Readers, this post is a pantry clearout mostly for the Covid material I had to blow past during The Late Debate Unpleasantness. There’s a good deal of it, since I just kept postibg until I decided to stop, but maybe you can peruse it all slowly over the holiday. Stay safe out there!

Common Loon, Hayden Lake Property, Burnett, Wisconsin, United States. “One parent foraging and feeding 2 chicks, one parent tending chicks, and both chicks giving soft wheezy contact/begging(?) calls. PIWO drumming in background etc. Recorded from kayak.” PIWO = “Pileated woodpecker.”

“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

Less than a half a year to go!

Friday’s RCP Poll Averages:

RCP takes North Carolina off the table as a Swing State, and replaces it with Virginia. Trump is still holding his own, and this is before the debate. Swing States (more here) still Brownian-motioning around. Of course, it goes without saying that these are all state polls, therefore bad, and most of the results are within the margin of error. If will be interesting to see whether the verdict in Judge Merchan’s court affects the polling, and if so, how.

* * *

Trump (R): “Trump seeks to set aside his New York hush money guilty verdict after Supreme Court immunity ruling” [Associated Press]. “The lawyers argue that the Supreme Court’s decision confirmed a position the defense raised earlier in the case that prosecutors should have been precluded from introducing some evidence they said constituted official presidential acts, according to the letter. In prior court filings, Trump contended he is immune from prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office. His lawyers did not raise that as a defense in the hush money case, but they argued that some evidence — including Trump’s social media posts about former lawyer Michael Cohen — comes from his time as president and should have been excluded from the trial because of immunity protections.”

Trumo (R): “Donald Trump is going to win the election and democracy will be just fine” [Jared Golden, Bangor Daily News]. “There are winners and losers in every election. Democrats’ post-debate hand-wringing is based on the idea that a Trump victory is not just a political loss, but a unique threat to our democracy. I reject the premise. Unlike Biden and many others, I refuse to participate in a campaign to scare voters with the idea that Trump will end our democratic system. This Independence Day marks our nation’s 248th birthday. In that time, American democracy has withstood civil war, world wars, acts of terrorism and technological and societal changes that would make the Founders’ head spin. Pearl-clutching about a Trump victory ignores the strength of our democracy. Jan. 6, 2021, was a dark day. But Americans stood strong. Hundreds of police officers protected the democratic process against thousands who tried to use violence to upend it. Judges and state election officials upheld our election laws. Members of Congress, including leaders from both parties, certified the election results. They all are joined in the defense of democracy by the millions of us who, like me, made an oath of allegiance to the United States and to the Constitution when we began our military service, plus hundreds of millions of freedom-loving Americans who won’t let anyone take away our constitutional rights as citizens of the greatest democracy in history. This election is about the economy, not democracy. And when it comes to our economy, our Congress matters far more than who occupies the White House.” • A Manchin Democrat….

* * *

Biden (D): “First Lady Jill Biden on What’s at Stake in 2024” [Vogue]. Worth reading in full. The first paragraph is wild, but here’s the last one: “There’s a version of political power that operates the way a motorcade does—slicing through empty roads, flouting rules, making regular folks wait behind barricades. And there’s a version of political power as Jill Biden embodies it, and as she expressed it at the Women for Biden event in Bloomington. This is power from the ground up, built on listening and coalition building. ‘They underestimate our power because they don’t understand it,’ the first lady told the crowd. ‘They see our empathy and compassion as a vulnerability. But we know they’re what give us the clarity to fight for what’s right.’ And in so doing, chip away at the hard problems. That’s the gig. Negotiate, reconsider your assumptions, and sometimes, agree to disagree, agree to lose. Only a tyrant would say otherwise.” • The argument is that Jill Biden embodies this version of of “political power” because she still teaches at a community college. Community colleges are wonderful, important institutions. However, if Jill Biden’s empathy were real, she’d be using her clout as an educator to support ventilation in all educational institutions. at the very least. In fact, both Bidens have been conspicuous in their lack of support for life-saving non-pharmaceutical interventions. So, hagiography. Here’s the cover:

I’m no fashion maven, but it looks like a straitjacket to me. Fitting, I suppose.

