Pretending Not To Panic is intended to summarize news that is,
significant, factual, based on data, logic, and is apolitical
people who are eager and anxious about the future.
2020’s politics meant fewer articles that weren’t at least somewhat political. Emotions were emphasized rather than logic. Facts seemed to be out of fashion. Maybe this is temporary. The consequence was far fewer posts on the blog. Regardless, here are the ten posts that drew the most traffic. Some may be from previous years, because news remains useful and fresh even as other current events fade. Thanks to everyone who visited and read. The comments were appreciated.
- Massive brushfires burned about 10,000,000 acres in Australia. The average maximum temperature was 107F.
- Since 1974, US worker compensation has effectively been stagnant (up about 8.9%) while productivity has risen 143.1%. Income and wealth inequalities continue to rise.
- Artificial intelligence programs have developed their own language for talking with each other. This may make for more efficient communications; but, we may be unable to monitor or translate what they say.
- In February 2020, some epidemiologists described the then-newly-found Covid-19 outbreak to be a “practice pandemic” because, while it is obviously a global threat, they saw the possibility of mutations and greater lethality.
- Air wells, and ancient way to passively extract water from the atmosphere are gaining popularity. A 30 foot tall bamboo well can produce about 25 gallons of water a day.
- Climate temperature models are improving narrowing 1979’s estimates of 3F to 9F to a narrower but more troubling 4.5F to 7F.
- Income inequality and suicide correlate. The US has one of the highest levels of income inequality among developed nations, as well as one of the lowest amounts spent on social welfare (18.8% versus >25% of GDP), and is experiencing a 30% increase in suicides.
- Sail power is returning to commercial use for trans-oceanic travel. They’re slower (12 days to cross the Atlantic versus 7 by diesel), but also reduce emissions by 90%.
- In the US, the portion of income directed towards the wealthiest has increased from 28% to 48% since 1964.
- In response to a perceived lack of federal leadership regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, as of April 2020, 19 US states have formed temporary alliances to coordinate actions and resources.