Author Topic: A difficult read: 'Unraveling of America' in Rolling Stone  (Read 2185 times)

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Re: A difficult read: 'Unraveling of America' in Rolling Stone
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2020, 11:20:34 AM »
A fascinating article with some mind-boggling statistics. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: A difficult read: 'Unraveling of America' in Rolling Stone
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2020, 10:15:39 AM »
Why America Sucks articles are really popular. I'm sure the author will get a lot of praise for it.

He takes a hearty swipe at the usual suspects and in my opinion hits on: "the negative forces tearing apart a society are mitigated or even muted if there are other elements that reinforce social solidarity — religious faith, the strength and comfort of family, the pride of tradition, fidelity to the land, a spirit of place". Those are very powerful words.

Politics have replaced religion as dogma for the American Society. Staring in the 60s but gaining critical mass in the 80s and 90s with the backlash to neoliberalism and the thinking that the Government should have a hand in all things. Now we have the extremity of tribalism between political parties and their power grab. America for its faults was supposed to be a small government by the people - for the people and has morphed into by the politicians - for their friends (donors). Both parties are guilty of this, and the best of us would never enter the body politic, knowing how grotesque it is. Now with politics (and political causes) as religion, the common ground is hard to find.

Back to the comment though. In the same time frame starting in the 60s the family unit, and Judaeo/Christian ideals have been eroded. Despite their faults these are the under girding tenets of Western civilization and specifically the American Constitution. We have moved from reliance on family to reliance on government. Government has a place in nearly everyone's daily life. Thus 'politician' becomes an important job instead of a societal service, Biden has been at it for 47 years! What the fuck!?

Author also states a fact that the average father on average spends 20 minutes a day with his children. This comes dangerously close to stating that there is such a thing as gender roles! And I believe he is right.  I'm not a psychologist, but school and mass shootings and the daily death toll in cities like Chicago, Baltimore, and NY statistically have a person in common. His name is Dad.

The  degradation of math and science skills by Americans has shocked me recently. As we have become too easily swayed by the emotional argument - throwing the statistical argument out the window.

CV 19 being probably the best example of this. Knee jerk emotional policy setting, is going to cause significant issues short and long term. Even worse, a politician or even bureaucrat makes a policy decision the ability to say "I was wrong, lets go back" is missing. Science is messy, and CV has it so hyper politicized that the scientific process cannot play out in its normal fashion. I.e. if Stanford comes out with an IFR and it does not match the narrative or policy, it gets chastised by everyone or labeled wrong. Instead of peer review and discussion, it is immediately lost.

When the first world locks down the third world starves. Pay attention. We (as a planet) have fucked this up. Ask your friends who rely on manufacturing where shortages are showing up. We first world people might have to wait a month for a new freezer (outrageous!) in the 3rd world it means something different.

America will end up more like a European country eventually, moving to a more Socialistic society is the natural progression of Western Civilization. We will buck and champ at the reins but it will happen eventually.
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Re: A difficult read: 'Unraveling of America' in Rolling Stone
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2020, 10:47:59 AM »
Interesting thoughts. But European countries are not becoming more socialistic, but less.

I think we assume that democracy is the end point of a process. But perhaps it is just an experiment that does not endure. The most powerful economy in the world within the next election cycle will be a dictatorship by a group of people. They will form alliances with other de facto dictatorships more easily than with the waning and divided democracies.

Democracies are failing to take action to stop climate change anyway, so soon mass migration and war provoked by climate change will challenge democratic balances. States of emergency will be declared, and war footings put in place. Trump will be long dead, but the fact that there was a small window of opportunity where the US could have led the world to a safer place, but Trump blew it all up instead, could change the course of human history forever. Who would have thought that one reality TV star could cause such worldwide chaos?

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Re: A difficult read: 'Unraveling of America' in Rolling Stone
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2020, 04:58:10 PM »
Well.... I'll go out on a limb here. STOP HAVING KIDS! My wife and I made a decision to have no more than two kids. Replace only ourselves on this earth. I see young families with five or six kids. They just have no clue. Save the world. STOP HAVING KIDS. Unfortunately, it's the people who just lack education and are oblivious to the big picture. China has been trying to force this on their people for decades. In China the more kids you have the heavier you are taxed. The wealthy Chinese come to the US so they can have more kids. STOP HAVING KIDS!   

