The Intellectual Wilderness There is nothing more useless than doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.

2020.08.15 20:35

Building Erlang R23.0 on Debian/Ubuntu

Filed under: Computing,Science & Tech — Tags: , , , , , , , — zxq9 @ 20:35

As an update to my previous notes on building R22.2, my current notes for building Erlang R23.0 and installing ZX using kerl on a fresh system (Kubuntu 18.04 LTS) are below. The same instructions (or very nearly the same) should work for any Debian or Ubuntu version within a few years of 18.04 LTS.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install \
    gcc curl g++ dpkg-dev build-essential automake autoconf \
    libncurses5-dev libssl-dev flex xsltproc libwxgtk3.0-dev \
    wget vim git
mkdir vcs bin
cd vcs
git clone https://github.com/kerl/kerl.git
cd ..
ln -s ~/vcs/kerl/kerl bin/kerl
kerl update releases
kerl build 23.0 23.0
kerl install 23.0 ~/.erts/23.0
echo '. "$HOME"/.erts/23.0/activate' >> .bashrc
. ~/.erts/23.0/activate
wget -q https://zxq9.com/projects/zomp/get_zx && bash get_zx

[NOTE: ~/vcs/ is where I usually put “version control system” managed code and my backup and sync scripts know to never copy or update that one.]

And that’s that. If you’re on a full desktop installation some of the packages in the apt install [stuff...] may be redundant, of course (who doesn’t already have wget and git?), but that’s no big deal.

Day 30, Summary Data

Filed under: Fast Food Fighter — Tags: , — zxq9 @ 20:28

Unfortunately the digital data for days 28 through 30 was lost before I could write the final three days of posts. All data on hardcopy (food receipts, nutrition information and the final medical testing information) still exists and whatever was able to be scannable I have posted below. I’ll eventually format this into a table, but for now the images will have to do!

The results of my blood tests at day 0, day 15, day 30 and day 45 (15 days after returning to a normal diet) are posted below. McDonald’s did not have any significant effect on my blood levels, though working out at such a high intensity across the month certainly had some impact, though nothing unexpected according to the doctors.

The killer finding turned out to have nothing to do with health and everything to do with cost. McDonald’s is expensive! It cost me about $750 to eat at McDonald’s for one month — and I’m just one person! This explodes the myth that “poor people are fat because they have to eat at McDonald’s”. It appears more like that poor people who eat at McDonald’s are poor because they throw their money at nonsense luxuries like McDonald’s instead of saving it and cooking at home!

Blood work from 2009-05-09
Blood work from 2009-05-23
Blood work from 2009-06-09
Blood work from 2009-06-23
Vitals (body composition, etc.) scans from 2009-05-09 and 2009-05-23
Caloric intake and cost per day throughout the month.
~$750 for one person for one month! AH!

Day 29, More digital terror!

Filed under: Fast Food Fighter — Tags: , — zxq9 @ 20:17

Unfortunately the digital data for days 28 through 30 was lost before I could write the final three days of posts. All data on hardcopy (food receipts, nutrition information and the final medical testing information) still exists, so I can still present at least the performance data, but unless I can recover the workout bits I won’t be able to catalogue exactly what I did on these last three days in terms of workout.

This is a placeholder page just in case I am able to recover the data at some point.

Day 28, Digital Terror!

Filed under: Fast Food Fighter — Tags: , — zxq9 @ 20:15

Unfortunately the digital data for days 28 through 30 was lost before I could write the final three days of posts. All data on hardcopy (food receipts, nutrition information and the final medical testing information) still exists, so I can still present at least the performance data, but unless I can recover the workout bits I won’t be able to catalogue exactly what I did on these last three days in terms of workout.

This is a placeholder page just in case I am able to recover the data at some point.

