The General Discussion Thread

[Publish Date updated to restore to front page]

Okay as an experiment here it is. Discuss your favourite generals here!

Well perhaps… Really this is simply the place to post news-items, fun-items or whatever takes your fancy. In short just post what you want here.

It’s just another wee experiment – comments welcome.

Squonk.

[Image: General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett (Stephen Fry)]

16,731 thoughts on “The General Discussion Thread

  1. Hey Trow, you wouldn’t know why America pulled their B1s out of Guam and put them in Saudi would you?

  2. Node, I’m glad you rate honesty highly. I think I rate it higher than that; there aren’t many questions that require a dishonest answer.

    “…and would you agree that most countries under lockdown, certainly including Britain, are using unprecedentedly intrusive tracking and surveillance techniques…

    I haven’t yet seen evidence that the British mass surveillance infrastructure has been used that way. China has been though.

    …and unprecedented police powers of arrest to enforce unprecedented prohibitions of movement and meeting on civilians?”

    There are certainly unprecedented powers. I haven’t actually encountered any enforcement at all yet, but I have heard of a few overenthusiastic cases of enforcement, and many more sensible cases of enforcement.

    I’d rather all restrictions were voluntary, but unfortunately there’s always someone who thinks it shouldn’t apply to them. Not all the restrictions are sensible, but hey ho, for now, it’s better than letting covid-19 burn through the population unrestricted.

  3. …. and what action do you recommend?

    It’s too late for direct action, the elite are too powerful. (After all, they have you on their side, shutting down the opposition). Once they’d finished taking control of the media, they became untouchable. They’ve been tightening their grip on the other levers of power ever since, politics, commerce, energy, etc, consolidating their assets. For a long time, it’s been just a matter of time, and now, quite possibly, that time has come.
    That’s not to say nothing can be done, though. A continuing tactic of theirs for decades has been to attack families, communities, culture, religion – to break bonds that encourage people to stick together, to support each other. They encourage selfishness and discourage altruism – the ultimate divide and conquer strategy, right down to family level. Therefore I put my energy into strengthening my community. I work hours every day on various projects, rebuilding I hope a sense of us-ness in my corner of the Highlands. Local action – the last line of defence.

  4. So Node, if you have a political campaign, do you think it’s acceptable to present an argument couched in scientific terms to advance it?

  5. Or to put it another way, do you think that scientific arguments should, ideally, be independent of political bias?

  6. “they have you on their side, shutting down the opposition”

    No, that’s not fair; I think you should show self restraint, and you should accept that you don’t really know the science well enough.

  7. See, I’d postulate that there isn’t really a “them”. Oh, there are people in elite positions right now, but the system of unbridled capitalism make the existence of elite positions inevitable; who happens to fill them is a matter mostly of privilege, and a bit of chance.

    It’s the system that needs changing. Diversity will always produce a variation in competitiveness among people.

    Direct action works; that can be see in opinion polls about global warming from May 2019, and a change in attitude of the corporate media following the wonderful, magical XR April Uprising.

    Of course if you say XR is just a product of the elite, and the corporate media output is entirely determined by the elite, then you’ve tied it all up with a conspiracy theory.

    But that’d be highly insulting to me. I decided to join the April Uprising myself. I could equally well argue that you’ve been tricked into futile community micro-resistance by the elite, couldn’t I? They got you to buy a 3D printer, sucker! They’ve got you working for no pay, sucker! But I don’t say that. Building community is good. Please treat me as your equal.

  8. “So Node, if you have a political campaign, do you think it’s acceptable to present an argument couched in scientific terms to advance it?”

    Like anti-Capitalists using climate change?

  9. ” A continuing tactic of theirs for decades has been […] to break bonds that encourage people to stick together, to support each other”

    Grief, Node! You should experience it within XR! I’ve made more friends, with stronger bonds, through XR than I had in a decade previously. XR is all about supporting each other. The two basic units are affinity groups, and working groups, all mediated through the Ten Principles.

    It’s the bloody media again. It shows people sitting in roads and getting arrested. It doesn’t show the 24 hour kitchens, the volunteers who do the sanitation, the discussion groups, arrestee support, the site meetings, etc. etc. etc…

  10. I’ve told you over and over Fred, there are all sorts in XR (Node thinks we’re a product of billionaires!); you too are forming your impressions from some media you’ve encountered. I’m not even particularly anti-capitalist myself. That’s one of Phil’s criticisms of me.

