2 thoughts on “Nostalgia

  1. Hubris is punished by the goddess Nemesis. This demonstrates the uselessness of Mill’s harm principle – “That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others”. More harm, less harm, balance of harms all these are up for contestation, interminably.

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  2. My spate of modeling exercises haven’t addressed cost-benefit analysis, quality-adjusted life years, and other utilitarian formulations as to how the government ought to act. It seems though that the US has failed on both the numerator and the denominator, the cost and the benefit: because the virus continues to thrive, the economy will continue to stagnate and the body count will continue to mount.

    In this country the oldest 15% of the population account for 80% of the deaths. Still, that remaining 20% of younger victims will turn into a very large pile of corpses as the virus continues to spread through the entire herd.

    There’s nothing intrinsically moral about wearing masks in public or maintaining 2-meter interpersonal distances. These might be deemed evidence-based best practices, with adherence yielding measurable impact on contagion. Or maybe they’re just common sense and common courtesy, minimizing harm both to oneself and to others during times of plague. I doubt that the violators think much one way or another about personal freedom versus the common weal — they’re just doing what they’ve always done, running their compiled routines, efficient precisely because they require no thinking. The environment has changed but the adaptive habits haven’t, in part because the new environmental threat is invisible. It’s a tangible material threat, but it feels abstract, theoretical, unreal.

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