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Reblogged:It Is Not 'Self-Interest' to Take Illness Lightly

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12 hours ago, whYNOT said:

Imagine them dictating to every individual incident of transmission, arresting each culprit.

I am not advocating that kind of micromanagement.  It is possible to physically aggress by being negligent or reckless with a gun or a car, but this does not mean the government should have someone monitoring each time anyone uses a gun or a car.

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Defiant Michigan UP cafe owner told to shut down after serving indoor diners Since November, bars and restaurants in Michigan have been limited to carry-out service or outdoor dining in an effort

This graph may be out of date, it is certain those percentages have fallen further - but what it illustrates is just who are being sacrificed to whom. I.e.: The top half to the bottom half of people.

Interacting with people in public without any symptoms of disease or infection isn’t dangerous to the public. The masks worn by the majority of the public have little or no medical efficacy. The

1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

Whether we take the pessimistic route that the average person does things out of altruism even if some people do it for legitimate reasons, or the optimistic route that the average person doesn't do things out of altruism even if some people do it out of altruism. 

That may be contributing to a breakdown in communication; I'm not sure.  Whatever we think, and whatever is actually happening, regarding the extent to which the altruist morality is influencing people's actions, we still need to identify a rational approach, both to guide our own actions now and to understand what a rational society will be like when it becomes possible to achieve one. 

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4 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I don't think you know what a bully pulpit is. It doesn't have to do with bullying people. Plus you missed a very important word, "encourage". I should leave the conversation here, I think I figured out well enough where the breakdown in communication is.

I don't think it's so much the difference has to do with facts that we recognize, but more about how we judge others. Whether we take the pessimistic route that the average person does things out of altruism even if some people do it for legitimate reasons, or the optimistic route that the average person doesn't do things out of altruism even if some people do it out of altruism. 

 

Maybe you've a problem with "altruism" related to good will to others. There no bearing of perceived pessimism or optimism on this.

There is tangible, evident sacrificial altruism.

1. By governments, sacrificing the vitality and purposes of healthy and non-virus-susceptible people, the vast majority, to the senior, sickly and potentially threatened people. Through forced lock downs, distancing and masking regulations, of all people.

1a. Backed also by a large portion of members of the public, socially demanding the identical sacrifices of healthy to unhealthy, by way of masking and distancing - thereby continuing the governments' initiatives in the public sphere.

Any of that seem familiar to you?

There can't be a mix or overlap of altruism and benevolence, there's a clear-cut distinction; the presence of one obviates the other. What a person may do willingly from his choice, he won't do or will do reluctantly and resentfully when demanded or ordered of him, at his cost and as his duty to others.

And I believe I know what a bully pulpit is. What has 'encourage' to do with anything I said?

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1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

There is tangible, evident sacrificial altruism.

The philosophy behind the actions are fundamentally triage type philosophy. There may be some altruism but it does not explain the situation.

Auguste Comte's version of altruism is NOT the core motivator. His definition was “the only moral acts were those intended to promote the happiness of others.”

The majority, even the majority that may be immune by COVID are swayed by some self interested motive. "What if I was vulnerable, wouldn't I want this system? Would a lock down benefit me? Would this type of behavior benefit me when I am older etc." It's not this simple black and white altruistic motivation.

Fundamentally, the philosophy driving all this is actually utilitarianism. The philosophical arguments against it should mostly be arguments against utilitarianism.

Currently, the way people are most easily swayed with are with utilitarian (statistical) arguments.

1. How well has the lock down worked in saving lives?
2. How well have the FDA CDC one size fits all polices saved lives?
3. How many lives could have been saved if the free market had been unleashed (comparison numbers)

  • if in fact people could have tried vaccines before approval
  • if in fact people could by testing kits from Korea etc
  • if in fact prices on masks went up people bought different types that they could afford
  • if different states immediately came out with their own "commercial" protection systems
  • if people self organized
  • if different localities reacted as they saw fit

Furthermore, making a case primarily against Altruism won't make a dent because nowadays people mean benevolence when they use the word.

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

The philosophy behind the actions are fundamentally triage type philosophy. There may be some altruism but it does not explain the situation.

Auguste Comte's version of altruism is NOT the core motivator. His definition was “the only moral acts were those intended to promote the happiness of others.”

The majority, even the majority that may be immune by COVID are swayed by some self interested motive. "What if I was vulnerable, wouldn't I want this system? Would a lock down benefit me? Would this type of behavior benefit me when I am older etc." It's not this simple black and white altruistic motivation.

 

"Self-interested" [motive], although subjectively so. Really, that is reciprocity, in the form of the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you...

If I do this, will others do the same for me? (Please..?)

Objective self-interest is principled and runs both ways. I.e. I don't live for others and I won't permit others to live for me.

