Theory without a reality check can make the world unlivable. This is because theorists can build beautiful models that hide grave errors, intentionally or not, and there is no means by which their mistakes are revealed until you test them against the real world. You never want them in charge of the whole project.
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All of the “Covid Relief” numbers are far too big to understand unless one has a good numbers sense and sits quietly in a room with some blank paper and does some ciphering. People thought it was a good idea to spend limitlessly and futilely on Grandma without considering the costs to her adult children and grandkids. Hey, Grandma used to make us cookies; she’s worth whatever we’ve got. And even what we don’t got. Even if we can’t, through the full range of “mitigation,” keep her alive for another two months in a nursing home, where she’s seldom visited. If she has to live in isolation and die alone to “stop the spread,” so be it.
Given the world in which we have been living for the past two years, despite the numerous flaws critics have found in both Zimbardo’s work, it would seem that both he and other members of social psychology’s golden age can still tell us a lot about how social roles, oppressive environments and powerful authorities can alter the psyches and actions of normal people in pathological ways.
I wonder if we have set ourselves up to repeat the folly every year with annual outbreaks of flu, especially if it is a bad flu season. If not, why not? Perhaps someone will come up with the slogan ‘Flu Lives Matter’. Or governments could just pass laws making it illegal for anyone to fall sick and die.
Maybe this book by the Covid Crisis Group hopes to be the last word. This will never happen. We are only at the beginning of this. As the economic, social, cultural, and political problems mount, it will become impossible to ignore the incredibly obvious. The masters of lockdowns are influential and well-connected but not even they can invent their own reality.
Is this Buffalo teen shooter and the Texas teen shooter the last such shooters? I fear not, as we may have damaged the minds of many people irreparably. There are grave consequences due to lockdowns and school closures, not only from a weakened immune system and the vast economic damage, but also due to the wrecked psyches of many young people.
The crazy Covid copulation exemption deserves far more ridicule than it will ever receive. When politicians are permitted to selectively nullify freedom, the injustices will be exceeded only by the absurdities. As historian John Barry, author of The Great Influenza, observed: “When you mix politics and science, you get politics.”
The tellers of tales can write stories but they cannot invent their own realities. There will be no restoration of liberty, rights, and truth until we come to terms with what happened, why, and how to prevent it in the future. Playing along with this conspiracy of silence surrounding a policy that effectively blotted out every advance in human rights since the Magna Carta is a disastrous error that could lead to the entrenchment of a new dark age.
Typically, government dysfunction and corruption have occurred behind the scenes. The effects of these failings have usually been sufficiently diffuse, and daily life was challenging enough, that such chicanery went unnoticed. But given American governments’ open, audacious dishonesty and crassly abusive actions during the past three years—after all of the propaganda, censorship, blatantly unconstitutional and life-wrecking lockdowns, closures, restrictions and mandates—trust is irretrievably broken for anyone who has paid attention. Any residual American reverence for their government and their capital is delusional and child-like.
Ask questions about the basis of this analysis. How do they justify disrupting a 500-year-old ecosystem? What about rats? Will we trade chemical poisons for organic paws? What about the heritage and character of San Juan? Does anyone even want this? How is this not “killing the wolves of Yellowstone” all over again? Do they really think they can confine this to parks and not wind up luring all the surrounding cats in?