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Sperm Counts, Indian Residential Schools, and other reversals of enlightened opinion

If you live long enough, you will be able to count the number of occasions on which enlightened and progressive opinion has reversed itself. In the most haphazard count – my own scattered recollections – we have gone through the following opinion changes in my lifetine alone.

Animal fats bad (because cholesterol) to vegetable fats doubtful.

Indian residential schools a progressive and enlightened response to Indian backwardness to residential schools were an act of cultural genocide

Homosexuality is sinful to gay is good and natural.

Coronavirus was a freak cross over from bats to humans to coronavirus was a lab leak covered up by Chinese authorities.

Modern society is reducing sperm counts to doubt that sperm counts are in fact dropping.

Black people are inferior to white people are inferior.

Race is a meaningless ideological contruct to biological differences matter.

CO2 engendered by fossil fuels will engender a climate catastrophe to who cares about global warming, let us use nuclear fission- note: this one has not yet happened, but wait.

Soviet Communism in Russia is a permament part of the European power balance to [poof!] the whole regime collapses within a year or two.

 

Of the changes mentioned above, perhaps Communism was the most important geopolitical event. People born after 1990 can have no conception of the extent to which the 20th century was held in thrall to the idea of planned happiness through the elimination of private property and the centralization of decision making in governments, and of all power in the Bolshevik revolutionary vanguard.

I was reminded recently of how central Europeans, those whose countries had been occupied by the Soviet Union after WW2, were disbelieved when they insisted that the whole scheme was a construction of tyranny that would fall one day like Sauron’s tower of Barad Dur: instantly, into dust. The emigres insisted it was built on a lie, that nothing it said about itself was true, and that it was maintained by Soviet force and police terror. I can recall the  disbelief with which such views were entertained in polite discourse in the 1970s. But the Lubor Zinks and the anti-Soviets were exactly right.

You can arouse similar feelings of outrage and disbelief by posting pictures of snowfalls in April to social media and complain about the absence of sufficient global warming. The response of the Karens, male and female, is immediate.

In your opinion, what other major social beliefs are likely to be reversed in the next twenty years? Discuss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The graph that explains what has happened

 

This is the most important graph you are going to see in the next decade.

Whatever its cause – and historians and economists have much to explain – the gap between rises in productivity and hourly compensation that started in 1973 meant that an increasing proportion of national income has gone to the owners of assets, not the workers. Maybe capital needed to make more money; maybe the workers were making too much: I am unqualified to say. Certainly the Reagan regime did much to restore the profitability of capital.

Yet in that simple graph we can see why Trump found support to deal with a perceived problem. Perceived by whom, you ask? Perceived by the people who do not know or subscribe to the New York Times or the Atlantic magazine. Perceived by the people whose children don’t have jobs and who know people who have died from fentanyl overdoeses, people from towns where the mill has been shuttered for thirty years. Where they used to make things. Not perceived by people who work from desks and computers. No perceieved by people whose jobs have not been affected by COVID.

Nuxon went to China in 1972, thus splitting the Communist world and starting the process whereby jobs left the United States for China and places abroad. I am not asserting a directly causal relationship here between diplomatic recognition of China by the US and the off-shoring of US industry.

Nixon went off the gold standard in 1972, This meant we entered upon the world of fiat currencies, where government declares that money is worth something unrelated to the stock of gold. As many now understand, a consistent undervaluation of one’s currency can suck indistry towards the low cost producer. Is that the cause of US jobs bening leeched out of the United States?

Watch this video and see if you agree. 

Whatever the cause of the growing gap in the rates of productivity and hourly compensation – I wish I knew – its existence engenders a vast retinue of consequences

The unceremonious turfing of Rod Phillips: more elite failure

I pity the former Finance Minister of Ontario, who was sacked for taking a Caribbean vacation and faking his presence in Canada by postings on social media. I entirely agree with Rex Murphy that nothing could show better the hypocrisy of the ruling classes than this episode.  

We are not in this together. At least the Premier of Ontario had the wit to realize what this meant for the ceredibility of the government, and canned the guilty party.

In the Z-Man’s predictions for the year, we read:

“The Covidians will not back down. There will be reports of “vaccinated people” getting Covid and that will be enough to keep the panic rolling. Covid has now replaced climate change as the left-wing religion of fear. They need to feel they are part of a holy cause to give purpose to their lives. Some politicians will try to ratchet back the fear mongering, but they have unleashed forces they cannot control. Mask wearing and other gestures are now the uniform of the enlightened…”

As I read the gleanings by Rebel Yell from medical journals on susceptibility and incidence of the disease, The Great Covid Madness – 4, I am more than ever reminded that we are experiencing the effects of an auto-immune disease: the anti-bodies are as much the problem as the disease itself. In this case the anti-bodies, to be clear, are the measures we are taking to shut down the economy.

 

A statistician looks at COVID-19: relax, that’s an order

William Briggs is a statistician, and he blogs at www.wmbriggs.com. I wish he were better known, but he does go off for pages on Thomas Aquinas when he is not commenting about numbers. This is his latest posting about coronavirus. His take? The fear is exaggerated. The reaction outlandish. I will say no more and let him speak for himself.

  • In Wuhan itself, the City of Doom, some 2,446 souls departed their fleshly existence earlier than expected. Google tells us the city has between 11 and 19 million, depending on whether you count the entire metro area as “the city”.
  • The city had 49,995 cases. The case rate was 0.26% to 0.45%, depending on what China called “the city”. The total dead rate was 0.01% to 0.02%. The case dead rate was 4.9%.
  • People fixate on that last number, forgetting you first have to get the bug before you can die from it. But everybody now seems to believe they’ll get it with certainty. Review Bayes Theorem & Coronavirus!
  • If everywhere will eventually be as bad as Wuhan, then, given 7.7 billion of us now speak with authority on “social distancing” and “flattening the curve”, as if we’ve been using these neologisms from birth, from 20 million to 35 million the world over will get the bug, and from 1 million to 1.7 million will croak from it. (Fifty million died from 1918’s Spanish flu.) ….[clip]
  • CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 36 million flu illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths from flu.

  • That’s in the United States alone, friends. Mostly pneumonia and old folks (God bless them). Worldwide at least ten times that number.
  • If the Wuhan numbers apply globally, losing a million or two of us worldwide is not welcome news, but it’s not panic-level, end-of-the-world, buy-every-roll-of-toilet-paper-in-sight news. It’s wash-your-damned-hands, stay-at-home-if-you’re-sick news.

There is much more that follows at the original site.

I have been reading Twitter a lot these past few days and have decided that, for most commentators, the advice and commentary is as significant as what is heard in the hen coop. Cluck, cluck, cluck.