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HomeEconomics2:00PM Water Cooler 2/1/2022 | naked capitalism

2:00PM Water Cooler 2/1/2022 | naked capitalism

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

“Song sparrows shuffle and repeat to keep their audience listening” [Science Daily]. The Abstract: “Biologists have found an animal for the first time that communicates with the complexity of human language: song sparrows. According to a new study, male song sparrows memorize a 30-minute long playlist of their recently belted tunes and use that information to curate both their current playlist and the next one. The findings suggest that song sparrows deliberately shuffle and repeat their songs possibly to keep a female’s attention.”

“How Do Hummingbirds Survive Snow and Cold Weather?” [Birds and Blooms]. “How do these little birds survive? Again, they are much hardier than many believe. And they have the ability to go into a state of torpor. This is a type of deep sleep where an animal lowers its metabolic rate by as much as 95 percent. By doing so, a torpid hummingbird consumes up to 50 times less energy when torpid than when awake.”

Assuming I am not in a state of torpor, I wish I could stabilize my head like this:

* * *


“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” –Hunter Thompson

Capitol Seizure

“Trump Had Role in Weighing Proposals to Seize Voting Machines” [New York Times]. “Role” in “weighing proposals.” And the deck: “New accounts show that the former president was more directly involved than previously known in plans developed by outside advisers to use national security agencies to seek evidence of fraud.” “More directly involved than previously known.” I had to read to paragraph seven to get to the sourcing: “The people familiar with the matter were briefed on the events by participants or had firsthand knowledge of them.” • Well, fine. At least we don’t have anonymous intelligence officials in the lead. I know I have priors on this, but the Times isn’t helping me overcome them…

Biden Adminstration

“All-out effort to keep Biden COVID-free; no ‘normal’ yet” [Associated Press (antidlc)]. “When President Joe Biden met with U.S. governors at the White House on Monday, he was the only one given a glass of water — lest anyone else remove their mask to take a drink. The president was seated more than 10 feet from everyone, including Vice President Kamala Harris and members of his Cabinet. A White House staffer who was wearing a surgical mask when Biden entered the room was quickly handed an N95 version. These are just some of the extraordinary efforts on the part of the White House to keep the president from getting COVID-19, even though he’s gotten both of his regular vaccinations and his booster.” • “Live your life” for thee, but not for me. Odd.

“The One Ukraine Option That the Public Won’t Abide” [The Atlantic]. “All options are on the table”: “Those six words are diplomatic code for war, whether by military strikes or the deployment of ground forces. But they have yet to escape President Joe Biden’s lips…. Putin’s potential invasion of Ukraine has instead exposed a rare point of consensus between Democrats and Republicans: The U.S. isn’t going to war to stop him. ‘There are some things we have to be clear about, and one of them is that the American people, frankly, will not support sending hundreds of thousands of Americans to Ukraine,’ Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, a Democratic member of the Foreign Relations Committee who visited Ukraine earlier this month, told me.” • Musical interlude [NSFW]…

“White House frustrations grow over health chief Becerra’s handling of pandemic” [WaPo]. “[Some officials and outside experts] also said the health secretary isn’t fulfilling a core responsibility of his job, which is to act as a de facto field marshal coordinating the nation’s vast health bureaucracy to achieve the White House’s strategy, even though he does not set it. For instance, they cited officials’ airing of differences over booster shots and covid-19 isolation guidance as confusing and unnecessary. They said the tension between Becerra and the White House has complicated the pandemic response at a time when Americans are already exhausted and struggling to make sense of ever-changing guidelines.” • Come on. A field marshall? A de facto field marshall? With medals and everything? The quadriga of Klain, Zeints, Fauci, and Walensky is and has been in charge, with Biden wandering in and out every so often. It looks like the West Wing has moved to every big project’s phase five: “Punishment of the innocent.”

