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A Swede in Germany

Archive for October 2021

Tax filings for 2020 / The German IRS and Elster (again)

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And again fucking, unusable Elster!

Among the problems encountered:

  1. I began the process in (likely) July, by creating the needed documents and making some preliminary entries. With one thing and another, the rest of the job had to wait, which should have be no problem in light of a COVID-related and blanket three-month extension of the deadlines.

    But no: A few months later, I received emails that some of these documents would now be automatically deleted by Elster, because they had gone unedited for too long. I wrote back and forbade this deletion, while pointing out that this was an inexcusable act of user hostility. (Even by the standards of Elster and the German “IRS”.) I note that there is no advantage to such a deletion, but potentially enormous disadvantages.

    They were deleted nevertheless.

  2. The field for messages to the IRS still (!) does not take line-breaks.
  3. That I had added such a message brought Elster into a destructive loop, where (the German version of) “check document” led to a semi-error page that pointed out that I had left such a message (and why?!?!), which repeated again and again on subsequent attempts. The document was still sendable, but this broke the apparently preferred-by-the-IRS workflow of check-and-send-from-the-results-page. (Cf. an older text for these absurdities.)
  4. The “check document” for the main document originally failed on the claim that I needed to indicate whether I had received COVID support—even when I had not. There was no obvious field for this anywhere, there was no indication of help on how to do this, and only an internet search revealed that I needed to add an entire new attachment to the document, which then contained two fields, one for yes/no on whether I had received help, and another for the amount for those who had.
  5. Generally, “check document” is extraordinarily incompetent at indicating where an error (real or imagined by Elster) is located and makes odd jumps. (And there is not or only rarely a visual indication which fields are mandatory in advance.) For instance, in the EÜR document, there are two fields that seemed irrelevant to me, but where “check document” insisted on an entry. I made one entry (indicating 0) and clicked the confirmation button for that entry. Now, I obviously wanted to continue with the second field, which was immediately below the first. But no: Elster took me back to “check document”, forcing me to go back and find the relevant field again.
  6. Did I mention that mandatory fields are usually not marked as mandatory? (Yes, I did.)
  7. I copied a calculated-by-Elster value from one document to another (and why is this not handled automatically?!?), because this value was needed as an input in the second document. The output value contained both a thousand separator and decimal places (and a decimal separator). The input field required a value in whole Euro (no decimal places) and could not cope with the thousand separator, giving me two separate error messages.
  8. A great help in filling out the EÜR could have been pre-filled fields based on last year (which works well with the other documents, where the advantage is lesser), so that I could e.g. see where I had put postage and where train rides and where this-and-that. Specifically in the EÜR, this does not seem to work, however, as only trivial fields (like name and identifiers) are filled out. Then it is down to guesswork or Internet searches to find the right fields.

And to this a few things I might have forgotten, the great many problems discussed in earlier entries, the incomprehensible German tax system, …

Fucking amateurs!

Written by michaeleriksson

October 29, 2021 at 10:35 am

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Thoughts on “How I Met Your Mother”

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Next on my list of diversions from construction noise (cf. [1], [2]) is “How I Met Your Mother”. (Unfortunately, very incompletely and often in the wrong season order, because I have trouble finding the various DVDs.)

I have only seen the last season once—and this will remain so (irrespective of what DVDs I do find). Why? It was one of the most ill-conceived in TV history, breaking with the original format, bringing little new value in return, failing to truly let the viewers get to know the “mother”,* and, ultimately, shitting on the eight preceding seasons. These, from a romantic point of view, dealt with three main constellations: the long-standing Marshall–Lily relationship, the long and twisted road of the Barney–Robin relationship, and Ted’s search for the “mother”. What happens in the last season, where we should see the completion and happily-ever-after** of the two*** latter? Barney and Robin fall apart and “mother” dies, in order to bring the horrible constellation of Ted and Robin together …

*Which might otherwise have been a saving grace. Note that she has no true presence in the previous seasons, as more or less mandated by the idea of the show.

