A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on. I’ll open this by saying I agree with the view that even an optimal response to the pandemic by China would have given the world only a few days more notice, and that most Western governments would have wasted that time anyway.

90 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. When I was about 2 years and three months old, or was it four months?, I thought to myself, do all of these people who pass by my window each day really know how to feed themselves? So I reflected on the idea and thought well, not only are my parents still alive my grandparents are still alive and even some of my great grandparents are stil alive. Therefore it would be safe to conclude that these people really know what they are doing.
    If I had know at that time what an incompetent species I was being left in the care of I might have been to terrified to crawl around under the table when the adults were playing cards and look under the women’s skirts. I was so confident in the capabilities of those who were in charge at that time that the Cuban Missle Crisis did not phase me a bit.
    It was not until a year latter, in November of 63, that i began to have my first inkling that something fishy was going on.

  2. Yes I have to wonder why the CCP would want to deny the Tiawanese a seat at the WHO. Maybe they think that they have a good reason. Could it be that they believe that the acting Tiawanese Government is really no more independent than the Israeli government or the Saudi Government? It would really surprise me to believe that the Chinese would see it that. But I can not think of any other reason for their behavior on this and other issues that they get a black eye for?

  3. hix,
    I went to the link.I did not see what prize exactly you are talking about. But I would not apply for it in anycase.
    The reason why is that seperating people from their delusions is a process. It is a process that is very time consuming. It is requires a different approach for each individual because everyone has a different background and has been exposed to different correct explinations of reality and different fairy tales and has correclty bought in to the different correct explinations and different fairy tales.
    I mentioned on the other thread about fighting elephants that humanity is completely seperated from any relable source of infomation because the so called free press of the west is no more unbaised or reliable at informing or educating the public than the govenment press of those countries that the west has been waging war against.
    I should have gone one step futher and mentioned that the leadership of entire planet, except for Cuba, has slipped in to a condition in which there is no longer any credible accountabilty for the leadership. That really shows that national elections are totally insufficient in being able to maintain accountability.
    Why have elections failed to deliver accountability. Because the people have been robbed of reliable sources of information. Because the masses have been robbed of reliable sources of information for so long they have lost the ability to tell truth from the fantasy or scare tactics used to manipulalate them.
    Now of course the question that anyone would and should ask is why should a person think that I can do better than some person touted by the Australian News Service as an expert. Well first off all read what I have written and judge for yourself.
    In addition, I have been going back and forth about whether or not I should mention this, but I am the only person on the planet that has worked as an agent for 3 countries, (the US, Russia, and Iran) and gotten away with it. Those expiriences have given my special unique insights that no one else on the planet can claim. I take pride in being able to say, I do not work for those that sign my pay check. I work for those that I think are fighting for truth and justice.
    A person might object to that last statement by saying that Russia and Iran are not forces for good in the world. My response is that it is not my job to judge the internal policies of Russia or Iran. That is the job of free thinkers who actually live in those countries. Because humanity has been cut off from reliable sources of information it is hard enough to understand what is going on in ones own country. It is of course many times harder to understand what is going on in a foreign country.
    What I can judge is the disputes between the West and Russia, Iran, China, as well as other smaller nations on the US/NATO hitlist and I can determine that the cause of justice lies overwhelmingly with the countries that the US and its allies have been attacking. In fact I will go so far as to say in the case of Iran, in the disputes between the west and Iran Iran is not only 100% in the right it is 125% in the right. Ditto Cuba and Venezuela.
    Oh I guess that I should also add is that the reason that I managed to get away with being an Iranian agent for many years was due to luck more than any talent on my part. While I was under the impression that I was successfully spreading sedition throughout the US military the US military was using me to convince the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that I was successfully spreading sedition throughout the US military. They used me as part of a larger plan to lure Iran in to a trap. That trap was sprung on the 3rd of January this year.
    But he who laughs last laughs best. Because it seems that at least there was a high level mole in the US who tipped off a fellow rouge agent in China about what the US was planning to do in time for a surprise counter attack to be planned. Sadly the laughing is not over yet. I may still get crushed. From my point of view the laughing will be over either when I am dead, or the 80 most guilty people are burned alive hanging from the Verrezano Narrows Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge (40 each) along with another 24 getting pushed off the I95 bridge that goes over the Patomac River near the CIA HQ with a rope tied around their tongue that will rip their tongue out before they land on the rocks or in the river below. Wait,…… just a second,……maybe it should be 26 at the Potomac River bridge to account for the jokers.
    That may seem cruel. I know it will hurt, if these are real people and not just holigrams of the simulation.
    I know it will hurt because over the years I have bitten my own tongue quite a few times to the point of it bleeding. It hurts like hell to do that. Not only that the pain lasts for at least a week after that.

  4. The CCP doesn’t deny the Taiwanese a role in the WHO. Taiwan doesn’t get a role in the WHO because it’s not recognized by the UN, and it’s not recognized by the UN because every rational country (including almost every democracy on the planet) recognizes the One China policy. Once Taiwan can convince the world that it’s not a bandit nation set up by nationalists and run as a one-party dictatorship for 30 years, with no claim to independence, then it can be a member of the UN. But Taiwan can’t do that because it is not an independent nation – it’s part of China.

    It’s interesting to see how when it comes to bashing China so many leftists are willing to ignore the racist violence of HK independence movement, the racist violence of the formation of Taiwan, the religious violence of the Tibetan state and the extreme anti-democratic nationalism of its nutjob independence movement. I note you won’t even address the points, or acknowledge their existence.

    Left wing people should not support racist nationalist movements and fascists. Left wing people should support decolonization and national self-determination. Left wing people shouldn’t broadcast crazy conspiracy theories being propagated by right wing christian fascists. Why are you people doing this?

