COVID-19

Health, Fitness, Insurance, ...
saving-10-years
Posts: 555
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:37 am
Location: Warwickshire, UK

Re: COVID-19

Post by saving-10-years »

I don't come to ERE for political discussions so I can live with a ban. Or the boundaries that @Jacob suggests. Its possible that someone coming to this forum to learn about ERE could encounter the politics and back off. That would be a great shame.

The posts in the ERE forums are overwhelmingly thoughtful and thorough and respectful. This is not an accident. This online space is managed exceptionally well - a light touch with a load of sense and integrity. I may not agree with the points of view expressed by everyone here but reading people's reasons for expressing these helps me understand better where my beliefs are coming from and worlds apart from mine.

Whether there is a politics ban or not can we each take on board some responsibility for the load of actively managing this community? Perhaps PMing the creator of one liner deliberately provocative and unhelpful posts. Or sending polite requests to desist from repetition of the same claim over and over again. Its these two extremes that I have found most unhelpful and offputting. I don't see why @Jacob should have to do all the work of pointing it out. Calling such posters out in the forums would likely just lead to flaming. Perhaps 20 PMs in their mailbox from different people would make them rethink and modify.

I am always a bit startled by hearing that people are complaining to @Jacob about another person's posts. I've never done this. But I admit I have only PMed a few people and only once to criticise a post. It was someone who was offensive in responding to one of my posts and I wanted to know more about why. I perhaps should do this more often.

AnalyticalEngine
Posts: 392
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:57 am

Re: COVID-19

Post by AnalyticalEngine »

I'd be in favor of stricter boundaries wrt politics, like keeping it either in Journals or in the Politics subboard. This covid thread is much more political than the rest of the forum, to the detriment of informed discussion here.

Managing stuff like that is a royal pain, so I do get it. But this thread sometimes turns less into discussion and more into polemic.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2957
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: COVID-19

Post by Riggerjack »

South Korea has an export based economy. Exports are down over 20%. But their gdp is down less than 3% yoy. This tells me that they are doing fine domestically, and if the rest of the world had handled themselves in the same manner, even Korean exports would be doing alright.

This is a country that didn't lock down, they just put on masks, made sure they had their gloves and hand sanitizer, and went about their lives basically normally.

We could have done the very same thing. Gone into pandemic mode. Instead, we experienced leadership.

Moving forward, we seem to be splitting into political camps of mutually nonworking "solutions", each degrading the others' assumptions and methods. Each sure that the problem was the flavor of leadership currently on top, or not.

While what we need is to view this as a hygiene problem. Just as we decided to regulate how much manure is allowed to be in your sausage, or that restaurants need a separate mopping sink from their vegetable washing station, we will develop best hygiene practices , and new businesses will adopt them, and old businesses will adapt or not. Some businesses will make the change, and others will fail, but isn't that how it always is?

Look at the timeline for the US:
2001 anthrax
2003 SARS
2003 mad cow in the states.
2003 monkey pox
2009 H1N1
2014 Ebola (MERS doesn't hit the states)
2016 Zika
2020 C19

I am thinking about how that list is going to continue into the future. Even if one believes that C19 is roughly equivalent to seasonal flu, what if it had been as bad as SARS, it's closest relative? What about the next virus? Just how many times should we go through with this leadership, before we just normalize the changes to limit contagion?

We need to develop best practices. Change building and occupation code. Change isn't equally distributed, of course.

But if one wants to stay in business, one will need to cater to the preferences of both the customers and the employees. Both have to be satisfied, to a greater or lesser degree, or one has a former business.

If customers and employees aren't demanding changes, yet, that just gives some businesses a reprieve. They will get a chance to make the appropriate changes after seeing how things worked out for the first generation. This also reduces conversion costs/supply shocks.

We don't all have to do the same thing at the same time, but it seems clear that we will all have to change something. Now seems like a good time.

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1545
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: COVID-19

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

I read an article recently that it has become popular locally with a certain crowd to lie to or not answer the questions of contact tracers.

thrifty++
Posts: 1112
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: COVID-19

Post by thrifty++ »

Its surreal being in a second lockdown in NZ again. But at the same time it feels less stressful. Like everyone and everything seems so much more organised. Its like people have adapted and developed new skills from the last time. My work for example, all the systems are so well set up now that tings are relatiely seamless despite half a days notice. Then all the businesses have adapted to have remote systems and click and collect and delivery systems.

Whenever there is a lockdown I get huge cravings to go for walks. Its lucky being in NZ that despite it being winter we still get sunshine and daytime highs of 16/17 degrees celsius. Its been gorgeous today. Signs of spring with lot of fresh new flowers around. It makes the lockdown less stressful with nice weather and an abundance of green space.

The lockdown notice is for 15 days in total.

Its difficult to say how much economic carnage this will yield. NZ still had a feeling of relative normality after the last lockdown despite the severity of it.

