Big deal, it knocks off a few people who would have died in '21 or '22. I was wearing a huge industrial respirator to the store in February '20 like all the internet guys, by May it was clear the bloke with the bell and the wheelbarrow calling to "bring out your dead" was unneeded. However Moldy, you are allowed to be a C*lifornian.

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There is a very strong eugenically-inclined argument which could be made in support of letting Covid-19 running wild, which I am surprised no one around *these* parts of the internet has seriously developed yet.

Especially given the lopsided demographic figures and the financial death loop they form in combination with the current pension systems, Corona-chan could save a lot of nations from impending fiscal doom...by delaying it with a generation or two.

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I favor minimizing the extent to which humans are treated as livestock, so I reject eugenics. That said, cultivating a culture of clinical hypochondria, or going to great lengths to draw out life for a few more months, is unreasonable. No one went this crazy over smallpox, and that was a real killer.

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As am I. The issue is, most of the people you see in our society today *want* to be treated as livestock. What do livestock want? Comfort, safety...that's about it.

The fact is that most people will accept virtually any amount of oppression and totalitarian control, so long as they are given an uninterrupted supply of Netflix originals and take-out. Anything to distract from an existence otherwise devoid of meaning, anything to stave off the inevitability of physical death...just one more day.

The new slave masters have learned from the past. Beatings and cruelty makes for rebellious slaves. Comfort and pleasures on the other hand...

The carrot has proved vastly superior to the stick in every way.

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What is so offensive about treating humans as livestock? In some sense the management of a healthy civilization is exactly that. Are you so repulsed by this metaphor that you aren't even willing to consider that the distribution of genes in a population contributes to the qualities of the society it forms? Should we turn our eye away from the facts that traits which lead to economic success are maladaptive, and we are becoming biologically dependent on modern medicine?

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Obviously a properly implemented eugenic regime would "work", and the case for it is obvious enough. I, personally, don't wish to be treated as livestock however. Crazy right? My idea is that, like, maybe I could lend support to the notion that it's morally questionable to treat humans like animals, and it would incrementally work to protect me from that fate.

I do understand though, if you're incapable of feeling the full range of human emotions, it might be hard for you to understand. You may lack the capacity to emulate the antieugenic position.

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Rather than spitting on each other: can we simply acknowledge that biology matters, and that it is reasonable to be afraid of the government controlling our genetics. What does it look like to take the issue seriously? To continue down the metaphorical path, what human ecosystem would you find must beautiful if a cattle ranch is ugly ( I actually agree) and how would we get there? An old growth forest? A manicured garden? Maybe a combination of different gardens and natural biomes?

Right now we have chaos and its very likely heading for disaster. Consider that the status quo may lead to inevitable genocide if the loss of general health is not a strong enough cause for concern. Is it really better to leave the future to chaos than to design an biosocial infrastructure for humanity to flourish within? "Seeing like a state" comes to mind immediately of course. Is the status quo the best we can do? Why?

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For sure if you're outside the Malthusian trap, you're at a minimum accumulating "genetic load". In our case we are running a disgenic policy, so we could start by ending that. I would basically favor psyops, possibly private sector grants, to get beautiful and smart women to have more kids, and norplant injections for welfare (which leaves plenty of room for individual choice). In the long term I imagine we could do a round of Greg Cochran's genetic spell checking once ever 5 generations or something, so you clean up the de novo mutations, without central planning selection for higher frequency "normal" variants.

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I'm trying to see if you and others who agree with you have a perspective which goes deeper than a loose metaphor which you find objectionable for reasons you apparently aren't willing or able to articulate. Your snark and insults aren't particularly helpful in this regard

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The most eugenically-inclined parts of the dissident right (Spencerites etc.) passionately hate Trump, to the point they reflexively adopt the perceived anti-Trump stance on every issue.

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> "Why does the private sector, when left to its own devices, always adopt this discredited abortion of medieval political science?"

I suspect the next move of Woke totalitarianism is going to be to ban this entirely, as it is obviously an alternate power source and rebuke of "diversity, equity, and inclusion."

Diversity officers will soon be required *on site* at every company of any size, reporting directly to (read: controlling) the CEO. Smaller businesses will be required to submit plans to the government. Build back better—this is the future.

Wokeness in America today is exactly like the Nazification of Germany in the 1930s. *Everything* must become Woke—even the knitting magazines and the corporations and the sports and the schools and the science and the genders on and on on. Nothing is exempt from Nazification, sorry, Woke-ification.

Pronouns are the modern day Swastika: a reliable symbol of an enthusiastic party member. (If you've ever wondered who would have side with the Nazis if it came to your own country, look for those pronouns in people's bios: you've found them.)

All of this is to say, Gray Mirror is about what comes next. But will there be a next? Who is going to fight our real, *present day* Nazis? Germany? LOL.

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China is your answer.

I've been wondering about China for a while, and what role it plays in the US's cold civil war.

Maybe I've been reading too much Philippe Lemoine, but it seems to me that China's response, in a nation of 1.4 billion people, clearly, amazingly worked. I'm surprised more people aren't, well, awed by that. As in: "hey, maybe I should move to China" or "maybe we should at least learn from China" awed.

