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Old 3rd April 2020, 10:40 AM   #121
theprestige
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The big irony here is that capitalism has so many beneficiaries because it's actually really good at spreading things, both good and bad, and on balance it spreads more good things than bad things. If it had to fight harder, and spread mostly bad things, we'd call it communism instead.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 01:08 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
True.

Although better results would probably be yeilded if powerful media figures and even elected government officials, hadn't spent the last 40 years denigrating the scientific method obfuscating facts, promoting woo, disenfanchising academia and generally promoting the idea that it's laudable to be a selfish, I'm alright, Jack, dickhead and, of course, that the government is useless.

If that hadn't happened, people would be more like to follow the wise, scientifically founded, advice rather than believing that they know better because FREEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDOOOOOMMMMMMM

Well sure, but that occurs because humans are fundamentally flawed.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 02:22 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I'm happy that you are with me this far!

And no, the "real problem" is definitely not "humans."
I shudder to imagine what your alternative might be!
"Capitalism" is an abstraction. "Humans" are a real, concrete physical entity. So it's a better explanation than your thinly-veiled anti-semitic rants.
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Old 3rd April 2020, 03:37 PM   #124
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The concept of humans is an abstraction from the real, concrete physical entities that humanity consists of. Abstraction (Wikipedia). I suspected you didn't know that. And I think that we all know who the actual ranting white supremacists are around here.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 3rd April 2020, 04:14 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
The idea that Scientists recommend an action and humans all respond near-perfectly to their recommendation is the Utopian idea.
True.

Although better results would probably be yeilded if powerful media figures and even elected government officials, hadn't spent the last 40 years denigrating the scientific method obfuscating facts, promoting woo, disenfanchising academia and generally promoting the idea that it's laudable to be a selfish, I'm alright, Jack, dickhead and, of course, that the government is useless.

If that hadn't happened, people would be more like to follow the wise, scientifically founded, advice rather than believing that they know better because FREEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDOOOOOMMMMMMM

It actually is true that the idea described by xjx388 is Utopian. In the context, however, it's a strawman. It's a claim I've never made or implied.

And I don't think that xjx388 actually knows why his idea is Utopian. The reason is that it assumes science as something separate from the 'humans' who are all supposed to "respond near-perfectly to [the scientists'] recommendation" instead of having learned and understood the science themselves. I.e. these 'humans' are expected to obey rather than understand the scientists, which, of course, is how things are done today: Scientists are a separate group of people who learn the knowledge that exists at a given stage of the development of society and the go on to produce more knowledge themselves. Unlike the rest of humanity who are supposed to learn only the bare minimum like reading and writing, just enough for them to be able to understand the instructions they need in order to do manual labour, pay their bills and elect their rulers.

In the present situation, the difference becomes very obvious in the medical advice handed out to ordinary people as opposed to knowledge about what a virus is and how this particular virus infects the population: Wash your hands, don't touch your face, stay six feet apart, etc.

So 3point14, I think that you're right about "obfuscating facts" etc., but it's even worse than that: People shouldn't be expected to merely "follow the wise, scientifically founded, advice". People should acquire so much knowledge that they have an actual understanding of what's going on, i.e. a basic understanding of science so they'll know why the advice is just common sense and what make one virus different from another.

That is not at all Utopian, but it's very different from the social reality we find ourselves in now and would require an entirely different educational system, one whose purpose isn't to exclude the majority of young people from the institutions of higher learning.
That is an obstacle right now and will remain one tomorrow, too, and as long as capitalism exists. The alleged imperfection of human nature is not an obstacle.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 3rd April 2020, 05:32 PM   #126
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Capitalism and Its Beneficiaries, Rich People, Are the Spreaders of Coronavirus

Originally Posted by dann View Post
It actually is true that the idea described by xjx388 is Utopian. In the context, however, it's a strawman. It's a claim I've never made or implied.
You have made a claim that Capitalism is responsible for the spread of Covid. That implies that there is a different economic system which would not have spread it. My argument is that such a system is a Utopian pipe dream. You obviously think otherwise. I wonder why you have this far failed to describe the system.

Quote:
And I don't think that xjx388 actually knows why his idea is Utopian. The reason is that it assumes science as something separate from the 'humans' who are all supposed to "respond near-perfectly to [the scientists'] recommendation" instead of having learned and understood the science themselves.
First, itís not my idea. Itís what Iím labeling this imaginary system you seem to have in mind. Second, you are now describing a human condition -humans who learn and understand the science AND put that learning and understanding into near-perfect practice for the good of us all, even if it conflicts with other human desires and motivations- for which there is absolutely no evidence is possible.

Quote:
I.e. these 'humans' are expected to obey rather than understand the scientists, which, of course, is how things are done today: Scientists are a separate group of people who learn the knowledge that exists at a given stage of the development of society and the go on to produce more knowledge themselves. Unlike the rest of humanity who are supposed to learn only the bare minimum like reading and writing, just enough for them to be able to understand the instructions they need in order to do manual labour, pay their bills and elect their rulers.
No. You are assuming that people currently donít understand the scientists. You fail to consider that perhaps humans have other motivations and desires than practicing the best scientific approach.

Quote:
In the present situation, the difference becomes very obvious in the medical advice handed out to ordinary people as opposed to knowledge about what a virus is and how this particular virus infects the population: Wash your hands, don't touch your face, stay six feet apart, etc.
What if people arenít interested in understanding at the level that you think they should? I contend that most people donít want to know about that stuff. How are you going to change human nature so that everyone desires that knowledge AND wants to practice it ahead of other interests?

