Apr 162020
 


Dorothea Lange Richmond, California 1942

 

Coronavirus Testing Hits Dramatic Slowdown In US (Pol.)
Antibody Tests For Coronavirus Can Miss The Mark (NPR)
The Coronavirus Is Particularly Unkind To Those Who Are Obese (LAT)
New York Taps Mckinsey To Develop ‘Trump-Proof’ Economic Reopening Plan (R.)
New Zealand PM: Many Restrictions To Be Kept In Place When Lockdown Ends (R.)
Investors Are Underestimating The Economic Shock The World Is Facing (AEP)
Trump Threatens To Adjourn Congress Over ‘Scam’ Preventing Appointments (R.)
US Coronavirus Small-Business Program Funding Nearly Spent (LAT)
Real Time US Labor Market Estimates During 2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (Bick)
Overcapacity/Oversupply Everywhere: Massive Deflation Ahead (CHS)
US Opposition Seen Stalling Major IMF Liquidity Boost (R.)
We Scientists Said Lock Down. But UK Politicians Refused To Listen (G.)
Inception (Ben Hunt)
The Golden Rule (Ben Hunt)
Major Blow To Keystone XL Pipeline As Judge Revokes Key Permit (G.)
FBI Repeatedly Warned Steele Dossier Fed By Russian Misinformation (Solomon)

 

 

We are facing prolonged discussions and chaos about testing. Everyone wants to reopen their economies, but that is not feasible if there is no testing. Nobody wants to go to a bar or an office or factory floor if they can catch a deadly virus there. Very few people will volunteer to sit on, or work on, a plane or train under such conditions, and few countries would welcome travelers anyway.

But from what I gather, testing facilities and capacities are few and far between, other than perhaps in Wuhan or maybe maybe Seoul. Testing 1% of people doesn’t get you anywhere, not with 15-50% of people being asymptomatic carriers infecting others around them.

Many countries claim they don’t need to do more testing, and most do that only because they can’t. And then you get into antibodies testing, and you find the mess and uncertainties are even bigger there. The entire situation screams for one thing: lockdown, minimize contact, but that’s what they all want to get away from.

 

• US records nearly 2,600 #coronavirus deaths in 24 hours – a new record and the heaviest daily toll of any country, Johns Hopkins University reports.

• The total number of US deaths is now 28,326 — higher than any other nation

 

 

Cases 2,094,884 (+ 80,884 from yesterday’s 2,014,000)

Deaths 135,569 (+ 7,977 from yesterday’s 127,592)

 

 

 

From Worldometer yesterday evening -before their day’s close- (Note: Brazil and Russia are climbing fast)

 

 

From Worldometer – NOTE: mortality rate for closed cases remains at 21% –

 

 

From SCMP:

 

 

From COVID19Info.live:

 

 

 

 

How accurate is it anyway?

Coronavirus Testing Hits Dramatic Slowdown In US (Pol.)

The number of coronavirus tests analyzed each day by commercial labs in the U.S. plummeted by more than 30 percent over the past week, even though new infections are still surging in many states and officials are desperately trying to ramp up testing so the country can reopen. One reason for the drop-off may be the narrow testing criteria that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last revised in March. The agency’s guidelines prioritize hospitalized patients, health care workers and those thought to be especially vulnerable to the disease, such as the elderly. Health providers have been turning away others in part due to shortages of the swabs used to collect samples.

It’s not clear whether demand has peaked among the groups on the CDC’s priority list. But after being overwhelmed for weeks, commercial labs say they are now sitting with unused testing capacity waiting for samples to arrive. The continued glitches in the U.S. testing system are threatening to impede attempts to reopen the economy and return to normal life. Expanding testing as much as possible is essential so officials have enough data to determine when it’s safe to lift social distancing measures and allow people to go back to work. Continued testing beyond that point will help officials detect — and stamp out — sparks that could set off new outbreaks. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn told POLITICO on Tuesday the White House Coronavirus Task Force is continuing to discuss whether changes to the testing criteria are warranted.

“This is part of an ongoing discussion that we’re having,” he said. “People are working overtime on that one.” Hahn’s comments came as the American Clinical Laboratory Association reported that the number of samples commercial labs handle each day fell from 108,000 on April 5 to 75,000 by April 12. The group’s members, including commercial giants Quest and LabCorp, analyze about two-thirds of all coronavirus tests in the U.S. “ACLA members have now eliminated testing backlogs, and have considerable capacity that is not being used,” ACLA President Julie Khani told POLITICO. “We stand ready to perform more testing and are in close communication with public health partners about ways we can support additional needs.”

Read more …

You couldn’t create a bigger mess if you tried with all your might.

Antibody Tests For Coronavirus Can Miss The Mark (NPR)

Dozens of blood tests are rapidly coming on the market to identify people who have been exposed to the coronavirus by checking for antibodies against it. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t set standards for these kinds of tests, but even those that meet the government’s informal standard may produce many false answers and provide false assurances. The imperfect results could be a big disappointment to people who are looking toward these tests to help them return to something resembling a normal life. First of all, it’s not clear whether someone who has antibodies to the coronavirus in their blood is actually immune. Your body produces these antibodies within about a week of infection.

In many other diseases, people do have a period of immunity after they have been exposed to a microbe and recover from illness. But that has not been demonstrated yet with the coronavirus. Another problem is that test results are wrong much more frequently than you might expect. While tests may truthfully say they are more than 90% accurate, in practical use they can often perform far below that level. [..] Dr. Jeremy Gabrysch runs a mobile medical service in Austin, Texas. He got a supply of antibody tests made by a major Chinese manufacturer and says he has tested several hundred people in the last few days. “We offer the test for people who may have suspected they might have had coronavirus back in February or March when testing with the nasal swab [and PCR diagnostic test] was very limited,” he says. The charge: $49 a test.

Gabrysch says he only tests people when he has other evidence they might have been exposed. “If they had an illness that sounds like it could have been coronavirus and they had a positive antibody test, then it’s very likely that this is a true positive, that they indeed had COVID-19,” he says. The test he’s using, produced by Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech in China, boasts a specificity of 99%, which means it only falsely says a blood sample contains antibodies against the coronavirus 1% of the time. But despite that impressive statistic, a test like that is not 99% correct, and in fact in some circumstances could be much worse.

That’s because of this counterintuitive fact: The validity of a test depends not only on the technology, but how common the disease is in the population you’re sampling. “It is kind of a strange thing,” admits Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, a scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston who studies issues surrounding tests and screening. “An antibody test is much more likely to be wrong in a population with very little COVID exposure.” This is a result of statistics, rather than the technology of any given test.

Read more …

But not those above 65. A very curious finding.

The Coronavirus Is Particularly Unkind To Those Who Are Obese (LAT)

America’s obesity epidemic appears to be making the coronavirus outbreak more dangerous — and potentially more deadly — in the United States, new research suggests. For younger and middle-aged adults in particular, carrying excess weight may significantly boost the likelihood of becoming severely ill with COVID-19. The evidence for this comes from thousands of COVID-19 patients who sought treatment in emergency departments in New York, and it’s prompting alarm among doctors and other health experts. In the U.S., 42.4% of adults have obesity, which means their body-mass index, or BMI, is 30 or more.

In one of two new studies released this week, COVID-19 patients who were younger than 60 and had a BMI between 30 and 34 were twice as likely as their non-obese peers to be admitted to the hospital for acute care instead of being sent home from the ER. They were also 1.8 times more likely to require critical care in a hospital’s intensive care unit. More severe obesity posed an even greater risk to COVID-19 patients in this under-60 age group. When these patients had a BMI of 35 or higher, they were 2.2 times more likely than their non-obese peers to need standard hospital care and 3.6 times more likely to end up in the ICU. “Obesity appears to be a previously unrecognized risk factor for hospital admission and need for critical care,” wrote the authors of the study published this month in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

But that only applies to relatively younger patients; among those ages 65 and older, there was no link between obesity status and hospital care. The authors, from New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, suggested that the country’s high prevalence of obesity might be nudging rates of severe illness and death higher in the U.S. than in South Korea, China and Italy, where obesity rates are lower. The results also give doctors a new way to predict which COVID-19 patients who are not yet senior citizens run a higher risk of hospitalization and critical illness. “Unfortunately, obesity in people <60 years is a newly identified epidemiologic risk factor,” wrote the researchers, who included 3,615 patients in their study.

Read more …

We need more Wall Street.

New York Taps Mckinsey To Develop ‘Trump-Proof’ Economic Reopening Plan (R.)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has hired high-powered consultants to develop a science-based plan for the safe economic reopening of the region that can thwart expected pressure from President Donald Trump to move more rapidly, state government sources told Reuters on Wednesday. Cuomo, along with many other U.S. governors, shut his state economy to limit the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus and has warned that he is are prepared to keep businesses shut – perhaps for several months more – unless he can assure public safety. Governors from seven East Coast states formed a coalition on Monday, led by New York, to develop a joint reopening plan. Three governors from the West Coast formed a similar plan. The 10 states, mostly led by Democrats, together make up 38% of the U.S. economy.


As part of Cuomo’s effort, McKinsey & Company is producing models on testing, infections and other key data points that will underpin decisions on how and when to reopen the region’s economy, the sources said. Cuomo has also recalled three former top aides: Bill Mulrow, a senior adviser at Blackstone Group; Steven Cohen, an executive vice president and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Inc; and Larry Schwartz, a deputy Westchester County executive. Deloitte is also involved in developing the regional plan, a source said. The goal is to “Trump-proof” the plan, said an adviser to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “We think Trump ultimately will blink on this, but if not, we need to push back, and we are reaching out to top experts and other professionals to come up with a bullet-proof plan,” to open on the state’s terms, said a Cuomo adviser.

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Please don’t claim you’re about to eliminate the virus. Ramp up testing as of your life depended on it.

New Zealand PM: Many Restrictions To Be Kept In Place When Lockdown Ends (R.)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday that significant restrictions would be kept in place even if the country eases the nationwide one-month lockdown enforced to beat the spread of the coronavirus. New Zealand introduced its highest, level 4 lockdown measures in March, under which offices, schools and all non-essential services like bars, restaurants, cafes and playgrounds were shut down. A decision on whether to lift the lockdown would be made on April 20. The measures were tougher than most other countries, including neighbouring Australia, where some businesses were allowed to operate.


