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  • #46
    Originally posted by plunger View Post
    ... There is a huge inequality in my country, one of the highest if not the highest in the world.The majority live in shacks and have no running water etc.
    I witnessed this in 1995 when I visited Durban from 25 March to 15 April. I was on an around-the-world backpacking trip, and I stayed with Peter Utting, my former NZ Ministry of Works boss. He had moved to South Africa several years before my visit, to take up a professorship of civil engineering at the University of Natal. He lived in a Victorian house near the university, with two huge dogs, and a housekeeper named Phumzili who lived in a small shack in the garden. As she swept the patio she sang songs in Xhosa, with click sounds. Most of her wages went to support a large family living in a nearby township.
    Peter's marriage had recently failed, but his wife had left a large library of books. There I found My Traitor's Heart, by Rian Malan, and learned much about the struggle to end apartheid.

    I took a five day leave and traveled to the Drakensberg Mountains. I wanted to see an eland in the wild. My first night at the park was in a stone hut with only a candle for illumination. I woke at dawn to a chattering troop of baboons (four adults and six young) shuffling across my yard. "I'm really in Africa now," I muttered with a sense of awe. Later, I saw three secretary birds crossing the road.

    On another sojourn I drove a rental car to Hluhluwe, a nature preserve near the border with Mozambique. I then drove south across Zululand. I picked up a well-dressed university student who was heading to Umpengeni, dropped her off at Mtubutubu. She tried to pay me R10, politely saying it was an honour to meet an American. The honour was all mine, I told her.

    My trip diary is filled with wonderful encounters with fine people (including a pair of SAP who gave me a lift to a trailhead when hitch-hiking proved impossible). They told me that during the troubles, the live expectancy in certain divisions of the force was measured in weeks.

    I think that was an optimistic year, the first of Nelson Mandela's presidency. I'd love to go back. Here is a photo I took near Estcourt.

    Click image for larger version

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    Allan Ostling

    Phoenix, Arizona

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    • #47
      Originally posted by MattiJ View Post
      Lately they still run around 10000 test per day and get only about 100 new cases. US runs 50k tests daily and 10k is positive. Korean coverage is really good with those numbers and US coverage is not even enough for guessing.
      My thought was it could be the iceberg model, most of the infected cases unkown and unreported and until that is dispelled, we don't know what the denominator is. 10,000 per day hurts but doesn't kill that argument and adds credibility to numbers . While I have very little faith in so called leadership here, I do not eschew the experts. I do usually need to understand to buy in and explaining is something they're not doing much off when it seems clear they are not conducting tests that would create a solid statistical argument.

      I also believe that its foolhardy to ether dismiss the public health issues or the economics. We want both and there has to be a balance - i.e. as awful as it sounds, we are collectively ok with 45,000 deaths as a cost to gain the benefit and convenience of the car. I hope the right balance is struck with this as the economic fall out could be equally or more catastrophic than the virus. I know there many dismissal nutbars, I'm not one of them, but otoh I have such low regard for our politicians I do not trust that they are all motivated by striking the right balance vs how they think they are being perceived. Just my ingrained cynicism toward these clowns as they trip over themselves in energetic spurts of self righteousness.

      Our provincial government, slightly right of centre, announced a two week shut down. Shut down, what shut down? Here's the list of essential businesses.... https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/...orkplaces.html ....seems like everything is essential except maybe some retail, a great deal of which is already closed. Rats, wont be able to get the nails done. Anything industrial, mining, construction, distribution, finance, insurance and of course booze is deemed essential. I actually thought a complete shut down would be a good thing, confidence is after all a pillar of an economy and its the part that has been destroyed. I may have to shut down anyway as everyone runs scared and cancels orders (a man made disaster looms). Yet this list makes it largely business as usual, except with no confidence there's no orders. What a mess.
      Last edited by Mcgyver; 03-24-2020, 10:53 AM.
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      • #48
        I think it is all dumb. Let everyone get it, whoever dies dies, whoever lives lives, get on with life. Survival of the fittest.
        Andy

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post

          .I do not eschew the experts. ....

