Open Thread and Link Farm, Bishop Edition

  1. Mandate the Covid-19 vaccine, not masks – Vox
    “The federal government could require vaccination for its own employees, as President Joe Biden is reportedly considering, and offer incentives, financial or otherwise, for others to do the same. Local and state governments could require vaccines for their employees, health care workers, schools, and public spaces, from restaurants to museums. Even without any government support, private organizations could act alone, requiring vaccinations for their employees and, ultimately, proof of vaccination for anyone on their premises.” Edited to add: Yes, Covid-19 vaccine mandates are legal – Vox
  2. Opinion | Generation labels mean nothing. It’s time to retire them. – The Washington Post (and an alternative link).
    “…measuring and describing social change is essential, and it can be useful to analyze the historical period in which people were born and raised. People should write books and articles on these topics. But drawing arbitrary lines between birth years and slapping names on them isn’t helping.”
  3. “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian draws specific details from my life.
    Interesting essay by the woman who the viral short story was partly based on.
  4. Amanda Knox: Does My Name Belong To Me?
    Kind of an interesting comparison to the Cat Person link above. Knox, through no fault of her own, is famous for a murder where no one remembers the name of either the victim or the killer. Now there’s yet another movie based on her life, and publicizing with her name, without consulting her at all.
  5. LA Wi spa anti-trans protest: How an apparent hoax created real violence.
    A transphobic hoax (about a made-up trans woman changing in front of made-up children) led to a transphobic protestor stabbing two people – a counterprotester and also one of his allies.
  6. Critical race theory battles are driving frustrated, exhausted educators out of their jobs
    “In Eureka, Missouri, the only Black woman in the Rockwood School District’s administration resigned from her position as diversity coordinator after threats of violence grew so severe that the district hired private security to patrol her house.”
  7. Christopher Rufo and the Critical Race Theory Moral Panic
    An article about the right-wing journalist most responsible for creating the CRT booga-booga hysteria.
  8. Burger King workers in Nebraska depart and leave message on outdoor billboard: “We all quit”
    Good for them!
  9. Lyme disease vaccine: the frustrating reason there isn’t one for humans – Vox
    The answer is, there is a vaccine for Lyme disease. It’s safe and it works. But anti-Vax hysteria drove it from the market, and now no pharm company wants to touch it. Honestly, of all the things people are okay with free speech being limited for – the sex trades, copyright issues, libel, etc – I think one of the strongest cases can be made for banning or publishing anti-vax ideas outside of a list of accredited peer-reviewed journals. Would it have costs? Yes. But the alternative isn’t “no costs,” but hundreds of thousands of people needlessly suffering illness or death, and everyone being less safe.
  10. Loki was a trans story. The Marvel show played with gender… | by Katelyn Burns | Jul, 2021 | Medium
    I enjoyed Loki. I wasn’t as excited by it as I was by Wandavision, but I thought it stuck the landing better.
  11. Trans kids in the US were seeking treatment decades before today’s political battles over access to health care
  12. Two classes of trans kids are emerging – those who have access to puberty blockers, and those who don’t
  13. Why Statistics Don’t Capture The Full Extent Of The Systemic Bias In Policing | FiveThirtyEight
  14. Spotify Has Changed The Way We’ll Be Losing Our Music Libraries – The Atlantic
    But all forms of music libraries have always gotten lost – think of how hard it is to play LPs, let alone cassette tapes, let alone 8-tracks.
  15. People in Missouri are wearing disguises to secretly get vaccinated: doctor – Raw Story
    This is perfectly normal.
  16. This link farm is decorated by a mini-gallery of comic book covers by British cartoonist Brian Bolland.

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13 Responses to Open Thread and Link Farm, Bishop Edition

  1. 1
    Chris says:

    Disagree on Loki sticking the landing better than Wandavision. WV’s finale was criticized for relying too much on superhero action, but it still felt like an exciting conclusion to the story that was told. Loki’s finale was mostly just a new character giving a monologue and then a tease for the second season, without any satisfying character work or action.

  2. 2
    Eytan Zweig says:

    Chris @1 – I disagree that Loki’s finale didn’t have satisfying character work; I think both Loki and Sylvie’s individual arcs resolved very well (though their combined arc less so). I also don’t agree that Wandavision’s finale felt exciting – some of it did, but the Wanda/Agatha confrontation in the sky was disappointing on several levels. But overall, I agree with you that the part of the WV ending that focussed on the core Wanda/Vision relationship was a really well done ending, while Loki’s ending left almost every relationship thread loose, and that most of the episode was exposition.

    So, my overall opinion is that neither ending quite lived up to the series that preceded it, but Wandavision’s ending left me more satisfied, while Loki’s ending left me looking forward to the next season.

  3. 3
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    Re #14…

    If you’re me, it’s super easy to play LP’s and cassette tapes. I can even play 78’s & whatever you call 16 rpm vinyl. Alas, I’ve never owned an 8-track, though my parents did in the 70’s. I have, however, never listened to Spotify. But then I’ve always been somewhat of a Luddite (even though I became an IT professional). I’m simply not interested in not owning music on some form of physical media.

  4. 4
    Kate says:

    Chris Hayes looks at the response to COVID of three Republican governors:

    When Republicans do right, whether it be Gov. Scott of Vermont, Liz Cheney or Rep. Kinzinger, Democrats acknowledge it. Most Republican elected officials have abdicated their responsibility to the rule of law when it comes to the January 6 insurrection, but Democrats are willing to work with anyone who is willing to face reality.
    But, where is Mitt Romney? Where is Susan Collins (actually, criticizing Nancy Pelosi for not letting a material witness who may possibly have been a coconspirator on the January 6 insurrection on the committee to investigate that very insurrection!!!).
    We are in so much danger!!! What can I do???

