Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Mimsy Were the Technocrats: As long as we keep talking about it, it’s technology.

42 Astoundingly Useful Scripts and Automations for the Macintosh

Work faster and more reliably. Add actions to the services menu and the menu bar, create drag-and-drop apps to make your Macintosh play music, roll dice, and talk. Create ASCII art from photos. There’s a script for that in 42 Astounding Scripts for the Macintosh.

COVID Lessons: Don’t trust socialists

Jerry Stratton, September 23, 2020

Targeting everyone

In 1979, in an Omni interview, G. Harry Stine complained about the media’s war against the space program.

“The gloom resulted from a media disenchantment with space that began the instant Neil Armstrong first set foot on the lunar surface. It all went off without a hitch. If anything really bothers the news media, it is a complex and dangerous operation that comes off precisely as planned right down to the fraction of a second.” gloom-media

The media wanted America to fail. What Stine failed to take into account is that, like Britain’s IRA, the media can fail every time but one and that one time they succeed will successfully kill progress. Progress has to be right every time. And so the media frenzy after the Columbia disaster shut down the shuttle and all manned exploration for the then-foreseeable future.1

A major reason for our dangerously flawed response to this crisis is that we trusted the wrong people. We forgot the most basic lesson of the last hundred years of gloom: we can’t trust self-styled media experts. We forgot that we can’t trust end-of-the-world scare stories from the same old crisifiers.

China lied. The World Health Organization spread China’s lies. They lied for the same reason that the VA lied, that the CDC lied. It is the nature of monopolistic bureaucracies, that face no consequences for their actions, to lie. Trusting such institutions is deadly, as we learned during the last several months.

Over and over, we forgot the most basic lesson of international science: we cannot trust communist dictatorships. Nor can we trust those media outlets and international organizations that do trust communist dictatorships. Probably the number one reason COVID-19 became a crisis is that the World Health Organization spread the Chinese government’s lies when the Chinese government said the virus wasn’t communicable.

We often focus on the obviously nutty things the United Nations does, such as put Iran in charge of the Conference on Disarmament, Cuba on the Human Rights Council, and, again, Iran on the Commission on the Status of Women.

But the UN’s corruption goes a lot deeper. By design, the United Nations trusts their member countries, whether the member country is a democracy or a dictatorship. This very clearly kills people in democracies, because dictatorships lie without regard for loss of life, as China did while the Wuhan virus spread. The data was there. Taiwan saw it, but the WHO doesn’t recognize Taiwan.

No price for being wrong

One of the main reasons the virus spread in the United States is that politicians in San Francisco and New York trusted China, and practically demanded that people come out to large gatherings where Chinese tourists would be. Most of the major media outlets helped them spread that deadly message.

The data was also there on the overreaction to the virus that politicians pushed after they’d downplayed it. If the WHO hadn’t trusted China, we would have already started testing before the outbreak spread, and would have known the fatality rate was low. Even with the late start, though, there are populations that should have been dying in droves, but were not. There was no uptick in homeless deaths, for example.

We should have trusted the data, and not the committees that ignored the data in favor of clearly flawed models.

What we needed to do was target the vulnerable for special care. When we target everyone, we target no one and the vulnerable die from neglect. On just the most basic level, think of how much that money we used to reimburse people a pitiful amount for taking their jobs away would have helped if our response had only targeted people who needed to stay home.

The media seemed to be 100% wrong at every point, and they’re still going strong. They screamed when we closed our borders to infectious regions to protect us from the virus outside. And they screamed when we started to build up our economy again to fight the virus from the inside. Their goal throughout this crisis was to score political points, not to provide the public with useful information. At every turn, whether it was fighting border controls or fomenting panic, the fourth estate did everything they could to make the crisis more deadly. They lied, and then they lied again, and then they blamed everyone else for their lies.