  11. “they have you on their side, shutting down the opposition”

    No, that’s not fair; I think you should show self restraint, and you should accept that you don’t really know the science well enough.

    If I’m right that we are ruled by a secret elite, then you are undeniably doing their work for them – encouraging their control measures and trying to shut me up.

  12. @Clark: “The trouble is that lying confers advantage. Those who will do so have advantage over those who will not. Knowledge confers power. False beliefs and inaccurate information confer disadvantage.”

    It’s a huge risk too, which carries a disproportionate price.

    When someone knowingly lies, quite deliberately of course, and you find out, they pay the price of their credibility completely. You know they don’t tell the truth about something you know for sure. From that point, you cannot for a moment consider their word even a bit reliable on things they say that you do not know about for sure.

    Whenever they say something, for all time, you’re always going to be asking yourself, “Are they lying again? What do they have to gain by telling me this?”

    Politicians are, by their nature, professional liars – most of them anyway. They do this so blatantly and often, that nothing they say can be considered reliable for a moment. That’s just one example of the problems with the practice – others get tarred with the same brush.

    So liars are not only debasing their own credibility, they do the same for whatever demographic or profession they represent. Think of how you feel of anyone who even _reminds_ you of someone that conned or betrayed you.

    It carries an enormous price for a possible short term advantage.

  13. I would suspect. Fred, that is about 8,000 kilometers closer if you want to bomb Iran, a prime target of choice at the Pentagon now.. It would also save time and fuel, though iis dirt cheap these days.

    Trump is increasingly desperate to bomb it now.

  14. There’s no need to lie these days, given the complexity of governance, and the unprobing nature of the press about anything serious, as the Steve Ivens saga demonstrates in spades.

  15. “you are undeniably doing their work for them – encouraging their control measures…

    And if you’re wrong about the science and we need the control measures?

    “…and trying to shut me up.”

    Please try not to take it so personally! My preferred outcome would be for you to look at the epidemiology dispassionately rather than with a political interpretation. Failing that, I’d like you to show less certainty and more restraint.

    Everything I have seen about covid-19 says that we have to slow it down, to prevent suffering. Even if you think the premature deaths are a fair price for the economy, it’s utterly inhumane to let vast numbers of people suffocate over the course of several days, desperately trying to draw breath until their hearts fails. That is a bad way to go.

    Even if you are right about an elite, how does that make you right about covid-19? Are you saying that pandemics can’t happen? That the only cause is a hoax by the elite? How would you tell a real pandemic from a hoax? You mean it’s impossible to tell any more, so we have to let thousands of people suffocate for days just to be on the safe side?

  16. Node, what about the Scottish Independence campaign? How come you decided to support that, and didn’t decide that it was a trick by the elite?

    I supported that too, in actions, and I still do, in principle and from afar. Am I being tricked, while you are not?

  17. And Node, I know this is a lot of questions, but what so utterly convinced you of this elite and its almost total control? What can’t be explained otherwise? What makes you so completely sure that you will advocate the direct opposite of the majority in health and epidemiology, including the top experts?

  18. “I supported that too, in actions, and I still do, in principle and from afar. Am I being tricked, while you are not?”

    Fortunately most of the people who live in Scotland had more sense otherwise people in Ethiopia would be holding charity concerts for us round about now.

  19. Think Trump will have a half dozen bunker- busting 15 ton bombs dropped on Iran tomorrow while he is meeting Andrew Cuomo.

    Should stir things up.

  20. It would really be loved by the anti-Castro Cubans, reminding them of the preparation for Bay of Pigs invasion after JFK was inaugurated as POTUS.We just cannot do enough for foreigners like this!

  21. Fred, I suppose XR looks an “offshoot of the Occupy Movement” if you ignore all the other movements it’s an offshoot of as well, such as the roads protest movement, the Christian Climate Coalition, the Climate Camp, the radical vegans and Animal Rebellion, the psychedelic movement, the anti-war movement etc, plus all the academics, professionals and business people whose first involvement with direct action was XR. You could try including convergence in your reckoning, unless you’re just after a wind-up.

  22. Clark, what I’m saying is that I’m watching you criticising Node when I don’t see an ‘apeth of difference between you apart from Node not having so much of the holier than thou attitude.

