I originally intended in late May 2020, when the spring semester was finally over and I had some time to finish “Spring 2020 Links (Pre-COVID-19),” to post one big link dump for coronavirus-related things. But the hyperarchival barrage of news over the past three months, including everything that has happened in the United States the past three weeks (combined with how little time I still have . . .), has made it clear that it would be better to divide posts into smaller, more manageable bits. So here is everything I came across from March 11-April 15, 2020. More to come soon.
Sheri Fink and Mike Baker, “‘It’s Just Everywhere Already’: How Delays in Testing Set Back the US Coronavirus Response.”
The New York Times, “Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Global Outbreak,” “Coronavirus in the US: Latest Map and Case Count” and “Coronavirus Tips, Advice and Answers to Your New Questions.”
IHME, “COVID-19 Projections.”
Katie Zezima, Joel Achenbach, Tim Craig, and Lena H. Sun, “Coronavirus Is Shutting Down American Life as States Try to Battle Outbreak.”
Coronavirus Think Pieces (General)
Laurie Penny, “This Is Not the Apocalypse You Were Looking For.”
Naomi Klein, “Coronavirus Capitalism–and How to Beat It.”
Frank Pasquale, “Two Timelines of COVID Crisis.”
Ian Bogost, “Now Is the Time to Overreact.”
Arundhati Roy, “The Pandemic Is a Portal.”
Anne Applebaum, “The Coronavirus Called America’s Bluff.”
Dan Kois, “America Is a Sham.”
It has been a very busy past few months, and my links have suffered. But spring break has provided some lovely, unencumbered time, so here are many, many links (futilely) attempting to catch up with what’s been happening in the world. (In the interest of space, I’ve also passed over some of the more visible recent stories.)
Nuclear and Environmental
Paul Krugman, “Republicans’ Climate Change Denial Denial.”
Democracy Now, “Naomi Klein on Paris Summit: Leaders’ Inaction on Climate Crisis Is ‘Violence” Against the Planet.”
Adrienne LaFrance, “The Chilling Regularity of Mass Extinctions.”
Isabelle Stengers, In Catastrophic Times: Resisting the Coming Barbarism.
Sebastian Anthony, “Scientists Discover an Ocean 400 Miles Beneath Our Feet that Could Fill Our Oceans Three Times Over.”
Kylie Mohr, “Apocalypse Chow: We Tried Televangelist Jim Bakker’s ‘Survival Food.'”
Alex Trembath, “Are You and Upwinger or a Downwinger?”
Eric Bradner, “Newly Released Documents Reveal US Cold War Nuclear Target List.”
Its been a couple weeks since I’ve posted any links, so there’s a bunch of stuff here.
Disaster, Nuclear, Environment, and Deep Futures
John Oliver on America’s Insecure Nuclear Arsenal.
Willie Osterweil, “The End of the World as We Know It.” On the reactionary politics in ancient apocalypse films.
Josh Marshall, “Disaster Porn, For Once for Real.”
Ross Andersen, “When We Peer Into the Fog of the Deep Future What Do We See–Human Extinction or a Future Among the Stars?”
Radical eco-nihilism. Wen Stephenson, “‘I Withdraw’: A Talk with Climate Defeatist Paul Kingsnorth.”
Paul Kingsnorth, “Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist.”
Mark Strauss, “Space Junk Is Becoming a Serious Security Threat.”
Robert T. Gonzalez, “Bad News: Scientists Have Measured 16-Foot Waves in the Arctic Ocean.”
Nadia Prupis, “‘There Will Be No Water’ by 2040? Researchers Urge Global Energy Paradigm Shift.”
As I have been lax in posting things, yesterday I posted a bunch of links on recent stories regarding the NSA. Today I’m posting links of more general interest. I’ve tried to organize them by category.
The biggest story I have not had time to address were the diplomatic talks regarding Iran’s nuclear program. So here are some links to that.
On 5 November 2013 Reuters reported that Iran, Israel, and Middle East countries “took part in a meeting two weeks ago about prospects for an international conference on banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East.”
Temporary nuclear pact.
UN nuclear inspectors in Iran.
“Iran, from Enemy to Ally.”
Right on the verge of a nuclear agreement, perhaps the biggest event in nuclear nonproliferation in my lifetime, Bob Mendez fights Obama on imposing new sanctions on Iran, as do fifteen other democrats. More here.
Though from today: progress in nuclear talks.
A less-than-surprising host for this story: Kurzweil: Accelerating Intelligence has a story about hyperarchives: “A Billion Year Storage Medium That Could Outlive the Human Race.”
Researcher Dr. Jeroen de Vries from the University of Twente MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology suggests we could store data for one million to one billion years, using a new storage medium based on tungsten and graphene oxide.
He imagines two possible scenarios:
- Disaster has devastated the earth and society must rebuild the world
- We need to create a legacy for future intelligent life that evolves on Earth or comes from other worlds.
And so obviously these speculative futures require that we need to invent storage archives that will outlive us. Viva the archive!
David Pringle at a website devoted to the work of J.G. Ballard put up a list of the books Ballard read up until age 26. Pretty neat.
And did you hear? It’s official. Commercial art’s primary purpose is to collect data on you. Or at least that’s what Gawker is reporting about Jay-Z’s new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail. “It is not so much an album as a co-branded multimedia content delivery platform, Presented By Samsung™ Galaxy™ . . . . But now another, more unsettling use for the new album has become clear: It’s a massive data-mining operation. Fans used to obsess over album liner notes; now they freak out about terms-of-service.” Art used to be something we put in archives, museums, and libraries. Now it invades our home and puts us in archives. This is hyperarchival realism. Welcome to contemporaneity.