Dear patient readers,
Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.
And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.
P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:
Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commenter troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.
* * *
Cryptocurrencies: The Power of Memes Research Affiliates
The Epidemic of Covid Complacency Eric Topol. Commentary:
I wrote this last week, not expecting the new wave to manifest this quicklyhttps://t.co/PEtZXCRkxS
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) March 12, 2022
1/ One more reminder that this global pandemic is not over. At the current death rate in the US (which has everyone lowering their guard), with no more surges, 615K more Americans will die of COVID-19 in the next year. https://t.co/whPxTWN2E9
— Dr. Richard Corsi (@CorsIAQ) March 12, 2022
That’s not a bug. It’s a feature.
How Millions of Lives Might Have Been Saved From Covid-19 Zeynep Tufecki, NYT
Covid has slipped from the headlines – but with restrictions eased, cases are rising Guardian. Commentary:
“Call to offer more people fourth jab as Covid rises in England” https://t.co/bTkCO9BtFn
— Gabriel Hébert-Mild™ ⓥ (@Gab_H_R) March 12, 2022
So, your ability to concentrate is shot? Welcome to the club Brisbane Times
Incels Vote Too The American Conservative
Mysterious Drone Crash Leaves Croatia Baffled Balkan Insight. What with India launching — accidentally, it seems — a rocket that hit Pakistan the other day, there seems to be a lot of random hardware up in the sky.
Crisis & Critique: Venezuela and the New Latin American Left Monthly Review
New Not-So-Cold War
Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 12 Institute for the Study of War. Not including the ISW’s map because it’s status quo with yesterday. A map is not the same as the territory, of course, and this may simply be the message the Kagans wish to send. Recall my standard for visuals in war reporting (soon to apply, or not, in Mariupol).
Lots of think pieces for the weekend:
Eastern Ukraine has almost completely fallen, but Putin now needs a peace, fast Intellinews. Very level-headed and well worth a read.
The Russian Military’s Debacle in Ukraine Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker. The walls are closing in?
* * *
Zelensky’s comedy series Servant of the People is as funny as it is heartbreaking FT. “It will make you laugh as it simultaneously breaks your heart” [grabs tissue]. Oddly, two phrases do not appear: The network on which Servant of the People appeared, 1+1, or that network’s owner, banderite Fascist Azov Battalion funder and billionaire, Igor Kolomoyskyi. (See NC here on Kolomoisky, 1+1, and Zelensky.) Propaganda works:
turns out a ballsy TV comedian can make a pretty good wartime president https://t.co/9MeZOs214v
— ryan cooper (@ryanlcooper) March 12, 2022
More clarity from Gonzalo Lira:
Short and sweet. LIra also cleaned up his language. I know caring about that makes me an old fuddy duddy, but the time is long past when I regarded profanity as a sign of authenticity, and in any case Lira’s videos are probably easier to distribute widely this way.
* * *
Illusion Warfare Report: The Road to Ukraine (thread) Lez LuTHOR. Purportedly from the ground, though I don’t see how to test that. I will say that I have seen other little incongruities even in the mainstream: The coiffed BBC interviewee, speaking from her well-apppointed apartment — obviously with Internet, power, and heat — while the city is being reduced to rubble outside her window.
* * *
The Biden administration’s terrifying gamble Responsible Statecraft
* * *
Raging Toward the Abyss with Russia The National Interest
Russian footholds in Mideast, Africa raise threat to NATO AP. Oh good. A world war.
* * *
How a Playground for the Rich Could Undermine Sanctions on Oligarchs NYT. Not Manhattan or London, one hastens to add.
Russia’s Arctic gas is funding the war in Ukraine Cryopolitics
Democrats en Déshabillé
House Democrats Push Biden to Build a Better Midterm Message NYT. “[Pelosi,] who has long been fond of pithy, made-for-bumper-sticker mantras, offered a suggestion she had heard from members: Democrats deliver.” They do? What? Ice cream?
Police State Watch
Law enforcement for profit:
Want to get mad on a Friday night? Join me for a quick tour of how CA cops are exploiting the most vulnerable people, stealing people’s cars, and helping tow yards make insane profits. Receipts below. Let’s dive in. 1/13
— Emily Galvin-Almanza (@GalvinAlmanza) March 12, 2022
The whole thread is worth reading; plenty of people saying this has happened to them.
Rat Out Your Doctor: Biden’s Surgeon General Calls on Informants to Report Use of Generic Drugs Michael Capuzzo, Rescue
Our Famously Free Press
Content Moderation as Administration (PDF) Harvard Law Review. Commentary:
iii. Transparency about individual judgments isn’t transparency into system design;
iv. Fixing things for individuals can make them worse for the group. 41/
— Cory Doctorow (@doctorow) March 12, 2022
Imperial Collapse Watch
Is The West Laissez-Faire About Economic Warfare? War on the Rocks. “Western states that painstakingly rebuilt a liberal economic order after World War II are increasingly dependent on an economic weapon that fundamentally undermines that order.” As it turns out, the PMC’s Vewy First War has turned Apple Pay, social media, and the [genuflects] almighty dollar into mere power projection; like NGOs or aircraft carriers, but intimate and ubiquitous. And hard power, not soft. Well and good, but it seems reasonable to me that some people, and some nations, would want to get out from under this.
“The casualties of empire.” Patrick Lawrence, The Scrum
In Search of Troy Smithsonian
Top reasons why U.S. workers left a job in 2021: Low pay, no advancement opportunities Pew Research Center. The headline is deceptive; see this chart:
A Poem (and a Painting) About the Suffering That Hides in Plain Sight NYT. Auden’s Musée des Beaux Arts. I thought this would get sloppy, but it’s a fine close reading. Sadly, one of those swipe-friendly articles meant to be read on a tablet or phone but worth the effort on a laptop.
Wynton at Harvard, Chapter 12: How the Rhythm Section Swings Harvard University. From 2011, still germane:
Antidote du Jour (via):
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here