  23. I can’t summon the anger, the competitiveness necessary to maintain any enthusiasm. I want fighting to diminish, and cooperation to proliferate. The only course, the only potential activity for which I feel any enthusiasm is implementing my suicide plan, but I mustn’t do that. It’s a good plan, it involves going to sleep and not waking up. I don’t want to compete, I want to rest. But I mustn’t. I must continue to experience In This World where my value is denied, for the sake of the feelings of those people who deny my worth. But so much of the time, I wish it would end.

  24. Clark.

    If two people stand at different ends of a lake and you ask them where the reflection of the moon is they will both point to different places and they will both be convinced they are right and the other is wrong.

    But you seem to think you know where the reflection of the moon is when nobody is looking.

  25. Just had a post repeatedly deleted on CM without any moderation which claimed that because of the UK not believing in human equality not surprisingly saw the end of labour but the continued survival of the least absurd of the old elitist, reactionary system.

  26. One person says follow the science, the other says there’s no such thing as science.

    Both equally valid viewpoints, right Fred?

  27. One person says follow the science, the other says there’s no such thing as science.

    Who says “There is no such thing as science”?

  28. They are both valid viewpoints to the people who hold them Glenn.

    There are a few quantum physicists have their doubts.

    What science is changes with time and time changes with velocity but if you’d told that to a scientist in the mid 19th century he’d have laughed at you.

  29. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/21/world/coronavirus-missing-deaths.html

    28,000 Missing Deaths: Tracking the True Toll of the Coronavirus Crisis

    At least 28,000 more people have died during the coronavirus pandemic over the last month than the official Covid-19 death counts report, a review of mortality data in 11 countries shows — providing a clearer, if still incomplete, picture of the toll of the crisis.

    New York City PCT. above normal Excess deaths − Reported Covid-19 deaths = Difference
    Mar. 11 – Apr. 18 298% 17,200 − 13,240 = 4,000

    These numbers undermine the notion that many people who have died from the virus may soon have died anyway. In Paris, more than twice the usual number of people have died each day, far more than the peak of a bad flu season. In New York City, the number is now four times the normal amount.

  30. https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/files//statistics/covid19/covid-deaths-report-week-16.pdf

    The provisional total number of deaths registered in Scotland in week 16 of 2020(13 to 19 April) was 1,911. This is a decrease of 67 from the number registered in the previous week. The average number of deaths registered in the corresponding week over the previous five years was 1,067. There were 844 more deaths registered in week 16 of 2020 (13 to 19 April) compared to the average.

  31. There have been recent reports of antibody tests in various regions using commercially available kits. Here’s what the UK found regarding the reliability of these tests.

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.15.20066407v1.full.pdf

    Evaluation of antibody testing for SARS-CoV-2 using ELISA and lateral flow immunoassays

    AUTHORSHIP: National COVID Testing Scientific Advisory Panel

    Background: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic caused >1 million infections during January-March 2020. There is an urgent need for robust antibody detection approaches to support diagnostics, vaccine development, safe individual release from quarantine and population lock-down exit strategies. The early promise of lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) devices has been questioned following concerns about sensitivity and specificity.

    Conclusions:The performance of current LFIA devices is inadequate for most individual patient applications.ELISA can be calibrated to be specific for detecting and quantifying SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG and is highly sensitive for IgG from 10 days following symptoms onset.

    Of the 9 widely available rapid antibody tests, only 2 did not generate false positives despite only limited testing. Most tests would indicate 2% – 5% antibody positives if carried out on a population where the true rate of positive was zero. In the worst case it was estimated that there was a 5% chance that the false positive rate was as high as 14%

    Unfortunately they do not tell us which kits were the worst, just referring to them as kits 1 to 9.

    A competitor writes

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-roche-hldg-idUSKCN2240XS

    Roche CEO calls some COVID-19 antibody tests a ‘disaster’, questions makers’ ethics

    …“It’s a disaster. These tests are not worth anything, or have very little use,” Schwan told reporters on a conference call on the Basel-based company’s first-quarter results. “Some of these companies, I tell you, this is ethically very questionable to get out with this stuff.”

  32. I’ve avoided opening this can of worms but as it is published in Nature…

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41577-020-0321-6

    The potential danger of suboptimal antibody responses in COVID-19

    There is a desperate need for effective therapies and vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 to mitigate the growing economic crisis that has ensued from societal lockdown. Vaccines are being developed at an unprecedented speed and are already in clinical trials, without preclinical testing for safety and efficacy. Yet, safety evaluation of candidate vaccines must not be overlooked.