**Something typically assumable of a work of fiction, no matter how much tougher real life is.

***The first constellation already being at that stage.

Here, I strongly suspect a radically different problem than with most other TV series (but I possess no insider knowledge): The show makers began with a certain idea for how the show should end and stubbornly stuck with that idea, even after better developments presented themselves and/or that end proved ill-advised.

Ted and Robin simply did not have any chemistry, did not work well together, and seemed to crash and burn every time that they were in a relationship. In many ways, Robin might have been a mere fix and bad idea of Ted’s (in universe; a fix and bad idea of the makers in the real world), and a realistic (!) continuation of the series past the last season would likely just have shown them crash and burn for the umpteenth time. Compare this with his long-standing search for “the one” or his obsession with the “slutty pumpkin”, who turned out to be an even worse fit than Robin, once he found her again—and, yes, this involved another (see below) extremely premature “I love you”.

As much as I dislike Rachel (of “Friends”), her long romance with Ross was a case of two persons with a genuine long-term love and attraction, where I had the impression that they naturally were drawn together, while the makers continually intervened to push them apart in order to keep the “will they/won’t they” going.* Ditto Robin and Barney, who seemed right for each other, even when they screwed up. With Robin and Ted, I always had the opposite impression, that the characters were naturally repelling each other, but that the makers kept pushing them back together, no matter how bad a match they were.

*Wisely: most series tend to lose when this type of tension between main characters is removed, e.g. because they marry half-way through the series.

Look at the first season alone: Robin is immediately introduced as a romantic interest for Ted (indeed, with a mislead that she was the “mother”), there is an elaborate story with e.g. the stealing of a blue horn and an extremely premature “I love you”, but no actual sparks. In contrast, Ted and Victoria showed more sparks within their first episode than Ted and Robin did over the entire series. Similarly, there is one episode, of a mostly unromantic nature, where Robin plays the wingman to Barney—and the two just click in such a manner that I wanted more of them together and saw them as a great romantic match. (Probably, several seasons before their romance actually began, but the writing, in a positive sense, was already on the wall.)

Indeed, if the road of mother-is-dead-and-Ted-goes-for-some-old-crush is taken, Robin would not make the top-3, maybe* not even top-5, of my candidates.

*This will depend a little on seasons that I have not yet re-watched.

From another perspective, I have some troubles seeing any of Ted’s romances as the truly true thing, because, looking at the series as a whole, he seems to be more in love with the idea of love and romance than with the respective other party. (In this, he parallels a younger me, but I grew out of it in my twenties—Ted appears never to have done so, not even in the future of 2030, when he must be above 50.)

The fact that Ted and his actor (Josh Radnor) come across as extremely fake and “douchy”, especially in the first season, does not help—a constant and obviously fake smile, and arms spread out as were he about to wrestle the person in front of him. Barney might have been a scumbag in some ways, even criminal ways, but he somehow managed to be sympathetic* (not to mention entertaining). Ted? Not so much. In this, he is one of the few cases where I look back at a series and am open to another casting choice leading to a better series.** With many other series, I do not just have trouble seeing a better choice, but am left with the feeling that any other choice would not have been, say, Ross, Rachel, Joey, …—or, indeed, Barney***.**** Ted? Again, not so much.

*At least, from the perspective of a TV viewer. I do not guarantee that I would have the same sympathy if I met him in real life. (Similarly, it is often possible to sympathize even with some Mafia members in a movie, even in light of behavior that would be intolerable in real life.)

**Other examples include “JD” on “Scrubs” and both the main characters on “Psych”. Indeed, that I stopped watching “Psych” is largely rooted in the main characters. Series like that are often carried by high-quality secondary characters, e.g. Dr. Cox, Dr. Kelso, and the (unnamed) janitor on “Scrubs”—those cast with actors too old or unattractive to play the hip youngsters or young hipsters, but who have greater acting skills.

***My feelings for the other three main characters is half-way between these positions. I would be against a time-travel-and-recast scenario, but I am not so set on these specific actors that I would see another (quality) casting choice as a major blow.