Biden (D): “Could Democrats replace Biden as their nominee? Here’s how it could happen, and why it’s unlikely” [Associated Press]. “In 2024, Biden swept all but one primary or caucus and the vast majority of delegates at stake in those contests. Those delegates are considered to be ‘pledged’ to Biden…. DNC rules encourage but don’t specifically require delegates to vote for the candidate they’re pledged to support. Instead, the rules say, ‘All delegates to the National Convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them.’ In other words, the thousands of delegates Biden won during the primary season are bound only by their consciences to actually cast their votes for Biden when it comes time to select a nominee, although it would be unprecedented for delegates on a wide scale to support a candidate other than the one they were pledged to support. One feature of the party’s rules that makes a delegate revolt against the presumptive nominee unlikely is that .” • In other words, any “conscience vote” is purely performative. (I once read the Democratic National Convention bylaws, and its crammed with rules structured like this: Rule B undoes Rule A. It was the most accountability-avoiding document I’ve ever read.

* * *

“Whitmer Disavows ‘Draft Gretch’ Movement — and Delivers A Warning to Biden” [Politico]. “When Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer telephoned a senior official with President Biden’s campaign on Friday night, she wanted to convey a clear message: She hated the way her name was being floated as a replacement for Biden and she wasn’t behind the chatter. Whitmer’s conversation with the official, campaign chair Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, was cordial but awkward by its very nature. In the aftermath of the president’s disastrous debate performance last Thursday, no would-be replacement has been the recipient of more wish-casting among despairing Democrats than the second-term Michigan governor. Whitmer, recognizing as much, disavowed the Draft Gretch chatter. She used the call to reiterate her commitment and willingness to help the president but also voiced her concern about how much more difficult the campaign would be now for Biden, I’m told by a person familiar with the call. Even more revealing is how word of the call reached me: from someone close to a potential 2028 Whitmer rival for the Democratic presidential nomination. This person said Whitmer had phoned O’Malley Dillon with more of an unambiguous SOS: to relay that Michigan, in the wake of the debate, was no longer winnable for Biden. That such political bladework is already taking place illustrates how badly her rivals want to wound Whitmer, by portraying her as being disloyal to Biden in his hour of need. Yet it also captures what an extraordinary, and extraordinarily precarious, moment this is for the well-stocked bench of Democratic governors who are eager to succeed Biden.” • Crabs in a bucket.

She should have checked with Wiillie first:

Party on, Garth:

I don’t think this binary is as clear cut as Karp thinks, because Flexians slither from category to category, but Karp is onto something. Stoller proposes a more compex structure:

Same objection re: Flexians above. In addition, they both leave out the spooks. But the spooks are players. From the FT:

One person familiar with the situation said some of the intelligence officials who give Biden his daily intelligence briefing had noticed his decline as early as last year, undermining claims from White House and campaign political figures about the president’s mental acuity.

A whisper not a scream, but the message is clear enough.

Spook Country

“Palm Beach prosecutor painted Epstein victims as prostitutes, grand jury records show” [Miami Herald]. Yikes:

Grand jury records are normally kept under seal to protect witnesses as well as the integrity of the case. But in the years since the Epstein case was closed in 2008, the Miami Herald uncovered evidence suggesting that Epstein and his battery of high-priced attorneys may have exerted undue influence over the state attorney. The records have remained under seal for 16 years. Earlier this year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, prodded by state lawmakers and Palm Beach County Clerk of Courts Joe Abruzzo, signed a bill to release the files by July 1. The new bill provides for the records to be unsealed if the subject of a grand jury inquiry is dead or the investigation involves sexual activity with a minor. DeSantis noted that making the records public might explain how the wealthy Epstein managed to “engineer an outcome that the average citizen would likely never have been able” to accomplish. The records contain nearly 200 pages, including the testimony of two girls who were molested by Epstein, the New York financier who abused hundreds of underage girls at his Palm Beach mansion between 1996 and 2008. Epstein managed to escape serious charges, in part because the Palm Beach prosecutor at the time, Barry Krischer, elected to charge him with minor prostitution and solicitation rather than bringing a felony sexual assault case.

