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Volume XIII, Number 3 | summer 2020


“People think this pandemic is an accident,” wrote Nassim Nicholas Taleb in May 2020 of the Covid-19 crisis. “It is not. It is part of the system we have built. When you read the history of England, Italy, and the Middle East, you read of frequent quarantines and lockdowns because of sieges and plagues. These were built into the economic landscape and into the costs of every merchant. So the cost of the pandemic and future pandemics should be set against gross domestic product figures.

Diseases, at least many of them, are like human beings. They are born, they flourish, and they die.

—David Riesman, 1937

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Alfresco Gender Reveals


An outdoor gender-reveal party in California sparks a wildfire.

1500 BC:

Ancient Egyptian women visit a field of grain daily to determine their babies’ gender.



The World in Time

Richard Kreitner

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union. More

Lapham's Daily

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