With a second COVID-19 lockdown coming to your town soon – Graz just went to warning level orange which is akin to Corona DEFCON 3 – you might want to think about what you’re going to read when you’re cooped up again. Sales of Camus’ The Plague spiked in the first lockdown. I highly recommend … Continue reading Quoth the Raven “Corona more”
For millions of Europeans, COVID-19 containment measures created a longing for activities and daily routines previously taken for granted. Unfortunately, in Austria current infection rates are raising the specter of a second lockdown. During the initial lockdown, one of the hardest separations for me was the closing of my university's campus. I especially missed not … Continue reading COVID-19 and memories
If you didn’t already have enough to worry about with COVID-19, the impending election in the USA, global warming, and whatever local issues might be troubling you in your corner of the world, allow me to give you something else to fret about: Giant Hogweed. Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a member of the carrot … Continue reading Attack of the killer Giant Hogweed
Last semester, during the COVID-19 lockdown, I took a pro seminar titled the Moral Dimensions of Harm. We were a small group which allowed for dynamic discussions despite Zoom constraints. In countering COVID-19, Austria locked down early, and restrictions were tight. Being outside of your home was only permitted for essential work, to buy food, … Continue reading French fries and freedom
Yesterday in a great op-ed piece in Die Presse, Christian Ortner examined COVID 19 the economic stimulus packages and asked the provocative question: What’s the difference between a talented counterfeiter and the European Central Bank? According to Ortner, not much. In 2020 economic output in the eurozone has fallen by 7-8% and the ECB has … Continue reading Hyperinflation around the corner?
Recently an article by Gudula Walterskirchen in the Austrian daily Die Presse about evidence based policy making (EBPM) caught my eye. EBPM has been kicking around since the 1980s. Essentially it is the idea that policy decisions should be based on comprehensive, meticulously established, objective evidence as opposed to intuition, ideology, or common sense. It … Continue reading Can EBPM work?
As we move out of the shutdown here in Austria, people are turning facemasks into fashion statements. I couldn’t find a mask to fit my style until I found the DEVO – Energy Dome Personal Protection Equipment Kit. Devo already knew back in 1980 what to do when a problem comes along: You must whip … Continue reading COVID 19? Just Whip It!
While small businesses, restaurants, or stores struggle to survive the corona crisis and unemployment has reached new heights, the fortune of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has grown by 24 billion dollars since the beginning of 2020. Tesla founder Elon Musk has had to make do with a little over 10 billion. While the fortune of … Continue reading There’s a storm coming, Mr. Bezos…
Astrid wrote a great op-ed piece (in German) about the dangers of gloomy economic forecasts turning into self-fulfilling prophecies. Read it on Page 30 of the Friday April 24th print edition of Die Presse or on-line. Photo credit: Gerd Altmann on Pixabay
Während der IWF für die Post-Corona-Zeit mit düsteren Wachstumsprognosen aufwartet, überschlagen sich Politiker mit Beruhigungsversuchen und Rettungsfonds. Da drängt sich die Frage auf, wie diese Milliarden-Hilfspakete finanziert werden, vor allem unter dem Gesichtspunkt, dass den Staaten aufgrund zu erwartender Unternehmenspleiten und hoher Arbeitslosigkeit einiges an Steuereinnahmen wegbrechen wird? Für mich stellt sich zunehmend auch die Frage, … Continue reading Lesestoff für die Corona-Krise