The Only Man Who Has A Clue


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    V. Arnold

    Dude, I’ll certainly speak to the others. But the incredible irony of you suggesting I summarise my thoughts better when it is you that spends so much time here rambling semi-coherently and derailing discussions.. I’m. Just. Completely. Speechless..

    Thanks, I just never quite figured out how to say it so succinctly; but point clearly made…

    Dr. D

    Thoughts: What if we followed precaution and shut down a single nation or the world economy, for the last 5 viruses that were false? SARS, Swine, Avian, HIV, constantly like clockwork?

    Who pays those costs? Not Taleb, Harvard, or the WHO. They MAKE money, and therefore life, from it.

    Jobs ARE life, or can be. Because as we see now, not only do jobs give money for food and shelter, but the work represented by jobs are the way food is produced and shelter is maintained. If no one works, everyone dies, so at some point on the scale, jobs must equal life. And which jobs? What is “essential”? No one knows or can really define it. Problems. So again, I don’t care about jobs as ‘theory’: we are talking do more people die or less? That’s not a dichotomy, that IS the only relevant epidemiology, and I hope the point of system analysis. Like in hack movies, do you sacrifice the front torpedoman to surface the sub and save the crew? Or do you have a system where no one dies ever, we can risk nothing by any decision? Since we failed the War on Terror, will we be more successful with a War on Death itself? All decisions are risks. Life is always fatal. Kill Grandma and Grandpa indeed but save four uncles and two cousins. Choose. I would hope THEY choose, like that First torpedoman, trying to save his brothers by doing his job with bravery.

    If we constrain mobility immediately, how do we have any human rights? Any leader can call any excuse and lockdown any annoying city, any Gilet, any specific whistleblower, any publisher, any annoying businessman candidate. And they do already, constantly. This is why, despite continual wildly-fatal epidemics over an 8-year war, the Constitution doesn’t say, “Except whenever we call a health emergency.” No emergency has ever been lifted in government history. We’re still under the WWI and II emergency powers acts. The States are still gutted from the War between the States. So which is important? A protester in MI just wrote: “Security without Liberty is Prison.” So world-wide prison planet? Is that an acceptable goal to vanquish a Death who will not be defeated anyway? This is why it’s not just Doctors – OR economists – that are involved. A whole system will require all systems engineers to weigh in, including lawyers, historians, and philosophers. Those three would contraindicate instant, capricious, unajudicated limitless incarceration. Perhaps especially on the precautionary principle.

    If the “just do nothing” approach (which will never happen as the people will voluntarily change behavior) has costs, then who calculates the costs of doing ‘everything’? Which group bears each cost?

    “when one deals with deep uncertainty, both governance and precaution require us to hedge for the worst”

    Should we not pay to keep 10M empty beds in Britain then, just in case? If 10, why not 60M? Because that’s ridiculous? You’re setting a dollar (Pound) cost on human life in that case, whose value you say is infinite and incalculable. You’re just setting the cost higher. So we’re not arguing about whether you’ll have sex for money, but haggling over price?

    Simply put, you can’t do it because there are not infinite time and resources. That’s what systems analysis is, to look for the limits of limited things, and how those delimited things interact within delimited forces and vector. “Decision-making in real life is based on asymmetries”

    Some portion, 10% of the population already traffic in illegal drugs, guns, women, and violence. So what do you do when that slice of people don’t wear masks? Shoot them? They do that now. It has no effect either. They act as if they have control. Control over anything but yourself (and even that) is the first illusion.

    “Do you know what amazes me more than anything else? The impotence of force to organize anything.” –Napoleon

    So we put people in jail for Covid so we can let them out for having Covid? This is literally the logic right now. Nobody’s going to listen to anyone. No one’s going to obey. They already haven’t, and they aren’t going to start now. Plan accordingly. We don’t even know who has it. The tests don’t work, have ~50% false positives, and it appears science can’t suddenly beam up a tricorder and make it happen. That’s Science problem, not an “I want an Oompa Loompa”. Yes, we all want an Oompa Loompa, but it takes time and intelligence and work. We aren’t there yet, and just like we have no flying cars and no warp drive, it’s no one’s fault, and you’re not a baby. They’re not your daddy. This is life.

    the best government is one that’s very responsive to the needs of its people. That is, the least, loosest, and most local government.”

    It’s always useful to know things, since if you know who’s poking you and why, you can plan and position better. That’s partially why Covid or lockdown doesn’t bother me at all, because, I see in coming in 1,000 ways for decades, prepare for how nobody’s going to do anything, the government will screw up everything they can, grifters will jump in, and be positioned for it all inevitably happening. But that only comes from accurately knowing what’s happening and why. If you knew snowstorms but not why (winter), what good? Knowing why is always useful, even if you keep the boots and shovel around anyway.

    I’m satisfied not to follow the rabbit. That’s my job as a pot-stirrer, not Raul’s as a site and host. It’s different to be a heckler than an entertainer. If roles were reversed, I would play my part.


    Huskynut you rock!! You get it. Thanks for your posts.


    Dr. D you rock too IMHO.


    Thanks for sharing your ideas in more detail, Huskynut. Much appreciated. Srsly.

    One doesn’t have to read my remarks. Srsly. It’s allowed.


    You are no bot, Dr. D. Thanks for that post.

    Maxwell Quest

    Hands down, some of the best analysis I’ve read concerning the pandemic, comments included!

    If after reading this, you are not humbled by the complexity and interconnectedness of life, you should go back to reading People Magazine.


    Hey boscohorowitz – thanks for the prod. Seriously.
    I often seem to need something external to react to before I can muster the energy to corral and articulate my thoughts. 🙂


    Holy crap this was a good read. You people are like food to me. Huskynut, Raul, Bosco, Dr D and so many more depending on the day. Thank you all so much for these points. So much to consider. But Raul their are some inner critics re the argument that were silenced today.


    I’ve been wondering about gloves for some time. I just can’t think of a reason why gloves would be effective in the crisis. I’ve called for everyone to wear masks plenty of times here in NZ but I can’t find any good information on the effectiveness of gloves, nor can I think of any. The virus doesn’t exude or enter through the skin (as far as I’m aware) so wearing gloves should be the same as not wearing gloves. In either case, don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes when out in the community (without sanitizing first).

    However, I’d love to have more information on this. I wore gloves once when shopping for groceries but then couldn’t figure out why.

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