American Elephants


When the Convention is Online, You Can Just Turn It Off by The Elephant's Child

Is this day three or day four?  I’m losing track. I must admit I read about it, I don’t watch the hate Trump fest. They can’t really seem to make up their minds anyway. They were off on a big Post Office thingy which seemed completely unrelated to reality. But that has sort of faded, so they are back to blaming Trump for all coronavirus death. (Lets De Blasio off the hook as well).

The odd thing is that at the Democrat online convention, there has been no mention at all of the violence in Portland and Seattle, or the defunding of police, in hot spots around the nation, which  commands the news. The convention is not interested. No interest in weekend killings. No interest in statue desecration, nor even in attempts to burn people alive in Portland’s federal building. But of course it is Democrat run cities and states that have the problems, so it’s awkward to mention them.

Climate has been mentioned. AOC’s “Green New Deal” assures us that we only have 12 years left. Odd. The climate has been changing for millions of years, some hot years, and some unusually cold ones. We even had a major ice age, and some little ice ages. The polar bears are just fine and multiplying nicely. Susan Crockford is the wildlife biologist who is expert on polar bears. The Left seems to prefer that polar bears be endangered.

At the convention, some Democrats were furious that they only gave AOC one minute to speak. She is very outspoken, but very ignorant. I don’t suggest that she is dumb, she is not. She just doesn’t have familiarity with a lot of rather useful facts.

If you are confused by things climate, visit Dr. Roy Spencer’s site, linked in the sidebar. He explains global warming and what we know and what we don’t know. Dr. Spencer runs the satellites that measure world temperatures for NASA at Huntsville Ala. with Dr. John Christy who measures world temperatures with weather balloons. Lots of other good sites in the sidebar, and when you arrive at any one of them, there are extensive lists of scientists at work, and their blogs, deeply informative.

California is now going through power outages and wildfires because people can’t get it through their heads that wind turbines and solar panels cannot provide the power that a modern society requires. Joe Biden is quite sure that banning fracking, banning drilling, and shutting down anything that runs on petroleum will save us from the doomsday in 12 years. That certainty should worry us all a lot.

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish child who did the world tour, did not have any science, only religion of a sort. It’s brought in all sorts of money for her and for her parents, for the world was inspired by a child attempting to save the earth.

And do not forget Christiana Figueres. She was at one time the Executive Secretary of the IPCC, and at a news conference in Brussels in early February of 2015 admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological catastrophe, but to destroy capitalism.

 



Good Ad. We Don’t See Very Many of Those! by The Elephant's Child



Are You Questioning Your Sanity a Little? by The Elephant's Child

Some days I just can’t decide whether it is the world around me that has gone crazy, or only me that has slipped a cog or two. The Democrats are having an online convention, and we don’t seem to be living in the same country. At least the one they describe is unfamiliar to me.

Donald Trump is daily committing terrible crimes, and must be stopped. Nancy Pelosi says we have to save the Post Office from the President Now.

“It is, to use the word volcanic. It has been explosive in terms of the response that members, Democratic and Republican, all over the country have received to this assault on this connection that they have, Americans have with each other. This matter of how we have access to health care. 1.2 billion prescriptions were sent through the mail in 2019 even before the coronavirus, that is. And way overwhelmingly, 82% or higher of VA drugs are sent to our veterans through the mail. So that’s just two examples of meeting the health needs of the American people. And when those medicines come a week, six days late— we keep hearing examples of how late that medication is coming. That’s just one connection. It’s about the health of the American people. It’s also about the health of our democracy as they do this to make an assault on the mail in terms of absentee balloting and the rest.”

What? Yesterday, we got some of the mail for our neighbors in the next block. Today we received some mail for the folks across the street. Sloppy postman, but no big deal. What the hell has she been drinking? There is no assault on the Post Office. They have declining revenues for several reasons, one of them is that people are apt to communicate more by email. Another is simply the pandemic. A lot of businesses are shut down, and people are stuck at home.  Joel Pollack wrote about their hysteria with the “Busted Mailbox Conspiracy Theory” yesterday.

What becomes immediately clear is that the Democrats believe the population of the United States is extremely unintelligent and will believe most anything they are told. I found a text version of Michelle Obama’s convention speech, which I will link to here, and you can scroll through to see the statements you find a little odd. She returns to the fact that people must have thought their votes didn’t matter, so they sent someone to the Oval Office who lost the national popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. ( yes, there’s that old electoral college they keep trying to get rid of.) She even has Trump putting children in cages. Trump?

