Thursday, July 01, 2021

CO2 emissions, "cases", ... fanatical leftists love to worship meaningless quantities as measures of well-being

...because they hate decisions by the free people. Money is the only meaningful quantity that encodes the human well-being which is why the leftists love to (overtly) hate money

Despite the persistent denial of this fundamental fact by the anti-science whackodoodles, everything in our Universe operates according to the laws that require mathematics to be accurately enough described.

The distance between the Earth and the Sun is a time-dependent variable, a quantity that carries the units of meters (or other units of length), the temperature of an object may be expressed in kelvins, the duration of a process is measured in seconds, the magnetic field in teslas... There are hundreds of possible SI units for quantities and for each of these unequivalent units, there are several or dozens of "rather different" quantities that share the same unit.



Everything we may measure may be reduced to "observables" \(L_j(t)\) which are time-dependent. In the times of classical physics, people believed that these observables ultimately evolved according to deterministic laws, namely some differential equations obeyed by functions of time \(t\). In quantum mechanics, the measured values of all these quantities are random and only probabilities of various outcomes may be calculated (through the probability amplitudes) from the knowledge of the initial state (which is computed from the initial measurements).



The Universe is a cold and a priori unemotional place and none of the purely physical quantities may be used as "measurements of good and evil". A large distance between the Earth and the Sun is neither "good" nor "evil". The same comments apply to the thousands of aforementioned quantities known to physics (and applied specialized portions of physics such as chemistry). Is there some measure of the well-being that could be used to determine "what is the right thing to do", what "individuals or societies shall maximize"?



One answer by a "sciencey" person could be that the "well-being" or "what we should do" are unavoidably ill-defined, unscientific, and they must be eliminated from science because science can only describe what things happen (or are likely to happen) and how processes work, not what they "should" try to achieve. The evolution of the Universe doesn't have any "goal" prescribed by the laws of Nature.

But this answer ignores the fact that subjectively, individual people and their groups (including nations and mankind as a whole) have their preferences and they do want something to achieve. They may rate events or changes of the world as "positive" or "negative" and they may discuss how positive or negative they are. Although it is not possible to prove it, it is natural to assume some linearization on this space – it is natural to assume that the "good" and "evil" is additive. Fine so when it comes to what a person considers good or bad, there should be a quantity for this purpose. What is its unit?

Indeed, the unit must be something very close to the thing on the picture, one Czech crown. Yes, you should switch to the Czech currency because it is supported by more responsible, hawkish central bankers (who hiked the interest rates as 2nd in the West, just a day after the Hungarians), not to mention the Czech trade surpluses ($1 billion a month). OK, I didn't choose the current design of the Czech currency but the most famous one in the history, the communist Czechoslovak one-crown coin (none of the pretty interwar coins may surpass the fame of this one, I think). Its history is cool.

Sculptor Ms Marie Uchytilová-Kučová (1924-1989), born in Kralovice, Pilsen-North, participated in a 1956 contest for the design of the coin which started to be minted and accepted in 1957. Those were still pretty tough post-Stalinist years; the loosening only began around 1960. Through some tricks, Uchytilová (who has also fooled the Nazis when she was kept in a labor camp during the war: she learned to emulate the sound of a siren, for example, and it helped!) managed to include the portrait of a young courageous lady, Ms Bedřiška Synková (*1935), an anti-communist warrior. This babe led a Scout Movement group in Prague, was charged with treason in 1955, but still managed to appear on the communist country's most famous coin a year later and one of the most hardcore commies was actually led to make this happen! ;-) In 1968, this scout babe emigrated to Switzerland and she is still alive and well.

Let me end this distracting piece of the history. Why is the money a good measure of well-being and "what I should do"? Because...



...cool, I just noticed that there is a Czech Škoda MB 1000 (song by IM) around 0:10 and even the singer may sing something about a Škoda? Why nobody in Czechia knows that?...?

...because there are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there is MasterCard.

That is what the famous commercial tells us! As I learned for the first time now, this particular "something that you can't buy" was his dad's first car, the Czech Škoda MB 1000 model (MB stands for Mladá Boleslav, the town where most Škodas have been made and are still made).

