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March 15, 2020, 05:53:59 PM
 #1

Dear readers of the forum:

Some of you will die from the coronavirus.  (—Some few of you:  The virus has low lethality except to the aged or otherwise frail.)  The virus may kill me, too; maybe, maybe not.  That is acceptable:  Life is risk, and death is a part of life.  My only sadness is that sometimes, the worst befalls the best of people.

What is unacceptable is panic, bureaucratic “do something!” tyranny, and worst of all, hybris.

I hereby use an archaic spelling for the subject of a principle long forgot.

You cannot conquer Nature, and you never will.  Cursed are those who pretend they can.

Medical science will not cure all diseases, or stop new ones from rising.  Medicine is of limited power.  That is not a reason to turn to quacks, who are not only powerless, but outright injurious.  It is a reason to destroy within yourself every particle of the sick modern mindset based in the fantasy that the world can be made safe.

And there will never be a “Singularity”.  Those who chase such notions are not only indulging delusions worthy of a psychotic, but also actively destroying human intelligence.

The processing power of wetware has been declining for centuries—both in the middle of the Gaussian distribution, and at the high end.  Stop lowering standards, stop substituting technics for thought, and stop worshipping the religious prophecy of a godlike machine whom you assume would be benevolent toward you!

Of course, any perfectly rational superior intelligence would immediately decide that talking apes are a plague, and exterminate them.  (And the talking apes are so stupid that they presume they could impose an Asimov-style diktat on a superior mind, without that mind promptly hacking around their little security system.)  The talking apes should be thankful that they are and always will be incapable of creating an intelligence superior to their own.



Now that I have given you a cold dose of reality, I will turn aside for a nightmare.



The Great Dreamer

Deep in the void of nullity,
I stared into the Abyss;
And the Abyss smil’d at me...

nullius is cthulhu. That is very clear. Anyone who does not see this is simply closing their eyes.


0. Governments seize upon an emergency to arrogate unto themselves “emergency powers”.  Whether they create the emergency, or merely take opportunistic advantage of some existing situation producing panic which they can encourage and exploit. all that they need is an emergency.

The emergency may be a more or less real problem.  For example, the Roosevelt gold seizure exploited panic over the Great Depression.  No reasonable person denies that the Great Depression caused widespread worry and suffering.  I must mention this explicitly, because imbeciles the feeble-minded the subnormal Americans mental retards persons with intellectual disabilities irrationally assume that tyrants can only exploit fake events.

It must be remembered that “emergency powers” of a dictator can be applied dutifully as Cincinnatus, or wielded as a weapon of tyranny.

1. Under the banner of Emergency, governments inure panicked sheep to:

  • Government control of food supplies
  • Government control of both local and long-distance travel
  • Arbitrary lockdowns
  • Direct government control of each individual’s body, under the rubric of e.g. “healthcare”
  • Arbitrary, peremptory government orders of any kind whatsoever
  • Total government control of communications*
(* In my nightmare, this has not yet started; thus, I would still be able to post this message.  The worst part of my nightmare is when I discover that dissent is so marginal amidst the mass-panic, the government finds it unnecessary to control communications.)

All of these actions are praised by the sheep, due to mass panic.  Dissidents will be immediately labelled “conspiracy theorists” and/or accused of wanting for people to die.

2.  The government’s actions do not actually stop the emergency.  This is a feature, not a bug.  Short-term “emergency” measures become long-term daily realities to which people have become accustomed:  The instant new normality.

(For my nightmare, it would be quite convenient if, say, the “emergency” were a rapidly spreading infectious disease with high fear factor and low lethality.  With a bit of luck, such an emergency may continue for long enough to make total, inescapable global tyranny an accomplished fact—or even indefinitely!)



What a nightmare!  I am glad that I don’t live in that world.

* nullius shakes himself awake.




A Not Unrelated Tangent

I have long fancied sitting down with an anti-vaxer, looking him deadpan in the eye, and telling him that yes, I fully agree that all childhood vaccinations should be stopped:  Vaccination removes the necessary selective pressure for a healthy, robust, finely-tuned immune system—and substitutes in its place the empty hybris of a supposition that humans can cure all diseases.

Hey, anti-vaxers, here is a challenge for you:  I will publicly support you, if you will be the first to step up and declare that much though we may wish otherwise, we need some more dead kids in each generation—to prevent unlimited mass suffering and potential extinction in all the generations yet unborn.

I need not reach the question of how bad the side effects of vaccines are or aren’t.  Of course, all medicines have side effects.  Whether vaccines are benign except in a few rare, unfortunate cases, or causing widespread injuries about which The Truth is suppressed by The Medical Establishment, the answer is irrelevant to me.