    Recent studies of antibody responses in patients with COVID-19 have associated higher titres of anti-N IgM and IgG at all time points following the onset of symptoms with a worse disease outcome. Moreover, higher titres of anti-S and anti-N IgG and IgM correlate with worse clinical readouts and older age, suggesting potentially detrimental effects of antibodies in some patients.

  33. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending17april2020

    Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional: week ending 17 April 2020

    The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 17 April 2020 (Week 16) was 22,351; this represents an increase of 3,835 deaths registered compared with the previous week (Week 15) and 11,854 more than the five-year average; this is the highest weekly total recorded since comparable figures begin in 1993.

  34. https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/files//statistics/covid19/covid-deaths-report-week-17.pdf

    Deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19)in Scotland Week17 (20 to 26 April 2020)

    The provisional total number of deaths registered in Scotland in week 17 of 2020 (20 to 26 April) was 1,830. This is a decrease of 86 from the number registered in the previous week. The average number of deaths registered in the corresponding week over the previous five years was 1,087. There were 743 more deaths registered in week 17 of 2020 (20 to 26 April) compared to the average. Of these 743 excess deaths: 85% (631) had COVID-19 as the underlying cause 10% (71) came from an increase in dementia and Alzheimer’s deaths 6% (42) were due to an increase in deaths from other causes.

  35. https://www.svt.se/nyheter/lokalt/stockholm/27-av-96-har-dott-pa-aldreboende-i-solna

    The alarm: 27 out of 96 have died at a residential home in Solna

    More than one in four residents have died at Berga retirement homes in Solna, according to a report to the Swedish Work Environment Authority. According to the safety representative, personnel work in very difficult conditions with a lack of equipment and inadequate hygienic conditions.

    The letter to the Work Environment Authority, which was made on April 21 by the union Kommunal, describes the situation at Berga elderly housing as “extremely difficult”. Up to half of the workforce is or has been on sick leave.

    According to the report, it is often unclear which residents have or do not have the infection, which the news agency Siren was the first to report.

  36. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/882403/National_influenza_report_30_April_2020_week_18.pdf

    Summary of UK surveillance of influenza and other seasonal respiratory illnesses
    30 April 2020 – Week 18 report (up to week 17 data)

    1006 acute respiratory outbreaks have been reported in week17 (Figure 2).
    971 outbreaks were from care homes where 458 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
    7 outbreaks were from hospitals where 6 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
    4 outbreaks were from prisons with no test results available.
    2 outbreaks were from schools with both of them tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
    22 outbreaks were from the Other Settings category where 6 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

    All-cause mortality surveillance

    In week 17 2020 in England, statistically significant excess mortality by week of death above the upper 2 z-score threshold was seen overall, by age group in the 15-64 and 65+ year olds and sub nationally (all ages) in all regions (North East, North West, Yorkshire & Humber, East & West Midlands, East of England, London and South East & West regions after correcting GRO disaggregate data for reporting delay with the standardised EuroMOMO algorithm (Figure 7). This data is provisional due to the time delay in registration; numbers may vary from week to week.

  37. Total Excess Deaths reported to date with model estimates up to today. Chris Giles is Economics Editor at The Financial Times. Total Excess Deaths to date in UK estimated at 48,100

  38. https://www.actuaries.org.uk/system/files/field/document/Mortality%20monitor%20Week%2016%202020%20v01%202020-04-28.pdf

    Continuous Mortality Investigation
    Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

    Our analysis suggests that there could have been in the range of 38,000 to 45,000 cumulative excess registered deaths in England & Wales by 27 April 2020; and applying the same method to the PHE figure for UK deaths suggests 41,000 to 48,000 excess registered deaths in the UK.

    These calculations are sensitive to the assumed relationship between the PHE and CMI figures, particularly for the “later” period in Table 3. The calculations do not allow for deaths which may have occurred by 27 April 2020 but were not reported by then.

    There is currently an average delay of 3-4 days in registering a death so registered by 27th April captures actual total up to about 23rd. Adding in likely deaths up to today puts it in line with the Chris Giles estimate of about 48,000 to date.

  39. https://henrytapper.com/2020/04/30/should-the-government-be-levelling-with-us-or-not/

    Should the Government be levelling with us (or not)?

    Boris Johnson’s most memorable phrase, before his illness was “I want to level with you”. At that stage, telling us that people would die in British hospitals was still newsworthy. Six weeks on and telling us how many are dying in our hospitals is newsworthy only that it helps us see that curve flattening.