2020.05.22 18:31

Getting started in DayZ Standalone v1.07

Filed under: Computing,Games — Tags: , , , , , , , — zxq9 @ 18:31

Happy free weekend! DayZ is be free to play from 2020-05-21 to 2020-05-25. What better way to spend your weekend while a pandemic sweeps the world than playing a post-apocalyptic zombie survival simulator… bwahahahahaha!

(Note: This is not a paid article and I have no connection to Bohemia Interactive — I just really like this game and wish more people understood what it’s about instead of suffering from the “expected Coke but got beer” shock and wind up missing out.)

Be warned: DayZ is hard mode all the way and you’ll die all the time at the beginning until you figure out how things work. This is actually hilarious, but not if you develop some pointless emotional investment in a freshly spawned character. Laugh at it. There aren’t any levels and you can gear back up pretty easily once you learn the basics of survival. Learning the basics of survival, though, can be hard. There is no manual (except for this post and the previous one) and the game is surprisingly realistic, making for an incredibly hostile environment (hence the “survival” part) and a near vertical learning curve.

This is a (relatively) quick guide on how to get your character from their initial hungry and thirsty starting condition to being well fed with a quenched thirst and hopefully enough gear and knowledge to start heading inland. A few critical details that directly affect survival have changed since previous versions of DayZ, so trying to follow guides for previous versions might leave you in even more shock than you’d already experience on your first visit to Chernarus (or especially Livonia).

First: Understand what DayZ by understanding what it isn’t

It isn’t an action shooter. It isn’t Rebel Fortress or Unreal Tournament or Battlefield. It isn’t WoW, either. It is none of those things. It is a hardcore zombie survival simulation. The all important noun there being “simulation” and the critical adjective being “hardcore”. I say “simulation” instead of “game” because there are no quests, no global map HUD, no global chat lobby, no ranking or guild system, no equipment “bank”, no auction house, none of that stuff. Comparing DayZ to an action shooter is like comparing a real flight simulator to Gradius III.

Your DayZ character must eat, stay hydrated, keep warm, avoid illness if possible, etc. There are 900+ items in v1.07 that actually have a function — so be mentally prepared for some things you didn’t think were possible or sometimes need to do things you’re surprised are necessary. Suffice to say there is a ton to learn and a single short guide like this written on the occasion of a free play weekend on Steam isn’t going to cover it all.

Picking a server

The first thing that trips up the freshest of fresh freshies is picking the wrong server. The basic mechanic is simple, you press “play” and the launcher links in whatever mods you’ve selected (if any) and launches the game. From there you will want to select “change server” and sort by ping to find one that has the lowest possible ping to your location. Anything under 200ms is workable (though not ideal) for PvE, and anything under 100ms is workable for PvP, though 50ms or less is best no matter what you’re doing.

In the server selection screen you’ll see at the top “Official | Community | Private”. It isn’t obvious to everyone at first glance that this is a clickable control (UI fail) but it is. If you can’t find a nearby official server, click on “Community” and sort by ping.

Example: I live in Japan. The official servers with the best ping times are in LA with around 130~250ms ping times from my location. That’s a bit annoying (but workable) for PvE, but hopeless for PvP. There are community servers local to me, though, with 30ms ping times (and fewer regional spoken language/accent issues). Note that with community servers you might pick one that has a great ping time but has mods installed. You’ll need to install and activate the same mods as the server to join it (mods are allowed to change the game in arbitrary ways, so the server and the client need to be on the same page). Starting out with vanilla DayZ is my recommendation your first time around, though.

With that out of the way, let’s get on to survival.

Hello, Freshie! A bit peckish?

You just spawned. Your character starts out with a sated appetite and hydrated, but that will change very soon. You’re a little more than halfway to getting hungry when you start out and you’ll get thirsty almost as soon as you start jogging somewhere (and jogging is totally OK — you don’t have to walk everywhere, but sprinting will wear you out and waste lots of precious water). You will have an apple or pear in your inventory to start with. Various types of food and drink provide both hydration as well as energy, water being the only one that provides only hydration and no extra nutrition.