No more namby-pamby nonsense about how e.g. measles isn’t really that dangerous!  Of course it’s dangerous, as are all the other childhood diseases now prevented by standard vaccinations.  I don’t need to know medicine:  I know history.  People used to have eight, ten, or even twenty (yes, literally, twenty) kids with the knowledge that some would die, and others would survive, based on factors that are not and never will be under human control.  That is called natural selection—a law that works just the same in talking apes as in the ones who only grunt, plus in all other animals, plants, fungi, and prokaryotes.  It even works on viruses.  In the aggregate, it is necessary to the long-term health and survival of a population group.

Before vaccinations, people had their immune systems perpetually improved (and protected from degeneration) by evolution.  As an ancillary benefit, people knew that death is a part of life.  They feared less, and loved more.  They were very sad sometimes, but almost never prone to depression.  If they believed in any gods, they prayed and meant it.  If they did not, they needed the iron-hearted rationality which smiles as it embraces the gift of life in a cruel, unthinking universe subject to the inexorable operation of blind natural laws.  Above all, they were better grounded in reality.

—Eh, what’s that?  You want to have your cake and eat it, too?  Very well; fork off.  I will just sit over here with the pro-vaxers.  They do deny, or at least ignore the principles of evolution.  Well, at least they don’t claim that old-fashioned childhood diseases weren’t dangerous (!), and that all kids would be just fine with no vaccinations (!!).  Anyway, vaccinations have now been ongoing for long enough that what were once moderately dangerous childhood diseases could probably become horrific plagues.  With a brush of hybris, we have painted ourselves into a corner:  Congratulations, we are now physiologically dependent on accursed technology as a substitute for powers that our bodies once had—and we are still, I observe, just as vulnerable to disease overall, if not moreso:  The deserts of hybris.



I want to punch the next person who alleges to me that modern technology has increased average human lifespans, that life used to be “nasty, brutish, and short”, or that most people used to die in their thirties (!).

These are lies.  Moreover, they are lies so facially absurd that they can only be believed by one who has put in abeyance all his faculties of reason, and even common sense.

The average life expectancy is almost exactly the same today as it was a hundred years ago, or a thousand years ago—for humans who have reached biological adulthood.

Dead kids drag down the overall average an awful lot.  Dead babies, even more.  Depending on how averages are calculated—dead neonates, most of all.

The contribution of modern medicine to average human lifespans can be almost entirely chalked up to three things:  (0) Childhood vaccinations, (1) prenatal care, and (2) neonatal care (especially for premature and other abnormal births).  —All things which reduce selective pressure for stronger immunities, naturally healthier pregnancies, and overall more robust constitutions.  Each kid who is saved by vaccinations today condemns unlimited future children and adults to the ravages of disease.  Each woman whose pregnancy is salvaged by modern medicine inflicts untold harm on all future generations of her daughters.

So, anyway, adults nowadays can expect to live just as long as those who managed to grow up in the Evil Old Days.  The difference nowadays is that people are now sicker, weaker, and abjectly dependent on technologies that did not exist in the Evil Old Days.  Quality of life is lower.



When Nature places you on the horns of a dilemma, don’t shoot the messenger.

* nullius pleases nobody.



I cannot fit here in the margin a long note on an hypothesis that I have drawn by roughly eyeballing rates of cancer (especially, cancer in the young) and autoimmune diseases against the historical timeline of modern, vaccinated generations.  (Cancer being what happens when the body’s immune system fails to impose its authority on renegade cells that occur from time to time; autoimmune diseases being what happens when an ill-bred, ill-mannered immune system goes stark raving mad, and eats the body from the inside out.)

The foregoing is an original observation on my part.  I have never before seen it mentioned, much less discussed.  I thought of this years ago.  I keep to myself these thoughts, inter alia.

Just as the best of thought was once upon a time writ in classical Latin, or even reserved in Greek, or...

* nullius is currently seeking Sanskrit translators for his most precious thoughts.

...kept private.

Code:
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Information wants to be valued—and I do not mean that in the monetary sense.  Intelligence is priceless.



Thanks to the pandemic plague of idiocy, I must write this in big red letters:  ⚠ WARNING:  Nothing in the foregoing suggests any individual benefit to a child in remaining unvaccinated.

If you misread such a message into what I wrote, please re-read.  —Or better yet, stop reading!  You should never have been taught to read.

Quote from: Nietzsche, Also sprach Zarathustra, „Vom Lesen und Schreiben“ (‘About Reading and Writing’)
Dass Jedermann lesen lernen darf, verdirbt auf die Dauer nicht allein das Schreiben, sondern auch das Denken.




I am now in bad straits.

To preserve my privacy, and because I am not asking for any assistance that nobody on this forum can reasonably give me anyway, I do not wish to discuss the details.

I will say that I am unconcerned about the virus.  It is not Black Plague.  It is not Ebola.  It is not even smallpox, which countless generations of various population groups just lived with throughout recorded history before modern times, and Europeans survived for at least a thousand years!  Either I will be infected, or I won’t.  If I become infected, then either I will die, or I won’t (...yet... nobody lives forever).  Any which way, I am emotionally unmoved.  I do take rational precautions to reduce the probability of infection.  And that’s that.

