Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus Pandemic

Trump repeatedly lied to the American people and that resulted in preventable deaths. This is reckless homicide.

Ted Lieu

Big Questions

What could go wrong with self-spreading vaccines?

Has Trump’s misleading lies about the coronavirus resulted in reckless homicide?

Trump knew.
Trump lied.
Americans died.

Gene Wurth

Can it be made safe to go back to school?

Who will get the vaccine and in what order?

How will COVID-19 shape and advance our society?

Why was the U.S. not prepared for COVID-19?

How is the U.S. economy going to recover from this disaster?

We won’t know for a long time.

What is our road map ahead for Pandemic I?

  • institute uniform social-distancing and quarantine policies
  • ramp up testing and produce faster-acting test kits at scale
  • prioritize testing of health workers
  • allocate masks and ventilators to stop states’ competing
  • simultaneously fast track development of
    • rapid trials to race for a vaccine, and
    • multiple production plants for each vaccine.
  • The first modern pandemic: The scientific advances we need to stop COVID-19 by Bill Gates

Striking the Balance Between Lives and Livelihoods

Likelihood of infection

Is American Exceptionalism working against us in these times? Americans don’t like to be told what to do; however, they will come together in solidarity to help, protect, care for, and save fellow Americans. Does wearing a mask require and deserve our solidarity?

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As Americans, we love our freedom and independence. But in certain times when we need to all come together and make personal sacrifices for the greater good, we sometimes under-perform other nations. For those Americans that don’t perceive the coronavirus as a clear and present danger, they think and act as they choose, but not as a united nation. For many Americans, the coronavirus is abstract and is not perceived as a clear and present danger because they can’t see it, touch it, understand it, believe it, even though science and data confirm the virus is an existential health and economic crisis of enormous scope. It is a tragic irony that our fierce and independent Americanism we are so proud of is working against us and not uniting us, but dividing us at this critical time.

It is a difficult leadership moment in history for politicians at the federal, state and local levels to know the right balance between

  • guidance and directives emphasizing safety and the protection of lives, vs.
  • Trump’s “banzai charge” to give the virus the finger (mask-less) while misleading, egging on and cajoling citizens back to work and students/teachers back to school asap to serve his personal reelection objectives while he has zero empathy or regard for how many lives may be lost.

Striking the right balance is the key, but where and how to strike the balance between livelihoods & lives has to be one of the most difficult and critical in our lifetimes. The criteria people are using to inform their opinions/decisions are all over the map: risk/reward, science, data, religion, politics, conspiracy theories, gut instinct, and one’s basic need to survive.

We are a family, and a family in crisis pulls together to save its home and household and in the process, we make no favorites within the family. If one family member needs a little more help today, that’s ok because in the future that member can help another who is in need. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

In this moment of crisis, we Americans should be one in solidarity and love.

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Thou Shalt Go Back to Work & School

There’s nothing in the bible that says, “Thou shalt not wear masks and social distance.”

Does Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick know what the f**k he’s talking about when he says he is willing to die from coronavirus in order to go back to work now and help save America’s economy for his grand-kids? Apparently he subscribes to the evangelical christian gospel of “growth and prosperity” which says “thou shalt not sacrifice a quarter or two of gross domestic product to save tens of thousands of lives.”

What a brave guy he is, always looking so sharp in his yellow power ties. If Patrick were to contract a coronavirus and die, in the process he would infect his family and become the source of the virus that might kill one of his grandchildren. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, are you willing to pay that price? Did you ask your kids and grand-kids if they are willing to pay that price?

Of course we all have to go back to work sometime and want to go back to work, but the tough question is, when is the right time for the greater good?

Should this be decided unilaterally by one man?

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Poems

And the People Stayed Home
by Kitty O'Meara

And the people stayed home. 
And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, 
and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, 
and were still. 

And listened more deeply. 
Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. 
Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. 
And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, 
mindless, and heartless ways, 
the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, 
and the people joined together again, 
they grieved their losses, 
and made new choices, 
and dreamed new images, 
and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, 
as they had been healed.

