Coronavirus, Wuhan virus, 2019nCoV

I am not saying that the current outbreak in China is not a big deal, but here’s a good thread on it, countering a viral (sorry) thread from an epidemiologist that greatly exaggerated the risks. First the chart:

R0 is a measure of how infectious a disease is, without precautions. The list also shows why it is so important that we vaccinate against pertussis (whooping cough) and why we started the program to (successfully) eradicate smallpox.

Read the thread, with this point in mind:

Some people have asked why they should believe me rather than a Harvard epidemiologist.

This is not a matter of belief, nor pedigree. This is about facts, evidence, due diligence.

I have presented the facts and their sources so you can examine them for yourself.

Reminds me of this:





















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Is there a designer in the house?

This is not how you do it:











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A just society

From Helen Pluckrose, a researcher with the most British name ever, and whom I have found many great comments from:

Conservatism – we seek a just society via conserving what is good

Libertarianism – we seek a just society via maximum individual liberty

Liberalism – we seek a just society via freedom, tolerance & equal opportunities

Socialism – we seek a just society via the people owning the means of production

Social Justice – we seek a just society. Nobody else has ever thought of that*

I think I have mentioned this before, but here goes: There are many perfectly valid political views. I know what I believe is the right one but I know that I might be wrong and accept that others may disagree with my conviction.

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There are no friendly radicals

I used to say that there is no friendly espionage but apparently there’re no friendly radicals, either. From a bail-hearing in USA, following 3 arrests made prior to a pro-gun rally in Virginia,

[…] the men planned on using the gun rally in Virginia to start a civil war by gunning down their fellow pro-gun demonstrators […]

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“Without me”

But without me you’re only you
— Faith No More, “Midlife Crisis”


Faith No More was on a roll around 1990, after Mike Patton joined the band: “Epic” (1989), “Easy” (1989) and the above “Midlife Crisis” (1992). I, as many others, first noticed them while Chuck Mosley fronted the band on “We Care a Lot” (1987).

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Is this just stupidity?

OK, so Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone got hacked, probably by Saudi Arabia. Then, when Bezos is told, on his phone, that it’s Saudi Arabia, he gets a message from the Saudi Crown Prince that it’s all lies.

Except … how did the Prince know that?

If you are wondering why Saudi Arabia might hack Bezos’ phone, note that Khashoggi worked for The Washington Post, owned by Bezos. Also, the timing matches so that this supposed hack could have been the source of whatever leak shortly afterwards caused Bezos’ marriage to fall apart, costing him 25% of his wealth.

Someone should teach those guys about spying. But, of course, I’d settle for someone teaching them about human rights.


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Facebook PR vs. reality

The illustration was meant as a joke, but is it?

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Different textbooks

This article in The New York Times shows how textbooks differ across state lines in USA, resulting in slightly different views on history. It’s quite interesting and shows that, even though the topic is the same and the same national text is used as basis, the results can be very different.

You might be tempted to then say that this is ridiculous and demand that one and only one version of the textbooks should exist.

But then, which one? I don’t think I’d like a single national, and certainly not a single European, authorised text to be the version that was acceptable.







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The influencer “scam”

Part of the scam is that the pyramid scheme of attention will somehow pay off for a lot of people. It won’t. It can’t. The math doesn’t hold up. Someone is going to win a lottery, but it probably won’t be us.

And a bigger part is that the things you need to do to be popular (the only metric the platforms share) aren’t the things you’d be doing if you were trying to be effective, or grounded, or proud of the work you’re doing.
Seth Godin

I don’t think this only applies to social media and work, but also to our real life friends and social life. Or, as I once paraphrased Lauren Graham:

Stop chasing the fun, be the fun







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The new oppression

Where did all the Marxists go? Oh, right, Intersectionality. From Gerfried Ambrosch’s “The Intersection Is a Dead End“:

It seems paradoxical that today those who seek to suppress others’ freedom of speech are often the same people who claim to be at the forefront of the struggle against oppression.

This paradox can be explained, in part, by the underlying ideology — intersectional identity politics — which assumes a hierarchy of oppression based on immutable characteristics like race and sex […]

But rather than reject this hierarchy altogether, intersectional identity politics, or intersectionality, merely inverts it, moving those at the bottom to the top.

Even while Marx was alive his predictions of the future development of capitalist societies was shown to be wrong. Instead of becoming poorer and poorer, the average worker and citizen became richer. But it took more than a century for his followers to finally leave his name behind. Unfortunately, they didn’t leave behind his idea of class struggles behind.

Like other forms of identitarianism, intersectionality starts from the assumption that group identity is paramount. At the same time, however, it asserts that people can be members of multiple identity groups — different identities intersect. The problem is that there is an almost infinite number of possible combinations. Thus, each identity group fragments into ever-smaller parts until all that is left is the individual. That’s one of the main reasons intersectionality can’t tolerate free speech — it is ultimately self-defeating and, therefore, needs to control the discourse.

Any ideology that needs to control and limit free speech, will need to do so with ever increasing power and repression.

[…] identity politics is not about empowerment, but about wielding power; and that it requires, above all, ideological conformity.

[…] because they know, at some level, that their ideas cannot stand up to scrutiny, intersectionalists feel compelled to suppress free speech in the name of “progress.” But progress depends on our ability, and our freedom, to pursue and speak the truth without fear or censorship. And that includes unpopular opinions and inconvenient facts.

I have mentioned this before: We import all the bad ideas from America; who would have thought that the largest university in Denmark would teach Biology students about “social gender”?






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