The Daily Dose: Japan, India, Australia join forces to move supply chains from China; Objective reality is under fire

Responding to the glaring weaknesses in supply chains that depend on China, Japan, India, and Australia have joined forces to move their critical supply chains out of China. According to the South China Morning Post, “Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry broached the idea with the Indian government around a month ago and informal talks have been ongoing, according to economists with knowledge of the discussions… The Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) is expected to be discussed further during the India-Japan summit in early September.” Expect more countries around the world to emulate SCRI.

Japan has been struggling to keep its smoldering COVID-19 outbreak from exploding into a raging fire. Right now, the country seems to be inching toward bonfire-status (as opposed to full-on forest fire status. According to the Japan Times, “The pace of growth in the number of coronavirus patients with severe symptoms in Tokyo is accelerating, an infectious disease expert said Thursday. The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients who need a ventilator or an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) system in the capital rose to 36 as of Thursday, up from 21 on Aug. 13. Such cases had been hovering around 20 since late July.” Japan’s success in keeping its outbreak in check will be closely watched among democratic Asian countries.

While Africa has had its fair share of COVID-19 cases, they’ve been spared a major surge in associated fatalities. Now, it seems the continent is a step away from seeing declines in positive cases. “Average daily cases of coronavirus in Africa fell last week, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). The continent-wide daily average was 10,300 last week, down from 11,000 the week before. The director of Africa CDC, Dr John Nkengasong, said it was a ‘sign of hope’. Africa has recorded 1,147,369 cases, more than half of which are in South Africa, and about 26,000 deaths.”

The scientific community in Brazil have presented a unified front in support of new legislation that would increase funding of scientific research. Per Nature, “Scientific societies, including the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, and business and industry groups have banded together in support of the legislation, which would release cash from a special fund for industrial innovation and other research. They argue that years of budget cuts for science have made it difficult to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in Brazil, and that additional funding could bolster efforts to better understand, diagnose and treat the disease.” Clearly, the pandemic has added a sense of urgency to the successful passage of the bill.

In the 1960s, physicist Eugene Wigner performed a famous thought experiment that speculated that superposition must breakdown outside of the quantum realm. Now, an international team of researchers aren’t so sure the breakdown happens at all. Per Science, “Researchers in Australia and Taiwan offer perhaps the sharpest demonstration that Wigner’s paradox is real. In a study published this week in Nature Physics, they transform the thought experiment into a mathematical theorem that confirms the irreconcilable contradiction at the heart of the scenario. The team also tests the theorem with an experiment, using photons as proxies for the humans. Whereas Wigner believed resolving the paradox requires quantum mechanics to break down for large systems such as human observers, some of the new study’s authors believe something just as fundamental is on thin ice: objectivity. It could mean there is no such thing as an absolute fact, one that is as true for me as it is for you.” Well that’s not too confusing. If it’s too much to take, just think… We could be living in a massive simulation.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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