They really want to make everything Trump has done criminal. He is the one who killed all the people with his pandemic because he so mismanaged it. You know, the one he kept demonstrating his racial prejudice with by calling it the Chinese virus. They have no shame. They choose the words and accusations carefully to influence those who are most likely to know nothing about what they are voting for anyway. It would be nice to have a tiny bit of honesty, but that is asking too much, I guess. It’s hard to solve problems when nobody will tell the truth about them. It isn’t this bad every four years, is it?



Its Getting Very Strange Out There! by The Elephant's Child

It’s getting so every time I start to write, I’m inclined to start with something like “It’s getting weird out there.”It is hard to address an event or accomplishment because the accusations flow so abundantly, and fiercely.

President Trump announced two days ago an historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. This is a very big deal in a region that seems always to be on the verge of war.

The President, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed released a joint statement Thursday in which they agreed to the “full normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.”

This means embassies, talks, regular normal relations. In that region this is an enormous breakthrough. Talking things over regularly has some major advantages over a shooting war. Yet the media was not particularly interested, they had more important attacks on the president to offer.

In the meantime, President Trump is accused of personally causing the deaths of every American who has died from the Corona virus. He is accused of destroying the U.S. Postal Service, He is accused of being racist, sexist, evil, being a dictator, and a white supremacist as well. The President’s younger brother who has been seriously ill, passed away, and the media couldn’t even write decently about that.

If they can’t find something horrendous to blame him for, they turn to Hollywood celebrities ( those who have some kind of name recognition) who can be counted on for an insulting comment. It is indeed getting weird out there.



The Coming Battles of the Election Season by The Elephant's Child

This is going to be an unusually interesting election season. Joe Biden, who has been selected as the Democrat nominee, seems to have some problems with early stage dementia. He does seem unable to remember the proper word to use, or how to adequately express himself at times, and people are concerned, although perhaps incorrectly.

Democrats are inclined to dislike Republicans, and vice versa. That’s simply the way it is, and the problems lie in the amount of dislike and the efforts to do something about it. Now that Mr. Biden has chosen Kamala Harris as his Vice Presidential partner, the campaign has instantly become about sexism.

The usual Hollywood “celebrities” (someone whose name may be recognizable and thereby attract readers) have immediately called up Hillary as an example of someone who lost an election because of sexism. Which is an error. Hillary lost because she is a compulsive liar, had performed poorly as Secretary of State, and is roundly disliked. Nothing to do with her sex. She did notify the campaign that she was anxious to help out in any way she can.

I don’t think much of Kamala Harris as a candidate, and with Joe Biden’s age and possible dementia we have to assume that Ms. Harris could very likely become president. Articles I’ve seen: “Former Obama speechwriter mocks mainstream media’s “hilarious” push to call Kamala Harris “moderate” and Tensions linger between Biden and Obama Carried throughout 2020 primary campaign:  Not sure what’s going on here, the Obama group doesn’t like the Biden group?

The Biden, Harris team are going for some very radical (and ignorant) ideas about the climate, which is just fine, and cooling slightly. They are all for AOC’s “Green New Deal.” Joe Biden wants to ban fracking and the advances that have given us plentiful and cheap energy to run America’s manufacturers and cities, Kamala wants to ban plastic straws and limit access to red meat, altering the food pyramid. Harris wants to reenter us in the Paris Climate accords so “we would be carbon neutral by 2030.” Sorry. Carbon dioxide is not the control knob for the climate. The climate of the earth is determined by the actions of the sun, which is currently in a slightly cooling phase.

Why can’t people study up a little on subjects they know they don’t understand very well? You don’t have to become an expert, just learn enough to be an informed voter and an intelligent conversationalist. Dr.Roy Spencer, who measures the temperatures of the earth–running the satellites for NASA, has a short helpful explanation of “global warming” at his website, and if you look at his blog, there’s an amazing video of a lightning strike.

Growing up in the mountains of Idaho, we once had a lightning strike about 200 yards from the house. It made a remarkably loud noise, and stripped the bark in a circular pattern down the trunk of a Ponderosa Pine. It’s a Big Deal up close.

I am convinced that the Democrats depend on people’s reluctance to study up and depend on their lack of information to accuse their opposition candidates of absurd things. Democrats have tried hard for four years or more to stick President Trump with some sort of collaboration with Russia or Vladimir Putin. None there, but they just would not give up on it, and are back at it.

