Don’t stand so close to me

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Young students, so social,They crave friends like a drug.Not TikTok. Not Insta.They have to chat and hug. Their longing for friendshipOutlasts their parents’ rage.They gather, so close now,Like actors on a stage. Don’t stand so. Don’t stand so.Don’t stand so close to me.Don’t stand so. Don’t stand so.Don’t stand so close to me. The Boomers. … Continued

The slow crisis is America’s weak spot

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America is terrific at dealing with short-term disasters. But our attention span isn’t attuned to the crisis that takes time to develop and sticks around for a while. I worry that COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, is the kind of slow crisis that we tend to bungle. A hurricane. An epic blizzard. A mass shooting. … Continued

When it comes to screenshots of tweets, don’t be a credulous idiot

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The Dow dropped 1,000 points yesterday, crashed by fears about the Coronavirus. And two screenshots of past Trump tweets spread like wildfire. This is a situation where the urge to share led many astray — and it’s pernicious, regardless of what side of the political divide you land on. Here are the two screenshots that … Continued

John Henry’s disingenuous justification for trading Red Sox star Mookie Betts

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The Red Sox traded beloved outfielder Mookie Betts, one of the best players in baseball, along with pitcher David Price, to the LA Dodgers. They saved a boatload of money, in exchange for some younger but much less talented players. Fans are devastated. Team owner John Henry’s explanation is touching, in its way, but he … Continued

About that Iowa caucus . . .

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You: Can you believe what happened in Iowa? Me: A bunch of people voted in the Democratic caucus. That’s what was supposed to happen. You: No. I mean that epic screwup with the app so we still don’t know who won. Me: Doesn’t matter. You: Doesn’t matter? Be serious. This is a total disaster. Me: … Continued

Truth, science, and herd immunity

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In epidemiology, “herd immunity” is the essential concept that prevents the spread of deadly viruses. Now that disinformation and fake news are viral, we need to start thinking about herd immunity for the health of the nation’s perception of reality. When it comes to actual viruses, here’s how herd immunity (also known as community immunity) … Continued

Cheering for laundry and other reflections on loyalty

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Our team loyalties are unshakable. That’s what makes events like the Super Bowl enjoyable — we know who love, and we know who we hate. But loyalty ought to have limits. As Jerry Seinfeld memorably explained, we’re just rooting for laundry. The players change, the teams move, but we know who we like. Why are … Continued

Inside the New York Times Editorial Board presidential endorsement

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What follows is a transcript of a secret recording of the meeting last week of the New York Times Editorial Board as it discussed who it will endorse for President in 2020. Moderator: Okay, everyone, settle down. We have a momentous responsibility today. As you know, all the best people who are deciding who to … Continued