The Covid-19 thread.

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GuyK

Junior Member
Teaching people logic and how to think is the subject - Philosophy. They don’t teach that in schools anywhere really. They should. As a subject it gets mocked and derided by people who don’t really understand what it is. Perhaps ethics gets taught on occasion. But that is about it.

I wonder if that's because when people hear "philosophy", what they often describe are the existentialists and the nihilists. This branch has it's place, I accept that, but wish more people would think of Plato and Socrates than of Voltaire or Nietsche. More, I wish people would study them.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
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I look at this chart almost daily with a sick fascination. I cannot fathom how the country I thought I was living in when I was growing up became this bumbling buffoon when the shit hit the fan. I really really hope the 2 week lag in deaths that typically catch up to cases has a loss of correlation with the younger average age in recent cases.

This is absurd. This country is such an embarrassment right now.

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fiddlefye

Senior Member
I look at this chart almost daily with a sick fascination. I cannot fathom how the country I thought I was living in when I was growing up became this bumbling buffoon when the shit hit the fan. I really really hope the 2 week lag in deaths that typically catch up to cases has a loss of correlation with the younger average age in recent cases.

This is absurd. This country is such an embarrassment right now.

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The other perhaps slightly mitigating aspect when it comes to the death count is that treatment has also improved somewhat with experience.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
The other perhaps slightly mitigating aspect when it comes to the death count is that treatment has also improved somewhat with experience.
It has. The problem is that the case count is about to skyrocket over what it was at its previous peak in April. Because of what is going on in this country we threw away every sacrifice made in March, April and May. So we may have a lower death rate but we’re about to have a much higher infection rate.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
It has. The problem is that the case count is about to skyrocket over what it was at its previous peak in April. Because of what is going on in this country we threw away every sacrifice made in March, April and May. So we may have a lower death rate but we’re about to have a much higher infection rate.
From our vantage point in Canada (as imperfect as our response has been) we're just shaking our heads and wondering how so many people can be so stupid as to get sucked into the propaganda mill.
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MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
From our vantage point in Canada (as imperfect as our response has been) we're just shaking our heads and wondering how so many people can be so stupid as to get sucked into the propaganda mill.

From my vantage point in NY, I ask the very same thing.
 

Kpatch

Junior Member
From our vantage point in Canada (as imperfect as our response has been) we're just shaking our heads and wondering how so many people can be so stupid as to get sucked into the propaganda mill.

Tanning beds, tan spray and blonde hair dye? Perhaps there's more of a mental health risk there then previously thought.
Have you noticed that most of the Karens are fake blondes? Someone should investigate, just sayin’.

Sadly, it’s not just Canada watching our selfishness and stupidity with horror and fear. And Trudeau should rethink plans to reopen the border.

George Will wrote yesterday “This nation built the Empire State Building, groundbreaking to official opening, in 410 days during the Depression, and the Pentagon in 16 months during wartime. Today’s less serious nation is unable to competently combat a pandemic, or even reliably conduct elections. This is what national decline looks like.”

And of course, if you believe everything is ‘fake’ news, then you don’t have to believe in anything, except conspiracy theories of course. For instance, through years (well, maybe just a few hours) of intense, rigorous research I have determined that Donald Trump was actually CSNY drummer Dallas Taylor, known for his rock and roll/brain cell burning hard partying, the extent of which even shocked Keith Richards. And as recently as July 5th, Young criticized Trump/Taylor’s sloppy drumming by saying “Perhaps you could have been a bass player and played in a rock and roll band. That way you could be on stage at a rally every night in front of your fans.”!!

And of course photos show all this to be true! And isn’t one of “Taylor”s small hands holding a golf club in that photo?? And why is Crosby’s gun pointing directly at “Taylor”s crotch??

No need to thank me America, no need to thank me. Carry on, love is coming to us all. Now, where’s my blonde hair dye.

