COVID-19

23 results back to index


pages: 652 words: 172,428

Aftershocks: Pandemic Politics and the End of the Old International Order by Colin Kahl, Thomas Wright

banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, citizen journalism, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, deglobalization, disinformation, Donald Trump, drone strike, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, future of work, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, global value chain, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, job automation, Kibera, liberal world order, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, one-China policy, open borders, open economy, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, spice trade, statistical model, World Values Survey

Department of Defense, Operation Inherent Resolve, 18; Hollie McKay, “ISIS Launched More Than 100 Attacks in Iraq in August, a Sharp Uptick from Previous Month,” Fox News, September 3, 2020, https://www.foxnews.com/world/isis-launches-more-than-100-attacks-in-iraq-throughout-august-a-sharp-uptick-from-previous-month.   49.  “Amid COVID-19, ISIS Supporters Step Up Efforts to Reestablish Presence on Social Media,” Memri, May 15, 2020, https://www.memri.org/jttm/amid-covid-19-isis-supporters-step-efforts-reestablish-presence-social-media; Hollie McKay, “How ISIS Is Exploiting the Coronavirus Pandemic,” Fox News, May 20, 2020, https://www.foxnews.com/world/how-isis-is-exploiting-the-coronavirus-pandemic; David Choi, “Fake N95 Face Masks Were Being Sold on This ISIS-Linked Website—and It Shows How Terror Groups Are Using COVID-19 as a Propaganda Tool,” Business Insider, August 29, 2020, https://www.businessinsider.com/fake-face-mask-website-isis-2020-8.   50.  

For a timeline of the various closures and actions between Russia and China during COVID-19, see Ivan Zuenko, “The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Russo-Chinese Border,” ASAN Forum, May 9, 2020, http://www.theasanforum.org/the-coronavirus-pandemic-and-the-russo-chinese-border/.   70.  Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, “China to Russia: End Discriminatory Coronavirus Measures Against Chinese,” Reuters, February 26, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-moscow-letter/china-to-russia-end-discriminatory-coronavirus-measures-against-chinese-idUSKCN20K1HU.   71.  Tommy Yang, “Unease at the Border: Russia and China Seek to Downplay Covid-19 Outbreak in Suifenhe,” The Guardian, April 18, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/18/unease-at-the-border-russia-and-china-seek-to-downplay-covid-19-outbreak-in-suifenhe.   72.  

“Peru Records First Confirmed Case of Coronavirus, President Vizcarra Says,” Reuters, March 6, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-peru/peru-records-first-confirmed-case-of-coronavirus-president-vizcarra-says-idUSKBN20T1S9.   79.  Linnea Sandin, “Covid-19 Exposes Latin America’s Inequality,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 6, 2020, https://www.csis.org/analysis/covid-19-exposes-latin-americas-inequality.   80.  Will Feuer, “South America Is a ‘New Epicenter’ of the Coronavirus Pandemic, WHO Says,” CNBC, May 22, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/22/south-america-is-a-new-epicenter-of-the-coronavirus-pandemic-who-says.html.   81.  Ryan Dube, “Coronavirus Hits Peru Hard Despite Strict Lockdown,” Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-hits-peru-hard-despite-strict-lockdown-11592146800; Diego Quispe, “Decretan estado de emergencia para frenar el coronavirus” [State of emergency declared to stop the coronavirus], La República, March 16, 2020, https://larepublica.pe/sociedad/2020/03/16/coronavirus-en-peru-decretan-estado-de-emergencia-para-frenar-la-epidemia/; Marco Aquino, “Peru Calls Up 10,000 Army Reserves to Enforce Quarantine,” Reuters, April 1, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-peru-army/peru-calls-up-10000-army-reserves-to-enforce-quarantine-idUSKBN21J69A; Reuters Staff, “Peru Looks to Restart Economy After Months-Long Lockdown,” Reuters, July 1, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-peru/peru-looks-to-restart-economy-after-months-long-lockdown-idUSKBN2427CP.   82.  


pages: 475 words: 127,389

Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live by Nicholas A. Christakis

agricultural Revolution, Atul Gawande, Boris Johnson, butterfly effect, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, Columbian Exchange, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, dark matter, death of newspapers, disinformation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, global pandemic, global supply chain, helicopter parent, Henri Poincaré, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, job satisfaction, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, mass incarceration, medical residency, meta-analysis, New Journalism, randomized controlled trial, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school choice, security theater, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, trade route, Upton Sinclair

Gilbert Welch, argued that we were probably previously treating too many minor issues—everything from mammographic irregularities (which might disappear on their own) to mild heart attacks (which often have better outcomes without medical care than with it—since patients are often subjected to risky procedures driven more by the financial exigencies of the hospitals and specialists than by the patients’ needs).50 The pandemic forced hospitals to increase the threshold for admitting sick patients so as to keep beds available for COVID-19 patients. Similarly, doctors order billions of dollars of unnecessary tests and procedures every year, but the coronavirus pandemic provided a lesson in their lack of utility. So, just like the pandemic gave us a glimpse of a world with less traffic, it also gave us a glimpse of a world with less medical injury. It’s a lesson the medical system is likely to internalize, because health-care workers certainly do not want to harm people. Once detailed studies of the vast natural experiment provided by COVID-19 are analyzed in the post-pandemic period, thresholds for the treatment of a host of conditions are likely to be reconsidered.

Out of the U.S. population of 330 million, about 3 million people die each year, for a crude death rate of 9.1 people per thousand. If, for the sake of argument, we assume that over a year, the coronavirus pandemic causes one million deaths in the United States, the crude death rate would rise to 12.1 per thousand. The average person’s absolute risk of dying from the virus would remain small—roughly a three-out-of-a-thousand chance (1,000,000 extra deaths from COVID-19 divided by 330,000,000 people). That seems low, but this level of mortality would still far surpass all of the threats to life an average person faced that year, making COVID-19 the number-one cause of death. One careful analysis of weekly mortality data from Sweden compared deaths per day in 2020 to prior years, quantifying the excess deaths and assessing the impact on mortality across all ages (using the method invented by William Farr in the nineteenth century, discussed in chapter 2).

Kindhauser, “Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever in Angola—Fighting Fear and a Lethal Pathogen,” New England Journal of Medicine 2005; 352: 2155–2157. 34 D. Cyranoski, “Profile of a Killer: The Complex Biology Powering the Coronavirus Pandemic,” Nature, May 4, 2020. 35 J. Howard, “Novel Coronavirus Can Be Spread by People Who Aren’t Exhibiting Symptoms, CDC Director Says,” CNN, February 13, 2020. 36 T. Subramaniam and V. Stracqualursi, “Fact Check: Georgia Governor Says We Only Just Learned People without Symptoms Could Spread Coronavirus. Experts Have Been Saying That for Months,” CNN, April 3, 2020. 37 Z. Du et al., “Serial Interval of COVID-19 among Publicly Reported Confirmed Cases,” Emerging Infectious Diseases 2020; 25: 1341–1343. 38 W.


pages: 506 words: 133,134

The Lonely Century: How Isolation Imperils Our Future by Noreena Hertz

"side hustle", Airbnb, airport security, algorithmic bias, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Broken windows theory, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, Cass Sunstein, centre right, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, dark matter, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, disinformation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, housing crisis, illegal immigration, independent contractor, industrial robot, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Pepto Bismol, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, rent control, RFID, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, Second Machine Age, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Great Good Place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban planning, Wall-E, WeWork, working poor

., p.475. 19 Elisabeth Zerofsky, ‘How Viktor Orbán Used the Coronavirus to Seize More Power’, New Yorker, 9 April 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-europe/how-viktor-orban-used-the-coronavirus-to-seize-more-power; Amy Goodman and Natashya Gutierrez, ‘As Virus Spreads in Philippines, So Does Authoritarianism: Duterte Threatens Violence Amid Lockdown’, Democracy Now, 3 April 2020, https://www.democracynow.org/2020/4/3/coronavirus_asia_philippines_rodrigo_duterte; Maya Wang, ‘China: Fighting COVID-19 With Automated Tyranny’, Human Rights Watch, 1 April 2020, https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/01/china-fighting-covid-19-automated-tyranny; Isaac Chotiner, ‘The Coronavirus Meets Authoritarianism in Turkey’, New Yorker, 3 April 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/the-coronavirus-meets-authoritarianism-in-turkey; Kenneth Roth, ‘How Authoritarians Are Exploiting the COVID-19 Crisis to Grab Power’, Human Rights Watch, 3 April 2020, https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/03/how-authoritarians-are-exploiting-covid-19-crisis-grab-power. 20 R. Hortulanus, A.

With that definition in mind, ask yourself: when did you last feel disconnected from those around you, whether family, friends, neighbours or your fellow citizens? When did you last feel uncared for or unheard by your elected politicians, or that no one in a position of authority cared about your struggles? When did you last feel powerless or invisible at work? You are not alone. In the years preceding the coronavirus pandemic two-thirds of those living in democracies did not think their government acted in their interests.38 Eighty-five per cent of employees globally felt disconnected from their company and their work.39 And only 30% of Americans believed that most other people could be trusted, a very substantial drop since 1984, when around 50% did.40 When it comes to feeling disconnected from each other, can you remember a time when the world has felt this polarised, fractured and divided?

But we must go back further to fully understand how we became so disconnected, siloed and isolated. For the ideological under-pinnings of the twenty-first century’s loneliness crisis pre-date digital technology, the most recent wave of urbanisation, this century’s profound changes to the workplace and the 2008 financial crisis, as well as, of course, the coronavirus pandemic. They go back instead to the 1980s when a particularly harsh form of capitalism took hold: neoliberalism, an ideology with an overriding emphasis on freedom – ‘free’ choice, ‘free’ markets, ‘freedom’ from government or trade union interference. One that prized an idealised form of self-reliance, small government and a brutally competitive mindset that placed self-interest above community and the collective good.


Border and Rule: Global Migration, Capitalism, and the Rise of Racist Nationalism by Harsha Walia

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blood diamonds, borderless world, Boris Johnson, British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crack epidemic, dark matter, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Food sovereignty, G4S, global pandemic, global supply chain, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, land reform, late capitalism, mandatory minimum, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, microcredit, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, pension reform, Rana Plaza, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, special economic zone, Steve Bannon, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, surveillance capitalism, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, wages for housework, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

The UNHCR received some 174 reports from migrants and refugees who suffered sexual and gender-based violence in the island hotspots.51 The excruciating confinement and compounding traumas, which many refugees describe as “psychological war,” also severely impact mental health.52 MSF provides emergency care to an average of one person a day for attempted suicide and self-harm at the Lesbos hotspot.53 The crisis for refugees contained in the Greek island hotspots came to a head during the coronavirus pandemic, with conditions in the overloaded and unsanitary camps creating an ideal breeding ground for transmission of the virus. In the Vial camp on Chios Island, refugees set fire to parts of the camp’s administrative buildings to protest the death of an Iraqi woman whom they believed to have died of Covid-19.54 Along with the EU-designated hotspots, the EU–Turkey deal is a cornerstone of border policy along the eastern route and turns refugees into tradeable commodities.

Laster Pirtle, “Racial Capitalism: A Fundamental Cause of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Inequities in the United States,” Health Education and Behavior, April 26, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1177/1090198120922942. 15.Ruth Wilson Gilmore, “Making Abolition Geography in California’s Central Valley with Ruth Wilson Gilmore,” interview by Leopold Lambert, The Funambulist, February 2019, https://thefunambulist.net/making-abolition-geography-in-californias-central-valley-with-ruth-wilson-gilmore. 16.UN High Commissioner for Refugees, “Beware Long-Term Damage to Human Rights and Refugee Rights From the Coronavirus Pandemic: UNHCR,” April 22, 2020, www.unhcr.org/news/press/2020/4/5ea035ba4.html. 17.Chris Scicluna, “Malta Refuses to Let Ship Carrying 57 Rescued Migrants Dock,” Independent, May 1, 2020, www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/malta-migrant-rescue-ship-dock-eu-mediterranean-a9494536.html; Patrick Kingsley and Haley Willis, “Latest Tactic to Push Migrants from Europe?

Without valid social security numbers, many are ineligible for federal relief stimulus checks or adequate health insurance,25 trapped in the American dream of choosing to sell one’s labor for a wage under deadly conditions or death by unemployment and destitution. Meanwhile, the US billionaire class has experienced a wealth surge of $434 billion during the coronavirus pandemic.26 The horrific exploitation of migrant and undocumented workers and the cruel expulsion of migrants and refugees is justified through dehumanizing far-right rhetoric scapegoating racialized bodies as “infectious” and “diseased.” Trump referred to coronavirus as “the Chinese virus,” ignoring the web of capitalist industrial food production extending from China to the US; he also linked the need for a border wall to the threat of disease transmission from migrants.27 Trump’s racist fearmongering echoes a long and xenophobic history of vilifying Irish, African, and Asian people for outbreaks of cholera, Ebola, and SARS.


pages: 407 words: 108,030

How to Talk to a Science Denier: Conversations With Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers, and Others Who Defy Reason by Lee McIntyre

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Alfred Russel Wallace, Boris Johnson, Climategate, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, different worldview, disinformation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, experimental subject, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Richard Feynman, scientific mainstream, selection bias, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steven Levy, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks

Perhaps the pandemic will open the door to more of these efforts, on other denialist topics, in the future. Lessons from Coronavirus: Unify and Conquer One of the most fascinating aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the chance to see what a denialist campaign looks like in real time, and learn what it may teach us about how to fight science denial in general. Many have noted, for instance, the startling parallels between COVID-19 denial and climate denial.41 In the coronavirus pandemic, we have a microcosm of the threat from global warming: it is an existential threat to the entire planet that portends fairly drastic economic impact and requires worldwide cooperation to address it.

Emphasizing scientific consensus works    Empirical research by Stephan Lewandowsky, John Cook, Sander van der Linden, and others shows that appealing to the fact of a scientific consensus is one of the most compelling ways to get someone to change their mistaken empirical beliefs.49 Yes, of course there will be those who deny that there is a consensus. But research shows that even deniers—and, notably, especially conservative ones—can be compelled by scientific consensus.50 The work cited here was done before the coronavirus pandemic, and mostly involved the acceptance of consensus on climate change, but there is no reason to think that this would not also apply to COVID-19 and other forms of science denial. With COVID-19, we saw this play out in real time through Trump’s evolving view on wearing masks, one of the most effective public health measures for fighting the virus. On April 3, 2020, the CDC made its first recommendation to start wearing cloth face masks when out in public.

They needed someone to respect and listen to them—which in turn built trust—and as a result that trust was returned. Contrast this with the situation involving anti-maskers and other deniers around the coronavirus pandemic in the US. The political division and partisan context seems intractable, but is it? As Warzel points out, most people—even Republicans—still trust science.60 So what is the problem? Perhaps it lies not just with COVID-19 deniers but with the way we have been communicating with them. Consider the fact that this is a novel coronavirus. We’ve never seen it before, which means that we don’t know everything about it.


pages: 82 words: 24,150

The Corona Crash: How the Pandemic Will Change Capitalism by Grace Blakeley

asset-backed security, basic income, bond market vigilante , Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, debt deflation, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, don't be evil, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, global pandemic, global value chain, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Martin Wolf, Modern Monetary Theory, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, pensions crisis, Philip Mirowski, price mechanism, quantitative easing, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, reshoring, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, yield curve

From the structural adjustment programmes of the 1980s to modern-day Greece, the long arm of the imperial creditor has been used many times to subject peripheral states to the discipline of capital. The coronavirus pandemic will only deepen these relationships of imperial extraction. 4 Reconstruction It is often said that, in the midst of a crisis, everyone is a socialist. With massive state intervention now the only thing standing between economies battered by the coronavirus pandemic and global economic meltdown, few politicians or economists are calling on governments to step back, let businesses fail, banks go bust and homeowners default on their mortgages – even if some countries have attempted to extricate themselves from lockdown and return to ‘business as usual’ before getting the virus under control.1 In normal times, neoliberals have a knee-jerk reaction against any interference in the operation of supposedly free, competitive markets.

Some use anti-competitive practices designed to penalise their rivals, most use various accounting mechanisms to avoid taxation in order to boost their profits, and almost all have cosy relationships with local and national governments, which often allow them to access preferential treatment denied to their competitors.15 States stood by as these companies became ever more powerful, often providing them with subsidies, turning a blind eye to regulatory arbitrage and competing with one another to attract their investment. As the coronavirus pandemic has deepened, the big tech companies have emerged as some of the greatest beneficiaries. Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook now make up a fifth of the entire value of the S&P 500 Index, and Jeff Bezos is on track to become the world’s first trillionaire.16 Part of the reason these companies’ stocks are doing so well is that their business models, to varying extents, render them immune from the impact of the virus-induced lockdown.

Barry, ‘The Single Most Important Lesson From the 1918 Influenza’, New York Times, 17 March 2020. 2 Kim Moody, ‘How “Just-in-Time” Capitalism Spread COVID-19’, Spectre, 8 April 2020. 3 James Politi, ‘Fed’s Bullard Says Risk of Financial Crisis Remains’, Financial Times, 2 June 2020. 4 Stephen Morris, George Parker and Daniel Thomas, ‘UK Banks Warn 40%–50% of “Bounce Back” Borrowers Will Default’, Financial Times, 31 May 2020. 5 OBR, Fiscal sustainability report 2020, Office for Budget Responsibility, 2020. 6 Sergei Klebnikov, ‘How Bad Will Unemployment Get? Here’s What the Experts Predict’, Forbes, 31 March 2020. 7 Phillip Inman, ‘UK Economy Likely to Suffer Worst Covid-19 Damage, Says OECD’, Guardian, 10 June 2020. 8 International Labour Organization and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ‘The Labour Share in G20 Economies’, report prepared for the G20 Employment Working Group, Antalya, Turkey, 26–27 February 2015. 9 Shawn Donnan, ‘Globalisation in Retreat: Capital Flows Decline since Crisis’, Financial Times, 21 August 2017; Susan Lund, Eckart Windhagen, James Manyika, Philipp Härle, Jonathan Woetzel and Diana Goldshtein, ‘The New Dynamics of Financial Globalization’, McKinsey Global Institute, August 2017. 10 Chibuike Oguh and Alexandre Tanzi, ‘Global Debt of $244 Trillion Nears Record Despite Faster Growth’, Bloomberg, 15 January 2019. 11 For a discussion of these forecasts, see Grace Blakeley, ‘The Next Crash: Why the World Is Unprepared for the Economic Dangers Ahead’, New Statesman, 6 March 2019. 12 Ibid. 13 Tithi Bhattacharya and Gareth Dale, ‘Covid Capitalism: General tendencies and possible “leaps”’, Spectre, 23 April 2020. 14 See IMF, Policy Responses to Covid-19: Policy Tracker, Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund, 2020. 15 In full, the Commercial Paper Funding Facility, Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility, Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility, Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, Primary Dealer Credit Facility and Municipal Liquidity Facility. 16 Scott Minerd, ‘We Are All Government-Sponsored Enterprises Now’, Global CIO Outlook, Guggenheim Investments, 10 May 2020. 17 Philip Turner, ‘Containing the Dollar Credit Crunch’, Project Syndicate, 18 May 2020. 18 Robert Brenner, ‘Escalating Plunder’, New Left Review 123, May-June 2020, p. 22. 1 The Last Days of Finance Capitalism 1 BEA, ‘GDP by State’, Suitland, MD: US Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2020, bea.gov. 2 Drew DeSilver, ‘For Most U.S.


pages: 816 words: 191,889

The Long Game: China's Grand Strategy to Displace American Order by Rush Doshi

American ideology, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, Bretton Woods, capital controls, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, defense in depth, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, drone strike, energy security, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, global pandemic, global reserve currency, global supply chain, global value chain, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Kickstarter, kremlinology, Malacca Straits, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, offshore financial centre, positional goods, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special drawing rights, special economic zone, trade liberalization, transaction costs, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, undersea cable, zero-sum game

., “How to Recognize and Understand the Century’s Great Changes [如何认识和理解百年大变局].” 41Ibid.Zhang Yunling [张蕴岭] et al. 42“Deeply Understand the Big Test of Epidemic Prevention and Control [深刻认识疫情防控这次大考],” People’s Daily [人民日报], April 23, 2020. 43Chen Qi [陈琪], “The Impact of the Global Coronavirus Pandemic on the Great Changes Unseen in a Century [全球新冠疫情对百年未有大变局的影响],” Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China [中华人民共和国商务部], April 22, 2020, http://chinawto.mofcom.gov.cn/article/br/bs/202004/20200402957839.shtml. 44“Peking University Center for American Studies Successfully Held an Online Seminar on U.S. and China Relations under the Global Pandemic [北京大学美国研究中心成功举办‘全球疫情下的美国与中美关系’线上研讨会],” School of International Studies, Peking University [北京大学国际关系学院], April 13, 2020, https://www.sis.pku.edu.cn/news64/1324227.htm. 45Chen Jimin, “COVID-19 Hits International System,” China-US Focus, April 27, 2020, https://www.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/covid-19-hits-international-system. 46Wu Baiyi, “American Illness.” 47“Deeply Understand the Big Test of Epidemic Prevention and Control [深刻认识疫情防控这次大考].” 48Yuan Peng [袁鹏], “The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Great Changes Unseen in a Century [新冠疫情与百年变局],” Contemporary International Relations [现代国际关系], no. 5 (June 2020): 1–6. 49Shi Zehua [史泽华], “Why Has American Populism Risen at This Time [美国民粹主义何以此时兴起],” U.S.

One article published on the Ministry of Finance and Commerce website argued, “the epidemic shows that the United States and Western countries are increasingly unable to carry out institutional reforms and adjustments, and are caught in a political stalemate from which they cannot be extricated.”43 Similarly, the editor of a major CASS journal on American studies argued, “The shortcomings of the US federal government’s bureaucratization and ‘small government’ tendency over the past half century have been very evident in this major public health crisis response,” and that dysfunction would reproduce “political radicalization.”44 A professor at the Central Party School noted, with apparent pleasure, that COVID-19 would bolster Western nationalism and further damage the liberal order. “Before the COVID-19 outbreak, nationalism had become a trend [supporting China’s] rejuvenation. The Trump administration and Brexit delivered star performances,” he argued, and COVID-19 would “further strengthen” these in ways that benefited China.45 According to Wu Baiyi, the economic calamity, social unrest, and poor COVID-19 response meant that “the country that has bragged about being ‘a light on a hill’ has sunk into sustained social unrest. . . .

From China’s perspective—which is highly sensitive to changes in its perceptions of American power and threat—these two events were shocking. Beijing believed that the world’s most powerful democracies were withdrawing from the international order they had helped erect abroad and were struggling to govern themselves at home. The West’s subsequent response to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and then the storming of the US Capitol by extremists in 2021, reinforced a sense that “time and momentum are on our side,” as Xi Jinping put it shortly after those events.3 China’s leadership and foreign policy elite declared that a “period of historical opportunity” [历史机遇期] had emerged to expand the country’s strategic focus from Asia to the wider globe and its governance systems.


pages: 428 words: 103,544

The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics by Tim Harford

access to a mobile phone, Ada Lovelace, affirmative action, algorithmic bias, Automated Insights, banking crisis, basic income, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, Diane Coyle, disinformation, Donald Trump, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, experimental subject, financial innovation, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, Gini coefficient, Hans Rosling, income inequality, Isaac Newton, job automation, Kickstarter, life extension, meta-analysis, microcredit, Milgram experiment, moral panic, Netflix Prize, Paul Samuelson, publication bias, publish or perish, random walk, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, replication crisis, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, sorting algorithm, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Bannon, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, universal basic income, When a measure becomes a target

But think about it for a moment and you realize that the distinction between a baby and a fetus is anything but simple—it’s a deep ethical question that underlies one of the most acrimonious divides in US politics. The statisticians have to draw the line somewhere. If we want to understand what is going on, we need to understand where they drew it. The coronavirus pandemic has raised similar questions. As I write these words, on April 9, 2020, the media are reporting that in the past twenty-four hours, 887 people died with COVID-19 on the British mainland—but I happen to know that number is wrong. Data detective work from the Scottish statistician Sheila Bird tells me that the true figure is more likely to be about 1,500.5 Why such a huge disparity?

We would find that behind each claim—true, false, or borderline—was a fascinating world to explore and explain. Whether we were evaluating the prevalence of strokes, the evidence that debt damages economic growth, or even the number of times in The Hobbit that the word “she” is used, the numbers could illuminate the world as well as obscure it. As the coronavirus pandemic has so starkly illustrated, we depend on reliable numbers to shape our decisions—as individuals, as organizations, and as a society. And just as with coronavirus, the statistics have often been gathered only when we’ve been faced with a crisis. Consider the unemployment rate—a measure of how many people want jobs but do not have them.

For a long time, researchers into muscle-derived stem cells were baffled by why they sometimes regenerated and sometimes didn’t. It seemed entirely arbitrary, until it occurred to someone to check whether the cells came from males or females. Mystery solved: it turned out the cells from females regenerated, while those from males did not. The gender blind-spot has yet to be banished. A few weeks into the coronavirus pandemic, researchers started to realize that men might be more susceptible than women, both to infection and to death. Was that because of a difference in behavior, in diligent handwashing, in the prevalence of smoking, or perhaps a deep difference in the biology of the male and female immune systems?


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The Survival of the City: Human Flourishing in an Age of Isolation by Edward Glaeser, David Cutler

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Andrei Shleifer, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, business cycle, buttonwood tree, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Corn Laws, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crack epidemic, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, discovery of penicillin, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Fellow of the Royal Society, future of work, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, global village, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Honoré de Balzac, income inequality, industrial cluster, James Hargreaves, Jane Jacobs, job automation, jobless men, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Snow's cholera map, knowledge worker, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, Maui Hawaii, means of production, megacity, meta-analysis, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, out of africa, place-making, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, remote working, Richard Florida, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Socratic dialogue, spinning jenny, superstar cities, Tax Reform Act of 1986, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, union organizing, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, working poor, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

Neither Merkel nor: “Why Germany’s Low COVID-19 Death Rate Might Be a Mirage,” CBC News. On March 22: Posaner, “Germany’s Merkel Bans Meetings of More Than 2 People to Slow Coronavirus.” Germany had a testing system: “Combating the Coronavirus Pandemic: Bosch Develops Rapid Test for COVID-19,” Bosch Global. Robert Koch Institute: Robert Koch Institute, “Navigation and Service.” spending growth has slowed: McWilliams et al., “Medicare Spending after 3 Years of the Medicare Shared Savings Program.” The COVID pandemic created: Goldstein, “Trump Administration Says It Will Pay Hospitals for Treating Uninsured Covid-19 Patients.”

Library & Information History 33, no 2 (April 2017): 123–42. https://doi.org/10.1080/17583489.2017.1299427. Collins, Sean. “The Anger behind the Protests, Explained in 4 Charts.” Vox, May 31, 2020. www.vox.com/2020/5/31/21276004/anger-police-killing-george-floyd-protests. “Combating the Coronavirus Pandemic: Bosch Develops Rapid Test for COVID-19.” Bosch Global. Accessed December 25, 2020. www.bosch.com/stories/vivalytic-rapid-test-for-covid-19. “Common Core Math Fails to Prepare Students for STEM.” Pioneer Institute, October 1, 2013. https://pioneerinstitute.org/news/lowering-the-bar-how-common-core-math-fails-to-prepare-students-for-stem. Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Birds are thought: World Health Organization, “Influenza (Avian and Other Zoonotic).” Smallpox was circulating: Spinney, “Smallpox and Other Viruses Plagued Humans Much Earlier Than Suspected.” AIDS emerged in the Congo: Sample, “HIV Pandemic Originated in Kinshasa in the 1920s, Say Scientists.” COVID-19 had only: Taylor, “The Coronavirus Pandemic: A Timeline.” Domesticated animals are generally: “Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV): The Role of Diagnostics,” American Society for Microbiology. The Northeast of the US: Levine et al., “Mice as Reservoirs of the Lyme Disease Spirochete.” US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Lyme Disease.”


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Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria

Asian financial crisis, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, butterfly effect, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, colonial rule, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, David Graeber, deglobalization, Deng Xiaoping, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global reserve currency, global supply chain, hiring and firing, housing crisis, imperial preference, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, invention of the wheel, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Snow's cholera map, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Monroe Doctrine, Nate Silver, oil shock, open borders, out of africa, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, popular capitalism, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, remote working, reserve currency, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, UNCLOS, universal basic income, urban planning, Washington Consensus, white flight, Works Progress Administration

Pepinsky, “Partisanship, Health Behavior, and Policy Attitudes in the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” SSRN, March 30, 2020, https://ssrn.com/abstract=3562796. (Note: This study, and those by Painter and Qiu and Allcott et al. below, has not been peer-reviewed.) 86 less likely to shelter in place: Marcus Painter and Tian Qiu, “Political Beliefs Affect Compliance with COVID-19 Social Distancing Orders,” SSRN, July 3, 2020, https://ssrn.com/abstract=3569098; Hunt Allcott, Levi Boxell, Jacob Conway, Matthew Gentzkow, Michael Thaler, and David Y. Yang, “Polarization and Public Health: Partisan Differences in Social Distancing During the Coronavirus Pandemic,” SSRN, June 2020, https://ssrn.com/abstract=3574415. 86 thirty incidents of arson or vandalism: Adam Satariano and Davey Alba, “Burning Cell Towers, out of Baseless Fear They Spread the Virus,” New York Times, April 10, 2020. 86 “motivated reasoning”: Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (New York: Vintage Books, 2013), 98, 104. 87 “high-information voters”: Ezra Klein, “Why the Most Informed Voters Are Often the Most Badly Misled,” Vox, June 8, 2015. 87 “rationalizing voters”: Christopher H.

Azar II, “Secretary Azar Delivers Remarks on Declaration of Public Health Emergency for 2019 Novel Coronavirus,” White House, January 31, 2020, https://www.hhs.gov/about/leadership/secretary/speeches/2020-speeches/secretary-azar-delivers-remarks-on-declaration-of-public-health-emergency-2019-novel-coronavirus.html. 79 stop performing non-urgent care: Alice Park and Jeffrey Kluger, “The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Forcing U.S. Doctors to Ration Care for All Patients,” Time, April 22, 2020. 79 heart attack patients: S. J. Lange, M. D. Ritchey, A. B. Goodman et al., “Potential Indirect Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Use of Emergency Departments for Acute Life-Threatening Conditions—United States, January–May 2020,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MMWR Morb Mortal Weekly Report 69 (2020):795–800; and Will Feuer, “Doctors Worry the Coronavirus Is Keeping Patients Away from US Hospitals as ER Visits Drop: ‘Heart Attacks Don’t Stop,’ ” CNBC, April 14, 2020. 80 swine flu could kill 65,000 in Britain . . . some 450 Britons died: Jonathan Ford, “The Battle at the Heart of British Science over Coronavirus,” Financial Times, April 15, 2020; David D.

Price, “A Coronavirus Quarantine in America Could Be a Giant Legal Mess,” Atlantic, February 16, 2020. 46 90,126 units: Editorial Board, “Federalism Explains Varied COVID-19 Responses,” Columbus Dispatch, May 8, 2020, https://www.dispatch.com/opinion/20200508/editorial-federalism-explains-varied-covid-19-responses. 47 and even fax: For inadequacies of America’s Covid-19 test reporting, see Sarah Kliff and Margot Sanger-Katz, “Choke Point for U.S. Coronavirus Response: The Fax Machine,” New York Times, July 13, 2020. 47“health cards”: On Taiwan’s near-real-time “health cards”: tracking of Covid-19 patient data, see Jackie Drees, “What the US Can Learn from Taiwan’s EHR System and COVID-19 Response,” Becker’s Hospital Review, July 1, 2020, https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/ehrs/what-the-us-can-learn-from-taiwan-s-ehr-system-and-covid-19-response.html; and Ezekiel Emanuel in conversation with Fareed Zakaria, Fareed Zakaria GPS: Global Public Square, CNN, July 12, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2020/07/12/exp-gps-0712-emanuel-on-us-covid-19-response.cnn. 47 18,000 separate police departments: Duren Banks et al., “National Sources of Law Enforcement Employment Data,” US Department of Justice, October 4, 2016, https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/nsleed.pdf. 48 former British colonies: Michael Bernhard, Christopher Reenock, and Timothy Nordstrom, “The Legacy of Western Overseas Colonialism on Democratic Survival,” International Studies Quarterly 48, no. 1 (March 2004): 225–50, https://academic.oup.com/isq/article-abstract/48/1/225/2963246. 49 seventeen “layers” of appointees: Paul Light, “People on People on People: The Continued Thickening of Government,” The Volcker Alliance, October 2017, https://www.volckeralliance.org/sites/default/files/attachments/Issue%20Paper_People%20on%20People.pdf. 49 long blog post: Marc Andreessen, “It’s Time to Build,” Andreessen Horowitz, https://a16z.com/2020/04/18/its-time-to-build/. 50 Pennsylvania Station: Marc J.


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Failures of State: The Inside Story of Britain's Battle With Coronavirus by Jonathan Calvert, George Arbuthnott

Boris Johnson, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Etonian, gig economy, global pandemic, Kickstarter, nudge unit, open economy, Ronald Reagan, Skype

