Properly value a learn.

“Showdown Gradual Down” [James Howard Kunstler, Clusterf*ck Nation]. “What’s up with dragging out the vote rely in Arizona and Nevada, promising to ship the final 20-percent of the rely by a sure hour after which lacking their deadline greater than as soon as, whereas dribbling out a number of packets of, let’s assume, alternative cuts, right here and there? I’ll let you know what: an organized mind-fuck. The Democrats are aiming to demoralize their adversaries and exhaust them psychologically in order that when victory lastly comes, the winners will probably be too emotionally depleted to do their end-zone dances — and the voters will probably be too dispirited to cheer…. The essential Democratic Occasion election technique in latest many years has been to show the voting public into so many tens of millions of proverbial froggies within the pot of water set to slowly rise to boiling in order that the froggies don’t discover they’re getting cooked till it’s too late to leap out of the pot. The Democrat’s Lawfare troopers have slowly and systematically modified the strategies of voting and counting the votes, particularly to get rid of accountability for the huge scams and screw-ups which have occurred lately. The adjustments have been accepted as regular. . As a substitute, Lawfare obtained states to consolidate all of the motion in enormous impersonal voting facilities — usually sports activities arenas — the place a whole lot of election employees churned, and all kinds of frauds went unnoticed within the huge shuffle of exercise.” • In different phrases, the Democrats are eliminating the church women (as Obama, I’ve heard, did with many, primarily feminine, volunteer occasion employees after 2008). That is believable, however I see no information. Can readers verify or deny?

“They Can’t Rely Even in Vegas Now? Transcript from “America This Week” [Matt Taibbi, TK News]. Enjoyable stuff:

We are able to argue about why that is taking place — the standard rationalization is a brand new inflow of mail-in ballots, which take longer to rely, with each events blaming one another for why — however editorializing on the topic has been weird for one more motive. Business media each earlier than (see right here, right here, right here, and right here) and after (see right here, right here, right here, and right here) the midterms has been filled with tales about the way it’s completely tremendous that it now takes perpetually to rely votes in America. White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre even declared, ‘That’s how that is alleged to work.’

However, if counting votes shortly is so important to instilling confidence in democracy, and ‘democracy itself’ is famously in hassle, why aren’t we making an attempt tougher to repair this? Particularly in Nevada, a state well-known for its counting, the brand new tolerance for sloth hits the ear like an oar.

Right here’s Walter Kirn, broadcasting from Clark County Friday, on the seeming incapacity of Individuals to rely issues, even in a state the place reaching an correct rely each evening is a matter of life or loss of life:

Walter Kirn: This can be a city through which umpteen-million quarters are dumped into slot machines each evening and counted inside hours. This can be a city that counts for a residing. If you happen to’ve seen On line casino, you know the way it really works. A couple of of these {dollars} might go into some individuals’s pockets, or they used to, not less than earlier than MGM…

Matt Taibbi: However when you’re off by a pair bucks, you find yourself in a gap a few miles north of town, don’t you?

Walter Kirn: Precisely. In the event that they counted cash the best way they’re counting ballots, these individuals can be in Lake Mead tied to a cinder block. So it’s more and more onerous for me, as at a sure degree I’m simply the common particular person, and the common particular person mustn’t must have a Jesuitical, theologically exact perception into all of the several types of ballots, and all of the methods through which they’re delivered, and all of the phases at which they’re tabulated. The outsider, the American citizen, has each proper to really feel that these processes are easy, goal and fast, and that they will’t have that confidence in that implies to me that there’s a lot to be a dissident about on this nation.

The lack to get buy-in from voters, and particularly from the losers of those elections, who should have the boldness that they misplaced pretty, is a systemic and non secular failure. It may possibly’t be addressed just by criminalizing complaints or calling individuals names. It must be addressed on the root. And there appears to be little prospect that it will likely be. So who wins and who loses now has develop into, to me, a secondary consideration. The actual consideration is how do they preserve religion in a system that basically wouldn’t suffice in a grocery retailer on the finish of the day, after they open the until.

And talking of “election integrity”:

See: “These Are the Adverts Russia Purchased on Fb in 2016” [New York Times]. • From 2017, nonetheless germane. It’s laughable to think about that these advertisements, and the tiny funds so evidently used to create them, had any affect on the 2016 election in any respect.