  5. Faustus:

    The CCP doesn’t deny the Taiwanese a role in the WHO. Taiwan doesn’t get a role in the WHO because it’s not recognized by the UN, and it’s not recognized by the UN because every rational country ….recognizes the One China policy.

    As you well know, Taiwan has repeatedly applied for WHO observer status but has been denied this on the back of vigorous opposition from the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship.

    Taiwan is not in the UN because fascist mainland China opposes it and most countries are rightly afraid of Chinese Communist Party retaliation, so they do not go into bat for Taiwan.

    Taiwan is a prosperous democratic state and should be in the UN. Even mainland China should be in the UN even though it is an illegitimate state, i.e. a brutal dictatorship that denies basic human rights.

    Taiwan’s right to statehood isn’t invalidated by its past, nor is mainland Communist China’s, which has a brutal past one thousand fold more unsavoury than Taiwan’s.

    Tibet has every right to statehood if that is what its people want. Your opinion of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan opposition is completely immaterial irrespective of any grains of truth they may hold. Ditto Hong Kong.

    Communist China is a fascist dictatorship ruled over by a man who has made himself dictator-for-life. Xi Jinping is now Fuhrer Xi Jinping.

    Hopefully Communist China will collapse under the weight of its own contradictions and be replaced by a liberal democracy that respects fundamental human rights. If said liberal democracy has social democratic or democratic socialist characteristics, that would be even better. In fact, it would be the ant’s pants.

  6. Sorry. I’ll try again.


    The CCP doesn’t deny the Taiwanese a role in the WHO. Taiwan doesn’t get a role in the WHO because it’s not recognized by the UN, and it’s not recognized by the UN because every rational country ….recognizes the One China policy.

    As you well know, Taiwan has repeatedly applied for WHO observer status but has been denied this on the back of vigorous opposition from the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship.

    Taiwan is not in the UN because fascist mainland China opposes it and most countries are rightly afraid of Chinese Communist Party retaliation, so they do not go into bat for Taiwan.

    Taiwan is a prosperous democratic state and should be in the UN. Even mainland China should be in the UN even though it is an illegitimate state, i.e. a brutal dictatorship that denies basic human rights.

    Taiwan’s right to statehood isn’t invalidated by its past, nor is mainland Communist China’s, which has a brutal past one thousand fold more unsavoury than Taiwan’s.

    Tibet has every right to statehood if that is what its people want. Your opinion of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan opposition is completely immaterial irrespective of any grains of truth they may hold. Ditto Hong Kong.

    Communist China is a fascist dictatorship ruled over by a man who has made himself dictator-for-life. Xi Jinping is now Fuhrer Xi Jinping.

    Hopefully Communist China will collapse under the weight of its own contradictions and be replaced by a liberal democracy that respects fundamental human rights. If said liberal democracy has social democratic or democratic socialist characteristics, that would be even better. In fact, it would be the ant’s pants.

  7. Hugo really, you have nothing to offer if you call a communist state fascist. this indicates you don’t understand what words mean.

    Hong Kong is and always has been a city of China. Do you think Sydney should have the right to self-determination? This is just silly.

  8. Hong Kong is democratic, Communist China isn’t. If Sydney wanted to break away from Australia, that case should turn on its individual merits. Singapore is practically a city state. Should it be absorbed by Malaysia?

    There is no commonly accepted definition of fascism. However China has most or all of the typical traits, such as a regimented society, subordination of the individual to the state, rule by fear and oppression, subordination of truth to state propaganda, few or no human rights, a leadership cult, a dictator for life, one party state, territorial expansionism eg. the current annexation of vast tracts of the South China Sea. This is all rather obvious.

  9. Ahistorical nonsense Hugo. Hong Kong is not democratic and never has been. It was a colonial territory stolen from China after the opium wars, ruled without any democratic consent, then handed back with a sham democracy embedded in the new system as a poison pill for China. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

  10. Faustus

    Obviously Hong Kong is not a fully fledged democracy, thanks to fascist China, but is does have a democratic element to its Government.

    Moreover, you again raise issues of history that are no basis for precluding Hong Kong from becoming a fully fledged democracy.

    I take it you now accept that the mainland Chinese dictatorship is fascist. Well done, sport.

  11. Any democratic element you might sight in HK’s government is purely tokenistic. It’s effectively as democratic as the mainland. There still (for now) exists some important judicial protections not afforded to the mainlanders as a legacy of the handover, but the political representation (whilst comprised of a broad spectrum of interesting players from obstreperous mavericks to conforming comrades) ultimately have no power to oppose the directives from the mainland. The chief executive is effectively appointed by Beijing – certainly requiring their blessing to even be considered for the running.

  12. No Hugo, I will never call a communist govt fascist, I just can’t be bothered arguing with someone over words when he obviously doesn’t understand their meaning.

    If you deny history in politics you cannot have an anti-colonial perspective. Anyone in a rich country who approaches politics without an anti-colonial perspective cannot be left wing. It is simply impossible.

  13. History is much more nuanced than the caricature confected by a chap who parrots a garbled version of the propaganda produced by the organs of the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship.

    Any claim by a peoples to self determination should be assessed on its merits. It is simply hilarious to point to some real imagined historical wrongdoing and use that as an excuse to dismiss the current aspirations of a particular people to self determination in a democratic framework. One might even call it racist.

    Of course the mainland Chinese are themselves the victims of colonisation- by the Communist Party dictatorship.

  14. “Any claim by a peoples to self determination (or even just a fair go) should be assessed on its merits. It is simply hilarious to point to some real imagined historical wrongdoing and use that as an excuse to dismiss the current aspirations of a particular people to self determination in a democratic framework. One might even call it racist”

    Hugo, anglo colonised Australia has done exactly this vis-à-vis the aboriginal peoples of the continent for 250 years. But “imagined historical wrongdoing” really takes the cake!

