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#1 Re: The Garden » Current Events Thread » 4 weeks ago

jimmythegent wrote:

The guy is constantly going below the belt with obnoxious and condescending attacks/posts. This thread actually resembled intelligent and polite discourse that week or so he decided he was going to piss off - then he came back and it promptly returned to the gutter.

Dingdingding! We have a winner!

I love lurking in this thread, but Flagg's posts have really turned me off lately. And not because of what he says (although I often disagree), but because he's can't make an argument without being condescending and rude. And the funny part is that despite the fact that he's clearly not dumb, he doesn't seem to realize that he would be so much more effective with his arguments if he turned down the condescending asshole act even the tiniest bit.

I know that I'm not the biggest contributer here so I probably should just STFU, but I wanted to support Jimmy and Axl S's posts on the matter 'cause they hit the nail right on the head.

#2 Re: The Garden » Current Events Thread » 7 weeks ago

I cannot understand why it is so hard to see the difference between what happened last week, and this summer's blm protests. I get that people are eager to point out the similarities: yes, individuals in both groups broke laws, acted violently and misbehaved; yes, the majority of people in both groups had no bad intentions and just wanted to exercise their right to protest what they perceive as injustice.

The difference is simple though: the leftists' concerns are rooted in real world issues of racism, discrimination and social injustice created by a society that has had a difficult past when it comes to race relationships. Sure, the way that these concerns are expressed aren't always ideal, but the underlying reasons are and have historically always been valid.

The right's concerns are based on conspiracy theories and lies spread and supported - if not created - by Trump and a significant portion of the GOP leadership. There is no real underlying issue here, it's all fabricated. They created a narrative, specifically to rile up his base and bring out the vote. Having created that context for electoral gains and still giving the speeches he has been giving in the run-up to January 6th is THAT is why Trump needs to be held accountable.

#3 Re: The Garden » Current Events Thread » 15 weeks ago

mitchejw wrote:

I just turned it off...I have no idea why this is happening now...shoulda done this shit months ago...

Yeah, he's done, time to move on... I'm usually not a huge Anderson Cooper fan, but he's dead on here:

[youtube]https://youtu.be/7JoxjByjxJ0/[youtube]

#4 Re: The Garden » US Politics Thread » 39 weeks ago

buzzsaw wrote:

I have a little (very little) to say about this topic, so hopefully this will be my one and only comment on it. 

It's sad that we live in a society where you have to pick a side and support that side no matter what happens.  I'm not allowed to be equally upset about the actions of (a small number of) police and the actions of a relatively small number of people that use incidents like this as an opportunity to destroy a community.  Normally I'd say their own community, but I'm not convinced that the rioting is actually coming from people in that community in a lot of cases. 

I've read all kinds of accounts from people making excuses for the officer.  There is no excuse.  Even if Mr Floyd had killed an officer, they had no right to kill him without a trial as nobody's life was in immediate danger.  I haven't and won't watch the video as I have zero interest in seeing someone lose their life.  I trust that (most of) the accounts I have read are accurate.  There's nothing Mr Floyd could have done to justify what happened to him.  Nothing.  Not only should that officer be prosecuted to the law's fullest extent, so should those that were standing there and did nothing to stop it.  I stand (figuratively) with the peaceful protesters.  The vast majority that are peaceful aren't the problem...

...it's the comparatively smaller group that starts trouble, then the mob mentality that takes over sucking in (in many cases) people that otherwise wouldn't participate in something like that.  I don't care how upset you are, you can't go burning buildings down.  The protests during the day all seem to be fine; night time hits and all of a sudden people go crazy.  I'm convinced it's not the same people (in most cases) that were there during the day.

There are powerful people trying to keep us divided (the same people that flamed this division in the first place).  It's not Obama and it's not Trump.  There are all kinds of theories as to who it is, but I don't pretend to have the answers.  It wouldn't surprise me to find out this is a Star Wars prequel set up where someone (or the same groups) is/are manipulating both sides.

Here's what I do know:  WE aren't each other's enemies.  We see things differently because we all come from different places and experienced different things.  That's okay.  That's actually good.  Diversity of any kind (including diversity of thought) is a great thing when used to bring people together for a common good. 

Most people are good people.  That's us here (I'd say we're all good at our core), that's cops, that's whites, blacks, asians, hispanics, etc.  I live in a very diverse neighborhood and (from what I have seen at least) everybody gets along.  People aren't afraid of me because I am white and nerdy.  I'm not afraid of other people because they look sort of like Ice-T.  We wave to each other when we're out walking, help each other out, have community gatherings like cookouts.  That doesn't mean we agree on everything.  We don't.  But it's okay.  I think 99% of diverse neighborhoods are like this.  I think most people in non-diverse neighborhoods don't live in those neighborhoods to get away from other ethnicities.  Why is it that at the micro-level we can all get along, but at the macro level we're so divided?  It's an interesting question that I'm not sure I've ever heard asked.

