Jamie's Notes

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Three Bridges in Chicago

Chicago Bridges (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

This picture caught my eye when reading the news today. Look at the size of those things!

The first bridge in the picture is the North Clarke Street Bridge. It’s 66 meters wide, 105 meters long and weighs 1400 tons. Enormous counterweights at either end are carefully balanced with the structure so that it takes only a small amount of energy to raise the leaves.

The bridges have been raised in this case to try and prevent looting in downtown Chicago – but, you know, they are nice bridges, and clever engineering.

No Mercy / No Malice

Saturday morning is when I catch up on my newsletters. This weeks edition of No Mercy / No Malice by Scott Galloway is a cracker.

Donald Trump was right, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were mistakes. Mistakes that cost us almost 7,000 American souls, 208,102 Iraqi and 111,000 Afghan civilian lives, and $1.9 trillion (inflation adjusted). But Covid-19 will register an even greater toll of American blood and treasure. The response to the novel coronavirus would have been swifter and more disciplined if the pathogen had brown skin and worshiped a different god. Americans can’t seem to wrap their head around an enemy 10,000 times smaller than the width of human hair.

Link: The Great Distancing

Video from the front in Portland

‘Great civilisations are not murdered. Instead, they take their own lives’ – so concluded Arnold Toynbee after investigating the fall of different civilisations through the ages.

Whatever your political persuasion, scenes like these from the City of Portland yesterday must give you the chills. To an outsider like me, this just looks like a country at war with itself.