The following are portions from the books featured on this website
1: American Prosperity Proposals: 2nd Heading Qualifying the Problem
2: Understanding Political Function Through Recent Political History: Gun Rights Versus Gun Control (Public Safety)
3: Racial Perceptions: Chapter: Racism and Excessive Force In Policing, Heading: Proportion.
4:Liberty The Definitive Moral Truth: Heading: What is Morality
5: Understanding Political Function Through Recent Political History: Chapter: A Crisis of Demand.
6: The Survival Screen Play: 2 Scenes
7: New Mexico Camp Journal 11/30/2021
8: Assignment, Sequencing and Comparison, Chapter: The Decision Making Process.
9: Covid 19 Media Project: Introduction
American Prosperity Proposals, 2nd Heading, Qualifying the Problem.
Qualifying the Problem
Household income speaks to the means of someone in the household and does not represent the means of everyone in the household. The average household size is 2.5 people and while this is typically represented by a couple, oftentimes it is not. Furthermore, even when 2 people are represented as a couple, the income still disproportionately represents one of the two people’s income and these incomes may not be mutually accessible. In some situations there may be financial dependence where one party is stuck in an arrangement they’d rather not be in.
In considering individual opportunity, I refer to the median real personal income which is 35,997 per year as of 2019. (1) Real personal income is income that is adjusted for inflation. So while the median individual income in the United States in 2019 was 40,100, the purchasing power of that income was about $36,000 compared to the previous year.(2)
1: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 9/16/2020, “Real Median Personal Income in the United States”. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEPAINUSA672N
2: Although the median income rose nearly $3000 in 2020, much of these gains were a product of spending close to 4 trillion dollars on stimulus packages that provided money to nearly the whole population. As a result, 2021 inflation is presently at 5.4%. The difference between covid stimulus and a balance stimulus as it relates to inflation is this: the covid stimulus is money supplied to everyone which increases the ratio of money to goods causing the price of goods to go up in an environment where less is being produced, whereas the balance stimulus provides a lump sum payment that is substantial enough for people to position themselves to have larger incomes. The covid stimulus provided people with money to pay their bills and once that money is gone they’re worse off than they were before because their present incomes have less purchasing power moving forward.
Roughly ¼ of people in the workforce earn an income that is less than 17,995 dollars per year. (3) The first statistic pertains to all adults, whereas the second referenced statistic only represents those included in the workforce.
3: Martha Ross, Nicole Bateman, 2019 “Meet the Low Wage Workforce”, Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings. https://www.brookings.edu/research/meet-the-low-wage-workforce/ pg 9 “53 million Americans—44% of all workers aged 18-64—have low-wage jobs. This significant portion of the nation’s labor force is earning median hourly wages of $10.22 and median annual earnings of $17,950.” Half of 44% of the workforce earns 10.22 an hour or less.
Income becomes more relevant on an individual basis based on the cost of living in the areas where people live and in consideration of people’s living arrangement where bills may be split. In situations where two low income people are sharing expenses they become locked into financial codepencancies, where neither could afford to live without the support of the other. For the 10s of millions of Americans who earn less than 17,995 per year, such an income does not provide much freedom no matter where you live.
There are probably quite a few people who have negative wealth and have a great deal of assets or a high income, but on the whole, this group represents the exception not the norm. The norm is represented by those people whose income is insufficient to meet their expenses. I think the distribution of wealth is one of the best indicators of people’s income versus expenses. Wealth is surplus income in all its storable forms. The wealth distribution reflects the ability of income to exceed expenses.
30% of people in this country have negative wealth and the overwhelming majority have negative wealth with very few assets. The next decile (30 to 40%) has .1% of the wealth distribution. The next decile (40 to 50%) has 1.1% of the wealth distribution. (4)
The next decile (30 to 40%) has .1% of the wealth distribution. The next decile (40 to 50%) has 1.1% of the wealth distribution. This is an indication of how inadequate the opportunities are for those in the bottom 50% of the wealth distribution relative to their income. Most people in the bottom 50% of the wealth distribution who have wealth are probably among the few who own homes, and their wealth is represented by the difference between what they owe on their home and its appraised value. For some this wealth is not accessible because they lack the income or credit score to access it to put it towards some opportunity enhancing endeavor.
4: Erin Duffin, 11/7/2019. “Wealth Distribution in the US 2016” Statista. https://www.statista.com/statistics/203961/wealth-distribution-for-the-us/
A more important indicator of opportunity for the bottom 50% of the income distribution is the median checking account balance combined with the median savings account balance. Which doesn’t represent those who have no checking account which would lower the median balance or the median amount of money people have. The median household checking account balance in the United States is less than $3400 (5) and according to survey data nearly 60% of American’s have less than $1000 in savings, and over 30% have no savings. (6) $3400 represents the median household checking account balance, where the median individual checking account balance should be in the neighborhood of about $1400. The bottom 50% of the country has less than $2500 to spend at any given time. That figure still underrepresents the little that the bottom 50% have to apply towards creating an income since people’s checking accounts often contain money that is already accounted for in recurring consumable obligations, like rent, utilities, car payments, etc.
5: Chris Moon, 6/23/2020 “Average US Checking Account Balance 2019: Demographic Breakdown”, Value Penquin. Source is US Federal Reserve Survey 2016. The median household checking account balance is $3400. The average household size in the US is 2.5 people meaning the individual median checking account balance is probably in the neighborhood of about $1400.
6: Cameron Huddleston Go Banking Rate, 5/15/2019 “58% of American’s Have Less Than $1000 in Savings, Survey Find.” Yahoo Finance https://finance.yahoo.com/news/58-americans-less-1-000-090000503.html
Understanding Political Function Through Recent Political History: 2019-2020 Gun Rights vs Gun Control
My weekday routine begins with reading news reports and watching a few broadcasts. One of which was Democracy Now. DN featured a woman named Rebecca Peters. Peters is an activist who led a campaign to change Australian gun laws after a 1996 mass murder that left 35 people dead. DN is interviewing Peters to promote a gun control agenda that is wholly ineffective at reducing mass murder.(1)
1: Democracy Now “After Deadly 1996 Massacre, Australia Over Hauled Its Gun Laws. New Zealand Now Plans to do the Same”. 3/18/2019 https://www.democracynow.org/2019/3/18/after_deadly_1996_massacre_australia_overhauled
Gun control as a solution to mass murder is akin to banning utensils to address obesity. As long as people are dissatisfied, alienated, deceived, trapped, and driven to kill people, people are going to kill people. An effort to limit the means by which dissatisfied people can kill people does nothing to address the cause of why people want to kill people en masse. A man with a bag of pipe bombs could probably go through a school, kill, maim, and injure more people than a man with a semi-automatic rifle. We shouldn’t forget that even if such a person cannot legally purchase a gun, the law is but a minor hindrance in the procurement of one. The problem isn’t guns cause people to kill people and therefore we should ban guns, the problem is people want to kill people.