“Opinion: Biden’s approach to the presidency was flawed from the start” [Perry Bacon, WaPo]. “On the coronavirus, Team Biden has made blunder after blunder on its own. And it’s not just that they couldn’t provide clear guidance on isolating or mask-wearing or make sure Americans could easily get coronavirus tests. It’s also the condescending dismissal of criticism of their performance.” Besides not having a theory of tranmission and to this very day erasing ventilation from their messaging. More: “The deeper problem, however, isn’t just that Biden can’t deliver on unity and competence, ending gridlock or fixing the economy — it’s that he promoted those as the main criteria to judge his performance. And what connects unity, competence, the economy and a lack of gridlock is that they are ways to avoid conflicts. Biden appeared to think that the deep partisan, cultural, racial and ideological fissures that existed in America before Jan. 20, 2021, could either be reduced or sidestepped by a president like him (White, male, moderate, experienced, calm).”

“‘This is not gonna be amateur hour’: After considering six Supremes as senator, Biden finally gets to pick one as president” [Yahoo News]. Good to know: “Since becoming president, Biden has moved to diversify the federal bench. He has nominated eight Black women to the appellate bench, from which Supreme Court nominees are commonly selected. At his side is White House chief of staff Ron Klain, who worked with Biden as an attorney for the Judiciary Committee before overseeing judicial appointments for President Clinton. Many aides from Biden’s earlier posts in politics are either in the West Wing or close by.”

“New legislation supported by Joe Biden proposes startup visas to attract talent” [Business Today]. “The ambitious America COMPETES Act of 2022, which was introduced in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday, proposes to open up new vistas for talented individuals from across the world with a new startup visa. President Joe Biden, who supports the legislation, said the America Competes Act, 2022 is an important step forward in advancing legislation that will make the supply chains stronger and reinvigorate the innovation engine of the country’s economy to outcompete China and the rest of the world for decades to come. The Act, among other things, amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to create a new classification of ‘W’ non-immigrants for entrepreneurs with an ownership interest in a startup entity, essential employees of a startup entity and also their spouses and children. According to the provisions of the bill released by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the bill when signed into law directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish procedures for foreign nationals with an ownership interest in a startup entity to self-petition for lawful permanent resident status as an immigrant entrepreneur if the entity demonstrates a proven track record of success through job creation and significant revenue generation or receipt of investment capital.”

Democrats en Déshabillé

I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:

The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.

Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.

* * *

The party of betrayal (1):

More from the Daily Poster.

The party of betrayal (2):

The party of betrayal (3):

We’ll get back to you on that one.

“Democrats Decried Dark Money. Then They Won With It in 2020.” [New York Times]. “Spurred by opposition to then-President Trump, donors and operatives allied with the Democratic Party embraced dark money with fresh zeal, pulling even with and, by some measures, surpassing Republicans in 2020 spending, according to a New York Times analysis of tax filings and other data. The analysis shows that 15 of the most politically active nonprofit organizations that generally align with the Democratic Party spent more than $1.5 billion in 2020 — compared to roughly $900 million spent by a comparable sample of 15 of the most politically active groups aligned with the G.O.P. The findings reveal the growth and ascendancy of a shadow political infrastructure that is reshaping American politics, as megadonors to these nonprofits take advantage of loose disclosure laws to make multimillion-dollar outlays in total secrecy. Some good-government activists worry that the exploding role of undisclosed cash threatens to accelerate the erosion of trust in the country’s political system.” • No kidding. (It’s a mistake, IMNSHO, to treat the donors is if they are not a component of the Democrat Party (see above).

“DNC chair Jaime Harrison has considered early exit amid White House tensions” [NBC]. ” Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison is frustrated, isolated and trapped in a job he long thought he wanted, according to party insiders, a dynamic driven by escalating tensions with the White House over his role. Key decisions for the committee are made by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillon, who speaks frequently with other DNC officials but only about three times a month by Zoom with Harrison. The limits of his influence are a source of agitation for Harrison, according to several people who have spoken to him. At the same time, he’s not flying to meet with donors or visiting DNC headquarters. Instead, since he first took the post a year ago, Harrison has mostly stayed in his home state of South Carolina, according to people familiar with his schedule, as well as people who frequently see him around town. That has been a major point of consternation for the White House.”