As I learned from Forbes.cz just a week ago, the claim that you can't buy the MB for money is wrong. In fact, a Škoda 1000 MBX from 1967 was just sold for CZK 2 million (and yes, Forbes called it an ideal gift for Fathers' Day). MBX was surely a high trim level of the car. So it turns out that MasterCard was too modest, in this case (and many others). You can use the MasterCard even to buy old Škoda models but you sometimes need to pay almost $100,000. ;-)

OK, are there things you can't buy? Of course. Like things that are impossible according to the laws of Nature (either the fundamental ones or at least some damn reliable emergent ones). When something is determined to be \(L_m(t_{\rm future})=\lambda_n\), you can't do anything about it, not even a payment is enough. Also, some of the best things in our lives are for free – or they come very cheaply. We only realize the value much later. I could get more poetic, believe me that I am a retired poet.

So I think that the "impossibility to buy" reduces either to "impossible events or objects" (whose price is effectively infinite, and that makes them impossible to buy) or to "our unwise knowledge at the beginning of what will make us happy". But if we restrict ourselves to things that can be changed by our decisions (where we have several options); and things where we know pretty well what we will get in either scenario and how it will affect us or how we will feel about it, then I would argue that "for everything else, there is MasterCard".

We often don't use the crowns and dollars to quantify our preferences – partly because it's unpopular to do so – but most rational people are implicitly making calculations that are equivalent to the conversion of "all scenarios" to differences in the money that "we will gain or lose". So you may spend some time by doing something that you don't like but you get a salary or some other advantages (that may be converted to money), and that makes it possible to convert your time to money. Time is money. But the conversion factor isn't a universal constant. You can't say that $15 is equal to 1 hour (although some people may declare $15 to be the minimum hourly wage in California). The conversion factor depends on the person, how much he already has (or how many hours he is working), how much he is capable of getting for his work, and many other things. Many material objects (products or real estate), means of productions (or stocks), services (barber's etc.), as well as media files and intellectual property can be bought i.e. converted to the money, too. And indeed, individuals or societies may defend their or citizens' lives and they may be willing to pay something for one life (a few million dollars in the U.S.). Things are convertible to Czech crowns (whose value relatively to an inflation basket should be predictable due to the central bank's 2% inflation target).

OK, my point is that rational individuals and societies generally decide in such a way that they convert the costs and benefits of various options (possible results of their decisions) to costs and benefits in the Czech crowns (we mean the mean value of the benefits if there is some randomness) and they pick the most beneficial possible decision! Even when the conversion to the numerical values of a "utility function" isn't made explicit, an equivalent process occurs subconsciously whenever people are deciding "what is better for them".

Leftists hate money and the conversion of things to money. Why is it so? In the old times, the leftists were the losers who didn't have much money. The decision based on the "maximization of money" was a decision usually made by "some other people, e.g. the capitalists", and those may have had different interests than the Marxist losers, and that's why the Marxist losers generally didn't like the decisions based on the maximization of the financial benefits. They had a low influence on the society's decision making (because they were broke) and the interests of the capitalists weren't always the same as the interests of the Marxist losers. (In reality, what was in the interest in the capitalists was ultimately good for the Marxist losers as well but the latter just didn't understand it.)

That is the likely reason why the leftists always wanted to switch to some "more objective" measures of well-being. They saw all "subjective" (i.e. money-based) decisions to be dominated by evil people, the class of enemies. Where did this leftist strategy go? Well, during the 40 years of communism in Czechoslovakia, the communist party often mindlessly wanted to
maximize the production of coal and steel in tons.
Steel and coal are just two major examples that were used to "objectively measure the well-being". You may see that within a limited context, there was a grain of truth in it. The more machines we make, the more hard work they may replace, and we need steel and coal for all those good things. But the range of validity of this reasoning was unavoidably very limited. They could have used the U.S. dollars (e.g. the total GDP, or in sustainable salaries) to measure the well-being (that should be maximized by the communist plans) but that would already be bad according to their ideology. Needless to say, it was a road to hell because in the long run, there is no reason why "tons of steel or coal" should be the same thing as "well-being" or "happiness". And it's not. We kept on producing lots of steel and coal that was already obsolete, that was helping to preserve technologies and industries that were no longer needed, helpful, or competitive, and the production of coal and steel substantially decreased after communism fell in 1989. We found out that we could get richer despite producing less steel and coal!

