J. Martin

October 24, 2021

Masking Up Might Actually Be the Future

Last week was brutal, I didn’t publish any images or texts. Also, I had little time to think, so more on photography and memory next week.

Early into the pandemic, there were many bizarre discussions about masks. Particularly the WHO and other hallowed institutions fumbled their way through the worst arguments imaginable against mask use, much like a 5-year-old who refuses to go to bed. Now here’s a thread by Trisha Greenhalgh, whose book on How to Read a Paper I've recommended uncounted times since its first edition came out around 1998. In the longest thread on Twitter ever, Greenhalgh goes through all the scientific and pseudo-scientific arguments against mask use, including a few words on the resistance put up by WHO and other institutions against the mounting evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is indeed airborne. So—if you need some ammo to shoot down bad-faith arguments against mask use, or just want to know more about the background and the details, her epic thread is for you.

Moreover, even though that’s not part of her thread, there’s a paradigm shift underway toward taking airborne properties of other pathogens more seriously, including flu. Thus, after all, we all might want to get used to masking up in the future!

Then something completely different, more in line with last week’s topic. In the context of memory research, including how information and memories were and are preserved in nonliterate societies, I became aware of two recent publications that sound intriguing. There’s Social Media and the Automatic Production of Memory: Classification, Ranking and the Sorting of the Past by Ben Jacobsen & David Beer, a rather short treatise, and Structures of Epic Poetry on continuity, flexibility, and variation of structural elements in epic narratives, a comprehensive collection edited by Christiane Reitz & Simone Finkmann. (If that’s in your line of interest and you don’t have institutional access, you might still know where to look.)

Closing off, as usual, with fun stuff, here’s two clips with cute animals that cracked me up on Twitter last week: “my cycles of inspiration” and “I just need other people to see this because this cat tried it for real.” 

And, in case you’re on Facebook, here’s Manuel Mohnke’s playground collection as today’s bonus content. After your journey through these 42 pictures, you will think you’re dead and in hell. Enjoy!