Sure, many people are motivated by their own dread in their willingness to sacrifice the many healthy to the 'common good'. That explains the ferocity with which members of public lash out at mask-dissenters. But it remains a sacrifice, however motivated. (While patting themselves on the back for being and appearing - 'altruistic').

They are also on the grand scale sacrificing the economy, their nation's health in the long term, so are not ultimately at all self-interested.

What I'm finding is that when explained to in these terms, how many individuals who've been paying a heavy price for the 'greater good', in the many losses they have uncomplainingly and selflessly had to bear, instantly recognized their forced sacrifice. There would appear to be many more now, once they have experienced sacrifice personally, who are open to rational self-interest - and understand the full meaning of the altruist doctrine - outside of Objectivists. A silver lining.

 

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

Fundamentally, the philosophy driving all this is actually utilitarianism. The philosophical arguments against it should mostly be arguments against utilitarianism.

Currently, the way people are most easily swayed with are with utilitarian (statistical) arguments.

1. How well has the lock down worked in saving lives?

With little to measure by, how can anyone know how well the lock-downs have worked in saving lives?

 IF they would have had an early, clearly beneficial effect, I guess I'd be singing a different tune. Yet still with some reservations in principle, of who would have to carry the brunt of them and why they should, being unaffected by Covid and able to keep going. 

This is value-hierarchical: How much payment (in every sense, human, material, spiritual, etc.) is worth the cost?

I haven't ignored utilitarianism, only don't think it has been the main driver. I am open to persuasion.

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14 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

That may be contributing to a breakdown in communication; I'm not sure.  Whatever we think, and whatever is actually happening, regarding the extent to which the altruist morality is influencing people's actions, we still need to identify a rational approach, both to guide our own actions now and to understand what a rational society will be like when it becomes possible to achieve one. 

To mask (or not mask) voluntarily, scratches the surface. Could anyone criticize a person wearing a bio-haz suit in public if that's important to them? (And some come close, donning a visor, and mask, gloves and carrying a bottle of sanitizer). The "breakdown of communication" that Eiuol considers we have goes more basic than we agreeing on the mask choice.

What only matters: Is one capable of judging for oneself what to do for one's good and for valued others? Or have we the people willingly handed authority of our lives (a self-sacrifice) over to the paternalist state to bully us and look after us? Morally, materially - medically.

A government ultimately gains greater power only through the default of citizens.

I think the first thing the rational society which you anticipate, will be, is a self-reliant one.

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17 hours ago, whYNOT said:

And I believe I know what a bully pulpit is. What has 'encourage' to do with anything I said?

Because you asked: The quote in question is on page 1. The exact problem is that the word 'encourage' has nothing to do with what you said, because the post actually used the word 'encourage', not 'bully'. (If you interpreted it as a euphemism for 'bully', that's what I mean by pessimism. Either that or it looks like you read bully pulpit as being in a position to bully people publicly.)

 

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15 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Furthermore, making a case primarily against Altruism won't make a dent because nowadays people mean benevolence when they use the word.

I usually say "the altruist morality", rather than "altruism", especially when talking to non-Objectivists, to try to get away from this sort of misunderstanding.  If that's still not clear enough, we could speak of "the self-sacrificial morality".

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On 1/4/2021 at 11:12 AM, Eiuol said:

Doug, like me, and like you, all agree that this should all be voluntary... How many times does that need to be repeated?

The point of masks isn't preventing secretions from getting on others. 

 

The original function of cloth masks was to keep secretions from falling into open wounds during surgical procedures.

The point of wearing cloth masks in public in 2020-01 is a political/virtue signal. The weak justification for the medical necessity of universal cloth masking is that they will stop infectious spread. You can do a quick test of the efficacy of cloth masks in stopping aerosolised  particles by exhaling in frigid temperatures or say 'vaping' and seeing the 'trail' of suspended particles.

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22 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Because you asked: The quote in question is on page 1. The exact problem is that the word 'encourage' has nothing to do with what you said, because the post actually used the word 'encourage', not 'bully'. (If you interpreted it as a euphemism for 'bully', that's what I mean by pessimism. Either that or it looks like you read bully pulpit as being in a position to bully people publicly.)

 

I'd a thunk it's plain I slightly mis-recalled DM's words. You had the exact quote and hence corrected me: 'encourage' rather than 'bully'. I had enough correct, however, to query your claim that he/we all agree on the choice to mask. All you had to do was requote him instead of going through this rigmarole.

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2 hours ago, tadmjones said:

The point of wearing cloth masks in public in 2020-01 is a political/virtue signal. The weak justification for the medical necessity of universal cloth masking is that they will stop infectious spread. You can do a quick test of the efficacy of cloth masks in stopping aerosolised  particles by exhaling in frigid temperatures or say 'vaping' and seeing the 'trail' of suspended particles.

