Get to Know the Coronavirus, aka "2019-nCoV"

Third Cultured vol. 46

Only one note today: take a moment to tell your loved ones what they mean to you.

Thanks for reading.


PS – Some good reads on Kobe: The Atlantic, ESPN, Esquire, and The LA Times. The feature from The Athletic on his daughter, Gianna Bryant, was great as well.

One World Thing to Know:

The Wuhan Coronavirus, known officially as “The 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

“Some 29 million were non-Jews from Europe and North America, who died in large part because of the hatred of Jews — and the majority of these victims were Soviet citizens.

“Anti-Semitism is not a Jewish illness, but a non-Jewish one. It is a cancer that kills and destroys your nations and your societies and your countries. So there are, my friends, 29 million reasons for you to fight anti-Semitism. Not because of the Jews, but to protect your societies from a deadly cancer.

“Don’t you think, that 29 million reasons are enough?”

Yehuda Bauer, a 95-year-old historian and adviser to Yad Vashem, warned the monarchs, presidents and premiers at an Israeli state dinner last Wednesday night commemorating the 75th anniverary of the liberation of Auschwitz. It was the largest political gathering in Jerusalem’s history.

American Empire

A new McCarthyism is fermenting in DC against those who are vocally anti-war.

Like Joseph McCarthy’s original version, today’s version involves falsely labeling loyal American citizens as disloyal. What’s different about this newer incarnation is that the background is not the ambition of a lone demagogue but instead a hyperpartisanship in which many Republicans view Democrats as no better than foreign adversaries. Or even worse than foreign adversaries — consider this comment from an anonymous Republican senator last year when rebuffing suggestions for a conciliatory U.S. move to resolve the impasse with Iran: “Why would we give them anything? They just called the president mentally retarded. They are almost as bad as the Democrats now.”

America’s concept of “public infrastructure” should include digital spaces. The public needs more sway in the digital world in the age of FAANG.

The enormous power over our lives held by those few giants in Silicon Valley is almost unprecedented in American corporate life; even Standard Oil, U.S. Steel, and Ma Bell mostly flexed their monopoly power in only one or two sectors, versus the deep integration that Facebook and Google have across industries, across the personal and the professional.

Five Eyes+ kicked off by adding Japan, South Korea, and France to monitor North Korea.

Obama-era pollution controls on wetlands were just overturned by the Trump admin.

2020 Election and Impeachment

China, Europe, Russia, and Everyone Else

33 percent – The number of Chinese citizens working in the agriculture sector, more than the entire U.S. population.

$53 Billion – Cost to the global economy from the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, an average of more $1.8 million per case.

A Chinese student at the University of Minnesota was arrested for a tweet sent while in the US that mocked “a national leader.”

Belarus criticized Russia for trying to pressure it into a union state.

Brexit passed Parliament, as did the EU, but even with the progress, the tension has revived paramilitary attacks in Northern Ireland.

China became the world’s second-largest arms producer, surpassing Russia.

Climate change is the most likely cause of the next financial crisis.

EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said Europe needs "credible military capabilities," to be complementary to NATO.

"For the first time since 1900, the share of global GDP accounted for by autocratic countries is greater than the democratic countries."

Greece elected its first woman president. A progressive start to the new decade.

Japan announced a Space Defense Unit to assist the US Space Force.

Macron and Trump agreed to a trade truce through the end of 2020 to avoid wine tariffs and Big Tech taxes. Trade tensions with the EU are just getting started and that’s before the UK breaks away at the end of January.

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Cities, Climate, Culture & Corporations

49ers’ Katie Sowers will be the first woman and LGBTQ+ to coach in a Super Bowl.

100,000 – Gallons of wine that poured into a Northern California river this weekend.

A nationwide effort to revitalize streets named after Dr. King is underway.

Amazon’s next target? The data center chip market. And, electric vehicles.

California’s housing crisis is in do-or-die mode. SB 50 needs to pass the State Senate by January 31 for the state’s next generation to stand any semblance of a chance.

Confronting toxic masculinity.

Ford is reviving Michigan Central Station to be the centerpiece of modern Detroit.

Game of Thrones was supposed to end on the silver screen. Would it have mattered?

Hypatia of Alexandria is the only philosopher in The Good Place.

Marais, the historic Jewish and Queer section of Paris, is gentrifying.

Oakland’s Land Trust to purchase a home for the evicted #Moms4Housing.

The IRS undertook the largest audit in its history to review Microsoft, and it lost.

Why did “western” start to mean “white”?

Classicists have fortified Eurocentrism by presenting (in our course titles and descriptions, promotional materials, book jackets, etc) Greece and Rome as “foundational” or “pioneering,” thus erasing the continuities between those cultures and those of the broader ancient Mediterranean, in particular those that are not understood to be “European” or to fall into the category of “Western Civilization.” The traditional disciplinary limits of Classics should be understood as part of this erasure: many disciplines limit themselves with geographical, linguistic, or temporal boundaries but Classics may be unique in imposing all three on itself in ways that give arbitrary priority to some ancient places, languages, and time periods over others. Greek and Latin are given precedence over other ancient languages; areas under Roman domination are studied more than unconquered regions; so-called golden ages marked by violent expansion are given more attention than periods of greater cultural blending or decline.