The other big drive is to blame President Trump for all the deaths from the Covid virus. Good grief, he not only slammed the gates shut to any flights from China immediately, but has not only dealt well the virus and medical equipment needed in this country, but helped other countries as he could as well.



File Under Useful Hints: by The Elephant's Child

You may or may not have noticed my new favorite word: feckless. I probably saw someone else use it, and though I knew (sorta-kinda) the meaning, looked it up to be accurate.

Feckless: lacking initiative or strength of character, irresponsible. synonyms: useless, worthless, incompetent, ineffective, inept, good for nothing, ne’er do well, lazy, idle, slothful, indolent, shiftless, apathetic, aimless, unambitious, unenterprising, no good, no account, lazy.

With elections coming up, it may be a remarkably useful word, at least to tuck in the back of your brain when deciding whether to support a candidate or a city council or not.



Despite the Best Efforts of the Media, Some Glimmers of Hope! by The Elephant's Child

Small glimmers of progress. The New York Times now admits that Seattle’s CHOP was not the ‘Block party’ they claimed it was. Portland’s Mayor partially defunded the Cops in June and now the bodies are piling up. New York had a mail in Vote, and the results have been Lax deadlines, late ballots, carelessness, missing postmarks.  The Democrats got wiped out in the Louisiana election, and the press is trying to keep it quiet. And a New York City Democrat just called Bill DeBlasio the “Worst Mayor in the History of This Great Country.” Here in Seattle hundreds of ordinary citizens turned out at City Hall to protest and let them know that they liked the police and weren’t happy with City Hall. One has to grasp at those small bits of progress. It all takes time. You mean that if you defund the police crime goes up and people get killed? But,  but…

Another Democrat City Councilman announced that hydroxychloroquine saved his life. I thought that once Trump suggested that it works, it became impossible for anyone to use. .

On the other hand, Bureaucrats at the space agency NASA wanted to show that they were as woke as anyone else, so they are checking out all the names of celestial objects to display their sensitivity. The planetary nebula NGC 3392 which is blowing off outer layers at the end of its life will no longer be called the “Eskimo Nebula”.  and NGC 3568, a pair of spiral galaxies found in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster will no longer be referred to as the “Siamese Twin Galaxy.” Do read that one for a stunning picture of the “Horsehead Galaxy” which doesn’t look much like the head of any horse I’ve known, and I have been pitched off a few.

But what to do about the celestial objects named for women? There’s Portia, one of the moons of Uranus, and Venus, and Pandora. And yes we won’t mention the other obvious problem there. They have already gone way too far with the “sensitivity” bit. and wandered off into absurdity. Don’t get me off on destruction of statues of Columbus again.



A Few Thoughts on the Coming Elections by The Elephant's Child

I wander around the internet to websites I consider to be reasonably responsible, but dang, it’s discouraging. Portland continues to be a major source of news and violence. It would seem that a responsible governor would have called out the national guard, cleaned up the protesters and put them away to cool off, and restored some sense of sanity to the city. Not happening. Across the country we seem to have vast numbers of people in positions of authority who do not understand what their jobs are and what they should be doing.

They seem to err on the idea of “peaceful protests”, but I haven’t seen a “peaceful protest” yet. All the ones I have seen, admittedly online, are resulting in shattered windows, looting, boarded-up businesses and lots of property damage. The peaceful protesters are not paying for the damage they have caused. Aside from that, it is extremely unclear just what they are “peacefully protesting” about. It’s clearly not George Floyd, it’s not racism in general. It may be the police, and the poor protesters will have to learn that there is a real reason for policing, and why most people depend on that protection. Across the country, unappreciated policemen are retiring in record numbers. Take that one to heart.

The Covid crisis has meant a societal shutdown, but the protesters are not out there with masks, but mask-less, and spreading the virus around, as is attested by a rise in cases wherever there are lots of protests.

The Civil War is being re-fought, with any evidence of the existence of anyone on the Confederate side (statues and names) to be obliterated, along with Christopher Columbus who had nothing to do with the Civil War. 1492 is a long way from 1860.

The remedy for a shutdown economy is assumed to be giving everybody a little extra cash, which it is assumed that they will rush out and spend to buy something they want but could not previously afford, and thus start the economic engine humming again. Since the overriding rule of the American Economy is “the federal government has no money of it’s own, every dime comes out of the taxpayer’s pockets” seems like some rather fuzzy economics. But that’s the way things work, or fail to work.

