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Every year of life saved by lockdowns has cost at least 282 years of life


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12 hours ago, Badhairday said:

I truly believe the horrendous indian figures are due to the lockdowns more than anything else. The grocery stores are open only until noon, so there is a rush for everyone to do their grocery shopping at the same time. Lockdowns mean people are cooped up inside under the sveltering heat. In a country where most people live hand to mouth, a lockdown with no furlough is a disaster waiting to happen.

Surely it would be better if supermarkets opened 24 hours a day, to spread out the people wanting to go to supermarkets.

 

Some Covid measures are worse than if life was running normally.  For example, got into picking up a takeaway burger at particular McDonald's.  All the people waiting for their takeaway and all the ubereats pickup people are crowded in one area.  Surely it would have been bet to have the whole restaurant open for people to eat?

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7 hours ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

That is the point. 

We can't duck nature.

Improvements in life expectancy over the last 100 years says we can at least delay the inevitable quite a lot for most people.

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21 hours ago, GregBowman said:

Have you been there ?

No, wife has and confirms that their hygiene is lacking. I was being tongue in cheek. I am sure there are some lovely parts, but I am not really a traveller.

19 hours ago, Young Turk said:

Polling in Britain suggests a majority support lockdown (I think it was generally around 70-80%). This suggests that for these individuals it passed their subjective cost-benefit analysis.

The argumentation is that people were already doing a lot of the social distancing and cleaning stuff and avoiding the outdoors themselves. A state imposed lockdown is simple fascism with little to no benefit at exorbitant cost.

18 hours ago, Young Turk said:

Were the anti-lockdown people making a big fuss about deaths due to domestic violence, drugs, alcohol, despair and unemployment before 2020?

I have been banging on for years about those being the result of the government destroying our society. In any case, you don't have to domestically abuse your spouse or drink alcohol, but they will put you in prison for being outside. I hope you understand the difference.

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19 hours ago, Staffsknot said:

travel is the cure for ignorance

Quite bourgeois don't you think?

 

19 hours ago, Staffsknot said:

Is this like the bat stuff you posted where basically you'd been on Google and I had to explain line by line how you were posting nonsense, and then when you posted more I explained all the bat research and interactions, differing species, etc... and got no reply.

 Ehh, you have your position, I have mine and I don't think we are going to convince each other. I do appreciate your attitude though, I have to give you that.

You might find this of interest

https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/the-origin-of-covid-did-people-or-nature-open-pandoras-box-at-wuhan/

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43 minutes ago, longgone said:

Lets hope the fridge was not on the blink the posh vaccine was administered.

Will they be testing for effectiveness quality after the plebs are jabbed ? Doubt it

Word on the street is that the Brexshit Dogs Dinner vaccine was sent to poorer areas. Makes sense as the distribution facilities at those vaccination centres would not have the specialist refrigeration units required.  

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2 hours ago, scottbeard said:

Improvements in life expectancy over the last 100 years says we can at least delay the inevitable quite a lot for most people.

They've mostly come from doing better at dealing with things that kill us off before our bodies fall apart from age. Ageing itself isn't something we've had any success with dealing with.

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36 minutes ago, MonsieurCopperCrutch said:

Word on the street is that the Brexshit Dogs Dinner vaccine was sent to poorer areas. Makes sense as the distribution facilities at those vaccination centres would not have the specialist refrigeration units required.  

Lol maybe 

1 bed 400-500k first rung properties is quite poor yes i agree.🤣

 

 

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1 hour ago, Locke said:

The argumentation is that people were already doing a lot of the social distancing and cleaning stuff and avoiding the outdoors themselves.

That's not relevant. I was referring to the high support for the lockdown.

Snap poll: 72% of English people back Prime Minister’s plan to return to lockdown | YouGov 

Four out of five people support new national lockdown, poll shows | The Independent 

Lockdown: YouGov poll finds 80% of public support national coronavirus restrictions as Boris Johnson prepares to address nation | Evening Standard

In the paper you linked, Allen was trying to make a case that the subjective cost of lockdowns was very high. 