****This phenomenon likely largely results from a mixture of exposure (I am simply used to seeing X played by Y) and the natural influence of the actor on the character (others might have done an equally good job, but the character would have been someone different, just like, say, two brothers are not carbon copies). However, series that are highly successful (and, therefore, more likely to have been seen by me) are typically of highly over-average casting, with the implication that replacing an important actor with a semi-random choice would, on average, lead to an objective quality drop.

Excursion on mental health of characters:
It is often the case that sitcom characters (to a lesser degree, TV characters in general) are of dubious mental health, ranging from minor “issues” to actual visits to the loony bin.* Consider e.g. “Friends”, where Ross went through a period where I would consider him so severely disturbed that he needed professional help (manifesting in e.g. his “secret marriage” to Rachel), both Chandler and Monica carry scars from a troubled childhood, and Phoebe straddles the border between kooky and crazy. After “Friends”, “How I Met Your Mother” might be the second placer on the mental-health scale (of the sitcoms that I am familiar with), with four out of five characters clearly not being where they should be, headwise. (I am uncertain about Marshall, who might or might not be.) Pick a season of “Friends” where Ross is in better shape and “How I Met Your Mother” might even be the number one. Within the group, Ted competes with Barney for the first place among the five, through his unhealthy romantic obsessions.**

*I stress that this is not necessarily a point of criticism: characters who are off-kilter open up new roads for both humor and stories, and if mental-health issues can achieve this, I have no problems with it. (Similar effects can be achieved through e.g. great originality, as with the Addams and Munster families, or great stupidity, as with various characters from “My Name is Earl” or, of course, Joey.) Neither is it, when kept within limits, necessarily unrealistic, as some level of problems is quite common in (at least) the modern Western populations.

**Which contribute to my skepticism towards the Ted–Robin romance(s). And, no, obsessing with love or finding a partner, or with any given specific partner (especially not, when it happens with several partners), is neither healthy nor a sign of true love.

Written by michaeleriksson

October 25, 2021 at 11:29 am

Corrections to blogroll update / Nobel Prizes / COVID

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In my latest blogroll update, I mention a non-blogroll link with:

I have recently encountered one of the most interesting texts on COVID that I have read so far: It Was Always a Con: The COVID Debacle.

[…]

While this and the following claims are not necessarily incorrect, I suspect that had my mind on a different text and/or conflated these two overlapping texts into one in the time between reading and the update: https://www.juliusruechel.com/2021/09/the-snake-oil-salesmen-and-covid-zero.html.

As both texts are fairly long, I will not attempt to straighten the details out, but I recommend both and caution that what I say about the one might (or might not) be more applicable to the other.

Elsewhere in the update, I claim that the Nobel Prize in “Physiology or Medicine” had been awarded “to two Armenians”. In fact, only one of the two was Armenian.

(The texts that I have written during construction noise appear to contain more errors than usual. Reader beware …)

Written by michaeleriksson

October 16, 2021 at 8:30 am

Sabotage and criticize/abolish/whatnot

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Trying to keep myself distracted during construction noise:

I have long contemplated the possibility that some groups, especially Leftist politicians and decision makers, could follow a strategy of “sabotage and X”, where X can be “criticize”, “abolish”, “use as an excuse to get funding”, etc. Two unfortunate hitches is that plain incompetence is often a reasonable alternate explanation and that the planning horizon often would need to be decades into the future.*

*Which does not rule out after-the-fact opportunism, e.g. with nuclear power below, or with the many, many cases of governmental incompetence causing a problem that the government then tries to solve—and takes credit even for attempts that ultimately fail.

Consider the following potential examples:

  1. Recently, the nit-wits around Joe Biden have pushed through an (almost) global regulation of a 15-percent minimum corporate tax. The true reason for this is almost certainly to remove the ability for other countries to compete over tax rates—and the result will be a (further) distortion of markets and market forces, which will reduce growth and, I suspect, is more likely to hit poor countries the harder.

    In a next bonus step, capitalism* and globalization** (the two things sabotaged), or even imperialism and old colonialism, can be used as scape-goats for the lack of growth and the “inequitable” distribution of international wealth—you must vote Left, so that we noble knights of the Left can fight these problems caused by the evil capitalists on the Right (except that we on the Left are really to blame, but you stupid voters are not supposed to understand that).