  5. 5
    RonF says:

    #1) Given that the black and Latino populations have much lower vaccination rates that whites and Asian-heritage people, such a mandate will create de facto segregation. And will probably fuel a lot of resentment. For the record, I’m the complete opposite of an anti-vaxxer. I ran out and got completely vaccinated in February. But I think this effect needs to be taken into account.

    #8) Good for them indeed! I’m curious why Burger King’s corporate franchise management team hasn’t investigated this. Or perhaps they have – it would be a worthy question to ask them if they’ve looked into this and what they found.


    Already, there was “significant media coverage, sensationalism, the development of anti-Lyme vaccine groups … who urged withdrawal of the vaccine from the market,”

    As we have seen with our most recent pandemic our national media is absolutely terrible when it comes to covering science and the scientific process. Scientific studies are presented in a sensationalist fashion. Nobody working for them seems to be able to – or want to – read a study and understand what it actually means. They just pick out a phrase or two and publicize the hell out of it for ratings. Opposition groups are treated with serious coverage without any cogent analysis of whether their opposition has any factual foundation. And when corporations respond they simply can’t get a fair and intelligent hearing.

    #14) Consider I.T. I started out with Hollerith (punch) cards and paper tape. Then we had 1/2″ magnetic tape at 1600 bps (I actually interfaced a 1/2″ mainframe drive to a PC once and successfully read data off it). Those upgraded to 6250 bps. Subsequently they have gone through several generations of tape drives and disk drives. In the PC world we went from cassette tapes to 8″ floppies (hard sector or soft sector?) to 5.25″ floppies to 3.5″ floppies to CDs to DVDs to USB drives. The result? I just tossed a box full of 5.25″ and 3.5″ floppies as I cannot read them anymore. The Feds have a huge problem in that massive amounts of Social Security and other data are stored on those 1/2″ magnetic tape reels but no one’s made those tape drives for 25 years and the guys who can fix them are all retiring or dying.

    Jacqueline, you’re no Luddite. One thing I think about is that if transfer a book to storage media, the odds are excellent that in 10 years you won’t be able to read that media anymore. But you can still read the book, and your great-grandchildren will be able to read it too.

  6. 6
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    Given that the black and Latino populations have much lower vaccination rates that whites and Asian-heritage people, such a mandate will create de facto segregation. And will probably fuel a lot of resentment. For the record, I’m the complete opposite of an anti-vaxxer. I ran out and got completely vaccinated in February. But I think this effect needs to be taken into account.

    I don’t believe that you’re concerned about this at all.

  7. 7
    hf says:

    Loki’s chief problem in my eyes – almost the only problem, due to its pervasive effect – was the apparent studio interference regarding Kang. If they hadn’t expected him to be in a movie this year (potentially, at least) then they could have focused more on the protagonists, and not forced Jonathan Majors to sell a giant dump of exposition.

    Now, WandaVision did have a surprising amount of superhero punching, but none of that IIRC was remotely relevant to the outcome with either Agatha or White Vision. What made the difference was one character noticing Chekov’s Gun, and two robots calmly arguing about the Ship of Theseus. I approve of this, and would like to see more superhero action like those two plot points.

  8. 8
    Nancy Lebovitz says:

    On the off chance you haven’t heard about this already–

    Algorithm which makes things even worse for chronic pain patients.

  9. 9
    Ampersand says:

    On the off chance you haven’t heard about this already–

    Algorithm which makes things even worse for chronic pain patients.

    That’s horrifying and infuriating. I hadn’t seen that – thank you for the link.

  10. 10
    nobody.really says:

    #13 I’m intrigued by the 2020 FiveThirtyEight story on bias in policing. I’d be especially interested in hearing reactions from police officers. Or former police officers.

  11. 11
    Nancy Lebovitz says:

    Amp, I remember you had a very long discussion of pain meds not being available.

  12. 12
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:


    My wife has been on pain meds for about 20 years now. It was so hard to find somebody who would take her chronic pain seriously – even after 2 diagnoses of fibromyalgia from rheumatologists. All these doctors called her a drug seeker and told her she needed to learn to just handle the pain on her own. It made me so angry that I wanted to belt them in the knee with an iron bar and shout, “You need to learn to deal with that pain on your own!”

    She’s been with the same pain clinic for all those years and 1) has had to deal with some terrible treatment from them at times and 2) is terrified by the idea of having to find a new doctor to treat her pain.

    The way we deal with people in pain and with the fear of enabling junkies is just awful and needs to be changed ASAP. That logarithm is just an automated way of doing what doctors have been doing to people in chronic pain for a long, long, long time – making them suffer needlessly.

  13. 13
    RonF says:

    I’d known that for years physicians who prescribe pain meds have been closely scrutinized. I had no idea that it had become this automated. I’ll bet that not one person in that company has a grasp on how the entire set of algorithms work – or, if they do, they have been trying to get someone in management to listen to the flaws in it and commit the time, money and personnel needed to fix it.

    Algorithms such as this allow the people making the decisions to deny liability for any bad outcomes. They can just point to the numbers and say “It’s not my fault, that’s what the system says!” Then they’ll blame the programmers or the database engineers, who probably know about the problems but can’t get anyone to pay attention. Far too often upper management in our corporation manage by metrics without paying attention to the fact that they are not managing metrics. Metrics are a tool to help manage people, but try as you might you cannot fully encompass the humanity of a person with numbers.