Is there Web3 life beyond the crypto crash?

admin Tech Note

Bitcoin and ether, the largest and most established cryptocurrencies, have plunged around 60 percent from their highs last November. Bitcoin now trades at around $29,000 and ether at $1,950. There is chaos and depression across the world of coins, tokens, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs)—so much that my college-age daughter called me last week to ask, “What’s up with the crypto crash? Is crypto over?”

Lots of crypto skeptics surely think and hope so. My own optimism for crypto, which has waxed and waned over the last decade, had more recently been rising. Market crashes induce fear and doubt but can also bring clarity. So my daughter’s question helped me organize and simplify my thoughts. Read more . . .

A Pandemic Pivot Point: The Counterintuitive Dynamics of Covid-19

admin Tech Note

How over-vaccination drives the pandemic. The power of innate and recovered immunity. The early treatment solution. The unwisdom of vaccinating young people.

See our new report offering a new Covid-19 strategy. We describe the complex evolutionary dynamics of the virus. [Newly salient with the emergence of the Omicron B.1.1.529 variant in South Africa.] We show how well-intended mass vaccination exerts evolutionary pressure toward more infectious, vaccine-resistant variants. We demonstrate the potency – and preciousness – of innate immunity, especially among young people. We show how the current strategy of maximal vaccination is leading to higher all-cause mortality. We detail highly effective but underutilized early treatments. And offer a rubric for cost-benefit analysis.

Big Tech and Big Finance Breed Hubris

admin Tech Note

See our latest in The Wall Street Journal . . .

The suppression of debate over the origin of the novel coronavirus highlights a broader problem. Governments were once the chief impediments to free speech and free markets, but extremely large private companies may have become the greater danger. These hyperscale firms serve as hubs and gateways in the highly networked knowledge economy. They are well-positioned to exert special control over information—and other companies.

China’s stalling and lying about Covid’s origins weren’t surprising. On the other hand, the behavior of U.S. officials and scientists was startling. They dissembled over their intimate knowledge of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and their early suspicions the virus was “engineered.” But who expects politicians and bureaucrats to be honest and competent? That’s what an open society is for. Truth and accountability are the responsibility of a free press—and a free internet. 

What happens when the press and the internet aren’t so free? Over the past year, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook joined with a partisan press to block and throttle discussion across a range of Covid-19 topics. They discouraged and erased talk of the Wuhan lab-leak hypothesis, cheap and safe generic treatments such as ivermectin, Sweden’s heterodox decision to stay mostly open, and the inefficacy (and cruelty) of school closures. continue reading (subscription required) . . .