Another drive-by media studies thing. Efforts to regulate the media tend to focus on ownership (telco regulation people would say structural remedies) – should you be allowed to own a newspaper and a TV station? What about two TV stations? Can you vertically-integrate content production and distribution? Alternatively, they sometimes try functional things, like requiring…

Read More Andrew Neil should be broken up by the competition commission

Around the end of August I was despairing of political accountability on the grounds that the effectiveness of what is generally called spin, the practice of tactical political publicity, seemed to have improved significantly since about 2005. What really worried me about it is that if it’s a technology, it can be improved, and as…

Read More Cataloguing spin

So it looks like I’m not the only one thinking about Johnson and acracy: Johnson’s explanation for all these things is that he suffers from the classical vice of akrasia. He knows what the right thing to do is but acts against his better judgement through lack of self-control. He is, in Aristotle’s words, like…

Read More Acracy followup

Even more virus blogging. So, the SAGE 58 meeting on the 21st September supported going back into lockdown. Among much else it said this: An effective test, trace and isolate (TTI) system is important to reduce the incidence of infections in the community. Estimates of the effectiveness of this system on R are difficult to…

Read More Kibitzing SAGE

Things I’ve been reading. Here goes with the obvious. I re-read Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year, and now I’m reviewing it in my own journal of the plague year. Meta, huh? From the first time round I’d kept an impression of throbbing body-horror and robust Protestantism, and there are definitely both of…

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This quote from the New York Times coverage of Trump’s very own superspreading event leapt out at me: White House officials conceded on Tuesday that there had been an impression created that Mr. Trump was getting tested every day, and a reliance on testing as if it were a curative measure as opposed to a…

Read More Test as cure

The Guardian would like to tell you Germans have curious native customs that include opening their windows twice a day, and that even their leader Angela Merkel gives advice about this on television. Now, one of the basic things everyone should know by now about SARS-CoV2 is that it spreads primarily through aerosol transmission in…

Read More Serious