He uses Caplan's estimate that on average people would be willing to sacrifice two months of life to avoid lockdown.

Maybe people value the supposedly small number of lives lockdowns saved.

Maybe people believe it saved a lot of lives. Maybe they believe it had additional health benefits (greatly reduced risk of unpleasant illness, long covid or other long term health issues).

Maybe Caplan's polling data is not representative (a few hundred respondents to a twitter poll is unlikely to be representative).

Maybe people express their desires inconsistently. If people say they want lockdown and they would be willing to sacrifice a lot to avoid lockdown, how are we to interpret their true desires?

2 hours ago, Locke said:

A state imposed lockdown is simple fascism with little to no benefit at exorbitant cost.

The government initially didn't want to lockdown. They imposed the first lockdown due to pressure from the public. There was very high support for the lockdown before and during.

The government tried to encourage workers to return to the office last summer. It was very unpopular and they were forced to abandon this.

If the government had been authoritarian, it would have been easier to ignore popular demands to lockdown. For example Belarus, Brazil, and perhaps Hungary.

You can say the lockdown wasn't worth it for you, but it was for the majority. Your problem is democracy rather than authoritarianism.

2 hours ago, Locke said:

I have been banging on for years about those being the result of the government destroying our society.

Do you have any evidence for this?

Violence has been declining for years. Domestic violence is much rarer than it used to be. I think this may be in large part due to the government (making it easier for people to leave abusive spouses could be considered destructive of family/society, but is probably a good thing overall).

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1 minute ago, Young Turk said:

You can say the lockdown wasn't worth it for you, but it was for the majority. Your problem is democracy rather than authoritarianism.

The problem is a desire for authoritarianism in a supposedly democratic country - someone big and strong to turn up and look after them and protect them from the big scary world, so they don't have to agonise over decisions that might get them hurt but so they can blunder around unthinkingly, safe in the knowledge that they're being protected (even from themselves - how were they supposed to know not to dance on a cliff edge without a 6' high steel fence and signs saying "stay away!"?)

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1 hour ago, Riedquat said:

They've mostly come from doing better at dealing with things that kill us off before our bodies fall apart from age. Ageing itself isn't something we've had any success with dealing with.

Precisely - so Mikheil’s point that you “can’t duck nature” is only half the story.

He just wants us to let COVID kill as many people as possible to ‘clear the dead wood’ because to not do so is counter productive.

I disagree because history shows we can and have stopped young people dying and allowed them to live longer lives.

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5 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

The problem is a desire for authoritarianism in a supposedly democratic country - someone big and strong to turn up and look after them and protect them from the big scary world, so they don't have to agonise over decisions that might get them hurt but so they can blunder around unthinkingly, safe in the knowledge that they're being protected (even from themselves - how were they supposed to know not to dance on a cliff edge without a 6' high steel fence and signs saying "stay away!"?)

I think you are mistaken. The point about these restrictions was externalities. People don't want protection from themselves; they want protection from others. 

People are allowed to a do a lot of things which are self destructive if they don't harm others. But then when they do lead to harm to others there are restrictions.

For example, people are allowed to drink excessively at home, but being "drunk and disorderly" or "drink driving" are crimes as these carry a high risk of causing harm to others.

You may favour strict restrictions on new building. This is not because you want the government to stop you building in a way which harms you; you want others to stop building, to stop imposing externalities on you.

 

The case for preventing these sorts of externalities is higher in a pandemic. You can take precautions and only interact with others who take precautions, but you are still at a higher risk from the people who didn't take precautions who interact with people you interact with.

Maybe the measures taken were excessive, but I think they are to limit externalities rather than a motivation to facilitate "blundering around unthinkingly"

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35 minutes ago, Young Turk said:

I think you are mistaken. The point about these restrictions was externalities. People don't want protection from themselves; they want protection from others. 