Abrahamson, Elkan 402, 403 Academy of Medical Sciences 237, 336, 338, 353 action plan, UK government (‘contain, delay, research, mitigate’ strategy) 152–66 All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus 396, 398 ambulance service 95, 190, 224, 237, 243, 247, 264, 265–7, 268, 269, 270, 273, 274–5, 282, 294, 290, 291, 392, 416 Arcuri, Jennifer 127–31, 310–11 Ardern, Jacinda 153–4, 308, 337 Ashton, John 100, 190 Ashworth, Jon 74–5, 143, 286 asymptomatic spread, Covid-19 135, 142, 144, 237–8, 332–3 Attwood, Peter 51–2, 55 austerity policies, UK government 7, 87, 88, 101, 104, 105 Austin, Raymond 243–6, 247, 249, 252, 296 Australia 18, 155, 180, 230, 231, 302, 308, 325, 337–8, 365, 394 Blair, Tony 77, 78, 87, 128 Bradshaw, Ben 316–17 Brexit 4, 5, 10, 76, 78, 81, 87, 90, 91, 101, 115–16, 138, 148, 153, 172, 230, 261, 383, 391, 397; Boris Johnson/UK government fixation with and appreciation of danger posed by Covid-19 4, 5, 6, 8, 15–16, 56–7, 64–5, 71–5, 76, 78, 87, 110–12, 115–16, 122–4, 132, 153, 383, 397; Brexit day 71–2; Cummings and 72, 111–13; Hancock and 68–9; Leave Campaign 57, 112, 213; lockdown and 61, 74, 302, 390–1; ministers’ approach to views of scientists and 103–4; no-deal 8, 78, 87, 90, 110, 111, 113, 390; pandemic planning/preparation and 6, 7–8, 15–16, 56–7, 64–5, 68, 72–3, 87, 90, 91, 101, 103–4, 105, 122, 123–4, 132; withdrawal treaty 5, 57 Brown, Gordon 78–9, 88 Buckland, Jane 51, 52 Cain, Lee 184, 213 Cameron, David 66, 77–8, 88, 155, 199, 200–1, 213 care homes/sector 7, 10, 105, 203, 214, 269, 280–4, 366, 384; Boris Johnson lays blame for crisis in on workers 332–3; death toll within 238–9, 263–4, 267, 284, 290; government advice to in early days of pandemic 141, 161; House of Commons’ public accounts committee report into care home crisis 333; lockdown and 280–1; patients discharged from hospital into 90, 203–4, 280–2; residents rejected for hospital admission 269, 282–4; staff 96, 141, 281–2, 290, 291, 310, 332–3 Charles, Prince 230 Cheltenham Festival 167, 168–71, 172, 183, 417 Chequers 115, 149, 151, 199, 216, 277, 295, 329 China 7, 8, 385; Covid-19 death toll in 70, 308–9; Covid-19 imported into UK from 63–4, 70, 72–3, 142; Covid-19 origins in 9, 15–29, 15; Covid-19 outbreak in and cover-up of 9, 30–52, 30, 56–7, 58, 59, 61, 62–3, 70, 75; economy, swift lockdown policy and 308–9; personal protective equipment (PPE) and 71, 85, 86, 122–3, 145; Sars (Sars-CoV-1) pandemic (2002) and 16, 17–20, 21; success of dealing with Covid-19 401; see also Wuhan Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention 22, 34 Churchill, Winston 2, 4, 397 Cobra (national crisis committee) 8, 55–6, 58, 59, 61, 62, 64, 65, 70, 71, 75–80, 89, 99, 102, 106, 107, 124, 126, 127, 147, 148–9, 152, 153, 154, 174, 190, 196, 199–200, 212–13, 214, 220, 285, 286, 384; Boris Johnson fails to attend first five meetings of during Covid crisis 8, 55–6, 58, 59, 61, 62, 64, 70, 71, 75–80, 102, 106, 107, 124, 126, 127, 147, 148–9, 285, 286, 384 Conservative Party 60, 65–6, 84, 88, 106, 110, 112, 113, 115, 117, 118, 119, 120, 143, 249, 288; austerity policies 7, 87, 88, 101, 104, 105; Black and White Ball 119, 134–5, 137, 138, 141, 142, 150; Brexit and 4, 110, 111–12; general election victory (2019) 4, 57, 71–2, 76, 111–12, 116, 138, 319; leadership contest (2019) 68–9, 111, 189, 203, 401; lockdown and 296, 302, 319, 322, 329, 339, 340, 359 Conte, Giuseppe 192–3 Corbyn, Jeremy 76, 127, 137, 138, 240 Coronavirus Act (2020) 226–7 Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium 396 Cosford, Paul 64, 109 Costello, Anthony 181, 369 Covid-19 (Sars-CoV-2): asymptomatic spread of 135, 142, 144, 237–8, 332–3; first British deaths 51–2, 55, 159–60; first recorded cases in Britain 50–2, 55, 64, 72, 81–3, 107, 108–9, 140–1, 148, 150–1, 165; infectivity rate 60–1, 62, 71, 74, 109, 146, 287, 393, 394; long Covid 365; name 16; origins 15–29, 15; outbreak and cover-up of in China 30–52, 30; reproduction (R) rate 60–1, 139, 296–7, 303, 304, 306, 320, 325, 335, 336–7, 338, 339, 340, 346, 350–1, 354, 359, 363, 365, 387, 400, 403; second wave 11, 176, 183, 184, 310, 328, 330–1, 336, 338, 340–1, 344, 347, 350, 352, 353, 355, 359, 360, 363, 364, 366, 373–4, 376, 402–3, 417; vaccines 11, 27, 106, 178, 349, 353, 357, 387, 391, 393, 394; variants 144, 335, 386, 389, 393 Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK group 402 Covid-19 Clinical Information Network (Co-Cin) 249–50 Covid Symptom Study app 50 Crabtree, David 281, 282, 283 Cummings, Dominic 72, 106, 111–14, 120, 126, 138, 139, 140, 153, 171, 195–6, 208, 209–10; Boris Johnson, breakdown of relationship with 363; Covid infection 234–5, 277–8; flouts lockdown rules 234–6, 277–8, 311–16; lockdown measures, becomes believer in swift and decisive (‘Domoscene conversion’) 195–6, 363, 399 Cygnus pandemic rehearsal (2016) 88–90, 95, 104 Daszak, Peter 27–8, 29, 41–2, 45–6 Davey, Ed 149, 299, 322 Davies, Nicholas 140, 184–5, 349, 370, 373 Davis, David 112, 115, 261 De Angelis, Daniela 160, 219, 366, 373 deaths, UK Covid-related 6, 7, 9–10, 11, 59, 61–2, 70, 73, 88, 89, 114, 133, 136, 140, 142, 148, 150, 154, 155, 161, 164–5, 169, 170, 175, 177, 178, 185, 187–8, 191–2, 193, 195, 196, 197, 201, 206, 211, 231–2, 256, 276, 277, 278–9, 280, 284, 287–8, 295, 297, 301–2, 305, 306, 324, 336, 337, 352, 356, 357, 359, 360, 361, 365, 366, 368, 369, 372–3, 376, 378, 385, 386, 391, 394–5, 401–2, 404, 405; deaths at home 263–73, 264, 290, 291; death rate/lethal potential of Covid-19 55, 75, 191–2, 378; European record high death rate 220, 287, 301–2, 305, 320, 307–8, 395, 396; first UK deaths 51–2, 55, 159–60; late lockdown in UK and 9–10, 220, 287–8, 307–10, 320–1, 358, 364–6, 379, 394–5, 397, 401, 404 Department of Health 71, 85, 92, 95, 100, 105, 149, 151, 155, 174, 180, 196, 260, 281 Diamond Princess 83–4, 124–5, 140, 148 Doctors’ Association UK 208, 217, 241, 261, 379 Dorries, Nadine 156, 180, 196–8, 226, 287, 347 Eat Out to Help Out scheme 333–4, 339, 344–5, 349, 375 Ebola 18, 26, 90, 92, 96, 189 Ebright, Richard 43–4, 47–9 economy, UK 4–5, 399; annual borrowing 306–7; Brexit and 4, 73–4, 148, 391; budget (2020) 105, 180–1; Eat Out to Help Out 333–4, 339, 344–5, 349, 375; false dichotomy between health of the nation and that of the economy, UK government offers 340, 379, 400–1; financial markets 146–7, 148, 172, 210; ‘furlough’ scheme 99, 105, 214, 306, 333; G7 group of developed nations, UK economy suffers more than any other 10, 333, 396; GDP, fall in 307–10, 395–6, 401; herd immunity and 177; lifting of lockdown measures and 279, 306–7, 319–20, 328–9, 333–8, 339, 340, 343–5, 371, 398, 399, 400–1; lockdown measures and 9, 61, 74, 156–7, 161, 177–8, 199, 204, 279, 296–7, 304–5, 306–10, 319, 333, 343, 350–1, 352–3, 354, 355–6, 337–8, 359, 360, 364–5, 368, 371, 372, 374, 376, 377, 379, 396, 398, 399, 400–1, 403; pandemic planning and 87, 88, 89, 96, 105, 114; return to offices, government encourages 335–6, 343–4; Sunak and, see Sunak, Rishi; total cost of combating effects of the pandemic 306–7; Treasury support packages 181, 204–5, 214, 306–7, 333–4, 339, 344–5, 350; unemployment 279, 319, 333, 350; World Bank: ‘The Sooner, the Better: The Early Economic Impact of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions during the COVID-19 Pandemic’ report 307, 360, 368 Edmunds, John 132, 139, 140, 159, 160, 184–5, 327, 357–8, 362, 363–4 Edwardes, Charlotte 119–20 Elizabeth II, Queen 210, 230, 240, 241, 256, 295, 298 European Union (EU) 4, 5, 57, 65, 71, 72, 85, 90, 103, 124, 126, 309, 333, 391 facemasks 8, 10, 22, 84, 86, 94–5, 122, 123, 141, 145, 177, 179, 180, 182, 208, 276, 281, 334, 335–6, 374 Farrar, Sir Jeremy 63, 102, 108, 139, 220 Ferguson, Neil 59, 61, 71, 139, 159, 185, 205, 220, 300–1, 320, 321 Fetzer, Thiemo 344–5 financial crisis (2007–08) 88, 172 financial markets 146–7, 148, 172, 210 ‘following the science’, UK government claims to be 7, 153, 157–8, 163, 174, 181–2, 183, 194, 213 foot and mouth disease 79, 80, 167 France 1–2, 9, 33, 83, 86, 144, 149–50, 166, 191, 194, 195, 198, 209, 212, 217, 219, 297, 303, 310, 344, 376, 390 ‘gain-of-function’ experiments 26–7, 48 Gallagher, Mick 290–1 Germany 4, 9, 70, 90, 93, 98, 99, 162, 194, 198, 217, 219, 224, 297, 302, 307, 310, 364, 376 Ghebreyesus, Tedros Adhanom 70, 71, 83–4, 133 Good Morning Britain 104, 301, 315 Gove, Michael 78, 110, 212–13, 236, 256, 285–6, 339, 353, 358, 368, 376, 377, 399 Greater London Authority (GLA) 129, 130, 311 Grove, Betty 272–3 Gupta, Sunetra 254–5 Halpern, David 184, 192 Hammond, Philip 76, 110, 113 Hancock, Matt 55, 61–2, 65–6, 198–9, 249; background 65–7; big claims, propensity for making 141, 198, 238–9; Boris Johnson Covid infection and 256; Brexit and 68–9; care homes and 280; Christmas restrictions and 388; circuit breaker lockdown and 353, 368; Cobra committee and 106; contact tracing app and 325; Covid infection 233, 238; Covid variants and 389; Eat Out to Help Out and 339; Edwardes and 120; government decisions presented to public as if based on scientific advice, role in 157; herd immunity and 193, 198; hospital capacity and 203, 252–3; Italian travellers/airports and 142–4; late lockdown, on 220; masks and 336; Nightingale hospitals and 227; 100,000 tests per day target 239, 288, 298–9, 317; Operation Cygnus and 104–5; Operation Moonshot and 349–50; personal protective equipment (PPE) and 84–5, 93, 96; procurement practice and allegations of cronyism 288; restrictions to limit the spread of the virus, pushes for 363, 368, 398; testing and 97, 99, 239, 288, 298–9, 317 Hanks, Tom 180, 230 Harries, Jenny 181–3, 186, 214, 312, 317, 336 Heneghan, Carl 355–6, 359 herd immunity 106, 156, 164–5, 171, 174–9, 183–5, 187, 191–3, 194–5, 196–8, 200, 302, 354, 355, 356–7, 365, 394 Hibberd, Martin 43, 46, 47, 48, 63, 98–9, 101, 102–3, 287 High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID) 207–8 Hillier, Meg 105, 333 Horton, Richard 62, 101, 102, 225–6, 286–7 Imperial College London 9, 42, 59, 61, 108, 109, 131, 132, 136, 139, 149, 154, 156, 159, 160, 170, 176, 184, 185, 186, 193, 199, 200, 205, 211, 216, 242, 297, 300, 322, 346, 361, 377, 386, 393 Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) 128, 130–1, 310–11 Iran 58, 136, 137, 153 Ireland 165, 187, 188, 191, 305 Italy 9, 33, 64, 70, 119, 131, 132, 135–6, 142–5, 148, 151, 153, 161, 162, 165, 171, 172–3, 178, 187–8, 190, 191, 192–3, 194, 195, 200, 205–6, 210, 217, 219, 224, 225, 297, 301–2, 310, 344 Japan 59, 70, 125, 132, 178, 364 Javid, Sajid 72, 111, 112, 113, 119, 138 Jenrick, Robert 208, 289, 301 Johnson, Boris: action plan (‘contain, delay, research, mitigate’ strategy’) and 152–66; Arcuri and 127–31, 310–11; Brexit fixation and appreciation of danger posed by Covid-19 4, 5, 6, 8, 15–16, 56–7, 64–5, 71–5, 76, 78, 87, 110–12, 115–16, 122–4, 132, 153, 383, 397; cabinet reshuffle (2020) 110–11, 113–15; care workers, blames for crisis in care sector 332–3; Chevening and 114–15, 117, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125–7, 131, 137; child (Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas) 298; childhood 2; China and 56–7, 123–4; Christmas restrictions and 387–90, 404; circuit breaker lockdown and 352–80, 386; civil claims for negligence and violation of human rights against UK government, responsibility for 402–3; Cobra meetings, chairs 148–9, 152, 153, 154, 174, 196, 199–200, 212–13, 214, 220; Cobra meetings, fails to attend first five meetings of during Covid crisis 8, 55–6, 58, 59, 61, 62, 64, 70, 71, 75–80, 102, 106, 107, 124, 126, 127, 147, 148–9, 285, 286, 384; Conservative leadership contest and 68–9, 111, 189, 401; Covid infection and illness 10, 233–4, 235–6, 239–40, 241, 244, 247, 254–5, 262–3, 276–7, 295–7, 403; Cummings and 112, 113, 114, 235–6, 311–16, 363–4, 369, 370; EU, misses chance to pool resources with 126; ‘following the science’, UK government claims to be and 7, 153, 157–8, 163, 174, 181–2, 183, 194, 213; foreign newspapers criticise 302; general election victory (2019) 4, 57, 71–2, 116, 138; government decisions presented to public as if they were entirely based on scientific advice 157; Harries Twitter broadcast 181–3; herd immunity concept and 164–5, 174–6, 183–4, 187, 192–3, 194–5; holidays 57–8, 76, 109, 110, 114–17, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125–7, 131, 135, 137, 341, 342, 383; ‘irrational’ panic of Covid-19, dismissive of 4, 107–9, 204; lockdown measures and, see lockdowns, UK Covid-19; love affairs and children 116–121, 127–31; marriage 117, 118–19, 120–1; Mothers’ Day mixed message 214–15, 216; NHS surcharge for foreign health and social care workers and 310; Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich speech (2020) 5–6, 73–4, 84, 147, 204; popularity/public confidence in 6, 7, 284, 310, 315, 324–5; prorogues parliament (2019) 68, 69; public gatherings, attitude towards 165–6, 167–8, 181, 187; rewriting of timeline of Covid crisis 102; school closures and, see school closures; school meal vouchers and 323–4, 344–5; scientific advisers, split with 360–4; scientists, lays blame for crisis with 148, 321–2; shaking hands, proudly refuses to stop 162–4, 166, 175, 233; ‘Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives’ plan launched 213–15, 216, 305; Storm Dennis and 126–7; Storm Jorge and 171–2; Symonds and, see Symonds, Carrie; This Morning, appearance on 163–5, 175; travel corridors and 334–5; vaccines and 349 Johnson, Stanley 123, 262, 263 Kerslake, Lord 77–8, 154–5 Khan, Sadiq 200, 208–10, 213, 214, 217 King, Sir David 77, 155, 170–1, 219, 400–1 Labour Party 57, 66, 74–5, 76, 87, 105, 111–12, 127, 137, 143, 216, 240, 289–90, 316, 325, 329, 338, 368, 371, 389 Lancet, The 34, 55, 62, 101, 225–6, 286, 364 Lee, Phillip 89–90, 200–1 Li Wenliang 34–5, 81 Liu Xiaoming 56–7, 123, 124 lockdowns, UK Covid-19: behavioural fatigue concept and 201–2; Christmas and New Year restrictions (2020–21) 356, 385–95, 404; curfews 362–3, 369; dither and delay over, UK government/Boris Johnson 4–5, 9–10, 152–7, 160–1, 167–220, 218, 223, 224, 260, 261, 263, 287, 296–310, 319–21, 323, 325–7, 333, 334–5, 342, 345, 346, 348, 349, 350–1, 352–80, 387, 388–9, 390, 391, 393, 394, 396, 397–8, 400, 404–5; economic costs of, see economy; first (20 March 2020) 2–4, 8, 9, 10, 217–18, 223–327; first, discussed within government 61, 139–40; first, lifting of (4 July 2020) 325–51; Johnson lockdown speech (23 March 2020) 2–4, 9, 10, 217–18; local lockdowns 327, 338–9, 367–8; London lockdown first discussed 208–10, 217; public gatherings and 3–4, 149, 156–7, 159, 164–6, 167–70, 171, 174–5, 181, 182–3, 187, 189, 199, 213, 218, 327, 335, 348; second/circuit breaker begins (16 December 2020) 377–80, 386; second/circuit breaker, UK government delays 352–80; ‘Stay alert, control the virus, save lives’ advice 305; ‘Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives’ advice 213–15, 305; third (6 January 2021) 386, 393–4, 398, 404–5; tier system of restrictions 369–70, 371, 386, 388–9, 390, 393–4 London: Covid-19 in 108–9, 190, 200, 205–6, 236, 237, 246–8, 254, 256, 265, 266, 267–8, 272, 274–5, 283, 385–6, 388, 389, 390, 391–2, 393, 394; first lockdown and 205–6, 208–10, 212, 217 London Ambulance Service 190, 237, 265 London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) 43, 63, 71, 97, 98, 101, 132, 139, 140, 158, 159, 160, 184–5, 287, 349, 364 long Covid 365 Macintyre, Helen 118, 130 Macron, Emmanuel 212 May, Theresa 68, 76, 79, 88, 115, 199 Medley, Graham 63, 139, 146, 160, 163, 174, 372 Michie, Susan 163, 171, 188–9, 234 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome 16 Military World Games, Wuhan (2019) 32 modelling, Covid-19 9, 59, 61, 63, 71, 92, 103, 108, 131–2, 136, 139, 140–1, 146, 151, 154, 155, 158–61, 163–5, 170, 175, 176, 177–8, 184–5, 186, 193, 194, 195, 199, 205, 211, 216, 219, 220, 240, 297, 300, 321, 327, 336, 342, 343, 348–9, 366, 370, 372, 373, 376 Montgomerie, Tim 113–14, 121 Montgomery, Hugh 392 Montgomery, Sir Jonathan 211, 228, 229 Moral and Ethical Advisory Group (Meag) 211–12, 227, 228, 242, 243, 258 Morrison, Vivien 243, 244, 245–6, 247 Mostyn-Owen, Allegra 117 Nagpaul, Chaand 265, 273, 274, 275–6 National Health Service (NHS) 7; candle-lit vigil held by staff outside Downing Street 331–2; clapping for 10, 231, 239, 247, 275; critical care capacity figures, publication of suspended 225; Hancock and, see Hancock, Matthew; hospital capacity 84, 89–90, 145–6, 150, 151, 155–6, 161–2, 173–4, 177, 186, 192, 195, 196–8, 201, 202, 203–4, 206–7, 208, 211, 225, 226, 227–8, 241–54, 251, 252, 256–7, 258, 261, 265, 267, 268, 273–4, 280–1, 297, 337, 373–5, 377, 378–9, 391–2, 394, 396–7, 398, 401–2, 403–5; intensive care capacity/selection of patients for 3, 140, 145–6, 173–4, 195, 199, 211–12, 224–5, 227–9, 241–61, 251, 252, 256–7, 262–91, 296, 396–7; national pandemic stockpile 93–5; NHS England 85, 269; Nightingale hospitals 227, 246–7, 280, 377; pandemic planning/preparedness and 7, 8, 62, 74–5, 84–97, 122–3, 145, 285; personal protective equipment (PPE), see personal protective equipment (PPE); procurement practice 288–9; secrecy culture imposed on during Covid crisis 224–5, 227–9, 247–9, 260–1, 284, 373–4; staff deaths 290–1, 331–2; staff sickness and shortages 236, 237, 374; staff testing for virus 206–7, 236–9, 288; surcharge for foreign health workers 310; triaging dilemmas 173–4, 211–12, 224–5, 227–9, 241–61, 262–91, 373–5, 392, 396–7; ventilators and 3, 89, 126, 136, 146, 169, 200–1, 246, 255, 263, 274, 286, 296, 392, 397 Nature 26, 39–40, 42, 49, 50, 89 New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) 71, 95, 132, 161, 201 New Zealand 153–4, 155, 277, 308, 319, 337–8, 364, 365, 394, 395 News2 265, 266 Noon, Brian 270–2, 273 Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow 206, 289 No. 10 Downing Street, Covid-19 within 226, 232–3 Openshaw, Peter 132, 201 Osborne, George 65, 149 Oxford University 9, 65, 70, 108, 109, 131, 136, 144, 149, 154, 156, 158, 170, 186, 193, 199, 202, 203, 205, 211, 216, 237, 387, 391 Pagel, Christina 173–4, 254 pandemic planning 7–8, 84–101, 104, 122, 182, 208, 285, 290; Brexit and 6, 7–8, 15–16, 56–7, 64–5, 68, 72–3, 87, 90, 91, 101, 103–4, 105, 122, 123–4, 132; Cygnus pandemic rehearsal (2016) 88–90, 95, 104; stockpile, national pandemic 7–8, 87, 88, 93–6, 122, 182, 208, 285; Winter Willow pandemic rehearsal (2007) 87–8 parliament, UK 61, 66, 68, 69, 71, 72, 84, 85, 96, 105, 109, 110, 112, 115, 116, 180, 181, 203, 204, 205, 210, 220, 225–6, 234, 237, 262, 281, 282, 289, 290, 315, 317–18, 321, 332, 333, 340, 351, 368, 390, 396, 398 Parmar, Rinesh 217, 261, 379 Patel, Priti 110, 399–400 personal protective equipment (PPE) 7, 8, 63, 71, 85–91, 92, 93–7, 100–1, 104, 105, 122–3, 145, 169, 179, 181, 182, 207–8, 214, 217, 219, 226, 232, 247, 248, 249, 276, 281, 284, 285–6, 288, 290, 291, 297, 333, 336, 384; donation of to China from UK stockpile 101, 122–3, 285–6 Pillay, Deenan 27, 43 Powis, Stephen 139, 237, 238, 260–1, 397 public gatherings, UK government attitudes towards 3–4, 149, 156–7, 159, 164–6, 167–70, 171, 174–5, 181, 182–3, 187, 189, 199, 213, 218, 327, 335, 348 Public Health England (PHE) 64, 72, 83, 88, 94–5, 98, 99–100, 109, 122, 131, 132, 139, 141, 149, 150–1, 182, 187, 207, 238, 313 public inquiry, UK Covid-19 crisis 102, 189, 340, 379, 395, 402–3 quarantine 64, 70, 73, 97, 125, 142, 197, 226, 278, 316, 335, 399 Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham 248–9 Raab, Dominic 104, 110, 115, 254–6, 279, 286, 287, 289–90, 297, 303, 307, 322 Rashford, Marcus 324 reproduction (R) rate, Covid-19 60–1, 139, 296–7, 303, 304, 306, 320, 325, 335, 336–7, 338, 339, 340, 346, 350–1, 354, 359, 363, 365, 387, 400, 403 Ricciardi, Walter 136, 205–6 Riley, Steven 176–9, 343 Ross, David 116, 135 Scally, Gabriel 100, 180, 186, 192 school closures 83, 139, 140, 143–4, 145, 156, 159, 164, 181, 187, 188, 189, 191, 205, 304, 316, 318, 323–4, 339, 341–2, 343, 344–5, 346–7, 350, 353, 356, 372, 375, 384, 392–3, 394, 404 school meals, free 323–4, 344–5 Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) 42, 59–60, 61, 63, 71, 75, 92, 102, 108, 131, 138–40, 141, 146, 151, 158–9, 160, 162, 163, 164, 165, 171, 175, 176, 179–80, 184, 185, 189, 193, 201, 202, 205, 220, 232, 237, 249–50, 278, 300, 309, 321, 322, 323, 327, 331, 333, 334, 336, 338, 339–40, 345, 350, 352, 356, 357, 358, 359, 360, 360, 362, 369, 370, 372, 374, 392–3, 396–7, 398, 416 Scotland 89, 142, 166, 191, 213, 230, 258, 305, 315, 330, 335, 341, 365–6, 367, 388, 393 second wave, Covid-19 11, 176, 183, 184, 310, 328, 330–1, 336, 338, 340–1, 344, 347, 350, 352, 353, 355, 359, 360, 363, 364, 366, 373–4, 376, 402–3, 417 Second World War 2, 4, 68, 110, 225, 226, 240, 284, 307, 394 Sedwill, Sir Mark 58, 196, 233–4, 256 self-isolation 83, 140, 142, 143, 153, 154, 174, 180, 201, 205, 207, 230, 232, 233, 235, 236, 237, 291, 325, 374 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) (Sars-CoV-1) pandemic (2002) 16–17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 33, 34, 35, 40, 43, 45, 49, 63, 75, 106, 156 Shapps, Grant 78, 312 Shi Zhengli (‘Bat Woman’) 17–18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27–8, 29, 30–1, 34, 37, 39–40, 41, 42–3, 49, 50 Singapore 63, 82, 83, 102–3, 109, 132, 139, 156, 178, 190, 325, 364 social distancing 72, 139, 140, 142, 159, 188, 194, 201, 204, 205, 214, 216, 226, 230, 233, 234, 261, 296, 301, 303, 313, 318, 323, 326, 327, 329, 330, 335, 337, 341, 348, 369, 387 Soleimani, General Qasem 58, 137 South Korea 98, 154, 155, 156, 178, 189, 191, 202, 308, 319, 364 Spain 9, 83, 144, 170, 194, 195, 198, 217, 219, 225, 297, 310, 335, 344, 364, 366 Spanish flu pandemic (1918) 15, 55, 61, 287, 330, 344 Spectator, The 69, 117, 120, 260, 277, 278 Spi-B (behavioural group) 92, 162, 188 Spi-M (modelling committee) 63, 92, 140–1, 154, 160, 176, 219, 343, 348–9, 366, 370, 372, 373, 376 Sridhar, Devi 58–9, 136, 186, 192, 316, 330–1, 335, 347 Starmer, Keir 240, 289–90, 305, 306, 325, 338, 368, 370–1, 388–9 Stevens, Sir Simon 202–3, 260, 376–7 Stewart, Rory 110, 189–90, 401 Storm Dennis 122, 126–7 Storm Jorge 152, 171–2 Sturgeon, Nicola 213, 214, 305, 367, 388 Sunak, Rishi 113, 135, 180–1, 204–5, 213–14, 256, 279, 287, 306, 319, 323, 328, 329–30, 333, 334, 344, 353–4, 355, 357, 359, 368, 371, 372, 376, 398, 400 Sunday Times, The 6–7, 8, 40–1, 49, 67, 77, 81, 85, 101, 102, 122–3, 126, 127–31, 196, 225, 260, 285, 286, 322, 353, 378, 399–400 superspreaders 82–3, 107, 144, 186–7, 238, 333 Sweden 309, 356–7 Symonds, Carrie 72, 114, 116, 117, 119, 121, 150, 199, 216, 236, 256, 262, 277, 298, 329, 341, 342 testing, Covid-19 63, 93, 109, 122, 157, 185–6; airport 64, 143, 151, 190; antibody 19–20, 43; capacity 63, 92, 93, 97–100, 103, 109, 122, 156, 157, 179, 185–7, 191, 198, 203, 206–7, 211, 219, 226, 232, 236–9, 260, 273, 280, 281, 283, 284, 288–9, 296–9, 320, 321, 333, 346–7, 349–50, 384, 386; care sector and 203, 237, 280, 281, 283, 333; contact tracing 97, 98, 99–100, 103, 108, 109, 131–2, 152, 156, 159, 174, 175, 185–7, 199, 206, 211, 238, 316–17, 325, 346–7; contact tracing app 325; diagnostic kits 97; Gove blames shortage of chemical agents 236–7; medical staff and 206–7, 236–9, 288; 100,000 tests per day target 239, 288, 298–9; Operation Moonshot 349–50; pandemic planning and 92, 93; self-isolation and 83, 140, 142, 143, 153, 154, 174, 180, 201, 205, 207, 230, 232, 233, 235, 236, 237, 291, 325, 374; widespread testing dropped by UK government 185–7, 191, 232 travel: airports and 64, 141–5, 151, 226–7; French border with UK 1–2, 390–1; Italy, travellers to UK from 131–2, 142–5, 151, 153–4; travel bans 226–7, 390–1; travel corridors 334–5, 343; UK borders kept open 131–2, 142–5, 151, 153–4, 226–7 Treasury, UK 105, 111, 112, 113, 204–5, 213, 279, 306, 328–9 Trump, Donald 44, 58, 70–1, 233, 256, 262, 295, 302, 324–5 universities 339, 346, 350, 366–7, 375 vaccines, Covid-19 11, 27, 106, 178, 349, 353, 357, 387, 391, 393, 394 Vallance, Sir Patrick 59, 60, 139, 155, 157, 158, 161, 167–8, 176, 187, 191, 192, 196, 205, 220, 320, 321, 322, 326, 329, 336, 346, 348, 352, 353, 360–2, 370, 373, 399 variants, Covid-19 144, 335, 386, 389, 393 ventilators 3, 89, 126, 136, 146, 169, 200–1, 246, 255, 263, 274, 286, 296, 392, 397 Vernon, Martin 203, 269 Wakefield, Mary 120, 277 Walsh, Steve 82–3, 97, 107, 238, 333 Wang Yanyi 34, 42, 47 Wellcome Trust 63, 139 Wheeler, Marina 117, 118–19, 120–1 Whitty, Chris 59, 62, 71, 81–2, 91–2, 106, 139, 147, 155, 157, 158–9, 161, 174, 185–6, 187, 188, 189, 196, 202, 211, 227, 228, 233, 243, 282, 321, 322, 326, 329, 339, 342–3, 348, 352, 360, 361, 362, 370, 388, 399 Williamson, Gavin 318, 342 Winter Willow pandemic rehearsal (2007) 87–8 World Bank: ‘The Sooner, the Better: The Early Economic Impact of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions during the COVID-19 Pandemic’ report 307, 360, 368, 398 World Health Organization (WHO) 17, 35, 38, 39, 57, 70–1, 77, 83–4, 133, 136–7, 178, 181, 185, 322, 364, 369 Wuhan, China 9, 15, 17–18, 19, 22, 23, 24–9, 30–49, 30, 50, 55, 58, 59, 61, 62, 64, 70, 72, 73, 82, 85, 91, 92, 98, 102, 139, 142, 154, 158, 160, 164, 225, 227, 285, 390, 395 Wuhan Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (WCDCP) 34, 47 Wuhan Institute of Virology 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25–9, 38, 39, 40, 41–4, 45, 46–7, 48–9 Wyatt, Petronella 117–18, 341 Xi Jinping 56, 123 About the Publisher Australia HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty.

One of the key arguments in Johnson’s biography is that Adolf Hitler would have won the war and Nazism would have prevailed throughout Europe had it not been for his hero prime minister. This was now Johnson’s moment to rally the nation in its darkest hour. Could he summon his inner Churchill and save Britain from the threat of the coronavirus pandemic? Twenty-eight million people tuned in to watch Johnson’s address from Downing Street that evening. The camera had framed the doorway of the White Drawing Room – the great state reception overlooking the No. 10 gardens, which has hosted US presidents from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama and was once used by Churchill himself as his bedroom.

‘Therefore, you stockpile, you prepare, you refresh that stockpile and you have incredibly good health care logistics. So, you put the stuff that’s getting to expiry back into the NHS sector and then you buy again.’ The UK’s national pandemic stockpile had been established in 2009 following the swine flu outbreak, with around £500m being spent on protective equipment. By the time the coronavirus pandemic began, the stockpile was mostly housed in a 370,000-square-foot distribution centre in Merseyside that had been built specifically for the purpose. But supplies had been allowed to significantly dwindle over the intervening years. An analysis of official financial data by the Guardian found that the value of the stockpile reduced from £831m in 2013 to £506m by March 2019 – a drop of almost 40 per cent.4 Leaked lists of the stocks showed that by 30 January 2020 the stockpile held 10 per cent fewer respirators, 19 per cent fewer surgical masks and 28 per cent fewer needles and syringes than it had in 2009.5 The remaining stock had not been replenished and was in a worrying state of decay.


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The New Nomads: How the Migration Revolution Is Making the World a Better Place by Felix Marquardt

agricultural Revolution, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, carbon footprint, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, dark matter, Donald Trump, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Joi Ito, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, out of africa, phenotype, place-making, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, QAnon, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, sustainable-tourism, technoutopianism, Yogi Berra, young professional

We would not have developed farms, cities, nation states, multinational companies, without this ability to define and maintain a group. Self-realisation, the scientific revolution and indeed modernity are all premised on it. But it has served its purpose and now become a problem. The time has come to leave it behind. How? Just as it has brought the world to a halt, the coronavirus pandemic is an opportunity to pause and take stock of the complexities of our present and the causal link between phenomena – specifically economic growth, energy consumption, (im)mobility, (in)equality, environmental degradation, the rise of religious extremism, nationalism and populism. And to recognise that the prosperity and open-minded, pro-immigration stance of the relatively mobile few is predicated on the relative lack of prosperity and mobility of the many,8 rather than on moral virtue.

The clue is in the ‘digital’ – these workers tend to be highly skilled and part of the knowledge economy. Though it might be technically possible, there are no YouTube channels promoting the benefits of moving around the world working from a factory in China one day, and one in Brazil the next. During the coronavirus pandemic, a new kind of passport privilege has emerged. For most of 2020, as a US citizen, it was very hard to travel out of the country. But if you were a dual citizen, you could simply use your other passport to get out, which had many Americans scrambling to try to get a different passport based on foreign ancestry (countries like Ireland with rich histories of migration to the US actually suspended the process which allowed Americans to use their Irish heritage to claim citizenship).

But it comes at a cost: you might end up with a parody of diversity around the table; a lack of willingness to talk about the real issues at hand; as a consequence, the consensus you reach may be weak and meaningless, and can end up alienating human societies at large. This is precisely what has happened to Davos and the UN. In March of 2020, as we sat in confinement in the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, Abdi and I got together on Zoom. We brought in many other new nomads, too, and started talking about that phrase we’ve all heard so many times since the beginning of the pandemic it has almost lost its meaning: ‘This changes everything.’ We had both read articles and essays by the great minds of our time along those lines, and in the months that followed, we realised that this literature didn’t age well.


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The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health--And How We Must Adapt by Sinan Aral

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, computer vision, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, death of newspapers, disinformation, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, hive mind, illegal immigration, income inequality, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multi-sided market, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, performance metric, phenotype, recommendation engine, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social software, social web, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, surveillance capitalism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the strength of weak ties, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra

Sullivan, adapted for ebook Cover design: Will Brown ep_prh_5.6.0_c0_r1 Contents Cover Title Page Copyright Preface: Pandemics, Promise, and Peril Chapter 1: The New Social Age Chapter 2: The End of Reality Chapter 3: The Hype Machine Chapter 4: Your Brain on Social Media Chapter 5: A Network’s Gravity Is Proportional to Its Mass Chapter 6: Personalized Mass Persuasion Chapter 7: Hypersocialization Chapter 8: Strategies for a Hypersocialized World Chapter 9: The Attention Economy and the Tyranny of Trends Chapter 10: The Wisdom and Madness of Crowds Chapter 11: Social Media’s Promise Is Also Its Peril Chapter 12: Building a Better Hype Machine Dedication Acknowledgments Notes Illustration Sources About the Author The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 was a “black swan” event, the repercussions of which were felt throughout the world’s health systems, economy, and the very fabric of everyday life. Everyone on earth remembers where they quarantined, who they longed to see, and how they coped with the tremendous mental and physical strain the virus exacted. But another dramatic, albeit subtler, consequence of COVID-19 was the rather abrupt shock it delivered to the world’s global communication system—the central nervous system of digital connections that links our planet.

It wouldn’t be hard for foreign adversaries to seed false material into the American social media ecosystem, made to seem like real material from the successful Burisma hack, to create a scandal designed to derail the Biden campaign before anyone can debunk it. As we’ve seen, this is the signature of a fake news crisis: it spreads faster than it can be corrected, so it’s hard to clean up, even with a healthy dose of the truth. The threat of election manipulation in 2020 is even higher due to the chaos caused by the coronavirus pandemic. With uncertainty around the viability of in-person voting, questions about voting by mail, and calls to delay the election, there can be no doubt that foreign actors will look to leverage the confusion caused by the coronavirus to disrupt our democratic process. While some claim fake news is benign, during protests and confusion, amid the smoke, fire, and foreign interference, months from the most consequential election of our time, it is a real threat—not only to the election, but to the sanctity and peace of the election process.

The weaponization of misinformation and the spread of fake news are problems for democracies worldwide. Fake News as Public Health Crisis In March 2020, a deliberate misinformation campaign spread fear among the American public by propagating the false story that a nationwide quarantine to contain the coronavirus pandemic was imminent. The National Security Council had to publicly disavow the story. And that wasn’t the only fake news spreading about the virus. The Chinese government spread false conspiracy theories blaming the U.S. military for starting the pandemic. Several false coronavirus “cures” killed hundreds of people who drank chlorine or excessive alcohol to rid themselves of the virus.


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The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson

23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anne Wojcicki, Apple II, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, Bernie Sanders, Colonization of Mars, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, discovery of penicillin, double helix, Henri Poincaré, iterative process, Joan Didion, linear model of innovation, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, mouse model, Silicon Valley, Skype, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, wikimedia commons

The most common are viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. Stanley Qi Nathan and Cameron Myhrvold CHAPTER 54 CRISPR Cures The development of vaccines—both the conventional sort and those employing RNA—would eventually help to beat back the coronavirus pandemic. But they are not a perfect solution. They rely on stimulating a person’s immune system, always a risky thing to do. (Most deaths from COVID-19 came from organ inflammation due to unwanted immune-system responses.)1 As vaccine makers have repeatedly discovered, the multilayered human immune system is very tricky to control. In it lurk mysteries. It contains no simple on-off switches, but instead works through the interaction of complicated molecules that are not easy to calibrate.2 The use of antibodies from the blood plasma of recovering patients or made synthetically also helped fight the COVID plague.

Before he decided to edit the gene for HIV receptors in the CRISPR babies he created, He Jiankui was studying ways to use CRISPR to make germline edits in the PCSK9 gene of embryos to produce designer babies with far less risk of having heart disease.13 At the beginning of 2020, there were two dozen clinical trials for various uses of CRISPR-Cas9 in the pipeline. They included potential treatments for angioedema (a hereditary disease that causes severe swelling), acute myeloid leukemia, super-high cholesterol, and male pattern baldness.14 In March of that year, however, most academic research labs were temporarily shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic. An exception was made for labs that were engaged in fighting the virus. Many CRISPR researchers, Doudna foremost among them, would shift their focus to creating detection tools and treatments for the disease, some of them making use of the tricks they had learned from studying how bacteria developed an immune response to ward off new viruses.

* * * By pondering the question of height, we can make another distinction that is useful: the difference between an absolute improvement and a positional improvement. In the first category are enhancements that are beneficial to you even if everyone else gets them. Imagine there was a way to improve your memory or your resistance to virus infections. You’d be better off with it, even if others got the same enhancement. In fact, as the coronavirus pandemic shows, you would be better off especially if others had that enhancement as well. But the advantages of increased height are more positional. Let’s call it the standing-on-tiptoes problem. You’re in the middle of a crowded room. To see what’s going on in the front, you stand on your tiptoes.


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The Controlled Demolition of the American Empire by Jeff Berwick, Charlie Robinson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, airport security, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, Corrections Corporation of America, Covid-19, COVID-19, crack epidemic, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, dark matter, disinformation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy transition, epigenetics, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, fiat currency, financial independence, global pandemic, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, mandatory minimum, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, offshore financial centre, open borders, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, private military company, Project for a New American Century, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, security theater, self-driving car, Seymour Hersh, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, South China Sea, surveillance capitalism, too big to fail, unpaid internship, urban decay, WikiLeaks, working poor

Deagel’s proposal, on the other hand, proposed the collapse of the United States through the implosion of the financial markets and the destruction of the medical system, two areas that could be seen as not just possible but probable. A dark analysis and one few people took seriously – until January 2020 revealed the Wuhan bats and rats virus, and the world went crazy. Arguably, the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic has announced the beginning of the end of the American Empire, as well as the Old Word Order. The public have been so brainwashed with Zombie Apocalypse preprogramming through television and movies that it is the end of the world as we know it but we feel fine. Move along everyone, nothing to see here.

Think of the Romans, the Russians, the Brits; there is little sympathy for those that were harmed because the observer sees the signs clearly and assumes that the people must have been willfully ignorant to their impending doom. The end of the American Empire has launched a long time ago. It is not an accident and it was not left to random chance. The Coronavirus pandemic is merely the final trigger for the pre-planned explosion. In the end, those that review how it all ended will feel the same way, have the same lack of empathy, and wonder the same things: how did they not see it coming, the signs were everywhere – starting with the flashing neon red arrows pointing out rogue governments all over the world.

The censorship of these thoughts has migrated from the real world into the cyber world, as internet censorship has been ramped up in recent years because the controlling power structure has noticed that most people are moving online to source their news and information. It does beg the question, do flat-Earthers believe in globalism? Internet Censorship Never before have Americans seen the internet censorship in action as much as during the Coronavirus pandemic. Facebook, YouTube, even the comments sections on news sites have blocked and removed anything that opposes their mainstream paid-for narrative with alarming alacrity. Censorship is what happens when powerful people get nervous, so the rise in online censorship is both a good thing and a horrible thing.


pages: 197 words: 53,831

Investing to Save the Planet: How Your Money Can Make a Difference by Alice Ross

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, barriers to entry, British Empire, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, decarbonisation, diversification, Elon Musk, energy transition, family office, food miles, global pandemic, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, hiring and firing, impact investing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jeff Bezos, Lyft, off grid, oil shock, passive investing, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, risk tolerance, risk/return, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Tragedy of the Commons, uber lyft

In all these thematic chapters we’ll look at some of the high-profile investors backing these ideas, the entrepreneurs coming up with the solutions, and ways that you can get involved, depending on your appetite for risk. Finally, in the conclusion, we’ll look at what still needs to be done by regulators and governments to make it easier for investors both big and small to support climate change solutions. We’ll also look at how sustainable investments have held up during the coronavirus pandemic, and examine the case for building back better. A note before we begin: it’s important to say that this book isn’t trying to tell you what to do. It assumes that you want to know more about how to invest with climate change in mind, but it also aims to help you understand the potential risks involved and make informed decisions.

One of the directors sent her something from the communications department that had ‘very debatable’ ideas in it. ‘Obviously my aspirations are for them to go a lot further and faster and deeper but the dialogue is open,’ she says. Interestingly, Jenny was speaking before Shell announced in April 2020 that it was introducing a net zero emissions target even amid huge financial pressures from the coronavirus pandemic. Emboldened, Jenny then went to the Marks & Spencer annual general meeting. AGMs are notorious for having a certain class of retired investor rock up to hear their own opinions and sample the free tea and biscuits. She knew that a long line of these regulars would want to get their questions in first – which tend to be the same every year – and the directors took their time answering.

Sales of meat-free food grew 40 per cent over the five years to 2020, and Mintel expects UK sales to rise by another 34 per cent at least by 2024. The proportion of meat-eaters who reduced or limited the amount of meat they consumed rose from 28 per cent in 2017 to 39 per cent in 2019. There were also signs that the coronavirus pandemic would prove a boon for plant-based alternatives. With meatpacking factories shut down across the US and labour shortages affecting production, plant-based factories, where production is more automated, saw less disruption in their supply chains. US sales of plant-based meat substitutes jumped by 265 per cent over an eight-week period, according to consumer data group Nielsen, compared with rises of just 39 per cent for fresh meat.


pages: 444 words: 124,631

Buy Now, Pay Later: The Extraordinary Story of Afterpay by Jonathan Shapiro, James Eyers

"side hustle", Airbnb, bank run, barriers to entry, blockchain, British Empire, clockwatching, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate raider, Covid-19, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, diversification, Dogecoin, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, financial deregulation, greed is good, index fund, Jones Act, Kickstarter, late fees, light touch regulation, Mount Scopus, Network effects, new economy, passive investing, payday loans, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, regulatory arbitrage, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, short selling, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, technology bubble, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, Vanguard fund

Allen & Unwin 83 Alexander Street Crows Nest NSW 2065 Australia Phone: (61 2) 8425 0100 Email: info@allenandunwin.com Web: www.allenandunwin.com ISBN 978 1 76087 946 4 eISBN 978 1 76106 236 0 Index by Puddingburn Internal design by Midland Typesetters Set by Midland Typesetters, Australia Cover design: Philip Campbell Design Cover photographs: Shutterstock (headphones, bag); iStock (shoes) CONTENTS Prologue 1 Rags to Riches 2 Asset Strippers 3 Lay-by 4 Touch Point 5 Little King 6 Going Public 7 The Unsuspected Secret 8 Mickey Mouse and Marijuana 9 Broker Wars 10 Short on Time 11 House of Cards 12 Taking Credit 13 The Cub Club 14 Going Viral 15 Standing Down 16 Trending 17 Once in a Lifetime Epilogue Acknowledgements Notes Bibliography Index PROLOGUE ‘TREPIDATION’ IS THE word we both had scrawled and underlined in our notepads after a half-hour Zoom call with Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar, the founders of Afterpay. The call was held on Tuesday, 19 January 2021, when most of Australia was enjoying a summer holiday after a traumatic 2020, which had seen the world ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic. Nick dialled in from ‘Nicko’s iPhone’. He was unshaven and crouched under a staircase in his holiday house in Byron Bay. The scheduled time of 1 pm coincided with the nap time of his second child, who was only a few months old. Anthony logged on from his desk at Afterpay’s Melbourne office, in a Collins Street tower with views of the city in the background.

Many big brands—not to mention the share market—had come to appreciate that. By the end of 2020, the combined share-market value of Scentre Group, which operates the Westfield shopping centres in Australia and New Zealand, and Unibail Westfield, which owns its US and UK malls, was roughly equal to that of Afterpay at $30 billion. The coronavirus pandemic had moved the scales: at the start of the year, the malls had been worth $50 billion, while Afterpay was valued at $8 billion. With the virus receding, Sydney was opening up for business and events, and Australian fashion was getting the spring back in its step. It had survived the worst of the pandemic, and before that the hordes of foreign, ‘fast fashion’ invaders such as Zara, H&M and Uniqlo, which had opened stores in iconic locations in a challenge to local brands.

Long-term bond rates were rising, not falling, and the pace at which they headed higher was accelerating. The US ten-year bond rate—the discount rate for almost every asset—lingered at around 0.8 per cent at the start of 2021. It gradually drifted north, but in February it accelerated to 1.7 per cent. The reason was that the rollout of vaccines to tackle the coronavirus pandemic meant it was only a matter of time before economies reopened at full capacity. Already the data pointed towards a better-than-expected recovery. The consequence of that was that workers’ wages across the economy would eventually rise, and prices for goods and services would begin to rise.


pages: 521 words: 110,286

Them and Us: How Immigrants and Locals Can Thrive Together by Philippe Legrain

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, centre right, Chelsea Manning, coronavirus, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, demographic dividend, discovery of DNA, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of work, illegal immigration, immigration reform, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, job automation, Jony Ive, labour market flexibility, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, open borders, postnationalism / post nation state, purchasing power parity, remote working, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The future is already here, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, urban sprawl, WeWork, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working-age population

Some of you may have read my first, Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them, which was published in 2007.28 If so, thank you; I’m hugely grateful to all of you who have read my four previous tomes. If not, thank you for taking a chance with this book; I hope you find it stimulating and useful. Why, though, do I need to write another book on immigration? For a start, the political context has changed so much since 2007. The financial bubble has burst, the coronavirus pandemic has struck, nationalists are on the march and liberals are on the back foot. A silver lining of the increased controversy about immigration is that it has stimulated plenty of new academic research, providing better insights into its impacts. While Them and Us is aimed at a much wider audience, it draws on this deep well of knowledge and scholarship.

By some measures, that makes me a temporary migrant. Yet my shortest stay in the country was only two days. Does that really make me an immigrant? What if I stayed for a few weeks as a consultant assisting local businesses? Or was seconded to a local organisation for several months? Where does one draw the line? While the coronavirus pandemic has brought most of the world to a halt, mobility will resume once it passes. Until recently, more people were on the move than ever before – and no doubt many will soon be moving again. Most move temporarily, often for only a few months. But official statistics count as migrants only those who stay longer than a year.

Even though many people could work remotely and sometimes do, people still tend to cluster together in offices and big cities, where they spark off each other and engage in office politics to try to get ahead. There is also much more to university than lectures, not least mixing with other students. While the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital working, it has scarcely extinguished the desire for human contact. Moreover, all sorts of services will continue to need to be delivered locally for the foreseeable future. Old people cannot be cared for from afar. Offices and hotel rooms have to be cleaned on the spot.


How to Work Without Losing Your Mind by Cate Sevilla

coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Desert Island Discs, Donald Trump, gender pay gap, global pandemic, Google Hangouts, job satisfaction, microaggression, period drama, remote working, side project, Skype, women in the workforce

But it would be naive and, quite frankly, silly of us to give a celebratory Mary Tyler Moore beret-toss when we know that, actually, things are still unequal. We shouldn’t exactly be grateful that we’re no longer only relegated to secretary or assistant positions, or thrilled that we’re even ‘allowed’ to be at work. In fact, during the coronavirus pandemic, it became alarmingly clear that women are indeed the backbone of our economy and what keeps our societies functioning. The New York Times reported in April 2020 that while normally men make up the majority of the American workforce, during the pandemic when everything was stripped back to the bare necessities – one in three jobs held by a woman was designated as essential.6 From nurses and pharmacy technicians to supermarket cashiers, the New York Times wrote that this ‘unseen labor force’ whose work is often ‘underpaid and undervalued’ is actually what ‘keeps the country running and takes care of those most in need, whether or not there is a pandemic’.

What I’m trying to say is that none of that is authentic – it’s performative and even reductive. Because at the heart of the troubles many of us have with ‘adulting’ is a real, generational issue. It’s not laziness, sensitivity or a deficiency – it’s a symptom of a wider cultural problem. Our culture of burnout and over-productivity was laid bare as the coronavirus pandemic progressed. ‘We’re not working from home in a pandemic,’ we were told by different people in various ways, ‘You’re at home, in a pandemic, trying to work.’ Instead of hustling, the popular thing to do was to encourage others to look after themselves, to remind us all that self-care mattered more than ever, and that rest was important too.

You shouldn’t be left on your own to just figure it out and hope your next rating is better. You should also never feel that, if someone goes to your manager with some gossipy tittle-tattle, they will take it as gospel and put you in a position of having to defend yourself. Managing in a crisis As the coronavirus pandemic gathered pace, the businesses and companies impacted were sent very quickly into full-blown crisis mode across every aspect of their business. From ill members of staff to remote working to IT issues with everyone working remotely to furloughing or laying off staff and closing entire departments or completely shutting down – managers and those in leadership positions were very quickly forced to deal with issues and situations that most had never had to tackle before – and certainly not all at once, during something as intense and as threatening as a global pandemic and threatened economic collapse.


pages: 372 words: 98,659

The Miracle Pill by Peter Walker

active transport: walking or cycling, agricultural Revolution, autonomous vehicles, Boris Johnson, call centre, car-free, Coronary heart disease and physical activity of work, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, experimental subject, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, meta-analysis, randomized controlled trial, the built environment, twin studies, Wall-E, washing machines reduced drudgery

Calculating an overall economic cost is hugely difficult, but one study by the London-based World Obesity Forum, which gathers scientific expertise on the subject, estimated that by 2025 the total global bill connected to obesity would be around £950 billion.20 The association of excess weight with generally poorer health outcomes has been highlighted anew by the coronavirus pandemic. To reiterate, this book is being written during the period of its peak in the UK, and many of the public health lessons are only emerging. But one repeated feature of studies both in China and Europe has been the greater probability of obese patients to require hospital treatment for the Covid-19 virus, and also to die. The energy balance How did the world get to this point? The answer in its broadest terms was expressed with great eloquence more than sixty years ago by one of the first experts to warn about the then-nascent obesity crisis.

Even though its consequences have been well known for decades, inactivity is what you might call a normalised catastrophe. Governments rarely pass laws, or hold urgent press conferences to pledge action, instead focusing on generally ineffective public information campaigns. Until now, perhaps. By coincidence, this book is being written while the UK and many other countries are in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. And here, as the world has seen, a swift and coherent response to health emergencies is very much politically feasible. Ministers have not hesitated to close whole sections of their national economies and severely restrict individual freedoms to save lives. For the most part, at time of writing, the public have supported these actions.

Does this mean countries like the UK are condemned to limp on with an ever-growing personal and societal burden connected to immobile living? For all Pukka Peska might dismiss the idea of the Finns being special, can other countries change? The answer for now is that we don’t know. But one thing is clear: other countries have shown they are able to act decisively. A lesson from the coronavirus pandemic has been that when it comes to governments interfering directly in the lives of their populations to keep them healthy, things can change very quickly indeed. Next steps: If a lot of countries, like the UK, are not as motion-friendly as Finland or Slovenia, that can in part be because MPs and councillors don’t really consider it an issue.


pages: 447 words: 111,991

Exponential: How Accelerating Technology Is Leaving Us Behind and What to Do About It by Azeem Azhar

23andMe, 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, digital map, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Garrett Hardin, gender pay gap, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, hiring and firing, hockey-stick growth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, independent contractor, industrial robot, intangible asset, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, price anchoring, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software as a service, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, subscription business, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, Turing machine, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, winner-take-all economy, Yom Kippur War

Around 50 preprint services now work to accelerate the diffusion of academic knowledge.40 These preprint servers are so powerful because they remove the boundaries to academic research. They let ordinary people access cutting-edge ideas for free. And that widens the groups who can participate in the scientific process. This was never truer than in the response to the coronavirus pandemic. The first academic paper on the virus was published on a preprint server on 24 January 2020. By November 2020, more than 84,000 papers about Covid across disciplines were available on preprint servers and other open-access sources.41 And Laura O’Sullivan is another example of the power of the preprint server in speeding up the spread of new ideas.

Exponential technologies also facilitate the local production of energy and food, in a way that would have been prohibitively expensive until recently. And new technologies, and the businesses built on them, often need large numbers of people interacting with each other in close proximity – something only cities can offer. As the twenty-first century unfolds, the localising potential of technology will only become more powerful. The coronavirus pandemic which began in 2020 showed how fragile global supply chains could be. But if it was a virus in 2020, it could be war or extreme weather – exacerbated by anthropogenic climate change – in the future. The result is an era in which, once again, geography matters – with economic activity set to become increasingly local.

., Trends in Online Influence Efforts (Empirical Studies of Conflict Project, 2020) <https://esoc.princeton.edu/publications/trends-online-influence-efforts> [accessed 2 January 2021]. 36 Gregory Winger, ‘China’s Disinformation Campaign in the Philippines’, The Diplomat, 6 October 2020 <https://thediplomat.com/2020/10/chinas-disinformation-campaign-in-the-philippines/> [accessed 3 January 2021]. 37 Jack Stubbs and Christopher Bing, ‘Facebook, Twitter Dismantle Global Array of Disinformation Networks’, Reuters, 8 October 2020 <https://www.reuters.com/article/cyber-disinformation-facebook-twitter-idINKBN26T2XF> [accessed 24 March 2021]. 38 Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, ‘Russian Facebook Trolls Got Two Groups of People to Protest Each Other In Texas’, VICE, 1 November 2017 <https://www.vice.com/en/article/3kvvz3/russian-facebook-trolls-got-people-to-protest-against-each-other-in-texas> [accessed 2 January 2021]. 39 ‘How Covid-19 Is Revealing the Impact of Disinformation on Society’, King’s College London, 25 August 2020 <https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/how-covid-19-is-revealing-the-impact-of-disinformation-on-society> [accessed 3 January 2021]. 40 ‘Coronavirus: “Murder Threats” to Telecoms Engineers over 5G’, BBC News, 23 April 2020 <https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-52395771> [accessed 2 January 2021]. 41 Wesley R. Moy and Kacper Gradon, ‘COVID-19 Effects and Russian Disinformation Campaigns’, Homeland Security Affairs, December 2020 <https://www.hsaj.org/articles/16533> [accessed 23 April 2021]. 42 Simon Lewis, ‘U.S.


pages: 272 words: 76,154

How Boards Work: And How They Can Work Better in a Chaotic World by Dambisa Moyo

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Boeing 737 MAX, Bretton Woods, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, collapse of Lehman Brothers, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, deglobalization, don't be evil, Donald Trump, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, global pandemic, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, index fund, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, long term incentive plan, Lyft, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, old-boy network, Pareto efficiency, passive investing, remote working, Ronald Coase, Savings and loan crisis, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, surveillance capitalism, The Nature of the Firm, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, Vanguard fund, Washington Consensus, WeWork, women in the workforce

To reframe this in a crude way, someone interested in gaining a place on a corporate board must ask themselves: Who from the management team would call me for advice, and when and why? Diversity is just one of the many major issues facing boards today. I conceived this book, and wrote most of it, well before the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. But the first months of the pandemic only reinforced my conclusions about the importance of functional, decisive, and wisely run boards. The coronavirus may have amplified the challenges facing today’s global companies, but I believe now more than ever in the positive role these corporations—and their boards—can play in society.

Leaving a good legacy is becoming harder, however, as the corporate board’s oversight role becomes ever more challenging and baseline notions about shareholder value and social responsibility shift with the changing times. Twenty-first-century companies are buffeted by unprecedented economic headwinds. Particularly after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the global economy is facing a deep and protracted recession, adding to already slowing long-term economic growth trends. Furthermore, de-globalization—in the form of new trade tariffs, capital controls, and increased barriers to immigration—threatens to harm global commerce and limit investment flows and the movement of labor, thereby worsening an already dire economic outlook.

According to a forecast by the Congressional Budget Office, the United States will face increasing challenges over the next decade due to rapidly expanding health-care and social security entitlement obligations. The US deficit, which as of this writing is projected to hit $1 trillion in 2020, is forecast to reach $1.3 trillion in 2030. US public debt, meanwhile, is expected to rise from 81 percent of GDP in 2020 to 98 percent in 2030—its highest level since 1946. In the wake of COVID-19, advanced economies were revising their debt-to-GDP ratios to surpass 100 percent in 2020. In this scenario, it seems inevitable that US political leadership in the coming years, Democrat or Republican, will have to seriously consider raising taxes on corporations. The smartest boards are already looking at the implications of such a scenario for their businesses.


pages: 372 words: 101,678

Lessons from the Titans: What Companies in the New Economy Can Learn from the Great Industrial Giants to Drive Sustainable Success by Scott Davis, Carter Copeland, Rob Wertheimer

3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, airport security, barriers to entry, business cycle, business process, clean water, commoditize, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, factory automation, global pandemic, hydraulic fracturing, Internet of things, iterative process, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Marc Andreessen, megacity, Network effects, new economy, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, random walk, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, skunkworks, software is eating the world, strikebreaker, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, WeWork, winner-take-all economy

., whose training on how to be a humble but curious analyst, doting father, and thoughtful human being helped shape him into the person that he is today. Rob is grateful for the support of his family throughout the project. Weekend editing sessions provided an opportunity to show the kids that the process of writing, rewriting, and doing it all again is not just something taught in school. INTRODUCTION Even before the coronavirus pandemic exposed flaws in government planning and tested the limits of modern medicine, the world had already become frighteningly out of balance. Tweets had taken over from substantive conversation and “news” had become unapologetically biased. High debt levels and rising leverage risk was something only old people talked about.

The most common explanation by the pundits is disruption, which is exceedingly hard to predict and most likely a convenient excuse. The reality is more complex and humbling. Companies usually fail because of the incompetence and arrogance of a complacent management team, not because they struggled to predict the future. Predicting the future may itself just be an exercise in futility. The coronavirus pandemic is a clear example of the random walk we take each day. And this is not a new phenomenon. When we were growing up in the 1980s, futurists predicted the widespread adoption of electric cars by the late 1990s. In fact, GM launched a concept electric car with the EV1 all the way back in 1996.

Sadly, these actions were lost in the noise of the COVID-19 global pandemic, which only two months into Calhoun’s tenure called the company’s future into question. To continue to produce MAX aircraft during the grounding, Boeing took on billions of dollars in debt and swung from a position of net cash to a position of net debt for the first time since the 787 crisis earlier in the decade. Funds supported ongoing MAX production in the supply chain and payments to customers for delivery delays. The company essentially made a bet that when recertification occurred, cash would quickly begin to flow and debt could be repaid. The COVID-19 outbreak put unprecedented pressure on global air travel.


pages: 399 words: 118,576

Ageless: The New Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old by Andrew Steele

Alfred Russel Wallace, assortative mating, bioinformatics, caloric restriction, caloric restriction, clockwatching, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, dark matter, discovery of penicillin, double helix, epigenetics, Hans Rosling, life extension, lone genius, megastructure, meta-analysis, microbiome, mouse model, Peter Thiel, phenotype, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley, stealth mode startup, stem cell, zero-sum game

By alleviating mortality in childhood and young adults, many of us now live long enough to experience the immune decline of ageing, and more than 90 per cent of deaths from infectious disease are in people over the age of 60. The substantial extra risk to older people from infectious disease has been laid bare by the coronavirus pandemic, whose toll in terms of hospitalisation and death is much higher among the elderly. While dying from flu or COVID-19 isn’t ageing per se, the massively increased risk with age means that ageing bears ultimate responsibility for most of these deaths. What’s worse is that a key tool of modern medicine – vaccination – is less effective in the elderly because vaccines rely on the failing immune system for their effectiveness.

It’s also worth following standard advice to avoid infections: wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, cook food thoroughly and take time off work if you’re unwell – this won’t just improve your colleagues’ healthy lifespans, but could have a much wider impact if it stops them passing the disease on to others, and so on. Of course, there could be no better example of the importance of basic hygiene and nipping transmission chains in the bud than the coronavirus pandemic. It might even be worth avoiding infections to optimise your ageing more generally. There’s evidence that historical progress fighting infectious diseases in youth had additional, indirect effects on life expectancy, with children who faced fewer infections growing up being at less risk of diseases like cancer and heart disease in old age.

