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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

GG20200331 -- Eugenics by G K Chesterton Part 1 Chapter 5


"Eugenics and Other Evils," by G.K. Chesterton, published in 1922.

Chapter 5 - The Flying Authority:

"It happened one day that an atheist and a man were standing together on a doorstep; and the atheist said, "It is raining." To which the man replied, "What is raining?": which question was the beginning of a violent quarrel and a lasting friendship."

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GG20200324 -- Eugenics by G K Chesterton Part 1 Chapter 4


Finished editing this, then forgot to post it.  (sigh)

"Eugenics and Other Evils," by G.K. Chesterton, published in 1922.

Chapter 4 -- The Lunatic and the Law:

"The modern evil, we have said, greatly turns on this: that people do not see that the exception proves the rule. Thus it may or may not be right to kill a murderer; but it can only conceivably be right to kill a murderer because it is wrong to kill a man."

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Friday, March 27, 2020

More Hope Every Day

Was trying to explain to a friend on Second Life what I think I know about what's happening with COVID-19 and "flattening the curve."  Seemed to come out fairly clearly, so I wanted to share it here.

Do notice the disclaimer about two-thirds of the way down.  Applies to the whole shootin' match.  You get solid info from a pro, disregard me and go with what they tell ya. ...

If a few very lucky things happen, they might manage to make a usable vaccine quickly enough for some of us.

They have one vaccine they've done initial testing on, looks pretty good.  But they did a new kind of vaccine, nobody knows yet how to produce that sort of vaccine in large amounts. There are other people trying to modify measles vaccine to work on this virus.  Measles vaccine is easy to make a lot, they've been doing that for decades.  But will it be effective enough against this virus?  Don't know yet.  It takes time to test vaccines, to make sure they actually help, and that they don't do more harm than good.

And no, it's not measles vaccine, it's the same style of making vaccines.

The vaccine basically hands a piece of the virus, or a crippled version of the virus, to the body to tell it, "This is bad, and it's coming, make the stuff you need to get rid of it."  Often it works, often well.  But it's not magical, it's getting the body to do what it does before the virus shows up.

As for a cure, it's easier with bacteria. Viruses are harder.  And I'm not a doctor, you now know basically all I do. ;-)

Every time they treat one more person, they learn more about how to treat people.  So assuming there are enough healthcare professionals still able to work, they should be pretty smart on this stuff by the time we get past that big bump in the graph.  And every day they don't have to treat you and I and the other folks stuck in their homes is another day they have to find better ways to beat this stuff.

I'd never lie to you.  I don't want to give false hope.  But that doesn't mean there isn't any.  There's more hope every day.  Just need more days.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

GG20200317 -- Eugenics by G K Chesterton Part 1 Chapter 3


"Eugenics and Other Evils," by G.K. Chesterton, published in 1922.

Chapter 3 -- The Anarchy from Above:

"A silent anarchy is eating out our society. I must pause upon the expression; because the true nature of anarchy is mostly misapprehended."

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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

GG20200310 -- Eugenics by G K Chesterton Part 1 Chapter 2


"Eugenics and Other Evils," by G.K. Chesterton, published in 1922.

Chapter 2 -- The First Obstacles:

"Now before I set about arguing these things, there is a cloud of skirmishers, of harmless and confused modern sceptics, who ought to be cleared off or calmed down before we come to debate with the real doctors of the heresy."

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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

GG20200303 -- Eugenics by G K Chesterton Part 1 Chapter 1


"Eugenics and Other Evils," by G.K. Chesterton, published in 1922.

Narrator's Introduction:

For the next few paragraphs I will speak for myself, to set the stage for G.K. Chesterton's book, and to suggest why I believe it is still an important book.

I think G.K. Chesterton explains his book rather well in his introduction, but it might help to start with a sense of the time in question. Chesterton started work on Eugenics and Other Evils in about 1910, but it was not completed and published until 1922. In his own introduction he talks about the period before and after "The War." The war he refers to is now called World War One.

We now have a distaste for the word Eugenics, largely driven by events in World War Two. But at the time this book was published, Eugenics was lauded to the skies as a wonderful idea, and Chesterton was nearly the only person saying in writing that Eugenics was in fact evil. A case could be made, and has been made, that today, though the word Eugenics is avoided, some practices that are in fact Eugenic practices, and some sciences that are in fact Eugenic sciences, enjoy great popularity and engender great public enthusiasm. To which practices and which sciences I refer, is left as an exercise for the reader.

To the Reader:

"...It was a time when this theme was the topic of the hour; when eugenic babies (not visibly very distinguishable from other babies) sprawled all over the illustrated papers; when the evolutionary fancy of Nietzsche was the new cry among the intellectuals; and when Mr. Bernard Shaw and others were considering the idea that to breed a man like a cart-horse was the true way to attain that higher civilisation, of intellectual magnanimity and sympathetic insight, which may be found in cart-horses...."

Part 1 -- The False Theory

Chapter One:

"The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt. It is no good to cry out after you are hurt; especially after you are mortally hurt."

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