The frequently-demonstrated lack of self responsibility and then complaining that there should've been something in place to deal with it says otherwise. Things like miles of prison-like fencing that have appeared alongside railways in the last few years says otherwise.

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People are allowed to a do a lot of things which are self destructive if they don't harm others. But then when they do lead to harm to others there are restrictions.

We should also be tolerant of a certain level of risk of harm from others, otherwise you end up locking everyone up indefinitely. There are a great many things where I'd prefer the risk from others to the measures put in place to deal with them, especially where such measures boil down to treating everyone like an irresponsible child. But the "harm to others" mantra is designed to make it very hard to accept any risk at all, because it inevitably gets the "selfish" retort. Even though we're all "others" to everyone else - so what's wrong with turning it on its head - I don't want others controlled to protect me. We should all put ourselves in the shoes of others, but if doing that you come to the conclusion "in this situation I'd be willing to accept this" - then what?

Now we do need to steer away from the black and white extreme issue that I often grumble about too of course. Some degree of measures are justifiable - there have always been some that can be done on public health grounds. But telling you what you can and can't do in private, behind closed doors, I still feel a line had been crossed there, even allowing for my general back-kicking against over-caution (which can lead to going too far the other way).

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30 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

The frequently-demonstrated lack of self responsibility and then complaining that there should've been something in place to deal with it says otherwise.

People are given more responsibility in various ways. People have more responsibility about saving for retirement and gambling that would have been unthinkable in the old nanny state of the mid/late twentieth century.

Do people have more responsibility than half a century ago? It probably depends what areas of life you consider and what sort of behaviour you would have engaged in. 

32 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

Things like miles of prison-like fencing that have appeared alongside railways in the last few years says otherwise.

I think that's also to protect us from externalities. It reduces the harm to passengers.

38 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

We should also be tolerant of a certain level of risk of harm from others, otherwise you end up locking everyone up indefinitely.

There was never any chance of this. It was always going to be temporary.

39 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

But the "harm to others" mantra is designed to make it very hard to accept any risk at all, because it inevitably gets the "selfish" retort.

I see no evidence of this. I haven't seen anyone saying: "I've seen the light. We must reduce risk significantly. Reduce the speed limit on residential roads to 10mph and maybe 25mph on motorways." "Ban motorbikes" etc. 

45 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

But the "harm to others" mantra is designed to make it very hard to accept any risk at all, because it inevitably gets the "selfish" retort. Even though we're all "others" to everyone else - so what's wrong with turning it on its head - I don't want others controlled to protect me. We should all put ourselves in the shoes of others, but if doing that you come to the conclusion "in this situation I'd be willing to accept this" - then what?

I don't think anything is wrong with this.

Maybe this thought-process underlies new building. "Am I being selfish building or buying a new house? Maybe some people don't want new houses built. No. If I already had a house, I wouldn't want to control whether others could build or buy a new house."

You might just be in the unfortunate situation that you want more control in areas where others want freedom, and freedom in areas where others want control.

 

I'm not sure it's correct to attribute the desire for restrictions to selfishness though. I think it's more along the lines of "I'm prepared to make sacrifices as long as I am confident that others are making sacrifices. I don't want to be the only one wearing a mask, keeping to the speed limit, etc. If I do and nobody else does the benefit is negligible, but if enough people do it, the benefit is substantial." Sometimes this can be achieved by social norms. Sometimes law enforcement is required. Law enforcement is more likely to be required when norms are required to change overnight.

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2 hours ago, Young Turk said:

You may favour strict restrictions on new building. This is not because you want the government to stop you building in a way which harms you; you want others to stop building, to stop imposing externalities on you.

Would you describe yourself as a moral relativist?

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6 minutes ago, Locke said:

Would you describe yourself as a moral relativist?

I don't think so. I was drawing attention to what seemed to me to be inconsistencies in the logic underlying the positions held by you, Allen and Riedquat. 