One of the things China is doing, of course, is their social credit system. I think wokies (from Wokelahoma) look at this and drool. They don't openly say it. But how could they not want it? I mean, they control tech companies, finance companies, and governmental bureaucracies; they know that if the USA got such a credit system, it would work to their benefit.

That said, the fact that the wokies aren't openly praising China's approach leads me to believe that they know something I don't. They seem to have an animal cunning when it comes to avoiding picking battles they'd lose, so I assume the time is not yet right to officially try to debut this in the USA. Of course, they seem to be doing it anyway in a decentralized way; it's just that it's happening pretty slowly, by comparison with China. I'm not used to Wokies being patient.

In any case, let me continue my China reverie: it's not crazy to think that China will soon emerge as a near-equal power to the USA, if it hasn't already. And it's even not crazy to think that Wokies won't like this. I know a woke, gay man (Hollywood producer) who is Chinese-American, and amazingly, he didn't think the Chinese government & culture was as friendly to gay people as US government & culture. (This was weird to me; didn't he realize he was praising the USA over a non-white country? I mean, China is *filled* with minorities! I bet he wouldn't have *dared* to make the same point about Uganda.) He's my one example to prove my point, but let's say it happens.

Is it possible that the people of the USA could get on the same page w/r/t disliking China? I mean, I wouldn't be shocked if the Chinese explore genetics in directions that the left doesn't like; and they even have a derogatory word, Baizuo, for SJWs!

So, I think China will soon make an interesting difference to our culture wars. Unfortunately, I think China is much smarter than us. They already know to cloak themselves in woke language (https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-woke-chinese-communist-party-11615153949), and the western left is pretty much helpless to respond. I would be curious to know how western leftists would like living in a world with the Chinese government as the hegemon, but I already know.

They'd love it! Maybe that's why they're helpless to respond.

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Couple things re: wokestapo and China.

The first world problems wokesters complain about are of no interest or use to an authoritarian state, which out of its population needs a prodigious but controlled birth rate in a homogeneous and obedient culture, and doesn't give a damn about diversity, inclusion, and equity except when it's actively hostile to those values.

Wokesters, being armchair communist sympathizers, do what communist sympathizers are wont to do: ignore all communist-ish countries that don't conform to their vision of ideal socialism.

Nevermind that China is a well-administered technocracy, which is closer to fascism than it is to communism - since that's what wokeonauts are aiming us toward (technocracy I mean, not good administration... since that needs meritocracy and hierarchy, which they're pretty sure are bad).

Like you imply, China understands that the western wokesplosion is a sign of impending societal collapse and a useful tool for them to exploit, not an ideology that should be taken seriously. So they speak the language when they want to backfoot the US on the world stage, but would never dream of being non-hypocritical about it. When it comes to bizarre cults and religious extremists, China knows how to deal with them. See Falun Gong and the Uighurs. That's exactly how they would (and do) deal with wokeness internally. They don't even tolerate milquetoast western feminism.

So any neganazi who knows anything about China knows they're not on the same team, and the rest of the wokestazi are playing by the 100-year old commie larper playbook and ignoring China entirely.

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First, thanks for using the term "nega-nazi". Never seen that before.

Second, do you think that the rest of the "wokestazi" can ignore China forever? Is it going to go like this:

1. China does something amazingly worrying (like attack and take over Taiwan).

2. Wokies say nothing and wait.

3. Many Americans are now worried about China. Some even say essentializing things about Chinese people.

4. The wokies pounce and attack the people who say the essentializing things while continuing to ignore China. (Or they do the "it was wrong to attack Taiwan, but ..." line.)

What if the Chinese develop genetic engineering? What if they make huge progress in finding the genetic markers for intelligence and the results go in a direction that wokies ... um ... don't like?

In other words, can they ignore it forever without eventually coming to its defense?

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I think by the time wokesters run out of things to complain about in the west (likely because the west has collapsed) China is not going to care in the slightest what they think and won't even acknowledge they exist. Remember these people are focused on micro-issues, like micro-aggressions, while ignoring huge violations of their own supposed principles all over the world right now. Forget about genetic engineering, they don't even care about, say, Yemen, more than they care about man-spreading. If we're judging what they care about by about what they scream most loudly.

So tl;dr I figure the line tracking China's growing power never intersects with the line representing the scope of woke concerns.

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Imagine being bullish on China. I get that the west isn’t doing great, but CCP land ? C’mon

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This is cope, friend. You'll recognize it within this decade.

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This is a cope*

China will remain a corrupt shithole this decade, I can guarantee you that

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Cower before the mighty Gongchangdang

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Unfortunately for those of us who sympathize with China, I highly doubt that they'll be retaking Taiwan any time soon. Tech is their only way forward in terms of competing with the US, but tech isn't hard power.

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And why do you sympathize with China ?

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Because they're not woke, nor are they a vassal of our great woke superpower.

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"it seems to me that China's response, in a nation of 1.4 billion people, clearly, amazingly worked"

If you are implying that I should trust *literally anything* that comes from the CCP (e.g. their 'amazing' COVID numbers'), the burden of proof is on you to prove to me they are not lying their asses off.