They lied about hydroxychloroquine, just because Trump made it public first. The establishment left’s war on hydroxychloroquine—which we already knew to be effective against previous coronaviruses—appears now to have been entirely politically motivated. Democrat governors such as Michigan’s Whitmer even banned it. They killed thousands, just to score political points against Trump.

Hydroxychloroquine effectiveness

Hydroxychloroquine treatments show high effectiveness.

The bureaucrats in our medical bureaucracy who knew that chloroquine variants were effective against previous coronaviruses and still opposed any use of it by doctors in the current crisis are a strong argument in favor of term limits for civil servants.

The photos of socialized hospitals in Europe should drive a stake through the heart of socialized medicine.

Socialized medicine is awful. Even in the good times, it operates by rationing care, so the slightest uptick in demand puts unbearable strain on it. Also, since it has top-down management, with the “top” being politicians, it cannot react in real-time to changes on the ground.—Bookworm

The fatal flaw in socialism is that some individual politician or bureaucrat must choose what they think people need, and that other people need to make in time to meet the need. This is doomed to failure, and nowhere was it more evident than in the decision of what is essential and what nonessential, especially in the area of medical care.

Socialism fails because it wastes its resources controlling everyone all of the time instead of reserving its resources to assist the vulnerable. Because socialism is by its nature central control, the bureaucracies get in the way of and block the very resources the vulnerable need. Our response to COVID-19 was very socialist in that respect. Instead of focusing on those vulnerable populations that needed our help, we instead both spread our resources to try and control everyone and we blocked the creation and distribution of very important resources by shutting everyone down unless a central control deemed them necessary. Central controls never know what’s necessary until after people have died.

Reality’s an untamed beast

The inability of governments to judge where services need to be was also evident in services for essential delivery. Restaurants were required to close their dine-in areas and just do delivery and takeout. But have you ever seen a semi trailer go through a drive-thru? They have to park, and go inside. And so the people delivering our critical supplies go hungry until they find a restaurant that doesn’t do drive thru and is winging it on takeout. In a dozen towns across their route that they are unfamiliar with.

But worse, we should not have panicked. This was a disease that attacked people with special conditions. And we shut down treatment for those special conditions. This was a disease that focused on specific groups of people. And we wasted time and enforcement on everyone instead of focusing our care on the vulnerable groups.

We paid hospitals to pretend that non-COVID cases were COVID cases, thus muddying the waters about what treatments work and don’t work with COVID.

We shut down the people whose taxes pay for emergency responders and emergency equipment.

Our panic meant more people died than should have. And if this were a more dangerous disease, our panic would have been catastrophic. We need a response that focuses on a disease’s targets. We need a response that does not make unrelated ailments more deadly.

It is still difficult to tell what was true and what was false. So much changed, and while change is the way science works, it must be accompanied by why. What was the error, and how do we know that the change was a change for the better? That was entirely missing because science took a back seat to destroying the economy in an election year.

So much of what we were told was like the world wars in Orwell’s 1984. We were told that halting travel from infected countries was racist, and then with no acknowledgement that it was deadly even to leave home for a walk on the beach. One moment, masks were worthless and mask-wearers were killing people. The next, we had always been at war with the unmasked.

The only reason we were able to survive this shutdown is because COVID-19 was not as deadly as the experts said. If we try to shut down everything that helps us survive when hit by a truly deadly disease, it will make that disease devastating. Our shutdown will kill whoever the disease does not.

In response to COVID Lessons: The Health Care Shutdown: It’s fortunate that COVID-19 was not as bad as the experts said, because our response was almost entirely to make the problem worse. We shut down everything that could help, including health care for co-morbidities. We locked the healthy and the sick together, and cut people off from routine care. Most of the deaths “from” COVID-19 were probably due more to our response than to the virus itself.

  1. In his defense, Stine’s focus was on the industrialization of space, which continued as he predicted, except that it was unmanned.

  1. <- Monopolies fail
  2. COVID Delusions ->