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Counter-Disinformation Is Dead
contains the useful notion of 'epistemic health'.
The counter-disinformation agenda must be abandoned because its assumptions are clearly no longer tenable. We need a different approach for improving our epistemic health. And it will have to emerge out of the wreckage of the old approach, which is collapsing before our eyes as the virus comes for our friends, colleagues, and loved ones.
nyt  aelkus  epistemology  disinformation  trust  journalism 
A Deluged System Leaves Some Elderly to Die, Rocking Spain’s Self-Image - The New York Times
In Italy, authorities have conceded that their coronavirus death toll did not include those who had died at home or in nursing homes. Similarly in France, officials have said that only those who died in hospitals had been recorded as pandemic-related — a practice they said would change in the coming days.
The economic (and political) effects of this coronavirus pandemic
modelling the pandemic. what an exit strategy looks like. v useful post.
economics  C19 
Against "aggregate demand"
There’s another problem. Let’s say you buy a coffee every morning on your way to work, but you then work from home for a month. You won’t buy 26 coffees on your day back in the office. But you will have over £50 more to spend on something else. The losers from this downturn will not therefore necessarily be the same as the winners from the upturn. Even if the macro data show a V-shared recovery, the ground truth will be that the upward leg of the V is different from the downward leg.
economics  C19  chris_dillow 
The Tories’ dilemma
We might wonder why this dilemma is not more publicly discussed. One reason, I suspect, is that here we have another example of an idea outliving their material base. In the mean and nasty 70s, it was plausible that there was little tension between these two conceptions of a market economy; one could believe that more capitalism would mean doux commerce. It is, however, less plausible now. Another reason, perhaps, is that the Tory party has, in one respect at least, an emergent intelligence that Labour lacks: it knows instinctively that some issues should not be raised.

both v good points!
economics  markets  chris_dillow 
Brad Setser Deep Dive on Tooze's Emerging Market Piece
He messed up threading somewhere:

large reserves against debt, or long-term debt, both mean those countries are at lower immediate risk: he highlights russia, thailand, brazil and india.
adam_tooze  twitter  emerging_markets  economics  C19 
2 days ago
A list of British and Irish institutions that might not survive coronavirus • Gizmodo UK
Holly Brockwell:
<p>It's not just human beings that might not see the other side of the covid-19 crisis. Sadly some British businesses, brands and institutions may not survive either. Here's a list of the ones we think are potentially on thin ice.

(Note: clearly, small businesses are at much higher risk than the ones listed here, but we can't realistically list all of those).

(Another note: if you're going to buy from any of the websites of these businesses anytime soon, we would recommend using a credit card to get Section 75 protection (over £100), and not to spend any money you can't potentially afford to lose if it goes belly-up.)</p>

Amazingly, some of them are less than 60 years old. Can't argue with any of them. Would love to see a similar list for the US.
C19  business  via:charlesarthur 
2 days ago
Where in the world is Industry 4.0 strongest? Napkin analysis of the ‘smartest factories’
Only three US-based factories are ranked on the World Economic Forum’s leaderboard of ‘lighthouse factories’ (see chart, bottom of page), supposedly showing the way with digital change. In fact, North America as a whole is under-indexing. Only three out of 44 lighthouse factories are from North America (see two charts below); all of them are US-based. Canada and Mexico, its regional compatriots, do not feature at all. By comparison, Asia and Europe register 20 times and 15 times, respectively, on the list, which was compiled for the World Economic Forum by McKinsey & Company.
5g  ovum  privatemobile  industry4  manufacturing  via:yorksranter 
2 days ago
The dramatic rise and fall of shale oil | Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide
debt and continual capital requirements: shale's dirty secret
Here is the dirty secret about shale. Although you can get a lot of oil from a horizontally drilled shale well in the first year of operation compared with a vertically drilled conventional one, production in the shale well starts to decline pretty rapidly in subsequent years. Many wells only produce less than half of the oil in the second year as they did in the first year of operation. Some actually produce just 30% as much oil in the second year. That means shale producers need to drill more wells every year just to match the previous year’s output. That requires more cash, which means they need to go back to their private equity investors for equity or debt, Wall Street banks for new bond issuances or commercial banks for new lines of credit.