I do not fear the virus.

I fear the government which claims jurisdiction over my secure undisclosed location.  Its current behaviour is alarming.

I fear the people talking apes around me.  They are panicking, behaving irrationally, and clamouring for an aggressive government response.  Predictably, the government replies with a bureaucratic mess that spectacularly fails to prevent the spread of the virus, whilst instantly instantiating a de facto dictatorship—not potential dictatorship, actual dictatorship, right now, today!  Nobody notices.

* nullius is nobody.

If this does not blow over fast (viz., if the virus does not magically disappear right quickly), then the foreseeable alternatives are two sides of the same coin:  Tyranny and anarchy (that last being “anarchy of the rabble”).

If all hell breaks loose, then it is foreseeable that my area will be overrun by roving bands of criminals violently pillaging from anybody who has food—or just hurting people for fun.  Moreover, as the government starts to collapse, it will clamp down as hard as it can as it spins out of control.

And if all hell doesn’t break loose, that only means that the new normality is total State control of food, personal movement, and who-knows-what-else tomorrow.

If any of this seems alarmist, look to history.  Alarmists like to predict Ends Of The World:  Jesus floating down from a cloud, invasion by space aliens, etc., etc.  I am predicting that if the current course of events does not change soon, something will happen that has happened many times in history—except that it has never yet happened on a totally global scale.  Hmmm.

Perhaps the Singularity is here after all.  But talking apes did not achieve it.

Quote from: nullius
Of course, any perfectly rational superior intelligence would immediately decide that talking apes are a plague, and exterminate them.




History tells me of people’s comportment, their self-mastery, and their self-discipline until the last moment—in hours of inevitable mass-death and destruction far darker and more terrifying than anything even vaguely threatened by the coronavirus, of all things (!).  They smiled, simple and courageous—without the least sign of panic.  They are a noble memory of mankind.

They are all dead; and their spirit is flown from this world.



Three days ago, I snapped off and YELLED at an elderly relative.  A month ago, he was terrified that he would die Any Day Now from the frailty and ill health of old age.  Now, he has declared that coronavirus is “The End of the World”—quote-unquote; his words.

There is indeed a high probability that he will now die of coronavirus, given his age and general state of health—that he will now die of coronavirus, instead of dying of whatever scared him a month ago, and two months ago, and six months ago...  That is no excuse for his hysteria, much less for his vocal support of irrational government actions that do not protect him from what is now almost inevitable—but which do actively impair my own short-term and long-term survival, and that of many others.  It is this which destroys the world whilst spectacularly failing to save it.

MAN UP.  OR SHUT UP.

(I told him that straight, then had a calm and productive discussion with his wife.)

Given the high risk to him, I do want for him to treasure whatever remaining days he may have—without being consumed by obsessive fear.  But that is not under my control.





🙂


Sorry, folks.  My apologies.  This is all just a TV show.  Nothing is real:  Reality has ceased to exist; and when it attempts to intrude, it can be wished away.

Ever since death became not a part of life, ever since you were awarded a legal right to safety, ever since humanity became infected by the menticidal virus of the democratic-utilitarian modern mentality, the laws of the universe have changed for the sake of your comfort.  Humans have conquered Nature!  Life is now safe.  And the answer to every danger is, “Government, DO SOMETHING!”

Your ancestors struggled through millennia of wars, plagues, and famines to birth you.  If they could see you now, they would probably regret their efforts.  But it is of no import.  Please tap the icon per your Pavlovian conditioning to obtain the reward of watching the Happily Ever After ending, and enjoy a refreshment from my sponsors (if your local government still allows you to obtain things in stores).



(R) 2020!


$$$ YOUR AD HERE!! €€€

(D) 2020!


Cheers!  My posting rate will probably be low, or at best, even more inconsistent than usual; but I will try to keep up, even kick it up.  See you all on the forum (for now).  Love everybody, and be happy!

Now, close your eyes.  Ignorance is bliss.

nullius is cassandra. That is very clear. Anyone who does not see this is simply closing their eyes.



Man and Technics

“Optimism is cowardice.” — Spengler (writing most of a hundred years ago)

Local rules:  ⚠ STATE OF EMERGENCY!  Moderation will be tyrannical.

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March 15, 2020, 05:55:00 PM
 #2

reserved

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March 20, 2020, 04:39:11 PM
 #3

Somebody close to me is now presenting symptoms fully consistent with COVID-19, including somewhat worrisome respiratory involvement.  Her dread phone call hit me amidst other blows of Murphy’s Law.  C’est la vie!

This is the singular person in my extended family to whom I have always felt closest, even when she is faraway.  I love her dearly; nevertheless, I am still not panicking.  Neither is she.  She is calm, rational, a lucid thinker despite the low-grade fever, and about as cheerful as one can be in the circumstance.  We candidly discussed her probability of death (we think, low but not insignificant); and in prudence, I inquired as to her wishes in the event of her death.  I had (and now have) tears welling in my eyes; she was emotionally unmoved.  Her morale is a model of personal courage—a quality for which I admit she handily exceeds me, and always has.