The simple fact that this is an election year makes every comment and every action more important as we try to sort what we are told by an irresponsible press out into real information, which is difficult. Reporters want readers. To attract readers, they act as press agents, using celebrities’ statements as enticements. Are you more apt to read an article about politics if the headline includes an outrageous statement by some Hollywood dummy? Apparently we are.

Eventually the vaccines will be developed and distributed. The Covid crisis will ebb, possibly to occur again next year. Schools will open, and the “peaceful protesters” will have something to do besides protesting.

Before we get to the elections this fall, consider the vast amounts of evidence we have on the capabilities of current office holders, and vote accordingly.



What To Do About Back to School? by The Elephant's Child

It is now August, and attention has turned to the back to school problem. Nobody seems to know what to do. So far online lessons have not been a rousing success. Some kids do them, some refuse, and some have not done any. Not every family has a computer. As the school year gets closer, the battle is heating up. Avik Roy writes in the Wall Street Journal: (There may be a subscription barrier.)

The second-largest teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers, is preparing for its members to go on strike if schools reopen without their assent. President Trump has expressed a desire to “cut off funding” for schools that don’t reopen. It doesn’t help that the debate is taking place during the 2020 presidential campaign and a late-summer rise in coronavirus-related cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Teachers contracts are mostly school district matters, and what happens and what they are supposed to do and whether or not they get paid for teaching or not teaching is supposedly in the contract. Some teachers, naturally, are terrified they will get the virus in the classroom. Small children don’t seem to transmit the disease. Governors don’t know what to do, kids really do need to be in school, many parents (both) work outside the home. Teachers are not trained or skilled in creating online classes, and who makes sure the kid does the lessons anyway? Kids do not joyfully tackle a new lesson, at least mine didn’t.

We do know that school closures cause significant damage to children, damage that videoconferences cannot repair. Boston reported that one in five public school children dropped out. Many children from poorer families depend on reduced-price or free meals at school. The social science journal SSRN reported that school closures led to a 27% decline in reports of child abuse, because teachers may be the first ones to notice signs of maltreatment.

Other industrialized countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Germany, Finland, Iceland and  France reopened schools in April and May, and their experience has largely been positive.  Timing varied. Denmark was careful, requiring children to stay 2 meters apart whenever possible. Children were grouped into “bubbles” of 12, and required to wash their hands every two hours but did not wear masks. Denmark concluded that according to data from the European CDC, you could not see any negative effects from the opening of schools.

Children do not seem to play a significant role in the transmission of the virus. France started with a social distancing of four square meters and reduced it to one linear meter and they made attendance mandatory for primary and middle schools.

It sounds as if the greater danger to teachers is other teachers and staff. More and better information can be found at the CDC, the think tanks like Hoover.org, AEI.org, CATO.org, Reason.org and others. Here is an article titled “Open the Schools–or Kiss the Economy Goodbye” by Allison Schrager from the Manhattan Institute.

President Trump wants to see the kids in school. Some Governors just don’t know what to do. Many doctors have said they see no problem with sending their own children to school. Keep in mind that it is small children that don’t seem to spread the virus. Older children are another matter. I don’t know what the cut-off age when you start to worry is.  My three kids are long grown, so I am not affected, but I understand the concern. More knowledge will help.



The Covid Virus is Testing Our Elected Officials by The Elephant's Child

Human beings are kind of a mess, but so far we seem to be the brightest of living creatures available. Unfortunately, that still leaves a great deal to be desired. Behold:

Students at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, DePaul University, Roosevelt University, Loyola University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia College, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have formed a coalition called Solidarity Street that aims to abolish policing on campus.

The group (says) “Cops aren’t workers and the city needed to stop negotiating with them years ago. August 1st we’re demanding y’all cut ties and divest from this white supremacist cult sooner rather than later,” one Instagram caption reads.

In another post, the group argued that cops only exist to defend wealthy Americans. “Cops are not workers. A worker is someone that sells their labor to make ends meet. Cops do not do this,” the post reads. “They defend the interests and property of the wealthy. Cops do not need a pay raise. They need to be defunded. They are the armed wing of the American capitalist state.”

In a statement, Chicago Police Department Supt. David Brown said that they will continue their efforts to reduce violence in the area.

If you can read this without laughing, or conversely, shedding a few tears, these are the students that are the future of our beloved country. It seems that a surprising number of our citizens are going to have to learn about police and policing the hard way. When they are getting beaten to a pulp by someone who wants their smart phone and their money, or when someone is breaking into their house, and they are frantically trying to call 911 with no response, and no one comes to their rescue.

