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Archive for May, 2020

COVID-19 Proves Brexit is Based on a Lie

“Brexit death toll” (or “cost of Tories”) might as well fit this chart

COVID-10 deaths in UK

THE myth of superiority — intellectual and practical (or economic) — has long been disproved by the current pandemic, which likely killed over 50,000 Brits already (source: FT). The British Empire romantics aside, it’s not easily provable nor demonstrable that Britain is better than the rest of Europe (on average). This was in fact the key premise if not promise of Brexit. And look where we are now… barely able to even reopen stores safely. We’re ranked second in the world for number of deaths after the US (just like the Olympic Games medal tally the same year as Brexit referendum). It’s a political blunder as well as a reminder that Brexit harmed the NHS by driving away many nurses, putting in charge the same demagogue who acted all arrogant about COVID-19 while privatising our healthcare, in turn causing a shortage of (not out-of-date) medical equipment.

With arrogance comes carelessness and in the long term self harm. Such is the nature of Brexit and the old generation that overwhelmingly voted for it pays the highest price. Us younger people will have to spend several more generations living with their short-sighted mistakes.

6 Heads Under $1000

My desk in May

WITH a bunch of low-cost hardware, some of which as cheap as under $200 (for laptops!) from displays or ‘pre-owned’ (slightly used), I’ve managed to build my workspace over the years. The cost may seem hard to believe; there used to be 4 laptops, but one died a month ago after 11 years (when it was bought by my wife in 2009 it cost more than those 3 laptops combined) and the remaining items — both screens and laptops — cost less than $1000. 3 screens, 3 laptops. The cost of the most expensive laptop — my main workstation — was less than the cost of the chair (224 pounds) and software costs are zero (GNU/Linux is free and all the applications I ever use cost nothing).

Nobody Benefits From COVID-19

THE crisis is not “fake” and it is not “manufactured”. Speaking for myself, based on extensive readings, it’s the latest epidemic of many and if people passed COVID-19 around by acting as if it’s “business as usual”, millions would already be dead, either due to weak resistance or lack of hospital/ICU beds.

The economy is screaaaaaaammming at the moment; I speak to people every day about it. We barely leave the house and don’t meet anybody in person, except shopkeepers behind a plastic screen (installed last month). My wife and I are both remote workers and have been that for many years, so the pandemic didn’t take its toll on it. Yesterday I ran out of coffee again. We try to shop for food as infrequently as possible to keep healthy and keep others safe, too. My doctoral degree was in Medical Biophysics, so I know a thing or two about health. We also routinely urge people to stay home; it does in fact save lives. Here in Britain the true COVID-19 death toll is estimated to be somewhere around 50,000, based on a Financial Times investigation (the “official” figures aren’t complete; they hide how poorly our government has done, likely worst in Europe).

I am saddened to be speaking to increasingly ‘rebellious’ types, blaming the wrong things or the wrong people. Unemployment will drive more people we used to know as stable and rational into the verge of insanity and boredom will reaffirm this insanity of theirs. The Internet has anything one looks for (affirmation). YouTube has no lack of “cranks with webcams” in it…

I’ve given some thought to the economic situation right now, bearing in mind deep national and personal debts in the West. Hours ago our bank sent out an E-mail to everybody, calling a temporary relief from mortgage payments “holiday”. As if slavery till death (“mort”) is even remotely connected to a holiday…

But people are getting desperate. Our government sends out mixed and contradictory statements, e.g. that we’re getting this thing under control (the numbers suggest otherwise) and that we can reopen in 5 days (they mean very limited if not staged openings; without public confidence even open stores will remain vacant, costing them more to operate than they can earn!).

I’ve put down some mental notes, narrowing down the employment types/status right now to something like this:

  1. employed with job security (albeit clients, the revenue/supply, may perish and run out of funds)
  2. employed with uncertainty and prohibitive conditions/deadlines
  3. employed with reduced pay/time/benefits (I heard about those from some people)
  4. temporarily unemployed with real prospects of resumption later (usually no pay)
  5. temporarily unemployed no certainty of resumption (limbo)
  6. unemployed, cannot find job (not many openings and those that exist are competitive; cannot have face-to-face interviews, training etc.)
  7. retired (but retirement savings lose on interest, inflation)

Based on the above list, it’s hard to say that anyone is better off, either collectively/nationally or personally. And no, China isn’t benefiting either. Nobody is buying its stuff now; there’s no demand, resentment aside. What about the super-rich? Well, they might be drooling over bailouts (plunder), but one can think of these as compensation or insurance rather than a permanent alternative revenue source (which is practically a form of socialism for the rich, robbing the taxpayers to keep the super-wealthy almost as wealthy as before).

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