For psychosomatic reasons, I do think that this increases her chance of survival.  I have decided that if I contract the virus, then I will program myself with a subjective 100% dogmatic belief and determination that I will live—even though I objectively know that I am personally at high risk (due to multiple factors, all inapplicable to her).  A whitehat mindhack of pure doublethink:  I would be coldly, rationally fooling myself for the purpose of giving myself a placebo boost—without irrationally basing any practical decisions on that belief.

Anyway, I will not fear the virus.  Everybody dies someday; and death oft first embraces those who fear it.

I record this note both from my respect and admiration for the person of whom I speak, and for the general suggestion that indeed, on the other side of the coin, people who are mortally terrified of the virus are probably not thusly improving their prognoses if they actually catch it.  I once knew a palliative care nurse who watched human death occur daily; she habitually vented at me (before she eventually wound up in professional therapy), and she frequently remarked on the moment when people just give up.  I also have a passing familiarity with anthropological literature on witch-doctors who could literally kill with (the belief in) a curse.

Terror went viral:  The virus itself is genetic thing; on a “memetic” level, governments’ and mass-media’s treatment of the topic is practically a WMDThe viral meme of mass panic is an apocalyptic global pandemic.



Some of you will die from the coronavirus...  The virus may kill me, too; maybe, maybe not.  That is acceptable:  Life is risk, and death is a part of life.  My only sadness is that sometimes, the worst befalls the best of people.

What is unacceptable is panic, bureaucratic “do something!” tyranny, and worst of all, hybris.


People are going to die.  Yes.  That’s life.



I find myself arguing against each and all of:

  • Panic.
  • Fantastic dolts who suppose that SARS-CoV-2 must be somehow of different origins from the 2002–03 SARS-CoV.  Wow, a zoonotic jumped species—as has doubtless been the origin of countless diseases throughout the whole history of all living creatures on Earth.  It is closely related to another zoonotic that also jumped species.  Clearly, the most likely explanation is that this is a genetically engineered bioweapon!
  • Panic.
  • Destroying all that remains of civilization, for the purpose of failing to save it.
  • Panic.
  • Tyranny.  The naïve, fallible mortal human in me is shocked that nobody notices we have instantaneously entered an era of global dictatorship, without any significant resistance or even protest.  The dispassionate scholar knows human nature, and is therefore not surprised.  The new normality is that every government everywhere can issue any “emergency” order they want, and nobody will even complain!  WTF.  Are you awake?  (Nice question.)
  • Panic.

My own perspective:  Humans endured plagues for all time before modern history.  There are now two significant differences:

  • Technology makes plagues spread much faster.  I shudder to imagine the Black Death in the era of aeroplanes and automobiles.  Could happen someday—is not the coronavirus situation.  Many coronavirus-type incidents have probably occurred over the centuries, but remained local, minor, barely worth remark.

    Indeed, I would suggest that Chinese scholars should probably examine the question of whether there is any evidence of previous SARS outbreaks, before modern times.  My hypothesis:  Variants of this virus have jumped to humans many times within the five millennia for which at least some historical record may exist.  Minor local outbreaks may have burned out without leaving any historical evidence that would be extant today (especially after the last century’s upheavals destroyed much historical evidence in China).  Thus, a negative cannot be proved (as is oft the case with historical hypotheses).

    I do think that’s an important question; and it is just the type of question that nobody thinks of.
  • Modernity has made humans soft and weak.  Soft, weak creatures do not survive.  In this context, I mean that collectively, in the long run.  Sooner or later, humans have a high risk of going extinct due to having degenerated into wimps who are totally maladapted to the harsh conditions of life in this world.  Evolution is blind:  It does not always “progress” or “advance” a species with godlike intentions, as commonly assumed and implied by pseudoscientific liberals.

I never said that the virus is not bad (although I think its level of badness is much exaggerated, whereas people have faced much worse historically).

I never said that people will not die.  Actually, I am of the opinion that everybody dies someday.

I said and say, stop panicking.  If the current trend does not soon change, then a relatively moderate global epidemic of coronavirus will have ushered in a new era of mass starvation.  It has already inaugurated global tyranny, the full extent of which has yet to be seen.


I condemn anybody and everybody who PANICS.

Out of respect for those few Americans who are not contemptible domestic animals begging to be wrapped in unlimited chains forever, I will quote a great American—a famous quote, which obviously applies here:

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” — Benjamin Franklin

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March 20, 2020, 06:58:50 PM
 #4

Go to the article and watch the video. Coronavirus is far less dangerous than governments of the world.

If CV happens, a few people get sick and die. This happens all over the place all the time with all kinds of diseases, anyway. But when government starts a panic - is it because government people are fearful, or because even they believe the hype - government makes everything worse.