In Australia, in the 20 years prior to the 1996 mass shooting there was a total of 95 people killed in mass murder events. In the 20 years after 1996 there were 96 people killed. Meaning gun control has not prevented the amount of deaths resulting from mass murder. Peters disingenuously states that because of the gun control measures Australia has never seen another mass murder event like what was experienced in 1996. It is disingenuous because with the exception of the Coniston Massacre in 1928, which was a murder of indigenous people much different than mass murder in the modern context, Australia has never seen anything like what happened in 1996 in the volume of casualties prior to 1996. In all the years the gun control measure was not in place, no one ever killed that many people.
She attempts to minimize post 96 attacks by claiming there have been some, but it was a person murdering their family. In the 17 incidents in the 20 years prior to 96, 3 were familicides. In the 19 mass murder incidents that occurred in the 20 years after 1996, 4 were familicide. In respect to volume, the highest concentration of victims from a mass murder event from 1928 to 1996 was 15 people dying in a nightclub in 1973. After 1996 there was an attack in 2000 that killed 15 people. Both incidents were caused by arson. Mass murder events post 96 were not exclusively familicide as Peters suggests in the interview, with the incidents of familicide being consistent with the nation’s history of familicide prior to gun control. The Australian example is prime evidence for the point that gun control will not reduce the frequency of mass murder or the casualties of mass murder.(2)
2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_in_Australia Each incident is cited with a news citation in the wiki article.
Gun control is the implied solution to mass murder events. It is the position of the democratic party because the causes of dissatisfaction cannot be addressed. The democrats must maintain the American Myth. To talk about the reasons you have to address an unfair plutocratic system, where most people cannot create their own opportunities, where people are struggling financially, where people have no representation in government, and where people are confined to an inherited reality socially reinforced in an environment of mass indoctrination. The lie in general steers some to purpose driven ideological lies, that are as valid as the lie of the mainstream and more so should an individual begin to see through it.(3)
3: The danger in people discovering that what they see on tv is substanceless is it opens the door for anything to become true. After realizing that most of what you believed to be true your whole life is bullshit, after the thread has been pulled and the sweater is destroyed is a person has to reconstruct their perception, to figuratively fashion another garment. When they do they may begin entering another a lie, and the more invested they become in that lie the more difficult it is for them to pull themselves back out. This is what I mean the lie (reality sold through popular narratives) steers people to purpose driven ideological lies. I’m speaking from experience, but the difference is my investment in any lie only lasted until I found a contradiction that would unravel that lie, because I was grounded in truth. Grounded in truth in that I didn’t want to prove what I wanted to believe, I wanted to know whether something was true or not.
I am against gun control as a solution to preventing mass murder or violence. I’m critical of the position because A: it will not prevent incidents of mass murder or limit casualties in mass murder, and Australia is a prime example; B: It distracts from the causes of mass murder events. C: restricting access to guns does not prevent people who are restricted from access from obtaining guns. D: I believe most people are good and responsible as far as how they would exercise judgement with guns. Therefore, more guns in the hands of ordinary people creates a deterent to mass murder, and also positions the public to better respond to would perpetrators of harm against the public. That isn’t a solution to mass murder, it is a mitigation effort, since the solution to mass murder is for individuals to have opportunities for time and money, to be treated with dignity and respect by their peers, and to live in a reality that is not distorted by gratituous deception.
The following is a FB exchange on the topic of gun rights where the material above is cited in showing the impotence of gun control to achieve its stated objectives.
FB Post 2/16/2020 Kay Saxon
The post showed Virginia gun rights proponents assembled near the state capitol with a caption that read This is How America Collapsed.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: That is 22,000 people in Virginia demonstrating against an effort to limit their right to bear arms. Gun control is an issue pushed by the democrats to create the illusion that they have a soultion to mass murder, because we can’t discuss the reasons why people want to indiscriminately kill large numbers of people. As was observed in Australia, the gun control action after the 1996 mass shooting did not reduce incidents of mass murder or casualties of mass murder comparing the 20 years before the massacre to 20 years after the massacre. People who want to kill other people are going to do so even if they don’t use a gun. What is wrong with people having guns and how are guns and people demonstrating for their right to possess guns how America collapsed?
2nd Comment Kay Saxon@Orion Simerl:I think you need to view the facts about gun control in Australia.
3rd Comment Orion Simerl@Kay Saxon In the 20 years prior to 1996 there were 18 mass murder incidents that claimed 95 lives. In the 20 years after 1996 there were 25 mass murder incidents that claimed 96 lives. Gun control in Australia failed to reduce incidents of mass murder and casualties of mass murder. Those are the facts regardless of whether you meat puppets like them.
5th Comment: Orion Simerl@Jeremiah Tafuri https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_in_Australia Can you count?
6th Comment: Jeremiah Tafuri@Orion Simerl Umm. Counting doesn’t seem to be the issue here. If you are trying to say people did not kill folks, that is clearly inaccurate. If you are trying to say that people killed folks without guns, then maybe we are getting to a point. As an American, and clearly desensitized, I gotta say, these are rookie numbers. These ‘mass murders’ are a daily occurance in the States. Which generally are done with firearms, not ‘bashing’ or ‘arson’. “Massacres” are not the same thing as mass shootings.
Are you trolling here or do you did you not read the methods used in your source?
7th Comment: Orion Simerl@Jeremiah Tafuri What’s the fundamental problem with mass shootings? That people are killed or injured. The means are irrelevant. What I’m saying I stated very clearly: gun control measures in Austraila did not reduce mass murder incidents or casualities. Rookie numbers in what way? It is the most complete list of mass murders in Australia and each incident is supported by a citation to the report, so yes I do understand the methods and they are accurate. The United States is a nation of 330 million people that has great economic inequality that leads to desperation, dissatisfaction, as well as social alienation that causes people to want to kill people indiscriminately. Russia’s population has very few guns yet they have a higher murder rate than the United States. You’ve failed to make a single point concerning your position. 1: I did not claim people did not kill folks, I provided the most reliable data on the subject that shows gun control does not reduce incidents of mass murder or casualties. 2: Mass shootings are massacres. The problem isn’t that people are being shot and killed or injured, the problem is people are killed and injured, the means is irrelevant because the effect is the same.