The good news is that over the years, the shale firms have operationally become very efficient. They have also been able to squeeze costs down to the barest minimum. Yet, cost savings and dramatic improvements in efficiencies have not made them the lowest-cost producers even as the cost-per-barrel of production on average has declined from US$70 some years ago to between US$40 and US$50 a barrel now. The cost of conventional oil varies — Saudi Arabia can produce at under US$10 per barrel in some of its fields while elsewhere, costs range from US$20 to US$40 a barrel. There are only a handful of US shale firms with production costs of below US$33 a barrel. Even those shale firms do not make money because US$33 a barrel is just the cost of extraction and does not include financing costs.
shale  fracking  energy  environment 
2 days ago
The Coronavirus Pandemic Is the Biggest Emerging Markets Crisis Ever
interesting point from @adam_tooze's excellent article on C19 and emerging markets, relating to the heavy reliance on service industries on emerging market call centres, especially in India (a model that has been under strain for a while). the end of the off-shoring economy? an economy that has always made up the delta between tech promises and actual operational fulfilment.
India’s stock market is plunging, its exchange rate has slumped and its banks are under pressure. Meanwhile, its booming tech industry and call centers are paralyzed. (If your insurance claim in the United States is held up, don’t be surprised. The back-office workers in Bengaluru who normally process your paperwork don’t have the laptops that would enable them to continue working from home during India’s massive lockdown.)

Useful example of how emerging market bond trading worked, and this is simply astonishing:
Between 2007 and 2019 the value of internationally traded emerging market corporate debt almost quintupled from $500 billion to $2.3 trillion. And, over a similar period, foreign investors bought up one-quarter of the local currency sovereign bonds issued by emerging-market governments, helping to pay among other things for impressive new infrastructure.

Presumably a lot of that infra spend went to China via cheap credit?
Now the entire logic of emerging-market investing has gone into reverse. As investors everywhere run for safety, the dollar has surged, making dollar debts more expensive. Commodity prices have tanked. With China, Europe, and the United States shut down, exporters of manufactured goods and commodities have no one to sell to. Hardly surprising that the stock markets from Jakarta to Sao Paulo are in free fall. Emirates, the iconic airline of globalization, has shut down. In the past week, gigantic fiscal and monetary efforts have breathed a flicker of life into stock markets. The sell-off has been too massive for investors not to hunt for bargains. A huge injection of dollar liquidity has pushed the dollar off its highs. But the actual recession in the world’s developed economies has only just begun, and the pandemic has not even arrived in full force in the emerging markets yet.
adam_tooze  C19  emerging_markets  economics  bonds 
2 days ago
The shock of coronavirus could split Europe – unless nations share the burden | Moritz Schularick and Adam Tooze | Opinion | The Guardian
C19 presents fiscal rather than monetary problems, a situation a loosely federalised set of states like the EU is uniquely poorly positioned to face.
Back in 2008, the banking sector was the centre of the crisis. The European Central Bank (ECB) could fight the fire by providing liquidity to financial markets and supporting the banks. Monetary tools provided the most important line of defence. But faced with coronavirus, the ECB cannot build hospitals, produce ventilators and masks, or organise income support for businesses and their employees. This remains the domain of national fiscal policy.

bond spreads high between Germany and Italy because of further pressure on debt to GDP ratio.
A similar dynamic was visible last week. After some initial wobbles in its response to the crisis, the ECB announced a dramatic new programme of asset purchases to stabilise European markets. Yet the reaction in European capitals was predictable: once the markets were calmed, and bond spreads narrowed between countries, the perceived need for joint fiscal action evaporated. Each country turned its attention back to national rescue packages.

best solution, joint issue of long-term maturity 'corona bonds':
The best solution would the joint issue of one-off bonds with long maturities. The creation of such eurobonds would send a strong signal of solidarity in the face of a crisis for which no nation can be blamed. There is even historical precedent for such a move: the European Community issued bonds in the 1970s to jointly combat the economic shock of the oil crisis.
adam_tooze  C19  ECB  europe 
2 days ago
Coronavirus Measures Could Cause Global Food Shortage UN Warns
* Good global harvest


* C19 affects crop pickers, reducing output
* Potentially resulting in countries protecting internal supplies and reducing exports
* Fruit is just coming into season, and has short ripening times
Kazakhstan, for instance, according to a report from Bloomberg, has banned exports of wheat flour, of which it is one of the world’s biggest sources, as well as restrictions on buckwheat and vegetables including onions, carrots and potatoes.