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Wokies can't acknowledge any similarity between their own behavior and that of non-woke people. Even if woke social credit were an exact structural copy of Chinese social credit, they would not see it as being the same type of thing.

Leftists (woke or otherwise) act in ways that allow them to either wield power over others or perceive themselves to be wielding power over others. As long as there's no hope of bringing China to heel, they won't seriously try.

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If Japan actually wanted the role, they would be the better candidate. They don't kowtow, culturally, the same way as China because China is a paper tiger at the end of the day.

While culture is critical, China has major geopolitical issues that prevent them from really challenging the USA. I guess it's possible they can corrupt our ruling class & take over from the inside. Maybe, this is already well-established? But, to challenge the USA in short-term, I don't see it.

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"They don't kowtow, culturally, the same way as China . . ."

Which of those countries had BLM demonstrations last summer?

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Japan also has its issues, but it's a far better candidate in my opinion as well, if only they could finally re-militarize. I also think that effective one-party rule, lack of propagation of English and Nippon Kaigi - their local mini-Cathedral - all played major roles in Japan remaining Japanese. Luckily the Olympics will only be limited to current residents of Japan as well, which should buy them time.

They've basically been very fortunate so far, but it's only a question of time before the Eye of Sauron turns to them for real.

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Why not? I mean, what makes you think China is weak?

I’ve probably been reading too much Maçaes, but what’s China’s problem?

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Let me list a few:

- Inner vs Coastal Divide

- Confinement to South China Sea with no real way of breaking out

- Dependence on trade lanes firmly controlled by the US

- General dependence on exports and urgent need to build internal consumption

- Inability to take meaningful advantage of positive relations with Russia due to geography

- Shadow finance

- Potential competition from India in manufacturing

- Existence of an alliance whose sole purpose is countering China

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'let me list a few' sounded a bit condescending, sorry about that. I just happen to be very interested in this very topic so I fired off as soon as I got the opportunity.

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Bravo, sir! Bravo!

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First, this article confuses me because it seems to me that Curtis thinks that we should either go ultra-authoritarian (way beyond Fauciism) or full-libertarian (with anyone allowed to sell anything as a "vaccine") but then he says this:

"When we look at either side within the window of legitimate Covid ideology, there is plenty to hate. Because the hardliners are in power, at least in America and most other places, they flaunt all the usual contemptible hypocrisies of the powerful. To despise them is trivial. And yet, because the softliners are out of power, they have no choice but to pander to the fickle and ignorant mob—a choice no less inherently degrading."

I thought that Curtis's whole point was that the "softliners" are in power everywhere except in China and maybe New Zealand and that it would be better if hardliners on either the ultra-authoritarian side or the libertarian side were in power? Can someone please explain this to me?

Second, factual issues -- (A) Sweden isn't "full of prudent Swedes" or however Curtis phrased it; it's over ten percent out-of-control Muslim now, and that's why there was no Maskovid/Lockdown there; there was no way to control the Muslims and so any attempt at a Maskovid/Lockdown would have demonstrated that Sweden is no longer a state. And the Swedes who allowed this to happen to them are certainly not prudent. (B) We have no idea what China's actual Covid-response was or whether there even was any Covid-response. It's quite possible that a few million old people have died there and nobody cares. It's also possible that their response was like that of NYC last April when all of the stores were closed and people weren't supposed to walk around outdoors -- but that old Orientals don't die as easily from lung problems, maybe because they're not as fat or because of special not-die-from-lung-problems genes.

Third -- Insofar as people wear masks when they're not about to be arrested for not doing so, insofar as they promote mask-wearing, and especially insofar as they mask their children, they are evil in the deep theological/metaphysical sense of the word. (Note that I said "insofar as" -- I'm not saying that these people are fundamentally evil through-and-through.) If space-demons had conquered the Earth on Satan's behalf, the result would be exactly what you see. A movie released in 2018 that pictured a future in which space-demons had conquered the Earth might well show everyone wearing masks out on the street, in parks, in stores, etc, with "Wear your mask!" propaganda everywhere; this would be a very convincing portrayal of space-demon domination of the Earth.

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"I thought that Curtis's whole point was that the "softliners" are in power everywhere except in China and maybe New Zealand and that it would be better if hardliners on either the ultra-authoritarian side or the libertarian side were in power? Can someone please explain this to me?"

I take his point to be that power is unaccountable.

"Insofar as people wear masks when they're not about to be arrested for not doing so, insofar as they promote mask-wearing, and especially insofar as they mask their children, they are evil in the deep theological/metaphysical sense of the word."

I'm sorry, I became fond of masks in the mid-twenty-teens when I suffered from bacterial pneumonia which is (considered to be) life threatening in anyone, even a healthy adult. Being, as I am, aware of the contradictions of authoritarianism, I'm sympathetic to mask skeptics. But to suggest that people who choose to wear masks because of a sincere belief that a physical barrier between your respiratory orifices and the source of infectious agents is a symptom of evil rather than a particular perspective on physics and biology that you happen to disagree with; is uncouth, unwarranted, barbaric, and symptomatic of memetic infection.