I am certain that the term ‘mass SHOOTING’ is kinda the focal point. And by rookie numbers I mean that ever fucking day in the US there is usually an incident wherein more than 5 people are shot in a given incident. EVERY DAY.
OS Commentary: (19 incidents in the US from January 1st 2020 to April 15th 2020 (date of edit) where more than 5 people are shot according to the Gun Violence Archive. 97 incidents short of “every fucking day” https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting)
To your points: 1. Gun control definitely reduced the number and severity of mass shootings in Australia, by the source you provided. 2. Mass shootings and mass killings are different things. Which is why ‘gun control’ is the point of contention here.
What are you attempting to get at with your post?
The point is very clear and I’ve made it on multiple occasions, gun control is a pretext to make it seem like politicans in the United States have a solution to mass murder. This is a problem because it doesn’t speak to the reason why people want to indiscriminately kill other people. Gun control does not reduce mass murder because people who want to kill people are going to kill people regardless of whether they use a gun, or bombs like in Sri Lanka, or a rented truck like in Canada.
10th Comment: Jeremiah Tafuri@orionsimerl Yeah. I think that I can answer that. A gun is a specific tool made specifically for killing humans. Bashing can be done with any number of things and we all live in flammable constructs. Do you really not grasp the difference between using a specific tool engineered for murder and using random objects or fire to murder?
You are not wrong that gun control, in the sense of removing all guns, is really just a lame duck method for politicians to pretend like they give a shit. Gun regulations are useful and have been shown, in the States, to be effective at reducing gun violence. The 1934 gun control measure and the mid-90s laws passed in California had demonstrable impacts on mass shootings specifically and gun violence generally. These are easily researched.
Gun control isn’t about stopping people from wanting or trying to kill mass amounts of people. It is about limiting the access to weapons specifically engineered for the purpose of mass murder.
Again, what is it that you think that you are arguing for here? Because so far your argument has been a non sequitur.
11th Comment: Orion Simerl@Jeremiah Tafuri You can’t answer the question of what difference does it make if people use a gun or use another weapon to kill people? You answered what is the difference between a gun and another weapon. Nothing about my argument has been non sequitur, each comment I’ve made has addressed points precisely, your argument is non sequitur as I just demonstrated in that you dodged the question by explaining the distinction between an object intended for use as a weapon, and an object not intended for use as a weapon. Again, let me ask the question in a way that you may be able to grasp. If 100 people die as the result of mass murders and the weapon was a gun, or if 100 people die in mass murders and the weapon was a knife, a bomb, arson, a car, etc, what is the difference when the problem on both sides is 100 people died? Gun control is only relevant if it reduces mass murder, because the problem isn’t people are being killed by guns, the problem is people are being killed.
California is a good example and easily researched, like what US state has had more mass shootings than any other state in the United States: California. https://www.statista.com/…/mass-shootings-in-the-us-by…/
A decline in gun violence can only be attributed to gun control if other states that did not adopt gun control experienced an increase or stayed the same. California ranks behind 28 states in its rate of gun violence, many of which have much less restrictive gun laws and much higher rates of (gun) ownership. https://en.wikipedia.org/…/Gun_violence_in_the_United…
You’re still wrong.
12th Comment: Jeremiah Tafuri@Orion Simerl https://www.businessinsider.com/gun-control-research-how-policies-can-reduce-deaths-2019-8?fbclid=IwAR0KQpPn-TghUS7rSv7IRPJ8AfsUMNxpz1Qp93Zzx6kQvA_wpUJ9cWftiLY Headline reads “Gun Control Really Works. Science Shows Time and Again that it Can Prevent Mass Shootings and Save Lives.
13th Comment: Orion Simerl Jeremiah@Tafuri I know you like the headline but the substance doesn’t speak to the headline. They are comparing Switzerland to the United States and insinuating that a difference in gun laws is responsible for a lower incident of gun violence. However, the homicide rate and inequality is correlated across the world, where the greater the inequality the greater incidents there are of homicide. Switzerland has a gini rating of 33, whereas the United States has a gini coefficient of 49. GIven the strong correlation between homicide and inequality, gun laws cannot be cited as the cause for a lower rate of gun violence because the United States is predisposed to having a greater rate of homicide based on greater inequality.
I also agree that violence is a correlation to inequality. As I believe I have also stated. I think the only real contention that we are having is that you are conflating mass murder with mass murder by gun. Certainly, both are mass murders. However, one, guns, are addressed by gun control measures and the rest are not. Which is why I asked what it was you were, or thought that you were, arguing by including those two things together.
15th Comment:Orion Simerl@Jeremiah Tafuri It is a logical conflation, as I stated, because the problem is murder, whether it be by gun or any other means, the problem is the same. If you do not have a fork can you not still eat a steak? This is what the gun control argument is, it is like attempting to solve obesity by limiting people’s access to utensils. If a person wants to eat they are going to do so regardless of whether they have silverware. The same as a person who wants to kill people is going to kill people regardless of whether they have access to a gun. Gun control hardly reduces access to guns, I’m a felon, I could get a gun if I wanted one. In California there was a 16 year old who shot kids at school with a pistol. What gun control measure would have prevented him from procuring that pistol? He is already prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm. This tends to be the case with most mass shootings where what is being proposed wouldn’t prevent most mass shootings or most gun caused homicides.
16th Comment: Jeremiah Tafuri@Orion Simerl Again you are willfully missing both the point of gun control and the distinction that I have repeatedly made. This is problematic. Gun control legislation has definitely reduced mass shootings, there is some amount of evidence for this. The reason why gun control is talked about in terms of reducing mass killings is specifically because guns are only useful for killing people. A rock can be used to do the same job, i.e. kill, but it isn’t as easy to do and isn’t as easy to do a lot of killing with. A good marksman with a 30 round magazine could, conceivably, kill 30 people, with ease and within a very short period of time. A really great rock killer would not be able to accomplish that same level of carnage within anything close to the same period of time.
(OS Commentary: For a second time he asserts “gun control legislation has definitely reduced mass shootings”, despite the source he provided being shown to be deficient and him not refuting that it is, and the example he provided California, failing to reduce their rate of gun violence compared to states with less strict gun laws, and leading the nation in mass shootings.)