California, it is reported today, is releasing almost 18,000 prison inmates including a convicted murderer, because of the Covid virus.  Almost 8,000 inmates have been sickened by the virus, and eight have died. So let them out to spread it around?

There is way too much talk about “White Supremacy” today. There are significantly more white people in America than those of other races. The population of the U.S in 2000 was 393,745,538 at the time of the 2000 census. 196,817,552 or 63.7% were white.  37,685,848 or 12.2% were black. 14.465.164 or 3.6% were Asian. 50,477,694 or 12.5% were Hispanic, and 2,247,058 or 1.9% were American Indian or Alaska Native. Efforts to make sure that everybody is included have been continuous, with varying degrees of success. There are undoubtedly many people in charge of something or other who are white, and organizations that do not include a representative of a particular race.

I have read statements by many members of Congress, presidents of one organization or another, some of them fairly stupid, and many embarrassing. Should we test for IQ, historical knowledge, legal understanding, and basic common sense before allowing anyone to run for an important position? We’re stuck with ordinary human beings, fallible as they are, and we need to be generous or demand changes as the case may be.

Here in Seattle, it is apparently getting too expensive to “peacefully protest”. Protesters have, if I understand the radio correctly, filed a lawsuit to require the county to outfit them in protective gear to protect then from the depredations of the police in their protective gear so they can “peacefully protest” as is their constitutional right. (told you that was where this was going).

I have written previously about the Seattle City Council’s effort to defund the police and turn over the policing function to a “civilian-led department of community safety & violence prevention”.

Carmen Best is the first Black Woman Police Chief in the United States, and she has done a fabulous job, it is widely agreed. She dared to speak out about the City Council’s error in the civilian-led nonsense, and the City Council just decided to defund her. They reduced her salary by about $100,000. Don’t know how this will all play out, but Chief Best deserves far better.The Seattle City Council is an embarrassment.

People are out of work, cooped up at home, chafing at being confined, masks, shutdowns, and doing without the things they need. Elected officials are required to step up and do what needs to be done. A surprising number have demonstrated that they are not only not capable of doing so, but some of the most notable are making a mess of it all too.

ADDENDUM: I apparently messed up with my numbers here. The U.S. population in 2000 was 281,421,906. In 2010, it had increased to 309,349,689. I went to the U.S. Census Bureau for the numbers. And they reminded us that if you have not yet answered the census, do it now. You can do it online, only a few simple questions.  Thanks to reader Counter for catching my error.



If You Know History, Change Will Not Seem So Scary! by The Elephant's Child

I have the impression, which may be false, that American companies ordinarily went to great lengths to essentially stay out of politics. They might get involved when potential legislation negatively affected their company, or when their corporate knowledge suggested that something being considered was a very bad idea, that sort of thing. At that point corporate involvement would probably be requested anyway.

Today it is a different story. It has been reported that workers in a company may inform their management that they are opposed to something that is simply a political issue and has nothing to do with their company’s business. Last I heard, a company had an executive board and a president to decide corporate positions, and the workers were not invited to participate but only to vote in local and national elections like everybody else. And the discontented would probably get canned. But there was no corporate position anyway.

When I was a worker bee, I certainly had no illusion that I had a vote in corporate business nor did I have any expectation that my personal politics were anyone else’s concern, nor that it would be acceptable to announce who I was voting for or why. But then there was never an occasion when there were riots in the streets and company policies regarding race were up for discussion. I had a black boss, and associates came from a wide variety of national heritages, like life outside of work. Nobody wore campaign buttons or gave any idea of who they were planning to vote for. So it’s weird to see groups of workers attempting to inform their management  about what is acceptable and what is not.

Are the mayors who have been so prominent in the media up for reelection? I live in a Seattle suburb not Seattle itself, but Seattle is pretty far left. They voted for Mayor Jenny Durkan at some point, and Portland once voted for Mayor Wheeler, and we now have a clear understanding of how they perform under stress. and the same is true across the country. Democrats have been trying to convince Americans that the Corona virus and all accompanying problems are Trump’s fault, but the facts would indicate that he’s done a pretty good job. Governors have been grateful for prompt supplies of needed materials like ventilators and masks, and companies nationwide have started producing them to meet the needs. The Seattle area had the first cases in the country, and travel from China was halted immediately.

