Just in Case it Matters to You
Weekly Report 20-23
- SO FAR IN THIS CRISIS, OUR ‘ELITES’ HAVE LET US DOWN. “Those with specialization in education that results in tilted degrees and presumed authority have dictated the decisions of most politicians, media & public officials – who for the most part share their values… But on every contentious issue, our Elite seem unable to admit they’ve been wrong, and with a great deal of costly arrogance. Most Models that the best & brightest offered the public were not just inaccurate, but based on flawed assumptions which became the basis for policies that in many cases may prove counterproductive… then have claimed mistakes were ‘sort of planned’ in galvanizing a presumably infantile public to accept draconian measures that it would otherwise not do… The result of scientific arrogance, without practical audit, presents as something like the surreal online ‘world meter’ data on hourly virus progress – without label warnings that neither the numbers nor percentages can yet be accurate, much less the absolute unreliability of statistics from China and other authoritarian countries… Elite wisdom fails us also because its high priests rarely face the consequences of their own ideological & scientific pronouncements.” A brilliant, albeit discouraging, analysis at: https://amgreatness.com/2020/04/12/the-thin-facade-of-authority/
- AS VIDEOCONFERENCING HAS BECOME A STANDARD AND ROUTINE PROCESS HUMAN INTERFACE, a few tips to optimize the process: (1) Have lighting at your front versus behind you, which makes you look dark or shady; (2) Tilt your head slightly forward versus having the camera pointing upward toward you, which makes a face look pudgy; (3) Speak clearly and facing the microphone; (4) Mute your device when not speaking, especially when wearing a headset, to keep echoes and noises from interfering with discussion; (5) Move away from the camera if/when you do need to sneeze/cough/yawn/etc.
- MANY BIG CONSUMER COMPANIES HAVE RESPONDED TO COVID-19 DISTRESS and bolstered customer goodwill by lifting charges for services that cannot be rendered: Airlines are foregoing cancellation or rebook charges on prepaid tickets (American, Delta, United, Southwest, Alaska, Jet Blue, Spirit, Frontier); Insurance companies are issuing varying credits for stay-at-home months, and/or renewal premiums (Allstate, Geico, Progressive, Farmers, Chubb, USAA); and Gyms are suspending billings for Membership cancellation (Equinox, LA Fitness, Planet Fitness). [YAHOO FINANCE – 4/13/20]
- THE GREAT AMERICAN ‘RETURN TO NORMAL’ PLAN IS NOW BEING STRUCTURED, along with a massive ‘gaslighting’ campaign, defined as “manipulation into doubting your own sanity – in this case, an all-out blitz to make us believe we never saw what we saw during this shutdown, including: cleaner air, flowing traffic, hospitals effectively war-zones, people in masks risking their lives to vote, homeless people dead on the street, inequality, indifference, and examples of utter failure in leadership & systems… Brilliant marketers will want to come to your rescue, dear consumer, to help take away the darkness and get life back to the way it was before.” For a thoughtful perspective about resisting some of this blitz (which will be “fast, furious, funded like no other operation in our lifetimes, and overwhelming”), while pausing to define a “new version of normal – a rare opportunity to get rid of the B.S. and only bring back what works for us – what makes our lives richer, our kids happier, and what makes us truly proud,” see https://forge.medium.com/prepare-for-the-ultimate-gaslighting-6a8ce3f0a0e0
- CONCERNS ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY COLLAPSING, have again resurrected on social media to freak people out. A quick recap of current Baby Boomers status: (1) Actuarial forecasts suggest that SS funds will dry up within 15 years unless Congress takes major action; (2) If it neglects to do so (unlikely), funding would still continue from general tax revenues, with benefits reduced; (3) The ‘ Full Retirement Age’ is 66+ 4 months; (4) Benefits are available from age 62 on, but with payment reduction of between 5% and 6.7%; (5) Delaying benefits past age 66 increases the payment by 8% annually thru age 70.
- THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: A British sex-toy company attributes coronavirus lockdown for an increase from 1,500 to 5,000 daily sales (especially a “Couples Mystery Box”), as bored people seek novel ways of maintaining social distance.
While a COVID-19 Vaccine is being pursued globally, be aware that CDC data over two decades shows flu shot effectiveness generally below 50%. Last year the rate was 29% for all types of influenza, and for the strain to prevent onset of Influenza ‘A’ only 9% effective for all age groups, and only 3% among those below age 50. [TELEGRAM.COM – 3/26/20]