EXCLUSIVE: Doctor Blows The Whistle! Government Is Making This 10X Worse!



EXCLUSIVE: Doctor Blows The Whistle! Government Is Making This 10X Worse

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmkqtsf_fY0



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March 20, 2020, 07:03:48 PM
 #5

While many would question some sources as to their accuracy, this article and accompanying video (embedded in it) kinda makes sense.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-03-19/What-works-against-the-virus--OZBF7I0PiU/index.html

Quote
Sober up, Covid-19 respects no national borders, no social bounds, no political systems and no cultural values. It hits us just as hard. It levels the world.

Facing the pandemic, it is not what happened matters, it is how we respond.

Again, I would consider the source, but, they were at the frontlines when it all began, and the message itself doesn't look so #fakenews, however it implies controlling people. (or people voluntarily following suggestions to stay put where they are.)

Flatten the Curve ... I don't even have twitter or facebook so I can't do those hashtags, but you can still search for them.

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March 20, 2020, 07:28:38 PM
 #6

While many would question some sources as to their accuracy, this article and accompanying video (embedded in it) kinda makes sense.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-03-19/What-works-against-the-virus--OZBF7I0PiU/index.html

Quote
Sober up, Covid-19 respects no national borders, no social bounds, no political systems and no cultural values. It hits us just as hard. It levels the world.

Facing the pandemic, it is not what happened matters, it is how we respond.

Again, I would consider the source, but, they were at the frontlines when it all began, and the message itself doesn't look so #fakenews, however it implies controlling people. (or people voluntarily following suggestions to stay put where they are.)

Flatten the Curve ... I don't even have twitter or facebook so I can't do those hashtags, but you can still search for them.

When you go to videos that show the amounts of disinfectant China is spreading in their streets, nobody knows that it isn't the poisons of the disinfectants that are harming people.

It's China. It's Communism.

They will tell you whatever they want to tell you. They will pay or scare some people into lying or telling the truth. It's not easy to tell if there even is a CV panic in China. It might all be lies. The health problem could easily be from the bug sprays they are saturating their cities with.

There is no way to tell about China without going there and doing the medical examinations yourself. Of course, you might never come back with the truth. More than likely, if you are a good doctor without a job, and you are willing to say anything that the government tells you, you could probably get a high-paying job in a China medical facility... especially if you were a popular American doctor ready to lie.

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March 22, 2020, 02:51:29 AM
Merited by vapourminer (1), nullius (1)
 #7

Your thread discusses several topics, and I will try to address each of them.

Government control (of resources)
The Chinese coronavirus pandemic is highlighting the government's ability to control resources, including food, supplies, medical care, and travel. I don't think the pandemic has given the government any additional abilities in this regard. If you live in a democracy, this should highlight the importance of voting and to vote for someone you can trust will not abuse this power. In the US for example, Trump's political opponents have been pressuring him to invoke additional powers to have a stronger grip on US citizens (it is possible they are doing this to set a precedent for when they get in power).

Throughout the world, people have been calling for things such as national lockdowns and additional restrictions in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. These calls are very widespread and do not represent a minority of people.

Some governments already have effective control over communications, while the coronavirus will not give governments additional control over the ability to communicate.

When restrictions were first being put in place, almost everyone was supporting more restrictions. After several days, some people are saying the initial knee-jerk reaction was too strong. I don't think these people are being called conspiracy nuts. These people are generally saying that restrictions should be in place for a period of time, but not until the virus is eradicated.

Government restrictions on freedom become permanent
We will see if this happens. As mentioned above, there are large numbers of populations calling for these restrictions to be put in place. With this in mind, I don't think there is anything that could remove this (new) status quo. If there were free and fair elections with these restrictions in place, one would presume the electorate would vote for these restrictions to remain.

Vaccines
Even if the average life expectancy of those who make it through childhood has remained constant, advances in medicine have resulted in a higher percentage of people making through childhood. A strong immune system does not help against many of the diseases that children are vaccinated for. Prior to vaccines for many diseases, survival was not necessarily Darwinism but could be better described as a matter of luck as to who contracted a disease.


I won't ask you to confirm/deny this, but I have suspected you reside somewhere in Europe. When I read this about a week ago, my thought was that you are an older person, but I don't see what caused me to come to this conclusion. If you are in Europe, I think there is a good chance you will catch coronavirus, unfortunately. Europe's healthcare system is largely overwhelmed, specifically in Italy, but this will probably also be the case in other European countries.

Coronavirus is very contagious. If you have coronavirus, you will possibly have it for weeks before you start showing symptoms, and you may be contagious for days before you show symptoms. It is estimated that coronavirus will kill between 1 and 3% of people who contract it, however between 15 and 20% of people will require critical medical care, including those that will die from it. If you need critical medical care, but do not receive it, the chances you will die from coronavirus is almost certain. This is why it is so important that the coronavirus not spread quickly.