Vietnam, the world’s third biggest rice exporter, has temporarily suspended rice export contracts. Russia, the world’s biggest wheat exporter, may also threaten to restrict exports, as it has done before, and the position of the US is in doubt given Donald Trump’s eagerness for a trade war in other commodities.

Impact on UK:
Countries such as the UK, with a sinking currency and high level of imports, are also likely to see food price rises unless the government takes action or retailers absorb some of the costs, he said.
C19  food  supply_chains 
2 days ago
The unlisted: how people without an address are stripped of their basic rights | News | The Guardian
systems of location and cadastral systems define power, and how location and wayfinding is defined provides the cognitive map of your territory – see the crosses on the dartmoor. and in addition to the communities described here, what about those people who exist outside heavily addressed urban systems in the west, like london. as well as being disenfranchised, their maps and location finding must be interesting, and i guess largely mobile phone dependent these days.

in a time of covid we are all being heavily associated with our households, and the homeless are being given locations and then being tied to them for the sake of health. association is defined by household.

when i lost my phone, existing in a space outside communication. at a time no one lived in any more. wandering isolated and alone.
Some people I spoke to saw the area’s lack of addresses as emblematic of a backward rural community, but I didn’t see it that way. McDowell County struggles as one of the poorest counties in the country, but it’s a tight-knit community, where residents know both their neighbours and the rich history of their land. They see things outsiders don’t see. I, on the other hand, now use GPS to navigate the town I grew up in. I wondered whether we might see our spaces differently if we didn’t have addresses. And far from being outlandish, the residents’ fears turn out to be justifiable, even reasonable. Addresses aren’t just for emergency services. They also exist so people can find you, police you, tax you and try to sell you things you don’t need through the mail.

Street addresses tell a complex story of how the grand Enlightenment project to name and number our streets coincided with a revolution in how we lead our lives and how we shape our societies. And rather than just a mere administrative detail, street names are about identity, wealth and, as in the Sonny Carson street example, race. But most of all they are about power – the power to name, the power to shape history, the power to decide who counts, who doesn’t, and why.
Now I thought maybe “communication” was the right word, after all. Bhagar was cut off physically from the rest of Kolkata, but the rest of the world was also cut off from it. Nobody besides the dump truck drivers ever had to see how its residents lived. Addresses, it seemed, might offer one way to tell them.
addresses  maps  location  spatialcognition  cadastral_systems 
3 days ago
The idea of ‘disposability’ is a new and noxious fiction | Aeon Essays
as with all these discussions, it tends towards the critical tensions between growth and planetary resources and with a third aspect of resource distribution/social equality/postgrowth tensions.

optimists point to growth driven and enabling technology outstripping the resource question. we have not got a great record on this though. equally post-growth is unlikely to be pretty in its questions of distribution, and of course would mean a comparatively static set of barely post-industrial technologies.
The romance of sustainability calls for sacrifice and ingenuity, as do all popular romances. The rich must forgo disposability and commit to reuse with the help of ‘smart’ systems. The Sun and the wind will provide a boundless fount of energy, powering the ‘internet of things’ (and screens). New technologies will alleviate poverty by enabling women to cook without burning wood and children to do their homework after dark. Done right, the tale goes, such measures can generate a ‘good Anthropocene’, in which growth continues and everyone thrives. Those who object – who insist that the only path to planetary stability is via degrowth – face the same derision hurled at their predecessors behind The Limits to Growth.

