Sandbox (4)

Sometimes very active discussions about peripheral issues overwhelm a thread, so this is a permanent home for those conversations.

I’ve opened a new “Sandbox” thread as a post as the new “ignore commenter” plug-in only works on threads started as posts.

5,817 thoughts on “Sandbox (4)

  1. petrushka:
    I have no preferred guy. All politicians are repulsive to me. Obviously they all say things that appeal to some people. But none of them actually solve problems.

    Hopefully you realize this is nonsense. Politicians understand that one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor. You can’t “solve” political problems, because although civilization isn’t a zero-sum game, nonetheless every action is to some degree a tradeoff. You are saying this yourself – that every benefit comes at a cost. The benefits of prohibition were obvious and self-evident, while the costs were initially invisible except to the booze industry. But in practice, the costs turned out to be prohibitive, and the initially visible cost to the industry was incidental.

    Seriously, consider one of the most brilliant lifesaving inventions ever – the line down the middle of a 2 way street. Cut accidents drastically, BUT it still costs labor and materials to paint and maintain the lines.

    It’s the unenviable job of the politician to find net-positive tradeoffs for plenty of pressing issues. The politician has little choice but to decide where benefits should be enjoyed and where costs should be paid. The distaste for politicians comes from making re-election the highest priority – which means NRA campaign contributions are worth any number of mass shootings. But if he votes against the NRA, all he accomplishes is to lose his election to someone who will take note and NEVER cross the NRA again. Is this victory?

  2. If politicians had unenviable jobs, they would not spend billions of dollars getting re-elected.

  3. petrushka:
    If politicians had unenviable jobs, they would not spend billions of dollars getting re-elected.

    Yeah, there’s an old aphorism that those most desirous of power are those least suitable to hold it. I wouldn’t want their job, and I don’t think you would either. But I know some sincerely believe they act in the public’s best interest, which often just coincidentally matches their own. Consider today’s Republican “party” – they have no platform, no ideology, no coherent vision. Their only goal is to achieve power whatever it takes, and use that power to perpetuate itself. Their enemies are anyone they don’t (yet) control – the mainstream media, fair elections, prosecutors who believe in facts, people who expect constitutional rights, etc.

    At one time in the distant past, I had occasion to know a lot of people in school to study government, politics, and bureaucracy. One thing that struck me about them was they considered every bill proposed in the legislature NOT in terms of whether it was a good or bad bill (or why), but rather whose committee it was in and whose money was behind it. Their goal was to be in the right position when a bill became law – to be behind it, not trampled underneath it. The right sponsor and the right money, together, comprised the entire merits of any bill. What else could possibly matter?

  4. Flint: Yeah, it looks like Pfizer was dishonest in this case. Does that mean that every drug company always cheats in the case of every product? That sort of generalized conclusion is very rarely justified, but individual instances are really great if you wish to project like that. Else, we can say “Look Trump cheated on all his wives, therefore all men are cheaters.”

    Would you trust them with your life because of their past history?

  5. petrushka,

    It was one of all the lies that mRNA vaccines can prevent infections of dead viruses… The criminals at Murderna and Shitizer cooked it and 99% of those without conscious still insist convict19 is a new disease….
    Do you know how to prevent yourself from infection of the dead? I do… lol

  6. petrushka: Covid related deaths are fewer than traffic deaths. My New England state hasn’t reported a covid case or covid death in five months. Pretty hard to convince people to take special measures.

    Viruses can decide not to cross the borders just like they can decide not to kill the host. Crazy little creatures with or without a mind… lol
    This is not even sci-fi … this is called science … apparently..lol

  7. J-Mac: Would you trust them with your life because of their past history?

    There are some questions I would ask. Like, in what way would my life be at stake? What alternatives would I have? What is the track record of each alternative in a particular case? For a particular treatment, what research has been done and what have been the results?

    In other words, I’m not inclined to blind or ideological decisions. Due diligence pays off.

  8. J-Mac:
    petrushka,

    It was one of all the lies that mRNA vaccines can prevent infections of dead viruses…The criminals at Murderna and Shitizer cooked itand 99% of those without conscious still insist convict19 is a new disease….
    Do you know how to prevent yourself from infection of the dead? I do… lol

    Offhand, this sounds like incoherent ranting, untethered to any reality. Not worth trying to force it to make sense. If you have some specific objection to something, it would be helpful if you provided both your position and your source for your position. Otherwise you make a foghorn sound intelligent and thoughtful.

  9. Flint: There are some questions I would ask. Like, in what way would my life be at stake? What alternatives would I have? What is the track record of each alternative in a particular case? For a particular treatment, what research has been done and what have been the results?

    In other words, I’m not inclined to blind or ideological decisions. Due diligence pays off.