Eat something

There is no manual (but I have made a cheat sheet for the controls), so it is useful to note that pressing <TAB> toggles your inventory screen. You can drag/drop things here. The square below your character’s image represents whatever he’s carrying. Drag a fruit to it, then press <TAB> again to get out of the inventory screen. You’ll notice a tool tip that has the left mouse button highlighted that says “to eat [HOLD]” or something similar, and this means if you hold the left mouse button down your character will start eating the fruit in his hand. Try it as soon as you spawn. It isn’t a big deal to lose your starting fruit, and that water and energy do more good in your body than in your pocket (infantry rules apply!).

Manipulating inventory

Inventory and item manipulation is pretty intuitive. Mess around with it and you’ll figure out what’s going on quickly enough.

The only counter-intuitive point is that the “tacky” point of a dragged object is the upper left corner of the item and that will be dictated by where the mouse pointer is, not necessarily where the item’s outline appears to be. Mess around with it and this will become obvious quickly. Also, note that items in inventory may be oriented the wrong way to fit, even if you have enough slots available — press the spacebar to rotate them while selected so they fit.

When you’re near a container (or a body) you will see those appear as inset containers in the “Vicinity” area on the left side of the screen. This is how you get stuff off the ground, out of containers, and off of bodies (of zombies, dead players, or unconscious saps that have been knocked out).

Orienteering

Now that you’ve had something to eat and if you haven’t been killed yet you should take your bearings (and if you did already die for whatever reason, just respawn and try again — it’s not a big deal). There is no map in the game interface but the environment is accurate enough that you can get your bearings from observing your surroundings. (There are maps in the game that your character can find, but nothing that is magically visible to the player).

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, just like you would expect. If you can tell whether it is morning or evening you can know by the shadows which direction you’re moving. If it is morning and the sun is to your right (shadows point to the left) then you’re facing north, and this reverses in the afternoon. If shadows are super short (directly under trees) then it’s about mid-day and the short shadow tip is pointing north (or sometimes not quite visible).

The stars in the sky are actually placed accurately, and this makes the night sky a gigantic, free compass, just like in real life (Polaris, the North Star, is prominently visible and easy to navigate by on nights that aren’t overcast). On cloudless nights the light outside is actually quite good enough to see your immediate surroundings, so don’t be afraid to turn off any lights or extinguish any torches and navigate. Sometimes it’s much easier to see distance this way and is far less likely to give your position away to any zombies. Use the stars! If it is raining out and you don’t have a full rain suit, though, stay indoors for the night periods.

Time moves pretty quickly in the game (of course), with days seeming to be significantly longer than nights (perhaps this is on a planet with two suns? no idea). We’ll just handwave that away, but keep in mind that night isn’t to be dreaded and it doesn’t last too long.

There are billboards with maps with a big red “You are Here!” dot on them, usually somewhat close to a bus stop area out on the coast, or sometimes near a water pump in a larger town. There are also military and hiking maps you can find as loot drops that are extremely detailed. Get familiar with the map. If you do a web search for “DayZ map” you’ll find many nice ones, even interactive maps that have spawn locations listed. It is important to get the basic map in your head and figure out where you are as soon as you can.

The general layout of Charnarus is that the east and south are relatively straight coastlines, and this is the lower-risk/lower-reward area people spawn. As one heads northwest loot drops improve (military gear, more car chassies and parts, etc) and risk increases (to include hostile wildlife like wolf packs and bears, in addition to PvP-minded players looking for those sweet, sweet M4s and bodyarmor…).

Spend your time near the coast gearing for survival and then move inland to gear up for combat, base building, camping out, linking up with people, going cannibal, or whatever else it is you might want to do in the game world.

Survival priorities

You need to stay hydrated, eat well, keep warm, don’t get sick, and keep the red stuff in your body (don’t bleed out!).

To stay hydrated drink and eat.

To stay well fed eat and drink.

