Link blog: covid19, uk, politics, influenza

Here’s What The UK Government Was Told By Scientists, Said In Public, And Did On The Big Coronavirus Issues
“Much of the evidence to the government has been made public, and it means we have a level of insight into where the government’s words and decisions, and the advice from the experts, come together — and diverge.These timelines explore five of the biggest issues: mass events, social distancing, school closures, isolation, and testing.”

Via the ever-interesting @TomChivers
(tags: pandemic uk sage government covid19 science)

The problem with our response to Covid-19 wasn’t that we didn’t have a plan – it was the opposite
“People make plans, but plans exert power over people. Covid-19 is not a flu virus but something new for which we don’t yet have effective medications, and it is more infectious than Sars and Mers, the other two coronaviruses to have emerged since the turn of the century. Faced with the novel problem of an untreatable, highly transmissible virus, the government’s current advisers seem to have found it hard to break with the plan they had – now unfit for purpose – and think anew.”
(tags: covid19 uk politics influenza flu)
Fatal exceptionalism and lack of humility to learn from the Asian example
“Covid-19, or how the West was undone by its assertion of civilizational difference bordering on provincial narcissism”
(tags: covid19 korea china politics epidemic)

Link blog: politics, election, whig, britain

Whig Party | Britain’s original progressive political party is back
Crikey. It’s like a Neal Stephenson novel: “The Whigs are returning to British politics. We are going into the 2015 General Election to provide a fresh choice to the British people, and to show that everyone can get involved in politics. Our campaign will be positive and optimistic, both online and in the streets. The Whigs are back. Come and join the party.”
(tags: whig politics election history uk general-election)
David Hume and the sensible knave | Ask a Philosopher
Is there a response to Hume’s “sensible knave”, who does evil only when he can be reasonably sure of not getting found out?
(tags: david-hume hume morality knave philosophy glaucon)
Why I Don’t Read The News Anymore | Thing of Things
I don’t, either, for roughly the same reasons.
(tags: news ozymandias psychology availability politics)
A fixed-term hung Parliament? | British Government and the Constitution
Prof Adam Tomkins explains the Fixed Term Parliaments Act. Points out that, while a defeat which is not a motion of no confidence does not allow an early election, nothing compels a Prime Minister to stay in office: Labour could hold the threat of Milliband’s resignation (and the Tories being invited to form a government) over the SNP in order to pass a budget, for example.
(tags: constitution government politics election confidence)
The British press has lost it – POLITICO
Even the broadsheets don’t bother to hide the fact that they’re rooting for the Tories because their oligarch owners told them to (except the Graun, of course). No one in my liberal bubble actually reads print newspapers, they just share links to the Graun’s “Comment is Dumb” section on Facebook. Still, I might not be typical, so it’s all a bit worrying.
(tags: press newspapers journalism politics britain election)

Link blog: robin-thicke, nsa, miley-cyrus, gchq

NSA files decoded: Edward Snowden’s surveillance revelations explained | World news | theguardian.com
The Guardian’s summary of the story so far. Nicely presented.
(tags: politics snowden nsa surveillance encryption guardian privacy edward-snowden government gchq)
Attenborrowed
David Attenborough’s commentary on the mating habits of pop stars on MTV. “Spectacular wattles”. Via jwz.
(tags: mtv twerking nature miley-cyrus funny documentary robin-thicke david-attenborough)
The Right Match: A Short Documentary – YouTube
“Drs. Dorry Segev and Sommer Gentry are innovative researchers who connect the complexities of mathematics with the intricacies of organ transplantation.” They came up with using graph theory and integer programming to match up reciprocal kidney donors (that is, where someone wants to donate to their family member but they aren’t compatible, so they swap with another incompatible pair). These guys are also swing dancers, so this came via /r/SwingDancing.
(tags: transplant graph lindyhop swing medicine kidney mathematics science)