We both agree that murder is bad. You, however, are suggesting that gun control should/could also reduce the incidences of mass bashing with rocks that end in murder as well, which is non-sensical.
Whether or not a specific individual can get a gun isn’t relevant to gun legislation, however counterintuitive as that may seem. Laws don’t target specific humans, in fact they would not be constitutional if they did. Laws, in the States, target populations. If you had done your due diligence you would have noticed that gun laws do, in fact, reduce gun violence. Why is certainly a complex subject.
(OS commentary: third time he makes the empty assertion as fact that “gun laws do, in fact, reduce gun violence)
I am going to ask you again, what exactly do you think that you are arguing here? If it is murder is bad, congrats you have made that argument. If it is that murder can be done with something other than guns, therefore gun legislation is a wast of time, you are making a fallacious argument that makes no damn sense.
You seem like you are an intelligent and literate human that is making what appears to be a good faith argument, if perhaps poorly constructed.
17th Comment: Orion Simerl@Jeremiah Tafuri “Gun control has definitely reduced mass shootings”. Again, why is it better if people are killed with another weapon as opposed to a gun? You’re arguing that a gun is a more effective means of killing than all other weapons. The problem is you cannot prove that assertion whereas I have provided evidence against that using Australia as an example. Why is it better to be killed with something other than a gun, which has been the question you avoided from the beginning and the reason you maintain your circular reasoning without addressing the point.
I’m not claiming that gun control should prevent other mass killings, while you attempt to construct another strawman to avoid the main point of contention. I’m saying, if you have 100 people who die before gun control, and 100 people who died after gun control, then even if you’ve reduced mass shootings, you haven’t reduced mass murder and gun control has had no effect on the problem. If people want to kill other people, if they can’t procure a gun, they are going to use something else and there are something elses that are just as effective at killing. You can’t acknowledge this point because you’re invested in your position, which is why you stay on the periphery of the points and avoid acknowledging the point directly. Since gun control fails to prevent incidents and casualties of mass killing, reducing mass shooting is irrelevant because mass murder is occurring in the same frequency and casualties. This is a very solid argument which is why you keep making the same frivolous assertions to avoid the points that are irrefutable.
The problem I have is mass shootings is that you are not trying hard enough.
19th Comment: Orion Simerl@Abd Elhalhuli Wikipedia as a source for information varies by entry, but your dumbass thinks a wiki source is subjective. As I explained in the previous exchange, each incident contains a citation to the news report that establishes that each incident occurred. You don’t know how to evaluate a source letting other people think for you, as they did when you wrote “Wikipedia…Ha”. Laugh at a quality source without being able to show any deficiency concerning the assertion the citation establishes. It is the most accurate and complete list of massacres in Australia’s history that currently exists.
Either way nobody cares
21st Comment: Orion Simerl@Abd Elhalhuli LOL. There is frustration with people, observing their inability to understand simple things as a choice of value, which is harmful to their interest as well as everyone else’s. When the inability is as gross as yours it feels good to vent the observation. That is the source of me being upset, and as far as bullies go, I fucked bullys up, and went to jail and prison for it.
23rd Comment: Orion Simerl@Abd Elhalhuli If we consider that all those choices have led to the understanding that I now possess, I couldn’t be more pleased with those choices, despite the fact that I still face difficult circumstances. My book is available for free download on my website. orioncs.net “Truth Over Everything and Liberty is True”.
1:I asserted that gun control does not reduce the number of mass murder events or the casualties of mass murder events. I presented Australia as evidence as the best example having passed significant gun purchasing and ownership restrictions about 25 years ago. The list I referred to is the most complete list of mass murder events available with each incident providing the citation to the report. Comparing the 20 years prior to the 1996 mass murder that prompted the gun control measure and the 20 years after, we find that gun control failed to reduce incidents of mass murder and casualties of mass murder.
2: The other gentleman recognized the point proven at least in the context of Australia, that GC failed to reduce incidents of mass murder and the casualties of mass murder. He broadened the scope of the GC debate, from incidents of mass murder to gun violence in general. His main two points were A: That guns are more effective at killing than other weapons. B: that reducing gun violence through gun control reduces violence.
A: I returned to Australia data which shows that other weapons are just as effective at killing large numbers of people as guns. If guns were more effective than other means we should have seen a decrease in the casualties of mass murder events. We didn’t see this. To further substantiate the point, I referenced the bombings in Sri Lanka that killed over 100 people, and the man in Canada who rented a truck and killed 17 people injuring many more. This is evidence that guns are not more effective murder impliments than other weapons, since other weapons have proven effective at killing as many or more people than people with guns.
B: In an effort to reinforce the idea that gun control is effective the gentleman I was exchanging comments with offered a business insider source where the headline boasted science proves the effectiveness of gun control laws. I read the article and the comparison was between the United States and Switzerland who the article claims has comparable gun ownership with stricter regulations, and a much lower incident of gun violence. The problem with the comparison is crime, including violent crimes like homicide are driven by economic inequality. Inequality is measured through the gini coefficient. The gini coefficient is a number 0 to 100, where 0 represents completely equal and 100 represents the greatest degree of unequal. The US rating is 49, while Switzerland is 33, and represents a substantial difference in economic inequality. This means the US is predisposed to greater incidents of crime and violence regardless of differences in gun laws. The methodology is flawed and conclusions are flawed because the article is attempting to make the cause of a greater incidence of gun violence about the gun laws, when the US is going to have a higher incidence of crime and violence, because of economic inequality. (Bryant Economic Research Paper Vol4 No7 Spring 2011, “The Relationship Between Poverty and Crime: A Cross Section Analysis of the World” Luke Fleming. Pg 13 “…when the GINI index increases by one, homicide rates go up by .477 per one hundred thousand people.” pg14“Income inequality is positively related to all three types of crime. As money is distributed more evenly, all three types of crime should decrease.” “The only variable significantly related to homicide is the GINI index.” )
B Point 2: The gentleman acted as if he didn’t understand the point I was making. Where gun violence isn’t the problem violence is the problem, and people who want to kill people are going to kill people regardless of whether their access to firearms is limited. Since it isn’t more difficult to kill large numbers of people with other weapons, it certainly isn’t more difficult to kill fewer people with other weapons. I bring this up to move from mass murder to murder in general, since the evidence I’m drawing from is mass murder incidents. The point is, as long as people want to kill people people are going to kill people. There is no merit to the assertion that guns are more effective than other weapons especially if we’re talking about killing fewer numbers of people, which represents most gun violence, where there is typically 1 to 2 casualties. To restate the example, if 100 people are going to be killed, and without gun control say 50 are killed by guns. Now under gun control, the same 100 people are killed but only 30 are killed by guns. Gun control advocates will say gun control works because we’ve reduced gun violence by 40%, but what value is that when the same number of people are killed? Which is why I asked what is the difference between someone being killed by a gun or a different weapon, when the same amount of people are going to be killed?