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Thinking that masks - of the sort people are wearing - are effective is factually wrong, not evil.

Thinking that forcing other people to comply with your factually incorrect perspective on penalty of fines or imprisonment *is* evil.

If you're skeptical of that just invert the scenario. Suppose people who believe paper masks are useless had total authoritarian power and were putting paper mask-wearers in jail or fining them, because according to them the masks are an environmental catastrophe (filling up landfills, choking endangered sea turtles, etc). Suppose you were certain that masks were effective, and that taking your right to wear a mask away was equivalent to asking you to risk your life.

Would you think it was good to just peacefully tolerate your mask wearing as an understandable eccentricity? If that's good, then what's the opposite of good, and what's the opposite of tolerating your (factually correct but perceived) eccentricity in this scenario?

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I may not have phrased myself well but we're in agreement (except on the object-level issue of masks, which is obviously in the same category as "investing for retirement" and "wearing body armor to the grocery store", a personal decision).

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Sure, sorry for the misinterpretation. I think I took the context of "promoting mask wearing" to imply "agitating for enforced mask wearing" since those things often go hand-in-hand. I have no problem with people wearing masks or advocating for them (up to the limit of being pushy or threatening about it), other than that based on the evidence I think they're incorrect.

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>>Second, factual issues -- (A) Sweden isn't "full of prudent Swedes"

Yup. There also weren't laws in place in Sweden to go full fash or even fash lite, and the current government stays in power by doing as little as possible.

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Hopefully this is the last covid post I ever read in my life anywhere.

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These are some of Curtis' weakest posts, I'll have to agree, and made worse by the fact that they came in such quick succession.

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just want to say also that having a strong opinion on mask policy either way is not clear pilled *at all*

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I think you're completely 100% wrong on your covid hardliner position. Not because "it's just a flu". Not because the USG is too incompetent to pull off a hardline response. But because while it *may* be an effective strategy to end _one_ respiratory virus, it is a shit strategy to and _any_ respiratory virus. It does not scale over time.

If we shut down the entire country (or world) every time we get a nasty disease, whether viral or bacterial, whether novel or a mutation of a known strain, resulting in a recession or depression (as we are now facing down like a fully loaded double-barrel shotgun to our economic faces), we're going to have a lot more deaths on our hands from famine, despair, missed opportunities to detect non-panic-of-the-year-diseases, etc.

To which you may respond, "ah, but this is an exceptional once-in-100-years kind of thing, so we don't have to worry about that."

One: no, no it's not. This is the first successful escape of a lab-grown gain of function virus, but it is something that *could* have happened in nature. There will be more escapes. Our antibiotics are failing for bacterial diseases, and our system for producing viral vaccines is as you detail above and in prior articles, way way too slow. And those vaccines are risky and will kill and maim people no matter what. So better make sure they work and that it's worth it. But that takes time.

The wuflu is with us, and it's evolving, and it's going to evolve its way around any vaccine we develop, just like other seasonal viruses we're now stuck dealing with eternally. There will be more in the coming decades whether or not they're made in a lab, and they're not going anywhere.

Two: nothing is more permanent than a temporary government program. And so we're probably fucked anyway, at least for as long as it takes for the evil confluence of ratings-bating fear-mongering media and power-grabbing incompetent bureaurats to trigger total societal collapse via series of plague-panic induced recessions.

We can't afford the authoritarian solution in the long run. This is a long-run problem. The libertarian solution of "look after yourself, deregulate vaccine development, and accept that people die from diseases" is something we can afford economically but not politically.

Other solutions, like the Gatesian/Agenda 21/2030 "let's just seize total control of all agriculture and animal husbandry and centrally manage it on a global scale to prevent zoonotic diseases" do not operate within the boundaries of economic reality and human competence, so that isn't going to work either.

Half-assed solutions such as the USG's response to the rona don't fix the problem and are economically unsustainable in one instance, let alone repeated instances. So they're like the worst of all choices. There I think we agree.

Here's the thing: among the above solutions, none of which are good, the libertarian solution is the only one that can operate in present economic reality and the half-assed solution is the only one that can operate in present political reality. So we'll get more of the half-assed solution, which was the result of demanding the authoritarian solution, which people will do every time this comes up. Until it all ends. Which, when I'm wearing my accelerationist hat, "and That's a Good Thing (tm)". I'm feeling pretty zen about it.

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the last two outbreaks of coronavirus killed 10% and 40% respectively of the people they infected, In italy, the death rate was ~10% in those early months. So it wasn't crazy to react the way we did, and then believe that the low number of casualties were because of that reaction.

The only thing that broke that was all the BLM riots, because it at once showed that our reaction though, probably the only thing we could have reasonably done, may have been unnecessary.

The difficult conclusions:

1. Even though it (travel ban/pseudo-lockdown) probably had a limited effect once it got here, it was and still will be the right thing to do in future situations, but it has the feature, that if successful, you will never know.

2. The unacknowledged hypocrisy of the left vis-a-vis BLM riots permanently biased the debate, fucking any chance of a reasonable de-escalation of the response and essentially sinking us into a lockdown quagmire we are still in.

