Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Candace on pro-curfew conservatives

When I praised some very good black scientists or right-wing pundits in the past, I often did add some "minor" affirmative action to my judgement. "They're great" often slightly meant "they're great given their ancestry". However, Candace Owens really is great, without any affirmative action. She is a brilliant suntanned, intellectually white girl for me and I am sure she understands why this is a great compliment. And I am happy she has "liked" one tweet of mine LOL. Nobody else "liked" that tweet, by the way.

Three hours ago, she broadcast this 18-minute-long monologue (press the play-triangle):

And it's cool, indeed. First, she said that the coronavirus has had political and ideological implications and caused some "regrouping" of the political groups. On one hand, many of those conservatives have become socialists who say "of course we need to stop the individual freedom now". On the other hand, the pro-mass-migration leftists had to become fanatical advocates of the closed borders which is ironic as well.

OK, like your humble correspondent, she just points out that freedom doesn't end and cannot end once you are scared of something. And freedom also (and especially) means that you can also make decisions that others consider bad. Feel free to be scared of something but it doesn't mean that other people have the obligation to be scared just like you (and to react just like you). And most of them really won't be, she adds!

You just don't have the right to decide how other people live their lives and e.g. whether a bartender can work in the next 3 weeks and receive tips that she needs to pay her rent.

Candace suggests that when this mass hysteria calms down, and it will at some point, these conservatives will find it very hard to backtrack. For weeks, they have been defending pretty much the same hardcore socialist lunacies as AOC and similar intellectual giants. How will you be able to mock AOC again given the fact that you have been defending equally nutty things?

She discusses the culture of the people who are attached to the apocalyptic news 24 hours a day and mindlessly parrot all the talking point there. One of them really says:
If all the citizens don't perfectly self-quarantine, mankind will go extinct.
Well, if the implication were correct, she points out, there would exist a nice way to simplify the statement into
Mankind will go extinct.
Exactly. Why? Because the assumption in the first implication is self-evidently, tautologically satisfied. Lots of people will simply ignore some verbal orders to self-quarantine. This is a basic point of humanity. Kids in Chicago see lots of murders so they're not going to "seriously buy" the idea that they must dramatically change their behavior in order to fight against a new kind of flu.

Three weeks ago, 200 meters from my concrete block, a mother threw her daughter from the 5th floor window. Then the mother jumped, too. The mother is dead, the kid is actually recovering. Two weeks ago, I was riding my bike and saw police maneuvers near a weir. A pensioner with an artificial leg saw his puppy that jumped into the wild river. The pensioner jumped there as well... and finally died. I learned what was going on from the Internet, when I came home.

Aside from the 380 active plus 3 cured cases in Czechia as of Tuesday morning, we still have 0 deaths. You won't convince me that I really should, voluntarily, change my behavior in a substantial way. I can calculate that the actual risks to die through Covid-19 are vastly lower than flu now. So it's irrational to change the behavior now, just for the sake of it. Candace quotes some statistics from a CNN poll (a rare rational one) showing that just like the kids in Chicago, 55% of the Americans haven't changed their behavior because of the Covid-19 campaign at all. This is reality. And you must be completely detached from reality if you are imagining that the people will behave as a uniform and 100% obedient herd that is obsessed with the simple cataclysmic implications aired on the TV channels 24 hours a day and with the corresponding "necessary" changes to their lifestyle. They just don't listen to those TV channels and even when they do, they don't trust them. When kids are prevented from playing at a beach, they will probably go playing to the next one. If some government policy assumes that such kids and similar people will go home, it is an idiotic policy that probably can't work.