I expect that there will be long term changes. The big cities will lose population as residents move to places where riots are unacceptable. Businesses will move. Will working from home become the norm? Some businesses have already announced that working from home will extend into 2021 or more. Not having to maintain corporate offices would save a lot of money if a good portion of the workforce could work from home. If “daytime pajamas” become the norm rather than tailored suits, there will be vast changes in the fashion industry. What precautions will become necessary for business to avoid disruption? Things change, but the impetus is not always clear. If you know history, change will not seem so scary.

Schooling seems to be on the brink of mass disruption. States are trying to decide if schools will be open or closed. Charter schools are an extremely beneficial change for black kids, but extremely unacceptable to teacher’s unions. The unions do not want to return to the classroom, but online education is not working, partly because teachers don’t know how to make their online classes interesting and compulsive as well as get the necessary learning into student heads. So far, a lot of kids just aren’t doing the online work. Some well-to-do families are getting together to hire tutors. I don’t know how much we know about kids’ home situations. Do most parents go out to work and leave the kids home alone? There’s a recipe for disaster. Homeschooling may rise in popularity, but some families don’t really have choices. Parents need to work. So expect big changes, not all of which will be acceptable.

I live in a Seattle suburb. The area has many international businesses, some of them famous, who hire many workers from abroad. My suburb is dotted with little storefront schools that teach English, and small storefront groceries that carry the foods from worker’s home countries. Does this go on all over the country? Are international companies just situated on the coasts or are they the norm everywhere? I have no idea. Immigrants from some countries populated different parts of the country because of climate or industry there. Washington and Idaho and Montana have lots of wheat growers and lumbering. Washington, Oregon, California and Alaska have major fishing industry, and so it goes across the country. Meatpacking ended up in the Midwest. Potatoes in Idaho and Maine.

Britain’s invention of machines to make thread out of cotton led to America’s slavery, but less than 5% of African slaves were brought to America. The majority went to the sugar islands and to South America. Early on, indentured servitude was popular in the Thirteen Colonies because of a large demand for labor, and more than half of immigrants to British colonies south of New England were white servants who came under indenture, because of the high cost of transatlantic transportation which was beyond the means of European workers. Between the 1630s and the Revolution one half to two thirds of the total white immigration came  under indenture.

The British Empire ended slavery in 1833, but did not prohibit the practice of indentured servitude until 1917. Somewhere between one half and two thirds of European immigrants to America came under indentures, usually as young men or women. Most went to the South where cash crops were common, for the North industrialized earlier. Remember that Australia was partly populated by prisoners who were transported. It’s all a fascinating history, probably not very familiar to today’s rioters. The movement of people and customs around the globe is not over, and will not end any time soon, and we are still making new history. We’ll have to wait a bit to see what the Space Force turns up.



Models Cannot Be Counted On for Anything, a People Problem. by The Elephant's Child

Our society is not quite comfortable yet with the computer world. Comfortable is the wrong word, but I don’t know what the right one is. We currently are only beginning to learn what are their real possibilities and what are their dangers. And of course the problem is not the computers, but the people operating them.

A computer is just a machine grown out of the merger of adding machines, code-breaking machines a few trips in space, television and a lot of very complicated efforts to build something new to measure and compute. (There’s a completely scientific definition for you.) But the point I’m attempting to make is that the problems or faults are people problems and faults, not machine problems, at least for the most part.

We have had a lot of very complicated efforts to create models to tell us what to expect in, for example, climate and Covid-19. Doesn’t work. The models have been wildly wrong, and cannot be depended on at all. We just don’t know enough about what we are trying to enter. And the answers we get from the models are gradually proving to be completely wrong. Lots of bureaucratic phases about lockdowns and re-opening, and particularly the opening (or not) of the schools.

So far, online education in the school system is a major flop. Teachers are afraid to go back in the schools for fear of getting the Covid virus. Kids out of school are ranging from refusing to do the online classes, to simply finding them boring and ineffective. Teachers are not expert in creating online classes. Parents have to work, and leaving the kids home is bad. Some parents are banding together and hiring tutors. All very, very complicated. President Trump is absolutely correct. The kids need to be in school.

Does everybody understand that you wear a mask to keep your exhalations from infecting anyone else — not to protect you from whatever you might breathe in?

Here’s an article from AIER, the American Institute for Economic Research, on the models and reopening.  Worth your time. The photo is borrowed from that article, there were no photo credits, but it’s a fun picture.




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