"It's going to happen. You're going to say hi at Thanksgiving, it's so nice to see you, and you're either going to be visiting her by Facetime in the ICU or planning a small funeral by Christmas," the MSMA president said. [...]
Hospital capacity to accept new patients is crumbling, Dobbs said. He cited a conversation last week with a physician who had decided to send a Mississippi patient to a hospital in Pensacola, Fla., after failing to get them in a bed anywhere in Mississippi.
That doctor, Dobbs said, settled on Pensacola after also trying and failing to find beds for the patient in the Alabama cities of Birmingham and Mobile. He urged Mississippians to exercise caution, not just when it comes to avoiding the virus, but more generally.
"Be careful, because there's nowhere for you to go if you have a car wreck," the state health officer said. "Unfortunately, we're not having a collective appreciation for how serious this is. Please protect yourself, protect your family, and please protect the vulnerable. Because it's going to be a rough few weeks." [....]
Despite a surge that could soon overwhelm hospitals statewide, Gov. Reeves has not signaled plans to reinstate a statewide mask mandate.
After Big Thanksgiving Dinners, Plan Small Christmas Funerals, Health Experts Warn
'Nowhere For You to Go If You Have a Car Wreck'
Tags: big brother, doomed, plague
There won't be funerals at Christmas in the the UK...because we don't have Thanksgiving.
Instead it'll be funerals in January, after Boris ignores all the scientists and medics, and tells everyone to go see their families at Christmas.
In South Dakota a nurse described some serious denial in patients dying from COVID, saying it was not possible they had COVID since it doesn't exist. This is how you subdue a population and proof that propagonda WORKS.
Propaganda and rumor — two words that have fallen out of usage in the past few years because they have become largely meaningless.
We used to hold rumor in contempt. You could dismiss something as "only rumor." But now, rumor — a currently circulating story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth, says my dictionary — describes how most Americans actually receive their daily information. The tagline for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok could be, "Keeping you connected with currently circulating stories and reports of uncertain or doubtful truth."
So too with propaganda, a thing that used to be universally reviled and we now accept as fait accompli: information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. Saying social media is full of propaganda is redundant, so why even bother, really?
Rumor and propaganda make compelling content, and compelling content makes for engagement, and engagement makes for profit.
"Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive," wrote Stewart Brand.
But disinformation only wants to be free, never expensive, and social media thrives on free content. We built an automated system to ease disinformation's swift passage. We wrap disinformation in individually tailored packages of credibility, so that its true origin remains opaque and instead it always arrives by way of a well-wishing and trusted friend, ensuring thereby a pliant and receptive audience. We even built analytical tools so that disinformation's author — who remains steadfastly secret even as your life is spilled into the public domain — may assess its efficacy and best tune the message for its optimal transmission and effect.
Annoyingly: lying is, in fact, constitutionally protected free speech. There are certain cases where that's not true — perjury, false claims by public officials, fraud, misstating financial figures, falsified engineering standards, etc. — but in general, lying isn't forbidden. As a practical matter it can't be — and if it could, it swiftly becomes a troubling if not outright terrifying prospect, the idea of governmental assessment of truth and lies and deciding who gets to say what.
And yet, the damnably naïve notion that "market forces" would make a lie factory unprofitable has been allowed to continue for years — decades even — largely untroubled by any substantial efforts to the contrary. And so it is that we find ourselves unhappily in the middle of a viral contagion pandemic and instead of clarity — practice good hygiene, prevent transmission by reducing social contact — we have unnecessary and absurd and manufactured controversy.
Jamie* has written here a few times on the soul-gnawing regret that burdens those of us who contributed to the early eager days of the World Wide Web. One of my precepts is Never automate bad ideas. And yet, here we are, with a fully automated massive indiscriminate instantaneous amplifier of "compelling content". We could have seen this coming; we did, in fact, see this coming.
Yes yes, Dr. Frankenstein, we hear that you have regrets but what we want to know is, What do we fucking do now?
Do we get to have a healthy republic and a free Internet? Can we get to a place where rumor and propaganda are once again meaningful? I honestly don't know. But I'm damned well going to try to figure it out.
* Apologies for the familiar name usage. I've never met our host and I don't pretend otherwise. I think we can all agree that "Mr. Zawinski" would have been the wrong choice, though.
The moralizing of market forces obscures a lot. People tend to either believe that markets don't work in practice and are bad, or that markets do work and are great, and the truth is neither of those things. Market's work really good. REALLY good. They really will go find efficiency in every nook and cranny, and drive towards using scarce resources efficiently. Sometimes markets or aspects of markets are really good solutions to certain types of problems.
The problem is that while markets are a fine tool for some things, they are just a tool. If you point markets at something insane and tell them to make that efficient, they will. If money = clicks, markets will make clicks by the most efficient means, and if the most efficient path is awful, they will be efficiently awful. If lies, controversy, and anger get more clicks, and clicks money, the market will mindlessly make the best lie machine it can.
The doom of our civilization is currently that there isn't enough money in truth. In the same way evolution doesn't push us towards intelligence, but instead being better a reproducing, and you only get intelligence if that makes you better able to reproduce; the market will give you truth if it is actually profitable to be delivering truth. The ultimate failure lies in us. If we were a species that really valued truth, the market would have provided. The market is amoral, and it's just reflecting back and magnifying the truth that we are a tricky, cunning, deceptive little apes that wrap themselves up in a comforting blanket of warm lies most of the time.
Only Jamie's partners get to call him Mr Zawinski.