To keep warm wear well-maintained clothes and stay dry.

To stop bleeding when you’re hurt use rags or bandages to bind your wounds (put them in your hands and hold the left mouse button). You can have multiple wounds, so you may need to do this several times in succession (the “I’m cut” icon has a number on it representing how many open wounds you have).

To keep from getting sick don’t eat rotten food, don’t drink untreated water from rivers (or the ocean), and stay warm. To increase your immune system and reduce the recovery period for illnesses take vitamins if you can find some.

Survival tools: Water containers

If you can find a few water bottles, canteen, or a cooking pot, you’re set! You will eventually run across these. Almost every town has a water pump in it, at which you can fill your water container. These can be reused, so hold on to them after they are empty.

Survival tools: Bandages and rags

To make more rags (useful for more than just bandages) you can cut up clothing items you find as long as you have an edged tool in your hands. Do this frequently.

Survival tools: A trusty sharp thing

Tools are more important than weapons, and most heavy tools are very effective weapons anyway.

The biggest priority is having a blade of some sort. You need an edged tool to open canned food (or else you can’t eat it), strip bark from trees to use as kindling for starting fires, to craft fishhooks from bones, etc. The better suited the edged tool is to the job you’re doing the better it will work. For example, an improvised stone knife can be used to open a can of food, but you’ll spill 20~40% of it in the process because it’s sloppy. An axe is much better, and an actual can opener is perfect every time.

If you see a shovel, axe, hatchet, or pickaxe: GET IT

If you see a knife: GET IT

If you can’t find a knife, make one with two small stones. You will find these on the ground if you run down any forest trail or along the train tracks. Place one in your hand, then put another on in your hand (in the inventory screen you’ll get the option “combine” or “replace”, pick “combine), and then use the action button to craft an improvised knife. Stone knives wear out really fast, but they are free. They can get you by until you find something better.

Survival tools: Give a man a can of tuna, feed him for 12 hours; teach a man to fish, feed him until the bears show up

Besides a bladed tool and maybe something heavy to kill zombies with (can be the same: splitting axe, pickaxe, etc.), the next thing you need is a reliable source of food. At the very outset you can scrounge for canned food and soda in houses by the coast or killing zombies and looting their bodies, but eventually you’ll want to get into fishing and hunting.

Fishing is much lower risk than hunting, but you’ll need a fishing pole. Find a bush and get near it. You’ll see the option to cut down the bush by using the action button. This will happen in two stages, first you’ll strip a “long stick” off it, and if you keep going you’ll knock the whole thing over leaving some more sticks (there are a few varieties of this depending on the type of bush or small tree you target and whether you have a tool or are using your hands — experiment). You want the long stick. Now find a rope or make one if you have enough rags. Combine the stick with the rope and viola! we have a fishing pole. (Note: This is also the way bows are made, but they are disabled in v1.07, but will be returning soon.)

Now you need a fishing hook and some bait. To get fishing hooks you can either find them in random loot (I seem to never find them) or, more reliably, make some yourself out of bones. On the coast there are many places you’ll find chickens wandering around. Listen for them. Follow the sound the same way zombies follow you and SMACK! Kill yourself a chicken. Put a knife in your hand (or make a stone one if you haven’t found one yet) and butcher the chicken. You’ll get a few pieces of glorious chicken and a pile of bones. With your trusty knife in hand you can work those bones into fishhooks!

Hurray! Now the last thing to get is some bait. If you find some soft dirt, put a knife, shovel or pickaxe in your hand and you’ll see the option to “dig for worms”. Give that a try a few times. Once you have some worms, head over to the ocean or a river or lake (if you’re already inland) and give fishing a try. Fish provide a lot of nutrition, are unlimited in supply, and are safe to handle (unlike hunting wolves and bears).

