Open Thread 190

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This is the weekly visible open thread. Odd-numbered open threads will be no-politics, even-numbered threads will be politics-allowed. This one is even-numbered, so go wild - or post about whatever else you want. Also:

1: The US government is in the middle of debating its future pandemic preparedness policy. Some politics-savvy friends I trust have organized Guarding Against Pandemics, a PAC trying to lobby them to take a stronger line. The usual strategy of asking tech billionaires for money isn’t going to work here because of campaign finance laws that privilege small donors, so they’re asking interested parties to contribute here (maximum $5000/person if you want to help with the campaign finance issues, though any amount would be appreciated). See this post for more information and information on an upcoming Q&A with their director.

2: Thanks to everyone in Europe who was patient while I finished working out my meetup schedule. The current very provisional plan is:

Madrid - Saturday 9/25 11:00
Zurich - Sunday 9/26 17:00
Vienna - Saturday 10/2 13:00
Prague - Sunday 10/3 17:00
Berlin - Saturday 10/9 13:00
Paris - Sunday 10/10 17:00
London - Saturday 10/16 13:00
Oxford - Sunday 10/17 17:00
Cambridge - Saturday 10/23 13:00
Edinburgh - Sunday 10/24 17:00

Amsterdam asked me to squeeze them in, and I could potentially do this as long as they don’t mind me visiting on a weeknight. Get in touch with me at scott@slatestarcodex.com to coordinate. Everywhere else should check the spreadsheet as usual.

In order to avoid spamming you with too many meetup announcements, I’ll be combining them with the Open Thread and moving them to Friday for the next month or so. So the next open thread will be called OT191: Madrid and Zurich Meetups This Weekend. I’ll move the Hidden Open Thread to Tuesday or something to compensate.