In 1989, communism was defeated and humiliated but almost all the communist rats survived. This collective trash has largely moved to the environmentalist movement that became a global warehouse for the Bolshevik human feces, also known as the watermelons. They are green on the surface but red (Bolsheviks) inside. They were willing to modify some details of their ideology or behavior but not the actual core substance. The detail that they modified was to "largely switch the sign" and consider the coal and steel to be evil. Instead of maximizing steel and coal, the goal became to
minimize the CO2 emissions.
The obsession with the CO2 emissions (which now carry the opposite sign: CO2 emissions are claimed to be bad!) is similar to the obsession of the Leninists and Stalinists with the maximization of the steel and coal production except that the current watermelons, the gr@tins of the world, are far more fanatical and unhinged than the Leninists and Stalinists have ever been. And one more thing has changed: these new, green Marxists promote these "objective measures of well-being" because it reduces the freedom, wealth, and power of everyone else. In that sense, they are still Marxists. However, they don't protest against some people's getting very rich as long as it is them. By this not so subtle change, we are facing a new class of Marxists who are still Marxists (more fanatical than the old ones) but who are often very rich, too. It is an extremely risky combination when such creatures become both powerful and rich.

Needless to say, the CO2 emissions aren't the same thing as "evil", the reduction of the CO2 emissions is in no way the same thing as "well-being". Instead, if you are at least a little bit rational, you know damn too well that the CO2 emissions are totally obviously positively correlated with the well-being. The more CO2, the better. CO2 is the gas we call life. Its increase by 50% since 1750 AD has allowed the plants to have fewer pores (through which they suck CO2 from the air) which is why they are losing less water and they are better at water management (and at withstanding possible drought). Just the higher CO2 has increased the agricultural yields per squared kilometer by some 20% (greater increases were added by genetic engineering, fight against pests etc.). And the man-made CO2 has freed us from back-breaking labor etc.

The obsession to minimize the CO2 emissions is completely irrational and insane, more insane than the maximization of steel and coal has ever been – but its advocates are more fanatical than the steel and coal comrades used to be. On top of that, most of the projects proposed to lower the CO2 emissions don't even achieve that because there are always some neglected sources or sinks of CO2 (and lots of cheating everywhere, contrived public "causes" are the ideal environment for corruption, too). Also, the price of one ton of CO2 emissions is as volatile as the Bitcoin and depends on the caps that may be basically arbitrarily chosen by the rogue politicians.

Tons of CO2 are a different quantity to be extremized than tons of coal or steel. But the obsession to "mindlessly minimize or maximize these quantites" is exactly the same and builds on the leftists' infinite hatred (often just pretended hatred, however) to money as an invention. The hatred towards money is equivalent to the hatred towards the "subjective conversion of costs and benefits to the same unit". Leftists hate the subjective considerations like that (which are equivalent to counting the costs and benefits in the Czech crowns) because they hate the "subjective thinking" in general. Well, they hate it because the subjective thinking is the thinking of the free people – i.e. people who aren't politically obedient in general. They prefer "objective thinking", i.e. an imbecile or a clique of imbeciles who are in charge, have the total power over everybody, and tell everybody "what they should want and do"! When whole nations behave as herds of obedient sheep or other useless animals, the leftists are happy.

Such a general scheme is bound to lead to a decline of the society, regardless of the detailed choice of the quantity that is worshiped as the "objective measure of the human well-being".