How to combine worms with the fishing pole is not as obvious as it should be. Here’s a step-by-step (assuming you already have a pole, a hook and a worm):

  1. Remove the hook from the pole.
  2. Put the hook in your hand.
  3. Drag the worm to the hook to “combine”.
  4. Exit the inventory menu.
  5. Hold the left mouse button to “make fishing bait”.
  6. Once the fishing bait is complete, pick it up.
  7. Equip the pole.
  8. Add the baited hook to the pole.
  9. Go near the water (sometimes you need to look down toward it) and click and hold the left mouse button until you’ve caught something (hopefully not a pair of Wellies).

It goes a bit faster if you get a few hooks and worms ready all at once, and then commence fishing. This procedure should, in my opinion, be shortened to where you can combine a worm directly with a hook-equipped pole, but that’s not how it works at the moment. In any case, enjoy fishing! Fish are a super food, and after you prepare it with your knife it doesn’t even need to be cooked to be eaten.

Survival technique: Jacking zombies

Once you have a heavy thingy (sledgehammer, pickaxe, splitting axe, etc.) or pointy thingy (combat knife, spear, etc.) or just a bit of experience punching zombie heads in, you’re ready to jack zombies for loot, to clear routes, and for pleasure.

If you don’t sprint or make loud noises zombies generally won’t notice you until you get quite close. If you’re listening for them (use headphones) you’ll notice them long before they notice you. If you see a single zombie you can approach it from the rear or side at a sprint before it can react. As you near it, ready a blow with your weapon or fists and smack that sucker in the noggin until he goes down, then take whatever he has on him. You can find quite a lot of early loot this way (can openers, flashlights, soda, water, canned food, etc.).

Just don’t get cocky when a bunch of them are around. A single zombie isn’t hard to take down at all, even unarmed, but two gets interesting unless you have a weapon, and three or more can be the end of you if you get unlucky.

Whatever you do, don’t shoot in town unless you have a clear and immediate route out of there. A common beginner experience is “Oh, two zombies, I have a gun, simple [BANG!] … [5 seconds later] ZOMG WTF 15 ZOMBIES!” You’ll do it eventually. It might even be a good learning experience to try it on purpose just to see how fast things can get messed up when you’re wandering around alone!

Paramount to survival: Mindset

This is a toy. Remember that. You will die. Mess around the coast a bit and use your first few incarnations to figure out how things work. Familiarize yourself with crafting knives, fishing poles, finding and butchering chickens, fishing, getting solid shots with an axe on inattentive zombies, building fires (need wood, 2 or more rocks, and kindling (paper, tree bark, rags), and a firestarter (matches or a lighter)), basic cooking (need some meat and a long stick or a cooking pot), etc.

Don’t get invested in your character, get invested in the experience. When you die it doesn’t take long to gear up to survival level again, because “survival level” is really a skill not a piece of gear.

Once you are over the survival hump you’ll start meeting players and having wild experiences. Some people will kill you on sight (aka “KOS”, generally a jerk move, but lots of people think this is an action shooter because that’s been the way to make AAA titles without innovating or having any new ideas for the last 30 years).

Have fun out there, use voice chat with other players when you meet them, and always look on the bright side of life.

DayZ SA v1.07 Controls Cheatsheet

Filed under: Computing,Games — zxq9 @ 16:55

Just to make DayZ even more hardcore than it already is there is no manual and no tutorial area to cut your teeth. Instead, you just get your teeth smashed out and die until you figure out what’s going on (then you die in more interesting ways). Here is a cutdown of the basic default controls in the game.

For a more complete reference check your options menu.

