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"It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)

On April 16—gosh, it feels like an entire year ago—I made some predictions about where we were going. How do they hold up?

  1. Vaccine development will take a flat minimum of 12 months.

Too soon to tell; it's only been two and a half months. A few people have signed up for testing, but we won't know if the prototype vaccines have provided any protection for months yet. (I haven't seen any reports of them killing the guinea pigs though, so there's that.)

Manufacturing of vaccine adjuvants and the little extras required to turn a raw product into a deliverable medical treatment are in progress, though.

  1. Lockdown can't be sustained more than 1-2 weeks after peak ICU occupancy passes, so it will be lifted in mid-May in the UK and possibly as early as May 1st in the USA.

I am really glad I got this wrong. Lockdown lasted until the end of May in the USA; it began being relaxed in England in mid-June, and here in Scotland non-essential shops are due to lift in July. The English government (that is, the Westminster parliament governing England: Scotland is run by the Holyrood parliament in respect of domestic affairs such as public health and education) tried to convince schools to re-open, but that mostly flopped; Scottish schools are, I believe, staying shut until the next academic year (the Scottish school year ends earlier than the English one by a couple of weeks).

Incidentally, Scotland is broadly coping better than England per this dashboard: there have been no new COVID19 cases confirmed in the past 4-5 days. However, Westminster's desire to dink with the statistics in order to justify a premature re-opening is making it hard to tell just WTF is going on.

  1. Trump is shooting for May 1st because he's been told the economy will take 6 months to recover ... 1-4 weeks later there will be a secondary surge in infections and it'll follow the same exponential growth

Because the US lockdown didn't really begin to lift until June, the USA is hitting this secondary surge right now, and some states are trying to lock down again. Red states with Republican governors who are in complete denial are getting hit badly, though—notably Texas and Florida.

  1. Extra Lulz in the UK

Boris clung on to power and is now visible again, busy pulling levers and waffling in public, Cthulhu help us. His main approach to COVID19 is to treat it as a public relations project, so he's going with patriotic rah-rah rhetoric rather than coolly rational choices. Because he's not a planner he delegates everything to Dominic Cummings, who is in the process of purging the top ranks of the civil service and replacing the current leadership with those willing to swear a loyalty oath to Brexit.

It'd be hilarious if I wasn't trapped in the back of the bus these clowns are driving towards a cliff.

  1. Wildcards: we might conceivably find a simple and effective medical treatment.

Hydroxychloroquine is a bust (snake oil is about what you can expect from a snake oil salesman). Dexamethasone improving the prognosis for ICU patients is a welcome finding, but it's not a magic bullet—it just reduces the death toll by up to 30% among people who require mechanical ventillation. Trump buying up the global supply of remdesivir (even though it's not very effective) is exactly the kind of Milo Minderbinder act you'd expect of the guy. Prediction: it won't work, but it'll make Trump lots of enemies and a little bit of money.




What did I miss?

I missed: the rest of the world, where populist authoritarian leaders everywhere are trying to make Trump and Johnson's handling of COVID19 look magisterial and professional, from Brazil's Bolsonaro to Russia's Putin.

I totally didn't see Black Lives Matter turning into a global protest movement. To be fair, George Floyd was brutally murdered by the Minneapolis police department on May 25th, and the predictive blog entry I'm referring back to was posted more than a month earlier. (I've only posted once since then, prior to this, and that last blog entry was about brainstorming a fiction idea, not current affairs.) In retrospect I should have anticipated that heavy-handed racist policing of lockdown would lead to numerous flashpoints worldwide. There have been other side-effects: illegal raves and parties in the UK, for example. Widespread flouting of social distancing and/or masking guidelines, and the emergence of anti-mask rhetoric among Trump loyalists as a very disturbing kind of political statement.

There's a growing, seemingly global, sense that we can't or shouldn't go back to the status quo ante—in many ways, this sentiment ehoes earlier occasions when pressure for major social change emerged during and after world wars. The long term global economic effects, and possibly the death toll, are clearly in the same order of magnitude as a 20th century global war: it may be that such wars (or in this case a frightening pandemic) provide the trigger for the sort of societal change more normally associated with revolutions. (This certainly happened in 1917-19, and again in 1945-49.)

A new world is being born. I just hope I live to see it, and that there's room in it for someone like me to exist.

2442 Comments

1:

One of the big critical path items for the vaccine is medical-grade glass vials for the doses. Billions of vials are needed, and there really really isn't enough out there. Especially with another H1N1 flu on the horizon, we've got to get production up -- another place Impeached President Donald Trump could be forcing industry to pivot, but of course isn't. So long as the Gulchdwellers get their doses, what does he care?

2:

Billions of vials are needed, and there really really isn't enough out there.

I don't see where you get that from, unless some Milo Minderbinder entrepreneur has just bought up every pharma-certified glass factory on the planet?

We already churn out many billions of vaccine doses a year on a worldwide basis -- vaccines for MMR, polio, scarlet fever, yellow fever, malaria, influenza, tuberculosis, chickenpox -- you name it. Yes, adding enough capacity to vaccinate everyone on the planet who hasn't already been infected by this time next year will be a significant push, but it's not going to break the industry.

Now, Class IV aseptic suites capable of compounding antigen-based or dead-virus-based vaccines with adjuvants, preservatives, and other cofactors, then sterilizing, filling, and sealing the vials, then performing QA testing, are another matter: they're already working close to capacity. But building new vaccine factories is another of Bill Gates' priorities (along with inventing the stuff to put in them). I think scaling up production facilities is do-able in the time frame it'll take to develop a vaccine.

3:

On COVID-19

My sister (a cancer survivor) works in an office at an Orlando area airport in Florida, processing physical paperwork from arriving flights. In her office everyone is now wearing N95 masks, but she had difficulty getting hers on the other day.

So a colleague helped.

Said colleague has now tested positive. Previous tests were negative, but he and his wife and family are now positive.

Sister was understandably rather shaken. Happily she's testing negative right now, but the organisation has suffered multiple positive tests. It doesn't matter how good your PPE is, whether workstations are situated to keep distance, &c., if you're getting infected on the street.

4:

W.r.t. the statistics. They are doing their best to fiddle them, but (so far) the ONS are not playing ball; while I think that the PHE execusuits would like to, I believe they have outsourced everyone who knows excel from incel, and anyone left with any statistical nous is laying low and sayin' nuffin'. Here is a brief summary:

So far, the cases and death rates are falling very slowly, which is why the experts are worried - I have revised my estimate of when we will know more to by late July.

https://imgur.com/ZMvQMMQ
https://imgur.com/j19Pmk9

As you know, the test and track mechanism is in complete disarray, as one would expect from any task outsourced to the usual culprits (anyone remember security for the Olympics?) The part that is run by the NHS etc. is apparently working fairly well, but the mass testing and tracing is a disaster, and will remain so until at least October (and, in my view, probably until it is closed down). I haven't seen any evidence of an attempt to test how widespread the virus is, which was said to be essential by several experts (including Whitty).

My guess is that the government's hypocrisy (no, it's NOT just "mixed messages"), its malicious incompetence against many of the less-regarded groups of the population, and the reaction of many of the public, is going to lead to a resurgence. Bozo is quite happy to lock down Leicester, but I suspect that he will baulk when it comes to harder decisions. We shall then see how many of the advisers have spines.

Again, as you know, there is also increasing evidence that this is an anomalous infection in many ways, and that has both good and bad consequences. Scientists are investigating, though.

Interesting times, indeed!

5:

Before the pandemic, I really thought we might be heading for a revolution because the gap between what UK/US leaders were delivering and what polls consistently showed populations wanted was getting so large.

Now, I'm hoping we can peacefully institute the changes needed. But at what a price!

wg

6:

One of the beautiful stories of the pandemic here in the USA is FEMA getting defrauded by a serial telemarketer previously convicted fraudster in Florida. First time Federal contractor (create company Friday, awarded contract Monday sort of setup), they sold FEMA soda bottle blanks as test tubes! These are plastic tubes that resemble test tubes: apply a little heat and high air pressure and you instantly have a 2 liter soda bottle. Except they aren't sterile, and worst yet - they don't fit test tube racks. So they are not fit for purpose. Still, they were distributed nation-wide and state health orgs were told 'find a use for them'. Even though they're not sterile and potentially contaminated with COVID because they were assembled in a non-sterile fashion.

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-trump-administration-paid-millions-for-test-tubes-and-got-unusable-mini-soda-bottles

We also have many states have paid millions for big stashes of hydroxychloroquine, which doesn't work, and now have huge stockpiles of pills that will slowly rot.

And don't forget that we have a new H1N1 flu just waiting for its time to enter the world stage!

Insane monkeys are running the show over here. I don't know if the monkeys in the UK are more or less sane, or a different species.

7:

"and now have huge stockpiles of pills that will slowly rot"

And lupus patients having a hard time getting their prescriptions filled because the government bought so much.

8:

The difficulties in Nations infected with "Contemporary conservatism" are anything done must reward someone with profit and choosing searching for silver bullets over anything that looks like hard work. I wonder if some Vietnamese and Cubans consider SARS CoV2 as a karmic reward...

9:

In which way(s) does it qualify as anomalous?

10:

Derek Lowe on In The Pipeline is doing a pretty good job on periodic vaccine updates. His latest was on June 29: https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2020/06/29/coronavirus-vaccine-update-june-29

It's *possible* an effective vaccine will exist by Christmas. Whether or not anyone who's not super-rich can get it is another matter. To their credit, some of the big pharma companies are already gearing up for huge production runs on their own risk, even though they don't know what the vaccine will be, so they are preparing to crank it out, if an It vaccine appears. I think 12 months to end Phase III is still likely, but a miracle speed-up isn't yet impossible.

Dexamethasone runs have already started, as you might expect.

The hilariously stupid thing is that the best treatments available for Covid19 remain masking, social distance, and washing hands regularly. Too many Americans aren't doing that, they're hoarding marginally effective drugs and screaming about their rights. Nothing says unworthy more than this, I'm afraid. And that's the watershed moment right there.

11:

In the civilized parts of the world, H1N1/the flu in general seems to have been killed in its tracks by the covid protection measures.

12:

Our Influenza subunit immunisations always arrived filled I to syringes with the needle built in.
No glass.

13:

Cloudster @ 6: One of the beautiful stories of the pandemic here in the USA is FEMA getting defrauded by a serial telemarketer previously convicted fraudster in Florida.

It's never a beautiful story when the government is defrauded.

Because ultimately it is we the taxpayers who are defrauded, and it is "We the people" who are harmed by the fraud because the fraudsters stole the resources that could have have been used to manage the crisis and alleviate suffering.

And eventually the selfish oligarchs will latch on to that fraud to prove that people in need do not do not deserve help from the government; that the social safety nets must be slashed once again so that their (already non-existent) taxes can be cut.

Not a beautiful story at all. Indeed it is a very, ugly story.

14:

It seems like the business community is waking up and putting pressure on Republicans to actually take commonsense measure like convincing people to wear a mask so that the economy can actually restart in some limited fashion. All Republicans except Trump seem to be falling in line. Governor Kemp here in Georgia is doing a 'wear a mask' tour of Georgia. Pence sat next to Governor Abbot of Texas and said everyone should wear a mask. Even Sean Hannity is advocating this (at the end of the article). They are not making it mandatory yet, but internal Republican polling must be devastating,

15:

Insane monkeys are running the show over here. I don't know if the monkeys in the UK are more or less sane, or a different species.

Did you spot the bit about the Attack Macaque in Downing Street spaffing £500M (about $650M in today's cash) on buying the wrong satellites?

TLDR: the UK Brexited and kicked itself out of the European Galileo navigation satellite project, even though it's not strictly an EU thing. (Adjudication via the ECJ was the deal-breaker, IIRC.) To their horror, they discovered that they could neither supply satellites for the cluster nor use it at full resolution if they flounced. So the Brexiters announced a grandiose plan to build their own GPS cluster. Then someone told them how much it would cost. (Hint: billions.) Then someone pointed out that the OneWeb low-orbit comsat network was going into Chapter 11.

So they bought a 20% stake in an incomplete, bankrupt, US-based broadband internet satellite system that was pushed into bankruptcy because basically it can't compete with Elon Musk's Starweb, because they appear to have mistaken OneWeb for a GPS cluster, because they're a government of second-rate journalists led by marketers.

More on this Trump-level idiocy here.

16:

I would point to the big sea change from a decade ago: the increasing association of fraud with the super rich.

Back around a decade ago, there was this cult of wealth. To be fair, there still is, but the idea was that being a billionaire proved you were brilliant, at least a financial or technical genius. Even here, commenters took that largely for granted.

Now, we've seen the world pummeled by the greed, stupidity, and criminality of the wealthy, and that myth is going bust. Fortunately or unfortunately, we don't have a communism sitting out there as a viable alternative. Instead, we have Black Lives Matter, Social Justice, and the climate change movements. They might be weak tea. Or, because at least some of them are less ideological on social structures, it's conceivable that we might get some real change.

Instead of a technological singularity, we seem to be in the middle of a political one.

17:

Two things bother me about Americans, and I am one. We (not me) scream about Our Rights. I have a right not to wear a mask! You also have a right to get sick and die. But you're also going to get me sick and die, and I'm missing half my immune system as my body no longer produces antibodies.

But people here no longer talk about the fact that along with our rights, we also have responsibilities.

We no longer take responsibility for our actions. If we do something and it goes wrong, well, it was the other guy's fault! He shouldn't have been there! When I worked for a police dept doing IT, there were two idiots shooting at each other on a freeway. There was an open lane between them. A third, uninvolved car, not knowing the deadly situation, drove between them. That driver was hit and killed. That car was in the basement of the building that I worked in for over a week, I walked by it several times a day while it was there.

Idiots. I hope those two shooters got very long prison sentences, I don't know their outcomes. I do know the outcome of the person who was driving that car that I saw. I'll never forget it.

But I shouldn't have to wear a mask, oh no! IT INFRINGES MY RIGHTS!

The best way to stay safe and flatten the curve is to treat EVERYONE, including YOURSELF, as if you have the virus.

Right now, not only do I have a sinus infection, which I get often, it's MRSA for the first time. On top of that, one of my big toes is hurting, and that's a possible indication of COVID. So it's possible that my life is about to get VERY complicated. Yes, I'm on cipro for the sinus infection, leaving to see my immunologist in an hour.

So wear your masks, wash your hands, and stay safe out there!

18:

The difficulties in Nations infected with "Contemporary conservatism" are anything done must reward someone with profit

It's as ideologically bankrupt as Brezhnevism. (The late-Soviet ideology which gave us the management of the Chernobyl B reactor.)

19:

I am not the person to summarise that - but, if you look up the medical papers on it, you will see.

20:

The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) is reporting that the CanSino Biologics proposed vaccine is now approved for human testing here and in China, and that China is making it available and/or requiring its use by their military.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/covid-vaccine-approved-military-use-china-1.5630947

I have my fingers crossed, as that's a prerequisite to a large fraction of my company's staff returning to our offices. Us old farts are the virus' favorite food.

21:

Here in Leeds I only see about 10% mask wearing. Can any natives explain that?

I was listening to a podcast (Guardian, maybe) that said foreign parents considering UK universities for their children were put off by the news photos that showed this lack of masking--"my kids aren't going to be safe in the UK given their lack of seriousness".

22:

Incidentally, I break into your regular scheduled discussion with a news bulletin I just had to share:

Moldova Shuts Down Bootleg Helicopter Factory

The Moldovan Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Organised Crime and Special Cases and investigators from the Police General Inspectorate closed a clandestine factory in the Criuleni area near the Dniester river in the east of the country on Tuesday that was producing copies of Kamov KA-26 Soviet-type helicopters.

“Over the past several months, the police documented the illegal activity of a well-organised group of people specialising in the production of helicopters,” the Interior Ministry said in a press release.

The secretly-built helicopters were about to be exported illegally to former Soviet countries, it said.

Searches carried out on Tuesday found that there were over ten helicopters on the production line, at various stages of completion.

Most of the people suspected of being involved in the production and assembly process, including the organisers and heads of the illegal operation, are residents of Moldova’s breakaway Transnistrian region.

All the helicopters were produced without the necessary permits and documents of origin for the parts and equipment used.

A criminal case for preparing to smuggle aircraft by two or more persons has been initiated by prosecutors. If found guilty, the suspects could face jail sentences ranging from three to ten years, according to Moldovan law.

Ah, those whacky Transnistrians strike again!

23:

Heteromeles @ 16: I would point to the big sea change from a decade ago: the increasing association of fraud with the super rich.

A few more people may have awakened to the truth. They're more blatant and out in the open with their frauds than they were a decade ago, but I don't see much of a change otherwise.

"Behind every great fortune is an equally great crime"
     - Honore de Balzac

True in the 19th century; just as true in the 21st.

24:
Did you spot the bit about the Attack Macaque in Downing Street spaffing £500M (about $650M in today's cash) on buying the wrong satellites?
Discovered that one yesterday as I was watching the GPS launch stream with a friend. When he told me what they "invested" in, I blurted "NO WAY? ONEWEB?"

But then governments get scammed all the time. I remember the Great_Oil_Sniffer_Hoax that then-president Valery Giscard d'Estaing personally approved, or stuff like the purchase of explosive detector wands in Iraq to use against terrorist threats.

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25:
The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) is reporting that the CanSino Biologics proposed vaccine is now approved for human testing here and in China, and that China is making it available and/or requiring its use by their military.
Don't hold too much hopes on it.


A more complete story is on Ars Technica.

TL;DR: Basically, given they are piggybacking the SARS-COV2 characteristic "spike" protein on a classic vaccine targeting AD5, they managed to speed up design, but then, anyone having had a relatively recent exposure to Adenovirus5 tends to have their immune system react to the AD5 component rather than the COV2 protein. Meaning the vaccine renews more the AD5 immunity rather than conferring SARS-COV2 immunity.

Given how widespread AD5 is, the vaccine may end up with extremely low efficiency. The good news is that it won't kill you, but it may not protect you.

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26:

Sad to say, you actually *did* get the reopening date right for parts of the US -- most notably Texas, where phased reopening started May 1, with all of this in phase 1, including a lot of things that other states left to later phases: "retail stores, malls, restaurants, museums, barber shops, hair salons, nail salons, tanning salons among other businesses at 25%". Nightclubs have been open there, and restaurants at 50% capacity, since May 18th. It's almost a surprise the state took this long to blow up...

https://www.khou.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/timeline-what-led-up-to-pause-in-texas-reopening-plan-surge-in-covid-19-cases/285-598205d0-9b31-4b39-a3ec-a0c32bb7a14f

27:

I can't speak for everyone, but I wouldn't have the first clue where to buy one; they were on sale in a local corner shop at one point, for a ridiculous mark-up, but they're long gone. I was also under the impression that there were barely enough to go around for frontline NHS workers; for an unemployed chronic depressive like me to buy even a single box of them seems rather selfish in the circumstances.

28:

One paranoid thought from a friend last week that might have gotten missed.

Here's the setup: Covid19 vaccine developers are doing Phase II and III testing all over the world. This already caused a kerfuffle in the US, about testing in Africa (I'm not sure how much was "don't hurt those poor people for our benefit" and how much was racism). But it died down a bit, when the companies pointed out that they had to test the vaccine in areas where there were active outbreaks. Therefore, they were going to do vaccine tests wherever Covid19 cases were piling up (South Africa, in this case), because if they did them at home (like South Korea), there were too few cases to see if the vaccine worked.

So the paranoid theory is the El Cheeto has been deliberately mashing down Covid19 control efforts so that there will be lots of exposures any given week. This will allow his Operation Warp Speed to quickly test their vaccines in country. He'll have a working vaccine before Election Day made entirely in the US of A, and this miracle will propel him to a second term.

It's not completely impossible. But this assumes that El Cheeto is capable of such a calculation, and isn't just trying to quash numbers that make him look bad.

The bad part for everyone else, who's carefully trying to do less politicized science and come up with a good vaccine, is that the US is going to be an excellent place to conduct Phase II and Phase III vaccine trials for the foreseeable future, whatever the cause. So, y'all wanna come visit us and do shots? We'll make it worth your time.

On a different note, here's an article from The Atlantic looking at the US coronavirus response so far as if it were an airline crash report. "This was a journey straight into a mountainside, with countless missed opportunities to turn away. A system was in place to save lives and contain disaster. The people in charge of the system could not be bothered to avoid the doomed course."

29:

It’s worth calling out extremely negative effects all this is having on the Orange Ones poll numbers and re election chances

While it is a long time till November, it’s not looking good for the Cheeto

30:

Here in Paris and it's Banlieue we've had them in chemists for a month or so, and I've seen them in a supermarket today (box of 50 for 39 EUR). At work we've had them delivered from our office supplies company.

31:

Got some from Sainsbury's via online shopping on Thursday

32:

Charlie
Point 4
Scummings (etc) And business as usual with corrupt tory politicos grabbing wadloads as well.
What the wankers don't realise is that once you've politicised the Civil Srevice, someone else can do it it you, too.
The usual American (USA) mistake, in fact.
Whewnever this guvmint goes, I think Starmer will be elected & then some reaming will take place...

"What did I miss?"
You didn't mention religious scum Erdogan, tryhing to tuen Haga Sophia into a mosque, the shit.
"BLM" - about time too, but WOMEN are still bottom-of-the-heap, as The Boss rants on about, about once a week ...
I wish she wouldn't, but who else is she going to rant at?

15: Indeed - a monumental, expensive & utterly unnecessary fuck=up.
They are utterly paranoid about the ECJ.

22: Now than Moldove=a is.is_not an Ru puppet, or is that Transnistria?
Shit, it's confusing.17:43 01/07/2020

Cloudster
Our monkeys are occasionally sane - but the public are much more cynical & people are watching & listening.
If it gets too bad, BoZo might actually go _ & he knows this. But he's got to find someone else to blame, like the nasty fascict Patel, for that matter, who always tries to shift blame elsewhere.

Origaku
IF I go onto public trnasport, I will wear a mask.
If, however, I'm out of doors I will not wear a mask
My mask is, however, an industrial metal-mesh screen that folds down from a head band - it's actually meant to protect your face if you are using a strimmer or a band-saw.
Light, washable & easily removable, if a little bulky - AND - it does NOT restrict my breathing.

33:

Surgical masks in the US are under $1 each from Amazon. And in the local office supply places for $1 to $2 each.

This is for boxes of 25 or 50.

Various places will sell you them one at a time for stupid prices.

34:

Charlie, about a possible new world....

I'm sort of freaking out. I have a trilogy of three short stories, set in my future universe (of which the novel is with beta readers), set about 60-75 years from now, and the climax, in the third, is where most of the nations of the UN vote to become part of a world-wide confederation (yes, more than the EU). The *only* impetus that I had in the stories I'd written before March that we haven't seen is billionaires running literal wars, and using genengineered viruses against each other.

But then, we've got pandemic.

35:

Cancer survivor, here. I wish your sister the best of luck.

36:

Ghu, as someone who was in the streets during 'Nam... and here I was, thinking of the jobs moved to 'Nam, but this is really it.

Along with the US GOP-and-Batista-supporters-and-literal-Mafia-led embargo of Cuba, which produces tons and tons of medical professionals....

37:

My late wife and I, when we first got together, were both filkers, and both sang in the same true-fannish key: OFF.

So, care to sing in harmony on this one?

Did they register their GUNZ? Did they serve on a jury? Did they pay all of their taxes? DID THEY FUCKING VOTE, AND PUSH OTHERS OUT TO VOTE??!?!?!?!

No "rights" without DUTIES.

Best of luck on the illness, guy.

38:

[Jaw falls to chest.]

Counterfeit Russian choppers? I, ahhh, er,...

You're sure this isn't the plot of a comedy crime thriller?

39:

Make a cloth one. They're not that complicated, and there are a LOT of patterns and instructions, even for the sewing impaired.

DO NOT FUCKING GO OUT WITHOUT ONE.

40:

Sorry, no. The Hairball would find that vastly too complicated, esp. since it would need at least a month of planning before the numbers hit.

Re the Atlantic article - you didn't mention it was by James Fallows, one of the US senior and most-respected journalists.

41:

Oh, Charlie, Greg, Nojay, et al: for the first time, ever, I'm afraid I have to say I'm happy with something BoJo did: he's just come out saying, in an Israeli newspaper, that the Nut-an-yahoo's annexation of parts of the West Bank is a terrible idea.

42:

This one is pretty easy to make:
https://blog.japanesecreations.com/no-sew-face-mask-with-handkerchief-and-hair-tie
A couple of safety pins keep it together a bit better than without.

43:

"Did you spot the bit about the Attack Macaque in Downing Street spaffing £500M (about $650M in today's cash) on buying the wrong satellites?"

I think people are a little too fast to rush into the "buying the wrong satellites" narritive here.

Correct: They absolutely cannot implement a Galileo-UK with those satellites.

However, sending weak PRNG's from halfway to geostationary orbit is far from the only way to implement radio-navigation and precision timing (see for instance: Transit satellites)

For all the money EU has drained down in Galileo they have gotten very small tangible benefits, and in particular Galileo is *exactly* as easy to jam as GPS.

The first draft of the EU-Radionavigation plan, a decade ago, came to the conclusion that pouring a few tens of million euros into LORAN-C would provide 40% of all possible RNAV benefits to EU, whereas pouring a billion euros into Galileo would provide only 12%.

That was not the message EU wanted at the time where they were trying to rationalize spending billions on their failed GPS-blackmail-gamble.

So what can UK('s Military) do with hundred(s) of LEO satellites.

For starters, those satellites have really good GNSS receivers and nobody is going to jam those receivers, certainly not all of them.

That means UK can downlink differential-GPS which is also usable for integrity, and they can downlink it from multiple directions at the same time.

So for starters, they now have the worlds most robust GNSS integrity service, (though nowhere as robust as eLoran would have been).

Second, they can start to use the LEO satellites for primary navigation.

That means using the onboard GNSS receivers and laser-ranging to find precise orbits for the satellites and making some feature of their downlink usable for time measurement.

Given that the LEO satellites can use their GNSS receivers to probe the ionosphere on the limb, and given enough satellites, that suddenly moves the goal-posts to places the existing GNSS services have no way of going.

There are some very smart GNSS people in UK, *if* they are behind this, or at least involved and funded, then UK didn't buy the wrong satellites.

44:

P H-K
Provided of course, that they CAN buy it, or enough of it ...
Apparently the US or US companies own a lot of it ... as does, oh dear - Airbus.
See today's copy of Private Eye .....

45:

Unfortunately, that is only hot air. The UK's policy for some time has been to say that sort of thing in public and privately support the no permitted term for those shits in Israel. Cameron broke that by openly talking about making support for BDS illegal, but I can witness that there has been a LOT of official pressure along those lines. And it takes the position that any opposition to Israel's oppression and aggression is terrorism. Also witness the witch-hunts of anyone who dares speak up for the Palestinians.

46:

I've been making bandana/hankerchief masks for months. Here are my notes:

If you've got a large head like mine, a hair tie won't go around your ears. I had some elastic cord lying around, so I used lengths of that tied in loops with fisherman's knots to change the length.

I sandwich half a coffee basket filter in each cotton mask for added protection

When thin cotton bandanas come out of the wash (and they should be washed after extended uses around people, they really need to be ironed back into shape for optimal mask work.

That said, I've been watching what's going on in Korea, where masks are necessary to protect against the dust blowing out of northern China every winter. Over there, masks are becoming fashion accessories as well as functional. Once every clued-in person over here was wearing fitted masks and giving me odd looks when I wore a bandana, I bought a bunch of fitted masks and switched over. I don't think this particular fashion item's going to go away even if Covid19 does, for the same reason they've been popular in China, Japan, and Korea for years: they're useful.

Still, you can get bags of Indian made bandana for dirt cheap on BigRiver, so if you're desperate, it's certainly a way to go.

47:

This has been a year. I am fairly sure that a part of the vast collective groan I am hearing is emanating from the souls of authors across the genres as they realize that whatever book they are writing will need some pandemic revisions.

Optimistic view: The global pandemic is doing a masterful job of underlining in bold face just how morally and functionally bankrupt the recent wave of populist strongman types actually are when it comes to the operation of government. It is also highlighting the fundamental awfulness of 'free market' fundamentalism, and the naked hostility and brutality of much of so-called conservative politics on the anglosphere (and some otherspheres as well).

Pessimistic view: The pandemic combined with rolling economic collapse are perfectly times with the mounting climate crisis to obliterate many of the long neglected foundations of civil society. The triple threat of collapsing democratic systems, failing governments and massively corrupt oligarchs are fundamentally unprepared and unable to deal with one of these problems and utterly unable to even begin grasping several at once.

The next couple of years are going to be the very definition of 'interesting times'. I don't think anything is off the table, up to and including super (or at least very large) power shooting wars. No matter how ill advised or suicidal, 'the fox when cornered will turn to face the hounds'.

48:

This is an "update" from my long hiatus due to being tied to bed and recovering, and also a rant, and of course I don't even expect anyone to challenge me with questions on this blog anymore. So there.

I missed: the rest of the world, where populist authoritarian leaders everywhere are trying to make Trump and Johnson's handling of COVID19 look magisterial and professional, from Brazil's Bolsonaro to Russia's Putin.
A typical mistake - you did not see anything but what the news show you. I have seen this from the ground. I have walked through everything and I know first hand how bad situation is. More than that, while (it turned out that) I live in one of the most depressive and corrupted regions (we are in last 10 out of 85 on recent internal ministry report, from those people who actually care to fight corruption and not the government), but also from my experience I am assuming that in the rest of the world isn't faring much better, despite all the populous bravado. Epidemic has become new normality, so people are now more resilient to disasters and don't see that it is useful anymore to report anything. Ignoramuses, OTOH, remain ignorant, for this is their job.

Long story short, this is what happens - local administration and health organizations receive money from federal government, sometimes from local governments, but instead of giving it as help to people as ordered, these organizations invent new reasons to not do it and instead steal these money for themselves. It is now an emergency, so apparently it is impossible to track what is really happening. People are not receiving proper diagnosis for COVID, because proper diagnosis requires proper medication and proper payout to the medical staff - as ordered by Presidential decree, no less. In other news, I cannot finish my sick leave payout because the hospital made a mistake in documents, and is not responding to my queries, and half of the staff are either ill, missing, or on vacation.

I can name at least 8 people I know (including myself) who went through COVID with 100% confidence (and now recovered), but because tests are irregular and require stupid conditions, it was tested positive only for about two of them. One of my relatives died in the process due to old age, and hospital did not sign off his as a victim of epidemic, and apparently the keys from his apartment are missing too. I can say, people are surviving only because they have strong connection between each other, they understand the situation among themselves, and do not rely only official and social services. A lot of them still don't believe that there's anything serious about this epidemic - but they wear masks and uphold order. I imagine, most citizens from "civilized world" would not tell such stories about their country, this is embarrassing, it is bad for reputation, it is antisocial. I don't give a damn, I have the right for free speech, I don't care about reputation - it is non-existing anyway, by the nature of it, so you can fully experience the world we live in. I already told this story to every person I care about.

What our government should do to prevent this, expand it's useless bureaucratic machine even more to deal with the corruption? Oh wait, it will only lead to even more corruption and probably to complete dysfunction. What else can federal government do, send death squads? Oh wait, it is not allowed, it is "totalitarianism" and "human rights violation". Certainly, there are people who cannot be touched, no matter what they've done, because they belong to a special cohort, selected by special characteristics.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/renowned-russian-director-convicted-of-embezzlement-in-what-critics-call-a-show-trial/2020/06/26/ee8031d6-b776-11ea-a510-55bf26485c93_story.html
They call this shitter "leading", "progressive", "supportive to". I don't give a crap. I never heard of of him before trial. I want his ass working out his debt for the next 10 years in the Siberian woods, but no, it is not corruption to send him home with suspended sentence. Turns out, it is corruption to even have a trial against him. These "human rights activists" want to take the rest of our future from us. I want them dead to the rights and working out their damages.

