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C & C: Coronavirus #4

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Easy Truth
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This study estimates about 81,000 deaths in the US from Covid 19 over the next four months. Hopefully, we'll all be around to see how close the author got in this prediction. And hopefully not near so many. As of this morning, about 2,200 have died in the US.*

http://www.healthdata.org/sites/default/files/files/research_articles/2020/covid_paper_MEDRXIV-2020-043752v1-Murray.pdf 

 

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You don't want to catch the virus, you don't want to pass it on (if you have). This basic principle is well covered by one's rational self-interest. Self-responsibility, consciousness, self-awareness and mindfulness of others' lives. Implicitly, most people know this. Except, universal panic has taken hold.

What we are seeing pronounced by media and governments is a drive, that already built steam prior to the pandemic,  to collectivism and self-sacrifice. Your life is not as important as others. "Together" we will defeat the invisible enemy. We owe the other. In part this explains why previous epidemics/pandemics like the Swine flu only a decade ago, didn't get anywhere near the same hysterical attention as now, although deadly to hundreds of thousands. One hopes not this time round. Life carried on, almost regardlessly. I think we've passed the balancing point to where the cure is worse than the disease, and on a scale of major values we are moving into perpetual sacrifice.  i.e. given up a value for a lesser or non-value. The value is everyone's freedom to act, the lesser is eternal security. The disruption and losses to billions of lives will not be easily recovered for the survivors. Many people will die, anyway.

On Sky (another channel dedicating 24/7 coverage, as if nothing else matters and nobody else is suffering and dying) a prediction today that the UK shutdown will have to be extended, perhaps until "June at least". Bad enough for Britain, that will permanently cripple weak economies like mine here, since we are sure to mimic the UK's policies. Then what? Poverty, business and industry collapse, (further) shortages of water and power, civil disobedience, riots, police and army force

Better (with a little hindsight) that home self-isolation had been voluntary - for a citizen himself to self-assess. Particularly, those elderly, and those with existing respiratory, cardiac, etc. health risks - and of course for those who have symptoms or know they've contracted the virus. This combined with ongoing government advisement to take all the well-publicized precautions, hygiene, "distancing", etc. for personal safety, and providing many more testing stations. The virus would run its course among the healthier in a population, preserving the continuity and energy vital to life and enterprise. Too late now of course. A brighter note, the confidence that "man's mind" will prevail. 

Edited by whYNOT
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1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

You don't want to catch the virus, you don't want to pass it on (if you have). This basic principle is well covered by one's rational self-interest. Self-responsibility, consciousness, self-awareness and mindfulness of others' lives. Implicitly, most people know this. Except, universal panic has taken hold.

Yes and no. A healthy under 50 year old may decide they want to be exposed right now and take their chances rather than when they are sick or when the medical system is overwhelmed. Clearly a risk with dire consequences if it goes wrong, but when chances of death is 2 percent, and reward is immunity after that, it may look good to some.

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

Yes and no. A healthy under 50 year old may decide they want to be exposed right now and take their chances rather than when they are sick or when the medical system is overwhelmed. Clearly a risk with dire consequences if it goes wrong, but when chances of death is 2 percent, and reward is immunity after that, it may look good to some.

I like to use the motoring analogy. We get into our cars every day implicitly knowing the risks. When 1.25 million get killed on the roads every year - I didn't look at serious injuries (many more) - why hasn't WHO declared that a pandemic? Banned autos, for example? It's a risk (maybe 2 per cent and more over one's lifetime?) I take and as does everyone, knowing that their livelihoods, pleasure and mobility depends on cars. As does the economy. (But you drive well, and defensively, anticipating danger, avoid being too close to other cars, watch weather and road surfaces, concern yourself with not causing damage and injury to other people, as you primarily protect yourself, and keep you car in good condition - identical with precautions you'd take in this pandemic). ;)  

Edited by whYNOT
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In an attempt to articulate some of the common elements that paved the current Covid-19 path to such a rapid ascent:

Climate, trees, animals, now 2019-nCoV are all things which cannot appoint a spokesperson, nor voice up objection, taking automobiles which require drivers to operate into account as an exception.

