ACF PoMoCon #33: Vaccines and Digital Media


Today I bring you news about the epidemic–Matt Shapiro, Polimath on Twitter and Substack, joins me to talk about his long-running data project on COVID. Next week he’ll have a new monthly update for cases, deaths, vaccines, each state tracked by the region where it seems to fit in a pattern, so you can sign up for his Substack. We also talk about the great big good news story the media isn’t dealing with: America’s vaccination success, which seems to augur a return to normal life–or a chance to put life back together — by summer. (We also talk about digital media, what conservatives might do to build trust, and Looney Tunes!)


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  1. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    If you listen to podcasts on Apple:

    • #1
  2. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    What do you think, @gumbymark?

    • #2
  3. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy) Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy)

    Titus Techera (View Comment):

    What do you think, @ gumbymark?

    Will listen to it tonight.  I read PoliMath on twitter and subscribe to his newsletter.  He does very sound work.

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  4. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy) Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy)

    Listened to it.  I appreciate that PoliMath has followed where the evidence leads on his covid tracking even if it causes his initial assumptions to change.  The SubStack platform is proving very useful and I’m now reading several people on it who actually feel free to write about what they think.  For that reason it looks like it is being attacked by progressives.  I also like that on his twitter feed he’s really gone after those who have been inventing stuff about Governor DeSantis and since Matt knows the subject matter inside out his work is very convincing.  My only advice for Matt is to speak slower next time he does a podcast, as if you aren’t already familiar with him you might miss some of his best points.

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  5. Jim Beck Inactive
    Jim Beck

    Morning Titus,

    Loved the conversation, and I thought that Matt’s optimism was thought provoking.  When he used “Birth of a Nation” to describe how this movie influenced the language of movies, and you and he then discussed movie shorts and cartoons, led me to think about social media differently.  You talked about building trust, I would like to hear you expand this discussion;  trust in the past was in part a function of time, I know you and have know you, I know your family, where you went to school, you are trustworthy. How might trust be built in this new time?  Again, always good to hear you and the folks who you are interested in.  Concerning the China flu, does Matt look at the larger picture of how this flu has effected public health as a whole?

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  6. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    Matt’s incredibly focused on the subject. I’ve not read him on other related matters. His side project is polemics against liberals who write about the epidemic in insane, partisan ways. Latest, some LA Times hack attacking Gov. DeSantis in an incoherent way.

    But he’s not a full time writer. None of us can afford it. So in-between job, family, church, &c., there’s little he can do more…

    • #6
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