    Good questions. Why don’t you begin with the investigation of virology; i.e. how real is the dead virus threat?
    Contagion is still for grabs.
    What causes respiratory infections is still a mystery probably explained by quantum mechanics.. or another way..

  10. Flint: Offhand, this sounds like incoherent ranting, untethered to any reality. Not worth trying to force it to make sense. If you have some specific objection to something, it would be helpful if you provided both your position and your source for your position. Otherwise you make a foghorn sound intelligent and thoughtful.

    Once you know the so-called vaccines were designed against nonsense, it all makes perfect sense. The sooner you realize it, the better for you. I don’t care what you believe.

  11. J-Mac: Once you know the so-called vaccines were designed against nonsense, it all makes perfect sense. The sooner you realize it, the better for you. I don’t care what you believe.

    That’s no, then. J-Mac is unwilling or unable to be other than incoherent.

  12. Flint: . One thing that struck me about them was they considered every bill proposed in the legislature NOT in terms of whether it was a good or bad bill (or why), but rather whose committee it was in and whose money was behind it. Their goal was to be in the right position when a bill became law – to be behind it, not trampled underneath it. The right sponsor and the right money, together, comprised the entire merits of any bill. What else could possibly matter?

    The public interest.

    I consider myself an optimist because I think positive change, viewed over long periods, takes place despite the efforts of politicians.

  13. petrushka: The public interest.

    I consider myself an optimist because I think positive change, viewed over long periods, takes place despite the efforts of politicians.

    Ah, but who is “the public”? While politics is not exactly a zero-sum game, nonetheless every bill that helps some hurts others. And though it’s true that a bill that helps a hell of a lot more people than it hurts is not impossible, those relatively fewer that it hurts represent a constituency, and are often doners. In fact, the smaller the group that’s hurt, the more likely they are to be LARGE doners, because their fortunes rest largely on the misfortunes of others, and the larger their fortunes, the more unfortunates there must be.

    Accordingly, it’s imperative for politicians to represent their proposals as pure benefit and cost-free to everyone – or at least to full humans. Costs borne by less advantaged peoples (subhumans from shithole countries) have always been higher, and very deliberately so. Those paying the costs can’t afford to buy any politicians, and historically have been discouraged from voting.

    All politicians strive for the greatest good for the greatest number, but realpolitik measures greatness in dollars.

  14. Drug companies DELIBERATELY “not” concealed the presence of the SV40 promoter sequence from the regulators even though their own evidence proves IT IS SO.
    “Don’t look here, it is all incoherent!” as Alan the hero would say though. He will alway be the hero right or wrong.. lol

  15. Alan Fox: That’s no, then. J-Mac is unwilling or unable to be other than incoherent.

    Don’t forget your booster that now officially does what?
    It does not prevent infection
    It does not prevent transmission
    It does not prevent hospitalization
    It does not prevent DEATH.
    I don’t care what Pfizer claims their “vaccine” does after this…
    You win Alan!
    Congratulations! You have been infected with dead-virus!

  16. In case anybody is interested in seeing me doven like an old rabbi for an hour, there’s a link to a new interview of me about democracy by Ed Dodson for a podcast (optimistically) called “Smart Talk” at luckorcunning.blogspot.com

  17. J-Mac: Don’t forget your booster that now officially does what?
    It does not prevent infection
    It does not prevent transmission
    It does not prevent hospitalization
    It does not prevent DEATH.

    Again, I wish you could provide a source for any of these assertions. I understand that you have no confidence in any source refuting you, no matter what that source is. But that’s a negative argument – that the CDC is lying, all government agencies are lying, all hospitals are lying, etc. And of course the entire (and very extensive and global) body of statistics based on observations are all lies as well. I suppose your argument rests on nothing more.

    Nonetheless, most people who pay attention to sources dedicated to making these determinations, find the sheer enormity of the evidence, and the sheer consistency of the evidence, pretty damn compelling. To overcome this rather normal grasp of reality, you need to document in some detail both HOW and WHY everyone is lying but you. Otherwise, you come across as a rather lousy parody.

  18. enormity
    ĭ-nôr′mĭ-tē

    noun
    The quality of passing all moral bounds; excessive wickedness or outrageousness.
    A monstrous offense or evil; an outrage.

    enormousness
    noun
    The state of being enormous or extreme; greatness beyond measure

    So I’m a word nazi. Also, regarding less and fewer.

  19. Flint: All politicians strive for the greatest good for the greatest number, but realpolitik measures greatness in dollars.

    The simple truth is, the only trend that raises all boats is the increase in productivity.

    I’m so old I remember when that was tied to per capita energy availability. And that was going to be provided by nuclear energy. Then Chernobyl and Fukushima.