    But the bigger curve – the curve that describes total deaths in the UK from COVID-19 is not being shown to us. Instead we get a lesser version of the great curve “total reported deaths” and deaths reported from COVID-19.

    A friend of mine nearly died from a heart attack two weeks ago, the heart attack is thought to have been brought on by COVID-19 though – had he perished, the cause of death would have been “cardiac arrest”.

    A death is a death

    …When an actuary is compiling a mortality table, he/she looks for outliers – excess deaths. The latest number of excess deaths in Britain this year is 46,000. In a year when mortality was below average in the first quarter, it is clear that these excess deaths relate to the period from the end of February when the impact of COVID-19 took place.

    If the Government wishes to level with us, it must admit that we are in a very dark place and accept the consequence of that is continued lockdown for a time to come. This current “tie and tease” which gives us lockdown with the teasing expectation of release is a dangerous game, as the numbers show.

  40. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending24april2020

    Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional: week ending 24 April 2020

    The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 24 April 2020 (Week 17) was 21,997, a decrease of 354 deaths registered compared with the previous week (Week 16); this is the first decrease in the number of deaths since the week ending 20 March 2020 (Week 12) but is 11,539 more than the five-year average for Week 17.

    The number of deaths in care homes (from all causes) for Week 17 was 7,911, which is 595 higher than Week 16. The number of deaths in hospitals for Week 17 was 8,243, which is 1,191 lower than Week 16.

  41. https://www.actuaries.org.uk/system/files/field/document/Mortality%20monitor%20Week%2017%202020%20v01%202020-05-05.pdf

    Continuous Mortality Investigation
    Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

    Our analysis suggests that there could have been in the range of 48,000 to 55,000 cumulative excess registered deaths in England & Wales by 4 May 2020; and applying the same method to the PHE figure for UK deaths suggests 51,000 to 59,000 excess registered deaths in the UK. These calculations are sensitive to the assumed relationship between the PHE and CMI figures, particularly for the “later” period in Table 3. The calculations do not allow for deaths that may have occurred by 4 May 2020 but were not reported by then.

    Deaths registered by the 4th is actually about the number of actual deaths by 30th April. The Times estimate above includes additional deaths up until today and is inline with Actuarial estimate.

  42. And the daily excess death estimates from Chris Giles at the FT

    https://twitter.com/ChrisGiles_

    53,800 is a cautious update on that to bring it to the present using the pattern of hospital deaths as a guide.

    Cannot say this is the worst in Europe because ONS is faster than others in producing excess death figures.

    But as @d_spiegel
    said: “we’re not doing very well”

    For those who don’t see embedded twitter images I reproduce the Chris Giles chart below

  43. New York State has completed the world’s widest antibodies study using highly accurate FDA/CDC approved testing methods.

    https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/amid-ongoing-covid-19-pandemic-governor-cuomo-announces-results-completed-antibody-testing

    Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the results of the state’s completed antibody testing study, showing 12.3 percent of the population have COVID-19 antibodies. The survey developed a baseline infection rate by testing 15,000 people at grocery stores and community centers across the state over the past two weeks. Of those tested, 11.5% of women tested positive and 13.1% of men tested positive.

    New York State currently reports 25,175 deaths which Worldometer says is 0.128% of the population. Going by antibodies that implies an Infection Fatality Rate of 1.04%

    If you use the antibody positive figure for New York City (19.9%) together with excess deaths (21,000 as of a week ago) you come up with an even worse figure of about 1.25%.

    Now it takes some time to develop antibodies but it also takes most people about the same time or longer to die (and this might not be entirely a coincidence).

  44. https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/files//statistics/covid19/covid-deaths-report-week-18.pdf

    Deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19)in Scotland
    Week 18 (27 April to 3 May 2020

    All Deaths

    The provisional total number of deaths registered in Scotland in week 18 of 2020 (27 April to 3 May) was 1,673. This is a decrease of 163 from the number registered in the previous week. The average number of deaths registered in the corresponding week over the previous five years was 1,079. There were 55% more deaths registered in week 18 of 2020 (27 April to 3May) compared to the average.Of these 594 excess deaths:

    83% (495) had COVID-19 as the underlying cause
    8% (50) were due to an increase in deaths from circulatory diseases
    7% (43) came from an increase in dementia and Alzheimer’s deaths
    5% (28) were due to an increase in deaths from other causes

  45. https://www.actuaries.org.uk/system/files/field/document/Mortality%20monitor%20Week%2018%202020%20v01%202020-05-12.pdf

    Continuous Mortality Investigation
    Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

    Our analysis suggests that there could have been in the range of 52,000 to 58,000 cumulative excess registered deaths in England & Wales by 11 May 2020; and applying the same method to the PHE figure for UK deaths suggests 56,000 to 63,000 excess registered deaths in the UK.

