COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

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jacob
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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by jacob »

@MI - It's probably and literally not "several hundred billions of years of life energy" (it's more like a dozen billion---like a couple of stolen decades from younger/poorer generations to the older/richer until reality steps in and checks it). I do see the current system's conundrum of running up against a geophysical wall and trying to fix it/extend the party with financial shenanigans. I would suggest that burning down to the barn (for the short term pleasure of the warmth of the fire) is not the way to go forward. My reasoning is that the predicament is too complex for an elimination of the government+systems to be the solution. I favor "muddling through" with existing systems as a solution mechanism. I've given up on magicking widespread intelligent behavior as a solution.

It will be "interesting times" indeed if the world is recast from Marxist terms (class struggles between socioeconomic classes) to some other cultural framework (H/T @nomadscientist). Last time that happened with class struggles along nationalist lines aka national socialism aka Nazism, the entire world eventually went to war. This is what @Augustus is freaking out about. He is more familiar with 20th century Asia. I'm more familiar with 20th century Europe. Regardless, suddenly recasting economic variables onto some other framework is only cool for those who thrive on chaos. Chaotic rearrangements are usually zero-sum at best (hence war) though. I, therefore, hope that doesn't happen.

Anyway, we're definitely coming up against similar hard lines that plagued the early half of the 20th century within a few decades from now. How to keep feeding people ... it's never pretty.

@chenda - Cool! My lib even has it as an ebook. Seems to draw on Aristotle too?

Not having read it yet, I suppose the point might be that people will accept relinquishing a certain amount of power in return for a system that provides stability and acceptable living conditions. This would kinda go along with whether the model offered by the CCP is an acceptable arrangement/compromise between the people and its leadership as long as either doesn't go too far (parent-child dynamics). It's interesting to compare China with the US as representing both extremes of being ecologically compromised from population pressure.

classical_Liberal
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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by classical_Liberal »

jacob wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:44 am
However, this [parent-child explanation] is a dangerous way of phrasing it because it can easily be seen as infantilizing the masses and to some extent that is also what populism is rebelling against.
While this is certainly a concern for a culture that has a history of valuing individual liberty over that of state or tribe (I'm not sure European acculturated people fully "grok" this in the US), I don't think it's accurate.

A better analogy would be that a dentist gets to choose how and when a child brushes teeth, a nutritionist gets to choose diet, A psychologist gets to choose screen time and parenting techniques, A personal trainer gets to choose sports, etc. Each expert in each field will obviously choose to prioritise their expertise, hence the child's actions, over that of other experts. This leads to a literal cluster of policies, infighting among experts who are not equipped to understand the whole picture, or the individual child.

While obviously I tend to value individual liberties over the whole, I also think that technocracies are ineffective at actually doing anything worthwhile. Because of the above, some balance must be maintained. The combination of the singular narrow focus required of experts to become experts, coupled with obvious self interests clouding judgement, is what makes technocracy functionally incapable of governance of a large population over long periods of time.

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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by jacob »

@cL - You're suggesting that experts themselves have become subject to tribalism? I think that is more true in the Anglosphere than in the rest of developed world. The pursuit of the "Fair and balanced" doctrine meant giving undue 50% focus to pseudo-experts who really only deserved 1% attention if reflecting actual agreement. This has led people to believe that some issues are unsettled even if they're not. See e.g. anti-vaxxing, climate change denial, moon landings, ...

(Basically, if mom says no to more ice cream, you ask dad, and so on until you find some parent to give you what you want. Meta-conclusion: parents don't know/agree on anything.)

The "you can always get a second opinion if you don't like the first one"-heuristics is very American. In other developed countries people stick with the first opinion whether it's correct or not---that it usually is correct if of secondary importance. See e.g. Sweden's COVID policy which remains consistent---Sweden literally punted command of COVID to the top epidemiological bureaucrat (Tegnell) and let him take the ball. He still has it and Sweden is still following it despite emerging doubts [in Sweden] of whether that initial choice was correct. The idea of questioning expertise in order to arrive at a more preferable statement is not a thing outside the US. For example, if I went to the doc and the doc told me something I'd just go ahead and follow the first recommendation I got. The idea of seeking a second opinion would literally not occur to me unless the first one was so extreme/bizarre that I'd just as soon go to the police or a newspaper with it. Indeed, the main thing that makes me uncomfortable about the US health care system is the concept of second opinion/being presented with multiple choices that I know I'm in no way qualified to pick.

This goes somewhat deeper than politics and reflects fundamental differences between cultures.

classical_Liberal
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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by classical_Liberal »

@jacob
I'm not suggesting the "seeking a second opinion" until confirmation bias is achieved. Rather, I'm suggesting that an expert in one field will make decisions that are biased towards her/his field. The problem is there's more than one thing to worry about. While good dentition is important to a child, that doesn't mean that we should let it (ie good oral hygiene habits) rule the roost if there are conflicting interests. It's ridiculous to prioritize oral hygiene if brushing teeth before bed makes a child so rambunctious that they stay up too late and lack sleep. But the dentist doesn't care about sleep, she cares about oral hygiene.