“Election Administration at State and Native Ranges” [National Conference of State Legislatures]. “The U.S. is characterised by a extremely decentralized election administration system. County or municipal officers sometimes do the rubber-meets-the-road capabilities of working an election, however the state and federal authorities every have roles, too. The result’s that no two states administer elections in precisely the identical method, and fairly a little bit of variation exists in election administration even inside states. Every state’s election administration construction and procedures grew organically over many many years as occasions modified and administering an election turned an more and more advanced job. The range of election administration constructions between and inside states might be seen as a constructive or a unfavorable high quality, relying on who’s wanting, and when. Critics say the extent of native management can result in mismanagement and inconsistent software of the regulation. This usually comes into focus in giant federal elections particularly, when the media and the general public concentrate on how completely different the voting expertise might be relying on the place a voter lives. However, decentralization permits particular person jurisdictions to experiment and innovate—to see how elections would possibly greatest be run for the state and the locality’s explicit circumstances. The dispersed duty for working elections additionally makes it extraordinarily troublesome, if not not possible, to rig U.S. elections on the nationwide degree.” • A helpful hyperlink with many sources.


Lambert right here: I can’t name a winter surge, although we’ll actually have to attend for Thanksgiving journey. Nonetheless, excessive transmission (CDC), the elevation and continued enhance in positivity (Walgreens), and the regular takeover of BQ.1* (CDC; Walgreens) are all just a little unsettling (as is the obvious proliferation of variants). Keep protected on the market!

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• Question from alert reader RK:

Mates have requested me to carry them dwelling from an airport that’s about two hours distant. They are going to have returned from a two-week keep in Austin, TX. Who is aware of the place and with whom they’ve been throughout their time away!

To deal with my discomfort at being cooped up in a automobile with them for that lengthy, I began wanting into small, transportable HEPA air filtration gadgets that may run utilizing an inverter in my automobile’s cigarette lighter. This, plus masking and outdoors airflow by way of my automobile’s heating/cooling system looks as if a good preventative measure. I’ve seen marketed items on the order of 4″×4″×8″ to be used in small rooms that may very well be accommodated in my automobile. The system plus inverter would run, say, $125-150.

Mayhaps, commuters in bigger cities have already tumbled onto comparable measures. Likely I’ve missed any report on such use of an air filtration system in NC. I hope you would possibly direct me to such in order that I would profit from others’ experiences in making my analysis. Any recommendation will probably be gratefully acquired.

Not solely do I not personal a automobile, I don’t recall a related examine or product evaluate. (I do keep in mind, linked to, and can’t now discover, a examine that confirmed the extra home windows you open in your automobile the higher, however that’s not an possibility right here.) Readers? Particularly these with private expertise?

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• “The Newest COVID-19 Variants Can Evade Vaccine Safety, In keeping with New Knowledge” [Time]. n = 88. “Dr. David Ho, director of Columbia College’s Aaron Diamond AIDS Analysis Heart (ADARC), and his group reported the outcomes from a set of research at an ADARC symposium. They confirmed how effectively among the newest variants—BQ.1, BQ.1.1, XBB, and XBB.1, which had been all derived from Omicron—are evading each vaccine-derived and infection-derived immunity…. Ho’s group carried out what is probably going essentially the most complete look to this point at BQ.1, BQ.1.1, XBB, and XBB.1, and the way current immunity—from the unique mRNA vaccines, the brand new Omicron boosters, and pure infections—stands as much as them. Scientists took blood sera from 88 individuals in 5 teams (beneath) and uncovered it to the 4 variants within the lab…. The outcomes present that individuals who had been contaminated with BA.2, BA.4, or BA.5 usually skilled the smallest drop in neutralizing antibody ranges in opposition to in opposition to BQ.1 and BQ.1.1. However . Public-health consultants say that whereas vaccines might wane in efficacy in opposition to newer variants, they proceed to guard individuals from extreme COVID-19.” However “extreme” doesn’t embrace neurological or vascular injury from “gentle instances,” let alongside Lengthy Covid, after all, as a result of the general public well being institution has been captured by hospitals, and for fairly a while, too. Extra: “‘,’ says Ho. for COVID-19, he says.” • Oh.

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• About “residing in worry”:

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• Maskstravaganza: “Ontario will urge indoor masking as ‘three-headed monster’ strains hospital sources” [Toronto Star]. “Requires a return to obligatory masking have been growing in some medical circles, however a latest ballot urged the inhabitants is evenly break up for and in opposition to — elevating questions on how effectively a return to difficult-to-enforce masks mandates would work. A Discussion board survey carried out Tuesday for the Star discovered 53 per cent of respondents strongly or considerably agree that the province ought to carry again a masks mandate, and 47 per cent stated they disagreed considerably or strongly. Totally 28 per cent stated they might not comply with a masking rule and solely 16 per cent stated they put on masks, in keeping with the interactive voice response ballot of 1,007 randomly chosen Ontarians over 18. It’s thought-about correct inside three share factors, 19 occasions out of 20. Charges of masking in indoor public locations stay low regardless of encouragement from well being officers for individuals to put on masks after they really feel in danger, notably in crowded conditions. On TTC subway vehicles, for instance, the proportion of passengers sporting masks is usually tiny.” • Propaganda labored in opposition to masks. Presumably, propaganda would work for them as effectively (“We’ve all the time been at warfare with Eastasia”).

