Links 9/15/2022

Links 9/15/2022 1

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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.

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Male Chimps In Uganda Use Distinctive Rhythms When Drumming on Tree Roots To Make Themselves Known Laughing Squid. I can hardly hear the rhythms over the hooting and screaming. Like so much else.

Cockatoos Work to Outsmart Humans in Escalating Garbage Bin Wars Scientific American

Meal Ticket No More: The ‘Gold Standard’ Private Pensions Exposed Now as High-Wire Busts RealClearInvestigations

California Sues Amazon, Alleging Antitrust Violations Inflated Prices and Stifled Competition WSJ


Empirically grounded technology forecasts and the energy transition Joule. From the Abstract: “Compared to continuing with a fossil fuel-based system, a rapid green energy transition will likely result in overall net savings of many trillions of dollars—even without accounting for climate damages or co-benefits of climate policy.” The Graphical Abstract:

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‘Earth is our only shareholder’: Patagonia’s billionaire family transfers retailer’s entire ownership to climate-change efforts MarketWatch. If only this were true:

Sadly, unlike Lake Erie (at least before a Federal judge got involved), the Earth is not a person, and so cannot be a shareholder. Not to be churlish, but it might have been better for Chouinard to spend a billion winning the case for Earth’s personhood, rather than pouring money into the sand of the non-profit industrial complex.


Mapped: Countries With the Highest Flood Risk Visual Capitalist

The watery secret of ancient North America BBC


Johns Hopkins Slows Frequency of Covid-19 Data Publication WSJ

End of COVID pandemic is ‘in sight’ -WHO chief Reuters

Lambert here: It’s like watching an anesthesia mask being slowly, slowly lowered….

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Risk for Developing Alzheimer’s Disease Increases by 50-80% In Older Adults Who Caught COVID-19 Neuroscience News

Complexity of Covid vaccine program leads to concerns about potential for error STAT. “The current Covid vaccine schedule seems tailor-made to trip up people who are delivering the doses, with multiple vaccines that are administered in different volumes, some after dilution but many not, and with intervals between doses ranging from three weeks to several months.”

Falling FX reserves herald Asia financial crisis 2.0 Asia Times


China warns against meddling in Kazakhstan ahead of Putin meeting Eurasianet. “Meddling” is one of those words to watch. See About page.

Fortress China: Xi Jinping’s plan for economic independence FT

Lure of Cheap China Hydropower Backfiring Due to Climate Change Bloomberg

Modi, Xi, Putin Among Top Leaders To Attend First In-person SCO Summit After COVID Republic World. SCO = Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Iran, etc. “turned positive” at the end of 14 years. Russian expert: SCO is one of the few organizations that can compete with the West What China Reads


India’s Congress Party Is Still in Decline Foreign Policy


Armenia, Azerbaijan negotiate another ceasefire: Yerevan Al Jazeera

US to move $3.5bn in Afghan assets to Swiss-based trust Al Jazeera and BIS statement on the establishment of the Afghan Fund Bank of International Settlements. A reader whose mail I cannot find supplied the Al Jazeera link. Take a bow in comments!


Labour’s weaponisation of anti-Semitism has never ended Palestine Is Still the Issue

Von der Leyen reaches for ideals, but there’s still a war to win Politico

Queen Elizabeth

Charles III retires to his beloved Highgrove estate – after dropping Camilla at her Wiltshire mansion – as the new monarch is afforded 24 hours of contemplation during the hectic schedule of events leading up to his mother’s funeral on Monday Daily Mail. With every new propaganda campaign, I think: “I’ve never seen anything like it.” This keeps happening.

Mourners queue for miles to say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth as coffin lies in state at Westminster Hall CNN. Commentary:


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Requiem for an Empire Project Syndicate

Decolonizing the Mind Black Agenda Report. “Decolonization” is often used unseriously. But this is BAR, so no worries.

After the queen’s death, pleas grow in Kenya for the return of a revered leader’s head. NYT

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine sliding into a real war India Punchline. For some definition of “real war.” If economic time > military time > political time, then perhaps “General Energy” will be the King of Battles, not artillery.

US shale bosses tell Europe: ‘There’s no bailout coming’ FT

American Interests in the Ukraine War Defense Priorities

That “leaked” “RAND report”:

I finally had ten minutes to look at a real RAND report (PDF). The “leaked report” clearly does not use RAND’s house style for formatting; the indented first paragraph under “Executive Summary” on the first text page is a dead giveaway. As are the fonts. Same page, paragraph four: “the major obstacle to it is growing independence of Germany.” A professional who reads and writes in an English-speaking milieu would not have left out an article before “growing independence.” Verdict: fake (and hat tip reader Michaelmas for the cleanup on aisle Johnson who (to mangle syntax and metaphors badly) should stay in his lane.

Planeload of Venezuelan Migrants Arrives at Martha’s Vineyard Airport Vineyard Gazette

Biden Administration

Lucrative IRS program targeting wealthy tax cheats is withering from lack of funds The Hill

The American Mall’s Long Goodbye Sunday Long Read (Kengferno).

Is There Such a Thing As an Ethical Smart City? Curbed

Health Care

Exclusive: Medical journals broaden inquiry into potential heart research misconduct Reuters

Hospital Admins Knew Star Surgeon Was Dangerous; Warned Before ‘Summer of Death’ MedPage Today. “Yet for years hospital management resisted reining in one of their leading rainmakers.”

“The Human Psyche Was Not Built for This” Pro Publica

Finding a New Mantra NEJM. Plot twist.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Microchips in humans: consumer-friendly app, or new frontier in surveillance? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

File-Selves London Review of Books


WikiLeaks founder’s family brings campaign to Mexico AP

Class Warfare

UPDATE Railroad Unions and Companies Reach a Tentative Deal to Avoid a Strike NYT. “The White House did not immediately release details of the agreement.” Nothing from the union side as of this writing. So that’s alright, then.

Rail shutdown looms large even as Congress steps in Freight Waves. Good discussion of the various remedies (except for giving workers want they’re demanding and deserve. Naturally).

Railroad executives holding economy hostage Ryan Grim. The railroads are also shutting down services while workers are still on the job, so though nobody uses the word “lockout,” that’s what we’re seeing.

Biden faces a looming economic disaster that he can actually stop Politico. So give the workers what they want. How hard is that?

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Workers’ push to link wage rises to inflation unsettles bankers FT. You don’t say.

Nurses brought in at hospitals during strike offered $8,000+ for 5 days’ work CBS. It’s hard out here for a scab.

World’s first living robots can now reproduce, scientists say CNN

Antidote du Jour (via):

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Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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