Pre-industrial Japan monetised excreta; as the historian Susan Hanley writes, in Osaka, ‘the rights to faecal matter … belonged to the owner of the building, whereas the urine belonged to the tenants’.

excremental colonialism
In the same period, American imperialists in the Philippines implemented a suite of faecal laws; the historian Warwick Anderson describes these as ‘excremental colonialism’.

manufacturing of disposability
Contrary to popular discourse, humans are not inherently wasteful; rather, Liboiron notes, that claim ‘came into being at a particular time and place, by design’. By 1963, a packaging industry executive could triumphantly praise his colleagues in plastics:

You are filling the trash cans, the rubbish dumps and the incinerators with literally billions of plastics bottles, plastics jugs, plastics tubes, blisters and skin packs, plastics bags and films and sheet packages – and now, even plastics cans. The happy day has arrived when nobody any longer considers the plastics package too good to throw away.
waste  recycling  kibble  your_future_our_clutter  shit  environment 
3 days ago
Coronavirus has shattered the myth that the economy must come first
crucial last para:
The big idea of the 1990s that “the economy” will serve as a regulating superego of our politics is a busted flush. Given the experience of the past dozen years we should now never tire of asking: which economic constraints are real and which imagined?
adam_tooze  economics  C19 
9 days ago
On centrist decline
centrist failure the lack of number in its class-client base.
centrism  labour  economics  chris_dillow 
23 days ago
Chinese technology - With the state’s help, Chinese technology is booming | Technology Quarterly | The Economist
One is the place its companies occupy in many of the most important supply chains in the world, giving them easy access to all sorts of technological know-how. As workshop to the world, China—and particularly the Pearl River Delta region that includes the booming cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou—makes components for almost everything, understands how to assemble them, and is set up to bring together the right ones as quickly as possible. This geoepistemological advantage explains why the only successful smartphone companies founded since 2010 have been those set up around Shenzhen. (They are all non-state firms.)
china  technology  economist 
23 days ago
Pixação: the story behind São Paulo's 'angry' alternative to graffiti
Unlike graffiti (which many pixadores reject as being “too commercial” and a “beautification scheme”), pixação seeks to positively degrade the urban environment. As one pixador put it, pixação is “an assault on the city”.
graffiti  cities  urban  brazil 
23 days ago
To defeat Boris Johnson, Labour needs to end its addiction to the centralised British state
the importance of ensuring people will understand how spending will affect their lives and a merciless scrutiny of tory spending pledges
labour  economics  devolution 
26 days ago
Five lessons from my first year of running a Patreon page
useful set of practical thoughts about new business models of writing
writing  patreon  freelance 
28 days ago
The Only Thing They (Don’t) Fear
“post-trust” era is surely right (rather than post truth)
aelkus  post-trust  post-truth  C19 
5 weeks ago
RNZ wants a ‘youth’ audience. Here’s 10 ways to get one | The Spinoff
really nice piece on how to build a youth audience. it's something that's usually done incredibly badly (i think the main reason is contained in the advice here to relinquish control to the people who the programmes will be for - senior executives find it incredibly hard to relinquish control):

* Pool your talent
* Ask the young
* Know where your audience is
* Find some serious marketing money
* Be dextrous with your content
* Include more youth in RNZ in general
* Leverage other databases
* Record more live events
* Recognise your bias
* Lest we forget: The Wireless*
marketing  radio  new_zealand  youth 
5 weeks ago
Shutting out low-skilled migrants might be popular, but that doesn't make it a good policy - CapX
Me, for a start. Imagine an economy with only two professions, hedge fund managers and patent lawyers. This would undoubtedly be a high-wage, high-skill, high-productivity economy. But it would also be a rather dull place to live, because there would not be much to do, leisure-wise. Now imagine a group of unskilled migrants moved to that place, to open pubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels, clubs etc, and work in them. The hedge fund managers and the patent lawyers would still be as productive as they were before. But the average wage, the average skill level, and the overall productivity level of this economy would now be lower. Shutting out low-skilled migrants may improve some macroeconomic aggregates, but it will not make Britain a better place to live.

In the same way, post-Brexit Britain will not be a place with “Staff urgently needed” signs in the window of every pub, every shop and every restaurant. It will, most likely, just be a place with fewer pubs, fewer shops and fewer restaurants.
migration  immigration  uk 
5 weeks ago
Green Impact of Heating our Homes
good thread on cost of redressing the huge problem of heating our homes.
houses  environment  sustainability  housing 
5 weeks ago
Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty review – if inequality is illegitimate, why not reduce it? | Books | The Guardian
It seems to assume the existence of a well-functioning public sphere to determine allocations of property on the basis of reasoned argument and evidence

Have we got a 'well-functioning public sphere in the UK?'. My immediate answer would be a resounding 'No!' Have we ever had one and what does it look like?