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• “Covid Melancholy Is Actual. Right here’s What You Have to Know” [New York Times]. ” In a 2021 examine, greater than half of American adults reported signs of main depressive dysfunction after a coronavirus an infection. The chance of growing these signs — in addition to different psychological well being issues — stays excessive as much as a yr after you’ve recovered…. Well being considerations, grief from dropping family members, social isolation and the disruption of on a regular basis actions had been a recipe for misery, particularly early on within the pandemic. However in contrast with those that managed to keep away from an infection (but additionally handled the troublesome impacts of residing by means of a pandemic), individuals who obtained sick with Covid-19 appear to be far more susceptible to quite a lot of psychological well being issues. ‘There’s one thing in regards to the coronavirus that basically impacts the mind,’ [Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis and the chief of research and development at the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System] stated. ‘Some individuals get melancholy, whereas different individuals can have strokes, nervousness, reminiscence issues and sensory issues.’ Nonetheless others haven’t any neurological or psychiatric circumstances in any respect, he stated.” • This text is a bit anodyne. One million lifeless, and no public recognition or mourning no matter — the place’s the Covid quilt on the Nationwide Mall? — absolutely has a better affect on on the general public thoughts than “social isolation” and “the disruption of on a regular basis actions” (one other method of claiming “vax solely”). To this I might add grief that this nation is…. merely not what I assumed it was, on the most elementary degree of interpersonal relations; my revulsion at calls for to “smile!” is my method to course of this. (Additionally, I don’t imagine for a minute that melancholy is a perform of the mind alone; it’s a “complete of physique” illness.)

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• ”Lengthy COVID and Me: A True Story” [Leonard H. Calabrese, Healio]. This ran in Hyperlinks, and it’s value studying full, however I need to spotlight this passage: “Satirically, simply as I didn’t self-diagnose my acute COVID-19 breakthrough by attributing it to only a unhealthy chilly, I used to be additionally in denial concerning my lengthy COVID prognosis.” • These two episodes of denial appear crucial to the unfold of Covid, each in Calabrese’s case and society-wide. And but Calabrese merely mentions them, and doesn’t mirror on them (which may very well be, I suppose, interpreted as a 3rd episode of denial). However what’s the mechanism? Are there, as one would possibly say, “social determinants”?

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Right here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to neighborhood transmission. (That is the map CDC needs solely hospitals to have a look at, not you.)


From the Walgreen’s take a look at positivity tracker, revealed November 12:

-0.1%. Down.


NOT UPDATED Wastewater information (CDC), November 7:

Lambert right here: Every dot is a sewershed which you can click on for information. Since yesterday we discovered elevated ranges in JFK/LGA’s county, Queens, I seemed immediately at ORD’s county, Cook dinner (one in every of two counties, truly). Not elevated, which is nice information, all of the extra as a result of Illinois ‘runs sizzling” in comparison with most different states. UPDATE Holy Lord, the one factor near real-time data we’ve obtained on airports, and CDC can’t replace the info on a well timed foundation. How am I alleged to be doing my private threat evaluation?

November 6:


Lambert right here: It’s past irritating how sluggish the variant information is. Does no one within the public well being institution get a promotion for monitoring variants? Are there no grants? Is there a single lab that does this work, and everyone will get the outcomes from them? [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk]. UPDATE Sure. See NC right here on Pango. Each Friday, a stately, tutorial tempo completely incompatible with defending your self in opposition to a variant exhibiting doubling conduct.

Variant information, nationwide (Walgreens), revealed November 11 October 25:

Lambert right here: BQ.1* transferring alongside fairly briskly.

Lambert right here: Transferring to the date at backside left; the date within the notes part is off, simply because the date within the positivity chart was off. The date at backside left solely applies to the field that encloses it, not your complete chart.

Variant information, nationwide (CDC), October 22 (Nowcast off):

BQ.1* transferring alongside fairly briskly. New York/New Jersey (Area 2) numbers are larger:

NOT UPDATED And as a examine, since New York is a BQ.1* hotbed, New York hospitalization continues to extend, up to date November 10:

Lambert right here: Continued rise.