I totally didn't see Black Lives Matter turning into a global protest movement.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztVMib1T4T4
I don't think it is going to be same for countries that did not have afro-american slavery. Also, global protest movement, ofc, is not a populist authoritarian movement, no-no-no. If you yell every day that you are for freedom and human rights, and everybody gets cookies, then you cannot be designated as a bad actor. Though I actually think that global movement for gay rights is more global than BLM riots, considering the US embassies are ready to place the rainbow flag above their national flag.
https://time.com/5603545/embassies-pride-flag-trump-denials/
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/15/politics/us-embassy-seoul-blm-banner/index.html

A new world is being born. I just hope I live to see it, and that there's room in it for someone like me to exist.
That is a very big question, but I am fairly certain that previous world we lived in was totally unsuitable for people like me and I am hating it with passion like the rest of the people on the streets. It's just most of us over here in this country know what "revolution" really means, and those who are rioting and protesting don't really know what they are asking for. But I really hope they will receive that in full.

49:

One minorly hopeful thing we've not mentioned in this blog entry is that, at least in the U.S., knowledge-based work does NOT need to take place in a physical office; at least not all the time. I've spent the last three months working from my easy chair and my only real lacks have been no access to the paper historical files at my office, and no ability to go to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Library of Congress (LOC) to access hard copy historical records there.

I very much doubt I'll ever go back to a 9 to 5 work schedule at the office. More likely I'll do 1-2 days a week for hands-on research and spend the rest of the time writing it up.

My experience is probably far from unique. I expect many government organizations and private companies will lean much more heavily on remote work in the future, if for no other reason than to save money on office space and equipment.

That sucks if you're an extrovert, but happy times for me.

50:

Long story short, this is what happens - local administration and health organizations receive money from federal government, sometimes from local governments, but instead of giving it as help to people as ordered, these organizations invent new reasons to not do it and instead steal these money for themselves.

That's not what's happening in Scotland. England (different government) is more prone to cronyism, and a lot more inept at channeling funds to sick people: there's cronyism and corruption there, but typically b/c incompetent politicians demand action then commission companies owned by people they know to do the work. (They then fail, and there's a scandal. But we're in a political gridlock due to Brexiters having a choke-hold on government, so ...)

The USA, at least the Republican-led central government, has a really bad case of corrupt dealing in how funds are being disbursed. Lower levels appear to handle it differently depending on the partisan alignment of the local government.

I totally didn't see Black Lives Matter turning into a global protest movement.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztVMib1T4T4
I don't think it is going to be same for countries that did not have afro-american slavery. Also, global protest movement, ofc, is not a populist authoritarian movement, no-no-no.

It went viral all over Europe. There are BLM demos in the UK, in France, in Spain ... and there's a growing scandal in London over how the Metropolitan police have been going backward over addressing institutional racism in the past 30 years (and similar issues in other forces). And I will note that most of these countries abolished slavery a considerable time before the US, and without having to fight a civil war to suppress the slave-owners.

Where it's going? I don't know.

51:

Examples of reporting on medical glass shortage, sieved from the first page of google.

Reuters: Schott AG won't let suppliers reserve production until they know it works - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-schott-exclusive/exclusive-bottlenecks-glass-vial-makers-prepare-for-covid-19-vaccine-idUSKBN23J0SN

ABC News: A bunch of supply-chain anecdotes, also alleging the US govt *is* working on production (not holding my breath) https://abcnews.go.com/Health/strained-supply-chain-glass-vials-delay-coronavirus-vaccine/story?id=71349287

fivethirtyeight: Reports that medical glass has had shortages for the last 5 years, and this isn't helping https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-covid-19-is-wreaking-havoc-on-our-ability-to-make-things-including-vaccines/

52:

Hi, guy.

Geez, I don't know what to say, other than I'm very glad you made it through. Are you still in bed a lot of the time, or walking and doing stuff?

Your situation, oh, *shit*. I don't know the answer, other than to have a team walk into each office, have an all-hands, shoot the one in charge, promote the assistant, and tell them that they *will* meet an audit in one week.

Of course, I'd like to do that to the GOP... and then tell the Pentagon, no successful audit, 10% cut this years in budgets. No successful audit next year, your budget's down 20% from today....

Best of luck. Maybe someday, we'll all get together, and I can buy you a beer.

53:

I'd have hated that. Work is set up for work, my study is *not*.

At least now, retired, I can write as the story tells itself to me - I just finished night before last a short story that took well over a month until it told me how it was going to go.

Oh, and all of this gave me the final word to shove down capitalists and libertarians mouths to choke on: if the Invisible Hand of the market's so great, within a couple of weeks of, say, mid-March, there were no shortages of PPE, right?

Right?

54:

Jake @ 27: I can't speak for everyone, but I wouldn't have the first clue where to buy one; they were on sale in a local corner shop at one point, for a ridiculous mark-up, but they're long gone. I was also under the impression that there were barely enough to go around for frontline NHS workers; for an unemployed chronic depressive like me to buy even a single box of them seems rather selfish in the circumstances.

Since you mention NHS, I'm presuming you're somewhere in the U.K. There shouldn't be any shortages now. I mean if masks are readily available in the U.S. despite everything Trumpolini's boy blunder Covid-19 Czar Jared Where’s our Mideast peace deal, dude? Kushner could do to fuck it up, they should be available over there (on the assumption that whoever was in charge over there was slightly less incompetent than boy blunder ... if not, disregard).

I'd check Staples or Office Depot, since businesses are going to need them to reopen. Plus the local supermarkets seem to have them in stock.

I made my own the first week or so of the lock-down. Found a pattern on-line that I could follow & sacrificed an old Magnum PI shirt & a fine linen dinner napkin for the material.

55:

David L @ 33: Surgical masks in the US are under $1 each from Amazon. And in the local office supply places for $1 to $2 each.

This is for boxes of 25 or 50.

Various places will sell you them one at a time for stupid prices.

Amazon also has the filter-holder type cloth masks that take charcoal filters for around $20 and packages of 50 filters for about $11. I haven't seen anyone local carrying those, but I haven't been out that much.

Wegman's has the washable cloth masks that really hug your face for $5.

I found a cool mask on-line that's supposed to look like the business end of an A-10 Warthog, so that's what I've been wearing every day when I take the dog out. I am wearing the mask on these little outings even though I'm unlikely to meet anyone where I can't stay at least 10 feet away (or more), so "social distancing" would be all I need, but I like to set a good example.

56:

Maybe the pandemic will lead to socialism becoming more popular? It has done a good job of revealing the flaws in the capitalist "work hard and you'll be fine" philosophy. Their poster children, the small business owner who built up from nothing, are going to the wall, no matter how many long hours they pull. Whereas everyone has now had a good demonstration of when the state should be stepping in, both in public health and the furlough scheme. We are all benefits claimants now

Talking of which, and also regarding the track and trace disaster in the UK-in the front of Private Eye was a paragraph on how the furlough and small business payments system has, much to everyones surprise, been a complete success. It was built in house, very quickly and very cheaply. You don't get that with outsourcing.

57:

Ongaku @ 42: This one is pretty easy to make:
https://blog.japanesecreations.com/no-sew-face-mask-with-handkerchief-and-hair-tie
A couple of safety pins keep it together a bit better than without.

I made a variation on the Hong Kong mask because it had a You Tube video that showed how to sew every seam. Variation because I didn't have the bendable nose wire or the charcoal filters. I substituted a length of of rebar tying "tie-wire" & a couple of folded up 12 cup Mr. coffee filters. I'll rebuild it once the nose wires I ordered from Amazon get here in August.

In the meantime, I've got my A-10 Warthog mask (already got the T-shirt last year).

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/33569/support-first-responders-and-look-brrrrtttiful-with-this-a-10-warthog-mask-and-t-shirt

I'll probably pick up a spare mask from Wegman's when I do my grocery shopping on Saturday.

58:

Bernie, the DSA, and the tax cuts for the rich, and how badly everyone but the 1% has been doing since '08 set it up. This is crunch time.

This idiot real estate agent comes by every year, and puts out plastic American flags on a stick (presumably made in China) every year before the 4th of July.

Ellen went out, got it, unstapled it, turned the flag upside down, restapled it and put it out there again.

At least this year, we've got it right.

59:

Sleepingroutine & Charlie
- Not to mention the ex-KGB corrupt agent now in charge of the Russian Empire, of course ...

Moderators #59 from "Sommypan" appears to be self-promoting SPAM ...

[[ Removed - mod ]]

60:

It is odd that there hasn't been any noticable spike yet due to the protests and huge beach gatherings we've seen in the UK. And due to the rugby-scrums developing outside some shops when they re-opened. And, except in countries like New Zealand which kept the virus out almost entirely, everywhere that the virus gained a foothold has seen death tolls similar (per million) within a factor of 2 (varying from 350 per 100K to 700 per 100K) almost regardless of what level of measures were taken. Some of the "epidemiological dark matter" theories might actually fit the data, there have been recent reports from Sweden that immunity has been found in far more of the population than have been infected, and a careful analysis by the WHO of worldwide case tracing data found very few incidences where anyone asymptomatic passed the virus on (despite this not correlating with the models of what had ben expected). Logically we should not be able to get herd immunity at the maybe as high as 25% of people who've caught the virus in a lot of european countries, but this virus might be behaving in ways which the models could not predict. I don't think there's any chance of a big rise of cases in summer, the real test will come when air conditioning gets turned back on in the autumn, if the virus doesn't spread much at that time then perhaps there is some sort of herd immunity already at a sufficient level to stop it. With luck there might be a chance that it'll be over by christmas.

61:

Horse hockey.

Excerpt:
Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, told MPs too many assumptions had already been made during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There has been a week-on-week rise in UK deaths with 176 recorded in the previous 24 hours, comparing with 154 seven days ago.

The UK total is now 43,906.
--- end excerpt ---

Not that the Mirror is a great source of news....

It is clear from a LOT of evidence that mask-wearing *DOES* make a difference - did you see the news of the two hairdressers?

Or are you just a drive-by right-wing conspiricist?

62:

Flu will be back, flu always comes back. The lockdowns don't seem to have done that much to stop covid-19, in many places the peak seemed to have started declinging when people took the less intrusive hygiene precautions, in a lot of places the infection rates were dropping several days before the lockdown was introduced. The death tolls, being some three weeks behind the initial infections, didn't peak until two and a bit weeks after the lockdown began. They couldn't have known it at the time, but it might be pretty plausible to suggest that good hygiene and cutting down on long distance travel, large events, and close contact in some aspects of the hospitality sector, might have ben enough to stop covid on their own without lockdowns. So I think flu could well be, as it does every year, hiding under the radar waiting for a winter return. And flu, unlike covid-19, mutates a lot, that's why it keeps coming back. We've been very lucky that covid-19 doesn't seem to mutate much, so once it is gone maybe it won't return, although we'd need to have mass use of a vaccine to fully guarantee that covid, however much it may appear to decline, is fully gone FOREVER(just look at how measles has been able to return in places due to lack of vaccinations, and just worry how many people have had measles jabs cancelled because of the lockdowns).

63:

Crispin Odey to sue German regulator over Wirecard short selling ban

Crispin Odey is preparing to sue Germany’s financial regulator for millions of pounds worth of lost profit after it banned the short selling of Wirecard shares for two months last year.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/crispin-odey-to-sue-german-regulator-over-wirecard-short-selling-ban-388cwdpb0

Note the Time, Date, Location and So on. The question you probably should ask is why he's concerned about last year (E190 - 100 rather than.... 100 - 0).

Plus, kinda depressing. You missed the actual fun points. Aww, little US Americans can't handle their OPs being spread out for all to see :sadpanda:.

https://twitter.com/BondHack/status/1278313888191320065

~

Old Men, cannot handle the heat: You Love to See it.

64:

As measures go masks look like they could be some of the most effective, I try to remember to wear one whenever I'm anywhere that's crowded.

65:

Three things:

#1 No, It's not the "mystical Benjumain" (hat-tip April) out there, it's other stuff, far more spikey. Little Bears have been learning ALGO style how to do it. Hey, kids: field test exists, stop all being so fucking predictable.

#2 HackerNews: DAX DOWN. Oh.. thread deleted. Anyhow, T7 architecture stuff: tee-hee.

#3 Like: delete shit if you want, it was all true. Don't give a shit if your feelings were hurt, +600,000 humans just died 'cause of your fucking inability to deal with shit.


~

Natch.

66:

"I can't speak for everyone, but I wouldn't have the first clue where to buy one; they were on sale in a local corner shop at one point, for a ridiculous mark-up, but they're long gone. I was also under the impression that there were barely enough to go around for frontline NHS workers; for an unemployed chronic depressive like me to buy even a single box of them seems rather selfish in the circumstances."

In the USA (Michigan) ordinary masks (not N95) are in lavish supply and sold everywhere, in a wide variety of styles and colors.

67:

176 versus 154 is statistical noise, there's massive periodicity to the daily announced death tolls just because of how deaths don't get registered so easily at the weekend, overall the rates have got pretty stable at the moment. I'm no right-winger, I just think that the harm of the lockdown was too great to have been worth it, and I have some real doubts about the assumptions made in the models which lead to lockdown being declared. But I'm all for masks, hygiene, keeping several metres apart whenever feasible, and other non-intrusive measures. Public health is something that needs to be done by the public, give everyone a sense that they are dong their bit by going about life but keeping up practical infection control measures.

68:

We're not in a second wave, particularly the states (outside of California) that currently are wildfiring with new cases, the RED states -- they never shut down at all. This is all the first wave. And because of the way it is NOT handled here, deliberately not handled, these aren't even going to be waves, or curves flattened or not, but loops. NYC gets its contagion under control -- those who ran to hide from Covid-19 there are now coming here, dragging the infection along with them.

Plus the Young are utterly regardless of any safety behaviors. Masks, what are those? The restaurant-bars 6", what is that?

We have gone through 4 months of hell, wondering how we'll survive. And now we begin all over again, with month 5. That's right, I've already been isolated for FOUR STRAIGHT MONTHS.

It's so depressing so hopeless. What am I doing all this FOR? We work very hard at safety. Not to mention just the constant cleaning to keep the starved aggressive vermin from showing up. We manage a good 8 - 9 hours of exercise a week, including even light weights and cardio -- in our very tiny, cramped apartment. We keep to schedules, we keep productive. But why? when there is no end to this shyte in sight because the US and the UK can't be arsed to behave in any remotely decent, socially conscious, caring way for its citizens?

The world as we knew it is really over. The US alone is so big, with so many people, this stuff is here to stay. And the news about vaccines isn't, let's face it, terribly inspirational, especially when the idjiots think if there is one it's just a license to going back the way we've always been, which is the reason we're in this catastrophe in the first place. (Plus all the other catastrophes on going and waiting in line.)

69:

I think the concern is more about "laboratory" glass vessels in which to run the vaccine production cultures, as opposed to distribution. I don't think you'd want glass for distribution, if it got smashed that would be a lot of valuable vaccine gone to waster. Actually, as distribution goes, a covid-19 vaccine, hoping one can be developed (plenty of candidates on the way so the chances are good), would be good to try with patch based "injection" rather than needles. One of the big difficulties for vaccination huge populations is keeping the injectable liquid chileld during transport, and this makes use in the developing world really tough. Several american universities have been doing work on skin patch vaccines with micro-needles in them, these can be sent through regular postal services and don't ned specialist needle training to administer them. Covid-19 would be a great proving ground for patch vaccine technology, they'd be such an effective way to get the vaccine distributed, and encourage anyone wih a fear of needles not to shy away from it.

70:

In the UK they're even being marketed, at marked up prices, in the classified adverts in the back of newspapers, where discount clothing brands and shoes sized for the elderly are often marketed. For better prices most corner shops and suprmarkets are selling them now.

71:

What we will say is this: Doxxing shells and summoning the forces of banality (Law, Economy etc) against us has a large cost. Apparently a multi-trillion dollar and personal loss but we don't work the Cosmic Numbers. Meh.

Especially if you then cry and weep when you've been proven wrong and demand deletion, against the Declarations of Your Own People. Jericho. Might want to re-read what G_D said about it. Hint: look for the bits about "if non-hostile". Horn breaks, curses, undying enmity blah blah.


~

1000% loving the fact certain people got busted and cried. It's only a Film / Book.

"I CAN'T BREATH"


*shrug*


Humans: can never tell when breaking the rules is fine, and getting diseases is compassionate after they broke three border control rules or when just being fucking melanin challenged is enough for the full knee-head / chest compression death march.


Hey - David. We do know it is done deliberately. Yeah. Just like dem Walls.


72:

Moderators:
RalphB writes

...The lockdowns don't seem to have done that much to stop covid-19,----

Which is demonstrably false.

...176 versus 154 is statistical noise, there's massive periodicity to the daily announced death tolls....

Which is the first time I've ever heard 12.5% being referred to as "statistical noise". That's usually 4% or so.

I think this is a paid, trolling poster, mods.

73:

Plus the Young are utterly regardless of any safety behaviors. Masks, what are those? The restaurant-bars 6", what is that?
Young people think they're immortal.Some might even think its a one-time chance to get rid of the boomers and not to be wasted.

75:

Similarly the sort of corruption described doesn’t appear to be prevalent in Australia. We’ve had various sorts of political and especially police corruption in living memory, but not this sort of difficult-to-hide direct impact on service delivery (much as, frankly, the conservative side of politics tries to implement such things on the same privatisation and cronyist trajectory as in other places). Healthcare is mostly a state issue here, with the feds providing a co-ordinating role mostly. At the moment there has been a spike of community transmission in Victoria, while other states are starting to relax restrictions.

We have had BLM protests too and for the same reasons as the USA: indigenous people are far more likely to find themselves in the watch house, and far more likely to exit it in a body bag. Police perpetrators are just as unlikely to face real consequences as in the USA, although there are instances where this does happen. There is a tendency for some police forces to escalate peaceful protests with violence, but it is far more usual for such protests to conclude with no violence. Claims that protestors here are “authoritarian” are a bit preposterous (though some commentators will certainly make them).

76:

I once thought that the worst that could happen under a Trump presidency would be him being the leader who would greet the arriving aliens. Trump in charge of an epidemic is even worse!

That being said, you seem to be a little grimmer than the situation demands - if you're lucky enough that your situation allows you to stay inside you're in much better shape than the rest of us. Meanwhile, do you have a back yard or patio space you can spend time in? Maybe a back yard or patio space? I've found great solace in gardening these days, and I'm almost done with my novel. (The elevator pitch is "Orcish noble with PTSD comes town not long after a war, and hijinks ensue.")

77:

Ey oop.

Wirecard has just had the use of its services banned (temporarily, for a week or so, now lifted) in the UK. I discovered this when the card I use for paying wankers who don't accept actual money stopped working without warning. I'd never heard of them before that. It appears they were lurking unsuspected behind the scenes of quite a lot of things which also stopped working. So one can hope that the judge will have been one of those affected...

78:

I thought the crisis would bring the revolution on, but people are too stupid to notice the really obvious.

Governments whose policy is "you can all fuck off and die because we don't want to spend any money and we can't be arsed anyway". But nobody has strung them from the lamp posts. Instead we get people blathering about "herd immunity" as if it had any meaning beyond a euphemism for that policy, and holding massive "fuck you" events in opposition to what little the government has actually done to help.

Lots of stuff about "people need to get back to work" but none of it is "because society is suffering from the lack of [whatever it is that they normally produce when they're at work]" (after all, the people doing that kind of work are mostly still doing it), it's all "because I need the money". That is, people who have fallen through the holes in the eligibility for being paid to lie fallow, etc. The people who haven't are basically OK. Nobody cares about the stuff they're not doing. But also nobody has noticed that that means it makes just as much sense to just give them the money anyway without making them do stuff nobody cares about as a precondition, and it continues to make sense whether there's a disease around or not.

Lots of complaint about the consequences of anathematising stock and capability, of trying to operate every function of an entire country like a bunch of recursive Chinese hitmen, etc, but not about the practices themselves. It blames all the disruption on the inadequacy of reactive measures taken after the event (and without considering whether that's an adequate explanation or not, either), and never bothers to attack the practices which made those measures necessary in the first place.

And now people have stopped believing they're going to die because it hasn't happened yet so they think it isn't going to. Maybe we should be putting all the people who have died of it out on open-air display to stink up the High Street and make sure people don't forget it's real.

79:

@ Really? (comment 80)

Your username is apt, because that was my response when I read your post.

I don't know where you're getting that from, but this might have some numbers for you:
https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/indigenous-deaths-custody-chapter-3-comparison-indigenous-and-non-indigenous-deaths

A summary says:
The death rate for indigenous people was 5.65 per 100,000 of the general Aboriginal population. The rate for non-Aboriginal people was 0.3. The ratio of these rates indicates that Aboriginal people were 16.5 times more likely to die in custody.

Anecdotally, two or three deaths seem to make the news every year or so... my wife has worked with indigenous students and colleagues, and they have many stories of how their people are treated by the law here which are pretty terrible. I'd say the real number doesn't make the Murdoch press over here for some reason.

80:

Dude... I don't know what you're smoking, but I really want some... Whooaaah... You know, there could be an entire universe under your fingernail?

81:

"We no longer take responsibility for our actions. If we do something and it goes wrong, well, it was the other guy's fault! "

Oh, we have that here, too. It's all:

* Everything is someone else's fault.
* That means they have to give you money.
* Nobody is allowed to point out that in fact you brought it all on yourself by being too stupid to walk in the same direction your feet are pointing.

On the other side, if you are "someone else", insurance becomes a substitute for competence.

82:

In 2019 there were 9 unarmed African Americans and 20 unarmed Caucasians killed by police action in the US.

That's a very definite statement, do you have a link?

As far as I know those statistics are not collected at a national level, and generally also not at a state level. So I'm tempted to read that as "I personally know of these cases, so I am certain that the numbers cannot be less than this". Which I can very easily believe.

83:

Wirecard

You do understand they are likely to vanish soon due to severe accounting issues. Like a missing 1.9€ on the books that likely never existed.

84:

"There's a growing, seemingly global, sense that we can't or shouldn't go back to the status quo ante"

You reckon? On here perhaps, but all I can see is "when this is over we can all go back to normal again". It's disappointed the crap out of me that all the really obvious lessons about what we were doing wrong are being ignored, resisted, deflected or blamed on something else, or just still aren't obvious enough in relation to the average endemic cluelessness level. They say every cloud has a silver lining, but this one seems to be full of hydrogen sulphide, as if someone's trumped in it.

Wars are different because the killing is a lot more concentrated and selective, so it makes a much more conspicuous difference. See WW1 and Kansas flu overlapping but compared to the war the disease hardly being noticed beyond a few generals saying what a nuisance it was their troops going sick with it.

85:

What about that chap who made his own fake currency and ripped off something like a third of all the money in the whole of Portugal with it? Or was it Spain? Now that's how you really do it.

86:

RalpB
CORRECTION ( possibly ) ...
....that immunity has been found in far more of the population than have been knwon to be infected ...
I suspect the actual exposure rate is much higher.
I know of two people, in my quite limited circle, who have actually had the virus, to the point of being ill - neither has appeared in the official statistics.
And so on ...
Oh yes, there was a nasty wave of "Something" over the Xmas/New Year period - was that C-19 or something else?
WHat we can be certain of - is that we don't know enoough.

BUT this statement: The lockdowns don't seem to have done that much to stop covid-19 is definitely wrong

Really?
Your history is so utterly wrong as to be complete fiction.
There was never, ever a chance of Britain even recognising the S, never mind sending troops.
[ Yes, certain greedy commercial interests lobbied for it ... big hairy deal ]

@ 81
You are a troll & I claim my $500!

As Aunty Jack @ 83 has noted - THANK YOU.
And Really? @ 90 The risk of an unarmed African American dying at the hands of police is extremely low in the US.
Calling you out on that one.
Are you deluded, or are you deliberately lying?
Query to moderators of something this anti-factual, actually.

87:

Well, I know I don't have the knowledge required to sort in medical papers what's really anomalous and what's the normal level of hype found in pretty much every scientific paper. I was hoping you did :-)

88:

The lack of scientific research on coronavirus can be directly linked to the lack of funding. Roughly two years after sars-cov funding for vaccine research in particular was essentially stopped because there were more important things to work on, according to the politically-set research targets. The scientific community didn't have much of a say in there.

Fundamental research is considered very important as long as it's done by other countries.

89:

I am afraid not. I have enough relevant experience to ignore the majority of the crap, as well as realise when the authors are reporting something they don't expect, but not a huge amount more than that. Virology and immunology are very complicated and poorly understood areas of medicine.

I do know enough about epidemiology to recognise that it is behaving somewhat unusually, and to follow the experts' statements about the same aspects. In particular, it appears to be spread primarily by a very small proportion of the people infected, but it's unclear why.

90:

You can't even type my three letter name correctly, but that seems to match the general accuracy of what you write here.

I note that you count people like this 14 year old with a toy gun as "armed":

4386 Antonio Arce 2019-01-15 shot toy weapon 14 M H

Not to mention all the people "armed with a vehicle"... is "bicycle used as weapon" a common cause of death where you live?


race unarmed vehicle toy weapon undetermined TOTAL
B 250 14 18 4 1 37
W 402 25 25 13 10 73

Note that about 13% of the USA identify as black, but somehow 35% of the police killings listed by the Washington Post are of blacks. And the WaPo are very clear that they don't hear about all the shootings, and don't count all the Police killings. If you want to compare that to Australia you have to account for the Australian Police shooting relatively few people, they prefer a more hands-on approach.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/investigations/police-shootings-database/

The Post is documenting only those shootings in which a police officer, in the line of duty, shoots and kills a civilian — the circumstances that most closely parallel the 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., which began the protest movement culminating in Black Lives Matter and an increased focus on police accountability nationwide. The Post is not tracking deaths of people in police custody, fatal shootings by off-duty officers or non-shooting deaths.

The FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention log fatal shootings by police, but officials acknowledge that their data is incomplete. Since 2015, The Post has documented more than twice as many fatal shootings by police as recorded on average annually.

91:

Sorry, I forgot that "tt" just sets the font and ignores the spacing.


   race   unarmed vehicle toy weapon  undetermined     TOTAL
B   250      14      18      4             1              37
W   402      25      25     13            10              73

swapped in   for every second space and away we go.

92:

Is there any chance you could argue in good faith, even just once? Posting trivially wrong or easily refuted nonsense just makes you annoying. Right now I think you're in the assumption of charity area for a those responding to you. Viz, we're thinking that surely you can't be as stupid as your posts suggest. Or so naive as to think we're stupid enough to believe you despite the references you post.

Although in the case of your police shooting numbers you seem to think that only murdering unarmed black people at twice the rate of unarmed whites is somehow a defence of the police.

Viz, 9:20 (1:2.2) when the population is roughly 13:76 (1:5.8) so proportionately you'd expect about 3.4 black americans killed for every 20 white ones.

93:

my conclusion is this type of event is not prevalent in the US and doing a simple per capita correction for Australia would suggest very very unlikely in Australia.

I don't think you quite get the concept of per capita adjustments (hint: in the situation you discuss, they don't do what you seem to think here) and I'm not convinced you grasp "prevalence" (and it's relevance) either.

But those are both special cases of basic innumeracy, which I think is the underlying reason. You say you liked Neptune's Brood, so you may be one who takes an interest in macroeconomics and the concept of currency in the abstract. I'd hazard a guess that you quite liked Neal Stephenson's Reamde and Necronomicon partly because you think a gold standard would be pretty nifty and solve everything or something.So thinking about currency as inherently being a kind of debt might not work for you?

94:

RalphB wrote:

And, except in countries like New Zealand which kept the virus out almost entirely, everywhere that the virus gained a foothold has seen death tolls similar (per million) within a factor of 2 (varying from 350 per 100K to 700 per 100K) almost regardless of what level of measures were taken.

I'm not clear what number you're referring to with the 100K.

Do you mean 'per 100K of total population'? Then your numbers are clearly totally wrong. Examples (rounded):
South Korea: ca. 300 deaths in a population of ca. 50,000,000 = ca. 0.6 deaths per 100K.
Germany: ca. 9000 deaths in a population of ca. 80,000,000 = ca. 11.25 deaths per 100K.
US: ca. 128,000 deaths in a population of ca. 300,000,000 = ca. 42.66 deaths per 100K.
UK: ca. 44,000 deaths in a population of ca. 60,000,000 = ca. 73.33 deaths per 100K.

None of these are close to 350, much less to 700, but the range is much bigger (the largest is not double the smallest, but a hundredfold).

Or do you mean 'per 100K of known infections'? Same examples:
South Korea: ca. 300 deaths in ca. 13,000 cases = ca. 2,308 deaths per 100K.
Germany: ca. 9,000 deaths in ca. 195,000 cases = ca. 4,615 deaths per 100K.
US: ca. 128,000 deaths in ca. 2,700,000 cases = ca. 4,740 deaths per 100K.
UK: ca. 44,000 deaths in ca. 315,000 cases = ca. 13,968 deaths per 100K.

Again, none of these are close to 350 or 700, and the range is much bigger than twofold.

(All numbers of deaths and infections are taken from the Johns-Hopkins-dashboard at the time of writing.)

So what are your numbers referring to? I honestly have no idea.

95:

Personal addition: I wasn't really aware—before I just looked up all those numbers—that the UK is doing so much worse than even the US. It's a bit frightening…

96:

Yes. Those are the massaged figures, but are almost certainly of the right order. The UK is more like 55,000 and 65,000 excess deaths - the 44,000 is only the fatalities that actually got tested. As Bozo was crowing on about, we are currently a world leader in coronavirus :-(

'Really?' is at best deluded, and at worst a spammer.

97:

Latest Brexit stuff-up is that trucks will need copious paperwork and certificates from an as-yet undefined computer system before they can cross the UK borders (including the internal border to Northern Ireland)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CiSbSddw0E

98:

Administrative note

Commenter "Really?" never posted before this thread, has posted nearly 10% of the comments so far, takes a contrarian view on climate change, epidemiology, and a bunch of other issues, and appears to be a racial violence denialist as well (citing questionable statistics to back up an assertion that police violence against ethnic communities is rare).

I don't have time for this kind of shit so "Really?" is now banned and unpublished.

(I'm keeping an eye on new poster "RalphB" as well, at least until I can rule out an orchestrated astroturf campaign.)

99:

Really? @ 107
Well, your casual & not-even-wrong attitude to US police killings & British & international history do give one pause, at the very least.

100:

Oh of course flu will be back, it's just gone for this year without really having existed. We'll transcend to energy beings before we get rid of the flu it seems.

In France at least the confinment seems to have made it possible to apply the necessary hygiene/distancing measures in the first place. Otherwise work conditions just made it impossible. Plus it allowed to tide over the period where masks were in practice unavailable, and they seem to be the #1 prophylactic method, up there with no touching and no high human density workplaces.

101:

Moz
ANOTHER showing that "brexit means less paperwork & bureaucracy" was quite simply a deliberate lie.
Why am I not suprised?

102:

I was in the middle of posting this link in reply to the odious "Really"'s claim that the British supported the slavers in the civil war. The rich may have wanted to but the cotton mill workers put a stop to it.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-21057494

103:

Oops

1.9€ x 10e9

104:

Mike Collins
I've posted this link before - a YouTube of about 20 minutes, about the Anti_Slavery patrols of the RN.
Worth a listen & look, if you have not seen it before.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiSekII0sjw

105:
in a lot of places the infection rates were dropping several days before the lockdown was introduced.

Really? Where?

