Curious what the largest grain of salt sold at the Wuhan market is, so I can take it with Daszak's tweet. We know frozen anything is not a vector for covid, the paper itself says pangolins weren't sold, and somehow this key research from 2019 fortuitously emerges in June 2021.
Really—why is Daszak bringing up pangolins here at all? Even this serendipitously discovered paper points out their absence. Leave the pangolins alone.
For my money, this is the best part of the paper. "Hello, fellow merchant. I am an independent observer unconnected with law enforcement. Please provide me with a list of the illegal animals you are selling (and your written consent!) so that I may publish it in two years' time."
Daszak blocked me immediately, so let me screenshot what I was replying to here.
Useful context thread from @BeijingPalmer. This very natural reflex to obfuscate is why I find Daszak's aggressive defensiveness more interesting than the sudden appearance of the Chinese research
So Daszak was instrumental in an earlier effort to shut down inquiry about Covid origins. No wonder the guy instablocks:
To be clear about where I stand: I think it's possible to be genuinely in the dark about how the pandemic started, absent further evidence, and also find these efforts to pre-empt investigation fishy as hell.
I miss the early days of the pandemic, when I could have full faith in the WHO, CDC, Nature, and the Lancet instead of having to feel like a foil-hatted wingnut who has to assemble the real story from random tweets

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More from @Pinboard

7 Jun
It was the perfect crime, right up to where the Feds got the private key and didn't even have to put on pants to go seize the crime money.
So to recap:

1. Ransomware crime team hacks Colonial Pipeline
2. Shortages due entirely to panic buying ripple across East Coast
3. FBI obtains secret crime key in unclear circumstances
4. FBI agent bites into donut and hits 'return' key, recovering significant chunk of ransom
I don't know who will star in this heist movie, but the soundtrack will be Yakety Sax
Read 6 tweets
7 Jun
Oh, hey, an Apple event! Looks like Apple Wallet is adding the ability to unlock doors and hold your government ID, realizing my dream of only having to lose a single device to lock myself out of my hotel, home, and office and put myself on a no fly list.
New Apple maps will more accurately display the depth profile of the lake the iPhone tells you to drive into
"Maps will send you notifications when it's time to disembark a train." This is bad news for Trenton, NJ, whose economy used to be based on manufacturing but now essentially relies on foreign tourists who miss the announcement to get off at Newark Airport
Read 33 tweets
7 Jun
One thing I didn't realize about Alan Shepard's original suborbital flight is that he experienced much higher G-forces on re-entry (11.5) than even astronauts coming back from the Moon (7), which explains why space tourism suborbital flights are just barely over the Kármán line
Basically every space peanut you drop on your lap while taking apogee selfies is going to leave a dent on the way back down, and you really want to latch that overhead bin
Another interesting facet of "space tourism" is that a sizeable fraction of people get bad motion sickness in space, and it's not predictable who will be affected. This wasn't discovered by the Americans until the Apollo program, when the capsule got big enough to move around in
Read 6 tweets
6 Jun
It's super interesting that transatlantic flight is slower in 2020 than it was in 1960. Approximately 0/100 people would have predicted this at the start of the Jet Age, just like none of us thought in 2000 we'd end up using slower computers with less memory
The Boeing 707 flew lower and at a higher Mach number than modern jets, both of which increased its absolute speed. That we lived through the S-curve of aviation technology and still made silly predictions based on extending Moore's Law many decades into the future is on us
I gave a whole talk on this once (…). If you'd like me to give more talks, buy me a ticket (on a fast plane) and I'll go talk again. I enjoy writing these things
Read 6 tweets
4 Jun
When police crack down on public dissent, people find subtler ways to express it. The cops can never win a game that pits them against the full creativity of a city like Hong Kong. Under full repression, the dissent will become so subtle it will tip the oppressors into paranoia
When Poland was under martial law, there was no tolerance for protest or public gatherings of any kind. People put candles in windows. When those were banned, they ostentatiously took family walks when the evening news was on, to show they didn't believe what they were being told
The joy of successful subversion, of getting the authorities to play themselves, of subtext and double meanings, finding uncensorable ways to express dissent, all these school-like kicks against authority are no substitute for freedom, but they make the lack of it more tolerable.
Read 4 tweets
3 Jun
The idea that messaging apps are a problem (or for that matter the suggestion that QAnon believers shouldn't be allowed to talk to one another) is a poisonous direction for this debate to take. The problem is one of a major political party embracing extremism and irreality
Censorship (or content moderation, or whatever you want to call it) is no substitute for the Republican party policing the crazy within its own ranks, and attempts to impose "moderation" that way will only backfire. There is no technical fix to what is a political crisis.
We also need to call out the moral panic for what it is. There is no organized insurrectionary movement in the US, the extremists involved are inept and derpy, and the threat of this has been overblown to serve political ends just like the "war on terror" was back in its day.
Read 8 tweets

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