  • The climate is changing and will destroy us all if something is not done about it.
  • The renewable resource of trees must be kept from being cut down, with an overlap into the animals having a place to live (spotted owl, a newt, etc.)
  • "Animals have rights too," say the animal rights activists, "and where here to defend them." (at the peril of violation your rights.)
  • 2019-nCoV will destroy us all if something is not done about it.
Edited by dream_weaver
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Take a look "From the left", "disaster capitalism" and how anti-capitalists, in effect, "not let a good crisis go to waste". A reasonable question I ask: is this coronavirus a godsend to the far left?    https://merionwest.com/2020/03/23/slavoj-zizeks-end-of-capitalism-and-the-coronavirus/

Edited by whYNOT
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3 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

Take a look "From the left", and how to "not let a good crisis go to waste":

Obviously I disagree with Zizek on what should be changed, but he would be right to think that a crisis is a really good time to push even harder for a radical reform - because people would be more inclined to question what they think.

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20 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Obviously I disagree with Zizek on what should be changed, but he would be right to think that a crisis is a really good time to push even harder for a radical reform - because people would be more inclined to question what they think.

The quote attributed to Rahm Emanuel, "You never want to let a serious crisis to go to waste. What I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before".

You can't see the cynical opportunism here? A serious crisis - or when a society is at its most fragile and uncertain, is the chance to grab more political power - Emanuel, as good as says.

This is not about fixing minor flaws in the system, definitely not what the author above proposes.

Here: "... ultimately, as the market spirals towards an unparalleled collapse[!!] , the prospect of an other system stirs."

The free market is in hiatus - temporarily - and the writer can't hide his glee at the prospect of capitalism weakened and overthrown.

I asked a question - anyone: Is this coronavirus a godsend to the far left?

Not one, but scores of intellectuals match the above author's ideology and opportunist lust for power while free enterprise is briefly on the back foot. Simple observation tells you.

 

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34 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

You can't see the cynical opportunism here? A serious crisis - or when a society is at its most fragile and uncertain, is the chance to grab more political power - Emanuel, as good as says.

The principle of it I think is a good thing. Make the most out of an otherwise bad situation, and this is especially true of politics. Whether or not the person applies the principle morally is another question.

34 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

This is not about fixing minor flaws in the system

Right, that's why I said radical reform.

34 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

I asked a question - anyone: Is this coronavirus a godsend to the far left?

That's a loaded way to phrase it, but sure, the silver linings of the coronavirus are a godsend for any political persuasion. It is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how a free market could respond to such a situation. The free market is on hiatus precisely because no free market minded person in political office (or activist) I have seen has used this as an opportunity. The opportunity is going to waste. I'm aware of people talking about it, but not of people meaning to do something about it.

Edited by Eiuol
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For Autocrats, Coronavirus Is a Chance to Grab Even More Power 

Selam Gebrekidan in NYT 3/30/20

“Leaders around the world have passed emergency decrees and legislation expanding their reach during the pandemic. Will they ever relinquish them?

“In Hungary, the prime minister can now rule by decree. In Britain, ministers have what a critic called ‘eye-watering’ power to detain people and close borders. Israel’s prime minister has shut down courts and begun an intrusive surveillance of citizens. Chile has sent the military to public squares once occupied by protesters. Bolivia has postponed elections.

. . .

“Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha of Thailand has assumed the authority to impose curfews and censor the news media. Journalists there have been sued and intimidated for criticizing the government’s  response to the outbreak.

. . .

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51 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

The principle of it I think is a good thing. Make the most out of an otherwise bad situation, and this is especially true of politics. Whether or not the person applies the principle morally is another question.

Right, that's why I said radical reform.

That's a loaded way to phrase it, but sure, the silver linings of the coronavirus are a godsend for any political persuasion. It is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how a free market could respond to such a situation. The free market is on hiatus precisely because no free market minded person in political office (or activist) I have seen has used this as an opportunity. The opportunity is going to waste. 

I always enjoy how even handed you are, Eiuol. Or is that naive? From past encounters, I notice you don't seem to have seen that ONE particular political ideology is looming, above all others, with intentions of taking permanent power.

This is NOT "a godsend for any political persuasion." A national state of emergency (pandemic or war) in a free or semi-free country (as with "emergency ethics" for an individual), is the antithesis of creative productivity, employment, flow of goods and money and profits (etc.etc.) which free market capitalism requires. During an emergency, collective-combined-cooperative actions are essential, in order to end the situation quickly as possible to return to normal (and yes, as secondary, the free-er capitalist economy shows its worth: it will have the greater creative flexibility and assets to withstand an emergency and recover faster.)