My point is that extreme specialization requirements to be an expert in a field, in today's world, precludes that expert from being able to make balanced decisions for large numbers of people over any sustained timeframe. Basically, I'm arguing that the best decisions are made by people coming from the Renaissance Man quadrant of your theory.

So yes, it is more than the cultural differences. Fundamentally, experts are not good national or tribal leaders, for the exact reasons that they are experts. The culture can come into play in expert advice though, ie good of many vs good of individual.

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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by chenda »

jacob wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:21 pm
@ Seems to draw on Aristotle too?
Yes and also perhaps on Walter Lippmann, who described the public as 'the bewildered herd'. I'd be interested to hear your take on it if you read it : )

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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by jacob »

@cL - Ahh, okay. I agree with that. Yet this brings us back to the problem of years of detailed research on mask permeability eventually being reduced to a "masks help" vs "we're currently out of masks" decision at bureaucrat level T-8 leading to the public faced recommendation that "masks don't work" (even if they clearly do). The question then is whether that [technocratic] process is better than "common sense" when it comes to "public health".

Either way ... we're in deep shit wrt
https://www.amazon.com/Over-Our-Heads-5 ... 012HTRD7Y/
https://www.amazon.com/Ingenuity-Gap-En ... 008CMLZMK/

@chenda - Yes, I've read Lippman as well as Bernays. Too long ago to make an immediate comment though.

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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by Campitor »

Question to Jacob and everyone else. Everyone keeps comparing how European countries handle these situations and how they've outgrown the issues that are plaguing the US today.

I think many of these assessments are fair but I can't help but think that apples and oranges are being compared in certain circumstances. The US is large. You would need to combine European countries to arrive at population demographics that mirror the US: https://moverdb.com/us-states-europe-population/

So how well do EU member states play with each other? How heavy is the hand that dictates behavior among the member EU states? For example England decided to break away from the EU. That is equivalent of Florida, California, and Utah breaking away. Isn't this as an example of the problems that can arise when power is centralized and implementing cross the board polices? In other words how much has the EU really left in the past as difference on governance become more apparent as time moves on?

It wasn't that long ago when a death of a Kaizer sent everyone to the trenches to be shortly followed by Blitzkriegs, human ovens, and master race doctrines. How "over the past" is the EU really? I don't know and I'd like to hear the opinions of people who do.

nomadscientist
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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by nomadscientist »

European countries did not do particularly well, but snootiness is part of Who We Are. Looks like the Asians, and European offshoots in Asia, did very well.

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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by chenda »

Campitor wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:03 pm
For example England decided to break away from the EU.
No it didn't, the UK did ;) But yes, the EU is a collection of small to medium size countries, which are generally highly urbanised and I think that has big impact on the culture and politics. Corona outcomes seemed to have varied considerably between European countries.

The EU is not really comparable to the US federal government, more like a supercharged NAFTA which actually practices free trade (more or less). It's a poor comparison but I can't think of a better one. Imo, its one of the greatest achievements in modern global history.

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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by Campitor »

nomadscientist wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:26 pm
European countries did not do particularly well, but snootiness is part of Who We Are. Looks like the Asians, and European offshoots in Asia, did very well.

Nomad - in which regard do you think EU countries didn't do well? I want to make sure I understand your perspective correctly. My exposure to Europeans (besides my family from Spain) has been mostly regulated to people from the professional class.

Before COVID and Floyd, it was French rioting taking up the news cycle. Why the riots if things are good or thinking more cosmopolitan? And the African and Arab perspective regarding the EU is certainly not so enthusiastic.

Don't get me wrong - this isn't a hunt to find European dirty laundry. I'm trying to see if my mental model regarding country behavior holds water. I believe as decision makers are more isolated from the governed as a result of population size and distance, the more fractured a society gets and the more problems it develops. And the problems are more pronounced when social cultural difference are significant; i.e., Greek attitudes toward paying taxes versus Scandinavian attitudes, etc.
Last edited by Campitor on Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by Campitor »

chenda wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:45 pm
The EU is not really comparable to the US federal government, more like a supercharged NAFTA which actually practices free trade (more or less). It's a poor comparison but I can't think of a better one. Imo, its one of the greatest achievements in modern global history.
Are there any books you would recommend regarding the EU's impact on the politics and economy of its members?

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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by jacob »

@Campitor - The EU population is 30% larger and has a rather more diverse population demographics than the US. Not everybody speaks the same language and unlike the US where people identify as American first and State second, Europeans still identify theirNation first and European as a [distant] second. I don't see any indications of that changing any time soon. It's been that way for 30-50+ years since the project started.