Control Table (defaults)

MouseCharacter’s bearing
ALT/*Free look
V/ENTERToggle 1st/3rd person view (if 3rd is allowed)
W/A/S/DCharacter’s direction (foward/back and strafe left/right)
Q/ELean left/right
L CTRLWalk/Jog (hold for momentary toggle, double-tap to toggle)
L SHIFTSprint (hold for momentary, no toggling)
SPACEJump (character may use hands to assist)
CTap to toggle stand/crouch (hold to lay prone)
TABInventory screen
R MouseHold to raise/employ held item (raise gun, fists, etc.)
L MouseMain action (fire weapon, punch, select/drag item, etc.)
M MouseZoom (employs optics/weapon sights if at the ready)
FAlternate action (buttstroke with weapon, open door, etc.)
GDrop or throw held item
RChamber a round/cycle the action (clear a jam)
XToggle held weapon’s firing mode (semi/full auto)
PGUPElevate weapon sights (adjust zero up) if possible
PGDNLower weapon sights (adjust zero down) if possible
LActivate night vision/special optics
L CTRLHold breath (reduces aiming float)
(spacebar)Rotate selected/dragged item in inventory
` (backtick)Toggle item/action hotkey in HUD
09Item/action hotkeys (assignable in game)
CAPSLOCKSPEAK! GET A MIC! IMPORTANT!!!
Cycle voice volume (whisper/talk/shout)
/Text chat (you should really use voice if possible)
F1F11Gestures (play with this to learn them)
F12Screenshot (Steam default)

Driving

When driving vehicles the WASD movement controls work as expected, the mouse looks around, Q/E shift gears down/up respectively, and L Shift activates turbo (same as sprinting).

Crafting/Combining/Loading

Many items in the game can affect other items or be used for crafting. To craft a stone knife from two small stones, for example:

  1. Open the inventory screen and place one in your hands (drag to the “held” box below the character)
  2. Drag the other one to the “held” box — the right side will say “replace”, the left will say “combine”. Drop it into “combine”.
  3. Exit the inventory screen and you will see the tool-tip tell you to press and hold the left mouse button (or “F” key) to craft a stone knife.

In the same way, fast loading of magazines can be accomplished by placing a magazine in your hands, then dragging the appropriate ammunition to “combine” and then holding the action button to pump rounds into it without dragging individual rounds in.

Eating/Drinking

To eat an item, hold it in your hand. If it is a canned item you will need to open it before eating it. If it doesn’t have an easy opener you’ll need a can opener (best) or something with an edge like a knife (not too bad), an axe (spills quite a bit), or improvised stone knife (spills up to 40% of the contents, but better than starving).

Looting/Inventory

To loot a container (locker, barrel, backpack/clothes on the ground, etc.) or a body (dead zombie or dead/unconscious player, etc.) simply stand near it and activate the inventory screen. You can freely move items around as long as they fit.

Economy: How to Spark the American Recovery

Sparking an economic boom in the United States is quite easy. American economic booms are based on two things:

  • Opportunity
  • Excitement

The necessary talent, geography, resources and hustle for success are basic to the American composition — by far the greatest strategic assets of the nation.

The necessary ingredient to for opportunity is merely the permission to try new things. This means one thing: Deregulation.

Deregulate! Opportunity is inherently exciting to the most aggressive Americans. Be explicit and loud about removing regulations. Remove from their minds the idea that “I have a good idea, but it’s probably too expensive to even hire a lawyer to find out if it’s legal to try. Or if I even start my business will probably just get banned and be left in the hole.” As a trivial example, stop issuing citations for kids trying to run lemonade stands (that’s a real thing — I’m not joking). It is an off-the-wall example and sometimes people might laugh about it, but it plants a poisonous seed in the minds of adults who become more fearful about even attempting to run even a simple business.

Deregulate deeply! Most of what passes for labor and safety law are anti-competitive barriers masquerading as public service. It is telling that most business regulations are and were lobbied for by the big, established players in the industries they regulate. Of course they aren’t looking to make their own business more difficult, they are instead looking to make the cost of entering into competition so high that small, aggressive players won’t even go to the trouble.

