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

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

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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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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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