Fermi’s Paradox

Fermi’s paradox is named after the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi, who famously asked, “Where are all the space aliens?” Whether he actually said that is unknown, but he did wonder how it is that we have yet to find any evidence of life in the universe, other than on earth. According to the Drake equation, there should be quite a few extraterrestrial civilizations that we can detect from earth. Here is a famous paper on the topic written back in the 1970’s explaining the problem.

For those interested in listening to a long discussion on the subject, this episode of the Future Strategist with Jim Miller is a good listen. He interviews Greg Cochran, who knows a great deal about the topic. This was before Greg unfortunately succumbed to the The Madness, so it is free of that stuff. Miller and Cochran go into the background of the topic and offer some possible reasons for why we have not discovered any signs of intelligent life anywhere in the known universe.

Problems like this are fun and make for great science fiction plots. The great science fiction novel The Mote in God’s Eye is about man’s first contact with an alien civilization and touches on why it took so long for humans to find aliens and vice-versa. A main topic of the book is the idea that the alien civilization has Malthusian cycles, where they eventually overpopulate their world and destroy themselves. As a result, they can never advance quite far enough to explore the universe.

The novel does not get too far into this, as it is mostly a plot devise to move the story along, but it is a possible reason for why we have not found intelligent life in the universe and why we can no longer go to the moon. That is, we have regressed due to social evolution of some sort that we don’t fully understand. It now takes ten years to build a tall building in New York City, when a century ago it took a year. We don’t build dams or bridges anymore. We can’t even maintain the ones we have now.

This is where people will say, “We could go to the moon if we really wanted to do it. It’s the government that cannot do it. Private industry could go if it was worth it.” Maybe that’s true or maybe that is just a coping strategy to mask reality. All we know is we have not been to the moon since 1972 and we lack the facilities to do it right now. Even those vaunted private explorers are struggling to do things we could do decades ago, like launch something into space and bring it back again.

Social cycle theory is not a new idea. In the 19th century, Italian sociologist and economist Vilfredo Pareto developed a theory where power in a society passes back and forth between the clever and the aggressive. Most famously, Oswald Spengler theorized that human societies are born, blossom into maturity and then, like a person, decline into old age and eventually death. Ed Dutton and Michael Woodley have built on this concept using modern studies of human intelligence.

In other words, the reason we have not been able to travel the stars is that intelligent life can never advance to that point. Our civilization lifespan prohibits us from reaching that level of technology. That does not mean there is no progress. Clearly, we have reached a higher level of technological achievement than the Romans, but there’s always a dark age to reset things. What comes after this cycle will learn a lot from us, but maybe make it as far as Mars, before the great downturn ends their run.

Current events offers some insight into why we may never meet space aliens. The panic over the virus is something new to modern society. This virus is not a threat to humanity, but it is treated as one. We know there was no panic over the Swine flu, the Asian flu, the Hong Kong flu and so on. There was no panic over the great influenza outbreak of 2017 that killed 80,000 Americans. Yet with the death toll soaring to 4,000 with the Chinese flu, America is paralyzed with fear.

It could be that when a civilization becomes sufficiently advanced, three things happen that change how it interacts with the world. One is the birth rate falls. This is something we have seen all over the world. Once a society can reliably feed its people and it reduces interpersonal violence to a certain level, total fertility rates fall. At the same time, the society feminizes. Women begin to take up positions of authority in both civil and government institutions, changing the nature of those institutions.

That’s the third thing, what we are seeing today. A society dominated by women is extremely risk averse. The focus first shifts to elevating the value of life, then to guarding the children against any potential risk. We saw this happen in the 90’s and 00’s with the millennial generation, who were sheltered from everything. Finally, the society shifts to organizing against any threat, even those that promise to merely trim a few years off the lifespan of the octogenarians.

A society that is hyper-focused on preventing even the slightest risk is not a society taking great risks to explore the stars. Maybe that’s why the cost of going back to the moon is prohibitively high. The safety precautions that would be required make the venture pointlessly expensive. The reason it takes ten years to build a building that a century ago only took a year to build, is that today’s society is risk intolerant. If just one worker gets a hangnail or stubs a toe, the cost is considered too high.

Another possibility along the same lines is that in addition to the obsession with safety, the low fertility rate simply reduces the population. This is beginning in places like Japan and Italy. In a world of growing populations, the point of technological advance is to provide for more people. In a world of shrinking populations, the point of technological advance is to protect the people. That means more automation and less actual work, which could result in physical harm to the remaining humans.

What we may be seeing is the early stages of a new social model, one imagined in science fiction a century ago. Once a species becomes sufficiently advanced, the population shrinks, but lives in greater comfort. Perhaps in time lifespans will extend so a small number of humans, cared for by automated cities, live long lives almost like children in a daycare center. A species of pampered toddlers is no going to risk it all to explore the stars and come visit earth.

Of course, the Chinese flu is a great reminder that the free flow of people means the free flow of germs, many of which are deadly to those unfamiliar with them. The Europeans expansion into the New World probably killed off 90% of the indigenous people in the Americas. No one really knows for sure, but the great weapon used against the Indians was the pathogen. Small pox and influenza have been the greatest killers spread by man in all of history.

Maybe once a species overcomes all of the problems listed above and reaches the point where it can explore the stars, it has also realized that the spread of pathogens is too high of a risk. Maybe extraterrestrials explored a few places before they could reach earth and the result was a horrific die off. Maybe the alien bug killed them or maybe their bugs killed everything they touched. As a result, they hide from us any sign of life, so we don’t make the mistake of infecting the universe.


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Member
6 months ago

Supernatural paranormal risk adverse paranoia.

disgusted
disgusted
6 months ago

Wonder if the aliens also seem to be infected with a multi-generational death cult that is a similar mechanism used by society to wreck the most productive parts of its world. Self harm writ large.

MemeWarVet
MemeWarVet
Reply to  disgusted
6 months ago

Do the aliens have a tiny minority which wears silly hats running everything?

theRussians
theRussians
Member
Reply to  MemeWarVet
6 months ago

I’m not sure about that but I’m pretty sure one of them is an evil clown.

Forever Templar
Forever Templar
Member
Reply to  MemeWarVet
6 months ago

More important question is “if they do exist, do the anti-tiny hat beings need permission from the tiny-hat beings to themselves exist?”

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  MemeWarVet
6 months ago

Kyle has some Joozian ancestry.

https://southpark.cc.com/clips/153998/the-joozians

Clayton Barnett
6 months ago

He’s an asshole but Roger Waters had it right: “amused to death.”

Aside, Yockey is an excellent follow-on to Spengler.

The Right Doctor
The Right Doctor
6 months ago

Maybe intelligence isn’t a long-term benefit for a species, net-net. It’s what leads to hubris – we’re smart, we know what we’re doing, don’t worry about consequences.

Getting smart was eating the apple. The results may be the same.

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  The Right Doctor
6 months ago

Humans suggest the opposite, that intelligence is a huge benefit, at least up to a point. Without extraordinary intelligence we would be chimps, ie occasionally the master but far more often the dinner of big cats and other predators. Lions and tigers exist today only b/c we are sentimental and frankly like to take pictures of them.

Between humans is a different matter entirely. In modern society it is emphatically not a darwinian advantage. But that may be due to the same sentimentality??

james wilson
james wilson
Member
Reply to  The Right Doctor
6 months ago

So much is unknown. Homo Erectus got along well enough to last a million years in hostile lands from Africa to Asia. His brain capacity was 800cc. Then along comes this other fellow in animal skins with the ability to do calculus before he can be challenged to count past his fingers.

Major Hoople
Major Hoople
Member
Reply to  james wilson
6 months ago

Based on the evidence, and how long they lasted, Erectus and the Neanderthal were more successful than us. Based Neanderthal. Works for me.

Three Stars
Member
Reply to  Major Hoople
6 months ago

Yeah, there’s just the little problem this is not how you compare success between a species that got wiped out and the one who did the wiping.

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  The Right Doctor
6 months ago

As so many philosophers and theologians have said, we are far to often knowledgeable, but not wise.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  The Right Doctor
6 months ago

Smart enough is the problem. Smart knows its limits.

Jimmer
Jimmer
Reply to  The Right Doctor
6 months ago

Not responding to todays post, but to the good question you raised regarding the sensitivity and specificity of the test for the Wuhan flu.Test we are using here in OK is 100% specific and 97% sensitive. Drawback is it takes 3 – 5 days to get results. .

Mike_C
Mike_C
Reply to  Jimmer
6 months ago

@Jimmer: First, thank you for posting the WuFlu test results. It’s very interesting and I really appreciate it. And if the questions below sound like I’m badgering you, I’m not meaning to. This comes out of genuine medical/scientific interest. Do you know why/how that specific test was selected for use? In other words, were there multiple tests available, and that one was deemed the best (best tradeoff), or was it simply the only one available? I’m not up to date on what is going on re WuFlu testing, but it seems that there are either already faster tests, or ones… Read more »

Ifrank
Ifrank
Reply to  The Right Doctor
6 months ago

Vocal chords. Language. Writing. That’s the key to our success as it allowed us to accumulate knowledge. A chimp learns little more than what his family can teach him. I can know what Newton knew, and more.

cfomally
cfomally
6 months ago

I was just watching some documentaries on Nat Geo that proved the point. One was about Apollo 11, then other about Space X. The difference between the guys in mission control in 1969 and today are revealing. Musk would do better if he implemented a dress and haircut code and a ban on hugging. They were just better men than what we have now.

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  cfomally
6 months ago

Most of Musk’s engineers are white guys. Yes, you could demand they all wear suits, but these guys did pull off a double landing of boosters from the falcon heavy, as well as a lot of quick, safe reflights of the same boosters. There’s a lot that SpaceX is doing right, on a shoestring budget compared to what Apollo had.

cfomally
cfomally
Reply to  BadThinker
6 months ago

In all honesty, I do think the clothes make the man to an extent. The discipline required to wear a button down shirt and tie in a Houston summer does bleed over to other aspects of life. Musk is brilliant no doubt, and a bit of a throwback. Him forcing his guys to ditch the pony tails and the jeans would only make them better.

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  cfomally
6 months ago

Dress code is mostly a cultural thing. As Tom Wolfe once said, every generation dresses its servants in the finery of the prior generation…

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  BadThinker
6 months ago

If there is no dress code, does that mean there is no culture?

cfomally
cfomally
Reply to  BadThinker
6 months ago

It’s entirely a cultural thing. Some cultures are better than others.

peterdarinklein
peterdarinklein
Member
Reply to  cfomally
6 months ago

Musk’s “genius” is up for debate. As is his sexuality and origin story. The same could be said of Steve Jobs…well, any notable “genius” as deemed by the media.

james wilson
james wilson
Member
Reply to  cfomally
6 months ago

I love me some Germans.