I think the advice being offered may be better for the one who is giving it than the one who it is being offered to.
28th Comment: Orion Simerl Kay Saxon Which is irrelevant because it does not reduce the number of people who are the victims of homicide. (4) Meaning the same number of people who were going to kill people with a gun, still killed the people they were going to kill, which was the subject of my last message and the addressment of that sad source you provided. As I stated : if 100 people are going to be killed, and without gun control say 50 are killed by guns. Now under gun control, the same 100 people are killed but only 30 are killed by guns. Gun control advocates will say gun control works because we’ve reduced gun violence by 40%, but what value is that when the same number of people are killed? You’re not addressing the problem which is people are being killed, and the reasons why people want to kill other people. Because as long as people want to kill people they will find a way. Gun Control does not reduce the homicide rate or reduce the incidents or casualties in mass murders. Gun control is immoral, it is imposing without preventing imposition.
4: As already established, gun control has not been proven to reduce gun-related deaths but I didnt want to rehash the same statistical points I’ve already established. Instead I let the false point stand to return to the main point.
30th Comment: Orion Simerl@Kay Saxon I’ve already shown that you can achieve the same numbers with other weapons, the truck in Canada, the homemade bombs in Sri Lanka, the Australian incidents and casuelties of mass murder 20 years after gun control compared to 20 years before; I already proved this point on multiple occasions in these exchanges. Now take your advice and broaden your understanding of evidence and proof.
33rd Comment:Jeremiah Tafuri Orion Simerl you aren’t making coherent points. You’re conflating issues and pretending that you have a rational argument. Which you don’t. You really do need to get a/a better education. You’re really embarrassing yourself.
My original comment that prompted the exchange was that gun control does not reduce mass murder incident or casualties and I cited Austraila as the example. The reason for the approach is because the rallying cry for gun control has been around mass shooting incidents. Any mass shooting that gains popular media attention is followed by politicians, survivors, and groups who profit from the promotion of a gun control agenda calling for gun control.
After I show that gun control did not reduce incidents of mass murder or casulties in Australia, he moves the arguement to gun violence. I could have pulled the non-sequitur card the same way he attempted to, saying his argument that gun control reduces gun violence does not follow the point that gun control doesn’t reduce mass murder. Instead I address his assertions.
After debunking his source (Business Insider Article), and debunking his example (California, leading the nation in mass shootings over the last nearly 40 years) he continued to make the assertion that gun control reduces gun violence. His final comment attempts to unsubstanatively call into question the substance of my argument and credentials.
If I am conflating you can show what I am conflating, and I addressed that assertion previously. Gun control does not reduce gun violence, I addressed that assertion directly. 2nd, if gun control did reduce gun violence but the same amount of violence occurs, you haven’t helped anyone because the same amount of people who were going to be killed are still killed. He thinks that if there are 100 murders and 50 are caused by guns, and gun control reduces it to 40, gun control has saved the lives of 10 people. What he fails to understand that I mentioned on multiple occasions is if 10 fewer people are killed by guns it’s only relevant if the overall deaths were reduced by the same number. If not, the 10 people who were going to be killed by guns were presumably killed with another weapon.
Having no factual or even rational basis for his gun control position, he claims I’m uneducated and embarrassing myself.
Gun Control has failed to reduce mass murder casaulties and incidents, and in most examples fails to reduce gun violence.
I’m beginning with four interacial examples of excessive force in policing. All of which occurred in 2020. George Floyd, Jacob Blake, Rashard Brooks, and Breonna Taylor. The analysis of these events is not intended to change anyone’s mind about the incidents. As I mentioned, most people make up their minds based on what they want something to be, not on any understanding of cause and effect, or distinguishing fact from opinion. I’m analysing these events to show they are controversial examples of excessive force, and there is nothing from these events that demonstrate race motivated treatment.
The four incidents that are the subject of this section serve as 2020s most widely promoted examples of systemic problems in policing. Even if these examples were examples of excessive force, police misconduct, or were motivated by race, this still wouldn’t represent a systemic problem with policing. There are 55 million police contacts per year and there are perhaps a dozen controversial examples of excessive force by police.(1) Even if these examples were non-controversial examples of excessive force by police, it is not representative of normal policing considering the volume of interaction that takes place between the police and the public; therefore there is no systemic problem with policing. Furthermore, when there is probable cause that an officer violated the law in the application of force the officers are prosecuted. There is not a system that produces these incidents because the number of pure examples are too few, nearly non-existent.(2)
1: Elizabeth Davis, Anthony Whyde, BJS Statisticians, Lynn Langton Ph.D., former BJS Statistician, 10/11/2018 “Contact Between the Police and Public, 2015”. Bureau of Justice Statistics. https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=6406
2: By Non-existent I’m referring to pure examples, free of controversy, that a suspect was treated based on race and not behavior, or that an officer acted maliciously and beyond what could be explained by trying to fulfil his duties to the public.
The assertion of racism requires one of two elements to be valid.
1: Something in the interaction must show that an officer’s treatment of a suspect was motivated by the suspect’s race and not by the suspect’s behavior.
2: An assertion of police racism requires an example of how black suspects are treated differently than white suspects when the behavior is the same. There is no example of a black suspect being treated in a way in which a white suspect has not been treated under similar circumstances.
There is no basis for systemic racism in policing or a problem with the excessive use of force by police based on a marginal number of controversial examples of policing compared to the volume of interactions the police have with the public. Upon closer inspection, most of the examples provided do not even qualify as excessive force when all the circumstances and points of action are considered.
Proportional Contact and Causation
Research conducted by and promoted by Professor Matthew Miller of Northwestern University asserts that black suspects are shot at a rate that exceeds the proportion of black people in the general population.(3) He found that black people make up 12% of the population and represent 25% of police shooting deaths, and white people represent 62% of the population and represent 54% of police shooting deaths. The proportion of crime committed by black people is also greater than their proportion to the general population, and roughly equal to the proportion of black people shot by police. Black people represent 25% of police shooting deaths and represent 26.6% of crimes, and white people represent 54% of police shooting deaths and 55.5% of crimes.(5) A white criminal is as likely to be shot and killed by police as a black criminal.
