Strategic Planning Horizon Assumption: The coronavirus is never going away

The Atlantic: The coronavirus is never going away This pandemic was once counted in weeks, then months; now we measure time in seasons, and hope that doesn’t slip into years. Today, we recap three things we learned this week while covering the pandemic—and look ahead to what you can expect as the weather turns cold. Three Things We Learned 1. The outbreak may worsen come winter. That’s when the cold will bring many indoors. “We know that the biggest risk of spread for this virus is when meaningful numbers of people gather indoors for any extended period of time,” one expert told Joe Pinsker. 2. Immunology is central to the pandemic’s biggest mysteries. Understanding it is key. “Which is unfortunate because, you see, the immune system is very complicated,” Ed Yong, who also wrote one of our latest cover stories, explains. 3. Even after this is all over, the coronavirus will likely stick around. “We will probably be living with this virus for the rest of our lives,” our Science reporter Sarah Zhang warns. “In fact, virologists have wondered whether the common-cold also got their start as a pandemic, before settling in as routine viruses.” One question, answered: Will Americans ever go back to working full-time in offices again? With the pandemic closing workspaces, the internet, Derek Thompson reports, “seems poised to weaken the spatial relationship between work and home.” When the pandemic is over, one in six workers is projected to continue working from home or co-working at least two days a week, according to a recent survey by economists at Harvard Business School. Another survey of hiring managers by the global freelancing platform Upwork... read more

Kenneth Whyte (selectively) responds to Libraries on his opinion piece

Kenneth Whyte (selectively) responds to Libraries on his opinion piece: The libraries strike back What have we learned, apart from that I’m stupid and mean? ken whyte Aug 7 Two weeks ago, I argued in the Globe & Mail that the increasingly aggressive lending practices of public libraries are seriously undermining bookselling, the publishing industry, and author incomes. The article didn’t sit well with librarians (much more on this below). First, with apologies to those who read it, a quick summary of the piece: * there are three times as many books borrowed as bought in the US every year, and four times as many in Canada. * libraries don’t passively lend books, they compete with booksellers by advertising how much people can save by borrowing rather than buying books, and they compete among themselves to lend the most books possible. * libraries urge people to borrow books because more borrowing builds their case for more public funding (the more patrons, the higher the funding requests). * libraries claim to deliver nearly $6 of economic activity for every $1 in public funding they receive, a number arrived at by counting each book borrowed as “economic value” equivalent to the purchase price of the book (in fact, book borrowing represents the destruction of economic value, i.e., a lost sales to booksellers and lost income to authors). * the problem has become more urgent in recent decades as borrowing per capita has roughly doubled in both Canada and the US. * all this borrowing has been more detrimental to the publishing industry than the rise of Amazon, which discounts books and floods the market... read more