    *It might be better to speak of “free markets”, here and elsewhere, but I stick with “capitalism” as this is the term typically used in Leftist attacks.

    **With some reservations for what country we discuss. In the current U.S., the Democrats might be keener on globalization than the Republicans, but in e.g. my native Sweden “globalization is evil” and “globalization exploits poor countries” have been long standing Leftist mantras. (A similar, but weaker, U.S. drift seems to apply to capitalism too.)

    Generally, most modern Western nations contain absurd market distortions that cost virtually everyone in the long term, through preventing growth and wealth creation. Some are on the international level, like the above or the EU-wide minimum VAT of 15 percent; some on the national, like overly* high minimum wages, artificial monopolies, subsidies for unprofitable businesses, etc.

    *Any minimum wage is an example, but a sufficiently low minimum wage might be acceptable in the big picture. Even the > 8 Euro German one is too high, however; and the suggested 15 (?) Dollar U.S. one is a complete insanity.

  2. COVID is a potential source of multiple examples, e.g. that the lockdowns and other countermeasures cause immense damage, which is then blamed on COVID (instead of the decision makers and their countermeasures), which is then used to argue how bad COVID is and how vital continued countermeasures are. A very good potential example, depending on future developments, is the risk that lockdowns and leaky vaccines lead to more dangerous versions of COVID, where a more relaxed approach would have led to less dangerous versions. (See [1] and an outgoing link for a little more information.)
  3. Various aptitude tests, especially for academic entry, usually profit from having a high “g loading”. This in particular when we compare with school grades as a predictor of college success, because school knowledge, literacy, and similar are already reflected in the school grades (even if less so today than in the past).

    However, again and again, there is fiddling with e.g. the U.S. SATs or the Swedish Högskoleprovet to remove unpopular (but usually fair) differences in outcome between groups. This leads to a continual lowering of the g loading, because the correlation with g is what causes most of the group differences. With the lowering of the g loading, the tests become worse predictors, and the additional predictive capability over school grades is reduced.

    But now that the additional predictive capability is reduced, the tests can safely be maligned for bringing little value, which makes it easier to abolish them. (This often combined with claims like grades being a “fairer” criterion, which is dubious even today and outright idiotic when a strongly g-loaded test is allowed.)

  4. Let us say that we do have a problem with too much greenhouse gases and whatnots. Why is that? Largely, because nuclear power has been unfairly maligned, to the point that nuclear capacity has been reduced instead of increased. Who has done the maligning? Mostly various “green” parties (notably, in Germany). Who do now, with success, cry for more votes so that they can combat the greenhouse gases? The very same “green” parties!

    (Here we see the problem of the planning horizon: This maligning has been going on since at least the 1970s, while greenhouse gases might have grown into a non-trivial topic in the 1980s or 1990s, and has only taken off as that single, all-important, nothing else matters environmental question in, possibly, the last ten years.)

Of course, this could extend into many other areas, e.g. that a company that wishes to get rid of a certain product (possibly, in favor of one with a higher markup) could drop quality artificially, so that sales numbers will decrease over time, after which the lower sales numbers can be used as an excuse.

Excursion on game theory and the Left:
A partial explanation for idiocies like e.g. a minimum 15 percent tax is that the Leftist leaders and/or their voters do not understand how a changing situation leads to changes in behavior. A common attitude seems to be that “if we raise corporate taxes, corporate profits will grow smaller, and no-one else will be hurt”. In reality, chances are that corporate profits will not change very much, while prices rise, low-level workers are replaced by automation, wage increases are held back, quality compromises are made, etc. (Of course, not all of this is negative to a Leftist politician, as e.g. reduced employment can be used as a welcome argument for why the Leftist should be re-elected, so that they can fight the unemployment they caused the last time around. From Biden’s point of view, rising prices in other countries might be a very good thing, as it would increase U.S. competitiveness relative them. Etc.)

