My weekly collection of the provocative, intriguing, or curious, in a world where the house is falling down. The contextual, the cultural, and other things that catch my eye.
The previous week’s edition was prepared but didn’t publish, until the weekend. I’ve held this back for a couple of days to even the service. Here’s more selected readings from the pandemic, plus one or two others.
Jill Lepore on the literature and meaning of pandemics. She seems to have read everything.
The pandemic is also a crisis of care. The Care Collective imagines a world where care, as social practice, is at the centre of life
Understanding the economics of the crisis. “The job is maintaining the economy on life support during a period of an artificially induced coma while we address the public health challenge.” Vox talks to economic historian Adam Tooze.
COVID-19 obituaries. There will be more to come. The great African saxophone player Manu Dibango, in Paris, remembered by producer Mark Ronson. The venerated architecture critic Michael Sorkin, in New York. Here’s Sorkin’s inspirational list of ‘250 things an architect should know’.
Just in case you didn’t have enough to worry about, #1. Britain is facing a long-term food crisis. Tim Lang is interviewed about his new book. A lot of it is bleak.
Just in case you didn’t have enough to worry about, #2. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has moved the Doomsday Clock 20 seconds closer to midnight. The Talking Politics podcast talks to the Bulletin’s President, Rachel Bronson. (39 minutes)
Finally: Pandemics find their way into the best and worst of cultures. Here’s one of the best: Irish broadcaster RTE closes its news bulletin with a poem.
“The whole world’s at sixes and sevens, and why the house hasn’t fallen down about our ears long ago is a miracle to me.” (Thornton Wilder)