Deregulate SMBs! Let the SMB boom naturally come back. SMBs are the fastest to start up, fastest to pivot, fastest to hire, and lowest systemic risk to “the system” (no fears of “too big to fail”), and by far the most willing to innovate. This is even true in Africa — an entire continent that has hamstrung its SMBs and startups as an outcome of decades of chasing globalist Marxist rhetoric (it is easy to push such rhetoric there because it masquerades as “anti-colonialist”). No place can survive African style SMB regulations.

Deregulation, not bailouts, is what will allow Americans to save themselves from prior mistakes. Nothing else will. You have to spark activity or else the numbers on the dollar bills won’t mean anything to begin with. If the meaning of money changes (and there is a strong risk this may happen) no bailout will matter because the price of any random product could easily become “none to be had at any price“.

2020.04.30 22:38

Weirdly suppressed COVID-19 brief

Filed under: Society — Tags: , , , , — zxq9 @ 22:38

A few days ago a few doctors from California gave a brief on their analysis of both comparisons of COVID-19 historical data to prior predictions that prompted the “lockdown” trend, and side effects within the healthcare industry overall (focusing on the United States, specifically).

This brief has been uploaded and removed from YouTube and other video sharing sites a number of times, but I think it is an important part of the discussion and find censorship of it to be absolutely ridiculous.

A torrent file for the video is here: Dr_Erickson_COVID-19_Brief.torrent

The torrent’s magnet link:
magnet:?xt=urn:btih:d91f527464d5c1ef0fce21cb06891bba951a6c2f&dn=COVID-19%20Brief&tr=https%3A%2F%2F182.176.139.129%3A6969%2Fannounce

2020.04.7 21:07

Emotional Investment and Statistics: A Thought Experiment

Consider how the public discourse over COVID-19 tends to evolve.

Let’s imagine we were to set up an online debate someplace known for civility and good faith arguments (you know, like Facebook or Twitter) between the “It’s all Trump’s fault and we are all going to die if we don’t mothball the world for a year” people and the “It’s just the flu, brah” people. What kind of statistics would we see thrown around to support their arguments (whenever numbers are involved at all, that is)? What sort of mortality rate would both sides argue?

The “mothball world” people will claim the worst possible estimates are true: “It’s like over 10% some days in Italy!”. The “just the flu” people will claim the best possible estimates are true: “Dude, it’s like less than 0.1% in Germany and New York and Iceland some days”.

Both sides will have extremely different talking points and both sides will be fully invested in believing their own version of reality so strongly that they will always find a way to dismiss the other side’s numbers, sources and ultimately arguments.

The thing we are certain to not see is a discussion between the two sides about establishing rules for what statistics and sources are permissible, what the rules of cause-of-death accounting should be, and how to reasonably interpret the vast difference between rates derived from transmission projections VS confirmed cases.

This is basically the debate that is raging on social media right now and it isn’t going anywhere or providing any new insights.

Now let’s imagine that we set up an online betting site where people are both making bets on what the general mortality rate estimate will be by the end of the year. On our imaginary betting site we can open the books for additional odds on what the mortality rate estimate will be by the end of the year within various age, gender, and medical category demographics and locales.

The community of people focused around this kind of betting site would be driven by a very different agenda, and the very most important thing they would all be seeking to establish is truth in reporting and rules for how statistics are kept. They must feel absolutely certain they aren’t throwing their money at phantoms and false data lest they be tossing their money straight down the drain. Their investment is in themselves, not any particular social or political “side”.

Considering how shocking the N-order effects of the ongoing economic shutdowns and social lockdowns are likely to be for generations of people whose hardest problem in life to date has been deciding between Android and iPhone, it is quite remarkable that the actual debate we see raging online looks like the first instead of the second example.

2020.04.5 14:44

For Data Reporting, Keep Reliable URLs

Filed under: Science & Tech,Society — Tags: , , , , , , , , — zxq9 @ 14:44

It would be really nice if governments that are trying to be transparent by reporting stats publicly on a website would stop changing their entire URL scheme every week. It is hard to track things down and even the search engines aren’t keeping up very well.

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