Demise charge (Our World in Knowledge):

Complete: 1,100,127 – 1,099,856 = 271 (271 * 365 = 98,915, which is immediately’s YouGenicist™ quantity for “residing with” Covid (fairly a bit larger than the minimizers would love, although they will speak themselves into something. If the YouGenicist™ metric retains chugging alongside like this, I could should determine that is what the powers-that-be take into account “mission completed” for this explicit tranche of loss of life and illness).

It’s good that for deaths I’ve a easy, every day chart that simply retains chugging alongside, not like the whole lot else CDC and the White Home are screwing up or letting go darkish, good job.

Stats Watch

Inflation: “United States Client Inflation Expectations” [Trading Economics]. “US client inflation expectations for the yr forward elevated to five.9 p.c in October of 2022 from 5.4 p.c in September, after three consecutive months of a slowdown. The median anticipated change in fuel costs rose by 4.3 share factors to 4.8%, the most important one-month enhance on file. Expectations about year-ahead worth adjustments rose by 0.7 share level for meals (to 7.6%) and 0.1 share level for hire (to 9.8%).” • What do readers suppose? What’s taking place on the grocery cabinets and on the fuel pump?

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Tech: “America’s Ring doorbell digicam obsession highlights the scourge of mass surveillance [NBC]. “Blanketing our neighborhoods in surveillance gadgets that promote a tradition of suspicion makes all of us much less protected. Gadgets like Ring and the apps related to them are made to maintain us on fixed alert. They ping us with notifications, demanding our consideration, and supply “infinite scroll” like Fb and Instagram, however for neighborhood crime. These gadgets make watching each other always really feel acceptable, anticipated and even addicting. They current surveillance as the brand new regular, and worry together with it. The Neighbors App, related to Amazon Ring, boasted greater than 10 million customers in 2020. Entrance doorways throughout the U.S. are smothered in tens of millions of comparable gadgets, like Google Nest and Wyze. And tens of tens of millions of individuals put up movies and pictures from these cameras to neighborhood watch boards like Citizen App (which accurately rebranded itself from ‘Vigilante’) and NextDoor. A latest report from nonprofit analysis group Knowledge & Society discovered that householders are more and more utilizing Ring and different networked doorbell cameras to surveil and punish supply drivers, turning doorsteps into humiliating efficiency evaluations for underpaid gig employees. And, this July, we discovered that Amazon infringes on our civil liberties by handing over Ring video to the police with out notification or warrants.” • Jeff, good job.

Tech: “Twitter’s potential collapse might wipe out huge data of latest human historical past” [MIT Technology Review]. I do know liberal Democrats, together with their [glassbowl] buddies within the intelligence neighborhood, have their knickers in a twist as a result of they’ve misplaced their energy to censor a serious platform. Whether or not their dogpiling interprets into, or will produce, a “collapse” is unclear to me. As far as I can inform, exits to opponents quantity within the tens of hundreds. So let’s wait and see. “A part of what makes Twitter’s potential collapse uniquely difficult is that the ‘digital public sq.’ has been constructed on the servers of a non-public firm, says O’Connor’s colleague Elise Thomas, senior OSINT analyst with the ISD. It’s an issue we’ll should cope with many occasions over the approaching many years, she says: ‘That is maybe the primary actually huge take a look at of that.’ Twitter’s ubiquity, its adoption by practically 1 / 4 of a billion customers within the final 16 years, and its standing as a de facto public archive, has made it a gold mine of knowledge, says Thomas. ‘In a single sense, this truly represents an unlimited alternative for future historians—we’ve by no means had the capability to seize this a lot information about any earlier period in historical past,’ she explains. However that giant scale presents an enormous storage downside for organizations. For eight years, the US Library of Congress took it upon itself to keep up a public file of all tweets, but it surely stopped in 2018, as a substitute choosing solely a small variety of accounts’ posts to seize. ‘It by no means, ever labored,” says William Kilbride, govt director of the Digital Preservation Coalition. The info the library was anticipated to retailer was too huge, the amount popping out of the firehose too nice. ‘Let me put that in context: it’s the Library of Congress. That they had among the greatest experience on this matter. If the Library of Congress can’t do it, that tells you one thing fairly vital,’ he says. That’s problematic, as a result of Twitter is teeming with important content material from the previous 16 years that might assist tomorrow’s historians perceive the world of immediately.” • I’m unsure I imagine this story (which, in spite of everything, treats Eliot as a critical supply and never a spook). Certainly the Twitter “firehose” is a fraction of what NSA has on its servers in Utah? So, two birds, one stone: Requistion Twitter from Musk and make it a public utility. Then wipe the NSA information middle — absolutely largely home surveillance they’ve obtained no proper to have — and put Twitter on it. Drawback solved!