Pandemic
by Lynn Ungar

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath —
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love —
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

Big Picture

Big Picture / Human Life / Human Diseases / Coronavirus

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

Good Books

           

Poverty & Income Inequality

Poverty & Income Inequality

Big Questions

What happens when you give basic income to the poor?

Should the mega-wealthy commit to reducing the destructive effects of economic inequality?

Should the Federal Minimum Wage be increased to $15/hour?

Is eviction an epidemic in the U.S.?

Why are so many Americans afraid/against socialism?

What is the lesser of evils?

  • Socialism‘s potential to narrow our staggering worldwide economic inequality?
  • Capitalism‘s potential to create jobs and lift people out of poverty? or,
  • A Hybrid’s potential to balance and blend the best features of both economic systems?

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Big Picture

Big Picture / Human Society / Social Organization & Change / Poverty

Income inequality

One Percent

Supreme Court

           

Games, Gaming, Play

Games, Gaming, Play

Men do not quit playing because they grow old;
they grow old because they quit playing.

Holmes

Big Questions

Oculus 2

What happened to free play?

Tennis anyone? > roof top tennis with Federer

Has the social, emotional, and intellectual value of online games been confirmed during this period of virus isolation?

When it comes to Virtual Reality’s impact on kids, how long is too long? How young is too young?

  • Are kids now officially citizens of a dual world, real and virtual?
  • In time, which one will they like better?
  • How will it change things for the better and/or the worse?
  • How will it change how kids relate to pre-Internet elders?
  • Overall, will this be a “better” world?

Protect the children from the unintended consequences.

Can a handicapped person break free of their chains of disability in a virtual world?

Is gaming addiction to Fortnite at epidemic proportions?

Do violent games contribute to youth violence?

On Being Outside

Your best experts are anybody over 50 because we literally grew up being outside and have now lived through a transition period and observed the differences between our generation and today’s.

There is nothing that replenishes and repairs the soul like being outside and connected with weather, nature’s green, earth’s blue sky, the sun’s warm glow, fresh air, randomness, and serendipity. Outside for us old-schoolers was a giant playground, stage, and fablab for creating things and making up play and games as you go. We could hardly wait to run out the front door of school and be with our friends and be FREE! It was always sad to have to go back inside.

Unfortunately, the awareness of this special gift is slipping away with each internet minute.

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Big Picture

Big Picture / Human Society / Social Groups / Games & Gaming

Games and Play

Gaming

Virtual Reality

Gambling

Good Books

         

Big Questions

Big Questions

Scott Pickard / Top Tens / Questions

Dystrumpia Rising

Are the Proud Boys Trump’s Brownshirts?

Are the Joint Chiefs of Staff going to stand up and insure to the American people that there will be a peaceful transition of power to the rightly-elected 2020 presidential candidate?

Are the thieves of the world uniting? Why would they?

Is the threat of extremism rising in the United States, and is the White House listening?

Is Trump the Chosen One?

Can you believe what you read, see, and hear?

Do you have to approve of the character of a leader, artist, and athlete, to support and accept the product of their talent?

Is Russian democracy a farce?

What can a civil society do to fight the racism and injustice of Dystrumpia?

Why have Republican leaders abandoned their principles in support of an immoral and dangerous president?

Why would you support a religious community that constantly tries to deride and diminish your humanity?

Are science fiction’s themes of a Dystopian Society disturbingly visible in today’s world?

War and Military

How many nuclear warheads exist in the world?

What everyday horrors of our world will our descendants look back on with disgust?

As the decades pass by and our memories fade, if we cannot remember the past are we condemned to repeat it?

Has the disruption of the military by COVID-19 pushed the military towards more autonomous force projection across all of its strategic platforms? Are machines now more reliable then humans?

Does the U.S. need such a large and expensive military?

Coronavirus

What could go wrong with self-spreading vaccines?

Has Trump’s misleading lies about the coronavirus resulted in reckless homicide?

Who will get the vaccine and in what order?

What wasn’t the U.S. prepared? Why did world leaders fail to work together to prevent the spread of Covid-19?

Is American Exceptionalism working against us in these times?

What will be the long-term socio-economic impacts from the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic?

When can America go back to work and school?

Are we ready for medical rationing and its unintended consequences?