* * *

“Still A Lot Of Hospitalizations” [Eschaton]. Clap louder:

Whatever one thinks the reponse should be, “pretending it doesn’t exist and yelling at people to clap louder and go back to the face licking parties” doesn’t change the fact that this is an ongoing crisis.

Aside from the fantasy “Covid just disappears” scenario, which is possible, the “new normal” is significantly increased disruption and the elite plan to deal with this is to pretend it isn’t there.

People respond to this kind of statement as if one is demanding lockdowns and, no, I’m demanding a recognition that the “new normal” is likely to be significantly more difficult than the old normal, and that this burden falls on the people least able to deal with it practically or financially, and their concerns are not the ones the mirror those of highly paid Hot Take generators.

The concerns of those Hot Take generators primarily being, “the people who serve me should continue to do it happily for no additional compensation and shut the fuck up about it.” From an electoral perspective, which isn’t the only one of course, whatever precise reasons people give to pollster questions which are themselves shaped by the elite consensus, “generally being anxious and unhappy” leads to incumbents being chucked out!

Consumer confidence could be a proxy for “generally being anxious and unhappy”:

“McConnell wants a policy-free midterm campaign. Others in the GOP are less sure.” [NBC]. “inside the Republican Party, key leaders are split on whether to roll out any sort of governing agenda ahead of the midterm elections in November. With President Joe Biden’s approval rating tumbling, one GOP faction, headed by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, is betting that skewering the Democrats is all that’s needed to wrest control of the Senate. Another, led by House GOP chief Kevin McCarthy, is drawing up positions meant to persuade Americans that voting Republican might improve their lives. Beneath the dueling approach to the midterms lies a more basic question about the party’s direction. Donald Trump first ran for office promising a sharp break from party orthodoxy. He questioned the merits of free trade and called for withdrawing U.S. forces from prolonged Middle East wars. As his presidency wound down, the party devolved into more of a vehicle for Trump to air grievances and punish foes. A candidate eager for Trump’s endorsement in the GOP primaries now stands a better chance by showing fealty to him rather than committing to a set of principles.”

Fetterman (1):

Fetterman (2):

Realignment and Legitimacy

“A Good Day w/Special Guest Matt Stoller” (podcast) [West Wing Thing]. • A comprehensive ramble throught current politics from liberal Democrats and leftward, including among other topics r/antiwork. Stoller: “It definitely feels like it all has to collapse.” Goes for everything, the hosts agree. Well worth a listen.

“The Marxist Who Antagonizes Liberals and the Left” [Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The New Yorker]. On Reed’s forthcoming book, The South: “In this slim book, one line in particular read to me like a manifesto: “A danger,” Reed writes, “is that, when reckoning with the past becomes too much like allegory, its nuances and contingencies can disappear. Then history can become either a narrative of inevitable progressive unfolding to the present or, worse, a tendentious assertion that nothing has ever changed.” I asked Reed what he had in mind. He said, “This won’t come as a surprise but one thing that was on my mind was the 1619 Project. I mean that ‘nothing has changed’ line is one I have found bemusing and exasperating.” That project, he went on, wiped away any historical specificity, so that racism operated as an unchanging force. “And so you get to say that the murder of Trayvon Martin or of George Floyd is the same as Emmett Till or of the slave patrols.” Reed told me, “I don’t like the frame of the declining significance of race narrative—I didn’t like it in the nineteen-seventies and I don’t like it now, right? But racism is less and less capable of explaining manifest inequalities between Blacks and whites.” Liberals, he said, wanted it both ways. “It’s a common refrain: ‘I know race is a social construction, but—’ ” Reed said. “Well, there’s no ‘but.’ It’s either a unicorn or it’s not a fucking unicorn.’” • Reasonably fair-minded, especially given the venue.