Crisis is not the normal state for nation (and individual), its the anomaly.  

The article I linked specifies to take advantage of this period of anomaly, to attack capitalism while it's down, so to speak, and you cannot read that?

Edited by whYNOT
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22 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

In an attempt to articulate some of the common elements that paved the current Covid-19 path to such a rapid ascent:

Climate, trees, animals, now 2019-nCoV are all things which cannot appoint a spokesperson, nor voice up objection, taking automobiles which require drivers to operate into account as an exception.

  • The climate is changing and will destroy us all if something is not done about it.
  • The renewable resource of trees must be kept from being cut down, with an overlap into the animals having a place to live (spotted owl, a newt, etc.)
  • "Animals have rights too," say the animal rights activists, "and where here to defend them." (at the peril of violation your rights.)
  • 2019-nCoV will destroy us all if something is not done about it.

"Paved ... the path to such a rapid ascent". I like that. 

An actor voiced recently, "the virus is the Earth fighting back" - or similar. Therefore, the Earth is conscious, and mankind is a blight upon it.

Never let it be said that many or most secularists aren't as supernaturalist as any religionists. 

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55 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

The article I linked specifies to take advantage of this period of anomaly, to attack capitalism while it's down, so to speak, and you cannot read that?

"However, as argued by Naomi Klein in her 2007 book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, catastrophes do not always go the way of the shock doctrine path; in fact, it’s possible for a crisis to become a catalyst for a kind of evolutionary leap. These moments of shock are profoundly volatile. We could see working people either lose ground or earn progressive wins in issues that may have seemed impossible just a few weeks earlier. With millions of people already facing unemployment as a result of the crash, there has never been a more obvious case for getting policies such as universal basic income and the abolition of zero-hour contracts into the political agenda. We need to use the space that this potentially devastating virus has created for a kind of disaster socialism: to put right what we have previously gotten so wrong."

That's from the article.

Don't be so narrow about it. The part that I bolded sounds mostly good to me. Socialist leaning changes aren't the only possible changes to make. You could implement whatever radical change you want, radical politics isn't just for leftists. 

If you think capitalism has been beaten down, then you just aren't noticing that the only thing beaten down is the mixed market economy which you wouldn't even call capitalist anyway. And the parts that are most broken are endless bureaucracy.

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50 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

"Paved ... the path to such a rapid ascent". I like that. 

An actor voiced recently, "the virus is the Earth fighting back" - or similar. Therefore, the Earth is conscious, and mankind is a blight upon it.

Never let it be said that many or most secularists aren't as supernaturalist as any religionists. 

I didn't see that take when I initially stated it.

. . . that paved the path of the current Covid-19 response for such a rapid ascent.

Mr. Smith, in The Matrix, compared man to a virus when he was speaking to Morpheus. That's not the reference you likely intended however.

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5 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

 

Mr. Smith, in The Matrix, compared man to a virus when he was speaking to Morpheus. That's not the reference you likely intended however.

Idris Elba, a fine actor, usually smarter than others: https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/22/idris-elba-coronavirus-planets-response-humanitys-damage-12438077/

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14 hours ago, Boydstun said:

“Leaders around the world have passed emergency decrees and legislation expanding their reach during the pandemic. Will they ever relinquish them?

Since most won't, the desired know-how is going to be, how does the population regain its rightful freedom. Strong positive self esteem is going to be necessary at a minimum to fight for what one deserves. A clarity is going to be necessary that allows for the confidence and sense of deserving to exist.

The autocratic leaders will always exist and they will push the boundaries. What is happening is a calamity that only some see because it is not like an earthquake or tornado that has immediate harmful consequences. The new way of thinking is that a government can in fact print checks and won't go bankrupt immediately. So it is legitimate for a leader that wants votes to say "my checks will be bigger than the opposition".

In addition to that, this is not the last pandemic or even the last wave of this one.