By the way, the "simplified implication" above reminds me of a nice Ivan Mládek's joke:
The husband accompanies his wife and asks the physician: "Tell me, will she be OK?" The doctor responds: "I must tell you something: if you won't have sex with her in the next 6 months, she will die." The husband returns to his wife and she anxiously asks: "Please tell me, what did he tell you?" – "That you will die!" ;-)
The logic is exactly the same. There are simply some assertions that are guaranteed to be true or false regardless of your wishes and regardless of your fears. It is utterly foolish to manipulate yourself into thinking that by being sufficiently hysterical, you may change the truth value of these assertions! In particular, if the consequence of the assumption is made sound really grave and hysterical, it still doesn't change the fact that the assumption is obviously true or false. You can't change the truth value of assumptions by being hysterical about their alleged consequences! That's not how logic works.

Incidentally, instead of kids from Chicago, I can tell you lots of similar discussions about the "disobedient" Czech citizens. Most of our infections are still traced to skiing in the Dolomites, the North Italian mountains below the Alps. The people who go there are "upper middle class" in most cases. They may pay something like $2,000 per person for the whole vacation. Even if the vacation were in late February, it was already prepaid and they had the choice to go there or sacrifice$2,000. Of course lots of them still went there, why not? The risk of their death translated to a negligible amount relatively to the price of the trip that they have already paid for.

Now, you have the hysterical people brainwashed by the media. How irresponsible these skiers are? How is it possible that someone like that exists? Well, people like that do exist, thank God. There are people who are not 100% obedient sheep and parrot doing everything that the media tell them to do (if those people breach their mandatory self-quarantine, they may pay up to \$150,000 fines and be arrested for 6 years!). It's remarkable that the obedient viewers of those TV channels haven't been capable of noticing that the "revolt" is pretty much omnipresent. And even among the people who verbally say that they obey all the rules, a huge fraction is lying and they often behave much more freely if they can. They would offer you some excuses why they didn't walk the walk.

Candace has also discussed the exchanges about the fact that the average Italian fatality was over 81 years old. Again, I would subscribe to every word she has said. The value of such an old life clearly is lower than the value of a younger life because a shorter average period was ahead of them. But it's not just some cynical external evaluation of the value of a senior's life. The seniors themselves largely agree. Many old people are already in some form of self-quarantine and it may suck. They are trying to make their lives happier, to get the maximum out of what is left, and that's something different than to "preserve the alive status at all costs".

So even with the risks, lots of of seniors would simply prefer to go out, to meet other people, to meet their relatives, and so on. Because a shorter life with these things is subjectively more valuable for them than a longer life without these events! Owens is upset because the pro-curfew people implicitly assume that the seniors don't have enough brainpower to decide whether they want to go outside. Candace also says that some hardwired atheist ideology is behind these pro-curfew people's misconception that the "longest life at all costs" is what should always be maximized. I agree with that. Unlike her, I don't pray etc. but I do agree and understand that "there are ultimately more important things than the survival at any cost" is a conclusion that has religion-like roots. (She also mentioned the entitlement to be immortal.)

She has also endorsed my assertion that the old people should be quarantined while the young ones should continue to live freely. Well, a famous adviser to Boris Johnson is reading The Reference Frame and you may have noticed that the exact strategy, one that involves "building the herd immunity", is slowly trying to become the official U.K. policy towards Covid-19. It's not a universal British consensus and you find British officials that refuse the "herd immunity" approach. But there is a chance that the U.K. will continue to move in this direction which is wise, I think. The first "red zones" in Italy are already cured (0 new cases appear per day) and it's largely due to the herd immunity, too! Incidentally, the U.K. is doing better with the number of fatalities and infections than the Western European continental countries. It might be partly due to their being an island, of course... But good luck to the U.K., I think that (while many trends in the U.K. are really scary) you're moving more sensibly than others on this viral issue.

At any rate, the most important point she makes is that our attachment to freedom shouldn't be so weak that it completely crumbles when a new type of a virus spreads. Lots of similar events can take place and are often taking place. If such events were sufficient to switch to socialism or the martial law for decades, of course we would live under socialism or the martial law most of the time.

Candace Owens is going to live her life in the way she likes and if it offends you, you are free to fudge off. And that's her memo.