3: Ian Thomsen 7/16/2020, The Research is Clear: White People are not More Likely to be Killed by Police than Black People”. Northwestern News. https://news.northeastern.edu/2020/07/16/the-research-is-clear-white-people-are-not-more-likely-than-black-people-to-be-killed-by-police/
4: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Estimated number of arrests by offense and race, 2018. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/ucr.asp?table_in=2. Released on October 31, 2019. 10.3 Million Arrests 2018, 2.8 million were black suspects representing 26.6% of crimes. Previous citation (FN20) asserts black people represent 25% of police shootings but represent only 12% of the population. Black people are shot by police proportional to contact. White people are also likely shot proportionate to contact. Hispanic ethnicity is not separated from white in BJS records. However, hispanic people represent roughly 18% of the population and commit crimes at a rate that is higher than white people but lower than black people. A conservative estimate that 20% of the crimes assigned to white people (7.1 million) in this data is committed by hispanic people leaves white people responsible for 5.7 million out of 10.3 million crimes representing 55.5% of crimes. According to Thomsen white people represent 54% of police shootings. It’s also interesting that the hispanic crime rate is above whites who have a higher median income than hispanics but lower than blacks who have a lower median income than hispanics.
Why do black people commit more crimes? Crime is driven by poverty and income inequality, and since a greater proportion of black people are economically disadvantaged, they commit a greater proportion of the crimes. The 2011 cross section analysis between crime and poverty found “Income inequality is positively related to all three types of crime (robbery, assault and homicide). As money is distributed more evenly, all three types of crime should decrease.”(5)
5: Luke Fleming 2011, “The Relationship Between Crime and Poverty: A Cross Section Analysis of the World”. Bryant Economic Research Paper Vol. 4 No.7 Spring 2011. “Income inequality is positively related to all three types of crime (robbery, assault and homicide). As money is distributed more evenly, all three types of crime should decrease.”
The median pre-incarceration income of incarcerated people is nearly half that of the general population. The median pre-incarceration income of a white person is roughly 22 thousand dollars per year, and the median pre-incarceration income of a black person is about 18 thousand dollars per year. Both are less than half the median income of the general population.(6) The propensity to commit crime whether black, white or latino (roughly 20k) is generally determined by income opportunities. Another marker is, the lower the income a male is born into the greater the likelihood that he will be in prison in his 30s.(7) Correlation or causation between crime and poverty isn’t very controversial. The income of a child’s family also impacts the child’s development, where high stress households have been shown to cause physiological changes to the brain that impacts intellectual development.(8) While America celebrates and promotes the success stories, the success stories of people coming from nothing into something is the exception not the norm. It is true that anyone in the United States can make it,(9) but it isn’t true that everyone can, and most people born poor will not.
6: Bernadette Raybuy and Daniel Kopf, 7/9/15 “Prisons of Poverty: Uncovering the Pre-incarceration Incomes of the Imprisoned”. http://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/income.html
7: Lucius Couloute, March 22, 2018, “New Data Highlights Pre-Incarceration Disadvantages”. Prison Policy Initiative. https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2018/03/22/brookingsreport_2018/
8: Victoria Tennant, The Powerful Impacts of Stress. John Hopkins School of Education, http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/strategies/topics/Keeping%20Fit%20for%20Learning/stress.html Source: Daniel Goleman, “Emotional Intelligence”, Bantam Books 1997, p.27″Continual emotional distress can create deficits in a child’s intellectual abilities, crippling the capacity to learn” Number one source of stress according to American Psychological Association survey is money. Jeannie Kim and Health.com 02/18/2015 “This is the Number One Source of Stress in America.” ABC News,https://abcnews.go.com/Health/number-source-stress-america/story?id=29029565 These were old notes I’ve extracted from an earlier article which is why they’re dated, but relevant in that no new research contradicts the findings.
9: Make it means a significant level of social mobility, or being productive in a chosen capacity.
The decision making process consists of 3 elements after an objective has been identified. Energy required versus the value of the objective, consequence, and morality. Consequence consists of the probability of the outcome and the severity of the outcome. However, the severity of the consequence isn’t a decision of experiencing the consequence versus not experiencing the consequence. The severity of the consequence is relevant in how it compromises the ability of an individual to achieve long term objectives. Poverty predisposes people to crime not because they have nothing to lose but because they otherwise have nothing to gain. The consequence of going to jail is less meaningful because their long term goals are either not worthwhile or are perceived as being unobtainable. This means the value(10) of any act where serious criminal consequences may occur is almost always greater than any long term objective jeopardized by the consequence.(11) To quote the rapper Mayes “Life in the belly of the beast is equal to poverty’s bottomless pit”.
10: Value in this context is used to represent feelings. The negative feeling in the energy expended versus the positive feeling of whatever it is one is exerting the energy for is what is described in that portion of the sentence.
11: When you’re in the consequence phase of the decision making process, you’ll often go back and forth between scenarios and these scenarios produce feelings. You may have thoughts about having completed your objectives and will experience positive feelings, then you’ll have thoughts about how the consequence will impact your life and you will experience a negative feeling. Then you may have thoughts about what you’re going to do and this represents probability. The more you go through the act in your mind the more or less probable the outcome will appear. If it is a high value objective, considering the outcome repetitively may cause the consequence to seem less probable to allow the act to proceed. This is further into subconscious motion than I wanted to go here.
This is true to a lot of people because people see what’s around them. You watch people work their asses off and they still don’t have time and money. You watch people deteriorate into functioning addicts, whose life consists of paying their bills and spending most of the little extra they do have on drugs to keep them content with those circumstances. Are you going to work your ass off to barely have shit, or are you going to take risks for an opportunity to have time and money which is liberty with know how? Each person answers that question differently depending on their individual circumstances, and what they believe is doable from within those circumstances. The point is, the worse those circumstances are, beginning with the household income a person is born into, the more likely that person is to start taking liberty seeking risks.
Past systemic racism consisted of black people being denied opportunities for education, employment, housing, other services, and prejudice by law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Such disadvantages have left a disproportionate number of black people impoverished and poor which is why black people commit a disproportionate amount of crimes. There are also more than twice as many white people living in poverty as black people, and even more who can be considered poor, which is why white people commit more crime than black people overall, and make up the bulk of police shooting victims.
