Open Thread Friday 4-3-2020

Seasons come, seasons go and the cycle continues. Most of Americans life revolves around seasons defined by the market place and man-made events. What wrapping paper message in on the boxes of chocolate in the stores. Is it Easter, Christmas, Valentine or Happy Halloween? Which sports season? I became confused as they began to overlap. Is it flu or allergy season? What should I be celebrating or complaining about?

It all stopped. A virus came along. Our carefully constructed illusion of mankind controlling the enviornment is under attack. Mother nature just gave us a time out.

Human sacrifice is not good for the economy, and neither is class warfare

Wednesday in The Guardian online there was a piece by Jonathan Portes titled "Don't believe the myth that we must sacrifice lives to save the economy." This is an attempt to rationally rebut the notion that "the economy" is some kind of god or gods which demands continual human sacrifice if the un

Open Thread Friday 3-27-2020

My county is has 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Testing is still very limited in Oregon and we are in a partial lock down. Some optimization if we follow the guidelines may not overrun our capacity of hospital beds. This will go on for several weeks and every few days there area a few more restrictive orders.

Now Science Works

          I like science. It is so much more interesting than politics and so very much less predictable. COVID-19 is A (one of many) variation on Coronaviruses. Would you like to understand why we know the following with absolute certainty? While we cannot predict the properties of new variants we know new variants will develop in the future!

2019 Pandemic Exercise "Crimson Contagion" Highlighted Response Weaknesses

Last year, the Dept. of Health and Human Services ran a 7 month long exercise code named "Crimson Contagion," a dry run response to a global pandemic which started in China and expected more than 100 million Americans to become ill.

The simulation highlighted several failures in our preparedness for such a catastrophe.

Open Thread Friday 3-20-2020

The world as you know it ends today. Usually we experience this in small unrelated episodes unnoticed by the rest of the world. The car accident, job loss, debilitating injury, cancer diagnosis, fatal infectious diseases, now living with a chronic physical or mental disease and loss of a loved one are endured in silence.

Coronavirus is different. It is a collective worldwide event. We are experiencing the COVID-19 event even if not infected with the virus. The fear, the closing down of communities, the actual infection and the recovery is being played out in each nation. The resilience of each country's government and their population is open for the whole world to observe.

From fascism to exterminism

Around the time of the 2016 election it became popular to revive the word "fascism." Trump was a fascist, we were told. No, I argued, Trump isn't a fascist. A fascist would disdain democracy; Trump is bad, but he's not quite there yet, and besides, "fascism" is a word belonging to an earlier period of history, a period of expanding capitalism. Our period is one of declining capitalism.

Open Thread Friday 3-13-2020

Welcome and good day. It has been a fast few weeks. I hope you and yours are well and have had time to make some preparations for staying in place if necessary. The necessary part has become more real as we have seen how fast this virus can move in our communities. This is not an abstract event in other countries seen on TV or our web devices.

Dr. Amy Acton, Director of Ohio Department of Health, discussing community spread in Ohio. Do the math for your local area.

Questions of human nature in light of the coronavirus

The usual invocation of "human nature" is that people are X based on our chromosomes, that one can look at human behaviors and say "it must be in the DNA." This is, I suppose, what one can read in Steven Pinker books, though from limited exposure I know that I can't stand Steven Pinker so I don't really know for sure.