If the answer to the first part of that question is a less resounding 'yes', then part of the answer to the second part must have in it something that reflects that the largest common spaces of public policy debate - the media - has a business model in freefall, and that the more freeform spaces of potential public policy debate in social media lack the coherent 'mouthpiece' element of a media gathered around a readership. (Burrows' point that there is no real reason these days to collect diverse points of view in a bundle to attract advertising? is it just that?)
will_davies  blog  capitalism  economics  piketty 
5 weeks ago
Venkatash on depression era SF
additional factor for the machine to lovecraft to post-war SF/fantasy piece.
twitter  science_fiction 
5 weeks ago
House of the Century
Dr Edith Farnsworth, the woman for whom the home was built, was deeply unsettled by its transparency. “The truth is that in this house with its four walls of glass I feel like a prowling animal, always on the alert. I am always restless. Even in the evening. I feel like a sentinel on guard day and night. I can rarely stretch out and relax,” Farnsworth told House Beautiful.
5 weeks ago
Language and the selectorate problem for the left
good piece on the different messaging required for the selectorate and the electorate.

it’s something that RLB seems to be hitting at the moment. a message in language the electorate can be sympathetic to does not equal centrism. coming up with policies and language that play to your base will not enable you to expand beyond that base.

equally being proud about socialism isn’t necessarily a problem with policy but with language.
socialism  language  labour  social_democracy 
6 weeks ago
Africa In­siders: Mo­rocco slowly tight­ens its grip on West­ern Sahara
no progress in the UN since 1991, decreasing lack of interest in independence of the sahrawi people, EU factoring Sahrawi independence below economic interest. US recognition of Moroccan claims as part of Moroccan normalisation of ties with Israel.
The future: Morocco’s government is happy to continue its strategy of slowly normalising the status quo. With little coordinated international pressure, the economic benefits of occupying Western Sahara far outweigh the occasional diplomatic problems. This strategy is not without risks, of course. While armed conflict with Polisario seems unlikely at the moment, this situation could change. This perspective also neglects the victims of Morocco’s policy: Sahrawi’s who live in refugee camps in Algeria or who are victims of suppression due to their agitation for independence.
morocco  african_interests  tunisia  sahrawi 
7 weeks ago
A battle for Labour’s future is playing out far from its former northern heartlands | Labour | The Guardian
Haringey and the Latin Village has been a problem for ages. I'd like to understand better why the new council members are defending it. istr that they were bound into it by the previous council and costs to reverse it would be huge. it is hugely unwelcome though. as chakrabortty says - if you can't stand up for people locally you will lose them.
labour  local_government  haringey  councils 
7 weeks ago
The Insider | Novara Media
Schneider's advice - 'Zoom out' (ie do what Trump has done well - understand what the person who is not concerned with politics sees and is concerned with. Not sure RLB does this enormously well.
7 weeks ago
How much equity should startups give advisors?
equity or salary - how start-up advisors are paid
advisors  start_ups 
8 weeks ago
Rebecca Long-Bailey is fighting an opponent who doesn't exist
bush's burger analogy is otm here - the nationalisation is widely supported by the public commonplace ignores problems with labour, and the use of nationalisation as an attack line on the tories. see also meadway, and james butler (who I think doesn't really get it right)
stephen_bush  labour  nationalisation 
8 weeks ago
Isaac Bashevis Singer on the Particular Wonders of Writing in Yiddish | Literary Hub
isaac bashevis singer on yiddish and writing in yiddish - "for me, the function of literature in general, and particularly Yiddish literature, is to record this perplexity of spirit."

