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Stayin' Alive 01/25/2020 11:41
By now you probably know that s, shutting down all transportation services from the city. They have also started building hospitals to quarantine infected people. , and offering to evacuate other Americans who want to leave China. No doubt similar measures will be taken elsewhere in China and in other countries where the virus appears. The economic cost of these measures will be at least many tens of billions of dollars, probably in the hundreds of billions. And of course isolation and quarantine have public health costs of their own, and may cause death and disease themselves. So should we all panic? If they are taking such extreme and costly measures this must be a really dangerous situation, right? Well, I dunno about that. As the latest.
Stayin' Alive 01/24/2020 10:46
. That's a pretty stiff sentence, right? Well let's see now. What did he do exactly? His company sold fentanyl under the brand name Subsys. As you probably know, fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid that is responsible for a high percentage of the overdose deaths in the current epidemic of opioid addiction. As a prescription drug, it was approved by the FDA only for so-called breakthrough pain in cancer patients. But Insys literally bribed doctors to prescribe it inappropriately, resulting in 8,000 known deaths and countless more ruined lives. I ask you to consider the comparable case of an organized crime leader who distributed the precise same substance to street dealers, with similar consequences. What sentence do you think.
Stayin' Alive 01/22/2020 12:46
Yes. However, very probably not because of the novel coronavirus that has appeared in China. This seems to be front page headlines in every media outlet on the planet, and the World Health Organization has convened a meeting to decide whether to declare an official Global Health Emergency. This sort of flapdoodle happens every time a novel pathogen appears. Back when I lived in the Hub of the Universe a mosquito-borne disease called West Nile virus appeared (having formerly been large confined to, yes, west of the Nile). For weeks, every time a new case was identified it would be on the front page of the Boston Globe. The Commissioner of Public Health sprayed Boston's residential neighborhoods with insecticide, killing of course every arthr.
Stayin' Alive 01/21/2020 09:53
I'm going to step away from current events for a bit -- okay, I might intersperse a post on something exigent -- and contemplate the nature of the historic epoch in which we find ourselves. I'll begin with the most basic history of Homo sapiens. Paleontologists use the abbreviation Kya for "thousand years ago." So, our species emerged in southern Africa maybe 200 Kya or slightly more. We can't be sure because we might not have found fossils of the oldest of our kind and we also can't be sure if the earliest anatomically modern humans were also behaviorally modern, the most important question obviously being language. Actually around 200Kya there were multiple populations in Africa that appeared very similar to modern humans. Were they reall.
Stayin' Alive 01/19/2020 11:02
I am continually amused by the claims of Trumpistas that the U.S. is experiencing an economic resurgence and utopia, for which of course the vulgarian in chief deserves all the credit. Joseph Stiglitz, who unlike them and me has won a Nobel Memorial Prize in economics (it's not a real Nobel prize, economists added it later because they wanted one too) This is a fairly dense essay which it's difficult to summarize without quoting, but I'll try. Meanwhile one pull quote:. Two years ago, a few rare corporate leaders were concerned about climate change, or upset at Trump’s misogyny and bigotry. Most, however, were celebrating the president’s tax cuts for billionaires and corporations and looking forward to his efforts to deregulate the economy.
Stayin' Alive 01/19/2020 08:36
We've finally come to the end of the incredibly long, detailed, multiply repetitious tale of the tabernacle. This obviously seemed very important to the people who wrote it down (and wrote it down, and wrote it down . . . .) but it is not at all obvious why. In the final chapter it gets switched on, as it were. While this is said to happen on the first day of the first month, we don't know immediately when that actually is. The Jewish calendar has multiple "first months" for different purposes. Nisan is the first month of the ecclesiastical calendar, from which the dates of festivals are counted. Passover is on 15 Nisan. Tishrei, the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year, is the civil new year, Rosh Hashana. Later in the chapter, however.