Quote:
So 3point14, I think that you're right about "obfuscating facts" etc., but it's even worse than that: People shouldn't be expected to merely "follow the wise, scientifically founded, advice". People should acquire so much knowledge that they have an actual understanding of what's going on, i.e. a basic understanding of science so they'll know why the advice is just common sense and what make one virus different from another.

That is not at all Utopian,
Oh, I think it is.
Quote:
but it's very different from the social reality we find ourselves in now and would require an entirely different educational system, one whose purpose isn't to exclude the majority of young people from the institutions of higher learning.
That is an obstacle right now and will remain one tomorrow, too, and as long as capitalism exists. The alleged imperfection of human nature is not an obstacle.
All those words and you still havenít told us what should replace Capitalism so that we can have that wonderful educational system and transform humans into beings who collectively behave according to the scientific knowledge they now possess. So enough with the sophistry: get to that new system.
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Old 4th April 2020, 02:21 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
You have made a claim that Capitalism is responsible for the spread of Covid. That implies that there is a different economic system which would not have spread it. My argument is that such a system is a Utopian pipe dream. You obviously think otherwise. I wonder why you have this far failed to describe the system.

No need to wonder. The point is that unlike you I don't do Utopian thinking. Instead, I point out how capitalism spreads the virus.

Quote:
First, itís not my idea. Itís what Iím labeling this imaginary system you seem to have in mind. Second, you are now describing a human condition -humans who learn and understand the science AND put that learning and understanding into near-perfect practice for the good of us all, even if it conflicts with other human desires and motivations- for which there is absolutely no evidence is possible.

Yes, it is your idea! You invented it. It's certainly not mine, and I've explained what's wrong with it. You obsess about "this imaginary system that (I) seem to have in mind," because it frees you from considering how capitalism spreads the virus. You would like to defend capitalism even when it's spreading the virus - and you need to defend it because it's your idea of Utopia - so in defence of your Utopia, you imagine a Dystopia much worse than capitalism instead of doing the obvious thing: Tell us why capitalism in your opinion doesn't spread the virus! You can't?! Well, then it's probably because it does!
And yes, if there weren't any humans, there would also be no virus infecting them, but what I've pointed out is that it was a very particular kind of humans that helped it spread from Austria to Denmark (Sweden, Norway, Germany ...), which you refuse to acknowledge because, after all, they were humans, not space monkeys.

Quote:
No. You are assuming that people currently donít understand the scientists. You fail to consider that perhaps humans have other motivations and desires than practicing the best scientific approach.

No, I don't fail to consider anything of the kind. On the contrary, I've pointed out the kind of "other motivations and desires" that "humans" have when their thinking is based on business considerations. You are the one who's in denial about this, and you seem to think that your idea that business considerations aren't alien should make us forget what they resulted in, i.e. spreading the virus, because, after all, we are all human. By the way, Trump was also obsessed with business considerations when he refused to recognize the reality of the pandemic, played it down, and avoided taking the necessary precautions against it.
You can't put that down to simple errare humanum est.

Quote:
What if people arenít interested in understanding at the level that you think they should? I contend that most people donít want to know about that stuff. How are you going to change human nature so that everyone desires that knowledge AND wants to practice it ahead of other interests?

What if they are interested but just can't get into college because it's too expensive and they don't have rich parents? Does it seem to be an actual problem that institutions of higher learning fight in vain to attract young people, but nobody is interested? You can contend as much as you want that uneducated people just aren't interested in learning anything.
Why do you think that Bernie Sanders and AOC appealed the way they did to young people with their argument that college educations should be free for all? Human nature doesn't appear to have been much of a problem, does it?!

Quote:
Oh, I think it is.

Yes, you do, and yet that's not what reality shows.

Quote:
All those words and you still havenít told us what should replace Capitalism so that we can have that wonderful educational system and transform humans into beings who collectively behave according to the scientific knowledge they now possess. So enough with the sophistry: get to that new system.

All your confusion about Utopias and Dystopias, and yet you haven't come up with an actual argument against the (in the meantime, more and more obvious) fact that capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, are the spreaders of coronavirus.
You have spent so much time defending your Utopian delusions about what capitalism is that you don't even notice that you've never once seriously tried to argue the point, 'No, capitalism doesn't spread coronavirus.' (except for you repetitive idea that aliens and other space monkeys don't)
In the meantime you're asking me to tell you what should replace the system that is so good at spreading the virus that it may kill you ...
I prefer to have that discussion with people who understand what capitalism is and does and who are actually interested in getting rid of it.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 4th April 2020, 05:05 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I point out how capitalism spreads the virus.
I hope that capitalism doesn't invent the vaccine because that would be embarrassing.
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Old 4th April 2020, 08:44 AM   #129
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Who would be embarrassed, William Parcher?

I hope that somebody invents, tests and mass produces an effective vaccine free from side effects as soon as possible. The only reason why I would prefer it to be done by the Chinese or, say, the Cubans, is that I would like to see it made available to everybody who needs it without them having to worry about the price! And I think that the Chinese might do so because they are already embarrassed about having let the virus escape to the rest of the world instead of containing it effectively, and the Cubans would probably do it because that would be in the spirit of Cuba's attitude to international solidarity: Cuba’s Ebola Diplomacy (The New Yorker, Nov. 4, 2014)

That this scenario would obviously make you embarrassed brings me no joy at all. On the contrary.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 4th April 2020, 11:12 AM   #130
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Capitalism and Its Beneficiaries, Rich People, Are the Spreaders of Coronavirus

Ok, dann: I concede the argument for the sake of moving on. Capitalism must be eliminated and replaced. Letís work together on coming up with a new system under which this canít happen. But remember that we must consider human imperfection in our new system. We must consider that individual humans have their own needs, wants and interests. Therefore, one of the very first considerations is how to get buy-in from all people to accept the new system. I canít see how doing that wonít involve coercion, especially with those Capitalists you are talking about.