France started "confinement" (lockdown) on 17/3, peak infections was around 16/4
UK started lockdown on 23/3, peak infections was around 14/4

106:

Personal addition: I wasn't really aware—before I just looked up all those numbers—that the UK is doing so much worse than even the US. It's a bit frightening…"

It was a challenged to 'surpass' (undersurpass?) Trump, but the Tories managed it with Boris.

I'm convinced that the subtitle for the chapter on UK history for these years will be '(or How Britain lost its Great)'.

107:
Personal addition: I wasn't really aware—before I just looked up all those numbers—that the UK is doing so much worse than even the US. It's a bit frightening
The UK has a higher death rate (among largeish countries) than everywhere except Belgium.

Belgium: 846/million
UK: 661/million
Spain: 602/million
Italy: 577/million
Sweden: 520/million
France: 444/million
USA: 389/million

If break the US into individual states you get some frightening numbers:

New Jersey; 1698/million
New York: 1647/million

108:

RalphB: "in a lot of places the infection rates were dropping several days before the lockdown was introduced. "

Michigan cases peaked on April 3; the lock down started on March 16. From my personal observation, the lockdown behavior started in the previous week.


Charles, at this point RalphB has been so clearly wrong that perhaps he needs a card.

109:

JBS @57: [Note - numbering has changed with removal of "Really?" troll]

Thanks for the 'Hog mask and t-shirt link! Will order today.

Mods - I greatly appreciate the diligence you apply to the blog comments; it makes this a very convivial space.

110:

I know a dentist in Wales.

Her PPE has not changed since last year.

She has one N95 mask. She's keeping it for emergencies where she has no choice but to intervene directly.

In case anyone has missed it, dentists' drills generate *aerosols*. From the mouth of the patient.

111:

John Hughes
I think, as time progresses, the US rate will end up being the worst - certainly judging on present form.

113:

I don't know how the Tories' blundering is affecting political opinions in the (kinda) United Kingdom, but here in the U.S., El Cheeto Grande's criminally negligent mismanagement of the response to COVID-19 and his blatantly racist posturing with respect to the Black Lives Matter movement are making it increasingly likely that he'll be kicked out of office this November in a landslide for Joe Biden.

Just as important, the Jonestown suicide pact the Rethuglican Party has signed by supporting the Orange One gives the Democrats a real opportunity to take back the Senate and keep their House majority. And I'm really hoping that Amy McGrath (LtCol, USMC, ret.) will surprise Moscow Mitch McConnell and kick his ass right out of Kentucky.

114:

So what are your numbers referring to? I honestly have no idea.

The quality of right-wing trolls is definitely declining. Sad. Fake news.

115:

I don't know how the Tories' blundering is affecting political opinions in the (kinda) United Kingdom,

Johnson doesn't face re-election until late 2024, so we're fucked (at a UK level). However, his own party might well replace him as leader within the next few months to years.

In NI, his party are not part of the government or, really, the opposition: political alignment is Different, and there's a growing risk of a complete rupture with the UK, and a referendum on unification of Ireland, in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit transition.

Scotland faces a Scottish parliamentary election next May, and while the Tories look likely to be the largest opposition party, they're on course to be steamrollered by Nicola Sturgeon's SNP, who look likely to get more votes than the Conservatives and Labour combined. Johnson is personally disliked and distrusted by a majority of the Scottish population and is a positive driver of voters towards independence.

It is very hard to see this disconnect -- the Tories are solidly bedded in and have a big majority in England, but aren't even in the game in other parts of the UK -- getting better any time soon, especially during COVID19.

116:

If I found a mask that looked like the "business end" of a *real* warthog I might buy it. Tusks would be required.

117:

Wellllll....maybe. The reporting of cases has a systematic noise. I don't know if it's 12%, but that sounds about right. If the cases that die on Sunday don't get reported until Monday (the paperwork is important, but not urgent), then you'd expect a large oscillation. 1/7 is about a 14% oscillation, so it's clearly dampened.

Yeah, I could easily see a 12% variation in daily COVID deaths as statistical noise. It's systematic noise rather than random, but it's still noise.

118:

Re: Homemade masks

I've already mentioned this article before and will continue to repost it because a folded napkin or kerchief is NOT going to do the job.

If you're making your own mask, make it a 3-ply, 2-fabric (cotton & silk/chiffon) layered mask that covers snugly.

The rationale for these specific fabrics is that each does a different job - mechanical and electrical. The middle (silk/chiffon) layer typically develops/carries an electric charge which both attracts and traps very small particles (i.e., viruses).

Because of the electric charge aspect of this construction: NEVER use fabric softener when laundering multiple-ply masks - you'll be removing one of the working bits.

Also: air-dry your masks because the typical dryer temp is often too high and is likely to damage the fibers/fabric.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200424081648.htm

'In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear masks in public. Because N95 and surgical masks are scarce and should be reserved for health care workers, many people are making their own coverings. Now, researchers report in ACS Nano that a combination of cotton with natural silk or chiffon can effectively filter out aerosol particles -- if the fit is good.'


Here's the actual paper:

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.0c03252

119:

The thing is, while the protestors aren't authoritarian, many of the "officially selected spokesmen" are. That the spokesmen are selected by the media for being "newsworthy" doesn't mean that they represent the values of those they are "speaking for". It means more that they're likely to say something to shock or offend.

That said, most of the protestors don't have a clearly enunciatable agenda. Generally what they're really saying is "conditions are intolerable", with a bit of specificity as to what those conditions are, e.g. suspects being killed without recourse or penalty. That isn't enough to make a 2 minute sound bite, though, so someone with a clear and moving position is selected to represent everyone else, without much regard as to whether that person *does* represent the general opinion.

120:

Pigeon @ 78: I thought the crisis would bring the revolution on, but people are too stupid to notice the really obvious.

Be careful what you wish for. Revolutions frequently don't know when to say "Enough is enough."

They start out all "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" and end up all Napoleon, Joseph Stalin or Pol Pott. And then comes the counter-revolution and that rarely has a good outcome either.

121:

And I'm really hoping that Amy McGrath (LtCol, USMC, ret.) will surprise Moscow Mitch McConnell and kick his ass right out of Kentucky.

That's about the hardest of the races listed as a possible R to D flip. But the money it will siphon off from other races is making lots of other D candidates happy.

In other words, she is likely (based on polling at this time) to loose but the cost of the R win by Mitch may allow other Ds to win.

122:

It also depends on the accuracy of the initial stage of reporting. This is quite dubious given that there are many cases where the death was not acknowledged until some external source reported it.

Police camera videos should not be entrusted to the police. They also should not be entrusted to the prosecution. They should be public records, subject to being purged if not requested after a reasonable period of time, say a few months. If ANY action is based on them, they should be permanently retained. And police acting without working cameras should be considered as "acting under color of law" and not as actual police officers.

123:

Hey, but give it 200 years or so and things can be running a bit more smoothly...

124:

Pigeon @ 85: What about that chap who made his own fake currency and ripped off something like a third of all the money in the whole of Portugal with it? Or was it Spain? Now that's how you really do it.

I don't think Wirecard originally was intended to be a fraud. They just hired the wrong guy as CEO and he took 'em down the path of Enron Accounting to pump up the value of his stock.

125:

There actually *is* ongoing work on a "universal influenza vaccine", and it may eventually pay off. It hypothesizes that sensitizing the immune system to one of the flu's invariant components would work. My guess is that the difficulty is that those pieces are hidden behind a net of other pieces, so the immune system won't be able to reach them, even if it tried, but I could well be wrong. And it's certainly worth trying.

126:

_Moz_ @ 92: Is there any chance you could argue in good faith, even just once?

Just out of curiosity, who were your addressing this to?

127:

According to US history, the British *did* support the South in the US Civil War. Reasons are arguable, and the extent of the support is a bit uncertain, but the existence *is* certain, and it's one of the reasons the South was able to continue as long as it did. I don't know anything about the British side of the story, though. I'd suspect that Britain wasn't exactly friendly with the US government, as well as obvious economic reasons.

128:

John Hughes @ 123: Hey, but give it 200 years or so and things can be running a bit more smoothly...

And I'm really glad that it turned out that way, but you gotta' admit the success of the American Revolution was an extreme outlier. Name another country where "the revolution" hasn't degenerated into tyranny within less than a generation.

And even here it's been a close run thing. Close enough I worry if we're going to make it to 250 ...

129:

Re: '... subject to being purged if not requested after a reasonable period of time, say a few months.'

Nope - length of time to trial can be years esp. in the US.

https://money.cnn.com/2016/05/10/news/bronx-court-lawsuit/index.html

'According to the suit, at the beginning of this year 2,378 misdemeanor cases had been pending for more than a year and 538 had been pending for more than two years. On average, defendants can wait 642 days for a non-jury trial and 827 days for a jury trial in the Bronx, the complaint alleges. Each week, an average of 800 new misdemeanor cases come into the court, yet less than two get to trial.'


Then there's the appeal and re-trial.

https://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1366&context=facpub

'Federal data sets covering district court and appellate court civil cases for cases terminating in fiscal years 1988 through 2000 are analyzed. Appeals are filed in 10.9 percent of filed cases, and 21.0 percent of cases if one limits the sample to cases with a definitive judgment for plaintiff or defendant.The appeal rate is 39.6 percent in tried cases compared to 10.0 percent of nontried cases. For cases with definitive judgments, the appeal filing rate is 19.0 percent in nontried cases and 40.9 percent in tried cases. Tried cases with definitive judgments are appealed to a conclusion on the merits in 22.7 percent of concluded trials compared to 10.2 percent of concluded non-tried cases.'


Therefore purging such records after a few months is (IMO - I'm not a lawyer) equivalent to deliberately destroying evidence.

And I'm guessing because of gov't budget cutbacks and COVID-19 related shut-downs and postponements that things are even worse now re: pretrial, appeal and retrial delays.

130:

Scientific American has an interesting visual aid on how the virus "works". Haven't been through it yet but the visuals are great looking. Hope it is accurate as it will be a good intro for people who can't read the papers.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/interactive/inside-the-coronavirus

131:

Good grief, I wasn't talking about America, where it's looking like "give it a bit more like 240 years and it'll start turning into fascism".

132:

Funny that -- I've called it right every time on this pandemic, at least as how it has played out in the US and its separated at birth sibling, the UK. Not that it matters when one's life has been destroyed as one said it would be.

I have none of these things: yard, patio, porch -- or even a sidewalk to walk on.

There is no way to be safely outside at all where we live because we are surrounded by restaurants that have taken over all the sidewalk and street space where no safety is being observed and people yell for hours closely together without masks or distance and get drunker and drunker.

In the meantime we are also in constant danger of being hit by maskless scooter and bike riders, runners and just idiots on their phones.

The parks are filled the same way. Just waiting to cross the major roadways to get the river 'walking' park, I am surrounded by people running, biking, in large groups, nobody wearing masks. Before these people and their phones never paid attention to not running into pedestrians. They still aren't.

Today the official number of new cases in the US is over 50,000; over 10,000 of them in Florida alone.

This may be the only thing to get the US on any remotely sane track with the virus:

A National Mask Mandate Could Save The U.S. Economy $1 Trillion, Goldman Sachs Says

https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarahhansen/2020/06/30/a-national-mask-mandate-could-save-the-us-economy-1-trillion-goldman-sachs-says/#676ded4456f1

Key Take Aways:

Quote:

[ "As mask-wearing becomes a political flashpoint—despite coronavirus cases spiking to record levels across the country—new research from Goldman Sachs suggests a national mask mandate would slow the growth rate of new coronavirus infections and prevent a 5% GDP loss caused by additional lockdown measures.

Goldman’s analysts found that wearing face coverings has a significant impact on coronavirus outcomes, and they suggest that a federal mask mandate would “meaningfully” increase mask usage across the country, especially in states like Florida and Texas, where masks are not currently required.

The researchers estimate that a national mandate would increase the portion of people wearing masks by 15 percentage points, and cut the daily growth of new cases by 1.0 percentage point to 0.6%.

