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Posts posted by leicsmac

  1. Just now, simFox said:

    Isolate and monitor. No more lockdowns are necessary. We shouldn't be accepting this anymore.


    If people aren't dieing, it's not dangerous.

    That's actually what the Koreans have been doing all along, apart from a small time in March where numbers really were shooting up and so a bigger lockdown was thought warranted (and even then it wasn't total, even though I had a month furloughed). They have the resources and social awareness has been good enough so far that they've been able to target these hotspots as they came up. Not the same, it would seem, as other nations.


    This, however, seems like the biggest one since those difficult times.

  2. Not good developments over here in the last 24 hours - 100-odd cases yesterday and now as of 4.30pm more than 50 cases today in my own district alone, which means there will likely be a lot more nationwide. Linked mostly to churches.

  3. 37 minutes ago, Kopfkino said:

    I think I'm in the worst mental state I've ever been in. I don't really see a light at the end of the tunnel and I don't really feel like I'm living, just occupying space on God's green earth until sometime that I'm not . 'I don't wanna die but I ain't keen on living either' resonates, like if I found myself at St Peter's Gate I wouldn't be disappointed but I'm not actively looking to get there


    I don't know if I'm depressed but I am angry. So ****ing angry. Everyone's a ****, everything is against me, I'm confident that every decision Ive made in the last 12 months has been wrong, and nothing really makes sense to me anymore. Nothing is as it should be, there is so much wrong with how the world functions that I can't cope with it. 

    I'm sorry to hear that man. The world is utterly upside-down right now - perhaps it has been for a long time, but now it just seems even more so. Your anger is valid and 100% justified.


    It would need a better mind than mine to say if you are depressed or not, but even if you just think you might be it might be a good idea to talk to someone else about it, if you can.


    FWIW your intellect and opinion are ones that I respect hugely - "all substance and no show", as Thatcher would have it. If you feel you need to talk about it more or just vent further, do go ahead and inbox if you like - at the very least, I can lend an ear.

    • Like 3

  4. 2 minutes ago, Footballwipe said:

    Wouldn't you steal as a default on Golden Balls? Obviously some Oscar worthy acting in the build up, but if someone's at the prospect of stealing the whole thing from you I'd rather we both go home with nothing than just myself.



    Well, breaking it down (and someone correct me if I'm getting the format wrong here):


    If you choose to steal, you either win all or none of the pot depending on what the other player picks.

    If you choose to split, you either win half or none of the pot depending on what the other player picks.


    From that, yeah, picking "steal" is obviously the +EV (better play) unless you're more than 2/3 sure that the other person is going to pick "split", which seems like a big ask. Of course, as you likely only get to play once psychology comes into it a lot more than game theory, but hey.

  5. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/04/science/coronavirus-bayes-statistics-math.html


    A dense and interesting, if somewhat flawed, look at how important Bayesian analysis (as in, the world is complex, treat it as such and update your "priors" as often as possible) is in the field of stopping Covid, as well as other areas.


    It's telling that places with leaderships that are seemingly more willing to adapt to the information available are doing "better" (figuratively speaking) at fighting Covid thus far than those who are not.

  6. 5 minutes ago, filbertway said:

    I'm talking about quality of life more than just lives lost.


    I expect scientists and doctors to only worry about the the disease and the health of the population, drawing conclusions based on data and taking risk averse approaches. I also think they pay very little attention to the economic issues that can be caused by essentially asking the country to cease operating, or operating at a level where jobs and industries are put at severe risk.


    Much like I would expect an economist to advise in keeping the economy going - although they're probably terrified of doing that due to just being called heartless and not caring about people.


    As I say - short term, the benefits of locking down are stats going down. We won't see the long term effects for a while, but I'm struggling to see anything but economic struggle for a lot of countries and people.


    NZ unemployment is expected to double in September when wage subsidy runs out. At the minute their unemployment rate is masked by the fact that people aren't actively seeking work. Countries will have less money coming in from tax and will need to support more people out of work. The longer we're in this kind of limbo, the worse the effects will be.


    Even on here it seems to be split on what the correct approach going forwards is, so I think it's fair to say that any decision makers are gonna get backing and slaughtered in equal measure. It'll be interesting in a year or two to see how individual approaches worked for different countries.