The EU was built on the concept of interdependent trade to render blietzkriegs, ovens, and master race doctrines a thing of the past. First trading coal and steel and raw resources. Then free market. Then integrated free travel and free movement of people. It has worked well so far. No wars since 1945 (except Yugoslavia which was a SNAFU because Europe on the whole still relies (rent-seeks) on NATO (US funding and personel)---something that the EU should fix ASAP (they've been talking about doing that for 20+ years though)). However, individual Europeans are nowhere near the point of moving around between respective countries like Americans do between states.

Main issues have originated in combining fiscal policy in particular a common interest rate that was way to high for some countries (PIIGS) and way to low for others (Germany, Nordics, well northern Europe in general) leading to yuge fiscal imbalances and wealth transfers. Same issues like the US wrt productive/maker counties being 2/3 blue with taker counties being 2/3 red with nobody being willing to admit to that directly, because of system and ideology and the fact that it's just impolite/goes against the narrative to point out who is depending on who.

Back to populism though. The EU currently doesn't have that many populist governments left. Populists having been booted out or left already in the early 2010s, whereas the US still has Trump in charge and governors doing thing own thing ... so this is what the results look like https://twitter.com/carlzimmer/status/1 ... 7643648001

nomadscientist
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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by nomadscientist »

Campitor wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:56 pm
Nomad - in which regard do you think EU countries didn't do well?
Governments reacted tepidly and late. Virus spread widely, killed a lot of people, was only controlled by expensive measures.

I want to make sure I understand your perspective correctly. My exposure to Europeans (besides my family from Spain) has been mostly regulated to people from the professional class.

Before COVID and Floyd, it was French rioting taking up the news cycle. Why the riots if things are good or thinking more cosmopolitan? And the African and Arab perspective regarding the EU is certainly not so enthusiastic.

Don't get me wrong - this isn't a hunt to find European dirty laundry. I'm trying to see if my mental model regarding country behavior holds water. I believe as decision makers are more isolated from the governed as a result of population size and distance, the more fractured a society gets and the more problems it develops. And the problems are more pronounced when social cultural difference are significant; i.e., Greek attitudes toward paying taxes versus Scandinavian attitudes, etc.
I'm not claiming that Europe is better or more cosmopolitan (I think it's far less cosmopolitan). I also don't view Europe as a country, although it's true that Europeans have some traits in common that Americans don't.

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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by classical_Liberal »

@campitor
I think your assessment is fair. Taking it even a step further, the vast majority of the US population is less than 10 generations removed from immigration as well. The conglomeration of different cultures gives the US some unique problems. as @chenda points out it also has a stronger central government.

Interesting, I think the strong national identity that put the US in a position of power in the 20th will likely be it’s doing in the 21st. A one size fits all solution just doesn’t have the appeal to most people as it used to. Considering pretty much all federal power is held via the interstate commerce clause and income taxation, there may be some resurgence of states rights challenges in the near future.

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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by Campitor »

@Jacob

So what do you think is the main driver in keeping EU populist in check? In the US it seems like its inevitable. What do Europeans (those who have researched the issue) think is the cause and the solution to populism? As far as I can tell, all our politicians, left and right, are populist in some regard - all of them use fear of bogeymen to gain power.

Also I came across this thread on why Norway doesn't want to be in the EU: https://www.quora.com/Why-has-Norway-not-joined-the-EU. Some of things mentioned in the thread depict the EU as more right wing (negative impacts to unions for example)- perhaps I'm misinterpreting what they wrote. Is the Norwegian perspective isolated?

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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by jacob »

@Campitor - Easy answer! Most European countries (not UK) have proportional parliamentary representation of their voters rather than first-past-post systems. Only a minority of people actually prefer populism (people are Gaussian and populists represent the wings). Populists, which are ever-present, usually split like 5-15% on the left and 5-15% on the right depending on what the middle does. Whereas in the US they can join up divide&conquer style and eventually influence an entire party because of the sportsball mentality governing US politics. Thus while populism is a constant European influence that attains power once in a while, it rarely lasts very long because the base is limited. It's impossible to sustain governing power with a 30% base in a proportional representation system but in a winner takes all, it's quite possible to tweak the system and govern from a popular minority. The GOP knows this and made the bargain accordingly.

Norway is special. W/o oil they'd be down to exporting rocks, fish, and smarts much like Denmark. (Look it up. Those are literally the raw resources offered). Norway, unlike Denmark, has way more oil. In a way Norway is like the Middle East... think sovereign wealth fund et al. Also why Norway's GDP/capita is one of the highest of the world. Their fiscal situation => it would be insane to join the EMU.

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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by Campitor »

@Jacob - The framers of the Constitution naively believed that we'd have a parliamentary system; they thought many parties would arise. Instead we have only 2 parties. Since each State is free to determine their voting procedures, it guaranteed a winner takes all style of voting ergo the 2 party system that drives everyone crazy.

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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by nomadscientist »

Hitler was elected with the PR system.

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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by jacob »


sky
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Re: COVID19 and boycotting Chinese made

Post by sky »

Hitler was not popularly elected.

The last free election in Germany before WWII: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_ ... l_election

The Nazi party came to power by abolishing other political parties.

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