    And, how is the winner of a civil war a coloniser of their country? Civil (/revolutionary?) wars are now wars of colonisation is it? So who, for an example from what must be hundreds if not thousands, do we say colonised England in the mid-1600s? Or even how do we say it?

  15. Well, it seems to me like the world will be back to business as usual in just a matter of weeks, perhaps a few months. Hope I’m wrong. But the world is certianly does not seem to be psycologically prepared to do what needs to be done.
    Therefore it really does not make any sense try to give any government leaders advice.
    Lets open a new can of worms. The new can of worms is do we live in a Westworld movie simulation, or a Truman movie simulation, or a 13th Floor movie simulation, or one which no movie that I know of simulates but I would describe for the purposes of this comment as the Roman Emporer’s Arena simulation. The back story of this simulation is that the Roman Empire, or something like it in another dimension of the universe not only never fell it even became much larger. The society of this empire managed to do virtual universe simulations. Of course they are expensive. Only a few people can afford to do them. The emporer for example. What seperates this type of simulation from the others is that in this type of simulation there is perhaps only one sentient being in the simulation, or perhaps up to 5 or 6 scattered around in different parts of the simulation. That chances that any of these sentient beings actually meeting in the simulation are quite small.
    The essence of this simulation is that we are slaves who have been tossed into an arena filled with many dangers. The only being who is aware of what we are doing is the emporer. After we have played the game the emporer then gives us a thumbs up and grants us our freedom, or gives us a thumbs down which has consequences that I do not wish to imagine let alone describe, or gives us a thumbs sideways which means that we have to go back in to the arena all over again.
    If this is of interest to anyone we could then describe other ways in which simulations could be classified.

  16. This morning we see reports that Paris doctors have identified a case of COVID-19 that occurred on 24th December, one month before the first official case was notified. It was in a French national with no history of travel to China or connections to Chinese people, who had pneumonia for 15 days and tested negative to flu. They now suspect he infected his two children and maybe his wife was asymptomatic.

    So the virus was circulating undetected for at least 4 weeks in France (probably more given incubation times) even after they were warned of its existence. I look forward to the torrent of claims that France messed up their response, that they should have identified it sooner, and that they were covering up cases. Perhaps you can throw something in about Macron being neo-liberal. Will you demand compensation too? Surely, if you demand that the Chinese identify atypical pneumonia as SARS and close their entire nation within six weeks of the first case, you would expect the same thing of the French, right? Right?

    Or will that information slide by, and the narrative be maintained that only China can do wrong?

  17. This is an old sandpit now. In the absence of a new sandpit, I will continue with my critiques of the ontology of (conventional) economics. I find it more than passing strange, indeed I find it indicative and diagnostic, that conventional economics does not want to confront the issue of the ontological underpinning, or lack thereof, of their field and its “degenerate research program” as Imre Lakatos would likely have termed it. Conventional Economics is not a science. It certainly is not a hard science and it is not even a social science which would meet the strictures and definitions of most of the social sciences. It is rather an ideological, prescriptive and normative system of thought throughout with [perhaps some analytic exceptions.

    Hard science (physics, chemistry, biology) is done in SI units. If it is not done in SI units it is not hard science. It follows logically from this position that there are many important questions, in political economy and ethics for example, which cannot be determined by hard science. I will return to this issue.

    Let us unpack these statements, first about those hard science. The international System of Units (SI) has seven base units. The seven measures and what they measure are the:

    (1) second – time
    (2) meter – length
    (3) kilogram – mass
    (4) ampere – electric current
    (5) kelvin – thermodynamic temperature
    (6) mole – amount of substance
    (7) candela – luminous intensity

    These base units units and the units derived from them (for example the Newton – force) have been developed and standardized in the process of historical development of the scientific method and the myriads of investigations made under its aegis or auspices. The empirical method, in a formalized sense, consists of;

    (a) hypothesis;
    (b) prediction;
    (c) experiment;
    (d) analysis;
    (e) re-experiment (reproduction or refutation of results by further testing).

    The discovery and elucidation of the dependable scientific base units is a meta-discovery – a discovery about the discoveries; a discovery about the consistencies behind and links between all scientific discoveries which are verifiable by repeated controlled experiments. In discovering particular dependable results, an elucidation of these results facilitated the derivation and ever more nearly precise definitions of the base units. These definitions have been refined over time.

    The ontological import of the developed base units of science and their consistent, indeed central applicability and usefulness in the theory and practice of science, is that they provide support (a “truth warrant” in philosophical terms) to the argument for objective existence; that certain things exist and exist consistently and objectively in their own right, meaning independently of human consciousness and conjectures. The objective exists and it can be measured consistently and objectively with instruments. To put this another way, consistent and dependable laws can be derived to 5-sigma probability: for example,the laws of physics so far derived.

    Returning to economics, we find that the universal measure used in economics, the numéraire (usually the dollar), is the standard by which values are computed, compared and aggregated. We note that the dollar does not exist in the SI unit table of science. [2] The dollar is not a discovered dimension of objective existence. It is rather a social “dimension” of social, fictive construction. These are no mere cavils. They indicate a basic ontological problem for conventional economics. If one gets the base ontology (what exists at base and how it exists) of a discipline wrong, then everything will be wrong after that. Before the germ theory of disease, the basic ontology of proto- disease theory was wrong, namely the humors theory. Medicine for diseases of pathogenic origin could not be advanced until the humors theory was overturned by the germ theory, by getting the basic ontology right or at least more nearly right: meaning what is in objective reality existent, how it acts as a cause and what effects it has.

