Better odds than Power Ball COVID 

"Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio announcing that the state would give five people $1 million each in return for having been vaccinated as part of a weekly lottery program.

The lottery, whose legality could raise questions, will be paid for by federal coronavirus relief funds, Mr. DeWine, a Republican, said during a statewide televised address."

nytimes.com/2021/05/12/us/ohio

“Facebook is full of true believers who really, really, really are not doing it for the money, and really, really will not stop until every man, woman, and child on earth is staring into a blue-framed window with a Facebook logo. Which, if you think about it, is much scarier than simple greed. The greedy man can always be bought at some price or another, and his behavior is predictable."

-- From Chaos Monkeys by Antonio Garcia Martinez (Former FB guy recently hired by Apple)

smays.com/2018/04/chaos-monkey

Can we call mRNA vaccines "overnight miracles" if we've been working on them for 24 years? Longer?

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From Plum Island, a 1997 thriller by Nelson DeMille:

“Can you describe to the duties of the Gordons?”

“Yes… They were involved mostly with… genetic research. Genetic alteration of viruses to make them unable to cause disease, but able to stimulate the body’s immune system.”

“A vaccine?” Beth asked.

“Yes, a new type of vaccine. Much safer than using a weakened virus.”

How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as Christianity, democracy or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined. You always insist that the order sustaining society is an objective reality created by the great gods or by the laws of nature."

-- ibid

"The modern age has witnessed the rise of a number of new natural-law religions, such as liberalism, Communism, capitalism, nationalism and Nazism. […] These creeds do not like to be called religions, and refer to themselves as ideologies. But this is just a semantic exercise."

-- ibid

"There are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money, no human rights, no laws, and no justice outside the common imagination of human beings."

-- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

The other plague 

"I live in Los Angeles, & I recently took a drive through the middle of the country, and I was stunned by what I saw. In places that had once had purpose, all that’s left is a pawnshop, next to a gun shop, next door to a motel, next door to a gas station, with a Walmart right outside of town. There are people working three jobs just to get by and having to take methamphetamines to do it. That’s the middle of the country, & that’s a plague that’s spreading outwards."

-- T Bone Burnett (2014)

“When you die, it is said you see your whole life. But you don’t see it minute by minute, like a speeded-up film. It’s like everything you ever did in all your days was a brushstroke, and now you see the whole painting all at once.”

-- Lawrence Block’s Everybody Dies

“Stay on the scene, like a sex machine.”
— James Brown

What if we could see COVID? 

Imagine if there was a way to hack the virus so that — over time— it became visible. When exposed to air it turned a bright pink for as long as airborne. The heavier the concentration, the brighter.

If this is too horrible, imagine an app on your phone. Before entering a bar or restaurant, you snap a photo and the resulting image shows the concentration of the virus.

If the down-side of this little fantasy is, “I’d rather not know” …

COVID in the closet 

We’ve all heard about COVID “Long Haulers.” Those that experienced mild or moderate symptoms that just don’t go away. Months and months.

I suspect there are a lot of people going through this who are keeping their condition secre.
They mocked mask wearing and other efforts to control the pandemic. “Just the flu,” they insisted.

Now they’re sick and don’t know when or if they’ll get better, and they’re suffering in silence (if they can) rather than admit they were wrong.

Boorstin’s Law 

'Beware of optimism about the social and political benefits of the Internet and social media, for while technology progresses, human nature and politics do not."

“Do you know what you would take with you, if you were going away forever? No more than you can carry at a brisk run.”

— zero history

“Gear queer” An obsession with the idea, not just the right stuff, but the special stuff. Equipment fetishism.”

-- ibid

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

That iOS 14.5 lets me unlock my phone while wearing a face-mask seems... ominous? No, prescient is the better word.

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