Stayin' Alive 01/15/2020 12:37
it's a river in the U.S. as well. I've mentioned this before but it seems like a good time to pay it a visit, since the world in general has its collective head up its ass in many ways. (Vix. .) Over geological time, the Mississippi River has continually changed its course. This has been known for a long time. . This happens because it flows across the flat midsection of the country and it meanders. On the outside of a meander the water moves faster and cuts into the bank. On the inside, it flows slowly and deposits sediment. So eventually it cuts a new channel. For example in 1876 the city of Vicksburg, which was formerly on the river, suddenly wasn't any more. Too bad for Vicksburg (which was subsequently reconnected to the river by a can.
Stayin' Alive 01/14/2020 09:20
. If you read the whole article you'll find a strange ambivalence. He seems to feel compelled to practice both-sideism and find a downside, but he fails to put it in context. The purported downside is that health care costs keep rising so they have to choose between raising more revenues and restricting services. But that has nothing to do with the single payer system. That's true everywhere, no matter what kind of payment system, including in the U.S. In the UK, the Conservative governments have failed to provide enough revenue for the National Health Service for many years now, which has resulted in some problems with quality and waits for elective procedures, as well as physician burnout. But that's no an indictment of the concept, it's
Stayin' Alive 01/12/2020 08:27
Yep, he's not just a carpenter and a goldsmith and a perfumer, he's a tailor and a jeweler . . . Thank God [sic] Exodus is almost over. There's one more chapter after this, then we get into Leviticus, which is maybe slightly more interesting than all of these specifications. However, the narrative doesn't start up again until Numbers. We're going to spend the next few months mired in the intricacies of various categories of rules, including believe it or not a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Skin Diseases. The interesting thing about these last few chapters of Exodus is that nobody pays any attention to them any more. The priestly garments described here in 39 are long forgotten. The whole thing seems pointless to us now but obviously
Stayin' Alive 01/09/2020 13:57
For most of the years while I was coming up in the world of public health and social policy, it was accepted truth that medical intervention made only a small contribution to population health. Quantifying "population health" as a single entity is obviously highly problematic. There are many components that people will value differently. There is mean life expectancy at birth, which is a common measure that is not terribly difficult to calculate; although as I have explained here before and won't bother to do again right now it's a fictitious construct that does not predict how long you actually have to live. Rather it's a snapshot of the ages at which people are dying today. Regardless, there's a lot it doesn't tell you. Even with regard t.
Stayin' Alive 01/05/2020 10:41
Sadly, I events have motivated me to re-launch the blog formerly known as Today in Iraq, Iraq today, Today in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Today in Afghanistan. I have also retitled it, . I will make appropriate changes to the sidebars in due course. I am profoundly sorry, and angry, that this occasion has arisen.
Stayin' Alive 01/05/2020 07:45
Exodus 38 continues the repetitive, mind numbing description of the tabernacle. The interesting part is at the end, however. According to Skeptics Annotated Bible, the amount of metal used for the tabernacle works out to a metric ton of gold (i.e. 1,000 kg), 3.5 metric tons of silver, and 2.45 metric tons of bronze. According to my calculations, the gold alone would be worth more than 54 million dollars today. This is particularly strange because, as you may recall, all of their gold has already been melted down to make the golden calf and then destroyed. Also rather strange is that there are 603,555 men in the group, and therefore a couple of million women and children. There were 70 Hebrews about 400 years ago in Exodus 1. That's being fr.
Stayin' Alive 01/03/2020 09:58
Too much going on for one post today. 1. Sock puppet? We have a reader who is obsessed with his false conclusion that the commenter Don Quixote is actually my sock puppet. I ask you please to stop wasting your time and mine with this delusion. We do know each other, but we have seen each other once in the past 15 years or so. I live in Connecticut and he lives in the midwest, more than 1,000 miles away. Whatever I have to say, I am more than happy to say in my own name, and I do. BTW I am not known as Michael. 2. Mad King Your Intertubes are all aflutter with speculation and discussion about the neurodegenerative disease many believe is affecting the Resident. , while wisely declining to offer a specific diagnosis. I take the same stance. I.