Ardern said if New Zealand moves to the lower level 3 of restriction, it would permit aspects of the economy to reopen in a safe way but there will be no “rush to normality”. “We have an opportunity to do something no other country has achieved, eliminating the virus,” Ardern said at a news conference. New Zealand reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, taking the total to 1,401 in a nation of about 5 million people. There have been nine deaths. Ardern said under level 3, some people could return to work and businesses reopen if they are able to provide contactless engagement with customers. Shops, malls, hardware stores and restaurants will remain shut but can permit online or phone purchases.

Read more …

It’s been a while since I saw a piece by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. Very much stuck in business-only mode.

Investors Are Underestimating The Economic Shock The World Is Facing (AEP)

Investors are repeating the mistake they made all through February and early March. They are again underestimating the immense economic shock of COVID-19. Can there be any parallel in market history to the surreal clash of narratives we saw this week? Global bourses soared even as the International Monetary Fund painted a series of scenarios ranging from dire – the most violent slump since the Great Depression – to catastrophic, with all the potential chain-reactions spelt out in its Global Financial Stability Report. Yet Goldman Sachs tells us that COVID-19 is under control and the worst is over. “The number of new active cases looks to be peaking globally, projections of cumulative fatalities and peak healthcare usage are coming down,” it says.

From this breathtaking premise, Wall Street’s fashion leader argues that we should “look through” the Great Lockdown to sunlit uplands ahead, anticipating a further 8% rise in the S&P 500 index by the end of the year. We can disregard normal bear market rules. This time we will avoid the textbook sequence of events in recessions: a swift crash followed by a torrid buy-the-dip rebound, and then a slow downward grind over months as reality hits home, ending only in capitulation at far lower levels. Authorities have spared us such a fate by rescuing everything immediately. “The Fed and Congress have precluded the prospect of a complete economic collapse,” it says.

I agree that $5 trillion of central bank QE, vast fiscal packages (10% of GDP in the US), and blanket guarantees, have averted disaster. They have – in a disjointed way – bought time and given us a chance of emerging from this global sudden stop without irreparable damage to the productive system. What is surely wrong is to imagine that this pandemic is a one-off shock lasting three months or so, followed by an early release from lockdowns and a swift return to near normality. The first glimpses of antibody data – such as Denmark’s test on blood donors – show that we are nowhere near the safe threshold of herd immunity.

They confirm fears that the mortality rate is at least 1% of infections and that therefore no democracies can let the virus run its course without overwhelming their health services and destroying their political legitimacy. The supposed trade-off between lives and the economy is an illusion. The most certain way to turn this crisis into a depression is to give up too soon, as Spain is already doing, and Donald Trump is itching to do. We would end up in the worst of all worlds, with multiple waves, and another forced closure of the economy to avert a winter tsunami, requiring trillions more in fiscal relief. [..] “We need a vaccine. Until we get one, the stock markets are in cloud-cuckoo land,” says professor Anthony Costello from University College London.

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That wouldn’t be wise.

Trump Threatens To Adjourn Congress Over ‘Scam’ Preventing Appointments (R.)

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Wednesday to shut down Congress so he could fill vacancies in his administration without Senate confirmation, saying he was frustrated lawmakers were not in Washington to vote on his nominees for federal judgeships and other government positions. “The current practice of leaving town, while conducting phony pro forma sessions, is a dereliction of duty that the American people cannot afford during this crisis,” an angry Trump told reporters at his daily White House briefing on the coronavirus crisis. “It is a scam that they do. It’s a scam and everyone knows it, and it’s been that way for a long time,” Trump said. No U.S. president has ever used the authority, included in the Constitution, to adjourn both chambers of Congress if they cannot agree on a date to adjourn.


It was not immediately clear if Congress’ current absence from Washington because of the global pandemic could be classified as being due to a failure to agree on an adjournment date. The Senate and House of Representatives have both announced plans to return to Washington on May 4, and had been scheduled to be out of Washington for two weeks in April for their annual Easter break even before the coronavirus crisis. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discussed nominations with Trump on Wednesday and promised to find ways to confirm those “considered mission-critical” to the pandemic, a McConnell spokesman said. “However, under Senate rules, that would take consent from Democratic leader Chuck Schumer,” the spokesman said.

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It was obvious before it started that it would be a mess.

US Coronavirus Small-Business Program Funding Nearly Spent (LAT)

Democrats and the Trump administration were at a stalemate Wednesday over how to resupply the popular Paycheck Protection Program, which helps small businesses cope during the coronavirus pandemic and is due to run out of money as soon as Wednesday night. The standoff came as Senate Democrats pushed the administration to lay the groundwork for how the nation may reemerge from social distancing and stay-at-home orders. Republicans and Democrats agree they need to provide more funding to the Paycheck Protection Program, which offers forgivable loans to help small businesses maintain their payrolls amid the deep economic fallout from the coronavirus. But the GOP balked at additional Democratic demands, such as tagging some of the funding for businesses that don’t have an existing relationship with a bank that supply the loans.

Participating banks have largely given preference to their current customers. As of 9 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, the Small Business Administration had approved 1.5 million applications totaling more than $324 billion of the $349 billion that Congress authorized in last month’s $2.2-trillion coronavirus relief package, according to the agency. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), chairman of the Senate committee with jurisdiction over small business, said that the program is expected to “grind to a halt” Wednesday evening as it hits its spending limit. “Now 700,000 small business applications are in limbo & no new loans will be made until the game of chicken in Congress ends,” Rubio said on Twitter. “Inexcusable.”

[..] The standoff over the funding program comes as Democrats on Wednesday released a national coronavirus testing strategy, arguing that they’re filling a void left by the Trump administration, which hasn’t released a plan to scale up COVID-19 testing to allow Americans to return to work and school. “The U.S. lags the world in testing and we lead the world in COVID-19 cases,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). “We are raising the alarm bells.” [..] Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), chairmen of two Senate committees responsible for health policy and spending, have said they want to make COVID-19 antibody testing free to all Americans. They acknowledged the need for widespread testing before people will feel comfortable resuming normal activities outside their homes. But Alexander said the money Congress has already authorized should be used to ramp up testing — not new funding.

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It takes weeks for jobs numbers to come out. That is too long in virustime. These guys try to fill the gap.

Real Time US Labor Market Estimates During 2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (Bick)

Labor market statistics for the United States are collected once a month and published with a three week delay. In normal times, this procedure results in timely and useful statistics. But these are not normal times. Currently, the most recent statistics refer to the week of March 8- 14; new statistics will not be available until May 8. In the meantime, the Coronavirus outbreak has shut down a substantial portion of the U.S. economy. More timely and frequent data on the impact on the labor force would surely be useful for both policy makers and the broader public. Our core survey closely follows the CPS, which allows us to construct estimates consistent with theirs. The first wave of our survey covers the week of March 29-April 4. Our findings reveal unprecedented changes in the US labor market since the most recent CPS data were collected:

1. The employment rate decreased from 72.7% to 60.7%, implying 24 million jobs lost.
2. The unemployment rate increased from 4.5% to 20.2%.
3. Hours worked per working age adult declined 25% from the second week of March. Half of this decline is due to lower hours per employed as opposed to lower employment.
4. Over 60% of work hours were from home, compared with roughly 10% in 2017-2018.
5. Those who still have their jobs are working fewer hours; 21% report a decline in earnings.
6. Declines were most pronounced for workers who were female, older, and less educated.

Effective policies require timely and accurate data on the scale of the downturn, yet traditional data sources are only made available at a significant lag. For example, the March 2020 Employment Situation report by the the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) only reflected labor market outcomes from the week ending Friday March 13, which precedes most major developments related to the outbreak. The April 2020 Employment Situation report will reflect labor market outcomes from the third week of April, but is not scheduled for release until May 8. The gap between the data needs of policymakers and the time lag of traditional data sources has left policymakers “flying blind” to a significant degree. The goal of this project is to help fill that void. [..]

Our major findings for the last week of March are as follows.
1. Dramatic reductions in employment. (a) We find an employment rate of 60.7% during the first week of April, compared with 72.7% in the second week of March, implying 24 million fewer workers. (b) We find an unemployment rate of 20.2% during the first week of April, compared with 4.5% in the second week of March. One positive note is that over half of the unemployed reported being temporarily laid off, suggesting that many could return to work quickly if conditions improve.

2. Even larger declines in aggregate labor supply than implied by employment alone. (a) Hours worked per working age adult declined 25% from March. In the first week of April, individuals worked 20.4 hours on average, compared with 27.5 weekly hours in the second week of March. (b) Hours worked per employed declined 12% from March. Even those who are still employed are working 4.5 fewer hours per week, a reduction of over half a day of work. This implies that just under half of the decline in hours per working age adult were due to reductions in hours worked per employed, and are therefore not reflected in changes to the employment rate.

3. Unprecedented increase of the share of hours worked from home. (a) We find that 63.8% of work hours were from home during the first week of April, compared with roughly 10% in the Spring of 2017 and 2018.

4. Lower earnings even for individuals still working the same job as in February. (a) We find that 21.9% of workers still working the same job as in February experienced a reduction in their earnings last week compared to February. About half of these reported that their reduction in earnings was 50% or larger. (b) At the same time, 11% of workers with the same job as in February report higher weekly earnings last week compared with February. 5. Disparities in labor market outcomes by sex, age, education, race, and hourly status. (a) Although negative effects are widespread, they are more pronounced among workers who are female, older, and less educated.

Read more …

Charles is right. Restart the whole circus now and there will be no buyers.

