Do people annoy you more than they used to? I’ve found my levels of irritation with people in public spaces rising over the last year and I’ve found it interesting to think about why
What about the people who can’t afford a smart phone? Or can only afford one to share between a household? Furthermore, should we be concerned about the implications for surveillance capitalism of mandating smart devices as a means of personal identification?
This is such a useful summary from Trisha Greenhalgh’s excellent Boston Review essay: In relation to face coverings, for example, there was basic scientific evidence on how the virus behaves. There were service-level data from hospital and general practitioner records. There were detailed comparative data on the health system and […]
“Like an acid eating away the flesh, COVID-19 has allowed us to see the bones of the social structure, to unveil the inequalities that mean some have to travel to work in care homes and fruit-picking fields, while others self-isolate and edit books. Nice work, if you can get it.”
Following my post a couple of months ago about objections to the anti-lockdown case, I thought I would share/save this formulation of the case against lockdown from epidemiologist John Ioannidis published in May last year as part of a superb exchange in the Boston Review.
This is a typically astute piece from Richard Seymour on the intersection between social failure and environmental change generating the current crisis in Texas. He offers a disturbing analysis of the (attempted) creation of “mobilised political constituency that is ready, even morally energised, for quite a lot of death”
It was clear that Songbird was a dreadful film, with atrocious script and terrible politics. However it was impossible to resist as a cultural expression of the ideas about society and the pandemic circulating in these febrile times. The story unfolds four years into a lockdown in America, as COVID-23 devastates the planet with a much higher fatality rate than the familiar virus from which it mutated:
What do we mean by ‘post-pandemic’? The term needs to be defined in parallel to established notions such as post-democracy, post-industrial and post-colonial.
I’m particularly interested in what this means for how we conceive of the ending of pandemics. As Jeremy A. Greene & Dóra Vargha point out in their contribution to Boston Review’s excellent collection Thinking in a Pandemic: “The history of epidemic endings has taken many forms, and only a handful of them have resulted in the elimination of a disease”.
Once we dispense with the idea that vaccine rollout will be a deus ex machina which will take us back to normality (end the story so we can begin at the beginning) we’re faced with the question of what the world will look once we move into a situation of […]
This is a great summary by Jonan Donaldson on pg 97 of Critical Digital Pedagogy of a trend we’ve all seen during the pandemic: With the rapid expansion of online learning over the last decade I have witnessed a tendency to translate classes into online modalities with designs closely resembling […]
I thought this was brilliant from Ruha Benjamin, in the forward to Critical Digital Pedagogy, describing the responsibilities of educators. It applies more broadly than our present crisis but it feels even more pertinent against the backdrop of the pandemic: So, what are the responsibilities of educators and educational institutions […]
This overview of the findings of this German paper is fascinating. It’s part of an insightful essay about the strange coalitions taking shape which transcend the left-right binary in a way I’ve come to think of as lumpen-libertarian. I particularly valued its focus on “the freelance media hustlers, movement messiahs, […]
This essay from Richard Seymour intersected in a thought provoking way with my recent concerns about the securitisation of pandemic response. He explains how this paradigm involves preparation rather than prevention, in the senes of preparing for the inevitability of a range of disastrous outcomes rather than trying to bring […]
I found this description by Mike Davis on loc 1073 of The Monster Enters helpful for understanding the particular pressures which a pandemic places on the healthcare system. In spite of the tendency to reduce this to a matter of beds within the system, as can be seen in the […]
From Mike Davis in The Monster Enters loc 200-215: Since the discovery of the HIV virus in 1983 and the recognition that it had jumped from apes to humans, science has been on high alert against the appearance of deadly new diseases with pandemic potential that have crossed over from wild […]
This is a chilling warning from Mike Davis in The Monster Enters. My understanding is this hasn’t been borne out by events since the time he was writing this (pre-June 2020) however I’d welcome any suggestions of literature on this topic which readers might have. It seems inescapable that the […]
State capacity for decisive action in an emergency does not necessitate the suppression of democracy
This is an important reflection by Mike Davis in The Monster Enters about the connection too often drawn between Chinese authoritarianism and the effectiveness of their anti-Covid action*. It’s one which comes readily because, as Alex de Waal has put it, “The infection-control state is Max Weber’s military–bureaucratic state on […]
There’s a brief aside towards the end of Apollo’s Arrow which was intended as innocuous but in practice is unsettling. Nicholas Christakis draws a comparison between the potential impact of COVID-19 and other crises which have had a long-lasting influence upon social life. From pg 322: The COVID-19 pandemic awakened […]
This was another really interesting discussion in Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live by Nicholas Christakis. He considers the particular characteristics of Covid-19 which have lent it an almost spectral quality in many people’s experience, lurking on the horizon of their lives as […]