The company is also trialling the drug for other age-related diseases, including Parkinson’s and, at the time of writing, a new study of RTB101 has just been announced to test whether it can reduce the severity of COVID-19 in nursing home residents. Given that there are several at various stages from development to trials, and that many of these are natural compounds or existing drugs repurposed, DR mimetics are racing senolytics to be the first actual anti-ageing treatment deployed in clinical care. (If metformin or RTB101 prove effective against coronavirus, they may win!) In common with senolytics, these drugs will probably first be used to treat a particular condition, whether that be COVID-19, or diseases where loss of autophagy is particularly relevant – neurodegenerative conditions seem a likely contender.


pages: 572 words: 124,222

San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities by Michael Shellenberger

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Bernie Sanders, business climate, centre right, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, crack epidemic, delayed gratification, desegregation, Donald Trump, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, housing crisis, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, meta-analysis, microaggression, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, remote working, rent control, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, Savings and loan crisis, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, South of Market, San Francisco, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, walkable city

In Philadelphia between 1948 and 1952, scholars found black men died from homicide at twelve times the rate of white men.63 A national survey found the same difference in 1950.64 Today, black Americans are seven to eight times more likely to die from homicide than white Americans.65 In 2019, the homicide rate for white people was 2.3 per 100,000 whereas it was 17.4 for black people.66 And in 2020, in the wake of summer protests against police violence, the homicide rate increased on average by more than one-third in America’s 57 largest cities. Homicides rose in 51 cities and declined in just 6 of them. Homicides rose 35 percent in Los Angeles, 31 percent in Oakland, 74 percent in Seattle, 63 percent in Portland, 60 percent in Chicago, and 47 percent in New York City.67 The coronavirus pandemic may have played a role. “Gangs are built around structure and lack thereof,” noted a Fresno, California, police officer. “With schools being closed and a lot of different businesses being closed, the people that normally would have been involved in positive structures in their lives aren’t there.”68 But there had been a similar spike in homicides in 2015 when there was no coronavirus pandemic.

In response, the leadership of the legislature, where Democrats hold a supermajority, moved Wiener out of any leadership role on housing legislation. A group of seven legislators formed a moderate alternative to Wiener and the YIMBYs on one side and NIMBY legislators on the other. The goal was to build consensus around policy that could pass in 2020. YIMBY leaders were optimistic in spring 2020, even after the coronavirus pandemic had begun, that they would pass legislation. “COVID has revealed the fragility of housing scarcity and has made it more urgent for us to not exacerbate it,” a pro-housing leader who asked to remain anonymous told me. “Something inspired by [Wiener’s legislation] SB50 will ram through.”62 But nothing of significance did.

Newsom appeared to make good on his commitment in April 2020 by helping San Francisco and other California cities use federal stimulus funding to rent hotel rooms for the homeless to shelter in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, an initiative called Project Roomkey. Doing so was an obvious win-win-win for hotel owners who could have been bankrupted by the pandemic, for the homeless who were uniquely vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19, and for the public. Jennifer Friedenbach of the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness praised Newsom, whom she had criticized fiercely over the years, telling National Public Radio, “I’m a big believer in redemption.”6 Newsom appears to understand that addiction and mental illness are core drivers of homelessness, and to genuinely care about the problem and the people impacted by it.


pages: 199 words: 48,162

Capital Allocators: How the World’s Elite Money Managers Lead and Invest by Ted Seides

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, business cycle, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, diversification, Everything should be made as simple as possible, family office, fixed income, high net worth, hindsight bias, impact investing, implied volatility, impulse control, index fund, Lean Startup, loss aversion, passive investing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Sharpe ratio, sovereign wealth fund, tail risk, The Wisdom of Crowds, Toyota Production System, zero-sum game

However, the biggest risk to portfolios is an unforeseen tail event. As the late Peter L. Bernstein said, “risk means you don’t know what will happen.” Financial setbacks over my career, which started a few years after the crash in 1987, included the dot.com bubble in 2000, the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and many smaller sell-offs along the way. Each of these were shocks to the system. Doctors referred to SARS-CoV-2 as a “novel” coronavirus. The sudden stop to economies around the world was indeed novel – it had never happened before. Each tail event reminds CIOs of the problems of assumptions that underpin models.

Part 2 discusses the frameworks modern CIOs employ in managing the money entrusted to them. The sequence from high level to the ground is as follows: Governance Investment strategy Investment process Technological innovation The section closes with a case study on how CIOs handled the uncertainty presented by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Chapter 6: Governance “You can’t have investment success with a bad governance structure.” – Karl Scheer A few years ago, a money manager I knew was preparing for its sixth meeting with a major endowment. They had met junior analysts, asset class specialists, and senior staff at the endowment’s office and their office, and they had spent a full day visiting portfolio companies together.

To learn more Podcasts Capital Allocators: Steve Galbraith – In the Boardroom (Ep.48) White Papers Best Governance Practices for Investment Committees, Greenwich Roundtable37 Principles of Investment Stewardship for Nonprofit Organizations, Commonfund Institute38 * * * 33. The timing of the removal of the hedge just before the Covid-19 crisis in March 2020 looked horrible. Six months later with the market fully recovered, Meng’s rationale of the undue cost of a hedge over the long term would have sounded a lot better. 34. “CalPERS board wrestling with how to delegate,” Pensions & Investments, September 21, 2020. 35.


pages: 334 words: 91,722

Brexit Unfolded: How No One Got What They Want (And Why They Were Never Going To) by Chris Grey

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, deindustrialization, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, game design, global pandemic, imperial preference, John Bercow, non-tariff barriers, open borders, reserve currency, Robert Mercer

But just as they were about to begin, something entirely unexpected and unprecedented was emerging which was to push Brexit from the headlines and to colour the entire negotiating proceedings: the global pandemic of a new and deadly virus. THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AND BREXIT There is no doubt a book to be written just on the way that the coronavirus – or Covid-19 – pandemic and Brexit intersected. For one thing, it meant that the future terms negotiations often took place by video conference, rather than face to face, which may have inflected them differently. It also meant that, at key times, members of the negotiating teams were in isolation and for a while the British Prime Minister was actually hospitalised.

That meant that the inevitably adverse consequences of a trade deal (compared with EU membership) could more easily be concealed. On the other hand, it potentially made a no-deal Brexit more politically viable. However, neither was risk-free since both meant a double hit from Brexit and from coronavirus. At all events, from March onwards the Brexit process and the coronavirus pandemic became inextricably intertwined. THE QUESTION OF TRANSITION PERIOD EXTENSION Rationally, the pandemic ought to have caused the government to extend the transition period, which was already considered by most experts to be too short to undertake a negotiation of such complexity. And, after all, its end date was only an artefact of the original Theresa May deal, struck at the time when the leaving date was still set as 29 March 2019.

It also seems likely that for some time to come the identities of ‘remainer’ and ‘leaver’ will continue to be significant features of the political and cultural landscape, very possibly inflecting traditional voting patterns as, to an extent, happened in the 2019 election. The bigger legacy of that would seem likely to be a moving culture war, taking in new issues apart from Brexit but always reflecting the divisions that Brexit both laid bare and magnified. That could already be seen in the way that, during the coronavirus pandemic, overlaps emerged between ‘lockdown sceptics’ and Brexiters, as discussed in Chapter Six. Indeed, Nigel Farage pivoted from making Brexit his main preoccupation to criticising the coronavirus restrictions (as well as treading his familiar territory of stoking panic about asylum seekers).


pages: 367 words: 97,136

Beyond Diversification: What Every Investor Needs to Know About Asset Allocation by Sebastien Page

Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, backtesting, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, business cycle, buy and hold, Cal Newport, capital asset pricing model, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, discounted cash flows, diversification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fixed income, future of work, G4S, implied volatility, index fund, information asymmetry, iterative process, loss aversion, market friction, mental accounting, merger arbitrage, oil shock, passive investing, prediction markets, publication bias, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk free rate, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, sovereign wealth fund, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, stocks for the long run, systematic trading, tail risk, transaction costs, value at risk, yield curve, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

See Jack Treynor (1961), Bill Sharpe (1964), John Lintner (1965), and Jan Mossin (1966). 2. “Professor William Sharpe Shares Nobel Prize for Economics,” gsb.stanford .edu. 3. As I finalize this book at the end of March 2020, equity markets have suffered one of their worst and fastest sell-offs in history due to the coronavirus pandemic, combined with a major oil shock. The Federal Reserve has aggressively lowered rates, and the three-month US Treasury bill is at zero. These are unusual circumstances. In this context, expected returns across asset classes should be about 1–2% lower due to lower rates, compared with those of 2018.

There was a bubble in cryptocurrencies, but it’s been deflating somewhat slowly and, so far, without systemic consequences. However, we do worry about latent risks such as the unprecedented levels of government debt and 0% interest rates outside the United States. As the events related to the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 continue to unfold, pundits like to compare this crisis with the 2008 financial crisis. Yet there are important differences. The 2008 crisis involved a speculative bubble in real estate. Systemic risk was high, in great part because banks owned structured products linked to this bubble.

Sector weights for industrials and materials have gone down over this period as well.5 Therefore, not only will the next crisis be different (as crises always are), but the sensitivity of US stocks to that new crisis will be different as well. They should be more resilient to an economic downturn that affects mostly cyclicals. Recent market performance during the coronavirus pandemic proves this point. Large technology companies have protected the S&P 500 from the much larger drawdown it would have experienced if it still had a 31% weight in financials and energy. These changes in sector weights also make time series analyses of valuation ratios on the S&P 500 less reliable.


The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations by Daniel Yergin

3D printing, 9 dash line, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, addicted to oil, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, British Empire, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, failed state, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Masdar, mass incarceration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, new economy, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, paypal mafia, peak oil, pension reform, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, super pumped, supply-chain management, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, ubercab, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

He succeeded in reforming the bankrupt pension system, which allowed government employees to retire early—in some circumstances, at fifty-six for men and fifty-three for women—and further opened up Brazil to the global economy and international investment. These developments restored confidence in Brazil’s prospects. But further reforms of the energy sector have been hampered by turbulent politics and a congress with more than twenty political parties. The coronavirus pandemic in 2020 hit Brazil hard, adding further to the political turbulence. Still, substantial new investment has been going into Brazil’s highly prospective offshore, and those waters are now one of the most active areas in the global oil industry.3 AMLO and Bolsonaro, coming to the presidencies of the two largest Latin American countries within a few weeks of each other, are leading their nations in opposite directions.

Yet, even with the slowdown, the United States had become the world’s number one oil producer. By February 2020, it had reached the highest level of production ever—thirteen million barrels per day—more than Saudi Arabia and Russia and on the way to tripling the level of 2008. At that moment struck the calamity of 2020—the coronavirus pandemic and the shutdown of the globalized world economy, which slammed shale as it did most industries. As a result of a drastic cutback in investment, shale output will go in reverse and decline. When growth returns, it will be at a slower pace. But, whatever the trajectory, shale is now established as a formidable resource

What was thought would be over in weeks, if not months, became a long war. The conflict has killed many civilians, displaced millions of people, put even more at risk of starvation, disrupted basic services like water and electricity as well as the medical system, precipitated cholera and diphtheria epidemics, and then COVID-19—altogether adding up to what the United Nations has described as a major humanitarian crisis.23 The Saudi-led air campaign has been criticized for indiscriminate targeting that was killing civilians, a critique extended to the United States, which has been supplying ordnance to the Saudis. For their part, the Houthis have been brutal and repressive in Yemen.


pages: 387 words: 123,237

This Land: The Struggle for the Left by Owen Jones

Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Boycotts of Israel, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Corn Laws, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, deindustrialization, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, European colonialism, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, housing crisis, market fundamentalism, Naomi Klein, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, open borders, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, short selling, The Spirit Level, War on Poverty

It’s 4 March 2020, and Britain is in the midst of an increasingly unsettling interlude: less than three months since Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party suffered electoral obliteration at the hands of Boris Johnson’s Brexit populists, and less than three weeks before Johnson’s government, belatedly recognizing the threat of the coronavirus pandemic, would impose a national lockdown. As I cycled to Mandelson’s offices, England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, was warning journalists that ‘some deaths’ were likely. A storm was coming, but as yet it remained rumblings of thunder in the distance. The old world was still intact, and it was ruled by a Conservative government drunk on triumphalism, rolling around in its newly acquired power, seemingly oblivious to everything else.

It nurtured a new ecosystem of think tanks, economists and intellectuals who are seriously engaged in debating what a new world could look like, brimming with ideas such as the four-day working week, a Green Industrial Revolution, and the democratization of the workplace and the economy. Just over three months after the 2019 election, British society was shut down in response to the coronavirus pandemic. ‘Boris must embrace socialism immediately to save the liberal free market,’ boomed the Telegraph, as the age of coronavirus dawned. Undoubtedly, the Conservative government had no choice but to enact the most dramatic expansion of the state in peacetime, which included paying the wages of half the country’s workforce.

Today, many of Corbyn’s opponents remain conceptually frozen in the late 1990s, when Tony Blair triumphed in Britain alongside like-minded political torchbearers in Western Europe and the United States. Simply through the process of laying claim to the mantle of Blairism, they believe both that they inherit a magical election-winning political formula, and that Blairism is an answer to today’s challenges. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic detonated like a bomb at the heart of the global economic system, the late 1990s felt like a different, faraway political universe – and a fantasy one at that. One in which the bubble of financialized capitalism seemed to guarantee an eternity of economic growth and living standards; or, so the mantra went, a rising tide that would lift all boats.


pages: 210 words: 65,833

This Is Not Normal: The Collapse of Liberal Britain by William Davies

Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, central bank independence, centre right, Chelsea Manning, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, credit crunch, deindustrialization, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, family office, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, ghettoisation, gig economy, global pandemic, global village, illegal immigration, Internet of things, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, loadsamoney, London Interbank Offered Rate, mass immigration, moral hazard, Neil Kinnock, Northern Rock, old-boy network, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, prediction markets, quantitative easing, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, statistical model, Steve Bannon, Steven Pinker, surveillance capitalism, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, universal basic income, web of trust, WikiLeaks, Yochai Benkler

The Windrush scandal of 2018, which saw black British citizens being terrorised by government bureaucracy and threatened with deportation (an effect of the ‘Hostile Environment’ immigration policy introduced in 2014), revealed a disregard for judicial norms that few had imagined the British state was capable of, at least within its own borders. Within two months of Britain’s departure from the European Union, the political establishment had been engulfed in the unprecedented chaos and horrors of the coronavirus pandemic. Johnson was forced to rein in his jocular nationalism, in an effort to look statesmanlike, serious and deferential to experts. But even then, the government couldn’t resist resorting to deceptive communications tactics, as the prime minister struggled to adopt the necessary gravitas. While the crisis emerged with little warning, ultimately to do far more economic damage to Britain than Brexit, it arrived at a time when trust in the media and politicians was already at a dangerously low ebb.

At the same time that small businesses were disappearing at a terrifying speed, Amazon took on tens of thousands of new workers. Social life became even more dependent on the social infrastructure of platform capitalism. The same platforms that were destabilising social and political life prior to the appearance of COVID-19 became virtually preconditions of society, placing a kind of wide-ranging constitutional power in the hands of private corporations. These are just some of the ways in which the credit derivative and the platform have transformed our political world in the twenty-first century. But there is more to it than this: they share a common logic, which eats away at integrity of public institutions.

Considerable uncertainty hovered around Johnson’s domestic agenda and his own political vision, which appeared to change depending on what was the easiest or most entertaining line to take from one moment to the next. In the event, Johnson enjoyed the shortest of honeymoons before an even bigger crisis than Brexit appeared in March 2020. Things were about to get a lot less normal. Once the scale and implications of the COVID-19 pandemic had become clear, the tone of the Johnson leadership became dramatically different. The bluster, recklessness, humour and optimism which his supporters adored were suddenly absent. At the very historical juncture when Britain had witnessed a popular revenge against unelected technocrats and liberal institutions, an emergency arrived that placed huge public demands on scientists and administrators, throwing statistics into the media spotlight for weeks on end.


pages: 442 words: 85,640

This Book Could Fix Your Life: The Science of Self Help by New Scientist, Helen Thomson

caloric restriction, caloric restriction, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, global pandemic, hedonic treadmill, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, meta-analysis, microbiome, placebo effect, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, risk tolerance, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Steve Jobs, sunk-cost fallacy, survivorship bias, Walter Mischel

It might seem like some new-age mumbo-jumbo, but this simple act is backed by plenty of studies that show how writing about good experiences increases people’s life satisfaction, with the benefits lingering for at least two weeks after the task.4 It doesn’t have to be a long diary entry. During the coronavirus pandemic, this was the first tool I turned to, using Instagram to write about one positive thing that I experienced each day with the hashtag #littlebitoflovely. It not only helped me feel happier while I was posting, but I also felt it had an influence on my general well-being throughout the day, making me more mindful of the good aspects of my life as they were occurring.

The WHO goes so far as to class it as a group 1 carcinogen, because of a strong link between alcohol consumption and cancer, and says there is no safe level of consumption. And, of course, excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of death from accidents and violence. While there seems to be a downward trend in drinking among younger people in the UK, we may expect to see fluctuations in this pattern as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout. Deaths from liver disease rose in the United States after the 2008 financial crisis, with a particularly sharp rise in alcohol-related cirrhosis among young people, a reverse of the previous decade where deaths from cirrhosis were falling. Because of the timing of the upswing in deaths, the researchers suspected it could be connected to unemployment and other economic factors resulting from the financial crisis.

HOW TO STOP OVEREATING If you feel like your diet has completely gone to pot during a year of coronavirus lockdowns in which you’ve struggled to find your regular food, and been stressed and bored – known risk factors for overeating – then you’re not alone. Emerging evidence suggests that many people, in the UK at least, are struggling to resist the comforts of food more than ever. Weight gain and its negative impact on our health might be an unforeseen consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. An unhealthy diet is often blamed on poor choices and a lack of willpower. We’ve already looked in Chapter 6 at some ways you can train your brain into choosing healthier foods. But new research reveals another line of attack specifically if you find that you are consistently overeating.


pages: 371 words: 109,320

News and How to Use It: What to Believe in a Fake News World by Alan Rusbridger

airport security, basic income, Boris Johnson, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, ghettoisation, global pandemic, Google Earth, hive mind, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Murray Gell-Mann, Narrative Science, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, profit motive, publication bias, Seymour Hersh, Snapchat, Steve Bannon, the scientific method, universal basic income, WikiLeaks, yellow journalism

Both developments mirrored long-established practices in the supposedly more open White House press room, where the TV cameras are quickly switched off and the named briefer magically turns into ‘a senior administration official speaking on conditions of anonymity’. But such is the scale of mistrust in an age of partisan and populist politics that by 2020 traditional White House briefings had almost ceased to exist until the coronavirus pandemic left Donald Trump and his officials no choice but to deal again with the ‘fake media’ they had ruthlessly denigrated. A similar Covid-19 adjustment was required in Downing Street, where Boris Johnson’s Svengali, Dominic Cummings, had started to follow Trump’s aggressive media marginalisation, to the point of hiring No. 10 its own photographer and TV crew, who were able to provide tame ‘interviews’ with no awkward questions.

<Hannah-Jones, Nikole. ‘The Problem We All Live With – Part One.’ This American Life podcast, 31 July 2015. <https://www.thisamericanlife.org/562/the-problem-we-all-live-with-part-one> Harris, John. ‘The experts are back in fashion as Covid-19’s reality bites’. The Guardian, 15 March 2020. <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/15/experts-fashion-covid-19-reality-bites-trump-johnson> Hasan, Mehdi. ‘Dear Bashar Al-Assad Apologists: Your Hero Is a War Criminal Even If He Didn’t Gas Syrians’. The Intercept, 19 April 2018. <https://theintercept.com/2018/04/19/dear-bashar-al-assad-apologists-your-hero-is-a-war-criminal-even-if-he-didnt-gas-syrians/> Hastings, Max.

Some news outlets – initially, at least – seemed unable to imagine the scale of what was happening: it was easier to report on what videos Boris Johnson was watching in his hospital bed than on the hundreds dying every day all around. The newsrooms that had jettisoned their health or science correspondents struggled. The idiots who suggested that 5G phone masts could be spreading the disease encouraged arson and trashed their own brand. So, it was a mixed picture. Covid-19 could not have announced itself at a worse time in terms of the question about whom to believe. Survey after survey has shown unprecedented confusion over where to place trust. Nearly two-thirds of adults polled by Edelman in 2018 said they could no longer tell a responsible source of news from the opposite.


pages: 383 words: 105,387

The Power of Geography: Ten Maps That Reveal the Future of Our World by Tim Marshall

Ayatollah Khomeini, Boris Johnson, British Empire, carbon footprint, centre right, clean water, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, disinformation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, European colonialism, failed state, glass ceiling, global pandemic, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, low earth orbit, Malacca Straits, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, trade route, uranium enrichment, urban planning, women in the workforce

They pour reinforcements into a certain area for, say, twelve hours, then overwhelm a government army outpost, before disappearing again.’ One of the worst cases came in December 2019, when an attack on an army base in Niger killed seventy-one soldiers. In January 2020 another eighty-nine were killed, and then in late March, as the world’s attention fixated on the coronavirus pandemic, Boko Haram ambushed a military encampment of Chadian soldiers near Lake Chad. In a seven-hour battle they killed at least ninety-two heavily armed troops, making it the deadliest attack ever suffered by the Chadian military. Questions began to be asked about how the country can hold together.

Battle has commenced. Australia is the largest aid donor to the Pacific Islands, but China has been increasing financial aid and loans and, as it did elsewhere, was quick to move in when the Covid-19 virus struck. In April 2020 a Royal Australian Air Force plane carrying aid to the island of Vanuatu was approaching Port Vila airport when it spotted a Chinese plane on the single runway which had arrived carrying PPE and other Covid-19-related equipment. Despite being cleared to land, it turned round and flew the 2,000 kilometres back home. Everyone argues about whether it was, or was not, safe to land, but the point remained – the Chinese were on the ground.

Australia is still a long way from anyone who might come to its physical assistance but technologically the world has moved closer. Covid-19 made Australia more aware of the limitations of the ‘just in time’ economic system, and, like many countries, has hardened its attitude towards being China-dependent and allowing China into critical infrastructure projects, freezing out China’s Huawei company from Australia’s 5G network – a bold move. The relationship can be fragile. In the summer of 2020, when Prime Minister Morrison called for an international inquiry into the origins of the Covid-19 virus, this was seen in Beijing as an attack on China. Within days Chinese customs officials noticed ‘issues’ with the labelling on some imported Australian beef products and imposed a ban on supplies.


pages: 329 words: 100,162

Hype: How Scammers, Grifters, and Con Artists Are Taking Over the Internet―and Why We're Following by Gabrielle Bluestone

Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, cashless society, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, financial thriller, forensic accounting, gig economy, global pandemic, high net worth, hockey-stick growth, Hyperloop, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Naomi Klein, Netflix Prize, NetJets, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, WeWork

In September 2019, he was busted with a smuggled recording device, an infraction for which he was placed in solitary confinement for three months and then transferred to a low-security prison in Ohio. From time to time I’ll get an email or a call from someone claiming to be his cellmate offering me information about him, but other than that it’s been pretty quiet. But then his name started popping up again in early April 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic swept across the United States. According to the New York Post, McFarland had started a project from behind bars to crowdfund money to cover the fees associated with making phone calls in prison. He was calling it Project-315. To announce the initiative, McFarland published a twelve-paragraph letter, ten of which were dedicated to a discussion of his own personal growth as a man and as a CEO.232 “I’d like you to know that I know how badly I messed up,” he wrote.

Prosecutors also pointed out that not only had McFarland never mentioned health problems before, but in a recent medical exam, he indicated he had no allergies or respiratory or cardiovascular problems. But Elkton, the Ohio prison to which McFarland had been transferred, reportedly had an outbreak of COVID-19 so bad the National Guard had to be called in. On July 4, McFarland tested positive for coronavirus. “Tested positive for COVID today,” McFarland told a New York Post reporter. “Being put in isolation in a big room with 160 other people who have it at this jail.”234 Like many things after COVID-19, McFarland’s status was no longer funny. But for such a serious ordeal, it would seem not much was learned. In October, McFarland was sent back to solitary confinement, this time for launching a podcast from prison, which had been recorded over the phone.

Rebecca Rosenberg, "Fyre Fest’s Billy McFarland Shouldn’t Be Freed Amid Outbreak: Prosecutors," Page Six, April 28, 2020, https://pagesix.com/2020/04/28/billy-mcfarland-shouldnt-be-freed-amid-coronavirus-prosecutors/. 234. Doree Lewak, "Fyre Fest Fraudster Billy McFarland Contracts COVID-19 in Prison," New York Post, July 4, 2020, https://nypost.com/2020/07/04/fyre-fest-fraudster-billy-mcfarland-contracts-covid-19-in-prison. 235.Sarah Tulloch, "Jamie Dornan Addresses Backlash Over ‘Cringeworthy’ Celebrity Cover of John Lennon’s Imagine," Belfast Telegraph, April 8, 2020, https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/entertainment/news/jamie-dornan-addresses-backlash-over-cringeworthy-celebrity-cover-of-john-lennons-imagine-39113711.html.


pages: 535 words: 103,761

100 Years of Identity Crisis: Culture War Over Socialisation by Frank Furedi

1960s counterculture, 23andMe, Cass Sunstein, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Trump, epigenetics, Gunnar Myrdal, Herbert Marcuse, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, New Urbanism, nudge unit, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen

It seeks to justify itself on the basis of expertise and process rather than political vision. It self-consciously eschews politics and attempts to de-politicise controversial issues by outsourcing their management and decision making to expert institutions, courts and international bodies such as the International Monetary Fund. Except in unusual circumstances, such as during the coronavirus pandemic, when politicians explicitly gave way to scientists, technocratic governance rarely exists in a pure form. And with good reason: on its own, technocratic governance cannot motivate or inspire people. This is why a technocracy relies for its credibility on policies and ideals that are external to itself.

Their leaders advocate ‘technoscientific means to achieve happiness, a total control of emotions, and an improvement of human character’.755 Moral neuroenhancement, unlike previous forms of moral engineering, ‘operates by altering brain states or processes directly’, through the application of drugs or the use of brain modulation techniques.756 Although occasionally there are outcries against the influence and power of experts, technocratic and therapeutic governance itself is rarely a focus of political dispute. During the coronavirus pandemic the different sides of the argument over the efficacy of lockdown and quarantine measures sought to legitimate their argument by justifying it on the ground of their mental health impact. All sides of the debate appeared to have internalised the fundamentals of the therapeutic ethos but drew different political conclusions from it.

Technocrats are constantly asking the question ‘which nudging techniques can we use to further increase awareness?’764 They believe that through psychological manipulation they can create public awareness that ensures that ‘very large numbers of people form powerful groupings, like a “swarm”, to produce massive social outcomes’.765 The extensive use of nudging and behavioural economics during the coronavirus pandemic illustrates how the engineering of people’s ‘decision making’ rapidly displaced open politically informed guidance and leadership. The ethos and practice of raising awareness is based on the unstated and often unacknowledged assumption that behavioural change is important for both the individual and for society.


pages: 651 words: 186,130

This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race by Nicole Perlroth

4chan, active measures, activist lawyer, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blood diamonds, Boeing 737 MAX, Brian Krebs, cloud computing, commoditize, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, defense in depth, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, gender pay gap, global pandemic, global supply chain, index card, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, MITM: man-in-the-middle, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, offshore financial centre, open borders, pirate software, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ransomware, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Seymour Hersh, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, Steve Ballmer, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

When a mobile app Democrats used to report results from their Iowa primary caucus imploded in public view in February, I watched as Russian trolls retweeted and stoked Americans who falsely believed the app was a ploy by Hillary Clinton’s inner circle to wrest the election from Bernie Sanders. When the coronavirus pandemic took hold, I watched those same Russian accounts retweet Americans who surmised Covid-19 was an American-made bioweapon or an insidious plot by Bill Gates to profit off the eventual vaccine. And as the world stood still waiting for that vaccine, Russian trolls worked overtime to legitimize the vaccination debate, just as they had during the worst of Ukraine’s measles outbreak one year earlier. They retweeted Americans who challenged official Covid-19 statistics, protested the lockdowns, and doubted the benefits of wearing a mask.

We’ve caught Iranian hackers rifling through our dams. Our hospitals, towns, cities, and, more recently, our gas pipelines have been held hostage with ransomware. We have caught foreign allies repeatedly using cyber means to spy on and harass innocent civilians, including Americans. And over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, the usual suspects, like China and Iran, and newer players, like Vietnam and South Korea, are targeting the institutions leading our response. The pandemic is global, but the response has been anything but. Allies and adversaries alike are resorting to cyberespionage to glean whatever they can about each country’s containment, treatments, and response.

Ukraine’s outbreak was already spreading back to the States, where Russian trolls were now pushing anti-vaxxer memes on Americans. American officials seemed at a loss for how to contain it. (And they were no better prepared when, one year later, Russians seized on the pandemic to push conspiracy theories that Covid-19 was an American-made bioweapon, or a sinister plot by Bill Gates to profit off vaccines.) There seemed no bottom to the lengths Russia was willing to go to divide and conquer. But that winter of 2019, most agreed that NotPetya was the Kremlin’s boldest work to date. There was not a single person I met in Kyiv over the course of those two weeks who did not remember the attack.


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Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century by Jeff Lawson

Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, bitcoin, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, create, read, update, delete, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, DevOps, Elon Musk, financial independence, global pandemic, global supply chain, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, microservices, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, ubercab, web application, Y Combinator

Die means recruiting great developers, but more important, putting faith in those developers, turning to them not just for code but for creative problem-solving. In other words, Ask Your Developer. As I was finishing the book something happened that made this transformation far more urgent. The coronavirus pandemic that struck in early 2020 forced the world to reconfigure itself in real time as cities shut down, children learned at home, companies sent workers home, hospitals were overwhelmed with patients, and more. Suddenly digital transformation projects slated to take place over several years were happening in days or weeks.

Like everyone else, Twilio sent our employees home and kept the company running with everyone working remotely. That was especially challenging because our business didn’t drop off during the global shutdown. Our customers asked their developers to invent solutions to the onslaught of problems that COVID-19 brought them. Instead of taking it easy, our three thousand–plus Twilions were running harder than ever to handle a surge of demand from our existing customers and thousands of new customers who needed help—right away. From our front-row seat, we saw innovation that demonstrated so many of the principles I’ve written about in this book.

The experience left me humbled—and grateful to have such amazing colleagues. To every single Twilion I cannot say this enough: thank you. These quick rollouts also taught us a few things. First was how great things can happen when people stop worrying about making mistakes or not getting everything perfect the first time around. During the COVID-19 crisis, change was free. There were no alternatives, no office politics, and no fear of mistakes—because the alternatives were far worse. It’s what happens when management doesn’t have time to hold a bunch of meetings, to send requests and approvals up and down the chain of command or to insist on huge master plans that never end up being what you build anyway.


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New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI by Frank Pasquale

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, algorithmic bias, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, coronavirus, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, decarbonisation, deskilling, digital twin, disinformation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, finite state, Flash crash, future of work, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, high net worth, hiring and firing, Ian Bogost, independent contractor, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, late capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, medical malpractice, meta-analysis, Modern Monetary Theory, Money creation, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, obamacare, paradox of thrift, pattern recognition, payday loans, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Philip Mirowski, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit motive, QR code, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, smart cities, smart contracts, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Bannon, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telepresence, telerobotics, The Future of Employment, Therac-25, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing test, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, wage slave, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working poor, Works Progress Administration, zero day

The business case for service robots is obvious—they do not need to be paid, to sleep, or to be motivated to stay on task. So long as there are tourists looking for a bargain or business travel departments looking to cut down expenses, hoteliers will want robot cleaners, receptionists, doormen, and concierges. All those jobs may become as obsolete as elevator operators. The coronavirus pandemic has created even more pressures to reduce human interactions in service industries. Lockdowns of indefinite duration made the case for robotics better than any business guru. When warehouse operators, meat packers, and farmworkers fear catching a deadly virus at work, robotization of their roles may appear outright humanitarian (if paired with some plausible promise of basic income provision and future jobs).

See also unions colleges and universities: aims of, 63–64; for caregivers, 192; citizens entitled to four years of, 175; content of (intrinsic vs. instrumental), 178–179; costs of, 85, 87; evaluation in, 141–142; for-profit, 134; free, 135; making students “robot-proof,” 173–174; online, 84–86; STEM training at, 173. See also student debt conspiracy theories, 94, 98, 113 consumer protection, 15, 58, 201; and deceptive marketing, 102 contact tracing, 11 content moderation, 91, 95, 96, 107, 117–118 copyright infringement, 165 coronaviruses. See COVID-19 pandemic; pandemics “cost disease,” 171–172, 186–190, 196, 198, 299n68 COVID-19 pandemic, 100, 166, 191, 194; and data deficiencies, 243n3; and essential workers, 172–173; preparedness for, 159–160, 184–185; and recovery of jobs, 185–186, 195; and universities, 62 Crary, Jonathan, 217 credit and credit scoring, 10, 30, 131–136, 140, 282n83.

By focusing the technology on routine questions, Goel and his team are committing to a human-respecting near term, where software primarily aids existing educators.5 On the other hand, whatever the intentions of computer scientists, strong political and economic currents will push innovations like JW in another direction—toward replacing teachers and constant monitoring of students. Georgia was one of many states to slash funding for public education in the wake of the Great Recession. The COVID-19 crisis has pressured universities to cut costs further and put more material online. Powerful players in education policy, ranging from globally influential foundations to top level bureaucrats in Washington and Brussels are also fixated on cost cutting. Instead of raising taxes to expand existing universities, California in 2016 deployed a poorly thought out set of online courses to make up for a lack of slots in its colleges.6 AI (to teach) and robotics (to monitor testing) are a plausible next step, given the need for such courses to monitor students in order to prevent cheating and discipline inattention.


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Trillions: How a Band of Wall Street Renegades Invented the Index Fund and Changed Finance Forever by Robin Wigglesworth

Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, Bear Stearns, Benoit Mandelbrot, Brownian motion, buy and hold, California gold rush, capital asset pricing model, cloud computing, commoditize, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate raider, Covid-19, COVID-19, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fixed income, Henri Poincaré, index fund, industrial robot, invention of the wheel, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Louis Bachelier, money market fund, Myron Scholes, New Journalism, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, Performance of Mutual Funds in the Period, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, random walk, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the scientific method, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund

Regardless, it is abundantly clear that for the foreseeable future, the gushing inflows into traditional index funds and ETFs are going to continue—even though the impact on markets, the investment management business, and the finance industry as a whole is also becoming more apparent. Chapter 16 THE NEW CAPTAINS OF CAPITAL TESLA’S STOCK WENT ON A wild ride in 2020, powered by the devotion of the electric car company’s army of ordinary investors, who were suddenly stuck at home and day-trading their stimulus checks to pass time while the coronavirus pandemic raged. But in November, the rally received another huge jolt that would help make Elon Musk’s company one of the most valuable in the world. Despite its dramatic stock market gains over the past decade, S&P Dow Jones Indices—one of the biggest providers of financial benchmarks—had long refrained from adding Tesla to its flagship index, the S&P 500, for one simple reason: To be included, a company has to be consistently profitable, a requirement that Tesla had struggled to meet.

BlackRock, fearful that the debacle might harm the image of the broader ETF universe, put out an unusually bluntly worded statement: “Inverse and leveraged exchange-traded products are not ETFs, and they don’t perform like ETFs under stress. That’s why iShares does not offer them.”10 Many inverse, leveraged, and otherwise derivatives-based ETPs suffered another blow in the market mayhem that followed the COVID-19 pandemic. Over forty—most of which linked to commodity indices—were quickly aborted by their sponsors, while others had their wings clipped, but not before causing some ructions.11 For example, USO, an ETF that invests in oil derivatives, contributed to the remarkable sight of US crude prices in April 2020 briefly falling into negative territory for the first time in history.

Most major tracts of industry real estate are now utterly and likely permanently controlled by a handful of big players, chiefly BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street. Most major and minor niches likewise. There will undoubtedly be more product innovation in the index fund industry, of varying usefulness and value. Yet it is revealing that there has been a steady uptick in ETF closures in recent years. The shakeout caused by COVID-19 has lifted the population of the ETP graveyard to well over the thousand-casualties mark. More are undoubtedly coming. Some industry insiders are therefore more excited by what they think could be the next big iteration in the indexing revolution: direct indexing. Netzly is not alone in wanting more customizable index funds—for example, ones that screen out coal companies or arms manufacturers.


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Welcome to Britain: Fixing Our Broken Immigration System by Colin Yeo;

barriers to entry, Boris Johnson, British Empire, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Trump, G4S, illegal immigration, immigration reform, low skilled workers, lump of labour, self-driving car, Skype, Socratic dialogue

Because of the net migration target discussed in Chapter 2, and by means of the hostile environment policies discussed in Chapter 3, we have seen the introduction of a raft of policies actively encouraging race discrimination in day-to-day life. Meanwhile, other aspects of immigration policy discussed in this book have deliberately dampened the life outcomes for migrants who settle here, in a vain attempt to deter them from coming in the first place. The twin shocks of Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic that was taking hold as this book went to press give us an opportunity to change direction and embrace a more equal, fair and respectful approach to those migrants who make this country their home. NOTES 1 See Winder, Bloody Foreigners, pp. 279–81 and ‘Nicholas Winton, Rescuer of 669 Children from Holocaust, Dies at 106’, New York Times, 1 July 2015. 2 See for example Randell Hansen, Citizenship and Immigration in Post-War Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) and Goodfellow, Hostile Environment. 3 See Will Somerville, Immigration under New Labour (Bristol: Policy Press, 2007), p. 14 and Winder, Bloody Foreigners, pp. 330–31. 4 ‘Papers released under 30-year rule reveal full force of Thatcher’s fury’, The Guardian, 30 December 2009. 5 Winder, Bloody Foreigners. 6 Hansen, Citizenship and Immigration in Post-War Britain, pp. 57, 59. 7 Ibid. 8 Gary Freeman, writing in Cornelius, Tsuda, Martin and Hollifield (eds), Controlling Immigration: A Global Perspective (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994). 9 See for example ‘Dutch woman with two British children told to leave UK after 24 years’, The Guardian, 28 December 2016.

For the past twenty years, the discussion of economic migration has centred around skilled migration. However, with the end of European Union free movement rules following Brexit, the next twenty years may focus more on how to meet the needs of the British economy for unskilled labour. At the time of writing, just as the coronavirus pandemic was starting, the unemployment rate was approaching an historic low of just 3.8 per cent. With workers therefore in short supply, failing to provide a lawful source of labour to fill low-skilled vacancies could result in driving up wages (and therefore prices) or increasing productivity or both.

The decision was reversed some six weeks later after a media outcry, but she died a year afterwards.49 There are also reports of very ill patients wrongly being turned away by hospitals and pregnant women being afraid to seek antenatal care for fear of the immigration consequences, with obvious risks to their own health and the health of their babies.50 As has been starkly illustrated by the coronavirus crisis, other illnesses are contagious and have wider public health implications. It is critically important that vaccination rates are very high amongst the public, for example, and that transmissible conditions such as HIV, tuberculosis or new diseases like Covid-19 are identified and treated. By denying healthcare to afflicted people and making them scared of going to the doctor, it can be argued that the hostile environment represents a risk not just to individuals but to public health in general. Inculcating a fear of the authorities is problematic in policing, as well as in public health.


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How to Survive a Pandemic by Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM

coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, double helix, friendly fire, global pandemic, global supply chain, global village, inventory management, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, meta-analysis, New Journalism, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, phenotype, profit motive, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, statistical model, stem cell, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, Westphalian system, Y2K, Yogi Berra

“From my perspective,” Osterholm said, “we pray, plan, and practice … We have to plan as if this will happen tonight.”3226 Just as past experience with SARS may have helped countries like Singapore and Taiwan better deal with COVID-19, hard lessons from the coronavirus pandemic will hopefully translate into global readiness for the next one. Pandemic planning needs to be on the agenda of every institution, including every school board, every food distributor, every mortuary, every town hall, and every legislature.3227 The corporate world seemed to have been the first to have awakened to the pandemic threat long before COVID-19 erupted. Corporations from Boeing to Microsoft to Starbucks started mobilizing continuity plans back in 2005,3228 though details were considered “privileged company information.”3229 Microsoft reportedly distributed bottles of hand sanitizers to all of its sixty-three thousand employees worldwide.3230 The national U.S. preparedness plan, however, still remained to be employed across the country.

Of the home’s 130 or so residents, 101 became infected, and more than a third lost their lives.2755 On autopsy, the respiratory surface of the lung under a microscope appears obliterated by scar tissue.2756 Pulmonary fibrosis (lung scarring) is expected to become one of the long-term complications among survivors of serious COVID-19 infection.2757 A six-month follow-up of SARS survivors found about one in three showed evidence of scarring on chest x-rays, and one in six suffered a significant impairment in lung function.2758 Death from COVID-19 comes from progressive “consolidation” of the lung, meaning your lungs start filling up with something other than air. In the case of regular pneumonia, it’s largely pus. In COVID-19 pneumonia, postmortems show you drown in lungs that are “filled with clear liquid jelly.”2759 How to Treat COVID-19 At the time I am writing this in April 2020, there is no specific, proven therapy for COVID-19.

Walker PGT, Whittaker C, Watson O, Baguelin M, Ainslie KEC, Bhatia S, Bhatt S, Boonyasiri A, Boyd O, Cattarino L, et al. 2020 Mar 26. Report 12. The global impact of COVID-19 and strategies for mitigation and suppression. MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, Imperial College London. [accessed 2020 Apr 8]. https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mrc-global-infectious-disease-analysis/covid-19/report-12-global-impact-covid-19/ 138. American Hospital Association. 2020 Feb 20. Coronavirus update: register for AHA members-only webinars on Feb. 21 and Feb. 26 related to novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Chicago: AHA; [accessed 2020 Mar 30]. https://www.aha.org/advisory/2020-02-20-coronavirus-update-register-aha-members-only-webinars-feb-21-and-feb-26-related. 139.


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Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future by Elizabeth Kolbert

Albert Einstein, big-box store, clean water, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Davies, double helix, Hernando de Soto, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Maui Hawaii, moral hazard, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, Whole Earth Catalog

Lackner and Christophe Jospe, “Climate Change Is a Waste Management Problem,” Issues in Science and Technology, 33 (2017), issues.org/climate-change-is-a-waste-management-problem/. “Such a moral stance”: Lackner and Jospe, “Climate Change Is a Waste Management Problem.” global CO2 emissions were down: Chris Mooney, Brady Dennis, and John Muyskens, “Global Emissions Plunged an Unprecedented 17 Percent during the Coronavirus Pandemic,” The Washington Post (May 19, 2020), washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2020/05/19/greenhouse-emissions-coronavirus/?arc404=true. How long, exactly, is a complicated question: Individual carbon molecules are constantly cycling between atmosphere and oceans and between both of these and the world’s vegetation.

They all developed writing and they all developed religion and they all built cities, all at the same time, because the climate was stable. I think that if the climate would have been stable fifty thousand years ago, it would have started then. But they had no chance.” * * * — I was contemplating another trip to Greenland, where Steffensen and his colleagues were drilling a new ice core, when COVID-19 hit. Suddenly everyone’s plans were upended, including my own. As borders closed and flights were canceled, travel to the ice sheet—or, for that matter, pretty much anywhere—became impractical. Here I was, trying to finish a book about the world spinning out of control, only to find the world spinning so far out of control that I couldn’t finish the book.


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Attention Factory: The Story of TikTok and China's ByteDance by Matthew Brennan

Airbnb, AltaVista, augmented reality, computer vision, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, invisible hand, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, paypal mafia, Pearl River Delta, pre–internet, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Travis Kalanick, WeWork, Y Combinator

ByteDance would be able to partially allocate advertising inventory to its own suite of products, accurately targeting and acquiring new users across the globe with speed and minimal cost without having to hand over money and data to the online advertising duopoly gatekeepers of Facebook and Google. As the coronavirus pandemic spread across the world in early 2020, people found themselves quarantined inside their homes for weeks, leading into months. While airlines, hotels, and restaurants went bankrupt, demand for online entertainment skyrocketed, causing downloads of TikTok to hit all-time highs. The app was the perfect fix for those desperate for distraction, locked inside suffering from the cruel combination of stress and boredom.

active_status=all&ad_type=political_and_issue_ads&country=ALL&impression_search_field=has_impressions_lifetime&q=tiktok&view_all_page_id=153080620724&sort_data[direction]=desc&sort_data[mode]=relevancy_monthly_grouped What a difference a year makes . The world in which I began writing this book and the world we find ourselves in today seem so very distant. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down. Working from home, travel bans, and mask-wearing became a part of daily life. A military border clash between India and China led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers. 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok found themselves subsequently removed from Indian app stores.


pages: 303 words: 74,206

GDP: The World’s Most Powerful Formula and Why It Must Now Change by Ehsan Masood

"Robert Solow", anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, centre right, clean water, colonial rule, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, energy security, European colonialism, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Mahbub ul Haq, mass immigration, means of production, Mohammed Bouazizi, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, statistical model, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, Washington Consensus, wealth creators

Strong Seven: “As Vulgar as GDP” Eight: Exporting Shangri-La Nine: $33 Trillion Man Ten: Stern Lessons Eleven: “Nothing Is More Destructive of Democracy” Epilogue: Unfinished Revolution A Note on Symbols Acknowledgments Bibliography Index About the Author Copyright PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION The world of 2021 seems barely recognizable from 2016 when the first edition of this book (under its original title The Great Invention), was published in the United States. As I write this (at the start of 2021), the coronavirus pandemic has taken close to 2 million lives and infected nearly 100 million people, and continues to decimate economies. Most of the world, with the exception of East Asia, is in some form of lockdown. Hundreds of millions, especially the lowest-paid workers in service industries, have become jobless.

The industrialization of the past few centuries has pumped enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to put the world on track to dangerous global warming. At the same time, a sixth mass extinction3 is becoming more likely as humans continue to encroach into nature to build more homes, new railways, and entire new cities—simultaneously increasing the risks of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19.4 All of this means that economic recovery needs to be greener if climate change, biodiversity loss and future pandemics are to be avoided. But the problem with measuring economic activity using GDP is that it rewards traditional, fossil fuel-powered economic development. In contrast, greener development takes longer and cannot be achieved in the time it takes for governments to sanction what are called ‘shovel-ready’ projects that can deliver faster growth.


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Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman

"side hustle", airport security, Albert Einstein, Cal Newport, coronavirus, COVID-19, Douglas Hofstadter, Frederick Winslow Taylor, gig economy, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Inbox Zero, income inequality, invention of the steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, New Journalism, Parkinson's law, profit motive, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

It’s hard to imagine a crueler arrangement: not only are our four thousand weeks constantly running out, but the fewer of them we have left, the faster we seem to lose them. And if our relationship to our limited time has always been a difficult one, recent events have brought matters to a head. In 2020, in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, with our normal routines suspended, many people reported feeling that time was disintegrating completely, giving rise to the disorienting impression that their days were somehow simultaneously racing by and dragging on interminably. Time divided us, even more than it had before: for those with jobs and small children at home, there wasn’t enough of it; for those furloughed or unemployed, there was too much.

This is a perspective from which you can finally ask the most fundamental question of time management: What would it mean to spend the only time you ever get in a way that truly feels as though you are making it count? The Great Pause Sometimes this perceptual jolt affects a whole society at once. I wrote the first draft of this chapter under lockdown in New York City, during the coronavirus pandemic, when, amid the grief and anxiety, it became normal to hear people express a sort of bittersweet gratitude for what they were experiencing: that even though they were furloughed and losing sleep about the rent, it was a genuine joy to see more of their children, or to rediscover the pleasures of planting flowers or baking bread.

From this new perspective, it becomes possible to see that preparing nutritious meals for your children might matter as much as anything could ever matter, even if you won’t be winning any cooking awards; or that your novel’s worth writing if it moves or entertains a handful of your contemporaries, even though you know you’re no Tolstoy. Or that virtually any career might be a worthwhile way to spend a working life, if it makes things slightly better for those it serves. Furthermore, it means that if what we learn from the experience of the coronavirus pandemic is to become just a little more attuned to the needs of our neighbors, we’ll have learned something valuable as a result of the “Great Pause,” no matter how far off the root-and-branch transformation of society remains. Cosmic insignificance therapy is an invitation to face the truth about your irrelevance in the grand scheme of things.


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The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy by Katherine M. Gehl, Michael E. Porter

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, business cycle, capital controls, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, David Brooks, deindustrialization, disintermediation, Donald Trump, first-past-the-post, future of work, guest worker program, hiring and firing, Ida Tarbell, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, Menlo Park, new economy, obamacare, pension reform, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair, zero-sum game

The threat of the next binary election continues to outweigh at times the pressing concerns of the day when it comes to proactive lawmaking in Congress. Finally, as with the Cold War, 9/11, and the Great Recession, there will be American children who remember where they were when the news of the coronavirus pandemic first broke and what happened to their families during the nation’s response to it. The pandemic and its aftermath will define generations. But it could also redefine our politics. When a new normal comes, there will be a moment; a window for big, sweeping change. For the good of all Americans, and to honor those we will have lost and the sacrifices made by so many, we pray that enough of us will put country over party and invest in the political innovation that can revivify our politics with healthy competition—and make sure we don’t get caught unprepared again.

We’re excited about the possibilities. This book arrives not a moment too soon. Please engage—we owe it to our extraordinary country to do so. Authors’ Note Pandemic 2020 As publishing deadlines pass for The Politics Industry, the world is racing to beat back a nationless, faceless, dangerous adversary: the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Currently, one in four Americans have been ordered to “shelter in place.”1 Metropolitan hospitals are becoming overwhelmed, medical supplies are running short, and getting infected appears to be easier than getting tested. Many predict a trailing economic depression, with impacts that could be more painful for our country than those of the virus itself.2 It is surreal.


