Magical Thinking

Mathematics is concerned most often with certainties. If x plus y equals z, then 2x plus y equals zx. That sort of thinking is not arrogant, it is simply one way or the other.

Magical thinking believes that given a few little tweeks you can make 2+2 equal what the hell you want it to be, and for Americans, at this critical juncture in history, over half want it to mean an end to the president’s continuous distortions of the truth to benefit himself, and a return to more honest leadership in their interests.

But thinking that more of the same is somehow going to change the future because bad luck can not rule forever is simply fanciful. The facts are stark, Trump has led America into the death of a very significant number of people, and the injury to the lives of possibly more by being too optimistic about a virus as though he could somehow negotiate with inevitability and look good because he predicted it would magically go away. Unfortunately his misdirection backfired and the killed 132,000 Americans. That number is not going to magically reduce, it will inexorably increase. And he is proud of his record! Look how great he is! It is painfully obvious he is damaging the USA more seriously than any person in the last two hundred years. And yet, 30% or so will still vote for him, even as their family members die because they attended a Maga rally.

Magical thinking also infects the Government of the UK. Believing that this crisis is over when there are still 500 new infections in a day, because it is not at the level it was, is a failure to understand the mathematics of viral spread. 500 new infections means that there are well over 100 hotspots where he virus is not contained. 500 can be doubled to a nice round 1000, and then if the R rate jumps to 2, the number of infections returns to 8,000 in a couple of weeks. Rationality is to get the infection rate down below 10, then you have more time to control any pockets of infection.

The virus has mutated, mainly due to the unrestrained infection rate. Every person infected adds genetic information to the virus, and increases its chances of survival in our bodies. The mutation makes the virus more contagious. The only way we can control it is to reduce the pool of bodies it currently infects to those in hospital, and no others.

The other terribly difficult issue is if the progress of the virus is not defeated and the UK crashes out of the EU without a trade deal at the end of the year, poverty will become more widespread. Poverty is the best friend of the virus – desperate people still need food, but can not isolate so easily.

So the luxury of being able to open up early is magical thinking and it will prolong the economic damage into next year when the threat of more expensive food imports will destroy the lives of a larger percentage of people who simply have debts: student loans, mortgages, vehicle loans, and most significantly, credit cards, leveraging their ability to pay and support themselves in the face of extended lockdowns and economic false starts.

No, Mr Johnson, and Mr Cummings. Your machinations are like Mr Trump’s. Magical thinking. And it will be the ruin of many average people.

Tory backbenchers who support Johnson’s insane government, beware. Your constituents will become increasingly aware you did nothing to prevent the most destructive Government in the UK’s history from destroying their lives.

Also read …

The Guardian on Brexit in the Covid-19 era

Why Tolerate Catastrophe?

The catastrophe of nationalism and isolationism typified by Trump, Bolsonaro and Johnson are carving a scar in human history deeper than even world wars managed. A terrifying future awaits. And it is by choice but without intelligence, it is a malignant leadership of narcissist short term heroics and populism running away with its own self-importance ignoring the terrifying conditions festering and corrupting opportunity.

Business may have had money on a platter, developers given free reign to destroy nature and pollute to unleash ‘potential’. Is it profit if it costs lives? Is it gain if lives are destroyed systematically? Is it governance when it is mere promotion and irresponsibility?

The handling of the Covid crisis provides a measure of how awful and destructive the rule of these ‘leaders’ is proving and frankly, the world is sick of them. The USA and Brazil lead the world in measured Covid infections in a second wave resurgence more terrifying and fatal than any other event in American history.

And the UK has the feckless and increasingly unstable liar, Boris Johnson leading the country from Covid nightmares into Brexit desolation, a future increasingly dependent upon replacing the reliable and efficient trade with the EU with a cornered rat negotiation with the most unreliable US administration that now appears doomed, in which case British interests will not be high on the list of priorities of a new adminstration, or if the nightnare continues, will it be in the interests of the British people.

Democracy would have prevented these disasters, if it were respected. The USA and UK are not shining lights of democracy. They are autocratic dictatorships. They are wreaking their countries.

The opposition to those who would lie and cheat democratic fairness will have to be nearly universal to drown out the inevitable accusations. In the case of the dysfunctional leaders in the Americas this seems likely. The undemocratic system in the UK has cemented in a government that is prepared to enforce a marginal vote from four years ago despite majority opposition to it. The UK needs to rise up and prevent Brexit.

