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ghost of miles

COVID-19 III: No Politics For Thee

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Kevin, any chance did you see one of the protests on the news over the weekend on one of the beaches down in New Hampshire? The organizer of the protest said that the governor had upsurped his authority and that things should be allowed to return to normal. He said not a new normal but the old normal. He gestured thumbs down to the new normal. Some of the protesters carried signs which said fake science. Can't make this stuff up.

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22 minutes ago, Tom 1960 said:

Kevin, any chance did you see one of the protests on the news over the weekend on one of the beaches down in New Hampshire? The organizer of the protest said that the governor had upsurped his authority and that things should be allowed to return to normal. He said not a new normal but the old normal. He gestured thumbs down to the new normal. Some of the protesters carried signs which said fake science. Can't make this stuff up.

With a few exceptions, I'd prefer the old normal back too, but I'm not going to just close my eyes and pretend that we can wish Covid-19 away.

Populist political parties (mostly on the right but also the left) have engaged in anti-science and anti-expertise rhetoric for decades as part of a broader anti-elite discourse.  The seeds have been present in the US basically from the very beginning but certainly more prominent since the mid-1970s.  What is worrying is basically an embrace of magical thinking and perhaps most worrying is that more and more party leaders are recruited from the ranks of the anti-science crowd.   In my mind it's marginally better to have politicians that just use their followers as part of a cynical ploy but still "believe" in science to having leaders who are fundamentally anti-science, which seems to be where the US has landed.  It's a bad place to be right now.

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Ah yes, no opposing views/opinions televised or reported, wouldn't that be great. Sounds like something straight out of the NY Times op-ed page.

 

 

 

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Some random COVID bits:

1) George Floyd apparently had recently recovered from COVID.  He survived something that disproportionately affects African Americans only to be felled by something else that does the same.

2) Some local restaurants that have already been cited for not adhering to social-distancing restrictions are now suing over those restrictions.  One was a restaurant that I had planned on trying.  Now they won't get my business.

3) The New York Times surveyed over 500 epidemiologists about when they would feel comfortable engaging in certain activities.  The results are depressing.

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20 minutes ago, catesta said:

Ah yes, no opposing views/opinions televised or reported, wouldn't that be great. Sounds like something straight out of the NY Times op-ed page.

 

 

 

Great.  So we should look forward to in-depth televised interviews with individuals who will claim oxygen is bad for you, gravity is a fraud perpetuated by the Trilateral Commission and the menu at IHOP is a secretly coded message from the ancient Mayans.  I'm sure such individuals will not be difficult to find and their views should be heard and considered.  All as part of a meaningful, inclusive dialogue.  All views/opinions  must be considered equally, after all.

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25 minutes ago, catesta said:

Ah yes, no opposing views/opinions televised or reported, wouldn't that be great.

You know what's always great?

Facts and data. Like, real facts, and real data. Not this "alternative facts" parallel universe bullshit that makes it impossible to engage with because it's a totally different perception of what "reality" is.

I'm as much a fan of multiple realities as anybody, but when it comes to shit like medicine and science, there's already a proven reality there and I'll draw my own interpretations and conclusions and unknowns therein, thank you very much.

This is not complicated, this part of it isn't.

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And flexible and realistic models that can be confronted to the data.

extrapolating.png

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True, and still a recent study on Covid from a renowned economist allowed a negative number of deaths in his modelling. Spooky.

 

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15 minutes ago, bresna said:

The real giveaway that this graph is bad is the simple fact that it has negative husbands.

I'm intrigued by this notion of negative husbands...sounds like a behavioral health concern, no?

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I remember graphing all kinds of equations on a graphing calculator (this was when I liked doing shit like that), and of course they would often go into the negative quadrants. But that's not an indicator that the equation was false, it just meant that you could get that answer if you plugged in those variables. Math don't give a damn.

I get that some people still think the earth is flat and that negative numbers aren't real "numbers" because you can't count them on your hand and shit like that, but the presence of "negative deaths" means either a fucked up model OR a fucked up reading of it by the person who's looking at its results.

Just saying - if you see that, there's more questions to be asked, that's not where you stop.

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11 hours ago, ejp626 said:

Populist political parties (mostly on the right but also the left) have engaged in anti-science and anti-expertise rhetoric for decades as part of a broader anti-elite discourse.  The seeds have been present in the US basically from the very beginning but certainly more prominent since the mid-1970s.  

Still just as relevant today as it was in 1963:

51zfvlKzAUL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Dave Garrett said:

Still just as relevant today as it was in 1963:

51zfvlKzAUL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

I’m not sure that’s what Hofstadter was referring to. Intellectualism is “accepts conflict as a central and enduring reality and understands human society as a form of equipoise based upon the continuing process of compromise. It shuns ultimate showdowns and looks upon the ideal of total partisan victory as unattainable, as merely another variety of threat to the kind of balance with which it is familiar. It is sensitive to nuances and sees things in degrees. It is essentially relativist and skeptical, but at the same time circumspect and humane.”

