Just a couple of non-healthcare related things that interested me this week:
John Robb on the Pakistan black-out:
the attackers found a systempunkt. A systempunkt is the node in any network (physical or social) where it is the most vulnerable. An attack on a systempunkt can generate cascades of failure that take down the entire network….
we know, when a complex network is operating at or near its capacity, it is many times more vulnerable to collapse and thereby much easier to attack.
As a side note, we know that there are significant large scale single points of failure in the American regional electrical distribution grids.
Syriza won big in Greece on a platform that they’ll stop the austerity pain. That makes sense, and the only thing that surprised me was that it took this long for a political party to prosper on a platform that it would stop kicking the public in the balls. Here is a reminder of what the current Greek governing elite agreed to from March 2011:
We outline here what we think will be a very large 18-month IMF program, which will come with a set of draconian policy measures as a conditionality. Whether the effort will lead to a restoration of debt sustainability will depend on the willingness and ability of Greece’s political leadership to undertake (and for its population to accept) some very substantial cuts in living standards during the next three years.
The drop in living standards for the Greeks was far greater than what the IMF projected. Syriza is properly identifying the problem and are offering a reasonable and plausible solution once you take the implications of a Grexit as real. This is a far better outcome than Golden Dawn who have identified scapegoats rather than problems.
Proper blizzard prep should also include a note on how many rolls of toilet paper are needed:
Gallons of milk to buy (multiply by π to convert to beers). pic.twitter.com/MQfORwOSUU
— Austin Frakt (@afrakt) January 26, 2015