[ExI] perspective on covid

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Mon Mar 9 13:50:45 UTC 2020



From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of John Clark via extropy-chat


>…It's not very existential if 2 centuries (minus the Clinton years) of government deficits haven't managed to wipe libertarians out of existence…



John this is a unique time in American history.  We are borrowing like mad just to cover normal expenses.  Interest rates are at unprecedented low levels.  US government debt is setting new records every day as a fraction of GDP.  The US is living on borrowed money.  


Eventually interest rates will go back up.  When they do, more and more of the federal budget must be gobbled up just to service that debt, and of course to borrow more, for a generation has passed since the government knew how to live on its own income. 


>>… I don’t recall ever saying anything about presidential actions or lack of them.  This isn’t the forum for that. 


>…Spike, I don't see how anyone can meaningfully discuss the current pandemic and its possible future, or any other existential threat for that matter, without also mentioning the most powerful man in the world's actions regarding it…


We are fooling ourselves if we think POTUS is the most powerful man on earth.  There are so many restrictions now on what POTUS can do, hell he can’t even negotiate internationally anymore.  The next one will have it even worse.


>…As a libertarian it's OK to lament the fact that one man should have such immense power, but such lamentations in no way change the reality that the man does in fact have that immense power…


The action POTUS has is to close borders and restrict international travel.  That one damages the economy, which is why it hasn’t been used.


The US was once the world leader in science and manufacturing, but isn’t now.  Most manufacturing has been outsourced.  There are good scientists in every country in the world.  I don’t expect the solution to covid to come from the US.


>…It's not a question of relying on something its just facing reality. Like it or not the federal government is not going to fade away in the next year… John K Clark



The US government has already faded away to a great extent.  Its importance as a military ally peaked in about 2003 and I don’t see anything changing that trend.  The recent lesson demonstrated to the world that they cannot negotiate with POTUS on the phone: it is a government at war with itself and he has an unknown number of his adversaries on the line.


Governments rely on secrecy in negotiations.  If any meaningful negotiations take place with the US, it has to be in English, in person with no translators present (for some of them are adversaries of POTUS as well.)  This situation will not change in the foreseeable.


Where I see this developing: a vaccine for covid will likely be found by the Chinese.  We will buy it from them, going around our own standards for medical technology.  New viruses like this one will evolve on a regular basis, for a good reason: humans are the ideal host.  We are the only species that jets around the world regularly, giving the virus the ideal universal vectors to everywhere.  We care for our victims, which causes the host to survive and transmit.


How I see the endgame: most international travel will be severely restricted every time a new virus is detected.  We will find better ways to communicate which does not involve travel.


This will have a negative impact on all economies of course, but it has its benefits as well.  Environmental impact of humans would decrease.  We can still have international trade but with less international travel.  We could have a very practical and in some ways beneficial reduction in international pleasure travel.  Watch the ocean cruise industry in the next few months.  Increasing awareness that those are floating incubators for disease has already devastated the industry.


Stay tuned, focus.



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