Archives for the month of: November, 2020

“Inherent factors have predetermined the Covid-19 mortality:”


Primary fact found: the higher a grouping’s life expectancy, the higher the death rate due to COVID-19.


It is an extensive paper you won’t bother reading. Perhaps you could read the introductory paragraphs.


My summary is nothing governments did helped. Lockdowns didn’t help. Mandates and other restrictions didn’t help. Call it the luck of the draw, but that isn’t right. What mattered was where people lived and how dependent people were on government. The more the government mattered in the society, the worse things went regarding the virus.


Sadly, of course, what most people will conclude is they need more government involvement in their lives.


Another tidbit one can conclude from this study is that economics really does equal lives. That is, the better off the economy, the more lives are saved (and vice versa). And, frankly, the more decadent people get, the more susceptible they are to stresses, like a new infection. Which, of course, means good economics also tends to make us lazy, which kills us. I suppose, in the end, we all die regardless.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2020.604339/full

If you recall, Matthew related this incident similarly. John recounted it with significant differences. I like Mark’s account. Some interesting nuances.
Most of Jesus’ listeners would have been aware that Jesus was referencing Deuteronomy 15 in regulations for dealing with the poor and people who had suffered loss.
I think in our day, we need to extend the analogy to the sick, and to those who are feared for potentially being sick.


Mark 14:3 And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. 4 There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. 6 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. 9 And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”


Would have Jesus accepted the close and intimate offering if he’d known the offeror was infected with COVID-19? Wouldn’t the naysayers have reacted the same if the woman wasn’t wearing a mask?

I think we all understand Jesus wouldn’t have drawn back. The example took place in the house of a leper. Jesus never refused the sick. He never will. Of course, those who took offense would have been just as offended as those who, today, take offense at maskless passerbys.


If the virus runs unhindered, we humans will pull through stronger than ever. If fear and isolation continue to hold sway, well, I don’t think future generations will remember the alarmists as favorably as we remember this supplicant.

A thoughtful fellow commented on how someone could argue for mandating a moral good. He pointed out how nearly everyone agrees religion is a moral good, but we all insist on freedom of religion. Of course. (Wise man, isn’t he?)

I add that available evidence shows clearly that individual religious observance is beneficial for the individuals and their groups. On the other hand, available evidence shows masks have no benefit with regard to viruses, and they result in grave harm to individuals and groups in psychological factors. Masks and distancing interfere with what makes us human; we are communal, and masks break the communion.

I here provide a link, https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article, to a definitive study from authoritative sources that establishes mechanistic measures do not impede virus transmission. Masks do not slow the spread of viruses.

The study was completed before politics entered disease research. If you look, you can find several older studies concluding the same, though most aren’t as thorough and definitive. I’m not offering any supporting evidence regarding religious practice, but you all know that, and you can look for yourself if you want evidence. When religions are abused for evil, it is by authoritarianism. Authoritarianism is always bad regardless of the level of application or the means. Authoritarianism can be inflicted by science and experts as easily as by religious officials. It can be wielded by bosses or politicians or police or menial bureaucrats. The result is the same, coercion. Coercion is evil.

Masks don’t help. Please don’t mandate masks. If you call for the imposition of masks and other socially harmful measures, understand I define your actions as evil; you are causing unnecessary, unjustifiable suffering. Perhaps you don’t care about my opinion, but if it is evil, are you willing to live with that? Are you intentionally inflicting evil on society and your fellows? I say so.

I ask why? Why are you willing to coerce your neighbor when coercion is certainly evil? Are you afraid? Then I say grow up.

Thoughtful with good information and reason. In short, we are probably alone in our galaxy, but we are nowhere near being sure about that. We have reasonable evidence we are alone. The calculations discussed in the video are useful, and they imply there are many reasons to seem alone if we aren’t quite alone.

Fundamentally to me, the purpose of the universe is to use enthalpy to do work and use it up, increasing the entropy with every moment. The purpose of the universe is to make entropy.

If you think of entropy as chaos, you won’t understand. Entropy isn’t chaos, it is used-up energy. It cannot be used again, but it is still energy. Order and disorder are poor analogies. It is not correct to say order doesn’t arise from disorder. The statement is simply false. Order arises from disorder all the time in various ways depending on enthalpy and work.

Because living systems use enthalpy much more effectively, I expect living systems everywhere they can be. Further, I expect living systems to expand and maximize as much as possible. 99.9% of all predecessor examples we have accomplished that and passed on. The only example we have exactly like us (we ourselves) seems to be ever-expanding and increasing capacity. It may be that other “like-us” examples exist intent on minimalization, but that is counter to the ever more effective use of enthalpy that seems to be the sole purpose of the universe as a whole.

Beyond our galaxy, we have no data. It is too big with too many possibilities to support any conjecture. Within our galaxy, so far, the only reasonable assumption is that we are alone. We can hold out hope, but the universe doesn’t seem concerned with wasting space. It does seem concerned with using up enthalpy and increasing entropy as fast as it can figure out ways to do it, and ways emerge, figuring out how to do it. Emergent self-organizing systems arise from unbalanced systems. That is physics, not psyche. Supposing consciousness is some sort of emergent physical self-organizing system is contra factual. Consciousness is much, much more than a self-organizing physical system. We know less about our minds inside than we do about all that is outside. Consciousness may be the key. Consciousness may be so exceptional that it arising even once in a galaxy is long odds. No consciousness, no engineering. No engineering, no world-building and expanding into otherwise deadly environments. No world-building, no new worlds. That could be the great filter.

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