Since a disproportionate number of black people are economically disadvantaged every race comparison is a reflection of economic causation that opportunist academics project onto race. There will be black and white disparities because as a whole, a greater proportion of white people are economically advantaged. Any comparison by race must be a comparison of people of similar income and wealth, because a person’s financial circumstances are the root of so many disadvantages. Opportunist academics thirsty to draw attention to their work, procure funding, and enjoy the spotlight use economic causation to imply racial causation to reinforce racial biases.
Racial discrimination in employment is undermined by the general unemployment trend between black and white people in the workforce. If there is a racial bias for white employees, when there is an economic downturn that causes unemployment rates to rise, the unemployment rate of black people would rise while the unemployment rate of white people would lag behind and rise much slower. The function being that downsizing companies retain their white employees and fire their black employees first. Secondly, when there is growth and recovery and unemployment rates begin to fall, the black unemployment rate would fall much slower. During recovery the availability of white job seekers would allow employers to hire white people at an advantageous rate. The trends do not show a significant difference in the rise and fall of unemployment rates between white people and black people. The trends show that during economic contraction, the unemployment rates for black and white people increase at about the same rate, and during expansion the unemployment rates decline at a similar rate. The unemployment rates of black and white people rise and fall together, meaning there is no racial preference for employees.
12: Graphic Source William M. Rodgers III Race in the Labor Market: The Role of Equal Employment Opportunity and Other Policies, The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences December 2019, 5 (5) 198-220; DOI: https://doi.org/10.7758/RSF.2019.5.5.10 I skimmed this article and I’m citing it because I’m using the authors graph. The author asserts the key finding is higher unemployment rates for minority groups that he implies is evidence of racial disparities, whereas the key finding to me is that the rates rise and fall at the same rate which shows there is no discrimination in employement opportunties. Furthermore, the higher unemployment rates for minority groups is a product of economic causation where poor people tend to stay unemployed because the opportunities that exist for poor people are low quality. If the rates of unemployment were controlled for by class, poor white people would have unemployment rates similar to those observed by minorities which is explained in the body.
The unemployment rate of black people is higher than the unemployment rate of white people and this has been a consistent trend for decades. Again this isn’t about race, it is about class, where the opportunities available to poor people are inadequate and discourage poor people from seeking employment. If the unemployment rate between black people and white people is considered based on income and wealth distribution levels, I surmise that as is the case with most other race based assertions the discrepancy will disappear. People with poor income opportunities cycle between working, becoming unemployed, and leaving the workforce.
It’s difficult enough for people to work a job they don’t enjoy doing when their salary is enough to comfortably sustain themselves and provide them with the means to do when they’re not working. To work a job you don’t want to be doing which isn’t only the work itself but also subordinating yourself to an authority when the wages being paid are insufficient or barely sufficient to meet your expenses is discouraging. While it may seem obvious that unemployed people will be among those in the bottom of the income distribution, what is meant by that statement is that starting from a low income family limits development and leaves people without the means to create their own opportunity. People beginning poor creates a greater likelihood that people will choose not to work which is why black people have higher unemployment and is probably similar to the unemployment rate of white people who begin poor.
The comparison of criminal justice outcomes by race is also misleading, not only because class is a determinative element in outcomes, but due to the diversity of factors considered in sentencing. Criminal history, character witnesses, employment, the general opportunities and support a defendant has, variations in the perspective of judges, as well the circumstances of a crime are all elements that determine sentencing outcomes. While class can create an advantage in representation between a paid lawyer and a public defender, as mentioned, a private attorney is not the only advantage. Family support and the perceived quality of that support weighs heavily in the mind of a judge as to whether the convicted is likely to reoffend or become productive. The advantage of private attorneys is understated in research, where overall private attorneys do not produce a significantly lower rate of conviction or less severe sentences. However, if we compare public defenders to elite private attorneys that are inaccessible by the means of most people, there is a great deal of divergence in outcomes.
A study found “Black and Latino defendants were less likely than White defendants to have charges decreased. Conversely, Asian defendants experienced even more favorable outcomes than White defendants as they were more likely to have charges reduced and less likely to experience an increase.”(13) Comparing race as a whole this is true. Why? Because as a whole white defendants are more likely to come from money to hire an attorney, or benefit from other class oriented advantages that increase the likelihood of favorable outcomes. The study also found that Asian defendants have a better chance of favorable outcomes than white people. Why is this? Asians have the highest median income in the country. If we compare the charge reduction by race and class, the disparities will likely disappear. Sorry academics can study discrepancies of race and always find a popular correlation because economic disadvantage will alway yield discrepancies between races.
13: BESIKI LUKA KUTATELADZE 12/4/2017 “TRACING CHARGE TRAJECTORIES: A STUDY OF THE INFLUENCE OF RACE IN CHARGE CHANGES AT CASE SCREENING, ARRAIGNMENT, AND DISPOSITION”. Quoted portion form abstract. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1745-9125.12166
The biggest mystery to me is whether academics knowingly conduct biased research to advance their own personal interests to the detriment of the species, or if they are really too stupid to realize that causation is a product of proportional contact not proportional population. While I believe the former is much more likely than the latter, the latter is still plausible based on the propensity of human beings to choose paths of study that reinforce bias while avoiding information that challenges biases. The general population engages in the same behavior, the difference is they accept opinion as fact based on whether it is consistent with other things they like, whereas the career minded self serving researcher is tasked with misrepresenting data and providing faulty conclusions for the pitchmen (media, politicians, celebrities, activists, and other influential people) to present to the public.
What is Morality
Morality is a person’s understanding of right and wrong that defines aspects of identity and is tied to self worth. Moral assignments produce motivating and prohibitive feelings. Motivating in the observation of wrong acts where a person becomes motivated to make what’s wrong right. Prohibitive when a person intends to commit an act they believe is morally wrong.
There are two sets of prohibitive feelings experienced prior to an action. There is fear of consequence, and morality.
A negative feeling for fear of consequence occurs whenever an action has consequences to other objectives. For example, a person may want something in a store they cannot afford. They may have thoughts about the setting (is anyone watching, if I put it in my pocket will anyone see it, etc) and these thoughts help a person determine the probability of the consequence. Secondly, they’ll think about the consequences if they are caught (an encounter with store security, police, fine, jail, etc). As they think about these things they feel (in some proportion) what they would feel if they were experiencing the imagined scenario. They’ll also think about the object and feel the anticipated feelings of possessing the object.
