Monday, March 9, 2020

March 9th Links

  • I preach to you, then, my countrymen, that our country calls not for the life of ease but for the life of strenuous endeavor. The twentieth century looms before us big with the fate of many nations. If we stand idly by, if we seek merely swollen, slothful ease and ignoble peace, if we shrink from the hard contests where men must win at hazard of their lives and at the risk of all they hold dear, then the bolder and stronger peoples will pass us by, and will win for themselves the domination of the world. Let us therefore boldly face the life of strife, resolute to do our duty well and manfully; resolute to uphold righteousness by deed and by word; resolute to be both honest and brave, to serve high ideals, yet to use practical methods. Above all, let us shrink from no strife, moral or physical, within or without the nation, provided we are certain that the strife is justified, for it is only through strife, through hard and dangerous endeavor, that we shall ultimately win the goal of true national greatness. [TR]
  • So roughly 1M infected at a given time would overwhelm US health capabilities. We probably have at least ~1000 infected in the country at the moment, so in the absence of serious measures like social distancing (cancellation of sporting events, large meetings, moving to K12 and college distance learning, etc.), we would reach the health system breaking point in about a month. Many other countries, in Europe and elsewhere, are facing a similar situation. Whether we impose draconian social measures (which would have a strongly negative effect on cafes, restaurants, hotels, airlines, theaters, etc.) or let COVID-19 infect millions of people, we are in for at least a one quarter downturn (recession?) with the possibility of more significant nonlinear events (complete market collapse, systemic failures). [Hsu]
  • The failure of the FDA/CDC to adequately prepare for coronavirus, despite weeks of advance notice from China is one of the most shocking and serious examples of government incompetence that I have seen in my lifetime. After being prevented from doing so, private laboratories are now allowed to offer coronavirus tests and Bill and Melinda Gates’s Foundation is working on an at home swab and test. [MR]
  • During the concert, there was remarkably little coughing compared to usual times. Is this because?: 1. The coughers were self-quarantining at home (there were more empty seats than usual). 2. Potential coughers didn't want their seat neighbors to think of them as infecting pariahs. 3. Potential coughers abstained for fear of having to think, if they are coughing, that they might have coronavirus. In any case, the elasticity of coughing with respect to self-reputation is higher than I had thought. [Marginal Revolution]
  • All live attenuated vaccines studied so far (BCG vaccine, measles vaccine, oral polio vaccine, smallpox vaccine) have been shown to reduce mortality more than can be explained by prevention of the targeted infections. In contrast, inactivated vaccines (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (DTP), hepatitis B vaccine, inactivated polio vaccine) may increase overall mortality despite providing protection against the target diseases. [Wiki]
  • Every bit of data available shows $TSLA is actually experiencing worse declines in sales than the airlines, w/o the benefit of keeping cash from non-refundable fares. It has a weaker balance sheet, a Chinese & CA factory, & needs supplies to build cars. [twitter]
  • The Whites in Russia thought that they could set up a few enclaves that could withstand Communist domination. This was not tenable and neither is splitting up America. The South tried that once and it didn't work then either. Or look at Taiwan (while it still exists). The Communists got the entire mainland and the right was left with a little island. Who is the world power now? The only winning strategy is to go for the whole enchilada. "Half a loaf is better than none" is false because the other side is not going to let you keep your half of the loaf. Now how do you go for the prize in a democracy when you have been demographically outnumbered by imported ringers? The answer (see Communist China, Communist anywhere) is that you get rid of democracy, not that you split up the country. [Sailer]
  • Putting aside the fact that the Supreme Court is used as a super-legislature to advance progressive social changes that are undesired by a majority of the population, they are starting to write opinions that deliver an outcome to a favored party without integrating with or contributing to a coherent body of case law. [CBS]

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