Overcapacity/Oversupply Everywhere: Massive Deflation Ahead (CHS)

Oil is the poster child of the forces driving massive deflation: overcapacity / oversupply and a collapse in demand. Overcapacity / oversupply and a collapse in demand are not limited to the crude oil market; rather, they are the dominant realities in the global economy. Yes, there are shortages in a few high-demand areas such as PPE (personal protective equipment), but across the entire spectrum of global supply and demand, there is nothing but a vast sea of overcapacity / oversupply and a systemic decline in demand as far as the eye can see. Here’s a partial list of commodities that are in Overcapacity / oversupply:

1. Overvalued assets 2. Overpriced income streams (as income craters, so will the asset generating the income) 3. Labor: low-skill everywhere, high-skill in sectors experiencing systemic collapse in demand 4. AirBnB and other vacation rental properties 5. Overpriced flats, condos and houses 6. Overpriced rental apartments 7. Overpriced commercial office space 8. Overpriced retail space 9. Overpriced used vehicles 10. Overpriced collectibles

I think you get the idea. Should China restart its export factories, then almost everything being manufactured will immediately be in oversupply, as the global export sector was plagued with mass overcapacity long before the Covid-19 pandemic crushed demand. Incomes will crater as revenues and profits crash, small businesses close their doors, never to re-open, local governments tighten spending, and whatever competition still exists will relentlessly push the price of labor, goods and services lower. Globalization has generated hyper-specialization in local and regional economies, stripping them of resilience. Fully exposed to the demand flows of a globalized class of consumers with surplus discretionary income, regions specialized in tourism, manufacturing, commodity mining, etc.

All these regions are now facing a structural collapse of global demand, and they have no diversified local economy to cushion the blow to jobs, incomes, profits and tax revenues. Thousands of small business that could barely squeak through a 20% decline in revenues are facing a 50% or more decline as far as the eye can see. With costs such as rent, labor, fees, taxes and healthcare at nosebleed levels, an enormously consequential number of small businesses globally cannot survive more than a modest, brief drop in revenues, as their costs remain high even as their sales plummet: costs are sticky, profits slide quickly to zero and beyond.

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No, I don’t like Soros being involved, and no, I don’t like the US squeezing Iran in virustime.

But most of all, all countries should think twice before letting the IMF have anything to do with their money supply. It doesn’t come free.

US Opposition Seen Stalling Major IMF Liquidity Boost (R.)

U.S. opposition is expected to prevent the International Monetary Fund this week from deploying one of its most powerful tools to help countries fight the coronavirus: creating a new allocation of Special Drawing Rights. The move, akin to a central bank “printing” new money, has been advocated by economists, finance ministers and non-profit groups to provide as much as $500 billion in urgently-needed liquidity for the IMF’s 189 member countries. SDRs, based on dollars, euro, yen, sterling and yuan, are the IMF’s official unit of exchange. Member countries hold them at the Fund in proportion to their shareholdings. The IMF last approved a $250-billion new allocation of SDRs in 2009, during the last financial crisis, boosting liquidity for cash-strapped countries. Doing so again now could provide more flexibility to the 100 countries that have already sought IMF emergency loans and grants, and allow new lending to countries with “unsustainable” debt burdens, such as Argentina.


An SDR expansion has attracted some celebrity advocates, such as investor George Soros and U2 lead singer Bono’s ONE anti-poverty organization, along with trade unions and faith-based groups. Finance officials will debate the issue during this week’s virtual IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings, but multiple sources familiar with the Fund’s deliberations say the United States, the IMF’s dominant shareholder, actively opposes such a move. The Trump administration opposes providing countries such as Iran and China with billions of dollars in new resources with no conditions, two of the sources said. [..] The U.S. Treasury Department would prefer to see the IMF focus on using its $1 trillion in existing resources, including $100 billion in emergency loans and grants, to aid countries’ health responses to the crisis, the sources said.

Read more …

You would think this should wake up Britain. But what are the odds?

We Scientists Said Lock Down. But UK Politicians Refused To Listen (G.)

In mid-February a colleague mentioned that for the first time in his life he was more concerned than his mother, who had been relatively blase about the risks of Covid-19. It felt odd for him to be telling her to take care. We are both professors in a department of infectious disease epidemiology, and we were worried. Two months on, that anxiety has not gone, although it’s also been joined by a sense of sadness. It’s now clear that so many people have died, and so many more are desperately ill, simply because our politicians refused to listen to and act on advice. Scientists like us said lock down earlier; we said test, trace, isolate. But they decided they knew better.

Am I being unfair? The government assures us that its decisions and timing are based on science, as if it is a neutral, value-free process resulting in a specific set of instructions. In reality, the science around coronavirus is in its infancy and developing daily, with researchers across the world trying to understand how the virus spreads, how the body responds – and how to treat it and control it. The speed at which our knowledge has increased is impressive, from the sequencing of the virus in January through to having candidate vaccines in early February.

Mathematical models are being refined to predict the extent and speed of spread and estimate the impact of control methods. My own group is studying the response of communities, showing how the epidemic is amplifying existing social inequalities. People with the lowest household income are far less likely, but no less willing, to be able to work from home or to self-isolate. But while scientists carry out observations and experiments, testing, iterating and discovering new knowledge, it is the role of policymakers to act on the best available evidence. In the context of a rapidly growing threat, that means listening to experts with experience of responding to previous epidemics.

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Ben Hunt is angry enough to start a revolution. While he’s also running a program delivering masks and other PPE to medical workers.

Inception (Ben Hunt)

The past few months are not a litany of errors and honest mistakes by the institutions we have charged with protecting us from disease and ruin. They are a litany of betrayals, and their Answers – their False Stories – have been revealed as lies. First we’re going to vaccinate ourselves to their Answers, to their False Stories, so that we think for ourselves again. Without this, we will inevitably fall back into the patterns of crony capitalism and obscene financialization that got us here in the first place. It’s a vaccine that we don’t administer anymore … an intentional decision by the high-functioning sociopaths and political entrepreneurs who rule us, of course.

Like all effective vaccines, it mimics the virus itself in its ability to trigger a physiological response in us. They want to nudge you into allegiance to a policy or a vote or a party. We want to un-nudge you into independence of spirit and thought. They want to infect you with an Answer. We want to innoculate you with a Process. The Process is one of the Old Stories. It is, in fact, the Oldest Story of what makes for a good and just human society. It is a narrative that has directly motivated hundreds of millions of people to organize themselves in hundreds of thousands of beneficial social forms, large and small, for thousands of years. We’re going to use that incepted Process to burn down these systems of iniquity from within and below.

We’re going use that incepted Process to build something better together, as brothers and sisters exercising our birthright – our autonomy of mind. I’m going to tell you exactly how we’re going to develop millions and millions of doses of the Old Story vaccine, and I’m going to tell you exactly how we’re going to administer them and exactly how we are going to change the world from below and from within. And you won’t believe me.

I mean, this happens all the time. I will sit down with someone and walk them through the entire plan … how we’re developing the science of what Isaac Asimov called “psychohistory”, how that gives us the ability to not only measure the narratives of social control that oligarchic institutions broadcast but also to design effective jamming narratives of our own, how we create a decentralized epistemic community of distributed trust and mutual support that we call the Pack, how we burn down these oligarchic institutions from below by jamming their Answers and from within by replacing the current sociopathic leadership with members of the Pack … and it is literally as if a switch goes off in their head and their eyes go dim. But then I’ll say “yada-yada-Trump” or “yada-yada-Biden” or “yada-yada-the-Fed” or “yada-yada-Bitcoin” and they’ll perk right up again!

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I’m cheating a bit. This is part of the article above, Inception. But the article is long and this is a very good bit.

“What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Now go and learn it.”

The Golden Rule (Ben Hunt)

It’s the Golden Rule. It’s the Oldest Story of fundamental human ethics. You can find it in ancient Egyptian stories, preserved in papyri from the Middle Kingdom. You can find it in the ancient Sanskrit epic “Mahabarata”, as the way in which dharma manifests itself in human affairs. You can find it in the ancient Greek writings of Thales and Pythagoras. You can find it in the ancient Persian texts of Zoroaster. But here’s my favorite: A gentile came before two teachers, Shammai the strict and Hillel the tolerant, and to each in turn said, “I will convert to Judaism if you can teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.” Shammai chased him away. But Hillel said to the gentile, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Now go and learn it.” The rest is commentary.


The Golden Rule is all you need to know to organize a good and just society. Everything else, all of the rules and principles and books and words and laws that engulf us … ALL of it … is just commentary. The Golden Rule is the vaccine. The Golden Rule is the simplest and most powerful form of the idea of reciprocity, ready and primed for inception in every human dreamer. The Golden Rule is the formal description of empathy. The Golden Rule is the only law of the Pack. The Golden Rule IS the full hearts of Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose. The Golden Rule is the meme that we’re going to inject in a mass-customized way straight into everyone’s veins with the Narrative Machine. And then YOU are going to burn down the current system of oligarchic iniquity from below and within. And then YOU are going to change the world. All on your own. With no centralized organization and no Answer imposed from above.

Read more …

Note that this takes place as the world is fast running out of space to store oil reserves in. I’m waiting for numbers of fully loaded tankers floating off ports for weeks or months.

Major Blow To Keystone XL Pipeline As Judge Revokes Key Permit (G.)

The controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has been dealt a major setback, after a judge revoked a key permit issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers without properly assessing the impact on endangered species. In a legal challenge brought by a coalition of environmental groups, a federal judge in Montana ordered the Army Corps to suspend all filling and dredging activities until it conducts formal consultations compliant with the Endangered Species Act. The ruling revokes the water-crossing permit needed to complete construction of the pipeline, and is expected to cause major delays to the divisive project. Keystone XL is a 1,179-mile pipeline which would transport around 830,000 barrels of oil a day from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada to Nebraska, eventually heading to refineries on the Gulf Coast.


Campaigners welcomed Wednesday’s ruling as a victory for tribal rights and environmental protection. “The court has rightfully ruled against the Trump administration’s efforts to fast track this nasty pipeline at any cost. We won’t allow fossil fuel corporations and backdoor politicians to violate the laws that protect people and the planet,” said Tamara Toles O’Laughlin of environmental group 350.org Judith LeBlanc, director of the Native Organizer Alliance, said: “The revoking of the permit is a victory for treaty rights and democracy. Tribal nations have a renewed opportunity to exercise our legal and inherent rights to protect the water of the Missouri river bioregion for all who live, farm and work on the land.”

Read more …

Prepare to hear much more about this from Horowitz. Someone will do a major write-up.

