I still don’t understand how the social consequences and deaths from lockdown (suicides, long term poverty, missed cancer treatments) can outweigh deaths from COVID.
@ayque Well, you decide which people you would rather see die. I tend to steer clear of such measured judgments.
I mean in terms of numbers. But I guess you can never predict exact numbers.
@ayque Well, compare the suicide, drug and alcohol addiction, child abuse rates to the rates for COVID over the same period. Tally the former against the latter.In any case, you have boiled down morality to a crude economic cost/benefit calculus. Not sure that conduces to real morality in the end.
What should you compare against?
@ayque You don't. You make trade-offs. You recognize that the either/or extremes will mean lives lost. Therefore you opt for solutions that seek to minimize the costs at both ends.Thus COVID is not a problem for the young - they have very low infection and mortality rates - while the elderly are vulnerable. So you place restrictions necessary to protecting the elderly, but do not go so far as to harm the young.This is an intuitive calculation informed by the data. Not governed by it.
So basically you’re saying it’s lives vs lives which I understand. But what I don’t understand is why you wouldn’t go by number of lives lost by either option?
@ayque Because I am not prepared to go so far as to say, "You are the group I like - so you live. You are the group I don't care about as much - too bad for you."THERE IS NO DEFINITIVE ANSWER HERE. Rather, policy will have to be calibrated and recalibrated over time as new data arrives and as the immediate needs and preferences of the culture change.Right now, Europe is locking down again - and the infection, hospitalization and death rates are rising. So you have the worst of all possible worlds - made worse by the fruitless search for the perfect answer.THEIR AIN'T ONE. In the US, there is almost no tolerance for another lockdown. In this case, I have to give the edge to the US approach. It will force policymakers to make compromises and balance interests. All will not be sacrificed to save one part of the whole.On balance, that is the long term wiser approach.
P. S. You DO realize that my initial answer to this question was offered in jest, right? Terminal solemnity is the occupational risk of those who are interested in politics. Thus I try to leaven my observations with a dry bit of wit every now and again.
Why is it that the uk media are now saying uk could also go full national lockdown despite the Government insisting on a local approach for months and science clearly showing differing epidemics by area.
And your wit is appreciated.
@ayque First, to the last point. Thanks. You are kind. As to the former point, you would have to look into that yourself. In the American system, the Federal government has no authority to issue lockdown orders - beyond that applied to Federal government agencies. Public health, broadly speaking, is under the jurisdiction of state and local governments. The British system is more centralized with local government having a narrower ambit. However, I do not specialize in British law and you would be better placed to explore the limits and extent of Westminster's authority.
Our scientists have always said a strictly time limited national lockdown would be a good trade off. Do you think this is true?
@ayque Pal, I am not sure why you would be asking me that question. I am neither a scientist nor am I "on the ground" in the UK to make the call from a policymaker's perspective.Again, the costs and benefits need to be weighed in context. For that matter, questions of how long a time limited lockdown would be also come up. Bottom line, I can speak to the general principle - yes, a time limited lockdown is certainly one way to go. However, the specifics need to be based on immediate circumstances, context, costs and benefits and a host of other factors that I am too far from to make more than the most general guess.
P. S. Just to emphasize the point, I quote from our old friend Edmund Burke:"Circumstances give in reality to every political principle its distinguishing color and discriminating effect. The circumstances are what render every civil and political scheme beneficial or noxious to mankind."
I asked a friend who is well versed in British politics. He said given the populist tendencies of Mr Johnson, the leaks in the media were likely a method of testing the reaction to a full scale lockdown by the general public and the Conservatives.
@ayque Very possible. One factor that must be taken into account - and this would be true regardless of the philosophical persuasion of the policymakers - is the degree that you can get public acceptance of the proposal.If there is widespread rejection, then short of the most draconian enforcement methods, you are apt to get a disregard of the rules - a sort of de facto civil disobedience - that will not only effectively negate the policy. It would also foster a widespread ethos of disrespect for the rule of law.Indeed, that is a big factor here in the States. The public, it would seem, has basically indicated that it wants no further lockdowns and thus whatever comes will have to have a narrow focus and perhaps a limited duration.
This is very interesting. How do I become so wise such as yourself and others who are well versed in political matters? Is it partly life experience and partly reading?
@ayque Well, I have studied it since I was in junior high school. I have done a ton of reading - literally. (My book collection, when we moved, was estimated to weigh in at 2 tons.) Plus, I have actually worked in politics.Most of all though, I am a history buff. Few disciplines are more useful, more important, than History. I strongly recommend that you read a lot of it - and again throw in political philosophy and other strands of philosophy as needed. To which I would add that you stay abreast of the latest issues and news.