“Tribalism Is Human Nature” (PDF) [Association of Psychological Science]. The Abstract: “Humans evolved in the context of intense intergroup competition, and groups comprised of loyal members more often succeeded than groups comprised of nonloyal members. Therefore, selective pressures have sculpted human minds to be tribal, and group loyalty and concomitant cognitive biases likely exist in all groups. Modern politics is one of the most salient forms of modern coalitional conflict and elicits substantial cognitive biases. The common evolutionary history of liberals and conservatives gives little reason to expect protribe biases to be higher on one side of the political spectrum than the other. This evolutionarily plausible null hypothesis has been supported by recent research. In a recent meta-analysis, liberals and conservatives showed similar levels of partisan bias, and several protribe cognitive tendencies often ascribed to conservatives (e.g., intolerance toward dissimilar other people) were found in similar degrees in liberals. We conclude that tribal bias is a natural and nearly ineradicable feature of human cognition and that no group—not even one’s own—is immune.” • From 2019. What do readers think?

“Pennsylvania court strikes down state’s mail voting law as unconstitutional” [The Hill]. “A Pennsylvania court on Friday ruled the state’s mail-in voting law is unconstitutional, with the case likely heading to the state’s Supreme Court. The 2019 law allows any voter to vote by mail without providing a reason and contains a number of other provisions aimed at making it easier to cast a ballot. Republicans are arguing it violates an amendment to the state constitution. Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt agreed with that argument, writing the law violates the 1838 amendment that says a person must vote in-person on Election Day unless they meet certain criteria. She wrote the law can only be changed through another constitutional amendment. ‘No-excuse mail-in voting makes the exercise of the franchise more convenient and has been used four times in the history of Pennsylvania,’ Leavitt wrote. ‘If presented to the people, a constitutional amendment to end the Article VII, Section 1 requirement of in-person voting is likely to be adopted. But a constitutional amendment must be presented to the people and adopted into our fundamental law before legislation authorizing no-excuse mail-in voting can ‘be placed upon our statute books’,’ she added.”

“Trump’s Republicans aren’t the only ones questioning election legitimacy” [MSNBC (!)]. “To their credit, Democrats have integrated their hostility toward the rhetorical delegitimization of elections into their political identity. At least, they oppose it when Republicans are doing the delegitimizing. And yet, Democrats don’t seem to be above embracing unfounded attacks on the electoral process when it advances their interests. That’s exactly what President Joe Biden did during a news conference on Wednesday, and he seems to be dragging his party with him. ‘Speaking of voting rights legislation,’ one reporter asked the president, ‘If this isn’t passed, do you still believe the upcoming election will be fairly conducted and its results will be legitimate?’ Biden responded by noting that ‘it all depends’ on whether his administration can ‘make the case to the American people’ that the voting rights bill should become law. Biden’s contention that this year’s midterms would only be conditionally valid prompted reporters to follow up on this claim, whereupon Biden made everything worse. ‘You said that it depends,’ another reporter remarked. ‘Do you think that they would in any way be illegitimate?’ Biden doubled down. ‘I’m not going to say it’s going to be legit,’ he declared. ‘The increase and the prospect of being illegitimate is in direct proportion to us not being able to get these reforms passed.’ There was no ambiguity in the president’s remarks.”


Case count by United States regions:

Peak behavior; the fiddling and diddling phase was virtually instant and now seems to be over. It looks like “rise like a rocket, and fall like a stick” applies; the slope of the downward curve is more or less the same as the upward curve. (Previous peaks — how small the early ones look now — have been roughly symmetrical on either side. But the scale of this peak, and the penetration into the population, is unprecedented.) I wonder if there will be plateau when B.2 takes hold. Since the Northeast has form, that is probably the region to watch for this behavior first.