Stayin' Alive 01/02/2020 13:02
A fundamental assumption of libertarianism, and of ordinary conservatism, is that people's lot in life is generally deserved. Poor people, substance abusers, offenders -- they didn't work hard enough, they are moral failures, they don't love Jesus, whatever, it's their own fault. People who are economically and socially successful earned what they have. Social problems are individual problems -- if we try to help the unfortunate, we just enable their failings. Back in the 1990s (while Bill Clinton was president) the CDC cosponsored a study with . Sure, we all have adverse experiences in childhood and right on through life. But it's a matter of degree. An official ACE doesn't mean you fell and broke your arm, or even that a bully stole your
Stayin' Alive 12/30/2019 13:14
It isn't news, but the New York Times has . Because of the paywall, you might want to go to this , with some supplementary links. The story is that the administration has been systematically destroying the federal government's scientific resources, and purging scientific expertise and even generally known facts from the decision making process. To quote the Times story:. In just three years, the Trump administration has diminished the role of science in federal policymaking while halting or disrupting research projects nationwide, marking a transformation of the federal government whose effects, experts said, could reverberate for years. Political appointees have shut down government studies, reduced the influence of scientists over regulato.
Stayin' Alive 12/29/2019 08:10
I must warn you: the four remaining chapters of Exodus, and all of Leviticus, are tedious beyond description. They have almost no relevance to Christians, and limited relevance to contemporary Jews. Even orthodox Jews take only a few principles from this, such as not eating pork or shellfish. The narrative stops and instead we are given long, very specific lists of rules. There isn't any evident underlying or organizing ethical philosophy behind this. Some of the rules have to do with how God wants to be worshiped. This has been a particular emphasis in Exodus and it's largely the focus on which the book concludes. Leviticus has a whole lot about what you can and cannot eat, what is and is not "unclean," what we would classify as civil and
Stayin' Alive 12/28/2019 08:13
"On Bullshit" is a well-known essay by philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt. Princeton University Press for some reason published it as a tiny book, but you can enter the title into your favorite Internet search engine and find a free PDF. It's only about 20 pages if you care to read. But you don't have to. Frankfurt's basic concept is that the difference between lying and bullshit begins with recognizing that a liar knowingly utters (in speech or writing) falsehood. Being aware of the difference between truth and fiction and concerned that the audience may detect deception, the liar must use artifice to align his or her representation with facts otherwise known. In this way, the liar pays honor to truth. In contrast the bullshitter does not care.
Stayin' Alive 12/26/2019 07:46
But one I probably ought to take. The Clinton impeachment is irrelevant to the present situation, which concerns a completely different factual basis. It is even less relevant to the question of the current Resident's mental and moral condition and his fitness for office, which is what my previous post is about. In other words, it's an attempt to change the subject, a typical troll tactic. So I'll take the subject change right here. Regarding the exact nature of Mr. Clinton's misconduct, I believe that Paula Jones initiated the activity. I don't think Clinton demanded it of her and I don't think he promised her anything in exchange. Nevertheless she expected to get something for it and she was understandably angry when she didn't, and felt
Stayin' Alive 12/24/2019 08:17
We seldom examine the assumption that achieving wealth and power requires some degree of cunning and awareness. Sure, you can be evil, and you don't necessarily need to be good at math, and you can subscribe to various false beliefs, but you need to be able to match intentions to results, communicate coherently, and competently execute plans, right? Well, no. , who also owns a "consulting" firm that rakes in millions of dollars for, err, doing something. I've linked to a summary but . The guy is certifiably wacko and totally incompetent at lawyering, cyber-security, investigating, and anything else he supposedly does professionally. But there he is. Read the whole thing, but I especially enjoyed this part:. As we sped uptown, he spoke in mon.
Stayin' Alive 12/22/2019 08:33
As I have warned you, the remainder of Exodus is an unbearably tedious, repetitive and evidently pointless description of the tabernacle and its associated paraphernalia. You may ask: a) Why do the compilers of this text subject us to this? What is its theological importance, and why the multiple repetitions of seemingly meaningless details? b) How is it that a bunch of runaway slaves, who are camping out in the desert and subsisting on fungus, have such mass quantities of luxury goods? Thank you for asking! First, I remind you of . Beha writes:. Clearly the Torah's earliest editors were aware of its discrepancies, which must not have been a cause of great embarrassment, or else they would have corrected at a time when the "official" version.

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