All Life Matters

BLM is completely correct. It has demonstrated how important political issues are hijacked by those who oppose it. BLM is an important, vital political message – minorities are vitally important. But the real issue we face as a species, all humanity is how we live inside nature. Was Covid-19 created by humans in a lab, or is it more likely that encroaching upon and destroying nature is the real reason? And who is the cause of all these deaths? I place the blame squarely on the Government, the nature of the unfair political systems, especially in the US and UK. These lumbering dinosaurs demonstrate their inability to change or adapt – BLM should have been resolved 50 years ago. Our place on nature, the next pandemics, these are even more complicated and I argue that Government has to evolve.

Conspiracy theories regarding Covid-19 being ‘developed in the lab’ are soundly debunked in this article which states that 3% of people in the border area of Southern China have anti-bodies for other bat corona viruses, and that the ‘corona’ of spikes that allow the virus to attach to cells are indeed naturally occurring in another related corona virus.

The fact that millions of viruses potentially could cross over to infect us from nature casts weak conspiracy theories into a shadow of doubt and highlights that the real danger of human activity destroying and overtaking the habitats of nature is the real and not understood problem.

The level of stark incompetence of the UK and US Governments to respond to this threat and indulgence, at the highest levels, in stupid ideas, also masks that the discussion is not about what it needs to be about.

Governments are slow and stupid, great lumbering dinosaurs that threaten all life in this planet. And increasingly we are becoming aware that all life matters.

The BLM movement values its protests over the risks of infection which demonstrates the value of Governments taking minorities into account. They can not even do that very well, these lumpen beasts.

The details of how this virus emerged naturally are far less exciting. They’re about how humans and animals have interacted for millennia, now at an unprecedented rate. They’re about how human domination of the world’s ecosystems as we encroach on animal habitats is opening new pathways for viruses, once hidden in the depths of the forest, to be transmitted to humans.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/09/conspiracies-covid-19-lab-false-pandemic

Justice is demonstrably important to the peoples of societies. But living within the rules of Nature is imperative if we are to survive at all.

We must immediately evolve a better system of Government. The systems that the US and UK use are ridiculous.

The Origin of the Virus

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/04/five-eyes-network-contradicts-theory-covid-19-leaked-from-lab

Here we go, Mike Pompeo asserts that the virus ‘originated’ in the Wuhan laboratory, who deny that they have ever sequenced the virus before the outbreak. America is trying to undo the Chinese Communist Party rule by inviting Taiwan to a WHO body, and China may be ramping up its military muscle over Taiwan.

The USA Government is trying to lay blame on China for mismanagement of the virus outbreak despite the fact that China after initially trying to suppress information, China published full sequencing of the virus and cooperated with the WHO. The USA withholds funds from the WHO.

China (without information from other outbreaks) managed its outbreak and America, with information from China, Korea, and Japan botched its response so badly their death rate is so far 20x China’s and by far the worst in the world.

Deflection propaganda is in full play by this self-centered and destructive administration governing the USA.

Consider the ridiculous argument the White House is asserting: it also means a) the virus is not sourced in nature, and b) it’s spread was intentional. To accuse China of the deliberate massacre of potentially millions requires very solid evidence to be credible. But to say that they crafted the virus requires a level of science and bravado that only the USA has employed in its play for dominance in the world. It is also a bit silly – millions of viruses are sourced in nature and could and do jump species, but only a handful presents a challenge to immunity that evolved over time with us to protect us from infection.

It will happen again. It is how we craft our political response and empower science and medicine that limits the destruction of a virus our biology does not deal with swiftly. We are not there yet, despite what we learned from the 1918 ‘Spanish Flu’ outbreak. Despite our successful containment and eradication of SARS and MERS. Despite what we could learn from the Covid-19 outbreak.

The plague sweeping over America is predictably going to claim millions of lives if the growth curve of infection continues to rise exponentially. The end of containment has happened. If the infection rates do not subside over summer, growth in the fall is inevitable.

Every country in the world has to cooperate to reduce infection to zero, instead, America has taken the risky course of infecting its most vulnerable (i.e. anyone) and survival of those with natural immunity until the vaccine arrives. The moment they found a drug can help treat the symptoms, the arguments for containment and mitigation were rolled over by the economic argument that is based on a fear of tax increases required to support the isolation measures.