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MikeO

Active Member
As another Canadian looking in I find it frightening how the US is trending these days. I am working to become as apolitical as possible these days as I see politics as the one of the two most divisive forces along with media in today's world. But I think there are a couple of factors that make it more difficult for the US than for most other countries.
First, I believe all other industrialized countries have taxpayer funded universal healthcare. Not necessarily the delivery, but the system of payment for it and it being universal. It can be inefficient, but your coverage does not depend on your job. Being laid off in Canada for example will have no effect on your healthcare coverage. I would suspect that this fear would greatly change someone's willingness to stay indoors for several months especially if you don't believe the virus has a high mortality rate.
Second, most industrialized countries have a stronger social safety net than the US. In Canada the government essentially offered $2000 per month to workers who could not work during the initial stages and I believe they are looking to extend it. The program is incredibly costly and I think only time will tell if the debt incurred to fund it will have long term negative effects on the economy, but for now it allowed a safety net for people who would have been in serious trouble.

These are fundamentally different philosophies of governing. The idea of rugged individualism can produce great things in certain conditions but can leave a lot of desperate people in bad times. Social safety nets can both save people's lives in bad times and drag down the economies in good times. The old efficiency vs resilience argument. Not sure what the future holds but to me it seems that at least one of the reasons many people in the US seem to be carrying on as before is that they feel the cost of complying is too high. I don't think that feeling exists as much in other countries. Now why the fear of masks, I can't figure that at all.
 

John Frum

Secret Society Member
Now why the fear of masks, I can't figure that at all.

In ye olden days, you’d have a number of people who were too lazy, too deviant, or, being America, too self-important to mask up. But social pressure, never mind possible orders from an authority figure, would have gotten most of them to comply.

But now, for reasons predictable based on current levels of “post-truth” social division and the temperament our national executive, mask wearing has become part of our tribal/political binary in a way it wouldn’t have, say, 30 years ago.

Subtract the chunk of people who won’t wear masks because it would now violate a core pillar of their identity, and you don’t have a critical mass to get enough of the other boobs to fall in line.The problem is exacerbated by various state governors who won’t issue mask orders either because they’re part the politically-motivated anti-mask crowd or, like mine, won’t stand up to them.

I don’t see any road back to the stability, prosperity, collective competence, or global leadership that were the hallmarks of post-WWII America. We’re probably irreversibly on the road to being a third world country with nukes and a chip on its shoulder. Give us a couple of generations of declining quality of life, and we might be real trouble.
 
I wonder if that's because when people hear "philosophy", what they often describe are the existentialists and the nihilists. This branch has it's place, I accept that, but wish more people would think of Plato and Socrates than of Voltaire or Nietsche. More, I wish people would study them.

As long as I never have to read Kant again. I must have read each page of Critique of Pure Reason at least 3 times before I knew what he was talking about..
 
In ye olden days, you’d have a number of people who were too lazy, too deviant, or, being America, too self-important to mask up. But social pressure, never mind possible orders from an authority figure, would have gotten most of them to comply.

But now, for reasons predictable based on current levels of “post-truth” social division and the temperament our national executive, mask wearing has become part of our tribal/political binary in a way it wouldn’t have, say, 30 years ago.

Subtract the chunk of people who won’t wear masks because it would now violate a core pillar of their identity, and you don’t have a critical mass to get enough of the other boobs to fall in line.The problem is exacerbated by various state governors who won’t issue mask orders either because they’re part the politically-motivated anti-mask crowd or, like mine, won’t stand up to them.

I don’t see any road back to the stability, prosperity, collective competence, or global leadership that were the hallmarks of post-WWII America. We’re probably irreversibly on the road to being a third world country with nukes and a chip on its shoulder. Give us a couple of generations of declining quality of life, and we might be real trouble.

It will be a very slow process but once enough people have succumbed to the virus, then minds will eventually change. Until then the drawn out lockdown continues.

It's like house arrest. But with house arrest you can have friends over.
 
I'm looking for good news but there's not a lot. Yesterday, Moderna announced very encouraging results in their vaccine trials. If I'm reading correctly, all of their phase one subjects showed robust immune responses, so it's on to a 30,000 subject trial, all the while they're building inventory.