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Re: A difficult read: 'Unraveling of America' in Rolling Stone
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2020, 08:14:42 PM »
Increasing population isn't really the problem it was supposed to be, and even if everyone has just replacement (2.2 kids) the population will peak at about 9 billion and then start declining. The latest IMHE model shows something much more like what the late Hans Rosling predicted. We are, however, consuming a lot more of the world's resources than can probably be supported. Global warming will make that a lot worse, convincing idiots that GMO food isn't going to poison them is the best hope for feeding the planet. Organic food is an ecological disaster, when we stop burning hydrocarbons we'll still need to use a lot of them to make fertilizer.

https://phys.org/news/2020-07-world-population-billion.html
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Re: A difficult read: 'Unraveling of America' in Rolling Stone
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2020, 08:22:57 AM »
Increasing population isn't really the problem it was supposed to be, and even if everyone has just replacement (2.2 kids) the population will peak at about 9 billion and then start declining. The latest IMHE model shows something much more like what the late Hans Rosling predicted. We are, however, consuming a lot more of the world's resources than can probably be supported. Global warming will make that a lot worse, convincing idiots that GMO food isn't going to poison them is the best hope for feeding the planet. Organic food is an ecological disaster, when we stop burning hydrocarbons we'll still need to use a lot of them to make fertilizer.

https://phys.org/news/2020-07-world-population-billion.html

I beat this drum all the time. The carbon footprint for "organic" food is larger than that for GMO, there is just no way around that. Science is going to win (has won) the energy crisis, and can solve the food crisis. Long standing perceptions vis-a-vis nuclear power and GMOs are standing in the way.
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Re: A difficult read: 'Unraveling of America' in Rolling Stone
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2020, 10:01:44 AM »
The most important element of the scientific method--the assumption that a hypothesis is wrong or at least incomplete--is also the PR weakness. The phrase "that's just a theory" is a handy dipshit indicator. Unfortunately, we are neck-deep in dipshits, and humans seem to be not smart enough to overcome that handicap.
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Re: A difficult read: 'Unraveling of America' in Rolling Stone
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2020, 04:06:01 AM »
Hilarious- a US President calls for a boycott of a US firm, based in Akron, that employs thousands of US citizens.

You couldn't make this stuff up. Oh well, I'll buy Michelin anyway: Trump says that a load of his supporters work at Goodyear, and I wouldn't feel safe on the road using tyres made by people that dumb.

The Chinese government must be falling about laughing.

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Re: A difficult read: 'Unraveling of America' in Rolling Stone
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2020, 02:47:42 PM »
So, Steve Bannon is a crook? Who'd have thunk it? :)

I wonder if the Trump supporters who were fleeced over this wall scheme see the link with Trump, or maybe they never knew who Bannon was anyway?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-53853297

I dunno about the unravelling of America, but today's news events look like the unravelling of an administration to me. Surely even Trump supporters will realise when their president and his friends are ripping them off directly?

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Re: A difficult read: 'Unraveling of America' in Rolling Stone
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2020, 11:35:53 PM »
Surely even Trump supporters will realise when their president and his friends are ripping them off directly?

It doesn’t seem to matter to Trumps’ supporters what he does, who he associates with, or the absolute erosion of any kind of democratic principles he presides over. He is their man and they are sticking by him.

I’ve often said that I really don’t believe Trump is the issue in the U.S. It’s all those that support him.

How anyone with any kind of moral code, some semblance of decency, or even the slightest bit of education could support him is beyond me. Seeing what is going on in the U.S. right now is like watching a giant implosion of sorts. It is really quite frightening to watch and I must say I take no pleasure in seeing it happen.
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Re: A difficult read: 'Unraveling of America' in Rolling Stone
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2020, 02:37:38 AM »
Yes, Quickbeam - for some time there has been a theory that it is the cruelty of Trump that attracts his supporters, so they support him not *in spite* of his cruelty (as those of us who are horrified at his amoral behavior often suppose) but *because* of it:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/the-cruelty-is-the-point/572104/

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Re: A difficult read: 'Unraveling of America' in Rolling Stone
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2020, 03:31:03 AM »
The  degradation of math and science skills by Americans has shocked me recently. As we have become too easily swayed by the emotional argument - throwing the statistical argument out the window.