But before we can consider that, we have to know what direction we are moving in. I am not convinced that there is a better system but you seem to be very sure that there is. So guide me on this...1)what is this new system? and 2)how do we get people to buy in?
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Old 4th April 2020, 12:13 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Ok, dann: I concede the argument for the sake of moving on.
No, you don't. You make a mock concession because you want to discuss a different theme.

Quote:
Capitalism must be eliminated and replaced. Letís work together on coming up with a new system under which this canít happen. But remember that we must consider human imperfection in our new system. We must consider that individual humans have their own needs, wants and interests. Therefore, one of the very first considerations is how to get buy-in from all people to accept the new system.

You mean, the same way it happened when all people accepted capitalism?!
Quote:
a peaceful process, in which some workers laboured more diligently than others and gradually built up wealth, eventually leaving the less diligent workers to accept living wages for their labour.
Primitive accumulation of capital (Wikipedia)
Yeah, right!

Quote:
I canít see how doing that wonít involve coercion, especially with those Capitalists you are talking about.

Neither can I, but I wouldn't let them stand in the way.

Quote:
But before we can consider that, we have to know what direction we are moving in. I am not convinced that there is a better system but you seem to be very sure that there is. So guide me on this...1)what is this new system? and 2)how do we get people to buy in?

Make a new thread about it instead of trying to derail this one.
This thread is about how Capitalism and Its Beneficiaries, Rich People, Are the Spreaders of Coronavirus.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 4th April 2020, 12:18 PM   #132
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Capitalism and Its Beneficiaries, Rich People, Are the Spreaders of Coronavirus

Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, you don't. You make a mock concession because you want to discuss a different theme.




You mean, the same way it happened when all people accepted capitalism?!


Yeah, right!




Neither can I, but I wouldn't let them stand in the way.




Make a new thread about it instead of trying to derail this one.
This thread is about how Capitalism and Its Beneficiaries, Rich People, Are the Spreaders of Coronavirus.

Gotcha...a place for you to bitch and moan about Capitalism. Not a place for discussion of solutions. Not a place to explore whether or not you are even right. Just a place where dann gets to extol the evils of Capitalism since the street corners are currently empty.

At least itís out in the open now.
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Old 4th April 2020, 03:21 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
The concept of humans is an abstraction from the real, concrete physical entities that humanity consists of. Abstraction (Wikipedia). I suspected you didn't know that. And I think that we all know who the actual ranting white supremacists are around here.
No dann, stupid and unnecessary hyperlinks don't make you any less wrong.
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Old 4th April 2020, 03:56 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Gotcha...a place for you to bitch and moan about Capitalism. Not a place for discussion of solutions. Not a place to explore whether or not you are even right. Just a place where dann gets to extol the evils of Capitalism since the street corners are currently empty.

At least itís out in the open now.

Yes, indeed!
It's out in the open that capitalism and its beneficiaries, rich people, are spreading the virus or, as xjx388 would like to think of it, that certain humans are being imperfect:

Quote:
Headlines that tell the story:
ē "Chic Hamptons food stores ransacked by the wealthy amid coronavirus pandemic" (NY Post)
ē "Private jets 'pour in' to Martha's Vineyard as rich flee coronavirus" (The Telegraph)
ē "Billionaires are chartering superyachts for months at a time to ride out the coronavirus pandemic" (Business Insider)
ē "The U.S. has a shortage of coronavirus tests, so the ultra-wealthy are paying concierge doctors to do their own," (Business Insider)
The rich pull up the drawbridges (Axios, April 3, 2020)

Quote:
Wealthy people leaving their homes and disregarding self-isolation measures have been deemed "super spreaders," as they often come from coronavirus hotspots like New York and bring the virus to the smaller suburban areas they go to. Once arriving in these small areas, the newly-arrived part-time residents invariably disrupt local life. As a result, there have been reports of food shortages in towns across the nation.
Ultrawealthy people are buying out entire hotels for up to $38,000 a day to self-isolate in more secluded areas (Business Insider, April 1, 2020)

Quote:
Regular rich people have been fleeing to states deemed safer than the ones they live in. The exodus has been so great that the Centers for Disease Control issued a travel advisory urging residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to refrain from ďnon-essential domestic travelĒ for 14 daysóamid reports that the Tri-state residents are fleeing the coronavirus-ravaged region.
On ďMeet the Press,Ē Dr. Deborah Birx, a specialist in dangerous diseases and the key member of President Donald Trumpís Coronavirus Task Force, complained about this migration saying, ďWe immediately saw cases rising out on Long Island and cases rising in southern Florida. What weíre trying to say to everyone is when this virus comes to your metro area, please stay in your metro area where your care can be provided because itís spreading virus more quickly around the United States.Ē
The Rich Are Riding Out The Coronavirus Pandemic Very Differently Than The Rest Of Us (Forbes, April 1, 2020)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 4th April 2020, 04:08 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by Baylor View Post
No dann, stupid and unnecessary hyperlinks don't make you any less wrong.