    Physical existence has what we call dimensions. We are familiar with space and time being called dimensions. In scientific terms, all of the seven base units measure dimensions of objective or material existence. Thus time, length, mass and so on are dimensions: objective material dimensions. When a numeric value is given to a defined unit of dimension, for example ten meters (10 m) then the expression has objective, scientific meaning.The pure mathematics gains practical and pragmatic meaning from its conjunction with a real dimension and ONLY from its conjunction with a real dimension. When a numeric value is given to a mythical dimension, say 10 bliks (where a blik is undefined or defined as something which is not known to exist and/or seems contradictory to the system of other known existents), then the expression becomes meaningless. The appellation of “10” or any other number gives a false impression of quantification. We cannot meaningfully quantify an unknown or non-existent dimension. Quantifying in meaningless dimensions is meaningless, at least in hard science terms and practical real world terms. In might be fun in a fantasy board game where a mage could acquired ten bliks of mana and this is linked by rules (rules mind, not laws in the “physics laws” sense) to other parts of the formalized and nominal game system.

    Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan in “Capital as Power” point out that the units of measure used in conventional economics (the “util” meaning one unit of utility) and in Marxist economics (the “SNALT” meaning socially necessary abstract labor time) are not ontologically speaking, objectively or materially real. There is no “util” dimension in material nature and there is no “SNALT” dimension in material nature. “Utils” and “SNALTS” are typically measured in the common numéraire, say the dollar. Even Marxists play at political economy by doing calculations in dollars! In his defense, Marx did give a nod and perhaps more than a nod to the social, fictive construction of the unit of exchange labelled the SNALT. It is socially necessary, abstract and average but it holds as a thesis only so long as the labor theory of value holds.

    This Marxist theory breaks down in practice (leaving aside any pure theory) as soon as we arrive at the practice of automated production with machines and non-living energy sources (here meaning not of human or animal muscle power). Marx himself prefigured this dialectical contradiction of his own early industrial capital theories in the “fragment on the machines” in the Grundrisse Notebook. Marx understood that automated production, including machines with sequential instructions which appeared to instantiate and perform thinking work was well as physical work, would supersede crude industrial capitalism and that here would be a much greater use of non-living energy and intelligent machines (though he did not use the latter term and envisioned such in only a vague prefiguring way).

    Dollars are supposed to equate use values (utility) in modern economics. Of course, dollars have a social reality. They are a social instantiation of something but of what precisely? And how do social realities relate to objective material realities? These are thorny questions for ontology as well as economics. However, to clarify what I have said up to this point, I must take a short detour or two.

    Lengths and areas and their dimensional differences, to give an example, are dealt with by mathematical conventions. If I add lengths like 10 meters + 10 meters I get 20 meters. If I multiply 10 meters by 10 meters I get 20 square meters. The convention of squaring the meters suffices. A square meter is a unit derived from a base unit and is m×m. In mathematics, if you write 3×3 (in pure numbers) you mean and/or get the result of 9 (another pure number). In physics terms, these would be dimensionless quantities. If you write 3 meters × 3 meters you mean or get 9 square meters and these are all dimension-ed quantities. In computer programming, you may multiply pure numbers and suffix the correct dimension afterwards or you may use arrays and array conventions depending on requirements. I am speaking here at the ordinary code level, not at the machine code level. I am speaking here simply of the conventions required to encode and decode pure numbers and their dimension literals or appellations consistently in terms of S.I. basic units and their derived units. There are no ontological implications inhering in the conventions themselves.

    Here above, I follow Charles Sanders Peirce in ontological and truth claim terms.

    “That truth is the correspondence of a representation to its object is, as Kant says, merely the nominal definition of it. Truth belongs exclusively to propositions. A proposition has a subject (or set of subjects) and a predicate. The subject is a sign; the predicate is a sign; and the proposition is a sign that the predicate is a sign of that which the subject is a sign. If it be so, it is true.”

    If the agreed conventions governing the symbol system in question (here mathematics combined with hard-science defined dimensions) permit the expression to make a meaningful, unambiguously de-codable and precise statement where the subject terms and the predicate terms are linked by an expression or expressions such that the statement in its entirety can be tested objectively for truth or falsehood against empirical reality or rather a specific, defined aspect of empirical reality then it is a scientifically objective statement initially in the form of an hypothesis but later in the form of scientific law if it be reliably tested by repeatable and verifiable test to 5-simga (as a standard).

    “In short, five-sigma corresponds to a p-value, or probability, of 3×10-7, or about 1 in 3.5 million. This is not the probability that the Higgs boson does… exist; rather, it is the probability that IF the particle does not exist, then the data that CERN scientists collected in Geneva, Switzerland, could be …. what they observed.” – Scientific American.

    I order to avoid any misunderstanding, I am not trying to define science solely by the S.I. basic and derived units. I am saying that the use of S.I. units is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the practice of hard science.This was made explicit by my mention of the scientific method and empirical experiments earlier.

    A key point I am making in terms of the ontology of economics is that mathematics using the numéraire (usually the dollar) is pointless for overall socioeconomic or political economy decision making IF one is attempting to make (a) scientific decisions at all or (b) ethical decisions which are not already embedded in the moral presumptions of capitalist economics and private ownership i the first place. The dollar measures no real dimension nor any real thing (other than the social fictive and institutionally embedded presumptions and assumptions already inherent in its definitions and instantiations. Aggregating in the dollar “dimension” is pointless scientifically and pointless ethically outside of the “ethic” of capitalism and private property themselves.

    To the contrary, we need to measure real things in terms of real costs and then make moral judgements as to which real things are more valuable. For example, my nation has x real sports stadiums of nominal numéraire value of say $500 million or greater (not a useful real measure as I argue) and y real hospitals of nominal numéraire value of $500 million or greater. In a time of COVID-19 which are more valuable? Suddenly, we see sports stadiums are useless and hospitals are very valuable, in real terms to save real people. We can even see that it would have been wiser to use this moral philosophy assessment all along. A government should never subsidize sports stadiums at any time and should always subsidize public hospitals in good times and bad.

