As discussed previously, this is my weekly Twitter roundup. Note that tweets of articles generally include header images from the articles, which I don’t include here unless their creators happen to have released them for use under a free license. Most have not. But I now add most of my commentary here, where I don’t feel restricted by the message length.

diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week

I also don’t generally attach pictures to posts with quotations.

9:04 – Mon 16 May 2022 🔗

Nonprofit drugmaker Civica Rx is taking aim at the high insulin prices harming people with diabetes from The Conversation

It’s planning to produce generic insulin for no more than $30 for a month’s worth of the drug at a factory being built in Petersburg, Virginia.

This raises an issue that has slowly infuriated me during the COVID-19 pandemic. For two years, now, we have heard a certain subset of pundits—several people whose articles I use in my tweets, so I don’t disagree with them, exactly—has complained almost incessantly about the lack of a patent waiver from Pfizer and the other major American companies producing vaccines. They hammer this idea, partly rightly, because it is required of them under the current system, but to the exclusion of everything else.

Yet I count at least two Indian vaccines, four Russian vaccines, five Chinese vaccines, and two Cuban vaccines, plus vaccines from smaller American developers that don’t see use in the United States. Several of these have had their designs and processing published under free licenses. Why has the world not migrated to them, instead of begging for American scraps?

And if they want to uphold the principles behind the existing agreements, why would any of them ever publish an article raising this topic that fail to mention the deals that Bill Gates personally made to prevent the patent waivers?

My point is that we need more companies like Civica in the world, taking the cheapest designs for pharmaceuticals and cutting the legs out from under Big Pharma.

12:02 – Mon 16 May 2022 🔗

Fools! Do you argue, that things ancient ought, on that account, to be true and noble! Fallacies and Falsehoods there were from time immemorial, and dare you argue that because these are ancient these should prevail?

Subramanya Bharathi

9:02 – Tue 17 May 2022 🔗

Remote work may actually be good for business from Futurity

“The people who took the recommended breaks were more productive overall. They got more done,” he says.

You can file this study in the “it doesn’t say anything novel, but might serve as a useful link to throw at someone who still doesn’t understand the world” cabinet.

12:03 – Tue 17 May 2022 🔗

Facts we would always place before our readers, whether they are palatable or not…

Mahatma Gandhi

9:03 – Wed 18 May 2022 🔗

Cost of living crisis could be ‘catastrophic’ for domestic abuse survivors from openDemocracy

Domestic abuse experts fear financial hardship in the coming months will lead to a spike in cases — leaving many unable to escape their abusers.

This story has a disappointing aspect that the author probably didn’t realize: People who have suffered domestic abuse worry about everything when they leave, agonizing over every detail of their plans. This will lead many of them to hesitate before leaving out of fear that they might starve, even if they plan to stay with someone who can easily afford to cover the higher prices.

12:05 – Wed 18 May 2022 🔗

Weary of struggles, I, the great rebel,

Shall rest in quiet only when I find

The sky and the air free of the piteous groans of the oppressed.

Kazi Nazrul Islam

9:05 – Thu 19 May 2022 🔗

Turkey’s latest attack on the arts: A provincial governor cancels a long-awaited music festival from Global Voices

Prominent musicians and artists shared their concerns, arguing the ban was “ideological” rather than related to public health.

Unfortunately, we’re now at the “give up on keeping people healthy, but using the pandemic as an excuse for authoritarians to control people, even though they still don’t believe that they should worry about the illness” stage of the pandemic.

12:04 – Thu 19 May 2022 🔗

If men are not led astray once educated, why should women?

Begum Rokeya

9:01 – Fri 20 May 2022 🔗

The (billionaires’) case against billionaires from Pluralistic

…it’s not just that every billionaire is a policy failure: every billionaire is a factory for producing policy failures at scale.

This goes into some interesting depth, providing plenty of examples of how inequality hurts everyone.

12:01 – Fri 20 May 2022 🔗

Religion must mainly be a matter of principles only. It cannot be a matter of rules. The moment it degenerates into rules, it ceases to be a religion, as it kills responsibility which is an essence of the true religious act.

B.R. Ambedkar

Bonus 🔗

Because it accidentally became a tradition early on in the life of the blog, I drop any additional articles that didn’t fit into the one-article-per-day week, but too weird or important to not mention, here.

People Are Using Job Listings to Sabotage Companies That Mistreat Their Workers from VICE Motherboard

On Wednesday, SEIU Local 32BJ, a New York City-based union that is organizing fast food workers, exposed significant racial discrimination in job hiring for managerial positions at Chipotle Mexican Grills by using a bot to spam job applications and seeing which ones received a response from the company.

I love this sort of work. Most companies treat hiring as a “black box,” where nobody can interrogate how it works. But we have much more experience analyzing black boxes, these days…

How to rehabilitate the concrete jungle from the Wellcome Collection

A series of mock-18th-century facades stacked up to 20 stories, and placed like a Potemkin screen across an ecological disaster area.

I honestly can’t confidently tell you whether they present this as fiction or just an obscure city that I haven’t seen. Likewise, I can’t tell whether the goal is to advocate for change or to satirize existing changes. Maybe I don’t have enough backing in British culture? Anyway, I found it pleasing to read, at least.


Credits: Header image is Circular diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week from a manuscript drafted during the Carolingian Dynasty.