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7 minutes ago, Young Turk said:

I don't think so. I was drawing attention to what seemed to me to be inconsistencies in the logic underlying the positions held by you, Allen and Riedquat. 

Good.

Why is slavery evil?

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2 minutes ago, Locke said:

Why is slavery evil?

It violates rights and diminishes utility. 

It is probably impossible to construct a system in which no rights are violated (some people think this would be possible in anarchist societies, but that is speculative - logic and experience suggests this would not be possible). If it is impossible to have a complete absence of the violation of rights, we probably have to compare different rights violations and their utility. I don't think slavery could be justified because it is such an extreme violation of rights and causes so much harm to slaves.

All governments necessarily violate rights. The question is either what type of government violates the least rights, or whether it is worth sacrificing rights to obtain other desirable things. Some libertarians argue a night watchmen state is sustainable and minimises the violation of rights. Critics have argued that even the smallest states have a tendency to increase in size. It is also questionable whether they really minimise the violation of rights, or just minimise the violation of rights by government. 

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1 hour ago, Young Turk said:

I think that's also to protect us from externalities. It reduces the harm to passengers.

From what harm? It's hard to see it in any light other than "we cannot tolerate the thought of anything going wrong and must go to extreme, absurd lengths just in case."

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Do people have more responsibility than half a century ago? It probably depends what areas of life you consider and what sort of behaviour you would have engaged in. 

In what ways do you think we could possibly have more responsibility (individuals, not societies)?

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I see no evidence of this. I haven't seen anyone saying: "I've seen the light. We must reduce risk significantly. Reduce the speed limit on residential roads to 10mph and maybe 25mph on motorways." "Ban motorbikes" etc. 

Really? Not to that extreme but the country's had loads of speed limit reductions in the last 20 years (and not just because of new development along roads), and some of the mandated safety equipment in new cars is (IMO of course, but we all have our idea where the line should be drawn) is really quite absurd. And it reinforces my problems with extremes - its defenders try to equate it with seatbelts, when the reality is that the change of risk to them from it is tiny (unless they're planning on regularly driving across the Australian outback).

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9 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

From what harm? It's hard to see it in any light other than "we cannot tolerate the thought of anything going wrong and must go to extreme, absurd lengths just in case."

If the train stops due to people on the line, that will lead to delays. There may be worse consequences. If someone has tampered with the line, perhaps a train could be derailed.

I know that delays due to people on the line are quite frequent. 

Perhaps the risk to passengers is very low. Perhaps it is more about suicide prevention.

14 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

In what ways do you think we could possibly have more responsibility (individuals, not societies)?

I gave the example of pensions - most employees had no responsibility at all in the old days. Just get a job and automatically build up a guaranteed income (no decision about how to invest or how quickly to consume). Now you have choice to invest and choice of annuity, or remaining investing and drawing down partially or entirely. You can then choose to invest in other ways (e.g. BTL), and you have the choice of how much to consume. 

22 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

Really? Not to that extreme but the country's had loads of speed limit reductions in the last 20 years (and not just because of new development along roads),

I wasn't aware of any changes to speed limits in recent years. In my experience most people drive a little faster than the speed limit. It's widely known that driving slower would lead to fewer accidents and fatalities, but most people aren't even prepared to keep to the speed limit, let alone accept drastically reduced speed limits!

I am not saying they are wrong to drive at current speeds. I just point out that attitudes to driving speed demonstrate that people don't have a safety at all costs attitude. 

29 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

and some of the mandated safety equipment in new cars is (IMO of course, but we all have our idea where the line should be drawn) is really quite absurd. And it reinforces my problems with extremes - its defenders try to equate it with seatbelts, when the reality is that the change of risk to them from it is tiny (unless they're planning on regularly driving across the Australian outback).

I'm not sure what specifically you're referring to, but I'm aware of arguments along these lines. I read an article about mid-way through Trump's presidency predicting he'd win a second term as a result of attempts to make cars safer which were going to price millions of Americans out of car ownership.