Krischer is now a state attorney for Florida’s 15th Judicial Circuit (West Pam Beach).

Democrats en Déshabillé

The Democrats’ new base:

And I’m not joking. I cannot find the Tweet I wanted to pair with this; it was an image of a thirty-something couple replete with what are for me triggers or markers of conservative intent — cowboy hats and boots, the wrong sort of tattoo, mullets, general air of faintly menacing non-compliance — who were in fact upper crust working class and not conservative at all, let alone MAGA. Howard Dean said in 2004: “It’s time that Democrats address guys with gun racks in the back of their trucks.” He was, naturally, excoriated for this (and was shortly thereafter defenestrated for trying to make the Party viable in all 50 states). Twenty years later, I’m guessing those voters are still out there for the taking, although probably independents or disengaged. However, “a creature who has spent his life creating one particular representation of his selfdom will die rather than become the antithesis of that representation” (Frank Herbert). So here we are.

In case you were wondering why Democrats were and are perfectly happy with Biden’s Covid strategy of mass infection without mitigation:

Everything’s going according to plan.


“I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison

* * *

Covid Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; includes many counties; Wastewater Scan, includes drilldown by zip); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data). “Infection Control, Emergency Management, Safety, and General Thoughts” (especially on hospitalization by city).

Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. To update any entry, do feel free to contact me at the address given with the plants. Please put “COVID” in the subject line. Thank you!

Resources, United States (Local): AK (dashboard); AL (dashboard); AR (dashboard); AZ (dashboard); CA (dashboard; Marin, dashboard; Stanford, wastewater; Oakland, wastewater); CO (dashboard; wastewater); CT (dashboard); DE (dashboard); FL (wastewater); GA (wastewater); HI (dashboard); IA (wastewater reports); ID (dashboard, Boise; dashboard, wastewater, Central Idaho; wastewater, Coeur d’Alene; dashboard, Spokane County); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); KS (dashboard; wastewater, Lawrence); KY (dashboard, Louisville); LA (dashboard); MA (wastewater); MD (dashboard); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MN (dashboard); MO (wastewater); MS (dashboard); MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); ND (dashboard; wastewater); NE (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NJ (dashboard); NM (dashboard); NV (dashboard; wastewater, Southern NV); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); OK (dashboard); OR (dashboard); PA (dashboard); RI (dashboard); SC (dashboard); SD (dashboard); TN (dashboard); TX (dashboard); UT (wastewater); VA (dashboard); VT (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater); WV (wastewater); WY (wastewater).

Resources, Canada (National): Wastewater (Government of Canada).

Resources, Canada (Provincial): ON (wastewater); QC (les eaux usées); BC (wastewater); BC, Vancouver (wastewater).

Hat tips to helpful readers: Alexis, anon (2), Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, FreeMarketApologist (4), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (10), JustAnotherVolunteer, JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, MT_Wild, otisyves, Petal (6), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Tom B., Utah, Bob White (3).

Stay safe out there!

* * *

Look for the Helpers

Mask blocs sound like good things:

Sounds like Occupy Sandy (oddly unmentioned on WikiPedia’s Hurricane Sandy page).

Here is a map of Covid Action groups, includng Mask Blocs:

Airborne Transmission

Should somebody check in on Canada?

Why? Vibes?

Transmission: Covid

As I’ve been saying:


“Relative efficacy of masks and respirators as source control for viral aerosol shedding from people infected with SARS-CoV-2: a controlled human exhaled breath aerosol experimental study” [The Lancet]. “All masks and respirators significantly reduced exhaled viral load, without fit tests or training. A duckbill N95 reduced exhaled viral load by 98% (95% CI: 97%–99%), and significantly outperformed a KN95 (p < 0.001) as well as cloth and surgical masks. Cloth masks outperformed a surgical mask (p = 0.027) and the tested KN95 (p = 0.014). These results suggest that N95 respirators could be the standard of care in nursing homes and healthcare settings when respiratory viral infections are prevalent in the community and healthcare-associated transmission risk is elevated.” • No, at all times, because reporting time lags mean that “prevalence” is slow to be determined (i.e., there will needless deaths). Why Infection Control won’t see NPIs as a switch to be thrown once and left on (like, say, plumbing) and not a dial to be constantly jiggered is beyond me (unless it’s a jobs guarantee for the dial-jiggerers, of course).