My friend is also a history buff, is always on top of current affairs and has lived in multiple countries and followed the politics in each one of them. I suppose similar to yourself although he has never worked in politics.
@ayque Well, I don't know him. However, in all this, don't sell yourself short. You can learn this stuff. It is not beyond the reach of mortal men. It does take time, but it is important and worth the effort.A little patience, a little study and some time will get you there. That all said, you have kept up in our conversations. We do disagree from time to time, but that has not precluded civil discussion and honest debate.So keep it up. If it is worth it to you to do so, you will get there. If not, at least try to stay as well informed as you can. It makes for a better citizen when you do.
Thanks for the kind words. As you know, my weakness is trying to learn everything at once. My friend, in addition, thinks that Mr Johnson is facing a serious political dilemma. Currently, Europe and the scientific community are tending towards national lockdown. Meanwhile, any sudden u turn would be very politically damaging as Mr Johnson has been saying that national lockdown should not be an option. He would be attacked both by his own party and by the opposition. My friend thinks the best option politically would be to stick to a regional approach. Perhaps up the baseline restrictions slightly and only put the worst hit areas into a strictly time limited lockdown.
@ayque Well, as I say, I don't have too much to offer here on the specifics in the UK.What I would say is that, at the moment, if the public is feeling generally safe and "lockdown weary," then any U turn on Prime Minister Johnson's part would be a problem. However, if the public gets scared, it may end up taking a more relaxed view and Johnson, in that event, might then be able to get away with a change of course.Again, the specifics matter. Further, if need be, he can quote a famous British economist - John Maynard Keynes - who once said, "When I see that the facts have changed, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"
It is possible Mr Johnson has been trying to scare the public with periodic leaks and using the scientific advisors again to give updates. On one press conference, one of the scientific advisors subtly hinted that it was not his choice to present the data in the way he did. He specifically said “The Prime Minister has asked me to focus on this particular data.”
@ayque Well, it is the job of national leaders to try to help shape public opinion in directions that they think wise and prudent. So long as Mr. Johnson is not actually altering the data or lying about it, there is nothing wrong with the approach that you are suggesting - albeit based on hunches and suspicions, not on actual evidence - that the prime minister is taking.However, to repeat, I am not, at this distance, in a position to make a judgment one way or the other.
Well the scientific modelling suggests that the epidemic is getting worse much faster than first thought in the UK. However, I understand any scientific model is only as good as the assumptions which have been put in.
@ayque Here again, that is not the only factor that needs to be taken into account. You have a bad habit of trying to simplify complex phenomena to get to easy solutions. Suffice to say that an increase in cases does not automatically dictate or necessitate a full lockdown. A whole host of data must be evaluated and all this in the context of the national mood and all the rest.At any rate, pal, I just have to tell you that I don't have more to say on this topic. I am too far from the UK to make anything more than general observations and I really don't think that anything I could add would be all that valuable. You might do best discussing this topic with your friend.
I enjoy our conversations.
@ayque Right back at ya. However, in this case, on this issue in the context of UK specifics, you will find that I am only repeating the same generalities. If you wish to discuss the issue in greater depth, you might do better to speak to your friend or see if there is not some public debate going on somewhere - talk radio, a webchat or some such - where you can participate.
I have been trying to follow the US presidential election also. however, obviously this is hard for me being in the UK where COVID is still top news.
@ayque As it is harder for me to follow British politics when a presidential election AND Covid is dominating the news on this side of the Pond. Just have to do the best we can.
By the way, this is slightly off topic and random but do you think it’s possible to be in a relationship with someone you don’t always agree with politically? I know you broadly agree with your wife.
@ayque SLIGHTLY off topic? I would say that it is entirely off topic.In general, though, as the old saw has it, "The heart has reasons which the mind cannot refute." So yes, it is possible, though likely not common. Insofar as political reviews reflect, more or less, the values that people have. Thus if you do not share political views, the odds are that you will not share the moral and other values and views that make a happy and harmonious relationship possible. Again, not a certainty, but the law of averages, so to speak.So, now that you have me opining on advice to the lovelorn...
Also if you’re interested in the situation in Britain, it seems after an internal bun fight, Mr Johnson has announced we will once again be going into a 1 month national lockdown, although slightly less restrictive than last time. This is subject to parliament passing the new law but this is likely to pass, given Mr Starmer’s support.
In the British system, I tend to agree with this policy option. It keeps the politics cleaner, assuming Mr Johnson can get the wide public support which he seems to have done by making the lockdown less restrictive than the last, extending financial support for businesses and time limiting to 1 month.