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I agree the initial response of hardliners made sense (I was one of them) - but I covered that in another comment.

Re: other SARS variants being more deadly, they killed fast and spread slowly. This is self-limiting strategy for a virus. Kill slow and spread fast, which it looked like the wuflu was doing, is much more scary.

Re: the low number of casualties, my take is that had more to do with discovering effective treatments and there only being so many idiotic things on the menu that could make things worse (sending infected patients to nursing homes, calling travel bans racist, political virtue signal cuddle party photo-ops with visitors from Wuhan, etc...).

It seems like the half-assed lockdowns and masks have had little to no impact. Certainly not enough to stop the virus in its tracks, and anything short of that isn't remotely worth it since eventually everybody gets infected and those who will die, die anyway.

There was one good reason for a short lockdown in spite of all this - to buy time to ramp up health care preparedness - but that was only necessary in the first place because of incompetence and malfeasance on the part of the health care industry and their political/bureaucratic allies... So letting them come up with the plan for how to fix their own mess is foolish.

On #1: I'm all for closing borders when there's a potential plague afoot. At least until we have its parameters figured out. Long-term population-wide lockdowns are absolutely the wrong thing to do. Short ones shouldn't be necessary, but given they are, they should be absolute bare-minimum length.

Also think about this: now that we've done broke the economy for ten years, how are we going to be any better prepared for the next possible plague? And given what we've seen from our Experts, Journalists, and Political Leaders in this round, how could we (on a national scale) possibly trust them to identify, let alone appropriately respond, next time?

All we've really managed to accomplish here is to give the exact wrong people more power to fuck up even worse if/when the real 100-year plague comes along.

#2 - their hypocrisy started way earlier than that. When non-morons were raising alarms about the wuflu, they were calling us racist and looking for chinese people to lick. When the same non-morons breathed a sigh of relief because it turned out to not be as bad as it looked, they called us racist again.

Their whole decision making process for the past four years has consisted of "be against whatever non-tribe-members are for". So when the "racists" were calling for caution, they were laissez-faire. When the "racists" said all-clear, they said panic.

Making hay of a random case of police homicide -of which there are a couple on offer every week... we just don't hear about them - as an excuse to burn down a few cities months later seems actually... pretty consistent. Someone probably told them "racists" think buildings shouldn't burn down and they ran the algorithm and came up with "find a reason to burn down a city."

I wish I could be credibly accused of straw-manning here. But it's more like a case of Poe's Law.

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see the post I put above. I meant to answer yours but dumped it higher.

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The real long-term solution is monitoring animal populations and hospitals. You are looking for something you have not seen before, so you need to be sequencing.

Right now we spend $100M a year to check for anthrax in every single post-office in America. That system has not detected a single instance. You can build a useful global monitoring system for a fraction of that.

the next solution is the Moderna vaccine which is a miracle, which allows you to create emergency doses for frontline workers within 2 weeks of initial sequence isolation. 1 week to synthesize the RNA 1 week to start making the initial doses.

So COVID was good for something after all.

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I think you're greatly underestimating the cost of a global animal population monitoring system, and of identifying potential dangerous diseases, but I do agree with the sentiment of "if we can waste gobs of money doing useless things, then all other things being equal we can probably manage to find money to do useful things instead".

I don't know enough about these new RNA vaccines to have useful thoughts on them, so I'm just taking a "wait and see" approach. If they're half as good as the marketing says they are it's pretty exciting, but I've done enough professional work in medtech and tech marketing in general that I'm reflexively deeply skeptical of supposed miracles and world-changers. Sometimes they really are impressive but a lot of the time it's just boomer grift.

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This post reminds me: If Trump had done some of the things you said he should and could (defy SCOTUS, rule like a king, asserting full authority over the Executive Branch and insisting on its prerogatives as a co-equal branch of government) the only result would have been his detention by "his" own Secret Service detail, a quick and perfunctory full impeachment and conviction this time in the Senate, and the servile and obedient Pence sworn in. Maybe (probably) he could have de-classified many more things, but even there the obstruction from "his" own "civil service" would have been massive.

How does that probable outcome compare with the man you contrast with him, FDR: If FDR had ignored SCOTUS when it "defied" him, the same thing would have happened. He happened to outlive enough of its members and get the then-Cathedral to scold and shame others into compliance, but that's really no different from what happens under an Obama, say. FDR was a glorified handiman as well - admittedly with somewhat more power just like Liz II's predecessor had more power than she. FDR appointed everyone he was supposed to (the same way Obama did).

If any one President could be said to have been the King who created the Modern Structure (or at least contributed most to its edifice), it was FDR's master, Woodrow. What he did during the war was unprecedented (though TR also set precedents - therefore contradicting what I just said - ruling by decree on more occasions than anyone since Lincoln). FDR wasn't quite a muppet like today's Presidents, but he wasn't Napoleonic, either. He was a member of the rising oligarchy, and in a way that was more important and central if only because it was a smaller circle then (something you knew in your earlier incarnation, and which Foseti detailed when his blog was active). But he operated within their constraints - it wasn't they who operated within and under his. He was a charming rogue and dilettante. Wilson is really your man (and neither charming nor a dilettante).