Shrugger
Shrugger
6 months ago

Part of our society’s adversity to risk is the decline of religion. If this life is all we got, why take chances?

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  thezman
6 months ago

There is Fear and there is Hope. Is it fear of an afterlife, or fear of no (or a bad) afterlife?

Trapped on Clown World
Trapped on Clown World
Reply to  Shrugger
6 months ago

I keep coming back to Rod Dreher but he’s an example that counters this point. A Christian writer so hysterical at the thought that someone might die that he is currently foaming at the mouth because some Pentacostals in rural Louisiana are continuing to worship together. It’s not just women in positions of power, it’s that men now react like women. I have good friends who’ve always been decently masculine, played sports, good with women. They’re terrified of this virus, sending me pictures of people playing in the park demanding it all be shut down. Half of these people have… Read more »

Screwtape
Screwtape
Reply to  Trapped on Clown World
6 months ago

The people loudly demanding to be made safe by their government keepers are no different than the evilCorp arbitrage gamblers who are demanding more liquidity to shore up their greed and hubris. Fat, diabetic women and their portly manlets who have spent a lifetime frolicking in sugar-coated risk, sitting and lounging on their airchairs while gluttonously consuming more risk, are demanding to have their lives de-risked because a reaper virus likes sweet old fatties the best. Those men may be masculine in form, but they have been indoctrinated into the femcentric order. Their masculinity, like social capital, has been cashed… Read more »

Dave
Dave
Reply to  Trapped on Clown World
6 months ago

Yes. I stopped reading Dreher 2 weeks ago when he starting covering his windows with tinfoil and spending most of his waking hours in bed. He actually admitted he was spending most of his day in bed or taking long naps. Apparently the stress from the worst case scenarios he was buying into crushed what little sprit he had and robbed him of the will to live. He is an embarrassment to Orthodox Christianity, a faith normally associated with steely eyed resolve and asceticism. He is also a sorry excuse for a man, although that was somewhat apparent in his… Read more »

Barnard
Barnard
Reply to  Dave
6 months ago

Dreher has some health issues related to his immune system and lives close to a city with a large outbreak. Part of his reaction is similar to why Steve Sailer reacted the way he did, personal fear that he would not survive if he contracted the virus. That said, he is much more prone to hysterics than Sailer. I don’t think he is close to taking the “red pill” as you put it either. He is realistic about the nature of the totalitarian left, but that is as far as he will go. Dreher might not label himself a blank… Read more »

Tarstarkusz
Tarstarkusz
Reply to  Trapped on Clown World
6 months ago

People like him were not taken seriously in a society that was not as obsessed with safety and as tolerant of histrionics. People like him have always existed, but they were marginalized. Let us not forget that the churches and other religious organizations have not been immune from the rise of wamyn. In fact, the churches have become a magnet for the types of women that are the worst examples of the wamyn phenomenon

Trapped on Clown World
Trapped on Clown World
Reply to  Tarstarkusz
6 months ago

The feminization of society means that it makes no difference if you removed every single woman from a position of authority; as men are acting in a manner indistinguishable from their female counterparts.

South Korea has female leadership, but they are a masculine society. As such they are not having the convulsions that the west is.

FashGordon
FashGordon
Reply to  Trapped on Clown World
6 months ago

South Korea is not a masculine society. They just have factories. They made N95 masks with them. We shipped our factories overseas so we have no masks. South Koreans are the number one per capita consumer of male makeup products. We are an empty shell of a country, our leaders moved everything tangibly productive to the third world to enrich themselves just a bit more while americans were busy grilling and watching nig-nogs play sportsballs while they sat on their fat asses eating potato chips. If the fed goes to far with the money printing and we lose our reserve… Read more »

FashGordon
FashGordon
Reply to  Shrugger
6 months ago

Atheism, secularism and the accompanying fear of death is certainly part of it. The civilizations that did the best conquering had warlike requisites for the best versions of heaven. Valhalla for the Nordics, 70 virgins for the Islamists. The secular apocalypse myth is that the earth is getting slightly hotter so we must hobble our productivity and make ourselves weak to appease mother gaia. I like Christians on the whole, but the contemporary version of your religion preaches weakness. Whatever happened to “I bring not peace but the sword”? All I hear now when I go to church is various… Read more »

Mike_C
Mike_C
Reply to  FashGordon
6 months ago

I’m aiming not for Valhöll but Sessrúmnir.

Generally speaking, none of the hot-desert monotheisms, please. Not necessarily opposed, but HDMs are not for me.

james wilson
james wilson
Member
Reply to  Shrugger
6 months ago

The chicken came before the egg on that one. No risk, no religion. No god based religion, that is. More worship than ever of other things.

MemeWarVet
MemeWarVet
Reply to  james wilson
6 months ago

This exactly. Spend five minutes on normie social media and you’ll learn that #stayhome is a religious rite equivalent to praying the rosary.

theRussians
theRussians
Member
Reply to  MemeWarVet
6 months ago

stunning and brave…really should be used in this case. It’s the perfect emergency, relax, stay home, oh and porn is free for the month.
They shall be hailed as heroes by future generations.

Ben the Layabout
Ben the Layabout
Reply to  james wilson
6 months ago

At least other things exist. 😈

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  Shrugger
6 months ago

Briggs has a chart showing deaths of all causes falling sharply in the last couple of months, and of boys age 0 to 17 falling to almost zero. So shutting in and laying low “saves many lives”. But is shutting in and laying low what lives are made for?

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Dutch
6 months ago

In a quixotic attempt to cheat death, we negate life.

Exile
Exile
Member
Reply to  Shrugger
6 months ago

Religion has always been about more than the afterlife. As Z notes, our Greco-Roman ancestors didn’t share the Christian/Islamic view of the afterlife. Hades was a bleak place even for Homer’s heroes. Jews have been largely unconcerned with the afterlife since Abraham. There’s a grain of truth there, though. Ironically I see a lot of fear of death in Christians and Muslims, something Taleb chides the Pope for in “Anti-Fragile,” asking why Benedict was rushed to the hospital rather than the church so many times in his tenure. It’s a BS atheist talking point on a superficial level but once… Read more »

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  Exile
6 months ago

I have always thought that a focus on the afterlife means that the life you are living today must not be what you want out of it. There is only one person who can change that.

Ben the Layabout
Ben the Layabout
Reply to  Exile
6 months ago

Have you ever noticed how religious Traditions tend to encourage the young and Expendable to be the ones to fight and die while the rich and essential, the rulers that is are safely in a castle somewhere?

Yves Vannes
Yves Vannes
Member
Reply to  Exile
6 months ago

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”
Marcus Aurelius

joey junger
joey junger
6 months ago

A good counter from a scientist to Fermi’s Paradox was, “When you’re driving down the highway, do you pull over to every anthill at the side of the road, get down on your knees, and say ‘Hello ants!'” ? In other words, maybe any civilization smart enough to pass the threshold Fermi talked about is also smart enough to find us boring. Re: the inability to make things that work or are worth a fig, I think this is closely related to the death of social capital. In a world where you don’t know the people who make your products,… Read more »

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  joey junger
6 months ago

There are still stone carver artisans doing stuff like this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afkLHVLOz9U https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UT3C35pcHo8 Part of the problem is that the ‘good enough’ is the enemy of the best, and good enough is often cheaper and mass-producable. The truth is, MDF is usually ‘good enough’ for a lot of use cases. Craftsmanship is *expensive* and the average person simply cannot afford the vast increase in the cost of labor for craftsmanship. Most ‘good’ furniture, in most parts of the country, is *far* more expensive than Ikea or Wayfair, and is really not that much better. Learning to build and do things yourself… Read more »

Epaminondas
Member
Reply to  BadThinker
6 months ago

You would be hard pressed to find a furniture maker who could do this kind of 18th century work today…
comment image

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Epaminondas
6 months ago

I know a guy.

http://www.andersenandstauffer.com/

Probably many out there, but as always you pay for what you get.

And to the larger point, there’s a remnant. Knowledge isn’t lost but undervalued. Or maybe overvalued and hidden, who knows.

SidVic
SidVic
Reply to  Paintersforms
6 months ago

If wealthy i would spend my money on fine furniture. Always had a weakness for such.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Paintersforms
6 months ago

PS I don’t know what the guy’s politics are or if he’d endorse mine. Just appreciating good craftsmanship. 🙂

Epaminondas
Member
Reply to  Paintersforms
6 months ago

Oh, they’re out there. Just not many.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  Epaminondas
6 months ago

One guy went to an exhibition of fine historical furniture from France. He judged that the workmanship gradually improved up to the Revolution of 1789, then declined, probably because “liberty, equality, fraternity” (LEF) dissolved the master-apprentice relationship and replaced it with universal government schooling.

We’ve since outdone those revolutionaries by extending LEF to women, thereby dissolving Biblical marriage and causing a catastrophic decline in the birth rate as free women end up dying alone with their cats.

WhereAreTheVikings
Member
Reply to  Epaminondas
6 months ago

E, you would also be hard-pressed to find someone who appreciates the beauty of that kind of work here in IKEA world.

David_Wright
Member
Reply to  joey junger
6 months ago

Or maybe there are no aliens?

M. B. Lamar
M. B. Lamar
Reply to  David_Wright
6 months ago

Aliens are on the roadmap, but they’ve been saying that for so long now that I no longer believe it. Lessons learned, don’t hint at future content if you aren’t sure you will ever deliver.

Screwtape
Screwtape
Reply to  joey junger
6 months ago

Well said. Perhaps the x factor in civilizations that can advance to the stars is not so much about their elite intelligentsia, but more about their average joes and his ability to make something useful. There is a quality that doesn’t seem to survive quantity.

Sending one man across the sound barrier is one thing, but what about the ability to send truth and beauty across the Dunbar number?