Even the concept of white supremacists is an abstraction from the real, concrete physical entities that make up the group of individual white supremacists. The concept is an abstraction from all their differences: the clothes they wear, the (other) hobbies they may have, their jobs, their educations - and even from their alleged race since many of them aren't half as 'Aryan' as they would like to think they are. The concept of white supremacists is an abstraction from all these differences, and what is left is the one thing that they have in common, the one thing they share: the pathetic, despicable white supremacist ideology.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 4th April 2020, 04:15 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Isn't the truth of the OP abundantly obvious?

Poor people just don't fly internationally. Rich people do that.

The rapid spread from country to country is a result mainly of air travel. Poor people don't do that so much. Unless it's to travel to service rich people.

Rich people, in planes, moved the virus out of China and all over the world. Maybe it was walked into Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, but not the UK, the USA, Australia. It was taken there by people rich enough to afford international air travel.
Apologies if others have made this point, but if you dumb down the word rich to mean 'anyone who can afford a plane ticket' at at time when air travel had never been cheaper, then you've made the word 'rich' meaningless.

I've seen airline tickets sell for less (spot discounts) than I paid for a bus ticket in the 1980s

The days of air travel being exclusively for 'the jet-set' were left behind in the 1960's.
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Old 4th April 2020, 04:39 PM   #137
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Capitalism and Its Beneficiaries, Rich People, Are the Spreaders of Coronavirus

Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Apologies if others have made this point, but if you dumb down the word rich to mean 'anyone who can afford a plane ticket' at at time when air travel had never been cheaper, then you've made the word 'rich' meaningless.

I've seen airline tickets sell for less (spot discounts) than I paid for a bus ticket in the 1980s

The days of air travel being exclusively for 'the jet-set' were left behind in the 1960's.

Right. I mentioned in another thread that one of my employeesí sister, decidedly not a rich person, tested positive after coming back from Las Vegas. She was the first in our county. My employee tested positive a few days later. I know what we pay her and I know her living situation. To use the ability to fly as an example of ďrich,Ē is pretty brain dead.

Maybe dann would like us all to be like North Korea? Canít do **** unless itís approved by the government, rich or poor.
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Old 5th April 2020, 02:59 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Apologies if others have made this point, but if you dumb down the word rich to mean 'anyone who can afford a plane ticket' at at time when air travel had never been cheaper, then you've made the word 'rich' meaningless.

I've seen airline tickets sell for less (spot discounts) than I paid for a bus ticket in the 1980s

The days of air travel being exclusively for 'the jet-set' were left behind in the 1960's.

So maybe you shouldn't dumb it down to the point where you think you understand the thread but make it obvious that you don't.
Go back to square one, novaphile, and tell us why you think your dumbing down is to the point.

As you can see, xjx383 immediately uses your strawman to pretend that this thread has been about anybody who gets on a plane while ignoring any example that makes it impossible for him to employ the we-are-all-humans argument. Like the most recent ones in post 134.

However, I thank xjx388 for making the reason for his bias a little clearer:

Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Right. I mentioned in another thread that one of my employees’ sister, decidedly not a rich person, tested positive after coming back from Las Vegas.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 5th April 2020, 05:19 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Apologies if others have made this point, but if you dumb down the word rich to mean 'anyone who can afford a plane ticket' at at time when air travel had never been cheaper, then you've made the word 'rich' meaningless.

No it doesn't. It just means it's not on the scale that you're used to.

A quick google will tell you that 80% of the world's population have never been on a plane.

The 'poor' in this context live in rural china, or india, or other undeveloped countries, living on an income that's measured in cents, or at least single figure dollars, a day.

If you google 'how many people are in 'The West'", you get this:

"Depends on your definition of the West. At its most exclusive, I'd go with around 893 million. This includes the European Union, Northern America and the larger Oceanic states.17 Jan 2017"

Maybe you can add to that the Middle East, Russia (and I'm being generous here), maybe one or two other countries, but that's probably about it for countries where flying is an affordable luxury, coming to around a seventh of the total population.

As in incredibly rough guess, six sevenths of the world's population are too poor to fly.


If my numbers are wrong, then I'm open to correction. If they're right, you're just operating on a local scale.

Globally, rich people travel by air. Poor people do not.
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Old 5th April 2020, 05:53 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
No it doesn't. It just means it's not on the scale that you're used to.

A quick google will tell you that 80% of the world's population have never been on a plane.

The 'poor' in this context live in rural china, or india, or other undeveloped countries, living on an income that's measured in cents, or at least single figure dollars, a day.

If you google 'how many people are in 'The West'", you get this:

"Depends on your definition of the West. At its most exclusive, I'd go with around 893 million. This includes the European Union, Northern America and the larger Oceanic states.17 Jan 2017"

Maybe you can add to that the Middle East, Russia (and I'm being generous here), maybe one or two other countries, but that's probably about it for countries where flying is an affordable luxury, coming to around a seventh of the total population.

As in incredibly rough guess, six sevenths of the world's population are too poor to fly.


If my numbers are wrong, then I'm open to correction. If they're right, you're just operating on a local scale.

Globally, rich people travel by air. Poor people do not.

That's reasonable. But by that standard, what are the chances that any of the anti-capitalists participating in this thread are in that six sevenths, consuming less than five dollars a day in goods and services, and therefore not a beneficiary of world capitalism?