FBI Repeatedly Warned Steele Dossier Fed By Russian Misinformation (Solomon)

The FBI received repeated warnings dating to 2015 that Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy it used to build a case against President Trump, had concerning contacts with Russian oligarchs and intelligence figures that might call into question the credibility of his intelligence reporting, newly declassified documents showed Monday. The suspect sources included a person described as a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and a Russian intelligence figure under separate counterintelligence investigation by the FBI, the memos show. And the red flags included a warning that Russian intelligence appeared to be aware as early as July 2016 that Steele was working on a U.S. election-related investigation, making him susceptible to misinformation.

The revelations are found in newly declassified footnotes from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December, 2019 report about failures in the Russia probe that included using false evidence to secure a FISA warrant against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in October 2016. Some of those red flags were raised prior to the bureau’s decision to rely on Steele’s dossier as key evidence in seeking the FISA warrant targeting the Trump campaign in the final days of the 2016 election, and nearly all were raised before Special Counsel Robert Mueller opened his probe in spring 2017.

For instance, FBI officials urged in 2015 that Steele undergo a re-evaluation as an informant (a “validation review,” in spy parlance) after the bureau’s transnational organized crime office learned that he had received contact from five Russian oligarchs, all of whom wanted to have contact with the bureau. “The report noted that Steele’s contact with 5 Russian oligarchs in a short period of time was unusual and recommended that a validation review be completed on Steele because of this activity,” one footnote stated.

Read more …

 

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Home Forums Debt Rattle April 16 2020

This topic contains 34 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  oxymoron 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)
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  • #57286

    Dorothea Lange Richmond, California 1942   • Coronavirus Testing Hits Dramatic Slowdown In US (Pol.) • Antibody Tests For Coronavirus Can Miss Th
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle April 16 2020]

    #57288

    zerosum
    Participant

    The world has changed. Accept it.

    Covid19 says:” I’m taking your old and weak”

    Man says: “First, Let us test to determine who is old and weak.”

    Covid19 says:”I’m doing the testing. for 97% of mankind. I’ll make less mistakes than your tests.
    You cannot change the mortality rate for closed cases. (remains at 21%)
    Stop complaining. Count your blessings. read.
    https://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2020/04/overcapacity-oversupply-everywhere.html
    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2020
    Overcapacity / Oversupply Everywhere: Massive Deflation Ahead
    ———-

    #57289

    zerosum
    Participant

    “the market price of assets can fall 90% or even to zero.”

    The banks will have put plywood on the windows long before that and will be waiting for buyers at a price that they want.
    Selling the extra inventory at too low a price destroys all the value of all assets.
    Therefore, there will not be massive deflation.

    #57290

    Doc Robinson
    Participant

    • The Coronavirus Is Particularly Unkind To Those Who Are Obese (LAT)
    among those ages 65 and older, there was no link between obesity status and hospital care

    The study actually concluded that Age >65 is a predictor of hospital admission (87% admitted), without making a distinction between the obese and non-obese in this age range.

    For the people who are not in that Age >65 category, obesity was found to be a major factor in hospitalizations.

    This is clearly shown in the related chart which Ilargi posted on April 13:

    https://theautomaticearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/nyu-decision-tree-for-covid-cases.jpg

    #57292

    John Day
    Participant

    I have just caught up on the comments following Ilargi’s fine and instructive essay “The Only Man Who Ha A Clue” about Taleb et. al.
    Good bunch of comments. Nice to meet you, Kimyo99.
    I agree that having a viral adversary and having an “enemy” going forward (or back in time) are different.
    I might think “V-shaped recovery” if the virus(es) come without harmful intent, but I think “hunker-down-into-societal-reset” if I believe they are the first real attack on my person. Others have already been personally attacked in the “wars on terror” after the massive false flag attacks of 9/11/01, and the anthrax letters to Tom Daschle, and those who opposed the global war on terrorists living over easy to extract oil and poppy fields.
    WTC Bldg #7 collapsed into it’s footprint, in freefall time about 5:20 PM as the evening news was playing across America. The government claimed this suspension of the laws of physics was normal, just the first time ever. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK_iBYSqEsc
    The space-time continuum was also rent asunder, as the BBC reported that “the Lehman Building” had collapsed, as it was visible out the window, still standing for a few more minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEsjv9vKCGc
    Who benefited? Inside traders, the military industrial complex, western banking, Bibi Netanyahu, Bushes, Clintons, Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, and anybody who might have faced criminal charges in the investigation of Pentagon misspending of over a trillion dollars, the “unaccounted for” money that Rumsfeld mentioned 9/10/01. Whatever put those clean, cookie cutter holes in the Pentagon that day, without leaving any trash, luggage, wings or bodies on the lawn, sure put an end to that investigation. BULLSEY!
    I believe this is the archetype that people resonate with as “Armageddon”, and it has come before, but this one is ours.
    The American revolution probably felt like Armageddon, as did WW-2.
    People will fight to the death for that archetype, but that is misguided this time.
    This time, all the infrastructure is too valuable to the ruling elites, and resources are running low, but there are more people than they need, so they need to keep the most competently obedient ones.
    This will take several different kinds of herd-thinning to accomplish.
    Restive members of the herd have seen this movie, too.
    French Revolution or Killing-Fields? Pick a side, right?
    I’d rather not. I’d rather let the elites reduce their less-competent elite competitors, while I figure out how to set a good example of human-ecological-living with just a little bit of what we now burn each day. http://www.johndayblog.com

    #57293

    John Day
    Participant

    Also, I donated again.
    Thanks for the fine work, Ilargi!

    #57296

    Thank you, John, for the donation and the kind words.

    #57297

    Dr. D
    Participant

    Yay EU, doing something right first time I remember:

    “Companies given equity injections by EU member states as a result of the coronavirus will not be allowed to pay out dividends, buy back shares or provide bonuses or similar remuneration.”
    An example for us all.

    Oh wait, too soon: “German Lawyer Who Criticized Lockdown Arrested, Taken To Psych Ward” https://summit.news/2020/04/15/german-lawyer-who-criticized-lockdown-arrested-taken-to-psych-ward/

    A Post From Germany

    Reports are that the “Swiss Also Locked Up A doctor for being Against the Coronavirus Fraud”

    Reports are that the Swiss Also Locked Up A doctor for being Against the Coronavirus Fraud

    Opinions are treason. While we’re erasing 1st Amendment rights to protest, why not the rights to opinions, Assembly, Religion, and the Press as well. We already got rid of Due Process, eternal infinite house arrest without adjudication, and much, much more! They’re tracking you down in the woods to arrest you for being too close to people, and therefore put you in jail where you’re unprotected and close to people. #Logic!

    Anecdotally, this is going around. Remember, Epstein didn’t kill himself, he died of Coronavirus. “COVID-19 a Miracle Cure for All Other Disease; Prevents Heart Attacks” https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/press/covid-19-miracle-cure-for-all-other-disease-prevents-heart-attacks/

    In London, they were calling it the “Miracle Cure” as all other diseases vanish from records. True? You’d have to look, but the fact it’s even said indicates something.

    Like the laundry list on Gates, this has been around, the hundreds of deaths cause by WHO: https://greatgameindia.com/who-list-of-errors/

    So they are CONSTANTLY, for decades, issuing vaccines that kill or maim 10% of all recipients. And they get annoyed that the victim nations are mad at them, I mean, just because they’re KILLING brown people like flies. Then, like the IMF, they fail and do it all over again. While sucking up billions that would easily help people with simple, uncontroversial aid like wells and refrigeration.

    Of course, that’s not just “them”, Flint and hundred other cities need fresh water, while WHO steals the money that would easily cure people’s health. “$3.5 Billion Has Flowed from U.S. Taxpayers to the World Health Organization Since 2010”

    Speaking of obvious avoidance of death, the food system is breaking down all over, putting 100% of the population in danger, not only of food, but of crime. We are going to kill every town to save every town. Good job, Brownie!

    “Nobody wants to go to a bar or an office or factory floor if they can catch a deadly virus there.”

    I will. I’ll do it all day but I’ll get arrested. They say stats lead to” inevitability” of masks and economy. Why? It’s indeed an option to do nothing. I would but I’m not free. I’m not allowed. For whose good is that? You say it is mine, but I’d prefer you all go away and leave me to my own life, my own death, and my own choices, thanks. There has never been any more oppressive force than of do-gooders. Indeed that impulse has killed most of the people of the 20th century.

    In any case, if the nation wasn’t made of cowards, they’d go work and get things done like the Doctors and Nurses are doing right now. Truckers are on, cashiers, car mechanics. How about all the people who aren’t working get thrown overboard since they’re neither “essential” nor brave? Because we, the brave, being brave, will inevitably help you at our own risk and expense anyway, that won’t happen, but do you see what I’m saying here? This is what I said about locking down the factory in China and running it anyway, because China, and her goods, and those goods being food and masks and truck parts, are vital to China, the Chinese, and to world health? I said that of them, there, and no less for me, here.

    Isn’t risking yourself to support your fellow man what we’re aspiring to? I bet a whole lot of people will join me, and are going to offices and factories right now. To keep YOU alive, complaining bitterly about watching Netflix at home. While you say they are stupid, foolish, and suck to be out. “Shut it down, Mr. President, shut it down.” Shut down the food? The truck parts? The masks?

    Yes, testing is a big problem. Even if it were accurate, it might show someone died of Corona when they had got over it 5 months ago. The non-antibody test has different problems, suggested it sees other Coronas (which are common), may be set off by vaccines, and aren’t accurate, which almost certainly makes things worse wasting scarce resources with false positives (and negatives). If NPR is sure of that test, it would be the first science so far that’s been solid and a known-known.

    Why aren’t we testing? Well If the tests don’t work, why bother? To “do something”?