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Dangerous Ideas: A Brief History of Censorship in the West, From the Ancients to Fake News by Eric Berkowitz

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, colonial rule, coronavirus, COVID-19, disinformation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Index librorum prohibitorum, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, microaggression, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, New Urbanism, pre–internet, QAnon, Ralph Nader, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, source of truth, Steve Bannon, surveillance capitalism, undersea cable, WikiLeaks

While most of the comments were forgotten, they and some very tangible actions against his perceived media enemies have collectively “dangerously undermined truth” and chilled critical reporting, as a 2020 report by the Committee to Protect Journalists concludes.36 According to a lawsuit filed by PEN America, a nonprofit association of writers and media professionals, about one-third of its members avoided reporting on certain topics out of concern over potential retaliation, and more than half believed criticism of the administration would put them at risk.37 Disfavored reporters such as CNN’s Jim Acosta were barred from the White House; threats to revoke the broadcast licenses of TV networks were made for airing an ad that highlighted the deficiencies of Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic; actions were taken to raise postal rates to target Amazon, whose CEO, Jeff Bezos, is the majority shareholder of the Washington Post; and an antitrust action was filed to challenge a merger between AT&T and Time Warner, whose subsidiary is CNN. The full impact of such efforts will take time to gauge.

A 2018 Reuters investigation found that despite Facebook’s commitment to combat hate speech against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, hundreds of such items remained, some of which called them dogs, maggots, or rapists, and suggested they be exterminated.66 When far-right American extremists used Facebook to exploit the coronavirus pandemic to promote a race war, Facebook was unable to prevent such pages from proliferating.67 This is not surprising, given that as of January 2020, Facebook’s third-party fact checkers were reviewing a paltry two hundred to three hundred articles in the US per month out of millions posted each day.68 Its other content moderators, who number in the thousands worldwide, are often poorly trained to enforce Facebook’s porous and opaque standards, which result in much hateful content remaining on the platform.

There is little chance the law will not be used to suppress dissent—not in a country Reporters Without Borders ranks 151st out of 180 countries in terms of press freedom. Human Rights Watch called the law a “disaster for online expression by ordinary Singaporeans, and a hammer blow against the independence of many online news portals.”90 The Egyptian law was again put to use during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, when the government arrested foreign and domestic journalists for spreading “false” rumors—that is, correct reports—about the virus’s spread. Egypt isn’t alone in its use of such laws. Turkish authorities arrested at least eight journalists for “spreading misinformation” about the virus, while a Cambodian teen was arrested for her fearful social media posts about the virus in her area, and a Thai man was threatened with five years in prison for complaining online about inadequate preventive measures at Bangkok’s airport.


pages: 438 words: 84,256

The Great Demographic Reversal: Ageing Societies, Waning Inequality, and an Inflation Revival by Charles Goodhart, Manoj Pradhan

asset-backed security, banks create money, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, coronavirus, corporate governance, COVID-19, deglobalization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial repression, fixed income, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, housing crisis, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, job automation, Kickstarter, long term incentive plan, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pearl River Delta, pension reform, price stability, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, rent control, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, special economic zone, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, working poor, working-age population, yield curve, zero-sum game

A combination of Trump-type policies, populism, barriers to migration and now the coronavirus pandemic has now defanged that threat to workers. The balance of bargaining power is now swinging back to workers, away from employers; current, more socialist, political trends are reinforcing that. Following the recovery, whenever that happens, wage trends will change. The likelihood is that wage demands will then match, or even perhaps exceed, current inflation, despite the inevitable pleas for moderation in the context of a ‘temporary blip’ in inflation. The coronavirus pandemic, and the supply shock that it has induced, will mark the dividing line between the deflationary forces of the last 30/40 years, and the resurgent inflation of the next two decades.

Our main thesis is that such demographic and globalisation factors were largely responsible for the deflationary pressures of the last three decades, but that such forces are now reversing, so that the world’s main economies will, once again, face inflationary pressures over the next three, or so, decades. The question, which we have been most frequently asked, is ‘Just when will the point of inflexion from deflation to inflation occur?’ When we were writing this book in 2019, we had to answer that we did not know to within five years, or so. That was, of course, before the coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020; the occurrence of such a pandemic being a ‘known unknown’. The overall impact of the pandemic will be to accelerate the trends we have outlined in this book. China will become more inward-looking and less deflationary globally, and inflation itself will rise much earlier and faster than we had anticipated.

In practice, it has not been so much the medical implications, serious though they were, but rather the (necessary and correct) policy responses that has had the major, even if hopefully short-run, impact on our economies. Indeed, if one was a cold-hearted economist, whose sole aim was to maximise GDP, or even better GDP per head, then one’s advice on the best way to respond to the coronavirus pandemic would have been to do absolutely nothing, to ignore it entirely and let it take its course. It primarily affects the elderly; the average age of death so far in the UK has been about 80; and even then the younger deaths are mainly amongst those with other severe medical problems, co-morbidity in the jargon.


pages: 302 words: 100,493

Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets From Inside Amazon by Colin Bryar, Bill Carr

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, business process, cloud computing, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, delayed gratification, en.wikipedia.org, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, late fees, loose coupling, microservices, Minecraft, performance metric, search inside the book, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Toyota Production System, web application, why are manhole covers round?

Classification: LCC HF5548.32 .B795 2021 | DDC 381/.14206573—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020037477 eISBN 9781250267603 Our ebooks may be purchased in bulk for promotional, educational, or business use. Please contact the Macmillan Corporate and Premium Sales Department at 1-800-221-7945, extension 5442, or by email at MacmillanSpecialMarkets@macmillan.com. First Edition: 2021 *  In his shareholder letter of April 16, 2020, shortly after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Jeff Bezos did address Amazon’s impact on multiple fronts. He described the company’s efforts to answer the increased demand on Amazon’s services by people in lockdown. He described safety measures at fulfillment centers, an accelerated Amazon program to ramp up testing, and the partnership of Amazon Web Services with the WHO and other health organizations.

Unless you have a regular process to independently validate the metric, assume that over time something will cause it to drift and skew the numbers. If the metric is important, find out a way to do a separate measurement or gather customer anecdotes and see if the information trues up with the metric you’re looking at. So, a recent example would be testing for COVID-19 by region. It is not enough to look at the number of positive tests in your region as compared to another region with a population of a similar size. You must also look at the number of tests per capita performed in each region. Since both the number of positive tests and the number of tests per capita in each location will keep changing, you will need to keep updating your audit of the measurements.* Analyze This stage has been given many different labels by different teams—reducing variance, making the process predictable, getting the process under control, to name a few.


pages: 387 words: 106,753

Why Startups Fail: A New Roadmap for Entrepreneurial Success by Tom Eisenmann

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, carbon footprint, Checklist Manifesto, cleantech, conceptual framework, coronavirus, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, Elon Musk, fundamental attribution error, gig economy, Hyperloop, income inequality, inventory management, Iridium satellite, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Network effects, nuclear winter, Oculus Rift, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk/return, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, WeWork, Y Combinator, young professional

Measuring Performance My measure of performance was the change in the value of equity raised in a startup’s first major funding round: Did the value of this equity increase, stay roughly the same, or decrease—at the extreme, going to zero? Specifically, the founder/CEOs of startups still operating were asked, “As of December 31, 2019, before news of the coronavirus pandemic became widespread, how much would someone have paid for your startup’s first round equity/convertible notes?” The multiple-choice options were 1) >150 percent of the amount originally invested; 2) 50 percent to 150 percent; or 3) <50 percent. Respondents were also told, “We know that first round equity and convertible notes cannot normally be sold—but imagine that they could.

When a venture fails, our first instinct is generally to try to figure out what mistakes were made and who made them. But failures can usually be attributed to some combination of misfortunes that were outside the control of responsible parties and mistakes made by those parties. Misfortune: Sometimes, a startup’s demise is due mostly to misfortunes, rather than mistakes. When Covid-19 started paralyzing the U.S. economy, thousands of otherwise healthy new ventures couldn’t raise funds and saw sales dry up; the same thing happened during the Great Recession of 2008. Other misfortunes are less universal, impacting only a single industry sector. During the 2000s, for example, clean tech startups were often predicated on rising fossil fuel costs, but the unexpected growth of fracking and the commensurate decline in fuel costs derailed many of those ventures.


pages: 869 words: 239,167

The Story of Work: A New History of Humankind by Jan Lucassen

3D printing, 8-hour work day, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-work, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, computer age, coronavirus, COVID-19, demographic transition, deskilling, discovery of the americas, domestication of the camel, European colonialism, factory automation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fixed income, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, hiring and firing, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, knowledge economy, labour mobility, land tenure, long peace, mass immigration, means of production, megastructure, minimum wage unemployment, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, New Urbanism, out of africa, pension reform, phenotype, post-work, precariat, price stability, reshoring, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, stakhanovite, Thales of Miletus, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, two and twenty, universal basic income, women in the workforce, working poor

Nevertheless, during the last two centuries, we may discern a great wave in the North Atlantic and its offshoots, and in the last half-century also increasingly beyond – from regulation and corporation (households, estates, guilds and so on) in the ancien régime, to deregulation and decorporation in the first half of the nineteenth century, to reregulation and recorporation in the century thereafter and, finally, to another period of deregulation and decorporation since the end of the twentieth century.109 Prepared by the banking crisis of 2008, the pendulum may now be swinging in the opposite direction, influenced by the coronavirus pandemic, although it is unclear for how long. Incidentally, the development of decorporation warrants an observation with respect to households, where we do not find any recorporation from the late nineteenth century. As a nuclear work unit, the household eventually and definitively lost power.

The stagnation of remuneration and job security in especially the rich countries in recent decades (summarized in concepts such as flexibilization and precarization) can also be counted as types of reactions.2 Or, in that context, the recent massive Keynesian state aid to companies and working people following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic – something that prior to this seemed absolutely unthinkable. Secondly – and previous examples already point in this direction – the nature and vehemence of these reactions are not easy to predict; at least, not as easy as, say, a strike resulting from a massive cut in wages. Take, for example, the contradiction between the emergence of the workers’ movement, which peaked one hundred years ago, and the current lack of successful collective actions to improve working conditions.

This is in contrast to ‘the trust-starved climate of modern business [which] spells trouble and has recently made many people deeply unhappy by wiping out their savings’.37 One of the causes of this lack of trust are the long lines between management and the people who actually do the work, examples of which we have already seen. In this regard, whether that person is a wage worker or a lone freelancer no longer matters. The large experimental medical and social science laboratory that we have all been living in since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has meant that many more people, including those with better labour contracts, have experienced this deeply. Grateful for the opportunity that digital resources provide to work from home, and by turning households into workplaces again after more than a century (think of the abuses of the ‘sweating industry’), we are now becoming ‘zoombies’, according to the organizational behaviourist Gianpiero Petriglieri: ‘any professional used to working face to face is deprived of subtle cues that they have learnt to process implicitly.


pages: 290 words: 85,847

A Brief History of Motion: From the Wheel, to the Car, to What Comes Next by Tom Standage

active transport: walking or cycling, autonomous vehicles, car-free, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Chris Urmson, City Beautiful movement, Clapham omnibus, congestion charging, coronavirus, COVID-19, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Ford paid five dollars a day, garden city movement, Ida Tarbell, Induced demand, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Joan Didion, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, minimum wage unemployment, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, Ralph Nader, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbiased observer, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, wikimedia commons, Yom Kippur War, Zipcar

But then population growth rates in America’s suburbs started outpacing those in cities again. “The ‘back to the city’ trend seen at the beginning of the decade has reversed,” noted William Frey of the Brookings Institution in 2019. In retrospect the global financial crisis of 2007–9 may simply have delayed some young Americans’ entry into the housing market. The coronavirus pandemic has also increased the appeal of suburbs relative to city centers. One of the chief drawbacks of suburbs—the need to commute—goes away if you can work from home, which about half of American workers can. And staying at home is more pleasant if you have more space. A shift toward working remotely, some if not all of the time, is likely to be an enduring legacy of the pandemic.

Even some people within the industry now acknowledge that the world is now at, or has passed, “peak car”—the point at which car ownership and use level off and start to decline. Car production may never exceed its level in 2017. “It could well be that we passed the peak in global automotive production,” said Volkmar Denner, chief executive of Robert Bosch, the world’s largest maker of car parts, in January 2020. And that was before the coronavirus pandemic whacked car sales. China has been the driver of car sales in the early twenty-first century, with the number of vehicles sold rising from 5 million in 2004 to 29 million in 2017. But sales have since slowed, spurred in part by a switch to ride hailing, which is an enormous industry in China.

Travel-planning apps also make public transport a more attractive option, by showing when buses, trains, or trams will arrive, and how to combine them to complete a journey. But the arrival of those alternatives seems merely to have accelerated what was, in Western countries at least, an existing trend that had been going on for some years. The coronavirus pandemic seems likely, on balance, to accelerate it further. Fear of contagion has discouraged use of public transport and prompted some people to commute by car instead. But this seems unlikely to herald a global boom in car sales. Evidence from Asia suggests that the risk of transmission on public transport can be managed with appropriate use of masks, thermal scanners, and staggering of journeys to reduce crowding.


pages: 352 words: 98,424

Cathedrals of Steam: How London’s Great Stations Were Built – and How They Transformed the City by Christian Wolmar

British Empire, centre right, coronavirus, COVID-19, creative destruction, James Watt: steam engine, mass immigration, megacity, railway mania

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78649-920-2 E-book ISBN: 978-1-78649-921-9 Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78649-922-6 Map artwork by Jeff Edwards Endpaper image: Detail from The Railway Station by William Powell Frith, 1862. (Photo 12/Alamy Stock Photo) Printed in Great Britain Atlantic Books An imprint of Atlantic Books Ltd Ormond House 26–27 Boswell Street London WC1N 3JZ www.atlantic-books.co.uk Dedicated to my wife, Deborah Maby, with whom I was in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic for nearly the whole period of writing this book, and who put up with me dodging the housework. Also to Sir John Betjeman, whose writing I sadly cannot match, but whose enthusiasm I can. CONTENTS List of Illustrations Maps Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Starting slowly 2.

Instead, by and large – with the odd exception – London’s terminuses have been greatly enhanced, even much unloved London Bridge, by refurbishments and additions, most notably the new side entrance to King’s Cross. This has been a happy book to write, a positive story for these hard times and one that John Betjeman, who features strongly in the last chapter, would greatly appreciate. The prospects for the future have only been darkened by the coronavirus pandemic sweeping through the country as I write. The effect on the railways has been devastating, with the government and the railway companies urging people not to use the railways, which until then had enjoyed more than two decades of almost uninterrupted growth, reaching record passenger numbers.

APPENDIX I Timeline for the opening of London’s terminus stations: London Bridge 1836 Euston 1837 Fenchurch Street 1840 Waterloo 1848 King’s Cross 1852 Paddington 1854 Victoria 1860 Charing Cross 1864 Cannon Street 1866 St Pancras 1868 Liverpool Street 1874 Marylebone 1899 APPENDIX II Passenger numbers in the year to 31 March 2019 at the London terminuses (before the coronavirus pandemic): (millions) Waterloo 94 Victoria 75 Liverpool Street 69 London Bridge 61 Euston 46 Paddington 38 St Pancras 36 King’s Cross 35 Charing Cross 30 Cannon Street 21 Fenchurch Street 19 Marylebone 16 Source: Office of Road and Rail SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY THIS IS A highly selective bibliography focusing on the London terminus stations rather than on the capital’s railway system generally, on which there is a vast bibliography.


pages: 388 words: 99,023

The Emperor's New Road: How China's New Silk Road Is Remaking the World by Jonathan Hillman

British Empire, cable laying ship, capital controls, colonial rule, coronavirus, COVID-19, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, drone strike, energy security, facts on the ground, intermodal, joint-stock company, Just-in-time delivery, land reform, M-Pesa, Malacca Straits, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, rent-seeking, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, special economic zone, supply-chain management, trade route, transcontinental railway, undersea cable, union organizing, Washington Consensus

The question is whether the BRI will add to China’s power or detract from it. That hinges on China having the discipline to choose the right projects and walk away from the wrong ones. In the BRI’s first six years, its mission has not merely creeped but cascaded. Mistakes were surfacing even before the coronavirus pandemic paralyzed the global economy in 2020, exacerbating the BRI’s preexisting conditions and revealing how the very connections it aims to strengthen carry both promise and peril. As the following chapters show, the BRI is an imperial project in the rewards that China could reap as well as in the risks it faces.

If the BRI was magically paused and no more projects were announced, its current footprint would still take years to unfold. Ultimately, China’s economy will determine how long the BRI continues and in what form. China’s foreign reserves have dropped substantially since the BRI was launched, and it faces rising costs and shrinking revenues at home. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, there were indications of a pullback on BRI-related projects, suggesting that project announcements could be slimmed down in the coming years. That is bad news for China’s massive state-owned firms, but scarcity may also make oversight easier and encourage Beijing to increase the quality of its projects.

Early mistakes along the BRI occurred in a relatively forgiving global economy, and as Warren Buffet is fond of saying, “you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.”33 The risks are probably greater than Chinese officials appreciate. Most infrastructure booms have gone bust. The coronavirus pandemic is laying bare the BRI’s flaws, even as it creates new needs that China could exploit. Developing and emerging economies that borrowed heavily are being pushed beyond the brink. The same instinct for secrecy that hides the terms of China’s deals along the BRI concealed the outbreak. Most troubling for Xi’s vision, China shared the virus with the world through the very connections the BRI aims to strengthen.


pages: 210 words: 62,278

No One Succeeds Alone by Robert Reffkin

Albert Einstein, coronavirus, COVID-19, financial independence, global pandemic, hiring and firing, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, market design, pattern recognition, Steve Jobs, young professional

Be grateful for: The ways that the struggles and challenges you’ve faced have shaped you into the person you are and have made you stronger Every bit of luck, circumstance, and privilege that you’ve benefited from in your life that have enabled you to have the time to learn, read, and grow Living now rather than at any other time when violence, poverty, disease, and injustice were even worse than they are today and when so many marvels of science and progress, however unequally distributed, didn’t even exist yet The miraculous, improbable, impossible blessing that is human existence—the result of billions of years of evolution And don’t stop there. Gratefulness is like love: the more you give, the more you get. The more gratitude you feel in a day, the more you’ll have to be grateful for. Always look for the positive even when it’s hard to see The lessons I learned leading during the coronavirus pandemic When the coronavirus pandemic first hit, I was going to work every day in Compass’s eleven-story office building in Manhattan, riding elevators, meeting with hundreds of people a week, flying to Seattle twice a month to meet with the leaders of our West Coast technology hub, and visiting other Compass offices in other cities.


pages: 565 words: 134,138

The World for Sale: Money, Power and the Traders Who Barter the Earth’s Resources by Javier Blas, Jack Farchy

accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, BRICs, business climate, business cycle, collapse of Lehman Brothers, coronavirus, corporate raider, COVID-19, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, financial innovation, foreign exchange controls, Great Grain Robbery, invisible hand, John Deuss, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, margin call, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, oil-for-food scandal, Oscar Wyatt, price anchoring, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stakhanovite, trade route, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War, éminence grise

What’s more, much of the time, commodity markets are either over- or under-supplied. The traders, ever nimble and flexible, are always ready to take a commodity off a producer’s hands as long as the price is right, or to supply it if a consumer is willing to pay. For an example of how that works in practice, look no further than the oil price crash of 2020. As the coronavirus pandemic spread across the world, grounding flights and forcing people to stay at home, the price of oil spiralled lower and lower, briefly trading below zero for the first time ever. And so the traders stepped in, buying oil at dirt-cheap prices, and then storing it until demand recovered. Some even bought a few barrels at negative prices, meaning that producers had to pay them to take it off their hands.

As commodity demand tumbled in the wake of the financial crisis, oil traders like Vitol made a killing buying up unwanted oil and storing it – doing a version of the deals that Andy Hall had done nearly twenty years earlier. It was a trade they would repeat to great profit every time the market was oversupplied – not least in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic struck. Aluminium traders were also cashing in enormous profits by funnelling surplus metal into warehouses. ‘We milked the cow every day,’ recalls one top aluminium trader of his profits in that period. 20 The commodity traders were enjoying a bounty, but for a world that was suffering from hunger and recession, their success was an affront.

The industry is still able to turn a healthy profit – many traders made a killing as oil prices plunged in 2020 – but it’s becoming clearer and clearer that another meaningful step up in profitability is out of reach. In part that’s because the great engine of the commodity boom, China, is slowing down. The Chinese economy, which was growing at a rate of more than 14% in 2007, had slowed down to just 6% even before the coronavirus pandemic knocked it further off course. Commodity prices have fallen sharply from the records many hit in 2007–2011. The profits of the trading industry as a whole have flatlined. But the economic slowdown in China is only part of the reason why commodity traders’ earnings are no longer growing.


pages: 286 words: 87,168

Less Is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World by Jason Hickel

air freight, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate personhood, COVID-19, David Graeber, decarbonisation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, disinformation, Elon Musk, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gender pay gap, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, land reform, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, meta-analysis, microbiome, Money creation, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, passive income, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-Keynesian economics, quantitative easing, rent control, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Simon Kuznets, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, universal basic income

We want our governments to face up to the reality of the crisis at hand. But then we have to figure out just how we change everything to create a better society that works for people and planet. XR is a recognition of emergency. We have learned a lot about emergencies over the past year, with the rise of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic joined us in a mass of shared vulnerability, and we had to move quickly and make difficult decisions in order to protect humanity – to protect life. The fact that most countries managed to do this is a fairly hopeful sign. It shows what we can achieve when we take a crisis seriously.

Rather than assuming that all sectors must grow, for ever, regardless of whether or not we actually need them, let’s talk about what we want our economy to deliver. What industries are already big enough and shouldn’t grow any larger? What industries could be usefully scaled down? What industries do we still need to expand? We have never asked these questions. During the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, we all learned the difference between ‘essential’ industries and superfluous ones; it quickly became apparent which industries are organised around use-value, and which ones are mostly about exchange-value. We can build on those lessons. * This is not meant to be an exhaustive list.


pages: 297 words: 89,292

2034: A Novel of the Next World War by Elliot Ackerman, James Admiral Stavridis

coronavirus, COVID-19, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, digital map, loose coupling, mutually assured destruction, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, undersea cable

Before Chowdhury could reach any conclusions, Lin Bao was again on the line. “Have you considered our offer?” Chowdhury thought of his own larger questions. Ever since the mid-2020s, when Iran had signed onto the Chinese “Belt and Road” global development initiative to prevent financial collapse after the coronavirus pandemic, they had helped project Chinese economic and military interests; but what was the scope of this seemingly new Sino-Iranian alliance? And who else was a party to it? Chowdhury didn’t have the authority to trade an F-35 for what would seem to be a Chinese spy ship. The president herself would decide whether such a swap was in the offing.

Like a child who can tell whether he is in trouble from the inflection of a parent’s voice, Chowdhury could tell immediately that Wisecarver was upset with him for speaking out of turn in the meeting. Chowdhury began to equivocate, apologizing for his outburst and making assurances that it wouldn’t happen again. More than a decade before, Wisecarver’s young son had perished in the coronavirus pandemic, an event many attributed to Wisecarver’s hawkish political awakening and that made him adept at projecting fatherly guilt onto those subordinates he treated as surrogate children. “Sandy,” repeated Wisecarver, though his voice was different now, a bit softer and more conciliatory. “Take a break.


pages: 493 words: 98,982

The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? by Michael J. Sandel

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, coronavirus, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, global supply chain, helicopter parent, High speed trading, immigration reform, income inequality, Khan Academy, laissez-faire capitalism, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Plutocrats, plutocrats, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Washington Consensus, Yochai Benkler

SANDEL Liberalism and the Limits of Justice Liberalism and Its Critics (editor) Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics The Case Against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering Justice: A Reader (editor) Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets Encountering China: Michael Sandel and Chinese Philosophy (co-editor) For Kiku, with love Prologue When the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, the United States, like many other countries, was unprepared. Despite warnings the previous year from public health experts about the risk of a global viral contagion, and even as China contended with its outbreak in January, the United States lacked the ability to conduct the widespread testing that might have contained the disease.

Rather than deduct a certain amount of each worker’s earnings, the government would contribute a certain amount, in hopes of enabling low-income workers to make a decent living even if they lack the skills to command a substantial market wage. 51 A dramatic version of the wage subsidy proposal was enacted by a number of European countries when the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 locked down their economies. Rather than offer unemployment insurance to workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic, as the U.S. government did, Britain, Denmark, and the Netherlands covered 75 to 90 percent of wages for companies that did not lay off workers. The advantage of the wage subsidy is that it enables employers to retain workers on their payroll during the emergency, rather than fire them and force them to rely on unemployment insurance.


pages: 266 words: 80,273

Covid-19: The Pandemic That Never Should Have Happened and How to Stop the Next One by Debora MacKenzie

anti-globalists, butterfly effect, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Donald Trump, European colonialism, gig economy, global supply chain, income inequality, Just-in-time delivery, megacity, meta-analysis, microcredit, planetary scale, reshoring, supply-chain management, uranium enrichment

If so, the world’s reaction to the swine flu pandemic did us all a disservice when Covid-19 arrived. The WHO was also worried that governments would somehow conflate pandemic and flu. That’s one reason flu matters so much to the story of Covid-19. When Covid-19 hit, most governments with pandemic plans had based them around flu: many are actually entitled “influenza pandemic plan.” Covid-19 is not flu, and that caused problems. Containment, where you isolate cases and trace and quarantine their contacts, was the WHO’s main recommendation for Covid-19 early in the pandemic. But that is not possible with flu because the virus spreads faster than Covid-19, so it wasn’t a part of these pandemic plans.

Until then, horrific as it has sometimes been, we can be grateful it hasn’t been worse. Covid-19 does not have a massive death rate—best guesses as I write this are that it’s less deadly than we initially feared, but still maybe ten times more deadly than ordinary flu. SARS was ten times deadlier than that. Fortunately, it never learned to spread like Covid-19—and, with luck, Covid-19 will never learn to kill like SARS. Think about what this pandemic would have been like with ten times the death rate. And as many of us have painfully learned, Covid-19 mostly kills older people. Speaking as one myself, I don’t wish to be cavalier about this, but the brutal fact is that losing people in old age does not cause as much economic or social disruption as losing people of working and childbearing age.

By August 2014, when the WHO declared an emergency, the epidemic curve was exponentially headed for unthinkable heights. Finally, the world—and the WHO, with a revamped effort led by Bruce Aylward, who later led its Covid-19 mission to China—responded and contained the epidemic with the same tools used for Covid-19: isolation, contact tracing, and quarantine. Also, as with Covid-19, changes in ordinary people’s behavior were crucial. Friends stopped embracing, and families stopped touching virus-laden corpses at funerals. As with Covid-19, there were no drugs or vaccines for Ebola. After the US anthrax scare in 2001, there was some funding to develop them, as Ebola was considered a potential bioweapon.


pages: 106 words: 33,210

The COVID-19 Catastrophe: What's Gone Wrong and How to Stop It Happening Again by Richard Horton

Boris Johnson, cognitive bias, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, global pandemic, global village, Herbert Marcuse, informal economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peace of Westphalia, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea

As a group of Chinese doctors involved in the organisation and delivery of care to patients with COVID-19 noted, ‘By embracing Fangcang shelter hospitals, many countries and communities worldwide could boost their response to the current COVID-19 pandemic as well as future epidemics and disasters.’ Sadly, many countries afflicted by COVID-19 were unable to respond in such agile and creative ways. * While the epicentre of the pandemic was Wuhan, the virus quickly spread to other Asian nations. Singapore confirmed its first imported case of COVID-19 on 23 January. Inbound flights to the city-state were banned. Several clusters of disease were identified and close contacts were quarantined.

Contents Cover Dedication Title Page Copyright Preface Acknowledgements 1 From Wuhan to the World Notes 2 Why Were We Not Prepared? Notes 3 Science: The Paradox of Success and Failure Notes 4 First Lines of Defence Notes 5 The Politics of COVID-19 Notes 6 The Risk Society Revisited Notes 7 Towards the Next Pandemic Notes End User License Agreement Dedication For those whose lives were lost to COVID-19 The COVID-19 Catastrophe What’s Gone Wrong and How to Stop it Happening Again Richard Horton polity Copyright © Richard Horton 2020 The right of Richard Horton to be identified as Author of this Work has been asserted in accordance with the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

First, much attention was given to the celebrities who contracted SARS-CoV-2 – Marianne Faithful, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Idris Elba, Sophie Trudeau, Prince Albert of Monaco and Prince Charles in the UK. It was easy to think the virus was a threat to everyone equally. But that was not the case. COVID-19 overwhelmingly affected those who were poorer, less able and sicker. There was a steep social gradient to this disease. And it seemed to affect black and minority ethnic communities especially badly. Those on the frontlines of care were particularly vulnerable and often unprotected. COVID-19 exploited and worsened already existing inequalities in society. Second, before COVID-19, the idea of a ‘key worker’ was probably a rather obscure notion in the public’s mind. No longer. Just as ‘first responders’ after 9/11 – firefighters, police officers and emergency medical workers – became heroic symbols of a country under terrorist attack, so key workers came to embody the commitment of those without whom society really would have collapsed.


pages: 89 words: 27,057

COVID-19: Everything You Need to Know About the Corona Virus and the Race for the Vaccine by Michael Mosley

Boris Johnson, call centre, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Trump, microbiome, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley

It is adults over the age of 65 and children under the age of five who are at the greatest risk of developing severe complications from the flu, being hospitalized, and dying. You don’t see this with Covid-19. In fact, unless you have a preexisting condition, the odds of dying from Covid-19 if you are under 30 are less than 1000 to one. One of the most striking things about Covid-19 is that, unlike the flu, or most other infectious diseases, there have been remarkably few cases of children with Covid-19 getting sick. That said, there have been reports of a new life-threatening inflammatory condition that appears to be linked to Covid-19 and that has, understandably, been worrying a lot of families. Children with this condition develop a fever, pain in the stomach, and often a rash.

Below is a comparison between intensive care patients in an average flu year and Covid-19.7 Covid-19 Flu (2017–2019) Average age 59 years 58 years White 66% 88% Biracial 2% 1% Asian 15% 6% Black 11% 3% Other 6% 2% What is striking is that while the percentage of white, black, and Asian patients who end up in intensive care during a flu epidemic reflects their percentages in the UK population, things are very different when it comes to Covid-19. If you come from a black or Asian ethnic background you are much more likely to end up in intensive care if you get Covid-19 than if you are white. Why? Although people from a BAME background are more likely to live in poor, crowded housing and have worse health (higher rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes), that does not explain why Covid-19 impacts this group so much worse than the flu does. A study by the UK Office of National Statistics, which looked at the ethnic background of those who died from Covid-19, came to similar puzzling conclusions.8 They found that men and women from a black ethnic background are four times more likely to die from Covid-19 than those who are white.

Since then scientists have identified four types of coronaviruses that can cause a mild cold, and three types that are deadly—those that cause SARS and MERS, and now Covid-19. How Is This New Virus Different from the Coronaviruses That Cause SARS or MERS? One of the key differences is that when you get infected with Covid-19 you can soon be shedding lots of viruses without knowing you are infected. Viral shedding seems to occur early on in an infection (typically two to three days after getting infected), and most people (roughly 80 percent) get such mild symptoms that they ignore it. At least 40 percent of people who get Covid-19 have no symptoms at all. That is what allowed Covid-19 to spread so far and so fast. Early on in the pandemic there were a lot of people getting on planes and going out to work blissfully unaware that they were infected.


pages: 112 words: 34,520

Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to Happiness: THE FEELGOOD BOOK OF THE YEAR by Bill Bailey

coronavirus, COVID-19, happiness index / gross national happiness, Stephen Hawking

To my family and friends, and all those who have shared in these adventures CONTENTS Foreword 1 Crazy Golf 2 A Clear-out 3 Wild Swimming 4 Little Things 5 Music 6 Caring for Plants 7 Restraint 8 Singing 9 Sport 10 Art 11 Personal Reflection 12 Swearing 13 The Unexpected 14 Playing the Gamelan 15 Laughing 16 Equations 17 Paddleboarding 18 Reading 19 Trees 20 Confronting Your Fears (Part 1) 21 Dogs 22 Confronting Your Fears (Part 2) 23 Birdsong 24 Dancing 25 Pleasure 26 Jogging 27 Cycling 28 Being Someone to Rely On 29 Walking 30 Letter Writing 31 Generosity 32 Belonging 33 Being in Nature 34 Speaking Another Language 35 Simplicity 36 Love About Bill Bailey Thank you FOREWORD This book was written during the coronavirus pandemic, largely while we were in lockdown. During this unexpected quiet time at home, I finally got around to archiving my comedy shows, and I was struck, firstly by how much longer my hair was back in the day, and secondly by how much happiness has been a subject that I have explored in my sketches and gigs over many years, to the point that it appears as a constant thread running through it all.


pages: 391 words: 112,312

The Plague Year: America in the Time of Covid by Lawrence Wright

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, business cycle, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, full employment, global pandemic, income inequality, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, Louis Pasteur, meta-analysis, mouse model, Nate Silver, Plutocrats, plutocrats, QAnon, RAND corporation, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Bannon, the scientific method, transcontinental railway

“negative serial interval”: Zhanwei Du, Xiaoke Xu, Uye Wu, Lin Wang, Benjamin J. Cowling, and Lauren Ancel Meyers, “The serial interval of COVID-19 from publicly reported confirmed cases,” medRxiv preprint, March 20, 2020. A German study: Valentina O. Puntmann, M. Ludovica Carej, and Imke Wieters, “Outcomes of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Patients Recently Recovered From Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” JAMA, July 27, 2020. 3. SPIKE horse farms: Interview with Barney Graham. not Covid-19: Stacy Kuebelbeck Paulsen, “Study finds no link between COVID-19, Guillain-Barré syndrome,” CIDRAP, Dec. 14, 2020. may have been misdiagnosed: Armond S.

Grand Princess: “Grand Princess Updates,” April 7, 2020. a single infected passenger: Smriti Mallapaty, “What the cruise-ship outbreaks reveal about COVID-19,” Nature, March 26, 2020; Expert Taskforce for the COVID-19 Cruise Ship Outbreak, “Epidemiology of COVID-19 Outbreak on Cruise Ship Quarantined at Yokohama, Japan, February 2020,” Emerging Infectious Diseases, Nov. 2020. through aerosol droplets: Parham Azimi, et al., “Mechanistic Transmission Modeling of COVID-19 on the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship Demonstrates the Importance of Aerosol Transmission,” medRxiv, July 15, 2020. put at 19.2 percent: Interview with Martin Cetron.

actively discouraged their use: “Media Statement: the role and need of masks during COVID-19 outbreak,” World Health Organization, Mar. 6, 2020. Also, see the statement: “We don’t generally recommend the wearing of masks in public by otherwise well individuals, because it has not been up to now associated with any particular benefit,” “FULL TRANSCRIPT: WHO Press Briefing COVID-19,” Mar. 30, 2020. “If it’s not fitted”: Jeremy Reynolds, “Are homemade face masks effective in protection against COVID-19?” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 24, 2020. “Right now in the United States”: “Dr. Anthony Fauci Talks with Dr. Jon Lapook about COVID-19,” 60 Minutes Overtime, March 8, 2020.


pages: 296 words: 96,568

Vaxxers: The Inside Story of the Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine and the Race Against the Virus by Sarah Gilbert, Catherine Green

Boris Johnson, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, discovery of DNA, disinformation, en.wikipedia.org, global pandemic, lone genius, profit motive, Skype

., and https://www.npr.org/sections­/latest-updates-­trump-covid-19-results/2020­/10/03/919898777/timelin­e-what-we­-know-of-preside­nt-trumps-covid­-19-diagnosis. 20. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140­-6736(20)31022-9. 21. https://www.npr.org/sections/latest-updates­-trump-covid-­19-results/2020/10­/03/919898777/ti­meline-what-we-know-of­-president-trumps­-covid-19-diagnosis. 22. Ibid. 23. https://www.medrxiv.org/­content/10.11­01/2020.06.22­.20137273v1. 24. https://www.fda.g­ov/news-events/press­-announcements/coro­navirus-covid-19-update­-fda-authorizes-monoclonal-­antibodies-treatment­-covid-19. 25. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news­/world-europe-55409693.

More information For more detail on the effectiveness of the vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 see: https://www.gov.uk/government/­publications/phe-monitoring-of-the­-effectiveness-of-covid-19-vaccination https://publichealthscotland.scot/news/2021­/february/vaccine-linked-to­-reduction-in-risk-of-covid-19-admissions­-to-hospitals/ For more detail about safety reporting through the Yellow Card scheme in the UK see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications­/coronavirus-covid-19-­vaccine-adverse-reactions For a wide range of general information on Covid vaccines see: https://www.who.int/news-room­/q-a-detail/coronavirus-disease­-(covid-19)-vaccines http://vk.ovg.ox.ac.uk Chapter 1 1. The Times: ‘This is a remarkable achievement for British science and offers hope to the world of an end to the pandemic’, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article­/the-times-view-on-the­-success-of-the-oxford-vaccine-great-british­-breakthrough-ljwltmtbc.

We also knew that, in order to assess the vaccine’s ability to protect people from disease, we would have to wait for our volunteers to catch Covid-19 in the course of their normal lives. With some diseases, such as malaria or influenza, we can conduct what we call challenge trials, in which volunteers are intentionally exposed to the pathogen. This has the advantage of yielding results very quickly. However, at the time we were designing the trials for our Covid-19 vaccine, relatively little was known about SARS-CoV-2 (the pathogen) or Covid-19 (the disease). The ethical implications of exposing people to a dangerous and poorly studied virus with no known treatment meant that challenge trials were, for the time being, off the table.fn2 When we were first planning the vaccine trials, cases in the UK were increasing and predicted to peak in May.


pages: 460 words: 107,454

Stakeholder Capitalism: A Global Economy That Works for Progress, People and Planet by Klaus Schwab

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Apple II, Asian financial crisis, Asperger Syndrome, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, colonial rule, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, cyber-physical system, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, don't be evil, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google bus, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, independent contractor, industrial robot, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, precariat, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shenzhen special economic zone , Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Yom Kippur War, young professional, zero-sum game

See Government Nationalism and populism, 84 Natural Capital, 191 Natural capital (New Zealand Living Standards Framework), 235fig Natural resources “Earth Overshoot Day” (1970–2020), 48fig–49 oil, 12, 62–64 water, 49–50 See also Environmental issues Neo-liberalist government, 225 Neoliberalist ideology description of the, 249 shareholder capitalism of the, 171–172, 173 shareholder model of the, 13–14, 88, 213, 217–218 The Netherlands digital economy embraced by, 113–114 DSM and Philips of, 215 lowering debt burden through economic growth, 31 stakeholder concept adopted in, 174 Net-Zero Challenge, 162 “Never Again War” (First World War), 4 New Scientist, 220 New York City Freelancers Union in, 242–243 Independent Drivers Guild of, 238, 241–242 ride-hailing workers in, 238 See also United States New York Times Benioff's editorial on Proposition C referendum, 213 Carroll's analysis of Singapore model for health care in, 231–232 Friedman essay in the, 136 Leonhard on factual oligopolies of giant companies in the, 140 on New Zealand's effective COVID-19 response, 223 Schwab's globalization op–ed in the, 85 New Zealand creating prosperity, 249 effective response to COVID-19 by, 219–224, 236 female-led government leadership during COVID-19 pandemic, 224 Living Standards Framework (LSF) dashboard of, 222–223, 234–236 targeting social issues instead of GDP growth, 234–236 NGOs (nongovernmental organizations), 183, 197, 215, 237. See also specific NGO “Nie Wieder Krieg” (First World War), 4 Niger, 70 Nigeria, 27, 70 Nikkei Asian Review, 125, 233 9/11 terrorist attacks, 17, 18 Nooyi, Indra, 250 Northern Natural Gas division (InterNorth) [US], 218 O Occupy Wall Street movement (2011), 39, 40, 86 OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries Better Life Index of, 190 efforts to create fair global tax rules for the Internet, 212 health disparities and life expectancy among, 43 as an international community stakeholder, 178 oil embargo by, 6 public health care spending in, 32 “Trade in the Digital Era” report (2019), 107 US with highest health care costs among, 227 working toward digital trade system, 197 Oil resources Chinese consumption (2020) of, 62–63 driving world economy, 12 imported to China, 64 OPEC control of (1970s), 12 See also Energy resources Okamoto, Geoffrey, 28 The one percent, 41–42 OPEC countries, oil embargo (1970s) of, 12 Open Society Initiative for Europe, 195 Opium Wars (China–Britain), 56 Organisation for European Economic Co-operation and Development (OEEC), 6 Osborne, Michael, 116 Otago University, 222 Oxford Internet Institute (UK), 242 P Pakistan gig workers of, 240, 243 Sheedi population in, 245–246 WHO on unsafe air (2019) in, 72 Palantir (US), 208 Palma, Stefania, 233 Paris Agreement (2015), 150, 165, 182, 183, 189, 198 PayPal (US), 95 Paytm (India), 69 Peace of Westphalia, 130 Pearl Harbor attack, 17 Peccei, Aurelio, 13, 47, 53, 150 Pegida movement (Germany), 88 Pension saving gap, 32–33 People at the center of the global stakeholder model, 180fig at the center of the simplified stakeholder model, 178fig–179 interconnectedness of all this planet's, 176–177 a post-COVID world and sustainable economy for, 251 as Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics pillar, 214 See also Planet; Prosperity; Stakeholder model People, Power and Profits Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent (Stiglitz), 42 People's Party (US, 1892), 133 People's Republic of China.

He lives in Geneva with his wife, Valeria. Preface In early February 2020 I sat down in Geneva to discuss this book with a colleague, when the phone rang in my office. It turned out to be what you could call an AC/BC moment, when attention shifted from the time before COVID-19 to the reality that set in after COVID-19. Before that call, me and my colleagues had been preoccupied with the long-term challenges of the world economy, including climate change and inequality. I had reflected in depth on the global economic system built in the 75 years since the end of the Second World War, and the 50 years since the creation of the World Economic Forum.

I will present in what follows my observations on rising inequality, slowing growth, sputtering productivity, unsustainable levels of debt, accelerating climate change, deepening societal problems, and the lack of global cooperation on some of the world’s most pressing challenges. And as I hope you will agree, these observations are as valid after COVID-19 as they were before. However, one thing has changed in the interim period between “BC” and “AC”: there is, I notice, a greater understanding among the population, business leaders, and government that creating a better world would require working together. The idea that we need to rebuild differently post-COVID is widely shared. The sudden and all-encompassing impact of COVID-19 made us understand, much more than the gradual effects of climate change or increasing inequality, that an economic system driven by selfish and short-term interests is not sustainable.


pages: 460 words: 107,454

Stakeholder Capitalism: A Global Economy That Works for Progress, People and Planet by Klaus Schwab, Peter Vanham

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Apple II, Asian financial crisis, Asperger Syndrome, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, colonial rule, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, cyber-physical system, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, don't be evil, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google bus, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, independent contractor, industrial robot, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, precariat, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shenzhen special economic zone , Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Yom Kippur War, young professional, zero-sum game

See Government Nationalism and populism, 84 Natural Capital, 191 Natural capital (New Zealand Living Standards Framework), 235fig Natural resources “Earth Overshoot Day” (1970–2020), 48fig–49 oil, 12, 62–64 water, 49–50 See also Environmental issues Neo-liberalist government, 225 Neoliberalist ideology description of the, 249 shareholder capitalism of the, 171–172, 173 shareholder model of the, 13–14, 88, 213, 217–218 The Netherlands digital economy embraced by, 113–114 DSM and Philips of, 215 lowering debt burden through economic growth, 31 stakeholder concept adopted in, 174 Net-Zero Challenge, 162 “Never Again War” (First World War), 4 New Scientist, 220 New York City Freelancers Union in, 242–243 Independent Drivers Guild of, 238, 241–242 ride-hailing workers in, 238 See also United States New York Times Benioff's editorial on Proposition C referendum, 213 Carroll's analysis of Singapore model for health care in, 231–232 Friedman essay in the, 136 Leonhard on factual oligopolies of giant companies in the, 140 on New Zealand's effective COVID-19 response, 223 Schwab's globalization op–ed in the, 85 New Zealand creating prosperity, 249 effective response to COVID-19 by, 219–224, 236 female-led government leadership during COVID-19 pandemic, 224 Living Standards Framework (LSF) dashboard of, 222–223, 234–236 targeting social issues instead of GDP growth, 234–236 NGOs (nongovernmental organizations), 183, 197, 215, 237. See also specific NGO “Nie Wieder Krieg” (First World War), 4 Niger, 70 Nigeria, 27, 70 Nikkei Asian Review, 125, 233 9/11 terrorist attacks, 17, 18 Nooyi, Indra, 250 Northern Natural Gas division (InterNorth) [US], 218 O Occupy Wall Street movement (2011), 39, 40, 86 OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries Better Life Index of, 190 efforts to create fair global tax rules for the Internet, 212 health disparities and life expectancy among, 43 as an international community stakeholder, 178 oil embargo by, 6 public health care spending in, 32 “Trade in the Digital Era” report (2019), 107 US with highest health care costs among, 227 working toward digital trade system, 197 Oil resources Chinese consumption (2020) of, 62–63 driving world economy, 12 imported to China, 64 OPEC control of (1970s), 12 See also Energy resources Okamoto, Geoffrey, 28 The one percent, 41–42 OPEC countries, oil embargo (1970s) of, 12 Open Society Initiative for Europe, 195 Opium Wars (China–Britain), 56 Organisation for European Economic Co-operation and Development (OEEC), 6 Osborne, Michael, 116 Otago University, 222 Oxford Internet Institute (UK), 242 P Pakistan gig workers of, 240, 243 Sheedi population in, 245–246 WHO on unsafe air (2019) in, 72 Palantir (US), 208 Palma, Stefania, 233 Paris Agreement (2015), 150, 165, 182, 183, 189, 198 PayPal (US), 95 Paytm (India), 69 Peace of Westphalia, 130 Pearl Harbor attack, 17 Peccei, Aurelio, 13, 47, 53, 150 Pegida movement (Germany), 88 Pension saving gap, 32–33 People at the center of the global stakeholder model, 180fig at the center of the simplified stakeholder model, 178fig–179 interconnectedness of all this planet's, 176–177 a post-COVID world and sustainable economy for, 251 as Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics pillar, 214 See also Planet; Prosperity; Stakeholder model People, Power and Profits Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent (Stiglitz), 42 People's Party (US, 1892), 133 People's Republic of China.

He lives in Geneva with his wife, Valeria. Preface In early February 2020 I sat down in Geneva to discuss this book with a colleague, when the phone rang in my office. It turned out to be what you could call an AC/BC moment, when attention shifted from the time before COVID-19 to the reality that set in after COVID-19. Before that call, me and my colleagues had been preoccupied with the long-term challenges of the world economy, including climate change and inequality. I had reflected in depth on the global economic system built in the 75 years since the end of the Second World War, and the 50 years since the creation of the World Economic Forum.

I will present in what follows my observations on rising inequality, slowing growth, sputtering productivity, unsustainable levels of debt, accelerating climate change, deepening societal problems, and the lack of global cooperation on some of the world’s most pressing challenges. And as I hope you will agree, these observations are as valid after COVID-19 as they were before. However, one thing has changed in the interim period between “BC” and “AC”: there is, I notice, a greater understanding among the population, business leaders, and government that creating a better world would require working together. The idea that we need to rebuild differently post-COVID is widely shared. The sudden and all-encompassing impact of COVID-19 made us understand, much more than the gradual effects of climate change or increasing inequality, that an economic system driven by selfish and short-term interests is not sustainable.


pages: 304 words: 95,306

Duty of Care: One NHS Doctor's Story of the Covid-19 Crisis by Dr Dominic Pimenta

3D printing, Boris Johnson, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, global pandemic, iterative process, Rubik’s Cube, school choice, Skype, stem cell

The first big clinical study of patients infected with coronavirus was published at the beginning of February. Out of the 138 patients admitted to Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan, China, 4.3 per cent died. Shortly afterward, on 11 February, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced “COVID-19” as the name of the new disease. COVID-19 got its slightly robotic name to avoid the stigma surrounding some of its epidemic predecessors: Middle East Respiratory Virus, German Measles (not Measles), and Spanish Flu (not Spanish) – the latter being the last comparable pandemic, that of 1918, which I’d mentioned in my email to my dad.

And this took place in a world before planes, trains and automobiles – a world far less connected than today. I changed tubes and looked up other coronaviruses, wondering how we managed SARS back then. By comparison, it seemed that COVID-19 could spread easily without symptoms, while SARS patients were usually feverish when they were infectious, making them easy to isolate and quarantine. COVID-19 could also last on surfaces; one paper I found suggested it could live on metal, glass and plastic for up to nine days2 and still infect a person. So we were dealing with a virus that easily spread, was 20 times more deadly than flu, was harder to detect in people and could cling to surfaces all around us.