It would be interesting to know where safety improvements come from. Do the manufacturers lobby for them, so that they can charge more? Do regulators impose them without regard for the cost? Or do they intend to price people out of cars? Or are the safety measures demanded by more affluent or safety conscious drivers?

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12 hours ago, Locke said:

Quite bourgeois don't you think?

 

 Ehh, you have your position, I have mine and I don't think we are going to convince each other. I do appreciate your attitude though, I have to give you that.

You might find this of interest

https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/the-origin-of-covid-did-people-or-nature-open-pandoras-box-at-wuhan/

Nope and nope in that order.

To add depth to the 2nd nope Wade's about as popular in genetics and science circles as a turd in a spacesuit after publishing a book that basically scientists said lacked evidence and was largely crap. Even got a debunking letter in his old newspaper. One point made in that critique was cherry-picking facts and statements without evidence. Basically said different success rates for different ethicities is down to genetics and evolution...

He's a former science editor and author, not a current bat, genetics or virology expert of any kind.

Due dilligence on sources pays dividends and The Bulletin is a ready talking shop for any and all theories. That's the point of it. It's not an academic peer reviewed or authoratative source.

When ebola burst onto the scene it was touted as a bioweapon by fringe scientists and a few author scientists. Apparently that was supposed to be Belgians.

Edited by Staffsknot
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7 minutes ago, Young Turk said:

If the train stops due to people on the line, that will lead to delays. There may be worse consequences. If someone has tampered with the line, perhaps a train could be derailed.

I know that delays due to people on the line are quite frequent. 

Perhaps the risk to passengers is very low. Perhaps it is more about suicide prevention.

It's the latter, and that's a good thing in its own right, but really, do we really want to live in the sort of world where we're constantly surrounded by quite large, intrusive measures where none existed before just to afford that sort of protection? So it very much does come down to protecting people from themselves. Particularly when you expand the idea to all the sorts of places someone could go. It sure as hell isn't the sort of world I want to live in and it's one component that's driven me to the point where, whilst not suicidal, don't find the idea of dying particularly offputting (although faced with it in reality self preservation instincts would kick in). The changing physical landscape around me genuinely does cause a significant level of depression in me, quite seriously affecting my life - I find a lot of it a good example of the saying "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."

Clearly those views aren't shared by everyone and society should reflect the majority, but that won't stop my for expressing my contempt either.

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I wasn't aware of any changes to speed limits in recent years. In my experience most people drive a little faster than the speed limit. It's widely known that driving slower would lead to fewer accidents and fatalities, but most people aren't even prepared to keep to the speed limit, let alone accept drastically reduced speed limits!

There haven't been any changes to the defaults but the number of roads with lowered limits below the default has expanded considerably. There's quite a lot of geographical variation though, since many of them are on roads where the council rather than the Highways Agency has the say. Driving better leads to fewer accidents but if someone tries to take a tight corner at 90 mph and ends up in a tree it's not the speed limit at fault - but the reaction may be "reduce it!" It's usually a case of trying to deal with a minority of idiots (who were probably ignoring the original limit anyway) by changing things for everyone. And parking camera vans where it's easiest to break the reduced limit rather than most dangerous. Oh, I've no points on my licence and never have had, in case you think that's why I'm complaining :)

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It would be interesting to know where safety improvements come from. Do the manufacturers lobby for them, so that they can charge more? Do regulators impose them without regard for the cost? Or do they intend to price people out of cars? Or are the safety measures demanded by more affluent or safety conscious drivers?

I suspect they come from a genuine desire to reduce the number of people killed, nothing more than that. Maybe it's the more safety-conscious drivers who demand them, which is a little odd I suppose, when they're the least likely to benefit from them. It's a game of diminishing returns though, which is why I suspect we all have our threshold as to when it becomes absurd to mandate them, and they all differ.

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