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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Blog Roundup

1. At Tracking Zebra, Amesh Adalja reviews a medical thriller featuring a battle against drug-resistant bacteria:
phage.jpg
Image by Adenosine, via Wikipedia, license.
The events detailed in The Perfect Predator: A Scientist's Race to Save Her Husband From a Deadly Superbug center on [Thomas] Patterson's acquisition of a life-threatening multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter infection overseas and the Herculean efforts [Steffanie] Strathdee expends in order to save his life. The book exquisitely details the daily ups and down of Patterson's critical illness as he is continually swallowed in the throws of septic shock. Had this happened to anyone other than Patterson and Strathdee, that would be the end of the story but Strathdee excelled at finding a non-traditional cure for what would in 99 out of 100 instances a terminal infection.
Adalja is quick to point out that the manner in which Strathdee cured her husband's illness offers us hope against the menace of multidrug-resistant bacteria.

2. Democrat politicians are quick to use the phrase existential threat regarding climate change in hopes of obtaining a panicked acceptance of their anti-capitalist economic programs. But, at the Center for Industrial Progress, Alex Epstein cautions that the phrase applies instead to the Green New Deal:
The core idea of the Green New Deal, endorsed by virtually every Democratic Presidential candidate, is that the government should rapidly outlaw fossil fuel power and rapidly replace it with renewable power, mostly from solar and wind.

This would be the most radical change in the history of the American economy -- and, as many commentators have pointed out, would have disastrous consequences given a) the unreliability of solar and wind and b) the destructiveness of the government taking over any segment of the economy.
Epstein quotes several of these demagogues before noting that, were their claim true, we'd already have suffered ruinous consequences.

I recommend reading the whole thing.

3. At How to Be Profitable and Moral, Jaana Woicheshyn discusses a book the University of Calgary foisted on its students one year, No Impact Man:
To have no impact means to produce nothing -- which, by human standards, means death. Without production there is no consumption, the fact No Impact Man conveniently ignores. Beavan and his family can only survive because someone used energy and raw materials to build the apartment building in which they live, to produce their furniture and other household goods, their books, their clothing, and their food. [bold added]
It is almost a shame that this occurred in 2013: The ready example of Venezuela, which is rapidly becoming a "no impact nation," would have offered an excellent concretization of the implications of this foolishness.

4. At Thinking Directions, Jean Moroney discusses "How to Warm Up Your Mental Circuits on Demand:"
ometimes, you are starting from zero. There is nothing to read, or it doesn't do the job. Then, I simply brainstorm a list of 10 things I know about the topic. I say "brainstorm," because it's important to accept every idea that occurs to you, even if it seems lame or barely relevant.
This easy technique can help with a problem I had recently: Not feeling like doing something during the time slot scheduled for it. And it works because it reminds of one's knowledge of the topic as well as why it is of interest.

-- CAV

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