Note — May 19, 2020

Further Reading

Seen in → No.122

Some people I regularly feature had some good pieces out, I decided to not feature them this time around but they have good and useful (or frightening in Stross’ case) things to say.

[A]n overly ‘financialised’ business sector has been siphoning value out of the economy by rewarding shareholders through stock-buyback schemes, rather than shoring up long-run growth by investing in research and development, wages and worker training. As a result, households have been depleted of financial cushions, making it harder to afford basic goods like housing and education.
Capitalism’s triple crisis, Mariana Mazzucato

So we’re going to see repeated 4-6 week lockdown periods alternating with 2-4 week “business as usual” patches. Somewhere during the second or third lockdown most of the pubs/bars/hotels/restaurants that hibernated during the first lockdown and came back from the dead will give up the ghost: by September-November the damage to about 10-30% of the economy, disproportionately the service sector, will be permanent (FSVO “permanent” that means not coming back until after the pandemic, growing afresh from zero rather than reviving from hibernation).
“It’ll all be over by Christmas”, Charlie Stross

Crucial medical drugs are also running out. According to a University of Minnesota analysis, about 40 percent of the 156 drugs that are essential parts of critical care are becoming limited. Many of these depend on supply chains that involve China (where the pandemic began), Italy (the hardest-hit region in Europe), or India (which halted several exports). These chains have been discharging their contents like a sputtering garden hose that has now begun to run dry.
Our Pandemic Summer, Ed Yong

These were recommended by trustworthy sources but for lack of time or energy in the face of their content, I haven’t gotten to them yet: The Digital Response to the Outbreak of COVID-19, The Normal Economy Is Never Coming Back, and ‘The impossible has already happened’: what coronavirus can teach us about hope (Rebecca Solnit).

Profiles of dearly departed: A Life in Games: The Playful Genius of John Conway, and Remembering the Unstoppable Freeman Dyson.