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June 2020

"How I Ran Afoul of Campus Cancel Culture"

Steven Hayward tells of his experience at UC Berkeley. But the most interesting part of this piece is the discussion of famed Berkeley professor Aaron Wildavsky

I've read a little of Prof. Wildavsky's work and one part, in particular, I think very highly of. He was asked how in the world we as a society should prepare for the all the massive threats we face: plagues and meteor impacts and on and on. He replied--not his exact words, but the sense is accurate--that there's no way we could afford to prepare for them all. He stated we should 1) get educated and 2) get rich, and then take our chances. 

UPDATE: Link added now.


"Edmit"

Nobody in my family is choosing a college. But if somebody were, I think this site would be useful. (Just the information on acceptance rates is really interesting.)

Edmit offers smart personal advice for you on how to make the college decision.


"How Many Covid Deaths Are There, Really?"

Just like with global warming, when politics saturates even what the data actually are, rational discussion and debate are essentially impossible.

. . . this acknowledgement by the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health:

I just want to be clear in terms of the definition of people dying of COVID. So, the case definition is very simplistic. It means that at the time of death it was a COVID-positive diagnosis. So that means if you were in hospice and had already been given, you know, a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death. It means that if, technically, even if you died of a clear alternate cause but you had COVID at the same time it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone that’s listed as a COVID death doesn’t mean that that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.

Also interesting: "43% of U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Are Linked to Nursing Homes".

In at least 24 states, a majority of deaths are linked to nursing homes.


"In defense of America: ‘Not a failed experiment, but an always improving one’"

Amen to this.

Winston Churchill noted in 1947 that “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those others that have been tried.” And what of the world’s oldest democracy, the United States of America? Still the worst country on earth — except for all of the others. 

I didn't know this about Denmark:

If you think there are ethnic and racial tensions in the US and wish we could be more like those happy little Nordic countries, consider that in Denmark, where the population is 87 percent Danish, a right-wing government has passed more than 100 laws targeting immigration including banning the burqa in 2018, confiscating cash and valuables from incoming refugees, officially designating 29 areas as “ghettos” and doubling penalties for crimes committed in those areas, as if to single out the immigrants and ethnic minorities who live there. Imagine President Trump designating Harlem a “ghetto” and proposing doubled prison sentences for crimes committed on 125th Street as opposed to 124th Street and you’re imagining something that has very little chance of being enacted. Yet this is the policy in Denmark.