The official narrative was “Covid is behind us,” and that the pandemic will be “over by January” (Gottlieb), and “I know some people seem to not want to give up on the wonderful pandemic, but you know what? It’s over” (Bill Maher) was completely exploded. What a surprise!

MWRA (Boston-area) wastewater detection:

Continues encouraging. No jump from the return of the students yet, which is even more encouraging.

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) service area includes 43 municipalities in and around Boston, including not only multiple school systems but several large universities. Since Boston is so very education-heavy, then, I think it could be a good leading indicator for Covid spread in schools generally.

From CDC Community Profile Reports (PDFs), “Rapid Riser” counties:

Still improving, especially in California. Minnesota is very stubborn. Why? (Remember that these are rapid riser counties. A county that moves from red to green is not covid-free; the case count just isnt, well, rising rapidly.)

The previous release:

Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):

Now no orange states. Very encouraging (reinforcing the MWRA data and case data). (Note trend, whether up or down, is marked by the arrow, at top. Admissions are presented in the graph, at the bottom. So it’s possible to have an upward trend, but from a very low baseline.)

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 907,190 902,196. As we know, deaths are a lagging indicator. I assume the absurdity of the “Omicron is mild” talking point is, at this point, self-evident. If you know somebody who’s in “lead my life” mode, you might consider telling them their odds of dying from Covid are tied for second worst with the first wave in New York.

Covid cases in top us travel destinations (Statista):


Good news here too. For the time being.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “United States Job Quits”[Trading Economics]. “The number of quits in the United States edged down to 4.3 million in December of 2021, following a series high of 4.5 million in November. The quits rate dropped to 2.9 percent from 3 percent in the prior month. Quits decreased in health care and social assistance (-89,000), accommodation and food services (-64,000), and construction (-44,000). Quits increased in nondurable goods manufacturing (+19,000). The number of quits decreased in the South region.”

Manufacturing: “United States Manufacturing PMI” [Trading Economics]. “The IHS Markit US Manufacturing PMI was revised higher to 55.5 in January of 2022 from a preliminary of 55, but continued to point to the weakest rise in factory activity since October of 2020, as output growth was muted. Demand conditions also softened further, with new orders rising at the slowest pace since September 2020. Muted client demand was reflected in only a fractional increase in employment. The softer rise in new orders allowed firms to partially work through backlogs of work, which expanded at the slowest pace for 11 months.’

Manufacturing: “United States ISM Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)” [Trading Economics]. “The ISM Manufacturing PMI for the US fell for a second straight month to 57.6 in January of 2022 from 58.8 in December, compared to market forecasts of 57.5. The reading pointed to the weakest growth in factory activity since September of 2020.”

* * *

The Bezzle: “Tesla to recall nearly 54,000 vehicles that may disobey stop signs” [CNBC]. “Tesla will recall 53,822 U.S. vehicles with the company’s Full Self-Driving (Beta) software that may allow some models to conduct ‘rolling stops’ and not come to a complete stop at some intersections posing a safety risk…. Last week, Tesla said the number of FSD beta vehicles in the United States increased to nearly 60,000 from a few thousand at the end of September. , but the carmaker and the regulator have said the features do not make the cars autonomous.” • On public roads? Oh.

The Bezzle: “NFT Minecraft Project Sells $1.2 Million In Tokens, Deletes Everything A Few Days Later” [Kotaku]. “Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: An NFT project sells a ton of tokens, making a shit ton of cash in the process for a thing that probably will exist in the future. Then the project and folks involved disappear with the money, leaving those who bought into it screwed. Well, it’s reportedly happened again, this time with Blockverse, an NFT project connected (unofficially) to Minecraft.”

Tech: “Sequoia, Insight Back Startup Building Web Browser for Business” [Bloomberg]. “A startup building a secure web browser for businesses is coming out of stealth mode after raising about $100 million across two funding rounds from investors including Sequoia Capital and Insight Partners. Led by Mike Fey, previously president at Symantec and general manager of McAfee, Dallas, Texas-based Island was most recently valued at roughly $500 million before it began generating sales, according to people familiar with the matter, who didn’t want to be identified because the figure isn’t public. Island says this includes tools such as secure copy-and-paste, and ways to redact text. Island began product development about two years ago and has about 100 employees between its Dallas headquarters and research and development center in Tel Aviv.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 37 Fear (previous close: 38 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 37 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Feb 1 at 1:16pm.