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To put it more succinctly: did FDR create the sort of people who attended the "American Malvern" conference? Or is it closer to the truth to say he was dependent upon them? He was their creature rather than them being his?

Given their histories, I think it's clearly the latter (many were towering strategists in the movement that had created the Modern Structure, while FDR was a radio salesman on the order of the late Rush, or the good Father C).

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The only time I have felt like a libertarian was during this pandemic and reading about the regulatory agencies. I actually felt real hate for the government. I've really never felt that way before.

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"Why does the private sector, when left to its own devices, always adopt this discredited abortion of medieval political science?"

Bangers like that make your coronacringe tolerable, Curtis

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“ in China Covid is a memory”

I have a close friend there, now, who spent four weeks in various forms of quarantine — all authoritarian strict — and has finally been issued the green score. Those with friends there require no further explanation. Those without, yet who are certain “Covid is a memory”, well, they probably don’t require further explanation either.

Perhaps one might say “Look at their GDP, they’re firing on all cylinders!”— the knee jerk response to that would be “you believe Chinese economic figures?”

The nation that circulated this virus in its population since October 2019 either (a) knew enough about it and did nothing until New Year’s (you can pick whether the Chinese or the Western one) or (b) had little idea about it and now asserts it’s just a memory, and that they’re open for business. Is this a reliable state?

I was for shutting down transit from China at the first hint of this over a year ago, and am still for a hard shut down — a real shut down, not some sort of “show” shut down. In addition to trendy air travel, until and unless we also discover there’s some sort of existential reason that the virus can’t cross southern and northern borders, they should be shut down too.

It’s good to have the freedom to go to Vegas while wearing a simple N95 (and not have to undergo a month of hard quarantine after being exposed to a sick person.)

Perhaps the reason people prefer the ‘middle spectrum’ response is they don’t want to live as they imagine Chinese subjects do.

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I'm a mask fag too Curtis and from the libertarian/AnCap side and finding myself increasingly sickened reading posts from the Free State project and Michael Malice and others treating masks as Orwellian oppression unseen in 100 years - I just don't get it - there is so much more policy to despise that is actually worthless and counterproductive. And as a mask fag I'll just mention French literature - Julien Gracq A Balcony in the Forest about a group of soldiers on the Maginot line waiting for the Germans published back in the 50s is a surrealist masterpiece along the same lines of this Bloch work you mention and I've TBR'd - temporary authoritarianism and full FDA vaccine approval repeal seems the way to go but we were never going to do it.

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If you don't get why being forced to wear a mask is inherently repulsive to a libertarian, then you quite simply do not get libertarianism. Yarvin has the same problem, by the way. He gets libertarianism on the autistic level, as an intellectual exercise, but has never been quite able to *feel* the spirit of it.

There are two types of libertarians - those who are libertarians because they are *really* smart and figured out that 99% of all other political ideas are functionally retarded. And those who are libertarians because they are inherently rebellious and have always had trouble following orders and listening to authority. Some libertarians are of course both (I think Rothbard, for example, was both).

Yarvin gets libertarianism intellectually, he doesn't get it emotionally. Many other people get it emotionally, but don't really have the capacity to grasp it intellectually. Most libertarians who hate masks are of the latter kind. They just instinctively feel there is something wrong with the idea.

And their instinct is not actually wrong. Although it is certainly prudent to wear a mask with a pandemic going around, when wearing a mask is an Order coming from Power, you are not *just* wearing a mask. You are performing a symbolic act of submission to Power. Which, every emotional libertarian hates more than anything. I think I actually vaguely remember that some of the most staunch anti-mask libertarians now, used to be pro-mask when the WHO stooges were going around saying that masks are useless.

This might seem inconsistent, but is actually perfectly consistent from a libertarian perspective. You might say "Are you retarded? You would risk your own health to spite public authority?" Well duh. What else could being a libertarian mean? Skin in the game, brother.

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If you're a real maskfag you're wearing N95 or P100, not flimsy paper surgical masks. The paper masks at best protect other people from you if you're infected, but don't even really do that - as evidence has shown over the past year (see Tom Wood's endless rants on the statistics, since you like anarchist podcasts). Paper masks are like the TSA: medical theater to soothe the masses that doesn't actually work and may make the situation worse.

"Real" masks, which could protect *you* from wuflu, are great and anybody paying attention knew that in the beginning way back in Jan/Feb 2020. But there are aren't enough real masks for everybody, and we bought them all up.

So which kind of maskfag are you, the kind that has (and correctly uses) a useful mask, or the kind that thinks governments should force everyone to wear a useless mask (no two! no three masks!) in order to look like they're "doing something" while they completely fail to do anything _effective_?

The latter is the kind that Malice et al have a problem with. Dumbshit maskfaggery is the worst kind of authoritarianism because, like the TSA, it has a huge cost in terms of economics and human misery, without even the silver lining of being effective.

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The full libertarian response is obviously the most efficient one, even compared to the full authoritarian one, although it is a bit more messy. Simply because it kills the problem in less than a year. If we had gone full libertarian by now the entire world would be sufficiently vaccinated that the virus is not a threat and importantly, is not given an opportunity to adapt and mutate.