Reducing the spread of the virus through mask-wearing, the analysts found, could be a substitute for strict lockdown measures that would otherwise shave 5%—or $1 trillion—off the U.S. GDP." ]

~~~~~~~

Charles H @ 187 -- That is not true. The Brits never recognized the CSA as a nation; Charles Adams, Lincoln's minister to Saint James, and his son, Henry Adams, provide the very best sources as to what happened in those years, and who was who and did or didn't do what.

133:

I think that you're dreaming if you think that Biden will win by a landslide. The estate of the economy will likely prove the decisive factor and, since the election is 4 months away, that really can't be predicted one way or another right now. The recent rioting, not the protesting to be clear, has likely scared at least some voters away from the politicians that allowed the violence or even cheered it on. It's certainly sent gun sales soaring, with an estimated 45% going to first-time buyers, so maybe support for gun control has weakened across all voters. Maybe, maybe not. And how much anger is there for the ludicrous restrictions imposed by some Democrats (can anyone say the Governor of Michigan's name?) and then violate those very same restrictions themselves? (I'm looking at you, Lori Lightfoot of Chicago!) Will it persist through November, or will it all be water under the bridge by then? The world and the nation wonders.

I have no idea how the ongoing shitstorm in the US is going to play with the undecided and non-voters. I have little doubt that current events will have no effect on those already firmly in one camp or another as it's always easy to play the blame game for those we dislike or disagree with. If non-voters come out and actually vote, all bets are off, IMO. In my little town in purple Virginia, there was record turnout for the local elections last month and all of the Democrats lost, despite being slightly more liberal than the surrounding area. A harbinger of things to come? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on where they live, as always. Adding excess voters in an area that you already control does your party no good (cf. 2016).

I'm not at all concerned about the possibility that Trump will refuse to cede the Presidency if he loses, but I do worry a lot about the rioting and violence that I anticipate if he wins. I think that they'll be far more numerous and destructive than the recent events and could rival those of 1968.

134:

Therefore purging such records after a few months is (IMO - I'm not a lawyer) equivalent to deliberately destroying evidence.

In the US, destroying records on a per-determined "reasonable" schedule is NOT destroying evidence. But once the record holder is aware of a legal issue related to some records, said records must be preserved. And if not then it is equivalent to deliberately destroying evidence.

Got to read up on this when clients started asking about backup tapes. Basically have a reasonable policy and follow it.

135:

Charles H @ 127: According to US history, the British *did* support the South in the US Civil War. Reasons are arguable, and the extent of the support is a bit uncertain, but the existence *is* certain, and it's one of the reasons the South was able to continue as long as it did. I don't know anything about the British side of the story, though. I'd suspect that Britain wasn't exactly friendly with the US government, as well as obvious economic reasons.

The British elite tended to support the Confederacy, but ordinary people tended to support the United States, the Union or "the North"[citation needed]. Large-scale trade continued between Britain and the US. The US shipped grain to Britain, and Britain sent manufactured items and munitions to the US. Immigration continued into the US, with many Britons volunteering for its army.[quantify] British trade with the Confederacy fell over 90% from the prewar period, with a small amount of cotton going to Britain and some munitions and luxury goods slipped in by numerous small blockade runners. They were operated and funded by British private interests. They were legal under international law and caused no dispute between the US and Britain.[1]

Although ...

A long-term issue was sales of warships to the Confederacy. A British shipyard (John Laird and Sons) built two warships for the Confederacy, including the CSS Alabama,[3] over vehement protests from the US. Known as the Alabama Claims, the controversy was resolved peacefully after the Civil War when the US was awarded $15.5 million in arbitration by an international tribunal for damages caused by the warships.

The British Government remained "neutral". British "elites" [mercantile interests] supported the Confederacy, putting profit ahead of [anti-slavery] principles.

British public opinion was divided on the American Civil War. The Confederacy tended to have support from the elites: the aristocracy and the gentry, which identified with the landed plantation owners, and Anglican clergy and some professionals who admired tradition, hierarchy and paternalism. The Union was favored by the middle classes, the religious Nonconformists, intellectuals, reformers and most factory workers, who saw slavery and forced labor as a threat to the status of the workingman. The cabinet made the decisions. Chancellor of the Exchequer William E Gladstone, whose family fortune had been based on slavery in the West Indies before 1833, supported the Confederacy. Foreign Minister Lord Russell wanted neutrality. Prime Minister Lord Palmerston wavered between support for national independence, his opposition to slavery and the strong economic advantages of Britain remaining neutral.[10]

The British Government did not want war with the United States any more than the United States wanted war with Great Britain.

Meanwhile France had all they could handle trying to establish another New World empire in Mexico, so Confederate diplomacy there failed to bear fruit as well.

136:

Re: 'In the US, destroying records on a per-determined "reasonable" schedule is NOT destroying evidence.'

I have no idea who determines what a 'reasonable' schedule is based on what criteria. Just seems reasonable that if more and more cases are increasingly delayed, then the 'reasonable' schedule should also be automatically adjusted. Regardless - based on the large number of cases that are delayed by more than a few months - it would be irresponsible to purge records after 'a few months'.

137:

I agree completely, Moz. That's an absurdly low number.

Even with that, I'll note that with the Black population of the US at about 13%, the percentage of deaths is over twice the population.

138:

Thanks, Mike, that was a thing I enjoyed reading.

139:

I dunno. France went up and back - they are on the Fifth Republic, and the Republics have worked at last part of the time.

My slogan for the new American Revolution is liberta, egalite, sibilite*

* Y'know, siblinghood.... [g]

140:

Charles H
A lot of rich business interests in Britain were against the US Civil War, for obvious reasons.
But the anti-slavery movement was very strong in the UK. And backed by Prince Albert .....
After the battle of (?) Antietam (?) & The Emancipation Proclamation by Lincoln, support for the "South" basically evaporated, apart from a few greedy rich shits ( Sound familiar? )

It CERTAINLY DIDN'T HELP that some fuckwit idiot blowhards in the "union" wanted to actually go & pick a fight with the UK by invading Canada, again - but were stopped - IIRC by Lincoln. See also the utter fuckwittery of the Trent incident.
The sale of CSS Alabama was THE US' OWN FAULT - they had refused to sign an international treaty banning "Private Ships of War" - & the US STILL has not learnt this lesson about International treaties.

JBS
Name another country where "the revolution" hasn't degenerated into tyranny within less than a generation. Erm - Great Britain actually, culminating in 1688-89. Oops.

Foxessa
You are in Florida?
If so, my deepest sympathies.

141:

"Be careful what you wish for. Revolutions frequently don't know when to say "Enough is enough.""

Oh, I know all about that. It's better to think of the word in relation not to "revolt" but to "revolve". Thing is when the bicycle is speeding down the hill with no brakes it ends up being better to knock it over than to let it carry on and go over the cliff at the bottom.

"you gotta' admit the success of the American Revolution was an extreme outlier. Name another country where "the revolution" hasn't degenerated into tyranny within less than a generation.

England.

Not sure either of them count though. One of them the government being revolved against was on the other side of the ocean, the other one it was basically their own idea and the main problem was persuading their selected revolver to think it was a good idea for himself as well.

142:

Oh, aye. The French know all about revolutionary politics. Round and round and round...

143:

we are surrounded by restaurants that have taken over all the sidewalk and street space where no safety is being observed and people yell for hours closely together without masks or distance and get drunker and drunker.
The NYS positive tests tracker is reassuring. (I check it every day.)
Drill down by county, and look at all the history, and it is not obvious that there is an unmasked-outdoor-dining/etc effect. Probably there is a small effect because as you say people are in close proximity unmasked for hours, and being outdoors only helps so much. (I'm assuming without evidence an about 80 percent reduction in risk, varying wildly depending on stillness of air, humidity, etc.)
Agree entirely that mandatory face coverings indoors (public places and work places), and outdoors where there is crowding, is the rational path forward. The GS piece might be helpful. (It was obvious months ago, but the GS endorsement with big confidently estimated money numbers is new.) This and distancing where possible and also discipline about private gatherings (masks) are the tools (NPIs) we have until there is a whole-population vaccine. We all know that the initial vaccine doses will be for the rich and powerful, with some for the police and oh yes health care workers. They won't get their economy back until it's universal.
Cuomo's face-coverings indoors in public places order was 17 April 2020. In my area, a hard hit (suburban) county in the Hudson Valley, observed mask discipline for people entering stores was maybe 50 percent the day before the order (I sat in a car and counted people entering stores a few times), and 100 percent the day after the order. It was startling.

UK people, please take note. Experience basically everywhere is that the only way to get significant mask/face coverings discipline in places where there isn't a strong cultural tradition is to make face coverings mandatory. Push for it, and push for mask wearing in your local area by example. (Yeah, "face coverings will be mandatory in shops in Scotland from July 10."! Smiling. You'll finally be in the intervention arm of a natural experiment. :-)

Re people on phones outside, this is awesome:

This is one extraordinarily accurate prediction in a work of science fiction. This seldom ever happens. I’m amazed that I hadn’t seen it before today. https://t.co/Zbwe0xKn0E

— William Gibson (@GreatDismal) June 29, 2020

144:

'reasonable' schedule is based on what criteria

Well, it all depends (of course) and the real answer is "as long as necessary", which is a total non-answer. However, the US Internal Revenue Service has this advice for small businesses:

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/how-long-should-i-keep-records

Summary: Four to seven years in uncomplicated circumstances, as long as necessary in others involving long-term assets.

145:

They should keep them until enough time has elapsed that there is no longer any possibility of any legal action arising where they would be relevant. At the minimum, for something like 100 years, so that everyone involved will be dead and therefore any possible legal action will itself be irrelevant. After all, it's only data. It's not like an officer is going to fill up multiple VHS cassettes per shift, it's more like all the video from their entire time in the force will fit in their pocket. Not a lot of point deleting anything any more, it's become more hassle than not doing it.

146:

And I'm really glad that it turned out that way, but you gotta' admit the success of the American Revolution was an extreme outlier. Name another country where "the revolution" hasn't degenerated into tyranny within less than a generation.

Reminder that the nation established by the US revolution lasted less than 90 years before it was engulfed in civil war. Arguably it took that long because the distances involved were vast, when a horse-drawn carriage on poor roads could only average about 6-10mph during daylight hours: most countries that had revolutions were either geographically more compact, or had them with better transportation technology. (It's really hard today to grasp the degree to which even trains moving at 30-50mph revolutionized long range transport in the first half of the 19th century.)

147:

We are apparently on course for 400Tb LTO magnetic tape cartridges by 2028 using Strontium Ferrite (per FujiFilm), which I have to say is a mind-bogglingly large amount of HD video. If you've ever seen a big robotized tape library swapping cartridges, it suggests there should be no problem keeping video evidence from all the police wearable cameras in a large force online for several years, and retrievable within a day or two for decades (or until tape delamination, if they forget to copy and verify).

148:

Well, one of them - the other was tyrannical from the start.

149:
Name another country where "the revolution" hasn't degenerated into tyranny within less than a generation. Erm - Great Britain actually, culminating in 1688-89. Oops.
Yes, because that revolution's tyranny was established in the country it was actually fought in.

(The "Bloodless Revolution" was what really established the Ascendancy in Ireland; it's the reason the Orange Order is named such.)

150:

There's an interesting insight into long-distance journeying in the horse era at the beginning of Wuthering Heights: old man Earnshaw goes to Liverpool and back, 60 miles each way. He is well off enough to have his own horses, but he doesn't go by horse; he walks it. Reason being that once your journey becomes longer than a horse can manage in a single maintenance interval you get caught with so much pissing about maintaining it that it's easier to not bother with it in the first place.

151:

Sure. I chose the word "England" deliberately.

152:

Thanks Greg. That was a good summary. But it didn't mention the ending of the slave trade in East Africa after the UK swapped Heligoland for Zanzibar.

153:

I work with public safety answering points, airports, etc who record calls and screen captures. Massively generalizing, they normally keep things like audio records for a few months or less. Mortgage companies kept their records forever as loans can be 30 years, so . . .
Basically, each agency I deal with has their own requirements - some only record audio, some screen captures of agents', there are even now ways to record SMS messages. In the USA, all 911 calls must be recorded, they are easily exported to a CD or file.

154:

Because what we want is police having millions of hours of bodycam footage to feed to machine-learning algorithms trained to recognise "criminality" (defined however the designer/owner/law enforcement system defines it).

155:

We are apparently on course for 400Tb LTO magnetic tape cartridges by 2028 using Strontium Ferrite (per FujiFilm), which I have to say is a mind-bogglingly large amount of HD video.

I've setup / used LTO tape for backup/archiving systems.

The problem isn't what fits on a current tape. It has a lot to do with what do you do with the older tapes? I think the LTO spec requires drives to read/write back 2 iterations of storage spec. So 8th gen tapes (LTO-8) should be readable on LTO-9 and LTO-10 drives and an LTO-8 drive should be able to read (and maybe write) LTO-6 and LTO-7 tapes.

So what do we do when we move past those edges? I would basically wrap up the old backups, seal them and the drive and computer into a container. If someone needed them for legal reasons we could hand over the "box". Bit rot and all that. In real time we always had data on 3 tapes but once in storage who knows how long all bits would be readable.

Just before the world shut down we were going to go through and purge old DAT (2 and 4 GB) tape backups and drives as they were past the legal needs to retain data. Ditto that other format we used after DAT and before LTO that we used for a while. I just can't remember the name for it.

PS: LTO-8 is current (I think) and can hold 12TB uncompressed which can get to 30TB in many cases.

156:

Reason being that once your journey becomes longer than a horse can manage in a single maintenance interval you get caught with so much pissing about maintaining it that it's easier to not bother with it in the first place.

Most people in the US think that horses pulled the wagons that settled the west with the settlers riding in the wagons. Moves, TV, and all that.

The reality is the wagons were pulled by oxen, everyone who could walk did walk, and the horses were not ridden except when needed.

Why use fragile engines, wear out the engines you have, and waste fuel you might need later.

157:

I think I should really shred all my paid bills, etc, from the eighties and nineties, though, at least....

158:

There is a reason that 'coaching' inns were about 10-12 miles apart - that's all you could reliably walk, or even drive a coach, in the winter. That's in the 17th century - 6-10 MPH is the 19th century speed, with suspension and much better roads.

159:

I have none of these things: yard, patio, porch -- or even a sidewalk to walk on.

Oh dear! I am so sorry! You may have to go for late-night/early morning walks just to stay sane - being outdoors with a mask after the crowds have gone shouldn't be more dangerous that the possibility of going crazy from the isolation. Also, I find that one of the things that's keeping me from going nuts is having regular, scheduled calls with childhood friends (and a once-a-week online D&D game.)

Anyway, I hope the pressure comes off of you one way or another!

160:

Um, I rather think a large number of horse nomads would disagree with you. There are some simple solutions, like caring for the horse, allowing it time to graze...and taking multiple horses in a string. Mongol warriors, IIRC, took five horses with them and alternated which one they rode every day.

The critical distance issue is when you're putting grain in a cart and feeding the draft animal from the cart. After about 250 miles, the animal (horse or ox) has eaten all the grain, so there's no point in the exercise unless the cart and animal needed to go that far and you had some other way back. For human porters, it's about half as far.

Another good point is that Mongols could get away with this, but people in settled England had more trouble. The Mongols were living off the land, so food for their animals was effectively free. If the land is completely owned and settled, feeding animals gets harder, and that in turn makes transportation more complex.

This kind of calculation is actually pretty critical in the 21st Century, because it matters in things like moving fuel and food around. A good example is feeding people in a famine. If a famine is hundreds of miles from the nearest food supply, and there's no powered transport, it's really hard to get food in to relieve the situation, because the animals transporting the food need to be fed as well, and there's no food for them either (although they could be said to be meat on the hoof).

Another good example is moving oil. In some cases bulk container ships and trains are more fuel efficient than a big pipeline (counting costs of pumping versus costs of moving the vehicle). Bulk carriers are extremely fuel efficient (they can move a ton of payload something like a million miles on a ton of fuel), which is why they're the backbone of our economy right now. If we get to the point where big container ships are to fuel inefficient to run, we're in real trouble, unless we've got solar powered or sail ships to take up the slack, because it's hard to get more fuel efficient than that.

And, incidentally, something like a Concorde is about as fuel efficient as walking to the destination (although it's jet fuel versus food). Something like a suborbital hypersonic vehicle is even less fuel efficient than the Concorde. Absent an energy breakthrough of the tiny fusion plant variety, it's unlikely that we're going to see jets replaced by hypersonic transport. Indeed, we may see more people traveling on container ships than jets in a few decades. All because of fuel efficiency.

161:

Oh, now that we've solved the rest of the world's problems, I have a Complaint: what is it with every single orchestra? The classical station I'm streaming (it happens to be WFMT, Chicago) played a galliard. Every. Single. Recording. I have *ever* heard of the Lord Chamberlain's Galliard is played at, like, 33, when it needs to be 45 at *least*, and 78 would be about right.

I learned to galliard when I was in the SCA in the late seventies... and I can't go that slow as the way they play it.

162:

Yes, being able to walk and garden has been a line of sanity for me.

That said, you want to write the great American Novel about living in a generation ship? Everybody seems to assume that you can live for generations in a cramped apartment hurdling between stars, and not go insane doing it.

163:

Pigeon @ 141: Thing is when the bicycle is speeding down the hill with no brakes it ends up being better to knock it over than to let it carry on and go over the cliff at the bottom.

You've never been a mountain biker have you?

164:

What are you growing? I'm in western Riverside county and we just moved into a new house. Trying to get plants to grow seemed to require prying them out of the ground with a crowbar. Finally I succeeded by starting everything inside and moving it outdoors and planting it in the shadow of the house...

But finally I've got the three sisters all growing in one bed, tomatoes and peppers, and many varieties of squash/pumpkins, plus some herbs and eggplant that might successfully grow, and kale and onions...

165:

@133: Let's look at your arguments point by point:

I think that you're dreaming if you think that Biden will win by a landslide. The estate of the economy will likely prove the decisive factor and, since the election is 4 months away, that really can't be predicted one way or another right now.

The massive spike in infections across the South and West has forced governors to quickly backpedal on "opening" of their states, and in some cases is threatening to overwhelm health services. The resulting re-closing of those states is going to lead to more business failures and greatly increased unemployment, with associated contraction of the economy. It's not unlikely that the U.S. economy could move from our current recession to an actual depression between now and November.

The recent rioting, not the protesting to be clear, has likely scared at least some voters away from the politicians that allowed the violence or even cheered it on.

Um, since the first week, the level of rioting associated with BLM protests has gone WAY down, as police and protestors are more aware of troublemakers attempting to take advantage of the situation. And our "Law'n Order" President's shamble to Lafayette Square, preceded by jackboot tactics clearing peaceful protestors, played so well that the SECDEF and CJCS were both appalled and driven to publicly distance themselves from the awful spectacle. Plus, please show me one politician that "cheered on the violence".

[H]ow much anger is there for the ludicrous restrictions imposed by some Democrats

Specify which restrictions were ludicrous as we head for more than 150,000 EXCESS deaths. Granted, politicians who don't follow their own rules are rightly excoriated (Dominic Cummings, anyone?), but that's true across the board. My Texas friends are VERY unhappy with Governor Abbott and his open/closed backflip.

I have no idea how the ongoing shitstorm in the US is going to play with the undecided and non-voters.

Here's a link to the CNN list of current national polls from a variety of pollsters. Independent approval of the current administration continues to erode; the polls show a margin in Biden's favor from 8 to 14 points.

As to McGrath vs. McConnell in Kentucky, I said a victory for McGrath would be a surprise - but as of now, they're neck and neck. Not exactly heartening news for an incumbent who was first elected in 1984.

166:

Re: '... trained to recognise "criminality" (defined however the designer/owner/law enforcement system defines it).'

This assumes that only 'the law' has all the footage. There's also CCTV, smartphones, plus various in/at-home (and less often, in-car) security recording devices. Even though Google, MSFT and Big River have pulled their face-recog tech, I'm guessing they're still working on improving this and related tech. Ditto various universities.

There's also this scenario which is showing up more often esp. on local news: senior with dementia goes outside for a walk and gets lost/forgets where they live. Neighborhood surveillance with or without face-recog algo help the police to quickly identify, locate and return senior home. Not all cops/techs are evil.

167:

Some frank statements by an airline.

Doug Parker at American Airlines

"When we did the CARES Act, we CEOs sitting in a room in March fully believed, as did the people negotiating with Congress, fully believed by Oct. 1 this would be over with. I know that sounds insane now."

Our politicians are just beginning to admit that might be right.

168:

Everybody seems to assume that you can live for generations in a cramped apartment hurdling between stars, and not go insane doing it.

Jim Gaffigan does a few minutes long monologue on CBS Sunday Morning (USA thing that might be available elsewhere) about living in his apartment with wife and 5 kids. And he's "rich" and has a big apartment. And even with that separate "school spaces" for each is a hassle.

Best one was when he showed the metal cage they got for the portable electronics for the times they are off limits.

169:

inally I succeeded by starting everything inside and moving it outdoors and planting it in the shadow of the house...

May I ship you some Periwinkle and what the locals call "English Ivy"? I'm thinking of IEDs to stop them. They have their place but they don't seem to care about staying there.

170:

My Texas friends are VERY unhappy with Governor Abbott and his open/closed backflip.

He just went to mandatory face masks in most of the state. (Where gophers don't out number people.)

I suspect there is going to be some real R infighting behind the scenes down there. Especially with the Lt. Gov saying let us old fart die to save the economy.

171:

This proves beyond reasonable doubt that computers only exist to support the mag tape industry. I knew Boolean logic was just a flash in the pan.

172:

Sure there's a current spike, but the real question is what will the status be in 3-4 month and I don't believe that that can be reliably predicted at this stage. LA-area hospitals are being absolutely slammed with ICU-worthy cases, so it's not just the red states in those areas that are being hit. Austin's outbreak shows a strong correlation to the maskless demonstrations 4 or 5 weeks ago there so it's not just the "premature" lifting of restrictions. Conversely how many New Yorkers will remember de Blasio and Cuomo's failure to implement restrictions in a timely manner? Dunno, but it probably won't matter much nationally.

Sure, you remember his walk across Lafayette Park to pose by the church, but how many people will in 4 months? Or attach as much weight to that stunt as you do? Recentism is a real thing when it comes to elections, unless canny politicians remind voters of their opponents' fuckups.

Governor Whitmer forbade people from fishing if they used used a motor as opposed to rowing or sailing when she expanded her restrictions on 9 April. WTF? And she prevented people from buying plants and gardening supplies just when Michiganders need to start seedlings before actually planting them once things warm up. And that was a blanket order, not just one for flowers, so food crops were involved as well for serious gardeners who like to live off their gardens as much as possible.

I doubt the validity of all polling data this far ahead of the election. IIRC, Clinton showed a significant lead over Trump this far ahead of election day four years ago, so that should tell you something. Polls did get a lot closer to the actual results nearer to the election last time and some of the state-level polls were within the margin of error a few days before the election. So far as I'm concerned, polls at this stage might as well be a magic 8-ball, "conditions cloudy, try again later".

If the economy tanks, which I agree is a real possibility, than I think Trump is screwed, no matter what he does. If it's still sort of chugging along, then I believe that he's got a significant chance, especially if non-voters go their civic duty and COVID-19 remains about the same level as it is now. I have no idea idea if or how any of that will play out over the near future, which is why I refuse to write him off at this stage.

I took plenty of international relations classes many, many moons ago, and some people tried to express the possibilities of going to war mathematically; you know if the expected profit/outcome from a victory is greater than the costs for various elite groups, then sum up the outcomes and "Bob's your uncle!" The most obvious absurdity to my eyes was to how to weight all the variables modifying the individual equations; that would be perfectly subjective and likely to be seriously influenced by the actual outcome. I said all this to emphasize that you and I are obviously putting different weights on the variables affecting each voter's decision making and things that you may find very important in your own decision making may well be far less so in other people's evaluations. I'm very deliberately trying to prevent myself from repeating Pauline Kael's infamous remark about Nixon's victory in '72, the actual quote, not the paraphrase, reads, ‘I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.' One that was repeated by many liberals in '16, IMO. And trying not to fall into groupthink. And if I can keep a few others out of the groupthink cesspit, all the better.

173:

that other format we used after DAT and before LTO that we used for a while. I just can't remember the name for it.

Had it on the tip of my tongue several times, but ended up having to google. DLT. From Exabyte to DAT to DLT to LTO in my world, with at least three co-existing.

I personally toured a petabyte-capable tape library built with a single robot ,two drives and (then) I guess LTO-1 or LTO-2 tapes in the late 2000s (it was built to back up MRI scans). They didn't have a petabyte worth of media in it yet, but it spread over 5 racks. Systems were already available that could accommodate multiple robots. They were also capable of constantly taking in backup streams and also constantly consolidating backups for optimal ability to handle its recovery use cases, generating separate image sets for off-site transport, etc, so multiple drives would be favourite too. I'm pretty sure this stuff is quite standard these days for large installations with lots of important but not time-critical data. Even then, there were also mature hierarchical storage systems where the tape was just the endpoint in a data ageing process that started on fast disk (SSD now I guess), moved to slow disk and then to tape. Backups were always faster to tape than to disk until SSDs became affordable (and even now it's probably faster to use an SSD cache for streaming to tape than to backup to disk, though it depends on the data I guess).

With the big could providers all this stuff would just be commoditised now.

174:

No in NYC, to where the people in Florida now want to come to hide from what they brought to Florida.

I live in downtown, which is OLD, and it is very densely populated -- though not as bad as some areas. But few have as many restaurants and bars are here. That's all there are, as a matter of fact, since they drove out everything else -- international restaurant corps -- by agreed to the ridiculous rents charged by the real estate owners. There were too many of them to survive Before, and now it's impossible. On my block alone there are 8 restaurants, and it is a short block. Radiating out from the block ends there are even more, all the way. We'd have moved, but we came here a long time ago, and we can't afford to move. None of these places existed here, not a single one, until deep into the 1990's. Then after 9/11 it went crazy, and has been going crazier ever since, with a new one opening every month or two, along with yogurt joints, cafes, ice cream parlors and so on and so forth.

JBS @135 -- thanks for all that! And there's even more to say about the ins and outs of GB and the Union -- and France. Many a CSA plantation owner, particularly those from Louisiana, refugeed there. They established their own social circles, sending their daughters to convents, and the boys to military school. But the class system etc. -- made it pretty hard for them to break into the world of the Real French. And spies, o spies everywhere for everybody.

As for invading Canada -- that was because the CSA really thought THEY could take it over. They maintained a big spy network there. They even tried to launch a coup on New York from Canada -- with the enthusiastic support of some Canadians -- on which the Union looked poorly. They rolled them up and the coup failed.

175:

I was always working with firms 25 or smaller. But they would still generate a LOT of daily data. Especially those pesky architects and their CAD files.

IBM had tape robots in the later 70s / early 80s. There was one at KY state government.

176:

Now that the voting is over, the reasons to calm down the population are pretty much gone and everything can go as usual, I guess. We are getting ready to a "second wave" of crisis and pandemic, it is very much not as panicked and predictable as the first. Truly it is a strange time. I actually expect a period of recovery until the end of the year, but since this recovery is mostly just bullshit and money-printing, one cannot expect it to last, and what happens next belongs to wild speculations.

to Charlie Stross @50:

That's not what's happening in Scotland. England (different government) is more prone to cronyism, and a lot more inept at channeling funds to sick people: there's cronyism and corruption there, but typically b/c incompetent politicians demand action then commission companies owned by people they know to do the work.
That is also a familiar sight, but not as widespread nowadays. But a careful observer can notice it - for one, in my region there was a corruption scandal (aforementioned cronyism, but more about conflict in hierarcy), quite public one, so president fired the governor, but since there was no charges he was let go. The new governor in the region started with preparations for republic's celebration of jubilee of the republic or some sort of thing, so most of the main roads in the center of the city are being reconstructed, and people are saying that the new governor is closely connected to these . But one cannot expect for these transgressions to be punished, unless they are pretty severe, like it happened last time. Still there's certain dynamic, and for all the 85 regions, you can regularly hear someone replaced, or convicted. For example, my home region's (I left it 15 years ago) governor was caught red-handed in bribery 4 years ago and is now in jail.

It went viral all over Europe. There are BLM demos in the UK, in France, in Spain ... and there's a growing scandal in London over how the Metropolitan police have been going backward over addressing institutional racism in the past 30 years (and similar issues in other forces).
But then we do realize that this racism is the result of the similar workforce movement, only it is a modern equivalent of it. Neoliberalism likes to idealize "freedom of movement" that modern system allows, but in the end it results in human trafficking and modern forms of slavery, better known as neocolonialism. From the point of view of corporations, human resources should move where the capital is, not the other way around - it is clearly a destructive tendencies and people react to it accordingly. It's not like you can tell them to SHTFU and go rot in a social bottom, people have to realize that better than rescue a person from the third world country (i.e. turn him into a zombified consumer), you can more safely help him rescue his own life in his own homeland.

to whitroth @52:
Geez, I don't know what to say, other than I'm very glad you made it through. Are you still in bed a lot of the time, or walking and doing stuff?
People from other regions who I tell this about are all very shocked and say this is probably the worst it ever been, they are sure their services are in better condition. I don't know what to say tho them, maybe it was a bad luck.

We are totally OK, I was in bed for three weeks and for first 10 days I've had a high fever(due to pneumonia) we couldn't do anything about. I was dead tired, couldn't move a finger by the end of that time, and only then some infusions (we invited an acquainted nurse for that) really helped when we managed to get chest scan and secondary infection became more obvious. But still, it is hard to recover energy afterwards, and now two weeks later I am only mostly to the usual rhythm of life.

What you should remember about COVID is that it acts very much like heavy case of flu initially, it really hits you like a truck for the first 2 or 3 days after first symptoms, and you can lose your energy very fast. If that happens, better watch out for consequences. This is the important period of time and if you can't sure you are safe it is better to not take chances. Psychology like "it will be over by the morning", "it is probably nothing", "I will be OK as usual" will lead to unnecessary casualties. Still, it fascinates me how people really _know_ that the virus is out there, but cannot actually believe it.

My job management bought some test services, so after I came out of illness I've had to take a test (for free) for the virus (actually negative), and only then I was allowed to work. Generally I say, the management reaction on our place was somewhat sporadic and improvised, but it prevented outbreaks, which in situation of large company would lead to shutdown.

177:

Perhaps "Boris clung to power" should read "Boris clung to life"...

178:

nonemouse
The revolution was fought in FOUR countries, actually:
England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland.
It's arguable that Scotland actually suffered more casualties, certainly per capita, than any of the othe kingdoms.

And, a reminder ... the RC church or it's apparent minions made at least FIVE attempts to overthrow the government in England - & you wonder why they were regarded with suspicion?

Mike C
Thanks for that.
REMINDER ...
As I mentioned a few links back in a previous thread ... British ( evil colonial) "residents" were still freeing numbers of slaves ( In Arab countries, natch ) as late as the 1950's ....

EC @ 158
ALways excepting the epic Carey's Ride ...
London (Richmond, actually) to Edinburgh

179:

Sorry, I types those stats from memory and bleeped them up a bit. I've checked the sources at

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/total-covid-deaths-per-million?tab=table

and see that only Belgium (with quite a hard lockdown) has come in over 700 per 1M of population (very foolish of me to type 100K by accident earlier), Germany with 100 deaths per 1M of population is about the lowest amongst large and heavily connected places. Most countries with lower rates than Germany are either small and/or not major (business or leisure) international travel destinations, or have very little health infrastructure to notice a covid-19 epidemic against the much worse diseases they face every day, or closed external borders early enough to stop the virus entering.

I must still stand by my point that in the UK cases were declining before lockdown, there is a paper from Prof Simon Wood in Bristol which works on calculating back from the deaths peak and finds that cases had peaked in the UK and were declining before lockdown began. This is a UK specific paper, so stating it to be universally true wouldn't be appropriate, but it does imply that locking down the UK may have been unnecessary. There is also this from the Uni of East Anglia which suggests lockdowns were ineffective and unnecessary, but less intrusive measures like banning large events helepd bring the virus under some control https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.01.20088260v1 . I did have a graph showing there to be no correlation between the strength and "starting conditions"(how many cases per M of population when it was imposed) of national lockdowns, and the total deaths (per million) seen in the country by the time the covid-19 peak was declining and cases had stabilised at a low level, but can't remember the source, so that will look quite bad for my argument. I could also point to Michael Levitt's commentary on looking at the virus from a purely empirical data viewpoint, this too suggests the lockdowns were un-necessary. I think we've been lucky with this virus, lucky it is not something with a much higher IFR. The fact that so many places resort to terrible lockdowns, shows we were unprepared for handling diease. The fact that Sweden is seeming like a world leader (deaths per million lower than quite a few locked down countries, higher coivd deaths than some countries but balanced against the fact they've kept their civil liberties and maintained healthcare for non-covid patients) for doing very little, shows that no-one is particularly great at handling the pandemic. COVID is a wakeup call to be prepared for emergencies, not to obsess over short term profit but to find ways to make society resilient enough to prevail. And the lockdowns are a stark warning that we must prepare to prevail in ways which keep quality of life preserved, not just quantity. There is also the civil liberties case to consider, my greatest fear is that tolerance of lockdown could so easily usher in what Charlie here has described as "the lazy genocide". China has already taken the virus as an opportunity to roll out the red-amber-green system across the country, undoubtedly this app is already being used to trap those with low "social credit" scores. They've also taken the distraction of the west with the virus as a chance to turn further aggression against the people of Hong-kong. In america we see the worst president in their history sending troops on to the streets, an action which would get far less support were he not able to make suggestions about "diseased protesters" and use these to deepen division in the US. In Singapore we see plans for mandatory carrying of a tracking token. In India we've seen all government employees and users of any public service required to tun a surveillance app which states in its terms and conditions that data will be used for purposes beyond covid control and will be retaiend forever. In parts of the state of western australia we see CCTV cameras being mounted outside their doors of anyone suspected of having the virus so they can be arrested if they peep from the door. We're seeing businesses across the world refuse cash payments, even though as the typical coin or note spends quite a long time in tills or wallets betwen uses it only touches a few hands every few days, and switch to tracable cards (with terminals everyone touches!), cards which as well as leaving records of all your private transacations are dependent on vulnerable (to accidents and malicious attacks) telecom and finanical infrastructure, VISA's systes went down last year for a day and caused chaos, imagine that without cash to fall back to. In "Happy 21st Century" Charlie warned of these sorts of steps, we are seeing in the form of lockdown far too much power concentrated in government hands. Government and megacorporations are grabbing all the powers they can, powers which will be abused either by the current rulers of such states and companies, or by successors to their roles at some point in the next few decades. This will be like having DRM installed onto every aspect of our world, not just assaulting our rights for entertainment and digital device spare parts. Everything will require a government permission signed in triplicate by an algorithm which has decided that "you are an undesirable". I want to be very clear I'm talking about civil liberties here, when one thinks of the standard left-right split of state-spending vs private-profit I don't have much of an opinion, whatever works is fine whether it is socialism, centrism or capitalism. I'm talking here about government objecting to government intrusion into the liberties of individuals, I'm not making an argument as to what the role of governments should be in the world's finances. I think a new world which emerges from this could be a very depressing place in which none of us would be welcome, I'd rather risk death from a virus than live like that. By all means, I'll wear a mask, wash my hands, avoid crowds, keep rather more than 2 metres apart, limit my visits to far-away friends and relatives, stay home if I have symptoms, I'll do my bit to help end that nasty strain of self-replicating enveloped RNA, but I'm against draconian measures which exacerbate a dangerous power imbalance between citizen and state.