* * *

Even in these degraded times, there are millions of mask wearers constantly seeking improved product:

It’s an enormous market failure that their needs are not met. Why is that?


“Gilead’s twice-yearly shot to prevent HIV succeeds in late-stage trial” [CNBC]. N=2000. “Gilead’s experimental twice-yearly medicine to prevent HIV was 100% effective in a late-stage trial, the company said Thursday. None of the roughly 2,000 women in the trial who received the lenacapavir shot had contracted HIV by an interim analysis, prompting the independent data monitoring committee to recommend Gilead unblind the Phase 3 trial and offer the treatment to everyone in the study. Other participants had received standard daily pills. The results bring Gilead one step closer to introducing a new form of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, and broadening its HIV business. Shares of the company rose about 7% on Thursday.” • Not quite sure where to file this, since PrEP might not be a vaccine proper (even twice-yearly seems as effecfive as some Covid vaccines). Still, good news.

Sequelae: Covid

Loss of executive function:

FInally, more evidence than anecdotes about road rage and running red lights. And a follow-up:

Treatment: Covid

Karma in near-real time:

Celebrity Watch

Modeling good behavior is not impossible for celebrities:

* * *

“Stevie Nicks begs fans to wear masks as catching COVID-19 would destroy her voice” [Yahoo Entertainment]. “Stevie Nicks has begged fans to wear face masks, claiming if she catches COVID-19 she ‘will probably never sing again.’ The 72-year-old Fleetwood Mac singer urged fans to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously, and adopt precautions to limit the spread of the virus. Nicks wrote on her Facebook page: “A lot of people still aren’t taking the wearing of a simple mask seriously – or, just trying to be aware of how close you are to others… It is not political. It is a silent killer hiding in the shadows. It is stalking you. It doesn’t care who you are…It’s just looking for a victim.’” Nicks and her masked entourage at a Taylor d concert:

And so, in a nice gesture, Swift plays “Clara Bow” and dedicates it to Nicks:

Unmasked, naturally. We’ll just hope Swift wasn’t superspreading that day. Yes, she’s still at it:

* * *

SARS never sleeps:

Too sick to pray:

Sounds of silence:

* * *

Tour de France:

Personal RIsk Assessment

“FREE box of Black N95s! (WE FOUND SOME FINALLY!)” [CO2 Radical]. “I don’t want to tempt fate, but I haven’t had a single day’s illness since 2019, and I’m loving it. It has required attention and diligence, but it is at least possible for those of us without school age kids, and I can’t see that my life has been made worse overall by the total absence of illness, at the expense of missing a few indoor dining experiences. It is bitterly ironic to me that, just at the time in our history when we are coming to understand the huge role of chronic inflammation and viruses in causing all kinds of diseases, including cancers (e.g. cervical) and neurological disease (e.g. MS), we have deliberately chosen to let a novel coronavirus with known multi-system effects and persistence infect and reinfect the entire population, including, for Heaven’s sake, all our kids. ‘Reckless’ does not begin to describe it.” • “Death cult” might do.

* * *

“Choosing to mask”:

Elite Maleficence

How’s that workin’ out for ya:

But GBD goons are still making bank…

The eugenics train always leaves on time:

* * *

“Experts Confirm COVID-19 Is Surging — Here’s What That Means for Your Disney World Trip” [All Ears]. “So what does this mean for your Disney World trip? Well, we recommend potentially , especially before eating. Hand sanitizer is great, but if you can take an extra second to wash your hands with soap and water, that’s even better…. Additionally, we know it is quite unfortunate to be sick on your Disney World trip, but please don’t go into the parks when you’re not feeling well and think it could be because you’re sick with something contagious.” • Focus on fomites. Nothing on airborne transmission. Nothing on asymptomatic transmission. Four years in [pounds head on desk].

* * *

“Mission accomplished” (1):

“Mission accomplished” (2):

MIssion accomplished (3), the return of the repressed:

MIssion accomplished (4), Darwin Awards for everyone:

* * *

One of the earliest case studies of aerosol transmission took place in a church choir:

How is it that churches never picked up on this? Why didn’t pastors protect their congregations?

