Archive for December, 2021

Being a pro-vaxer

Monday, December 13th, 2021

So, many might wonder why I, who am so openly critical of the USA’s healthcare system, am so strongly pro the COVID vax.

The first and most obvious reason is most of the time doctors have no skin in the game. They don’t have to cure you to get paid. They can charge anything they want for fixing nothing, and as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, over and over and over they do exactly that. The only time I’ve seen doctors do a consistently good job is on things like heart surgery where if they don’t do it, the patient dies and they don’t get paid.

However, in the case of the COVID vax, they very *much* have skin in the game. This is their *lives*, and the lives of their friends, which are at risk. As such, I believe they did the best job they could with the vaccine.

Not only that, but vaccine technology is a international thing, and most of Europe has dramatically better healthcare than we do. (Hell, Cuba has better healthcare than we do). Because it’s a international effort, I also believe that it is trustworthy. While one country might suppress data, it is very difficult to believe that the entire world would do so or would even have a reason to do so.

So, despite my criticisms of the US healthcare system, I believe that the vaccine is 99.997% safe, is a better gamble than getting the virus without the protection of the vaccinate, and is something everyone who has the option (obviously some immunocompromised and currently under treatment for cancer do not) should do. We have seen independent reporting by many newspapers in many different parts of the country and even the world showing a average of a 7-1 ratio of non-vaccinated to vaccinated in the hospital. The vaccine is not *perfect* – I know of several cases where people (usually in their 80s, to be fair) have died after taking it. But it still increases your odds a *lot*, and, after all, the tab is being picked up by uncle sam.

Gratitude and anger

Saturday, December 11th, 2021

So, I recently decided to take another facebreak – possibly because I ran into one person telling me there “wasn’t a pandemic any more LOL” and another saying that the USA should do anything it can to win wars with a minimum of casualties on our side, and who cares how many people on their side we kill (I think I talked elsewhere earlier about how dumb a position this is, but most libertarians haven’t really grown up yet so it’s not a surprising position for them to take. I love the meme going around comparing libertarians to house cats – convinced of their independence while having no understanding or appreciation of the system which permits their continued existence.)

Anyway, I have noticed that facebook is supremely good at not showing me the posts I’d *want* to see and instead showing me the posts that make me angry. I really don’t like feeling anger, and yet at the same time I have a hard time disengaging from it – the software they are running to ensure engagement is very, very good at it’s job. And a very awful thing. I do think if I were king I would declare that Zuck had to open the breakers and probably spend the rest of his life doing community service in exchange for the damage he has done. And yet, I keep getting sucked back into it.

Part of it is the illusion..a nd I’m convinced at this point that it *is* a illusion.. that facebook can help further my music career. It seems extremely unlikely – the engagement engine is never going to find my music compelling – in a recent post of a new song, I think *one person* saw it. If I pay for engagement, they’re going to deliberately show it to people who won’t like it, because that way they both get my money and get what they’re trying to provoke – anger and discontent, because that keeps people online and arguing more.

With that said, whilest I am on facebreak (I drop a zone file on my name server that redirects facebook to – undoing that is enough work that generally it stops me from going back on until I have real valid reason like a new song to post) I am going to try to spend a little more time thinking about gratitude. My friend Andy wants to build a whole social network built around the idea of gratitude but of course there’s no VC money for that – among other things, a healthy social network woudl generally encourage you to get offline and go do something that is likely to be more rewarding, and this doesn’t exactly bring in the advertising dollars.

However, I was pondering the other day about how I eat too quickly, and about how I should be more grateful for the astonishing array of tasty nibbles available to me every day. I do think that insofar as we clearly have a subconscious mind, thinking about things we’re grateful for probably helps clue our subconscious mind (which isn’t necessarily aware of the state of the entire system, see elsewhere in this blog for more about that) into the things our conscious mind would like to experience. So I’m going to try to keep some notes in my personal wiki about what I’m grateful for, and I’m acknowledging that I should have more gratitude than I do.