I am sorry to hear your relative has contracted the coronavirus. Hopefully, she will make a quick recovery. Good luck and Godspeed.


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nullius
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March 22, 2020, 07:27:01 AM
 #8

I am sorry to hear your relative has contracted the coronavirus. Hopefully, she will make a quick recovery. Good luck and Godspeed.

Thank you.  Not only for that, but for some intelligent arguments which I believe are wrong, and are worth debate.

Unfortunately, I have had little forum time in the past few days.  I will return here (and to a few other threads) when I can treat this seriously as appropriate.

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March 23, 2020, 09:10:51 PM
 #9

hybris.

I hereby use an archaic spelling for the subject of a principle long forgot.

You cannot conquer Nature, and you never will.  Cursed are those who pretend they can.

Long forgotten, indeed.



Quote from: Henry of Huntingdon, Historia Anglorum
With the greatest vigor he commanded that his chair should be set on the shore, when the tide began to rise. And then he spoke to the rising sea saying "You are part of my dominion, and the ground that I am seated upon is mine, nor has anyone disobeyed my orders with impunity. Therefore, I order you not to rise onto my land, nor to wet the clothes or body of your Lord."
But the sea carried on rising as usual without any reverence for his person, and soaked his feet and legs. Then he moving away said:  "All the inhabitants of the world should know that the power of kings is vain and trivial, and that none is worthy of the name of king but He whose command the heaven, earth and sea obey by eternal laws"
I'm not religious, but this is a great demonstration of the necessity of humility. Nature is a greater authority than man.

The processing power of wetware has been declining for centuries—both in the middle of the Gaussian distribution, and at the high end.
Yes, since wheat domesticated us.


Coronavirus is very contagious. If you have coronavirus, you will possibly have it for weeks before you start showing symptoms, and you may be contagious for days before you show symptoms. It is estimated that coronavirus will kill between 1 and 3% of people who contract it, however between 15 and 20% of people will require critical medical care, including those that will die from it. If you need critical medical care, but do not receive it, the chances you will die from coronavirus is almost certain. This is why it is so important that the coronavirus not spread quickly.
Whilst it's certainly a serious problem and absolutely should be treated as such, I'm not yet convinced by the mortality rates. Testing is often only performed for people exhibiting severe symptoms. We have the stand-out case of Germany, with 29,056 cases and 118 deaths (0.4%) which surely is due in part to the fact that they are conducting a huge 160,000 tests per week, and so picking up carriers with mild symptoms or who are asymptomatic... carriers whom other nations are likely to miss. Of course there may be other reasons; it's too early to make definitive assessments, but still, this seems a likely explanation.



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March 23, 2020, 11:36:47 PM
 #10

I am something of a transhumanist, and I would like for death to be completely eliminated someday. The idea of death making people enjoy life more, or making people more virtuous, or strengthening our descendants, are largely just comforting excuses to not be so bothered by what is actually the ultimate tragedy: the apparently-inevitable destruction of each and every sentient being who has ever lived or will ever live. But you have to maintain a sane balance between hopes/dreams and practicality. The panic right now is unreal. Any of us could die of this, even those of us who are young and healthy, but you could also die of a small meteor hitting you, or a car accident, or a lightning strike, or a sudden pulmonary embolism, or any number of other things. You could take various actions to significantly reduce your risk for all of these things, but if you want to die without regret, you cannot live in constant fear.

The global shutdown demonstrates a classic mistake that people (and especially governments) often make: they see something that is clearly costly, like "doing nothing about the virus", and so they want to do something to address it, but without even thinking about the cost of this "something". The economic damage from this shutdown, which will probably have measurable negative impacts for every person on Earth for 10+ years, will very likely cause more damage from any utilitarian perspective than even doing absolutely nothing and letting a ton of people die. And there are reasonable middle-ground options aside from "doing nothing" or "shutting down the whole world", like for example only quarantining people at high risk and letting everyone else build up herd immunity. I understand the idea of "flattening the curve", and it's a fine idea from the perspective of minimizing deaths without regard for anything else, but requiring everyone to wear helmets 24/7 would also be effective at reducing deaths... It also seems as though people don't realize that grocers, restaurants, and Amazon don't just magic food/products out of thin air: by shutting down all but the endpoints of the supply chain (and also doing things like condemning "price gouging"), we're going to have real shortages at some point.

The complete capitulation to fear above all else -- freedom, good living, economic sense, etc. -- really shows me the degradation of our society, though I'm not sure of exactly the philosophical/social flaws which caused it. Maybe culture is breaking down in response to our instant/global/ever-present communication, which is very new and way outside of the evolutionary environment. It warrants a lot of thinking in the coming years. I hope that people eventually recognize the shutdown as a mistake, and don't just forget it or incorrectly consider it worthwhile. Since people are apparently even far more willing to shoot themselves in the foot and give up absolutely anything in return for some idea of "safety", it does make me even more worried about expanded authoritarianism than I was already. A lot of evil was successfully done after 9/11 in the name of "fighting terrorism" (which was never much of a realistic/practical threat to people), and now 15+ years later people seem to be even much more willing to give up their freedoms.