To Hofstadter “intellectualism is not at all the same thing as intelligence or devotion to a particular set of ideas. It is a distinctive habit of mind and thought that actually forbids the kind of complete self-assurance that we often associate with very smart or committed people.”

I read it many years ago.  Not an easy read. See The Tea Party is timeless Richard Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism In American Life reviewed, from which the above were taken. 

Edited by Brad

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7 hours ago, Brad said:

I’m not sure that’s what Hofstadter was referring to. Intellectualism is “accepts conflict as a central and enduring reality and understands human society as a form of equipoise based upon the continuing process of compromise. It shuns ultimate showdowns and looks upon the ideal of total partisan victory as unattainable, as merely another variety of threat to the kind of balance with which it is familiar. It is sensitive to nuances and sees things in degrees. It is essentially relativist and skeptical, but at the same time circumspect and humane.”

To Hofstadter “intellectualism is not at all the same thing as intelligence or devotion to a particular set of ideas. It is a distinctive habit of mind and thought that actually forbids the kind of complete self-assurance that we often associate with very smart or committed people.”

I read it many years ago.  Not an easy read. See The Tea Party is timeless Richard Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism In American Life reviewed, from which the above were taken. 

Hofstader was a smart man, but I think he's pinning too many badges on "intellectualism" here. His  book was perhaps too heavily conditioned by its implicit response to Joe McCarthy, which for sure was an anti-intellectual movement par excellence. Also, for sure, anti-intellectualism remains a key strain in the behavior of today's GOP.

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2 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

Per Jsngry's prior comment, sounds like things are going to hell in a handbasket in Arizona.  

https://observer.com/author/alexandra-sternlicht/

Alexandra...enjoys puns, steak and short stories.

OMG, put me in that handbasket with her!!!!!!!!! Talk about never getting bored with somebody!!!!!! :wub:

Anything to get away from this Paul J. Weber guy, what a downer... https://apnews.com/553ed4e8970033c63ae00b68244be405

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

https://observer.com/author/alexandra-sternlicht/

Alexandra...enjoys puns, steak and short stories.

OMG, put me in that handbasket with her!!!!!!!!! Talk about never getting bored with somebody!!!!!! :wub:

Anything to get away from this Paul J. Weber guy, what a downer... https://apnews.com/553ed4e8970033c63ae00b68244be405

I don't know man. Was she too lazy to put up an actual image of an electric scooter? That's a full size motorcycle.

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4 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

Per Jsngry's prior comment, sounds like things are going to hell in a handbasket in Arizona.  

So, is it the reopening? I've been doing the same daily routine and I have to wonder. Yes, some restaurants are doing dine-in service again, but they limiting the number of patrons, employees wearing gloves and masks, disinfecting, etc. Some continue only take-out. Some retail is open, some is not.

I do know the resorts in Phoenix/Scottsdale have been filled with travelers from California and other places that just wanted to get away.

“Alarming” is how , an epidemiology professor at Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, characterized Arizona’s situation to AZ Central. “The only sort of crumb of comfort that I can find is that I think, in general, it's sort of easier to social distance in Arizona than it is in some places."

I'd say it's alarming. Easier to social distance compared to where? The Navajo Nation is having a hell of a time, 27,000 square miles, that's a lot of open space and yet the infection rate is 3.4%.

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We all need to do like that Then Came Bronson guy and just hit the open road in out motor scooters!

2 minutes ago, catesta said:

So, is it the reopening? ...

I do know the resorts in Phoenix/Scottsdale have been filled with travelers from California and other places that just wanted to get away.

"Reopening"...hey, tourism is part of re-opening. Viruses got no state lines.

Honestly, I don't have the meaningful data (and I wonder who does...and that's a big problem, if nobody does), but I bet before it's all said and done, we learn that the more we knew, the less smart we were.

Me, seriously, I'm all about still staying home as much as possible, because I can. And I'm all in favor of enforceable safety restrictions on either those who can or won't.

This shit is not over, and humility in the face of it is well-advised.

 

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Stay home, shop alone.

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So does everything living thing! :g

But hey, puns, steak and short stories. Let the exhaust take care of itself.

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13 hours ago, JSngry said:

Cases are supposed to spike even further as a result of the demonstrations.

NJ is fully reopening on June 22 but I will be treating it as if we were still back in March. Unfortunately, I see a lot of people in our area who are acting as if it’s over. 

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16 minutes ago, Brad said:

Cases are supposed to spike even further as a result of the demonstrations.

NJ is fully reopening on June 22 but I will be treating it as if we were still back in March. Unfortunately, I see a lot of people in our area who are acting as if it’s over. 

There are people around here who are delighted to go full-bore unmasked shopping again who just know that it's "the protestors" that are responsible for the spread.

I guess aggressive consumerism is our vaccine. Who knew?

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