Friday Links

[W]ithout a widely available vaccine, most of the population – 60%-85% by some estimates – must become infected to reach herd immunity, and the virus’s high mortality rate means millions would die.

“A runaway train doesn’t stop the instant the track begins to slope uphill, and a rapidly spreading virus doesn’t stop right when herd immunity is attained.”

Schools serve as sites and sources of community resilience in five distinct ways: they distribute social welfare services, promote human development, care for children, provide stable employment, and strengthen democratic solidarity. Yet long-term physical school closures—along with impending budget cuts driven by cratering state and local economies and tax revenues—make it extremely difficult for schools to perform any of these roles.

One thing I’m thinking of here is Rawlsian liberalism. This rests upon the concept of a veil of ignorance, which requires that we slough off any knowledge of our identity – our race, gender, religion or intellectual abilities and beliefs – and build an idea of a just society independent of our own identities. This invites us to perform a psychological trick, to distance “ourselves” from who we are and what we believe.

[A] well-functioning marketplace in ideas requires that bad ideas be driven out - be cancelled. Reasonable people surely think it a good idea that David Irving’s holocaust denial has been cancelled, and that we don’t waste time debating defences of slavery or of denying women the vote. A healthy public realm must have some element of cancel culture: the issue is how much.

About Me

Developer at Brown University Library specializing in instructional design and technology, Python-based data science, and XML-driven web development.