Then again, if profits do sink, this could lead to bankruptcies or investors moving their money somewhere else, as well as a drop in the stock market. Would the country at hand and its citizens truly be better off, compared to unchanged taxes?

Excursion on trade restrictions:
Trade restrictions, as suggested by e.g. Trump, are an interesting example of market disturbances in two regards. Firstly, they are themselves such disturbances. Secondly, the many other disturbances might imply that they are a good idea in at least some situations. (But not as good an idea as removing the other disturbances!) For instance, if two countries (A and B) manufacture and trade a certain product, then (all other factors equal) the one (A) with the lower minimum wages, lower taxes, weaker unions, less pointless or excessive regulation,* whatnot, will have a competitive advantage. The industry of country A will then tend to out-compete the industry of country B, country B will need to import more, will see unemployment rise, and likely a move of e.g. manufacturing plants to country A. If country B sets up an import tax on the products in question, this might well be to the net-benefit of country B (but not country A).

*Which is not to say that all regulation is either of the two. However, such problems are very common and can be very detrimental. Interestingly, areas where more regulation might make sense are usually absent or for show, as e.g. with consumer protection and “truth in advertising”.

Excursion on global taxes and self-serving politicians:
A strongly contributing reason why so many countries have fallen for this nonsense is the self-interest of the politicians: If the tax rate was already above 15 percent, it costs them nothing to agree, while they reap the benefits of other countries weakening their competitiveness. If the tax rate was lower, they now have an excuse to raise the taxes, which politicians seem to love. (Even be it through a naive or absent understanding of economics.)

Excursion on global taxes and democracy:
This looks like a major democracy fail to me. Effectively, the current rulers of this-or-that country make a bargain, while by-passing normal democratic procedures, and knowing that they will very often get a rubber-stamp later because voiding the agreement would look bad. (Similarly, there are rumors that many governments have entered legal agreements with COVID-vaccine makers to even institute new laws, should it become necessary to protect the makers from legal risks. While I do not vouch for this being true, such actions could also subvert democracy—and an already three-quarters dead democracy at that.)

Written by michaeleriksson

October 13, 2021 at 6:47 pm

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Buffy vs. Smallville / Follow-up: Thoughts on Smallville

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After “Smallville” proved bad enough to justify an earlier text, I have turned to (among other things) “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (BTVS) to survive the construction noise.

As BTVS is one of my all-time favorite series, possibly the favorite outright, I am surprised to find my latest viewing disturbed by exactly the type of long one-on-one talks that I complain about in “Smallville”. Now, those on BTVS tend to be much better made, with far fewer of the “almost always shallow, uninsightful, repetitive, poorly written, and often consisting of more cliches than true content” problems that plagued “Smallville”, and with absolutely no Lana Lang—but, unlike on earlier watchings, I am still often annoyed and I still find myself fast-forwarding a little here-and-there.

One possible explanation for this is that “Smallville” left me hyper-sensitized and reacting more negatively than I would have done otherwise—it is often the case that something grows annoying only after a certain threshold has been exceeded and that this annoyance can remain for a long time even after this something falls back below the threshold again.* Maybe, BTVS tends to stay below that threshold, while “Smallville” was (well) above it, and the true villain is “Smallville”.

*Construction noise and disturbances between neighbors is a good example. In normal circumstances, there is a wide range of noise that simply does not register with me, or which registers but is not annoying, for instance a single slamming of a door. However, the same noise during or within several weeks of construction-noise periods or the periods of stomping orgies (cf. older texts) can make me jump out of my skin.

Then again, it could be e.g. that my taste has changed/matured over the years or that my tolerance for a low tempo, a low information density, a low whatnot has diminished over the years—that my personal threshold has changed. (My last watching of BTVS is a long while back.) Indeed, it is not unusual for me to watch something (or a slow part of it) with the speed increased by 10, 21, or more percent.*

*I use mplayer, which has convenient keyboard shortcuts for increasing (and decreasing) the speed by a factor of 1.1 (or 10 percent). Doing so twice gives 21 percent, as 1.1 x 1.1 = 1.21. Going higher than 21 is usually possible without losing understanding, but leads to severe distortions of voices and music, can diminish the “mood” of a scene, and can lead to problems if something unusually fast happens. Of course, with completely boring scenes, using far higher speeds in combination with subtitles is an easy way out.