    Ours seems to be governed by popular opinion and the media so let's hope the loudest shouters are right :D


    I enjoy reading your posts on here btw @leicsmac Always find your posts measured and interesting 

    Firstly, thank you for the compliment.


    It's certainly possible that at least some scientists are only looking at the death toll directly due to Covid and overlooking the economic concerns, but I do also think that some can also find ways of quantifying the "quality of life" metric that you talk about and include it in their calculations. It's a key part of the picture, after all - those economic concerns do affect lives directly and indirectly and should be included in reliable models.


    The issue here is that all of the models are very much conjectural because of our lack of information on how the disease perpetuates exactly, and as such making a decision based on that data is tricky - as it is split on here, so it is in the wider world because we simply can't predict things going forward in the way that can be done with other scientific models because we don't have enough puzzle pieces yet to make a coherent picture.


    With that known and the additional knowledge that at least some of what we're doing now - whatever it may be - is causing the virus lethality to go down, the safest course of action is to simply continue until we have new information that indicates a different pathway would result in less overall suffering.

    • Like 1

  7. 2 minutes ago, filbertway said:

    I think it's another interesting one. They must make a lot of money from tourism, which is essentially dead there now.


    Will be interesting to see how the country copes economically. Again - short term, great, they've kept the number of deaths down. Will it have negative long term effects though?

    Well, let's say the US tops out at about 200,000 deaths directly from Covid, a conservative estimate and to say nothing of the economic strife it has caused there that might result in more - that's roughly 1/1600 of the population.


    Divide the NZ population (4.886 mill) by 1600 to get the same death per capita rate and you get roughly 3053 deaths. Right now NZ has...22.


    I'm going to be honest, I think it might take quite a bit of economic turmoil caused directly by Covid to cause another 3000-odd deaths in NZ, and that's not even taking into account the aforementioned economic result deaths in the US, too. Stranger things have happened, though.

  8. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53747851


    As the NYT put it:


    "A win by Marjorie Taylor Greene would be a headache for G.O.P. leaders since she supports QAnon, a fringe group pushing a pro-Trump conspiracy theory. Her opponent, John Cowan, is no less conservative, but does not believe in a “deep state” of child-molesting Satanist traitors."


    So now we have a bona fide conspiracy nut in high office in the US (or will have, her election is pretty much a guarantee).

  9. 2 minutes ago, simFox said:

    Exercising such level of caution is just weak decision making and poor leadership, especially when faced with the economic data.


    A couple of months from now, Brazil be more or less back to normal while Aus and NZ are still in full lockdown with the UK locking down entire cities when they find more than 50 cases.

    Maybe, maybe not. There is no proof either way, so there's no need to state opinion as fact.


    In my own opinion, given the stakes I'd rather be risk averse, all other factors being equal in the absence of compelling information. But hey - I don't lead and I don't particularly care to, having seen what "strong leadership" does to too many people.

    • Like 4

  10. That the ratio of deaths to cases is lowering worldwide seems to be pretty much a fact in evidence. What is not so certain, however, is why.


    Has the virus mutated to a less lethal form? Have we become better at treating it? Better at identifying cases and using social measures to identify hotspots? A combination of the above, or other factors?


    Until we get answers there, any factor we change is going to carry a sizeable risk.

  11. 20 minutes ago, Jon the Hat said:

    The insanity of not voting Biden when the alternative is more Trump.  I mean seriously how mad have you got to be?  Like detesting the Tories and not voting Labour becuase Starmer is more centrist than your choice of Corbyn.  Bonkers.  Politics is always compromise.

    You'll get absolutely no disagreement from me there - right at the start of the election process I said it was Blue No Matter Who.


    As I said, I don't actually think this pick will hurt Bidens chances at all. Not sure it will help them, either, but it's not a net negative IMO.

  12. 7 minutes ago, Finnaldo said:

    Yeah that’s fair, I’d admit I’m probably being too harsh on her in that respect, but I see her appointment as another wasted opportunity for the Dems. I’m sure it’ll rank highly with older African-Americans, but the younger demographic (alongside a good portion of youth voters across any ethnic group) still seemed rankled by what happened with Bernie, and it seems rather than win them over they disregarded them for an ‘old vote’ running mate. 