The full authoritarian is a temporary solution - at some point you need a vaccine. The Final Solution to every Virus Problem is always gas cha-...I mean vaccines. Not quarantines, no matter how draconian. You got to get good at killing the Enemy, not just suppressing its advance.

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It's easy to imagine the combination of full authoritarianism with full libertarianism. And that's what I demand as an Absolutist in ideal - full control + full temporary vaccine/remedy deregulation.

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I’m very tired of strawmanning, and extremely tired of listening to people *telling* me their version of how COVID was handled around the world, when I can clearly see they have no idea what they’re talking about and are revising their memories of what happened constantly.

My lessons from 2020 were: that people are even stupider than I thought, and in vastly larger numbers than I thought; that the Gell-Mann amnesia is something to keep in mind constantly. Human Smoke, which I picked up on Curtis’s recommendation on the various podcasts he’s appeared on, illustrates the first lesson perfectly. The disappointment in humanity I feel when reading that book and when living through 2020/2021 is exactly the same.

As for the second lesson, it applies to this blog, too. My favorite post on here was the one about the Big Tech. The reason why is because it’s describing something I have first-hand experience with, and it’s describing it accurately. The reason is, of course, because the author also has first-hand experience with, so he actually knows what he’s talking about, which is so refreshing!

My second-favorite post is the brief introduction to the cathedral. Again, it discusses a subject matter that the author knows well, and, again, I have first-hand experience with “our science” AND bureaucracy in general, so what the author is saying I can check against my own understanding, and it *mostly* rings true.

The posts on the subject of COVID are not my favorite. I know that the author is frequently wrong on the facts and the details (though, mostly, there aren’t any details, only gross generalizations).

I can also say that the author is wrong when he says that our corporations are monarchies. They are just as much monarchies as his example, the Department of Energy. They run on bureaucracy, and all the intelligent people there are working on their hobby horse projects. What the author observed - that it is simply the result of entropy and growing complexity of any system - is obviously true.

It turns out that democracy is not the only form of government that is unstable and that in practice quickly turns into a bureaucratic oligarchy. Monarchy is also unstable, just less so. Again, it’s simply order vs. chaos.

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The Iron Law of Oligarchy works both ways, so a monarchy that has any room for inefficiency will tend to move in the direction of bureaucratic oligarchy. Which is why large businesses (but not small ones) frequently have non-trivial levels of bureaucratic inefficiency.

But that said, even large corporations are still much more autocratic than the government. CEOs routinely make major unilateral changes that would be unthinkable for e.g. the Secretary of Energy.

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Fair, and I don't have any even semi-direct experience of working IN the government(unlike university research - so UR/Moldbug/GM's descriptions of that resonate with me), so I can't speak to the degree of how little power the executive has.

In large corporations, and let's be honest, small ones, too - it's not the size but the age and the fact that the original people who created it have left, and the fact that the company is financially secure in a way that makes organizational purposefulness unnecessary - what's really interesting is that you can feel at the level of even a first-level manager that the manager is not one to give orders. I've noticed this very early that a manager/director/VP can have a vision or an idea of what they want to accomplish, but the people working for them apparently don't *have* to execute on that vision. Strange! It's something like "deep corp", haha

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A philosopher who is still afraid of Death may still be in the cave.

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Some people have transcended fear of death, but no one can leave the cave. It's walls are the walls of your mind and it's ideals are the only generalizations of the shadows cast through its mouth by the eternal mystery. Platonism sucks -- long live Kant.

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You leave the cave whenever you groove on a sunset.

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Great as usual. Thanks.

I'm wondering about where the temperament of populations factors in to things. I have a feeling that there is not a one size fits-all solution for how to go about these things. Japanese and NZ populations are very cucked, and required only government/media barking for the vast majority to fall in line. Few penalties appear to have been handed out to rule-breakers. An iron fist was certainly necessary in China, because those people don't give a fuck.

*Not that I think the solutions are worth a shit, since NZ and China are in indefinite hermit mode in a covid-infested world in the best case and lying about their success in the worst. But the idea of different government being appropriate for different populations is interesting to me.

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> But the idea of different government being appropriate for different populations is interesting to me.

Agreed. The "classical liberal" position is basically the opposite though: exactly one culture (classical liberalism, natch) is *universally ideal* for all populations in all places at all times. People who don't think so are racist/bigoted/"small minded"/fundamentalist etc.

The argument goes: *something something* human race *something something* individual freedom *something something* don't be a bigot.

More seriously, I think the dearth of discussion on population-level culture is because classical liberals can only talk about individuals or "humanity-as-a-whole", and are *very* uncomfortable talking about specific populations (which is the level that culture operates at). As a result, classical liberals are more-or-less *forced* to posit some kind of "universal culture" because population-level cultures can't exist in their framework (and to the extend they do, are actually backwards/bigoted/etc.).

People with this view include James Lindsay and the members of the "Intellectual Dark Web" (people like Bret Weinstein).