From an entirely different point of view: Is it possible that I have been disturbed by some of these in the past, but not truly been aware of it? Excepting Spike, I have found virtually all of Buffy’s romantic interests annoying. (Including Angel, who worked much better on the spin-off “Angel”, where Buffy rarely showed.) A partial explanation for this could be all the time spent in almost Lana–Clark talks. More generally, scenes on TV/in the movies that are intended to be romantic/sexual/intimate/whatnot rarely actually are, often leaving me put off. (I might go as far as suggesting a rule of thumb: if a scene depicts two persons who are not fully dressed, the scene is empirically unlikely to contain anything worthwhile and should be cut.)

While BTVS is far superior to “Smallville”,* it is by no means perfect. For instance, I have already complained about an undue amount of story arcs**/***, and a few unfortunate developments can be added, including the overall character arc for Willow, some disputable main antagonists (the Initiative, Adam, Glory, the Trio; although the Trio might have worked, if kept as a rare comedic-relief opponent) in the later seasons, and the utterly idiotic idea to make all “potentials” into slayers in season 7—anyone with common sense would have realized that the side-effects might be a greater evil than the invasion they were intended to stop, and would have found another/better manner to resolve the situation.****

*I would go as far as claiming that “Smallville” was to some degree made in the image of BTVS. Apart from early parallels like a high-school superhero with “regular” friends fighting a monster of the week, I note the strong involvement of Rob Des Hotel & Dean Batali with both “Smallville” and the early seasons of BTVS. As is usually the case, the copy fell short of the original.

**Previously, I have used “arch[es]”. While I would still consider this the more plausible word, the standard term appears to be “arc[s]”.

***Interestingly, the first few seasons shows a use of “good” arcs that are not very intrusive and that allow a “monster of the season” to co-exist with the various “monsters of the week”. This changes for the worse as time goes on.

****This decision might ultimately be a side-effect of show-runner Joss Whedon being one of those politically naive who believe that Feminism is about showing strong women, and have swallowed the lie that “men are abusive and women must be empowered” (or similar). In this, he is similar to the naive vampire fans of the episode “Lie to me”—and just like they, he got into trouble when he encountered the real thing. This naive worldview might well have influenced other decisions during the run of the series.

Correction on “Dallas”:

In my earlier text, I spoke of “Bobby was dreaming an entire season”. This was, of course, not the case. Someone else had the dream and Bobby died in the dream. (I was never a “Dallas” viewer, and I misassociated in the information gleaned from indirect sources over the years.)

Written by michaeleriksson

October 12, 2021 at 1:58 pm

Blogroll update / Nobel Prizes / COVID

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A few days ago, I read that the 2021 Nobel laureates for “Physiology or Medicine” were soon to be announced. For a moment, my blood ran cold—it would be Fauci and the science prizes would go down the drain, just like the non-science prizes.

This fear turned out to be unfounded (for now!), but I ended up with an in-my-head text that I probably would have written down, had he won, and a strong urge to update my blogroll.

As is, it will be a blogroll update and some minor comments on other issues.

Updates:

  1. Ron Paul is added.* Ron Paul is one of the U.S. politicians whose opinions are the closest to my own, and he has been a prominent critic of much of the COVID nonsense.

    *In the UNZ incarnation. Note that his blog is widely published, and that a separate Ron Paul website is available. I base my choice on my own typical access.

    Similar statements to apply to Rand Paul, and the addition has a secondary aspect of indirectly pushing him too.

