Thursday, September 23, 2021

Thinking about the virus

In what amounts to an inevitable outcome, it looks like covid-19 is here to stay for a while.

Various countries, and communities within the countries, have tried various approaches to dealing with this pandemic. And so far, no one has come up with a successful plan that is a shining example.

That's not to say we should stop trying, it's just that for now at least there's really no way to eradicate it.

And humankind isn't taking to the idea of "taking away freedom" and wants to return to a sense of normalcy.

So we'll just have to deal with it. We can (and should) make smart choices. We can (and should) get vaccinated. And then should continue to get boosters at intervals that make sense.

Maybe we can dispense with masks at some point, but certainly not yet. In spite of what some people will tell you.

And for those that choose to just throw their hands in the air, the transmission rate will remain the same, and the death rate among those infected will stay around 1.5%~2%

I guess we'll just have to move on with life and realize this is how it's going to be.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Thursday, September 9, 2021

In my opinion

This big lie. The anti vax movement. The mask stupidity. The nonsense around Afghanistan. Climate change denial. It's all interconnected and has one common thread: people simply can not accept change.

And because people they … admire? … tell them that it's affecting "our way of life" that's enough to set off the alarm that change is happening.

People simply want to be lazy and live the way they think they always have and return to "normal" (whatever that is). They can't be bothered to make a small sacrifice. To work for any sort of common good because they've bought into this perspective.

And whenever anyone wants to upend this complacency, it's easy to get belligerent or violent.

So you look around: football is back, baby! With large crowds. Theaters are resuming operation and box office receipts are huuuge. Because people want to return to what they knew before.

Give up my gas car? Believe that someone else could possibly win an election (and therefore undermine my beliefs) when the braggadocio blowhard was saying all the things I wanted to hear? And as for a virus. I can't see it and can't sent out troops after it, so god will protect me or I'm "smart enough" to not let it affect me.

Good luck to us all.

Monday, September 6, 2021

on abortion

You can debate about the relative right and wrong about abortion itself.  I;m not here to discuss that portion of it.

But what I wanted to do was point out three things:

First, its interesting that certain politicians who are all about "small government" want to regulate what women can and can't do.  And as I've heard it said, they push harder to regulate a uterus than a gun.  Which is about controlling people.

Second, there's the piece about some politicians who want to do away with abortion under the guise of religion or some other nonsense.  See my previous comment about guns - funny how they talk about sanctity of life before a child is born.  And then after that, you're on your own (and good luck!)

And finally, its this oddity that not only are these folks anti-abortion (please spare me the "pro life" nonsense), they are are also against sex education and contraception.

It seems to me that education and finding ways to prevent unwanted pregnancy are reasonable things to ask of anyone.  Keeping people in the dark is jsut a part of controlling them.  And worse, its about keeping the poverty cycle going.

If people are uneducated, have children they can't afford, and get stuck in the poverty cycle then you are controlling them.

And in many ways, you tell them they need to find their own way out, to stop being "takers," and to believe in the mythical american dream (which seems to be all that you, too, can be wealthy if you work hard!).

Its sad, but that's the reality.  

About climate change

If we stop for a moment with the political nature of the debate, and just look at what's happening in the world, we see something is happening with our climate.  More intense hurricanes.  More wildfires.  More droughts.  More intense tornadoes. And so on.

Now whether this is "man made,"  or natural, or part of a local cycle of weather (we only have reliable data for 150 or so years, over a 3 billion year span), we just don't know.  And its totally fine to debate that aspect and consider what it would take in general to deal with it.

But where is the risk in spending some time and money on investigating it further? Of understanding our world as fully as possible?  Of preparing ourselves to deal with these new issues? Rather than always spending money on cleanup and whatnot on the back end, maybe we could spend some amount on the front end. 

Heck we spent $2.3 trillion on Afghanistan over 20 years. I mean 10% of that is $230 billion.  Imagine how much we could have accomplished in that space with that kind of money.  Just understanding the weather would go a long way toward getting somewhere.

Remembering some old political ads

During the 2004 election cycle, there were these blusterous ads running for and against whatever candidates, at various levels. 

Terrorism fears were running high so they ran the gamut about one person doing well, or poorly, or that the other person would do better (or worse).

But two ads are still relevant today.

THe first showed a classroom with kids wearing gas masks.  The intent was to show that the candidate was weak on terror and a biological threat wasn't dealt with, and kids will have to wear gas masks for the foreseeable future.

Its ironic, in a way, that 16 years later we're dealing with a more natural threat from a virus, and we're debating about students wearing cloth masks, rather than gas masks. But the premise is the same - there's a threat and students have to wear masks ... for some of the foreseeable future.  And yet, the tone of the debate changed in that time.  We can't seem to take a virus as seriously as we would have had it been a tangible foe, who we could beat with our army.

The context of the second was a never ending war in Afghanistan.  There's a woman holding a child, and the caption reads "you can't have him" - clearly shining light on small child being possibly drawn into service in that endless war in 16 or so years time.

And sure enough, the war was endless, going on for around 20 years.  Again, that one came true, though it was still a volunteer army as it wound down.

Crazy, isn't it?