Inside the Fall of the CDC: How the world’s greatest public health organization was brought to its knees

James Bandler, Patricia Callahan, Sebastian Rotella and Kirsten Berg in ProPublica: At 7:47 a.m. on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, Dr. Jay Butler pounded out a grim email to colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Butler, then the head of the … | Continue reading | 5 days ago

Berlin in July 1945

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Letter from Karachi

Alia Ahmed at The Hudson Review: Today I am in Saddar, the former colonial center, clamorous and poetically falling to bits. Pakistan is a particularly loud country (“Well, yes,” a famous doctor once countered, rolling his eyes, “there are people here,” yet I stand by it), and Sa … | Continue reading | 5 days ago

The Thinkers Who Tried To Strip Metaphysics From Philosophy

Gary Saul Morson at The American Scholar: Austria between the world wars fostered an extraordinary number of talents in diverse fields: Sigmund Freud in psychology, Arnold Schoenberg in music, Karl Kraus in journalism, Robert Musil in literature, Gustav Klimt in art, the Bauhaus … | Continue reading | 5 days ago

Are Poly-aneuploid Cancer Cells the Keystone Cure for Cancer?

From Scientia: Cancer is a global health concern. There are over 100 types of cancer, which taken together, kill more than 10 million people across the world each year. Although localised cancers can be treated successfully through excision or localised radiotherapy, metastatic c … | Continue reading | 5 days ago

The Long History of Blaming Immigrants in Times of Sickness

Tara Wu in The Smithsonian: On a chilly morning in February, about a thousand Chinese immigrants, Chinese Americans and others filled the streets of San Francisco’s historic Chinatown. They marched down Grant Avenue led by a bright red banner emblazoned with the words “Fight the … | Continue reading | 5 days ago

Tuesday Poem

Blue Heron The startled blue heron erupts out of its long-legged inwardness and flies low to the pond over its shadow. My eye flickers between its great sweep of wings and its blurred mirror motion almost white in the pond’s sky-shine. At the end of each wingbeat, the long body d … | Continue reading | 5 days ago

3QD Needs Your Help, Dear Reader

Will you please consider becoming a supporter of 3QD by clicking here now? We wouldn’t ask for your support if we did not need it to keep the site running. In this difficult time, we continue to scour the web daily to bring you the best analysis and information we can find. And, … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

The Political Economy Of Risk: Covid Edition

by Thomas R. Wells Covid-19 reminds us once again that we can’t do without politics, or, to put it another way, we can’t do well without doing politics well. ‘Science’ can’t decide the right thing to do about Covid, however appealing it might be to imagine we could dump this whol … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

Racial disparity and racial bias

Racial disparities...are not “an obvious sign of racial bias”. | Continue reading | 6 days ago

Monday Poem

A Simple Ontology maybe flower petals are held to stems by thought and the wind’s a counter-thought that plucks and sets them elsewhere in the grass to grow in contemplative resolution beside the notion of a grub-pulling crow maybe the wind itself is a palpable bright idea, somet … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

If you hold liberal values, you should vote!

To not vote in the 2020 is effectively to support Trumpm and the Republicans. The best way to combat their cynical, anti-democratic strategems is to defeat them overwhelmingly at the polls. | Continue reading | 6 days ago

Not Even Wrong #4: A Brief History of “The System”

by Jackson Arn Slurs have a way of mellowing into labels. History is full of Yankees and Cockneys, Methodists and Jesuits, Whigs and Tories, who steal a term of abuse and apply it to themselves as an act of sardonic revenge. Sometimes the tactic works too well, and people forget … | Continue reading | 6 days ago


Anab Jain & Superflux. The Madison Flying Billboard Drone, 2015. ” … So there are five drones, and each of these drones is designed to embody specific tasks and functions that are already gaining popularity. We are not trying to imagine new roles for drones; we are trying to buil … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

A sketch including the painter, Paraskeva Clark

by Eric Miller 1. A robin in the floating height of a pine warbled its fat phrases of three and, with its chest matching the tint of twilight clouds and light on leaves and houses—a lucent, resinous colour such as collected at the lower tip of every cone—, it seemed at once the m … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

Erring on the Slippery Earth: Conceptions of Moral Identity

by Jochen Szangolies Who Are You? I want you to take a moment to reflect on the answer that first came to mind upon reading this question. Was it something related to your job? Are you a baker, a writer, a physicist, a construction worker? Or did you start thinking about your pas … | Continue reading | 6 days ago


by Brooks Riley | Continue reading | 6 days ago

The Invisible Boot

by Joseph Shieber If you’ve any familiarity with the history of economic theory, you’ll no doubt have heard of the idea of the “Invisible Hand”. The image was introduced by Adam Smith in his masterwork The Wealth of Nations (1776). Smith suggests that, even though each individual … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

“The Social Dilemma” and the Politics of Horror

by Joshua Wilbur  Last month’s most popular movie on Netflix is a horror show in the guise of a documentary.  In 2020, reality has turned scarier than fiction, and The Social Dilemma expends more dread per minute than any episode of Black Mirror. It’s a timely, manipulative film, … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

Monday Photo

This photo reminded me of Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” (see image in first comment) and appropriately, it was taken yesterday (Sunday) afternoon at the Lido in Brixen, South Tyrol. | Continue reading | 6 days ago

Film Review: ‘David Byrne’s American Utopia’ Is a Much-Needed Antidote

by Alexander C. Kafka David Byrne’s artistry has always had a living-room intimacy, reflected in the delightful cover photos of the 1982 double-live album The Name of This Band Is the Talking Heads. In the midst of a pandemic, inviting him into our space — or being invited into h … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

When is My Choice My Own? A Reflection on the Impact of Persuasion and Big Data

Whether a data-driven nudge diminishes my agency turns on more than just its algorithmic origin. | Continue reading | 6 days ago