America justifies its lack of management, pats itself on the back for its ‘incredible’ response and the only real hope the world has is in a vaccine that has yet to be found. The response by President Trump, in particular, has been spectacularly wrong and misguided, ineffective and dangerous.

Does this Government work?

The UK Government hesitated deliberately before applying the lockdown rules that were being applied already by citizens, businesses and sports organisations. It was as though Boris Johnson did not want to be left behind, because there he was shaking hands of victims to establish his own immunity because in the long run, that gives him an advantage.

The Government could not solve the problems of funding the NHS which they made worse by vilification of immigrants, especially the backbone of the nursing corps, the European nurses. They could not solve the problem of the care of the aged.

The policy of “herd immunity” to a disease which killed older people disproportionately can only be described as an evil opportunistic measure rather than one based on the previous decisions to limit nurses pay, to limit spending on protective gear and the UK’s cynical approach of only counting deaths in hospitals is a cover-up of this evil. Deaths in care homes for the aged is a statistic that the Government does not take responsibility for, and yet, one that is entirely their fault.

The Government has powers to enact laws and spend budget. The Conservatives have done more to destroy real wealth and preserve the wealth of tax dodging criminals who call themselves ‘business’. This is not simply a divided nation, it is a feudal state, the many who are vulnerable economically and now physically serving the needs of those who own this government. What comes next in the Conservative Secret Agenda? Slavery?

Lockdown is an incomplete policy, it is an effective emergency measure to stop the virus spreading, but without the other side of this equation, contact tracing, it is a death sentence to those pockets where the virus exists. The real problem is the lack of a health system and lockdown has probably exacerbated the vulnerability of individuals. It becomes economic punishment and control, as the Government selectively dishes out taxpayer funds to those who need it, letting many descend into debt precipitously.

The evil of this Government is exposed by its omissions. Gaping holes in Governmental response. The vacuous defensive innocence of the Health Secretary, not a role to be taken lightly but one being performed by an amateur. The entire cabinet comprised of fools and poor thinkers can not frame a successful argument against the pursuit of death that is trademark Dominic Cummings extremism, the Dr Frankenstein who has the PM’s brain in a jar, pickling it, controlling the direction of policy while tearing away at the civil service infrastructure. So protective gear for the ‘front line’ takes far too long, smaller firms who offered their expertise are ignored, even masks are in short supply – there is no real coordination of effective measures – but a ‘war stance’ taken to battle media attention and confuse public opinion rather than actually thinking about what to do: they just accept what they are told and do very little with their extraordinary power over resources. They appear to have taken more time over how to avoid a real death count so the UK is not quite as bad as its European neighbours when their inaction has caused familial devastation and nearly twice the number of deaths than they report.

This is not a government, it is a ship of fools guided in their decisions by a secret agenda and destructive psychotic insanity. It is not just that they are wrong, it is that they are steering the ship into the worst catastrophe that they could find, and then lying about the terrible consequences of their contemptible inadequacy.

American Leadership

America has inappropriate leadership.

Enough has been said and written about the personalities involved. President Trump, Mitch McConnell and the dishonest Senate who could not follow through on removing the impeached Trump. The Democrats who appear to fail to rise to the challenge of opposition and have nominated, again, their most establishment candidate for President due to a fear of ‘socialism’.

Conservatism is only appropriate when there is something worth conserving. Trump’s corrupt form of economics will add more to the National Debt than even Barack Obama did, the difference being that Barack Obama recovered the economy from 2008 and built infrastructure. Trump burned infrastructure including that created to deal with pandemics.

America must reject the politics of populism if it is to thrive in the new world. The Democrats need to realise that only new evolved thinking will save America from itself. And corrupt populism is a cancer that is every bit as destructive as the disease that corrupted the USSR from within.

Automation and the Dangers of Populism

Automation should allow us to extend and redefine productivity. Vending machines replace people in banks and for certain products. Banking is now more productive than ever but do we measure industry by how efficient it is or how many people it employs?

Redefinition of goals – instead of ‘job for life’ for some it has become ‘passive income’ or ‘my own business’ for many whilst unemployment and benefits may be necessary to fill in gaps, families coming together to support young families will become the new normal.

Politicians can not be expected to solve this or many problems for us, they are there to set the framework of laws, not rescue us from ourselves.

