Thursday 23 April, 2020


At a time when the entire country would love to throw off the shackles of self-isolation and quarantine I thought this might lift spirits. It’s from a series of photographs I took of kite-surfers on Brancaster beach in North Norfolk last year.

Click on the image for a bigger version.

Who’s behind all those “reopen” sites in the US?

Cory Doctorow runs Pluralistic, a clever site which is also available as a daily email newsletter. I’m finding it a great source of news and information which mainstream outlets seem to miss. Today he pointed to a remarkable piece of detective work by Brian Krebs, who runs one of the best security websites on the Internet. As Trump-fuelled demonstrations against the lockdown started to appear in (mostly) Democrat-governed states, he noticed a spike in new websites supporting these demonstrations. So he started to investigate who was behind this surge in new domains. Answer: (in Cory’s words) “Koch Network, grifters, GOP orgs and musketfuckers.” Some of the sites were basically fronts for selling libertarian tee-shirts. But it’s an interesting example of how how gun-fanatics and alt-right activists will exploit any opening for both political and financial gain.

Also illustrates how the US is morphing into a failing state.

A rhyme for our time

A friend who has a lovely wry sense of humour sent me this.

She described it in her email as “a piece of doggerel that I wrote to cheer myself up”. Well, it certainly cheered me up. But doggerel it certainly isn’t.

Contact-tracing apps. Our looming Faustian bargain

If you’re worried about proximity-sensing apps then this podcast episode with David Aaronovitch and Danny Fortson provides a very accessible explanation of the technology and why we might plausibly accept a Faustian bargain between privacy and escape from lockdown.

Thanks to Seb Schmoller for the pointer.

Quarantine diary — Day 33


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