    These calculations are sensitive to the assumed relationship between the PHE and CMI figures, particularly for the “later” period in Table 3.

    The calculations do not allow for deaths that may have occurred by 11 May 2020 but were not reported by then.

    https://www.ft.com/content/40fc8904-febf-4a66-8d1c-ea3e48bbc034?desktop=true&segmentId=d8d3e364-5197-20eb-17cf-2437841d178a

    Excess UK deaths in Covid-19 pandemic top 50,000

    The number of UK deaths during the coronavirus pandemic over and above normal levels has exceeded 50,000, official figures confirmed on Tuesday.

    The Office for National Statistics said that in the week ending May 1, there had been 17,953 deaths in England and Wales recorded, 8,012 higher than the average of the past five years in that week, as the disease killed three times the normal number of people in care homes.

    …The FT model now estimates that slightly more than 60,000 more people will have died than normal from the start of the outbreak to May 11, based on the excess deaths to date and the latest daily figures from hospital deaths.

  46. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-11/new-york-city-had-24-172-excess-deaths-as-outbreak-accelerated

    New York City Saw 24,172 More Deaths Than Normal During Outbreak

    New York City had four times the number of deaths as expected during its Covid-19 outbreak, according to a new study, including thousands of excess deaths that may not be attributed directly to the virus but to its effect on the health-care system, city services and other factors.

    From March 11 to May 2, there were a total of 32,107 deaths, 24,172 more that the city would have expected in that time based on past trends, according to a report from New York’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that was published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While Covid-19 was explicitly tied to 18,879 of the excess deaths through confirmed or probable cases, there were 5,293 excess deaths that may have come from other causes.

  47. Let’s keep it civil folks. Craig and minions are Trumpkin soulmates in the viral world of conspiracies. When you go far Left enough, you’re on the Right again..

  48. I was planning to fly up to Washington when my youngest gets discharged from the military, then we were gonna drive home and see some sights.

    I was starting to think it could still happen but Calif is making noises like 14 day quarantine if you leave the State.

  49. Useful interactive map gleaned from Office of National Statistics. Sorry it doesn’t include Scotland:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/visualisations/dvc811/multimap/index.html

    I’m very worried about the situation in London; the Underground is reportedly packed since the government said to go back to work. It is utterly unfair on the key workers who need the Tube to have it stuffed with unnecessary travellers.

    This government is a disgrace. I hope someone’s working up a legal case against them.

  50. Ben,

    It looks like only a very small percentage of the US population has been infected so far – apart from New York and a few other States.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/29158392/few-positive-coronavirus-tests-mlb-employees

    Few positive coronavirus antibodies tests among MLB employees

    Sixty of the 5,754 people in a study of the Major League Baseball employee population tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, a rate lower than what similar studies run in California found, the studies’ authors said Sunday.

    “I was expecting a larger number,” said Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, which ran the study. “It shows the value of doing the science as opposed to guessing.”

    The results of the study, which was held in mid-April, revealed a prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies in the MLB employee population of 0.7% — a number adjusted to reflect testing accuracy. The survey showed that about 70% of those who tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies had been asymptomatic.

  51. I can’t really find any evidence for Trump’s brain, just various contradictory rumours. Maybe it existed long, long ago, but that might have been somebody else. I don’t think we’ll ever know.

  52. Blood of the Past

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8UWZRSg_Lg

    All the many corpses begin to speak
    What ignorance is cannot be argued over anymore
    It is too late for pleading white picket dreams
    Put you off the scent, the world is shrinking
    Rooted in a trivial concern, in interconnectedness
    In the need to make face and keep up
    And drown out the many voices within…

    Denial, business as usual
    So roll your eyes, shake your head, turn away and call me names
    I’m okay with that, too proud
    Unable to listen, we keep speaking
    Moted by blood, unable to notice ourselves
    Unable to stop and unwilling to learn

  53. https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/files//statistics/covid19/covid-deaths-report-week-19.pdf

    Deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland
    Week 19 (4 May to 10 May 2020)

    All Deaths

    The provisional total number of deaths registered in Scotland in week 19 of 2020 (4 May to 10 May) was 1,434. This is a decrease of 245 from the number registered in the previous week.

