On the last Friday of each month I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
“One day historians will view ant-vaxxers the same way they viewed climate deniers and those who drowned women because they were witches.” —@DavidPrice
“When the virus is circulating in a vaccinated population, variants that are more rapidly transmitting are selected for — those are vaccine evading variants. By vaccinating without shutting down transmission we are promoting vaccine evading variants.” —@YaneerBarYam
“Maybe the problem is that we shouldn’t be looking to politicians for leadership. There’s nothing saying anyone we elect at virtually any position have any abilities to succeed in times of this. We need to develop a civic self-efficacy where we join together with those around us.” —@ClayForsberg
Each of the social sciences has its central concept, for example power in political science, culture in anthropology, and markets in economics. Considered together, in balance, they provide a range of perspectives on human behavior. Considered alone, each narrows our perspective, at the limit into a dogma. Should we see our behavior primarily through the lens of power, or of culture?
Identity is everything today. Your race, your sexuality and your gender are now considered the most important things about you. Judging others according to their identity, rather than their achievements, has become increasingly normalised. It was not long ago that people identified more strongly with their occupation, with their political tribes or with their nations – without having to give it much thought. Yet today, we are constantly fixated on and anxious about our identities. What has given rise to this identitarian age?
While the early days of the pandemic were spent frantically sanitising surfaces and constantly washing our hands, the scientific consensus eventually settled on the fact that Sars-CoV-2 was airborne, and the focus shifted to proper ventilation to reduce its spread.
But some scientists argue that we shouldn’t stop with those efforts when the threat of Covid-19 dissipates. Many have been clamouring for years that poor indoor air quality has been having massive detrimental effects on our health and productivity. And the pandemic may be the tide change. “It feels like The Great Awakening,” says Joseph Allen, director of the Healthy Buildings programme at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Finally, the world has woken up to the importance of healthy buildings.”