It seems much more likely to me that—at the very least—optimum human culture varies by population (if evolution is true, which it is, and doesn't stop at the neck, which it doesn't). I think most people intuitively already think this is true, but there's absolutely no widely-deployed intellectual arguments in favor of this hypothesis that I'm aware of…

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The Progs do think that this is true, which is why they want to establish a racial pyramid with an apex of NorthwestEuro masters and everybody under that apex brown, getting ever-darker-brown towards the base -- which is why they want to eliminate all non-masterful (non-elite) NorthwestEuros.

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Is there any evidence that this is true? I am curious.

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I'm just picturing what's actually going on their heads, what they're imagining as they confer and issue public statements and proclaim policies and agendas nonstop that all focus on the management of brown people while at the same time denouncing non-elite Euros nonstop and making every effort to humiliate them and punish them for the crime of existing.

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Thanks. Yes, I doubt this will get much attention even from the great and powerful IDW. Wouldn't want to be called an -ist now would we.

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Why not start with *data*. At its start, lacking any real data except videos smuggled out of China, I was a COVID hardliner, my innate libertarianism be damned. But as I read more and more—I’ve read at least 500 medical journal articles about COVID—I’m now a COVID apatheist. If I get it, we’ll, I have had respiratory infections before and I’ll have them again. If I don’t get it, that’s cool too. Only very old people, and people who are fat, have severe asthma, have diabetes, have severe heart problems, or are on prednisone of its equivalents, while not taking anything for prophylaxis, are at real risk. I am in none of those categories, and I take the requisite prophylactics, and have three effective treatments on hand in case I do get it: budesonide, ivermectin, and hydroxychloroquine. As for masks, a well-fitted and worn N95 mask works very well to avoid the virus. Well-fitted and worn means tied behind your head by someone else, not using ear loops. A standard surgical mask (again with ties tied behind your head and well-fitted, can have maybe 30% filtration efficiency both in and out. An ear-loop surgical mask has a similar filtration efficiency incoming, but essentially all the outgoing aerosols escape. No other mask works a damn either way. While it’s certainly true you can get the virus from droplets—if sick cousin JimBob sneezes in your face, expect to get sick too—almost all transmission in the real world is via aerosols for which any make other than N95s have very limited benefit either incoming or outgoing. So look around. Almost everyone wearing masks is engaging in theater. No mask—not single one—works *at all* on men with facial hair. Since beards are in style these days, how many dudes do you know who had a beard a year ago who are now clean shaven so their mask will work better (i.e., at all)? Me: zero. So no one is taking the mask situation seriously as far as I can tell. It’s performance art all around. I personally can go 30 seconds in an N95 without basically having a panic attack, so I knew I was fucked early on. Funnily enough, even though I consistently wore masks I knew didn’t work, I remain a COVID virgin. That’s probably only because work kept me at home. I get my second Pfizer shot this Saturday and by God, my patience will start running out quite quickly afterwards, in inverse proportion to the spike protein antibodies that will be coursing through my blood. No more face-diapers for me, I can tell you that.

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I wonder what you think counts as "hardliner" that is in conflict with libertarian principles vis the worst-case scenario in early 2020. When we thought the thing might have had reproduction rates up at 3 or 4 and a potential case mortality of 10-15%, then going around while contagious was equivalent to firing a gun randomly in a grocery store. There's nothing illibertarian about insisting people must not do that. There's also nothing illibertarian about a state controlling its borders, to the extent that its borders are legitimate anyway. So in the beginning, I did not think "hardline" was illibertarian.

The one thing that might have been illibertarian would be trusting government agencies' numbers and propaganda, but we didn't because we knew they were lying and "did our own research" which is why we were all concerned in the first place 2 months ahead of the twitteratti (media and bureaucracy followed a few weeks later).

When we got more facts and it turned out not to be quite that bad, and that an individual could take reasonable precautions based on their risk level and expect about the same outcomes as any other seasonal illness, I no longer believed these measures were justified. Of course this was all hypothetical because I figured correctly that our bumbling bureaucracy would not be able to pull any of this off even if it wanted to.

I took up shaving for a while for mask efficiency. But I ran out of P100 filters early and they were completely non-existent by April or so unless I wanted to pay hundreds of bucks for a 100-pack off Amazon, so whatever. Took other reasonable precautions once we figured out it wasn't properly airborne. Cost-benefit analysis is real.

Got it by the summer anyway, probably absent-mindedly rubbing my nose due to allergies without thinking about where my hands had been. Or maybe I got it from a family member. Who knows. I was mildly sick for two weeks and had a muted sense of smell and taste for a few more after. No big deal, and I had severe asthma when I was a kid so I was a little concerned even after we started getting real facts about risk factors.

Side thought: I wonder, if you eliminate all the people who were known to be very high-risk and should have taken extreme precautions, and then eliminate all the over-reporting (such as it is, and that may be zero - but I doubt it), and then you did the same for typical seasonal illness numbers, would the wu even be as deadly to people as the cold or flu?

Whatever the answer is, and whatever that might mean about reasonable "absolute policy", we got idiocracy as one would expect. And here we are a year later, kicking the can down the road on either a major recession or a proper depression, and people are still getting sick because we managed to avoid herd immunity. Yay?

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I agree with your assessment completely.

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