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ARE YOU STOICAL ABOUT RESTRICTIONS?

Seneca (d.65 AD) a Roman stoic philosopher had answers for these questions:

Do you have to obey?

When a dog is tied to a cart, if it wants to follow, it is pulled and follows, making its spontaneous act coincide with necessity. But if the dog does not follow, it will be compelled in any case.

Do you obey graciously?
It is not possible that any evil can befall a good man, unperturbed and serene he turns to meet every sally, all adversity he regards as exercise, a test, not punishment. Adversity is exercise. It matters not what you bear, but how you bear it.

Is your hurt and suffering imaginary?  
We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.

A stoical population would be relatively compliant to govern, compared with those holding libertarian beliefs, such as Ayn Rand’s. Seneca’s approach would be less anxiety-inducing, until government becomes oppressive and totalitarian.

My writing on Covid 19 and Government is at https://martinknox.com

PANDEMIC DYNAMICS NOT UNDERSTOOD

The coronavirus organism is keeping humans guessing at the microscopic, medical treatment and political levels. Could its behaviour be complex, are situations diverse, or is detection and recording of its presence variable, local, partial and haphazard? Is it possible that behaviour is random, unpredictable, unrepeated, invisible and baffling scientists?
Manifestation could be determined by a stochastic algorithm of processes that is constantly changing and beyond analysis. No-one has the full picture. Is it asking too much that scientists should collaborate? After 6 months, pandemic control is still uncertain, without any definite prospect of a vaccine or any other treatment.
This was once the situation with AIDS, so there is hope.
No-one seems to be interpreting a global data set with authority beyond generic cautionary advice at an unprecedented large scale of economic impact, with catastrophic impacts. Normal scientific caution in establishing causes is being widely interpreted as epistemological deficiency. The causality vacuum is permitting growth of political authority and totalitarian rule.
http://www.martinknox.wordpress.com/news

OPPOSING COVID-19 WITH OBEDIENCE

Response to the current crisis has been actioned mainly by authoritarian governments.

Authority requires people to obey, when they could transmit the disease to others by following their own beliefs. The disadvantage is for people who are compelled against their beliefs, who perceive evidence, inconvenience and reasons to take an opposed view.

Suppose a person is considering a COVID-19 edict about isolation, social distancing, work closure, or restrained shopping. When rules are definite and obedience is sanctioned by law, they might consider choosing one of 4 possible alternatives.

 

MAJORITY

PERSON
OBEY DISOBEY
OBEY 1-Conformist 3-Maverick
DISOBEY 2-Prototype 4-Matthew Effect

What are the social corollaries of these choices?

1-Conforming will pay off if the ruling is correct. Choice of dominant leadership by the majority is usual in a crisis but might be rejected as fascism when less urgent.

2-The protoype obeys when others don’t. Self-sacrifice could be involved and martyrdom is unlikely to change the outcome. Machiavelli might have recognised it as the worst choice.

3-A maverick disobeys, benefits from the majority’s obedience and pleases himself. He could be worsening the situation for the others. It is a selfish strategy, one that Machiavelli might have recognised as his best choice.

4-The Matthew Effect is going with the majority. The advantage is to hide in the crowd from rulers and from blame.

This simple analysis has been intended to describe choices that matter to everyone. Sled dogs must pull in the same direction.

http://www.martinknox.wordpress.com

 

HOW DO WE EVALUATE ACTION ON CLIMATE EFFECTS?

 

  1. Collect unbiased observations of temperature, sea level and effects of extreme events over many years.
  2. Analyse climate data impartially to detect trends and all potential causes.
  3. Identify worst consequences of effects for people, fauna and flora.
  4. Consider most likely cause(s) of worst effects.
  5. Select verified mitigating and preventative actions.
  6. Obtain agreements and funding.

ALTERNATIVE METHOD

Skip steps 1-6, vilify benign CO2 emissions, exhaust supplies CH4, sabotage Australia’s coal industry, deplete scarce World oil, exact payments from electricity users, install renewable energy technologies that cause more warming than coal, prevent public debate, pretend that government is in control.

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