It's Over

It's like "This Is Fine" and How To Destroy Angels had a baby.

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16 Responses:

  1. thielges says:

    If I read the trends correctly, California cases are now at the same level and increasing at a rate and of almost exactly two years ago.

    • CSL3 says:
      2

      If not higher, which is why we missed out on the "hot vax summer" we were promised. Sure would suck if we lost all our indoor mask and vax mandates at the same time - oh wait...

  2. vince says:
    4

    Back in March my University decided to make masking optional.  I was dismayed that most of my co-workers, who I had thought better of, instantly stopped wearing masks and started acting like I was a lunatic for continuing.  

    In any case I hoped we could at least make it to the end of the semester, and we almost did, but now it's finals/graduation week and there's a massive outbreak in my department.  An outbreak that seems to be in large part from a super-spreader event that was a departmental sponsored end-of-year thing at a bar.

    I had to move a final exam to be remote because 15% of the class was quarantining with active cases and I bet a large number were also just not showing symptoms.

    I had to do this all at my own discretion too, because administration is still in denial and stopped tracking cases, and they're still planning on having packed graduations with family members all shoved inside a poorly ventilated hockey arena.  And they are having 4 of these because they are having all the people who missed out on graduation the previous 2 years back.  I can't imagine this is going to end well.

    This is orders of magnitude worse than anything that hit us in the previous 2 years, but everone's all LOL who cares. It's just mind boggling.

  3. Michael V. says:
    1

    I've got a child in grade school. The school district has done just about everything I could ask for in-person learning - constant masking, social distancing, weekly testing of all students, fully-vaccinated staff, etc.

    This week, my kid's class suffered a huge outbreak. 1/3 of the kids tested positive, the teacher tested positive. Now my whole family is sick, despite being vaxxed and boosted.

    • Michael Sternberg says:
      Why not make that:

      … despite – and fortunately – being vaxxed and boosted.

      Don't discount the considerable post-infection benefit of vaccination to reduce severity and (perhaps) duration. Experience in my family bore this out.
    • vince says:
      1

      there's also an outbreak at my kids school, this particular one possibly from a mask-optional "Weird Al" concert this past weekend

      state funding for testing in schools runs out May 15th though, so after that we won't even know if there are outbreaks, which I guess is one way of solving the problem

  4. Aardvark Cheeselog says:
    2

    /me sighs

    To be scrupulously fair, human performance in this pandemic has been about par for the course, basically what you should expect from overclocked monkeys.

    Also, human performance in this pandemic is maybe another bit of evidence that "progress," as widely conceived, is not something that happens with human behavior. We are, in other words, shitty and stupid in much that same ways that we have always been shitty and stupid, and there appears to be no prospect of our becoming less stupid or shitty in the future.

    In particular, the notion that humans in any great numbers have internalized the ways of knowing that allowed the contemporary world to be built, that notion is goofy. Most people have not internalized those ways of knowing, and a sizeable fraction of it resist such internalization with the greatest fierceness.

    I remember reading a science fiction novel as a child. In the far future world of the novel, the mathematical education of children included "grammar-school calculus." There will never be such a thing, because humans who can learn anything about calculus before about the age of 14 are so rare that they might as well not exist. And because there will never be grammar-school calculus, the median person will never learn much about the STEM way of seeing the world.

    We could theoretically have more success with teaching general critical-thinking skills which are not so dependent on working entirely with abstractions, but because so many of the people with power are dependent on the median person not having any ability to think critically, efforts in this direction are routinely derailed.

    In summary, life sucks. Then you die.

    • jwz says:
      5

      There are few things I find more pointless and irritating than navel-gazing stuff like this. Any screed that refers to people as "humans" has about the same intellectual rigor as ones that refer to women as "feeeeeemales".

      Performance during this pandemic in Japan is not the same as in the US. By your "scrupulously fair" theory, which of those sets is more "human"? Nice just-so story you got there, shame if some nazi eugenicist shit got into it.

      "Herp derp we're all just animals, man" -- save it for the novelty rock songs and 3am post-bong-rip insights.

    • tfb says:
      As jwz said, the fact that different societies have dealt with the pandemic with radically different levels of success immediately says that what you're saying is either racist junk or just junk.  I'll go for 'just junk'.

      And then:

      [...] humans who can learn anything about calculus before about the age of 14 are so rare that they might as well not exist.

      Right, of course.  Here's the thing: 5,500 years ago the number of people who could read or write was probably zero.  200 years ago probably a little over 10% of people could read & write, now a little under 90% can.  In many countries the level of literacy is now within epsilon of 100%.  Children of perhaps 5 can certainly read and write to some degree.  Literacy is a learned skill, unlike (probably) natural language.  And you know what: literacy is harder than some elementary analysis.

      The same is true, in spades, for numeracy although the evidence is harder to find and we are less far up the curve.

      Or, you know, 80 years ago the number of people who could program a computer, or even who knew what programming was, was tiny – a few tens, perhaps?  Today, I don't know: hundreds of millions?  Including children well under ten.  And programming is not easier than elementary analysis (and yes, I can program and I've tutored people in analysis).

      Your comment is just the worst, most offensive, kind of junk science.

  5. Aardvark Cheeselog says:
    5

    Any screed

    That was not a screed. Someday I might give you a screed.

    that refers to people as "humans" has about the same intellectual rigor as ones that refer to women as "feeeeeemales".

    FFS that was totally uncalled-for. Not enough to rouse me into composing a screed, but yes you pissed me off with that one.

    It is a fair cop to point out that Japan's reaction to COVID was a lot more sensible, with much better results for the Japanese, than that of almost any other society on Earth. I could make an argument that this makes it the exception that proves the rule, and that the interesting question is why this particular batch of overclocked monkeys did so much better than the rest. Because the Japanese response was highly atypical. No other human society came close to their discipline and effectiveness.

    Nice just-so story you got there, shame if some nazi eugenicist shit got into it.

    I'm familiar with the term "just-so story" as a non-falsifiable explanation of the origin of a thing. I don't see that I have committed that here.

    Also, "nazis could use that as ammunition" is not an argument.

    It's possible that you're mostly objecting to my characterization of people collectively as irredeemably shitty and stupid, and I admit that this is harsh. Also that it is not the whole story. But I insist it is part of the story.

    "Herp derp we're all just animals, man"

    "Just" is doing a lot of work there. If you think "animals" are "just animals" that is probably where we part ways. If you are trying to deny that we are animals, I think I can work up a proper screed on that subject. I don't do novelty rock and gave up the 3am bong rips... long ago.

    PS the WYSIWYG comments editor works much better than I anticipated.

  6. Josuah Demangeon says:

    I just saw How To Destroy Angels for the first time.

    This is strong! A particular scene caught my attention, that appears repeatedly through the whole footage. There is the cataclysmic scene, and from time to time, a normal-looking scene with the same characters, sitting on a couch as a fire starts.

    That suggests to me that both are the same scene: one that describes how it looks visually (people chilling on their couch like every end of the day), and another that shows what really happens inside.

    This looks typical to what happen when denying a problem until it leads to a crisis: divorce, burn-out, emotional break-down, political conflicts, or letting a pandemic propagate and let's see when it becomes dangerous.

    The shocking images displayed here seems here to shock, or more positively, trigger a reaction.

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