When Words Fail

by Dwight Furrow What did the wines that stimulated conversation in Plato’s Symposium taste like? Or the clam chowder in Moby Dick, or the “brown and yellow meats” served to Mr. Banks in To the Lighthouse? Or consider this repast from Joyce’s Ulysses: Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with r … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

E. B. White’s “Plain Style” @75

Jan Mieszkowski at Public Books: “No one,” declared James Thurber, “can write a sentence like E. B. White.” Throughout his six-decade career, White was widely celebrated for his mastery of “the plain style.” His columns and anecdotes for the New Yorker, his longer essays, and his … | Continue reading | 7 days ago

As Wildfires Burn, Assigning Blame Is Complicated

Eve Driver in Undark: WHILE FOR DECADES there has been scientific consensus that the climate is changing, only in the past few years has it become possible for scientists to link that change to particular weather events. Even as it advances, however, attribution science, also cal … | Continue reading | 7 days ago

Wildlife photographer of the year 2020 winners

More, from The Guardian, here. | Continue reading | 7 days ago

Is Machiavelli good, then, or is he evil?

Tim Parks in the New York Review of Books: “Is Machiavelli good, then, or is he evil?” asks the French scholar Patrick Boucheron in his discussion of The Prince, a book whose “whole program is to uncouple political action from conventional morality.” Is he advising political lead … | Continue reading | 7 days ago

Sunday Poem

i sing of Olaf glad and big i sing of Olaf glad and big whose warmest heart recoiled at war: a conscientious object-or his wellbelovéd colonel (trig westpointer most succinctly bred) took erring Olaf soon in hand; but–though an host of overjoyed noncoms (first knocking on the hea … | Continue reading | 7 days ago

The $16-Trillion Virus

Jonathan Shaw in Harvard Magazine: THE FINAL TALLY OF ECONOMIC DAMAGE caused by SARS-CoV-2 will have to wait for the pandemic’s end, but in the meantime, two eminent economists have estimated the cost in the United States alone at $16 trillion. Eckstein professor of applied econo … | Continue reading | 7 days ago

We Learn Faster When We Aren’t Told What Choices to Make

Michele Solis in Scientific American: In a perfect world, we would learn from success and failure alike. Both hold instructive lessons and provide needed reality checks that may safeguard our decisions from bad information or biased advice. But, alas, our brain doesn’t work this … | Continue reading | 7 days ago

Erin Wall (1975 – 2020)

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Rhonda Fleming (1923 – 2020)

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The Presidential Town Halls Were Mister Rogers Versus Nasty Uncle Trump

Susan Glasser in The New Yorker: Even Donald Trump has moments of self-awareness. During an interview last week with Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing talk-radio host whom he honored with the Medal of Freedom earlier this year, the President briefly abandoned his puffery to admit tha … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

National Populism in Power: the Consequences for Fundamental Rights

Jordi Vaquer in Idees: The world currently finds itself immersed in the so-called “third wave” of authoritarianism. Since the start of the twenty-first century, and especially over the last five years, more and more countries have been losing the characteristics of a democracy an … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

Automation and the Future of Work

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Learn the Language of Power by Ha-Joon Chang

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Where loneliness can lead

Samantha Rose Hill in Aeon: What prepares men for totalitarian domination in the non-totalitarian world is the fact that loneliness, once a borderline experience usually suffered in certain marginal social conditions like old age, has become an everyday experience … – From The Or … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

Glenn Gould – How Mozart Became a Bad Composer

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Chansonnier du Roi

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Pandora’s Jar by Natalie Haynes

Stephanie Merritt at The Guardian: For the past few years, Natalie Haynes has been building a career out of rescuing the women of the ancient world from obscurity or cliche. Her most recent Women’s prize-shortlisted novel, A Thousand Ships, told the stories of the women of the Tr … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

Don DeLillo, An Old Hand at Paranoia and Dread

Dwight Garner at the NYT: DeLillo’s new one is a pristine disaster novel with apocalyptic overtones. It’s a Stephen King novel scored by Philip Glass instead of Chuck Berry. A plane from Paris to Newark crash-lands. Two of the main characters are on this flight, and they survive. … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

Inside the Mind of an Anti-vaxxer

Olga Khazan in The Atlantic: Sometime in the coming months, our prayers will have been answered. The researchers will have pulled their all-nighters, mountains will have been moved, glass vials will have been shipped, and a vaccine that protects us from the novel coronavirus will … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

The World Henry Ford Made

Justin Vassallo in The Boston Review: The utopian ideal of globalization has imploded over the past decade. Rising demand in Western countries for greater state control over the economy reflects a range of grievances, from a chronic shortage of well-compensated work to a sense of … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

Ruth Falcon (1942 – 2020)

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Saturday Poem

Crossroads My body, now that we will not be traveling together much longer I begin to feel a new tenderness toward you, very raw and unfamiliar, like what I remember of love when I was young — love that was so often foolish in its objectives but never in its choices, its intensit … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

David Byrne, Spike Lee, and Some Wisdom For Right Now

Kevin Sintumuang in Esquire: David Byrne’s American Utopia begins with the sound of birds for close to a minute before revealing the singer, seated alone at a desk, holding a human brain. Otherwise, the stage is empty, save for a curtain composed of hundreds of thin metal chains … | Continue reading | 9 days ago

A powerful new tool to study the cosmos

Nathan Collins in Symmetry: In just a few years, scientists at Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile will launch the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), using the world’s biggest digital camera for ground-based astronomy to take the most detailed pictures of the night sky ever m … | Continue reading | 9 days ago

Beautiful harmony in isolated John Lennon and Paul McCartney vocals on “If I Fell”

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