After decades of decreased funding and demonization of the federal bureaucracy, has the coronavirus crisis exposed the tragic ineffectiveness of federal leadership at a most critical moment when we need it?

Matter, Energy, Universe

How do we have a civil and productive discussion with the anti-science community that brings us closer together?

What is the lowest level machine code for how our universe works? (Wolfram)

Is renewable energy essentially a shill for the fossil fuel, mining, and heavy industries?

Racism, Prejudice, Poverty and Income Inequality

Has the pandemic delayed if not killed the American Dream?

For over 400 years, why have white Christians and the Church not stood up against genocide of indigenous peoples, slavery, and racism?

How do we battle racism without harming or killing peaceful and innocent protesters, and, well-meaning police trying to keep the peace?

Should CEOs (the 1%) earn more than 1,000 times the median salary of their employees?

What happens when you give basic income to the poor?

Is racism predominantly instinctive (nature) or learned (nuture)?

Does the Canadian healthcare model give us a feasible and sustainable road map to medicare for all?

Is rural resentment of liberal elites dividing America against itself?

Should the mega-wealthy commit to reducing the destructive effects of economic inequality?

Existential Risks

Is protecting humanity’s future from existential risks the central challenge of our time? If so, what good do warships, warplanes, 14,000+ nuclear bombs, space force, infantry, commando teams, tanks, and aircraft carriers accomplish against

  • lethal pandemics
  • rising tides
  • burning forests
  • poverty and income inequality, and
  • animal, insect and plant extinction?

How are we destroying the planet? How will we save it?

What are the biggest long-term risks to the global economy?

Artificial Intelligence

What are the long-term social implications of Artificial Intelligence?

Virtual Reality

When it comes to Virtual Reality’s impact on kids, how long is too long? How young is too young?

Are kids now officially citizens of a dual world, real and virtual?

Has this forced online family distance-learning experience during the self-quarantining COVID-19 crisis confirmed the importance of brick-and-mortar schools for kids?

But at the same time has the social, emotional, and intellectual value of online games been confirmed during this period of virus isolation?

Rule of Law

Has Donald Trump replaced Joe McCarthy as the most dangerous demagogue in American history?

I have a question for Attorney General William Barr: Are you, your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and American citizens in general, part of “the mob“? If not, who decides who is in the mob and on what basis? You and you alone? Could we chat about this over a cup of coffee?

Is white collar crime is far more dangerous than violent street crime?

Is defunding police a cost-effective, feasible alternative to reforming within the existing policing system and culture?

How do we balance “self-defense vs. nonviolence, black power vs. civil rights” to achieve justice and equality for all Americans in a peaceful and secure way?

Is there a pattern of un-justice at the Justice Department these days, where criminal judgments always tilt in favor of political allies?

Sports

What is a hero?

Is the purity of sports being poisoned by

  • technology (AI, surveillance, wireless)
  • the values/corruption in our increasingly uncivil society, and
  • gambling and corruption?

Artificial Intelligence & Robotics

Artificial Intelligence & Robotics

Where will all the workers go?

I think of robotics as the application of artificial intelligence (software) to the creation of a physical robot that solves a problem and/or completes a task(s) in the most efficient way possible. But for the survivability of our species as we rush to create robots of every conceivable kind and flood the zone with venture capital, we had better put as much thought and investment into what robots can’t and will never do so we can figure out the new jobs of the future for the millions of workers displaced by ai/robotics.

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Big Questions

What are the long-term social implications of AI?

Is it feasible to develop a robot tax to fund the social costs of dealing with AI-driven unemployment?

Can AI and robotics safely transform the medical industry?

Big Picture

Big Picture / Technology / Information Processing & Communication Systems / AI & Robotics

Artificial Intelligence

  • Books: We are not scanning all those books to be read by people. We are scanning them to be read by artificial intelligence. — Google engineer
    • Analytics of Life
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Human Compatible
    • Rebooting AI: Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust
    • Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future
    • The AI Economy
    • The Fourth Age
    • The Future of the Professions
    • The Future of Work: Robots, AI, and Automation
    • The Second Machine Age
    • The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology
  • Ethics

Robotics