    Of course, crude physicalism or physics-based scientism would not and will not be the way to do the entirety of political economy. However, employing the currently more standard method of ubiquitous numéraire calculations, which conventional economics tends to and fundamentalist market economics tends to in the extreme, valuing and aggregating everything in the dollar numéraire, as if everything can be solely aggregated and valued in such a way, is also ludicrous and entirely specious.

    “Companies exist, trading takes place, markets exist.” So the acolytes of capitalist “extantism” never tire of telling us, as if they had always existed and will always exist. It exists so it must be true, right, natural and pre-ordained, even it is really just a given artifice of man; a fictive, social-imaginative construction made concrete in social evolution and emergence, processes which will never end while humans exist. Stolid, fixed and conservative in their unimaginative nature are all such arguments from “extantism”. It is extant therefore it must be immutable. The is the same conservative “argument-spirit” which could never have imagined the continued rise of early, nascent capitalism when medieval feudalism and the rights of the Ancien Regime still held sway in most minds, especially in those of the proveleged elites.

    “Companies exist, trading takes place, markets exist.” This is currently true but we do, or should, care about more than the units of account (the dollar numéraire) which run this artifical world and pit it against the natural (real physical) world. We should care about the “weight” or rather the burden of these economic existents (companies, trading, markets) on environmental existents and human existents (human beings). Some of these burdens can be measured in SI units. I am talking about the environmental and human impact sciences here. Where the science tells us something should not be done or should be no longer done (fossil fuel burning is a prime example) then we should cease it, meaning phase it out as rapidly as technically possible WITHOUT regard for the calculations of cost in the numéraire, which ultimately is all of nominal, unreal and profoundly meaningless ontologically and existentially. This is because the costs, both real (and indeed numéraire-based) of wrecking the climate and raising sea levels are incalculably high, namely the extinction of humanity along with the general expansion of the sixth mass extinction.

    Calculations in the numéraire are specious in many ways (too many to enumerate here in a short reply) but the most fundamental way in which they are specious is in relation to un-costed negative externalities. The physical, chemical and biological sciences are the most direct paths to calculating clear physical and biological negative externality costs and predicting the physical and life (human and wild-life) outcomes if we do not take real actions. Market calculations play a greatly obscuring role, making their predictions and prescribing their actions in a manner far less accurate (and indeed often wildly inaccurate) compared to scientific predictions and prescriptions foraction. Market calculations are riddled with the problems of short-termism, sectional interests, vested interests, political distortions in the favor of dominant capital, the general ignoring of negative externalities, the ignoring of the interests of dispossessed and marginalized humans and indeed the “interests” of all life and the biosphere. Only a combination of the sciences and moral philosophy can address these issues, not this pseudo-refined but ontological grounded calculus performed in an arbitrary, non-real numéraire, according to institutionalized stipulations and largely unrelated to either physical reality or human ethics of the various schools religious and secular-humanist.

    Note 1: I draw this insight from “Capital as Power” by Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan plus from elaborations and explanations from associated writers such as Blair Fix and Martin Ulf.

  18. Ikonoclast, the units economists use are largely irrelevant because they don’t bother with dimensional analysis. See e.g. the basic production function, where the units don’t match on the two sides of the equation; aren’t usually specified; and in the rare case that they do match, usually break somewhere else (like in the profit function). The mathematics used in economics isn’t mathematics at all – it’s just voodoo junk. Their equations are not worth anything.

  19. Faustus again:

    I look forward to the torrent of claims that France messed up their response, that they should have identified it sooner, and that they were covering up cases. Perhaps you can throw something in about Macron being neo-liberal.

    This is getting rather monotonous. Mainland China lacks a right to free speech, lacks an independent media and the truth is valued far less than the propaganda needs of the fascist CCP. China has a history of doing horrible things then lying about it. Its oppressive and racist policies against the Uyghur are perhaps the most egregious current example. SARS 1 was also a shameful cover-up that caused needless death and shows China will lie about health matters if it thinks it is in the interests of the state to do so.

    Currently the whistleblower in the Chinese SARS cover-up, Dr Jiang Yanyong, is under house arrest. The heroic whistleblower in the SARS-CoV-2 case is dead, possibly murdered at the behest of the CCP.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese government is making bellicose threats against any nation that so much as suggests an independent investigation to establish the truth about SARS-CoV-2, which stinks to high heaven of yet another Chinese CCP coverup.

  20. Correction to one of the many typos and stylistic errors in my above long, rapidly typed post. My last sentence should have read more simply:

    “Only a combination of the hard sciences and moral philosophy can address these issues, not the pseudo-refined but ontologically and empirically ungrounded mathematics performed in conventional economics and largely unrelated to either physical reality or human ethics.

  21. Ikonoclast; your example comparing hospitals and sports stadiums does not work. Hospitals may save more lives. But sports stadiums give many people a reason to live in the first place. For some people a life without sports can actually cause life itself to have a negative utility value. Just because they do not committ suicide does not discredit the asserstion that a world without sports would have for some or even many people a negative utility value. The decision to commit suicide is a complex one with many vectors. But I think that you should easily be able to see that a life without sports would lead to a much greater rate of depression in the human population. Furthermore the question of government subsidizing of stadiums is not confined to professional sports teams, what about stadiums for city or state leagues? The question of stadiums exist not only for capitalist countries but socialist countries such as Cuba, and countries trying to improve the lives of the poor such as Venezuela as well.

    I am very skeptical of the claim that someone in France had coronavirus in December of 2019. This to me looks like a story created for the purpose of shifting the goal posts of when the virus made the jump from animals to humans. I can’t really say whether or not I approve of this sub conspiracy to move the timeline at this point. I do not understand what the overall purpose of this story to move the timeline is. But if it turns out to have a positive benifit I will be magically convinced that it is true. The coronavirus and the coronavirus story are so flexible that a person can weave anykind of narrative out of it that they want and get away with it.