I was a bit heartened by Trump actually having the guts to say recently that the cure mustn't be worse than the disease, though the political winds against such an idea are hurricane-strength.

(Personally, I'm probably one of the people least negatively impacted by this virus/shutdown/recession, at least in obvious short-term ways. I was already kind of expecting a recession around Q3-Q4 2020, even. I'm moreso just dispirited at the widespread human weakness on display here.)

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March 24, 2020, 02:06:56 PM
 #11

I am something of a transhumanist, and I would like for death to be completely eliminated someday. The idea of death making people enjoy life more, or making people more virtuous, or strengthening our descendants, are largely just comforting excuses to not be so bothered by what is actually the ultimate tragedy: the apparently-inevitable destruction of each and every sentient being who has ever lived or will ever live.

When I was in high school I was a member of an email list that belonged to a movement called the Extropians, which was basically a bunch of people dedicated to figuring out ways to increase the lifespan of humans to infinity or nearer so. Incidentally, it was founded by Wei Dai, although of course that was of no significance to me at the time.

What it did do was inspire me to investigate the practicality of finding out ways to achieve immortality, and I became obsessed with the idea that some day a human/brain interface could be developed that would allow people to upload their consciousness into a computer and live forever as a cyborg. To reach this goal I took up neuroscience as a major in college, intent on studying as much as I could to make this happen.

By the end of my first neuroscience course, which they don't let you take until you are a junior and have completed basic courses in physics, chemistry and biology, I realized this was a hopeless endeavor and that we are probably centuries away from achieving this goal. Basically, you're better off preserving your brain in a jar for the next couple hundred years.

I was a bit heartened by Trump actually having the guts to say recently that the cure mustn't be worse than the disease, though the political winds against such an idea are hurricane-strength.

Trump isn't short on guts, that's for sure. He is short on brains, however.

The U.S. presidency is wholly a figurehead position. Whoever gets elected doesn't represent much more than the current mood of the country. There's no way one person is capable of representing 300 million others -- its too much to ask of any one person.

I also fear of the ramifications of recent decisions made by our government on the long term economy. Its bizarre to think that the response to the virus will have a much more devastating impact than the virus itself, but this will seemingly be the case.

Looking into the long term, I don't see anything short of a bloody revolution or invasion by another country "fixing" the problem, but then again that has always been an inevitability, and happens to every empire sooner or later.

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March 24, 2020, 05:28:17 PM
 #12

I am something of a transhumanist, and I would like for death to be completely eliminated someday. The idea of death making people enjoy life more, or making people more virtuous, or strengthening our descendants, are largely just comforting excuses to not be so bothered by what is actually the ultimate tragedy: the apparently-inevitable destruction of each and every sentient being who has ever lived or will ever live.

When I was in high school I was a member of an email list that belonged to a movement called the Extropians, which was basically a bunch of people dedicated to figuring out ways to increase the lifespan of humans to infinity or nearer so. Incidentally, it was founded by Wei Dai, although of course that was of no significance to me at the time.

What it did do was inspire me to investigate the practicality of finding out ways to achieve immortality, and I became obsessed with the idea that some day a human/brain interface could be developed that would allow people to upload their consciousness into a computer and live forever as a cyborg. To reach this goal I took up neuroscience as a major in college, intent on studying as much as I could to make this happen.

By the end of my first neuroscience course, which they don't let you take until you are a junior and have completed basic courses in physics, chemistry and biology, I realized this was a hopeless endeavor and that we are probably centuries away from achieving this goal. Basically, you're better off preserving your brain in a jar for the next couple hundred years.

I was a bit heartened by Trump actually having the guts to say recently that the cure mustn't be worse than the disease, though the political winds against such an idea are hurricane-strength.

Trump isn't short on guts, that's for sure. He is short on brains, however.

The U.S. presidency is wholly a figurehead position. Whoever gets elected doesn't represent much more than the current mood of the country. There's no way one person is capable of representing 300 million others -- its too much to ask of any one person.

I also fear of the ramifications of recent decisions made by our government on the long term economy. Its bizarre to think that the response to the virus will have a much more devastating impact than the virus itself, but this will seemingly be the case.

Looking into the long term, I don't see anything short of a bloody revolution or invasion by another country "fixing" the problem, but then again that has always been an inevitability, and happens to every empire sooner or later.

Have you figured out how to live to 150, yet?


Nobody knows everything. So, Trump doesn't either. His opponents are continually changing the goal posts. He has to be liquid enough and wise enough to change with them.

Trump has advisers. He works with his advisers in ways similar to the ways that we in the forum express our knowledge and combine it with the knowledge of others. Anybody who thinks that this is easy, or that Trump won't make some mistakes - 330 million in the USA plus US influence around the world - isn't looking at the picture.