I do know some people who have voluntarily given up high-consumption lifestyles to live in minimal housing, grow their own veggies and small livestock, earn their cash income from handicrafts or herbal remedies or musicianship, and live partly or fully off the grid. Of course they can't remove themselves entirely from the society or economy we live in; they don't make their own tools or farm full-time to grow their own staple grains, and they pay taxes and vote and use public libraries and have discussions on the Internet. They're still beneficiaries of capitalism, but they do their best. Of course, they might sometimes pay a neighbor to help out prepping garden beds or erecting a shed. Does that make them misguided capitalists? Does it matter whether they pay in cash or in produce? And are there any such individuals participating in this thread? Talk, dann, is cheap.
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Old 5th April 2020, 06:38 AM   #141
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Congratulations, Myriad. You were the first person in this thread to come up with the strawman "rich people travel more," and now you introduce the idea that anybody who buys anything is a rich beneficiary of capitalism.
Not addressing a single argument I've made, Myriad, is as cheap as it gets.
And as we all know, in your fantasy world any consumer of anything at all bought with money, be it the multi billionaire on his yacht social distancing in the Caribbean or the tenant in a block of flats in the Bronx or anybody who ever got on a plane is a rich capitalist. They're basically all the same.
Long live the equality of abstractions from all differences.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 5th April 2020, 07:01 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Congratulations, Myriad. You were the first person in this thread to come up with the strawman "rich people travel more," and now you introduce the idea that anybody who buys anything is a rich beneficiary of capitalism.
Not addressing a single argument I've made, Myriad, is as cheap as it gets.
And as we all know, in your fantasy world any consumer of anything at all bought with money, be it the multi billionaire on his yacht social distancing in the Caribbean or the tenant in a block of flats in the Bronx or anybody who ever got on a plane is a rich capitalist. They're basically all the same.
Long live the equality of abstractions from all differences.

I cannot address a single argument you've made, because you've made none. You've offered only a questionable declaration of fact, and you've declined to make any actual argument supporting it, and refused to discuss any repercussions of it.

I did not assert that anyone in any of the groups you've mentioned is "a rich capitalist," but rather, that they are all beneficiaries of capitalism, and that most of them, because they are beneficiaries of capitalism, are in fact rich by world standards.

If it's not the case that anybody who ever got on a plane is a rich capitalist (which I agree with), and it is the case that people who travel on planes are the spreaders of Coronavirus (which I partially agree with), then concluding that rich people are the spreaders of Coronavirus is faulty logic.
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Old 5th April 2020, 07:10 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Globally, rich people travel by air. Poor people do not.

You are obviously right about the difference between ordinary people in western, industrialized countries and people in developing countries, 3point14, but you fell into the trap made by posters like Myriad and novaphile. Poor people in the western world may be able to afford a cheap trip to a cheap hotel in another country: mass tourism.
And that is always the point when elitists discover the downside of tourism: If only billionnaires were allowed to fly in their private jets to deserted beaches, there wouldn't be this much polllution etc. One single yacht doesn't pollute much; millions of mass transported poor people do! (So let's leave out all per capita calculations, right?! After all, we are all in this together!!!
Six reasons why mass tourism is unsustainable (The Guardian, Aug. 21, 2013)
But as the OP (and several posts and links since then) showed, poor people in the western countries weren't the ones who spread the virus. They weren't in my country, they weren't in Australia, and in the USA they aren't the ones who flee to Long Island, bringing the virus with them to communities so far unaffected (i.e. uninfected).

By the way, it is this very idea that produces the kind of people that Myriad parodies, "who have voluntarily given up high-consumption lifestyles to live in minimal housing, grow their own veggies and small livestock, earn their cash income from handicrafts or herbal remedies or musicianship, and live partly or fully off the grid."
They accomplish absolutely nothing with they asceticism, and rich people adore them, buy their produce exactly because they use "their own tools or farm full-time to grow their own staple grains," and they brag to their rich friends about how much they've done for the environment by doing so - unlike the tenants in the Bronx who can't afford to buy organic foods.
Those bloody polluters!
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 5th April 2020, 07:31 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
I cannot address a single argument you've made, because you've made none. You've offered only a questionable declaration of fact, and you've declined to make any actual argument supporting it, and refused to discuss any repercussions of it.

You are right that my declaration is a fact: Capitalism and Its Beneficiaries, Rich People, Are the Spreaders of Coronavirus, of course, but there's nothing questionable about it. At this point, I've posted innumerable examples to illustrate it.

Quote:
I did not assert that anyone in any of the groups you've mentioned is "a rich capitalist," but rather, that they are all beneficiaries of capitalism, and that most of them, because they are beneficiaries of capitalism, are in fact rich by world standards.

Yes, this is the point when people like you introduce "world standards" to make it appear as if any piss poor citizen in the western world working two shifts in order to pay the rent and maybe go on a vacation every two years or so is a beneficiary of capitalism.
So to make sure you get it right, poor people! Never compare yourselves to the the multi billionaires hiding out in the Grenadines. Like you, they are just plain beneficiaries of capitalism. The guy who earns his living riding a bicycle taxi in Mumbai is the proper comparison for suckers like you!

Quote:
If it's not the case that anybody who ever got on a plane is a rich capitalist (which I agree with), and it is the case that people who travel on planes are the spreaders of Coronavirus (which I partially agree with), then concluding that rich people are the spreaders of Coronavirus is faulty logic.

No, your abstraction, "people who travel on planes" weren't and they still aren't the spreaders of the virus - as I showed in the OP and several times since then. And despite your strawman about "people who travel on planes", which you now repeat, you haven't even made it seem likely that it is the case. It wasn't the case in Denmark, it wasn't the case in Australia, and when rich people now go to their second homes in Long Island, they may even go there in their limousines instead of on their private jets.
Air travel is not the point, you know that it's not the point, but since it's the only point you've got, you've got to repeat it.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 5th April 2020, 11:30 AM   #145
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International travel, specifically from China in this case, was what spread the disease.

The Wuhan area, probably their wet market, is where the disease started. Exposure to wild animals, for sale in that market, is likely the original vector of contagion.