Exile
Exile
Member
Reply to  Screwtape
6 months ago

Screw, Scale is definitely one of the dragons that prowls between here and Star Trek. The threshold between what it takes in terms of complex organization and resources to reach the Final Frontier and the carrying capacity of your people and planet is a thin one, and it’s unmarked.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  joey junger
6 months ago

I think it’s the economics of quantity over quality, driven by the preference for quantity. If people were content to have fewer higher quality items, the local economy could meet their needs nicely and be self sustaining within reason.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  joey junger
6 months ago

“When you’re driving down the highway, do you pull over to every anthill at the side of the road, get down on your knees, and say ‘Hello ants!’” ?” Any civilization that much more advanced than ours would have wrought its will upon the heavens in such a way as would be impossible to miss. Traveling between stars, terraforming planets, building artificial habitats, and providing for the basic needs of quadrillions of citizens all require gargantuan amounts of energy, all of which, when it’s done its useful work, becomes waste heat that must be dumped into interstellar space. The laws… Read more »

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
6 months ago

The West and much of the rest of the developed world is far beyond feminization, which does entail all of the risk-adverse decline you listed. The transgender movement, “pan-humanism,” climate change, and even the animal rights movement point to something that is post-estrogen let alone post-testosterone. It’s a surrender of humanity based on a psychosis of sorts, not suicidal because that would entail the risk of pain and the end of selfies. Otherwise there would be mass suicide or a reversion to religious faith. There will be no post-panic world. The West and the rest of the developed world will… Read more »

disgusted
disgusted
Reply to  Jack Dobson
6 months ago

After all the papers on the reason for the collapse of the Roman empire, perhaps we are watching it unfold around us and in reality it just became so risk-adverse due to the Pax Romana that it created a collapse from the fear of fear itself.

Glenfilthie
Glenfilthie
Member
Reply to  Jack Dobson
6 months ago

Yes and no. No, the women aren’t destroying us. We are letting them do it. Contrary to popular sentiment patriarchy does not punish strong capable women. It celebrates them and rewards them handsomely. We could (and should) send the bints back to the kitchen with a sharp word and the back of a hand. But it’s us guys tolerating it and promoting it. And now we have chaos and lunacy to look forward to. Nobody wants to entertain the notion that our spirits are ill. That invokes, God, morals, ethics and judgement. Perhaps when we turned our backs on God,… Read more »

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Glenfilthie
6 months ago

Fear of rejection.

If you only sleep with one quality woman it’s much better and healthier than the trail of drama and emotional damage that goes with sleeping around, or even having a bunch of failed relationships. Fear of rejection in the deeper sense of being an incel being one byproduct.

It’s another paradox. More sex, then more fear of sex or its lack. Speaking from experience. But it can be overcome! Better to never get yourself in the situation in the first place.

Member
Reply to  Glenfilthie
6 months ago

I’ve been saying for a long time that most of our conflicts are not what they seem. Pandering to minorities and immigrants is mostly an intra-tribal fight among wannabe elite whites and Jews. It’s all about “I love X more than you!” where X is some minority or immigrant group. The supposed victim groups themselves have power of a sort but not much agency. They are chess pieces in a game they mostly aren’t aware of. Likewise, feminism reached a peak of destructiveness in the late 1960s. To put it crudely, it was during that time young men (of whom… Read more »

UFO
UFO
Reply to  pozymandias
6 months ago

Women despise betas and ugly men. That’s just the way our society is. I feel bad for them. The truth is that alphas don’t need to learn PUA, it comes natural. I catch women looking at me all the time. Sorry, but you can’t learn that. I do notice that it’s the fat betas that STILL push the “liberation” shit. I’m not sure that most alphas / PUAs actually want to be hooking up with so many girls – but they’re just dealing with the hand they’ve been dealt. Only the truest of alphas can marry an attractive, non-whore woman… Read more »

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  UFO
6 months ago

Women want to mate with the guy that makes her female friends envious. Guys who figure that out and play to it get all the action.

UFO
UFO
Reply to  Dutch
6 months ago

Her friends usually hate me. I guess it’s either envy or they just think I’m a loser 😉

The Right Doctor
The Right Doctor
6 months ago

One of the topics of conversation I’ve enjoyed lately is, What will change permanently as a result of this? What structural, societal changes are likely to be in store? I believe most private medical care is probably done for. The government has been not-so-gradually assuming control and I don’t think they’ll give it back. People are scared, want reassurances and will trade freedom for security any day. Many people, especially the non-elderly, had never known medical insecurity before – many didn’t know such a thing existed! The medical private sector, which was already not the dominant portion of overall medical… Read more »

PrimiPilus
PrimiPilus
Reply to  The Right Doctor
6 months ago

They’re going to give us the VA writ large. I think that’s what they’re planning — VA as a test bed for how (or how not) to do it. I get some of my medical care there, for some service-connected body damage. And yes, there are talented and dedicated providers there. Some tremendous work is done by people who are terribly overworked, and unceasingly frustrated. HOWEVER …. The system — administrative, organization, personnel, support process — is a nightmare of confusion and inefficiency. I worked at one of the facilities (not patient care, but with patients) for a couple of… Read more »

Mike_C
Mike_C
Reply to  PrimiPilus
6 months ago

” there’s a direct path from the foreign medical graduate line at Immigration directly to the VA physician recruiting office” and “Just why is it that we can’t produce our own doctors”? Hoo boy. Yes and yes. The foreign medical grad (FMG) thing is a HUGE problem. We’re not talking about Germans, Swedes and British doctors. We’re mostly talking Indian, Pakistani, Iranian. I guess Chinese too, but I see mostly the first three groups of FMGs. It’s a problem not only in the US and Canada, but in Europe too. (anedcote below) Why FMGs to the VA? I don’t know… Read more »

Mike_C
Mike_C
Reply to  The Right Doctor
6 months ago

“O, to be a resident in a medical center again”

Funny you say that. A large Internal Medicine program near me has sent its residents home to protect them from WuFlu. This is almost unbelievable to me, but has happened.

Clown World indeed. W. T. F.

Exile
Exile
Member
Reply to  Mike_C
6 months ago

Usually the FNG (effing new guy) is the most expendable. What a difference a letter makes. I suspect those FNG’s may have been FMG’s.

The Right Doctor
The Right Doctor
Reply to  Mike_C
6 months ago

I think Range would call them ‘puss ass soy boys’.

BadThinker
BadThinker
6 months ago

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard,
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word—
Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!

Alzaebo
6 months ago

Re “The Machine Stops”, oddly, my first ‘memory’ from another life is that of a burgher, a minor councilman, about a century from now. The mores are somewhat different, but the striking thing is that everyone lives in crowded corridors. Underground, it seems.

Alzaebo
Reply to  Alzaebo
6 months ago

The followup was years of dreams of the Warrens- living in the filth and rot of endless ruins, amidst the polluted and dangerous trash of a fallen city.

(‘Memories’ of lives before, late Dark Age to late medieval, were of the moment of death. Minor characters, a tortured bandit, a family servant, an incestuous uncle. Seeing Chief Boru and the Dane fall on the heath. Mine? Others? Real or not? Something to explore.)

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  Alzaebo
6 months ago
Alzaebo
Reply to  BadThinker
6 months ago

Bad, at your Amazon link, an exerpt is included that really speaks to the Zman’s post. Eerie.

Member
6 months ago

As a Gen Xer I grew up assuming that by now we would have colonies or at least permanent structures on the moon and Mars. Instead I am in my late 40s with 8 kids who are facing a pretty bleak future where a subsistence level existence is far more likely than colonies on Mars.

Felix Krull
Member
Reply to  Arthur_Sido
6 months ago

If you have 8 kids, you’re better off than most.

T. Morris
T. Morris
Reply to  Felix Krull
6 months ago

Seconded.

Sandmich
Sandmich
Reply to  Arthur_Sido
6 months ago

Same, though at this point we have way better science. For instant, if they knew then what we knew now about solar radiation and how a simple burst could fry an Apollo crew I’m not so sure they would have proceeded. It’s almost like the technology becomes an inhibitor to progress after a certain point: since all the problems can be mitigated, then they must, but then it’s too expensive, so no one bothers.

KGB
KGB
Reply to  Sandmich
6 months ago

But the men of the Apollo mission would have simply added that risk to the calculus that already existed and almost surely would have proceeded anyway. Today, we’ve given feminine, risk-averse notions veto power over the instincts of men. Shame on us.

Exile
Exile
Member
Reply to  Arthur_Sido
6 months ago

A clan with 8 strong branches is going to be better-positioned to weather whatever’s coming than those with none or one. Good job, M8.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Arthur_Sido
6 months ago

Well, that’s progress for you…

Guest
Guest
Reply to  Arthur_Sido
6 months ago

Good for you for raising 8 kids. You doubled my productivity. My kids are college age and older now and I wish I would have had 4 more.

The future is not as bleak as you might think. Get your kids in STEM programs. With 8 kids you’re going to need help with college. Have them check Hispanic or Native American on all race-based forms starting right now. You should have received your 2020 census form. Claim Hispanic or Native American heritage. Lay the foundation now to get your gibs later.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Guest
6 months ago

Such would depend upon whether or not your children are academically inclined at a high enough level to take STEM—or any college course work. Be realistic. Pushing them into college, if not inclined, is a recipe for disaster. Remain open to the trades which will pay good money for competent and conscientious individuals. A good tradesmen is probably better off than a mediocre college grad wrt income and economic future.

Mike_C
Mike_C
Reply to  Guest
6 months ago

“Claim Hispanic or Native American heritage. Lay the foundation now to get your gibs later.”

I might be claiming to be African-American. Because Olduvai Gorge and all that. Unlike Bad Orange Man, I Believe in Science.

Not looking for gibs. If I were to claim to be AA for ulterior motives (which is clearly not the case) instead of because Settled Scientific Fact, it would be to confound the re-districters and those looking to put up Section 8.

abprosper
abprosper
Reply to  Arthur_Sido
6 months ago

I think that hopium was peddled to everyone in Gen X though a basic knowledge of astrophysics and of exo planet makeup lwould nope all of those ideas their entirety.

In that sense not bothering with space nonsense was a nation growing up. Some things are literally too hard to do.

Of course not being able to maintain our society from 1973 onward (below replacement fertility and mass immigration) was a real gut punch since it ruled out “try again later” as an option.

Drake
Drake
6 months ago

Glad other people speculate about such nonsense too.
In “The Killing Star”, Charles Pellegrino speculated that alien civilizations aren’t blasting messages into space for the same reason that deer don’t howl at the moon – because there are wolves and tigers in the forest.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Drake
6 months ago

Agreed. I’ve always thought our broadcasting messages into deep space to be a function of Saganite, we-are-the-universe idiocy whereby all aliens must be ET and none could be the monsters in War of the Worlds. Criminally irresponsible.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
6 months ago

As we treat all other species upon this planet as subordinate and items to be used for our needs or enjoyment, why would we expect any other advanced species to treat us any different? Fatal hubris.

Perhaps that is another reason we’ve failed to locate other advanced species outside our solar system—when two advanced species meet, one inevitably destroys the other, leaving just one for us to find, and one searching for us.

Drake
Drake
6 months ago

Maybe the end-state of a risk-adverse civilization is everybody’s consciousness gets uploaded into a super-computer?

M. B. Lamar
M. B. Lamar
Reply to  Drake
6 months ago

The sum total purpose of organic life is the creation of machine life. Machine life travels the stars in this scenario. Other than, perhaps, interfering in civilizations sufficiently advanced to accelerate the process of establishing machine life, which may have happened here in the 1940s, or may not, they are not interested in embryonic organic civilizations.

Ben the Layabout
Ben the Layabout
Reply to  M. B. Lamar
6 months ago

I must disagree. If you read Dawkins (the Biochemist, not the Atheist 🙂 ) especially “The Selfish Gene”, he makes an excellent case that the gene, and by extension life, exists only to reproduce itself. You can say its “purpose” is to reproduce itself. Another great book is Dennett’s “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”. If we assume life began by accident, it is still mind-boggling that all living things came from a common ancestor (and, by extension, some pre-living collection of atoms). The Theist will claim the existence of God as a first cause, which too is unprovable, and actually complicates matters.

Yves Vannes
Yves Vannes
Member
6 months ago

The peoples of the Nile Valley and Fertile Crescent cannot replace or build an elevator or an electric generator without the help of the Far West or the Far East. They are no longer even capable of replicating their ancestors in building a pyramid or a ziggurat. The collapse of Rome changed trade routes. Steady African incursions through the slave trade(not all of them were gelded) changed the people. Change the biology(structure) change the civilization. The Globalization of sacred diversity dulls every blade. Derbyshire solved the Fermi Paradox a number of years ago when describing the future as an all… Read more »

Exile
Exile
Member
Reply to  Yves Vannes
6 months ago

The Dutton Equation is much more robust and verifiable. Defect + Rope = a cleaner gene pool. Without a more rigorous use of Dutton’s Knot, the Drake Equation will remain the pastime of THC-fueled weebs and Trekkie nerds.

Ben the Layabout
Ben the Layabout
Reply to  Yves Vannes
6 months ago

A rising tide will not lift any ships if they all have been scuttled 🙁 “But everything was OK before the tide came in!!! 🙂 “

NJ Person
NJ Person
6 months ago

Thanks Z-Man for the link to the New York Times article concerning the 2017-2018 influenza death toll. That probably ended up deep inside the newspaper. Perhaps there is some weird special dynamic at work here, such as the continuing efforts of CNN and other media outlets to generate constant hysterias. The expected death toll numbers coming from the White House appear to be more than twice those from other sober mainstream analysts. There is a huge political component to this.

https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

Well, it’s time to p*ss everyone off again (it’s not personal for me). But let’s do the peaceful part first, about Fermi’s Paradox. Ignoring that it is not a paradox but at most a sort of extra terrestrial-biological surprise similar to asking why there are no predators that specialize in hunting elephants, presumably a lucrative niche to catch a 3 ton elephant cow instead of a one ton buffalo as lions and tigers do, if you’re a muscular cat or alternatively giant bear or pack-hunting dire wolf or equivalent hyena. The reason we haven’t met aliens is here, and by… Read more »

DLS
DLS
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

I agree to taking many precautions such as distancing, no handshaking, etc., but there has not been enough examination of the monetary value of human life. Insurance companies and trial courts do this all the time. Human lives can usually be valued between $1-$10 million depending on various factors such as age and earning capacity. If we save 2 million Americans, it’s probably worth it, but I have doubts about this figure. The cost of all this to save several hundred thousand lives is madness. The economy is a very complex organism, and it is being turned on and off… Read more »

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  DLS
6 months ago

That’s an interesting approach, literally putting a price on human lives saved. It’s not an approach I agree with though b/c it is too bluntly materialistic and I think a materialistic mindset, a human is just an economic unit, is one of the things we are dying from as a society. But I acknowledge that the econ side to this is NOT ‘irrelevant.’

By what’s been happening so far, w nothing done, which Im not assuming you are proposing btw, it’s probably at least 2 million lives on the table.

DLS
DLS
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

I didn’t mean to sound so materialistic about human life. My underlying point is about tradeoffs of human life. If we assume the economic value per life is say $10 million, we have to examine the impact on other lives of spending that resource. For example, if the retirement portfolios of many seniors drop due to the sum of costs expended to save Covid related lives, many seniors will die earlier due to insufficient funds to spend on healthcare and food. Another example is the human life lost to suicide and opioids related to unemployment and despair caused by shutting… Read more »

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  DLS
6 months ago

I think these are perfectly valid points you are raising. I try not to get entrenched in one position on Covid-19 or paint myself into a corner. I’m a physician although not clinically active but that might make it harder for me to see a disease running wild in society and not say ‘stop that thing’. I think that is actually possible. But I don’t think I am afterrationalizing when I say that, based on the effect of Covid-19 on Western society so far, it will disastrously affect the economy and society’s stability if not checked. Imagine the same scenes… Read more »

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

How would you know/estimate the disastrous consequences of COVID-19 when the present consequences of the disease are predominantly man made through panicked reactions based on models and data of unknown validity?

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  Compsci
6 months ago

Compsci, that’s very simple, I look at Italy, I look at New York and I see what happens when this virus is only partially contained. The show hasn’t really started in the US yet. Of course if the lockdown works it might never. And then you ll just go ‘you see, you overreacted.’

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

The aspect of who catches it is different from who dies. The aspect of how a patient is treated, and available resources for such is different in a crap hole like Italy with their medical system and ours. I’ve already posted some examples of the resources we bring to bear on this disease in treatment and hospitalization. The aspect of containment is also problematic. You assume containment is possible, I do not. You assume a complete and total lock down of the population is required for containment, I do not. In short, you’ve bankrupted the greatest economy in the world… Read more »

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  Compsci
6 months ago

You think magic dirt theory means US hospitals are better than Italian or French hospitals?? Save for a few elite places like Mass General, Mayo or Cleveland Clinics, irrelevant to most Americans anyway, they are not. Lombardy is not Sicily. But you dont know that b/c you don’t know anything about this. You think the Pentagon has stacked several thousands of ventilators away on some secret base, along w the doctors and nurses to man them?? The military can add a few hundred at most. Your reasoning comes down to ‘Murica always #1!!’ Go to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens and… Read more »

Stranger in a strange land
Stranger in a strange land
Reply to  DLS
6 months ago

No one – and most definitely any poltician at any level – wants to ‘go there’, but I think some one needs to ‘go there’ – and at least you put it ‘out there’.
A problematic factor is determining the economic value per life – and is each life the same value? Of as much, or greater concern: who determines the value of each life (unless all lives are assumed to be of equal value).

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Stranger in a strange land
6 months ago

Simple, you compute a life into expected years. A male white child—say after age 5 has a life expectancy of 84. Save a five year old, gain 79 years. Save an 80 yo, gain 4 years of life. Currently done, but not spoken about in many socialized medicine countries.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  DLS
6 months ago

Economic value of life varies with government agency, but I don’t recall any estimate as high as $10M.

DLS
DLS
Reply to  Compsci
6 months ago

“U.S. Office of Management and Budget puts the value of a human life in the range of $7 million to $9 million. As of 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency set the value of a human life at $9.1 million. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration put it at $7.9 million — and the Department of Transportation figure was around $6 million.”

https://www.theglobalist.com/the-cost-of-a-human-life-statistically-speaking/

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  DLS
6 months ago

Not a complete summary of thinking on the matter. Some economists—in the article—discuss strikingly different numbers. But let’s take a round number of $10M per one life for a round figure. Bandied about here has been a high death number of 240K citizens (we’ll ignore life expectancy for now). If my math is correct, you would then claim that 240,000 x’s 10,000,000 is the break even amount for the effort—2,400,000,000,000. Where have I seen that number before? So I guess we’re at the break even number at this time.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

Moran. It is not an interesting approach—putting a $$$ value on human life—it is done all the time in this economy and others. All the time. The “interesting approach” is rather assuming all life is of inestimable value and therefore equal. That is absurd. This is why your argument supporting current prevention measures is unpersuasive. Given your logic, there is no end to the efforts that should be spent on prevention of this disease, no cost too great—because “unknowns” exist. Start estimating the costs involved in the current effort, which I submit will result in loss of life as well,… Read more »

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  Compsci
6 months ago

I don’t think you understand what it is I’m saying.

Mike_C
Mike_C
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

“literally putting a price on human lives saved” Well, sure. It happens all the time. Not the “death panels” thing, but QALY, right? For those not in the game, QALY=quality-adjusted life year. In other words, if a treatment extends life (e.g. new anti-cancer therapy, a new prosthetic heart valve, etc), what does the treatment cost vs the expected extension of life? The break-even point for QALY has often been set at about $50,000 USD. (How they adjust for inflation, etc is above my pay grade.) So let’s say a novel artificial heart valve (device, surgery to put it in, associated… Read more »

DLS
DLS
Reply to  Mike_C
6 months ago

This is done in non-lifesaving situations as well. We could lower the national speed limit to 30 mph. Many lives would be saved, but it would take twice as long to get anywhere. We are willing to lose lives for convenience without even thinking about it.

Ben the Layabout
Ben the Layabout
Reply to  Mike_C
6 months ago

More immediate than abstractly computing the worth of a human life is emergency triage. In a crisis a decision maker may have to “play god.” In war time, we don’t fault the field medic who must triage the wounded. Some will survive without treatment, you put them aside. Some guys are mortally wounded, they’re going to die. Give them comfort care if possible. The last group are those who stand a good chance to recover — you put your resources into them. Now we rarely have to do this in peace time, but the same principles apply. If the ventilators… Read more »

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  Mike_C
6 months ago

What I meant was, I didn’t agree that the decision on how to handle covid-19 should come down to a question of ‘which will cost more, trying to stop it or not trying to stop it.’ That approach is reducing humans completely to economic units, something Wall Street and marxists agree on. And why they can get along so easily. It’s also a ‘dead soul’ view of life.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

Here’s a suggestion, let’s be honest and for once, implement a one for all and all for one policy in which we spend whatever it costs to save our fellow citizen (we are of course not placing a crude limitation on the matter such as cost) and then assess the cost as a surcharge on annual IRS contributions to all taxpayers, say for the next five years. Who’s for a 25% tax increase, raise your hand?

KGB
KGB
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

One can be reasonably circumspect about the potential contained in Wuhan flu while still believing that the measures we have taken have been wrong-headed, at times ineffective, and have possibly exacerbated the situation. If we didn’t have the example of Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, or the Diamond Princess I might be a tad more receptive to some of the measures we’ve adopted in the States, but we’ve seen better results elsewhere by using a different approach. Instilling in people the belief that they’re not to even set foot outside their homes is an incalculable cost to bear for the prevention… Read more »

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  KGB
6 months ago

Absolutely. They are using a sledgehammer and Im not sure that’s the only much less best approach. I guess the position I imagined myself standing for here was ‘this IS serious, not a hoax or madness.’ How then to handle it, well, that is difficult.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

I read this group as well and listen to other commentators in the MSM. You must listen to someone else. Never have I hear anyone say this virus was a hoax—as in it does not exist—nor that is was for certain classes of individuals not 3potentially fatal.

The accusation that someone with doubts as to our current prevention efforts equates to some sort of denialism is simply slander that the other side uses for anyone who disagrees with their power grab over this “crisis”.

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  Compsci
6 months ago

When you put crisis in quotation marks that’s what I mean by treating it like a hoax. As in ‘sure, there’s a virus but it’s not that bad.’ Through the grapevine I hear from doctors who are still in the New York areas. They say it’s bad, pretty bad. Same w ppl I know in Italy. They tried the hands off approach at first. It didn’t work so well, to understate.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

No, the crisis is in “quotes” because it is a manageable disease and not deserving of the panic induced response we are seeing. Not because it is a hoax. That is your interpretation of which you will find no posting of mine to support such interpretation on your part.

Sandmich
Sandmich
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

I caught a space presentation that Z linked to and the presenter made the case that it’s within our technological grasp to send micro-satellites to neighboring star systems at some higher proportion of the speed of light (20% if I recall, which is smoking fast). Another theoretician pointed out some time ago that given the time scale of when there was nothing but giant lizards on earth, that possible aliens have had hundreds of millions of years to make a go at self-replicating satellites. I forget the math, but he used a fairly slow guess at the speed these satellites… Read more »

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  Sandmich
6 months ago

I suppose some microreactor could accelerate a very small object to something like 20% of the speed of light theoretically but I dont think the technology is ready. The fastest man-made macro object (not counting subatomic particles in accelerators) is NASA’s Helio 2 which travels at 252792.5 kph= 0.0002342292 c, where c is the speed of light. So as you can see, making any macro object 0.2 c there’s a way to go. But I’ve also heard the theory that life forms advanced enough for space travel are also advanced enough for nuclear weapons. And presumably darwinian principles of competition… Read more »

Member
Reply to  Sandmich
6 months ago

About 0.01c (1% light speed) gets you across the Milky Way in 10 million years. For perspective, there have been stars like the sun* for perhaps several billion years before the sun formed. This would seem to imply that advanced civilization could have existed before the sun even did. As for the virus, I go on the principle that the burden of proof of a danger lies with the person claiming it exists. The evidence here in favor of extreme measures was weak at the start and has gotten weaker. 1. You had an outbreak of a severe corona virus… Read more »

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  pozymandias
6 months ago

This is why (in theory) we choose a government of representative leadership. To provide calm thinking and reflection, rather than raw, emotional, reaction. But as sagely put by Z-man today, we really no longer have that in government anymore—just panicked ninnies, and rapacious scalawags.

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  Compsci
6 months ago

To provide calm thinking and reflection, rather than raw, emotional, reaction.

I am pretty ice cold deliberate right now. And I am saying the information available warrants containing this thing or there won’t be an economy to resuscitate. If New York City was officially business as usual right now, the world’s financial center would be deserted by everyone except the homeless.

You guys are in denial and daydreaming. In denial that this was not going to mean the economy taking a 50 MT nuke. You can’t save the economy until you stop this virus.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

Yep, we had to destroy a lot of villages in Vietnam to save them.

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  pozymandias
6 months ago

pozymandias, I’ll be brief. It is significantly more contagious than SARS, but probably less deadly per infected person. The situation is already extremely different. Italy is what happens when you don’t contain it. Spain and France are showing that it is not something particular about Italy that made things so bad. South Korea and Japan have basically tried this before, so they were quick to test, trace contacts, isolate. And use masks. And they are reaping the rewards. India has one of the most aggressive containment strategies, w contact tracing. But it’s a big chaotic place so it may blow… Read more »

Member
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

Spain and France have similar demographics to Italy and are in the same geographical area though I do not know if they have quite as much Chinese immigration. One country you didn’t mention, Switzerland, has been hard hit as well but of course is quite close to the Northern Italian fashion industries and their Chinese labor. As for the Italians failing to contain the virus, as I recall Italy was one of the first nations to go full-on totalitarian with the lockdowns and such. If this did not achieve containment, that actually reinforces my point. I never said there was… Read more »

james wilson
james wilson
Member
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

A bug that killed two percent of the population would have caused a shrug in most of recored history yet our supposed solution to this one is more dangerous than the disease. For most of human history 40% of children did not survive. In 1750 America if you survived to the age of 20 in New England you were expected to live to 65, in the South, 41.

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  james wilson
6 months ago

In many cultures, killing someone who offends you is not only tolerated but more or less expected. I’m not even sure that’s an entirely bad idea in all circumstances, especially where infidelity is involved.

But something that spreads as fast as Covid-19 and causes the kinds of hospital chaos seen in Italy, Spain and New York, will hit the economy hard in this day and age.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

I believe for the last recorded flu year—2018/2019 (?) 45M case 40k+ deaths, which I assume were mostly in hospital settings. COVID-19 is how much worse? Based on what modeling and assumed data inputs? So we close down the entire country? A week ago or so, one of our commenters here was worried about our hospital bed shortage—as compared to Croatia or some shithole backward country he cited. Part of my response at that time was that we had an economy second to none with reserves like no other—citing US military and such. What do we see now. Military hospital… Read more »

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  Compsci
6 months ago

The problem here is not what type of response posture we should have to a disease, it is fear and panic.

I’m talking about the response not the panic.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

You are talking about response formulated out of panic. Thereby simply spouting the “party line”. You facts and figures for the most part are supposition and projection.

Now you may be right, and I may be wrong. We will see and you may remind me of such in a couple of weeks.

Member
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
6 months ago

I would agree that certain places where you see a combination of some or all of – massive immigration, massive flows of global travelers and goods, large numbers of elderly and sick people, and poor hygiene WILL be hard hit by this or any similar pandemic. I’m still not convinced that the economic damage done by the pandemic itself or that done by the pandemic panic would be worse. If nothing else this shows that in addition to too heavy a reliance on nasty authoritarian third world nations for goods we also have too many crucial economic and societal functions… Read more »

Major Hoople
Major Hoople
Member
Reply to  pozymandias
6 months ago

Heck of a post. Lot to think about.

Bill_Mullins
Member
6 months ago

There was no panic over the great influenza outbreak of 2017 that killed 80,000 Americans. A cynic would suggest that the reason for that was that the Progs hadn’t yet shot their wad in the form of Russiagate and impeachment. They probably didn’t think they NEEDED it to depose the President. A society dominated by women is extremely risk adverse. Thus craven soyboys like Talib can promote their principle without experiencing the scorn they so rightfully deserve. A society that is hyper-focused on preventing even the slightest risk is not a society taking great risks to explore the stars. Or… Read more »

FashGordon
FashGordon
Reply to  Bill_Mullins
6 months ago

The problem is the media controls perceptions of reality to too great of an extent. Here’s an example of this. 80,000 deaths of despair per year related to opioid addiction, suicides, overdose, mostly white people so almost no news coverage. 400 negroes die from resisting arrest, whole nation hears about it for months. Jews control the media. This virus has hit them the hardest in tel aviv 2 aka new york, so the whole world shuts down.

Exile
Exile
Member
Reply to  Bill_Mullins
6 months ago

Taleb needs to toss me some shekels for all the White Knighting, but here goes. The “precautionary principle” is sound – the question lies in when it should be applied. In a nutshell, it says that for low-probability/catastrophic risk events, the burden of proof should lie with the innovator to prove their innovation isn’t harmful, rather than vice-versa. The classic example is thalidomide. If they had waited 20 years to study its effects before putting it into general circulation, lots less deformed kids. And it’s not as if the species was going to die out while we were waiting. His… Read more »

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  Exile
6 months ago

To me, exercising the precautionary principle can be a variation on the tragedy of the commons. Personally exercising the precautionary principle can be a wise thing, to keep you living a comfortable and happy life, if your fear of something is crippling you. But if everybody practices it, the world shuts down. So “my” optimum is for “me” to be as careful as possible, but the rest of you loons get out there and do your thing, and keep the system rolling along, please.

Exile
Exile
Member
Reply to  Dutch
6 months ago

Like I said, the trick is knowing when to apply it. Probably the best rule of thumb is to first decide what’s an acceptable status quo in the “if it ain’t broke” sense.

The present system’s reliance on “growth” drives a lot of innovation that’s only marginally beneficial while smuggling a lot of risk.

Alzaebo
Reply to  Bill_Mullins
6 months ago

But, but Mullins! What about Spock’s smokin’ hot wife in “Amok Time”, when Spock is compelled to mate?

Another fantasy shot to hades. Spoilsport.

(No greenskins. Ewww. And Riker is a perv.)

FashGordon
FashGordon
6 months ago

In contrast to the mote cycle of overpopulation, we humans have our own unique cycle that exemplifies our own weaknesses. “Strong men create good times, good times create weak men, weak men create hard times, hard times create strong men”. We are entering the last phase of the cycle, the weak men will removed and replaced by the strong. Overdue, but at least it looks like it might finally be here.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  FashGordon
6 months ago

Bloody bad luck to be living in an era of weak men creating hard times.

FashGordon
FashGordon
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
6 months ago

I think we’re finally passing that phase right now. Hard times are coming soon.

Mark Stoval
Mark Stoval
6 months ago

“Another possibility along the same lines is that in addition to the obsession with safety, the low fertility rate simply reduces the population” – Z-man

You get no disagreement from me; but I do think it is more than that. It is not just that the birth rate is declining; it is that the intelligent are not reproducing and low IQ diverse are reproducing. Even if the morons are also reproducing less, they still are taking over percentage-wise.

The worse of the humans are breeding while the intelligent are herding cats and drinking wine.

