The world is very old, and human beings are very young….
[So] imagine the 15-billion-year lifetime of the universe…[as] a single year….
[T]he earth does not [appear]…until early September;
dinosaurs emerge on Christmas Eve;
flowers arise on December 28th; and
men and women originate at 10:30 PM on New Year’s Eve.
All of recorded history occupies the last 10 seconds of December 31; and
time from the waning of the Middle Ages to the present occupies little more than one second….
[W]hat happens [in]…the 2nd cosmic year will depend very much on the
scientific wisdom and the distinctly human sensitivity…
It’s a Mel Brooks, “Springtime for Hitler,” production — autocrats and Trump — as politicians use the pandemic to undermine democracy, retain power and avoid accountability.
[McNeil] covered epidemics for…two decades and reported recently on why American society could…be disrupted by COVID-19 for…next two years. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/why-getting-the-u-s-back-to-normal-in-the-next-couple-months-is-a-fantasy
“While leaders around the world fight the [virus]…they’re amassing sweeping new powers…[as] many of the norms that define democracy — elections…checks and balances…[are] put on indefinite hold…[and] unsettling political scientists, government watchdogs and rights groups…[who] question how readily leaders will give up the powers they’ve accrued when the coronavirus eventually subsides….
Even in the country’s darkest days slimy politicians — grifters, cronies and corruption — favor the wealthy over the rest of us.
“[After] 2001 terrorist attacks…came the tea party, the anti-government conservatism that infected the Republican Party…[fostered] a government that couldn’t produce a rudimentary test for coronavirus…contain the pandemic…produce enough ventilators…face masks and gowns for health-care workers….
It is not an exaggeration to say that this ideology caused the current debacle with a deliberate strategy to sabotage government….
Between 2011 and 2018, nondefense discretionary spending fell by 12 percent — and, with it…Public Health Emergency Preparedness grants to state…
The actions of certain politicians during this crisis constitute negligent homicide — delays ordering medical equipment — and are actively undermining elections — creating false choices — to retain power and avoid accountability.
“[Trump] failed to place bulk orders of N95 respirator masks, ventilators, and other medical equipment…until mid-March, according to federal purchasing contracts…[despite] first briefing about the outbreak [January 3]….
[The] first bulk order…for $4.8 million worth of N95 masks. Nine days later…a larger second order for $173 million…to begin delivering the masks…[at] end of April….
[March 31st] 11.6 million masks were [distributed]…representing about 90 percent of the…
The structure of our medieval political and economic systems — vote suppression, economic policy, healthcare and Internet — is being used against citizens and needs to be replaced.
“Trump went on Fox and Friends to talk about switching the 2020 election to mail-in, and said, that if you [did]…‘you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again….
Saying the quiet part out loud’…[is] a pretty consequential slip….
[Think] Hofeller, creator of…GOP’s nationwide gerrymandering campaign…[whose] key insight was the redistricting was ‘an election in reverse’ where, ‘instead of voters choosing their politicians, politicians choose their voters…[and] convinced GOP donors…
Science and technology, not politicians — ignored virus warning, virtual democracy, geoengineering — is the future of civilization.
“Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the [virus]…until this month….
[HHS] had been alerted to the initial reports of the virus…on Jan. 3…[and] warnings from U.S. intelligence agencies increased…toward the end of January and into early February….
State Department, personnel…discussed it at a meeting in the third week of January…[when] U.S. …
Notice if you suffer from any of the following first symptoms:
· Sore throat
· Dry (unproductive) cough
· Coughing up slime
· Joint / muscle pain
· Shortness of breath
· Lack of hunger
Initial symptoms may also include headache, chills, dizziness, nasal congestion, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Later in the infection, symptoms may include loss of smell and taste lasting for several days.
That technology keeps improving — lasers, brain-hacking, tires and biology — while civilization continues to stagnate is a recipe for disaster.
“250 million tires were scrapped in the US in 2017 [alone]…[so] Goodyear’s engineers designed…[one] that works a bit like a stick of lip balm. At the center of the wheel sits a cylindrical, pressurized cartridge filled with liquified, biodegradable tire compound….
[As] the tread wears down…the tire surface draws out the compound…[that] oozes out of…the center to the tread surface automatically, passing through a grid-like frame that molds it into the proper shape.
(The system is…both tire and…
Increasingly appears that this year and this decade — U.S. decline, Putin’s game, voting, police and data — are likely to chronicle a change in the course of civilization for the worse.
“Is Trump a symptom or a disease? And if he’s a symptom, what’s the underlying sickness? Decadence…[with] the entire Western world…victims of our own success and…now locked in a state of malaise, in which our culture and politics feel exhausted….
[A] ‘decadent society’…trapped in a stale system that keeps spinning in place, reproducing the same arguments and frustrations over and over again.
Trump’s election is simultaneously a…
Staying ahead of natural selection — pandemic, longevity, technologies, meteors and asteroids — is a constant challenge for us as individuals, a species and the planet.
“The global health machine is always watching for signs of new disease…[so] WHO and CDC, experts…’have a situation room, much like [military]…[with] 30 outbreaks they’re also watching and…[not] getting talked about….
Right now we’re in a zone of containment, but as things get bigger…[must] make sure we triage our resources so the healthcare system can…[care] for the individuals…[at] highest risk for adverse outcomes’….