My hands dug deeper into my pockets, and, when I got off the tube, I picked up some hand sanitizer at the chemist. • • • The next few days were a sea change for me. My ears would prick up when I heard any mention of COVID-19. On my commutes and breaks I continued to hoover up studies and news. Twitter became a valuable resource of other doctors and experts sharing and debating the research. Among the obligatory memes and outrage, Twitter emerged as the world’s largest medical forum. The topic: SARS-CoV-2 (the virus), or COVID-19 (the disease). Through all these sources, the numbers I’d only just started to pay attention to painted a bleak picture. A picture I’d seen before.


Reset by Ronald J. Deibert

23andMe, active measures, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, availability heuristic, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Cal Newport, call centre, carbon footprint, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, coronavirus, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, game design, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, global village, Google Hangouts, income inequality, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, liberal capitalism, license plate recognition, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megastructure, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, natural language processing, New Journalism, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, QAnon, ransomware, Robert Mercer, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, sorting algorithm, source of truth, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, surveillance capitalism, the medium is the message, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, undersea cable, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero day, zero-sum game

Retrieved from https://thenarwhal.ca/almost-everything-we-know-about-e-waste-is-wrong/ The internet appeared to be holding up, in spite of usage surging: Beech, M. (2020, March 25). COVID-19 pushes up internet use 70% and streaming more than 12%, first figures reveal. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/markbeech/2020/03/25/covid-19-pushes-up-internet-use-70-streaming-more-than-12-first-figures-reveal/#63dcee3a3104 Air traffic, automobile, and other forms of fossil-fuelled transportation plummeted: Henriques, M. (2020, March 27). Will Covid-19 have a lasting impact on the environment? Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200326-covid-19-the-impact-of-coronavirus-on-the-environment Americans waste up to $19 billion annually in electricity costs: University of Utah. (2016, October 25).

Retrieved from https://arxiv.org/abs/1909.08740 They even issued a rare joint statement: Statt, N. (2020, March 16). Major tech platforms say they’re ‘jointly combating fraud and misinformation’ about COVID-19. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/16/21182726/coronavirus-covid-19-facebook-google-twitter-youtube-joint-effort-misinformation-fraud “Platforms should be forced to earn the kudos they are getting”: Douek, E. (2020, March 25). COVID-19 and social media content moderation. Retrieved from https://www.lawfareblog.com/covid-19-and-social-media-content-moderation Mandatory or poorly constructed measures could be perverted as an instrument of authoritarian control: Lim, G., & Donovan, J. (2020, April 3).

., Understanding and addressing the disinformation ecosystem, 5-12. The WHO went so far as to label COVID-19 an “infodemic”: World Health Organization. (2020, February 2). Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Situation report 13. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200202-sitrep-13-ncov-v3.pdf. See also Chen, E., Lerman, K., & Ferrara, E. (2020). Covid-19: The first public coronavirus twitter dataset. arXiv preprint arXiv:2003.07372; Abrahams, A., & Aljizawi, N. Middle East Twitter bots and the covid-19 infodemic. Retrieved from http://workshop-proceedings.icwsm.org/pdf/2020_17.pdf Russian propaganda outlets spread disinformation: Breland, A. (2020, February 3).


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Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding From Anywhere by Tsedal Neeley

Airbnb, Boycotts of Israel, call centre, cloud computing, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, discrete time, Donald Trump, future of work, global pandemic, iterative process, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, mass immigration, natural language processing, remote work: asynchronous communication, remote working, Silicon Valley

Like other global leaders entering an emergent market, she was bound to work in conditions rife with ambiguity. Seven years later, she would work in even greater ambiguity—as well as volatility, uncertainty, and complexity—when the worldwide pandemic caused by COVID-19 blew open the world. I will describe how she responded a little later. We don’t know what the long-term effects of COVID-19 will be on organizations, industries, and societies, although we do know that the world has profoundly changed. During the pandemic, every government leader had to make decisions that weigh the losses and gains of quarantine versus business as usual while not being able to accurately predict the consequences of whatever strategy they designate.

Accurate and effective communication channels between official agencies, medical administrators, and personnel were already active; testing and tracing technology was in place; and people understood the purpose of stay-at-home precautions. The population remained relatively unscathed because leadership at many levels was able to accurately frame and anticipate the 2020 COVID-19 health crisis by building a coordinated, country-wide task force. Singapore’s leaders clicked into and framed the risks they saw on the horizon. GENERATE SOLUTIONS WITH DIVERSE MINDS The crisis unfolding in 2013 around Molinas in Turkey, while not as volatile, complex, or far-reaching as the COVID-19 pandemic (although she too would have to reckon with the events of 2020), is more indicative of the crises that global leaders face on a regular basis.

Webster, “‘We Were Not Given a Warning’: New Orleans Mayor Says Federal Inaction Informed Mardi Gras Decision Ahead of Covid-19 Outbreak,” Washington Post, March 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/coronavirus-new-orleans-mardi-gras/2020/03/26/8c8e23c8-6fbb-11ea-b148-e4ce3fbd85b5_story.html. when leaders don’t heed warning signals: Erika Hayes James and Lynn Perry Wooten, “Leadership as (Un)usual: How to Display Competence in Times of Crisis,” Organizational Dynamics 34, no. 2 (2005): 141–52. leadership at many levels: Li Yang Hsu and Min-Han Tan, “What Singapore Can Teach the U.S. About Responding to Covid-19,” Stat, March 23, 2020, https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/23/singapore-teach-united-states-about-covid-19-response/.


pages: 665 words: 159,350

Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy, and Everything Else by Jordan Ellenberg

"side hustle", Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, autonomous vehicles, British Empire, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, East Village, Edmond Halley, Elliott wave, Erdős number, facts on the ground, Fellow of the Royal Society, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, greed is good, Henri Poincaré, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Conway, John Nash: game theory, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Bachelier, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Milgram experiment, Nate Silver, Paul Erdős, pets.com, pez dispenser, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, Ralph Nelson Elliott, random walk, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, Snapchat, social graph, transcontinental railway, urban renewal

., which in almost all cases involve differentially bad health outcomes for people of color. But white people, who made up only 35% of all confirmed COVID-19 cases, made up 49.5% of all COVID-19 deaths. So among the white subpopulation, a COVID-19 case was substantially more likely to be fatal than a COVID-19 case in the general population. Why? The answer, as I learned from mathematician and writer Dana Mackenzie, is age. White people with COVID-19 are more likely to die of COVID-19 because old people with COVID-19 are more likely to die of COVID-19, and white people, in the aggregate, are old. If you break cases down by age groups, things look really different.

His argument on the random walk was meant to show that, after the number of mosquitoes in a region had been reduced, it would take quite some time for enough mosquitoes to wander into the area to push it back over the epidemic threshold. That’s a key idea for the battle against COVID-19, too. We don’t need to eliminate every transmission of the disease, which is a good thing, since that’s impossible. Epidemic control is not about perfectionism. 77 TRILLION PEOPLE WILL CATCH SMALLPOX NEXT YEAR In the spring of 2020, at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the disease was clearly tracing out the kind of geometric progression you don’t want to see. Cases of COVID-19 were growing by about 7% every day. That meant every week the cases were getting multiplied by 1.07 seven times, which amounts to a 60% increase.

If you come into a room with a toggle light switch and the light isn’t how you left it, you know someone has flipped the switch; but the reason you know that is that the state of the light tells you it’s been flipped an odd number of times. WHITE PEOPLE ARE OLD Not everyone faces identical risks from COVID-19. The risk of serious symptoms, hospitalization, and death is much higher among older people, much lower among the young and middle-aged. In the United States, there are racial and ethnic differences, too. As of July 2020, confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. broke down along racial lines like this: 34.6% Hispanic 35.3% non-Hispanic white 20.8% Black The distribution of deaths from COVID-19 looked different. 17.7% Hispanic 49.5% non-Hispanic white 22.9% Black These numbers are startling on their face if you know anything about health disparities in the U.S., which in almost all cases involve differentially bad health outcomes for people of color.


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Head, Hand, Heart: Why Intelligence Is Over-Rewarded, Manual Workers Matter, and Caregivers Deserve More Respect by David Goodhart

active measures, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, computer age, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, David Attenborough, David Brooks, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, desegregation, deskilling, different worldview, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flynn Effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postindustrial economy, precariat, reshoring, Richard Florida, robotic process automation, Scientific racism, Skype, social intelligence, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, young professional

Socializing the costs would add an extra 1 percent to UK public spending.47 But whatever happens to the funding of the system, the status of the people who work in it will also remain an issue if the United Kingdom and the United States, and other rich societies are going to avoid an even more intense recruitment crisis into these jobs. The longer term response to the Covid-19 crisis will surely be not only to build more emergency capacity into our health services but also to raise the status and pay of the Cinderella parts of the care economy, above all elderly care. In much of Europe care homes for the elderly reported a disproportionate number of Covid-19 deaths as protective measures focused on health systems. All reputable surveys of future skill requirements in rich countries focus on what Adair Turner calls the “Hi-Tech, Hi-Touch” combination, meaning higher-order cognitive and technical skills on the one hand and interpersonal skills in education and health on the other—sometimes shortened to “coders and carers.”

Provide your email again so we can register this ebook and send you more of what you like to read. You will continue to receive exclusive offers in your inbox. To my children, in the hope that they might finally read something I have written Preface I wrote most of this book before the Covid-19 crisis struck. Yet the crisis and its likely consequences have a direct bearing on its main theme: the lop-sided distribution of status that has become such a feature of rich societies in recent decades. For one thing it has made the unthinkable thinkable. If we can close down society and economic life for months and collectively underwrite at least some of the cost, then it becomes a little bit easier to imagine that we might adjust the status balance in our educationally stratified, postindustrial societies by a few degrees.

In a partial inversion of the status hierarchy, many of the truly key workers turned out to be people who did not go to college and were less adept at manipulating information. Not all are hand workers in a literal sense, nor the factory workers of old, but all do essential jobs, and in the United Kingdom and United States at the height of the crisis it was males, especially older ethnic minority males, in those frontline jobs who were twice as likely to die from Covid-19 as the wider working population. The pause for reflection that the lockdown imposed on normally hectic, achievement-orientated societies and individuals may leave the deepest traces of all. Many of us, perhaps especially the privileged and highly educated, have been forced to reconsider what we value most deeply and, having looked up from our busy, mobile, existences, often met a neighbor for the first time and actually felt rooted in a physical community.


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Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change by Dieter Helm

3D printing, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demand response, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, fixed income, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haber-Bosch Process, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, market design, means of production, North Sea oil, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, remote working, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Thomas Malthus

acid rain 25, 194 Africa xiv, xv, 2, 25, 30, 38, 44, 45, 47, 48, 51, 137, 229 agriculture 2, 6, 12, 13, 14, 23, 35–6, 43, 44–5, 70, 76, 86, 87–8, 95, 100, 102, 109, 116, 146–7, 149, 159, 163–80, 181, 183, 192, 197, 198, 206, 220 baseline, the 164–8 biodiversity loss and 2, 5, 100, 164, 165, 168, 169, 171, 172, 174, 180 biofuels and 197–8 carbon emissions and 2, 12, 13, 35–6, 76–7, 146–7, 163–80 carbon price and 167–70, 171, 172, 173, 180 China and 28–9, 35, 45, 180 economics of 76, 165, 166–7, 171, 174 electricity and 13, 166, 168, 174, 178, 180 fertiliser use see fertiliser lobby 14, 110, 164, 165, 169, 170, 197 methane emissions 23, 84, 177, 178, 179 net gain and 172–4 net value of UK 76, 166 new technologies/indoor farming 87–8, 174–9, 180, 213 peat bogs and 2, 179 pesticide use see pesticides petrochemicals and 166 polluter-pays principle and 76, 168–70, 172, 173 pollution 36, 86, 163, 165–6, 168–70, 172, 173, 177–8, 230 public goods, agricultural 170–4, 180 sequestering carbon and 12, 95, 163, 166, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173–4, 177, 179, 180 soils and 2, 146, 163, 164, 165, 166, 168, 169, 171, 172, 175, 179 subsidies 14, 76, 102, 109, 116, 164, 165, 166, 167, 169, 170, 172, 180, 228 25 Year Plan and 179–80 Agriculture Bill (2018), UK 170 air conditioning 135–6, 224, 233 air quality xiii, 13, 25, 46, 52, 61, 70, 135, 153, 177, 180, 201, 216, 230, 232 air transport 3–4, 6, 11, 13, 22, 50, 53, 73, 87, 88, 92, 107, 125, 128, 129, 132, 133, 134, 149, 156–7, 186, 195, 201, 203–5 aluminium 7, 117 Amazon rainforest 2, 34, 35, 95, 145, 149–50, 151, 155, 229, 230 ammonia 35, 137, 191 anaerobic digesters 35, 165, 230 animal welfare 167, 177 antibiotics 93, 165, 174 Arctic 26, 46, 114, 178 artificial intelligence (AI) 32, 175, 220, 231 autonomous vehicles 13, 129, 132, 175, 189–90, 231 Balkans 137–8 Bank of England 121 batteries 6, 31, 131, 135, 141, 183, 184, 185–90, 191, 199, 204, 213, 214, 219, 220, 221, 225, 231 beef 5, 95, 116, 117, 167, 230 Berlin, Isaiah 104 big 5 polluter products 117–18, 120 bin Salman, Mohammad 27 biocrops 36 biodiversity xiv, 2, 5, 12, 13, 28, 35, 51, 76, 94, 100, 148, 149, 152, 153, 158, 159, 164, 165, 168, 169–70, 171, 172, 174, 180, 227, 233 bioenergy 31, 34–5, 36 biofuels 21, 35, 49, 50, 67, 70, 95, 135, 183, 184, 197–8, 210, 230 biomass 32, 34, 49, 50, 67, 69, 109, 146, 147, 151, 210, 217 bonds, government 220 BP 27, 149, 187, 199 Deepwater Horizon disaster, Gulf of Mexico (2010) 147 Brazil 2, 35, 38, 44–5, 47, 95, 145, 149–50, 155, 198 Brexit 42, 47, 56, 117, 165 British Gas 102, 139 British Steel x, 194 broadband networks 6, 11, 90, 92, 125, 126, 127–8, 130–1, 132–3, 135, 140–1, 199, 201, 202, 205, 211, 214, 231, 232 Brundtland Commission 45 BT 127–8, 141 Openreach 214 Burn Out (Helm) ix, xiv Bush, George W. 36, 48, 53, 103 business rates 76, 165 Canada 52, 191, 193 capitalist model 26, 42, 99, 227 carbon border tax/carbon border adjustment xii, 11, 13, 60, 80, 115–20, 194–6, 204 carbon capture and storage (CCS) xiv, 12, 75–6, 95, 109, 146, 147–8, 149, 154, 159, 203–4, 207, 209, 222, 223 Carbon Crunch, The (Helm) ix, xiv, 221 carbon diary 4–5, 8, 10, 11, 64–6, 83, 86, 116, 143, 144, 155, 156, 167, 180, 181, 185, 203, 205 carbon emissions: agriculture and see agriculture by country (2015) 30 during ice ages and warm periods for the past 800,000 years 21 economy and 81–159 electricity and see electricity global annual mean concentration of CO2 (ppm) 19 global average long-term concentration of CO2 (ppm) 20 measuring 43–6 since 1990 1–14, 17–37 transport and see individual method of transport 2020, position in 36–7 UN treaties and 38–57 unilateralism and 58–80 see also unilateralism carbon offsetting xiii–xiv, 4, 5, 12, 34, 45, 72, 74, 79, 94–6, 97, 105, 143–59, 192, 201, 203, 207, 214, 222, 223, 234 for companies 148–50 for countries 151–5 for individuals 155–7 markets 71–2, 110–13, 117, 144, 157–9, 208 travel and 156, 201–3 see also sequestration carbon permits 71–2, 79, 110–13, 117, 144, 208 carbon price/tax xii, xiii, xv, 8, 11, 12, 13, 26, 60, 61, 71, 72, 77, 79, 80, 84, 85–6, 102–3, 105, 106–24, 134, 143, 146, 147, 150, 151–4, 157, 159, 192, 197, 198, 199, 203, 227–30, 232, 234 agriculture and 167, 168, 169–70, 171, 173, 180 domain of the tax/carbon border adjustment xii, 11, 13, 60, 80, 115–20, 121, 124, 192, 194–6, 197, 204, 227 electric pollution and 216–18 ethics of 107–10 floor price 115, 117, 208 for imports 11, 13 prices or quantities/EU ETS versus carbon taxes 110–13 setting 113–15 transport and 192–9 what to do with the money 121–4 where to levy the tax 119–20 who fixes the price 120–1 carbon sinks 2, 5, 166, 169, 203 carboniferous age 34 cars 1, 3, 4, 7, 20, 22, 36, 44, 70, 73, 114, 129, 181, 182, 183, 184–5, 190, 191, 193, 196, 197, 198, 199 see also electric vehicles cartels 39, 40, 43, 45, 46, 47, 56 cattle farming 35, 36, 95, 150, 166, 167, 173, 177, 198 Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) 102, 139, 218 cement 6, 7, 26, 29, 34, 87, 117, 171 charging networks, electric vehicle 91, 129–30, 141–2, 184, 185–90, 199, 200, 202, 219 Chernobyl 78 China xi, xv, 1–2, 5, 8, 18, 42, 46, 47, 48, 64, 66, 74, 101, 180, 229 Belt and Road Initiative 28, 45 coal use 1–2, 8, 23–4, 24, 28, 31, 38, 117, 154, 206, 208 Communist Party 2, 27, 42, 46 demand for fossil fuels/carbon emissions 1–2, 8, 18, 20, 22, 23–4, 24, 25, 27–31, 36, 38, 51, 73, 117, 154, 206, 208 export market x–xi, 5, 9, 64, 66, 117, 155, 194 fertiliser use 35 GDP xv, 27, 29 nationalism and 42 petrochemical demand 22 renewables companies 9, 32, 73, 74, 77, 79 Tiananmen Square 42 unilateralism and 58, 59 UN treaties and 46, 47, 48, 53, 54, 55, 58, 59 US trade war 56, 118 Churchill, Winston 183 citizen assemblies 99–101 climate change: carbon emissions and see carbon emissions 1.5° target 38, 57 2° target 1, 10, 22–3, 28, 30, 38, 39, 45, 47, 54, 55, 57, 108, 122, 155, 206 see also individual area of climate change Climate Change Act (2008) 66, 74–7 Clinton, Bill 40, 48 Club of Rome 98 coal 1–2, 5, 8, 13, 20, 23–5, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 36, 38, 50, 52, 53, 60–1, 67, 72, 77, 78–9, 101, 109, 112, 116, 117, 119, 134, 136, 145, 147, 148, 151, 154, 155, 182, 183, 194, 196, 206–9, 210, 212, 214, 216, 217, 218, 229, 230 coastal marshes 146, 159 colonialism 45 Committee on Climate Change (CCC), UK x–xi, 7, 74–5, 120, 164, 166, 169, 217, 235 ‘Net Zero: The UK’s Contribution to Stopping Global Warming’ report x–xi conference/video calls 6, 129, 156, 202, 205 Conference of the Parties (COP) xii, 10, 48, 50, 53–4, 55, 59, 205 congestion charges 198 Copenhagen Accord 48, 53–4, 59 Coronavirus see Covid-19 cost-benefit analysis (CBA) 71, 108, 110, 114, 138 cost of living 116 Covid-19 x, xi–xii, 1, 3, 6, 9, 18, 19, 22, 25, 27, 30, 37, 44, 46, 50, 57, 65, 69, 80, 89, 93, 129, 135, 148, 171, 201, 202, 204, 232 CRISPR 176 crop yields 172, 177 dams 2, 36, 52–3, 179 DDT (Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) 100 deforestation 2, 5, 34, 35, 36, 38, 43, 44, 47, 55, 87, 95, 145, 146, 149–50, 155, 172–3, 179, 197–8, 229 Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 170 deindustrialisation x, 29, 46, 52, 54, 59, 72–4, 218 Deng Xiaoping 27 Denmark 69–70, 136–7 desalination 135–6, 179 diesel 4, 20–1, 70, 76, 86, 109, 119, 121, 129, 132, 164, 165, 166, 174, 175, 178, 179, 181, 182, 185, 186, 191, 192, 196–7, 208, 217, 230 ‘dieselgate’ scandal 196–7 digitalisation 1, 8, 11, 13, 33, 92, 117, 136, 174, 175, 180, 206, 211, 215, 221, 228–9, 231 DONG 69 Drax 147, 151, 154, 218 economy, net zero 10–12, 81–159 delivering a 96–103 intergenerational equity and 96–7 markets and 103–5 net environmental gain see net environmental gain political ideologies and 98–101 polluter-pays principle see polluter-pays principle public goods, provision of see public goods, provision of technological change and 98 EDF 139, 218 Ehrlich, Paul 98 electricity 1–2, 4, 6, 11, 12, 13, 23, 31, 32, 49, 53, 61, 65, 66, 68, 70, 73, 77, 78, 79, 91, 92, 101, 102, 109, 117, 125, 127, 128, 129–30, 131–2, 134, 135, 136, 137, 139, 140, 141, 149, 158, 166, 168, 174, 178, 180, 182, 183, 228, 229, 231, 232, 234, 235 coal, getting out of 206–7 electric pollution and the carbon price 216–18 electric vehicles 4, 6, 13, 20, 23, 49, 61, 91, 92, 94, 121, 125, 128, 129–30, 131–2, 134, 141, 183–92, 193, 194, 197, 200, 201, 202, 206, 219, 228 equivalent firm power auctions and system operators 210–16 future of 206–25 gas, how to get out of 207–9 infrastructure, electric 185–90, 218–20 low-carbon options post-coal and gas 209–10 net gain and our consumption 222–5 R&D and next-generation renewables 220–2 renewable see renewables Energy Market Reform (EMR) 219 equivalent firm power (EFP) 212–16, 217, 220 ethanol 35, 71, 95, 197 eucalyptus trees xiv, 152 European Commission 60, 71, 72, 112 European Union (EU) xiv, 2, 7, 8, 9, 37, 42, 44, 46, 47, 117, 137, 165, 166, 197; baseline of 1990 and 51–2 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 76, 165 competition regime and customs union 56 deindustrialisation and 46, 52, 54, 59, 72–4 directives for 2030 66 Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) 71–2, 73, 79, 110–13, 117, 144, 208 importing carbon emissions 59 Internal Energy Market (IEM) 68, 71 Kyoto and 9, 51, 59, 66–7 Mercosur Agreement 44, 95 net zero target for 2050 66, 115, 143, 155, 167, 180 Paris and 54 Renewable Energy Directive 68–71, 73, 109 2020 targets signed into law 66 2020–20–20 targets 67, 69, 74 unilateralism and 59, 66–71, 80 Eurostar 133 externalities 104, 170, 180, 196 Extinction Rebellion 6 farmers 14, 26, 35, 36, 43, 71, 76, 86, 95, 102, 109, 110, 146–7, 164, 165, 166, 169, 170, 174, 175, 196, 197, 198 fertiliser 4, 6, 7, 26, 29, 35, 61, 73, 86, 87, 116, 117, 119, 163, 165, 169, 174, 175, 178, 179, 191, 194, 197 fibre/broadband networks 6, 11, 90, 92, 125, 126, 127–8, 130–1, 132–3, 135, 140–1, 201, 202, 205, 211, 214, 231, 232 financial crisis (2007/8) 1, 19, 69 first-mover advantage 75 First Utility 199 flooding 13, 77, 149, 152, 153, 159, 170, 233 food miles 167 food security 170–1 food waste 178, 180, 231 Forestry Commission xiv Formula One 186, 196 fossil fuels, golden age of 20–5 see also individual fossil fuel France 46, 47, 52, 56, 73, 78, 101, 113, 130, 136, 138 free-rider problem 39–40, 43, 62–4, 106, 119 fuel duty 121, 195–6 fuel efficiency 197 fuel prices 26, 112–13, 209 fuel use declaration 195 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011) 52, 78 Fukuyama, Francis: The End of History and the Last Man 40–1 gardens 6, 43, 143, 156 gas, natural ix, 2, 5, 8, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 31, 32, 36, 50, 52, 68, 69, 79, 102, 109, 117, 119, 129, 136, 137, 146, 147–8, 149, 183, 190, 193, 194, 207–9, 210, 211, 214, 216–17 G8 47 gene editing 172, 176, 231 general election (2019) 121 genetics 98, 172, 174–6, 231 geoengineering 177 geothermal power 137, 178 Germany 9, 30, 47, 52, 59, 60, 62, 66, 67, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 77–80, 83, 91, 101, 112, 136, 137, 138, 144, 206, 208, 209 Energiewende (planned transition to a low-carbon, nuclear-free economy) 59, 69, 77–80, 112, 144, 208 Gilets Jaunes 101, 113 GMOs (genetically modified organisms) 176, 177 Great Northern Forest, Britain 151 Green and Prosperous Land (Helm) xiii, xiv, 165, 169, 234 greenbelt 173 greenhouse effect 17 green new deal 90, 102, 234 green parties/green votes 69, 77, 78 green QE (quantitative easing) 102–3 green walls 153, 231 greenwash 156 gross domestic product (GDP) xii, xv, 1, 25, 27, 29, 41, 57, 59, 73, 76, 83, 93, 98, 103, 133, 165, 207, 227, 229, 233 growth nodes 133 G7 47 G20 47 Haber-Bosch process 35, 163 Hamilton, Lewis 186 ‘hands-free’ fields 175 Harry, Prince 6 Heathrow 133, 134 hedgerow 76, 166, 167, 172 Helm Review (‘The Cost of Energy Review’) (2017) ix, 120, 141, 200, 210, 212, 215, 217, 220, 238 herbicide 163 home insulation 102 House of Lords 170 housing 101, 223–4 HS2 92, 125, 132–4, 138, 202 Hume, David 49 hydrogen 13, 49, 92, 125, 128, 135, 137, 183, 184, 190–2, 199, 200, 204, 206, 213, 228 hydro power 31, 35, 36, 50, 52–3, 70, 136, 137, 191 Iceland 137, 178 imports x–xi, xiii, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 62, 68, 70, 117–18, 155, 167, 178, 173, 180, 196, 227 income effect 72, 111 income tax 121, 122, 232 India xiv, xv, 25, 30, 31, 38, 43, 44, 47, 48, 51, 54, 55, 57, 154, 229 individuals, net zero for 155–7 Indonesia 2, 35 indoor farming 87–8, 177–8, 180, 213 indoor pollutants 223, 232 Industrial Revolution 1, 18, 19, 25, 47, 116, 145 INEOS Grangemouth petrochemical plant xi information and communications technology (ICT) 117, 202, 231 infrastructures, low-carbon xiii, xiv, 11–12, 14, 28, 60, 62, 65, 66, 90, 91–4, 96, 105, 109, 123, 125–42, 143, 147, 151, 154, 159, 171, 184, 186, 187, 190, 199–200, 214, 218–20, 228, 230, 231–2, 234–5 centrality of infrastructure networks 128–30 electric 125–41, 218–20 making it happen 141–2 net zero national infrastructure plan 130–6 private markets and 125–8, 141–2 regional and global infrastructure plan 136–7 state intervention and 126, 127–8, 141–2 system operators and implementing the plans 138–41 inheritance tax 76, 165 insects 164, 177, 231 insulation 102, 224 Integrated Assessment Models 114 intellectual property (IP) 75 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 17–18, 47, 55, 57, 108, 172 internal combustion engine 13, 22, 181–2, 183, 184, 200, 221, 228 Internal Energy Market (IEM) 68, 71, 138 International Energy Agency (IEA) 25, 207 International Monetary Fund (IMF) 51 internet banking 131, 213 internet-of-things 128, 175 Iran 27, 42, 113, 137 Iraq 56, 192 Ireland 43, 157 Italy 137, 182 Japan 27, 28, 30, 52, 73, 78, 101, 185 Jevons Paradox 224 Johnson, Boris 89–90 Kant, Immanuel 104 Keynes, John Maynard 89, 102, 103, 105 Kyoto Protocol (1997) xii, 2, 7, 9, 13, 17–18, 37, 38, 39, 40–1, 47–8, 49, 51, 52–3, 59, 66–7, 119 laissez-faire 104, 138, 188 land use 35, 61, 95, 172, 237 LED (light-emitting diode) lighting 87, 178, 179, 180, 213 liquefied natural gas (LNG) 136, 183 lithium-ion battery 185 lobbying 10, 14, 33, 69, 71, 109, 110, 111–12, 115, 121, 157, 169, 170, 187, 197, 209, 223, 227, 228 location-specific taxes 194 maize 35, 165, 197 Malaysia 2, 229 Malthus, Thomas 98 Mao, Chairman 27, 42 meat xi, 65, 164, 177, 180, 232 Mekong River 2, 28, 179, 229 Mercosur Agreement 44, 95 Merkel, Angela 78 methane 4, 23, 84, 177, 178, 179, 216 microplastics 22 miracle solution 49–50, 55, 209 mobile phone 5, 125, 185 National Farmers’ Union (NFU) 110, 164, 165, 169, 170, 171 National Grid 139, 141, 189, 200, 211, 214, 219 nationalisations 101–2, 126–7 nationalism 41, 43, 55, 56, 138 nationally determined contributions (NDCs) 54–5 natural capital xiii, 14, 33–6, 51, 85, 86, 88, 90, 94, 97, 154, 158, 168, 171, 173–4, 236 Nature Fund 123, 169, 234 net environmental gain principle xiii, xiv, 10, 12, 62, 84, 94–6, 105, 143–59, 169, 172–4, 192, 201–3, 222–5 agriculture and 169, 172–4 carbon offsetting and see carbon offsetting electricity and 222–5 principle of 94–6, 143–4 sequestration and see sequestration transport and 192, 201–3 Netherlands 138 Network Rail 214 net zero agriculture and see agriculture defined x–xv, 3–14 economy 10–12, 81–159 see also economy, net zero electricity and see electricity transport and see individual method of transport 2025 or 2030 target 89 2050 target x, xi, 5, 59, 66, 74, 75, 115, 120, 135, 143, 155, 167, 169, 180, 184, 216, 217, 222, 226, 230, 231, 232 unilateralism and see unilateralism NHS 65 non-excludable 91, 93, 126, 170 non-rivalry 91, 93, 126, 170 North Korea 42 North Sea oil/gas 9, 40, 75, 97, 102, 137, 139, 147, 148, 193 Norway 130, 137, 191 nuclear power 5, 9, 12, 18, 23, 52, 60, 73, 77–9, 109, 125, 128, 129, 136, 140, 178, 194, 199, 206, 207, 208, 209–10, 212, 214, 216, 218, 219, 222, 228 Obama, Barack 48, 53, 54, 59 oceans 2, 14, 22, 33, 85, 86, 88, 148, 163, 231 offsetting see carbon offsetting offshore wind power 31, 69, 75–6, 208, 212, 219, 221 Ofgem 220 oil ix, 2, 20, 22–3, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32, 33, 36, 39, 40, 50, 67, 69, 86, 97, 117, 119, 129, 136, 137, 146, 147, 148–9, 150–1, 152, 181–3, 184, 185, 187, 189, 190, 192–4, 196, 197, 199, 206, 209, 210, 216–17, 229 OPEC 39, 40, 193 Orbán, Viktor 41, 42 organic food 61, 87, 178 Ørsted 70 palm oil 2, 5, 6, 35, 36, 66, 71, 167, 173, 197–8, 230 pandemic see Covid-19 Paris Climate Change Agreement (2015) xii, 2, 10, 13, 18, 30, 37, 38, 39, 48, 49, 54–5, 56, 57, 58, 66, 80, 105, 106, 118, 119, 227 peat bogs xiv, 2, 13, 14, 33, 35, 36, 43, 109, 146, 169, 179 pesticides 4, 26, 61, 163, 165, 169, 174, 178, 231 petrochemicals xi, 7, 8, 20, 22–3, 29, 73, 80, 86, 117, 166, 182 petrol 4, 86, 119, 121, 129, 185, 186, 187, 191, 192, 199 photosynthesis 34, 197 plastics 1, 22, 28, 35, 43, 66, 86, 87, 119, 143, 166, 184, 231 polluter-pays principle xiii, xv, 84–90 agriculture and 76, 168–70, 172, 173 carbon price and see carbon price/tax generalised across all sources of pollution 86 identifying polluters that should pay 86 importance of 10–11, 13, 61, 62, 65 intergenerational balance and 96–7 net environmental gain and 94 sequestration and see sequestration, carbon sustainable economy and 96–7, 105, 106 transport and 192–5, 198–9 see also individual type of pollution population growth 93, 97, 177, 178, 179, 232 privatisation 127, 140, 218–19, 220 property developers 94 public goods, provision of xiii, 10, 11–12, 62, 75, 84, 90–4, 96, 104, 105, 109, 122, 123, 126, 128, 141, 147, 151, 153, 159, 164, 168, 173–4, 180, 192, 199–200, 202, 218, 229, 230 agricultural 170–4, 180 low-carbon infrastructures see infrastructures, low-carbon research and development (R&D) see research and development (R&D) Putin, Vladimir 27, 41, 42, 89 railways 11, 13, 13, 87, 91, 92, 94, 125, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132–3, 138, 139, 156, 182, 183, 187, 202, 212, 214, 232 rainforest 2, 5, 34, 35, 36, 38, 44, 47, 55, 87, 95, 145, 149, 155, 173, 179–80, 197, 229 rationalism 40–1 Reagan, Ronald 103 red diesel 76, 109, 164, 165, 196 regulated asset base (RAB) 127, 141, 215, 220 remote working 128, 156, 201–2, 205 renewables ix, 6, 8, 9–10, 18, 19, 21, 26, 31–5, 36, 49, 50, 55, 61, 67, 72, 77, 79, 85, 86, 109, 110, 112, 123, 125, 128, 131, 135, 138, 140, 144, 149, 178, 188, 191, 194, 197, 199, 207, 209–10, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 219, 220–2, 224, 228 Chinese domination of market 9, 32, 73, 74, 77, 79 cost-competitiveness of 9–10, 49, 51, 61, 68 failure of, 1990-now 19, 31–3, 36 modern global renewable energy consumption measured in TWh per year 32 miracle solution and 49–51 Renewable Energy Directive 68–71, 73, 109 subsidies ix, 9, 10, 50, 68–9, 71, 79, 80 see also individual renewable energy source Renewables UK 110 research and development (R&D) xiv, 12, 13, 14, 62, 65, 66, 90, 93–4, 104, 109, 123, 165, 172, 192, 200, 218, 220–2, 223, 228, 234 reshoring businesses 8, 204 rivers 2, 22, 28, 86, 128, 152, 165, 169, 179, 214, 230 roads 11, 28, 45, 91, 92, 125, 129, 131–2, 140, 165, 182, 189, 194, 198, 202, 232 robotics 32, 175, 204, 206, 231 Rosneft 26 Royal Navy 183 Russia 26, 27, 30, 40, 42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 52, 55, 56, 192, 193 RWE 139, 218 Ryanair 156–7 rye grass 35 salmon 169, 177 Saudi Arabia 26, 33, 40, 42, 50, 137, 192, 193 Saudi Aramco 26, 50 seashells 34 sequestration, carbon xi, xiv, 12, 61, 66, 85, 90, 95, 143–59, 228, 229, 231, 232 agriculture and 12, 163, 166, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 176–7, 179, 180 baseline definition and 146–7 biofuels and 35, 146, 217 carbon capture and storage (CCS) xiv, 12, 75–6, 95, 109, 146, 147–8, 149, 154, 159, 203–4, 207, 209, 222, 223 companies, net zero for 148–51 countries, offsetting for 151–5 electricity and 222, 223 gas and 207 individuals, net zero for xi, xiv, 155–7 markets, offsetting 157–9 natural capital destruction and 2, 19, 33–6, 44, 45, 51 natural sequestration xi, xiii, 2, 7, 12, 14, 33–6, 37, 45, 52, 66, 85, 90, 94–6, 105, 143–59, 163, 168, 171, 173, 176–7, 179, 180, 203, 206, 207, 222, 223 net gain principle and 143–4, 146, 149–50 offsetting principle and 143–5 peat bogs and see peat bogs principle of xi, xiii, 2, 7, 12–13 soils and see soils transport and 185, 190, 203 tree planting and see trees, planting/sequestration and types of 145–8 wetlands/coastal marshes and 146, 159, 233 shale gas 8, 208 Shell 27, 149, 199 shipping 8, 13, 22, 28, 36, 49, 114, 125, 137, 181, 182–3, 191, 194–5, 203–5, 217 Siberia 2, 46 smart appliances 128, 129, 132 smart charging 11, 13, 128, 129, 130, 139, 214, 219 soils xiii, 2, 5, 7, 12, 14, 33, 35, 36, 43, 55, 76, 109, 146, 149, 152, 156, 159, 163, 164, 165, 166, 168, 169, 171, 172, 175, 179, 203, 228 solar panels/solar photovoltaics (PV) 5, 6, 9, 12, 13, 21, 31, 32, 33, 49, 53, 68, 69, 71, 74, 79, 87, 91, 135, 136, 137, 178, 179, 188, 204, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 213, 214, 216, 217, 221, 222, 223, 224–5 Sony 185 Soviet Union 18, 40, 52, 67–8, 89 soya 95 Spain 69, 130, 137 sport utility vehicles (SUVs) 106, 121, 192 spruce xiv, 152, 170 standard of living xv, 1, 5, 8, 10, 11, 14, 229, 233 staycations 201 steel x–xi, 6, 7, 8, 26, 28, 29, 53, 66, 73, 80, 87, 116, 117, 118, 119, 171, 184, 194–5 Stern, Nicholas: The Economics of Climate Change 41, 63 subsidies ix, 9, 10, 14, 32, 50, 51, 52, 53, 69, 71, 76, 79, 80, 89, 102, 109, 110, 113, 116, 123, 140, 154, 164, 165, 166, 167, 169, 170, 172, 180, 193, 196, 198, 209, 215, 221, 222, 228, 230 sugar cane 35, 71, 95, 197, 198 sulphur pollution 22, 25, 28, 78, 191, 194, 197, 230 sustainable economic growth xv, 10, 12, 14, 61, 83, 92, 94, 97, 98, 105, 227, 233 Taiwan 42 taxation xii, 11, 62, 71, 72, 76, 80, 87, 89, 90, 91, 92, 97, 101, 102, 103, 106–24, 126, 127, 130, 133, 147, 150, 151–2, 153–4, 157, 159, 165, 169, 170, 192–6, 197, 198, 199, 203, 232, 234 technological change 98, 127, 141, 174–5, 221 Thatcher, Margaret 17 Thompson, Emma 6 3D printing 175, 204 Thunberg, Greta 6, 205 tidal shocks 159 top-down treaty frameworks 13, 38–57, 80, 110, 119 tourism/holidays 6, 22, 36, 88, 94, 107, 114, 128, 156, 201, 204–5 transport, reinventing 181–205 aviation 195, 201, 203–5 see also air transport batteries and charging networks 185–90 biofuels 196–8 electric alternative 183–5 hydrogen and fuel cells 190–2 innovation, R&D and new infrastructures 199–200 internal combustion engine 181–2 net gain and offsets (reducing travel versus buying out your pollution) 201–3 oil 183–4 polluter pays/carbon tax 192–6 shipping 203–5 urban regulation and planning 198–9 vehicle standards 196–8 see also individual type of transport Treasury, UK 120–2 trees, planting/sequestration and xi, xiii, xiv, 2, 7, 13, 14, 33, 34, 45, 76, 85, 94–6, 146, 148, 149–51, 152–3, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 168, 169, 172, 179, 203, 231 trophy project syndrome 133 Trump, Donald 2, 8, 41, 42, 48, 89, 99, 103, 121 25 Year Environment Plan xiii, 153, 170, 179–80 UK 47, 69 agriculture and 164, 166, 167, 173 carbon emissions (2015) 30 carbon price and 115, 120 Climate Change Act (2008) 66, 74–7 coal, phasing out of 24–5, 60–1, 77, 208 Committee on Climate Change (CCC) x–xi, 7, 74–6, 120, 164, 166, 169, 217, 235 deindustrialisation and 72–4 80 per cent carbon reduction target by 2050 74 electricity and 206, 208, 218, 219, 224 Helm Review (‘The Cost of Energy Review’) (2017) ix, 120, 141, 200, 210, 212, 215, 217, 220, 238 infrastructure 125, 132–3, 134, 137, 139–40 net zero passed into law (2019) 66 sequestration and 145, 150, 153, 154, 155, 156 transport and 195–6, 197, 198 unilateralism and 58–9, 60–1, 65, 66, 69, 72–7, 80 unilateralism xi, 8, 10, 11, 25, 58–80, 83, 105, 106, 119, 125, 143, 144, 155, 164, 167, 197, 203, 227 in Europe 66–80 incentive problem and 58–60 morality and 62–6 no regrets exemplars and/showcase examples of how decarbonisation can be achieved 60–2 place for 80 way forward and 80, 83 United Nations xi, xii, 6, 10, 17, 37, 38, 118 carbon cartel, ambition to create a 39–40, 43, 45, 46–7, 56 climate treaty processes xi, 6, 10, 13, 17–18, 36, 37, 38–57, 59, 80, 110, 118, 119, 204–5 see also individual treaty name Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 17–18, 36, 38, 59 miracle solution and 50–1 origins and philosophy of 41 Security Council 46, 47, 57 United States 8, 74, 139, 206 agriculture in 175, 176, 197 carbon emissions 8, 29, 30 China and 27–8, 42, 118 coal and 2, 24, 28, 29, 208 economic imperialism 45 energy independence 50 gas and 8, 20, 23, 24, 29, 50, 208 oil production 40, 50, 193 pollution since 1990 29 unilateralism and 58, 59, 74 UN climate treaty process and 38, 40–1, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 53, 54, 56 universal service obligations (USOs) 92, 126, 131, 202 utilitarianism 41, 63–4, 108, 110 VAT 117, 119–20, 121, 122, 232 Vesta 69 Volkswagen 196–7 water companies 76, 214, 230 water pollution/quality xiv, 12, 22, 61, 76, 152, 153, 165, 169, 170, 171, 172, 175, 177, 178, 179, 180, 232 Wen Jiabao 53, 59 wetlands 159, 233 wildflower meadow 164, 184 wind power 5, 9, 12, 21, 31, 32, 33, 49, 53, 68, 69–70, 71, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 91, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 178, 188, 191, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214–15, 216, 217, 219, 221, 222 wood pellets 67, 217, 230 Woodland Trust 156, 158 World Bank 51 World Trade Organization (WTO) 52, 56, 118 World War I 183 World War II (1939–45) 78, 90, 92, 101, 106, 171 Xi Jinping 27, 41, 42 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS So much is now discussed, written and published about climate change that it is impossible to keep track of all the ideas and conversations that have influenced my understanding of the subject.

The predictions of the peak-oilers have turned out to be nonsense, the price of oil (and gas) has fallen back and, whatever their advocates claim, renewables are not yet subsidy-free once all the costs have been taken into account. What I had not anticipated was that no serious progress would yet have been made on the fundamental problem, and that the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere would still just keep on going ever upwards, without so much as a blip, and, if anything, slightly accelerate. Only the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has made a difference, and this is likely to be temporary. When set against the enormity of the consequences of climate change, the only rational response is anger. If this failure to achieve anything much in the last 30 years had been the consequence of not trying, it would be bad but at least understandable.

Thirty years on from the UN’s drive to address climate change, we are still going backwards at an alarming rate. Up to the start of 2020, the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere carried on going up relentlessly at around 2 parts per million (ppm) every year. The only thing that has worked and lowered carbon consumption is the Covid-19 lockdowns, sharply reducing GDP and emissions. Anger is not enough, and neither is despair at what has so far failed to happen. We can do much better. There needs to be a plan. This is my attempt to bring together my earlier arguments and analyses, to set out a better way of thinking through the carbon problem, and to lay out what a carbon policy would look like if we really wanted to limit global temperatures.


pages: 569 words: 156,139

Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire by Brad Stone

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, air freight, Airbnb, Amazon Picking Challenge, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, business climate, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, computer vision, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, disinformation, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, future of work, global pandemic, income inequality, independent contractor, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, private space industry, quantitative hedge fund, remote working, RFID, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, Uber for X, union organizing, WeWork

in twenty-three states: Paris Martineau, “Amazon Quietly Expands Large-Scale Covid Testing Program for Warehouses,” The Information, September 24, 2020, https://www.theinformation.com/articles/amazon-quietly-expands-large-scale-covid-testing-program-for-warehouses (January 26, 2021). thousands of tests a day across 650 sites: “Update on COVID-19 Testing,” Amazon, October 1, 2020, https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/operations/update-on-covid-19-testing (January 26, 2021). “injecting Amazon with a growth hormone”: Matthew Fox, “ ‘COVID-19 Has Been Like Injecting Amazon with a Growth Hormone’: Here’s What 4 Analysts Had to Say About Amazon’s Earnings Report as $4,000 Price Targets Start to Roll In,” Business Insider, July 31, 2020, https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/amazon-earnings-wall-street-reacts-blockbuster-report-analysts-stock-price-2020-7-1029456482 (January 26, 2021).

Another project to regularly test the oxygen levels of FC workers with pulse oximeters didn’t meaningfully identify anyone with Covid-19 and was also abandoned, as was a trial to track the location of employees inside warehouses using their personal cell phones and their facility’s Wi-Fi network. Dr. Ian Lipkin had talked to the S-team about the urgent need for rapid testing, to address the issue of asymptomatic people who are infected and come to work, unknowingly spreading the disease. With the U.S. grappling with a critical shortage of Covid-19 tests and Amazon unable to procure a supply of its own, Bezos decreed that Amazon should make tests itself—even though it had no previous experience in the area.

The piece, which included an interview with Chris Smalls, was punishing, particularly about the company’s reluctance to release any information about infection rates in the FCs. Dave Clark was trotted out alone to face the formidable Lesley Stahl; he affably maintained that the number of overall Covid-19 cases wasn’t a useful figure, since Amazon believed most employees were infected in their communities, not at work. But by the fall, Amazon had reversed course amid growing pressure. It reported that around twenty thousand of its 1.3 million frontline employees had tested or been presumed positive for Covid-19. The company argued that its preventative measures had made that figure far lower than could be predicted based on the infection rates in local communities.


pages: 134 words: 41,085

The Wake-Up Call: Why the Pandemic Has Exposed the Weakness of the West, and How to Fix It by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge

Admiral Zheng, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, Corn Laws, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, global pandemic, Internet of things, invisible hand, James Carville said: "I would like to be reincarnated as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.", Jones Act, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, McMansion, night-watchman state, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parkinson's law, pensions crisis, QR code, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Bannon, surveillance capitalism, trade route, universal basic income, Washington Consensus

“New World Curriculum,” The Economist, March 7, 2020, 19. 7.Jamie Grierson, “UK Government Under Fire After ‘Big Influx’ of Covid-19 Cases from Europe Revealed,” Guardian, May 5, 2020. 8.Laura Donnelly, “Earlier Lockdown Could Have Prevented Three-Quarters of UK Coronavirus Deaths, Modelling Suggests,” Daily Telegraph, May 20, 2020. 9.Rafaela Lindeberg, “Man Behind Sweden’s Controversial Virus Strategy Admits Mistakes,” Bloomberg, June 3, 2020. 10.Sen Pei, Sasikiran Kandula, and Jeffrey Shaman, “Differential Effects of Intervention Timing on COVID-19 Spread in the United States,” posted on medRxiv preprint server, May 29, 2020. 11.Drew Armstrong et al., “Why New York Suffered When Other Cities Were Spared by Covid-19,” Bloomberg, May 28, 2020. 12.Armstrong et al., “Why New York Suffered When Other Cities Were Spared by Covid-19.” 13.Fareed Zakaria, “If New York Founders It Will Be Because of Bad Government, Not the Pandemic,” Washington Post, June 11, 2020. 14.Raphael Rashid, “Being Called a Cult Is One Thing, Being Blamed for an Epidemic Is Quite Another,” New York Times, March 9, 2020. 15.Laura Spinney, “The Coronavirus Slayer!