CV 19 being probably the best example of this. Knee jerk emotional policy setting, is going to cause significant issues short and long term. Even worse, a politician or even bureaucrat makes a policy decision the ability to say "I was wrong, lets go back" is missing. Science is messy, and CV has it so hyper politicized that the scientific process cannot play out in its normal fashion. I.e. if Stanford comes out with an IFR and it does not match the narrative or policy, it gets chastised by everyone or labeled wrong. Instead of peer review and discussion, it is immediately lost.

That Stanford study wasn't discarded.  The study concluded that Covid has an IFR somewhere between 1/5 of the flu and 4 times the flu.  That is a huge range.  It is info that gets added to the larger dialogue which is now heavily weighted towards the actual death toll which is certainly a more reliable metric. 

Covid is on track to have more US fatalities in one year than the flu has had in the past 10 years combined.  Even so, those who wish to cherry pick data are still using fragments of headlines and using flu comparisons to support their   seemingly unswayable position.  When it becomes socially acceptable (and it has) to distort facts to meet a camp based world view then that distortion becomes common. 

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Re: A difficult read: 'Unraveling of America' in Rolling Stone
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2020, 06:39:01 AM »
That was just an example, mostly in relation to the response to it. The Imperial College study was the doomsday study, and it was garbage from a technical assumptions standpoint, but it was held in much higher regard.

I just looked here: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html

From the CDC the estimated flu deaths between 2010 and 2019 is 337k, so, you may be (close to) right. There are a lot of excess deaths that are currently unaccounted for which will likely be attributed to CV over the next 60 days. This is obvious to my eye because ICU census is dropping like a stone nationwide, and yet the newly reported daily deaths have remained steady. You can't have high daily deaths without high daily ICU census, so the current 1,200 deaths a day or whatever it is is more than 60% deaths a month ago being laundered.

As the data becomes correctly dated in the dashboards, the epidemiologic curves for pretty much every Country and state tracks Farrs law almost perfectly. Legislation of human nature has a long history of failure, but our hubris knows no bounds.
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Re: A difficult read: 'Unraveling of America' in Rolling Stone
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2020, 07:27:23 AM »
As the data becomes correctly dated in the dashboards, the epidemiologic curves for pretty much every Country and state tracks Farrs law almost perfectly. Legislation of human nature has a long history of failure, but our hubris knows no bounds.

A great example of how fragments of intelligent sounding information and selective data are twisted today to suit a viewpoint.

Farrs law.  Here is an article from March 10 of this year.  It's title is,  Why Are We Ignoring Farr’s Law of Epidemics? Coronavirus Should be Gone by This Summer.

I have pasted the article below.  It is a terrific read.

Worldwide, there have been about 3,400 coronavirus deaths, out of about 100,000 identified cases.
Flu, by comparison, generally contributes to 646,000 deaths annually.
China, of course, is the origin of the virus and still accounts for over 80 percent of cases and deaths.
But its cases peaked and began ­declining more than a month ago, according to data presented by the Canadian epidemiologist who spearheaded the World Health Organization’s coronavirus mission to China.
Fewer than 200 new cases are now reported daily, down from a peak of 4,000 in February.
Subsequent countries will follow this same pattern, in what’s called Farr’s Law of Epidemics. 
Farr’s Law of Epidemics states that epidemics tend to rise and fall in a roughly symmetrical pattern or bell-shaped curve. The flu season operates under the same curve. It rises is fall and descends in spring. That also has something to do with the weather.
More Good News
This month, the Northern Hemisphere, which includes the countries with the most cases, starts heating up.
Almost all respiratory viruses hate warm and moist weather.
That’s why flu dies out in America every year by May at the latest and probably why Latin America has reported only 25 coronavirus cases. The Philippines where it’s hot and humid has no confirmed cases of coronavirus.
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https://medium.com/@davidpkirkpatrick/why-are-we-ignoring-farrs-law-of-epidemics-coronavirus-should-be-gone-by-summer-7782f3622c3a
« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 07:41:51 AM by Admin »

 


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