Rapture Index: Closes down one Earthquakes. “The lack of activity has downgraded this category” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 185. (Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing, so higher is better.)

Zeitgeist Watch


Bensalem, PA; maybe I should have filed this with Fetterman?


“The New York Times is buying Wordle, the game that exploded in popularity this month” [CNBC]. “The New York Times is acquiring Wordle, an online game that shot up to popularity seemingly overnight. The move highlights the importance of the company’s Games unit, which hosts things like crosswords and Spelling Bee, as a way to attract new subscribers…. The game became a cultural phenomenon earlier this month, with people sharing their scores in the form of emojis. Only 90 people played the game on Nov. 1, according to the Times. About 300,000 people were playing as of mid-January. The number is now in the millions.”

The 420

“Over-supply of cannabis”:

“9th Circuit won’t address dying patients’ plea to use magic mushrooms” [Reuters]. “A federal appeals court on Monday ducked a case brought by a hospice doctor and two cancer patients who want the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to allow them to use psilocybin, a federally classed Schedule I drug and the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms, to treat anxiety and depression in terminally ill patients. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it lacked jurisdiction to decide the case brought by Dr. Sunil Aggarwal of the Seattle-based Advanced Integrative Medical Science Institute (AIMS) and two of his patients, Erinn Baldeschwiler and Michal Bloom. The procedural stalemate is a de facto win for the DEA in a test case on the interaction of the federal Controlled Substances Act, which bans possession and therapeutic use of psilocybin, and federal and state right-to-try laws, which are designed to ease access to investigational new drugs for dying patients.”

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“BLM’s millions unaccounted for after leaders quietly jumped ship” [Washington Examiner]. “No one appears to have been in charge at Black Lives Matter for months. The address it lists on tax forms is wrong, and the charity’s two board members won’t say who controls its $60 million bankroll, a Washington Examiner investigation has found. BLM’s shocking lack of transparency surrounding its finances and operations raises major legal and ethical red flags, multiple charity experts told the Washington Examiner.” • The Washington Examiner is on the right, but not the cray cray right…

Guillotine Watch

This thread gets more and more wild as it goes along:

Sleeping Beauty Castle is not a defensible position.

Class Warfare

“ThedaCare drops lawsuit against Ascension over hiring of former employees, which had gained national spotlight” [Post-Crescent]. “ThedaCare is dropping its lawsuit against Ascension Wisconsin over a group of former employees that they previously argued Ascension had improperly recruited to work at its Appleton hospital. ThedaCare president and CEO Dr. Imran Andrabi told The Post-Crescent Friday that his health system needs to focus its efforts on finding people to fill the positions that were vacated, not on pursuing legal action. Lawyers for ThedaCare filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of the case Friday with the Outagamie County clerk of courts…. Andrabi said Friday that the national attention on the lawsuit had surprised him. He said he understood the impact on the employees who were caught in the dispute but said he felt ThedaCare’s reasoning for pursuing legal action — preserving around-the-clock stroke and trauma care in the region, their lawyers argued — had been lost in social media discussions of it. ‘What we were looking for is just some help to orderly transition a large number of people … from one health system to another,’ Andrabi said. ‘It just created a huge gap, and we wanted some help in the interim to figure out how to bridge that gap for the community.’” • Commentary:

More tight coupling….

News of the Wired


* * *

Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (EJ):

EJ writes: “This plant appeared in a Chicago backyard in my neighborhood last year in July. I took the pictures about two weeks apart. This past summer the plant was gone. Do you have any idea what it is? I never see these neighbors to ask questions.” Readers?

* * *

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