Depends what we mean by cloth masks but according to the CDC

  • An investigation of a high-exposure event, in which 2 symptomatically ill hair stylists interacted for an average of 15 minutes with each of 139 clients during an 8-day period, found that none of the 67 clients who subsequently consented to an interview and testing developed infection. The stylists and all clients universally wore masks in the salon as required by local ordinance and company policy at the time.32
  • In a study of 124 Beijing households with > 1 laboratory-confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 infection, mask use by the index patient and family contacts before the index patient developed symptoms reduced secondary transmission within the households by 79%.33
  • A retrospective case-control study from Thailand documented that, among more than 1,000 persons interviewed as part of contact tracing investigations, those who reported having always worn a mask during high-risk exposures experienced a greater than 70% reduced risk of acquiring infection compared with persons who did not wear masks under these circumstances.34
  • A study of an outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an environment notable for congregate living quarters and close working environments, found that use of face coverings on-board was associated with a 70% reduced risk.35
  • Investigations involving infected passengers aboard flights longer than 10 hours strongly suggest that masking prevented in-flight transmissions, as demonstrated by the absence of infection developing in other passengers and crew in the 14 days following exposure.36,37

Seven studies have confirmed the benefit of universal masking in community level analyses: in a unified hospital system,38 a  German city,39 a U.S. state,40 a panel of 15 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.,41,42 as well as both Canada43 and the U.S.44 nationally. Each analysis demonstrated that, following directives from organizational and political leadership for universal masking, new infections fell significantly. Two of these studies42,44 and an additional analysis of data from 200 countries that included the U.S.45 also demonstrated reductions in mortality. An economic analysis using U.S. data found that, given these effects, increasing universal masking by 15% could prevent the need for lockdowns and reduce associated losses of up to $1 trillion or about 5% of gross domestic product.42

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/masking-science-sars-cov2.html

 

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Nathaniel Branden's original article on Social Metaphysics appeared in the November, 1962 issue of the Objectivist Newsletter.  It begins with a lengthy description before formally naming and defining the neurosis.  The definition is:

the psychological syndrome that characterizes an individual who holds the consciousnesses of other men, not objective reality, as his ultimate psycho-epistemological frame-of-reference.

In the February and March, 1965, issues of the Objectivist Newsletter, Nathaniel Branden had an article titled "Rogues' Gallery" in which he listed and described some types of social metaphysician. (He also made clear that these were not mutually exclusive categories.) These were

The conventional social metaphysician

The power-seeker

The spiritual social metaphysician, whose "claim to esteem rests on his alleged possession of a superior kind of soul"

The religious lunatic social metaphysician, who turns to "God" for appreciation of his superior kind of soul

The "independent", actually rebellious, social metaphysician

The ambivalent social metaphysician whose "intellectual self-abdication is far more limited", usually to the realm of values

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5 hours ago, tadmjones said:

The original function of cloth masks was to keep secretions from falling into open wounds during surgical procedures.

A long time ago maybe that was the only point, but now the point is to stop more than just secretions. You stop the droplets emitted just from breathing. Not a complete stop, but a lot fewer. 

5 hours ago, tadmjones said:

You can do a quick test of the efficacy of cloth masks in stopping aerosolised  particles by exhaling in frigid temperatures or say 'vaping' and seeing the 'trail' of suspended particles.

I linked you a study about how masks stop aerosolized particles. On top of that I think you're actually talking about condensation. If you mean to say that molecules can escape, that's exactly why wearing masks doesn't cause medical issues from too much carbon dioxide. The molecules are smaller than viruses. Plus some droplets from your breath will always escape anyway, it is not a complete and utter seal, because if it was a complete seal, you wouldn't be able to breathe at all. All you can say is that "some respiratory droplets escape". 

I don't really care if you believe the science, but don't think that people are doing it without medical reasons. No one is being duped or tricked, and scientists are not making it up. You just think they are incorrect. Being wrong doesn't have to be for bad reasons. You can be wrong for good reasons, including mistakes.

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3 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

.  The definition is:

the psychological syndrome that characterizes an individual who holds the consciousnesses of other men, not objective reality, as his ultimate psycho-epistemological frame-of-reference.

 

That's it to a T !

Definitive of the modern Leftist-"progressivist".

Branden would have a field day now, researching several more categories which have emerged.

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Isn’t that the root of every despicable action? Not selfishness, but precisely the absence of a self. Look at them. The man who cheats and lies, but preserves a respectable front. He knows himself to be dishonest, but others think he’s honest and he derives his self-respect from that, second-hand. The man who takes credit for an achievement which is not his own. He knows himself to be mediocre, but he’s great in the eyes of others. The frustrated wretch who professes love for the inferior and clings to those less endowed, in order to establish his own superiority by comparison . . . . They’re second-handers . . . .

