Distance learning is a crock, and teachers are really, really important.
Close confinement of animals meant for food (not only in wet markets like the one in Wuhan but in factory farms, from which most meat comes now) breeds viruses and bacteria that cause disease, and in the latter case, giving over 50 percent of the total amount of antibiotics we produce to those farmed animals creates antibiotic resistance in humans who eat that meat and forces the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria).
We must have in place rapid-response systems for pandemics, including stockpiles of PPE and ventilators; mobile field hospitals that can be set up at a moment’s notice; a national, online portal for pandemic related information and for disease reporting and contact tracing; and emergency plans for commandeering of industrial capacity, expanding paraprofessional medical personnel; quarantining affected areas; and dealing with economic impacts on quarantined sub-populations.
The science matters. About pandemics. About climate change. About the ongoing Sixth Great Extinction, this one caused by humans.
We can’t afford to have leaders who are profoundly stupid and profoundly ignorant of almost everything–ones who think that stealth planes are actually invisible to the eye, that climate change is “just weather,” that coal becomes clean and healthy if it is “washed,” that windmills cause cancer, that a few poor refugees are an existential threat to America, that the tariffs we place on a country’s goods imported into the U.S. are paid by that country, that there were airports during the Revolutionary War, that Belgium is a city, that Denmark might be interested in selling Greenland to us, that we ought to nuke hurricanes, that antibiotics can be used to treat viral disease, and that injecting disinfectant might be a great idea for a new medical treatment.
The enormous and ever-increasing economic inequities in the U.S. have to be corrected, including lack of a national, single-payer, universal healthcare system, which has made the pandemic devastating for lower-middle-class and poor people in this country. We desperately need to transition to a Social Democratic system that serves the interests of all the people, not of a wealthy few.
interests: curriculum design, educational technology, learning, linguistics, hermeneutics, rhetoric, philosophy (Continental philosophy, Existentialism, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, ethics), classical and jazz guitar, poetry, the short story, archaeology and cultural anthropology, history of religion, prehistory, veganism, sustainability, Anglo-Saxon literature and language, systems for emergent quality control, heuristics for innovation