The economy belongs to us, they are there to take some of it and provide public services. Politicians are not going to rescue airlines or banks from economic evolution. That is the lesson populism and isolation will learn hard. That is what is wrong with this wave of out-of-date thinking from the likes of Trump and Brexit, it will kill people who matter to other people, but people who are merely statistics that embarrass the government.

We expect politicians to be able to do something about it, our reaction is understandable, but they can’t. We pay lawyers ridiculous amounts to defend our inadequacies regardless of the fact that half of them have to lose. The economics of failure are not well understood, but they are there. Governments set a direction, but it is up to the people to innovate. Conservatism has been lost in the dense haze of populism.

And Left-wing thinking has been branded ‘socialism’ and therefore ‘wrong’. The Left-Right dichotomy was out of date but has been perverted by populism and idiotic thinking, masked by lies and confidence in the domination of others.

Prejudice and Influence

No 10 defends the activities of Dominic Cummings, a right-wing promoter of extreme Brexit and source of this Government’s most extreme ideas at the Science guidance body Sage, where two members have complained that Cummings has been more than an observer but has directed the course of discussion to suit his own pet theories.

Hence, we believe that the policy of seeking ‘herd immunity’ and not counting deaths in the community or care-homes, has come directly from this advisor to the PM. This self-satisfied feedback mechanism has no place in forming policy: it is nothing but reinforced prejudice and has caused the UK to be the worst country in the world for managing this pandemic. Cummings and his role are directly responsible for the brutal course the UK has taken.

The economic fallout will go on for years. The social damage of overwhelming the NHS on one hand and ignoring the massive overflow of patients who could not be saved, on the other is effectively genocide by inaction. It is the disabling of expertise through interference and influence.

Britain is one of the most tragic offenders of cheating the greater population from the benefits of taxation.

Hiding real statistics, making false statements and pursuing nihilistic and hypocritical goals makes this Government both cruel and heartless, complicit in damaging the fabric of the society it pretends to support and enables massive and legalised tax fraud.

Let’s hope that a near-death experience allegedly suffered by Boris Johnson has woken up his conscience and informed him of the dangers of pursuing the course of his Government has taken thus far.

Austerity ended up being more expensive than maintaining social services.

Lies and Statistics

Trump is guilty of misrepresenting the truth, within 24 hours he tries to fool people by saying he was being sarcastic to the media when saying people could take disinfectant into the lungs, when, clearly and obviously he was not. He appeared earnestly serious, trying to be ‘the man’ who ‘found the cure’ by suggesting something which seemed logical to him in the moment and asking his medical experts if this could be a feasible cure. That he did this was not the issue, that he did this in a press briefing designed by his deputy to inform the public, and taken over by him for obvious reasons of continuous exposure is utterly beyond contempt. That he then recommended to his willing faithful that they should take hydroxychloroquine – ‘just take it – what do you have to lose’ and more recently light and disinfectant to the lungs, or injected into the bloodstream not only reveals his rampant desire to be ‘the one’ who found a cure, the miracle man – but a complete ignorance on the role of the press. He then plainly and obviously lied about it – saying he was being sarcastic. For what exact purpose? To elevate him above the evil media who criticise him? To assuage his aching ego?

His personal measure of success, the stock market, has betrayed him and with any luck destroyed his electoral chance as people start to really feel the bite in November. ‘Winter is coming’ and death stalks the dishonest dealer.

And then the UK, representing their Covid-19 deaths statistic by only counting those that occurred in hospitals and the total count only tests conducted in hospitals, ignoring the more horrific measure of grief, people who died in their own homes and the sad horror of the convenient reduction in the care-home population being left out of daily media reports.

Well, here it is – as we pass by the grim 20,000 death ‘threshold’, the FT has published a ‘conservative estimate’ of 41,000 total deaths, making the UK and the USA the two countries that have badly mismanaged the outbreak – the very worst in the world – and by a grim and significant margin. And the worst of this is yet to come.

(Source: FT linked article included here for clarity)

Both countries reduced the message and allowed the pride of its population to attend events in March or congregate in ‘freedom’ protests encouraged by President Trump in April, while other badly hit EU countries are starting to recover, the UK and the USA are relealing an accelerating infection and consequential death rate, and can not even be honest about their numbers. Because they are so terrible they do not really even know. Because the Executive branch of the USA government is dysfunctional, and the UK Government is run by dishonest and rather useless ministers.

Boris Johnson and Trump have carved their places in the very flesh of history. They will be remembered, certainly.