June 3rd, 2020

(no subject)

I think it was Douglas Murray who said in February or March how he had been noticing that various columnists had been coopting the coronavirus to advance their favorite agenda.

I don't believe I've seen any examples of this until today, on a UN-affiliated site about biodiversity:

"The emergence of COVID-19 has underscored the fact that, when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. By upsetting the delicate balance of nature, we have created ideal conditions for pathogens–including coronaviruses–to spread," it says.


I am not sure what to make of this passage. I thought, Covid was good for biodiversity. Starting with the obvious fact that it's a new virus, so an enrichment of the viral gene pool; and moving on to how the ensuing lockdown has reduced emissions and contributed to the temporary expansion of wildlife. What is this paragraph saying, exactly? Unless it's arguing — very indirectly — what we know to be self-evident, i.e. that international travel or large cities contribute to the spread of infections, I don't know how to interpret it. But then, what are they suggesting exactly? Protecting Amazon rainforests, with all their biodiversity, will not make a dent in infection rates in the cities.

(no subject)

Today is the first time I saw the text of the proposed amendments to the Russian constitution.

From the text of the proposal I realised that I have no idea how the procedure works. For example, some of the articles are trivially expanded with extra paragraphs or rephrased, but other articles, while preserving original paragraphs, receive paragraphs with the same number and a superscripted index, which can contain text contradicting the original paragraphs.

Article 85, about the number of presidential terms, as proposed, contains the following paragraphs:

To say that this is confusing is an understatement. Paragraph 31 is in fact annulling paragraph 3. Why is paragraph 3 still there then? What does the sentence "Положение части 3 статьи 81 Конституции Российской Федерации, ограничивающее число сроков, в течение которых одно и то же лицо может занимать должность Президента Российской Федерации, применяется к лицу, занимавшему и (или) занимающему должность Президента Российской Федерации, без учета числа сроков" even mean? How can paragraph 3, which is about the limited number of terms, be applied without consideration of the number of terms? What does it mean for it to be applied then?

Why didn't they just remove or replace paragraph 3 entirely?

UPD: I realized that I was reading the above text incorrectly, and that rather than removing paragraph 3 they are in fact strengthening it by finally removing the loophole hiding in the word подряд. 31 is just an unfortunate consequence of this.

(no subject)

This is twitter hating on a group of people who are standing with their guns in front of a fence protecting their property.

Just standing there warding potential looters off. To the best of their ability. Not attacking anyone, not harassing anyone, just standing there. And there’s a long thread filled with hatred, and name-calling, and shit.

(no subject)

Surma is German and lives in the UK. Together with Paul Lewis, he made a fantastic youtube show for web developers called Supercharged; and now, with Jake Archibald, he co-hosts HTTP203, a podcast about web technologies that I enjoy the most, because it doesn't dumb down its content in order to be completely beginner-friendly. But he is a Googler, and he’s been on Twitter long enough to have acquired white man’s guilt complex: