Birx

Dr. Deborah Birx is making quite a name for herself at the Daily Coronavirus Briefings.  She is poised, knowledgeable and professional.  No wonder; she is a former Army Colonel who studied HIV/Aids for the Dept. of Defense at Walter Reed.   She is winning many fans.

Mass media, you know, the Enemy of the People, aka Talking Snake Media, all seemed to notice her today.... [Read More]

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Bankruptcy Socialism: A Dystopian Tale

Bankruptcy SocialismIn September, 2008, with the financial crisis of that year triggered by the collapse of the mortgage-backed securities bubble shaking the foundations of financial institutions world-wide and an election in the U.S. looming which had the prospect of electing the most explicitly left-wing president in the country’s history, I wrote a Gnome-o-Gram titled “The AIG Takeover and Bankruptcy Socialism”, in which I introduced the term “bankruptcy socialism”.  I have appended that original article, unmodified, to this post so you can see what I was thinking at the time and how things evolved subsequently compared to what I envisioned.

Although I wish for nothing more earnestly than the kind of optimistic outcome from the present disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic and the measures taken to deal with it, such as those sketched by TKC 1101 in his post “So What Is the POTUS Strategy?”, I also believe it is wise to look at other, darker strategies which may be put into place by those with agendas very different from the swift and complete recovery from the present troubles for which I, and most people, hope.... [Read More]

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Associated Press falsely fact-checks Trump

A.P. FACT CHECK: Trump Falsely Says Ventilators Coming “Fast”

That headline is currently featured at the Google News aggregator. The lying liars at Associated Press are saying that Trump is lying. The only evidence they give amounts to them guessing that, when the new ventilators start arriving, then the Associated Press will judge that the amount of elapsed time, whatever it is, will not qualify as “fast.” ... [Read More]

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Discordant Data from the Diamond Princess

Diamond Princess (ship)One of the first concentrated outbreaks of COVID-19 was on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess, one of whose passengers tested positive for COVID-19 in Hong Kong on 2020-02-01.  The patient had onset of symptoms on 2020-01-19, one day before boarding the ship and disembarked at Hong Kong on 2020-01-25.  When the ship returned to Yokohama, Japan on 2020-02-03, it was held in quarantine, during which time a total of 3,063 PCR tests were performed on the 3,711 passengers and crew.  By 2020-02-20, there were 634 confirmed cases on-board, of which 328 were asymptomatic (positive on the PCR test, but with no self-reported symptoms as of that date, although symptoms may have developed subsequently).

A detailed analysis of this outbreak by eleven authors from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, “Estimating the infection and case fatality ratio for COVID-19 using age-adjusted data from the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship” [PDF] has been posted on the medRxiv preprint server.  The paper has not been peer-reviewed.... [Read More]

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What Are Your Quarantine Plans?

Isaac Newton quarantined himself at his childhood home in 1665 when Cambridge University closed because to the plague.

It was the most productive time of his life. He discovered calculus and the laws of motion.

What are YOUR plans? Continue reading “What Are Your Quarantine Plans?”

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Strategic Reserve

Way to go, President Trump.

“We’re going to fill it right up to the top, saving the American taxpayer billions and billions of dollars, helping our oil industry and making us even further toward that wonderful goal, which we achieved, which nobody thought was possible, of energy independence,” Trump said during remarks Friday in the Rose Garden outlining the White House’s response to the coronavirus.... [Read More]

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Fear Potion Number 19

Corona Virus Disease 19 (CoViD 19) is the word of the day, 24-7, and will be for so long as it seems useful to Talking Snake Media as a hook on which to hang criticism of Team Trump.

Team Trump is reacting really well. President Trump ordered restrictions in the very early days that helped to slow transmission. That bought us some badly needed time. And, he is playing the science card as well as possible. This is of course a controversial assertion. Media, Democrats and other Leftists say that Trump is “anti-science,” but that is just an empty slogan without any basis in truth.... [Read More]

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Coronavirus: Just the Facts from Singapore

Singapore Health Minister Gan Kim Yong made a statement in the Singapore parliament which summarised, in less than six minutes, what we know and what steps people should take to protect themselves from this virus.  One wishes there were such calm and objective voices speaking to residents of the more excitable countries of the West.

... [Read More]

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WHO “No Longer Uses Word ‘Pandemic'”; As Opposed to a Couple of Hours Ago

This is Boogaloo sign number one:

What does the WHO say?

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Monday that the number of new cases in recent days in Iran, Italy and South Korea was “deeply concerning”.... [Read More]

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Robin Hanson: Manage a Pandemic by Controlled Infection?

Coronavirus particleRobin Hanson is a an economics professor at George Mason University who is known for thinking way outside the box.  His 2016 book, The Age of Em, which was my nonfiction book of the year for 2016, envisioned a future where the overwhelming majority of sentient beings were emulations (“ems”) of human brains running on digital hardware up to a million times faster than our current biochemical substrate.  He coined the term “Great Filter” to explain why we do not observe the universe to be teeming with advanced civilisations, and explored the implications of whether the filter is an event in the past or future of our own species’ history.

Yesterday, on his Overcoming Bias blog, he posted a provocative article titled “Consider Controlled Infection”.  Noting that if the present coronavirus outbreak (or some other in the future) spreads and becomes a global pandemic, so many people may be infected at once that social support and medical infrastructure (for example, intensive care facilities and support equipment such as ventilators) could be overwhelmed.... [Read More]

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Coronavirus Diagnoses Jump 15,000 — Less Than It Seems

China has suddenly reported an increase to over 130% the previous day’s figure, now over 60,000.  This sounds awful, but I am inclined to believe the explanation in accompanying reporting to the effect that this is the result new diagnostic criteria.  This would make it a “fair ball,” an understandable byproduct of dealing with emergencies — stress on the “emergent” nature of emergencies.  While I am always eager to call communists pieces of offal, in this case, the reporting seems consistent across numerous news outlets and several online dashboards, and the curves are consistent with the explanation.  I DuckDuckGo’ed “Wuhan virus tracker” and hit all of the non-garbage links that came up.

The proof will be if the already-apparent tail-off in the new case rate continues at the same rate relative to the total.  That is, if the second (edit: third?) diff’l of the total remains negative.  Three days from now it might be said that the story is hanging together.  One day from now it might turn out the other way.

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Pandemic the game

Pandemic is a board game. One of our sons gave this to his brother for Christmas in 2018. I have played this game about ten times since then. It was timely that older son came over and played it with Snooks and me this past weekend. This is the best new game we have learned in many years. With current events to chew on, the discussion over the game was particularly lively.

Continue reading “Pandemic the game”

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