  2. UNZ’s Aggregated Newslinks is added. Here third parties can suggest news articles (and similar items) that are particular interesting, and a moderator-approved listing is provided. There tends to be at least two or three entries per day that find my own interest and/or approval (among others who do not), and this makes it a good source of news and awareness of other sites. (Indeed, I probably first found the next entry over this listing.)
  3. The Daily Sceptic is added. This is a highly informative site with alternate news on, mostly, COVID, as well as links to interesting articles in regular media. (The site originated as Lockdown Sceptics, but has been renamed in light of broadened content, with e.g. occasional articles anti-CRT.)
  4. educationrealist is removed. The blog has been on my temporary blogroll for a good long while; I intend to put the temporary blogroll on ice, for the time being; and the value provided feels insufficient to warrant a move to the permanent blogroll (this especially as his activity has dropped drastically in the last year).
  5. Philadelphia Statement is removed. Similar reasons apply.

Comments:

  1. Steve Sailer also speculates on Will the Hard Science Nobels Finally Go Woke?, but from a very different angle, based on the actual award (to two Armenians). As usual, the more interesting contents can be found in the comment section. (Sailer will never make my blogroll, with his weak reasoning and approach of quantity-over-quality, but he does attract many interesting commenters.)

    These comments include speculation that the 2020 Chemistry award (to two women; I have remarked on the rarity before) “for gene editing is conscious neglect of two males, especially Mojica and Lithuanian scientist Siksnys [spelling ‘Anglified’ for technical reasons]” and “in biology almost all Nobels now are awarded to managers, not actual discoverers or people most responsible for the biggest insights”. (The word “biology” presumably intending “Physiology or Medicine”.) I do not vouch for either being true, but these are interesting perspectives and the type of ideas that allow us to learn something new, if and when we do additional reading in the area.

  2. I have recently encountered one of the most interesting texts on COVID that I have read so far: It Was Always a Con: The COVID Debacle.

    This text goes through a large number of well-known (to the independent reader/thinker) problems with the COVID situation and pushes some interesting ideas, especially from an evolutionary perspective, where I have no more than toyed with ideas like “what if natural immunity countries like Sweden fall victim to vaccine immunity countries like Germany”. This toying of mine went more along the lines of vaccine countries allowing an extended survival of the virus variants, which could at some point invade Sweden with a particularly dangerous strain. The linked-to text goes much further, with speculation that e.g. mixtures of “leaky vaccines” (and the vaccines are indisputably leaky) and lockdowns can give more dangerous strains an enormous leg up relative a natural-immunity-no-lockdowns world.

    Indeed, I had so far assumed that COVID would go down the road of successful diseases and adapt to keep its victims more inconvenienced than threatened. The linked-to article speculates on the exact opposite—again, as a consequence of the ill advised countermeasures.

    And who needs one of those pesky immune systems, when a handful of overpriced injections per year can provide almost as good safety? (Until, that is, something sufficiently dangerous and fast working appears that the medical industry cannot provide an updated product in time.)

  3. As a partial explanation for the prior item: It is fundamental to understand that a successful disease is almost always one that does as little harm as possible to its “hosts”, while allowing the infection of new hosts. (And exceptions often include some unusual characteristic. AIDS, e.g., has an extremely long incubation time, which gives the host the opportunity to infect others over years, before the, absent medicines, deadly damage does follow.)

    The common misconception that e.g. big killer diseases would be the super-diseases has puzzled me since I was a teen: The Ebola strategy is not made for success—the common-cold strategy is.

  4. I strongly contemplated adding a few links on the absurdities around the alleged Capitol riots, where an obvious and absurd overreach against the “perpetrators” is taking place (while e.g. true terrorists of Antifa and true rioters and looters with and around the BLM movement are untouched by the law), and where a Black police officer, Mike Byrd, is getting away Scot free for killing a White woman, where he would have rotted in jail, had the standards been used that applied to Chauvin (White police officer, with a Black victim or, quite possibly, “victim”).

    For now, I will not. While there are many worthy individual articles, I know of only one sufficiently dedicated source for a blogroll entry (American Gulag)—and my visits to this specific site have been far too superficial to allow me a recommendation in good conscience.

    Nevertheless, I cannot stress enough how grotesque the situation is, how the law is increasingly becoming just a political tool for the oppression of those who do not bow to the Left (and increasingly far or very far Left, at that).

Written by michaeleriksson

October 5, 2021 at 6:33 pm