          I also believe that its foolhardy to ether dismiss the public health issues or the economics. We want both and there has to be a balance - i.e. we are collectively ok with 45,000 deaths as a cost of the benefit and convenience of the car for example. I hope the right balance is struck with this as the economic fall out could be equally or more catastrophic. I know there many dismissal nutbars, I'm not one of them, but otoh I have such low regard for our politicians I do not trust that they are all motivated by striking the right balance vs how they think they are being perceived. Just my ingrained cynicism toward these clowns as the trip over themselves in spurts of self righteousness.
          ....What a mess.
          A few thoughts here. I've heard the car accident analogy. There are a few problems with this though.
          Generally people who are involved in car accidents don't all happen at once. The health care system has been designed around averages, not extremes. This is an extreme situation that has shown to overrun health care in areas where the virus has been exceptionally virulent. I would also suspect that most car crashes result in rather immediate deaths for the most part. So it's like getting huge order, to be delivered immediately in your business that you don't have capacity for. The problem with service based stuff is unfortunately we can't inventory health care to deal with surges in demand. And apparently* it is too costly to build a health care system for high demand situations.
          * It seems to be that we now have what it costs when a health care system isn’t build for high demand situations. If all the governments of the world poured even a fraction of the money that this is costing now into the system beforehand I think generally we could have navigated the situation much easier. But humans like to kick the can down the road as usual.

          My second group of thoughts revolve around when it comes to a pandemic / epidemic it is expected that generally physicians are in control. They are in control because in reality we have not dealt with this sort of situation in a very long time. Aside from the Spanish flu in 1918, (and most people are long gone who would remember that), we have had a very long period free of serious disease. Governments generally they don’t have epidemic experts (like the mathematician types) as part of their staff. Most epidemic experts that governments have on staff are also doctors. All physics take the Hippocratic oath. Do no harm. Most physicians I know are good folks who take that oath very seriously. Doctors understand common good but their oath protects individuals. Hence they are very risk adverse. And I doubt very seriously will you hear any physician advocating to just let the disease burn out. It goes against everything they stand for. Most people trust doctors. Doctors say this is serious. Most people do not trust politicians. If politicians come out saying “this isn’t a big deal” and they also read doctors saying “it’s really bad here, people are dying and we can’t treat them” the general public won’t buy the argument from the politicians.
          We saw that play out before our eyes in the UK. At first they were going to go with herd immunity. The public finds out and the uproar starts. Now we are in a lock down.
          I do respect doctors and greatly value their seriousness when it comes to the Hippocratic oath.
          I don’t know what the right answer is here other than I don’t think we did a very good job preparing for the situation. The tragic lesson in all this is time and time again preventative maintenance comes out ahead.
          www.thecogwheel.net

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          • #50
            I didn't mean for the analogy as a direct comparison of the mechanism of the calamity, they're all different. As distasteful as the topic is, the car accident numbers is just offered as an obvious reminder that there is going to be acceptable (based on the collective) human loss in exchange for economic and other benefits. There is a real public health cost do doing nothing and a real economic cost to doing too much. We don't want millions dying but would you want to live in the Sudan if there was no Covid 19 there? Fundamentally the difference between here and there is our economic output, destroy that and watch things unravel. What's the right balance? I don't know, my bandwidth is used up to run my own show but the devil is in the details. I just have about zero confidence in politicians to get the details and balance things properly.
            Last edited by Mcgyver; 03-24-2020, 09:53 AM.
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            • #51
              Auto accidents are also in significant part, avoidable. Drunk driving causes a goodly number, just to start with. Getting sick does not require stupid behavior on your part.

              Thing is, you can't just forbid millions from earning money, and then cut them loose, ignore them getting their stuff stacked out at the curb by the landlord, or them robbing banks and people in order to buy food (or just mobbing the stores).

              And it does not help much to say "it's your own fault for not saving any money". They had the deck stacked against them to begin with, and you are just making it worse, with no way out.

              If "we", represented by the government we elected, want people to stay home and not work, in order to save our butts from getting sick all at once, then we are under an obligation to help them eat and keep their residence. Otherwise, it is the same old thing.... "WE want to save OUR butts, and have YOU sacrifice and pay for it."

              You have to help those folks, and hang the %$#@! who squall about "socialism" as a reason not to help them.
              1601

              Keep eye on ball.
              Hashim Khan

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              • #52
                Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

                And it does not help much to say "it's your own fault for not saving any money". They had the deck stacked against them to begin with, and you are just making it worse, with no way out.

                You have to help those folks, and hang the %$#@! who squall about "socialism" as a reason not to help them.
                AMEN. As usual JTiers nails it. Its all about whose big fat ox is getting gored.
                And not just retail and resturaunt workers: what about the rust belt trades people?
                40 years of getting screwed into the ground is not their fault.
                It wasn't me who made my college tuition go up 3x faster than inflation.
                It wasn't me who made administrative overhead go up 5x faster than inflation.
                It wasn't me who flatlined wages since Jimmy Carter.