Alzaebo
Reply to  Mark Stoval
6 months ago

Exception- our smokin’ hot girls in the DR.
Classy chicks with a big set of brains are *such* a turn-on.

Tykebomb
Tykebomb
Reply to  Mark Stoval
6 months ago

Blacks in America have been below replacement since 2015. Conservative whites have a higher, and a over replacement, TFR than generic Blacks. It’s the actual Africans that will doom homo sapiens.

As the rest of the world withers away, the people who actively fight to participate in the future will win.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Mark Stoval
6 months ago

Dysgenia.

UFO
UFO
Reply to  Mark Stoval
6 months ago

Yes, even among the whites this is true (outside of religious circles). Out in public, the white people with 2 or more kids are, well, white trash. I hate to use a slur against my own people but there are the types of people wearing sweatpants, a baggy sweater and generally ugly and ill-kept. The wealthy, attractive, well dressed people are almost always childless. I don’t really understand why. I’m still pretty young, I guess I’ll find out why as I age. The only places where eugenics still happen is at church. Basically the dudes with better jobs and more… Read more »

JohnTyler
JohnTyler
6 months ago

If anybody actually saw / met / chatted with an aliens, took photos, selfies with them, shot videos, and was given by the aliens their equivalent of $24 of beads and trinkets, NOBODY would believe one bit of it. This is the catch-22 of this whole alien thing; there is really no evidence that could be presented by an individual or groups of folks, that would convince folks of alien existence, even if the aliens did in fact holiday here in the USA. Now perhaps if the US Govt (though it would have to be with an Obama type president… Read more »

KGB
KGB
Reply to  JohnTyler
6 months ago

Also, why does anybody think aliens would even be interested in us?? Humans would be equivalent to their paramecium on the alien scale of intellect.

Yet humans pore over a microscope studying those same parameciums. I don’t believe inquisitiveness can be separated from high-intelligence.

Apex Predator
Apex Predator
Reply to  KGB
6 months ago

And yet the paramecium reminds blissfully unaware it is being studied, nor have we attempted to communicate with it. I.E. We are still thinking of aliens that exist somewhere in our realm of basic physiology, knowledge of physics, lifespan, technology, etc. If a race managed to not destroy itself for say 250,000 years it would be so comically advanced that even if it appeared you may not even understand what you are looking at. What if they figured out how to escape the ‘petri dish’ and can view space/time in the same way that we look at a 2 dimensional… Read more »

Range Front Fault
Range Front Fault
Reply to  Apex Predator
6 months ago

They are not gods. Just space aliens. There is a: 33.3% odds the space others are nice and helpfully friendly; 33.3% odds they pay us no heed and blow up earth to make way for a hyperspace byway because we were in the way of urban space renewal. 33.3% odds they are evil SOB’s that pop out our eye balls to eat them and rip our limbs off. Came to this realization drinking brandy under the stars camping in the high Sierras watching a lightning storm. The odds aren’t great so with my great powers to control the universe, I… Read more »

David_Wright
Member
6 months ago

Surviving a virus now is no different than in all of our previous history. It was accepted as part of life even if humanity didn’t understand the process. I do like the last narration in the 1953 movie version of War of the Worlds: The Martians had no resistance to the bacteria in our atmosphere to which we have long since become immune. Once they had breathed our air, germs which no longer affect us began to kill them. The end came swiftly. All over the world, their machines began to stop and fall. After all that men could do… Read more »

King Tut
King Tut
6 months ago

I would welcome aliens coming to earth with or without their pathogens, as long as they come here legally.

Epaminondas
Member
Reply to  King Tut
6 months ago

AND as long as they possess demonstrable job skills and can speak our language. But even so, their extended families should not be allowed in.

Alzaebo
Reply to  Epaminondas
6 months ago

Typical heartless Terran. You can’t imagine the discrimination they face in their own homeworlds.

Epaminondas
Member
Reply to  Alzaebo
6 months ago

Then they should stay in their own galaxies and fix their problems there before bringing them here.

Member
Reply to  Epaminondas
6 months ago

But think of all the exotic offworld food they will have in their restaurants!

Mike_C
Mike_C
Reply to  King Tut
6 months ago

RE: legal (space) aliens who speak English. Dream on, gents. We’ll get “prawns” as in the movie District 9. At least the prawns gave the stupidest and least self-disciplined humans someone to look down upon. Oh yeah, there was fury in certain quarters because in the film there were a bunch of aggressively criminal Nigerians. The outrage started at NANALT and worked up from there. There’s an important lesson embedded in that tale: Don’t lump immigrants into “brown” or even “South Asian”. Always remember that they hate each other, and take pains to subtly but frequently remind them of their… Read more »

Exile
Exile
Member
Reply to  Mike_C
6 months ago

“Dream on, gents. We’ll get “prawns” as in the movie District 9.”

Star Trek BTFO’d. You’re saying I’m not going to have First Contact with a buxom Bajoran who’s all-wahmen except for some Gorbachev forehead issues* ?

If our Federated future = tentacle-porn, some Warhammer-style xenophobia may be called for.

* Was planning on covering that up with a Taylor Swift SS hat but now my dreams are ashes – thx Mike.

KGB
KGB
Reply to  Mike_C
6 months ago
UFO
UFO
Reply to  Mike_C
6 months ago

Excellent points. I sow division too.

I’ll gently make a comment about Indians when I’m with a Chinese person. When I’m with an Indian, I might say something about China. They really do hate each other. As in, hate to the extent they would have no problem with a genocide.

Basically all non-white groups hate every non-white group but themselves. Chinese are racist against pretty much everyone, but feel that they are entitled to live in the West. Same with Indians. etc.

Exile
Exile
Member
Reply to  UFO
6 months ago

They are all united in their disdain for negros*. Even other negros. Even Africans can’t stand them.

* a Before-Times term for “African-American”

Member
Reply to  Mike_C
6 months ago

White Americans have been carefully purged of all their historic insensitive jokes and narratives but this was a long battle and cost a lot of time and money. Even (((media people))) didn’t have infinite reserves of both so American whites are the only people who’ve truly been through all the steps of the Great Purification of the Mind and ascended to the 33rd level of The Rites of Equality and Diversity. European whites are a close second but the scribes have still not translated all 458 Testaments of the Poz into all the European languages. Most other tribes remain brutally… Read more »

Mike_C
Mike_C
Reply to  pozymandias
6 months ago

Oh yeah. Boy oh boy do the Malays hate the Chinese. If only the Malays were more organized and competent they’d have Arbeit Mach Frei’d the Chinese beyond anything Mustache Man might have imagined. Akshully they’d have skipped the camps and gone straight to massacres on the street. Speaking of Chinese, I have YT on in the background as I’m doing some image analyses. I have learned from a comic book channel that Batman is now a Chinaman. And Alfred is not only his butler, but also Bruce Wayne’s gay uncle from Hong Kong. The author of this atrocity is… Read more »

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  King Tut
6 months ago

Only if they love the Constitution!

Tarstarkusz
Tarstarkusz
6 months ago

If society collapsed to pre-Roman technology and population, we will have lived in the pinnacle of human society never to be replicated in the future. No post collapse society could ever replicate our advancement because all of the easy resources particularly of energy. have already been mined and burned. While they could “mine” the ruins for things like aluminum and copper, they would more or less be stuck with charcoal as a primary energy source. We started off with easy coal that was near the surface and progressed to where we are now, drilling for oil under a mile of… Read more »

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  Tarstarkusz
6 months ago

Never say never.

Drake
Drake
Reply to  Tarstarkusz
6 months ago

There was a funny sci-fi short story about post-nuclear war collapse. One new civilization rebuilt quickly using recovered books and examples of technology such as documentaries. What they didn’t realize is that the few recovered Star Trek episodes were fictional instead of examples of the most advanced tech – so they built starships.

Exile
Exile
Member
Reply to  Tarstarkusz
6 months ago

That’s the dilemma of the Malthusean Trap. We’re well short of that yet but a planet is a big ship to turn on a dime. We’d do well to get started on concepts like scale, race realism and sustainable lifestyles now.

The tipping point won’t be marked and we’ll pass it sometime in the foreseeable future if we don’t start worrying about something beyond the present.

Rogeru
Rogeru
Reply to  Tarstarkusz
6 months ago

” all of the easy resources particularly of energy. have already been mined and burned.”

I had never considered this.

Mike_C
Mike_C
Reply to  Tarstarkusz
6 months ago

That problem (all the “easy” stuff’s been mined out) was a minor theme in The Mote in God’s Eye. Been years since I read it, but seem to recall one of the Moties noting that they basically had to go from pointed sticks and stone axes to nuclear in one hop. I’m exaggerating, but Pournelle and Niven’s aliens had exactly those problems.

Epaminondas
Member
6 months ago

You want to know what happened to the U.S. space program and why we can’t get back there? The answer is explicitly revealed in this book…
comment image

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  Epaminondas
6 months ago
Judge Smails
Judge Smails
Reply to  BadThinker
6 months ago

Thanks for the link. Gil Scott Heron obviously wasn’t impressed by the Apollo program.

Tarstarkusz
Tarstarkusz
Reply to  Felix Krull
6 months ago

Thanks for link!

King Tut
King Tut
Reply to  Epaminondas
6 months ago

And this is why we are not going to Mars. Leaving aside the issues of technology and cost, the only acceptable mission will consist of a Somalian, a pajeet,a wahmen and a tranny. Guys with lantern jaws, crew-cuts and names like “Gene” or “Buzz” have no place in our solar system.

Mike_C
Mike_C
Reply to  King Tut
6 months ago

“If we can send ONE Somali to Mars, why not send …”

Eh. Never mind.

Mike_C
Mike_C
Reply to  Epaminondas
6 months ago

I haven’t read that Kersey book, but I can tell you it’s going to be bullshit. The Real Reason we have no space program worth mentioning is because of the dearth of brilliant yet sassy, strong, and independent female Black mathematicians. Why this sudden lack? Because the all-powerful racist white patriarchy is keeping the Sistas down!