    That younger demographic probably wouldn't have voted for Biden, no matter the VP pick. They wanted Bernie or similar.


    More I think about it, this is at the least not a strategically bad move.

  13. Personally I think Warren would have been a better choice and the whole "she's a cop" thing doesn't make this stellar timing for bringing her to the fore...but I've been predisposed to like Harris since she became well-known politically. She seems willing to change her policy viewpoints when evidence presents itself, and she can certainly dish it out (Trumps reaction to her pick is very telling). Not the best choice, but hardly doomsday for the Dems, either.


    In any case, I doubt her pick, or whatever else pick, will have much of an effect on the overall numbers come election day.

  14. 5 hours ago, simFox said:

    What you seem to disregard (which is everyone else's point) is that trying to save lives from covid is potentially costing more lives and livelihoods. It is more damaging.


    Yes. The key word in that statement being "potentially". We simply do not know enough. That is why I am disregarding it as unfounded.


    5 hours ago, simFox said:


    You are also looking at Brazil with your British societal lens, I work overseas, I know how poor people are, they live day to day. The Brazilian government aren't going to pay people to stay at home, they aren't providing for their citizens in the same way as the UK. Shutting down their economy isn't going save lives in the way you think it is when hundreds or thousands of people share a tap! Staying at home isn't saving lives when you all effectively live together.


    It's good that you work overseas - so do I and so have I, for eight of the last ten years. Of those, the majority have been spent in a country that, while developed, has its own problems with wealth disparity and a poor underclass (see the movie Parasite). And yet, they have had far fewer cases and deaths than Brazil have with this (so far) - as have countries that share exactly the same social problems that are described here, such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines, to name but a few. What did they do that Brazil did not? Take measures of various kinds to stop the spread.


    Of course, it may end up rebounding on them in the end, but frankly there's no way of knowing that.


    5 hours ago, simFox said:

    The virus will kill less people in a Western country with good health care and more people with less developed health care, your options really come down to how quickly it kills them, not how many it will kill. The end total for the virus will be the same. However you will only change the total with the way you deal with slowing the spread which will drag out the time taken, but ultimately, that might gain you political points. A good leader won't be going for points.


    This is a huge statement to make and yet totally unsubstantiated. It really should either be qualified as such or some ironclad citations given to support it.


    NB. I don't get why someone might defend Senhor Bolsanaro when this is far from the only situation where he's demonstrated that he is a poor leader and a shockingly unempathetic human being, but that's a matter for another thread, not this.

    • Like 2

  15. 9 hours ago, simFox said:

    Branded as not being a leader because he didn't bow to media and public opinion. 


    When the dust settles, history will judge the leaders.

    I can't see history judging a leader that saw the death of over 100,000 of their citizens with one of the highest deaths per capita ratios due to one cause (and that's just the ones we know about, really it's probably far more) that might have been reduced had a different path been taken and treat it with with vaguely humorous dismissal any way other than badly, but who knows? It's certainly a weird timeline that we're on right now.


    6 hours ago, simFox said:

    Watch from 1:53:30


    ML really takes it apart at 2:00


    Leicsmac, would appreciate your opinion.



    I'm not big on YT videos as a credible source for anything seeing as they lack scientific rigour and substantiation, but I did have a look.


    Levitt might be right. He equally might be wrong. That's been my point all along - we don't know enough about what we're dealing with to be sure of what to do either way, and I don't get the people peddling certainty when there is none. With things being equal, in this matter the more risk averse pathway is probably the better one to take.

  16. 1 hour ago, Finnaldo said:

    I don’t think there’s necessarily contentious about that aside a difference of opinion perhaps regarding status of economic immigrants. No one wants to see people drowning out at sea. 

    Possibly more concerning in the current pandemic, I think most would agree, is having unregistered folks within the country which could create a very serious issue should they not wish to come forward based on their illegal status.

    Don't come in here with your nuance, can't see you see it isn't wanted? :D

  17. 3 minutes ago, String fellow said:

    With large numbers of people crossing the English Channel in rubber dinghies every day (600 in the last 4 days), it seems strange to me that this topic hasn't been discussed here much at all. Is it taboo subject?

    Evidently not, seeing as the post hasn't been removed. :D


    What should the discussion entail?

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