Butterfield Epidemiology

We all knew this was going to happen. At the very beginning of our vast national social-distancing experiment, we said that we would know it was working if it all seemed like an overreaction. This is the great paradox of any preventive measure. If it works, it prevents the danger that makes it necessary—which, in […]

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Time for the “Shoe-Leather Epidemiologists”

Social distancing has worked—so far. We are past the peak in deaths from COVID-19, both nationally and in most states, though we’ve still got a few weeks before we go down the other side of the curve. It’s natural for people to be restless and to be eager for re-opening. But the question isn’t “Should […]

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Things of Beauty

I promised you a few art recommendations to get you through the last week or so of our national quarantine, and into the difficult economic times that will follow. Here is one from Sherri, re-starting a regular feature she used to do for this newsletter, then one from me below.—RWT Things of Beauty Excerpt from […]

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Armchair Epidemiologists Versus Shoe-Leather Epidemiologists

Coronavirus Roundup April 25, 2020 Editor’s Note: Check out a videoconference I did earlier this week with the Ayn Rand Centre UK on Atlas Shrugged and the coronavirus. You will also see my new coronavirus-era hair style. I am told that if I tell you it makes me look like Bruce Willis, you will be […]

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The Esthetics of the Coronavirus Pandemic

I recently completed a long piece looking at the coronavirus pandemic from a philosophical perspective, starting with metaphysics and going through epistemology, ethics, and politics. That leaves us with one more major branch of philosophy: esthetics. So what are the esthetics of the coronavirus pandemic? First, we have to define what that question means. Are […]

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The Philosophy of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Published April 7 through April 16. Part 1: The Metaphysics of Abnormal Life Part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic, like the response to everything else, has been to draft it as another player in our normal, everyday political battles. So we’ve seen the claim that “there are no libertarians in a pandemic,” the […]

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Salon of the Refused, Episode 18

Episode 18 of my podcast series, Salon of the Refused, is now available. I talk again with Amesh Adalja, Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, following up after nearly a month of the coronavirus lockdown. The conversation includes: whether social distancing is working, whether the experts were lying about masks, the […]

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The Theory and the Practice

Five Things You Need to Read Today 1. “The Social Distancing Culture War” Part of the reason people are having a hard time adjusting to the coronavirus crisis is that it has been so long since we’ve had to deal with a real pandemic in this country. Quarantines and the shutting down of public spaces […]

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WTF Happened to The Federalist?

Coronavirus Truthers are now a thing, and I regret to inform you that a publication I used to work for has taken the lead in spinning crazy Infowars-style conspiracy theories about how the virus is all being hyped up by the Deep State. Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist, recently took to Twitter to explain […]

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Are We All Paul Krugman Now?

Cast your mind back to the heady days of the giant Obama-era “stimulus package” following the financial crisis of 2008. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman—the great advocate of ultra-Keynesian big-government spending—assured us that the only problem with the nearly trillion dollars of pork-barrel spending was that it wasn’t big enough. What we really needed […]

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