@ayque Well, based on what you mentioned earlier, it would appear that Prime Minister Johnson has calculated that a "U turn" on the subject is not as politically fatal as your friend assumed. Why that is so you and your friend can discuss. Suffice to say, the situation appears not to be as rigid as our initial discussion implied. It remaining to be seen how the British public will react in the context of a rising infection rate set against increasing impatience with lockdowns. As ever, a balancing act.
Back on love, probably true what you say. I wonder whether such situations are worth a try if you have other things in common.
@ayque Sure. Just be prepared for some disagreements. Again, you want a pat answer, but the truth is this must be judged case-by-case. What is the woman like? How much do you want to talk politics and how important is it to you? To what degree do you both hold your political views and to what extent do those views reflect deeper moral values that may be more important to the foundations of your relationship - not to mention, looking down the line a bit, things like raising children, sex, etc.Bottom line, when you meet someone who engages you, that is relatively rare and best not let the opportunity pass all other things being equal. Of course, not all other things are equal and so you go in, friendly, engaging and on your best behavior - but eyes wide open. As George Will famously said, "Politics is important and serves a vital jurisdiction, but it is peripheral to the things that make for a happy life. Feisty friends, cheerful children and a strong bullpen." (That last, for Europeans who do not know the sport, a baseball reference.) So as with all things, you strike the balance. Thus endeth my career as an advice columnist to the lovesick. You are on your own on this one buddy.
You are very wise on all matters. I am not lovesick though.
It seems the British public is almost divided in half over lockdown vs no lockdown. A polarised debate indeed.
@ayque In a democracy, fear often does the work of reason. Were everyone thinking matters through, you might have a less emotional debate. As it is, people let their fears guide their judgments. That shapes public opinion and defines, more or less, the parameters in which politicians and policymakers shape policy.In any case, no real surprise.
@ayque You gentlemen might want to proceed with this in private chat.
Point taken. Thanks.
Hey that's sick! Glad to hear you've made something epic out of the lockdown.
Nothing wrong with a little restitution now that not much else is happening!
Your every comment is styled as a sensation with that fat text xD
Exactly, it stands out.
True enough. Does it work then, has it engendered a lot of likes?
It can if I post the right words on the right question. 💁🏻♀️
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Sounds dry. Maybe exercise a bit? Jogs and such.
I do when I can. Lately I've been too busy. I use G@G when I want to be off my feet for a bit.When I workout I like to set aside an hour or two. These last couple weeks I've gotten to do it more, so I'm happy.
That's good! I have also gotten to work out more. Does wonders for the mood doesn't it!
It used to. For some of us it's a depressing reminder of the past, and a frightening vision of the future.
That's... rough buddy?
Thanks! Cool, which classics?
Huxley, Orwell, Ray Bradbury were the recents. I'm re-reading 1984 atm.
I know Orwell the best out of those. An interesting character, considering his socialist origins and later works decrying Marxism.
Huxley's Brave New World is great too. Some say his "prediction" of the future is closer than Orwell's totalitarian regime as today is about consumerism and hedonism but I would still say, it's a mixture of both. Bradbury wrote the Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 453. Both are thought-provoking pieces.
I generally try to stay away from predictive works, as they rarely prove true on the whole. The truth, as you say, always includes elements from several extremes culminating into an amalgamation of societies where none of them have domination. Consumerism, hedonism, supervisory society etc.
Oh, well then something positive from the breakout at least!
Get your butt to the gym!
A lot of that going on xD
Did you buy it as a security or did you experience something that prompted you to?
I was attacked by protestors on my way to work.
Oh no, I'm sorry that happened to you. Definitely keep that gun close!
Now what makes you ask that?
Than why dafuq did you feel the need to post your face with this question?
That's what distinguishes the sexes to you? Pictures?Because I am at the café obviously. What is your problem xD
Yes, this greatly distinguishes sexes. It adds zero value to your question, pointless really, maybe if you had a cup of coffee in your hand, but you don't.
Most ridicolous comment I've seen in a good while. If your sense of masculinity is that insecure you need to grow up.
I said nothing of masculinity, just that you act like a girl.
Ergo, masculinity vs femininity. And no, I do not.
Maybe you're just gay, I don't care really. But this shit is weird and not normal.
Mm. You know what does occur among both sexes? Jealousy of someone more attractive. Which is the only reason I see for nagging quite like a girl yourself over my question's structure completely unprovoked.
Dude you look like a creepy child molester... Your face is the last thing I could be ever jealous of...
Oh yeah, definitely jealous. Just stop making a fool of yourself with such pitiful jabs and leave your comments for the rare few who find them relevant.
Really, other than the "how do I look" section, find a single guy who isn't gay and post his face with his questions. I'll wait.
Even if you didn't look like a creepy pedo it is still weird. Your face next to anything simply makes things worse.