180:

My apologies if what I'm saying seems a bit strong, but I've been on the receiving end of police harassment for "non-essential" shopping early in the lockdown. Who are they to say what items from the supermarket are "non-essential" when they know nothing of dietary problems. And I've had family members in prolonged agony due to cancelled "elective" surgey, they were scheduled for early April but the NHS decided to ignore them and focus on preparing for covid cases, they still haven't had a new surgery date scheduled and I fear that the number of people put in to very poor health by the lockdown will make a wave on the NHS much worse than an uncontrolled covid spike would have been likely to be. I've also been having a very miserable time unable to work at a job I used to love before the lockdown hit us. I am angry with how the response to the pandemic has wrecked so much in our society, to have all life's quality sacrificed for eliminating a risk of covid-19's magnitude doesn't stack up on my scale. I just wish we'd had Anders Tegnell in charge in the UK, we'd have had much the same tragic losses to covid-19 as we have actually had, but atleast we'd not have suffered all the othr human tragedies.

181:

Charlie Stross @ 146:

And I'm really glad that it turned out that way, but you gotta' admit the success of the American Revolution was an extreme outlier. Name another country where "the revolution" hasn't degenerated into tyranny within less than a generation.

Reminder that the nation established by the US revolution lasted less than 90 years before it was engulfed in civil war. Arguably it took that long because the distances involved were vast, when a horse-drawn carriage on poor roads could only average about 6-10mph during daylight hours: most countries that had revolutions were either geographically more compact, or had them with better transportation technology. (It's really hard today to grasp the degree to which even trains moving at 30-50mph revolutionized long range transport in the first half of the 19th century.)

I think I did mention it being "a close run thing". The government established by the American Revolution lasted less than a decade, 1781 to 1789 before being overthrown (fortunately non-violently) by our current government.

182:

I've no idea about the credibility of your sources, but the US shows, utterly without a doubt, that lockdowns *work*. The idiot FreeDumb run Southern states that held off on lockdown, then reopened early, have infection and death rates through the roof.

183:

The fact that Sweden is seeming like a world leader (deaths per million lower than quite a few locked down countries, higher coivd deaths than some countries but balanced against the fact they've kept their civil liberties and maintained healthcare for non-covid patients) for doing very little, shows that no-one is particularly great at handling the pandemic.

Sweden is the fifth-worst in the world for total deaths when normalized by population. It's also fifth-worst for total confirmed cases, doing only slightly better than Brazil. What you posted is a right-wing talking point which has ZERO relationship to reality, and at the very least I would have to question where you're getting your information.

https://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/

You'll have to dig a little, but the graph you're looking for is the third graph down, and you'll have to choose Sweden and then pick out exactly what you'd like to learn about.

184:

whitroth @ 157: I think I should really shred all my paid bills, etc, from the eighties and nineties, though, at least....

Spend the money to get a really good one that does multiple pages and shreds to micro-cut. The smaller the pieces the better.

185:

I'm betting a bunch of bills from the nineties would make really excellent paper for someone who's into the whole crafting thing.

186:

You've got more than I do. I'm on adobe clay soil, mostly on a steep slope. A pry bar is mandatory for large hole construction.

So far I had a good crop of fava beans, and now I'm working on collards and tomatoes mostly, with a few squash starts to see if they'll take or if the bugs get them. I've also got an avocado and a couple of citrus trees. Most of my yard is a mix of the previous owner's plants and the natives I'm gradually replacing them with.

187:

Thanks for the link, nice graphing tools. We should note though that in Sweden the cases have isen recently, with an increase in testing capacity (at last!), but hospital ICU admissions with the virus are very low and have been declining since april, and deaths are also very low (wikipedia shwos these graphs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_Sweden as of 00:02 BST 03/07/2020). So most of the recent rise in Sweden is mild cases being detected that would previously have been not noticed by the more limited earlier scale of testing. If we see deaths rise a lot in the coming weeks then I'll admit my mistake.

As for US states which have seen surges post-unlocking, they have tended to have less deaths per million overall than european countries, and still haven't risen to meet the european level. It might well be the case that this virus will, pretty inevitably, rise until the kinds of death levels seen in much of europe occur, and only then will it decline. In which case lockdowns simply delay the inevitable. Initially lockdown was infact described in just such terms, merely a way to flatten the curve to reduce health service pressure, when did it become a cure-all to stop the virus? When we've seen that, very fortunately, this virus doesn't seem able to overwhelm health services (although ovrwhelming them in the US could be easy compared to the rest of the world, given how badly the US lets corporate interests control its medical infrastructure), even in countries like Sweden which didn't lock down, the point of lockdowns gets a bit hard to see. I'm not disputing other public health measures, mask wearing, hand washing and physical distance are wise steps, and ones the Swedes have adhered strongly to, just that lockdown is too authoritarian and quite unnecessary.

188:

I can't find it in a hurry but an article from one of the epidemiological team who worked on Ebola and the original SARS outbreaks a decade and more ago, an experienced and knowledgeable expert said something to the effect that massive intervention early in an outbreak/pandemic is always going to look bad later when the deaths and illness figures are looked at, some uninformed people will always say with hindsight that we didn't need to go that far, really considering the results.

He went on to say that we really really didn't want to see the figures for deaths and illness if we DIDN'T over-react early and hard. The early Imperial College mathematical models for SARS-CoV-2 were hinting at a million deaths in the UK without the medium-hard lockdown we went through and which was implemented later than it should have been. The care homes cockup didn't help the headline numbers of cases and especially deaths.

Now we're opening things up again, taking the foot off the brakes because the weather's nice and people want to socialise and spread the disease a bit more because freedom and alcohol (Greater Manchester police have cancelled all leave for the force on Saturday, the day pubs re-open in England) and footy and all the things we did without to drive the case loads and death rates down to a fraction of what they were a couple of months ago. The IC epidemiologists have predicted this too in their modelling -- it's called "the second wave".

189:

Foxessa @ 174: As for invading Canada -- that was because the CSA really thought THEY could take it over. They maintained a big spy network there. They even tried to launch a coup on New York from Canada -- with the enthusiastic support of some Canadians -- on which the Union looked poorly. They rolled them up and the coup failed.

I gotta' go back and read all that Wikipedia stuff again. I completely missed the part about the Confederacy thinking they could take over Canada.

190:

The care homes cockup is truly shameful. This is a virus which is primarily a risk to the old and frail, so the policy of moving patients from hospitals to carehomes and letting the virus go with them has contributed to a very large number of deaths. This mistake was one thing that both the Uk and Sweden did, and quite possibly why both countries have high deaths-per-million figures. With the virus concentrated like this, largely but not solely a nosocomial disease, goings on in wider society have probably had a lot less effect on the tragic deaths than this one policy alone. SARS and Ebola were both warnings which we ignored, we should have used them as reason to better prepare things like PPE stockpiles, although in neither was a lockdown considered, and at its height the Ebola outbreaks in africa seemed a lot worse than covid-19. I do fear what will happen when the pubs reopen, not epidemiologically, just in terms of all the drunken disorder we'll see. Maybe I'm thinking wishfully but I am quite convinced by suggestions that covid-19 has naturally run its course, especially as despite so many earlier chances to flare up again massively during the decline it has only managed a few local outbreaks (looking around the world we mostly see the post-national-peak covid spikes in places where it was not prevalent early on, almost as if the separate places are experiencing separate local mini-peaks delayed behind the rest of their countrys' rather than being anything like a second wave).

191:

And with all that. In 1815 one side was Prussian, Austrian, Russian, various weirdos from part of the Spanish aristocracy, some very nasty Neapolitans, the British and all kinds of others. The other side had Napoleon, most of France, much of the old Netherlands republic, lots of Italy and Spain.
I think the wrong side won.

192:

"You've never been a mountain biker have you?"

No. Mountains and bicycles do not go together. You don't need something to make it easier to get down the mountain; that's easy in any case. Too easy sometimes. What you need is something to make it easier to get up the mountain, and you need it even more if you're trying to lug a bicycle up there too.

"Spend the money to get a really good one that does multiple pages and shreds to micro-cut. The smaller the pieces the better."

You don't need that. Paper comes with a built-in self-destruct mechanism. It's free, it shreds it to molecular-sized pieces (and sticks them on to bits of other molecules just to mix things up even more), and it's great fun to operate.

193:

Troutwaxer @ 185: I'm betting a bunch of bills from the nineties would make really excellent paper for someone who's into the whole crafting thing.

Shredded & soaked in water for a couple of days they make pretty good "logs" for the fireplace or wood stove.

I've had one of these doohickeys for about 40 years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXd6xabm4D0

I make a couple of batches per year (depending on how much stuff I need to shred). When the basket on the shredder gets full, I take it downstairs & dump it in a horse-bucket and add water. When the horse-bucket is full of pulp, I make bricks.

My shredder does micro-cuts so my bricks are denser. Before I got the shredder I just tore the paper into strips by hand. With the shredded paper you don't have to soak it as long for it to form good pulp, although that's not really a concern for me.

194:

No, that's a different problem. The camera systems already exist, so they can do that anyway, all they have to do is decide they want to. Indeed it would probably make the thing come out a bit better if they could feed it the data from the entirety of an officer's beat instead of just the bit where someone stabbed someone.

195:

I generally have to wet the soil, dig a couple shallow depressions so I can wet the soil some more, and when I've excavated to the necessary depth I pile up an inch of peat moss and an inch of composted chicken manure over the dirt, then turn it over. I raise all my seeds inside, then transplant them. The only thing I've successfully planted outside is Kentucky Wonder Beans, and they only grow if soaked first.

And since it's Southern California everything gets twice as much water as it says on the seed packet and I grow in areas with lots of morning or afternoon shade - right next to a fence or at the side of the house or whatever. I've also got all my tomatoes growing in pots, and the cucumbers too.

196:

The tip here is: if there are late night rapid access dumps + removals, PM B.Arnold. You'll get a raft on nonsense spam with some diamonds in it, this is kinda required.

For instance: DB is "allegedly" about to Bail-Out various Wirecard stuff, mentioned here before even the UK / DE press had a snifter, and mentioned some CH juicy stuff etc and there's FCA stuff that's never ever going to float, plus whatever else they forget to find in Mauritius and so on.

Like: Don't care, it's human bullshit. Even the EUREX T7 stuff was [redacted] wobbles.

~


But it meant a seriously dangerous little *cough*not really human male*cough* thing came and threatened to eat us, again.

#1 Points to Mars Green HALO

#2 Points to Poland, skies

#3 Points to Rapid escalating insect death


Like: fucking the Apes around over their shit and making fun of them for their complex systems being laughed at?

Dude.

T7 EUREX / DAX is [redacted] taking the fucking piss.

197:

"Sure there's a current spike, but the real question is what will the status be in 3-4 month and I don't believe that that can be reliably predicted at this stage. "

Actually, it can be, because it will be one of three things:

1) Sky-high, in a way which makes New York in spring look low, with the hospitals basically hammered flat.

2) Recovering from a draconian lock-down, which will have crushed the outbreak, but hammered the economy.

3) Possibly both, since the culture war has the right siding with the virus.

The GOP Senate is delaying any federal relief, which means that (a) supplemental unemployment runs out this month and (b) a number of US states are this month having to adjust their budgets to deal with vast shortfalls. That means that they cut employees, and their suppliers cut employees.

The Florida state government is cutting down on reporting their numbers, and they aren't doing that because those numbers are good.

At least one major Texas medical system has admitted that they have hit capacity.

Cases are increasing radically in California, and they are going back into shutdown.

Yesterday 'Moscow Mitch' McConnell, the Senate majority leader, warned Democrats against trying to steamroller the GOP next term ('do as I say, not as I do'). He's not doing that because he feels confident of a Republican victory.

The polls have shown that white Americans are moving to the left on racial issues, and that's *after* weeks of Black Lives Matter protests. I think that here we are actually seeing a major political shift in US politics.

198:

Oh, and kinda deliberately HAM-HANDED foreshadowing a load of ***CURRENT EVENTS*** about Yachts and so on, but, again. Apparently not allowed.[0]

If you know anything about anything, that was all to hide the actual stuff anyhow.

But fine: $14 billion drop and you can't collect on it (like max totals are E132 mil / $3.2 bil total) says Humans are crap at this fixed game anyhow.


You should hook up some of the outraged HN dev crew[1] to the idea of pre-quake modelling. It's basically how Stuxnet worked, only you can do it. Well. [redacted]

[0] Thing [redacted] and Child-Abuse etc. Let's just say, we've no faith in your systems, but these fuckers.... view that kind of Mind as Candy. Expect T and Bid to loose more cognitive functions, that stuff is... literally rotting their brains, In Real Time.

[1] Host has ties

[2] Pay attention: Turkey just went full And-redocogomre-foresajkin Conspiracy / burn the West on y;akk. No, really. Nice cover, if a lot of it wasn't actually true. Like: just what the fuck is in your anti-aging cream apart from the unnecessary human foreskin (like: is pig skin too fucking haram?) or the whiteners.

OOH.

Anyhow: Pidg. Serious attempt to protect some of you UK peeps, derailed. Hint too hard and too close, we do.

~


MEOW. Got to do see about eating a fucking Void Beast.

199:

I suspect there is going to be some real R infighting behind the scenes down there. Especially with the Lt. Gov saying let us old fart die to save the economy.


I suspect there won't be.

Whether it be the hospital CEO's, the business CEO's, or something else the GOP has found the face mask gospel in the last week. The turnabout has been quite spectacular with almost every GOP person now recommending people wear face masks, and even Trump moving to accepting them

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53258792

200:

"The fact that Sweden is seeming like a world leader (deaths per million lower than quite a few locked down countries, higher coivd deaths than some countries but balanced against the fact they've kept their civil liberties and maintained healthcare for non-covid patients) for doing very little, shows that no-one is particularly great at handling the pandemic. "

Compared to Norway, Finland and Denmark, Sweden looks extremely bad. From the COVID tracking page courtesy of the Financial Times (https://www.ft.com/content/a26fbf7e-48f8-11ea-aeb3-955839e06441), the excess mortality was:

Denmark +6%
Norway - none
Sweden +26%

201:

Imagining Right Wing peeps can't do high level strategy is kinda like imagining that the Soviets lost 27 million people through their own racial inferiority or that Soviet Technology was never a thing.

Someone smart and hard took a look at the PPE numbers, the $$ available and the PR spend and how much donor cash was coming from Life Insurance vrs Media down-turn, ran it through, shoved a couple of trillion on the stock market.


And you know what: 11% unemployment (completely fudged) is super-green, and the Stock Market is up, and those riots? FR intel + IL software + a few good old Americans policing the White Lines got it done. Only +112 over average dying mysteriously this year, that's a number Covid easily hides.


Fuck me.

Literally why you're losing this. You can't even imagine that they'll kill you for it.

Now, excuse me:


One LARGE fucking nasty [redacted] is about to Eat Us [translation] who thinks hes [male voice taken, probably using direct line gender insert into body via cock, it's the hard/fast/rude method] and HE WANTS TO EAT ME.


Which, unlike you unsophisticated fucks, means I've got to Black-Hole his* Mind, do various other things and THEN FUCKING EAT HIS SOUL.

~


And you fucks: can't even do decent protest against people murdering your "allies". Ask the Algerians, I'm fucking busy.

202:

We have a decent one, does 4 or more pages at once.

But I have these checkbooks, and, since I've been using duplicate checks since my late wife started us on them, all these NCR dups... tear out a bunch. Shred. Repeat and repeat and repeat.... It's hours and hours of work.

Turning them into fire logs... interesting thought.

203:

Oh, I think they would have agreed a lot. After all, their entire lives were structured around those limitations, and all the stuff you have to do and not do in consequence would be second nature to them. You've listed some examples. They make those choices for the same reasons, as they apply to their circumstances. If you changed the circumstances, put one in the middle of a moor in Yorkshire 200 years ago in winter and told them to go and bring something back from 60 miles away, I doubt they'd do it by horse either, or not more than once at any rate.

The trick of taking multiple horses along and using them in rotation was used by lots of people, but it doesn't solve the maintenance problem, it just defers it, and then gives you a bigger one when you do have to deal with it. IIRC it extends your operating radius to maybe 50 miles as a borderline practical limit, more likely less, or you can take the advantage in speed instead with a correspondingly smaller radius. It's still jolly good for messengers, scouts or specialist units acting as part of a horse-era army, but you can't have the whole army operating like that unless all you're doing is occasionally fighting for a couple of hours and then disappearing again for a few weeks. You've still got to find room for the maintenance somehow, either in numbers or in time. And in cost, however that is expressed for you, money or oats or grassland or whatever.

If you've got infrastructure, you can express it in money and hand it off to a bunch of horse-swapping stations along the route. I've never really understood how anyone ended up getting their own horse back again in the end, though. Maybe you just had to not care about that.

Thing is horses really are amazingly useless when you're used to engines. They're not so much like a car as like an electric mobility scooter with a lead-acid battery and a solar charger. We just forget because we don't use them any more and the one or two people who do are never interested in using them enough to find the limits a problem.

"And, incidentally, something like a Concorde is about as fuel efficient as walking to the destination (although it's jet fuel versus food)."

There used to be an advert for a 50cc Honda with the headline "it costs less to run than you do". It did 150mpg which was about a penny a mile at the time, and the advert pointed out that whatever food you ate to replace the number of calories you'd use to walk a mile would cost a whole lot more than a penny. I liked it because every single other piece of propaganda that mentioned food and calories was all about spending more money to eat more food with more bulk and no calories, and then spending more money to flare off the excess calories you still got. (And is even worse now, of course.) It was such a refreshing contrast to see something taking the sensible view that you should be adjusting your input to suit your output instead of the other way round, and advocating the use of machinery in place of higher output levels so you can cut the input down to suit.

"Indeed, we may see more people traveling on container ships than jets in a few decades. All because of fuel efficiency."

It's one of the silver linings I'm hoping for, though not so much because of fuel as because of all the airlines and aeroplane makers and aeroplane spare parts makers and aeroplane spare parts tooling makers etc. discovering that relying entirely on dynamic stability actually is a bad idea no matter what the fairies tell you. Along with a reduction in the amount of long distance travel in general, as one group of people finally work out what phones are for, and another group work out that there's no discernible difference between going to Spain and getting blotto for a week and doing it in the local pub instead, except that in the local pub it's a heck of a lot cheaper and you don't get the shits.

204:

I just wish we'd had Anders Tegnell in charge in the UK, we'd have had much the same tragic losses to covid-19 as we have actually had, but atleast we'd not have suffered all the othr human tragedies.

That would be the Anders Tegnell that has admitted he screwed up, that is tanking the Swedish government in the polls?
https://fortune.com/2020/06/10/sweden-coronavirus-briefings-scandal/

The one who is responsible for Sweden continuing to be isolated from its neighbours because of their refusal to take steps to limit Covid?
https://www.businessinsider.com/sweden-shut-out-coronavirus-reopening-by-finland-norway-denmark-2020-6

The one who has admitted his failures have resulted in far too many deaths in Sweden, with a death rate far higher than its Nordic neighbours?
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52903717

(Sweden, 10 million people, 4,500 deaths - Denmark, 5 million people, only 580 deaths - in an honourable world the Swedish government would have resigned for the complete and utter failure in dealing with this pandemic - the only redeeming thing is that they have managed to not overwhelm their health care system with the limited shutdowns that they did do)

You have some strange preferences.

205:

(re: Texas GOP officials)

"Whether it be the hospital CEO's, the business CEO's, or something else the GOP has found the face mask gospel in the last week. The turnabout has been quite spectacular with almost every GOP person now recommending people wear face masks, and even Trump moving to accepting them"

I think that the glow in the sky from the firestorm whose smoke is choking them has caused them to accept reality.

Remember that a lot of GOP state politicians are up for re-election this November, and having my option #3 hitting the state (massive death toll + economic collapse) this fall would doom a bunch of them.

206:

Austin's outbreak shows a strong correlation to the maskless demonstrations 4 or 5 weeks ago there so it's not just the "premature" lifting of restrictions.

Texas must be really special if their outdoor demonstrations caused a Covid outbreak, while demonstrations elsewhere in the US (and around the world) haven't.

Covid doesn't spread well outdoors - it is happiest indoors.

The far more likely explanation is that it was the reopening, like the people sitting in bars for long periods drinking and inhaling Covid droplets.

207:

Speaking of TX: just came in from a reconnoiter around the restaurant-bar insane nabe.  Everywhere Very Expensive vehicles, disgorging Very Expensive passengers. Many of those vehicles with license plates -- Texas and Florida.  None of the passengers wearing masks.  The places into which they are sashaying -- nobody is wearing masks either.  Except the servers.  Nobody's anywhere near 6 feet apart.  In many of these places the awnings / tents are essentially inside, and they have some form of a portable a/c unit.  There are of course also NY plates on other vehicles.  But I made a count and about 1/3 were with Florida and Texas plates.

Many of these places have more tables now on the sidewalks and streets than they were able to have inside. There is nowhere for people like us to walk.

Not  cop in sight to enforce anything.  I suppose if they're enforcing, it's in the Bronx.

This is return to NYC's previous catastrophe.

208:

"that stuff is... literally rotting their brains, In Real Time."

There's certainly something going round. Seen more and more weird-arsed fnords cropping up unexpectedly in the middle of normally-coherent people's posts (here and elsewhere). Seen at least two instances (not on here) of it spreading like mould until their entire posts are like that and so is their actual mind and they've gone full-on paranoid freakout (to the point where quite a lot of other people are seriously wondering what the utter fuck has happened to them). Seen more and more behavioural equivalents of fnords in the middle of the post in those aspects of people's mentalities which are expressed other than as posts on the internet. Having bursts of strange difficulty with my own verbal composition and other mental activities myself. Makes me wonder if the coronavirus has mutated into a "headfuck" strain which doesn't really affect the rest of your body and which hasn't been officially reported yet.

209:

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210:


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211:


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212:

or something else the GOP has found the face mask gospel in the last week.

Sort of. But DT's hard core don't believe it.

From some of my relatives and their friends on FB:

The USA may cease to exist as a nation after the November election.

It’s Not About Masks or Health– It’s About POWER (a YouTube video)

The goal of the D’s after winning the election is to turn the country into a communist socialist state that will confiscate all your guns…

I have a pile of relatives in SC and TX. And we have an apartment in TX. We get to see all of this first hand.

213:

As you mention it, my guess would be that they've bought so deeply into the distant world of the Orange Hairball and Rupert "he should be hung" Murdoch that when the real world suddenly becomes something they can't ignore, they lose it, because if they admit it, they admit to themselves that they've been so brainwashed that they lost reality, and a good part of their lives, and of who and what they are.

214:


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215:

He (an assumption here) is also trying to assert that the new infections were peaking before the lockdowns, and so they weren't necessary.

That's why I posted, what was it, last night, that I think he's a troll.

216:

Ralph is pretty obviously getting his information from right-wing media. The whole Sweden thing was debunked weeks ago.

217:

Sort of. But DT's hard core don't believe it.

Yep, the GOP leaders have learned, but they are now attempting to do the proverbial row upstream without a paddle given their previous comments having brainwashed their base.

Which is why the assertion that things will be back to normal for DT to win in November is such a joke - the GOP/DT have done everthing they can to make sure Covid trashes the economy by October.

Or, to put it another way, if those GOP leaders are suddenly doing 180's on masks then you can guess the non-public numbers and predictions are very bad.

218:

In a way, it's amusing. Talk about a blog for them to post to that probably ranks way up there in "this is a waste of your time trying to change these folks' minds, who know more than you do" ratings.

Hey, SotMN: toss some cookies at these folks. I want to see them do an imitation of the dying Nazi in Raiders, and you're the perfect person to do it to them.

219:

I've got a series of specialized tools for digging: pry bar, pick axe, or (what works really well) a spetnaz shovel. I'm doing it the lazy, carbon conserving way, by trying to dig as little as possible and letting the soil gradually build up.

220:

It sounds like your ground is worse than mine, which is saying something! I don't expect to live here long, so I'm doing it the easy way; not sure how I'd do it if I was going to be long-term in this place.

221:

Paper comes with a built-in self-destruct mechanism.

But chickens make it much more fun. And I kind of like the idea of some fascist having to painstakingly separate the paper from the poo and stick the paper back together.

222:

I have clay cap over acid sulphate soils. Oh, and 5cm of sand on top of that with lawn in it. My only option is to build soil on top. But yeah, it does mean very little digging. And much of the digging is either trying to kill lawn, or recently, deciding that actually 300mm down is fine for conduit with mains electricity in it (technically 500mm), because if *I* don't like digging that deep no tradesman who can avoid it is going to dig that deep. Someone with a BYD* will be more inclined to suggest I turn the power off, I reckon.

* Big Yellow Digger, not that other thing. Geez.

223:

wake up call:
#RealDead (C19 & BLM & toxic dumping due to EPA cuts)
#FakePOTUS (golf & tear gas & upside down bible thumping)

if I had children, I'd be terrified, for one brief moment I am glad I have none...

as it is, I am waiting for sad day when USA reaches 200K and there is not enough storage; here in NYC the corpses are stacked up in refrigerated trucks outside of hospitals; we will run out of trucks before we run out of fools

not being of any use to relief efforts, all I can do is wait, watch and whine...

224:

RalphB
SLIGHT correction: the worst president in theor history ... not yet.
At the moment, Buchanan was the worst ...
Agree about overall intrusive untrustworthy guvmint surveillance, though.
[ I will probabky have ONE pint tomorrow, on principle, but I'm very chary of the registration system ... ]

Chris Blanchard
Fuck right off
Boney was a mass-murdering military dictator, who spread war across the face of Europe & the world
Beethoven's quote on altering the header to his 3rd Symphony should tell you.
Oh yes, on a fashionable topic: Boney Re-Introduced slavery ....

225:

OK, I'll bite:

Republic of Ireland: 3 year war of independence a century ago, a full democracy* today (cf the USA, a flawed democracy)

South Africa: long-running insurgency leading to a semi-peaceful transfer of power in 1994; the one generation is over, also a "flawed democracy"

Romania: violent overthrow of Communists in 1989, also a flawed democracy today (worse than South Africa, better than Mexico)

*I'm using the Economist's Democracy Index

226:

And the early ones, which used open-reel 1/2" tape, were seriously unreliable. They were got going, but never took off because storage density and power draw improved so much. But I have seen reports of CDROM robots, and I can beleve that people of thinking of SD card ones.

227:
I must still stand by my point that in the UK cases were declining before lockdown, there is a paper from Prof Simon Wood in Bristol which works on calculating back from the deaths peak and finds that cases had peaked in the UK and were declining before lockdown began.

Per https://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/?chart=countries&highlight=United%20Kingdom&show=25&y=both&scale=linear&data=deaths-daily-7&data-source=jhu&xaxis=left#countries

Peak deaths in the UK was 13/4/2020. Lockdown started 23/3/2020, 3 weeks before. Not much sign that cases were falling before lockdown started.

228:

You are largely right about horses, but you are glossing over the fact that engines are much easier to use only because you have a truly massive industrial capacity supporting them. And, as far as transport goes, are much more constrained as to feasible routes. Lastly, for quite a few tricky uses, horses still beat motorised solutions in most respects - though those are carthorses and ponies, not riding horses - and even they are often beaten by other low-tech. solutions.

I fully agree that, under most conditions, a 60 mile trip is easier on foot than on a horse.

229:
The fact that Sweden is seeming like a world leader (deaths per million lower than quite a few locked down countries, higher coivd deaths than some countries but balanced against the fact they've kept their civil liberties and maintained healthcare for non-covid patients) for doing very little, shows that no-one is particularly great at handling the pandemic.
The total Swedish death rate is lower than some other countries, see my #107, but the current death rate is the highest in the developed world and it is not falling.

As for "maintained health care for non-covid patients", you mean "maintained health care for non-covid patients, except for those elderly patients expelled from hospitals to die of covid-19 in care homes, infecting staff and other elderly".

230:
My apologies if what I'm saying seems a bit strong, but I've been on the receiving end of police harassment for "non-essential" shopping early in the lockdown.

Ah, now I understand why you're so desperate to "prove" that lockdowns wer unnecessary, you were personally inconvenienced. Got it.

231:

See also this Metafilter discussion, and in particular the very first link posted in the OP (all about travel times/constraints in 18th/19th-pre-railway England).

232:
there's no discernible difference between going to Spain and getting blotto for a week and doing it in the local pub instead, except that in the local pub it's a heck of a lot cheaper and you don't get the shits.
Your pub is obviously too posh.
233:

SLIGHT correction: the worst president in theor history ... not yet.
At the moment, Buchanan was the worst ...


I'll quibble and suggest that Buchanan is in the running for most ineffective president the US had. Other presidents have had more redeeming qualities; Jimmy Carter might be the best human being to be US president in the last fifty years but he wasn't the most effective.

Buchanan did put himself on the wrong side of pretty much every historical issue to come up during his term in office, a rare thing to find in any politician, and he was called a doughface to his face. On the other hand he was not particularly corrupt in his personal life nor did he conspire with foreign powers.

Bottom quartile, yes; worst, not necessarily.

(Anyone interested can read Buchanan's Wikipedia page.)

234:
Republic of Ireland: 3 year war of independence a century ago, a full democracy* today (cf the USA, a flawed democracy)
...skipping blithely over that whole Civil War bit. Soldiers tying tortured prisoners to land mines, anyone?

If you grant a century gap between revolution and your measuring point the French Revolution brought about the Third Republic.

235:

That said, you want to write the great American Novel about living in a generation ship? Everybody seems to assume that you can live for generations in a cramped apartment hurdling between stars, and not go insane doing it.

Yep: that's why my normative assumption for non-relativistic slower-than-light SF novels is that either the travelers have got cryonic suspension sorted[*], or it's a very slow but absolutely gigantic moving city with green spaces, lakes, recreation/theme parks, and zones big enough to trick the eye into thinking there's a horizon.

"Ships" that resemble today's ocean-going steel-hulled vessels (or submarines) are a big "nope" for anything longer than a couple of years.


[*] Although they may need to keep a rotating "warm" watch on duty, if defrosting the corpsicles at the far end requires human/medical supervision: this is of course potentially a plot driver.

236:

Yes. I took the bus from Nairobi to Lusaka in the late 1960s and, while it was a lot faster, many of the remarks in the first link still applied :-) However, while coach travel was getting cheaper by the early 19th century, it was still used mainly by richer people. The railways changed that.

Most fit people of working age can walk on relatively good going at 3 MPH for over 8 hours for up to a fortnight, so 25 miles a day was feasible in summer in good weather - and about half that in winter. Very comparable to coaches before the 18th century road and suspension improvements; Edinburgh-London in a week to ten days etc. I have done that sort of thing.

237:

Sorry, I'm probably being dumb here (its been known), but how does a satellite provide differential GPS? A satellite might get a GPS fix every few seconds but then needs a very good predictor.

They were clearly inappropriate to do Galileo or GPS type tricks as they don't have good quality atomic clocks on board.

You would hope the Cabinet Office and STFC were asking the right questions, but in both departments technical experts are thin on the ground - especially in the CO where most the staff have a single degree in history or PPE and no experience (outside of politics they are most likely to be heard using the expression "Would you like fries with that?").

The CO can't even get the UK flag right on the plane they stole from the RAF to allow BS Johnson and chums admission to the 5 mile high club.

238:

Synchronising clocks at a distance is fairly easy, down the the variation in the time messages take to pass between the two clocks plus the short-term variation in the local clock rate. The movement of the satellite makes that trickier, but not insoluble. A satellite could fairly easily be synchronised from a ground station to within c. 10 nanoseconds that way - essentially, doing a GPS fix in reverse.

No, I have no idea how they would do it - merely that it's a problem that has been solved in several different ways, with and without local atomic clocks. I doubt VERY much that TPTB ever consulted an expert on what was feasible before proceeding, given their track record.

239:

The NPL would know the answers, if anybody bothered to ask them.
There have certainly been studies by capable people of how the UK infrastructure would cope in the event of GPS denial, both large scale (the satellites are switched off, or the moral equivalent) and small (White Van Man routinely uses GPS jammers so his employers can't see what he's up to.)

240:

there's no discernible difference between going to Spain and getting blotto for a week and doing it in the local pub instead,

The phrase that comes to mind about cheap and cheerful Spanish holidays is "Sun, sand and sangria". Going down the pub in late winter in the driving rain and freezing cold compares unkindly with warm(ish) and sunny(ish) Torremolinos, typically five deg C warmer than central England and with two or three hours more daylight. The beer prices in Torremolinos look to be about a third those of a typical non-London pub which helps pay for the cheap flight and an AirBNB shared between five mates.

241:

About the new world being born, I have good and bad news.

Young people being progressive will not revert, probably.

But Polarisation may well mean we can kiss democracy goodbye (warning, PDF).

So the new world will be fine, if there's enough beige to keep it democratic.

[[ HTML requires you to quote your URLs. Now done - mod ]]

242:

And you too. Boney was certainly a murdering loon, but so were the rest of them. What he did was embed some of the gains of the French revolution in legal systems across a big part of Europe. The reactionaries did their murderous best to reverse those gains but they survived well enough to form the basis for modern European democracy and liberties. The difference between the regimes which folllowed Boney and the old sort is the difference between brutal prisons and having your leg torn off on a public platform. Not a great choice, but still a change for the better. And that change, including Boney's consolidation, made room for improvements like the Risorgimento, the collapse of the Spanish empire and the French third republic.
The freedoms we have now (and I know their weaknesses) spread out of the example of the French revolution, more than anything else - not the peripheral USA, or English Whigism, or the flickers of Enlightenment policy which had sometimes shown up in the Austrian part of their Empire, or some of the smaller German states, and not even the Dutch Republic. They are all important parts of what we are now, but the French revolution is the big thing, and without Boney, even mad as he went, that impetus would have just been squashed, with its legs torn off, as was the old normal.