    Here are the different Macro backstory narratives that I can come up with for the Covid-19 story.
    1.) A person with come optomistic belief in the capablilities of some of the more capable human beings could see this story as a politcal ploy carried out by the largest conspiracy by far in the history of the planet. It is a conspiracy that developed at some point in the past when an entire unit of one countries intellegence agencies went rouge. Now on on hand the chances of this happening might seem remote if not impossible. But the defence of such a theory would be that people in such positions are on the average smarter than the rest of the human population. Second of all such people naturally have access to more information than everyone else. Third such people have had different expiriences than everyone else.
    But of course those that designed the overall system in each country would have been aware that such things occasionally happen and they would have designed a system to prevent such occurances. But because those that went rogue were trained by this very system they had some capabilty to avoid detection. The result is that these rougue elements spread not only internally they spread internationally because the threat of global warming is the decisive question of our spicies so it threatens everyone much more even than the rivalry between China and the USA.
    Now here is the part that initially took me by surprise. But as I considered it looks more and more obvious. An important target of this rogue movement was not only to recruit other intellegence agents or even law enforcement officials. It was to recruit another group of people who have a much higher level of intellegence than even the intellegence agents. That is Doctors. The bottom line of the story is that the rogue intellegent agents corrupted, in a manner of speakng, the WHO and the WHO corrupted doctors across the entire planet. Of course not a single doctor on the planet is going to admit that they are part of a massive conspiracy to save humanity from itself. In fact in would even be perfectly logical for doctors to laugh at such an accusation, or to vehmently deny it, or to ignore it. Of course an implication of this narrative if you have figured it out by now is that the entire covid 19 desease that has aledgedly killed hundreds of thousands of people is not real. Those who died really died of something more mundane like a heart attack or stroke, or in some cases they are just phoney figures reported by hospitals to a higher level of government.
    The press in this affair is just a puppet insitution being manipulated by the different macro forces in society who are trying to manipulate the narrative that the masses hear.
    A variation of this story is that the rogue elements did not go undetected and that the leading forces of neo-liberalism have been aware of such plans all along and have a plan of their own to turn these events to their own short term advantage. The neo-liberal leadership clearly does not care about the long term.
    2.) The second narrative has a similar begining but then it branches off. Under this narrative the desease is real. It was released as part of a plan by a much smaller group of desperate rogue agents desperate to delay the onset of the final collapse of civilization due to environmental factors.
    3.) The desease was deliberately released on the order of the Chinese, Russian, and Iranian governments and spread by agents with targeted assignments.
    4.) Th desease was created and released and spread by beings outside of planet earth, either in another dimension running a simulation that we are trapped in, or by aliens from this dimension who are light years more technically advanced than we are for any number of possible moitves.
    5.) A Judeo-Christian-Islamic God is the “hinterman” behind the unfolding events. (hahahahaha is just added this one for the purpose of politcal correctness)
    The events that have unfolded show beyond any shadow of a doubt intellegent design behind them.

    The narratives above are written from the most likely to the least likely. They chances of anyone being true add up to more than one hundred percent when they are all added together due to the possibilty of multiple answers and of rounding off to the next highest 5%.

  22. faustusnotes,

    Here is an area we can agree on. A dimensional analysis critique of conventional, capitalist or bourgeois economics (use your preferred term) is indeed part of what I was and still am stumbling towards. I have been working from an ontological perspective; coming from a philosophy perspective and using words, not mathematics. You have brought the dimensional aspect into better focus for me by specifically mentioning dimensional analysis proper.

    The pure mathematics used (insofar as they are used) in “conventional” economics may be poor, average, good or brilliant depending on the pure mathematical abilities of the economist in question. However,the applied mathematics becomes another question. If the ontological grounding in dimensions is flawed then any empirical applicability is likely to be flawed to entirely absent. There may be exceptions to this statement in analytical economics where formal model behavior is being explored. However, as soon as claims are made that the formal models have generally applicable explanatory or predictive power in the real world, as opposed to say illustrating a clear theoretical point, then the models should be tested against the real world. As soon as they are tested in this comprehensive manner, they are found to be entirely wanting.

    The central ontological problem really is seated in the fetish of the numéraire, in the fetish of money and in the related fetishization of markets, at least on my reading, The numéraire (or util) is implicitly supposed and posited to have a real dimension by the very fact of its use and the manner(s) of its use. Economists are not so naive as to advance a too obviously non-existent dimension. Instead, the numéraire is held, at least implicitly, to have a dimension in human preferences by way of expected utility. But measuring things by human preferences is like the man in Plato’s Cave measuring how far light can travel by holding a torch up to a dark matte cave wall. The cave conditions condition any ensuing deduction. The introduction of two burnished mirrors into the cave on opposite walls would give the man a vastly different measure of the distance light can travel. The receding, repeated and diminishing images might even suggest to him that light can travel a seemingly infinite distance.

    The environment greatly conditions preferences. Learned expectations also condition preferences. Social pressure and persuasion, including advertising, again distort, diminish or inflame desires and preferences. Preferences are thus an inconsistent measuring stick, growing and shrinking like Alice in Wonderland and/or shuffling about in order if they are ordinal in nature. No consistent theory can be built on a speculative psycho-social dimension of “preference”. I could continue on about markets and what they do and don’t reveal and instantiate in practice under any given market rules. There are many markets with many sets of rules. But then this post would get too long.

    I do wonder why “conventional” economists as a broad school from the classicals to the neoclassicals, and from the Keynesians to the neoliberals do not seem to want to engage about the ontology of their discipline. Methinks they avoid the subject too assiduously.