What system is going to result in reduced international travel and elimination of the kinds of activity that started this mess?

Why donít novel disease pandemics start in the USA or other Western countries? Could it be that the kind of regulated Capitalism we practice has been protective?

Could Chinaís authoritarian and insular form of government (ostensibly Communism) been the real problem here? Their secrecy and failure to contain the virus at the outset?

Could it that be the freedom we enjoy in Western society has risks?

Personally, Iíd rather have the freedom of Western Democratic Capitalism, warts and all. Iíd rather learn from this and how we can move towards better health systems and contingencies.

Iíd definitely rather have this than whatever system you might have floating around in your head, if you have one at all. Whatever that system is, seems like it would require us to submit to authority when told, immediately and without question. Either that, or it requires us all (near 100% of the population) to be super educated and able to act appropriately all on our own -which is a pipe dream.

Bitch and moan about the evils of Capitalism all you like, it means nothing if you donít have an idea about replacing it.
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Old 5th April 2020, 11:36 AM   #146
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I'd say it has less to do with economic policies and more about population density.
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Old 5th April 2020, 12:13 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Even the concept of white supremacists is an abstraction from the real, concrete physical entities that make up the group of individual white supremacists. The concept is an abstraction from all their differences: the clothes they wear, the (other) hobbies they may have, their jobs, their educations - and even from their alleged race since many of them aren't half as 'Aryan' as they would like to think they are. The concept of white supremacists is an abstraction from all these differences, and what is left is the one thing that they have in common, the one thing they share: the pathetic, despicable white supremacist ideology.
Imagine thinking this makes any sort of sense.
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Old 6th April 2020, 02:17 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Apologies if others have made this point, but if you dumb down the word rich to mean 'anyone who can afford a plane ticket' at at time when air travel had never been cheaper, then you've made the word 'rich' meaningless.

I've seen airline tickets sell for less (spot discounts) than I paid for a bus ticket in the 1980s

The days of air travel being exclusively for 'the jet-set' were left behind in the 1960's.
To some people, rich means "Anybody who had a dime more then I do".
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Old 6th April 2020, 02:23 PM   #149
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To the 10%, "rich" means "the 1%".

To the other 90%, it means the 10%.

I think that demographically, the people who engage in intercontinental air travel are almost all part of the global 10%.

Dann is clearly talking about the 1%, or something close to it.
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Old 6th April 2020, 05:43 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
If you google 'how many people are in 'The West'", you get this:

"Depends on your definition of the West. At its most exclusive, I'd go with around 893 million. This includes the European Union, Northern America and the larger Oceanic states.17 Jan 2017"

Maybe you can add to that the Middle East, Russia (and I'm being generous here), maybe one or two other countries, but that's probably about it for countries where flying is an affordable luxury, coming to around a seventh of the total population.
There is plenty of wealth outside of the "The West". With direct relevance to your point, see this for instance:

Quote:
As of December 2017, there are 229 commercial airports in China.[1]

Around 500 airports of all types and sizes were in operation in 2007, about 400 of which had paved runways and about 100 of which had runways of 3,047 m or shorter. There also were 35 heliports in 2007, an increasingly used type of facility. With the additional airports came a proliferation of airlines.

China has the fastest growing passenger air market of any country in the world (by total passenger numbers) and between 2009 and 2014 the number of passengers increased over 47% from 266,293,020 to 390,878,784.[2] In 2014 China was second only to the United States in total numbers of passengers carried.[2]
And that's just China. There is plenty of wealth in Asia.

Quote:
As in incredibly rough guess, six sevenths of the world's population are too poor to fly.


If my numbers are wrong, then I'm open to correction. If they're right, you're just operating on a local scale.
Pretty sure your numbers are off.

Quote:
Globally, rich people travel by air. Poor people do not.
I think that depends on how you define your terms. China's migrant workers, who I think of as poor, generally travel by train, not air, when returning home for holidays. But the middle class certainly choose air travel for longer distance flights, are they rich or poor?
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Old 6th April 2020, 05:54 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
I cannot address a single argument you've made, because you've made none. You've offered only a questionable declaration of fact, and you've declined to make any actual argument supporting it, and refused to discuss any repercussions of it.
I think dann's basic claim is that capitalist systems have encouraged certain behaviors that helped spread (or at least prevented the mitigation of) the pandemic: for instance ski resorts that should have closed or at least implemented measures to keep people apart instead went on with business as usual when they should have known better because doing so helped them make more money*.

I'm actually interested in what he thinks should be done about this. Should we change our economic system and remove the idea of a profit motive? Or could some simple regulations help? Maybe the economic system could remain but society's view toward it needs to change, so that as individuals we would be more motivated to act according to the public good even if it hurt our pocket books? And maybe the way to motivate that change would be to heap scorn on the bad actors in cases like this? Perhaps that's what dann is trying to do.

I have no idea and am just guessing because either he hasn't said or as usual I haven't been able to understand what he's saying.

*My view is that everyone seems to have been in denial of the severity of the pandemic and the actions that were required. From governments to businesses to individuals. It's not clear to me that anything more than that was going on throughout February. I got a big boost in my accuracy score on The Good Judgement Project after making much more pessimistic forecasts about the spread of the virus than almost everyone else, and that's among people going to the effort to actually make forecasts.
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Old 7th April 2020, 06:20 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I'd say it has less to do with economic policies and more about population density.