They have no concern for facts, ideas, work. They’re concerned only with people. They don’t ask: “Is this true?” They ask: “Is this what others think is true?” Not to judge, but to repeat. Not to do, but to give the impression of doing. Not creation, but show. Not ability, but friendship. Not merit, but pull. What would happen to the world without those who do, think, work, produce? Those are the egoists. You don’t think through another’s brain and you don’t work through another’s hands. When you suspend your faculty of independent judgment, you suspend consciousness. To stop consciousness is to stop life. Second-handers have no sense of reality. Their reality is not within them, but somewhere in that space which divides one human body from another. Not an entity, but a relation—anchored to nothing. That’s the emptiness I couldn’t understand in people. That’s what stopped me whenever I faced a committee. Men without an ego. Opinion without a rational process. Motion without brakes or motor. Power without responsibility. The second-hander acts, but the source of his actions is scattered in every other living person. It’s everywhere and nowhere and you can’t reason with him. He’s not open to reason.

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14 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

 but somewhere in that space which divides one human body from another.

Now it is known that "that space" is not empty. In there are those killer secreted droplets.

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(Or maybe, a model for managing the pandemic was right there all along).

The Sunshine State of Mind
By Buck Sexton

There was never a discussion about how to best fight the coronavirus in this country.

From the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic last February, public health experts and their media megaphones insisted there was no choice in the matter. You lock down or more people die... No questions allowed.

That meant taking the most extreme measures – closing businesses, instituting stay-at-home orders, and shutting down normal human interaction. The costs of those measures were downplayed. It was "Listen to Dr. Fauci or embrace catastrophe."

This mantra has led to dozens of states locking down for months, despite the enormous economic and social costs.

But was there actually an alternative to this nuclear option, this break-the-glass approach to a public health challenge? Despite what you may have heard... yes, there was.

And Florida has run a real-life experiment to prove it.

I just came back from a week of vacation in Miami, and the pandemic situation in Florida is being handled very differently from New York (or California). And what the corporate media and the lockdown liberals don't want you to know is that Florida has been much better at handling the pandemic than Democrat-run states of similar size.

This issue hits home for me... I've had months of misery due to the lockdown in NYC and all the arbitrary rules and capricious closures. The restaurant industry has been gutted. Hotels are being used as homeless shelters.

My hometown is being ruined, and the powers that be tell us we have no choice... But that's just not true.

Having spent time in Manhattan and now Miami during major COVID-19 spikes, I'm more convinced than ever that the "lockdowners" have it wrong. Shutting down society as the primary policy tool to stop COVID was a massive blunder. The benefits are minimal at best, while the costs are certain and severe.

I was in South Beach, Miami for the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve. Unlike the depressing, cold wasteland of New York City during the pandemic, Miami is absolutely vibrant. Restaurants and stores of all kinds are open. In fact, it was difficult to get dinner reservations because of the high volume of visitors. The boardwalk on Ocean Drive was packed every night.

This is not to say it's a free-for-all in Florida. There are still precautions taken, including (somewhat lax) mask mandates from businesses and plenty of public reminder notices for everyone to "social distance."

But life in Miami feels a lot more normal than it does in New York City. And it's not just the warmer weather. If that were the case, why is California also so much worse off with COVID cases than Florida?

 

Miamians are generally allowed to live their lives, whereas Los Angelinos and New Yorkers have largely had that choice taken out of their hands.

When you look at the data, the argument becomes even stronger... Florida has a population of about 21 million, whereas New York has around 19 million. Total Florida COVID-19 deaths: 22,000. New York state has 38,000. And Florida never locked down.

This should all be encouraging. It turns out that the most extreme lockdown measures may not have been a good idea, which means we could all open up a lot faster.

Although you wouldn't know it from the way the media treats Florida's Governor DeSantis. They act like his state's COVID response has been a catastrophe. They ignore the numbers and push a narrative. It's all politics for them, even during a pandemic.

But there's a reason so many thousands of New Yorkers are fleeing south to Florida (along with Tennessee, the Carolinas, and other lower-tax, higher-quality-of-life states). We are seeing a very real experiment in leadership play out in real time during this pandemic.

Americans are voting with their feet. Red states are coming out on top. Florida in particular is winning. And the rest of the country should take note as to why".

Edited by whYNOT
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18 hours ago, whYNOT said:

There are still precautions taken, including (somewhat lax) mask mandates from businesses and plenty of public reminder notices for everyone to "social distance."

So it is possible to encourage masks and social distancing without having lockdowns.  The issues can be separated.  And according to this article, that approach has worked well. 

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