CHAPTER FOUR: THE COVID TEST 1.John Burns-Murdoch and Chris Giles, “UK Suffers Second-Highest Death Rate from Coronavirus,” Financial Times, May 28, 2020. 2.Tim Ross and Kitty Donaldson, “Boris Johnson Revamps Agenda to Meet Worst UK Recession in 300 Years,” Bloomberg, June 2, 2020. 3.Marc Champion, “Coronavirus Is a Stress Test Many World Leaders Are Failing,” Bloomberg, May 22, 2020. 4.Lara Zhou and Keegan Elmer, “Thousands Left Wuhan for Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore or Tokyo Before Lockdown,” South China Morning Post, January 27, 2020. 5.Richard Horton, The Covid-19 Catastrophe: What’s Gone Wrong and How to Stop It Happening Again (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2020), 53. 6.“New World Curriculum,” The Economist, March 7, 2020, 19. 7.Jamie Grierson, “UK Government Under Fire After ‘Big Influx’ of Covid-19 Cases from Europe Revealed,” Guardian, May 5, 2020. 8.Laura Donnelly, “Earlier Lockdown Could Have Prevented Three-Quarters of UK Coronavirus Deaths, Modelling Suggests,” Daily Telegraph, May 20, 2020. 9.Rafaela Lindeberg, “Man Behind Sweden’s Controversial Virus Strategy Admits Mistakes,” Bloomberg, June 3, 2020. 10.Sen Pei, Sasikiran Kandula, and Jeffrey Shaman, “Differential Effects of Intervention Timing on COVID-19 Spread in the United States,” posted on medRxiv preprint server, May 29, 2020. 11.Drew Armstrong et al., “Why New York Suffered When Other Cities Were Spared by Covid-19,” Bloomberg, May 28, 2020. 12.Armstrong et al., “Why New York Suffered When Other Cities Were Spared by Covid-19.” 13.Fareed Zakaria, “If New York Founders It Will Be Because of Bad Government, Not the Pandemic,” Washington Post, June 11, 2020. 14.Raphael Rashid, “Being Called a Cult Is One Thing, Being Blamed for an Epidemic Is Quite Another,” New York Times, March 9, 2020. 15.Laura Spinney, “The Coronavirus Slayer!

How Kerala’s Rock Star Health Minister Helped Save It from Covid-19,” Guardian, May 14, 2020. 16.“New World Curriculum,” The Economist. 17.Shalini Ramachandran, Laura Kusisto, and Katie Hoanan, “How New York’s Coronavirus Response Made the Pandemic Worse,” Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2020. 18.Full disclosure: Paul Deighton is chairman of The Economist. 19.Gordon Lubold and Paul Vieira, “US Drops Proposal to Put Troops at Canadian Border,” Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2020. 20.Teresa Coratella, “Whatever It Takes: Italy and the Covid-19 Crisis,” European Council on Foreign Relations, March 18, 2020. 21.Andy Hoffman, “Sex Workers Can Get Back to Business in Switzerland, but Sports Remain Prohibited,” Bloomberg, May 20, 2020. 22.YouGov, “Americans Trust Local Governments over the Federal Government on COVID-19,” April 27, 2020. 23.John Lichfield, “Coronavirus: France’s strange defeat,” Politico, May 8, 2020. 24.Anne Applebaum, “The Coronavirus Called America’s Bluff,” The Atlantic, March 15, 2020.


pages: 285 words: 98,832

The Premonition: A Pandemic Story by Michael Lewis

Airbnb, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, dark matter, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, double helix, energy security, facts on the ground, failed state, global supply chain, illegal immigration, Mark Zuckerberg, out of africa, QAnon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, telemarketer, the new new thing, working poor, young professional

But soon one of them sent her a message: “Where did you come from???” Another began to refer to her as “Wolverette.” “We liked her right away,” Carter said. “She’s spitfire.” * The first death caused by COVID-19 recorded in the United States occurred in Seattle on February 28. In late April, Santa Clara County reclassified two earlier deaths after figuring out that they, too, had been caused by COVID-19. The first had occurred on February 6, the second on February 17. Both patients would have been infected by the virus roughly a month before death. As neither victim had traveled outside the area, the virus had clearly been circulating in the Bay Area by early January

She began to put her thoughts in emails—for instance, after the state of Washington, on February 28, reported its first COVID-19 case that could not be explained either by travel from China or contact with some person known to have been infected by the virus. With the virus openly spreading in greater Seattle, Charity wrote an email to her boss suggesting that the western states—California, Oregon, and Washington—seize the moment to form a coalition. They would stop waiting for the CDC to create a test for COVID-19 that actually worked and create their own test, using their own laboratories. The three states together would have a credibility that no state on its own could generate.

They’d be able to return results to people within a day; in a pinch, they could get you an answer in three hours. And—here was the kicker—they worked for free. There was no bill. You just handed over your test tubes with the nasal swab inside and the Biohub told you who had COVID-19 and who did not. Joe assumed, not unreasonably, that his new team of volunteers would soon be overrun by hordes of customers delighted by the freebie. The previous week, the entire state of California had received fewer than two thousand COVID-19 test results. Test tubes holding nasal swabs from more than 55,000 Californians were lying around in labs waiting to be evaluated. By redirecting 2,666 a day from the big corporate labs, the state of California could save itself $426,560 every day and get results back in time to make a difference.


pages: 199 words: 63,844

Breathtaking: Inside the NHS in a Time of Pandemic by Rachel Clarke

Airbnb, Boris Johnson, call centre, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, disruptive innovation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, global pandemic, zero-sum game

., et al., ‘Inequalities and deaths involving COVID-19: What the links between inequalities tell us’, Health Foundation, 21 May 2020. ‘Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19’, Public Health England, Aug 2020. de Prudhoe, K., ‘My dad died alone because we played by the rules. Why is it different for Dominic Cummings?’, Huffington Post, 26 May 2020. Ellery, B., et al., ‘Loyalty to Dominic Cummings will cost lives, says scientist’, The Times, 25 May 2020. Fancourt, D., et al., ‘The Cummings effect: politics, trust, and behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic’, Lancet, 6 August 2020. Canale, D.

., et al., ‘Coronavirus: 38 days when Britain sleepwalked into disaster’, Sunday Times, 19 April 2020. Conn, D., et al., ‘Revealed: the inside story of the UK’s Covid-19 crisis’, Guardian, 29 April 2020. Worst-case Scenarios Williams, W. C., The Autobiography of William Carlos Williams (New York: New Directions, 1967). Crawford, D., Viruses: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). Johns Hopkins University, ‘COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE)’, Johns Hopkins University, accessed 8 March 2020. Kington, T., ‘Coronavirus: Doctors forced into life-or-death decisions as patients swamp hospitals’, The Times, 11 March 2020.

ISBN 978-1-4087-1376-1 Little, Brown An imprint of Little, Brown Book Group Carmelite House 50 Victoria Embankment London EC4Y 0DZ An Hachette UK Company www.hachette.co.uk www.littlebrown.co.uk This book is dedicated to the memory of four members of staff at Oxford University Hospitals: Oscar King Junior, Elbert Rico, Philomina Cherian and Peter Gough. Each lost their life to Covid-19 while doing their utmost to help others. To date, over 600 NHS and care workers have suffered the same fate. Heartfelt thanks to them all for their courage and selflessness. Contents Author’s Note Prologue 1 Pneumonia of Unknown Cause 2 The Might of Tiny Things 3 Worst-Case Scenarios 4 A Brilliant Plan 5 A Long Deep Breath 6 The Thin Red Line 7 Inside the Wave 8 The Thing with Feathers 9 Sacrifice 10 Human Factors Epilogue References Acknowledgements Author’s Note The majority of these stories are told with the permission of patients, families and members of staff who kindly agreed to be interviewed for this book.


pages: 245 words: 75,397

Fed Up!: Success, Excess and Crisis Through the Eyes of a Hedge Fund Macro Trader by Colin Lancaster

Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, always be closing, asset-backed security, beat the dealer, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, bond market vigilante , Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy the rumour, sell the news, Carmen Reinhart, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, collateralized debt obligation, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, Edward Thorp, family office, fiat currency, fixed income, Flash crash, global pandemic, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, index arbitrage, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, margin call, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Modern Monetary Theory, moral hazard, National Debt Clock, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Northern Rock, oil shock, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sharpe ratio, short selling, statistical arbitrage, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, two and twenty, value at risk, WeWork, yield curve, zero-sum game

Part 2: The Crash Chapter 4 The Virus Spreads January 2020 1/1/20—Huanan Seafood Market closed by local authorities in response to illness outbreak. 1/3/20—ISM manufacturing declines to 47.2, its lowest print in a decade. 1/7/20—At a closed politburo meeting, Xi Jinping requests prevention and control work to address the new coronavirus. 1/8/20—South Korea announces its first case of coronavirus from China: a woman who had recently traveled to Wuhan. 1/10/20—Payrolls miss at 145K; unemployment steady at 3.5%; average hourly earnings at 2.9%, first time -3% since July 2018. 1/11/20— China reports its first COVID-19 death. 1/11/20—WHO announces: “The Chinese government reports that there is no clear evidence that the virus passes easily from person to person.” 1/15/20—Phase 1 of US/China trade deal signed. 1/16/20—Trump impeachment trial begins in the Senate. 1/16/20—Japan announces first COVID-19 case. 1/20/20—First reported case of COVID-19 in the USA. 1/23/20—Wuhan goes into lockdown. 1/30/20—FOMC leaves rates unchanged, downgrades household spending description to “moderate” from “strong.” 1/30/20—WHO declares “global health emergency.” 1/31/20—President Trump bans Chinese travelers from entering the USA.

Chapter 5 Risk Management and an Inflection Point February 2020 2/2/20—First COVID-19 death outside China (in the Philippines). 2/3/20—Pete Buttigieg appears to win the Iowa Caucus after count confusion. 2/3/20—USA declares “public health emergency.” 2/3/20—ISM manufacturing bounces back to 50.9; eased US/China trade tensions likely helped. 2/5/20—Trump acquitted by the Senate. 2/7/20—Payrolls beat at +225K for January; unemployment rate to 3.6%; average hourly earnings to 3.1%. 2/14/20—France announces first COVID-19 death within Europe. 2/19/20—S&P peaks. 2/23/20—Large swaths of Italy locked down in response to case surge. 2/26/20—South America’s first case: Brazilian man who had been in Italy. 2/26/20—Vice President Pence named head of COVID-19 Task Force; daily briefings. 2/29/20—First COVID-19 death in the USA.

Chapter 5 Risk Management and an Inflection Point February 2020 2/2/20—First COVID-19 death outside China (in the Philippines). 2/3/20—Pete Buttigieg appears to win the Iowa Caucus after count confusion. 2/3/20—USA declares “public health emergency.” 2/3/20—ISM manufacturing bounces back to 50.9; eased US/China trade tensions likely helped. 2/5/20—Trump acquitted by the Senate. 2/7/20—Payrolls beat at +225K for January; unemployment rate to 3.6%; average hourly earnings to 3.1%. 2/14/20—France announces first COVID-19 death within Europe. 2/19/20—S&P peaks. 2/23/20—Large swaths of Italy locked down in response to case surge. 2/26/20—South America’s first case: Brazilian man who had been in Italy. 2/26/20—Vice President Pence named head of COVID-19 Task Force; daily briefings. 2/29/20—First COVID-19 death in the USA. Month-end: UST 10s at 1.15%; S&P -8.2%; Nasdaq -6.4%; dollar index +0.8%; oil -12.5%. Red lights flashing, negative numbers shooting at me, faceless people mumbling about short gamma and curve flattening, visions of people running for the exits, night sweats, visions of my boss taking away my access pass and ushering me out of the building: a PnL dream.


pages: 225 words: 70,590

Curbing Traffic: The Human Case for Fewer Cars in Our Lives by Chris Bruntlett, Melissa Bruntlett

autonomous vehicles, car-free, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, en.wikipedia.org, global pandemic, Jane Jacobs, Lyft, New Urbanism, post-work, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, the built environment, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban planning, white flight, working-age population, World Values Survey

In 2019, TU Delft even went as far as building a demonstration project on campus: a solar array capable of charging up to four electric bikes. Small wonder the Dutch government was promoting them as a viable alternative to public transport during the COVID-19 crisis, for journeys up to 20 kilometers (12 miles) in length. This is a mobility solution that checks all three boxes for comprehensive transportation resilience: it is recoverable, reliable, and most definitely sustainable. Crisis as a Turning Point The COVID-19 crisis didn’t just create a cycling revolution. It also led to a dining one, as cities such as London, Boston, New York, and Montréal quickly reclaimed many of their streets, curbside spaces, and parking lots to create “outdoor dining districts” to support their bars, cafés, and restaurants postlockdown.

Recent years have seen an unprecedented push for a more equitable reallocation of this (curb and street) space—especially for walking and cycling—in metropolitan areas across the globe. Fueled by converging climate, health, and safety crises, there is a growing urgency to reduce the speed, access, and volume of cars, in residential and commercial areas alike. The COVID-19 pandemic has further fueled this challenge to the hegemony of cars in cities, as physical distancing requirements suddenly forced citizens to question this inefficient allowance of space. But by focusing on facts, figures, and charts, these discussions often miss the most critical element: the human one.

“When the car became the dominant form of transportation, the post office, newsstand, bookstore, and videostore—all places where we crossed paths just a few years ago—became obsolete,” she writes on page 13. Decades later, the result is a level of loneliness that could be said, without hyperbole, to be reaching epidemic levels; a trend only compounded by lockdown conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Dr. Appleyard, a street in conflict is one where the car travels through and pushes people away, and they ultimately withdraw from the street itself. (Modacity) Forging close personal relationships is vital to humanity in many ways. It is how we learn compassion, empathy, and cooperation from an early age, and how we continue to learn and grow throughout our lives.


pages: 344 words: 104,522

Woke, Inc: Inside Corporate America's Social Justice Scam by Vivek Ramaswamy

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Sanders, carbon footprint, cleantech, cloud computing, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, desegregation, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fudge factor, full employment, glass ceiling, global pandemic, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, impact investing, independent contractor, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, microaggression, Network effects, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, random walk, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, source of truth, sovereign wealth fund, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Vanguard fund, WeWork, zero-sum game

Under its stated standard, YouTube would’ve banned any videos in January 2020 that claimed that human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 was possible, given the official WHO stance at the time. In retrospect, that was arguably the most dangerous lie about public health in modern history. As of this writing, the issue remains relevant to other scientific debates surrounding COVID-19 as well. In the spring of 2020, the FDA approved a drug called remdesivir, which it says shortens the duration of hospital stays for patients with severe COVID-19. Tens of thousands of patients hospitalized in the United States went on to receive remdesivir, including one of my family members.

Foolishly, I ignored the brewing tide, hoping that it would naturally subside. We were due to have a townhall later that week, and I decided to use it as an occasion to try to focus the company on our near-term strategy for developing a treatment for COVID-19 and on stemming the impact of the virus on our other ongoing clinical trials. But within minutes after sharing our progress on COVID-19 initiatives, employees began asking questions like “What is Roivant doing to address systemic racism across its many subsidiaries?” “Are we going to revisit our recruiting practices?” I personally reject the narrative of systemic racism, so I listened and didn’t say much in response, trying to sound empathetic whenever I could.

Subramanian went so far as to argue that ESG metrics are the best measure for signaling future earnings risk—superior even to financial risk factors like the level of a company’s leverage, or debt burden.6 Harvard Business School professor George Serafeim, working in collaboration with Boston mutual fund manager State Street, observed that “during the market collapse” in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, “firms experiencing more positive sentiment on their human capital, supply chain, and operational response to COVID-19 experienced higher institutional money flows” and less downside in share prices.7 Similar analyses abound. Morningstar found that sustainable index funds outperformed traditional index funds in the first quarter of 2020.8 Hermes Investment Management observed in 2018 that companies with good or improving ESG characteristics outperform companies with poor or worsening characteristics.9 Countless other reports come to similar conclusions.


pages: 265 words: 75,202

The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism by Hubert Joly

big-box store, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, David Brooks, fear of failure, global pandemic, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, lateral thinking, long term incentive plan, meta-analysis, old-boy network, pension reform, performance metric, popular capitalism, pre–internet, race to the bottom, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, risk/return, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, young professional, zero-sum game

So was revitalizing Carlson Wagonlit Travel at a time when internet travel booking was supposed to kill the business. The Covid-19 pandemic that swept across the world in 2020 created significant challenges, threatening the survival of many companies. Yet the severe constraints around health and safety also offered new possibilities. Being forced to rethink process, products, and services brought about new ways to tap into unexplored demand and unleash new growth. Before the Covid-19 crisis, for example, Adobe, the digital creativity company, would hold an annual conference in Las Vegas for 15,000 attendees.

Besides expanding reach, the Covid-19 crisis has also created opportunities to transform customer experience. In April 2020, Best Buy decided to reopen some of its stores, which the company had closed in March, for one-on-one consultations by appointment. This took care of safety concerns related to excessive crowds in a store and provided a high-touch experience to customers. It also led to a higher sales close rate, as the shoppers who made an appointment were those actively looking for solutions and keen to pay for them, rather than browsers. In the same vein, the Covid-19 crisis and the associated safety concerns gave telemedicine a long-awaited boost, which technological progress has facilitated.

More and more people hold the system responsible for social fractures and environmental degradation. Employees, customers, and even shareholders expect much more from corporations than a blind pursuit of profit. Disengagement at work is a global epidemic. More recently, a new civil rights movement and the Covid-19 pandemic have accelerated the need to rethink our system if we want to tackle the enormous challenges facing us. Business can be a force for good in this fight; it is uniquely positioned to help address some of the world’s most pressing issues. A growing number of business leaders agree. But they and I know from experience that it is hard to do.


pages: 592 words: 125,186

The Science of Hate: How Prejudice Becomes Hate and What We Can Do to Stop It by Matthew Williams

3D printing, 4chan, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic bias, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, dark matter, deindustrialization, desegregation, disinformation, Donald Trump, European colonialism, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, illegal immigration, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, microaggression, Milgram experiment, selection bias, Snapchat, statistical model, theory of mind, twin studies, white flight

Choi, ‘In Six Weeks, STOP AAPI HATE Receives over 1700 Incident Reports of Verbal Harassment, Shunning and Physical Assaults’, STOP AAPI HATE Reporting Center, 13 May 2020. 29. Home Affairs Committee, ‘Oral Evidence: Home Office Preparedness for Covid-19 (Coronavirus), Hc 232’, London: House of Commons, 2020. 30. Human Rights Watch, ‘Covid-19 Fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide’, 12 May 2020, www.hrw.org/news/2020/05/12/covid-19-fueling-anti-asian-racism-and-xenophobia-worldwide. 31. Institute for Strategic Dialogue, ‘Far-Right Exploitation of Covid-19’, London: ISD, 2020. 32. Institute for Strategic Dialogue, ‘Covid-19 Disinformation Briefing No. 2’, London: ISD, 2020. 33. A. Goldman, ‘Man Suspected of Planning Attack on Missouri Hospital Is Killed, Officials Say’, New York Times, 25 March 2020. 34.

Information Commissioner’s Office, ‘ICO Investigation into Use of Personal Information and Political Influence’, London: Information Commissioner’s Office, 2020. 4. Institute for Strategic Dialogue, ‘Far-Right Exploitation of Covid-19’, London: ISD, 2020; S. Parkin, ‘“A Threat to Health Is Being Weaponised”: Inside the Fight against Online Hate Crime’, Guardian, 2 May 2020; K. Paul, ‘Facebook Reports Spike in Takedowns of Hate Speech’, Reuters, 12 May 2020. 5. EU vs Disinfo, ‘EEAS Special Report Update: Short Assessment of Narratives and Disinformation around the Covid-19/Coronavirus Pandemic’, 24 April 2020, euvsdisinfo.eu/eeas-special-report-update-2-22-april; C. Miller, ‘White Supremacists See Coronavirus as an Opportunity’, Southern Poverty Law Center, 26 March 2020

When the experiment factored in the role of other politicians supporting Trump’s comment the prejudice-inducing effect skyrocketed.26 Trump was also accused of stirring up hatred of Asians after he used the term ‘Chinese virus’ to describe COVID-19. His first use of the term at a press briefing, questioned at the time by reporters, caused a discernible online reaction, consisting of both criticism and endorsement. Trump uttered the term at least twenty times in March, the month in which a spike in hate crimes on the streets against Asian people was recorded.27 A third-party reporting centre at San Francisco State University recorded 1,710 COVID-19-related hate incidents targeting Asian Americans in just six weeks, across forty-five states.28 Most victims had been verbally harassed on the street, with others suffering physical assault and being attacked online.


Paint Your Town Red by Matthew Brown

banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, call centre, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, fear of failure, financial exclusion, G4S, gig economy, global supply chain, housing crisis, mittelstand, new economy, Northern Rock, precariat, remote working, too big to fail, wage slave, working-age population, zero-sum game

Really “Taking Back Control” The Importance of Buy-In Part Two: The Preston Story A How-To Guide Part Three: Community Wealth-Building from Neighbourhood to Nation Participatory Democracy: The Real “Big Society” Jobs and Money Land, Space and Assets Sustainable Futures Conclusion How to Paint Your Own Town Red Local Government Demystified Further Contacts, Resources and Reading Notes Acknowledgements INTRODUCTION This book explores the ways in which you can have an impact at a local level, and by doing so take part in a global phenomenon of larger transformative currents. Across the world, there is a growing awareness of the need for a new kind of economy. The 2008 financial crisis, the climate crisis and the previously unthinkable government interventions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic are proving that national governments can step in to change how the economy works. These developments, despite their devastating effects, have also meant that a new economic and political space for exploration and experiment has been opening up. The challenge of “community wealth-building” is for this transformative moment to work for the benefit of local communities rather than global corporations.

In the UK, too, where local authorities have broken from the status quo in favour of ambitious local experiments, they are gaining success at the ballot box. In the 2019 general election, Preston was one of the few constituencies to buck the national swing that saw heavy losses for Labour in its former heartlands. Recently, and most obviously, the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the extent of our reliance both on complex and overextended global supply chains and on the poorest and least valued workers in the cleaning, health, transport and care work sectors to keep the economy and society going. Jobs in these sectors, despite their vital importance, tend to be insecure and poorly paid, and are dominated by young, female, BAME and migrant workers.

The city has adapted community wealth-building as best fits its own circumstances, but its principles and options can be drawn upon in different forms to suit the needs and resources of different localities. Many places will be able to identify their own place-based large employers who can act as anchor institutions for local procurement spending. Dealing with these institutions under the pressures of austerity and the additional crisis of Covid-19 will take boldness and conviction among elected officials to make the arguments, as Preston did, for keeping the wealth of a community within it and for supporting local innovation. It remains to be seen — like all other impacts of Brexit — whether the absence of EU rules on procurement will make it easier for service contracts to be offered locally.


pages: 424 words: 114,820

Neurodiversity at Work: Drive Innovation, Performance and Productivity With a Neurodiverse Workforce by Amanda Kirby, Theo Smith

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Automated Insights, barriers to entry, call centre, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, epigenetics, fear of failure, future of work, global pandemic, iterative process, job automation, longitudinal study, meta-analysis, Minecraft, neurotypical, phenotype, remote work: asynchronous communication, remote working, the built environment

We are seeing forced change on a global scale that will alter the way we see the world of work. This is a rapid change that should and could have taken a decade or more to occur but has happened in months. The Industrial Revolution was huge, but the Digital Revolution and what this means to be ‘at work’ has been accelerated even more by Covid-19, which has already shaken the world and the way we work and will change how we will operate forever. So in writing this book about Neurodiversity in the Workplace, let us hear from the person who is the originator of the term, because it was her early research relating to neurodiversity, and her passion for the subject, that allowed us to even have this debate and explore what neurodiversity means to us.

Ethical, moral and legal responsibilities If we examine official measures of employment and unemployment, between 2013 and 2019, the disability employment gap in the UK had reduced, with the data showing roughly half of disabled people were in employment (53.2 per cent) compared with just over four out of five non-disabled people (81.8 per cent). This data came from The Labour Force Survey (LFS) and Annual Population Survey (APS) and forms part of the Office for National Statistics series of bulletins, which have explored outcomes for disabled people across a number of areas of life.4 A real concern is that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will reverse this trend unless a spotlight is put on action. This is an ethical and moral responsibility for society otherwise it will potentially turn back time. This gap is much wider for some than for others and also worsens with age. How the statistics are gathered also means you can only be counted as in one category or another.

For example, the number of disabled people in work aged 16 to 64 years in 2019 in the UK who are categorized as having depression, bad nerves or anxiety was 17.9 per cent compared to those grouped as having severe or specific learning difficulties where the percentage was only 0.8 per cent. This means the true level is unclear, as many people who are autistic, for example, will also have some mental health challenges. There are some concerns, however, that the impact of Covid-19 in 2020 and beyond will have a longer-term effect on many global employment settings and that we may see that the gap widens rather than contracts. The ethical and moral responsibility for organizations is to maintain a spotlight on this. Equality provision Equality affirms that all human beings are born free and equal.


pages: 533 words: 125,495

Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, backpropagation, basic income, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, coronavirus, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, disinformation, Donald Trump, effective altruism, en.wikipedia.org, Erdős number, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, feminist movement, framing effect, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, high batting average, index card, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, libertarian paternalism, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta-analysis, microaggression, Monty Hall problem, Nash equilibrium, New Journalism, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, Peter Singer: altruism, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, QAnon, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, replication crisis, Richard Thaler, scientific worldview, selection bias, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Bannon, Steven Pinker, sunk-cost fallacy, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, Tragedy of the Commons, twin studies, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Walter Mischel, yellow journalism, zero-sum game

Russia has a female president. The world suffers a new and even more lethal pandemic than Covid-19. Vladimir Putin is constitutionally prevented from running for another term as president of Russia and his wife takes his place on the ballot, allowing him to run the country from the sidelines. Massive strikes and riots force Nicolás Maduro to resign as president of Venezuela. A respiratory virus jumps from bats to humans in China and starts a new and even more lethal pandemic than Covid-19. After Iran develops a nuclear weapon and tests it in an underground explosion, Saudi Arabia develops its own nuclear weapon in response.

The believing brain: From ghosts and gods to politics and conspiracies. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Shermer, M. 2015. The moral arc: How science and reason lead humanity toward truth, justice, and freedom. New York: Henry Holt. Shermer, M. 2020a. COVID-19 conspiracists and their discontents. Quillette, May 7. https://quillette.com/2020/05/07/covid-19-conspiracists-and-their-discontents/. Shermer, M. 2020b. The top ten weirdest things countdown. Skeptic. https://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/the-top-10-weirdest-things/. Shermer, M. 2020c. Why people believe conspiracy theories. Skeptic, 25, 12–17.

., 82–83 validity vs. soundness, 83 loss aversion, 192–94 lotteries, 176–78, 182–83, 188–92 Lotto, Beau, 30 Love Story (film), 76–78, 263 lucky streaks, 148 Madison, James, 41 Madman Theory, 60–61, 236 Maduro, Nicolás, 23, 24 main effect, 273, 274, 275, 278 Maine, USS, 124, 125 The Maltese Falcon (film), 61–62 mañana fallacy, 101 Mao Zedong, 245 margins of error, 196 marshmallow test, 47–48, 50 Marx, Chico, 294–95 Marx, Karl, 90 Masons, 36, 40 mathematicians caution about mindless use of statistical formulas, 166–67 mansplaining, 18 paragon of rationality, 74 simulation vs. proof, 20 stereotype of, 20 Matthew Effect, 263–64, 354n21 Maymin, Philip, 342n17 Meadow’s fallacy (multiplying probabilities of interdependent events), 129–30, 131 media accountability for lying/disinformation, 313, 314, 316, 317 availability bias driven by, 120, 125–27 consumer awareness of biases in, 127 correlation confused with causation and, 256, 260, 353n13 cynicism bred by, 126–27 innumeracy of, 125–27, 314 negativity bias, 125–26 politically partisan, 296 rational choice portrayal by, 173–74 reforms for rationality, 127, 314, 316, 317 tabloids, 287–88, 306 and truth-seeking, 316 the Winner’s Curse and, 256, 353n13 See also digital media; entertainment; journalism; social media medical quackery, 6, 90, 284, 304, 321, 322 celebrity doctors, 305 COVID-19 and, 284 harms caused by, 322 hidden mechanisms posited by, 258 intuitive essentialism and, 304–5, 321 science laureates and, 90 medicine base-rate neglect in diagnosis, 155 Bayesian reasoning in, 150–51, 152, 153–54, 167, 169–70, 321 correlation and causation, 251–52 COVID-19, 2, 283 disease control, 325 drug trials, 58, 264 evidence-based, 317 expected utility of treatments, 192–94, 198–99 false positives, 169–70, 198 frequencies and, 169–70 randomized controlled trials and, 264 rational ignorance and, 57 rationality and progress in, 325–26 sensitivity of tests, 150, 154, 169, 352n10 signal detection and, 202, 211, 213, 220 specificity of tests, 352n10 taboo tradeoffs in, 63–64 See also health; mental health Meehl, Paul, 279, 280 Mellers, Barbara, 29, 219–20 memes, 144, 308–9 mental health, 251, 256, 276–77, 276, 280 Mercier, Hugo, 87, 291, 298–99, 308, 313 meteorology, 114, 127, 133, 220 The Mikado (Gilbert and Sullivan), 27 military, 63, 220, 231, 295 Miller, Bill, 143 Miller, Joshua, 132 mind-body dualism, 304 miracles, Bayesian argument vs., 158–59 Mischel, Walter, 47 Mlodinow, Len, 143 modal logic, 84 modernity vs. ecological rationality, 96–98 vs. mythology mindset, 303–4 See also progress modus ponens, 80 modus tollens, 80–81 Molière, virtus dormitiva, 11–12, 89 money diminishing marginal utility of, 181–83, 247 dollar value on human life, 63–64 See also finances; GDP per capita money pump, 176, 180, 185, 187–88 monocausal fallacy, 260, 272–73 Montesquieu, 333, 335 Monty Hall dilemma, 16–22, 115, 342n33 morality of Bayesian base rates, 62, 163–66 discounting the future and, 51–52 God and, 67 Golden Rule (and variants), 68–69 heretical counterfactuals, 64–65 impartiality as the core, 68–69, 317, 340 marginal utility of lives and, 183–84 the mythology mindset and, 300, 307 relativism and, 42, 66–67 self-interest and sociality, 69 taboo tradeoffs and, 64 See also moral progress moral progress overview, 328–29 analogizing oppressed groups, 335 animals, cruelty to, 334–35 democracy, 335–36, 339 feminism, 336–37 homosexuality, persecution of, 333–34 ideas vs. proponents, 339–40 rationality as driver of, 329–30, 340 redistribution of wealth and, 182 religious persecution, 301–2, 330 sadistic punishment, 332–33 slavery, 334, 335, 336, 337, 338, 339 war, 331 Morgenbesser, Sidney, 81, 82, 178 Morgenstern, Oskar, 175, 197, 228, 350n1 motivated reasoning, 289–92, 297, 298, 310.


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The Perfect Police State: An Undercover Odyssey Into China's Terrifying Surveillance Dystopia of the Future by Geoffrey Cain

airport security, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Snowden, European colonialism, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Kickstarter, land reform, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, phenotype, pirate software, purchasing power parity, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, speech recognition, Tim Cook: Apple, trade liberalization, trade route, undersea cable, WikiLeaks

Of the eighteen thousand police departments in the United States, sixty of them still used PredPol.6 And all the surveillance in the world didn’t help China identify in a timely manner the most devastating pandemic in a century: Covid-19. On December 31, 2019, China reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, a city in the central part of the country.7 That “pneumonia,” as China called it, was once believed to have originated in a messy, nonhygienic “wet market” selling indiscriminate cuts of raw pork, beef, and chicken displayed in the open air for long periods of time, under little or no regulated conditions. It turned out to be the novel coronavirus Covid-19,8 which shut down the world and wiped out economic activity for much of 2020. When Covid-19 reached America and emptied out city centers and beach resorts, the consequences of China’s rise as an opaque authoritarian government directly touched American soil.

“Moreover, local officials launched a round of mandatory tests for Covid-19, followed by mandatory self-quarantine, for anyone with ‘African contacts,’ regardless of recent travel history or previous quarantine completion.”13 Zhao Lijian, a foreign ministry spokesman who tussled with foreign officials and journalists on Twitter, even posted a series of tweets suggesting American soldiers brought Covid-19 to China. “It might be US [sic] army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan,” he wrote. “Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation! [sic]” The conspiracy theory that US troops brought Covid-19 to China spread rapidly there.14 Covid-19 was dangerous not merely because of the threat of the virus itself, but because the suddenness of its appearance was so overwhelming that governments scurried to embrace excessive powers for social control—powers they had no obligation to relinquish.

[sic]” The conspiracy theory that US troops brought Covid-19 to China spread rapidly there.14 Covid-19 was dangerous not merely because of the threat of the virus itself, but because the suddenness of its appearance was so overwhelming that governments scurried to embrace excessive powers for social control—powers they had no obligation to relinquish. Some administrations are already showing signs that they will be unwilling to give up their newfound powers, and that they’ll use the data obtained in the fight against Covid-19 to surveil political opponents or aid law enforcement. Many of the emergency legal powers don’t come with sunset provisions that end them after a period of time.


pages: 291 words: 80,068

Framers: Human Advantage in an Age of Technology and Turmoil by Kenneth Cukier, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Francis de Véricourt

Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, autonomous vehicles, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discovery of DNA, Donald Trump, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, fiat currency, framing effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, game design, George Gilder, global pandemic, global village, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, informal economy, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, knowledge economy, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Mercator projection, meta-analysis, microaggression, nudge unit, packet switching, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, transaction costs

Perhaps for this reason, it wasn’t clear to countries how seriously to take the discovery of SARS-CoV-2 and the illness it caused, Covid-19. China closed the city of Wuhan, an unprecedented step that seemed like something only an authoritarian regime could or would do. In Italy, cases mushroomed before they knew what had hit them. Lombardy’s hospitals were so overrun that for a period, weeping doctors were forced to give sedatives to the elderly so they could die in less pain, to save limited medical resources for younger sufferers. All countries were working off the same data, as WHO and MSF had been in 2014. And as in the case of Ebola, the way countries initially framed Covid-19 affected the options they envisioned, the actions they took, and how they fared at the outset of the crisis.

But who possesses such confidence? 9 vigilance we must remain on guard not to cede our power In the spring of 2020, as America’s Covid-19 lockdown began in earnest, a series of short TikTok videos went viral on social media. The chaotic word salad sounded familiar, as did the raspy voice: “We hit the body with a tremendous—whether it’s ultraviolet, or just very powerful light.” But the words emanated from the youthful, dynamic Sarah Cooper, lip-synching the proposed Covid-19 remedy of Donald Trump. “Supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way . . .

Britain’s pathetic Covid response: “Britain Has the Wrong Government for the Covid Crisis,” Economist, June 18, 2020, https://www.economist.com/leaders/2020/06/18/britain-has-the-wrong-government-for-the-covid-crisis. Britain’s Covid performance in June: “Coronavirus: UK Daily Deaths Drop to Pre-lockdown Level,” BBC News, June 8, 2020, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52968160. UK data on deaths and cases: “COVID-19 Pandemic Data in the United Kingdom,” Wikipedia, accessed October 30, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:COVID-19_pandemic_data/United_Kingdom_medical_cases_chart. Neil Armstrong’s “small step”: Robbie Gonzalez, “Read the New York Times’ 1969 Account of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing,” Gizmodo, August 25, 2012, https://io9.gizmodo.com/277292567?jwsource=cl.


pages: 363 words: 109,077

The Raging 2020s: Companies, Countries, People - and the Fight for Our Future by Alec Ross

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, clean water, collective bargaining, computer vision, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate raider, Covid-19, COVID-19, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, drone strike, dumpster diving, employer provided health coverage, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, income inequality, independent contractor, intangible asset, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, mortgage tax deduction, natural language processing, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, open economy, Parag Khanna, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steven Levy, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, working poor

In these countries, we can find useful lessons and examples for other countries around the world. The prime example is the Nordic model. And to understand just how it has adapted to fill the gaps left lingering in the US-dominant social contract, we can find a clear contrast. Just look at how both handled the COVID-19 pandemic. THE NORDIC MODEL The way a society responds to a crisis reveals a lot about its social contract. As COVID-19 swept across the globe in March 2020, an economic downturn appeared imminent. To contain the damage, the United States created a patchwork of stimulus programs: directing loans, grants, and tax breaks to businesses while raising unemployment benefits and sending stimulus checks to citizens.

researchers found that 40 percent of American households: Natasha Bach, “Millions of Americans Are One Missed Paycheck away from Poverty, Report Says,” Fortune, January 29, 2019, https://fortune.com/2019/01/29/americans-liquid-asset-poor-propserity-now-report/; “A Profile of the Working Poor, 2017,” US Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 2019, https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/working-poor/2017/home.htm. Workers who received welfare payments: Henry Aaron, “The Social Safety Net: The Gaps That COVID-19 Spotlights,” Brookings Institution, June 23, 2020, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/06/23/the-social-safety-net-the-gaps-that-covid-19-spotlights/. transformed China from an agrarian state: “Poverty Headcount Ratio at $1.90 a Day (2011 PPP) (% of Population)—World, China,” World Bank Group, accessed July 20, 2020, https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SI.POV.DDAY?

seven of the world’s eleven longest-serving: Dave Lawler, “How the World’s Longest-Serving Leaders Keep Power, and Hand It Over,” Axios, March 21, 2019, https://www.axios.com/worlds-longest-serving-leaders-africa-putin-8046c3c0-3cef-4166-bd1a-46533f1b46a4.html. The median age is only twenty years old: Jacob Ausubel, “Populations Skew Older in Some of the Countries Hit Hard by COVID-19,” Pew Research Center, April 22, 2020, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/04/22/populations-skew-older-in-some-of-the-countries-hit-hard-by-covid-19/. Over the next three decades: “World Population Prospects 2019,” United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, accessed January 3, 2020, https://population.un.org/wpp/Graphs/Probabilistic/POP/TOT/903. Already, people in the Sahel region: Ahmadou Aly Mbaye, “Africa’s Climate Crisis, Conflict, and Migration Challenges,” Africa in Focus (blog), Brookings Institution, September 20, 2019, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/africa-in-focus/2019/09/20/africas-climate-crisis-conflict-and-migration-challenges/; Kanta Kumari Rigaud, Alex de Sherbinin, Bryan Jones, Jonas Bergmann, Viviane Clement, Kayly Ober, Jacob Schewe, Susana Adamo, Brent McCusker, Silke Heuser, and Amelia Midgley, Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2018), https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/29461.


pages: 486 words: 150,849

Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History by Kurt Andersen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, always be closing, American ideology, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bear Stearns, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Burning Man, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, centre right, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate raider, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, game design, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Herbert Marcuse, High speed trading, hive mind, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, Joan Didion, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, Naomi Klein, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Picturephone, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Seaside, Florida, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, wage slave, Wall-E, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, éminence grise

In an interview in late March with The New Yorker after he published his COVID-19 articles, Epstein said his prediction of 500 total COVID-19 deaths had been an error, that he’d actually meant to say 5,000 Americans in all would die. After the reporter challenged other factual assertions, Epstein finally replied, “You’re going to say that I’m a crackpot….That’s what you’re saying, isn’t it? That’s what you’re saying?…Admit to it. You’re saying I’m a crackpot.” Three weeks later, nearly 5,000 Americans officially died of COVID-19 in a single day, and six weeks after that, 100,000 Americans had died, 200 times Epstein’s original estimate of the total deaths, 20 times his adjusted estimate and, of course, still climbing

*5 Right-wing fantasies and misinformation about COVID-19 on Fox News apparently caused unnecessary deaths. “[Sean] Hannity originally dismissed the risks associated with the virus before gradually adjusting his position starting late February,” according to the research by economists in their paper “Misinformation During a Pandemic,” but “[Tucker] Carlson warned viewers about the threat posed by the coronavirus from early February….Greater viewership of Hannity relative to Tucker Carlson Tonight is strongly associated with a greater number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the early stages of the pandemic.”

Fantasyland’s magical thinking and conspiracism and mistrust of science fueled the widespread denial of and indifference to the crisis, and fused with the evil geniuses’ immediate, cold-blooded certainty that a rapid restoration of business-as-usual must take precedence over saving economically useless Americans’ lives. What I said at the end of Fantasyland I’ll restate (and I first drafted this paragraph, it’s important to note, a year before COVID-19 existed): societies do come to existential crossroads and make important choices. Here we are. The current political and economic situation wasn’t inevitable, because history and evolution never are. Nor is any particular future. Where we wind up, good or bad, is the result of choices we make over time—choices made deliberatively and more or less democratically, choices made by whoever cares more or wields more power at the time, choices made accidentally, choices ignored or otherwise left unmade.


pages: 326 words: 91,532

The Pay Off: How Changing the Way We Pay Changes Everything by Gottfried Leibbrandt, Natasha de Teran

Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Bear Stearns, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, financial exclusion, global pandemic, global reserve currency, illegal immigration, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Irish bank strikes, Julian Assange, large denomination, light touch regulation, M-Pesa, Money creation, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Northern Rock, off grid, offshore financial centre, payday loans, post-industrial society, QR code, RAND corporation, ransomware, Real Time Gross Settlement, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, you are the product

Neat as it is, the island system wouldn’t work for us, but payments do. They work so well, in fact, that modern economies need payments as much as they need water, power and energy. Without smooth-functioning payments, financial markets, commerce, employment, even unemployment, would all be compromised. Look at who your country identified as key workers during the Covid-19 lockdown and you’ll probably find payments staff are listed. Unless you live off-grid in splendid and completely self-sufficient isolation, you need to be able to pay and (most of us at least) need to be able to get paid. If access to the payment system is critical for everyone, then our modern, monetary-based societies have first to ensure that they have a good system and, second, that everyone has access to it.

He then sold the original notes for cash, which was used to fund the resistance. After the war all the loans were redeemed properly.5 During the Irish banking strike in 1970, the Republic’s economy survived largely on the basis of uncashable cheques. For more than six months, the population effectively printed its own money. In the first half of 2020, after the Covid-19 pandemic erupted, cash ran out in parts of Papua New Guinea and residents resorted to ‘tabu’, strings of marine snail shells, measured in an arm’s length. One-and-a-half arms will buy you a packet of rice, should you ever be caught short there. On our fictional island it’s a banknote that does the rounds but it could just as well have been gold, salt, wooden sticks or even cigarettes, all of which have served as currency at some point.

We could continue to make deposits in dollars, euros, pounds, yen, lek and all the rest, even if their physical manifestations disappeared. What about ‘printing’ money? Would central banks still be able to create money if they couldn’t print it? Again, the short answer is yes. The metaphors around monetary policy are unhelpful here. Many of the headlines used to describe the Covid-19 economic aid programme involved the printing of banknotes: the Fed was ‘firing up the printing press’, the European Central Bank (ECB) was ‘priming the money-printing gun’ or, for those of a more digital bent, the ‘Money Printer Go Brrr’ meme. Evocative, but misleading; just as ‘sending’ money isn’t what banks do to make payments, ‘printing’ isn’t the way that central banks create money.


pages: 326 words: 88,968

The Science and Technology of Growing Young: An Insider's Guide to the Breakthroughs That Will Dramatically Extend Our Lifespan . . . And What You Can Do Right Now by Sergey Young

23andMe, 3D printing, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, basic income, bioinformatics, Biosphere 2, brain emulation, caloric restriction, caloric restriction, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer vision, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, digital twin, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, European colonialism, game design, global pandemic, hockey-stick growth, impulse control, Internet of things, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral hazard, mouse model, natural language processing, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, uber lyft, universal basic income, X Prize

PHARMA IS GETTING FASTER AND SMARTER It’s February 2, 2020, I’m in New York, and Alex Zhavoronkov, from Insilico Medicine, is in San Diego. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has locked China down tight, and Italy has just seen its third case of the disease. As the deadly virus careens its way around the world, governments, medical providers, and health authorities are fraught with uncertainty. After getting the green light from its investors, Insilico has been working around the clock to identify drug candidates to treat COVID-19. “You have them?” I ask, between gulps of black coffee. “You already have them?” “Yes,” Alex replies, “we’re going to work on the six that we think are the most promising, and release the rest to the global community.

</style></author></authors></contributors><titles><title>Global Social Mobility Index 2020: why economies benefit from fixing inequality</title></titles><dates><year>2020</year><pub-dates><date><style face=”normal” font=”default” size=”100%”>January</style><style face=”normal” font=”default” charset=”238” size=”100%”> 19</style></date></pubdates></dates><publisher>World Economic Forum</publisher><urls><related-urls><url>https://www.weforum.org/reports/global-social-mobility-index-2020-why-economies-benefit-from-fixing-inequality</url></related-urls></urls></record></Cite></EndNote> 27Swift, Jonathan, 1667-1745. Gulliver’s Travels. New York :Harper, 1950.; “meers and bounds” refers to petty disputes. 28World Economic Forum, We’ll Live to 100 – How Can We Afford It? (Geneva: WEForum, 2017), 7. 29Colin Gordon et al., “COVID-19 and the Color Line,” Boston Review, last modified May 1, 2020, http://bostonreview.net/race/colin-gordon-walter-johnson-jason-q-purnell-jamala-rogers-covid-19-and-color-line. 30Paul Irving, Interview with the author, June 9, 2020 31Max Roser, “Economic Growth: The economy before economic growth: The Malthusian trap,” All of Our World in Data, 2013, https://ourworldindata.org/economic-growth#the-economy-before-economic-growth-the-malthusian-trap. 32“The World Bank In China,” World Bank, last modified April 23, 2020, https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/china/overview. 33Max Roser, “The global decline of extreme poverty – was it only China?

But the truth is that few longevity scientists of note dismiss the concept of radical life extension out of hand. Logically and scientifically, the theory of longevity escape velocity has merit. To understand the exponential medical and scientific breakthroughs we’re on the cusp of, just consider the COVID-19 vaccine in the context of history: it took two hundred years from the first smallpox outbreak in 1595 before a vaccine was invented to prevent the disease. From the first instance of polio in 1895, scientists worked for more than fifty years before a successful vaccine was developed. But within just twelve months of the discovery of SARS-CoV-2, multiple highly effective vaccines were shipped around the world.


Alpha Trader by Brent Donnelly

algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, beat the dealer, bitcoin, buy low sell high, Checklist Manifesto, commodity trading advisor, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, diversification, Edward Thorp, Elliott wave, Elon Musk, endowment effect, eurozone crisis, fixed income, Flash crash, full employment, global pandemic, Gordon Gekko, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, high net worth, hindsight bias, implied volatility, impulse control, Inbox Zero, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, iterative process, law of one price, loss aversion, margin call, market bubble, market microstructure, McMansion, Monty Hall problem, Network effects, paper trading, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, price anchoring, price discovery process, price stability, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, secular stagnation, Sharpe ratio, short selling, side project, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, survivorship bias, tail risk, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, very high income, yield curve, you are the product, zero-sum game

After approval at an EU Summit in July, this removes eurozone break-up risk and makes the EUR a more attractive alternative to the USD as a reserve currency. ECB is quiet, saying fiscal policy (not monetary policy) needs to do the heavy lifting on COVID-19 relief. No further easing from ECB is bullish EURUSD. The Fed has been mega-dovish in response to COVID-19 and is ready to get even more dovish on the back of a new Average Inflation Targeting (AIT) framework. The details of the framework are not yet clear, and the market is excited to hear more from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at Jackson Hole (late August) and the next Fed (FOMC) meeting (mid-September).

Striking the balance between too big and too small is vital in trading and that balance can be the difference between crushing a crisis period or getting crushed by it. 2. Keep an open mind and use your imagination. When COVID-19 hit in 2020, the market took oil from $65 to $50 as concerns about consumer demand knocked a market that was already bulled up on “cheap” energy stocks. Then the OPEC meeting in early March crumbled and crude plummeted from $50 to $27 in a week. The pressure from COVID-19 started the ball rolling then the Saudi pledge to pump like crazy broke the back of the oil market. Anyone watching oil go from $65 to $50 might have thought that was enough of a move.

For example, when a central bank meeting is coming up, and there is a tiny (but not zero) chance of that central bank cutting rates, the market loves to go into the meeting short the currency. This often creates an imbalance where there are so many people betting on the longshot (a rate cut) that you get an outsized move when no cut is delivered. Here is an example: in early February 2020, COVID-19 was popping up all over the world and had triggered the first wave of fear about the global economy. Given Australia’s dependence on commodities and global growth, some observers thought the Reserve Bank of Australia might cut rates in response to the virus contagion. Interest rate markets priced the probability of an interest rate cut as less than 10%, but if the cut was delivered, AUDUSD might drop 100 points.


The Ages of Globalization by Jeffrey D. Sachs

Admiral Zheng, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, Commentariolus, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, domestication of the camel, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, European colonialism, global supply chain, greed is good, income per capita, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, mass immigration, Nikolai Kondratiev, out of africa, packet switching, Pax Mongolica, precision agriculture, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, South China Sea, spinning jenny, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons

WHO, of course, is currently at the center of the global fight against COVID-19. WHO has helped to coordinate scientific information about the pathogen and how to control it, and to coordinate and monitor the global push to contain and end the pandemic. Globalization enables one part of the world to learn from others. When one country shows successes in containing the spread of COVID-19, other parts of the world quickly aim to learn of the new methods and whether they can be applied in a local context. The development of new drugs and vaccines to fight COVID-19 is also a global effort, as was the case with HIV. The clinical trials to test the new candidate drugs and vaccines will involve researchers spanning the world.