    “The Coronavirus Is Particularly Unkind to Those Who Are Obese (LAT)”

    It has been suggested this goes with the theory that overweight is a symptom of chronic inflammation. Covid death seems to depend strongly on immune overreaction.

    thwart expected pressure from President Donald Trump to move more rapidly,”

    He won’t have an economy and collect taxes, but he sure will have Wall Street, New York, suck massive Federal money out of Michigan, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. Like I said, when you’re the heroes, the good guys, you help NY anyway, despite that they’ve nuked your town, repoed your house, and economically murdered your people by the ten-thousands for the last 30 years while giggling with glee at your distress. Sucks to be the good guy. Now Cuomo will want Moar! There’s a couple houses left in Detroit, can’t you sell them or something and send the cash to the Hamptons for us? You know, since he closed down 20,000 hospital beds and lowered taxes on Wall St over his reign? There’s a good boy.

    Investors Are Underestimating the Economic Shock the World Is Facing (AEP)”

    I don’t know about that, this is probably what happens to all socialist, 3rd world, banana republics like we are: they print $10T and the stock market goes up. However, food stops being harvested and goes up faster. Check! On both counts. But we don’t have to do work, put dirty seeds in the dirty ground, just print money! It’s magic!

    “It was obvious before it started that it would be a mess.”

    There is a second problem that it’s simply harder to write 10,000,000 loan applications than 20. And a lot less profitable for the work involved too. Hey, isn’t that why we have competition and no monopolies? So we’ll have 1 million banks who can easily write 10 loans apiece? Nah, that’d be capitalism. Haven’t had that in 100 years and we’re not starting now. More government, more checks, less work. Cheers all around!

    We Scientists Said Lock Down. But UK Politicians Refused to Listen (G.)”

    Should probably look into why nobody believes what you say anymore. Would it be because of the 300 word-salad papers that got published, no problem? 20 years ago, and you weren’t even embarrassed? That Vioxx and Roundup are safe as water and Manhattan should be underwater? Or is it because the last 5 epidemics you called were wildly overhyped, big fat zeros? Gosh, so weird how anti-science everyone got when Science has been dead-wrong much of my lifetime, much to my personal cost, and indeed deaths, See WHO killing 10% (that’s call “Decimating” a population), above. Funny how that happens. After a while even ignorant dummies can tell where they’re being poked from.

    Don’t worry: they will NEVER self-examine. EVER. Why clean up your own house, cities, reporters, government, science, when you’re practically perfect in every way? Tell other people what to do, what costs you’re going to force on THEM instead while I sit in Princeton and Fairfax and order them about like monopoly pieces and throw violent tantrums if they resist.

    The past few months are not a litany of errors and honest mistakes”

    I see we’re on the same page. They get it 100% wrong in 100% the same direction, every time. “They” being media, government, science, cities…

    “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.”

    But rural people, brown people, poor people, slavs, are not “people.” They are therefore not “neighbors.” We don’t think of them or their calling any more than we think of the rats or the crows. Nothing they say matters, their deaths are provably a net positive.

    There are exploits in the Golden Rule though: What if you’re a Spartan and treat other men as Spartans? What if you’re a corrupt man of decadence and lavishly share your decadence, sexual or otherwise? Decadence is doing that right now, forcing themselves on the unwilling. Less bad than not, though, which is why we usually write on hypocrisy instead.

    #57298

    anticlimactic
    Participant

    THE OTHER VICTIMS OF COVID-19

    One UK newspaper said that about 2600 people per week were dying because they could not receive the non-COVID treatment normally carried on in UK hospitals.

    A new temporary hospital has been built in London, Nightingale, with 2,900 ICU beds specifically for COVID-19 treatment, plus 750 normal beds. Similar hospitals are being created in major cities using covered stadiums.

    I believe they are regarded as overflow beds. As I suspected Nighingale is almost empty.

    Here’s an idea. Why not move ALL the COVID-19 cases from normal hospitals to these centres and let the normal hospitals go back to treating non-COVID cases. Normal hospitals should not accept any COVID-19 cases.

    Many countries seem to be building temporary hospitals so it should be possible to segregate COVID-19 cases from other patients, or even just select specific normal hospitals as COVID only.

    ANTIBODY TESTS

    I am still struck by the 1.6 million people reporting to a UK hotline that they had the virus.

    Antibody tests would be perfect for testing a significant sample of these people to get an idea of how many really had been infected, although this would not show asymptomatic carriers.

    I do not believe the UK is an exception so the antibody test could be used on random sampling of the population of any country to get a better idea of the real infection levels.

    How can the correct decisions be made without accurate information, or at least a good estimate?

    #57300

    One UK newspaper said that about 2600 people per week were dying because they could not receive the non-COVID treatment normally carried on in UK hospitals.

    I doubt it. If the UK is anything like other countries, those “extra” deaths are people who dies of COVID19 but were never tested and, hence, never counted. I’ve seen these stories come from France, Belgium, Holland, and I suspect Germany is undercounting victims in bulk this way.

    The NHS doesn’t appear to be overwhelmed yet, but it soon will be. When that happens, the headlines won’t stop telling you about it. The UK appears even worse managed then the rest, and that’s saying something. All these “leaders” are merely managing the consequences of their own failures. It’s a strange gig, you won’t find that in any other field, it’s only possible in politics.

    #57301

    Huskynut from the Taleb thread. No ideal solution to carry one thread into another… So hereby..

    1. Reasoning that the potential ultimate risk of Covid is human extinction and thus mandates the most extreme of precautions is, well, useless. I mean in scientific terms then yes it’s technically true, but the same is true of other edge cases (including GMOs and climate change). There is no particular reason (that I’m aware of) that this risk should be uniquely or especially true of Covid vs a mutation of a pre-existing virus, or from one that emerges tomorrow

    That’s not how Taleb puts it. He says: “..over time, exposure to tail events leads to a certain eventual extinction. While there is a very high probability for humanity surviving a single such event, over time, there is eventually zero probability of surviving repeated exposures to such events.” There’s nothing there that is “especially true” about COVID19, this is a general comment: if you fail to follow the ground rules, and you persist in doing that in multiple cases, you go down a road you shouldn’t travel on.

    Also please note that he very much emphasizes that hardly any of what he recommends now, masks, restricted mobility, would have been needed if the first steps had been taken. But now that we failed at that, there is no other option than door no. 2. I think many people tend to overlook that first step argument, because when it happened, they were blissfully ignorant thanks to Beijing, WHO and their own governments. They entered the stadium in the third inning, hot dog in hand, and think the pitcher is still warming up. They can’t for the life of them figure out why the anthem is not being played.

    #57303

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    As a socio/psych-ological deomstration of basic human behaviors, we here seem almost classically textbook examples, per the wee bit of soc-psych I tell myself I know.

    ***

    The “shrinking trust horizon” Nicole mentions is highly evident in our remarks about the larger institutions influencing our lives as well as our individual interactions to one another.

    We amuse me, and I say that affectionately. A roomfull of mutts. (wags tail while simultaneously displaying canine incisors)

    Serious discussion # 1

    Serious discussion # 2

    #57304

    John Day
    Participant

    http://www.johndayblog.com/2020/04/scylla-and-charybdis.html
    Scylla and Charybdis were mythical sea monsters noted by Homer; Greek mythology sited them on opposite sides of the Strait of Messina between Sicily and Calabria, on the Italian mainland.

    Ilargi at The Automatic Earth has posted an excellent piece , explaining the complexity-theory analysis of the current spread of novel coronavirus in our human population, which is life-supported by our political-economy.
    This is the primary, fundamental process to understand. Read this first.
    ​https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2020/04/the-only-man-who-has-a-clue/

    ​Gail Tverberg explains why the economy can never get back to “normal”, which was straining in every way, already. Humpty Dumpty. How far down, and what can we all reorganize to, eventually, are the relevant questions.
    ​https://ourfiniteworld.com/2020/03/31/economies-wont-be-able-to-recover-after-shutdowns/

    #57306

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    The internet has let me down. I searched for “schadenfreude Danke Schoen” and found naught… no wait. I’d mispelt Danke Schoen! Big Brother really *does* love me! I’m not the only one who thought schad-themed lyrics belonged with this tune!

    Schadenfreude

    My faith is restored.

    How does this relate to whatever is deemed by this or that poster the Official Topic?

    It’s a question. I *think* I know “the” answer, but I have been known to be wrong.

    #57307

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    On the other hands(sic typo), the newer forms of networking that technology has given us, provide uncannily tribalesque opprtunities for enharmonic group behavior:

    JUst SIngers Singing. No Stars, No Groupies, Just Singers

    #57309

    Huskynut
    Participant

    Ilargi – thanks for the response

    “That’s not how Taleb puts it. He says: “..over time, exposure to tail events leads to a certain eventual extinction. While there is a very high probability for humanity surviving a single such event, over time, there is eventually zero probability of surviving repeated exposures to such events.” There’s nothing there that is “especially true” about COVID19, this is a general comment: if you fail to follow the ground rules, and you persist in doing that in multiple cases, you go down a road you shouldn’t travel on.”

    Sure, I get it, and my comment still stands. Taleb’s observation is 100% correct, and also 100% functionally useless to us in making sense of this crisis. Human beings never have and never will respond to potential extinction-level events in a rational manner. We’re simply not wired for it. Neither I would observe is the entirety of the animal kingdom. We behave as if we will go on living. The litany of examples in Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” illustrates that pretty well.
    So investing time and energy trying to mobilise people to respond in ways they will never respond is simply wasted energy. And that’s without discussing the negative externalities of the proposed action which are conspicuously avoided.

    #57311

    Huskynut
    Participant

    A couple of additional claifications:
    – the negative externalities of compulsory mask wearing are trivial. I’m not personally convinced of the merit of masks (in part as I’m at lower personal risk of death from my demography), but the cost of compliance to me is trivial. So I’d take one for the team and comply (as I am with current restrictions). The external costs of long-term lock downs is vast and there’s no way in hell I’m willing to take that on the chin for the sake of either abstract Black Swan concept or practical advantage to society
    – the “100% right but functionally useless” concept comes from Anthony De Mello – a Jesuit priest and spiritual teacher who relates his personal story. One day in councelling one of his flock, he was confronted by the man. “Father what you’ve told me is 100% correct but completely useless to me”. He took that on the chin and went off and trained as psychotherapist, so that instead of just relaying abstract concepts he could make useful practical interventions in the lives of his parishioners.
    Now Taleb is a great intellect, and his insights have a utilitarian place in finance and economics, but invoking them in the current Covid context to justify lockdowns is an over-extension and misuse of the concepts.