King Tut
King Tut
Reply to  Mike_C
6 months ago

“Because the all-powerful racist white patriarchy is keeping the Sistas down!” So true. This is what happens when you put a Nazi in the White House. Everyone knows that Nazis aren’t capable of building rockets.

vmax71
Reply to  King Tut
6 months ago

ISWYDT

tz1
Member
6 months ago

The example of “going to the moon” is very weak. The first attempt took over a decade, and I think shows the fundamental problem: TIME PREFERENCE The corproations that were prudent and designed to last decades were an artifact of that, but the Bain Capitalists would get with the Usurers, do LBOs, strip the capital, pay the dividends, sell off the good parts, declare bankruptcy putting the pensions on the taxpayer… We used to be able to have pensions, especially for blue collar jobs. But that requires a very low time preference. But it works both ways. In the Great… Read more »

Tarstarkusz
Tarstarkusz
6 months ago

Here’s another paradox… In a world dominated by women, having children has become a low priority and ensuring a potential mother’s “right” to kill its babies has become a very high priority. It’s a strange world indeed.

UFO
UFO
Reply to  Tarstarkusz
6 months ago

The wammin scream that “One death is too many” and crash the whole economy to save a few thousand old farts who might die next month anyways. Meanwhile they scream that we must keep the baby-killing factories open. It’s just pure selfishness. They don’t want to get sick and they also want the “right” to terminate an inconvenient pregnancy. Women are just insane. Every woman I have dated and even been friends with is flat out crazy. They don’t know what they want or what they need. Men really do need to step up and take society back. Being a… Read more »

Elementary Penguin
6 months ago

The most likely answer to the alien question is probably just time. The universe at large, or even just this one Galaxy, is a vast incomprehensible ocean of time as well as space. What are the odds that aliens show up just in the tiny hundred-year window when we have the tech to notice them? More likely aliens visited earth 375 million years ago, said, Hhm, interesting, shows promise. Make a note to check in again here in 25 million years. But then they themselves went extinct only 12 million years later. I used to have a gf who taught… Read more »

Rumpleforeskin
Rumpleforeskin
Reply to  Elementary Penguin
6 months ago

I personally observed a brilliant white trapezoid noiselessly cruising along the Lake Michigan shoreline at 1k ft agl nonchalantly. It was the size of a small town and cast proportionate shadow. The trapezoid was perfectly shaped along lines and there is no way on god’s greenacre that nature or man constructed this thing. I was accompanied by the CEO of a major financial organization you all know, we were aboard his yacht at the time, and nine other IBM engineers from elite schools. At parties for years afterwards somebody would introduce the event with speculation and all would go silent… Read more »

Felix Krull
Member
6 months ago

The problem with the Drake equation is that it’s a string of unknowables multiplied: how many stars in the universe, how many habitable planets per star, how likely is life to evolve on a given planet and how likely is that life to turn toolmakers? And when you multiply unknowables, you get unknowable to the n-th degree, n being the number of unknowables.

The really scary solution to the Fermi Paradox, is that Earth might be unique in the universe.

Exile
Exile
Member
Reply to  Felix Krull
6 months ago

Put me down for “unique.” We really are that special and I think we’ll discover at some point that there’s a sweet spot where mysticism and science finally overlap enough to “prove” something “more than this” is really out/in there. Kudos on sharing my lifelong impression of the Drake Equation. It’s useful as a list of factors to consider but it’s not an “equation” when you can’t quantify enough variables to force a range, much less an exact result. Calling it an equation is one more reason I throw beer cans at the TV when Neil D’Quarious Tyson-Coates LARPs as… Read more »

Tarstarkusz
Tarstarkusz
Reply to  Exile
6 months ago

Yeah, we have a hundred years of radio and 40 or more of trying really hard to isolate a good radio signal from all the background information. If there were signals that were discoverable, they likely would have been discovered by now. It requires multiple civilizations able to transmit and receive in the right time intervals for the level of separation between the planets in question. There could be a civilization who are where we were in 1850 right now that will never learn radio. We could have been receiving radio signals that dried up 1910. But I hear we… Read more »

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  Tarstarkusz
6 months ago

The more advanced a signal, the more it looks like noise. That’s how we keep managing to get 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, etc.

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  Exile
6 months ago

There is always that one-in-a-bajillion accident that turns into something. Very occasionally, the coin flip lands on its edge. Maybe that is us.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Exile
6 months ago

Was a big Sagan fan back in the day. Loved Contact. If I remember in the epilogue the science lady is calculating pi, finds a pattern deep in the decimal places, plots it 2 dimensionally, and gets the image of a circle. Sagan winking?

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Paintersforms
6 months ago

I was a big fan, too. Before I knew what he was really like.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
6 months ago

He was a jerk?

King Tut
King Tut
Reply to  Felix Krull
6 months ago

Yes, quite. The Drake Equation is formulated using a series of assumptions not verifiable data or actual evidence.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  King Tut
6 months ago

Just like our current pandemic modeling?

Alzaebo
Reply to  Felix Krull
6 months ago

Somebody’s gotta be first.

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  Felix Krull
6 months ago

Briggs did a great set of posts on this a few years ago. https://wmbriggs.com/post/249/ https://wmbriggs.com/post/19188/ He quotes Michael Crichton: “This serious-looking equation gave SETI a serious footing as a legitimate intellectual inquiry. The problem, of course, is that none of the terms can be known, and most cannot even be estimated. The only way to work the equation is to fill in with guesses. And guesses — just so we’re clear — are merely expressions of prejudice. Nor can there be “informed guesses.” If you need to state how many planets with life choose to communicate, there is simply no… Read more »

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
6 months ago

When you think about it, the material cost to reach another star system — and get back! — is prohibitively high. And for what? Especially if you have the technology to reproduce items (i.e. manufacture) using molecular duplication. By “cost” (above) I mean the amount of mass you have to consume to accelerate to greater than light speed, and then decelerate. And then do it all over again to get back. Maybe the costs of the last step can be counted against the new system, but still, why go so far when there is so much in your solar system?.… Read more »

Exile
Exile
Member
Reply to  Karl McHungus
6 months ago

Utlization, if not yet colonization, of the Solar System is a necessary first step, IMO, to anything interstellar. Whitey needs a transcendent goal again. You can make a strong argument that White civilization peaked in the Space Race (see Mark Steyn and others), and we’ve been cruising on their fumes ever since. Yes, the internet and cell phones, but what have we done with them? E-girls selling bathwater to bobs-thirsty Jeets is a “giant leap,” but in the wrong direction. Even if escaping Sol’s heliosphere proves impossible, getting Chad & Becky to gaze at the stars again rather than their… Read more »

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Karl McHungus
6 months ago

That’s why I treat all these initiatives—such as a return to the moon—as “stunts”. If we were serious about inter planetary travel, we’d start with first principles: engines to get us about and self contained environments to keep astronauts alive for long distance journeys.

The one self-sustaining habitat attempt, Biosphere, was a failure and has never been attempted again. Hell, we might even try to develop a self sustaining human habitat at the South Pole first, as it has an environment much less severe than Mars.

Exile
Exile
Member
6 months ago

Ailurophile Mark Steyn should already be enjoying a groovy dead-cat bounce in “America” book sales this season, but I’ll keep shilling.* In “Alone,” he discusses another factor contributing to America’s infantilization, risk-aversion and general sissiness – aging. Mark focused much of that discussion on Japan but it’s broadly applicable to the whole West. ** Until the very modern era of advanced medicine, our present Davoise of sour-pussed spinsters and gay granddads was actuarily impossible. Men of Trump & Biden’s age were more often advisors or honored elder statesmen, leaving the reins of power to men in their 40’s and 50’s.… Read more »

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Exile
6 months ago

I really became impressed with Steyn during his “After America” book tour. He would be interviewed by the Muh Constitution types who would assert American exceptionalism would overcome the bleak outlook he outlined. He would push back but it was the look on his face that said it all: “you child.” Steyn has obvious problems but his mind is among the more nimble among public figures. In one more particularly memorable Steyn interview, he pointed out that America worked when it was more or less an Anglo/Celt-dominated polity and demographics put and end to all that. He went right to… Read more »

UFO
UFO
Reply to  Exile
6 months ago

I had a similar realization when I was surveying spots to practice pickup, of all places.

Every public space is full of fucking old people. 1/10 might be a young woman, who is dateable (not obese, decent looking etc.)

And imagine going back 40 years. All these old people would have been young and probably 1/2 of the crowd.

Just so much healthier for young people – looking for love, looking to make friends, looking to start a business… everything is fucked up by this weird inverted pyramid we have.

roberto
roberto
6 months ago

Latest #s from my hospital

• Veteran Testing:
o We received 6 COVID test results today; 6 negative and 0 positive.
Total tests sent: 132
Positive: 5
Negative: 119
Pending: 8

• 5 COVID-19 cases to date; 2 in inpatient/ED, 1 recovering at home, 2 deceased

• Employee Testing:
o We received 0 COVID test results today; 0 negative and 0 positive.
Total tests sent: 11
Positive: 0
Negative: 8
Pending: 3

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  roberto
6 months ago

roberto’s ability to format his posts is deteriorating. I hope he is not sick.

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
6 months ago

The russian story: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roadside_Picnic is about aliens landing on Earth, hanging around a bit (like having a picnic), and then leaving before anyone sees them. They leave behind various artifacts (litter) and cause strange phenomena in the places they landed. It really is top notch scifi, and very accessible (short too, maybe 100 pages).

Funny enough, the russians did some very decent scifi (original Solaris, for example). One theory is that the themes and trops of scifi were much safer politically, than more down to earth genres.

Stranger in a strange land
Stranger in a strange land
Reply to  Karl McHungus
6 months ago

Bulgakov – The Master and Margarita might qualify

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Stranger in a strange land
6 months ago

A tremendous novel.

Stranger in a strange land
Stranger in a strange land
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
6 months ago

Blew my mind first time I read it.
Manuscripts never burn

Tacitus
Tacitus
6 months ago

One solution to the Fermi paradox not generally considered is contained in esoteric science, and was likely one of the secrets of the Mystery schools. The subjective realm in each person, which Jung called the collective unconscious, is a vast realm that’s currently poorly understood.

Given that quantum mechanics has shown that information is non-local, and that consciousness has a participatory effect in the physical/objective world, I suspect that contact with alien intelligence can be achieved in such a way, and very likely has already happened for some time.

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Tacitus
6 months ago

I find your statement that “quantum mechanics has shown that information is non-local” fascinating.

Is there a particular result or theory within quantum mechanics that I can research to explore your statement?

JEB
JEB
6 months ago

I’m wondering who is mad. Despite a widely administered vaccine, the 2017 flu killed 80,000 Americans. The claim is that the current virus is more contagious than the flu, and 10 or 20 times as lethal. If that claim is true, the worst case projections — two million dead if the virus is allowed to go as unchecked by “social distancing” as the flu was in 2017 — seem entirely plausible. So Z, are you saying that the virus is not in fact as contagious and dangerous as we are being led to believe? The world awaits your medical expertise!… Read more »

KGB
KGB
Reply to  JEB
6 months ago

Start by giving us yours.