                What am I supposed to save if there isn't anything *to* save?
                None of the people who scream about "socialism" have had to live with the results of their policies
                like living on $12 an hour since 1996. In spite of going to school, and working your azz off,
                and moving across the country twice.

                I have. If this "socialism" is what it takes
                so that I can finally get what I have coming to me, in my 50's,
                then thats what it takes.

                I'm sick and tired of spending my life being ripped off by those
                whose companies are worth triple digit millions while being told its my problem.

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                • #53
                  In the great depression here in the U.S., our Grandparents and G-Grandparents were for the most part frugal and they would put their dreams of purchases on hold until they had the money in hand. This was called lay-away purchasing, which has gone by the wayside in this age of indebtedness in our personal finances.

                  I really feel sorry for folks that have mortgages and accumulated huge student loan debts or other debts, and now find themselves out of work. The back payments will all come due at some point in the future.

                  I see that as a large distinction between the early 1930's and today: the financial debts that will have a strong negative impact on many people for decades. I was raised to save and not buy something until I could pay for it. I don't have a new boat or car or home, but what I have has been paid for.

                  Just saying....

                  Dan
                  Salem, Oregon

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                  • #54
                    In the 30s, most people had something expensive they had to buy on a regular basis, and I do not mean food.

                    The rent came due every month. Buying a continuing place to live.

                    Fewer people rent now, and there are fewer places TO rent. And rent has gotten very expensive. The alternative is living in the park until you get rousted.

                    BTW, same old story 150 years ago... pay was equal to about 90% to 95% of what you needed to live and feed your family, more-or-less by design. People in the "working class" often could not save anything, and got evicted regularly, only to move on and go through it again. And that was in THE first world country of the time, the UK.
                    1601

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

                    Comment


                    • #55


                      I don't think the "Shelter at Home" program is working like they thought it should. This is a video from my driveway. I was astounded by how much traffic is flowing down this quiet neighborhood street. I counted more than 65 cars and people. It's only 55 seconds long.
                      Last edited by danlb; 03-24-2020, 08:38 PM.
                      At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

                      Location: SF East Bay.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by danlb View Post


                        This is a video from my driveway. I was astounded by how much traffic is flowing down this quiet neighborhood street. I counted more than 65 cars and people. It's only 55 seconds long.
                        It doesn't look like a 1 frame/sec video as you claim. None of the people appear in multiple frames. At a walking pace it should take about ten seconds to get across the field of view. What gives?
                        Allan Ostling

                        Phoenix, Arizona

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by boslab View Post
                          Seems vitamin D is crucial to survival, somthing to do with epithelial cells and so on, either way chucking a few down your neck daily isn’t a big ask, we’re all short of it in the U.K., it’s practically continuously raining where I live so sunshine is out of the question.
                          was it not Abraham Lincoln who said , lies damd lies and statistics, sounds right.
                          mark
                          Go easy on the vitamin D3. The report below seems to be saying "slow and easy" rather than boost.
                          https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/356/bmj.i6583.full.pdf

                          I normally take zero pills; but after reading the report I got a bottle and have been taking one every second day. Figure that is enough addition "above normal" for me.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by aostling View Post

                            It doesn't look like a 1 frame/sec video as you claim. None of the people appear in multiple frames. At a walking pace it should take about ten seconds to get across the field of view. What gives?
                            take a look at the way the shadow of the house moves. more like 30 min or more of time , perhaps considerably longer.

                            But Dan only said it was 55 seconds long, not that it covered 55 seconds elapsed time. There was no claim of total elapsed "real time"
                            1601

                            Keep eye on ball.
                            Hashim Khan

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by aostling View Post

                              It doesn't look like a 1 frame/sec video as you claim. None of the people appear in multiple frames. At a walking pace it should take about ten seconds to get across the field of view. What gives?
                              Sorry, My bad. It was a 3 hour period, from about 10 am to 1 pm. The camera takes a single frame when movement is detected. I merged it into a video format with just enough time between scenes to leave an impression. I said that on the youtube page but forgot to say that here.
                              At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

                              Location: SF East Bay.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by danlb View Post

                                Sorry, My bad. It was a 3 hour period, from about 10 am to 1 pm. ...
                                A car every 3 minutes or so. That's a lot or not so many depending upon how many there usually are.

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