Saturday Linkages: Congrats Nithya Raman!

Is Naming Your Garden Pretentious?

Mesquite, crucial to Indigenous diets for centuries, works miracles with water and needs no fertilizer. Why don’t we grow more of it?

Partial fire season relief, at last: cold storm arrives in California Friday

I Don’t Like Flashy Wood – Go Figure

Two Gen Xers Walk Into A Retirement Home…

Bruno Latour: ‘This is a global catastrophe that has come from within’

Saturday Linkages: Murder Hornet Halloween

‘He couldn’t move’: New York City man falls into sinkhole full of rats

The West has failed – US and Europe have made a mess of handling the crisis

Column: U.S. individualism isn’t rugged, it’s toxic — and it’s killing us

It’s Time to Talk About Covid-19 and Surfaces Again

Yih and Kulldorff’s “Radical” Covid Strategy: A Recipe for Disaster

‘They give me the willies’: scientist who vacuumed murder hornets braces for fight

‘Zombie batteries’ causing hundreds of waste fires, experts warn

Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung,” in a Detroit Parking Garage

I close with a quote that seems appropriate both for Halloween and for the political crises we’re in. It’s from one of my favorite books, Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism: Is there no alternative? and builds off of Marx’s love of a snarky vampire metaphor:

The most Gothic description of Capital is also the most accurate. Capital is an abstract parasite, an insatiable vampire and zombie-maker; but the living flesh it converts into dead labor is ours, and the zombies it makes are us. There is a sense in which it simply is the case that the political elite are our servants; the miserable service they provide from us is to launder our libidos, to obligingly re-present for us our disavowed desires as if they had nothing to do with us.

Pumpkin Spice Pandemic

I owe the title of this post to Alissa Walker of the always informative LA Podcast. Alissa was stating what we all know: we’re heading into the fall with the prospect of cancelled holidays, disappointed grandparents and worse: evictions and unemployment. Rather than the usual roundup of links that I post on Saturday I thought I’d put up just a few, three serious and one a lark. They all need a brief introduction.

This first link is an interview with two Harvard epidemiologists Katherine Yih and Martin Kulldorf, “We Need a Radically Different Approach to the Pandemic and Our Economy as a Whole.” If you’d like to dig deeper in this particular pandemic hot take there’s another interview with Sunetra Gupta, a theoretical epidemiologist at Oxford University. Not being an epidemiologist I’m not in a good position to evaluate what these folks are saying but I they are worth listening to. It’s unfortunate that dialog about the pandemic in this country has devolved to the point where we all can’t seem to sit down and figure out what’s best. Or maybe it’s just as Hegel said, “The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.”

Another contrarian piece, also in the Jacobin, is a review of the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, “No, Social Media Isn’t Destroying Civilization.” I can 100% endorse this hot take. I intend to blog more about the media diet Kelly and I are on right now that’s informed by both the Netflix documentary and this review.

Not to leave you all in a heavy mood I thought I’d link to George Hahn’s pandemic lament “I Can’t With The Sweatpants.” Unfortunately, I can with the stained sweatpants. I promise to break this habit once the vaccine kick in.

Saturday Linkages: In a Jam

My shop uniform.

To unite the country, we need honesty and courage

Why the Internet Is Blowing Up About LA’s Most Infamous Jam Maker

There’s No I in Jam: Sqirl Wrestles With the Sticky Question of Who Really Owns a Recipe

The Billionaire Behind Efforts to Kill the U.S. Postal Service

Bear whisperer out of a job

Jet engine becomes unique camper

An alternative to Ipé

Museum of Material Failures