JEB
JEB
Reply to  KGB
6 months ago

Why would you want my prediction?!? I am not pretending to be an expert, so I have no predictions of my own to defend. I defer to those who are experts, and the consensus among them seems to be that the best case scenario, if we maintain the current regime of extreme modification of social behavior, is 100,000 to 240,000 dead, and that it could be many more if we don’t maintain our vigilance. So that would be my prediction. If it’s wrong it’s wrong, but I do not consider myself qualified to dispute the experts. Z apparently thinks he… Read more »

Member
Reply to  JEB
6 months ago

Who are these experts to whom you refer? How do you know that they are experts? Have you examined what these experts have written in the past? Have you familiarized yourself with what these experts have done in their lives? For instance, have they started enterprises that make or deliver goods and services? Have they ever met a payroll? What percentage of their adult lives have they been employed by the public sector or by a think-tank or university that relies upon gimmie-dats? Upon what basis do you assert that there is a consensus among the experts supporting a doomsday… Read more »

JEB
JEB
Reply to  Libertymike
6 months ago

I have already acknowledged that I am not an expert, so no, I haven’t done any of those things. But Z is talking as though he is an expert, so I am simply asking him to make his own projection, so we can compare it to the projections of the experts you are so determined to discount, and see who in the end gets it right. Can you explain to me exactly why you think this is an unreasonable request?

Member
Reply to  JEB
6 months ago

In order to answer your question, it would be helpful if you could explain why you think Z is writing as if he were an expert.

Also, why did you not answer my questions?

JEB
JEB
Reply to  Libertymike
6 months ago

You are a one trick pony, aren’t you? Never commit to an answer, just keep asking questions. The reason I didn’t answer your questions is because I found them to be tedious and uninteresting boilerplate, cut and pasted from a different context. Such questions make a certain amount of sense when asked of politicians or pundits, but if someone is a doctor at the CDC, or the head of a hospital, or a professor of epidemiology, then I am willing to accept them, prima facie, as experts. The question of whether or not they have ever met a payroll or… Read more »

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  JEB
6 months ago

So, 240k are too many dead? 100k are too many dead. However, we can sink the economy without any fear of ill effect wrt future health and welfare of the populous—nobody dies from poverty? Some math. Low end of the stimulus package cost is, last I heard, $2.4T. 1000 x’s 1000 is a million, 1000 x’s a million is a billion, 1000 x’s a billion is a trillion or a million x’s a million is a trillion. We could have compensated each death (at the 240k estimate) at $1M. Instead we will waste half through theft, and pay a few… Read more »

NJ Person
NJ Person
Reply to  JEB
6 months ago

We are not trained epidemiologists, but please refer to the following link to a web site of a reputable organization that projects deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus to be about 94,000 (albeit with social distancing practices in place). https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections Not to put words in the mouth of the Z-man, I think he is trying to point out the potential devastating costs to our economy and the need to take into consideration trade-offs. The following (long winded) article from a respected economist may not be the final word, but should raise questions by reasonable persons. http://caseymulligan.blogspot.com/2020/03/the-economic-cost-of-shutting-down-non.html?mod=article_inline Certain persons might… Read more »

JEB
JEB
Reply to  NJ Person
6 months ago

I’m well aware of the potential devastating costs to our economy, and very concerned about them. I have family members whose income has dropped to zero. What bothered me was Z’s dismissive comparison of COVID-19 to the 2017 flu, because only 4000 people have died so far. That’s just stupid!

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  NJ Person
6 months ago

Anyone who has not attempted to discuss/compute a cost/benefit in terms of lives lost due to current COVID-19 with future lives lost to a crippled economy is not to be listened to. They are economic illiterates at best, panicked ninnies at worse. Problem is, and unfortunately some here have fell for this, is that the models used are not falsifiable. They give tremendous ranges in estimated deaths and when the deaths occur on the low end of the estimate, they claim success as they point to their extreme recommendations as the cause and when/if the death rate is on the… Read more »

JEB
JEB
Reply to  Compsci
6 months ago

Compsci — No one who builds models thinks that their models are “perfect and can not be questioned.”

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  JEB
6 months ago

But that is exactly what those that would make political hay out of the predictions based on these models say. There was little that was said by these modelers to contradict/qualify such in their initial assessments and these folk were crying the loudest for severe action way before their models drifted in prediction from grave to fantasy land. In short, these modelers have no skin in the game. They predicted the end of the world without qualification thinking they were on the side of the angels. They were not and I predict they will not be looked upon lightly when… Read more »

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  Compsci
6 months ago

Modelers spend a lot of time on their models, writing lots of complicated code. If the models make bad predictions, well, *I worked hard on that model*, reality must be wrong. It’s the same thing they do with the AGW stuff – they restate the past to match their model rather than recognize when their model is doing a bad job.

Major Hoople
Major Hoople
Member
Reply to  NJ Person
6 months ago

Some standard issue conservatives are beginning to realize that what lies the other side of this virus shutdown is an economic depression. Limbaugh had a strong comment today on what this will do to the economy and even a Con Inc. sleaze like Ben Domenech at the Federalist is talking about it.

JEB
JEB
Reply to  thezman
6 months ago

I read your blog regularly, and I do not see that you have addressed this. You basically just make assertions, one after the other, many of which strike me as unfounded. I made a simple, clarifying request: put a little skin in the game. If you think you understand the situation better than the medical experts we are hearing from, show us. Tell us what you think is going to happen. I’m not asking for a precise number, just a ballpark figure, so that at the end of the year we can see if you were anywhere close to being… Read more »

james wilson
james wilson
Member
Reply to  JEB
6 months ago

i’ve read the same columns you claim to have read, and yes indeed it’s all there, but nobody is going to go to the trouble to go back over them and show you.

The Wild Geese Howard
The Wild Geese Howard
Reply to  james wilson
6 months ago

Don’t invest the time and effort, no answer will ever be satisfactory. I’m seeing similar concern trolls and “whataboutism” pop up all over lately.

bilejones
Member
Reply to  The Wild Geese Howard
6 months ago

Due to the various Governoral Ukase’s They have a lot of time on their hands, they are sequestered at home under the bridge.

Exile
Exile
Member
Reply to  JEB
6 months ago

Troll.

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  JEB
6 months ago

100k or 200k deaths is a statistic. Friend in her 40’s suffering greatly from the disease is a tragedy. There you go, right there. Personal experience changes the appearance of things.

TorontoTraveller
TorontoTraveller
Reply to  JEB
6 months ago

!Jeb

imnobody00
imnobody00
Reply to  JEB
6 months ago

Yes. Longtime fan of the Z man but he is mistaken this time. In my European country, the lefties and left-wing government started like Z. They didn’t take into account that the disease spreads exponentially. Now we are in the middle of the biggest chaos of the last 81 years. People are left to die because there are not enough ventilators. And we are only in the beginning. Give two more months for America. In addition, this is not the first plague nor the first quarantine, even in America

Mike_C
Mike_C
Reply to  JEB
6 months ago

“So Z, are you saying that …”

I’m no Z-man, but I’ll take a stab at this.

The first thing to do is to clean your damn room, Bucko! Then when you see your tangible accomplishment it will improve your posture: straight with shoulders back. It’s an extraordinarily old system. So old that we share it with lobsters. In a rather brilliant piece of research this guy gave lobsters chloroquine….

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
6 months ago

All signs point to the West becoming a giant nursery school, where periapts against physical and psychological harm are everything. No civilization hallmarked by microaggressions, trigger warnings, therapy animals, safe spaces, political correctness, and grown men padding up like they’re about to scale the south face of Dhaulagiri when they’re merely tooling around their wealthy neighborhoods on their Schwinns, is capable of accomplishing great things.

ConservativeFred
ConservativeFred
6 months ago

Last year I was talking to a friend that works in the finance industry. We were both lamenting the “red tape” that fills our work days. Most of it consists of reports, metrics, and tests designed to eliminate risk. “You ever notice the dominance of females in the workplace?” He gave me an odd look, “you mean ten years ago? Where have you been?” I am not sure if it is the dominance of women in the workforce or a reflection of our risk-adverse culture ( a lot of men spend their days avoiding risk), but I no longer think… Read more »

Clayton Barnett
6 months ago

The only intelligence that might reach out to the stars will be inorganic. Aliens avoid us because we’re made of meat.

https://youtu.be/7tScAyNaRdQ

RichWhiteman
RichWhiteman
6 months ago

A world without war and the spectre of Death is a world in decline. War keeps us sharp, on edge, concerned about preserving our tribe and our future.
A world at peace is, as you say, a woman’s world.
Well, a long as breasts don’t de-volve, I guess I’ll be ok fed and cared for.

Stranger in a strange land
Stranger in a strange land
6 months ago

As for the inability to go back to the moon – I thought it must be cuz the black womens that did all the hidden figures math work back in the 60’s weren’t around no mo’.

KGB
KGB
Reply to  Stranger in a strange land
6 months ago

Would you stick around if you were only making 71 cents for every dollar the buzzcut-sporting honky next to you was making! Surely they all moved on to starting their own businesses.

Ben the Layabout
Ben the Layabout
Reply to  Stranger in a strange land
6 months ago

Back in the 70s the feminists had a joke that went: “If they can send a man to the moon, why can’t they send all of them there?” 🙂

ToM
ToM
6 months ago

The smartest humans ever are not who you think. South Africa had some, now extinct humans, that through cranial measurement have been estimated to have an average IQ of 150. So many of them were pushing an IQ of 180.

Drake
Drake
Reply to  ToM
6 months ago

The giant Homo heidelbergensis? An interesting evolutionary dead-end.

Bill_Mullins
Member
Reply to  ToM
6 months ago

Cranial capacity tells nothing about intelligence. A person suffering from extreme mental retardation may have a cranial capacity well within the normal range.

Major Hoople
Major Hoople
Member
Reply to  ToM
6 months ago

I think those were the fabled Melon Heads of Texas Arcane fame.

james wilson
james wilson
Member
6 months ago

Measles gets no respect for indigenous removal.

sir Barken hyena
Member
6 months ago

Maybe they just don’t have the urge to explore and reach out to the edges of the universe. The ancient Greeks wouldn’t sail beyond Gibraltar, the finest seafarers of the age. They liked Greece and Italy. They were content to imagine the cosmos bounded and limited. And no dummies.

JR Wirth
JR Wirth