China Virus? Diary, 5/12/21

Percy Lubbock (1879-1965)

{5/12/21}  Weight 213.0 at 4:00 am.

I’ve been awake since a little after 2:00.  Tiresome.  It was of concern that one of my medical bills has gone to collection.

Percy Lubbock:  The Craft of Fiction so far is very good on War and Peace and stunningly dull on Madame Bovary.  On to Vanity Fair—and all of a sudden I’m not expecting much.

Browsing among my web site bookmarks, I find “Herding Cats and Free Will Inflation” by Daniel C. Dennett.  It’s seventeen pages (sixteen if you ignore the title page).  This is a lot shorter than his books about free will.

It’s really irritating, my fecklessness.  Why does this irritation not result in a reduction in my fecklessness?  Or has it and I just don’t notice it because the fecklessness I don’t indulge in, produces no irritation?  This fecklessness is another example of my refusing to consider thoughts that are unpleasant.  I push them away, and they come back with vengeance, resulting in real unpleasantness, like an ambulance bill going to collection.

Item from Matt Taibbi today:

News that the government is considering using private citizens to help it conduct what amount to vigilante intelligence operations for the DHS, FBI, CIA, and NSA — an end-run around once-cherished liberal values like the exclusionary rule — inspired almost no reaction in the op-ed pages of ostensibly liberal outlets. The perceived targets are white supremacists, as unsympathetic as al-Qaeda once was. Who cares?

Me.  I care.  Future targets likely include progressives and socialists.  Or, wait, are we already?  I have no love for white supremacists, racists, or Republicans, but unless someone is advocating the violent overthrow of the government, they shouldn’t be spied upon.

But I’d do better to do some dictation or novel writing than this “tweet to myself.”  How about that for a book title:  Tweets to Myself.

A way to start the “new novel”:  Man and woman in Barnes & Noble, both reach for the same book at the same time.  Or, less intensive, man requests book, is told that “We just sold the last copy—to that woman over there!”

“Ah, fuck!  I got so much work to do and so little desire to do it.”  What I just said alone in my empty room.  In part, the problem is temperature:  81° inside, the last thing I want is a warm laptop in my lap, unless it’s to wash dishes.

The least painful work would be PD dictation (except that I normally have my laptop in my lap for that), or reading Percy Lubbock.  Or just reading for the hell of it, which can hardly be called “work.”  I’m going to turn the fan on and read.  At least I did a blog post today.

Jimmy Dore turned me on to an article from The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists about the origin of the Covid virus:

Comparing the rival scenarios of SARS2 origin. The evidence above adds up to a serious case that the SARS2 virus could have been created in a lab, from which it then escaped. But the case, however substantial, falls short of proof. Proof would consist of evidence from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, or related labs in Wuhan, that SARS2 or a predecessor virus was under development there. For lack of access to such records, another approach is to take certain salient facts about the SARS2 virus and ask how well each is explained by the two rival scenarios of origin, those of natural emergence and lab escape. Here are four tests of the two hypotheses. A couple have some technical detail, but these are among the most persuasive for those who may care to follow the argument.

“…lack of access…” is a reference to the fact that the records of research in the Wuhan lab have been sealed.  The report is very thorough and somewhat technical at times, but I find it persuasive.  This report is a week old, yet I’ve seen little on MSNBC other than the vote on Liz Cheney.  Democracy Now has been focused on other things, but again I haven’t seen mention of this anywhere other than Jimmy Dore.

Another quote from the article:

“When I first saw the furin cleavage site in the viral sequence, with its arginine codons, I said to my wife it was the smoking gun for the origin of the virus,” said D Baltimore, an eminent virologist and former president of CalTech. “These features make a powerful challenge to the idea of a natural origin for SARS2,” he said.

I posted a link on Twitter, which is likely to be ignored, though I can’t imagine why.

Tuned in to a WordPress Zoom meeting, picked up a couple of useful tips.  Watched Jimmy Dore for an hour or so, then read the long article on the COVID.  Did two pages of dictation, wrote in the diary, and spent a lot of time on Twitter.  Ordered a book on General Semantics called Language, Meaning, and Maturity.  Not a very productive day.  Didn’t wash dishes, it’s getting rather desperate.  But now I’m sleepy at 10:00 pm.

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