a Better Bubbleโ„ข

Kevin Drum ๐Ÿ•ธ

Cochrane: We didnโ€™t even study whether masks work

2 weeks 6 days ago
Hey, remember that Cochrane meta-study showing that masks don't work? The Cochrane folks have apologized and explained what the study really showed: Interventions to increase mask wearing may or may not work. The evidence is inconclusive. The study doesn't even address the question of whether mask wearing itself helps to reduce the spread of respiratory ...continue reading "Cochrane: We didn’t even study whether masks work"
Kevin Drum

Second-biggest US bank failure in history hits Silicon Valley

2 weeks 6 days ago
Silicon Valley Bank collapsed today in the second-biggest bank failure in US history. Why? Because it put a ton of money into long-dated government and mortgage bonds. This would normally be pretty safe: When the Federal Reserve began raising rates last year, however, those holdings became less attractive because newer government bonds paid more in ...continue reading "Second-biggest US bank failure in history hits Silicon Valley"
Kevin Drum

Norway suggests slowing down on gender affirming care for teens

2 weeks 6 days ago
Another Scandinavian country has weighed in on gender-affirming care in children and teens. This time it's Norway: Ukom recommends that puberty delaying treatment (puberty blockers) and hormonal and surgical gender confirmation treatment for children and young people are defined as experimental treatment. This is particularly important for teenagers with gender dysphoria. (Ukom is the Norwegian ...continue reading "Norway suggests slowing down on gender affirming care for teens"
Kevin Drum

Helping the poor has been one of the great triumphs of the progressive movement

3 weeks ago
Matthew Desmond has a very odd op-ed in the New York Times today. His topic is the lack of improvement in poverty despite 50 years of effort: What accounts for this lack of progress? It cannot be chalked up to how the poor are counted: Different measures spit out the same embarrassing result. When the ...continue reading "Helping the poor has been one of the great triumphs of the progressive movement"
Kevin Drum

Three reasons to believe that COVID evolved naturally, not in a lab

3 weeks ago
I've mentioned several times that the bulk of the scientific evidence points to a natural origin for the COVID virus, but you may be wondering just what that evidence is. First off, there's this: The early cases of COVID in Wuhan clustered almost entirely around the Huanan Market. That's a helluva coincidence in a city ...continue reading "Three reasons to believe that COVID evolved naturally, not in a lab"
Kevin Drum

The descendants of ChatGPT will eventually be smarter than us

3 weeks 1 day ago
The response of the punditocracy to ChatGPT has entranced me. I mean, here we have a tool that, judged by ordinary standards, is absolutely remarkable. It's not playing chess or Go or Jeopardy! It's a computer program that produces high-school level text on pretty much any subject you throw at it—and will likely produce college-level ...continue reading "The descendants of ChatGPT will eventually be smarter than us"
Kevin Drum

Lunchtime Photo

3 weeks 1 day ago
Check out the bicycle cops at LAX waving for the camera just before our trip to France last year. But where's the fourth bicycle?
Kevin Drum

No, women arenโ€™t returning to the workforce at an unusual rate

3 weeks 1 day ago
The Wall Street Journal has a seemingly insatiable appetite for trend stories that just aren't true. Here's the latest: Women’s Return to the Workforce Piles Momentum on a Hot Economy American women are staging a return to the workforce that is helping propel the economy in the face of high inflation and rising interest rates. ...continue reading "No, women aren’t returning to the workforce at an unusual rate"
Kevin Drum

Quote of the day: Bomb Mexico

3 weeks 2 days ago
From TPM: House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) said Tuesday morning that it was a “mistake” that the administration didn’t go through with bombing drug labs in Mexico after then-President Donald Trump suggested it in 2020. Okey dokey. It sure is good that the adults are back in charge in the House.
Kevin Drum

Lunchtime Photo

3 weeks 2 days ago
You might be tired of us Californians going on and on about our recent storms, as if a few feet of snow is some kind of otherworldly miracle. And it's true that if I wanted pictures of snowy peaks I could just hop in my car and drive north to Shasta or east to the ...continue reading "Lunchtime Photo"
Kevin Drum