And before anyone comes up with economic arguments to say the happy torturers would have had to stop because of ..., that isn't enough. Without changes to the legal systems, like ending internal tariffs and barriers to trade and starting the uniform metric system, never mind forcing aristos into paying their debts, most of western Europe would have had a much harder time developing. Boney forced those changes on places he ruled, and once done, even the stupid reactionaries saw they made sense, so they stuck, and people could develop industries and that.
As for slavery (for a bit of what-about-ism), the whole of eastern Europe, as in the bits never governed by one of Napoleon's relatives or cronys, had serfdom, which was slavery with a stupid legalistic quibble. That is much of Prussia, occupied Poland, Russia and all the rest. And they didn't develop until another round of revolutions (I suppose I had better say 'and Bismark').
So there.

243:

White Van Man routinely uses GPS jammers so his employers can't see what he's up to.

The UK has White Van Man but the US has Florida Man? You Brits definitely have the better of that. *grin*

244:

Remember that a lot of GOP state politicians are up for re-election this November, and having my option #3 hitting the state (massive death toll + economic collapse) this fall would doom a bunch of them.

Texas is still on track to hit 60% of the state population, eighteen million people, being on the "confirmed positive" list by late October - early November. Some areas (like the lower Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio) will get there sooner than that unless doubling rates improve quite a bit sooner, not later.

And then, even if 60% does get to "herd immunity", that means reduced, not zero, infection rate among the as-yet-uninfected. How's that going to be managed?

245:

I've only been abroad twice in the last decade or so, Prague and Malta. A week in either of those destinations was no dearer, or cheaper, including spending-money, in total than a three-night city break to Edinburgh (where I have been many times). Meals out are half or a third the price, drink a third or quarter the price, the hotels are cheaper per night for an extra star of comfort and for Malta the direct return flights from my local airport cost less than the cheapest advance rail-return to Edinburgh. For those who smoke there's also the cheaper fags and the duty free to bring home.

246:

I live in Edinburgh. I had vague plans to go off to, where else, Torremolinos some time in late March or early April before the summer lager-lout rush just to get warm and pick up some natural Vitamin D and maybe go for a paddle in the Mediterranean. This did not happen. Ditto for my planned trip to Japan in May around my birthday which also did not happen.

247:

The soil where I live is granite/sandy, and there's very little organic matter, with a very high ph near the cement fence that separates our yard from the main street out back. If I planned to live here for several years I'd expect to redo the entire yards, as it is I'm just turning over limited amounts of soil and planting.

248:

To be fair, not every governor did a good job on lockdown. Michigan's governor declaring that nobody could buy seeds was as bad an idea as I've seen, despite the fact that she otherwise has handled her responsibilities quite well re the pandemic. But I also haven't seen anyone talking in terms of rights versus responsibilities, and when the needle should move between them. IMHO, during a pandemic we should be much more oriented towards responsibilities.

249:

Hmmmm

Broken link.

250:

JH/RalphB
No - SOME Plod forces were really nasty arseholes about harassing people, because they could - it was amazingly variable.
Lancashire attracted a lot of bad publicity, f'rinstance.

Charlie @ 231
Again ... Robert Carey's ride ...

hmmm @ 241
Your links are broken ......

Chris Blanchard
Still eff off ...
The Corsican Tyrant was called such for very good reasons
Again - see the famous Beethoven quote.
And "freedoms" - bollocks - Britain reformed ( or rather started to reform ) it's voting system in 1832, French women didn't get the vote until 1945
NOT BUYING IT.

252:

When I said "not requested", I meant not requested by anyone. Certainly by anyone with an interest in anything that might be related to the film. I didn't specify that it be done by a lawyer, or a trial judge or some such. The only reason for not just "keep the stuff forever" is the sheer volume of data that would mean. And a video of a police officer eating a hamburger is really only a small public health offense...and from the viewpoint of the officer's camera it would quickly get old.

But the camera's off switch needs to be welded shut, and the mic active.

253:

Britain may not have recognized the CSA, but there were a lot of British trading with them. Enough that the US Navy had patrols out to stop them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_and_the_American_Civil_War

254:

Man, you USA'nians and your weird measuring systems. I followed your link to the bucket, and the lable on it says 70 quart, and it's description says 1.75 bushel. Google says 61.66 litres from bushel, and 66.24l from quart (US quart, of course, cos you can't even measure a pint or gallon properly).

65l bucket is soooo much simpler.

255:

Most fit people of working age can walk on relatively good going at 3 MPH for over 8 hours for up to a fortnight, so 25 miles a day was feasible in summer in good weather - and about half that in winter.

I think you missed out a factor: clothing, and in particular, footwear.

Back in the 18th/early 19th century, before the spinning jenny, cloth was ridiculously expensive in modern terms because thread was spun by hand/wheel: upshot, a suit of new clothes was the equivalent of a new budget car in terms of earning power, and most everyone wore second hand/hand-me-down and had maybe two outfits plus Sunday best. On a cross-country journey you'd be wearing one outfit and carrying another for smart events/wash day. And your clothing on the road would take a hammering from weather, rain, mud from passing wagons, and so on. Shoes ... also not cheap: and while they were repairable by cobblers pretty much everywhere, that would cost and cause you to take hours to a day off the road.

(Another side-effect of walking: you couldn't go quite as far in a day as you could in a coach, so your journey would take longer, and you'd be paying more for inn space and/or meals en route.)

Anyway: travel was Not Great, especially if you were poor and ran the risk of vagrancy charges and/or having to take time out to earn a crust.

(Am paying attention to this because of plans, slowly advancing, for the next novel I start to be a Regency romance/The Prisoner/Laundry universe crossover. Complete with all the gritty realism you don't usually expect in that subgenre.)

256:

White Van Man's US cognate isn't Florida Man; it's Pick-Up Truck Contractor Dude (probably with truck nutz and a confederate battle flag bumper sticker, and maybe a MAGA redcap these days). Drives a Ford F250 because F150s are for quiche-eating greenies, Rolls Coal, either lots of tacked-on chrome brightwork or else the truck is rusting through and covered up to the hubcaps in cow dung.

257:

> A new world is being born. I just hope I live to see it, and that there's room in it for someone like me to exist.

Yeah. I feel this a lot, lately. A lot.

258:

My big plan for this summer, cancelled by COVID19, was my first ever trip to New Zealand. Worldcon is there this year which made it a business trip (expensable), I've been saving air miles for a decade, the plan was to spend a couple of weeks there and take the long way home via somewhere interesting. Did I say "plan"? We'd been planning it for five goddamn years and I now don't know if I'll ever get to the antipodes (Aus included) ever again.

259:

No, I wasn't, and here I am speaking from experience. Walking (except through undergrowth) does a lot less damage to clothing than almost any kind of working, and most people did not have the attitude to cleanliness as today; that length of time with no change of clothing is not a problem. Really. Yes, their walking clothes would have got filthy.

Footwear, to some extent. I personally have never walked for more than a few hours barefoot, but it was common in my youth among people who couldn't afford many (or any) shoes. In the UK, that's feasible only in spring to autumn, and probably not in seriously wet spells; extended periods of wet feet causes the skin to soften. I have also used (traditionally) hobnailed leather boots, and they last far longer than most people imagine.

Inns also put multiple people in a bed, and made stable space available even more cheaply, but the poorest people often slept out. Again, that's much easier in summer, but look up the history of the belted plaid! I have done that, too :-)

I fully agree that travel was Not Great, but people DID walk long distances, and histories refer to a lot of people who walked from all corners of Great Britain to London for work. That was primarily young men, of course. And don't forget travelling tinkers, peddlers and so on.

260:

Off topic observation: OGH and Missile Gap are name-dropped in James Nicoll's latest essay, A Brief History of the Megastructure in Science Fiction.

"... without question the finest Locus Award-winning story inspired by a post of mine on a USENET newsgroup ..."

261:

In the U.S. White Vans are commonly referred to as "Murder Vans," because urban legends says that child molesters, rapists and serial killers all drive white vans full of torture gear. The mere presence of a strange white van in a neighborhood is sometimes enough to cause people to call the police.

263:

We'd been planning it for five goddamn years and I now don't know if I'll ever get to the antipodes (Aus included) ever again.

My wife and I had miles and nights (upper range Marriott 7 night free) and the plan was for London mid March.

Oops.

264:

USA'nians and your weird measuring systems.

Consider the source. :)

265:

I did, however, make a stupid error! It's York or Devon to London in a week to ten days in reasonable weather in summer - at least double that for Edinburgh.

266:

On this matter, I have a close friend who is an economic historian, specialising in the position of women and children in the workplace during that era.

267:

When that happens I'll revise the time the evidence should be kept.

Actually, thinking it over, until then random time slots should be burned to DVD and just kept forever as well as anything that anyone shows any interest in...that includes reporters, random public citizens, lawyers, busy-bodies, etc. And public decency laws should not exclude this. Sorry to those who are shy, but public access is important...don't do anything you wouldn't want your grandma to see where a policeman can see it.

268:

Texas is still on track to hit 60% of the state population, eighteen million people, being on the "confirmed positive" list by late October

Except the State is now backtracking, and doing other things, to try to slow/stop the spread which will throw those estimates off - and those estimates are likely based on testing results that don't reflect the wider population.

Prime example of this is Sweden, where despite the denials they now put out a goal was to develop herd immunity - but they found Covid (while causing excess deaths) wasn't creating the herd immunity they desired fast enough.

And then, even if 60% does get to "herd immunity"

Others on here may know more definitively, but I think it is around 90% with vaccines to have herd immunity so at 60% you wouldn't even be close.

But worse, there are indications (as reported in the previous thread) that we may not all keep immunity from Covid even after having it. Usual caveats, early science etc. but doesn't look promising
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/asymptomatic-covid-19-1.5629172

269:

I did wonder - it's about 45 miles from Darlington to York so 30 minutes by train but an hour by car and 2 days to walk

https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/15346535.four-days-to-london-by-coach-to-the-capital-on-the-great-north-road/ has an interesting outline of coach times - they first appeared in 1650's with 4 days for London to York, 5 days York to Edinburgh (it's a more difficult route as well as slightly longer).

The interesting bit is that it cost £2 (in 1710 money) to make the journey, coaching Inns extra.

270:
JH/RalphB No - SOME Plod forces were really nasty arseholes about harassing people,

You're giving Ralphy Boy to much credit, he's clearly a self-centred right wing dick, the only thing that matters to him is his convenience.

He got hassled during lockdown, yeah, maybe the police were dicks (well, obviously, they're police, duh) but his reaction to that is not "the police are dicks" but "lockdown doesn't work, we should be Sweden and preserve our precious freedums even if all the olds die".

271:

Why are you assuming a generation ship would be cramped? That's not a reasonable design. Generation ships should be designed to be lived in more than to travel. In fact, my default assumption is that by the time folks get to where they were nominally headed they'll be saying "Why leave our home?", and they'll be right.

If you design it to be an efficient traveller...well, space has very low friction, so that's not much of a constraint. It's going to be very massive, so you aren't going to be making any rapid turns. So that's not a constraint. It's not going to accelerate rapidly, so that's not a constraint. And if you make it too uncomfortable, it won't survive the mutiny. So that's not a constraint.

A generation ship need to carry a nearly closed ecosystem, and that means it's going to need lots of space. It's going to need a rapid internal transport system anyway, and that system is going to need maintenance and... you want lots of duplicate greenhouses so a single failure doesn't kill you all. People like living near growing plants. Etc.

A crowded generation ship is a bad design. A generation ship with an unhappy crew is a bad design. Etc. (Even so, I expect that an improved virtual reality is going to be a necessity to make it work. But what the programs should be is a real question. They should teach a correct morality, but what that means in this context isn't clear, and teach means "provide experiences which causes one to learn".)

272:

Ben Thompson
Timetable says 29 minutes for the 44 miles York-Darlington - 91 mph
Close enough!

273:

When I moved to Texas to be with the woman who was my late wife - this is mid-eighties - we were living in an immobile home on two acres. Former ranch, subdivided.

Anyway, she wanted a garden, and I had some money. Now, you have to understand that this was central Texas, I mean, we'd *only* been above the Tethys Sea about 10M years, it takes time for dirt, just give us another 10M years, and we'd have nice soil for turf for you, humans always in a rush.

In the meantime, 15" (not quite half a meter) down was kaliche. Sea shells, compressed into ROCK.

So she went out on a weekend to buy a truckload of dirt. "You sure you mean that, lady?""Yes, I want 10 yards of dirt, and another three yards of compost."

Neither of us had ever considered dirt as a high-demand item. Took till the next Thursday, while we were at work, before it was delivered, dumped right where we wanted it. For the next two weeks, we'd get home from work, and I'd go out with my shovel and *fling* dirt in all directions.

Afterwards, we rented a rototiller. Had a garden about 20'x30'.

274:

People are backing up to LARGE RAIDs. Where I was working, the last couple years or so, for large RAIDS, our "offline backup" was to a server in another building that had, um, 42 4TB h/d, set up as two monster RAIDs.

Here at home, I do what I started doing when I got the job in '09: an eSATA external drive bay, and a drive in it. I do my backup from one h/d to another, then turn on the drive bay, mount it, and back up to that, unmount it, turn it off. Protected from surges....

275:

Except the State [TX] is now backtracking, and doing other things, to try to slow/stop the spread which will throw those estimates off - and those estimates are likely based on testing results that don't reflect the wider population.

Yes, there are many things in play and the numbers are, as has been noted by several people here, subject to considerable uncertainty. However, if you just look at the daily case numbers reported by Texas itself, you can extract the following doubling times in days for the past two weeks ending yesterday:

23.01 Two weeks ago
21.27
18.27
19.20
19.74
18.50
17.44
16.98
16.45
15.69
16.46
17.94
17.99
17.26 Yesterday

The numbers and the trend aren't encouraging, but we'll see how they go in the next week or so.

276:

The issue is that we need to shut down Rupert Murdoch, for a start.

From the huge BLM demonstrations that go on and on, what I think we're seeing is just what I've thought all along: the GOP, in desperation to satisfy the ultrawealthy owners, have moved right and further right for the only base they can use.

However, they've left a *lot* of people behind.

The overwhelming majority is *not* that fascist, and the opinion polls are showing this. It's the extremists who want to go beyond... and even there, they're a bipolar force. They want to go back to Jim Crow... but they also don't want someone telling *them* what to do (see all the conspiracists about their 2nd Amendment Rights Gonna Save Us All from an Overreaching Gummint).

I'm hoping sanity reigns in these dolts come Nov. If there's an explosion afterwards, I think there are plenty of folks who are going to remind them who has the tanks and air support.

277:

Yes. Stupid of me.

The 4 days by coach was the 'express' service, and £2 was within the means of only well-off people - and note the 'gotchas' in the link in #231. The working class walked, if they travelled at all.

https://pascalbonenfant.com/18c/wages.html

278:

Don't get me started, I mean, metric is soooo hard.... Besides, the rest of you lot will come around, sooner or later, and join us, and, um, er, Myanmar, I think, and is it South Africa, or did they go metric...?

279:

RAIDs are useful, especially for hot-swapping, but have several weaknesses - such as the controller misbehaving. And they don't provide any protection against software or human error.

I take a similar approach to you at home, though the details are very different.

280:

Yeah. "Florida Man" is the Darwin-Award chasing idiot who's last words are "Here, hold my beer...."

On the other hand, white van... a white van, mostly still Ford E150's or E250's, is *the* standard for contractors, and a lot of other companies. Ford, because they came out first with them, around '51 or '52, and as of a few years ago, were still 50% of the market.

I had one for a while... ah, right, Nojay, that was the one we drove through the fuckbugs after Worldcon in Orlando in '92, taking you to Lake Charles.

281:

One of the effects of COVID is to create small circulating blood clots. If they nest in the lungs, you get pneumonia. If they nest in the kidneys, you get kidney failure. (Fortunately, most people have a lot of spare kidney function, as it's not believe you recover function later.) If they nest in the brain, you get micro-strokes...and sometimes not so micro.

I'm no doctor, but I hypothesize that this is the main way COVID does its damage. Of course, it also messes with the immune system.

This first came to my attention when "pink toe" was shown to be a COVID symptom. Tiny blood clots were blocking blood from getting out of baby's toes.

282:

About walking on foot: https://fastestknowntime.com/routes

It's amazing how well we handle long walks

a few examples (and all those below are Mountain Trails!):
- Appalachian Trail (US) - 2189 miles, fkt: 41d 7h 39m
- Pacific Crest Trail (US) - 2655 miles, fkt: 52d 8h 25m
- South West Coast Path (UK) - 630 miles, fkt: 10d 15h 18m
- Hadrian's Wall Path (UK) - 84 miles, fkt: 16h 25m 55s

283:

Clothes get dirty, esp. if you didn't leap off the road fast enough for some toff on horseback, but they were NOT THE CRAP that's forced on us today (want to buy clothes equivalent to what was ordinary 40 years ago? pay double or triple the price; everything else is made to be comfortable in, say, southern California, or southeast Asia, forget cold weather (defined as

Boots on the other hand... their shoes were SOLID. Plain leather-soled boots have lasted me about 10 years, without resoling.

284:

What was the recent Kim Stanley Robinson book about the generation ship? It was built like a wheeled space-station, rotated for gravity, and was 3-4 kilometers in diameter... and of course it didn't work very well.

285:

Two pounds is a HUGE amount of money for anyone but upper middle class, nobility, and highway robbers (but I repeat myself).

I've read that, in Holmes' London in late Victorian times, 500 or 550 pounds was a large enough trust to live (frugally, perhaps) on the interest for life.

286:

Oh, and forget inflation - I've read that between about 1712(?) and about 1912, the British pound *INCREASED* in value by 5%.

287:
RAIDs are useful, especially for hot-swapping, but have several weaknesses - such as the controller misbehaving.
Controller? I don't need not steenking controller.
288:

The 4 days by coach was the 'express' service, and £2 was within the means of only well-off people

Checking those tables, that'd be 2-4 weeks' wages for a skilled male worker, 2-3 months' wages for a maidservant or footman or other low-wage person (although the servants would usually get their meals and accommodation for free). One week of pay for a solicitor or a clergyman, both professional/middle-class.

So let's call it the equivalent, in today's terms, of buying a plane ticket to the antipodes -- similar duration (within an order of magnitude), equivalent chunk of disposable income.

289:

Do you find that your sandy soil requires continued applications of organic material because it doesn't last long in the sand? Living 800 feet downslope from an eroding sandstone cliff, I have that problem.

My tomatoes and peppers are in EarthBox containers on my deck, using none of the local soil. I have rhubarb growing in the ground and I'm trying for asparagus, but so far without success. Gardening here (Colorado at 7500 ft) is a matter of having your fingers crossed, since HOA rules don't allow fences and a bear wandering onto the deck would be a disaster.

290:

IMHO you're exactly right. If you want to be effective as an activist, take down FOX news. Start every protest at the scene of the crime, then end it in front of the local FOX outlet.

291:

SD cards are a seriously bad choice for long term storage. They depend on barely metastable conditions. Some of them depend on a capacitor holding its charge. I've had them lose memory within a couple of months. Presumably the ones used for mass storage would be better, but how much better? I guess you could make sure that they were always hooked up to power, and that the memory was frequently refreshed, but...

Tape and DVDs and even hard disks are much better long term storage devices. (If it's really long term, then use the *OLD* CD standard where pits were burned into metal sandwiched between two sheets of glass.)

292:

1. I worked for 10 years in my late job. I'd say, by the end, well over half the servers (I can't really say maybe 100, 120, because we'd buy new ones to replace the 10 or more year old servers (yes, this is the US NIH, and no, I'm not kidding)). I *think* I remember one or two hardware RAID controllers failing. Ever.

2. At home, my main system is on Linux software RAID.

3. If you buy a consumer-grade m/b, and it's got Intel RAID on it (or, as everyone in the field referred to them, fakeRAID), DO NOT USE the Intel RAID. Spend a few bucks (ok, $120-$330) and buy a real RAID card (LSI, um, Avoga?, sorry, Broadcom).

But merely having something *running* on a RAID (like the partitions that my o/s or home directory are on) is NOT a replacement for backups to something else.

293:

On the other hand, I believe I've read Roman Legionnaires considered 20m/day a good days march (carrying a lot of weight in packs), and 30 a forced march.

294:
3. If you buy a consumer-grade m/b, and it's got Intel RAID on it (or, as everyone in the field referred to them, fakeRAID), DO NOT USE the Intel RAID.
If you're using Linux then Intel RAID is Linux software RAID (mdadm). So called "Intel Fake RAID" is just a container format, the RAID is done during boot by the BIOS on the motherboard, but after boot it's up to the OS. Linux MDADM is quite happy with the Intel raid container format. These days many actual RAID controllers use the same format, which is interesting as if you pull one or more of the disks and bung 'em in a Linux system mdadm will recognise the RAID layout and usually be able to access the data.
295:

Um, I had a couple of servers we *finally* replaced about four years ago where I was working.

Couldn't replace the h/d with larger... they were true SCSI, and had been running, continuously, since about '05.

Our offline backups that I did, not to the other system RAID, I'd do the backup, then go down to the basement machine room, and put them back in the fire safe. I slowly replaced them over 10 years, just because we needed larger drives.

And they don't have to be spun up regularly. I'm a h/d person....

296:

Liberia is the third one.

297:

See! US "English" measurement is in the forefront of, um, er, abandoned storefront waiting for urban renewal?

298:

FWIW, "herd immunity" is both disease specific and situation specific. Densely commingled population have a higher percentage requirement, but it also depends on the mechanism for contagion and the persistence in the environment.

That said, while antibodies don't seem to persist for COVID, there are various indications that TCells may be more important. Unfortunately, they're very hard to test for so they're largely being ignored. So perhaps a persistent immunity is possible, just not persistent antibodies. But we also don't really know that the TCells persist, though I believe that's expected to be the case.

299:

YUCK! RAIDs for backup? Very bad idea. Recovering from a few bits in error can be impossibly difficult, and lose the whole database/filesystem. Much better to back up files, where possible, and partitioned files where not. Backup systems already have great compression built-in, and their compression systems are designed to allow recovery, unlike RAID, which is designed for quick access.

300:

Er, 3-4 months' wages for a maidservant, footman etc.! But, yes, that's a comparable expenditure, except that it is no longer feasible to get there in any other way. An unemployed person could walk from places as far away as York or even Edinburgh to London for work and quite a few did. The railways made a huge difference, of course.

301:

@224 and @233 re: Buchanan

I'd also like to nominate James K. Polk as possibly one of the most morally reprehensible persons to have become President of the United States [NB: The wiki article is quite slanted in his favor].

He was a devious plotter, and petty to boot. He came into office determined to gain Texas to the U.S., and manufactured the start of the Mexican-American War , as well as encouraging rebellion in California. During the war, he sidelined General Zachary Taylor as a potential political competitor - he turned out to be right, as Taylor was drafted as a candidate in 1848.

Polk was a public devotee of the jingoistic theory of Manifest Destiny, used to justify American imperialist and genocidal subjugation of the middle third of North America. Also, from his wiki article, "A slaveholder for most of his adult life, he owned a plantation in Mississippi and bought slaves while president."

The more you read U.S. history, the more we have to apologize for. Perhaps we're trying to do better.

302:

whitroth @ 202: We have a decent one, does 4 or more pages at once.

But I have these checkbooks, and, since I've been using duplicate checks since my late wife started us on them, all these NCR dups... tear out a bunch. Shred. Repeat and repeat and repeat.... It's hours and hours of work.

Turning them into fire logs... interesting thought.

I use the top stub kind of checks & shred the old stubs as well as the checks. It's easier to get the wire out of the top stubs than it is to pull the staples out of the end stub type (which I learned when I first started shredding stuff because before I switched to top stubs I had the end stub kind).

The one drawback of the micro-cut shredders is they don't handle staples very well. I actually ruined my first shredder - burned out the motor - by feeding paper that I hadn't removed the staples from. My current shredder says it will handle up to 16 sheets, but I usually feed about half that many.

I keep one of those cardboard "banker boxes" here next to my desk & accumulate the stuff to be shredded. When the box gets full, I'll shred the whole lot which fills the bin up a couple of times. That seems to be the least time consuming way for me to do it.

I was making the paper pulp fire logs long before I got my first shredder. I had a subscription to the local newspaper & used that and one day figured out I could add the junk mail to it. This was early "recycling" days when you had to separate materials (paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum cans, steel cans) into different containers before the city would pick them up.

303:

(If it's really long term, then use the *OLD* CD standard where pits were burned into metal sandwiched between two sheets of glass.)

Uh, CD writers didn't "burn" pits into metal... Pressed CDs were manufactured from masters with 160 nm-deep pits pressed into polycarbonate substrate then metallised. Write-once and later rewritable CDs used a phase-change layer of plastic which was written by a more powerful laser to make areas with different reflectivity which could also be read like pressed pits, but with lower signal-to-noise since it didn't involve a beam-splitter and interference. The pressed pits were 1/4 wavelength of the 650nm read laser and the detector read the mixed reference beam and reflected beam with constructive or destructive interference.

The energy pattern to the laser for writeable media was a "secret sauce" deal for companies like the one I worked for making CD writers and their control chips. It wasn't a simple on-off thing but a carefully shaped pulse which produced a sharp well-defined image in the disc's phase-change material.

If you want long-term data storage involving making holes then punched tape is your best bet. There was a cartridge-based punched tape data storage system I saw demoed a long time back. Going from memory it used either a 1-inch or 2-inch videotape substrate and an array of laser diodes to make the holes and read them back, about 150 of them across the width of the tape. I think it recorded 128 bits of data plus parity and error-correcting bits and a cartridge could store a few hundred MB of data, a lot at that time.

304:

Perhaps I'm confused. When I saw "SD card" I read "flash memory card". Is this not correct?

Yeah, hard drives are pretty good, usually for decades, or at least that used to be the case. Eventually the lubricants would get stiff, and then it was better to have copied them somewhere else. Good tapes last longer in a controlled environment, though I'm not sure about the current generation. Higher densities seem to inherently cause corruption problems, and I've had a couple of 556 BPI odd parity tapes that eventually went bad (became unreadble in places) without delaminating. (The even parity tapes were worse, but you'd only lose a couple of characters, with the odd parity tapes you lost an entire record.)

305:

David L @ 212: I have a pile of relatives in SC and TX. And we have an apartment in TX. We get to see all of this first hand.

Ha! You know you don't have to go that far. We got plenty of right-wingnuts here in Raleigh.

306:

Me @301: If this period of history, not well covered, interests you, I'd recommend starting with So Far From God, co-written by John S. D. Eisenhower, Ike's son.

307:

Right. To a good first approximation, walking speed on the flat goes down by the square root of the person's all-up weight (faster in hilly going), PROVIDED that you can carry that weight without it impeding your walking. Possibly 25 miles a day was a bit optimistic, but not by a huge margin - I have certainly done it, and am no athlete.

308:

"Yep: that's why my normative assumption for non-relativistic slower-than-light SF novels is that either the travelers have got cryonic suspension sorted[*], or it's a very slow but absolutely gigantic moving city with green spaces, lakes, recreation/theme parks, and zones big enough to trick the eye into thinking there's a horizon."

Or the society is highly adapted to a very crowded living situation. It's a similar problem to the likely situation with biotech/neurotech in a century, that the people will be sharply different from us.

309:

You are thinking of a later, and less stable, version of the CD. The first version used laser burned pits in metal sandwiched between two panes of glass. They couldn't come up with a way to make it cost effective, so they replaced it with multiple different technologies. But I believe the original technology was used to create the "golden CD" sent out on the Voyager 1 probe.

310:

(note, I live in Southeast Michigan)

"To be fair, not every governor did a good job on lockdown. Michigan's governor declaring that nobody could buy seeds was as bad an idea as I've seen, despite the fact that she otherwise has handled her responsibilities quite well re the pandemic. "

A few comments:

1) She called it right. She wasn't perfect, but we have to look to find things which she messed up on, rather than look to find things which she did right.

2) Trump called for an armed mob to storm the legislature, which they did. The police had to physically line up and block them, which they did with no riot gear; I didn't hear of any arrests.

3) The mob armed mob was handled with utmost delicacy. White right-wingers get this.

4) Hospitals in Detroit were hammered, and almost overwhelmed. Any later for the lock-down and it'd have been a disaster.

5) There was something interesting going on in my town. A motel was full of random looking people, with two security guards blocking the driveway. They would not tell me what was going on. I think that the government put homeless people there. There'd be better separation than in the local homeless shelter.

6) The local economy was hammered. The auto companies shut down for a couple of months, and are still not back totally. The university campus looked like it did between Christmas and New Year's.

7) People were avoiding restaurants in the week before the lockdown.

311:

"About walking on foot: https://fastestknowntime.com/routes

It's amazing how well we handle long walks"

These times will be based on modern equipment, good trails and selection of prime weather.

Assume that you have to wear/carry 20 lbs of wool to start with, have crappy shoes (with slick leather soles), and whatever weather comes along.

312:

Sorry, but you don't understand the environment I was working in.

How many gigabit SINGLE FILES are you used to dealing with? As I said, the RAID box - it was actually a RAID appliance, held 42 drives, had its own internal controllers, and you had a hub card in the server. We had that one partitioned into... IIRC, two 66TB partitions.

And you also may not be familiar with commercial-grade RAID controller cards. AFAICT, they had very serious quality control on those. If a corporation, or other organization lost tens or hundreds of terabytes, there would be lawyers involved....

At home, I don't have a fraction of that, and I expect my 4TB external WD Red drive to last me for a long, long time.

313:

IIRC it was more like a phonograph record, and they included a stylus for playing it.

314:

Sorry, the Hairball's still worse, because he's actively *trying* to mangle the government.

Polk, getting us into a war? So, just like the Shrub and Cheney.

315:

WaveyDavey @ 254: Man, you USA'nians and your weird measuring systems. I followed your link to the bucket, and the lable on it says 70 quart, and it's description says 1.75 bushel. Google says 61.66 litres from bushel, and 66.24l from quart (US quart, of course, cos you can't even measure a pint or gallon properly).

65l bucket is soooo much simpler.

Blame England. That's where the "system" of measures came from.

FWIW, that's not the exact bucket I have 'cause I bought mine from a local ag-supply company many, many years ago, long before Amazon existed. But it gives you a rough idea of the size I meant by "horse-bucket". I think mine may be slightly larger. But the precise amount of material either one might hold doesn't really matter for soaking paper to make pulp for fire logs.

316:

JBS, Do you shred the pressure sensitive duplicate check (and other forms) paper along with the plain white and then make it into logs to burn? Or do you only make logs out of non-chemically treated paper?

317:

Been there, done that - with the distances I said - i.e. 25 miles a day, not 50-65! Your assumption about the soles is wrong because, if people wore footwear to walk long distances in, it would have been hobnailed boots - been there, done that, too.

318:

@313: I agree, El Cheeto Grande is the worst. And Polk, unlike him or '43, succeeded in his (morally bankrupt) goal of seizing the southwest 1/3 of the future U.S.

319:

whitroth
Funny, I'm usually the one with the typos...
Referring to Murdoch - you used a "u" where you meant a double "o" didn't you - as in shoot down RM ...

Charles H
Take more Warfarin, then!

Bohdan Horst
Even in England
The Pennine Way [ I've walked about half of it ... ]
The Coast-to-Coast Path
And many others

Rocky Tom
My sympathies
I have to leaven my London Clay with horse manure, but otherwise it isn't a problem ...
The Asparagus has finished, the new spuds are now lifting, my beans are flowering & the peas are productive ... the first (green) tomatoes are clearly visible & the courgettes have started.
I'm picking pink & white-currants for jam & sorbets.
Yum.

Dave P
What about Warren Harding & H Hoover as prime arseholes, too?

320:

Charlie Stross @ 258: My big plan for this summer, cancelled by COVID19, was my first ever trip to New Zealand. Worldcon is there this year which made it a business trip (expensable), I've been saving air miles for a decade, the plan was to spend a couple of weeks there and take the long way home via somewhere interesting. Did I say "plan"? We'd been planning it for five goddamn years and I now don't know if I'll ever get to the antipodes (Aus included) ever again.

This year was going to be an extended road trip out to the Western U.S. to photograph some of the National Parks & public lands that restrict travel to high clearance 4WD vehicles (since I finally have one). All those beautiful photos in National Geographic are great, but can't compare to standing out there in the real and seeing it for yourself (even if your own photos don't turn out quite as good).

I do have "plans" to visit the U.K. again. Someday.

There were (maybe still are but I couldn't find them on the internet when I looked recently) steam excursions that ran up the east & west coasts of the island of Britain (one in particular that ran from Cambridge to Ft. William where it linked up with the Jacobite Steam Train so you could ride it as well). The price was fairly reasonable and if they ever get going again (i.e. if I can find them and can afford the air-fare after what Covid-19 is going to do to them) I may still give it a go. I hope I can.

321:

CD == "Compact Disc" which has a very specific definitions for disc manufacture and data structures. See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Books

The team I worked in used the Orange Book mostly with occasional diversions into the "Cooked Orange Book" when necessary (Orange Book plus fudges to cope with multisession and incremental data writes to a partially-written disc).

There were other optical disc data formats around at about the same time the first CDs were produced, like large WORM discs in a similar form factor to Laserdisc, but punching holes in metal with lasers takes a surprising amount of energy, especially at speed and back then powerful lasers cost a lot and were typically gas tube devices, not laser diodes as in commodity CD units of the time. Phase-change was easier and could be done faster with less energy required.

322:

Greg @318: What about Warren Harding & H Hoover as prime arseholes, too?

Yes - see again my last line @301.

323:

whitroth @ 278: Don't get me started, I mean, metric is soooo hard.... Besides, the rest of you lot will come around, sooner or later, and join us, and, um, er, Myanmar, I think, and is it South Africa, or did they go metric...?

Metric is EASY. Everything is a multiple of 10 or divisible by 10. It's only difficult if you try to convert metric to U.S. standard measure or vice versa (and even that's not especially difficult if you use a cheat sheet with the conversion formulas). So why do it? It's a 2 liter bottle. Don't worry about how many quarts that translates to.

When I was pacing a hundred meters (land nav), I didn't worry about how many feet and inches it was. When I need an 8ft 2x4 I don't give a shit about how many meters it is.

324:

Re: weights and measures silliness - remember that a US “fluid ounce” is not the same as anyone else’s. I almost ruined a keyboard when I discovered that.

325:

Hey, Greg, I see some pubs are opening tomorrow at 06:00. Going?

326:

None of that mattered because without recognition as a nation the CSA wasn't able to get loans, make treaties, establish embassies, negotiate trade agreements, or anything else that a nation must be able to do.

As the UK wasn't about to recognize the CSA, France certainly wasn't going to. Nor did either of them wish to go to war with the US, i.e. the Union, because that would be the inevitable outcome if the CSA was recognized as a nation. Plus both of them knew that when it came to the competing capitalist economies here, which would one was inevitable to survive a long war, and it wasn't the slaveocracy. Their economy only worked within their own geographic, paradigmatic system -- no where else in the world. No where else in the world would there be loans provided for which the bodies of human beings were the collateral.

The fire eaters who made Secession really believed they were modeling on the War of Independence and that both Britain and France would do what France did in the 18th century. They had gone so far in their delusions of grandeur and self-importance they could not read the international auguries.

As far as the worst POTUS ever -- this one has won hands down. He's destroyed even more than Buchanan who did -- who wasn't in the least ineffective as president in allowing for the transfer of all federal monies and arms to the secession states, moving the navy and army far away from D.C., and packing the judgeships. He loved the south -- his long-time lover was a plantation owner.

Their plan was that James would be Potus, and Rufus Devane King would be his Sec of State. (Andrew Jackson called Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy.) But King -- who did manage to be F. Pierce's VP -- died of that omnipresent southern infection, cholera.

But ultimately all the Federal systems remained intact -- unlike now when within days, for just one instance, the US Post Office will be dissolved say those who know.

327:

Bohdan Horst @ 282: About walking on foot: https://fastestknowntime.com/routes

It's amazing how well we handle long walks"

a few examples (and all those below are Mountain Trails!):
- Appalachian Trail (US) - 2189 miles, fkt: 41d 7h 39m
- Pacific Crest Trail (US) - 2655 miles, fkt: 52d 8h 25m
- South West Coast Path (UK) - 630 miles, fkt: 10d 15h 18m
- Hadrian's Wall Path (UK) - 84 miles, fkt: 16h 25m 55s

