The novel coronavirus pandemic of early 2020 effectively brought to an end two overlapping waves of American history: (1) the twelve-year “everything bubble” that began with the 2008 bailout, and (2) the forty-year rise and fall of neoliberalism as the West’s dominant political and economic ideology. As we’ve said elsewhere:

Neoliberalism was an experiment to see if aggressive globalization, financialization, and the willful destruction of the social safety net would lead to prosperity. It instead destroyed living standards across the globe to favor an elite financial class. 

On our resource page “Postneoliberalism,” we’ve described for many years the long unraveling of neoliberalism and the consequent risks and opportunities for citizens, investors, and business leaders. This page has always included a running list of our favorite speculations and proposals about what a world after neoliberalism could and should look like.

But the COVID-19 outbreak has shifted our collective attention from the specter of collapse to its overt, daily reality. As of March 2020, we are all clearly living in a new era. We’ve therefore created this new page, where we’ll curate our favorite resources about the world during and after COVID-19, with a bias towards pieces and voices that we think demonstrate originality, practicality, broad relevance, and/or staying power.

A post-collapse mindset

Although many aspects of daily life and business as we know it will continue, resume, or survive in an altered form, we are purposefully looking at the novel coronavirus outbreak as a notional if not overt collapse. Our mindset is one that favors post-collapse renewal and reimagining over preservation.

Over the past forty years if not eighty years, America has learned the iterative lessons of stability, scalability, sustainability, and resilience. Some of those lessons continue to be relevant, but our future also depends on being strong in new ways: agility and anti-fragility—i.e., moving quickly and building new, deeper strengths in response to extrinsic shock. The next us will emerge from embracing trauma and collapse optimistically, passionately, intelligently, and collectively.

Some of our foundational assumptions:

  • One result of COVID-19 will be a much more involved public sector in setting boundaries for the private sector and daily life. This could look authoritarian, socialist, or both, but cross-sector collaboration going forward will be essential for all industries and all socially important activities.
  • The formal global economy has effectively collapsed (or gone haywire), even if the banking system itself may or may not collapse. Per Yves Citton, we’ll find richer possibilities by focusing not just on economies but on interlocking ecologies of value and attention—e.g., by recognizing with more nuance and urgency that all human life, all business, and all technology is bounded and ruled by the physical world. For more on how the formal global economy has transitioned to what Venkat Rao calls a “permaweird” state, see our Postneoliberalism page.
  • The biome has effectively collapsed, and there will not be a return to mid-20th century global temperatures or weather patterns. At the same time, the biome can be healed and rejuvenated.
  • Technology, especially biotechnology, is about to get really weird, promising, and interesting.

Business

For Thought Leaders with Time to Think, Art Kleiner (March 2020)
Are We Ready for the New Culture of Empathy?, Art Kleiner (March 2020)
The Case for Rebound Optimism, Art Kleiner (March 2020)
COVID-19 Briefing Materials, McKinsey Report (March 2020)
The Virus Survival Strategy for Your Startup, Steve Blank (March 2020)
Don’t Waste the COVID-19 Reboot, Yak Collective (April 2020)
One For the Road, Rusty Guinn (April 2020)
The Medieval Future of Management, Venkat Rao (May 2020)

Monetary policy and economics

Which Way Now?, Howard Marks (March 2020)
Why the Global Recession Could Last a Long Time, Peter S. Goodman (April 2020)
Modern Monetary Theory Wikipedia entry [especially the “Criticisms” section]
Murder on the History Express, Venkat Rao (April 2020)
Knowledge of the future, Howard Marks (April 2020)
Money is losing its meaning, Jared Dillian (April 2020)
The debt reckoning has finally arrived, Robert J. Samuelson (April 2020)
The Anatomy of the $2T COVID-19 Stimulus Bill, Nick Routely (March 2020)
Millionaires to reap 80% of benefit from tax change in US coronavirus stimulus, Amanda Holpunch (April 2020)
The Fed’s coronavirus response could have unintended results, Dion Rabouin (April 2020)
The Fed may have fundamentally altered the nature of risk in the stock market, Ben Carlson (April 2020)
What the Negative Price of Oil is Telling Us, Neil Irwin (April 2020)
After the Disease, the Debt, The Economist (April 2020)
Argentina’s Make-or-Break Moment, The Economist (April 2020)