 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I
I don’t see any road back to the stability, prosperity, collective competence, or global leadership that were the hallmarks of post-WWII America. We’re probably irreversibly on the road to being a third world country with nukes and a chip on its shoulder. Give us a couple of generations of declining quality of life, and we might be real trouble.
It gets back to the death of expertise I referenced earlier. Something broke in America when social media replaced actual media. It took what was already there... a whole bunch of dumbasses... and gave them equal footing when it came to disseminating information. People no longer had to earn a voice in society, they just had to -appeal- to a segment of society. This country has always had an anti-intellectual, anti-education streak. It was just balanced out by the fact that you needed intellect and a certain amount of education to be heard by masses of people, so lacking those, they didn't have influence. Even pointing that out, I'm now an 'elitist' and should be ignored.
 

adaug

Awaiting Updated Member Status.
It gets back to the death of expertise I referenced earlier. Something broke in America when social media replaced actual media. It took what was already there... a whole bunch of dumbasses... and gave them equal footing when it came to disseminating information. People no longer had to earn a voice in society, they just had to -appeal- to a segment of society. This country has always had an anti-intellectual, anti-education streak. It was just balanced out by the fact that you needed intellect and a certain amount of education to be heard by masses of people, so lacking those, they didn't have influence. Even pointing that out, I'm now an 'elitist' and should be ignored.

well put john!
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I don't get this 'elitist' thing. I WANT to be governed by people that I think are smarter than me. I want to be told things by people who are experts in those things. I want the elite to be up there figuring shit out that I can't figure out. I have no idea how to fight a pandemic. I have some thoughts but no real background or education in it, so nobody should take any of my advice on the subject seriously. I'm a complete idiot when it comes to many many things and I'm smart enough to know that. I'm aware of the Dunning-Kruger effect but I had no idea that it was that prevalent. How dumb do you have to be to not know that you don't know everything? It's like the bigger the idiot, the more that idiot thinks they know EVERYTHING.
 

MikeO

Active Member
I believe that the death of expertise is also a result of bullshit "experts" being created by universities with a need to fill seats for long periods of study that really are nothing but exercises of mental masturbation. Then unfortunately these "experts" appear in mainstream media with their theories that don't make any sense outside a purely academic environment. I won't give my opinion on which academic fields apply here but when you listen to someone with a PHD in these fields you question whether they even live in the real world.

But that being said I want the scientists, doctors, engineers, vehicle designers,architects, etc to have real expertise in both education and real world experience. Just don't throw a PHD in one of the newer fields of the social sciences on screen, who have never worked outside a university and present them as experts who have the solutions to the problems of the world. I think that mainstream media is confusing a lot of people when they call them experts. True expertise comes from both education and real world experience.
 
I don't get this 'elitist' thing. I WANT to be governed by people that I think are smarter than me. I want to be told things by people who are experts in those things. I want the elite to be up there figuring shit out that I can't figure out. I have no idea how to fight a pandemic. I have some thoughts but no real background or education in it, so nobody should take any of my advice on the subject seriously. I'm a complete idiot when it comes to many many things and I'm smart enough to know that. I'm aware of the Dunning-Kruger effect but I had no idea that it was that prevalent. How dumb do you have to be to not know that you don't know everything? It's like the bigger the idiot, the more that idiot thinks they know EVERYTHING.
Me too.

It is very frustrating that there exist political strategists that twist and take advantage of laws, human behavior/nature, push the envelope to suit their candidate (cough, cough, Stone, cough.)

I like the corporate professional idea that you need to be decisive - make a decision and act using the best knowledge you have at the time. Learn from mistakes – but don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I see Dr Fauci being attacked, criticized for this well respected ideal. He has to make mistakes as there are things he just doesn’t know. But for others to take advantage of this it is just disgraceful.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
As I look at other countries returning to some sense of normality I have to admit, I'm moving from a place where I was more or disappointed in this country, to a place where I'm actively enraged at what is going on. The complete dereliction of duty across so many people in Federal government, the states being left to fend for themselves, no plan, no centralized authority, just everybody winging it, BASIC things like wearing a mask politicized for no reason other than political points, to create a divide people can stand on either side of... and meanwhile the President is hocking fucking canned beans on the White House desk with a cheesy carnival smile. I haven't seen my parents in 7 months and they're at an age where I don't have a lot of months left. Tons of people I know are out of work. Many of my favorite places around town are closed, for good. I'm livid and am finding it impossible to not vent anymore.
 
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