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14 hours ago, Eiuol said:

"However, as argued by Naomi Klein in her 2007 book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, catastrophes do not always go the way of the shock doctrine path; in fact, it’s possible for a crisis to become a catalyst for a kind of evolutionary leap. These moments of shock are profoundly volatile. We could see working people either lose ground or earn progressive wins in issues that may have seemed impossible just a few weeks earlier. With millions of people already facing unemployment as a result of the crash, there has never been a more obvious case for getting policies such as universal basic income and the abolition of zero-hour contracts into the political agenda. We need to use the space that this potentially devastating virus has created for a kind of disaster socialism: to put right what we have previously gotten so wrong."

That's from the article.

Don't be so narrow about it. The part that I bolded sounds mostly good to me. Socialist leaning changes aren't the only possible changes to make. You could implement whatever radical change you want, radical politics isn't just for leftists. 

If you think capitalism has been beaten down, then you just aren't noticing that the only thing beaten down is the mixed market economy which you wouldn't even call capitalist anyway. And the parts that are most broken are endless bureaucracy.

By a 'perfect' standard, the mixed market economy - in endless admixtures - falls far short of what free marketers and individual-rightists would find acceptable. So the temptation I sometimes notice in these circles to throw all away until 'perfection' ..."comes along". In the now, in reality, in our own lives which is all that counts, the compromised market and some individual freedom is all that 'we' have and can use as the base for improvement. I suggest also, that today, in the US specifically, "endless bureaucracy", regulations, restrictions, interference, is vastly more the province of the broad "left" and Democrats. That's verifiable in dozens of cases in Congress lately, several which I heard and read about.

Therefore - going by your take - the Left, is what is contributing  to the "parts that are mostly broken". Here in SA, with its far and neo-Marxist left occupying the political center,  most parts are broken and not even debatable. But then many aspects in socio-politics are so more graphic here. Subtlety and nuance doesn't provide the cover it does in other countries. One sees things clearer.

"We need to use the space that this potentially devastating virus" .. etc" is ominously threatening.

That is not something to be cavalier about. This is rank opportunism in the blatant bid for mind control. It is obvious and visible. In among a proper concern for lives, disingenuously the (Leftist, would you believe?) media everywhere has been pushing the panic/alarmist button past any rational limits, without precedent in the previous pandemics. 

Now we have a better idea why.  

Edited by whYNOT
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6 hours ago, whYNOT said:

I suggest also, that today, in the US specifically, "endless bureaucracy", regulations, restrictions, interference, is vastly more the province of the broad "left" and Democrats.

Then you'd be wrong. American bureaucracy is an interesting monster, and not at all limited to the government. Do you even know all about the internal policies to hospitals that's filled with so much bureaucracy? That's what I'm referring to.

6 hours ago, whYNOT said:

I sometimes notice in these circles to throw all away until 'perfection' ..."comes along". In the now, in reality, in our own lives which is all that counts

I'm talking about taking an opportunity to do something. A time has come along to make a radical change. People should take that opportunity. It sounds to me like you are afraid somebody else wants to make good out of an otherwise bad situation, while you don't have a plan to do anything at all different than usual. 

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55 minutes ago, Eiuol said:
7 hours ago, whYNOT said:

I suggest also, that today, in the US specifically, "endless bureaucracy", regulations, restrictions, interference, is vastly more the province of the broad "left" and Democrats.

Then you'd be wrong. American bureaucracy is an interesting monster, and not at all limited to the government. Do you even know all about the internal policies to hospitals that's filled with so much bureaucracy? That's what I'm referring to.

Isn't the bureaucracy in technically non-governmental organizations such as hospitals largely a result of government requirements?

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58 minutes ago, Eiuol said:
7 hours ago, whYNOT said:

I sometimes notice in these circles to throw all away until 'perfection' ..."comes along". In the now, in reality, in our own lives which is all that counts

I'm talking about taking an opportunity to do something. A time has come along to make a radical change. People should take that opportunity. It sounds to me like you are afraid somebody else wants to make good out of an otherwise bad situation, while you don't have a plan to do anything at all different than usual. 

I don't know how much we can accomplish politically in this crisis, since there is very little political support for the needed kind of reforms.  People who are in a position to influence the policies and practices of technically non-governmental organizations such as hospitals may be able to achieve some improvements, although this will be limited by government requirements.  People who are in a position to start new companies may be able to accomplish something.

We can also look for opportunities to use this crisis as a teaching tool.

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