I'm sure somebody is going to pick this apart as not taking a stand or whatever.  That's fine.  Believe what you want...I'm not engaging in that.

Thoughtful, heartfelt and genuinely inspiring post, Buzz. I agree 100% with everything you've said. I wanna see the first jackass to claim you're not taking a stand here... You are, it's just one that is not looking to squarely put the blame on one side, and that deserves all the credit in the world.

#5 Re: The Garden » Covid 19 » 42 weeks ago

buzzsaw wrote:
TheMole wrote:

Well, that's the crux of the discussion isn't it? Would the impact of the pandemic have been worse if we didn't take the measures we're taking?  I think so, based on the evolution of that R0 metric I mentioned in the other post. You seem to believe that we haven't really saved anyone, and I'm curious to know why you think that...

The quick answer is the "flattening the curve" concept. The theory behind that was never to stop the virus, it was just to delay the timing. So following that logic, we end up in the same place but the timing of when we get there is different. You can argue semantics if you want, but that's as accurate and simple of a description of what flattening the curve does as you can get.  It lowers the peak but makes it last longer.

The flattening the curve concept is meant to apply to coronavirus cases, not coronavirus deaths. As I'm sure you know, the idea behind it is that we can spread the number of infections over time so that we can focus on the active cases at any given time and treat them properly, leading to an overall lower casualty rate.

For instance, back in early April it looked very likely the state of Texas would've run out of beds if no further actions were taken. On April 2nd, the state issued its "don't call it a stay at home order" stay at home order, resulting in a rapid decline in the growth of the virus. It turns out that they never came close to the projected needed number of beds.

I would argue there's very strong statistical evidence that this is because of the measures taken to flatten the curve. Just by looking at the graph of daily cases for the state, you can tell there are clearly two parts to it: pre-and post-lockdown spread rates, with the turning point around that early April timeframe.
DLZWB7NMEVBTTE5LF65AO5EET4.PNG
There's nothing to suggest that this change in spread rate would've happened on its own, so to me this is a clear indication that the significant reduction in new cases is due to the measures the state government took.

#6 Re: The Garden » Covid 19 » 42 weeks ago

buzzsaw wrote:

Just a quick follow up - I have a lot of empathy for those being impacted by Covid...I just choose not to limit that to those that get sick from the virus.  People that never got symptoms are being hit extremely hard by this, yet nobody really seems to care about them at all.  I'd be careful about playing the empathy card when you're ignoring those that are suffering deep hardships.

I believe you, everything in your posts screams empathy for those struck by the economic downturn. But it's unfair to say that the rest of us are ignoring that. You know for a fact that Mitch's company has been hit hard by this.

buzzsaw wrote:

Whoever it was that said the economy is going to recover just fine and cited some past pandemic experience seems to ignore we've haven't handled any recent (and by recent I mean not in 100 years) in any way similar to how we've handled this one.  We typically ignore them.  Small businesses will close and never open again.  People will lose their homes and be setback so far that they may never recover.  People have already killed themselves as a direct result of the virus.  We've paid a huge price to (at this point) not really save anyone.

Well, that's the crux of the discussion isn't it? Would the impact of the pandemic have been worse if we didn't take the measures we're taking?  I think so, based on the evolution of that R0 metric I mentioned in the other post. You seem to believe that we haven't really saved anyone, and I'm curious to know why you think that...

#7 Re: The Garden » Covid 19 » 42 weeks ago

Randall Flagg wrote:
TheMole wrote:

Of course everyone acknowledges there are consequences, but the financial fall-out just seems so much more manageable (in the sense that we as a society have the tools to soften the impact) than the loss of lives (for which we still don't have an adequate answer in the form of a cure or vaccin).

Do you have anything to support this opinion, or is based on the same appeal to authority as your other posts are.  "I don't really have an answer, but I like it when authority tells me it's going to be ok.  I'm still going to express an opinion, but when someone tells me not to worry, I just let the people I think are smarter than me make decisions, and accept them.  You're crazy if you question any of it."

Yes, and I posted my source a little bit further down in that post, did you not read through to the end?

TheMole wrote:

Looking at past pandemics, it's clear to see that economic recovery post-lockdown is almost a given. It is up to us as a society to ensure that we do everything we can to support that recover. This article is an interesting read on the subject: https://theconversation.com/past-pandem … ery-137775

Feel free to question it, I'm sure there's things I haven't considered and I'm happy to discuss.

#8 Re: The Garden » Covid 19 » 42 weeks ago

Randall Flagg wrote:

Are you going to provide a cutoff for when it's safe to "return", or is playing "gotcha" cause I didn't catch "Italy" in the jumbo wall of text you posted from some grad students in Glasglow.

