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Gordon Hull
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UPDATE: Dahlia Lithwick has some helpful context, including litigation from the 1970s involving forced sterilizations of poor Latina women in California. Lithwick also recounts some of the more familiar history about the early 20c legal history of forced sterilization (endorsed by SCOTUS in Buck v. Bell and Justice Holmes' declaration... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull I want here to tie together the preceding several posts (one, two, three, four, five) and finish the case for a Deleuzian undercurrent (perhaps better to say, Deleuzian and Althusserian undercurrents) to Foucault’s 1969 “What is an Author” seminar. Recall the specific point of interest: in a... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Early on in the Covid-19 pandemic, I dedicated a post (and a short follow-up) to the idea that our knowledge of Covid-19 is mediated by the indicators we have to represent it, and that those indicators are themselves epistemically tricky. In particular, there’s a difficulty in understanding... Continue reading
UPDATE (8/26): This should surprise exactly no one, but apparently upper levels of the Mafia Donald regime pushed for the change. This is after all the same regime that scuttled an earlier testing plan in order to score political points against blue states. The CDC now recommends against testing asymptomatic... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull The last couple of times (first, second), I have been setting up Althusser’s Marx as the background to Focuault’s invocation of Marx as an “instaurateur” in his “What is an Author.” Today, I want to finish that project by noting three additional moments in Althusser’s reading that... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Last time, I set up the context for reading Foucault’s remarks on Marx in “Author” in the context of Althusser, as well as some of the basic contours of the Althusserian anti-humanist Marx. Here, I want to pursue that line further. Althusser writes against the growing popularity... Continue reading
An important part of the human cost of the Covid-19 pandemic is the loss of life and health not due directly to Covid cases, but to the disruptions it causes. American hospitals have long worried about the decline in ER visits from cardiac patients, and drops in cancer diagnoses. Presumably,... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Back in Before Times, I wrote a couple of posts beginning to make the case for a Deleuzian influence behind Foucault’s “What is an Author” (part 1, part 2). This post resumes that series… Recall that Foucault’s narrative in “Author” distinguishes between those who found a science,... Continue reading
UPDATE: With a note on the Roberts concurrence at the end Justice Roberts sided with the Court's liberals today in a (somewhat surprising, and really important) 5-4 decision by Justice Breyer striking down a Texas abortion law nearly identical to one the Court struck down in 2016. Justice Roberts is... Continue reading
UPDATE: First, I'm being loose with terminology here - "originalism" specifically refers to a theory of Constitutional interpretation; what Gorsuch et al are advocating is "textualism" (for statutory construction). The distinction between public meaning and expected application is important in the originalism debate - but I think it's clearly at... Continue reading
Black men have to decide whether the risk of being harassed and profiled by police for wearing a mask is greater than the risk of contracting Covid for not wearing one. Continue reading
Research into the spread of Covid-19 continues, with an important new preprint by Michael Woroby et al up today (tl;dr see the writeup in Stat News). The standard narrative about the arrival of Covid-19 in the U.S. is that a patient arrived in Seattle, WA from Wuhan on January 15th.... Continue reading
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As most folks know by now, there's two kinds of Covid tests. One of them tests for whether you have the disease now. The other tests for the presence of antibodies in your blood, indicating that you have had the disease at some point. You might think that an outfit... Continue reading
One of the widely-discussed metrics for understanding Covid-19 transmission is its R0 number - the average number of infections that a given person causes. An R0 of 3, for example, means that each person infects an average of 3 others. In order to stop the disease from eventually spiraling out... Continue reading
With reference to malaria tracking, I've tried to suggest some of the reasons we don't really know what "Covid cases" means, either insofar as that is measured by positive tests (because we don't know how many more cases there are beyond the tested ones, so tested cases is at best... Continue reading
Having lived in Iowa before coming to NC (this was about 12 years ago), I find myself looking at the numbers there every now and then. It looks like the governor has her head totally in the sand. If I'm reading it right, the Covid tracking project says that Iowa has 10k confirmed positive tests (which is pretty high, for a 3 million population) and that the % positive rate is about 17% (60k total tests) - which means there's a bunch of spread they don't have a handle on. Agreed on the nightmare fall semester that's coming!
It’s fairly clear that one of the keys to living with Covid-19 is understanding the dynamics of transmission: absent something more nuanced than what we have, “stay 6 feet away from everyone at all times!” becomes the only public health advice that can be given. Getting past the initial maximin... Continue reading
As Daniele Lorenzini reminds us, the coronavirus pandemic exposes nothing if not the differential precarity of our biopolitics. Sure, biopolitics is about promoting life, but it’s also about deciding that some people can die in order that others may live. The most obvious candidates are “essential” workers in various parts... Continue reading
Recall that before Covid (so about 300 years ago), there was an interesting copyright case percolating through the federal courts. The question concerned the Official Georgia Code Annotated (OGCA), which contains the text of the Georgia Code as well as various annotations. There were two potentially conflicting principles at work.... Continue reading
Remdesivir has been one of the most closely watched potential therapies for COVID-19, and a couple of early cohort and observational studies have been encouraging. But apparently the first results from a randomized controlled trial in China indicate that it did not make a statistically significant difference. At least, it... Continue reading
By now it should be apparent just how little we know about the coronavirus pandemic, from how to treat it to basic facts about what the “number of COVID cases” means. Even “deaths due to COVID” turns out to be difficult: both New York and UK have revised their numbers... Continue reading
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President Nero wants you to know that the U.S. has conducted a bigly number of coronavirus tests, higher than he can count, and maybe even more tests than there were people at his inauguration! Anyway, the U.S. is still terrible at COVID testing, as the following chart from Vox reminds... Continue reading
Cellphone tracking - whether through geolocation or something like detecting the proximity of bluetooth devices - has been getting a lot of attention for its potential to improve COVID surveillance. Given that there are estimates that a workforce of upwards of 100,000 people would be necessary to get a good... Continue reading
Yeah, I think that's right. I've also seen accounts that say it causes neurological damage and that it can seriously damage the immune system (apparently, it can attack T-cells. The effect is like HIV, although it can't apparently replicate in those cells: https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3079443/coronavirus-could-target-immune-system-targeting-protective). We don't really know what it means for your long-term health to have had covid, since the first cases were so recent. I hadn't put all of that together, but you're right that this is a potentially significant social and fiscal cost to infections.
UPDATE: Here's a nice piece that talks about the complexities of reducing restrictions, framing the overall need in terms of keeping R0 (the number of new infections a given case leads to) from rising much above 1. A new article in Science models our future under the new Coronavirus regime.... Continue reading