Since then, Africa’s malaria burden has stood as an obstacle to child survival and economic development, though new drugs and preventative measures are enabling humanity to fight back against this age-old scourge. More recently, another killer pathogen circled the globe and caused devastation and havoc: the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, the cause of AIDS. HIV, like COVID-19, is a zoonosis, that is, a pathogen of animal populations that jumps to human populations through some kind of interaction and perhaps genetic mutation. AIDS entered the human population most likely from West African apes that were killed for bushmeat. COVID-19 entered the human population most likely from bats. In the case of AIDS, the virus apparently spread among Africans for decades in the middle of the twentieth century, then was transmitted internationally in the 1970s and early 1980s.

A notable initiative was the launch of a new Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, in which I was thrilled and honored to play a role during its early formulation and development. The speed of policy implementation and health interventions was greatly spurred by rising public awareness and the crucial activist leadership of civil society. COVID-19 similarly provokes the reckoning of the balance sheet of globalization, and the policy challenge of promoting the positive sides while limiting the negative consequences. The early steps in fighting COVID-19 have involved closing down international trade and travel, and even restricting the movements of people between and within cities of single nations. Quarantines are back, the word itself referring to the forty days (quaranta giorni in Italian) that Venetians held ships away from the port when the ships were suspected of carrying plague.


pages: 372 words: 100,947

An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination by Sheera Frenkel, Cecilia Kang

affirmative action, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, clean water, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, global pandemic, hockey-stick growth, Ian Bogost, illegal immigration, immigration reform, independent contractor, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, QAnon, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Sam Altman, Saturday Night Live, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social web, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, surveillance capitalism, Travis Kalanick, WikiLeaks

Fact-checking tools to label misinformation would be used to correct conspiracy theories about COVID-19. Facebook’s HR teams would begin drafting a work-from-home policy as Facebook’s offices across Asia were tasked with gathering information about what was truly happening in China. And Zuckerberg’s personal relationship to the world’s most famous doctors and health experts would be used to promote figures of authority. Zuckerberg told the teams to report back to him in forty-eight hours. “This is going to be big, and we have to be ready,” he said. When the WHO designated COVID-19 a public health emergency on January 30, Facebook’s PR team had a blog post prepared.

When asked if he felt like he was taking heat on behalf of “the entire internet,” Zuckerberg broke into laughter. It took him a few seconds to collect himself. “Um. That’s what leading is,” he said. Chapter 14 Good for the World Well before U.S. government officials and much of the world were aware, Zuckerberg knew that the COVID-19 virus was spreading dangerously fast. In mid-January, he began to receive intelligence briefings on the global spread of the disease from top infectious disease experts working at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Dr. Tom Frieden, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Joe DeRisi, co-president of the Biohub funded by CZI, reported that the Chinese government and Trump were downplaying the risk and that the virus had spread to half a dozen countries.

Kaplan sided with his team, which argued that Trump had simply been musing about the effects of bleach and UV light, rather than issuing a directive. Facebook’s PR teams pointed out the distinction to journalists and released a statement saying, “We continue to remove definitive claims about false cures for Covid-19, including ones related to disinfectant and ultraviolet light.” “We, all of us at Facebook, just couldn’t get our heads around the idea that it would be the president who spread nonsense cures about COVID,” said one senior Facebook executive. “We were just stuck in an untenable position. It meant defending a decision to let the president spread absolute nonsense medical information in the middle of a pandemic.”


pages: 208 words: 57,602

Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation by Kevin Roose

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, automated trading system, basic income, Bayesian statistics, big-box store, business process, call centre, choice architecture, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, disinformation, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Freestyle chess, future of work, gig economy, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, hustle culture, income inequality, industrial robot, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, Narrative Science, new economy, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Productivity paradox, QAnon, recommendation engine, remote working, risk tolerance, robotic process automation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, surveillance capitalism, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

I’d favor a UBI-style plan coupled with Medicare for All and generous unemployment benefits for workers who are displaced by automation, similar to how the federal government stepped in with emergency cash transfers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Whatever we do, it’s inarguable that any collective action would be better than doing what we’re currently doing to address automation-related economic pains on the federal level in the United States, which is essentially nothing. In addition to big nets, we also need to think about the small webs we can create to support each other through this technological transition. Because in the absence of some fairly radical economic and policy changes, we’re going to have to do a lot of this ourselves. Our response to the Covid-19 crisis is a useful guide here.

I spent much of 2019 reporting on these changing attitudes, being careful to keep an open mind to the possibility that these fears were exaggerated. After all, unemployment in the United States was still near a record low, and while corporate executives were chattering among themselves about AI and automation, there wasn’t much obvious evidence that it was taking a toll on workers yet. Then Covid-19 arrived. In the spring of 2020, much of the United States entered shelter-in-place lockdowns, and my phone began lighting up with calls from tech companies telling me how the pandemic was affecting their plans for automation. The difference, now, was that companies wanted to publicize their efforts to automate jobs.

FedEx started using package-sorting robots to fill in for sick and absent workers in its shipping facilities. Shopping centers, apartment complexes, and grocery stores splurged on cleaning and security robots to keep their stores sanitized and safe, creating shortages among those robots’ suppliers. In all, Covid-19 seemed to speed up the automation timeline by years, if not decades. McKinsey, the giant consulting firm, dubbed it “the great acceleration.” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claimed that the company had experienced “two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” In March 2020, a survey by the accounting firm EY found that 41 percent of corporate executives were investing more in automation to prepare for a post-coronavirus world.


pages: 309 words: 81,243

The Authoritarian Moment: How the Left Weaponized America's Institutions Against Dissent by Ben Shapiro

active measures, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Sanders, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Ferguson, Missouri, future of work, gender pay gap, global pandemic, Herbert Marcuse, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, microaggression, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, obamacare, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, War on Poverty, yellow journalism

., 16, 41 Rub and Tug (film), 149 Rubin, David, 139–40 Rubio, Marco, 25 Russian disinformation, social media and, 191, 198–99 Sacco, Justine, 208 same-sex marriage issues, 34, 46, 63, 68, 136, 224 Samuel, biblical book of, 4–5 San Francisco 49ers, 157–58 Sanders, Bernie, 67 Sandmann, Nick, 185–86 Sanford, Nevitt, 7 Sanger, Margaret, 49 Sargent, Greg, 2, 181 Scarborough, Joe, 13, 25, 183, 185 Schmidt, Gavin, 107–8 Schmidt, Harald, 105 Schwab, Klaus, 129 ScienceTM, substituted for science COVID 19 protocols and exceptions for Floyd protests and riots, 97–104 COVID 19 vaccines and social justice tranching of availability, 104–6 diversity considered over merit, 114–17 gender dysphoria and, 112–13 outright political endorsements and, 117–18 postmodernism’s impact on, 110–12 race and, 102, 113–14 science and objective truths, 95, 98 ScienceTM and politics, 98–99 Scientism and climate change, 106–10 as threat to scientific credibility, 118 Scientific American, 117 Scruton, Roger, 34 Section 230 of Communications Decency Act, 193–96, 200 Selma (film), 140–41 Seltzer, Wendy, 11 service providers, Left’s attempt to discourage conservative media and, 180–81, 182–83 Sevugan, Hari, 43 Sex Roles (journal), 85 Shafer, Jack, 168–69 Shape of Water, The (film), 140 Shields, Jon, 94 Shor, David, 16 Shrier, Abigail, 112 Signal, 210 “silence is violence,” 36, 127–28, 218 silenced majority, of voters insecurity of authoritarian and, 22 Left’s takeover of institutions and, 34–36 pollsters and shock of Trump’s 2016 victory, 23–27 Silliman College, of Yale University, 93 Silverman, Fred, 145 Silverman, Sarah, 150 Silverstein, Jake, 179 Sister Souljah, 58 1619 Project, of New York Times, 165, 178–80 Skipper, John, 158–59 Smith, Ben, 172–73 Snead, O.

In the midst of a global pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus, scientists in laboratories across the world stepped into the breach. They researched the most effective methods of slowing the virus’s spread. They developed new therapeutics designed to reduce death rates, and researched new applications of already-existent drugs. Most incredibly, they developed multiple vaccines for Covid-19 within mere months of its exponential spread across the West. Most of the West didn’t shut down until March 2020. By December, citizens were receiving their first doses of vaccine, immunizing the most vulnerable and flattening the infection curve. Meanwhile, in hospitals, doctors and nurses labored in perilous conditions to care for waves of the sick.

And the big companies are growing. The arenas in which big companies thrive—the services sector, finance, the retail trade—are also the fastest-growing areas in the American economy.45 Unsurprisingly, these are also the areas in which employers are most likely to lean to the Left, or at least to mirror leftist priorities. The Covid-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the advantage for large companies. Between March 2020 and September 2020, more than 400,000 small businesses closed. Meanwhile, big companies got bigger. As economist Austan Goolsbee wrote in The New York Times, “Big Companies Are Starting to Swallow the World.”46 Small businesses are generally tied to the communities in which they exist—they know the locals, they trust the locals, and they work with the locals.


pages: 269 words: 72,752

Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Trump, fear of failure, glass ceiling, global pandemic, impulse control, Maui Hawaii, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, zero-sum game

Donald’s initial response to COVID-19 underscores his need to minimize negativity at all costs. Fear—the equivalent of weakness in our family—is as unacceptable to him now as it was when he was three years old. When Donald is in the most trouble, superlatives are no longer enough: both the situation and his reactions to it must be unique, even if absurd or nonsensical. On his watch, no hurricane has ever been as wet as Hurricane Maria. “Nobody could have predicted” a pandemic that his own Department of Health and Human Services was running simulations for just a few months before COVID-19 struck in Washington state.

As the pressures upon him have continued to mount over the course of the last three years, the disparity between the level of competence required for running a country and his incompetence has widened, revealing his delusions more starkly than ever before. Many, but by no means all of us, have been shielded until now from the worst effects of his pathologies by a stable economy and a lack of serious crises. But the out-of-control COVID-19 pandemic, the possibility of an economic depression, deepening social divides along political lines thanks to Donald’s penchant for division, and devastating uncertainty about our country’s future have created a perfect storm of catastrophes that no one is less equipped than my uncle to manage. Doing so would require courage, strength of character, deference to experts, and the confidence to take responsibility and to course correct after admitting mistakes.

Employees and political appointees can’t fight back when he attacks them in his Twitter feed because to do so would risk their jobs or their reputations. Freddy couldn’t retaliate when his little brother mocked his passion for flying because of his filial responsibility and his decency, just as governors in blue states, desperate to get adequate help for their citizens during the COVID-19 crisis, are constrained from calling out Donald’s incompetence for fear he would withhold ventilators and other supplies needed in order to save lives. Donald learned a long time ago how to pick his targets. * * * Donald continues to exist in the dark space between the fear of indifference and the fear of failure that led to his brother’s destruction.


pages: 661 words: 185,701

The Future of Money: How the Digital Revolution Is Transforming Currencies and Finance by Eswar S. Prasad

access to a mobile phone, Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, algorithmic trading, altcoin, bank run, barriers to entry, Bear Stearns, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business intelligence, buy and hold, capital controls, carbon footprint, cashless society, central bank independence, cloud computing, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, deglobalization, disintermediation, distributed ledger, diversified portfolio, Dogecoin, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, eurozone crisis, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, full employment, gig economy, global reserve currency, index fund, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, litecoin, loose coupling, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, Money creation, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, profit motive, QR code, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, Real Time Gross Settlement, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, risk/return, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart contracts, special drawing rights, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, WeWork, wikimedia commons, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

The KPMG report is available at “KPMG Report Concerning the Independent Special Investigation, Wirecard AG, Munich,” Wirecard AG, April 2020, https://www.wirecard.com/uploads/Bericht_Sonderpruefung_KPMG_EN_200501_Disclaimer.pdf. Markus Braun was arrested a few days after he resigned from his position as CEO. Crisis Management For an overview of the Fed’s actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, see Brookings Institution, “What’s the Fed Doing in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis? What More Could It Do?,” https://www.brookings.edu/research/fed-response-to-covid19/, accessed January 25, 2021. Cross-country Concerns See David Mikkelson, “Are Most Cruise Ships Registered Under Foreign Flags?” Snopes.com, March 23, 2020, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/cruise-ships-foreign-flags/.

The eurozone debt crisis followed a few years later. Some lessons learned from these crises prompted regulatory reforms that helped to make financial systems more resilient. Banks were instructed to hold more equity capital, making it easier for them to absorb losses without becoming insolvent. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world in 2020, it gutted economies worldwide and stressed financial systems, but banks and other financial institutions were better positioned to withstand the pressures. Even amid the ebb and flow of all this surface turmoil, deeper and more powerful undercurrents have continued to drive changes in financial markets.

In its early years, Funding Circle suffered high default rates; of the loans made in the United States in 2014–2015, nearly 18 percent were in default three years after origination. This figure has fallen in subsequent years, with unpaid debts amounting to about 6 percent of total loans, after accounting for partial payments and some recovery of monies from collateral. The average rate of return on all loans was around 6 percent during 2017–2019, although the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have resulted in higher default rates and lower returns in 2020. Another peer-to-peer platform, Upstart, uses criteria such as education level, area of study, and job history as inputs into its credit decisions, in addition to traditional credit scores. This is particularly relevant to borrowers with limited credit histories.


pages: 265 words: 93,354

Please Don't Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes: Essays by Phoebe Robinson

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, butterfly effect, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, David Attenborough, desegregation, different worldview, disinformation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, financial independence, gig economy, global pandemic, hiring and firing, independent contractor, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Joan Didion, Lyft, mass incarceration, microaggression, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Rosa Parks, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, uber lyft, unpaid internship

In fact, I was so ready that Bae told me because I was constantly doing my hair throughout the apartment, he got used to finding hair in various corners, so he’s now no longer afraid of spiders. That’s right, a bitch cured his arachnophobia and rocked a glistening and healthy ’fro while quarantined. John Frieda salon could never. Jokes aside, medical workers weren’t the only ones who faced difficulties during Covid-19. Some folks were (and still are) homeless. Some were (and still are) living in a domestic environment that made quarantining dangerous. While people such as myself were able to work from home, many others were furloughed or lost their jobs and waited on the ill-equipped federal government to hand out insufficient stimulus packages.

., Bill Gates, who, back in a 2015 TED Talk, stated that many governments were woefully underprepared if a virus pandemic seized the world), most of us were too consumed with our day-to-day responsibilities to ponder potential doomsday scenarios. But another part of the reason Covid so totally and utterly blindsided many of us is because it happened in 2020. This shit wasn’t supposed to happen then! Covid-19 showing up and canceling 2020 felt much more significant than it would in any other year. I mean, c’mon! Astrologists and numerologists practically alluded to everything being amazing in 2020! Dreams were supposed to come true! Resolutions were supposed to be upheld! Did I lose some of you with “astrologists and numerologists”?

Despite the tragedies of Sandy Hook Elementary, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and a long list of other school shootings, we don’t protect our students and restrict the kinds of guns that can be purchased because some people’s allegiance is to the Second Amendment and not to the safety of our youth. Hell, look at the national response to Covid-19 in America. We can’t even come together in the face of a global pandemic. After nine months of the federal government spreading disinformation, coupled with the nation’s “me first” mentality, which resulted in many people refusing to wear a mask and socially distance, more than three thousand people were dying per day, meaning that each day we were surpassing the total deaths on 9/11.


Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization by Edward Slingerland

agricultural Revolution, Alexander Shulgin, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Burning Man, collective bargaining, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Drosophila, experimental economics, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, Google Hangouts, hive mind, invention of agriculture, John Markoff, knowledge worker, land reform, lateral thinking, lone genius, meta-analysis, Picturephone, placebo effect, post-work, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Tragedy of the Commons, WeWork, women in the workforce

With gently downregulated PFCs, students speak out more freely, make intellectual connections with one another, and get to witness their mentors working things out on the fly, partially and temporarily free from the fetters of academic hierarchies. Colleagues float ideas that would otherwise never bubble up into consciousness and recklessly venture out of their intellectual safe zones, blundering across disciplinary boundaries that often desperately need to be crossed. This book was written in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will take years to understand the various ways in which this crisis may have negatively impacted innovation. More obvious and dramatic factors, like the stress of caring for sick loved ones or homeschooling children, clearly slash productivity and narrow one’s focus. Less obvious, perhaps, is the way in which the widespread and abrupt transition from in-person meetings to Zoom and Google Hangouts has changed the way that people talk and think.

Wide-ranging chats over a few beers, sprawling over an hour or two, have been replaced by shorter video meetings focused on a specific set of agenda points. In this artificial medium, people have trouble naturally interrupting one another or smoothly navigating shifts in topic or speaker. This is one of the ways in which the Covid-19 crisis, like American Prohibition, might provide an excellent natural experiment demonstrating how meeting in person, often over alcohol, enhances both individual and group creativity. Truth Is the Color Blue: Modern Shamans and Microdosing Alcohol has dominated our story for good reason.

The advent of Skype and other videoconferencing technologies in the mid-2000s brought phonotelephotes into every home that had access to a decent internet connection. Each new advance in remote teleconferencing capacity is accompanied by renewed predictions of the demise of business travel. Yet the fact is that, at least until the global Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, business travel has done nothing but steadily increase. Given the expense, hassle, and physiological toll of traveling, especially between very different time zones, this is genuinely puzzling. Why fly from New York to Shanghai to meet a potential business partner when you could just call or Zoom?


pages: 384 words: 105,110

A Hunter-Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life by Heather Heying, Bret Weinstein

biofilm, Carrington event, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, conceptual framework, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, dark matter, delayed gratification, discovery of DNA, double helix, epigenetics, Francisco Pizarro, germ theory of disease, helicopter parent, hygiene hypothesis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, phenotype, profit motive, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind

As of the writing of this Note in late May, 2021, the consensus in the scientific establishment, including national and international regulators, and in the mainstream press that follows them, has finally shifted to one of grudging acceptance of the obvious: SARS-CoV-2 may well have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and the COVID-19 pandemic might therefore be for humanity an entirely self-inflicted wound. The strength of this hypothesis is something we have been discussing on our podcast, DarkHorse, since April of 2020. Those discussions caused a great deal of derision and stigma to be directed at us, and it is a bewildering relief to watch the world suddenly come around to the plausibility of this well supported, if unfortunate, explanation. But no matter what humanity ultimately concludes about this pandemic’s origin, there is a deeper truth hovering just outside our collective awareness: COVID-19 is a product of technology, no matter what path it took to humans.

Much as people thought little about washing their hands prior to the germ theory of disease, we give no thought to the scale of misery caused by a given person transporting a new and nameless cold virus to some continent that was free of it the day before. “Novel Coronavirus” took advantage of that nonchalance before the pathogen even had a proper name. The COVID-19 pandemic is itself a symptom of another disease entirely. In the pages of this book, we call that disease “hyper-novelty.” It is caused by a rate of technological change so rapid that transitions in our environment outstrip our capacity to adapt. You will not find the COVID-19 pandemic specifically dissected here, but you will find a full exploration of the hyper-novelty crisis that left us vulnerable to this virus—a virus so weak that it could have been cured with a bit of well-coordinated fresh air.

This is part of what drives brand loyalty, taking the same commute even when a better one is available, and sticking to pharmaceutical and dietary recommendations even after they’ve been debunked. In our quest for set-and-forget rubrics, we fall prey to reductionist thinking. What we need instead is flexible, logic-based, evolutionary thinking with which to navigate. In February 2020, early in the COVID-19 pandemic, both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US surgeon general repeatedly told the public that “masks aren’t helpful” in protecting against SARS-CoV-2.20 In this case, too many people listened to the authorities rather than thinking through the logic themselves. Why, for instance, if masks are pointless, are they exactly the equipment used by health professionals when trying to avoid infection from respiratory ailments?


pages: 226 words: 58,341

The New Snobbery by David Skelton

assortative mating, banking crisis, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, centre right, collective bargaining, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, David Brooks, deindustrialization, Etonian, financial deregulation, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, housing crisis, income inequality, job automation, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, market fundamentalism, microaggression, new economy, Northern Rock, open borders, postindustrial economy, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Right to Buy, rising living standards, shareholder value, wealth creators, women in the workforce

Working Britain made it quite obvious in 2019 that they believed their verdict should be respected, and that they were prepared to abandon generations of anti-Toryism on the promise of improved lives, better jobs and more dynamic local economies. That promise must still be delivered. COVID-19 – A CALL TO ACTION Our national experience during the Covid-19 pandemic has made the necessity for the promised change even more urgent. The pandemic has clearly shone a light on the tilted nature of the economy, and as we have previously discussed, the lowest paid have been more exposed to both the health and financial risks of the virus.

It saw many people in working-class areas move from having economic power, often through mechanisms such as collective bargaining, to becoming economically powerless, and workers moved from having a central to a peripheral part in the social contract. The winner-takes-all approach has created an economy in which the majority are working harder for less, with work tending to be more insecure and having less dignity. This divide has only been magnified with the Covid-19 pandemic, which meant that the lower-paid faced greater danger and greater hardship. WHAT ABOUT THE WORKERS? WHO ISN’T THE ECONOMY WORKING FOR? It is beyond dispute that capitalism is the best way of creating wealth, spurring innovation and growing living standards. For many years, the link between national economic growth, growing productivity and blossoming for individuals throughout society was also clear.

When the time came for left-behind places to answer how they felt about decades of economic neglect, they seized the opportunity. Nobody should have been surprised when all but one of the former coalfields voted for Brexit. Twelve years after the banking crash came another catastrophe that hit hardest those communities who were suffering the most from over a decade of stagnating real wages. With over 100,000 deaths, Covid-19 was devastating for the entire country, but the lower down the income scale you were, the worse hit you were by both the economic and the health impacts of Covid. Put simply, it’s easier to work from home in most middle-class jobs than in most working-class jobs, and social distancing was simply not an option in many unskilled positions.


pages: 244 words: 73,700

Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell

"side hustle", barriers to entry, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, financial independence, hive mind, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, Kickstarter, late capitalism, loss aversion, Lyft, passive income, Ponzi scheme, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, QAnon, Ronald Reagan, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, sunk-cost fallacy, the scientific method, uber lyft, women in the workforce, Y2K

At the end of the session, participants always take a group photo, turn to someone they don’t know, introduce themselves, and close out with the same final line: “Have a great day.” Ideally, my parents and I would’ve tried out intenSati in person, but in April 2020, that wasn’t exactly possible. Two weeks into California’s COVID-19 quarantine, we were forced to exercise at home. I figure, though, if my thesis about language and power is correct, then Patricia’s incantations should compel me even through a screen. I didn’t actually think they’d work, of course. On paper, the workout coalesces two things I gravely detest: cardio (blegh) and group activities that require you to awkwardly shout things out loud.

Five years after their initial crowdfunding campaign, Peloton had raised almost a billion dollars and was deemed the first-ever “fitness unicorn.” A wellness editor I used to work with assured me that Peloton’s virtual model, which is simple and nonproprietary, is without question the future of boutique fitness (a prediction that seems even likelier post-COVID-19, when workout studios were forced to digitize overnight or die). On the Peloton app, each rider chooses a username (the cheekier, the better; there are entire subreddits dedicated to cute Peloton handle ideas: @ridesforchocolate, @will_spin_for_zin, @clever_username) and has access to everyone’s speeds, resistance levels, and ranks.

And the linguistic red flags had always been there: By glorifying the police in the names of its Hero WoDs, CrossFit had been telling on itself all along. Hundreds of gyms disaffiliated with the brand, big activewear companies pulled their contracts, and Glassman stepped down as CEO. A few months after Glassman’s fall from grace, it was SoulCycle’s turn for a scandal. In late 2020, things were already going south for the company due to COVID-19 lockdowns forcing location closures left and right, when multiple damning exposés surfaced online: According to reporting from Vox, underneath all the motivational Soulspeak, studios across the country harbored long track records of toxicity. Cults of personality formed around certain “Master” instructors, who took advantage by creating hierarchies of favorite and least favorite clients, giving private “off-the-clock” rides, and allegedly sleeping with some students.


pages: 226 words: 65,516

Kings of Crypto: One Startup's Quest to Take Cryptocurrency Out of Silicon Valley and Onto Wall Street by Jeff John Roberts

"side hustle", 4chan, Airbnb, altcoin, Apple II, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Blythe Masters, Bonfire of the Vanities, Burning Man, buttonwood tree, cloud computing, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, Donald Trump, double helix, Elliott wave, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, Flash crash, forensic accounting, hacker house, hockey-stick growth, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, offshore financial centre, open borders, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, ransomware, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart contracts, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, transaction costs, WeWork, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

But one of the things about Silicon Valley is that people are not as skeptical as everywhere else. You can still throw out a crazy idea, and people will get excited.” Epilogue On March 9, 2020, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped a record 2,000 points amid fears over oil prices and the Covid-19 pandemic that had begun to consume the world. Three days later, the Dow fell another 2,350 points, and the following Monday it lost 3,000 more. It was a once-in-a-century financial calamity, and nothing in the market was spared—stocks, bonds, commodities, and even precious metals suffered a dizzying plunge.

Coinbase, meanwhile, rode the volatility to trading riches on the scale of what it enjoyed during the peak of the 2017 bubble. • • • In San Francisco, Coinbase’s founder waited out the pandemic in his penthouse in the city’s tallest building, where his neighbors included NBA star Kevin Durant and other members of the Golden State Warriors. Brian had grasped the implications of the Covid-19 crisis early, and Coinbase’s work-from-home blueprint had been shared widely among companies in the Valley and beyond. But he was hardly the first from the crypto world to warn about what was coming as coronavirus emerged—that designation belonged to Balaji Srinivasan, Coinbase’s former CTO who had almost burned the company to the ground in order to save it.

Index Accenture, 140 addresses, blockchain, 19–20 Age of Cryptocurrency, The (Vigna and Casey), 23 Airbnb, 3, 5 Alford, Gary, 122 algorithms, in financial trading, 11–12 AlphaBay, 107–108 Alphabet, 64 altcoins, 138 crash in, 165, 202 value of, 146–148 Altman, Sam, 5–6, 7–8 American Kingpin (Bilton), 31 Andreessen, Marc, 11, 48 Andreessen Horowitz, 137, 177, 186–187, 225 Andresen, Gavin, 82 Antonopoulos, Andreas, 44 Apple, 7, 216 Coinbase app and, 40, 63 gift cards, money laundering with, 45 iPhone, 94–95 April Fools’ Day rally, 201 Arca, 105–106 Armstrong, Brian, 155, 206 in Beijing, 81–83 blog posts by, 109–111, 161 Coinbase culture and, 49–51 Covid-19 and, 222 on the crypto winter, 173 Dimon and, 211–213 first meeting with Fred, 13–14 in funding rounds, 33–37 on the future of Coinbase, 219–220 Gemini and, 116–117 Hirji and, 190, 192–200 IRS and, 125–126 leadership development of, 66, 68, 111–113, 117, 199–200 media coverage and, 159 origins of Coinbase and, 3–15 personal life of, 175 at Satoshi Roundtable, 80–81 social media scams using, 143 Srinivasan and, 186 super voting shares to, 112–113 targeted by bitcoin believers, 78–80 in Washington, DC, 129–131 workplace morale and, 67–68 authentication, two-factor, 143 Bain & Company, 191 Bain Capital, 204 Bakkt, 223 Bancor, 135–136 Berlin, Leslie, 99 Bezos, Jeff, 111 Big Pump, 144 Billions (TV show), 168, 224 Binance Coin, 179–182, 187, 196, 209 bitcoin academic attention to, 107 acceptance of by merchants, 29–30, 55, 64 anonymity of, 20 blocks, 19–20, 152–153 bull run in, 201–203 in China, 81–83 code oversight, 94 Covid-19 and, 221–223 crashes, 40, 160–161, 165–175 creation of, 4–5 criminal activity with, 17–18, 30–31, 58–60, 79, 107–108 in the crypto winter, 172–175 decentralization and, 8–9, 12, 104–105 Ethereum compared with, 88–93 federal efforts to prosecute, 17–18, 20 future of, 224–225 IRS on, 121–126 lifestyle and, 105–106 network problems with, 152–154 origin story of, 23–24 Pizza Day, 22 problems with using, 61–62 as property versus currency, 122–126 reputation of, 58, 69–70 resilience of, 208–210 as rival to gold, 83–84 scaling and, 88 traditional finance and, 65, 99–108 true believers in, 23, 25 user growth and network problems in, 75–84 US government ownership of, 126–127 value fluctuation in, 21–23, 47, 57–60, 61–62, 65–66, 121, 139, 146–148, 151–155 Wall Street and, 99 warring factions in, 75–84 Bitcoin Cash, 147, 173 on Coinbase, 159–160 collapse of, 202–203 Bitcoin Core, 75–76, 78, 82–83 bitcoin exchanges.


pages: 362 words: 87,462

Laziness Does Not Exist by Devon Price

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, call centre, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, demand response, Donald Trump, financial independence, Firefox, gig economy, Google Chrome, helicopter parent, impulse control, Jean Tirole, job automation, job satisfaction, Lyft, meta-analysis, Minecraft, New Journalism, pattern recognition, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, randomized controlled trial, remote working, Saturday Night Live, selection bias, side project, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, uber lyft, working poor

People placed loving but firm pressure on those who refused to socially distance. This swift, expansive response rose up in a matter of days and took effect long before our state and local government started requiring us to isolate. Like climate change, COVID-19 began as a mostly abstract fear. Like climate change, the virus was terrifying to think about, and we knew serious damage was inevitable. The news presented us with dozens of apocalyptic-seeming projections of how the COVID-19 disaster might play out, just as they do with climate change. Yet individual people rapidly started making responsible, altruistic choices to address the pandemic, despite having spent years doing comparatively little to address climate change.

We’ve had to trade our health for our financial or professional well-being, choosing between getting adequate time for rest, exercise, and socializing and logging enough hours to get by. Tragically, many of us do this not out of paranoia but because we know just how economically vulnerable we really are. An international disaster like COVID-19 only convinced Michael he was smart to have overworked as much as he did in the past. If he hadn’t, he would have had an even smaller financial nest egg to survive on. Chronic overcommitters are experts at ignoring their bodily needs. Our economic system and culture have taught us that having needs makes us weak, and that limits are negotiable.

Point to evidence of it in your own workplace—remind leadership of times when employees were happy and effective because they weren’t being pushed too hard. If you don’t have the power to influence a boss, educate your coworkers and friends about these facts, and consider organizing a union. The more informed people are, the more they can move toward an “evidence-based” workplace. 2. Ask for Flex Time and Remote Work Options The outbreak of COVID-19 left many people working from home for the first time in their careers. The shift online was a drastic and sudden change for a lot of organizations, but it demonstrated in a stark way that flexible schedules and telework can be just as effective as coming into the office. At this point in history, every organization needs to be open to unconventional work systems and schedules.


pages: 712 words: 212,334

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe

always be closing, barriers to entry, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, coronavirus, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, disinformation, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, estate planning, facts on the ground, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, medical residency, moral panic, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, Upton Sinclair

But Caroline Maloney, the New York congresswoman who chaired the committee, sent a letter on December 8 indicating that if the family did not voluntarily accept her invitation, she would be forced to subpoena them. Nine days later, the hearing was convened. The proceedings would be held remotely, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and that morning, David Sackler, dressed in a dark suit and sitting in a featureless fluorescent space that looked like a borrowed office, raised his right hand and was sworn in. When the family realized that some of them would have no choice but to appear, they had negotiated, offering David and Kathe, along with Craig Landau from Purdue.

It wasn’t just that the bankruptcy process prized economic compromise over all other values; it was that bankruptcy law is so technical and antiseptic that it is difficult for nonlawyers to grasp. “We’re fighting on their terms now,” one of the PAIN activists, Harry Cullen, complained. “The court speaks in terms of numbers. Everything is fungible.” Early on, the group staged die-ins on the steps of the courthouse. But after the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, Drain stopped holding hearings in person, shifting to telephone conferences, which robbed the protesters of a theater in which to stage their actions. “It chops us off at the knees,” Cullen said. “How are we supposed to hold them accountable?” Goldin actively intervened in the proceedings, helping start a committee of victims to push for greater accountability in the bankruptcy.


pages: 201 words: 60,431

Long Game: How Long-Term Thinker Shorthb by Dorie Clark

3D printing, autonomous vehicles, buy low sell high, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, Elon Musk, Google X / Alphabet X, hedonic treadmill, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, passive income, pre–internet, rolodex, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steven Levy, the strength of weak ties, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

But to create the kind of interesting, meaningful lives that we all seek, they’re essential—and it’s time to embrace them. On February 28, 2020, my email pinged. “I’m delighted to report that we would love to publish the book,” my editor wrote. The Long Game was on. The very next day—March 1, 2020—the first case of Covid-19 was diagnosed in New York City, where I live. During the early days of lockdown, a colleague messaged me about my book project. I had set out to write about the importance of being a long-term thinker in a short-term world. But in light of Covid, he wondered, wasn’t long-term thinking a little passé?

The CEO of a marketing and innovation consulting firm, Zach had always had a passion for literature. “It was always my favorite class in high school and college, and the teachers inspired me to live my best life,” he recalls. But as a busy CEO, he didn’t have time to read as much as he might like—and even if he did, it wasn’t clear who would be willing to discuss it with him. But the Covid-19 pandemic made something very clear to him. “In the quarantine, the grind of daily routines, anxiety, working from home, higher stress, constant changes, and seeing people less really took its toll on me,” he says. “I knew I needed to do what I loved, and too often I made compromises—focusing on the urgent over the important.”

Next, we’d go around the table to do introductions, break for a few moments when dinner arrived to allow the server to distribute the meals, and then go around the table once more with a more introspective question everyone could answer, such as “What are you proudest of this year?” or “What are you looking forward to in the fall?” or “What’s the most surprising lesson you’ve learned in the past few years?” I’ve now hosted more than sixty dinners with hundreds of attendees and over time have built a reputation as a connector in a city where I hardly knew anyone. During Covid-19, I shifted the format to virtual and began hosting them over Zoom with my friend Alisa Cohn (the executive coach/freestyle rapper from chapter 3), which enabled us to preserve the general format but with the added opportunity to invite guests from around the world. Not everyone you invite will become your best friend.


pages: 199 words: 64,272

Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing by Jacob Goldstein

"side hustle", Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, back-to-the-land, bank run, banks create money, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, break the buck, card file, central bank independence, collective bargaining, coronavirus, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, Edmond Halley, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, index card, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, life extension, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, Modern Monetary Theory, money market fund, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, software is eating the world, Steven Levy, the new new thing, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs

But funds for ordinary investors still use the same accounting methods to show a constant dollar value for investors. People can still write checks on their accounts. Money-market funds are not regulated like banks, but for most people money in a money fund still feels like money in the bank. In the spring of 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic spread around the world, people once again started frantically pulling billions of dollars out of money-market funds. And the US government once again rushed to protect the funds. “It’s just frustrating that we never really fixed this stuff to begin with,” Sheila Bair, a former regulator, said.


pages: 277 words: 70,506

We Are Bellingcat: Global Crime, Online Sleuths, and the Bold Future of News by Eliot Higgins

4chan, active measures, Andy Carvin, anti-communist, anti-globalists, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, Columbine, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disinformation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Google Earth, hive mind, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, pattern recognition, rolodex, Seymour Hersh, Silicon Valley, Skype, Tactical Technology Collective, the scientific method, WikiLeaks

We proved that the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad fired chemical weapons at his own people. We showed who was behind the downing of Flight MH17. We located ISIS supporters in Europe. We identified neo-Nazis rampaging through Charlottesville, Virginia. We helped quash the floods of disinformation spreading alongside Covid-19. And we exposed a Kremlin ‘kill team’. This discipline is so new that it lacks a single name. Most common is ‘OSINT’, for open-source intelligence. But that shorthand derives from government intelligence, whose secretive practices diverge from the open and public mission of Bellingcat. A more accurate description is ‘online open-source investigation’.

But sane society was not about to surrender its main source of information to the deceitful. The question was whether to accept two parallel information streams, where one part of the public consumed fact-based reports and another was abandoned to dubious viral content; or to fight back. We chose the latter. The stakes were high, as became clear during the Covid-19 pandemic, when lies acquired the potential to kill thousands, perhaps millions, of people. At Bellingcat, ‘emergency prepping’ for such information crises had been underway since our inception, as we endured malicious hacking, contended with constant slurs and confronted a thicket of falsehoods online.

A third iteration of fact-checkers, Full Fact argued, must meet the scale of the internet, probably through massive collaborations that disregard national frontiers.95 We are pushing for exactly that. More than ever, news events prompt people to scour the internet for immediate insights, and we are seeking to mobilise this public in the push for credible evidence. For example, within a month of the World Health Organization designating Covid-19 a pandemic in March 2020, Bellingcat produced a range of material to involve citizens in online sleuthing on the subject, including a guide to debunking coronavirus disinformation; an article on scammers exploiting the disease on Facebook and YouTube; and a video segment on applying open-source tools to studying a world gone still during lockdown.96 When a police officer in Minneapolis killed an African-American suspect, George Floyd, setting off protests across the United States and beyond, we produced an explanatory article on the Boogalo movement that hoped unrest would degenerate into a second American civil war; we compiled an exhaustive list of attacks on journalists, geolocated and plotted onto an interactive map to involve the public in absorbing the dimensions of the efforts to suppress information; and we sought to inform citizens of our techniques via a new podcast, BellingChat.


pages: 332 words: 100,245

Mine!: How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives by Michael A. Heller, James Salzman

23andMe, Airbnb, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collaborative consumption, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, endowment effect, estate planning, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Garrett Hardin, gig economy, Hernando de Soto, Internet of things, land tenure, Mason jar, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil rush, planetary scale, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, rent control, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, The future is already here, Tim Cook: Apple, Tragedy of the Commons, you are the product, Zipcar

Maybe the Supreme Court should reserve seats for student groups. Or auction the seats and use the revenue for guided high school tours of its awe-inspiring building. Or—and this is our view—the Court should implement a different path to access altogether, such as video livestreaming arguments so they are freely available to everyone online. During the COVID-19 shutdown, the Court moved partway there with audio livestream, and the administration of justice did not noticeably falter. Put another way, every rule for making things mine rewards a different idea about what to value, like the options for the rocking chair we discussed in the Introduction.

Think about the last time you were in the checkout line at the supermarket with your shopping cart. Imagine a stranger had come up, peered into your cart, taken out the cereal box, then looked again and grabbed the carton of milk. This seems insane. It never happens (although we did come across one example during the panicky early days of COVID-19: toilet paper filching). You would probably shout at the person, “What the—what are you doing? That’s mine!” But why are the cereal box and milk carton yours? You haven’t bought them yet. What makes you so confident, even though your physical possession is not legal ownership? Retailers have always understood, and taken advantage of, this possession instinct by creating conditions where customers can get attached to products for sale.

The conflicts are growing more acute: as beach-spreaders are pushing the boundaries of possession, rising sea levels are shrinking New Jersey beaches. Local residents pay for lifeguards and beach upkeep and get mad when beach-spreaders keep them away from the water. Regional variations in beach possession symbols matter even more in the COVID-19 era. That’s why White House coronavirus adviser Deborah Birx urged beachgoers to defend circles of sand around their umbrellas: “Remember that is your space, and that is the space you need to protect.” She was arguing for uniform beach spacing nationwide. Bad ownership design can have deadly consequences in New Jersey, Florida, and elsewhere.


pages: 505 words: 138,917

Open: The Story of Human Progress by Johan Norberg

additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-globalists, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, global village, humanitarian revolution, illegal immigration, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labour mobility, Lao Tzu, liberal capitalism, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, Network effects, open borders, open economy, Pax Mongolica, place-making, profit motive, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Republic of Letters, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, spice trade, stem cell, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, Uber for X, ultimatum game, universal basic income, World Values Survey, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game

They have an incentive to stop changes with bans, regulations, monopolies, the burning of boats or the building of walls. And when the rest of us panic about the world we let them have their way. And this is how every period of openness and innovation in history was ended, except one: the one that we are in right now. An open world, if we can keep it. The COVID-19 pandemic illustrates what can happen and what is at stake. International trade and mobility have not only enriched the world, they have also made it possible for microorganisms to hitch a ride. Historically, rulers have used such great plagues to extend control over their populations, pull up the drawbridges and attack scapegoats, like Jews, foreigners or witches.

(The risk of dying in a crash has since declined by 95 per cent.) In the early 1990s, books with titles like The Jobless Future and The End of Work predicted computers would take our jobs and that we would soon see massive unemployment. (Since then the US economy has created 35 million new net jobs, and the employment rate before the COVID-19 pandemic was almost exactly the same.) In 1995 the flagship magazine of American conservatives, Weekly Standard, had the cover story ‘Smash the Internet’, featuring a sledgehammer destroying a screen. Some of the predicted problems did come about, but we adapted to them in ways no one could have foreseen, because those adaptations were made by millions of people based on what they learned, not by a committee based on prophesies.

INDEX Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258), 6, 136–7, 138, 169, 353 abortion, 113 absolutist monarchies, 154, 155, 170, 182, 185 Academy Awards, 82 Accenture, 375 accountants, 41 Acemoglu, Daron, 185, 187, 200 Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC), 86–7, 88, 249 Acton, Lord, see Dalberg-Acton, John Adams, Douglas, 295 Adobe, 310 Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), 306 Aeschylus, 132 affirmative action, 244 Afghanistan, 70, 345 Age of Discovery, 177 agriculture, 39–40, 42, 74, 171, 263 Akbar I, Mughal Emperor, 98 Akkadian Empire (c. 2334–2154 BC), 42 Alaska, 76 Albania, 54 Albertus Magnus, Saint, 145 d’Alembert, Jean-Baptiste le Rond, 154 Alexander III ‘the Great’, Basileus of Macedon, 87–9 Alexandria, Egypt, 134 algae, 332 algebra, 137 Alibaba, 311 Allport, Gordon, 244–5 Almohad Caliphate (1121–1269), 137–8 alpha males, 227–8, 229 Alphaville, 245 altruism, 216 Amalric, Arnaud, 94 Amazon, 275, 311 America First, 19, 272 American Civil War (1861–5), 109 American Declaration of Independence (1776), 103, 201, 202 American Revolutionary War (1775–83), 102–3, 200–201 American Society of Human Genetics, 76–7 Americanization, 19 Amherst, William, 1st Earl Amherst, 176–7 amphorae, 48 Amsterdam, Holland, 150, 152, 153 An Lushan Rebellion (755–63), 352 anaesthesia, 279, 296 anagrams, 83 Anatolia, 42, 74 Anaximander, 127 Anaximenes, 127 al-Andalus (711–1492), 97, 137–9, 140 Andromeda, 88 Anglo–French Treaty (1860), 53–4 Anhui, China, 315 anti-Semitism, 11, 94–7, 109, 220, 233, 251, 254, 255 anti-Semitism, 254–5, 356 Antonine Plague (165–80), 77 Antoninus Pius, Roman Emperor, 91 Apama, 88 Appiah, Kwame Anthony, 5 Apple, 82, 195, 304, 311, 319 Apuleius, 89 Arab Spring (2011), 10, 342 Arabic numerals, 70, 137, 156 Arabic, 136, 137, 140 archaeology, 21–2, 31, 32, 38, 43, 50, 51 Archer Daniels Midland, 329 Aristides, Aelius, 48 Aristophanes, 129, 131, 132 Aristotle, 130–31, 132, 137, 141–6, 161 Armenians, 136, 220 ARPAnet, 306 Art Nouveau, 198 art, 198 Artaxerxes III, Persian Emperor, 87 Ashkenazi Jews, 99 Ashoka, Mauryan Emperor, 53 Assyria (2500–609 BC), 248–9 Assyrian Empire (2500–609 BC), 41, 43, 86 astronomy, 80, 145–6, 150 Atari, 304 Athens, 47, 53, 89, 90, 131, 134 Atlas Copco, 65 Augustine of Hippo, 133, 139 Australia, 50–53, 76, 262 Australopithecus afarensis, 24–5 Austria, 1, 150, 151, 190 Austria-Hungary (1867–1918), 179, 254 Battle of Vienna (1683), 237, 238 Habsburg monarchy (1282–1918), 151, 179, 190, 237 migration crisis (2015–), 342 Mongol invasion (1241), 95 Nazi period (1938–45), 105 Ötzi, 1–2, 8–9, 73, 74 Thirty Years War (1618–48), 150 Authoritarian Dynamic, The (Stenner), 343 authoritarianism, 4, 14, 220, 343–61, 363, 379 democracy and, 357 economics and, 346–51 exposure to difference and, 242 innovation and, 318 insecurity and, 338, 342, 378 media and, 346–9 nostalgia and 351–4 predisposition, 220, 343–6 populism and, 325, 350–51 scapegoats and, 355–6 science and, 161–3 automatic looms, 179 automation, 63, 312–13 Averroes, 137–8, 143, 144, 145 Aztec Empire (1428–1521), 55 Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, 75 baby-boom generation (1946–64), 294, 340 Babylon, 39, 86–7 Babylonia (1895–539 BC), 39, 42, 43, 86–7, 128, 131, 249, 267 Bacon, Francis, 147, 156, 165–6, 201 bad news, 322 Baghdad, 70, 136, 353 Bahrain, 42 Bailey, Ron, 11 Bailyn, Bernard, 201 balance of trade, 59–60 Banda Islands, 100 Bangladesh, 270 Bannon, Steve, 14, 108 Barcelona, Catalonia, 320 Basel, Switzerland, 152 Battle of Vienna (1683), 237, 238 Bayezid II, Ottoman Sultan, 98 Bayle, Pierre, 158 Beginning of Infinity, The (Deutsch), 332 Behavioural Immune System, 222 Beirut, Lebanon, 236 benefit–cost ratio, 60, 61, 62 Berges, Aida, 80 Bering land bridge, 76 Berkeley, see University of California, Berkeley Berlin Wall, fall of (1989), 10, 340, 341, 363, 364 Berners-Lee, Timothy, 307–8 Bernstein, William, 42 Berossus, 267 Better Angels of Our Nature, The (Pinker), 243 Beveridge, William, 59 Béziers, France, 94 Bezos, Jeffrey, 274, 275–6, 277 Bi Sheng, 171 Bible, 46, 72, 248–50, 296 bicycles, 297 de Biencourt, Charles, 189 Big Five personality traits, 7 Black Death (1346–53), 77, 139, 208, 356, 352, 356 Blade Runner, 334 Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, 124–6 Blue Ghosts, 236 Bohr, Niels, 105 Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN), 307 bonobos, 226–7 Book of Jonah, 248–50 Borjas, George, 116 Boston, Massachusetts, 122, 223 Boudreaux, Donald, 62, 270 Boulton, Matthew, 194 Bowles, Samuel, 216 Boym, Svetlana, 288 Brandt, Willy, 364 Brewer, Marilynn, 247 Brexit (2016–), 9, 14, 118, 238, 240–41, 349, 354, 379 Brezhnev, Leonid, 315 Britain, 169, 181–99 Acts of Union (1707), 101, 194 Afghanistan War (2001–14), 345 Amherst Mission (1816), 176–7 anti-Semitism in, 254 arts, 198 Bletchley Park, 124–6 Brexit (2016–), 9, 14, 118, 238, 240–41, 349, 354, 379 Cheddar Man, 74 Cobden–Chevalier Treaty (1860), 53–4 coffee houses, 166 colonies, 84, 191, 194, 200 Corn Laws repeal (1846), 53, 191 creative destruction in, 179 crime in, 119, 120 Dutch War (1672–4), 101 English Civil War (1642–1651), 148, 183, 184, 201 Glorious Revolution (1688), 101, 185–8, 190, 193 hair powder tax (1795), 72 immigration in, 113, 115, 118, 119, 120, 193–4 Industrial Revolution, 188–99, 202 innovation in, 53, 189–90 Internet, development of, 307–8 Iraq War (2003–11), 345 Levellers, 183–4, 186 literacy in, 188, 198 literature, 188–9 London Bridge stabbings (2019), 120 London 7/7 bombings (2005), 341 Macartney Mission (1793), 176 Magna Carta (1215), 5 monopolies, 182 MPs’ expenses scandal (2009), 345 Muslim community, 113 Navigation Acts, 192 nostalgia in, 294 open society, 169, 181–2, 195–9 patent system, 189–90, 203, 314 Peasants’ Revolt (1381), 208 political tribalism in, 238, 240–41 poverty in, 256 railways in, 297 Royal Society, 156, 157, 158, 196, 296 ruin follies, 286–7 slavery, abolition of (1807), 182, 205 smuggling in, 192 Statute of Labourers (1351), 208 United States, migration to, 104 West Africa Squadron, 205 Whig Party, 185, 201 World War II (1939–45), 124–6 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), 135 Bronze Age (c. 3300–600 BC) Late Bronze-Age Collapse (1200–1150 BC), 44, 49, 54 migration to Europe, 74–5 Phoenician civilization, 43–6, 49, 70 Sumerian civilization, 42–3 Brotherton, Rob, 322 Brown, Donald, 219, 283 Bruges, Flanders, 208 Bruno, Giordano, 150 Bryn Mawr College, 201 Buddhism, 96, 149, 352 Bulgaria, 73, 342 Bureau of Labor Statistics, US, 65 Burke, Edmund, 152, 292 Bush, George Walker, 328 ByteDance, 318 Byzantine Empire (395–1453), 94, 134, 135, 155, 224 California Gold Rush (1848–1855), 104 Calvin, John, 149 Calvinism, 6, 99, 153, 356 Canada, 235, 258 Caplan, Bryan, 258 Caracalla, Roman Emperor, 91 Carbon Engineering, 332 Cardwell, Donald, 10 Cardwell’s Law, 10 Carlson, Tucker, 82, 302 Carlyle, Thomas, 206 Carthage (814–146 BC), 45 Caspian Sea, 75 Cathars, 94, 142 Catherine II, Empress of Russia, 154 Catholicism, 208 in Britain, 101, 185–6, 191 Crusades, 94, 138 in Dutch Republic, 99 exiles and, 153 in France, 154 Jews, persecution of, 97–8, 100, 106, 140, 233 Inquisition, 94, 97, 98, 100, 143, 150 in Italy, 6, 169 Muslims, persecution of, 97, 106, 233 Papacy, 102, 142, 143, 152, 155, 178, 237 in Rwanda, 230–31 in United States, 102, 104, 108, 254 values and, 114 Cato’s Letters (Trenchard and Gordon), 201 Celts, 89, 289 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 313 Ceres, 89 Cerf, Vinton, 307 CERN (Conseil européen pour la recherche nucléaire), 306, 307 chariot racing, 224 Charles I, King of England, Scotland and Ireland, 148, 179, 183 Chávez, Hugo, 354 Chechen War, Second (1999–2009), 354 Cheddar Man, 74 cheongsam dresses, 73 Chesterton, Gilbert Keith, 286, 300 Chicago principles, 164–5 Chicago, Illinois, 202 child mortality, 168–9 Child, Josiah, 184 children, 26 chimpanzees, 24, 25, 32, 36, 226–7, 228 China, 4, 5, 6, 13, 84, 270, 314–18 Amherst Mission (1816), 176–7 An Lushan Rebellion (755–63), 352 Antonine Plague (165–80), 77 authoritarianism, 4, 162–3, 175, 318, 325, 343 budget deficits, 60 cheongsam dresses, 73 Confucianism, 129, 149, 169, 176 COVID-19 pandemic (2019–20), 4, 11–12, 162–3 Cultural Revolution (1966–76), 355 dictatorships, support for, 367 dynamism in, 315–18 ethnic groups in, 84 Great Wall, 178 industrialization 169, 172–3, 207 intellectual property in, 58 kimonos, 73 literacy in, 148 Macartney Mission (1793), 176 Ming dynasty (1368–1644), 54, 148, 175, 177–8, 179, 215 national stereotypes, 235, 236 overcapacity in, 317 paper, invention of, 136 private farming initiative (1978), 315–16 productivity in, 317 poverty in, 273, 316 Qing dynasty (1644–1912), 148, 149, 151, 153, 175–7, 179, 353 Reform and Opening-up (1979–), 4, 53, 56, 315–16 SARS outbreak (2002), 162 science in, 4, 13, 70, 153, 156, 162–3, 169–73, 269 Silk Road, 171, 174, 352 Song dynasty (960–1279), 53, 169–75 state capitalism in, 316–17 Tang dynasty (618–907), 84, 170, 177, 352 Taoism, 129, 149 trade barriers, 59 United States, migration to, 104, 109, 254 United States, trade with, 19, 57, 58–9, 62–3, 64 WTO accession (2001), 63 Yuan Empire (1271–1368), 174–5 Zheng He’s voyages (1405–33), 177–8 Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), 254 Christensen, Clayton, 305 Christianity, 46, 70, 96, 129 Bible, 46, 72, 248–50, 296 in Britain, 101 Calvinism, 6, 99, 149, 153, 356 Cathars, 94, 142 clash of civilizations narrative, 237 Crusades, 94, 138 Catholicism, see Catholicism Dominican order, 356 in Dutch Republic, 99 economic hardship and, 359 fundamentalism, 133–5, 149 Great Awakening (1730–55), 102 Great Vanishing, 134–5 Inquisition, 97, 98, 100 Jews, persecution of, 95, 96, 97 Lutheranism, 99, 356 in Mongol Empire, 96 Old Testament, 46, 72 orthodox backlash, 149–50 Orthodox Church, 155 Papacy, 102, 142, 143, 152, 155, 178, 233 Protestantism, 99, 104, 148, 149, 153, 169, 178 Puritanism, 99, 102 Rastafari and, 72 Reformation, 148, 155 in Roman Empire, 90, 93–4 science and, 133–5, 141–6, 149–50 Thirty Years War (1618–48), 97 tribalism and, 230–31, 246 zero-sum relationships and, 248–50 Chua, Amy, 84 Cicero, 141 Cilician, Gates, 42 cities, 40, 79, 140 division of labour in, 40 immigration and, 114, 250 innovation and, 40, 53, 79, 140, 145, 172, 287 liberalism and, 339 Mesopotamia, 37–43 open-mindedness and, 35 productivity and, 40, 98 tradition and, 287, 291 turtle theory and, 121–2 civic nationalism, 377–8 civil society, 6, 199, 253, 358, 363 clash of civilizations narrative, 237, 362–3, 365–6 ‘Clash of Civilizations?’


pages: 426 words: 136,925

Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America by Alec MacGillis

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Sanders, call centre, carried interest, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, death of newspapers, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, edge city, future of work, global pandemic, high net worth, housing crisis, Ida Tarbell, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, jitney, Lyft, mass incarceration, McMansion, new economy, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, white flight, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

The company’s initial reaction to the pandemic was to announce that it was seeding a charitable fund for its temp workers and contract delivery drivers who lacked health coverage and to encourage the public to donate to it. This met with some derision. It also promised two weeks of paid leave to anyone with a COVID-19 diagnosis and offered unpaid time off, without risk of being penalized for missing shifts, to anyone who wanted to stay home as a precaution. It offered a temporary $2 bump in hourly pay to those who kept working. It set up temperature checks and COVID-19 testing stations for arriving workers. It issued masks and provided hand sanitizer and disinfectant. Hector Torrez watched the measures go into effect at the warehouse in Thornton, Colorado.