I think the R0 needs to land below 0.8 or 0.7 before it is safe to ease restrictions. That's the primary metric by which this should be managed in my opinion. I couldn't find an official estimated R0 for the US, but we've started to see a small downward trend in the number of new cases recently, which indicates an R0 somewhere just below 1.0, so we're probably not too far off. Once R0 gets below 0.8 you can slowly start easing the restrictions and measure the impact of that by closely monitoring the R0, if it goes up again, you need to clamp down again.

You need to understand that the reason people rail against Trump's handling of this whole thing is not because we want this to go on indefinitely. Everyone is in favor of getting back to normal ASAP, for the good of the economy and for the sanity of all of us cooped up in our own homes. But it needs to be done on a factual basis, and we need people that can at least give a basic impression of understanding how this shit works to explain this to the unwashed masses. Trump is a fucking cheerleader with a god complex, and that rightfully rubs a lot of people the wrong way, especially in times like these.

Randall Flagg wrote:

Can you explain how they came to their conclusions since you think this study is so good?  What do you think of them taking historical WHO data on morbidity and transposing it on a specific population? What do you think  of their study using variables and beliefs about COVID that were available in late March?  You're using this study as some kind of credible claim despite the very unavoidable fact it doesn't align with any modern demographic information from any nation.  What about this study (it's actual models) makes you think it's accurate or suggestive of something.  Can you provide a  link to any nation that has an large amount of people dying under the age of 65?  SHouldn't that be your first step if you're going to make a claim that COVID is killing people 12 years too early?

Look man, I realize we all have our opinions and biases. You've posted several appeals to authority without explaining why you trusted the source, the prime example being those estimated numbers you got from the IHME model that have been proven wrong twice in a matter of days. You're in no position to demand a level of scrutiny that you're not willing to put in yourself. I also noticed you never reacted to me referencing articles clearly outlining how your quoted source has been proven unreliable time and time again. That's fine, you don't have to, but don't expect others to do so either then.

Randall Flagg wrote:

Pot calling the kettle black is you linking an article you didn't read and can't explain, and attempting to claim I'm somehow in error because the actual figures I linked don't remotely align with such a while claim.  If we can link grad student  studies from mediocre universities and accept them as fact, can I play too?

You know what irks me the most about your posts? The arrogant and clearly intentionally aggressive language that you use, as if people having a different opinion somehow hurts you personally. I don't care if you feel wounded when someone disagrees with you man, I'm just trying to have a civil discussion with people that have different opinions than mine. Give me a reply without the arrogant undertones and I'll immediately and happily engage in a discussion with you, I'm tired of following your playbook.

#9 Re: The Garden » Covid 19 » 42 weeks ago

buzzsaw wrote:

It's somewhat fascinating that the people that claim to care about people so much aren't worried about people losing their jobs, houses, sanity, businesses, lives (I know you care about the virus deaths, but you don't seem worried about the other deaths including suicide that have happened as a direct result of poor decisions being made), etc.

Not really, it's just that I feel that dying (by basically drowning) from a virus that you contracted unknowingly and unwillingly seems a worse faith to me than losing your job, house or business. Regardless of someone's age. I get that you feel differently, that's okay.

buzzsaw wrote:

It's like you aren't willing to admit that there are consequences to the decisions that have been made that might hurt more people than actually die from the virus.

Of course everyone acknowledges there are consequences, but the financial fall-out just seems so much more manageable (in the sense that we as a society have the tools to soften the impact) than the loss of lives (for which we still don't have an adequate answer in the form of a cure or vaccin).

Look, in general I'm all for letting the free market do its thing, it's a well understood system that has proven its merrits in the past time and time again.  But any system has its limits, and I genuinely feel that in this particular case a well-thought out strategy enforced by our governments is going to serve us much better than just letting the free market handle this. Of course that strategy needs to include measures to support and reinforce the economy, to support people that are suffering from the economic impact of the quarantine measures. And obviously that's where the US gov't is currently not taking its responsibility.

Looking at past pandemics, it's clear to see that economic recovery post-lockdown is almost a given. It is up to us as a society to ensure that we do everything we can to support that recover. This article is an interesting read on the subject: https://theconversation.com/past-pandem … ery-137775

#10 Re: The Garden » Covid 19 » 42 weeks ago

A Private Eye wrote:

Did you read the study? The data on deaths is taken from Italy primarily.

This, right here, talk about pot calling the kettle black...

A Private Eye wrote:

It's still to be peer reviewed in fairness so let's wait and see.

Yes, true. And I also pointed this out in my initial post. But I also don't think we should dismiss it out of hand, and I'm inclined to give more stock to this paper than I am to some back of the napkin calculation of some (admittedly well-educated) random folks on the internet.

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