  23. Faustusnotes,
    The asserstion some people in France had covid 19 in France is December is likely to be false.
    Even if it is widely reported and even everntually widely publically accepted by expert scientists this news is still likely to be untrue. But after my initial shock at this report I can see how useful this report actually is.
    This report can easily be used as evidence to assert that the Covid-19 virus did not even really origninate in the human population in Wuhan China. If the COVID 19 was already spreading in France in December of 2019, with the first patient having no known contact with China, it is evidence that the desease actually was developed or islolated in France. From there it was carried by rogue agents to China for release in the Wuhan wet market as a very believable cover story to hid the true origin of the virus. The virus was accidently released in France before it reached Wuhan, or perhaps it was deliberattely released in France for the purpose of mudding the waters in case things were getting to hot for the Chinese government because of accusastions that it had acted incompetently or even worse.

  24. Decks of Cards and the Game of Sorry,
    We live in a world without truth. There is varying degrees of evidence. The soul called freed press of the west is useless as a check on the designs of the powerful forces of society. This press can not do anything other than serve as an organ of indoctrination of the masses for those powerful people that wish to fleece them. The reason for this sad state of press affairs is that the press in any country can not report anything other than that which they are told.
    For a democracy to properly function the masses have to be well infomed, among other things. For this and many other reason democracy is an evolutionary dead end. An oligarchic society lead by those wiht a commercial stake is also a dead end. This was something that was recognized in Greece and in China thousands of years ago. By far the best chance for widespread human happiness lies in the establishment of a stoic platonic confucian nanny state.
    In addition to Cuba, one other country is attempting to implement the creation of a nanny state. That country is Iran. But the Iranians are not doing as good a job as the Cubans. Why because the Iraanians under estimate the value of life outside of productive work, prayer and contemplation.
    In short the Iranian leadership considers fun a vice not a virtue. Therefore when you travel to Iran and the customs officials find a deck of cards or a game of Sorry in you luggage they are going to take it away. Officially because such items are gambling devices. But unofficially because they contribute to time having fun which is of course time taken away from doing those things their God approves of, which is productive work, (which in theri defence does include sports because sports prepare one for battle and also contributes to the promotion of the Islamic Republic on the International stage), prayer, and contemplation after reading versus of the Quran. But not anything attributed to Buddha.
    So the morals of the comment are that some sports in some contries are better than others, and Poker is a dumb game. But Rumi is certainly worthwhile.

  25. Curt you will get the next book award – maybe – “The decision to commit suicide is a complex one with many vectors.”

    The reference. With model.

    From Wikipedia on Durkheim’s book Suicide;;
    “Protestants would record “sudden deaths” and “deaths from ill-defined or unspecified cause” as suicides, while Catholics would not. If so, then Durkheim’s error was empirical, not logical.[17]”

    “later researchers found that the Protestant–Catholic differences in suicide seemed to be limited to German-speaking Europe, thus suggesting a need to account for other contributing factors.[24] Despite its limitations, Durkheim’s work on suicide has influenced proponents of control theory, and is often mentioned[25] as a classic sociological study..”

    “Social complexity, modernity and suicide: an assessment of Durkheim’s suicide from the perspective of a non-linear analysis of complex social systems

  26. This is also and interesting link. I would like to make clear tha I had never heard of the lady or the people in this video unitl a few minutes ago. This link was sent to my phone by a relative. I wonder if the person that sent it to this relative is part of a vast conspiracy.
    This link seems to me to support my theory 1B the most, one that I give a 30% chance of being the true explination of what is really going on in this crisis. 30% means that it is very plausible. This video played no part what so ever in my comming to the conclusion that this is a plausible theory. But a number of things pointed out in this video are conclusions I had already reached which caused me to come up with my non orthodox theories that sometning about this crisis is really fishy, and if something is fishy there must be a reason or reasons behind it.

  27. No things that are brought out in this interview support theory 2 just as well as theory 1B.

  28. Curt,

    “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” – Adam Smith

    “Every profession is a conspiracy against the laity.” – G B. Shaw.

    “The human race is a conspiracy against all other life on earth.” – Ikonoclast.