    Population decline is popular in the chattering class, but not in realpolitik. Hence the immigration policy that is brain draining Latin America and such. I’m so old I can remember when this was considered evil.

    From where I stand evil is, at all times and places, defined as that which inconveniences my tribe.

  20. One of my thoughts, which isn’t fully formed, is, we live in an era when it is possible for productivity to increase without an exponential increase in energy consumption.

    Of course we do with increases in efficiency what we always do. Build more unnecessary stuff. If computers get more energy efficient, we make them faster, add more bloatware, higher res graphics.

    Makes me think of a Mark Twain witticism: you should smoke, so you have something to give up if you get sick.

  21. petrushka:
    One of my thoughts, which isn’t fully formed, is, we live in an era when it is possible for productivity to increase without an exponential increase in energy consumption.

    A better educational system would be a good start.

  22. petrushka: So I’m a word nazi. Also, regarding less and fewer.

    If the distinction between less and fewer is needed, why can we manage with just “more” when we could have “morer” vs “fewer”.

  23. Flint: A better educational system would be a good start.

    My family is full of teachers, and I have an M.A. in special education. I have no expectation of better schools. I’m pessimistic about brick and mortar schools.

    This is pure anecdote, and offered only to illustrate my personal feelings, but I have a grandson who was kicked out of an expensive school for ADHD kids because he didn’t respond to medication. More specifically, everything tried made things worse.

    He’s been drug free for a year now, taking virtual classes online, with live teachers and Zoom classmates. He’s made up two years in one year.

    And the cost is less than half what the school system was paying in subsidies for the private school (and that was less that the spent on public school students).

  24. petrushka: My family is full of teachers, and I have an M.A. in special education. I have no expectation of better schools. I’m pessimistic about brick and mortar schools.

    This is pure anecdote, and offered only to illustrate my personal feelings, but I have a grandson who was kicked out of an expensive school for ADHD kids because he didn’t respond to medication. More specifically, everything tried made things worse.

    He’s been drug free for a year now, taking virtual classes online, with live teachers and Zoom classmates. He’s made up two years in one year.

    And the cost is less than half what the school system was paying in subsidies for the private school (and that was less that the spent on public school students).

    I didn’t specify brick and mortar schools, I want a better educational system. Your anecdote illustrates that such a system is possible, and can in fact produce stunning results. For most students, the system in the US is about as bad as I can imagine, and we are getting the current political situation as a direct result. Yet by most metrics, throwing money at the problem doesn’t work, and students still can’t go up the down staircase.

  25. J-Mac:
    Is it me or is the population of skeps aging???
    Alan must be pushing 80…

    I’m within a stone’s throw.

  26. Flint: I didn’t specify brick and mortar schools, I want a better educational system. Your anecdote illustrates that such a system is possible, and can in fact produce stunning results.

    I didn’t mention that there are zillions of educational games. They aren’t newsmakers, so you wouldn’t see them mentioned unless you search.

    I will share my fantasy of the future. Kids will learn fundamental skills and facts from phone or tablet apps. Human teachers will not have much drudge work. They will be mentors and guides.

    I think it is possible to arrange the learning of essential skills so that they will be equivalent to game prowess. I keep thinking back to an old game, Myst, which had no time limits, no body count, just puzzles to solve. It would take some social engineering to make that popular, but we have no shortage of wannabe social engineers.

  27. J-Mac: Alan must be pushing 80…

    I’ll have you know I’m only 73 and have been mistaken for younger until I get up and dance.

  28. As you all know, I’m math challenged, but it appears to me that per capita excess deaths are inversely correlated with the date the pandemic started in a country vs the date the vaccines were adopted. And with how rapidly they were adopted.

  29. I suspect the word correlated is not properly applied to dates. Perhaps it should be elapsed time from the onset of the pandemic to adoption of the vaccine.

  30. I like the source. The authors are identified, as are the data sources and methods.

    The chart I posted clearly shows the effect of delaying the pandemic until people have been vaccinated.

    It also confirms, or supports the claim, that covid was well established in Italy and the United States (New York City) in January.

    It takes more than a week or two to get that kind of spike in mortality.

  31. Zachriel:
    petrushka: This has been available for some time.

    Here’s another view from the same source. (With accumulated, you have to consider the slope, which is more difficult to visualize.)
    https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/excess-mortality-p-scores-projected-baseline?country=RUS~ITA~USA~DEU~AUS~NZL

    I find the slope to be revealing. Unlike the jumble, you can clearly see the differences among countries. And since it is population normalized, it invites discussion of the reasons.

    I would argue that the chart I posted is the most revealing and important chart of the pandemic. It shows when the pandemic too hold in various countries, and changes in slope reveal the effects of the vaccine.

    Differences among countries say something, but I’m not sure exactly what. Certainly, those countries that were hit first had the most deaths.

