Monday, August 29, 2022

And now the cure is here...

 After almost three years of fear and isolation comes inflation and economic stress.  What a surprise?!  How come this was not more obvious?  How can you have all the social mess created by so called "health experts" and not expect a major economic and social catastrophe?

We will never know what could have been worse.  Some people died because of complications with Covid, and that is too bad.  But how many become socially isolated and depressed and now see their savings dwindle?  Logic has not been the guiding light of governments.  Inspiration from Sweden and Norway may help guide our steps in the future.  

No one needs to be a seasoned health expert to tell people to do what was done 100 years ago.  Stay isolated!!!  Billions of dollars spent on health organization research over so many years to come up with that simplistic "isolation" prescription?  That sounds like fraud to me.  

A few good things have come out of that disaster.  Video calls with friends and relatives (electronic propinquity) have become more common.  People now get together more often with distant others because the technology has improved dramatically.  That is good in many ways but it is no real substitute for close interpersonal interaction.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021



Dog refusing to walk
Wife looking at phone
CDC perorates
Media speculates
FB dwells in wisdom that does not help
FDA gives excuses to avoid vaccines
Ignorance galore
Why be depressed
Perhaps a psychiatrist can tell you
Perhaps I'm in a strange world... 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Tired, exhausted, and full of words

Many terms and expressions used over the past year (two years by now) or so just got me tired... very tired... Extremely tired.  Many of them are perhaps justified or deserved, but still their repetition and continuous presence at multiple touchpoints just have me exhausted.  Many of these terms are arbitrary but have become part of daily vocabulary.  They are now the common language of the virus environment.  A virus world that persists either in reality or in the collective mindset, or both.

  • Unprecedented year
  • Unusual year
  • Extraordinary year
  • The CDC recommends
  • CDC guidelines
  • WHO says
  • Fauci says
  • Heroes work here
  • Mandate
  • Restrictions
  • Executive order
  • Lockdown
  • Quarantine (40 days is supposed to be the original meaning)
  • Social distance (they should say physical distance but do not know the difference)
  • Back to normal
  • Return to normal
  • Gradual return
  • Mask requirement
  • Double masking
  • Disinfecting
  • State mandated
  • Pandemic
  • Be safe
  • Stay safe
  • Havoc
  • Vaccine
  • Fully vaccinated
  • Pfizer
  • Astrazeneca
  • Moderna
  • Anti Vaxxers
  • Unvaccinated pandemic
  • Individual decision
  • Social responsibility
  • Masks are required for the unvaccinated
  • And now for the vaccinated
  • Delta variant 
  • Breakthrough
  • Omicron
  • Endemic
  • Flatten a curve that doesn't matter
  • Forever in fear
  • Hospitals are bracing
  • Boosters
  • Fully vaccinated
  • Who died of what?
  • Who is counting
  • The science that guesses
  • Finally a "peak"
  • The masks are the salvation
  • Everyone will get it
  • The illusion of herd immunity
  • Break through infections  
  • CDC shortens isolation time 
  • Testing is the answer
  • Is there an answer?
  • No one dies of anything else
  • Everyone will eventually get it
  • The end is near
  • Etc.
And yes, there are many more terms that can be added.  These aggregate of expressions are repeated so much that they have lost their importance or meaningfulness.  There is a sense of unreality to these times. Some people want to ignore the media and the experts.  Others seems to enjoy their masks and imagined protection. The notion that everyone will eventually get the virus is probably the conclusion that if arrived to earlier would have saved so much stress, distorted economy, etc.  Vaccines seem to be good, as usual but some debate it as if it were debatable. Finally, as always, meanings are in people's heads.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

The only thing left

The only thing left
After a virus scare
Is an inner life
And coffee in the morning

Also a yellow dog
Also a wife
Also a mountain
And also the mountain

And a walk 
And a hike
And a fucking mask
And despair

There are heroes
There are martyrs
And sacrificial lambs
And orders and more orders

And ignorance
And fear
Uncertainty and

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Behavioral Engineering and Systems Thinking in the Times of Crisis

There is an ancient parable of blind men and an elephant.  Each of the blind men touches one part of the elephant and concludes what the elephant is based on the part they touch.  The individual experiences lead to distorted views of what an elephant is.  Similarly, the new virus 2019 situation has created multiple interpretations and research efforts that lead to conclusions based on parts of the issue but not the totality.  What some epidemiologists see and prescribe is just a part of the equation.  What some physicians detect is another part of the whole.  What others speculate based on claims of infringement on freedom is still another perspective that does not include the other perspectives.

While it is practically impossible to save all lifes, it is viable to save many.  While it is impossible for people to remain isolated for a prolonged period of time hoping for some cure or vaccine, it is possible to offer responsible freedom.  Prohibitions has shown to be unproductive as they tend to result in poor quality outcomes.  So what can societies do?  Based on behavioral science research and behavioral economics, it is possible to shape behavior and incentivize actions that lead to less risky behaviors while enhancing the ability of people to continue their lives and their livelihoods.

Facilitating cleanliness by providing disinfectants is a simple and cheaper solution that keeping people out of the workforce.  Designing environments to avoid contagion but encourage productivity is doable with simple transparent partitions.  Studying behavior in its context and then using that knowledge to facilitate freedom and satisfaction is feasible.  Unfortunately each of the blind men only look at separate parts and not the whole.  Systems thinking requires cooperation and open mindedness.  It requires enlightened and informed leadership.

Handling a crisis in the 21st century as our ancestors handled them in the 18th century is strange as it shows that we have advanced very little in many domains.  Hopefully the blind men will be able to see again so that the world can move forward.

Two years later, we are still under ancient logistics even after vaccines are available.  Now the epidemiology community and the media keep pounding fear and ultimately ignorance.  Are they expecting a "safe forever" population.  That seems rather stupid to me.  Millions of dollars spent on supporting the WHO, the CDC, and the FDA and other organizations so they can actually do more damage than good.  It is time for rationality to take over.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Social media and social interaction facilitation

With some reason there are those who are skeptical about using social media because of privacy concerns.  Also, some fear social media because of their fear of the unknown.  Still social media like Facebook are important elements of modern social life and those avoiding it may be missing on a much greater benefit than the potential perils.

Finding affinity groups on social media can facilitate actual personal interactions.  The clearest example is dating.  It is now quite common to find couples who state that their relationship would not exist if it were not for the benefits of having found each other online.

Other less intimate examples include:  Finding people to play cards with; ride horses with; enjoy ideological and altruistic causes in groups; ride bikes with; playing pickleball with; etc.

Thus, while using caution when using social media is prudent, avoiding it completely may actually work against the best interest of modern people.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Fandango by Boccherini is outstanding

Fandango by Boccherini is probably one of the richest and most enjoyable pieces of music I have ever heard.  Fandango has several meanings depending on the Spanish speaking country where the term is used.  In this context it is a piece of Spanish dance music accompanied by strings, castanets, and tamborin.  There are several versions I enjoy including the one by the Carmina Quartet with Rolf Lislevand and Nina Corti: La Musica Notturna di Madrid.  One easily accessible is on Youtube at

And now the cure is here...

 After almost three years of fear and isolation comes inflation and economic stress.  What a surprise?!  How come this was not more obvious?...