"i know that our literature could not have been exactly as I would have wished it to be. A sea serpent, if it lives somewhere in the ocean, searches for its food just as any other creature does. it does not think of itself as a monster. Nor does it worry that according to the zoologist it is nothing more than a legend."

some quite startling claims at the end:
Because of the great demand for fiction on the part of the publisher and reader, and nature’s small supply of genuine talent, producers of disguised journalism and pseudo-literature are taking over the artist’s place almost everywhere and particularly in the large civilized countries. Fiction writing is becoming a forgotten art. The epoch of literary barbarism and deliberate literary amnesia has already begun.

In some eerie way the predicament of the Yiddish writer is becoming the predicament of the serious writer all over the world. The uncanny power of the cliché and mass production may drive all creative writers into a corner and may actually excommunicate the writer who refuses to adjust himself to the caprices of vast audiences and the economy of publishing. It has already happened in poetry. It is happening in drama. Serious fiction is next. Literature in America is already divided into a small number of bestsellers and books that remain in obscurity, or at best semi-obscurity. The lot of Yiddish today may be the lot of genuine fiction tomorrow. I personally don’t look upon this as a misfortune. I have become accustomed to being a “ghost.”
writing  books  yiddish  jewish  jews  hebraism 
8 weeks ago
Artificial Morality – BLARB
In the hermetic world of AI ethics, it’s a given that self-driven cars will kill fewer people than we humans do. Why believe that? There’s no evidence for it. It’s merely a cranky aspiration. Life is cheap on traffic-choked American roads — that social bargain is already a hundred years old. If self-driven vehicles doubled the road-fatality rate, and yet cut shipping costs by 90 percent, of course those cars would be deployed.
this is true but it's still possible to set standards for eg transparency etc. this gives a structure for eg regulatory control.
transport  ai  ethics 
8 weeks ago
The Politics of Man-Hunting and the Illusion of Victory - War on the Rocks
And while the Soleimani strike was unique in many ways, the personalization of violence is not. Indeed, the intense public scrutiny of the president’s decision to target the villain du jour demonstrated one of the means Americans are increasingly turning to in order to judge a president’s war performance in the post-9/11 age, often overshadowing the bigger questions — including what these singular events contribute to the overarching strategy.
war  warfare  violence  iran  iraq  US  trump 
9 weeks ago
London's magical history uncorked from 'witch bottle' — New Scientist
GREENWICH — Greenwich is a borough in London, England, on the banks of the River Thames.
witchcraft  history  via:jnellr 
9 weeks ago
A brand new world - It has never been easier to launch a new brand | Business | The Economist
A survey by Edelman, a public-relations and marketing firm, found that two-thirds of respondents in eight countries, including America, Britain, China and India, make buying decisions based on a brand’s stand on social issues.
marketing  economist  brands  branding 
9 weeks ago
Amer­ica as a mul­ti­lin­gual na­tion
most spoken language in each state excluding english and spanish
language  US 
9 weeks ago
The Real Reason Fans Hate the Last Season of Game of Thrones
rather a good analysis of the shift from sociological to psychological storytelling in the later series of GoT
zeynep_tufekci  GoT  storytelling  television  HBO 
9 weeks ago
The long awaited Freakonomics post (d2d)
he doesn’t like it.
This is the pop-science approach to social questions, because it’s trying to combine the authority of a scientific investigation with the unequivocal certainty of a theoretical pronouncement.
9 weeks ago
The Meta Trending Trends: 2020
I. Over my last three analyses, several trend themes continue to thrive: Environmental Concerns, Prioritized Mental Wellness, Evolving Identity Boundaries, and A Physical-Virtual Blur. For three years straight, these remain the most ubiquitous subjects. Most meaningful, I believe the thread which ties these themes together is that they revolve around humanity — our habitat, ethics, mental state, sense of identity and role alongside tech.
II. Many of the +500 reported trends each year feel synthetic. In other words, nearly all “trends” feel propped up and perpetuated by business. Stop trying to make AR-shopping happen — it’s not going to happen.
trends  forecasting  advertising 
9 weeks ago
The Sociology of Expertise on ISIS and jihad
really nice thread on the sociological space of expertise in contested areas and areas that have a high demand for expertise in media etc. have often wondered about this. (fond memories of sky news’ terrible military expert who would state the bleeding obvious and was deeply unconvincing)
ISIS  sociology  experts  military  isil 
9 weeks ago
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