For example. The stock market has jumped greatly since Trump took over. It will crash sometime, but it won't be his fault. It's built to fail, right along with the whole fiat money system. If CV hadn't happened, money would be making us all rich because of Trump's actions.

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March 25, 2020, 03:16:20 AM
Merited by Cnut237 (2)
 #13


Coronavirus is very contagious. If you have coronavirus, you will possibly have it for weeks before you start showing symptoms, and you may be contagious for days before you show symptoms. It is estimated that coronavirus will kill between 1 and 3% of people who contract it, however between 15 and 20% of people will require critical medical care, including those that will die from it. If you need critical medical care, but do not receive it, the chances you will die from coronavirus is almost certain. This is why it is so important that the coronavirus not spread quickly.
Whilst it's certainly a serious problem and absolutely should be treated as such, I'm not yet convinced by the mortality rates. Testing is often only performed for people exhibiting severe symptoms. We have the stand-out case of Germany, with 29,056 cases and 118 deaths (0.4%) which surely is due in part to the fact that they are conducting a huge 160,000 tests per week, and so picking up carriers with mild symptoms or who are asymptomatic... carriers whom other nations are likely to miss. Of course there may be other reasons; it's too early to make definitive assessments, but still, this seems a likely explanation.


Globally, the mortality rate is about 4.4%, and is around 1.4% in the US, which is fairly low on the spectrum. The mortality rate in Germany is something closer to 0.5%. By comparison, about 1.3% of the population dies every year, based on the average lifespan of about 72.6 years.

I think most likely the world population will need to develop herd immunity to the Chinese coronavirus. I don't think it is realistic to stomp out the outbreak via quarantines which involves shutting down the world economy. I believe the up to 14 day incubation period is too long, and the chances of being contagious but only having mild or no symptoms is too high. A vaccine is a year away, at best, but there may be a way to treat cases for those who fall ill.

You are correct, we do not know how dangerous the virus actually is among the general population, but we do know it is very contagious and contagious enough that absent preventative measures, the majority of the population will contract the Chinese virus. It takes at least 60% of the population to have immunity in order for herd immunity to develop. If the number of unknown cases is 95% of total cases, the mortality rate in the US drops to 0.07%. If we can figure out who is most likely to have zero or very mild symptoms, and take steps for this group of people to get infected while protecting the rest of the population, this number may go down if the predictions are correct.

The above mortality rate assumes that people who need care are able to receive care at the same rate they are today. If the number of current cases goes up, the number of people who need care will also go up. There is a limited number of additional "need medical care" cases the hospital system can handle (including additional capacity via the military). Most of the "need medical care" cases will survive, but only if they receive medical care. If the medical system gets overwhelmed, the mortality rate will spike, possibly to numbers above what the "known" cases reflect.

If the economy stays closed for too long, the economy will be destroyed, and millions of people will possibly be stuck in poverty. This in itself could result in a lot of additional suffering, negative medial outcomes, and death.

It is unclear why death rates vary so widely from country to country. This may be due in part to testing/reporting, but there may be additional insights to this.



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March 25, 2020, 03:36:56 AM
 #14

And there will never be a “Singularity”.  Those who chase such notions are not only indulging delusions worthy of a psychotic, but also actively destroying human intelligence.

You spent a long time typing all that, so I'm sorry only to quote a part of it.

To claim there will never be a singularity would work if this virus had a 100% kill rate.  People will never stop researching and inventing.  Processing power keeps going up.  A singularity is guaranteed given enough time.

Personally, I have no fear of dying. I just don't want to suffer.   I should have died by age 13 with my bad heart, but technology kept me alive.  The valve I was given was supposed to last for 7 years, but it is 37 years and counting.  Smiley 

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March 26, 2020, 10:46:59 AM
 #15

I think most likely the world population will need to develop herd immunity to the Chinese coronavirus. I don't think it is realistic to stomp out the outbreak via quarantines which involves shutting down the world economy.

I think the purpose of the quarantines isn't to stop the outbreak completely, but rather to slow it to such an extent that hospitals aren't overwhelmed. It's certainly a fine line to tread, because whilst we obviously don't want economic collapse, we also don't want thousands of people to die who could otherwise have been saved. If we go for herd immunity without any quarantining, then we face the risk of spiralling death rates. The second example on this coronavirus simulator page demonstrates how effective quarantining can be. Probably a slowish, managed herd immunity is the way to go now, through varying degrees of quarantining - in the absence of any quick vaccine, at least. Your argument about introducing the least-at-risk groups to the virus first is, I agree, a sound strategy, although in practice it may be difficult for e.g. parents to deliberately expose their kids.

Arguably the optimal strategy would have been for national governments to start quarantining all people entering the country, as soon as the first cases were announced in China. Unfortunately governments are reactive rather than proactive, which means that a virus with a silent 5-day incubation period can wreak havoc.

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