  32. Alan Fox: I’ll have you know I’m only 73 and have been mistaken for younger until I get up and dance.

    73 is like 63 or even 53 in the old days. Are you balding yet??? lol

  33. petrushka,

    Can I ask you a personal question? Do you think we really need protection from dead but violent criminals?
    Conversely, why do you think we would need protection from dead particles called viruses? Could any kind of a vaccine or a sanitizer work against already dead particles? Can we or do we need to kill the dead?
    Do you follow my reasoning?

  34. J-Mac: Conversely, why do you think we would need protection from dead particles called viruses? Could any kind of a vaccine or a sanitizer work against already dead particles? Can we or do we need to kill the dead?

    Calling all viruses dead is equivocation.

    You could rephrase the question as, can sanitizers deactivate pathogens, and it would be worth a response.

  35. Tangential, but I’ve been seeing a lot of discussion of China and Chinese politics.

    I’m currently watching Three Body on Amazon Prime. I believe it’s available other places..

    It is nominally an alien invasion story, with a bit of War of the worlds, Childhood’s End, and Hoyle’s Black Cloud tossed together.

    But it really seems to be a reflection on recent Chinese history, with musings on political philosophy. It is fascinating to see political idealism through Chinese eyes.

  36. I think it is about time the skeptical zone becomes again what it was designed to do – to be skeptical.
    Recently, the “maestro” of the pandemic response, Dr. Anthony Fauci, admitted the 6-feet distancing during covid-19 wasn’t based on any scientific evidence.

    https://nypost.com/2024/01/10/news/fauci-admits-to-congress-that-certain-covid-social-distancing-guidelines-lacked-scientific-basis-sort-of-just-appeared/

    I’d say he didn’t know better back then so he was being careful, no?

    What were the other possible mishaps, if any, during the greatest pandemic ever seen on the surface of the earth before Disease X hits the ground soon as WEF predicted before the WHO even knew about it. I’m getting ready, because I have never seen in my life a prediction for death rate before the pathogen was even known. I begin to believe the WEF has contacts withe some very spiritual vibrations…no?

    ETA: I’m not sure if my math is correct but what’s 20 x 0 these days? Is it still the same or the science was bought?

  37. J-Mac:
    I’d say he didn’t know better back then so he was being careful, no?

    That seems likely to me. At the time, it was known that transmission was largely if not entirely through the air, and there were no known cases of fomite transmission (I believe there still aren’t). As I recall, it hadn’t yet been established to what degree aerosols were involved, but certainly droplets were a proven vector. It was also known that the virus was highly contagious indoors or in small groups.

    So my speculation is that some compromise SWAG evolved, whereby people wouldn’t be so close together as to be obviously dangerous to one another, but no so far apart that simple infrastructure conditions (like room sizes) would get in the way. Six feet kind of splits the difference.

    (It was also known that infected people could project dangerous levels of active virus through things like sneezing, coughing, shouting or singing. Multiple cases were noted where a single infected person enthusiastically singing hymns in church could infect nearly the entire congregation. This problem could be almost entirely controlled by infected people wearing masks, but that was always a hard sell. People were likely to respond “why should I wear a mask, I’m not sick” although the period of maximum infectiousness occurred before the first symptoms appeared. Today, the public attitude seems to be “let’s all pretend the pandemic is long gone” and society is willing to live with – and die with – the consequences.)

  38. Flint: Today, the public attitude seems to be “let’s all pretend the pandemic is long gone” and society is willing to live with – and die with – the consequences.)

    What would you do if you were in charge?

    Excess Deaths

  39. I personally feel that the majority of active readers and contributors here are quiet because they hope that one day the so-called science that led to the mRNA massive vaccination of 5 billion people plus will one day be vindicated.
    Let me give you a reality check: it will not. So, the stats that the majority here are able to access but not acknowledge are all there. Unfortunately, those who bought into the scam now will have to live in fear that what they got injected with is not going to have major effect on their health. But there is good news too. Pfizer Invested $43 Billion to Battle Cancer. I’m really glad because there have been spikes of cancer reported all over the world since 2021 which are clearly not related to Pfizer vaccines.

    Pfizer Invests $43 Billion to Battle Cancer

    https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-invests-43-billion-battle-cancer

    Pfizer finalizes $6.7 billion acquisition of Arena Pharmaceuticals, gaining key cardiovascular treatments.
    I’m also glad there is no link between Pfizer so-called vaccines and heart disease or someone would connect the dots and assume there is no coincidence between this Pfizer’s acquisitions of:

    “Pfizer finalizes $6.7 billion acquisition of Arena Pharmaceuticals, gaining key cardiovascular treatments.
    I was very relieved when I read those reassuring news… who wouldn’t ?

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