I guess someone else on here said it right that NZ has backed itself into a corner with its elimination strategy that it has to keep locking down to achieve that goal. But, I guess it is the one place in the world most expected to survive an extreme pandemic event. So I guess we should focus on practice and perfecting systems for the next time this happens. If anything more severe than COVID happens then maybe the lesons might show that the border would need to be completely shut to get rid of it. Its hard to stamp it out when letting people back intot he country from everywhere else

Scott 2
Posts: 1587
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: COVID-19

Post by Scott 2 »

+1 no politics. The topics distract and divide, with little new perspective gained.

horsewoman
Posts: 527
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:11 am

Re: COVID-19

Post by horsewoman »

In a way it would be easier to speak up if politics were banned. Right now I don't dare/care to do so because of the "free speech" card. Even asking politely to go easy on the politics will (in the current general climate online) be seen as "suppressing the truth" or something like this.
People are too fired up, so maybe a "detox" in form of a ban would be net positive.
But I'm notoriously bad at predicting people's behavior, so I might be far off in my estimation :)

UK-with-kids
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:55 am
Location: Oxbridge, UK

Re: COVID-19

Post by UK-with-kids »

jacob wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:13 pm
So to answer this paragraph which concern the more important questions.

Specially, such issues can be discussed within the context of how it helps ERE that is "how one would design one's life given the circumstances". In that regard national COVID politics and strategies are completely irrelevant because people here can't change it anyway. We can only react. This it doesn't matter which strategy is better or worse, only what the strategy is where one lives. The question becomes how to respond to it personally, e.g. stock supplies, sew masks, leave the country, hang out in bars, ...

....

Ditto investment strategies. Investors don't need to discuss which kind of politics is best (and professionals generally don't bother). Instead, the discussion would be about which is the optimal portfolio for a red administration and which portfolio is optimal for a blue administration; what possible price movements would obtain from shifts in politics or policies. Whether one likes a particular flavor of politics is irrelevant.

....

Healthcare ditto. What matter for ERE are the choices given if you live in this state or that state or have these or those conditions. It's obvious that some plans are better than other plans for some people and worse for others. "Which plan is best for everybody" is politics and irrelevant for ERE per se. It only matters which choices you have and which choices you can get.

In short, it could be "arranged" so that politics only enter discussions as a "fixed boundary", an immutable condition where only one's response can be discussed. Basically all the "campaigning" for others to adopt a given viewpoint would be eliminated.
Stating that it doesn't matter what happens and you only need to worry about your own actions is itself a highly political statement. Personally I agree, but I spent many years feeling I had a civic duty to watch the news, attend protests, sign petitions, and so on. Only once I became jaded and especially after reading Harry Browne did I decided that I wasn't going to bother any more. "I used to care" as it says on my favourite T-shirt. But most people in mainstream society still care vary much about "politics", which in a nutshell could be described as how we decide who gets what resources. I actually think not engaging is outside the Overton window of acceptable behaviours in many western countries, whereas in Asian countries the opposite is true and it's considered very bad form and even dangerous to admit to political views in public.

There are political statements hiding everywhere in plain sight. Whenever somebody casually mentions that a particular service is "underfunded" that's an inherently political point of view as you're basically saying it should be given more money without having to change how it's run, presumably at the cost of raising taxes.

In the UK there have been a lot of recent BLM protests and they even made posters and stuck them up in the school windows to support that movement in my children's school. Now to me that feels like political brainwashing. The reality in education, backed up by government statistics, is that white working class children have the poorest educational achievement of any group apart from Gypsy/Roma/Traveller children. So why are we setting up special bursaries for black children? Politics trump facts, and even the slightest criticism of that would brand me a racist. For me it's actually the suppression of "politics" that can be more dangerous because unstated political framing goes unchallenged. Yes I accept that it's grossly insensitive to quip "all lives matter" or somesuch, but then it was grossly insensitive to the political/religious dogma of the time to claim the earth went round the sun in the middle ages. It doesn't make it untrue.
jacob wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:12 pm
It was already clear in the beginning (Feb/March) that the free democracies in western countries would fail at the containment stage being unwilling to close borders or restrict travel in any meaningful way. There was also a general belief that "it can't happen here" which is part and parcel of the human condition.
Can you not see why the phrase "free democracies" is a massively political statement?
nomadscientist wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:03 pm
Are people actually freer in America than Belarus or China? If freedom creates economic strength which creates military strength, how much longer will this continue? Not that a foreign suzerain would necessarily have any interest in reversing the process rather than accelerating it.
Yet I'm sure this type of comment is more controversial. Personally, when I spent some time in China I noticed that in many respects the Chinese citizens seemed much freer on a day to day basis than people in the UK. After years of propaganda in western media I was very surprised about this. Since coming home I've noticed ongoing anti-Chinese propaganda that just seems designed to make sure "Eurasia has always been at war with Oceana" or whatever Orwell said in 1984. Why do we hear about the Uighur Muslims every day but never about what's happening in Kashmir?
Jean wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:15 am
Or maybe lukashenko is the only sensible leader in Europe, and hé really won the élection, and thé woke west ist staging a coup there.
This seems to be the post that set people off being annoyed. But if we can't even predict our own elections of figure our what shenanigans are going on with electoral fraud in the UK and US, how can we possibly know what's happening in Belarus?