I don’t want to appear unsympathetic to Playbill’s dilemma, however “legitimately decipher[ing] precise information from insidious rhetoric” is, effectively, a generic downside. It’s not restricted to Twitter.

Tech: “The Age of Social Media Is Ending” [The Atlantic]. “A worldwide broadcast community the place anybody can say something to anybody else as usually as potential, and the place such individuals have come to suppose they deserve such a capability, and even that withholding it quantities to censorship or suppression—that’s only a horrible concept from the outset.” • Commentary:

Tech: “The Atlantic Is A Shitty Propaganda Rag Run By Elitist Wankers” [Caitlin Johnstone]. “Nothing enrages the official licensed commentariat just like the frequent riff raff getting access to platforms and audiences. That’s why the official licensed commentariat have been essentially the most vocal voices calling for web censorship and complaining in regards to the rise of a extra democratized data surroundings. These elitist wankers have been fuming for years about the best way the uninitiated rabble have been granted the power to not simply speak, however to speak again…. After all the imperial narrative managers at The Atlantic can be against regular individuals getting a voice in public discourse. When your job is to regulate the narrative, the larger a monopoly you maintain over it the higher.”

Tech: Whose social capital is valued, and whose isn’t:

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Right now’s Worry & Greed Index: 66 Greed (earlier shut: 66 Greed) [CNN]. One week in the past: 61 (Greed). (0 is Excessive Worry; 100 is Excessive Greed). Final up to date Nov 14 at 12:15 PM EST.

Rapture Index: Closes down one on Wild Climate. “The shortage of exercise has downgraded this class” [Rapture Ready]. File Excessive, October 10, 2016: 189. Present: 186. (Keep in mind that bringing on the Rapture is good.) Plainly 190 is a vital psychological barrier.

Guillotine Watch

Class Warfare

“Appendix 1- Coming Full Circle” (podcast) [Mike Duncan, Revolutions]. • In a collection of eight Appendices, Duncan sums up his historiography of revolutions. I extremely suggest them — as certainly I like to recommend your complete collection, which began in 2013 (!!) with Charles Stuart and ended this yr with Nicholas Romanov.

Information of the Wired

For subway followers:

However what on earth is a “pad”?

“Keith Levene, guitarist and founding member of the Conflict, dies at 65” [Entertainment Weekly]. “Born in London in 1957, Julian Keith Levene obtained his begin within the music business at age 15 working as a roadie for the prog-rock band Sure throughout their Near the Edge tour. At age 16, Levene befriended Mick Jones and the musical duo would go on to create the Conflict alongside vocalist Joe Strummer, bassist Paul Simonon, and drummer Terry Chimes in 1976….. Whereas Levene departed from the rock group earlier than they’d an opportunity to file any music, he’s nonetheless credited with co-writing one in every of their songs: the scorching single “What’s My Title,” which appeared on their eponymous debut file in 1977. In 1978, Levene teamed up with John Lydon — a.okay.a the Intercourse Pistols’ notorious lead singer Johnny Rotten — to type the post-punk group Public Picture Ltd. The band, which additionally included bassist Jah Wobble and drummer Jim Walker, launched their debut album, Public Picture: First Challenge, that very same yr.” • I purchased Steel Field as quickly because it got here out. It was nice.

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Contact data for crops: Readers, be happy to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) learn how to ship me a examine in case you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to learn how to ship me pictures of crops. Greens are tremendous! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary crops! If you would like your deal with to seem as a credit score, please place it at first of your mail in parentheses: (thus). In any other case, I’ll anonymize by utilizing your initials. See the earlier Water Cooler (with plant) right here. From SV:

SV writes: “‘Moth on Obedient Plant,’ by way of our Pal within the Woods.”

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Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not lined by the annual NC fundraiser. So when you see a hyperlink you particularly like, or an merchandise you wouldn’t see wherever else, please don’t hesitate to specific your appreciation in tangible type. Keep in mind, a tip jar is for tipping! Common constructive suggestions each makes me really feel good and lets me know I’m heading in the right direction with protection. After I get no donations for 5 or ten days I get anxious. Extra tangibly, a continuing trickle of donations helps me with bills, and I think about that trickle when setting fundraising objectives:

Right here is the display screen that can seem, which I’ve helpfully annotated:

If you happen to hate PayPal, you’ll be able to electronic mail me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I offers you instructions on easy methods to ship a examine. Thanks!

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