People listen to their leaders

Democrats seem to be taking the crisis more seriously than Republicans. In a poll by the Pew Research Centre, 59% of Democrats said covid-19 is a major threat to the health of Americans; only 33% of Republicans said that. The Unacast data suggest people are acting on their opinions, risking infection from, and spreading, a virus that has killed more Americans than the 9/11 attacks

Plus, movement by county and 2016 voting patterns.

Original source: Democrats seem to take social distancing more seriously than Republicans

Stranger danger

Six had made friends with Second Lieutenant Hopkins, who was mechanically minded and happy to show her things. At first, Thaniel hadn’t been too pleased with the idea of letting her go off with strange men; not because he thought Mori would let anything bad happen, but because it seemed dangerous to teach her to trust everyone. Mori, though, had pointed out that it was just as dangerous to teach a little girl that one foot wrong would mean a lunatic and a dungeon. It made it sound inevitable, whereas if you were brought up safe in the knowledge that people were supposed to be good, you approached the bad ones with a healthy fury that might just see you out of the dungeon.

Original source: The Lost Future of Pepperharrow (English Edition)

Blame China

America’s allies, along with many Trump administration officials and members of Congress, worry about China posing an unprecedented challenge to the post-1945 global order and the norms that underpin it. All evidence suggests that Mr Trump’s concerns are narrower and more domestic. His “China” is a proxy for globalisation, and for the failure of elites to shield American workers from competition. As for the actual autocracy called China, Mr Trump takes its ruthless self-interest for granted, and even praises it.

Western leaders disagree about how to handle China partly because the country has become a larger, more daunting and more assertive competitor. It is also because of a crisis of Western unity.

Original source: China is also an idea, revealing much about Western hopes and fears

People don’t like advertising

The survey of nearly 14,000 middle income consumers in 23 countries found 61 percent of consumers are less inclined to use a product if their personal data is used for any purpose, while 56 percent of consumers want more control over their data.

I mean, people don’t like advertising, but it works and business will grind to a halt without it. So it’s an arms race to be as subtle as possible and come up with new tricks to make people realize it’s not an ad. That’s the whole egg eaing, as they say.

Original source: Consumers don’t believe use of personal data leads to more relevant ads, report finds

Podcast listening down

The company also broke out podcasts by topic: news, sports, comedy, society and culture and true crime. Each topic saw a decrease in listeners since March 9, although the news category only saw a dip of 10 percent, making it by far still the most listened to subject. On the other end is true crime, once a growing subject for the sector. It’s audience has fallen by almost 30 percent since early March. The audience for sports has fallen far as well, by about 13 percent.

I guess. I must not be watching enough TV.

Original source: Coronavirus Causes Dip in Podcast Listening

Let’s hope so

Hopefully, this crisis will not only elevate the status of low-wage workers but spark a new wave of organizing to boost standards and build power across these “essential” industries. Because it’s low-wage workers — not bankers, landlords, or CEOs — who make our society run.

Original source: Just a moment…

Well, that’s one view of right-wing thinking

The right has an antimajoritarian, elitist agenda. Right-wing thought is essentially the belief that some people are destined to rule, and others are destined to be ruled over by their betters, and the world is best when the right people are atop the pyramid. Splits in the right are about who should rule: Dominionists want Christian men in charge; libertarians want bosses in charge, imperialists want America in charge, racists want white people in charge, etc.

Original source: Pluralistic: 24 Mar 2020, Cory Doctorow

You can never step in the same cash flow twice

The central thing to remember about an economy is that it is not an absolute value of something, but one that is really based on flow rates. We think of it like it is an ocean with a certain amount of water when it is really more like a water park with funky rides that looks and feels like a lot of water because it is in high motion in a much smaller closed system.

The flow never stops, and we all have to do our part to keep it moving. And I am not talking about what seems to have been the case through a lot of economic crises in the past, where we have been basically told to just keep shopping and taking our vacations. That is not sufficient, and it never was. What companies need to do is try to do as much business as they possibly can and keep as many people on the payroll as possible to keep as much flow going as possible.

Original source: Love – And Business – In The Time Of Coronavirus

Accountability is a threat

“Accountability” is a setup for blaming down the road. That it is only ever used in a negative context (when was the last time you were held accountable for something good happening?). Accountability, when said by others, is often a thinly veiled threat. It is extrinsic, rather than intrinsic. Accountability is very different to people taking responsibility for something.

Original source: Accountability vs Complexity

The koning of everyday life

I understand your distress at not being able to visit your loved ones, your mother, father, grandmother or grandfather in their care homes. Especially now when you only want one thing: to hold their hand and comfort them.

I'm an American so I fundamentally don't understand monarchy. Rejecting that concept is, like, our entire deal. From afar, though, it looks like monarchs in Western society become the sort of care-taker of something important in everyday life: both pride in country and culture, but also some kind of model of the ideal citizen. I don't know, again, that role is so foreign to me (literally – hahah) that I can't analyze it. I think US presidents and celebrities fill this role for Americans, which has mixed results.

Original source: Full Text in English of Dutch King's speech on the coronavirus pandemic

“Tea for dong!”

According to customers and vendors, pangolin scales and meat can be used as a form of medicine to cure a variety of ailments (it is said to nourish the kidneys), but primarily to invigorate men’s sexual performance and bolster female beauty. The exotic nature of the pangolin—and the illegal trading that is central to its distribution—has an obvious analogy in the masked palm civet cat, a small mammal native to India and Southeast Asia served as a delicacy in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, usually prepared with chrysanthemum petals and shreds of snake.

Original source: “Chinese Virus,” World Market