Moving right along we come to Jim "back to Plato" Al-Khalili with A Physicist for President?, part of a long tradition2 of "people more like me should be in charge". Jim is a bit thin on any examples where his Physicist-President would break out the pencil and solve problems, but that hardly matters, because really he's just trolling; or perhaps more generously, trying to make you think about the different ways things could be handled. Pushing the obvious aside, his philosopher-physicist would never get nominated, much less elected. Because PP's on the whole tend to be not really people people. And on the whole they don't have a good grasp of history or politics which would allow them to function usefully in a political role. More fundamentally, they probably think like Jim in terms of "we must also find solutions to the climate crisis... to our energy needs" as though the state, or the President, needs to solve those problems. But it doesn't. It needs to impose a carbon tax and mostly get out of the way. Jim's PP would I fear be all too hands-on, getting in the way. [See-also: ATTP's view].
Lastly - and only at best ambiguously drivel - we have Scientists have been sounding the alarm on coronavirus for months. Why did Britain fail to act? by Richard "is editor of the Lancet medical journal" Horton, as Twat by James. And my only complaint is, as I said, is "What does Horton's own record on sounding the alarm look like?". Because although the piece is unflinching in its criticism of everyone else in not raising the alarm, it is notably short of "look, here, at what I said months ago, why didn't you listen". Perhaps he is just too modest to link to his own wise words of warning.
Closer to home, Waterstones Cafe on the second floor is now closed, and the ground floor one is takeaway only; how can I be expected to finish The Mirror And The Light under those conditions? School will go virtual from Friday, and what will happen next term is a mystery; ditto for D's 4th term at Cambridge. The shops are out of bread flour; all the yummy mummies desperate to fill their child-enriched hours with baking, no doubt.
1. Perhaps something the back-to-nature folk might like to think about.
2. I'm sure that's true but can I justify it? Well, there's Plato of course. And now Al-Khalili. And Heilein's vets in Starship Troopers. Oh go on, you can fill in your own examples.
3. Of course, the logic of the piece is clear: environmental destruction is not just bad, it is a sin, desecration; and so like any sin it must invoke punishment from the Gods; and is not a plague a punishment from the Gods?
* How they got it so wrong - a theory - JEB
* Coronavirus – getting angry - Bronte Capital
* Covid-19 and Conservative Liberalism - by Dan Klein
* IF YOU WERE ALIVE IN 2005, YOU READ IT HERE FIRST