Coronavirus, synchronous failure and the global phase-shift

This is a substantial article that I’d urge everybody to read, I have been following and supporting Nafeez Ahmed’s journalism for a long time and I can’t recommend his work enough, this article is especially important:


Thanks, Chris, it’s a very good read, as you say, if very long!

As it happens, we are proposing to move to remote working with immediate effect today, and potentially also to notify our clients that we will not be doing any face to face meetings until further notice.

This is quite a big step, as it may harm our chances of winning new work (remote versus in person pitches, for example), so we may need to consider other options as well.

Ian shared this article which is a bit shorter and along similar lines in terms of the science and response required.

I’d be interested to hear other perspectives and what other coops are doing (or not doing)


We have no choice but to work remotely at my agency as no-one lives within 150 miles of each other!

So the virus does not present anything new from that perspective. You might say we are lucky to be set up this way? I think remote working will be more and more common in the future and it’s surprising to me how well it’s worked for us so far, though there are subtle and not so subtle effects on your interactions you need to be mindful of. For example, in my experience it can develop and exacerbate misunderstandings and disagreements.

We use Discourse, Mattermost (our own instances) and Zoom to communicate.

I do wonder how Zoom will hold up during the next couple of months though!

I notice Wired has some suggestions for working this way:


That’s a great read - thanks @chris!


The UK appears to be over the cusp of the threshold for exponential growth rates of COVID-19 infections:


The graph above was taken from the following (quite long) article, which is worth spending some time reading.

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Another essential read from Nafeez Ahmed:

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I have just deleted a message in this thread because I made a stupid mathematical error in it, sorry, things are not quite as bad as I feared.


Another great article from Nafeez Ahmed:

You and the government both but in the opposite direction. :slight_smile:

The author of this article, posted above:

Has written a follow up which is also well worth a read:


A three part series of articles by Nafeez Ahmed have been published this evening in the Byline Times:

This is also worth noting, the code used to originally model the pandemic for the UK Government was written to model flu pandemics, over 13 years ago and is “thousands of lines of undocumented C”

It is to be welcomed that it will eventually be made public, after it has been refactored, however if the original code isn’t made public it will inevitably result in some people assuming that something is being hidden…


Couldn’t agree more!

If ever there was an appropriate moment for open source, THIS IS IT!!

How can you write a serious paper like that with such huge policy implications and not share the code?!


Nafeez Ahmed has written an article on the PR spin around “herd immunity”:

A post was split to a new topic: Energy Efficient IoT Deployment for Systems of the Future

If you have been following Nafeez Ahmed’s Coronavirus reporting then this audio interview is worth a listen (Nafeez joins at 16 minutes in and and Coronavirus discussion starts at around 21 minutes in):

So the refactored code, not the original, has been released:

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There is a bit more positive portrayal of the code here:

GitHub issue: (also includes lots of negative comments).

And John Carmark’s opinion


Another essential and spot-on, long read from Nafeez Ahmed on the big picture:

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