  29. Ikonoclast,
    I am not exactly sure what your point is. The points that I have been making and continue to make about this Coronavirus Crisis is that this crisis is no accident. This is a crisis that was designed by sentient beings to be a crisis. I think that recognizing that this crisis is not the result of an coincedental jumping of a virus from a bat or any other wildlife to a human, nor that it is the result of an accidental escape from a laboratory is an important correct understanding. If the crisis is no accident nothing we hear about it can be believed with a large degree of confidence.
    Everyday we see dozens of experts get interviewed and dozens of withnesses give tesitmony. They do not appear to be lying. Yet the people interviewed and giving testimony in the linked video do not appear to lying either. Furthermore i have watched economists and military people give interviews for decades and they do not appear to be lying either. It is not only me who can not detect the appearance of dishonest testimony that are presented on networks worldwide. But there is no other conclusion that a scientist can draw than not only politicians have been lying for decades but that the supporting actors in fields tha butress political power have been lying for decades. These liarers have clearly become very good at what they do. Of course they are not all lairs. Many of them are dupes. That is how they can spread bullshit so convincingly. Lies have to be detected by other means.
    Therefore we can conclude with a high degree of confidence that someone is lying about the coronavirus. In fact maybe everyone is lying in an effort to spin the news of the crisis in the direction that they want it to go.
    One of the things that send up HUUUGE red flags for me is the case death rates between Norway, Belgium, Spain, and Italy, The idea that there is a medical reason, or an economic reason, or a social reason for these huge differences in death rates in different European countries is just flat out stupid. People will be comming on TV trying to explain this. They are just pulling stuff out their ass. These people are nothing more than highly paid “auto-mechanics”.
    So I think that over the past weeks I have established pretty well that this crisis is a crisis of design not an accident.
    If a lot of people were involved with the design of this crisis I would think that they would want to design a crisis that they can actually control. A real virus would be an unpredictable joker in the deck. A conspiracy that had a lot of backing behind it would not need a real virus. Such an organization or movement or rebellion would be able to manipulate the mass media to create the appearance of a virus when there was none at all. Of course the bigger a conspiracy is the greater chance it has of being detected by those who are not part of it. That would cause any group of conspirators to want to keep the numbers involved as small as possible.
    If the size of the conspiracy was much smaller then it is much more likely that they would have to release a real virus because they would not neccissarily have the means to control perceptions through the mass media.
    Who has the motive to do this? Clearly people who are desperate to prevent the collapse of civilzation due to global warming have a motive. But it may be to late for that. There is another group of people who have a motive. People who want to improve their chances of lasting a decade or so longer than everyone else have a motive to do something like this as well.
    Did either of these groups have the means and opportunity to pull off this crisis? Well clearly those who have been in power for the past 40 years had the resources to pull it off. They would have clearly had the resources to pull it off with out actually releasing any new virus.
    But what about those desperate to prevent the collapse of civilzation due to global warming, Or perhaps to prevent a war between NATO and the SCO? I imagine that a huge amount could be said why it would not be possible for people such as those to have done something like this. i myself can imagine that such people could have done something like this. But could is not did do something like this. More importantly for it to have happened that way things had to have happened that have never happend before in human history. But how old is human history? Do the first 30,000 years count? Or only the last 5000?
    So it is not really a question of whether or not we are dealing with an internaional conspiracy of some sort. It is a question of whether or not those behind it are a force for good or a force for maggots.
    Time will tell.
    Another thing is even the people behind this event are a force for good, this crisis was never going to win the war against those who are leading humanity to extinction. Or perhaps have already led us there because it is to late to correct their stupidity. A phase two, or more, is clearly going to be needed to bring people to power who are actually making a good faith effort to do the right thing. I think that the chances that this event was set off by forces for good are better than 50-50. Why because the event really damaged those leading the status quo. But that short term damage is not a guarantee that they were behind it.
    The leaders of the world are already planning on returning to business as usual as soon as possible.
    We can only wait and see what happens. If you think that you want to play a role in what happens you can only wait to be contacted by someone. You will have no guarantee that those contacting you are playing for the side that you want to play for.
    If the world goes back to business as usual the likely conclusion is that the covid 19 event was caused by some set of disaster capitalists. But, it could also be that those who would be opposed to a phase two managed to thwart it. And it could also be that this event was created by the SCO simply as a shot across NATOs bow. (Not to mention the slim possiblity that the sentient beings behind the event were not even humans)

  30. Advice for us all at this point. Beware of paranoid ideations. Keep a grip on fact-centered reality. Seek help if you need it. Take care.

  31. Come on has no one ever read a history book. A Pandemic that is dangerous but not dangerous at all to children under ten? What the heck there are no children under 10 anywhere with a comprimised immune system? What the hades when has a pandemic ever not killed large numbers of children under 2? This story about the Coronavirus tells me that it is either a deliberately realeased pathogin, or that it may not even really exsist at all.
    Now if some doctors including Peter Attia make a 10 hour documentary mini series giving some scientific explinations as to why the Coronavirus has this charachteristic people should see that for the evidence that it is. That would be evidence that the crisis is a plandemic not a pandemic. In addition if this characteristic of the desease continues to be ignored that is evidence that we are dealing with a plandemic not a pandemic. In addition if a middle road is taken an a 45 minute documentary is made about why ths desease has this characteristic that would be evidence that we are dealing with a plandemic as well because those running the plandemic are trying to carefully tread a path between two clear options.
    Then if the story becomes hey wait this desease actually is dangerous for children we have an example of conspirators that can not get thier story straight.
    Plandemic is clear as day. Additional detalis get fuzzier and fuzzier.

  32. Oh and then there is this. Early in the pandemic the mega famous Canadian Doctor Peter Attia said that there was something that he did not understand about the Coronavirus. Now tha may seem that we was saying that he did not understand something about the Coronavirus because scientists did not have a clear understanding of exactly how the Coronavirus-19 works. BUT that is not actually what he meant. If asked today that is probably what he will say that he meant, to cover his ass. But what he really meant is that the explination did not make sense to him. He assumed that the explination did not make sense because of his lack of training. But it was not his lack of training. If he had more training he would have known that he was being told a bullshit story and he would have been able to confront the bullshiters and that would have forced those telling the story to either bring Peter Attia in on the conspiracy or to tell him a new bullshit story that managed to pacified him.

    When an automechanic tells you a bullshit story he sounds very convincing. But you can take your car somewhere else if you have doubts about his story, unless you are constained by a warranty. An example if the bullshit story that I got from Mercedes Benz recently when they told me that I had to pay 100s of Euros to have the break fluid changed.
    But when virologists take control we have only one planet. There is no where else to go. And due to specialization of labor the one group of people who could put an end to such a conspiracy, that could very likely be a conspiracy for humanities benifit, are completely dependent upon the virologists. I hope that this is all for a good purpose. But I was screwed. I thought that I was working for a good purpose. Yet my efforts were twisted to be able to incorporate them in to an evil plot. Virologists BEWARE.

  33. The video posted above implies strongly that the virus (strain A) started in North America. Which means the media story is not true, and it always was baseless. So Curt might have one or two points that need considering.

  34. “konoclast says:
    APRIL 30, 2020 AT 7:12 PM
    A COVID-19 Timeline.

    Dec. 30, 2019

    Dr. Li Li saw a patient’s report which showed a positive result with a high confidence level for SARS coronavirus tests”

    This timeline we must forget entirely. Since the real timeline, for strain A, starts in September, and most likely in the United States. No good having a timeline that is ignoring what is going on in the rest of the world.

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