how dangerous is it to open college campuses? evidence from enclosed communities at sea exposed to COVID, the us and sweden

How damaging would in-person college be for the college population? I think we have some evidence to help us sort through this issue. Namely, there are some relatively closed communities where people lived in close quarters and were exposed to COVID. We can estimate the damage. These communities are similar to colleges in that they housed people together. We also know, months later, how many people got sick and how many died. Specifically, we can look at ships where people were in close contact and got a lot of COVID.

Worst Case Scenario: The Diamond Princess is a cruise ship that was at sea early in the epidemic. People got sick and it wasn’t allowed to port for a while. The result? According to the wiki, 700 out of 3711 tested positive (18%) and 14 died (.3%). This is a population with many elderly passengers and, also according…

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YouTube has banned this video. Linked from my twitter account. Epic 2 mins.

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Guardian publishes pro-Corbyn letter whose signatories include anti-Semites

The Guardian published a letter yesterday signed by 100 Jews objecting to a previous letter by more than 100 Labour MPs protesting the Labour Party’s decision to readmit Derby North MP Chris Williamson, an ardent Corbyn ally, back into the party after he was temporarily suspended for suggesting Labour was “too apologetic” about antisemitism.

The letter (Jewish support for Chris Williamson, July 8) repeats the familiar smear that the real aim of Jews and others who accuse Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters of antisemitism is to undermine the Labour party’s leadership and “all pro-Palestinian members” – a version of what’s known as the Livingstone Formulation. This term, coined by Professor David Hirsh, refers to a line of argument insisting that Jews raise the issue of antisemitism cynically and dishonestly in order to silence criticism of Israel.

The full list of signatories to the letter includes extreme (non-British) anti-Israel, pro-terrorist…

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Milton Friedman’s Rabble-Rousing Case for Abolishing the Fed

Uneasy Money

I recently came across this excerpt from a longer interview of Milton Friedman conducted by Brian Lamb on Cspan in 1994. In this excerpt Lamb asks Friedman what he thinks of the Fed, and Friedman, barely able to contain his ideological fervor, quickly rattles off his version of the history of the Fed, blaming the Fed, at least by implication, for all the bad monetary and macroeconomic events that happened between 1914, when the Fed came into existence, and the1970s.

Here’s a rough summary of Friedman’s tirade:

I have long been in favor of abolishing [the Fed]. There is no institution in the United States that has such a high public standing and such a poor record of performance. . . . The Federal Reserve began operations in 1914 and presided over a doubling of prices during World War I. It produced a major collapse in 1921. It had a…

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The Law of Peoples by John Rawls — A Summary

Clueless Political Scientist

Rawls, John. 1993. “The Law of Peoples.” Critical Inquiry 20 (1). University of Chicago Press: 36–68.

  • This is the kind of paper that must be chewed and digested, not merely tasted and swallowed.
  • It is necessary that you have at least a cursory knowledge (although familiarity is recommended) of the author’s work on justice as fairness, especially the notion of the original position behind the veil of ignorance. For an interesting introductory discussion on the concept, check out Michael Sandel’s lectures from the course: “Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do?” The topic is introduced here and continued here.)
  • Sections under square brackets and cast in monotype font can, perhaps must, be skipped on first reading. End notes, on the other hand, must not be skipped.


The essay seeks to develop a “law of peoples” out of “liberal ideas of justice”.[1] By a…

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The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell (1937)

Books & Boots

Columbus sailed the Atlantic, the first steam engines tottered into motion, the British squares stood firm under the French guns at Waterloo, the one-eyed scoundrels of the nineteenth century praised God and filled their pockets; and this is where it all led – to labyrinthine slums and dark back kitchens with sickly, ageing people creeping round and round them like blackbeetles. (Chapter 1)

This was Orwell’s second book of social reportage. Like Down and Out in Paris and London it is in two parts, but in a different way. The first hundred pages comprise a detailed but selective account of his journey to the North of England to see the results of the Depression and mass unemployment for himself. The second half switches tone to become a long account of his own intellectual development towards a belief in Socialism.

By 1936 social reporting had become a respectable intellectual activity. J.B…

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When a Royal Commission Was the Answer to Section 44 Cloud Over MPs

Boilermaker Bill's Rum Hospital

In 1975, faced with an uncertain legal position, and mounting claims and counter-claims of breaches, the Government, acting on an Opposition proposal, made moves to establish a Royal Commission to audit MPs’ compliance with the Constitutional provisions governing disqualification from contesting elections and sitting in Parliament.

Had it proceeded, the Royal Commission would have effectively been tasked with auditing the pecuniary interests of Members of Parliament to enable references of doubtful matters to the Court of Disputed Returns. It would have been further tasked with inquiring into the “present day” appropriateness of all of the disqualifications in sections 44 and 45.

The Royal Commission was ultimately frustrated initially by the unwillingness of suitable judges to take part and then rendered unnecessary by the decision of the High Court in Re Webster in June 1975, which narrowly defined the scope of the ban on having a pecuniary interest in an agreement…

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Everybody Hates Chris – Everybody Hates Minimum Wage


Martha and The Vandellas – Nowhere To Run (Ready Steady Go – 1965)


Winnie the Pooh – Red Dwarf 


Cat Reacts to Horror Movie


Why Maps Are Often Wrong


Monty Python and The Holy Grail – Extended Scenes & Outtakes


Economics 101 – Labor – Murray N Rothbard


Capital, Interest, and Profit – Murray N Rothbard


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