Social Norming


My Twitter feed is hardly representative. Nevertheless:

Readers, has this happened to you?

* * *

Readers, I could not update these charts before I hit the road. –lambert

TABLE 1: Daily Covid Charts


1) for charts new today; all others are not updated.

2) For a full-size/full-resolution image, Command-click (MacOS) or right-click (Windows) on the chart thumbnail and “open image in new tab.”


[1] (CDC) This week’s wastewater map, with hot spots annotated. Worse than two weeks ago. New York is a hot again, and Covid is spreading up the Maine Coast just in time for the Fourth of July weekend, in another triumph for Administration policy. On that Bay area hotspot:

[2] (CDC) Last week’s wastewater map.

[3] (CDC Variants) LB.1 coming up on the outside.

[4] (ER) This is the best I can do for now. At least data for the entire pandemic is presented.

[5] (Hospitalization: NY) Now acceleration, which is compatible with a wastewater decrease, but still not a good feeling .(The New York city area has form; in 2020, as the home of two international airports (JFK and EWR) it was an important entry point for the virus into the country (and from thence up the Hudson River valley, as the rich sought to escape, and then around the country through air travel.)

[6] (Hospitalization: CDC). This is the best I can do for now. Note the assumption that Covid is seasonal is built into the presentation, which in fact shows that Covid is not seasonal. At least data for the entire pandemic is presented.

[7] (Walgreens) Still going up! (Because there is data in “current view” tab, I think white states here have experienced “no change,” as opposed to have no data.)

[8] (Cleveland) Still going up!

[9] (Travelers: Positivity) Up. Those sh*theads at CDC have changed the chart so that it doesn’t even run back to 1/21/23, as it used to, but now starts 1/1/24. There’s also no way to adjust the time rasnge. CDC really doesn’t want you to be able to take a historical view of the pandemic, or compare one surge to another. In an any case, that’s why the shape of the curve has changed.

[10] (Travelers: Variants) Same deal. Those sh*theads. I’m leaving this here for another week because I loathe them so much:

[11] Deaths low, but positivity up.

[12] Deaths low, ED up.

Stats Watch

There are no official statistics today as of this writing.

* * *

Mr. Market: “Wall Street Seems Calm. A Closer Look Shows Something Else” [New York Times]. “A slowdown in inflation has boosted investor confidence in the economy this year and, combined with an intense [and totally organic] fervor for artificial intelligence, provided the backdrop to a rally that has beaten all expectations…. More than 200 companies, or roughly 40 percent of the stocks in the index, are at least 10 percent below their highest level of this year. Almost 300 companies, or roughly 60 percent of the index, are more than 10 percent above their low for the year. And each group includes 65 companies that have actually swung both ways. Traders say this lack of correlated movement — known as dispersion — among individual stocks is at historic extremes, undermining the idea that markets have been blanketed by tranquillity. One measure of this, an index from the exchange operator Cboe Global Markets, shows that dispersion rose after the coronavirus pandemic, as tech stocks soared while shares of other companies suffered. It has stayed high, in part because of the staggering appreciation of a select few stocks on A.I.’s cutting edge, analysts say. This is presenting an opportunity for Wall Street, as investment funds and trading desks pile into dispersion trading, a strategy that typically uses derivatives to bet that index volatility will remain low while turbulence in individual stocks will stay high. ‘It’s everywhere,’ said Stephen Crewe, a longtime dispersion trader and partner at Fulcrum Asset Management. He believes these dynamics have surpassed even the most hotly anticipated economic data in terms of their importance to financial markets. ‘It almost doesn’t matter about G.D.P. or inflation data at the moment,’ he added. — most likely because of a [totally organic] spark that ignites widespread selling.” • Hmm.