In 2020, the epoch of Covidism, if I use the term of the Czech ex-president Václav Klaus, began. The most characteristic yet crazy quantity that the new leftist masters want to minimize (in this case, like the CO2 emissions, it "should be" minimized) are the "cases" of Covid-19, i.e. the number of positive PCR tests (or sometimes all tests, including Ag tests). From the beginning, it's been insane because most people who are PCR tested positive for Covid-19 aren't seriously sick. A fraction is completely asymptomatic, a great majority suffers through a very mild disease. On top of that, the number of positive tests depends on the number of people who are tested (because most positive people are unavoidably overlooked unless everyone is tested at least once a week); on the number of "magnifying" cycles in the PCR process; on the strategy to pick the candidates for testing, and lots of other things.

These are the reasons why it has been insane to be focused on the number of "cases" from 2020. But when the methodology to pick the people is constant, when the percentage of the positive tests is roughly kept constant, and when the virus doesn't change, it becomes fair to use the number of "cases" as a measure of the total proliferation of the disease, Covid-19, in a nation or a population. However, there's an even deeper problem, one that is related to the main topic of this essay:
Even when the testing frequency and techniques (including the selection) are constant, the number of cases may in no way be considered a measure of the well-being.
The reason is that "being PCR positive" is just a condition that increases the probability that one becomes sick; or one dies. And the number of deaths from Covid-19 is clearly a more important measure of the Covid-related losses than the number of cases – the filthy Coronazis love to obscure even elementary statements such as this one, however. The conversion factor e.g. from the "cases" to "deaths" is the case fatality rate (CFR) and that is not a universal constant. This is particularly important in the case of the Indian "delta" variant of the virus because it also belongs among the common cold viruses. It is a coronaviruses that causes a runny nose. This makes the disease much more contagious, like any common cold, and \(R_0\approx 5-8\) (in a totally non-immune, normally behaving urban, population). On the other hand, the nose cleans the breathing organs rather efficiently and the disease is unlikely to seriously invade the lungs where it really hurts. In fact, the runny nose indicates that this variant of the virus "likes" to play with the cosmetic problems such as the runny nose, it is not even attracted to the lungs. The same comments apply to any of the hundreds of rhinoviruses, coronaviruses... that cause common cold!

You may check the U.K. Covid graphs to see that despite the growing number of "cases" in recent weeks, the deaths are still near zero. The ratio of the two has decreased by more than one order of magnitude. A factor of 5 or so may be explained by the higher vaccination of the risk groups (older people); the remaining factor is due to the intrinsic lower case fatality rate of the delta variant. It is simply much lower than 0.1%, as every common cold virus is. That is much smaller than some 0.4% which is the expected fraction of the people in a civilized nation that die of Covid-19 (to make these estimates, I mainly use the Czech data which seem clean and I understand them extremely well: some 80% of Czechs have gone through Covid-19 and 0.3% of the population has died, so the case fatality rate must be around 0.4%).

So the conversion factor from a "case" to a "death" may have dropped by a factor of 30 or more in the U.K., relatively to the peak of the disease (the more classical variants of Covid-19). So it is just plain insane to pretend that "one case" is the same problem or "reduction of well-being" as "one case" half a year ago. The disease has turned into a common cold which is nearly harmless. But the society has been totally hijacked by the moronic, self-serving, brutally evil leftists who have simply become powerful assuming that they socially preserve the (totally false) idea that "the number of cases is an important quantity that must be minimized for the society's well-being". It is not important at all. The number of cases means absolutely nothing today because almost all the U.K. cases are just examples of a common cold that just happens to pass as a "Covid" through a test because this is how the test was idiotically designed. Everyone who tries to minimize the number of cases as we know them today is a dangerous deluded psychopath and must be treated on par with the war criminals, otherwise whole nations will be greatly damaged. The damage has already been grave but we face the risk of many years (like 40 years of the Czechoslovak communism) when a similar totally destructive way of thinking preserves itself by illegitimate tools that totally contradict even the most elementary Western values.

"Cases" mean nothing, especially when the character of the disease that is detected by the tests becomes vastly less serious. They meam even less than the "CO2 emissions" and even that favorite quantity of the moronic fanatical leftists hasn't ever been a good measure of anything we should care about. Stop this insanity and treat the people "fighing to lower the cases" as war criminals right now. Thank you very much.

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