Cyberspace is inferior to virtue

“These things scream ‘SCAM!’, the IRS warns:
“When somebody’s emphasizing the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” The official term is economic impact payment.
“When somebody asks you to sign over your economic impact payment check to them.
“When somebody asks – be it by phone, email, text or social media – for verification of personal and/or banking information, saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up their economic impact payment.
“When somebody says they can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on the taxpayer’s behalf. The IRS says that scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
“When a scammer sends a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tells the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.”
Watch out for the new wave of COVID-19 scams, warns IRS, by Lisa Vaas, Sophos blog, 3 April 2020

“Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s characters step up to help children through crisis.”
Stay in your cave: the Gruffalo lends a claw to the coronavirus effort, by Esther Addley, The Guardian, 4 April 2020

“There is, perhaps, a bit more: Laurel Sutton, a linguist, strategist and co-founder of the naming agency Catchword, points out that recent years—and recent recessions—have taught us that even lofty institutions with names built to inspire trust for generations are not necessarily more trustworthy than anyone else. Those of millennial age and younger have grown up in a time when the perception of friendliness, accessibility and a dose of fun are equally—if not more—important.”
What’s In A Name?, by Fiona Soltes, Leader’s Edge, 1 March 2020

Work still means meetings, and meetings still mean people.

“But with the coronavirus pandemic having caused many countries to define a “group” as a maximum of two people, and prohibiting people from meeting up face-to-face anyway, even with friends and family, then meeting with people means an online meeting. For very many of us, that means Zoom, not least because many of us were using Zoom already, and happily, and… or so we thought, safely. But Zoom has had a bunch of security scares recently, as huge numbers of new users flock to it, and as crooks and miscreants try to take advantage of that.”
5 things you can do today to make Zooming safer, by Paul Ducklin, Sophos blog, 3 April 2020

“This erasure of black and African contributions to medicine is frustratingly common in American culture. A casual learner might never know the cure for scurvy originated from African orange traders or that Vivien Thomas, a black man, created the first surgical procedure to cure blue baby syndrome. When we are mentioned, black people are often portrayed as unknowing participants or victims of scientific experimentation. Thankfully, there is a second, more authentic story that scholars and some journalists are beginning to tell about Onesimus. The biographical details are the same, but the context is richer.”
The Slave Who Helped Boston Battle Smallpox, by LaShyra Nolen, Undark, 2 April 2020

“A number of American religious leaders have endangered their flock by holding services – and by claiming the virus can be defeated by faith in God.”
The rightwing Christian preachers in deep denial over Covid-19’s danger, by Jason Wilson, The Guardian, 4 April 2020

“Fiction about pandemics and plagues is experiencing a huge surge of interest. Which are the best examples, and what do they have to tell us?”
Why people are turning to pandemic fiction to help process the Covid-19 crisis, by John Self, Penguin Newsletter, 1 April 2020

“‘Coronavirus is changing us as a society, but it’s also revealing who we can truly be. We are seeing people’s roles and jobs afresh . People who yesterday were “unskilled” are now essential workers – and rightly so. I hope that will lead to a reassessment of jobs and wages, so that in future no one working in an essential role is undervalued or left in poverty.’ ~snip~ ‘There are things being said now, though, which cannot be unsaid. Michael Gove asserting on the Marr programme that “we’ve got to put the lives of the vulnerable ahead of everything else”; Conservative MPs calling for a universal basic income. The coronavirus may turn out to be the locomotive of history which accelerates the transition to a better, fairer society. But we will have to fight to ensure it happens.'”
After coronavirus: ‘We can’t go back to business as usual’, by Patrick Collinson, The Guardian, 4 April 2020

“As unthinkable events unfold over coronavirus, experts say no one knows if the election will happen as scheduled – and Trump is in a ‘precarious position'”
The US presidential election is frozen in time – can it survive?, by David Smith, The Guardian, 4 April 2020

Quotes:

Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model.
Vincent Van Gogh

Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words?
Marcel Marceau

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
Dr. Seuss

Elegance is inferior to virtue.
Mary Shelley

Everything that is beautiful and noble is the product of reason and calculation.
Charles Baudelaire

Gambling: The sure way of getting nothing for something.
Wilson Mizner

Give a little love to a child, and you get a great deal back.
John Ruskin

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.
Vincent Van Gogh

Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.
Milton Friedman

I am a company in myself. My repertoire has become a bible for all mimes in the world.
Marcel Marceau

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