The Bezzle: “An alleged $100 million fraud scheme could affect up to 50,000 people. Here’s what to do if you’re one of them” [Self]. “If you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may have had a hard time getting your medications refilled because of drug shortages that date back to 2022—which are still ongoing, BTW. But now a federal health care fraud case against Done Global Inc., a California-based digital health company that calls itself a ‘hybrid ADHD clinic,’ could make it even harder for up to 50,000 adults across the US, according to a CDC health advisory released last week. (The agency also said that people who use ‘other similar subscription-based telehealth platforms could experience a disruption to their treatment,’ although it’s not clear what companies they are talking about or how many more people might be affected.) According to the US Department of Justice, the company allegedly took advantage of telemedicine rules put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic to push its medical providers to prescribe Adderall and other stimulant drugs, even when they weren’t medically necessary, and spent millions of dollars on ‘deceptive’ social media advertising.” • Some Sackler mini-me?

Tech: If AI can’t make a hamburger….

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 49 Neutral (previous close: 47 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 39 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 2 at 12:42:35 PM ET.


News you can use, especially where mosquitos are a vector:

Book Nook

Never never never never never:


“Fortnite’s Metallica concert showed how sprawling the game has become” [The Verge]. “Last weekend, Metallica graced the virtual stage in Fortnite, but the event was more than just a heavy metal concert. It was one piece in a weeks-long rollout of modes and content, which really drove home just how large and complex the game has become. The battle royale has steadily morphed into an entire ecosystem of games and experiences, and the Metallica crossover might’ve been the most complex to date.” • Next, political debates? Who will go first? Kamala?

Class Warfare

“The Anxiety Economy” [Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds]. “In summary: wage earners never recovered from the 2008 meltdown. No wonder the gap between the cheerleaders’ delusional insistence that we’re all getting richer in every way, every day and the lived reality of the work force who didn’t have the means to buy stocks at the 2009 bottom or buy a portfolio of rental houses in 2010. We’re told to stop being so darn negative even as the tsunami of inequality washes away the beach chairs of the bottom 90%. The Anxiety Economy is remarkably profitable for the top few and remarkably unhealthy for everyone else. They’re pleased to prescribe us meds to take the edge off the Anxiety Economy, but meds won’t fix what’s broken in our economy or social order.” • And some meds are not taken in pill form.

News of the Wired

“Meet the American who created highway rest areas, Allan Williams, small-town engineer” [FOX]. “Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, each in Detroit, Michigan, emerged as the world’s three biggest automakers early in the Roaring ’20s. Customers needed somewhere to go to make their engines purr – and a safe, convenient way to get there. The job fell upon the shoulders of small-town Michigan visionaries who paved the way for the automobile to leave the city and become synonymous with the open American highway. Allan Williams, the first-ever highway engineer in rural Ionia County, proved perhaps the most influential among them. He conceived and created America’s first roadside rest area in 1929. The idea took off faster than a big-block Motown muscle car 40 years later. The highway rest stop, however, was only the most visible of the many contributions Williams made to the speed, safety and convenience of the American highway system we all benefit from today. ‘He was living at a time when he had the ability to really do some big things and make some big changes in Michigan, but also actually in our nationwide history,’ Sigrid Bergland, a historian with the Michigan Department of Transportation, told Fox News Digital. Highway road maps, road signs and even snow plows were all influenced by his curiosity, intellect, varied skills and vision.” • Strange, looking back, to think that such seemingly permanent things as tbe Interstate Highway System, with its cloverleaf exits and rest stops, is younger than I am. And that credit cards — for gas — were once a new thing. Also, bugs smasked on the windshield….

“Language is primarily a tool for communication rather than thought” [Nature]. From the Abstract: “Here we bring recent evidence from neuroscience and allied disciplines to argue that in modern humans, language is a tool for communication, contrary to a prominent view that we use language for thinking. We begin by introducing the brain network that supports linguistic ability in humans. We then review evidence for a double dissociation between language and thought, and discuss several properties of language that suggest that it is optimized for communication. We conclude that although the emergence of language has unquestionably transformed human culture, language does not appear to be a prerequisite for complex thought, including symbolic thought. Instead, language is a powerful tool for the transmission of cultural knowledge; it plausibly co-evolved with our thinking and reasoning capacities, and only reflects, rather than gives rise to, the signature sophistication of human cognition.” • P

* * *

Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi, lichen, and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. From WB:

WB writes: “Some nice-to-look-at, artsy-fartsy cacti reflections from Carefree, AZ.”

* * *

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