As discussed previously, this is my weekly Twitter roundup. Note that tweets of articles generally include header images from the articles, which are not included here unless they happen to be available under a free license. Most are not. But I now add most of my commentary here, where I’m not 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.

9:03 – Mon 28 September 2020

27 Unopened Sarcophagi Discovered In an Ancient Egyptian Necropolis from VICE Motherboard

Saqqara is now an emerging hotspot for archaeologists as recent excavations have uncovered incredible new artifacts, including dozens of 4,500-year-old cat mummies and millions of mummified dogs.

Everybody in the world has already made their xenophobic jokes about curses, so I’ll just point out that we may like to imagine that the planet has been completely mapped and there’s noplace left hiding, but the reality is that we’re both literally and figuratively just scratching the surface.

12:03 – Mon 28 September 2020

I go fast through the world

Full of laughter and love

To everyone who asks me

Laughter and kisses I give.

But if someone asked me

My merry heart

Laugh that laughs, laughing

I turn my back and go

Zenobia Camprubí

9:04 – Tue 29 September 2020

Leaked Email Shows Cop Involved in Breonna Taylor Raid Calling Protesters ‘Thugs’ from VICE News

The officer also says that the investigation represents a larger moral battle.

It’s an impressive degree of self-deception that lets someone who abetted the violent murder of a sleeping woman insist that they somehow have the moral high ground.

12:05 – Tue 29 September 2020

Do not give your land to a stranger!

even though he pays you well…

He who sells his land!

Is selling his homeland as well.

Virgilio Dávila

9:01 – Wed 30 September 2020

Pandemics can spread xenophobia and bigotry from Futurity

But humans have a leg up on fish: access to information and means of virtual communication.

The paper tangentially makes what’s probably a more important point that someone should investigate further, that bigotry—which may be instinctual on some level, in times of severe stress—might worsen the spread of disease, by offering false heuristics regarding which people to avoid.

In other words, while the paper is more focused on checking in with friends and colleagues on video calls, it seems to indicate that solidarity is a far better strategy for dealing with outbreaks of disease than atomization.

12:04 – Wed 30 September 2020

I wish that they will say: In that island a man was born who loved truth, desired justice, and worked for the good of men.

Eugenio María de Hostos

It’s a shame that there’s no easy way to track the spread of ideas, because this self-written epitaph—based on the era it was written—might easily have influenced the introduction to The Adventures of Superman and so the lore of the character in general.

9:02 – Thu 01 October 2020

What Ruth Bader Ginsburg thought the US could learn from South Africa’s modern constitution from Quartz

…disputes about the death penalty, the property clause, and the appointment of judges and the attorney-general. Addressing both issues of governance and human rights, these would end up resolved…

One of the inherent problems with the United States Constitution is that it’s the first blueprint for a large democratic (little-d, pedants…) country and, as such, was constructed naïvely. It was also written before there was any thought given to reconciling the racially-motivated abuse and exploitation that made the country wealthy. So, while not every democratic country has a constitution that represents a step forward, it’s worth looking at younger countries to see what they’ve learned in the centuries since.

12:02 – Thu 01 October 2020

We no longer want despots,

may the tyrant fall now;

the unconquerable women

also will know how to fight.

Lola Rodríguez de Tió

9:05 – Fri 02 October 2020

Can herd immunity save us from COVID? Don’t count on it, says this new study from Fast Company

…effectively suppressing COVID-19 is quite possible in two months with stringent social distancing and self-isolation of infected people…

This, I think, has been one of the more frustrating parts of the pandemic. We’re always just a few weeks away from stamping it out. But because we’re attached to the illusion of “normalcy,” we never get any closer. One bill to pay each person to stay home (if they can) for three months—making sure there’s some wiggle room—and getting masks to every address would solve the problem. Since this post is published on October second, a hypothetical two month window starting now would end in time for Thanksgiving.

And yet, we won’t do it, because the current administration doesn’t believe it’s a big deal, even as many of them are about to get very sick from that disease.

12:01 – Fri 02 October 2020

Love is so precious

my townspeople

that if I were you I would

have it under lock and key—

like the air or the Atlantic or

like poetry!

William Carlos Williams


Because it accidentally became a tradition early on in the life of the blog, here’s a sixth article that didn’t fit into the week, but too weird to not mention.

Tribune Publishing Out-Evils Itself With Phishing Email Promising Bonuses from VICE Motherboard

The email then directed recipients to log in using a provided link to view the bonus and to “be advised that you may deposit all or a portion of your bonus into the company RRSP program.” When employees clicked on the link, however, it said “Oops! You clicked on a simulated phishing test!”

To be clear, it’s almost never a bad idea to regularly test employees on these issues, because system administrators need to know who to better educate on network security, before they expose the network to a real attacker. However, it’s generally accepted that you give the employees notice that it will be happening and that you not make the setup cruel…

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