Visit my homepage. I am a polymath and a rōnin scholar with interests in many areas, including political science, economics, history, and philosophy. I've been writing about all of these topics, and others, for the past two decades.
An 'Infection Weather Report'
COVID-19 is changing how we live our lives. It's done so in an extreme way. But we should always be concerned about the threat of infections that surround us. Unfortunately, to this day, there is no reasonable general purpose reporting system in place to help us make decisions to avoid these threats. Why not? Does it make sense that in an era of data availability that the population must remain generally ignorant about the level of risk from infectious diseases?
Don't Come Crying to Me About The Pandemic
Dear Readers, I hope that you'll allow me to do some venting. While I'll admit that even I was blindsided by the timing of the COVID-19 pandemic, I'm really not at all surprised that it happened. I was expecting something like it. Hell, I'm still expecting something far worse. I've warned about such things for some time, and I've written about my warnings here and elsewhere.
Forget Science; This is COVID-19 We're Dealing With!
Ignoring Years Lost and Quality of Life Lost While raw mortality figures get the most headlines, not all deaths are equal. I mentioned this idea in "The Cost of Saving a Life." It sounds harsh, but at the same time, we also think this way when someone young dies: "it's a shame that they died so young." Why? It's because there's a lot of life potential lost when someone dies. They had their whole lives ahead of them. On the other hand, someone who's 90 has already won the lotto, so to speak, by significantly outliving the average person.
The Cost of Saving a Life
The Trolley Problem is a classic problem in the philosophy of ethics. The idea of the Trolley Problem is simple. Imagine a trolley is heading for a group of five people tied to the tracks. Your only option to save their lives is to switch the track. But there's one person tied to that other track. Switching the train will save those five people, but you will cause that one person to die. Or you could do nothing, and let the five people die, sparing the person on the side track.
Creating a Public Health System that can Better Respond to a Crisis
The public health system needs a lot of work, and there are so many different ways to improve it. I've mentioned improving practices in the past, but now I'd like to focus on how the public health system responds, or fails to respond, to crises, and how we can improve the system as a whole. Some of these ideas will be easy to implement, while others could take years, or even generations, but we need to start somewhere. While there are many areas of interest for reform, a large portion of this article focuses on improving efficiency.
COVID-19 is an Exercise in Government Control
When this novel coronavirus first emerged, various conspiracy theories soon followed. Some began claiming that the virus was manufactured. Perhaps it escaped from a Chinese lab near Wuhan. Or perhaps the Chinese government even released it into the population themselves!
Meet Buster II, my new Sourdough Starter
This bread was the first loaf I that I made with Buster II, my new sourdough starter. Why Buster II? When I was going to college, I made a starter named Buster. I have no idea why I named them Buster honestly, except that I consider a sourdough sponge to be very much a pet.
The Coronavirus Lockdown is Changing Trends in Population Level Psychology
I'm a fan of using whatever tools we have available for collecting data, especially when the methods don't reveal any personal information of individuals. When I first started writing about the potential effects of the coronavirus lockdown and social distancing efforts, I took a look at some Google Search trends, focusing on the United States, in part because that's where I am, and also because that's where we're seeing a lot of new cases.