Its general manager, Clint Autry: Joe Rubino, “Amazon’s Gamble on Finding 1,500 Workers for Robotic Warehouse in Thornton May Not Have Been a Gamble After All,” The Denver Post, March 20, 2019. the Bronx … twice as likely to be fatal: Ese Olumhense and Ann Choi, “Bronx Residents Twice as Likely to Die from COVID-19 in NYC,” The City, April 3, 2020. money for his mother’s cremation: Joshua Chaffin, “Elmhurst: Neighborhood at Center of New York’s COVID-19 Crisis,” Financial Times, April 10, 2020. in the small city of Albany, Georgia: Ellen Barry, “Days After Funeral in a Georgia Town, Coronavirus ‘Hit Like a Bomb,’” The New York Times, March 30, 2020. starting in 1980, this convergence reversed: Robert Manduca, “Antitrust Enforcement as Federal Policy to Reduce Regional Economic Disparities,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 685, no. 1 (September 2019): 156–171.

In late July, Amazon announced that its profit had doubled in the second quarter, with sales up by a stunning 40 percent from those a year earlier. On the news, its share price surged yet higher—by early September, it was up by 84 percent on the year, more than double the rise of other tech giants. “Simply put, Covid-19, in our view, has injected Amazon with a growth hormone,” wrote one industry analyst in a note to investors. To handle the surge in business, the company had, between January and October, added more than 425,000 employees worldwide, bringing its total number of nonseasonal employees in the United States to 800,000 and its global total to more than 1.2 million, up by half from a year earlier and now behind only Walmart and China National Petroleum (and that tally didn’t even include the 500,000 drivers who were delivering its packages).


pages: 192 words: 59,234

Winning: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness by Tim S. Grover, Shari Wenk

Covid-19, COVID-19, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Jeff Bezos

Winners have a “Done” list. You have a list that never gets shorter? Things you just can’t seem to accomplish, because you never have the time, or knowledge, or money, or approval from others, or whatever you claim is stopping you? Things you could have done when you were quarantined at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, with literally nothing to do even after you watched every possible Netflix series? Do yourself a favor: Either do them, or admit you’re never doing them and move on. Managing that “back burner” is a ridiculous waste of time and energy; all those burners generate the same amount of heat anyway, and those things stay on your mind and taunt you every time you start thinking about everything you’ve left unfinished—or unstarted.

That’s the difference between a winning quarterback who can call an audible in a bad situation and turn it into a success, and a failing quarterback who can only execute the play he rehearsed. If you’re flying a fighter jet, you can’t leave complete control to the autopilot; you must be ready at all times to override the system and handle the unexpected. Many of us had to face that challenge during the Covid-19 pandemic, which disrupted or altered almost every aspect of our lives in some way. Suddenly, basic routines changed—or disappeared altogether—with limited options to put things back the way they were. All the things that were part of a daily routine—what time you got up, when you left the house, when you went to the gym, where you had lunch, who you saw and spoke to, what time you returned home, what you did when you came in the door, how you relaxed in the evening, what time you went to bed—were suddenly altered or eliminated.

I can’t argue with you about bringing the coach back, you made your decision to break up the team, fine. But I still control how we play. So I will control the one thing I can: Winning. You can control showing up. You can control pushing yourself harder. You can control not complaining. You can control not giving a fuck. You can control being there. During the Covid-19 pandemic, I just about lost my mind every time I heard from an athlete who said he or she had no way to work out. Your facility is closed, you have no control over that, I get it. You have a basement? A yard? A field? We will control the things we can control. What are you willing to control, what will you allow to control you?


pages: 687 words: 165,457

Exercised: The Science of Physical Activity, Rest and Health by Daniel Lieberman

A. Roger Ekirch, active measures, caloric restriction, caloric restriction, clean water, clockwatching, Coronary heart disease and physical activity of work, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Trump, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, George Santayana, hygiene hypothesis, impulse control, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, libertarian paternalism, longitudinal study, meta-analysis, microbiome, mouse model, phenotype, placebo effect, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Steven Pinker, twin studies, two and twenty, working poor

Endurance athletes such as cross-country skiers had a stunning two-thirds lower risk of heart attacks than average Finns, while power athletes like weight lifters and wrestlers had one-third higher rates of heart attacks.48 Bottom line: weight training isn’t bad, but don’t skip the cardio. Respiratory Tract Infections and Other Contagions As I edit these words in March 2020, COVID-19, the worst pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Flu, is overwhelming the globe, causing massive numbers of people to fall ill, many to die, and plunging the world into economic crisis. The virus is a stark reminder that contagious diseases have never ceased to pose a profound and terrifying threat to human health. Even though the majority of people who get COVID-19 experience only mild to moderate symptoms, it is many times deadlier than most viral infections of the respiratory tract, including influenza.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a typical year influenza kills about fifty thousand Americans, most of them elderly. Other infectious diseases like AIDS, hepatitis, and tuberculosis also take the lives of substantial numbers of people around the world annually. You may be wondering what physical activity has to do with contagions like respiratory tract infections (RTIs). During epidemics like COVID-19, health officials urge us to wash our hands more often and more thoroughly, to practice social distancing, to cough into our elbows, and—trickiest of all—to stop touching our faces. These fundamental, sensible measures effectively help impede transmission of the virus. Other key, proven treatments include vaccines that teach our immune systems to protect us from particular viruses, and antiviral medicines.

Contagious pathogens flourish in crowded, unhygienic conditions, and when they jump to humans from other species, they are especially dangerous because no one’s immune system has encountered them before. So, while hunter-gatherers suffer from plenty of infectious illnesses, highly contagious epidemic diseases like COVID-19 are partly mismatches made possible by civilization, and that explains why social distancing and handwashing are key tools to fight them.49 Persistent lack of physical activity may be an additional, partial mismatch for the immune system. There are longstanding concerns that excessively demanding physical activities like running a marathon can compromise the immune system’s capabilities, but several lines of evidence indicate that regular, moderate physical activity has the potential to reduce the risk of contracting certain contagious diseases, including RTIs.50 In addition, exercise appears to slow the rate at which the immune system deteriorates as we age.51 But exercise is no magic bullet.


pages: 297 words: 88,890

Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation by Anne Helen Petersen

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American ideology, big-box store, Cal Newport, call centre, collective bargaining, Covid-19, COVID-19, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, financial independence, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, helicopter parent, Inbox Zero, independent contractor, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, longitudinal study, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, precariat, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, school choice, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, uber lyft, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Vanguard fund, working poor

BY THE SAME AUTHOR Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and the Drama from the Golden Age of American Cinema Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Women Author’s Note “MILLENNIALS DON’T STAND A CHANCE.” THAT’S HOW Annie Lowrey titled her piece, several weeks into widespread quarantine amidst the spread of COVID-19, detailing the myriad ways the millennials generation is indeed screwed. “The Millennials entered the workforce during the worst downturn since the Great Depression,” she writes. “Saddled with debt, unable to accumulate wealth, and stuck in low-benefit, dead-end jobs, they never gained the financial security that their parents, grandparents, or even older siblings enjoyed.”

Like the generations before us, we were raised on a diet of meritocracy and exceptionalism: that each of us was overflowing with potential and all we needed to activate it was hard work and dedication. If we worked hard, no matter our current station in life, we would find stability. Long before the spread of COVID-19, millennials had begun to come to terms with just how hollow, how deeply and depressingly fantastical, that story really was. We understood that people keep telling it, to their kids and their peers, in New York Times editorials and in how-to books, because to stop would be tantamount to admitting that it’s not just the American Dream that’s broken; it’s America.

That’s a deeply discombobulating realization, but it’s one that people who haven’t navigated our world with the privileges of whiteness, middle-class-ness, or citizenship have understood for some time. Some people are just now realizing the extent of the brokenness. Others have understood it, and mourned it, their entire lives. Writing this from the middle of the pandemic, it’s become apparent that COVID-19 is the great clarifier. It clarifies what and who in your life matters, what things are needs and what are wants, who is thinking of others and who is thinking only of themselves. It has clarified that the workers dubbed “essential” are, in truth, treated as expendable, and it has made decades of systemic racism—and resultant vulnerability to the disease—indelible.


pages: 661 words: 156,009

Your Computer Is on Fire by Thomas S. Mullaney, Benjamin Peters, Mar Hicks, Kavita Philip

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, affirmative action, Airbnb, algorithmic bias, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, Boeing 737 MAX, British Empire, business cycle, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, dark matter, deskilling, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, financial innovation, game design, glass ceiling, global pandemic, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, IBM and the Holocaust, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Landlord’s Game, low-wage service sector, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, mobile money, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, pink-collar, postindustrial economy, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, telepresence, the built environment, the map is not the territory, Thomas L Friedman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, undersea cable, union organizing, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, Y2K

., 71 Class bias, 4–6, 88, 136, 161–162, 174, 184, 265 capitalist, 171 dominant, 180–181, 190 equality, 80, 86t exposure, 301–302 India, 299, 302–303, 308 investor, 53 lower, 162 management, 142 Marxist, 171–173 meritocracy, 138, 150 middle, 73, 80, 86, 139, 241 technocratic, 21 upper, 300- 302 upper-middle, 18 working, 79, 141–142, 288, 301, 309 Cloud definition, 33–34 and electricity, 33–34, 44 enables other industries, 46 as factory, 7, 35–36, 42–43, 45–46, 321 and infrastructure, 33–35 kilowatt-hours required, 34 physical, 31–32, 34, 44–46 supply chain, 45 Code Arabic, 191 Assembly, 275, 277, 281, 286 Black Girls Code, 255, 263 breaking, 138–139 (Colossus) Code.org, 253, 255, 259 Code2040, 255, 260 Coding, Girls Who Code, 253, 255, 263 cultural, 302 digital, 284, 289 dress, 145, 164–165, 298 education, 6 empire, 76 #YesWeCode, 253, 264–266 HLL (high-level language), 275, 277–278, 284, 290 Hour of Code, 253, 263–264 is law, 126 platforms, 321 robotics, 201, 203, 205 social media, 59 source, 273–292 passim (see also Source code) switching, 184, 190 typing, 188, 351 writers, 24, 145, 256–259, 262–267, 300, 381 Yes We Code, 255 Code.org, 253, 255, 259 Code2040, 255, 260 Coding, Girls Who Code, 253, 255, 263 Cold War, 137, 152, 169 computer networks, 75–76, 83–84 network economy, 87 technology, 17–18, 94, 137 typewriter, 227 Collision detection, 242–243 Colonialism, 19, 91, 93, 105, 109, 245 cable networks, 93, 99, 101 colonization, 186, 378 digital, 331 Europe, 110, 147–148, 343 internet, 111, 129 language as, 186–188 metaphors, 94 stereotypes, 96, 102, 104 technocolonialist, 103–104 Colossus, 17, 139, 143 Comcast, 35 Commercial content moderation (CCM), 56–58, 62, 66, 122 Commodity computational services, 33 Common sense, 73, 96 Communications Decency Act, 60–61 Compaq, 318 Complex scripts, 188, 222, 344–345, 350 CompuServe, 320, 325 Computer anthropomorphized (see Robots) conservative force, 15 control and power, 23 critiques of, 5 men, 142 utility, 35, 320 humans as, 43, 140, 384 Computer science, 18, 58, 66, 112, 367 artificial intelligence, 58, 66 education, 256, 263 Thompson hack, 275, 291 women in, 254 Computing, 135–155 passim artificial intelligence, 56 Britain and, 21, 138, 148–152 Chinese, 350–351, 353–354 and class, 142–143 cloud, 78, 87 companies, 13, 18–19 devices, 40–41, 45 education, 368 and empire, 147–148 environment, 382 global, 350, 377 hacking, 289–291 history of, 7, 17, 35, 38, 43, 46, 137, 153–154 Latin alphabet, 357 masculinity, 263 management, 23 manufacturing, 39 media, 4–8, 377–380 meritocracy narratives, 137, 153–154, 381 networks, 77, 199, 320–321 personal, 354 power, 328 software, 318 typing and, 220, 226, 337, 339, 341, 344 underrepresented groups and, 253, 255–256, 264, 266 and women, 17, 43, 135, 139–142, 144–147 Concorde, 145, 146f Congress, 11–12, 82, 154 Content antisemitic, 265 app, 319, 321 child abuse, 118–119, 122, 125 commercial content moderation (CCM), 56–58, 62, 66, 122 filtering, 57 illegal, 62 internet, 317, 319 moderation, 54–57, 123, 126, 380–382 moderators, 5, 380–382 review, 121, 128–130 social media, 59, 61–63, 66, 232, 321, 329–331 terrorism, 57, 66, 130 violent, 117 web, 317 Contractor, 35, 53, 56, 266 CorelDraw, 298 COVID-19, 14, 20, 377 Cox, Chris, 61 Creating Your Community, 266 Creative destruction, 4 Crisis, 4, 6, 16, 21, 150, 235, 297, 383–384 Covid-19, 20 identity, 58–60 point, 13 Y2K, 104 CSNET, 81 Cybernetics, 75, 78–80, 83, 86, 86t, 88 cyberneticist, 77, 81–82 Cyberpunk, 100–101, 107, 110 Cybersyn, 75, 79–80, 85, 86t CyberTipline, 125 Dalton gang, 287–289 DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), 383 Dartmouth College, 235 Data biased, 66, 205 due process, 206 objective, 205 processing, 38, 40–41, 119, 206, 300 socially constructed, 205 value-neutral, 372 Data broker Salesforce, 87 SAS, 87 Data entry, 5, 104, 150, 367 David, Paul, 337–338, 351, 353, 357–358 Davies, Donald, 83 Death, 15, 120, 186, 371, 373, 379 Covid-19, 12 gaming, 233–234, 236 life-or-, 6, 206, 266 technology and dying well, 378 Decolonization, 91, 104, 111–112 Deep Blue, 7 De Kosnik, Benjamin, 108–109, 110 Dell, 318 Delphi, 290 Democratic Republic of Congo, 45 Denmark, 44, 128–129 de Prony, Gaspard, 39–40 Design values, 73–76, 84–88 American, 81–84 Chilean, 79–81 Soviet, 77–78 state, 75, 78, 80, 83, 86, 86t Devanagari, 339, 342, 344, 350, 354 Developing world, 93, 103, 105, 180, 325, 330–332 Devi, Poonam, 304 Diamond, Jared, 338, 351, 353, 357–358 Difference Engine, 40 Digital coding, 284, 289 colonialism, 91, 93–94, 103, 331 computers, 38, 41, 138 connectivity, 379 economies, 13, 22, 29, 31, 33, 35, 45, 145 forensic work, 123, 126, 128, 354 future, 101 gaming, 241 imperialism, 186–187, 191 inclusion, 303 infrastructures, 126, 151, 155 invisibility, 98, 100, 204 labor, 6, 147, 101, 354 materiality, 5 networks, 83 platforms, 66, 118, 199, 201 politics and, 110, 112 predigital, 96–97, 152 revolution, 29, 32 surveillance state, 119, 130 technology, 40, 64, 123–124, 200, 382 vigilantism, 120 Disability, 12, 15, 160 Disasters, 11–15, 19–20, 22–24, 54, 204, 338, 364 Discrimination.

While this episode may seem a long way off, it should be humbling to recall that less than two hundred years ago instituting technologies to keep sewage away from drinking water was considered first optional, and then revolutionary. As the United States stumbles in our scientific and social understandings of COVID-19 and the best way to end the pandemic, we might look back with more understanding and sympathy for these confused, cholera-ridden Londoners, drinking the wastewater that was killing them because, for most ordinary citizens at the time, there simply was no other choice. Most of the technological advancements we’ve seen over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from skyscraper cities to the ubiquity of the World Wide Web, involve some amount of literal or figurative shit-eating by average citizens, and also long periods of time during which obvious, systemic problems are mostly ignored by those at the top echelons of industry and government.

During a global pandemic this has meant that even healthcare supplies and vital public information have been withheld from citizens and state governments. Scientists and epidemiologists at the CDC and NIH have been increasingly forced out or muzzled, and many of the teams dedicated to pandemic response had been dissolved prior to the COVID-19 crisis, leaving a gaping hole of expertise where our disaster response should have been. As the president screamed on Twitter, taking his misinformation about state leaders, the progress of virus research, and elections directly to the public, suddenly an unregulated tech company with no competence or background in history, politics, journalism, rhetoric, the psychology of online interaction, or fact checking was thrust into the position of trying to unbuild the minsinformation machine that has been long in the making.


pages: 598 words: 150,801

Snakes and Ladders: The Great British Social Mobility Myth by Selina Todd

assortative mating, Boris Johnson, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, deindustrialization, deskilling, Etonian, fear of failure, feminist movement, financial independence, full employment, Gini coefficient, greed is good, housing crisis, income inequality, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, profit motive, rent control, Right to Buy, school choice, statistical model, The Spirit Level, traveling salesman, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, young professional

Manual workers and domestic servants were at the bottom, despite the fact that British industry and most middle-class households depended utterly on their labour.2 And hugely vital but unpaid tasks, like mothering, were ignored. This classification of people’s work – updated but not much changed over the past century – continues to shape policymakers’ understandings of valuable and less-valuable work. The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed just how flawed this hierarchy is. Cleaners, carers, shop workers and delivery drivers have played vital roles in keeping society going. The pandemic has made clear to many what these workers already knew: that all these jobs require skill. Cleaning – to take just one example – requires attention to detail, stamina, speed and care.

After the First World War, it suited many employers to employ a large number of female clerks on tasks considered skilled twenty years earlier, but increasingly defined as routine, and therefore paid less. By contrast, after the Second World War, Labour’s establishment of a comprehensive welfare state demanded thousands more teachers and health workers. The war – like the Covid-19 pandemic of the twenty-first century – demonstrated that nurses, social workers, ambulance drivers and home helps were vital to society. In 1945, voters, and the Labour government they elected, took seriously the need to rebuild Britain. They recognised that only the state could undertake such an enormous task, and that prioritising education, healthcare, housing and work, was the best response to the upheaval and destruction caused by the war.

Many wanted to make a useful contribution to society; some aspired to shape their country’s future. Climbing a few rungs up the ladder rarely delivered these dreams. We need to create a future that will, because we require imaginative thinking, big ambitions and hope to tackle the pressing problems of the twenty-first century, including climate change, pandemics like COVID-19, automation and an ageing population. The labour movement pioneers of the early twentieth century and the leftists of the 1970s remind us that an unequal hierarchy of wealth and power is only one model for organising society. They envisioned egalitarian alternatives that are worth pursuing. I end this book with some thoughts about how this could be realised.


pages: 231 words: 71,299

Culture Warlords: My Journey Into the Dark Web of White Supremacy by Talia Lavin

4chan, coronavirus, COVID-19, disinformation, Donald Trump, epigenetics, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, game design, mass immigration, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, phenotype, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Bannon, zero-sum game, éminence grise

After years of measures to torment migrants—such as the administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which stranded tens of thousands of asylum seekers in squalid and dangerous refugee camps on the Mexican side of the US border—and slash legal immigration, Miller quietly took advantage of the uncertainty and fear of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 to enact the most ambitious anti-immigration actions of the Trump administration. While the justification for new anti-immigrant policies was putatively economic, Miller helped to ensconce in federal policy the long-held white-supremacist belief that immigrants bring disease. On April 22, 2020, Trump signed a Miller-engineered executive order barring new green cards from being issued.


pages: 80 words: 21,077

Stake Hodler Capitalism: Blockchain and DeFi by Amr Hazem Wahba Metwaly

altcoin, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, congestion charging, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Internet of things, Network effects, passive income, prediction markets, price stability, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Skype, smart contracts, underbanked

It is managing over 5.2 billion USD of crypto investments, including 4.4 billion USD of Bitcoin. The third is the impact of COVID-19. The pandemic has steered global interest rates even lower than it was before. Some jurisdictions like the Eurozone and the likes are now in the negative region. Others, including the US and UK, could probably come next if care is not taken in the expansionary monetary and fiscal policies being implemented to combat the surge in unemployment rates induced by layoffs due to COVID-19. In this mood, DeFi gives much higher returns are potentially offered to savers than the high-street financial organizations.


pages: 563 words: 136,190

The Next Shift: The Fall of Industry and the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America by Gabriel Winant

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, blue-collar work, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, deindustrialization, desegregation, deskilling, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, future of work, ghettoisation, independent contractor, invisible hand, Kitchen Debate, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, MITM: man-in-the-middle, moral hazard, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, pink-collar, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, price stability, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, the built environment, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working poor

Ryan Deto, “UPMC Workers to Participate In One-Day Strike on Oct. 4,” Pittsburgh City Paper, September 24, 2018; US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Major Work Stoppages in 2018,” February 8, 2019. 14. “ ‘Fire through Dry Grass’: Andrew Cuomo Saw COVID-19’s Threat to Nursing Homes. Then He Risked Adding to It,” ProPublica, June 16, 2020; “Coronavirus Cases Rise Sharply in Prisons Even as They Plateau Nationwide,” NYT, June 16, 2020; “Black Americans Face Alarming Rates of Coronavirus Infection in Some States,” NYT, April 14, 2020; Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 Response Team, “Characteristics of Health Care Personnel with COVID-19—United States, February 12–April 9, 2020,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 69, no. 15 (April 17, 2020), 477–481. 15.

The year 2018 saw the highest level of strike participation in the American economy since the mid-1980s; of those who did walk off the job, 90 percent worked in either education or health care—the major care industries. A small one-day strike at UPMC contributed to these numbers. And over the previous decade, health care accounted for more strike activity than any other industry.13 This dynamic appeared to speed up rapidly as I finished this book in spring 2020, while COVID-19 raged. Like a flash of lightning, the pandemic illuminated our society, revealing who is valued and who is dispensable. The thousands left to die in nursing homes and prisons marked one such revelation—social disposability made plain. The unequal racial toll of the disease was another—one related to who had to continue to work.

See also health insurance Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), 192 Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), 9, 10, 14, 59 Conners, Martin, 44, 51 consent decrees, 124, 125, 183, 200, 213 consumerism, 59, 64, 80, 220 contracts (union): and Experimental Negotiating Agreement (ENA), 181; and health insurance, 147, 150,158, 159, 205, 206; and layoffs, 182; and 1959 steel strike, 59, 60; and nurses’ union, 223, 232, 249, 250; and retiree benefits, 147, 151; and strikes, 12; and wage reductions, 189, 213; and Section 2-B, 55, 61 Cooper, Richard (Buz), 202 “cost crunch,” 46 “cost disease,” 3 cost-of-living increases, 11, 33, 38, 172 “cost-plus” payment, 148, 218. See also Medicare cost-productivity gap, 46 Cott, Nancy, 83 COVID-19, 263 Cowie, Jefferson, 27 Czap, Mary, 86 Day, Jared, 163 debt: and construction of new hospitals, 167–169, 171, 173, 175, 209, 235; and mergers and acquisitions wave of 1980s, 187, 249, 250; and precarity, 4, 263; and steel industry capital expansion, 38; and steel strike of 1959, 86 debt financing, 167 deindustrialization: and health care, 18, 19, 260; as historical process, 17, 21, 134, 245; and technological unemployment, 185; and welfare state, 181; and working-class community, 99 Denenberg, Herbert, 166 Denominational Ministry Strategy, 190 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 223–226 Department of Public Assistance, 127 Detre, Thomas, 245–246, 248 Detroit: and African American kinship networks, 120; in comparison with Pittsburgh, 34, 100, 102, 112, 159, 182; and deindustrialization, 195, 206; and growth of health care and social assistance sector, 5, 6; and New Deal order, 8 diagnostic related groups (DRGs), 226, 227 Dillard, Annie, 38, 40 discipline: and social policy, 11, 15; and collective child-rearing, 121; discipline slips, 43, 54, 62–63; and domesticity, 70–75, 84, 89–96; of the market, 227; in steel workplace, 26, 41, 238, 239 disinvestment, 16, 107, 125, 202, 245 divorce, 195, 214 Dohanic, Pete, 46, 47 domesticity, 64, 73, 77, 78, 80, 96, 116, 222 domestic emigration, 195 domestic violence, 200, 201 domestic work, 90, 116, 152, 179, 223, 232 Donora, 114, 120 Dravo, 34 Dravosburg, 58, 86 dualization of economy, 2.


pages: 430 words: 135,418

Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century by Tim Higgins

air freight, autonomous vehicles, big-box store, call centre, Colonization of Mars, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, family office, global pandemic, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, low earth orbit, Lyft, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, paypal mafia, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft

Shares plunged 17 percent on February 5, one of its worst days ever, on news out of China that the company’s locally made Model 3s would be further delayed because of COVID-19. Excitement about Tesla’s potential for growth in China had fueled a rocket-like rise in value, but now there was growing concern that this new virus, which scientists cautioned was deadly and easily spreadable, might bring the country’s economy to a standstill. As investors began to digest that news, it became increasingly clear, too, that COVID-19 wasn’t a threat to just China or Asia, as the SARS outbreak had largely been almost twenty years earlier. In Tesla’s home state of California, local government officials were growing increasingly concerned.

Just weeks earlier, Musk had been onstage in Shanghai celebrating the start of Model 3 production in China, defying skeptics who thought he couldn’t pull off such a feat in less than a year. Two days after his performance, the World Health Organization announced the discovery of a mysterious pneumonia-like illness in Wuhan, a large Chinese city more than five hundred miles to the west. It was still early days for what would become known to the world as COVID-19. For many around the globe, it was easy to dismiss the potential threat as something a world away—if they were even paying attention. This was especially true if you were a Tesla shareholder joining Musk in celebrating, as the company’s stock continued to surpass record highs. His unexpected victory in China, not to mention racking up two quarters of profitability at the end of 2019, had given him renewed credibility.

Given the sky-high valuation requirement, this first goal might be one of the only tranches Musk could reasonably reach, some thought at the time. Still, in the wake of his “fascist” comment, investors seemed to reward his defiance. Shares were rebounding from a low in February. With his further outbursts downplaying the danger of COVID-19, Musk waded right into the growing political unrest that roiled the nation. Debate hinged on whether to prioritize containing the pandemic or fueling the economy, and it was split largely along party lines. Trump weighed in, supporting Musk in his battle to reopen. To raise the stakes, Musk publicly dared local officials to stop him.


pages: 524 words: 130,909

The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power by Max Chafkin

3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, anti-communist, bank run, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, borderless world, charter city, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, David Graeber, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Ethereum, Extropian, facts on the ground, Ferguson, Missouri, Frank Gehry, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hockey-stick growth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, life extension, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, QAnon, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, regulatory arbitrage, Renaissance Technologies, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, technology bubble, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the new new thing, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K, yellow journalism

But the promised interview never materialized, and as COVID-19 case levels soared anew, Thiel’s representative stopped returning my emails. Instead, Thiel spoke to Die Weltwoche, a Swiss newspaper whose editor Roger Köppel is a member of the country’s national-conservative People’s Party. During an interview with Köppel, Thiel characterized the disease as a mental pathology rather than a physical one. “I see it as a psychological indicator that people know deep down: There is no way back to the old normal,” he said. He continued: “COVID-19 created a shift. There used to be this feeling that the future was being held back somehow.

But, as in 2008, when he’d secretly encouraged the forces of disruption—sending out sober-minded letters to Clarium’s investors warning of the dangers of anti-immigrant populism while secretly funding the very same movement—he’d also helped plant the seeds of the chaos that followed the spread of COVID-19. He’d helped Trump overcome Republicans who’d feared that his narcissism and authoritarian tendencies would be disastrous in a crisis, and he’d helped create and protect Facebook, which was now facilitating the spread of misinformation that encouraged Americans to shun masks, take unproven and potentially harmful treatments, like the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine and even industrial bleach.

Keith Rabois, an original satellite in the Thielverse, is a partner at Founders Fund and has been, on a daily basis, amplifying Thiel’s message that the Bay Area should be abandoned by anyone with money or ambition. Rabois purchased a home in Miami Beach in December, complaining about California’s high taxes and its COVID-19 restrictions. Thiel also relocated, acquiring two properties in Miami Beach at the end of 2020, a good spot for him given that Florida, unlike California, doesn’t tax capital gains, and is not far from the de facto headquarters of the Republican Party, Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club. Founders Fund is opening an office in South Florida too.


The Knowledge Machine: How Irrationality Created Modern Science by Michael Strevens

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Atul Gawande, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, dark matter, Edmond Halley, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, germ theory of disease, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Johannes Kepler, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Murray Gell-Mann, Peace of Westphalia, Richard Feynman, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, William of Occam

The weather is getting wilder. Populations are on the move. Exotic diseases—Ebola, AIDS, SARS, MERS, Zika, COVID-19, which is rampaging as I write—are vaulting from animals to humans every generation. Technology is decreasing in size and growing in power like an ever more tightly sprung trap. We’ve pampered and praised the knowledge machine, given it the autonomy it has needed to grow. Now we desperately need its advice. Figure 14.2. A cell heavily infected by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 With enough evidence in—with Baconian convergence achieved or at least well on the way—there will exist a consensus among scientists that is functionally equivalent to science’s speaking with a single voice.

The aim of the reports is to summarize the state of scientific knowledge concerning the climate; among other things, they assign confidence levels to hypotheses, perhaps attaching “medium confidence” to one and “very high confidence” to another, and they assign likelihoods to particular events—such as a 3-degree increase in average global temperature by 2050 or a 5-inch increase in sea level by 2100—using expressions such as “more likely than not,” “likely,” “very likely,” and so on. (In the same way, the UK, US, and other governments have convened committees of experts during the COVID-19 crisis to extract predictions, as best they can, from a bewildering array of conflicting epidemiological models.) Such a panel, for all its expertise and hard work, cannot determine what science says. Science holds no determinate views. The IPCC’s numbers are created, as all such numbers must be, by infusing the scientific record with a set of plausibility rankings.

., 45, 83 Camptosaurus, 224, 225 Carson, Rachel, 265 Cartesian coordinates, 130 Catholic Church Cartesian rejection of intellectual authority, 242 Galileo and, 316n Martin Luther and, 242 in sixteenth-and seventeenth-century Europe, 245–46 causation by collision, 244 See also collision, in Cartesian physics centrifugal force, 132, 306n CERN, 72, 81, 232 Chadwick, James, 228 Challenger expedition, 54 Chambers, Robert, 310n Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan, 227 charge, of subatomic particles, 48, 230, 231 Charles II (king of England), 250–52 Châtelet, Émilie du, 265 chess, 99–100, 102 Christchurch, New Zealand, 13 Christian Evidence Society, 181 chromatograms, 61–62 Church of England, See Anglican Church cigarettes, corporate-funded research and, 53 circle, in Aristotelian physics, 134 classical antiquity, 242 classification, biological, 214–20 climate change, 278–79, 288–89 Collins, Francis, 181 Collins, Harry, 64, 285–86 collision, in Cartesian physics, 132, 133, 136–38, 186 compartmentalization first modern scientists’ approach to, 265–67 Newton and, 189–90, 238, 272 in Principia, 249 scientists and, 263–64 confidence levels, 288–89 See also plausibility rankings confirmation holism, 302n consensus, procedural, See procedural consensus continental drift, 54–58, 55 continuity, 103 controlled experiments, 117 conventions, iron rule and, 103 convergence, See Baconian convergence conversion experience, 29, 31 Copernican paradigm, 31–32 Copernican revolution, 26–27 Copernicus, 227 coral reef analogy of science, 196–97 corporations, as sponsors of research, 52–53, 84 cosmic rays, 228 Cosmotron, 228 COVID-19, 287, 288 Cowley, Abraham, 105 criminal trials, 66–67 critical thought, 13, 25, 281–82 Cummings, E. E., 267 cuttlefish, 125–27 Daphne Major (Galápagos Islands), 35, 35 Darwin, Charles Dawkins on, 262 evolution, 28 and Kelvin’s estimation of age of Earth, 74–79, 81 lack of formal structure in organization of species, 236 On the Origin of Species, 206–7 and quinarian system, 218, 219 Whewell and, 177 Daston, Lorraine, 154 data, See empirical evidence data dredging, 309n Davy, Humphrey, 91 Dawkins, Richard, 262 Dear, Peter, 123, 124, 167 de Broglie, Louis, 148 decuplet (eightfold way), 231–32, 233 deductive reasoning, 311n–312n Democritus, 126 Descartes, René Aristotelian worldview vs., 133–35, 307n and collision as cause, 138 and consequences of causal principles, 147 death of, 135 and empirical inquiry, 244 God as critical to natural philosophy, 205–6 and light, 144 Newton and, 186, 188, 271–73 and philosophical reason, 134 philosophy of knowledge, 270–71 physics, 130–38, 270–71 rejection of prevailing intellectual authority, 242 on solid/fluid duality, 143 universe, 131 “Determination of the Deflection of Light by the Sun’s Gravitational Field, A” (Eddington, et al.), 157 Deutsch, David, 227 developmental genetics, 225–26 dimensions, wave function and, 148 Dirac, Paul, 227 discrimination, objectivity and, 85 DNA, 240 dogma, 258 duck/rabbit, 25 Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, 35, 36 Dyson, Sir Frank, 45 earth age of, 74–81, 75 rotation of, 27 Eccles, John, 20 eclipse expedition (Eddington), 42–50, 43, 44, 68–73, 155–61 École normale supérieure (ENS) (Paris), 50 Eddington, Arthur, 156 and auxiliary assumptions, 81 expedition to test Einstein’s gravitation theory, 42–50, 43, 44, 68–73, 155–61 and importance of small details, 114 and plausibility rankings, 81 and problems with observable facts, 111 subjective interpretation of data, 68–73, 83–84, 155–61 and theoretical cohorts, 139 wording of eclipse report, 167 education, See science education educational reform, 175 Ehrenfest, Paul, 145, 150 eightfold way, 230–32, 235, 236 Einstein, Albert, 145, 156 aesthetic/philosophical senses, 273 on beauty, 227 and Eddington expedition, 42–50, 156 gravity theory, see general theory of relativity as philosopher-scientist, 265 photoelectric effect, 144 Popper and, 15, 18 and quantum mechanics, 145–46 See also relativity theory electromagnetic radiation, 92 electrons, 144, 147 elegance, 227 Elegant Universe, The (Greene), 235 elementary particles, 143 Elohim Creating Adam (William Blake), 276 Empedocles, 126, 143 empirical evidence as by-product of scientific argument, 98, 103–4, 195–6 commonalities between Kuhn and Popper, 39 difficult for humans to produce, 33, 37–38, 116, 203 faulty, 47–48, 111 quantitative, 202–3, 244 radical subjectivism and, 63–64 and scientific method, 7, 8 and Scientific Revolution, 243–44 subjective interpretation of, 57–58, 62–65, 79–82, 92–93, 288–89 empirical facts, See empirical evidence empirical inquiry evolution in 1600s, 3 lack of schism in, 98 Newton’s effect on concept, 137–40 and shallow conception of explanation, 138–39 in seventeenth century, 243 empirical reasoning, 205, 258, 260 empirical testing; See also observation Aristotle’s not limiting inquiry to, 203–4 Einstein and, 15 iron rule of explanation as recipe for, 93, 96, 203 motivation and, 37–38, 195–196, 203 and Newton’s physics, 188 and science education, 256 string theory and, 284 supremacy of, 173 Whewell and, 180, 191 empiricists, 266 entomology, 214–18 Epicureans, 97–98 ether, 113 Everitt, Francis, 35 evidence, See empirical evidence evolution, 28, 175, 218; See also Darwin, Charles experimental philosophy, 137, 139, 144, 191 experimenter’s regress, 302n Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump, An (Joseph Wright of Derby), 276–77, 277 explanation; See also shallow explanation prediction vs., 303n removal of philosophy from, 118 rhyming conception of, 121–22, 124, 140 explanatory power, 195 explanatory relativism defined, 124–25, 293 and Kuhn’s paradigms, 150–51 as obstacle to procedural consensus, 127–29 facts, observable, See empirical evidence faith, See religion falsification, 280–82; See also refutation and Bacon, 110 commonalities between Kuhn and Popper, 39–40 and Eddington experiment, 46 and plausibility rankings, 162 Popper and, 79–80 and theory, 19 Feingold, Mordechai, 142 Feyerabend, Paul, 6, 162 Feynman, Richard, 146, 173 fighting spirit (of scientists), 98–99, 195, 283 finches, 35, 36 fire, as fundamental substance, 2 fluid behavior, 143 Forbes, J.


pages: 309 words: 96,168

Masters of Scale: Surprising Truths From the World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs by Reid Hoffman, June Cohen, Deron Triff

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Anne Wojcicki, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, call centre, chief data officer, clean water, collaborative consumption, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Elon Musk, financial independence, gender pay gap, hockey-stick growth, Internet of things, knowledge economy, late fees, Lean Startup, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, polynesian navigation, race to the bottom, remote working, RFID, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, two and twenty, Y Combinator, zero day, Zipcar

But it takes a leap of faith, Robert says. “And most people don’t have the courage for that, because you tend to hire what you know.” One last point on diversity: If you want a wide range of perspectives, don’t allow your company to be fenced in, geographically. There’s a strong movement now, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, toward remote offices or distributed companies. This trend may prove to be a boon to cognitive diversity, according to Wences Casares, founder and CEO of Xapo, the digital currency company. Xapo is not huge—only about three hundred employees—but they are spread out in sixty-two locations around the globe.

A tasker had come over to fix a light switch, and Stacy realized that this same person had previously delivered a birthday cake for her. So Stacy asked how he went from delivering cakes to doing electrical work. “Because of the TaskRabbit community,” he told her. “I took some classes, I learned, and now I’m making like twice as much as I was making before on the platform.” The rebound: Pivoting in a crisis As the COVID-19 crisis began to take hold in early 2020, Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar noticed some interesting things happening on the Nextdoor platform, originally designed to make it easier for neighbors to get to know one another. First off, engagement levels were up about 80 percent. But beyond that, the nature of the interactions was changing.

Elizabeth’s preexisting conditions made her particularly vulnerable to the virus, and she couldn’t risk leaving the house—so Sarah picked up prescriptions and bagels for her. All of this inspired Sarah to create some new offerings and features on Nextdoor—and the platform quickly pivoted from mere neighborly networking to more of an active outreach and informational clearinghouse. Sarah began by creating the COVID-19 Help Center, a central resource for accurate pandemic information and ways to support local businesses. She followed that up by launching the Neighborhood Help Map, which made it easy for neighbors to find and offer help based on proximity to where they lived. Later in 2020, that map showed it had staying power as it morphed into a Voter Help Map, which matched up people who needed help printing out their voter registration materials with neighbors who could print at home.


pages: 392 words: 109,945

Life's Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive by Carl Zimmer

3D printing, Albert Einstein, biofilm, call centre, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, discovery of DNA, double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, gravity well, knapsack problem, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Lyft, microbiome, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, stem cell, uber lyft

People went about their lives unaware of the multiplying viruses inside them or the clouds of infection they exhaled. They lingered over lunch at restaurants, they worked at call centers, they leaned on the railings of cruise ships plowing the Pacific. After infecting people around them, some of the virus’s hosts finally developed symptoms. Others never did. The unwittingly infected exported Covid-19 out of Wuhan. Some traveled across China to celebrate the Lunar New Year with their families. Planes delivered infected passengers to Europe, and from there to other continents. The virus mutated as it multiplied, and new lineages emerged, marked by different gene signatures. Scientists reconstructed their journeys from their mutations as they moved between countries and among cities.

The two scientists carried out a series of important new studies on lipids. They invented a syringe that could produce an abundance of liposomes of uniform size. Advances like these would turn liposomes into a medical tool. Drugmakers would later insert their compounds in liposomes to deliver them inside cells. When Covid-19 struck, vaccine makers slipped viral genes into liposomes, which could sneak them into our cells. One day in 1975, Bangham and Deamer took a drive to London. When they stopped by the side of the road for lunch, Deamer mentioned hearing that Bangham had ideas about how life began. He was curious to hear what they were.

“The system must be able to replicate”: Quoted in Crick 1982. “We’re talking about the search for life”: Quoted in Zimmer 2007. “Life is a self-sustained chemical system”: Quoted in Joyce 1994, p. xi. Part Four: Return to the Borderland Half Life “Mr. Burke”: Quoted in Campos 2015, p. 77. anthropause: Rutz et al. 2020. This page For Covid-19, see Mortensen 2020 and Zimmer 2021. couldn’t find bacteria or fungi: Bos 1999; López-García and Moreira 2012. “When one is asked”: Quoted in Pirie 1937. crucial features: Pierpont 1999. “According to the working definition”: Quoted in Mullen 2013. “Whereas the dream of a normal cell”: Quoted in Forterre 2016, p. 104.


pages: 279 words: 87,875

Underwater: How Our American Dream of Homeownership Became a Nightmare by Ryan Dezember

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Bear Stearns, business cycle, call centre, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, coronavirus, corporate raider, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Donald Trump, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, interest rate swap, margin call, McMansion, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, rent control, rolodex, Savings and loan crisis, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, transaction costs

“Exactly how we would have done it,” he said. Between their savings and some early inheritance, they mustered a $95,000 downpayment. They agreed to pay $433,000 and gave $5,000 in earnest money to the seller. They were to pay another $5,000 in ten days, after an inspection. Before they got the keys, though, the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the U.S. economy. Worried for his job as a church-affiliated marriage counselor, they decided not to make the second earnest payment. Days later he was furloughed. Their lender bailed. The seller let the McLaughlins out of the deal for the $5,000 they’d already handed over and another $2,000 to settle the second, skipped payment.


pages: 342 words: 114,118

After the Fall: Being American in the World We've Made by Ben Rhodes

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, centre right, Covid-19, COVID-19, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, global pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, independent contractor, invisible hand, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, open economy, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, QAnon, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, too big to fail, trade route, Washington Consensus, young professional, zero-sum game

“Syria,” he said, referring to Putin’s intervention on behalf of Assad, which has been viewed as a strategic masterstroke by many Western analysts, “it doesn’t work at all. They wanted to repeat this trick from Crimea and the Ukraine War. But people are so annoyed. Syria?” he repeated, as if the absurdity was self-evident. “Why should we fight with these kinds of guys? We’re restoring Aleppo. Repair some roads here!” COVID-19 underscored this danger for Putin. As Navalny and I spoke, Russia’s economy was spiraling into a deeper hole, even as Putin was ramming through “constitutional reforms” to allow himself to stay in power well into the 2030s. The pandemic itself was mismanaged, alternatively denied and attacked, responsibility delegated down to lower-level officials who were never empowered to do their jobs.

But in recent years, the balance has also shifted. It is now America that is becoming more like China—a place of growing economic inequality, grievance-based nationalism, vast data collection, and creeping authoritarianism. The shifting position of our two nations has been on stark display through the ordeal of COVID-19, which spread from the Chinese city of Wuhan in part because the first instinct of a controlling C