    The average number of deaths registered in the corresponding week over the previous five years was 1,034. There were 39% more deaths registered in week 19 of 2020 (4 May to 10 May) compared to the average. Of these 400 excess deaths:

    96% (383) had COVID-19 as the underlying cause
    7% (26) came from an increase in dementia and Alzheimer’s deaths
    4% (17) were due to an increase in deaths from other causes
    deaths from cancer and respiratory diseases were lower than the average for this time of year.

  54. Existentialism insists we create our our own reality. I certainly hope the PLANDEMIC Hoax true believers dont saddle us with Marshall Law.

    RIO DE JANEIRO – Flipping through the news several weeks ago, Carlos de Lima Belucio grew alarmed. People were panicking over a strange new disease. Other countries were locking down. Then it hit him: There was only one way to save the country. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had to stage a military takeover.

    Ignoring warnings to stay inside, Belucio began joining demonstrations urging Brazil’s armed forces to remove the institutions that impede Bolsonaro’s rule. Using violence, if need be. The country, he said, must stay open.

    “The pandemic is just a smokescreen,” said Belucio, 43, who lives in the northern city of Belém. “With a military regime, it would all be better.”9

  55. As if the virus were our only challenge. The biggest challenge is PEOPLE.

    New series on NETFLIX called ‘Into the Night’ is an excellent snapshot of human response to worldwide threats. A small group of passengers on a passenger plane face their own character, or lack of.

    It’s not just us versus the virus, however. Any contemporaneous event like major EQ or terrorist attack would be a perfect storm.

    https://www.express.co.uk/latest/ring-of-fire

  56. 10,000 Heidelberg printing presses have been acquired by the FED to keep pace with dollars borrowed and spent. 🙂

    The ventilators can wait.

  57. I’m wondering how much neurological damage covid-19 does and how lasting it is. It’s all the most right-wing governments that are refusing to lock down. Those nations could end up with seriously stupid populations.

  58. I’m not a mathematician Clark but I know some things transcend the science of precision with Art as the tool

  59. Ben, the apparent division between the technical and the artistic is artificial, an illusion of our times. Both are essentially creative and devotional. Both require methods, theories, experiment, acceptance of observations, and practice. Both progress by development of new instruments and media. Both have an objective of transcendence.

    My 19:42 yesterday comment is a weak joke; a pun. Try multiplying all three terms by, say, 5, and then solving for x.

  60. Here’s another; a much better one:

    integral(1/cabin)d(cabin) = log(cabin) + C
    = houseboat

  61. About a minute before my 12:42 comment a military jet passed overhead, quite low but not extremely low, heading maybe south-east, moving pretty fast but not supersonic. I heard it but did not see it. By the time I got out into the garden to look it it was turning right, and I think it then headed pretty much in the direction of London.

  62. Clark: I know you’re skeptical but it is conjectured that some phenomena like tahcyons seem to escape accepted physics by displaying themselves simultaneously in two different places giving the appearance of surpassing light speed.

    In 2007 the MINOS collaboration reported results measuring the flight-time of 3 GeV neutrinos yielding a speed exceeding that of light by 1.8-sigma significance.[85] However, those measurements were considered to be statistically consistent with neutrinos traveling at the speed of light.[86] After the detectors for the project were upgraded in 2012, MINOS corrected their initial result and found agreement with the speed of light. Further measurements are going to be conducted.[87]

  63. I don’t really delve into either exotic physics or exotic cosmology; quantum physics and general relativity are enough for me. Both of these confirm things that we know have to be, for our experience of awareness and free will to be genuine. They have transcended the mechanistic implications of classical physics.

    My take on the exotic frontiers of physics is that they have surpassed our maturity as a species. No human has travelled beyond the Earth-Moon system, let alone the solar system. We’re a long way from setting up either laboratories or observatories beyond the locality of Sol; if we ever get that far maybe we’ll find that things we have taken as established turn out to be different. Some may seem like details but a detail can change everything, eg. there’s not much difference between the predictions of classical gravitation and general relativity, under most circumstances you have to look in the fifth or sixth significant figure, but relativity upturned our understanding of space and time.