....

Sorry if this is a bit of a rant. Personally it doesn't bother me to see political statements as I just ignore them, or I call them out for what they are. I try to avoid arguing with people's world view because it's pointless. But I find it ironic that people complain about this forum being destroyed by politics when there's a separate sub-forum which they can choose not to read. The one thing that would make me leave the forum and not come back is if my posts started getting deleted because they didn't fit in with the (political) world view of the mods. That just feels like 'no platforming'.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6600
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: COVID-19

Post by jennypenny »

I guess I missed something. :? That's what I get for taking a vacation.

Why can't we just keep politics in political threads instead of clogging up other threads like this one? If you want to discuss COVID policies or politics, or find that your post is more political than not, simply start a new thread. I understand why people would want to talk about it -- these are crazy times. Same with the upcoming election ... it's going to be a spellbinding shitshow and it helps to talk it out with other people. Just keep it in political threads and avoid shitposting. No need to add new rules.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 12739
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: COVID-19

Post by jacob »

I'll just use this quote as a general starting point. Didn't mean to single you out. I just think this view is representative for many participants here.
UK-with-kids wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:00 am
Sorry if this is a bit of a rant. Personally it doesn't bother me to see political statements as I just ignore them, or I call them out for what they are. I try to avoid arguing with people's world view because it's pointless. But I find it ironic that people complain about this forum being destroyed by politics when there's a separate sub-forum which they can choose not to read. The one thing that would make me leave the forum and not come back is if my posts started getting deleted because they didn't fit in with the (political) world view of the mods. That just feels like 'no platforming'.
My point is that the current forum regime functions somewhat like a school yard with me as the principal in charge.

I can't just ignore fights or behavior that falls under the wide umbrella of bullying whenever they're not fighting me. I do understand how staying out of trouble is a good survival strategy for individual kids. However for the school itself, a school where the level is high and people get good grades, ignoring fighting and bullying is destructive. If a gang of kids start taking over part of the school or interfering in geology lessons with flat earth speeches, I can't ignore that ignore that either.

The normal (other forums or schools for that matter) approach is either ignore the problems resulting in a Lord of Flies situation where people ultimately learn nothing except fighting. Or be tough with expulsions and suspensions and restricting all teaching "to the test" never straying from the curriculum.

These are two easier extremes. The hard work is in the middle which requires selectively blocking off "fight zones", having long and boring conversations in the principal's office, making the environment unwelcome to gangs, and pushing back on the flat earth lectures each and every time it doesn't happen organically.

Since these efforts mostly go unseen, I understand why people presume this is easy. If a machine is mostly running fine, it is easy to conclude that maintenance is easy and the machine is all good except for the minor issue that seemed to lead to the current breakdown. If there are no fights or bullying in the school yard, it's easy to conclude that everybody is well behaved and the principal is getting paid for doing nothing.

My point is that it's hard work. The hard work is mostly created by a) the existence of a few revolving individuals; and b) politics.

Keep in mind that "the school problem" is not about individual behavior but about how individual behavior affects group behavior. "A bad apple spoils the barrel" comes to mind. I can't just clobber things I don't like w/o changing the dynamics and hence what learning is taking place.

Individuals can be "polished" or "raised" to be more considerate. However, politics is essentially a threat multiplier. It makes the forums more interesting, but it also leverages the risk of problems. (It's like spraying ethylene into the barrel.)

So I'm weighing my personal pros of allowing politics as far as I find it interesting with my personal cons of having to deal with an increased load of fighting, bullying, and flat earth lectures because of the political environment. Running this forum takes a lot of my focus which I have the liberty to spend elsewhere, so it has to be worthwhile for me.

Basically, politics has gotten far worse on the forum in the past few years than it was in the beginning years, so it's up against a rising tide ...

Ideally, there would be a fourth way where people take more ownership of the community (Kegan3+) instead of just using it as a place to say their piece.

Basically if you want politics to continue existing on the forum, you can't just ignore it when it becomes too much, because I can't. Unless this situation improves markedly and soon, I'm going to lock down the "politics and eternal disagreements" forum until at least after Jan/2021 or however long it takes for the culture wars to calm down to the 2010-level (early days of the forum) again when things were manageable. After the last several years I'm at the point now where I've had enough.

CS
Posts: 623
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Re: COVID-19

Post by CS »

jacob wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:09 am
Basically if you want politics to continue existing on the forum, you can't just ignore it when it becomes too much, because I can't.
I don't know how to do this or what it would look like. My kegan level must be pretty low (high?) for this skill. On the "not as good" side, shall we say.

Personally, lately, I've tried to ignore it all but then sometimes feel like I have to speak up when something needs addressing. Civic duty pretty well addresses the feeling. Followed by stress and avoiding the boards due to hating conflict, even if willing to have it sometimes. The detachment needed for rational discourse is not always there.

Frankly, I'd rather not know people's political leanings. Not on this board anyhow.

Locked