What I'm Reading (July 27)

Related articles

A Fish Tale
The Ancients on Public Life
Hester Prynne, cancel culture’s first victim?
Should I get a COVID booster?

Let’s begin with a fish tale combining a concern about our wasted food and how an entrepreneurial spirit harnessed it.

“So far, enterprising Icelanders have unlocked uses for almost 95 percent of a cod—a pretty recent jump forward. In 2003, people only knew what to do with about 40 percent of the fish.

Oddsson’s cod skin grafts are a marvel of medical technology. But they also represent something else: the manifestation of an unusual and ambitious experiment in environmental efficiency. The skin grafts are just one of a slew of products—including Omega-3 capsules, cold virus pretreatment sprays, and dog snacks—made from what was once Iceland’s cod catch detritus. They come largely from the efforts of 100% Fish—a project spurred by the incubator Iceland Ocean Cluster in collaboration with research institutes and private companies to determine how to repurpose byproducts from the country’s US $2-billion seafood sector.”

From Hakai Magazine, Iceland’s Quest to Use 100 Percent of Its Fish Waste


What might we learn from the ancients about today’s public discourse on social and mainstream media?

“What does this duty of citizenship entail? Epictetus is quite direct and explicit here, stating that when death arrives for him—as if must for us all—he’d like to be found “doing something that’s proper for a human being—something benevolent, something that contributes to the common good, something honorable.” Simply put, participation in public life requires a generous and tolerant attitude, honorable conduct, and a focus on the common good above all else.”

From the LiberalPatriot, A Handbook for Public Life


“It was no great distance, in those days, from the prison-door to the marketplace. Measured by the prisoner’s experience, however, it might be reckoned a journey of some length.

… Social codes are changing, in many ways for the better. But for those whose behavior doesn’t adapt fast enough to the new norms, judgment can be swift—and merciless.”

Those first two lines are from the Scarlet Letter. Is it possible that we live in an age of a new puritanism – the cancel culture? From The Atlantic, The New Puritans


The fall is almost upon us, and a new COVID vaccine, felt to be effective against Omicron, is in the works. Should you take it? Consider this before it is released, and the firehouse of information and misinformation is opened upon us.

“Offit, though, is confident enough in T cells that he thinks boosters might not be needed in anyone but the most vulnerable (such as the elderly or immunocompromised), at least until it can be seen that the T-cell response has disappeared. “If it turns out memory cells last only a year, for example, you may need a yearly booster,” he says. “If they last two years, three years, four years, then you might not need a booster.” Yet there aren’t yet any signs of T-cell levels declining over time: In addition to the La Jolla research, a report in Science Immunology has shown that T-cell responses to various vaccines remain stable and aren’t improved by boosters.”

From Wired, No One Knows if You Need Another Covid Booster