Shortly after Kennedy became President the 50 mile hike became a fad for a while. I think it originated with the U.S. Army Special Forces; something they did in training.

328:

Like that. But we need a bunch of firing squads.

The Pennine Way... oh, my. I wish... I've only done about 10 mi of the Appalachian Trail in PA 2-3 times, from a parking lot to the top of Hawk Mountain and back, camping overnight with a buddy, back in the '80's.

329:

Even better -- read the first part of President Grant's Memoir, which is the Mexican American War, and which within -- and in his letters of the time -- he condemned as a naked property and power grab by the slaveocracy to expand itself.

Ya, Polk was effective too -- as far as it went. He had his list of objectives, which he was certain he could achieve in a single term. And he did, within his single term. Then he had the consideration to die of cholera, acquired while being feted in New Orleans. (Polk never did possess robust health, into the bargain, so his immune system wasn't so good.)

330:

whitroth
As a matter of principle, I will be going to one of my locals ( Proably the Queen's Arms ) tomorrow, at some point.
But I expect that the "registration" restrictions will make it a pita...
Pub-going is probably not going to be enjoyable or regular until August or September at this rate ...

331:

Steam train... When my recent ex and I were in the UK for the '14 Worldcon, we traveled before the con. On the trip, in Wales, we took the short (11 mi) trip on the steam railway that used to ship Welsh slate to the ships, way down....

https://www.festrail.co.uk/

It was *gorgeous*, beautiful, and the scenery was, too.

332:

I've got it!

Moz, you were wondering what kind of test I'd give, in order to run for office?

Ellen just read this:

Joe Biden: "I'll read my daily briefing."
Republicans for Biden: "You had us at 'I'll read'".

333:

The furthest I think I've doen in a day was Patterdale-to-Troutbeck, about 15/16k but over 2000m of climbing ( Up-&-down, it's a superb ridgewalk! )
I have, fortunately done all of the Ffestiniog AND the Welsh Highland lines :-: the 2-ft guage Garratt articulated locos on the latter are something else

334:

(If it's really long term, then use the *OLD* CD standard where pits were burned into metal sandwiched between two sheets of glass.)

Well there is that down side of the price of the first disc. #2 is almost free but #1 ...

335:

On the other hand, I believe I've read Roman Legionnaires considered 20m/day a good days march (carrying a lot of weight in packs)

If you look up the records for US western expansion and were headed to the coast, 20 miles a day was the average you needed to do to make sure you didn't get caught in the winter in the Sierras.

The plains help the average a lot.

336:

Walking that kind of distance over consecutive days carrying a pack is not a trivial thing though. While our bodies are certainly capable of it, even most relatively in shape western humans would need to work up to it

One thing that has helped immensely is lightweight water filtration systems . Boy I wish I had those 30 years ago

337:

My longest single day walk was the Dartmoor North-South, Okehampton battle camp to Ivybridge School. 40km or thereabouts. Hardest one I can remember was Boscastle to Tintagel (or possibly T to B) along the Coastal Path which is only 4 miles or so on the map, but feels about the same vertically as you dip down into small coves then up and over the next headland.

The Abbots Way (East to West across the moor) is a nice day out, Buckfast (Yes, that one, beloved of Glaswegians) Abbey to the site of Tavistock Abbey. A mere 35km, did it several times in my youth on the annual organised event.

338:

There certainly have been reports on that from about 2000 onward. Just watch a ferry dock at Holyhead and you realise that without a differential GPS feed you would be taking 10x longer.

Then theres the 50% of the population who do not seem to own a map book.

The real fun and games with banks is safer than it was after they bought lots of accurate clocks to protect themselves.

In about 2000 a russian company was selling GPS jammers disguisd as discarded cigarette packets at the Paris airshow for $1000 a pop. Blatted normal receivers over a 3mile radius. Trivial to make.

339:

I'd love to go out to eat, or pick up something, and go to the fourth Friday at an American Legion post that has the DC Blues Society-sponsored band, or eat first, and go to this cafe, a *great* venue for music (but beer only, not eat, since they went *argh* Vegan about two years ago).

340:

Packs are for mules, not people. They're sure-footed covering rough ground, they can find forage where a regular horse would starve, they're less prone to illness than horses and you can get an assist from them going up hills by holding onto the pack frame. The bad news is that when they stop, you stop so you're not in charge of the daily pace.

The Romans used mules quite a lot, especially in their desert campaigning.

341:

Re: 'Wildcards: we might conceivably find a simple and effective medical treatment.

Hydroxychloroquine is a bust (snake oil is about what you can expect from a snake oil salesman).'

Oh crap - rt-leaning rel just sent me this news. Here we go again and again and again:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/hydroxychloroquine-given-early-helped-coronavirus-patients-study-finds-11593729664

'Hydroxychloroquine Given Early Helped Coronavirus Patients, Study Finds

Analysis suggests certain Covid-19 patients could benefit from taking antimalaria drug early in their illness, though further research is needed.'

When I checked for other media coverage, got this:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/02/health/hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus-detroit-study/index.html

No surprise - This is also a major Faux headline.

The article author is legit as is the journal however I hit a paywall when trying to access the paper. Hoping someone here can access, read and provide basic English translation.

342:

One of my Cheap Chinese Crap suppliers sells a multipurpose jammer -- it will kill GPS, WiFi, cellular phone service and even Bluetooth for at least a hundred metres around. Use cases include the White Van Man wanting to bugger up his employer's recording of his movements, criminals jamming GPS trackers fitted covertly to their vehicles by the cops, errant spouses jamming GPS trackers fitted covertly to their vehicles by their suspicious others, privacy proponents preventing The Man from bugging their phones etc.

Yes, operation of these things is highly illegal in most jurisdictions, just owning one can get you prosecuted in some places. I suspect there's probably an Open Source design on for one Thingiverse if you wanted to roll your own.

343:

You missed the legitimate use case: jamming the asshole who is illegally on their phone while driving on the freeway. (Most states say, "no hand-held phones or texting while driving, period")

344:

Until recently all armies literally ran on mule power -- at least in those places where horses and asses thrived.

Mules being both horse and ass, were sturdier than horses, and faster than asses.

Plus being a mule breeder was an excellent business since mules can't replace themselves.

One of my joys in watching this epic Indian film, Jodha Akbar, is seeing all the varieties of military warfare and person-to-person combat common in the Mughal and Hindustan kingdoms. The groups on the Indian subcontinent were very good at all these disciplines.

I was particularly fascinated by seeing just how elephants in warfare were used. It's pretty amazing. (Something Euros and Americans forget or never realized was how important the elephant trade was -- it was a sub-economy even, that ranged for centuries from African to the very edges of Southeast Asia. And not only for warfare.)

https://www.rediff.com/movies/2008/feb/14jodhaa.htm

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/16/movies/16akba.html

345:

RockyTom @ 315: JBS, Do you shred the pressure sensitive duplicate check (and other forms) paper along with the plain white and then make it into logs to burn? Or do you only make logs out of non-chemically treated paper?

I don't use those kind of checks. I have to manually write the information on the stubs. I have had other kinds of paper that included those multi-layer "carbonless" forms and I did shred those and dumped them in the bucket for pulp. I basically shred anything with my name & address or any other information I think might be personally identifiable, including junk mail.

The stuff that comes to "resident" or "occupant" can go into recycling, but if it has my name on it, my paranoia about identity theft kicks in and I'm going to shred it.

I don't get that many of those paper logs; not enough to heat my house anyway. It's more a process for protecting personal information - shred it, pulp it, burn it.

346:

Elderly Cynic @ 316: Been there, done that - with the distances I said - i.e. 25 miles a day, not 50-65! Your assumption about the soles is wrong because, if people wore footwear to walk long distances in, it would have been hobnailed boots - been there, done that, too.

I've done 20+ miles in good hiking boots (Vasque), combat boots (McManara boot), jungle boots & jump boots (Corcoran) - comfortable to excruciating as you read left to right, but I made it to the rally point despite the pain. Never owned a pair of hobnailed boots.

347:

Troutwaxer at 284: Aurora was the Kim Stanley Robinson.

348:

the legitimate use case: jamming the asshole

Ah, nope. In the US jamming cell signals in almost any situation, at least by civilians, is a huge no no.

349:

I used a paper brad for the bendable wire on mine. And carefully mad buttonholes to get it in correctly. (It works fine.) If you want it less visible, nail polish comes in lots of colors and sticks well.

350:

I've seen people "wearing masks" in stores so that their noses are exposed. And at least one woman, in a pharmacy, who'd pulled it all the way down.
(I wish stores would enforce their "no mask, no service" rules.)

351:

Read (&saved) all those posts last night.
Meditating on them.
(Details of a memory posted ... elsewhere ... earlier this year.)

352:

I understand that they used river and sea travel as much as possible, before railroads. (Canals, too. Growing up, we got to sing "Erie Canal", about boats that were towed by mules.)

353:

In my area, with mandatory face coverings indoors in public places (NYS), it's "no masks, no customer", loudly out loud, then leaving. Have only done it once, so far.

354:

A year or so back, some contractors working on a house elsewhere in Southern California broke a gas pipe (which should have been marked beforehand, but they probably didn't bother with that step). The company sent someone out to check on it, and he had the bad luck to be at the front door when the house blew up. Video was available via doorbell cam.

355:

Video doesn't forget.
Pay attention to the Lincoln Project, the Meidas people, and VoteVets. They'll be using those. And they have a turnaround time in *hours*.

356:

"You had us at 'I'll read'".

🤣

357:

Most of the BLM protesters wore masks. There's no noticeable spike from those. But the "opening up" stuff - lots of cases. And the churches that insisted that they had the right to have indoor services with singing - lots of cases. Governor Newsom has now banned indoor choirs.

358:

there's very little organic matter

I use chickens and woodchips (cheap/free from an abourist if you can take a truckload). Woodchips rot fairly readily if you pile them 60+cm deep and there's enough moisture and warmth for composting. I mix in dumpster dived vege waste to help the process, and the chickens add poo where they can.

One discovery is that even fresh woodchips can be spread 3-5cm deep on lawn in the spring, and within a month the lawn will eat them/grow over them. You get a higher, springier lawn than holds moisture better than before (in Sydney that means "needs to be mowed during the drought")

But that does rely somewhat on you having space and being able to make a bit of a mess of your yard. Chickens are generally regulated in some manner but even in Australia that ranges from "if the neighbours complain" to a list of 20 rules.

359:

Greg, I'm curous about the Patterdale-Troutbeck route - did you follow the Roman road over High Street?

360:

My father had a pick where the pointy end got so worn down from digging in the local soil (adobe with gravel-to-small-rocks) that he turned it into an adze. But the fruit trees and grape vines loved it: it held moisture really well...once you got the water into it.

361:

Actually, that bible was right side up. You can tell by the ribbon bookmark. (Some shots showed the edge of the spine, where you could just see the title and version.)

362:

The Spanish missionaries walking north from somewhere in Mexico (probably Monterrey or Guadalajara) into northern California did about 25 miles a day - more on flat land, less in the central coast, which is hilly. It's well over 500 miles from San Diego to San Francisco. (Ships came after they had established locations. But there aren't all that many harbors.)

363:

Why are you assuming a generation ship would be cramped?

Given human nature, and the costs of very large things (not just to build, but in space to fill with air) why would one assume it wouldn't be cramped?

364:

In some places in the US the landfills will shred "yard waste" and turn it into mulch, which they'll give away so it doesn't take up so much space.

365:

I knew of a local town where yard waste and all municipal tree clearing wood/brush chips (and perhaps above ground power line right of way clearing crew's wood chips) and also large wildlife road kills (white tail deer at least) were all shredded into a large municipal compost heap; it was rotated so that the new stuff was put onto a section at a time. At least when I lived in that town, the resulting compost was free for the taking.
Also, trucks (municipal and private) that capture chips from tree work will often drop their load of chips if you ask.


366:

I didn't mean that it was *legal*[1], just that it was a legitimate use.

1. I dunno - I thought FCC said that as long as it didn't go past 100' 100 yards? it was ok, to cover amateur radio.

367:

Unfortunately, I've only lived here since March, and was a little late to get the gardening started due to the move. So I can't answer your question about the soil, unfortunately.

368:

In my current fantasy novel I'm assuming 20 miles/day for someone walking a string of packhorses, mostly through mountainous or semi-mountainous terrain. The maximum reasonable mileage in a day would be an Orc mounted on a dire wolf, who might make 100 miles in a day, but be too tired to fight the next day, while an Elf on a Unicorn could make a similar distance. Ordinary people who are walking can make 20-30 miles a day.

If your polity is lucky enough to be multi-species Humans on big horses form your heavy cavalry, Orc's riding dire wolves are your medium cavalry, and Elves on unicorns are your light cavalry; mainly messengers and raiders, but deadly when the unicorn uses magic to increase it's mass just prior to hitting your lines...

369:

We just ate the first half-dozen tomatoes in a soup, and my peppers are producing. The dill plant is huge and it is flowering, and the mint and rosemary are doing well.

But the thing I'm really stoked about is that I have the three sisters growing very nicely together, after much effort and sadness! I also have four kinds of squash plus gourds growing and two species of pumpkins!

370:

A quick Google search shows the record for a human being running over a 24 hour period is over 180 miles. That's on a track with rest stops, water and food available on demand. People have been known to run marathon distances and more day after day for weeks. The record for crossing the US on foot, a distance of 3,100 miles is 42 days or about 73 miles a day average.

Someone who walks or marches 20 miles in a day is going to use up a lot of food calories -- I have a vague recollection that travelling a mile on foot takes about 100 calories whether walking or running.

371:

In the US jamming cell signals in almost any situation, at least by civilians, is a huge no no.

Yes. Perhaps twenty years ago a late friend and I were having a discussion about that. He was a Senior Executive Service technical/policy guy with the FCC's cellphone department, so I'd assume, at least at the time, he knew what he was talking about. He said that jamming, even locally and in arguably justifiable circumstances, was forbidden because it would potentially interfere with safety-of-life calls (physicians at the opera was an example), and they didn't want to open that door.

372:

My big plan for this summer, cancelled by COVID19, was my first ever trip to New Zealand.

Yeah, bummer. We were very much looking forward to seeing you here.

A virtual worldcon based in Wellington is very much not the same as being able to offer to buy you a beer.

373:

He said that jamming, even locally and in arguably justifiable circumstances, was forbidden

Of course the difference between jamming and a malfunctioning microcell is a bit theoretical these days. And you can always blame the local fascists for operating a stingray or equivalent should the need arise.

374:

Heh. The treaty that Billy Penn made with the Leni Lenapi Native Americans for the land where Philly is was legit... he just pulled a fast one. They agreed that he could have the land that a man could walk around in three days. They expected the walkers (there were three of them) to have to hunt, make dinner... instead, the three men carried food and just kept walking.

But Penn didn't break that treaty, nor was it broken for several generations.

375:

Repeat aftyer me:
"RAID is NOT backup"
"RAID is NOT backup"
"RAID is NOT backup"
...
Ad infinitum.

I worked in the "File Serving Technologies" group at SGI (before they went completely titsup and were bought by Rackable) (alas post-IRIX), when our quiet motto was, "We don't get out of bed for less than tens of terabytes."

By the time I left (two weeks before the aforementioned titsup) it was, "We don't get out of bed for less that a petabyte." :-)

My home server runs Solaris, with bunches of disks RAIDed using ZFS, things just work.

HW RAID cards are the devil's work, I recall one particular bunch of cards that had a problem, but it only showed up when one failed and you replaced it - with the same model card from a different batch - and it sort of went "RAID array corrupt, initialise (Y/N): ". So yes, you had to initialise it and restore from backup. Some of the SAN racks had hundreds of disks in them, it was, shall we say, "interesting?" to see who had a sensible backup regime in place...

My first ZFS array is now now in its third machine, (okay, the disks have been replaced a couple of times, but it's the same axe!), and I don't have to spend money getting just the right controller to keep it alive, and the important stuff is in the cloud, on DVDs, and on a couple of removable disks.

"If it doesn't exists in at least three other places, it isn't backed up."

376:

In some places in the US the landfills will shred "yard waste" and turn it into mulch, which they'll give away so it doesn't take up so much space.

Here in Raleigh NC (500K people) about 25 years ago when it became obvious that tossing everything into a big pile and then covering it up was going to be a big loose in the not too distant future they changed things. Now we all have separate bins for trash vs recycling and in general they pick up yard waste on the same days if you put it out. Or you can take it to the yard waste facility yourself. They mulch it up and sell it at a very low price. No packaging. You load it into buckets your bring or a pickup truck or trailer.

Not a bad deal but I don't use it. You have a chance to get things back like saw briar that have enough green left in them to re-grow.

377:

There are very specific rules about cell phone interference. And if noticed and a complaint made, people with badges WILL show up. Some churches and theaters try and use such things every now and then and get slapped down hard. As I understand it, Israel is a major source for such widgets.

378:

A virtual worldcon based in Wellington is very much not the same as being able to offer to buy you a beer.

Ditto, especially after you didn't make it to NZ just before AussieCon either (and I had to lug my hardcover of The Trade of Queens to Melbourne).

379:

No packaging. You load it into buckets your bring or a pickup truck or trailer.

I've seen video of people in the US doing that, and one guy who was concerned that he was abusing the system but the operators were happy to say "that's not a dump truck, *this* is a dump truck" when he turned up.

That's what I'd like, but sadly in Australia they all seem to insist on single-use plastic plastic bags holding ~20-25 litres. It's quite annoying but I suspect they have a big industrial composting machine to reduce land area used and pretty much guarantee that no seeds etc make it through alive.

Councils all seem to use their own compost quite extensively, as well as woodchipping their own trees and using that for mulch. The landcare group I'm in can get the mulch but not the compost by the truckload for our planting on council land.

And then of course the likes of Karl Hammer who have giant mountains of compost and feed hundreds of chickens off it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWChH9MHkHg

380:

That's what I'd like, but sadly in Australia they all seem to insist on single-use plastic plastic bags holding ~20-25 litres. It's quite annoying but I suspect they have a big industrial composting machine to reduce land area used and pretty much guarantee that no seeds etc make it through alive.

Oh you can buy that. Just go to Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, etc...

And as you said, you know you're not buying seeds of things you might not want.

The city operation sells it by the bucket for those with a few buckets for their trunk or pickup. And if you want their 1 or 2 yard sized bucket loader will dump a load into whatever big thing you show up with.

There are also a few commercial operations that are best for mulch. You have a lot of options to pick from. They will deliver or dump it into your "thing".

381:

Heteromeles has talked about how the Syrian Civil War was about a shortage of water.

USA PBS has a 2 part show that I just finished: H2O The Molecule that Made Us
Covers how the planet uses and doesn't use fresh water.

In part 3 it draws an interesting thread.

some droughts in Middle East.
then drought in Australia causes food shortages in Middle East
then Arab Spring
then Syria gets the short end of the short stick and the country falls apart
then refugees from Middle East head to Europe

Then Brexit and Trump

Not the only cause but a huge influence leading Brexit and Trump.

382:

Re walking in the good old days.

Would they have worn shoes at all? I've never taken note of the furthest I've walked barefoot, but certainly something over 10km. I used to avoid shoes when walking the dogs in summer so I could be sure I wasn't burning their pads. If a soft, old, modern man can go months between shoe wearings, would these people have bothered at all?

383:

Bill Arnold @ 350
Don't call us & we won't call you!

PJ evens
Well, there's a canal a couple of miles from here that has been in continuous use since Hernry VIII's reign ... carrying supplies to & gunpowder from his powder mills in Waltham Abbey

waldo
Of course, but I was younger then ...
[ Angletarn Pikes, the Knott, Rampsgill Hd, High Street, Thornthwaite Crag, Froswick, Ill Bell, Yoke. ]
I have been to the top of every fell in Wainwright vols 1&2 ( "The Eastern & the far Eastern Fells" )
The really long one there is Patterdale - Pooley Bridge - & get the lake steamer back .... { Short version is to cut out, after Loadpot Hill & divert to Howtown ]

384:

Wirecard has just had the use of its services banned (temporarily, for a week or so, now lifted) in the UK.

I hope you don't have any money in their system just now. It seems their fraud is deep and they seem to be shut down around the world as TPTB try and figure out what's up.

Plus the guy who was running (or maybe second in command) it seems to have vanished. With forged papers to boot.

385:

Yeah my home RAID has run on ZFS for years too. I have considered using Solaris as the server OS on and off, but generally found that driver issues are pretty easy using a reasonably popular Linux, and you're not even really limited to user land anymore.

386:

There's a growing, seemingly global, sense that we can't or shouldn't go back to the status quo ante

I am pessimistic about that.

Because I had that feeling here in NZ during our lockdown.

A sense that everyone in the country was playing on the same team, that maybe we could keep that up and change some things. A solidarity as people realised that many of our "essential workers" that we rely on are paid shit. Discussion of how great it was for the environment that the daily rush hours were gone, and things we could to to keep that up.

And a month later, as life here has gone back to normal, that spirit just seems totally gone. So gone that I was wondering if I'd imagined it.

387:

May I be rude and suggest that you might want to stick a paragraph in somewhere explaining that "mile" is a translation convention for "everyday big unit for walking distances", and the actual measurement of their unit is somewhere between half and three-quarters of ours?

I think you'd be very lucky to make 20 miles a day with pack horses in mountainous terrain. I think you're looking at more like half that on a good day and less than a tenth on a bad one, where you have to keep stopping to move boulders and things so the horses can get past and most of the distance you do cover is vertical. For a more reliable reference than my vague memories check out "A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush" by Eric Newby, which contains a good deal of first-hand description of this sort of logistics.

For a different kind of perspective try the histories of the opening months of WW1 and the initial mobile phase in France, the retreat to the Marne etc. Armies moving on foot, with horses to pull the guns and other heavy things. 20 miles a day is a killing pace and causes the additional problem if you're retreating that once you start doing that you have to keep going until the attacking side runs out of steam, because your troops are too knackered to throw a defensive position together and fight effectively to defend it until they've had time for a bit of rest - not to mention food and water; another big problem those guys had was that they were going too fast to keep everyone supplied with water and people were having to keep going for days with nowhere near enough to drink.

WW1 cavalry officer memoirs make an interesting contrast with the experiences of the infantry. Infantry memoirs are all about doing actual war stuff like fighting and marching and doing things with guns and trenches. The cavalry experience was more like running a big horse farm with something happening in the background a few miles away involving things going bang and stuff. Their actual combat troops would still take their turn in the trenches, but more than twice as many were too busy doing horse maintenance all the time to be spared for that shooting crap. Not using the horses in battle just means that someone has to ride them around not in battle instead otherwise they seize up and go creaky. There's a heck of a lot of effort involved just in having cavalry whether you can use them or not.

Also worth taking note from WW1 of the truly vast amounts of hay and stuff consumed by all the draught horses, and the large part of the logistical effort that was simply about moving horse food about. If you have a lot of cavalry on carnivorous mounts, that kind of problem gets a lot worse and acquires a lot of interesting new aspects. The Raj Whitehall series fudges this horribly by inventing a kind of fish which acts as logical hay and using that as an excuse to basically ignore it most of the time, which I don't think would work even if you did have a fish like that.

388:

Hobnailed boots are fine on soft going, even packed dirt and gravel, but seriously bad for knees (and damn slippery) on hard going - they were required when I was in the CCF, because of the sound they made during drill.

389:

Three sisters doesn't work in the UK, partly because of not enough sunlight and partly because we can't get anything except dwarf maize seed :-( I grow 5 types of beans(*) over a (now) 10'x12'x6' cage and 3 kinds of squashes(**) underneath, but also unusual things (often herbs) like kohl rabi, agretti, rock samphire, sculpit and ramsons. Etc.

(*) Borlotti, Greek Gigantes, Trail of Tears, a blue bean and Shiny Fardenlosa.
(**) Trombincino d'Albenga, a crown prince and a Gem type.

390:

No. I don't keep money in their system. I keep it underneath things (electronic junk, old socks, piles of ash and fag ends, those kind of things). I have this card I can put it onto when I need to pay for something and can't do so by straightforward methods, like buying stuff on ebay. It stopped working recently, so I couldn't do that. It turned out that the reason was that one of the Chinese hitmen was Wirecard, who I had never heard of until that point. The Financial Conduct Authority had decreed that all operations where Wirecard was one of the Chinese hitmen had to stop doing anything. Now they have said they can start doing things again, and the card bunch have said that they have started looking for another hitman in case it happens again. I have no idea how long that might take them.

391:

Unless there are two Wirecards they are kaput. Seriously. Do some news searches.

392:

I think you'd be very lucky to make 20 miles a day with pack horses in mountainous terrain.

Right. You can do that when there is a route through the mountains, as there often is, but the difficulty of actually having to climb mountains is measured in feet vertical not miles horizontal. And, as you say, if there's no clear route, all bets are off.

It's worse in the jungle. I can't remember which war (a British Imperial one of the 19th century), but one book described marching from eastern India (now Bangladesh) to Burmah, having to cut a route, and averaging under 1 mile a day.

393:

Yeah, that's why I don't use hardware RAID. When it goes wrong you're fucked unless you can find an absolutely identical card to replace it with. The original one came with the box but a replacement costs £100 for the only one on ebay and then it turns out to be not quite identical enough.

I find Linux software RAID is completely solid and works well enough that I can just forget it's there. Whatever extra CPU load it may impose is not noticeable.

394:

No. Even poor people in the UK often had boots, because of the winter, but they were worn only when necessary; slightly richer ones might have worn them all the time. I have walked that sort of distance barefoot, too, both with and without a pack, over moorland, dirt/gravel roads and even rock. I would have walked further, because my feet are hard and I can't get boots to fit, but the combination of cold, wet and sharp objects (both stones and heather) is not good.

395:

Yes, it's really weird reading about the earlier phases of European colonisation of North America because of that. The logical shape of the country was so different from its physical shape that you keep running across instances of X being thought of as being at the bottom of your garden and Y as Timbuctoo even though Y is quite close and x is 1000 miles further off.

adze

A tool which I am quite happy never to have had the need for. It seems to be far better designed for chopping your own legs off than for any actually desirable purpose.

396:

EC
Greek gigantes simply don't work for me - huge plants, unfilled/wierd shaped pods
However: Runners (x2 ) Borlotti, pole beans, white French beans, Broad, Field & 2 or 3 sorts of dwarf beans.
My Maize are doing OK, but they grow much more slowly - it's the latitude ...

Wirecard
"Biggest financial fraud since the Deutschmark"
German Financial regulator ( BarFin ) looks dodgy, too ... report/comment that every singke person making complaints of suspicious behaviour ( including Wirecard ) have themseleves been investigated, whilt the perpetrators run arounbd free.
Apparently the "FT" who uncovered this giant fraud, were also pursued ...
Unfortunately, the Brexshiteers will go: "Told you so!"
Other superb comment was to the effect that Wirecard were promoters of "cashless" - until it was discovered that they had no cash thmeseleves. Ouch.

397:

I didn't doubt that people had boots. I was thinking of multi day walks. I would have thought people would simply stay put in winter. As is often pointed out, there's not many hours of daylight, and without artificial lights I can't imagine stumbling about in the forest would be habit forming behaviour. I also don't really understand winter, but I hear stories of deaths due to people going out their back door to visit the woodpile in a blizzard and losing their way back.

So walking to London would be a fair weather activity. Given that, would people wear out an expensive pair of winter boots on a summer walk?

399:

Latest comment from the card bunch was: "The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed, after an in depth review, that Wirecard can continue to support the processing of transactions."

That was on 30th June. I have heard nothing since. They then go on to say:

"we believe it is the right thing to do (who do they get to write this shit?) to have an orderly transition to another provider, which we will inform you about in due course."

So far, the Duke's horse hasn't arrived. (It's probably off discussing how fast humans can carry hay up a mountain.) Maybe it will eventually, or maybe they will switch it off again; as long as the latter does not chance to eventuate in the hour or two between me putting some money on it and spending it out again, I really do not care. I don't care all that much even if that does happen, as the amount won't be all that large, whereas my "fuck even thinking of thinking about this" index for this kind of thing is very large indeed.

I am strongly disinclined to see what the papers have to say about it. The emperor never has any fucking clothes on and it would be far too infuriating to investigate a bunch of fools all doing their nut because they think it's the wrong kind of clothes he hasn't got.

400:

I would have thought people would simply stay put in winter.

It can be the best time to travel, if you have the right gear. Sleds and toboggans are easier to pull than carts over unprepared trails (easier to make and maintain, too)), no mud to sink in, skis/snowshoes to go over (not through) the snow, etc.

401:
I'm assuming 20 miles/day for someone walking a string of packhorses, mostly through mountainous or semi-mountainous terrain.

Yeah, I'd revise that down. I've spent a lot of time on foot, or on horseback, in the Patagonian Andes, doing 300 square km of field mapping in terrain that went from 500 to 2000 metre peaks. Generally I'd make about 6 miles a day, on foot or on horseback. When I had trails, and wasn't stopping to map, or didn't have to stop to set up/take down camp, I could do about 8 miles, maybe 10. If I had a well formed (read macadamised gravel) trail, I'd guess maybe 15, and 20 miles if you didn't care about the health of your animals/were purchasing remounts as you went. Horses meant I could move more stuff, (I still have 600 kilos of Patagonia, if anyone needs some) but they didn't really increase my speed that much. Although I did discover I could sleep while riding, as long as the horse knew where we were going, and there were no low branches.

Modern transport is magic - I've done 1300km in a single day on outback bush roads in Australia, although it was nearly fatal at multiple points.

402:

Forest? That's North America, not Great Britain. There has been a network of long-distance routes here for at least 5,000 years, though it was probably pretty sparse until c. 3,000 years ago. The same applies to the forest/woodland cover, in reverse. By even Mediaeval times, those were much as they are today. Without those routes, 25 miles a day would be infeasible.

Except during the exceptional cold spells, that was a minor risk - the normal problem in Britain in the winter was and is hypothermia from the wet, cold and wind. And, as I said, halve the distance you can travel in a day, even in reasonable weather. It's perfectly possible to travel and even sleep out in the winter, but it's tough and weaker people die. You need heavy wool clothing designed for that sort of use - but outside workers would often have had it - and enough high-calorie food.

For those reasons, people would have normally travelled only from late spring to early autumn, but it was just about feasible.

403:

For most of the modern era (i.e. the past 5,000 years) in Britain, winters have not been reliably cold enough to do that - which is why those technologies never really took off here. You do not want to have to travel through winter mud, slush, wind and rain, I assure you!

404:

Growing up in California I was taught that the 21 missions were spaced a day's walk apart.

405:

One of my neighbours on our allotment site is on his second year of three sisters. His first try was last year. He's using the method adapted for England which involves several small mounds with four sweetcorn plants, squashes at ground level and beans planted later. He uses a legacy bean and saves his own seeds. I plan do do the same next year when l've sourced a climbing bean which is not too tall.

406:

Well, I've just done a quick round-the block survey ... the following are all OPEN for business:
he Bell / The Queen's Arms / The Village / The Castle / The Nag's Head / Wild Card (Barrel Store) / Pillars brewery.
And the restuarants are open & there are stalls selling food.
( I had a pint in the Queen's & a half in the Nag's .... )

Mike Collins
Climbing beans - do you want "runners" ( Which are originally S-American ) or "pole" beans ( a.k.a. "French" beans ) ??
I don't think there are any actual climbing varieties that simply don't just go on growing .....
There are "dwarf" varieties of course.
I can recommend the vriety "cobra" which are v productive for "French" beans.

407:

Well, England doesn't really have winters. :-)

"Nice weather yesterday. Spring. Missed it last year, I was in the bathroom."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eT40eV7OiI


When I was a lad the snow arrived in October and didn't melt until April — and significant blizzards in May/June weren't unknown.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/%27Winter_Landscape%2C_Laval%27%2C_oil_on_canvas_painting_by_Cornelius_Krieghoff%2C_1862%2C_National_Gallery_of_Canada.jpg


408:

Donaldo Trumpolini appears to be in even more trouble.
An US services Veterans organisation has publicly labelled him a threat to their national security & called him "Benedict Trump"
And some of his campaign T-shirts recall the late-1930's "Amerika First" of the Bund together with a symbol that's horribly reminiscent of a well-known Nazi one ....

409:

And some of his campaign T-shirts recall the late-1930's "Amerika First" of the Bund together with a symbol that's horribly reminiscent of a well-known Nazi one ...

For anyone who missed this turd in the national punch bowl, yes. It's on Trump's campaign's website and, wow, the dog whistle has turned into a sousaphone. A quick search turned up a side by side comparison here; you're welcome to find your own. Any PR campaign can produce unfortunate art once; when it keeps happening we have to think it's intentional. It was thought probably a mistake when when a Trump election art featured Waffen SS troops...

One can even debate whether "America First" is The Donald is sucking up to Neo-Nazis by reminding them of the Americans who sucked up to Nazi Germany or if it's a reminder to racists that it was also a slogan of the KKK. But who are we kidding? They're the same people. And they love him no matter which hate group he's embracing today.

410:

Don't confuse recent decades with what happened in previous centuries. The weather in Britain has always been extremely erratic, because it is controlled by air flows, unlike in continental climates (e.g. the USA). Late frosts and snow are common here, too, even now - and don't ask about the Scottish Highlands! That is why snowshoes and skis never became mainstream (though sledges were, for other reasons) - they simply weren't reliable enough to justify the effort of making and learning to use them.

https://www.netweather.tv/weather-forecasts/uk/winter/winter-history

Also, from survival and travel points of view, temperatures around freezing are worse than colder ones, as you pointed out for the latter in #399. When the temperature is persistently well below freezing, the air is dry, which helps a lot - in the 1980s, people from Canada regularly said they had never been so cold as wehn they moved to Cambridge (and we are one of the drier areas of Britain). Even when the weather is persistently cold, we quite often get a warm front moving over, bringing rain, and rained-on snow (whether it refreezes or not) is foul for travel. The Ice Man's boots, for example, would keep him warm only in dry conditions.

So, for historical authenticity, the exact date makes a big difference to the plausible weather conditions.

411:

Re: 'Donaldo Trumpolini appears to be in even more trouble.'

DT's got more trouble heading his way ... Another tell-all book, this time by a niece (see below).

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53243354


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_Much_and_Never_Enough

Here's the author info ...

Background

The book's author, Mary L. Trump, a clinical psychologist,[3] is a daughter of Fred Trump Jr., and a granddaughter of Fred Trump Sr. According to her book's publisher, Simon & Schuster, she has taught graduate students in the subjects of trauma, psychopathology, and developmental psychology.[4] She has written a dissertation on stalking victims, conducted research on schizophrenia, and written parts of the prominent medical manual Diagnosis: Schizophrenia.[5] Mary's father died in 1981 at the age of 42 from a heart attack due to alcoholism.[6]

Following the death of Fred Sr. in 1999, Mary and her brother, Fred III, contested Fred Sr.'s will in probate court, claiming that Fred Sr. was suffering from dementia, and the will was "procured by fraud and undue influence" by Fred Sr.'s other children, Donald, Maryanne, and Robert. A week later, Donald, Maryanne, and Robert terminated the medical coverage for Fred III's son, William, an 18-month old with epileptic spasms. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Mary said that her "aunt and uncles should be ashamed of themselves. I'm sure they are not."[7] The suit was settled, with William's health insurance reinstated.[8] Donald in 2016 explained his actions: "I was angry because they sued."[9]

After her uncle's presidential campaign, Mary Trump came into contact with The New York Times, and provided tax documents from the Trump family as an anonymous source. The documents were used for a 2018 article that detailed financial fraud by Trump that won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for David Barstow, Susanne Craig, and Russ Buettner.[2][10]'


Considering he's incapable of reading more than 240 characters at a stretch, he's been remarkably good for publishers. There must be at least a dozen 'million sellers' about him by now.

412:

@ Pigeon and @ Zane

The reason I say 20 miles/day is because there is a road which has been recently maintained, and much of the trip is through a high mountain valley which is relatively flat. If they were bushwhacking I'd cut the number in half, at the very least. (They also have a bard with them who can heal a horse if necessary, but I don't want to burden the reader with that trivia if I can avoid it. Maybe I should have the bard play for the horses whenever they stop for lunch...)