I'm sorry, but if you go back to the OP, you'll notice something that's more than a coincidence: Affluent areas have more cases. I can guarantee you that the suburb Gentofte north of Copenhagen isn't exactly densely populated. It just happens to be one of the wealthiest areas of Denmark. And I linked to an article making a similar observation in Australia.
It is fairly obvious that you'll find more contagion in a city than in the countryside - until the people with second homes bring it those areas, too.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 7th April 2020, 06:37 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I'm sorry, but if you go back to the OP, you'll notice something that's more than a coincidence: Affluent areas have more cases.
It depends on what you're determining "an area" to be. My city has started publishing the number of cases per ZIP code, updated daily. It's the poor parts of the city that have the most cases, not the rich ones. They even made note that the rich part's cases were all in the same nursing home.

You'll get a different answer depending on which pieces of space you're lumping together. My city as a whole isn't a rich place compared to other cities. But it's richer than an equal area of rural countryside. The state isn't wealthy. The country is. So whether there's a relationship between the virus and wealth entirely depends on how you're looking at it.

When you're reaching conclusions based on data you really have to consider what the data actually represents, you can't just carve it up arbitrarily by "area" or "wealth" and jump to a conclusion.
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Old 7th April 2020, 06:45 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
It depends on what you're determining "an area" to be. My city has started publishing the number of cases per ZIP code, updated daily. It's the poor parts of the city that have the most cases, not the rich ones. They even made note that the rich part's cases were all in the same nursing home.

You'll get a different answer depending on which pieces of space you're lumping together. My city as a whole isn't a rich place compared to other cities. But it's richer than an equal area of rural countryside. The state isn't wealthy. The country is. So whether there's a relationship between the virus and wealth entirely depends on how you're looking at it.

When you're reaching conclusions based on data you really have to consider what the data actually represents, you can't just carve it up arbitrarily by "area" or "wealth" and jump to a conclusion.
The question that will be harder to parse out is how much of that spread was due to avoidable behavior. I imagine large parts of the poorer population involve people in the service sector, who's jobs may very well be considered essential. Grocery store clerks aren't exactly rich, but they have an important job to do that puts them in high risk of contact with the disease.

There's a big difference between a working class stiff catching the roni at their "essential" job and a rich person spreading the disease to the Berkshires because they'd rather work from home out in the countryside. The examples cited here about rich people spreading the disease and taxing the small rural hospitals at affluent resort towns is a great example of purely voluntary, irresponsible behavior.

I'm not sure I agree with the original premise of the OP. Rich people using their money to enable selfish behavior that spreads the disease is likely a side-show, not a primary factor in spreading this pandemic.
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Old 7th April 2020, 06:52 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
The question that will be harder to parse out is how much of that spread was due to avoidable behavior. I imagine large parts of the poorer population involve people in the service sector, who's jobs may very well be considered essential. Grocery store clerks aren't exactly rich, but they have an important job to do that puts them in high risk of contact with the disease.

There's a big difference between a working class stiff catching the roni at their "essential" job and a rich person spreading the disease to the Berkshires because they'd rather work from home out in the countryside.
Agreed. But you'd have to collect a lot more data to reach conclusions suitable to make moral judgments on classes of people. If I were assigned that task I'd want the raw data to include, on the individual level, each virus victim's financial worth and their activities and travels over the last two months. Then after breaking those into usuable--and meaningful--categories, pivot them accordingly to get summations. As these are people we're talking about, and there a lot of variables at play, it would be an extremely complex problem. Any conclusions reached would be riddled with so many asterisked footnotes, making everything very tentative.
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Old 7th April 2020, 07:10 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
International travel, specifically from China in this case, was what spread the disease.

To some places, no doubt. It wasn't what brought it to Northern Europe. In Denmark not a single case could be traced to China. Almost all of them came from Tyrol, in Austria or Italy. Most of them from Ischgl, Austria, as explained in the OP.

Quote:
The Wuhan area, probably their wet market, is where the disease started. Exposure to wild animals, for sale in that market, is likely the original vector of contagion.

They are trying to trace it down, and it appears to have originated in Wuhan, China, but the wet-market idea may be false. Some experts think that it might have started when farmers collecting bat guano from caves got infected: How did coronavirus break out? Theories abound as researchers race to solve genetic detective story (CNN, April 6, 2020)
Not as interesting as the story about people eating raw bats, but more likely.

Quote:
What system is going to result in reduced international travel and elimination of the kinds of activity that started this mess?

Why donít novel disease pandemics start in the USA or other Western countries? Could it be that the kind of regulated Capitalism we practice has been protective?

Interesting theory. Do you have anything, I mean, anything at all, to back it up? Or is it just wishful thinking?! Or is it just because Wuhan-style capitalism is somehow unhealthier than US-style capitalism? I remember that norovirus was spread in LŁbeck a couple of years ago and killed a lot of Danes and Germans before the cause was discovered. Norovirus and Other Caliciviruses on the Rise (Noro2012)
Food poisoning seems to be prevalent in the USA as well despite your "kind of regulated Capitalism": Food-Related Illness and Death in the United States (CDC, Oct. 1999)

Quote:
Could Chinaís authoritarian and insular form of government (ostensibly Communism) been the real problem here? Their secrecy and failure to contain the virus at the outset?

Maybe it could. Do you have any reason to think so? The failure to contain the first cases of virus in the USA was pretty obvious in spite of all the warnings the country got from government agencies, and there can be no doubt that the kind of government they have in the USA was responsible for that, so why not in China, too?! The secrecy and denial and the downright lies from the president and his stab was a scary lesson in how not to do it.

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Could it that be the freedom we enjoy in Western society has risks?