Government coordination

The Coronavirus Pandemic Makes a Case for Megaregions, Anthony Flint (April 2020)
‘Sadness’ and Disbelief from a World Missing American Leadership, Katrin Bennhold (April 2020)

Society

Coronavirus clarity, Ben Thompson (April 2020)
Inside the Dystopian, Post-Lockdown World of Wuhan, Sharon Chen, Matthew Campbell et al (April 2020)
This is going to kill small-town America, David Gelles (April 2020)
The pandemic will change American retail forever, Derek Thompson (April 2020)
The coronavirus crisis is devastating the news industry, WaPost (April 2020)
Bear Stearns and the Narratives of Systemic Risk, Ben Hunt (April 2020)
Why farmers are dumping milk down the drain…, Elizabeth Ransom et al (April 2020)
Inside the strip clubs of Instagram, Taylor Lorenz (April 2020)
The Failed State of America, Jeremy Scahill and Seth Ackerman interview (April 2020)
“You wanna know what white privilege is?”: a thread, Michael Harriot (April 2020)
Nonvoters are Not Privileged…, Glenn Greenwald (April 2020)
First the People, Rusty Guinn (April 2020) [take with a few grains of salt]
Steak-umm’s Twitter Account Is a Brilliant, Bizarre Voice of Reason in Our Coronavirus Era,  Kaila Hale-Stern (April 2020)
Fuck the Bread. The Bread is Over., Sabrina Orah Mark (May 2020)

Biome

How I feel about all of this, Clara Changxin Fang
A New Therapy for an Age of Climate Grief, Laura Bliss (February 2020)
The northern-hemisphere winter of 2019-2020 was the warmest ever on land, The Economist (March 2020)
Public-private partnerships are the key to tackling climate change, WEF (January 2020)
Wildfires ‘edge closer to Chernobyl nuclear plant’, BBC News (April 2020)
California had its driest February on record, NYTimes (March 2020)
Historic ‘megadrought’ underway in California…, Paul Rogers (April 2020) [include the comments]
Nature crisis: ‘Insect apocalypse’ more complicated than thought, Matt McGrath (April 2020)

Science and medicine

Why Asia’s New Wave of Virus Cases Should Worry the World, Motoko Rich (April 2020)
Coronavirus Case Counts Are Meaningless*, Nate Silver (April 2020)
Temporal dynamics in viral shedding and transmissibility of COVID-19, Nature Medicine (April 2020)
In a Crisis, an Opportunity for a More Meaningful Life, Steve Blank (April 2020) [a treasure trove of life sciences resources]
US may have to endure social distancing until 2022…, CNN (April 2020)
Why We Don’t Know the True Death Rate for Covid-19, Amy Harmon (April 2020)
The Coronavirus in America: The Year Ahead, Donald G. McNeil, Jr. (April 2020)
Rt.live: Effective Reproductive Number

Zoom living

Another pandemic woe: Zoom fatigue, Scott Rosenberg (April 2020)
The reason Zoom calls drain your energy, Manyu Jiang (April 2020)
Lockdown was supposed to be an introvert’s paradise. It’s not., Abby Ohlheiser (April 2020)
What we can learn from coziness culture about the art of staying home, Linda Poon (April 2020)

Local view: SF Bay Area

How SF battle with HIV/AIDS shaped today’s coronavirus response, Ryan Kost (April 2020)
COVID-19: ‘The Atlantic’ article about San Francisco is a fable…,  Joe Eskenazi (April 2020)
How San Francisco’s Chinatown Got Ahead of the Coronavirus, Alyson Stamos and Meiying Wu (April 2020)
With new powers, SF Mayor London Breed-Supervisors Clash…, Trisha Thadani (April 2020)
Hundreds of SF city workers take on ‘emergency’ roles, Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez (April 2020)
Give2SF COVID-19
SF COVID-19 Outbreak Tracking by ZIP Code
California, Oregon & Washington Announce Western States Pact (April 2020)
‘A reality check on the math’: What’s ahead for California and COVID-19, Sam Levin (April 2020)
Small Business Resources from the Office of Senator Scott Wiener
Cal Nonprofits COVID-19 Resources for Nonprofits
SF.gov Coronavirus (COVID-19) information