    Meanwhile there’s a vast quantity of vitally important science in less glamorous fields of which we’re only just scratching the surface, and public misunderstanding of science is… well, words fail me… SARS-CoV-2 is proving illustrative, no? Public misunderstanding of science has stalled action on climate change for over thirty years; a scientist’s productive lifetime. There are youngsters coming to the field that must be thinking, FFS, why wasn’t this fixed before I was born? while many old timers have died with meaningful progress yet to be made. Some of them must have felt pretty sick that we detected the Higgs with electricity still partly generated from coal :\

  64. I do engage in heuristics Clark

    It’s sometimes the path to breakthroughs transcending stilted and necrotic thinking locked in traditional juices that have turned into the alcoholic beverage of choice

  65. While thinking inside the box is both scientific and unscientific until you open the box.

  66. The video in the tweet worth watching

  67. Node,

    Yes it is consistent.

    He says 1% die (or possibly even less). 1% is roughly what I’ve said the true IFR with full hospital care available is.

    1% of the UK is almost 700,000 people. Even if we assume we reached herd immunity at as low as 60%, that implies over 400,000 deaths in the UK.

    Not to mention the initial viral load tends to be higher if one in every 4 people you come into contact with is currently infected as opposed to the estimated 1 in 400 in the UK right now. Higher initial viral load increases the fatality rate.

    If hospitals were allowed to be totally overwhelmed then many more of the much larger percentage that need oxygen would die – because they wouldn’t get it.

  68. https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-05-14/antibody-study-shows-just-5-of-spaniards-have-contracted-the-coronavirus.html

    Antibody study shows just 5% of Spaniards have contracted the coronavirus

    “Five percent is the equivalent of 2,350,000 cases. If there were around 27,100 deaths, that means that the fatality rate is between 1 and 1.2%,” explains Jesús Molina Cabrillana, an epidemiologist at the Spanish Society of Preventive Medicine, Public Health and Hygiene (Sempsph).

    That is in the higher range of the best available estimates from other countries, which talk about 0.5% to 1% of deaths among people who were infected with the coronavirus, known as the infection fatality rate or IFR. In Spain, if we add another 5,900 suspicious but untested cases to the total number of infections, the fatality rate grows to 1.3%.

  69. Suffering.

    Without restrictions, that minimum 400,000 would all contract covid-19 in a short time; maybe a month? They’d be maybe half of the critical cases. High initial vial load could increase that figure still further.

    It would be impossible to provide even palliative care for so many people at once. Each would suffocate over at least a few days before dying. I have no words for human suffering on such a scale. We each have to die eventually, but concentration upon death obscures the suffering.

    Not everything is propaganda. Some things do warrant fear.

  70. Again..if a snapshot of human behavior in crisis is of any interest see the Netflix series INTO THE NIGHT.

  71. Was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo trying to get Netanyahu, who has a good relation with Kiev, during his visit to Israel to get Ukrainian President Zelensky, who was elected just last year, to identify who was behind the assassination of Vladimir Putin at the end of 2011 when Obama was starting to prepare for disown re-election. Was Vice President Biden behind it which Obama planned to drop from the ticket if successful, and the Western media just dismissed as a false flag plot by Putin to kill himself.

    Was this the reason why Trump fired its Inspector Geneneral Steve Linick who was investigating when the suspicion of Joe Biden’s involvement was suspected which Rudy Giuliani had already been checking, and it had been dismissed as unfounded.

    Zelensky finding out that Biden was would end his chances f becoming POTUS.

  72. Dick Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre is spread out over a month of Saturdays in Trumps policy.

    He thinks it draws less negative attention and he has always been averse to criticism

  73. The Saturday Night Massacre worked for Nixon. Archibald Cox, the Special Consul, was replaced by Leon Jaworski who achieved nothing.

    Nixon was brought down by Alexander Butterfield telling Senator Fred Thompson about the Oval Office’s tape recording system whose contents the Supreme Court ordered released which showed what a bastard Nixon was.

  74. Lawrence Walsh and Patrick Fitzgerald werent fired at all and they achieved nothing.

    White collar criminals always walk but they all cry for protection from street crime..Bastids

  75. Certainly more than white-collar crime with Iran-Contra dealing with private armies, illegal arms sales and assassinations, and Walsh and Fitzgerald achieved some success against it, though the Democrats adopted some of their ways.

    The Angol-Americans acted like Organized Crime with air crashes, poisonings and smotherings of troublemakers, and assassinations with small arms rather than automatic weapons while Obama put a civilized face on it, boxing us in with spent Joe Biden.

    Here the cure is worse than the disease.

  76. Really? What was accomplished with Ollie North et al? And dont tell me Scooter Libby’s temporary inconvenience was compensation..

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