As far as cavalry with carnivorous steeds, at this point in the civilization, only the rich/noble Orcs can afford them, and the heroine is (off stage) purchasing a pig or goat twice a week to feed her dire wolf. Once again, I'm not sure the reader wants to know...

413:

Maybe you don't find out at all until the bard complains that one of the horses is still lame even after three performances of the anticlockwise version of "Paraiso dos Cavalos". And it turns out that the reason is that the stone in its hoof was actually a spent weaponised fragment of a troll's baculum, and (portentous drumroll) only one sort of people use ammunition like that. (everyone goes quiet and looks a bit nervous.)

414:

That's not where the story is going, but it's definitely a fun thought!

My big problem with the story isn't the horses, it's that I discovered that I was writing a Peter Watts-style 800 page Opus, which needed to be cut into two novels, and that meant changing the trope of the first novel from "Arrives at a new town" to "town with a dark secret," and I think that's going to prove very difficult.

415:

Yiii. You've got a point, in that I was thinking of much smaller files. My first take is still "partition the file into manageable chunks, and depend on multiple copies" though because unless your application isn't sensitive to small errors backing it up as a single file would be likely to ensure loss. Still...perhaps one of the RAID setting would handle that automatically...though I'd bet those chunks would be larger than I would consider safe.

The closest thing I did to that involved 800 BPI 7 track tapes, and I ensured that the backups had the same block sizes and record format...were essentially exact copies...so that if one block on the backup went bad I could get it from the other tape. And when I could I avoided large block sizes, even with each block being checksummed.

416:

It’s important to bear in mind that a single road can only move so many troops at a time before becoming jammed

They often did get jammed with broken down wagons and whatnot

Extremely good analysis here

https://acoup.blog/2019/10/06/new-acquisitions-how-fast-do-armies-move/

Also if you haven’t read his analysis of the siege of Gondor and the siege of helms deep you should

417:

OK. I wasn't talking about a system that was commercially released. To me CD just means Compact Disk, though I understand that to designers it's more significant, and the system I described was the first laboratory production, years before the first commercial release, OR the first official specification. As I said they decided that that approach was too expensive to be implemented, and the commercial releases used different technologies...none of which were as stable and durable as the original, but were a lot cheaper to implement.

418:

Fortunately, I'm not expecting to move any armies, except possibly for a small cavalry group that will live off the land, and that will be in the second book.

419:

Re: ' ... we quite often get a warm front moving over, bringing rain, and rained-on snow (whether it refreezes or not) is foul for travel.'

There's a stretch of highway in northeastern NYS that's approx. 5,000 ft above sea level. One side of the highway is rocky, mostly fir covered mountain, the other side shows a clear view of hillsides and a lake below. Nice scenic view - just don't drive there if there's any rain in the forecast because this type of scenery means flash flooding. I've also seen fast racing streams almost filling the recently widened ditches just from early Spring snowmelt.


Troutwaxer ... Re: Walking/riding through mountain passes ...

Don't recall reading any SF/F that discusses the banal reality of traversing mountains at speed.

For example, I've no problem walking several miles in Boston, Chicago, or NYC - they're all around sea level. But there's no way that I could go for an extended walk the moment I hopped off the plane in Mexico City (7,380 ft) let alone Cusco Peru (11,150 ft) former Inca Empire capital. Not sure my horse or pack animal could either. Seems the assumption is that if you do an ascent slowly enough, you and your animal will automatically acclimatize. Not sure about this. And even if both species do eventually acclimatize, is it at the same rate? The quickest you can do your trip will depend on the slowest-to-acclimatize member of your team.

420:

The quickest you can do your trip will depend on the slowest-to-acclimatize member of your team.

True, unless you have a healer-bard with you. But the medical issue/plot point which it's essential for readers to remember is something else; that a particular Elven character has an allergy to sage... which is why I probably won't address any of the adaptation issues.

421:

Typically an airliner is pressurised to about 700mBar or the equivalent altitude of 2.5km (call it 8000 feet). Hopping off a plane in Mexico City after a long-duration flight from, say, Schiphol Amsterdam then you're already well on the way to being acclimatised to the existing altitude.

422:

P J Evans @ 363: In some places in the US the landfills will shred "yard waste" and turn it into mulch, which they'll give away so it doesn't take up so much space.

We have that here in Raleigh, but it's a separate operation from the "landfill". They sell it to help defray the cost of collecting & processing "yard waste" - $10 - $15 for a pickup truck load (12-15 cubic yards).

You can get organic compost, organic mulch, leaf mulch & dyed mulch.

You also get monthly bill for garbage, recycling & yard waste on your water bill, based on the number of cubic feet of water you used.

423:

Pigeon @ 389: No. I don't keep money in their system. I keep it underneath things (electronic junk, old socks, piles of ash and fag ends, those kind of things). I have this card I can put it onto when I need to pay for something and can't do so by straightforward methods, like buying stuff on ebay. It stopped working recently, so I couldn't do that. It turned out that the reason was that one of the Chinese hitmen was Wirecard, who I had never heard of until that point. The Financial Conduct Authority had decreed that all operations where Wirecard was one of the Chinese hitmen had to stop doing anything. Now they have said they can start doing things again, and the card bunch have said that they have started looking for another hitman in case it happens again. I have no idea how long that might take them.

Could you use PayPal? I have a PayPal account that I use for eBay. It bills to my American Express, so I don't have to keep money in the account.

I'm not exactly sure what "Chinese hitmen" signifies?

424:

What I'd *like* is that any driver caught using a hand-held phone while driving gets a unit install that if the vehicle is not in park, it makes a Faraday cafe for the driver, making them unable to use a phone while driving.

They *do* have locks that you have to breath into before you can turn the ignition for people convicted of multiple DUIs.

425:

Very cool. Thanks for posting that.

Note: NO FUCKING POINTY-TOED BULLSHIT....

I think the only thing pointy toes have any use is for getting them into stirrups....

426:

I can't speak about horses, have limited experience at altitude, and agree with Unholyguy's comment (#415). My figure was for a single person or small group and no pack animals. You also need to add the best part of an hour for every 1000' climbed, or more if the walker has a heavy pack. Those things all add up.

427:

"...the Duke's horse hasn't arrived. (It's probably off discussing how fast humans can carry hay up a mountain.)"

Note that for the Grand Canyon, they do NOT have horses, only mules. Much steadier and more sure-footed. They were they choice over the horses when the Canyon was first being explored, btw - the cliffs freaked the horses.

428:

Warthog mask? Here y'go (I may be somewhat late to the party, so apologies, but this one was the best I could find and, given the quality, remarkably reasonably priced):
https://www.madabouthorror.co.uk/deluxe-warthog-mask.html

429:

I have to say that my entire life - half in Philly, 7.5 years in and around Austin, 11.5 (in two stints) in Chicago, and the last 11 in the DC area (we'll ignore Florida), I keep hearing of this thing called "spring", and folks say they used to have it, but I've never lived anywhere where it's lasted more than a week or two, at most. Winter,winter,springwinterspringsummer.

430:

Elderly Cynic @ 401: Forest? That's North America, not Great Britain. There has been a network of long-distance routes here for at least 5,000 years, though it was probably pretty sparse until c. 3,000 years ago. The same applies to the forest/woodland cover, in reverse. By even Mediaeval times, those were much as they are today. Without those routes, 25 miles a day would be infeasible.

Not really North America ... eastern North America & the Pacific Coast. The central part of the continent is mostly grassland steppe and/or desert.

Even in the forested areas the natives had their roads; just not paved in approved Roman Legion fashion. Also, in the east the natives regularly cleared out the undergrowth to improve the "hunting" part of "hunter/gatherer" as well as practicing agriculture. They didn't have European style agriculture, but they did raise crops and traded with distant tribes who raised other crops.

They were easily capable of making 20+ miles per day. What they lacked were draft animals, so the trade loads they could carry were small.

431:

JEZUZ FUCKING H!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for posting those. I've facepalmed them, and need to send it to my small mailing lists....

432:

Let me explain: we'd have a cluster (torque, descendant of beowulf) of 10 or 20 servers, typically modelling protein folding. They'd run for *weeks*.

Or there was the guy who was using R on DNA snips. In a talk he gave around the end of '13, he said he'd done library research, and there was one published study with 300 snips, and another with, I think it was 1200 snips, and he was looking for correlations with known diseases that had certain characteristics.

This was running on a *large* Dell server, with *two* GPUs. And he was looking at 64,000 SNIPS!!! His jobs would run 2-3 WEEKS, with *nothing* else running on them.

His data was stored on, and results to, a 42 drive RAID appliance.

Sorry, former SGI guy, but we *NEEDED* the performance of hardware RAID. And the two or three times we had failures, I *never8 had a big problem with a random new card. "Import foreign configuration"? Yep. "All there."

433:

Thanks for that link, great stuff. So were his comments (I read the first one) on the Siege of Gondor.

434:

I keep hearing of this thing called "spring", and folks say they used to have it, but I've never lived anywhere where it's lasted more than a week or two, at most. Winter,winter,springwinterspringsummer.

Cause in general you've lived north or south of where it happens. DC is a bit of an outlier due to the vast amounts of water around it.

I've spend most of my life in far western and central KY and central North Carolina. We have spring. Although visitors at times will refer to it as monsoon season depending on the week they are around.

My stints in Pittsburgh and Connecticut made me want to get somewhere with seasons again. Or at least where Winter wasn't 1/2 of the year.

435:

I think there is something to be said for what morality your entertainment medium teaches, and particularly what systems are appropriate for solving problems.

Most Anglosphere cinema, certainly the 'Action' genre but almost all of them really, has a lone character or small band of rebels/resisters/objectors resolving whatever the problem might be through solitary action and violence.

In a generation ship a 'lone wolf' or rebel anything is a major hazard for everyone. There would need to be fun and exciting stories about how someone found a problem and worked the system (whatever it might be) to resolve it before everyone dies.

436:

Sorry, but I *think* he was referring to an A-10.....

437:

After the years in Austin, when a job for me relocated us to Chicago, I was *so* glad to get back to somewhere with an actual *winter* (and that first fall was *glorious*, I could show my late wife and son, both from central/south Texas, the flaming leaves of fall). And I could sit in the grass again (can you say grass burrs and fire ants?).

Austin - the other name for "winter" is "cedar fever season".

438:

Re: ' ... then you're already well on the way to being acclimatised to the existing altitude.'

The commercial aircraft pressurization level you mentioned is probably okay for most people. But just in my family about half experience minor to severe symptoms/pains related to air pressure changes. The weirdest is the family member who's also into scuba diving: no problems diving or immediately after diving but experiences major localized pain when flying. (So the direction in which the pressure is changing - therefore the way the body has to adapt in response to maintain homeostasis- also matters.)

439:

@420: Hopping off a plane in Mexico City after a long-duration flight from, say, Schiphol Amsterdam then you're already well on the way to being acclimatised to the existing altitude.

Umm, nope. You'd better be VERY careful about any physical activity with that sort of altitude change within a day. The Wiki article on altitude sickness, which seems well researched, cites a limit of a net 300m altitude per day for mountain climbing acclimatization, saying you can ascend up to 1,500m in a day, but you should then descend back to your previous day's altitude +300m to sleep.

Having lived in Colorado Springs, mean altitude 1,839m, for nearly twenty years, I can tell you visitors from the lowlands frequently get themselves in trouble doing normal activities, including visiting nearby Pike's Peak, at 4,302m altitude. You can drive the 2,463m difference, take a cog railway, or there's even an up and down marathon (madness, I tell you!). But you'd better be prepared for "headaches, vomiting, tiredness, trouble sleeping, and dizziness" (from the Wiki article).

Even the U.S. military acknowledges the impact; when I was stationed at Lowry AFB, just east of Denver, personnel were excused from fitness testing until they'd been at altitude for 30 days.

440:

One thing is that drop from about sea-level air pressure to 8000 ft ASL pressure happens in a few minutes as the plane climbs. Modern airline operators have an incentive to get their planes into high thin air as soon as possible as the reduced drag at altitude reduces the fuel burn so they climb as fast as they can. That may be the reason for the discomfort they feel.

441:

Another thing about mountain travel, even with created trails: avalanches, sometimes, yes, even in summer, depending on the mountain chain. If not a regular travel route, there will certainly be canyons, cliffs and RIVERS that one has to get oneself, animals and baggage over, down or up.

A really good idea of what it is to do mountain travel are the accounts of how Hannibal and his elephants got from Spain to northern Italy. Yes, that was a full army, not a small raiding party. But no way even a small raiding party is getting through a long stretch of mountain travel without pack train / animals.

Nor is food easily found in mountainous terrain, for either man or beast. Hunting? for birds maybe. But the good game animals tend not to live closely together in mountains. Pine needles are pretty, but they don't provide sustenance for anything, except -- maybe? a goat? Mountains don't grow vegetation in large swathes, as prairies do for bison and antelope and deer. For mountain goats, one needs to go very very high. Without a helicopter it takes a very long time to get there.

And if these trails, if there are trails, are frequently traveled, anything for miles on either side, up and down, have long been hunted out.

442:

My most vivid memory of Chicago winter is, in somewhat terms I heard a comedian put it once, that place where the wind can peel the skin off your face. Continuously.

OK to visit at times but I've decided to try and live in the middle band of the eastern half of the country.

443:

SFR
Don't recall reading any SF/F that discusses the banal reality of traversing mountains at speed.
Cazaril's ride from Chalion to Ibra - using despatch horses, ordinary horses, mules then ordinary horses again ....

444:

Re: ' ... personnel were excused from fitness testing until they'd been at altitude for 30 days.'

Interesting. Wonder whether the military has developed specific tests to determine who's most at risk for this.

From the family perspective - because this is one of those transient things tied to a specific situation, we've never consulted an MD for a diagnosis/cause.

445:

Airplanes are "different". You also have to factor in the dryness of the air.

446:

@443: Wonder whether the military has developed specific tests to determine who's most at risk for this.

Yes, for specific use cases. Hypobaric chambers have been used by the U.S. military, and sometimes by civilian airlines, since at least the 1950s both to train aircrew on the effects of altitude and to identify those who are particularly susceptible to altitude sickness. It can be a disqualifying condition for a pilot trainee.

447:

Heteromeles has talked about how the Syrian Civil War was about a shortage of water.

The point that follows this is really important. Thanks for bringing it up.

There are two additional issues, beyond just drought making refugees.

One issue is what happens with the migrants. A state in part is founded on the notion that it guarantees property rights through various means. If the state gets flooded with migrants, and those migrants take property, then the state has to respond to assure its own legitimacy. Otherwise it's in trouble.

Now normally we think about desperate refugees (aka Them) as the people who are threatening property values. I'd point out though, that the biggest threats to ownership at the moment are actually migrating ultra-rich, because they warp politics as they move.

But both matter. The real problem with the desperate refugees is that, if they get too desperate and too numerous, they'll probably start getting organized. While I haven't read much about the Migration Ages at the end of the western Roman and Han Dynasties, I do get the impression that the "barbarians" who "over-ran" them* were polygot groups of migrants, more than nations of people with a single past. Right now, some of those leaders who form migrant nations might even arise among the ultra-wealthy, since they've been forging a transnational identity for decades.

Stop them? Well, that requires doing something substantial about climate change, and strengthening nation-states to so that everybody can stay happily in their own place.

The second notion is something David L. did bring up, but I want to rephrase it slightly: it takes a lot of water to make food, with varying amounts for different foods. I won't bore you with the details of this, because the point is that most of the fresh water in the world moves around as food and other products made with fresh water, moving the food from where there's water to grow it to where there's not enough water. For example, it's cheaper to ship wheat to Egypt or Syria from Australia than it is to repipe the Tigris to make sure Syria has enough water to grow its own wheat (although this is a very bad example).

This is how crop failures spread across the world. The bigger problem, as that show brought up, is that a lot of the food we're growing depends on fast-disappearing groundwater, so we can't keep this up for too much longer.

This is why dealing with climate change is so important.

448:

Oh yeah, the footnote:

*I'm not much about the history of the end of empires invaded by barbarians, but I wanted to highlight a real problem. Often historians who look closely at the family names of people find that people with the names of so-called "barbarians" were living in the cities for generations before the alleged invasion took place. That doesn't necessarily mean that a city wasn't seized and sacked by a migrating army, but it does mean we have to be careful. For example, Flavius Odoacer, the first barbarian king of Rome (portrayed on a coin with a mustache, no less), was a Roman citizen and a Christian who deposed the last western Roman emperor.

The analogy would be if future historians used Barack Obama's presidency as evidence that this was the time when the Muslim (and/or African) migrants took over the US after their home was devastated by climate change.

449:

The real danger is when someone's been scuba diving and then goes to altitude. They may be okay at sea level, but going above 10,000 feet can place them at risk for the bends.

This is a known problem for divers, who get told not to fly right after a really deep dive (details depending on how much nitrogen they soaked up). The more ironic issue isn't flying it's when you go to the Big Island of Hawai'i or to Maui, where the peaks get over 10,000 feet around 30 miles from the ocean (to be fair, you can something similar in Los Angeles or Seattle too). Going from scuba to mountaineering can be a really bad idea, and tourists get warned not to do it.

450:

For example, it's cheaper to ship wheat to Egypt or Syria from Australia than it is to repipe the Tigris to make sure Syria has enough water to grow its own wheat (although this is a very bad example).

The show made a point of showing that Israel recycles way more water than any place else on the planet. Apparently they studied the geology and did the math. And go the population on board.

Also interesting was the bit about how Saudi Arabia is big into aquifer irrigation crop growing. Around the world.

451:

There’s a House episode for that: S3E18.
Some nice echoes of pandemia in it too.

452:

Ah well ... the pubs are open ...
I did a quick survey of my locals & had a pint in one & a half in another.
People were still spacing themselves out, no bar-flies & ordering semi-remotely ( Me standing back & saying "I'll have one of those" ) If it goes on like that, then the chances of infection are low ... but, it wasn' raining & it wasn't cold. Not so sure about the restaurants - &the number of bodies actually on the street was almost a normal Saturday - but again, in the open & fresh air.
The second pub, where I had a half, one of the pub's cats was going... "MY humans are back & I'm STARVING!"

453:

I live in the DC 'burbs these days, and I'm *not* moving again (a, I own the house, and b, too much stuff, and c, too old to do it), but I feel that I have two hometowns, Philly and Chicago, and miss both of them badly.

454:

Unlike the US farming, with the huge, long walking irrigators (or idiots who water in the afternoon, spraying water for half an hour or more), in Israel, I gather, they use the drip irrigation, hoses that basically leak.

Uses a *LOT* less water.

455:

They do all kinds of things. The show indicated they only waste/lose 10% of what they use. I would expect they do things like irrigation with treated sewage and such. 10% seems low but Israel is very good at applied tech.

456:

Unlike the US farming, with the huge, long walking irrigators

Apparently the Saudi's are doing this on their own "sand" but also buying up such operations and building them in other countries. Sort of as a hedge to feed their people and against the end of oil.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irrigation_in_Saudi_Arabia

457:

I read the first part of the Siege of Gondor analysis, and am impressed.

However, I think he's missing a trick on the logistics; the point is not to conquer Gondor, but to destroy it, and that means the Orc element of the army, at least, doesn't need to have supplies for the return home; they can use the Gondorian population (dead or alive) as a source of meat.

The Southrons would have to be segregated, probably, but I seem to recall a description of them as having filed teeth anyway.

458:

To feed their horses! That's what they are growing on all the aquafer land they've bought up and tapped in the southwest and California -- they're growing alfalfa, and shipping the hay back to Saudi.

https://www.cnbc.com/2016/01/15/saudi-arabia-buying-up-farmland-in-us-southwest.html#:~:text=Saudi%20Arabia%20and%20other%20Persian,California%20and%20Arizona%20seeing%20red.&text=Saudi%20Arabia%20grows%20alfalfa%20hay,to%20its%20domestic%20dairy%20herds.

I wrote a big research report about this back in 2003.

459:

Loved that book

The article I linked estimates that as a best case scenario (frequent remounts, no need to carry supplies for either man or horse) at around 60 mikes / day

The real key is the remounts without those a horse and rider over many days don’t really move much faster then a man walking

460:

The helms deep one is even better IMO.

It’s also pretty amazing how immensely good Tolkien was at getting all the details right, and what a good grasp he had on things strategic (from his ww1 days and his historical studies) . Like him or not he was certainly his own kind of genius

461:

As a serious thing: Yes, but not how you think it's being done. But you should probably filter your water anyhow.

[Note: we get this a little more hard-core than RNG punters when we shit on Heavy-Messing Capital without them understanding what's going on. Egos run wild].

Ok, we'll do this slow. In the last two weeks, running up to July 4th, "mysteriously" about every lame-ass to high-power Social Crises point has been punted into the stratosphere in the Anglo-Sphere. It's fairly crude, but the Smart Weapon[0] aspect is that pretty much all involved are either: a) blinkered, b) blinkered and invested and c) careful X-patching across media allows the 'well, our drama is X, but look at drama Y, that's even more pathetic'.

Ask Het (and Host and others here) about mad-cap plans to nuke open seismic folds as a weapon. It's a timing cascade.

And then *points to urgent HI-IP data breach stuff*. That's someone telling some other people that the Bell is Ringing and all of their knickers are fluttering in the wind.

The scale up is: "Punitive Social Distress" btw. And trust me: there's communities you know nothing about being run into it.

Just thought SFF with a little prod could avoid it, but meh. But, anyhow. We do tone it down & at least attempt to warn you about things.[6]

~

And yes: the entire model is to structure meta-stress across an entire subject's information bubble then ramp it into psychosis[7]. What you've probably not seen before is when that kind of thing is like... your entire Internet. *shrug* I didn't insult this fucker - he's very very good. Ancient Mind and slow as fuck but, hey. Only Humans are so fucking psychotically egotistical they imagine nothing else on the planet can learn.[8]


But yes: blowing a hole in the entire German market is kinda just the pawns getting cleared. Big things coming to play, to play...


[0] Hello Langley.

[1] There are exceptions, but they're serious enough not to piss around with making money off Stock Markets

[2] Like: look @ deleted posts. Already fingered this one ages ago.

[3] Look: Softbank losing out, via their Cameron (yes, your EX-PM) fund and various CH shinagles will come out. But this stuff is the obvious.

[4] The real power-play was that basically no-one serious[1] noticed it, and certainly didn't notice that Germany's 'affront' to the major SWIFT / SIBOS[2] or whatever they're saying their name is now stuff coming in. Like: everyone knew the scam - who wins via buying[3]? The real play is about preventing EU from forming Banking networks outside of US dominion, serious money cash.

[5] Pretty sure that E2 billion did actually exist. Just like HSBC's Cartel money did exist. Bit rough edges, but fairly sure you could look at a drugs bust in Italy recently (ISIS don't make the speed-knockoff stuff btw, someone else in the MENA ships it to them by the bucket-load: and spiders love the name, but "LION'S BRAVERY" is, in many cases, like the SS - hyped up the wazooo on amphetamines. Plus, the current MENA version is a bit nasty on the old reverb / psychosis stuff, not like the US Airforce uses.

[6] $14 bil is chicken-feed. This "male" Void Creature. Well, he's made his play. Cognitively, was just faking the Boris Bake-n-Shake.

[7] You saw this waaay back when various Trump lawyer types were breaking down on live TV.

[8] For real. Reality is going to be ... a little bit weird in the last 6 months of 2020. "I am not a Goddess" said the Titan who declared she would be a Goddesss. Translate that.

462:

As a serious one. Don't watch TV. Or listen to the Radio in the car. And if you're running YT vids have a spectroscope / filter handy. There are some seriously naughty fuckers running some stuff most[0] brains can't process out there.

That's not paranoia: it's active warfare and 100% it's being done[1]. Since most here are somewhat older (lower audio-range) and also stubborn mule Minds and also still got marbles, you're going have an irritating fuzz.

They're driving other Mind types who have smaller protections psychotic with it.

~

Note: 100% in the bank proven. Some lower-tier fuckwad forgot that Diplomatic Crickets shouldn't be shoved onto various Propaganda vids[2].


First one to say "Conspiracy Theory" gets a visit from the FCA.

[0] No idea: think those 'mosquito boxes' for children on shops, then ramp it up three tiers.

[1] Now, you can argue if it's only against FT Journalists you've employed ex-Libyan intel at, Mr David "FUCKING BURN YOUR CARAVAN DOWN MATE" Cameron on the behest of various of the fcuking morally challenged fcukers attempting to make bank from pawning off the scam onto CH investors but. It's getting a bit more wide-spread than that.

[2] Or, more likely: .mil tech leaks to Black Corporate types with fudges etc etc. Told you this years ago.

463:

Or, last post, limit hit!!

Ask why certain BT teams in 8 man sections[0] are required to pipe a fucking dragon winking eye at a target and all the rest.


Then. Mr Man-child and I will have it out, and we'll probably end up burning down the fucking London Eye as well.


Checked that cladding recently, you psychotic fuck?


[0] There are no domestic / non-industrial teams in fiber / coms that work in such teams.

464:

Just started that. Many thanks for the link, it's excellent stuff. (Good enough to keep me up this late, for a start!)

465:

Fastest horse oriented long distance communications on the planet? 3000 miles give or take in 10 days. Lasted 18 months. Telegraph systems wiped them out.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pony_Express

And even then while using telegraph systems for the first 1/3 or so it was only 12.5 miles per hour.

466:

Oooh. Nice stuff. I've just waded through the Helm's Deep critique, and now I'll take a look at Gondor.

467:

[[ Limit passed - mod ]]

468:

Ah, yes, HSBC.

I had a credit card from a bank in Philly, the first one I ever had, first half of the eighties. Got sold a dozen or 15 years later, then sold, then - get this - the *servicing* of it was sold to... HSBC.

Now, I'd been paying it off every month, but hadn't used it in the previous year, because they'd moved the interest rate up to something like 25%, what you ask from a college student with *no* credit history.

Then, a few years ago, I get a letter from HSBC that they're canceling my card, with no good real reason. I mailed back to complain.

The complaint letter was bounced by the Post Office as "no such address".

The next year they had huge fines for money laundering.... I wan't paying them enough, I guess.

469:

Yeah, isn't it fun to use a combination of Colorado River Water and ground water to feed alfalfa to the middle East?

If you like California water management issues described by an insider with serious attitude, read the blog "On The Public Record" onthepublicrecord.org. Their take is that California could easily feed itself more-or-less sustainably with the water we have, but the problem is that most of our water goes to commercial exports, like almonds and alfalfa.

This is what I was alluding to about the problem of migrating wealth, although it's far from limited to the Saudis. There's a snarky "law" here that water flows uphill to money in these parts. Not strictly true, but not entirely false either.

470:

As a kid, we went camping in the Yosemite back country a couple of times. About a day from home to the jumping-off point, where we left the cars. The second day we did the hike in to the camping site - there was a mule train to take the heavy stuff. The altitude didn't affect the younger people so much - my sister was six the first year we did it, and ISTR there was a kid younger than that, who most got a piggy-back ride. (It was 6 miles to hike, with a pass a bit over halfway that was over 3000m.) Going home, there were a lot of jokes about needing wringers to get all the lumps out of the air.

471:

Those #$%^&*()s planting irrigated orchards in the SW San Joaquin Valley should have their permits yanked. That's near-desert land without irrigation, and it's going to be dead land from the salt buildup. Also, they're trying to pull water from the Klamath River, which is subject to treaties with the natives in the valleys and over to the coast. I don't buy their products if I can help it.
(I personally would not be unhappy if a few bricks of C4 or something similar got dropped into that very-expensive tunnel they're boring under the Delta.)

472:

Charles H @414: RAIT - Redundant Array of Inexpensive Tapes - we played around with that when we were decommissioning some HP MPE3000 systems back when the Spectrum (later "PA-RISC") machines were coming out, and got it working.

I have no recollection of how, and doubt I would recognise a line of SPL if it hit me in the face these days!

473:

There is a human vs horse race been going on in hilly terrain in Wales for years. 22 miles. There is a bit of handicapping going on to make the racing closer. Sometimes a horse rider wins, sometimes a runner. Since allowing push bikes, sometimes a cyclist wins. Not as much in it as you'd think. Man vs Horse

Around a lot of the UK, the distance between old market towns is around 12 to 14 miles. Particularly noticeable in Herefordshire, where I mostly grew up as there hasn't been the large scale development that other counties have had. About the distance that a farmer mid way between could drive stock to, or from market and walk home in a day, perhaps the next day if they stayed in a tavern to spend some of the money.

474:

@431: Whitroth - Oh, beowulf, recent, then. :-)

I was first exposed to parallelising stuff on an Elyxsi, which was a vector processor machine, so SIMD not MIMD, then later in the Real World when VAX Clusters arrived there was a lot of time spent trying to get people to understand how, if they thought about their data, and segmented it, they could have each machine in the cluster do 1/nth of the work, and get a result faster. Even two machines could do wonders, not that data sets were that big back then!
VMS having built-in checkpointing made it easier to re-start a failed job, too, if you used it.

Of course those jobs wouldn't take more than minutes these days, but back when one true VAX MIPS was a real thing, 2-3 weeks on a current back-yard cluster would have taken months or years. :-)

And 42 drives isn't big, one of the systems the NSA bought in my SGI days was built around several rows of racks of hard drives, it had something like 256 * 4-CPU Itanium blades in it, as delivered. I wonder if it's still sitting there doing its thing? (I presumed out loud that it was for recording and searching trans-continental telephone calls, and was requested to avoid all subsequent meetings about it!)

475:

I assume all you storage guys know about Backblaze? They are a cloud storage/backup vendor who builds their own stuff. They open source their designs so you can build your own or buy them direct from them. Currently on the 6th iteration.

https://www.backblaze.com/blog/open-source-data-storage-server/

https://www.backblaze.com/b2/storage-pod.html

They're also known for buying the cheapest big drives they can and building in the redundancy to deal with failures. (If BestBuy has a sale on external drives they might buy 500 and remove them from the cases.) They've done the math and decided this is a lot cheaper (at their scale) (net life of the drives) than buying NAS/Enterprise drives. They also publish their reliability stats. Quarterly I think.

https://www.backblaze.com/b2/hard-drive-test-data.html

476:

Charlie, you're wrong on the US.
We're still in the first wave and it's growing. The appearance of a disproportionately death rate is a temporary statistical blip. Wait a few weeks and see. (Source: https://t.co/pkIJQh8auz?amp=1) Gonna hit 200k confirmed deaths by Labor Day.
You have a national leadership of a POTUS who refused to act timely because of his ego and and a legislature that triggered an economic depression because all that mattered was ensuring that their special interests did not suffer unnecessary financial losses. That the people of the did and will, well, that's something they don't care about. Still don't at the moment.
And as for the economic loss: We've a consumer-based economy; with consumers no longer working because dead or disabled by Covid and scared of certain things involving being in confined spaces that are mini-hot spots (restaurants, planes, theaters and, apparently, the Oval Office), well, that's a real hit. Add: Simple fear of spending because who knows what the economic future will bring under the current regime. Now, if Moscow Mitch deigned to respond to the economic effects like a developed nation would, things might be different, but no.
As for Donnie, the other problem is that the US has no national response worth a goddam to a global pandemic. As someone living in a state where we net had competent leadership, I'm grateful for that. But relying on fifty governors to make up for Donnie's failure, well, per se they can't fully close that gap.
And here we are.
I was about to add we're a shithole nation but I think some shithole nations may have had competent responses, so...

477:

Interesting. I don't know much about horses, but I do know that people who rode them long distances (whether on their back or on a cart) often got off for climbing steep hills, because carrying a rider up those tired the horse disproportionately to the gain. I know more about cycling.

On a good flattish road with little wind, a cyclist is c. 4 times faster than a walker/runner, but up a steep hill, cycling is slower. Rough surfaces also even things out. And while, even on extreme routes, rarely more than 20% of the route is uphill, it's common for that to take 50% of the time. Despite cycling dogma, it is at least as easy to get off and push once you drop below walking speed.

478:

people who rode them long distances (whether on their back or on a cart) often got off for climbing steep hills, because carrying a rider up those tired the horse disproportionately to the gain.

It was common on public roads to have hostlers at the bottom of steep hills to provide extra horses for carters and carriages for the hill climb, so-called "wheel horses".

My father's cousin was a heavy-horse farrier a century ago when horse-drawn transport was still a thing. His forge was at the bottom of a long moderately-steep hill and it had a hostler nearby. He had earned farthings as a kid running the horses back down from the top of the hill and helping out and that got him started into working as a farrier.

479:

whitroth @ 431: His data was stored on, and results to, a 42 drive RAID appliance.

Sorry, former SGI guy, but we *NEEDED* the performance of hardware RAID. And the two or three times we had failures, I *never8 had a big problem with a random new card. "Import foreign configuration"? Yep. "All there."

Works great if you're a federal agency with your budget backed by the "full faith and credit" of the American Taxpayers and can to keep hot backups running & just pull replacement parts out of stock if there is a hardware failure. Small businesses and/or regular dude with a home server may not have that kind of budget resources.

480:

Dave P @ 438:

@420: Hopping off a plane in Mexico City after a long-duration flight from, say, Schiphol Amsterdam then you're already well on the way to being acclimatised to the existing altitude.

Umm, nope. You'd better be VERY careful about any physical activity with that sort of altitude change within a day. The Wiki article on altitude sickness, which seems well researched, cites a limit of a net 300m altitude per day for mountain climbing acclimatization, saying you can ascend up to 1,500m in a day, but you should then descend back to your previous day's altitude +300m to sleep.

Having lived in Colorado Springs, mean altitude 1,839m, for nearly twenty years, I can tell you visitors from the lowlands frequently get themselves in trouble doing normal activities, including visiting nearby Pike's Peak, at 4,302m altitude. You can drive the 2,463m difference, take a cog railway, or there's even an up and down marathon (madness, I tell you!). But you'd better be prepared for "headaches, vomiting, tiredness, trouble sleeping, and dizziness" (from the Wiki article).

Even the U.S. military acknowledges the impact; when I was stationed at Lowry AFB, just east of Denver, personnel were excused from fitness testing until they'd been at altitude for 30 days.

Yes & no. For much of my career in the Army National Guard, my home armory was at RDU Airport (133m). When we did Annual Training at Ft Carson (1,780 meters) we had to fall in and get to work immediately, ... and that included daily PT.

There was no PT TESTING, but we did PT every day.

Despite the difference in elevation, it was actually less stressful than AT at Ft. Hood (246 meters) because the weather was less oppressive (lower temp & humidity).

481:
Widespread flouting of social distancing and/or masking guidelines, and the emergence of anti-mask rhetoric among Trump loyalists as a very disturbing kind of political statement.

I have a feeling COVID-19 might divide the German Left somewhat, just like the Gulf War in the 1990s did.

The local anarcho-whatever bar closed even before the official lockdown, you can read their analysis here:

https://ms-alternativ.de/index.php/artikel/falsche-freundinnen-verkehrte-forderungen-zwielichtige-versprechen-hygienedemonstrationen

OTOH, quite a few "left" acquaintances[1] of mine are of to the rallies against social distancing.

Not that I'm surprised.

Problem is, I start to sympathize with Söder, the CSU front man from Bavaria. And Ramelow, a politician from the LEFT, wanted to relax the lockdown faster than anybody else.

[1] I keep a quite varied contact list on WhatsApp; it's, err, interesting.

482:

SFReader @ 443:

Re: ' ... personnel were excused from fitness testing until they'd been at altitude for 30 days.'

Interesting. Wonder whether the military has developed specific tests to determine who's most at risk for this.

From the family perspective - because this is one of those transient things tied to a specific situation, we've never consulted an MD for a diagnosis/cause.

It's a blanket policy that applies to any PCS move. You have 30 days to acclimate before you can be required to take a PT TEST. Doesn't matter if it's a change in elevation (Ft Bragg to Ft Carson) or a change in climate (Germany to Ft Hood), you have 30 days to get acclimated to your new duty station. Most Active Army units do PT testing twice a year, so you may have as much as six months to get ready if you arrive there within 30 days of their regular testing dates.

But you have to start doing PT right away.

When you reach age 40, they schedule a stress test (EKG on a treadmill) to clear you to continue to perform PT, so you don't drop dead of a heart attack in the middle of a PT test, and if you can't be cleared, you're likely going to be eased out the door. I had the stress test twice, at age 42 (because I was already past 40 when the rule was implemented) and again at age 50.