    #57312

    Huskynut
    Participant

    Sorry, I forgot to respond to your second point:
    “Also please note that he very much emphasizes that hardly any of what he recommends now, masks, restricted mobility, would have been needed if the first steps had been taken. But now that we failed at that, there is no other option than door no. 2. I think many people tend to overlook that first step argument, because when it happened, they were blissfully ignorant thanks to Beijing, WHO and their own governments. They entered the stadium in the third inning, hot dog in hand, and think the pitcher is still warming up. They can’t for the life of them figure out why the anthem is not being played.”

    Amen to that. The widespread government response (the US in in particular) has been ghastly. But you wouldn’t know that from the tub-thumping MSM, certainly not in NZ.
    My jaw fell open this morning – Jacinda Ardern has just been quoted as saying “it’s largely in NZ’ers hands how long they’ll have to live under such tight conditions”. I mean, fuck me – considering we’re being told almost nothing meaningful around her decision-making, and the power to unilaterally compel the population is solely in her hands, that is some industrial-grade patronisation going on right there..

    #57313

    D Benton Smith
    Participant

    I long wondered why apocalyptic predictions never come to pass (evidence : here we are despite uncountable numbers of dire predictions made in the past. Not extinct. Apocalypse pending, I guess. Knock on wood.)
    Then I gave it some brain searing concentrated cogitation and came up with what I think is big part of the answer.
    Our own experiences are the only model of “normal” that we have to go on. It is literally all we have ever known and the only things we have ever done. This reality may not exactly be heaven on earth but at least it is a hell on earth that have have more or less learned how to cope with. The model is probably tinted with aspirations for a better normal, but the fact is that at least we have acquired the skills and illusions about “how things work around here” to have survived up through the present moment.
    When an apocalyptic “series of unfortunate events” like wars, imperial collapses and world wide pandemics just rip the living shit out of everything, then what happens next?
    Well there are only two possibilities. In the event that we go extinct then that’s that. The piles of dead will neither complain nor worry, and scavengers of all sizes and description will have a long field day.
    In the alternative scenario ( in which we don’t go the way of the dinosaurs, and is the one I’m personally rooting for) then the survivors will work like never before, like obsessed maniacs, like bankers at a bailout . . . . . to put it all back to as close to the old “normal” as closely as the can, and as quickly as they can. After all, the “doings” of the old normal is the only thing they ever knew how to do. It is their ONLY model, and so that is the one they will build toward.
    If the “new normal” is a bit skewed from the old one I don’t think very many people will even notice. Those that do will be regarded by everyone else as quaint old nostalgic geezers yearning for “the good old days.”
    So do make plans but don’t over-worry it . Predict and prepare to the degree you think you should and then just get on with living, until further notice.

    #57314

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    “Taleb’s observation is 100% correct, and also 100% functionally useless to us in making sense of this crisis. Human beings never have and never will respond to potential extinction-level events in a rational manner. We’re simply not wired for it. Neither I would observe is the entirety of the animal kingdom. We behave as if we will go on living. The litany of examples in Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” illustrates that pretty well.”

    Should we therefore give up any attempt to prevent such an event? Even if it is rationally apprehensible (i.e. not an inevitable asteroid or the Yellowstone caldera doing what it inevitably will in ways we can scarcely imagine how to avert except in silly movies)?

    After all, we’ve done such a lousy job so far of surviving despite our exorbitant abundance of irrationality, right?

    Also, what evidence is there that “Human beings never have and never will respond to potential extinction-level events in a rational manner”? Oh, I don’t like our chances at all but I do know that we survived an Ice Age, were in fact practically born of one, and we ain’t all dead yet.

    We simply do not know.

    “So investing time and energy trying to mobilise people to respond in ways they will never respond is simply wasted energy.”

    While I am very much on recent record that I don’t like our chances of simply enacting a major quarantine in an effective way, much less the chances of our using knowledge of evil world cabal biogenocide plots to counter same, I would never say that we could never effectively respond in a group-survival satisfying manner. Because, again, we don’t know. Dr. Fauci likes to make absolute statements like the ones you’ve just made. He at least has a fancy title.

    “The health “professionals” modelled several scenarios. The lower death scenarios (which turn out to be more in line with what we’ve actually observed *were simply excluded from theirreport*. Get that – they modelled them but didn’t like the results they produced, so simply didn’t report the scenarios. That’s a damn scandal right there.”

    The concept here is that of erring on the side of caution not complacency or arrogance or greed or confusion or… why yes indeed, dear hearts, it’s a damn scandal they didn’t go all-out cavalier on this one like Bojo or Trump or Macron or… my memory’s getting bad. Anyone recall a national leader/global health technocrat who didn’t initially lead with their chin and tell us this was just a Big Sniffle, no reason to panic, carry on…

    A) “And that’s without discussing the negative externalities of the proposed action which are conspicuously avoided.”

    B) “Bye, bye Grandma and Grandpa. So sorry about your luck. We decided the model looked better for younger people if we didn’t reduce GDP so we let Covid-19 run loose.”
    A) “That, right there is a beautiful example of hijacking a rational discussion with a purely emotional dog-whistle, and sadly that’s exactly the widespread quality of debate.”

    Apparently, not running one’s remarks along the lines you think they should go is hijacking a debate. If this is your idea of establishing a middle-ground of debate, we’re gonna have to seriously move the goal posts, I guess.

    And what is, exactly, “exactly the widespread quality of debate.” Other than your subjective impression expressed as absolute universal truth?
    If, by “that’s without discussing the negative externalities of the proposed action which are conspicuously avoided” you refer to us here, I have to differ: such matters have been discussed here in myriad ways. If you mean in the circles of enforceable or officially declarative power: you’ve got to be kidding. I’ve heard economy over death count reduction, and death count reduction over economy, from many blithering members of the CIC.

    “Reasoning that the potential ultimate risk of Covid is human extinction and thus mandates the most extreme of precautions is, well, useless. I mean in scientific terms then yes it’s technically true, but the same is true of other edge cases (including GMOs and climate change). There is no particular reason (that I’m aware of) that this risk should be uniquely or especially true of Covid vs a mutation of a pre-existing virus, or from one that emerges tomorrow, or from other scientific edge cases (physicists have speculated on a black hole produced by the Large Hadron Collider..).”

    The word ‘ultimate’ means, in this instance, ‘at the very worst’. It also means, ‘as far as the effect on homo saps can go’. It is a means of stating that this event is the kind of thing that can indeed make things very much worse, up to and including extinction. Picking on the most extreme and least probable negative outcome (and easy to prevent, I say, contrary to your standing position, seeing as how killing off an entire species is much more challenging job than merely driving into depopulated penury and misery) is gross cherry-picking. In this case, in a mine field, but that’s just a metaphor for fun’s sake. You know: “rambling semi-coherently”

    Actually, there IS a reason “that this risk should be uniquely or especially true of Covid vs a mutation of a pre-existing virus, or from one that emerges tomorrow”: velocity of events.

    Your logic here reminds me of Zeno’s* tortoise/hare/arrow refutations of time or movement, depending on your perspective. Lovely poetic paradox but it resolves easily when one considers that time, while theoretically infinitely divisible, does not stop moving while it is being infinitely divided. What is infinitely divided gets left behind, like every moment in time does.

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno%27s_paradoxes

    The whole point of flattening the curve is to reduce the s[peed at which the (metaphor alert!) water rises. A tsunami coming in at the speed of a glacier is no problem. A tsunami landing at 20-30 mph, as they typically do, is a very big problem even if it’s only 6’ feet high.

    Not to ignore the other aspect: inertia. Once a virus gets in pandemic motion, it has considerable inertia that can only be significantly reduced by isolating the vectors of its momentum: in this case, people, although there’s also room for bats, maybe pangolins, maybe government research labs, and maybe even the many Drs. Evil who call 1% their home.

    “Physicists” have been speculating for decades on string theory without a shred of supporting evidence outside of labyrinthine mathematical models. No one except ‘credulous mystics’ (to quickly coin a handy tar-brushed label) worried about the Hadron Collider. That’s one heckuva red herring though, bosco says admiringly.

    “You know Taleb/Ilargi – when you can show me how this new morality will claw back the billions from the 1% to finance this humanity-embracing effort, rather than ditching the costs onto future generations, then I’m up for it.”

    No one claims such magical powers. The struggle now is to keep viral panic and viral illness from doing worse damage to people – and the economy on which they depend. Period.

    After that we can deal with the 1%. Maybe. BTW, history shows very little evidence that human beings ever have or ever will respond to potential extinction-level events in a rational manner… most of which potentials, from atom bombs to Monsanto poisons and possible feral DNA breaking loose from patented genegineer designer molds to global warming to a whole lotta very destructive and economically expensive war, can be traced back to that 1% always encouraging their short-term greed over long-term group welfareand survival, especially the sustainable kind. So I find it funny to hold accountable the likes of Taleb/Ilargi and the CIC and even the human beings dominated by the CIC, to an approach pandemic mitigation that also prioritizes as much or more that we won’t get fucked by the 1% and won’t get fooled again.

