Thursday, September 23rd, 2021


An Attractive Model

Let's be honest. We try to pretend we're all out on the internet doing 'research' and other high-minded activities. But the truth is that we're out here checking out models. And I found one that you absolutely have to see. Don't bother shutting your office door or shielding your screen, because this beauty comes from NPR: Is The Worst Over? Models Predict A Steady Decline In COVID Cases Through March. "The most likely scenario, says Lessler, is that children do get vaccinated and no super-spreading variant emerges. In that case, the combo model forecasts that new infections would slowly, but fairly continuously, drop from about 140,000 today now to about 9,000 a day by March." Of course, we can't be sure of anything. As we've learned already, when it comes to Covid, appearances can be deceiving. Also... and this is really for Governors intent on fighting for the virus and not against it ... we still want to minimize deaths. (I know that sounds radical to some.)

+ "If you look at the industry-wide expansion of production capacities over the past six months, enough doses should be available by the middle of next year so that everyone on this earth can be vaccinated. Boosters should also be possible to the extent required ... Those who do not get vaccinated will immunize themselves naturally, because the Delta variant is so contagious. In this way we will end up in a situation similar to that of the flu." Moderna chief executive sees pandemic over in a year.


The White Shadow (of Death)

"This blast of dudgeon over his authority to coach the boys' basketball team in his spare time — he already coaches the girls' team — was par for the course in Mr. Justice's tenure as governor of West Virginia. A coal mining tycoon and the state's richest person, Mr. Justice, whose two terms in office have been richly marbled with conflicts of interest, has generally bulldozed past various rules and obligations. He has been hounded by private companies, federal agencies and county governments for hundreds of millions in unpaid bills, and he was sued, successfully, for preferring to spend his nights at his home in Greenbrier rather than in the state capital, as the State Constitution mandates." NYT (Gift Article for ND Readers): A Governor's High School Basketball Dreams Are Blocked. And He Is Crying Foul. (This story is a metaphor for American politics today. The dude lives where he wants, does what he wants, is failing wildly on Covid, and wants to coach two basketball teams in his spare time ... and he has massive polling support.)


The Gig is Rigged

"The common issues that gig workers face, whether in Manhattan or Mumbai, Johannesburg or London, is spurring the creation of a truly global movement, as drivers and riders link up across borders, pressuring companies and governments to recognize one simple fact: Gig work is work, and it needs to be paid as such." Rest of World has an excellent global report on how Gig workers are uncertain, scared, and barely scraping by. (During the pandemic, we saw the culture split into deliverers and deliverees. And we saw how important the former are to the latter, and society writ large.)

+ New York City passes new protections for delivery workers.

+ A new law in California aims to protect workers at retail warehouses like Amazon's.

+ Related: Extreme Heat Is Killing Workers, So the White House Is Adding Protections. (You shouldn't have to die to do your job.)


Same as the Old Boss?

"As of Thursday, about 4,000 migrants remained under the bridge between Del Rio and Mexico, Department of Homeland Security officials said. The number peaked sharply on Saturday, as migrants driven by confusion over the Biden administration's policies and misinformation on social media converged at the crossing. Food, shelter and medical care was being provided to those who need it officials said."

+ Haitians who fled the US border are now facing nights of raids and terror in Mexico.

+ How Haitian Migrants Are Getting To The U.S., And Where They May Go Next.

+ U.S. special envoy to Haiti resigns, citing 'inhumane' deportation of Haitians.


When the Minivan’s a Rocking

"If you live in certain parts of New York, this is all too familiar. It is the sound of bachata, dembow and merengue típico infiltrating every city crevice on the weekends until the cops try to shut the music down, and an after-hours game of cat and mouse commences. It is a secret world of pleasure and protest, made blaringly public." Amazing photos. The dude in the Yankees hat is basically how you should imagine me as I'm writing NextDraft (with the addition of my kids, just out of the frame, telling me how annoying I am and that my speakers are tiny.) NYT (Gift Article for ND readers): When a Minivan Becomes a Music Machine.


Criminals Flew the Coup

"Some of the plots to overturn the election happened in secret. But don't forget the ones that unfolded in the open." Adam Serwer in The Atlantic: Trump's Plans for a Coup Are Now Public.

+ The big question now is what the hell are we going to do about that coup attempt? Because this is not over. Far, far from it. Backers of Trump's false fraud claims seek to control next elections.


All is Not Well

"For some, technology and social media played a crucial role as an entry point for pseudoscientific beliefs." CBS: How conspiracy theories 'infiltrated' the wellness community. (Or how it went from, "Well, I sort of believe some pretty harmless bullshit" to "I fully believe some bullshit that can kill me and take down democracy.")



From The Verge: File Not Found. "Gradually, Garland came to the same realization that many of her fellow educators have reached in the past four years: the concept of file folders and directories, essential to previous generations' understanding of computers, is gibberish to many modern students." (Yesterday, my daughter was explaining that I don't get texting and chatting or really understand tech at all. I went full Al Gore on her.)


Hate Accompli

"You know that quote, right? From the popular Disney-branded Star Wars franchise. The franchise you hate more with every new episode – and continue to hate-watch anyway. Obi-Wan was onto something. Just look at Disney. We found that more than a third (34.32%) of tweets about Disney were negative towards the brand – yet, Disney share prices rose 125% last year, even with its theme parks closed." Here's a visualization of the most hated brands. In most cases, being one of the most loved brands is a price of admission to the contest.


Bottom of the News

"Many of today's most relied-upon technologies would not have been possible—or even dreamed of—if it weren't for the game-changing inventions that came before them." The Stories Behind 20 Inventions That Changed the World.

+ Chicago suburb attempts world record for largest dog wedding ceremony. (At least we know in which position they'll consummate.)