My previous post outlines the ideas I have about a fantasy government of data and urgency as it relates to the COVID19 situation. Here, I want to contrast different approaches to governing.
The current government’s obsession over the absolute numbers ignores the fact that when this is over, these casualties will only be numbers. In the future, our government will have to contend with the remaining survivors. At that time, the survivors will judge the government’s wisdom in prioritizing dark data over the observations available to it.
The trolley problem we faced was that leaving this disease take its course would put at risk the lives of people who are mostly elderly or dealing with other conditions. We chose to follow a different path that puts at risk the lives of the younger generation either through premature death or a greatly degraded quality of life than they would have if the choice had not been taken.
The dark data observations are actually assertions that the present world obeys the expectations for how the world operates according to very small number of people’s (often just one) understanding. This presents the opportunity for those same individuals to force the simulated world to the way that best conforms to their wishes. No one else will know whether the tests are for actual science or for some agenda.
I believe our ancestors approach science-guidance very differently. I believe this came from there being a culture that encouraged everyone to participate in the practice of science and collect of new evidence that undermines old science. This older culture is similar to the automated government of data and urgency. The automated approach emphasizes data representing recent observations from reliable sensors of objects that are not biased by rules based on preconceptions.
Our panicked government locked down non-essential opportunities that most benefit the younger populations. The same government already has decided on a similar trade for a future vaccination program that will primarily impact the younger population and may not even apply to the older population. We are frighteningly close to risking sterilizing our next generation to get this vaccine out. We may have already made that decision with the first imposition of the lock-downs.
We are learning that we can not live on this earth on our own. We all depend on external life support systems of government directions and universal obedience. Initially by following social-distancing and isolation directives, and ultimately be getting annual immunization shots.
Going back to 1986, the situation at the time was a declaration of urgency by the vaccination industry that threatened to discontinue their production (and research capabilities) unless there was some kind of immunity from lawsuits. The urgency was further justified by the science at that time that vaccines are especially effective as controlling epidemics when applied to large populations of healthy people. The only ruling available to government is a permanent one that basically says from date forward to infinity vaccines are an essential part of life on earth so that any risks involved must be accepted.
The image reminds me of extra-terrestrial aliens in space suits walking in an alien world that has some kind of toxic atmosphere. These are humans. This is no longer their planet. They are temporarily stranded on this alien world and hope that science will bring in their rescue ships, probably in the form of some kind of consciousness upload into an Internet cloud.
The science for how to deal with COVID19 is clear, and it clearly goes against all common sense. This may be a time when the best response to scientific recommendation is to dismiss it as ridiculous.