    You know what song I’m gonna play now:

    <a href=”http://“Taleb’s observation is 100% correct, and also 100% functionally useless to us in making sense of this crisis. Human beings never have and never will respond to potential extinction-level events in a rational manner. We’re simply not wired for it. Neither I would observe is the entirety of the animal kingdom. We behave as if we will go on living. The litany of examples in Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” illustrates that pretty well.” Should we therefore give up any attempt to prevent such an event? Even if it is rationally apprehensible (i.e. not an inevitable asteroid or the Yellowstone caldera doing what it inevitably will in ways we can scarcely imagine how to avert except in silly movies)? After all, we’ve done such a lousy job so far of surviving despite our exorbitant abundance of irrationality, right? Also, what evidence is there that “Human beings never have and never will respond to potential extinction-level events in a rational manner”? Oh, I don’t like our chances at all but I do know that we survived an Ice Age, were in fact practically born of one, and we ain’t all dead yet. We simply do not know. “So investing time and energy trying to mobilise people to respond in ways they will never respond is simply wasted energy.” While I am very much on recent record that I don’t like our chances of simply enacting a major quarantine in an effective way, much less the chances of our using knowledge of evil world cabal biogenocide plots to counter same, I would never say that we could never effectively respond in a group-survival satisfying manner. Because, again, we don’t know. Dr. Fauci likes to make absolute statements like the ones you’ve just made. He at least has a fancy title. “The health “professionals” modelled several scenarios. The lower death scenarios (which turn out to be more in line with what we’ve actually observed *were simply excluded from theirreport*. Get that – they modelled them but didn’t like the results they produced, so simply didn’t report the scenarios. That’s a damn scandal right there.” The concept here is that of erring on the side of caution not complacency or arrogance or greed or confusion or… why yes indeed, dear hearts, it’s a damn scandal they didn’t go all-out cavalier on this one like Bojo or Trump or Macron or… my memory’s getting bad. Anyone recall a national leader/global health technocrat who didn’t initially lead with their chin and tell us this was just a Big Sniffle, no reason to panic, carry on… A) “And that’s without discussing the negative externalities of the proposed action which are conspicuously avoided.” B) “Bye, bye Grandma and Grandpa. So sorry about your luck. We decided the model looked better for younger people if we didn’t reduce GDP so we let Covid-19 run loose.” A) “That, right there is a beautiful example of hijacking a rational discussion with a purely emotional dog-whistle, and sadly that’s exactly the widespread quality of debate.” Apparently, not running one’s remarks along the lines you think they should go is hijacking a debate. If this is your idea of establishing a middle-ground of debate, we’re gonna have to seriously move the goal posts, I guess. And what is, exactly, “exactly the widespread quality of debate.” Other than your subjective impression expressed as absolute universal truth? If, by “that’s without discussing the negative externalities of the proposed action which are conspicuously avoided” you refer to us here, I have to differ: such matters have been discussed here in myriad ways. If you mean in the circles of enforceable or officially declarative power: you’ve got to be kidding. I’ve heard economy over death count reduction, and death count reduction over economy, from many blithering members of the CIC. “Reasoning that the potential ultimate risk of Covid is human extinction and thus mandates the most extreme of precautions is, well, useless. I mean in scientific terms then yes it’s technically true, but the same is true of other edge cases (including GMOs and climate change). There is no particular reason (that I’m aware of) that this risk should be uniquely or especially true of Covid vs a mutation of a pre-existing virus, or from one that emerges tomorrow, or from other scientific edge cases (physicists have speculated on a black hole produced by the Large Hadron Collider..).” The word ‘ultimate’ means, in this instance, ‘at the very worst’. It also means, ‘as far as the effect on homo saps can go’. It is a means of stating that this event is the kind of thing that can indeed make things very much worse, up to and including extinction. Picking on the most extreme and least probable negative outcome (and easy to prevent, I say, contrary to your standing position, seeing as how killing off an entire species is much more challenging job than merely driving into depopulated penury and misery) is gross cherry-picking. In this case, in a mine field, but that’s just a metaphor for fun’s sake. You know: “rambling semi-coherently” Actually, there IS a reason “that this risk should be uniquely or especially true of Covid vs a mutation of a pre-existing virus, or from one that emerges tomorrow”: velocity of events. Your logic here reminds me of Zeno’s* tortoise/hare/arrow refutations of time or movement, depending on your perspective. Lovely poetic paradox but it resolves easily when one considers that time, while theoretically infinitely divisible, does not stop moving while it is being infinitely divided. What is infinitely divided gets left behind, like every moment in time does. * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno%27s_paradoxes The whole point of flattening the curve is to reduce the s[peed at which the (metaphor alert!) water rises. A tsunami coming in at the speed of a glacier is no problem. A tsunami landing at 20-30 mph, as they typically do, is a very big problem even if it’s only 6’ feet high. Not to ignore the other aspect: inertia. Once a virus gets in pandemic motion, it has considerable inertia that can only be significantly reduced by isolating the vectors of its momentum: in this case, people, although there’s also room for bats, maybe pangolins, maybe government research labs, and maybe even the many Drs. Evil who call 1% their home. “Physicists” have been speculating for decades on string theory without a shred of supporting evidence outside of labyrinthine mathematical models. No one except ‘credulous mystics’ (to quickly coin a handy tar-brushed label) worried about the Hadron Collider. That’s one heckuva red herring though, bosco says admiringly. “You know Taleb/Ilargi – when you can show me how this new morality will claw back the billions from the 1% to finance this humanity-embracing effort, rather than ditching the costs onto future generations, then I’m up for it.” No one claims such magical powers. The struggle now is to keep viral panic and viral illness from doing worse damage to people – and the economy on which they depend. Period. After that we can deal with the 1%. Maybe. BTW, history shows very little evidence that human beings ever have or ever will respond to potential extinction-level events in a rational manner… most of which potentials, from atom bombs to Monsanto poisons and possible feral DNA breaking loose from patented genegineer designer molds to global warming to a whole lotta very destructive and economically expensive war, can be traced back to that 1% always encouraging their short-term greed over long-term group welfareand survival, especially the sustainable kind. So I find it funny to hold accountable the likes of Taleb/Ilargi and the CIC and even the human beings dominated by the CIC, to an approach pandemic mitigation that also prioritizes as much or more that we won’t get fucked by the 1% and won’t get fooled again. You know what song I’m gonna play now:

    Aw, Piss On It

    #57315

    Glennda
    Participant

    Here is a lot of the summary from a very long and mind glazing science piece of analysis. I’ve quoted from the Abstract and the summary of it. I put some bold on parts of the summary.

    Recurring distancing of 8 to 12 weeks are highly likely for the next few years as the virus sweeps through the year, assuming it establishes as a seasonal winter event or in continuing waves through the year, to prevent it from overwhelming critical care. More data will clarify what is more likely to happen.

    This is more of the kind of analysis I can understand, rather than dealing with tail event probabilities. Masks and gloves, distancing for old folks looks like the new normal for a while.

    https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/04/14/science.abb5793?fbclid=IwAR1HZe0I22jHBzd6wJj3ankt4stmM2YzHUiktlix3DggpK-Hc9tLJdnOJc4

    Projecting the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 through the postpandemic period

    Stephen M. Kissler1,*, Christine Tedijanto2,*, Edward Goldstein2, Yonatan H. Grad1,†,‡, Marc Lipsitch2,†,‡

    Abstract

    It is urgent to understand the future of severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission. We used estimates of seasonality, immunity, and cross-immunity for betacoronaviruses OC43 and HKU1 from time series data from the USA to inform a model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We projected that recurrent wintertime outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 will probably occur after the initial, most severe pandemic wave. Absent other interventions, a key metric for the success of social distancing is whether critical care capacities are exceeded. To avoid this, prolonged or intermittent social distancing may be necessary into 2022. Additional interventions, including expanded critical care capacity and an effective therapeutic, would improve the success of intermittent distancing and hasten the acquisition of herd immunity. Longitudinal serological studies are urgently needed to determine the extent and duration of immunity to SARS-CoV-2. Even in the event of apparent elimination, SARS-CoV-2 surveillance should be maintained since a resurgence in contagion could be possible as late as 2024.

    SARS-CoV-2 has demonstrated an ability to challenge robust healthcare systems, and the development and widespread adoption of pharmaceutical interventions will take months at best, so a period of sustained or intermittent social distancing will almost certainly be necessary.

    In summary, the total incidence of COVID-19 illness over the next five years will depend critically upon whether or not it enters into regular circulation after the initial pandemic wave, which in turn depends primarily upon the duration of immunity that SARS-CoV-2 infection imparts. The intensity and timing of pandemic and post-pandemic outbreaks will depend on the time of year when widespread SARS-CoV-2 infection becomes established and, to a lesser degree, upon the magnitude of seasonal variation in transmissibility and the level of cross-immunity that exists between the betacoronaviruses. Social distancing strategies could reduce the extent to which SARS-CoV-2 infections strain health care systems. Highly-effective distancing could reduce SARS-CoV-2 incidence enough to make a strategy based on contact tracing and quarantine feasible, as in South Korea and Singapore. Less effective one-time distancing efforts may result in a prolonged single-peak epidemic, with the extent of strain on the healthcare system and the required duration of distancing depending on the effectiveness. Intermittent distancing may be required into 2022 unless critical care capacity is increased substantially or a treatment or vaccine becomes available. The authors are aware that prolonged distancing, even if intermittent, is likely to have profoundly negative economic, social, and educational consequences. Our goal in modeling such policies is not to endorse them but to identify likely trajectories of the epidemic under alternative approaches, identify complementary interventions such as expanding ICU capacity and identifying treatments to reduce ICU demand, and to spur innovative ideas (55) to expand the list of options to bring the pandemic under long-term control. Our model presents a variety of scenarios intended to anticipate possible SARS-CoV-2 transmission dynamics under specific assumptions. We do not take a position on the advisability of these scenarios given the economic burden that sustained distancing may impose, but we note the potentially catastrophic burden on the healthcare system that is predicted if distancing is poorly effective and/or not sustained for long enough. The model will have to be tailored to local conditions and updated as more accurate data become available. Longitudinal serological studies are urgently required to determine the extent and duration of immunity to SARS-CoV-2, and epidemiological surveillance should be maintained in the coming years to anticipate the possibility of resurgence.

    #57316

    Glennda
    Participant

    Oops, I didn’t mean to put the whole summary in bold. please pardon that.

    #57317

    Huskynut
    Participant

    Boscohowitz – thanks for taking the time to respond, but I’m gonna take take a pass on replying to it. You’ve managed to twist my meaning quite substantially whilst sidestepping the critical arguments. So no offence, but I’ll just pass in this case.

    Also on further reflection I realised I’d missed a fundamental logical fallacy in Taleb’s argument:
    “Also please note that he very much emphasizes that hardly any of what he recommends now, masks, restricted mobility, would have been needed if the first steps had been taken. But now that we failed at that, there is no other option than door no. 2. I think many people tend to overlook that first step argument, because when it happened, they were blissfully ignorant thanks to Beijing, WHO and their own governments. They entered the stadium in the third inning, hot dog in hand, and think the pitcher is still warming up. They can’t for the life of them figure out why the anthem is not being played.”