Personally, Iíd rather have the freedom of Western Democratic Capitalism, warts and all. Iíd rather learn from this and how we can move towards better health systems and contingencies.

All in all, I guess I prefer not to die from having my lungs filled with coronavirus phlegm, which is why I appreciate the lockdown that we are experiencing in my country right now. But unlike you, I don't really consider it to be a lack of freedom as much as common sense. You may have the liberty to be unrestricted jerks in the USA, but it's not the kind of liberty that I would appreciate much.
(And in general, we have much better "health systems and contingencies" here in spite of the few libertarian idiots who would prefer to see them gone.)

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Iíd definitely rather have this than whatever system you might have floating around in your head, if you have one at all. Whatever that system is, seems like it would require us to submit to authority when told, immediately and without question. Either that, or it requires us all (near 100% of the population) to be super educated and able to act appropriately all on our own -which is a pipe dream.

It is quite obvious what is floating around in your head since, once again, you come up with your crazy ideas of a system that "would require us to submit to authority when told, immediately and without question." At least, nobody can claim that you are unable to let your imagination run wild. And I'm not at all surprised that an American considers it a Utopian pipe dream to have a population be "super educated".
The freedom to be dumb and uneducated seems to be much appreciated by American patriots.

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Bitch and moan about the evils of Capitalism all you like, it means nothing if you donít have an idea about replacing it.

You are the one who's bitching and moaning. So far, what I've done is to point out how capitalism and Its beneficiaries, rich people, are the spreaders of coronavirus, and you really haven't presented a single argument against the evidence I've presented starting with the OP.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 7th April 2020, 07:26 AM   #157
dann
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
It depends on what you're determining "an area" to be. My city has started publishing the number of cases per ZIP code, updated daily. It's the poor parts of the city that have the most cases, not the rich ones. They even made note that the rich part's cases were all in the same nursing home.

At this point, I don't doubt that the poor parts of the city have the most cases. That is going to be the case here, too, if it isn't already.

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You'll get a different answer depending on which pieces of space you're lumping together. My city as a whole isn't a rich place compared to other cities. But it's richer than an equal area of rural countryside. The state isn't wealthy. The country is. So whether there's a relationship between the virus and wealth entirely depends on how you're looking at it.

At this point, it has become more difficult to follow in Denmark, but I referred to this map of Denmark in the OP: Nyeste corona-tal fra Danmark og verden: SŚ mange er smittede, dÝde og indlagte (TV2, April 7, 2020) Go down to: Tilfślde per 100.000 indbyggere
And I referred to three municipalities in the Copenhagen area, the suburbs Gentofte and Rudersdal, and the inner-city municipality of Frederiksberg. At that point, it was also obvious that the poor suburbs like IshÝj (with many immigrants) were hardly affected at all: 0-19 cases of 100,000. In the meantime, it's black all over = 100+.

So yes, there's obviously a difference between city and country, and this difference existed from the very beginning, but the difference between poor and affluent areas was very obvious, too.

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When you're reaching conclusions based on data you really have to consider what the data actually represents, you can't just carve it up arbitrarily by "area" or "wealth" and jump to a conclusion.

I didn't carve up or lump anything together arbitrarily. And if you had used my link with the map of Denmark in the OP from the beginning, you could have seen the difference for yourself. Now it's becoming much more blurred. And as my link to the story about affluent suburbs in Australia showed, it wasn't only a Danish phenomenon.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 7th April 2020, 07:41 AM   #158
dann
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Agreed. But you'd have to collect a lot more data to reach conclusions suitable to make moral judgments on classes of people. If I were assigned that task I'd want the raw data to include, on the individual level, each virus victim's financial worth and their activities and travels over the last two months. Then after breaking those into usuable--and meaningful--categories, pivot them accordingly to get summations. As these are people we're talking about, and there a lot of variables at play, it would be an extremely complex problem. Any conclusions reached would be riddled with so many asterisked footnotes, making everything very tentative.

What I combined was a map with the number of coronavirus cases in individual municipalities in the Copenhagen area, which showed a remarkable correlation with affluent municipalities: income per capita. This also corresponded with the people who tend to go to Ischgl to ski in February-March. For some strange reason, poor people and immigrants tend to do very little of that. At first, my link to numbers and graphs about the spread of the virus in Denmark and the rest of the world also showed where (in which countries) people had been infected, and the vast majority had been infected in Austria and Italy, the major part of them in Austria.

Your imaginary scenario of how you would "collect a lot more data to reach conclusions suitable to make moral judgments on classes of people" is weird, and I don't see what "moral judgements" would have to do with the whole thing. Why would anybody collect data for that purpose?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 7th April 2020, 07:43 AM   #159
dann
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Originally Posted by Baylor View Post
Imagine thinking this makes any sort of sense.

Some day, I may explain the concept sense to you, too, but not until you make it clear that you have understood abstraction. Then we can move on from there.
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/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 7th April 2020, 08:11 AM   #160
TragicMonkey
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
What I combined was a map with the number of coronavirus cases in individual municipalities in the Copenhagen area, which showed a remarkable correlation with affluent municipalities: income per capita.
I think income per capita is already a statistic divorced from the direct data points, and marrying it to geography means you're combining two averaged figures. That's two degrees of abstraction away from the actual things you're trying to analyze.

Quote:
Your imaginary scenario of how you would "collect a lot more data to reach conclusions suitable to make moral judgments on classes of people" is weird, and I don't see what "moral judgements" would have to do with the whole thing. Why would anybody collect data for that purpose?
Because if you're insisting on making moral judgments on people's behavior you should at least have information on those people and their behavior? Rather than just guessing?
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