    This argument is fallacious. In the first instance we definitely had an opportunity to get in early and avoid large numbers of infections, which was squandered by politicians. At some time it might be wonderful and cathartic for us to go back and hold the muppets who screwed that up accountable.
    But having squandered that first opportunity there is no reason we “have” to go with option B (or C or D). What we have to do is take a relatively calm stock of the options before us and the predictable consequences of those options, and choose one or more of them (bearing in mind that we cannot predict the unpredictable consequences, or extreme edge cases which are highly unlikely to materialise). That’s risk management in the real world, and outside of academia.
    A further basic principle is we should keep our eyes and ears and options open to be able to remain agile and to pivot on strategy as required. Thus we should actively dump strategies and actions which are excessive as fast as we adopt fit-for-purpose methods, because in doing so we will maximise our agency. This last point is why I am so utterly skeptical of central government’s ability to manage the crisis, and so reluctant to accept central government mandated anythings, let alone lock downs (and please realise I am speaking primarily of the NZ situation, in which we have specific set of circumstances, and not, say New York. New York certainly should be considering it as an option).
    Central governments have screwed this up royally on the planning and action fronts. In the NZ case there’s good evidence they’ve been basing their decisions on utterly flawed modelling. They’re releasing almost zero information to allow rational external critique of their decision making, which is the only thing that might possibly improve the quality of it moving forward. Even the incentives are utterly wrong – the decision-makers will have no consequences. These facts and pre-conditions mean decentralised decision-making is likely to be vastly superior than centralised. Yes, we need central government to control the borders. But decentralised emergency response more akin to a natural disaster is likely to be far more accurate, effective and responsive than centralised. it’s likely to have winners and losers too, depending on the quality of the local decision-makers. But better that I say than allowing a single set of centralised and disconnected fools make quick and ill-informed decisions with future costs in the 10s of billions of dollars.

    #57318

    Huskynut
    Participant

    That’s an interesting piece – thanks Glenda.
    The govt here is seriously considering the option of locking us down longer to “eliminate” the virus.
    So… that happens, when a single case spontaneously arises (and it will), do we then lock down the country again? Every time? If so, how will anyone plan for the future? If not, then why would we do it the first place..?

    #57319

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    Also, what John Day said.

    Bonnie rules the gang here even after admiring an amazing guitar solo in which it sounds like Jerry Garcia meets middle era Beethoven. Breathtaking… and then Bonnie owns ’em all:

    Not Fade Away

    #57320

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    It’s good you didn’t respond to my remarks, Huskynut. I grow weary of dismembering glaring inconsistencies, logical fallacies, and patently closed thinking.

    It reminds me of what was said about Barry Goldwater’;s campaign speeches, which were known to get feiry and alienate more moderate potential supporters.

    After the speeches, Goldwater’s handlers would ask the reporters to “Say what he meant not what he said.

    ***
    THere’s an old joke, sort of a variation on Aesop’s Belling the Cat fable:

    The termites gather in huge assembly to discuss their newest threat to peace and survival: the big old elephant who gets drunk regularly anbd comes stomping through the termite mounds just for fun.

    The termites decide that what they’ll dop is gather en masse in the treetops and ambush the elephant when he comes traipsing their way next Saturday night.

    The elephant walks through the ambush. Ten gazillion termits jump it at once.

    The elephant’s knees buckle briefly, then he strains, shakes mightily, and all the termites are flung to the ground except one persistent little feller who clings to the elephant’s quivering dewlap. Emboldened by the sole termites persistence, the termites holler:

    “Choke him!!!”

    #57321

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    It’s good you didn’t respond to my remarks, Huskynut. I grow weary of dismembering glaring inconsistencies, logical fallacies, and patently closed thinking.

    …you really are a tonic unto yourself…

    #57322

    zerosum
    Participant

    ” … we note the potentially catastrophic burden on the healthcare system”

    I’ll wait to see what will happens because the countries with no health care systems system are going to have an outsize influence on the future.

    #57323

    VietnamVet
    Participant

    The West did lockdowns because they had no other choice after Italy. The hospitalization rate for the Wuhan coronavirus is too high. It has knocked out NY State’s healthcare systems; from the Hamptons to the Queens. But like all things, it is adversely affecting poor minorities more than the wealthy who brought the virus into the East Coast of the USA in the first place. Basically, today, the Elite decided to let the virus run wild and lockdown locally when a regional healthcare system starts to breakdown. There is an alternative; test, trace and isolate. Only government can direct resources, make contracts, hire staff and set priorities so that a system of safe and fair quarantines can control the epidemic sufficiently for the economy to reopen. This is abhorrent to the Oligarchy. It makes government superior once again, requires democracy to work, and extracts wealth back from the rich. Every death above normal in the USA from now on is directly on the Establishment. PR cannot hide the responsibility of the top 10% for this murder.

    #57324

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    Regarding what VN Vet said above (and yes, I agree with him):

    the situation with the CIC elites, early knowledge of the virus in Wuhan, and their seeming decision to pass on taking classically known effective quarantine measures, reminds me of 911, Pearl Harbor, and the Third Reich Reichstag event: whether or not those events were encouraged, allowed, or merely the result of incompetence remains abtract. What is concrete and real is what the power structures affected by those events did: took advantage of them as much as possible to achieve selfish ends otherwise unavailable to them.

    That’s what I see happening now. It bodes well, imo, neither for the elites nor we the people. Collapsing nested economic bubbles, that are ultimately based on the petrodollar allowing the Fed to believe it could do monetary magic, are not respecters of one’s station in life. Nor are viruses, although those with more money initially will fare better than those who don’t. But, judging by how events are currently unrolling, ‘if this goes on’ it seems increasingly likely that wealth will not provide adequate protection from either the virus or the massive civil disruption that this popping of a global economic balloon seems likely to cause.

    Turn Off-a De Bubble a-Machine, a-Please-a

    Their jubilee won’t hold.

    #57325

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    “…you really are a tonic unto yourself…”

    I find room in myself for no one but myself. Split personalitires are messy. I am entirely full of myself. Perfect fit. It’s as if it was meant to be!

    #57343

    teri
    Participant

    Bosco,

    You have used the acronym “CIC” a couple of times here. What does CIC stand for?

    #57349

    Dr. D
    Participant

    I’m with Husky on this one. First, ALL events ALWAYS lead to extinction. The sun will burn out someday. That’s the nature of Time. However, despite Taleb, we just lived since the first day of life on earth, (200,000 years?) without going extinct. Huh. But now, suddenly, if we don’t lock down instantly and voluntarily BEFORE we know anything, we’ll be extinct in 50? Taleb, I fear you’re bad at math, that does not follow for me at all, except as an empty truism. That is, he has joined the “War on Death”, the war on extinction, ever, as we’re going to give up all civil rights and due process for the next 200,000 years until we go extinct anyway.

    The only alternative to that is cost-benefit. But that’s not allowed in any math since the value of every life is infinite. Even though, you, me, and the mailman have never once acted that way, and every minute decide life-risks, to dart across traffic, to have that extra taco, to fly airlines or ride a bike. But it’s totally different when –I– do it.

    The consequence of Taleb’s violent over-estimation of risk is totalitarian hell on earth, forever, the antithesis of all life. It removes what life is FOR. You shall be born in prison, and never leave it. Safe in your sunless cube, without choices, until we finally have expended a trillion dollars extending your life-in-misery, limping along, blind, in pain, 500 years from now, having never been truly “alive” for a single day, never jumped into a lake, never played on a swing, as that is far too dangerous. For your own good; Mommy Knows Best.

    No, you cannot have infinite response to a vanishing risk, and of all people he should know that, as you can easily chart how nonsensical that would be. Diminishing returns of the parabolic function are the first thing we realize in life. Actually, I could care less if humans go extinct. First, I thought everybody WANTED that. I read everyday from IYIs that should be our singular goal. But second, extinction is going to happen, and that’s Nature, so unless you’re going to fight Time, Nature, and Death itself, you’re a fool greater than any fool seen on earth before. Every day I am gobsmacked by the arrogance and self-aggrandizement of humans thinking they have any but the slightest power, the slightest understanding of the world. Instead, they think they are God himself, will fight time, death, and reality, as a certain angel did once, and with similar results.

    Given that, our response to extinction events is perfectly logical and extensively proven: we’ve survived extinction level events ten-thousand times, Ice Ages, meteors, Black Plagues, wars of 60 Million people and even Communism. We humans are a heritage that goes back to lemurs, dinosaurs, and survived the Chicxulub event, and hundreds more that wiped out nearly all life on earth. Here we are! So we’re not going to be at all alarmed, caring a bit about a virus that kills virtually nobody, when next year there will be MORE people than ever from the baby boom. Here we can’t mathematically tell more from less? Srs?

    I swear you should go back to the fall of Crete, the Plague, to the darkening skies Roman Ice Age, to the Mongols erasing the planets’ population, to Vikings erasing civilization on earth, with bare single books surviving, to the Chinese civil war, to Stalingrad, non-events like the London Blitz, to bejeepers, ANYWHERE things have actually been slightly hard just to appreciate how much of a total zero Corona is. You’re sitting here on the internet watching Netflix while eating Cheetos in a heated house by electric light for God’s sake! But Taleb is going to end freedom on earth for it, for what hasn’t happened in 60 million years yet.

    Pass. He’s totally wrong. Humans are totally right not to be concerned. If we’ve made it through THAT? Shrugged it off and found 8 Billion of us? As “Humans”, the species, we go forever on. As INDIVIDUALS, of course, we’re going to die anyway, either now or later. That’s different math.

    Hope to God no one ever follows Taleb’s advice and we always find ourselves at Option B. Then at least we can die free and alive and not in prison from his “help.”

    #57365

    Boogaloo
    Participant

    But now, suddenly, if we don’t lock down instantly and voluntarily BEFORE we know anything, we’ll be extinct in 50?

    Dr D where exactly is this in Taleb? Or is this another straw man argument?

    #57387

    oxymoron
    Participant

    D Benton – Predict and prepare to the degree you think you should and then just get on with living, until further notice.
    Nice. Very nice.

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