A person will proceed with the action if 1: they believe the probability of the consequence is low. 2: The consequence does not severely impact other objectives. 3: If the feelings believed to be generated by the item, is greater than the feelings generated by the objectives the action has consequences for.
One distinguishing feature of an act prevented through fear of consequence and an act prevented through morality is sometimes a person feels bad for not following through on an act due to fear of consequence. The negative feeling is typically a product of a loss of self worth, either because they were deterred by fear, or because the passing opportunity is perceived as a failure. When one abstains from an act prohibited by morality, the person typically feels good about themselves because the decision demonstrates that they are a representation of what they believe is good.
Sometimes the production of fear of consequence becomes an objective, because the release from the fear is the production of a positive feeling. This is why people ride roller coasters, go to haunted houses, and watch movies they find frightening. Adrenaline junkies, thieves, robbers, fighters, and risk takers in general, do what they do sometimes more for the sensation of being released from fear, than they do for the objective itself.
Prohibitive moral feelings are distinct from fear of consequence for two reasons. First, a prohibitive moral feeling occurs when there is no consequence. Second, morality is intertwined with our self worth. Most people do things because they believe them to be right or good, therefore going against what a person believes to be good forces them to acknowledge they have been a bad person for having committed a bad act.
At the point a person intends to commit what is perceived to be an immoral act the person will experience a negative feeling. This negative feeling is imposed to protect self worth by preventing the person from committing the act. Should the individual proceed with an act they believe to be immoral at some point after the act they will feel bad as a result of a loss in self worth.
Self-worth is restored through the passage of time, justification, atonement, or through the changing of a person’s morality. The changing of morality is different from justification in that justification is the process of justifying the action through the interpretation of the circumstances that precipitated the act; whereas changing morality is deciding that the act is no longer wrong.
The changing of morality is a process where the value of an act (the feelings produced by an objective) exceeds the negative feelings experienced by the loss of self worth, and overtime, the person no longer sees the act as being morally wrong. People’s morality is usually relative, so an act a person once abstained from for moral reasons may not cease to be considered morally wrong, but their perception of how wrong it is changes to the point where it is so minor as to no longer deter behavior. The recurring act is considered through automatic justification, said act isn’t as bad as other acts and nobody is perfect. Not to stray too far from the subject, but in liberty the concern is with the unprovoked intention to impose.
Morality is the ideas a person has of right and wrong and is a check on behavior by imposing feelings for wrong acts. Morality can also motivate behavior through positive feelings associated with preventing wrong acts or righting a wrong act. Morality is distinguished from fear of consequence in that morality produces prohibitive feelings in the absence of any foreseeable consequence. Morality is also distinguished from fear of consequence in that the value being impacted is the value of one’s self, where fear of consequence is a product of other objectives being threatened.
A Crisis of Demand
While this article was written in 2019, and prescription opioid abuse is no longer as prevalent as it was, the article is still relevant in addressing a popular misconception. Misconceptions pertaining to drug abuse generally, as well as the idea that the abuse of prescription opioid medications were caused by a deceptive marketing campaign.
Pharmaceutical companies reached a settlement with the state of Oklahoma for 270 million dollars for deceptive marketing that the state claims is responsible for the opioid crisis. The idea that the “opioid crisis” is due to over prescribing caused by a deceptive marketing campaign by the manufacturer is not rooted in reality. Yet in the minds of many Americans the media has attempted to reduce the cause of widespread opioid addiction over the last decade and a half to Purdue Pharma’s deceptive marketing campaign, whereby doctors unknowingly over prescribed the medication to patients who took the medication as directed and became addicts. This is not how it happened.
First, about 10 years ago the company added a filler to OxyContin which eliminated its value to substance abusers. The filler prevented the pills from being crushed to be snorted or injected.
I bought OxyContin in bulk from a few different people who were prescribed them. My best supplier sold me 80mg tablets for $25 each and I would sell them for $40 to $55 depending on the quantity purchased. Typical resale market value was about $60 per 80mg tablet, ($.75per mg) but depending on availability in an area people were charging as much as a dollar per mg. Prior to the filler being added the pills were stamped OC. After the filler pills were stamped OP.
I received a call from a friend who told me about the change. He said “there’s new OCs going around but they say OP on the pill, don’t pick em up because no one’s going to buy em. They can’t “bang em” (inject) or snort em”.
People were calling me about OPs. They were trying to sell them to me for less than 15 cents a mg, 80mg OPs for $10. Eventually I picked up 60mg OPs for $5 each, feeling like I could at least get $10 per pill if someone was sick (withdrawing). They did not sell, which isn’t to say I didn’t sell any but it was few and far apart. Even for a person who only has $20 who is sick, they would rather spend the $20 on a small bag of heroin which will give them a fleeting high and will eliminate their symptoms temporarily, rather than an OP that when orally ingested will only provide them partial relief from the symptoms of their sickness. The opioid crisis did not end in 2008 or 2009 when the change took place.
After the change, instant release oxycodone was still being prescribed at a maximum strength of 30mg. These pills were not flooding the market because doctors were fooled by the manufacturer into believing they were safe. Among people I knew nearly everyone had a prescription. A friend told me about a doctor I could see, and we agreed on a number of pills I would give him if the doctor worked out. It was customary to provide gratuity to a person who “plugged” you with a doctor.
I went to the doctor, paid him $150 cash and told him I had back pain. I told him I was prescribed 30mg oxycodone that I took 4 times per day. The reason for the interruption in use was because I was out of work and couldn’t afford the doctor visits. I have been coping with the pain since the cessation of use. Now I need medication so I can return to work. He didn’t really care about the explanation. Offering a plausible story was more for my comfort than it was for his.
He had me perform a few tests associated with pain and movement. I was given a two-week supply of 15mg oxycodone (60 tablets) and I was scheduled to return in two weeks. This was the general process to ensure a patient wouldn’t overdose on 30mg tabs. When I returned in two-weeks I told him I had to double up on dosages while working and then I would be in pain in the evening. I was given a prescription for 120 30mg oxycodone.
This doctor was shut down before I could return for my next month appointment, but I had what I needed which was the prescription. Most “pill mill” doctors were not as loose as this particular doctor, but they were still loose, especially with cash customers. I went to another doctor. I told him my doctor relocated his practice and I needed a new pain management doctor. I gave him my prescription from the previous month. He performed a few in office tests similar to the other doctor and wrote my prescription. I went to this doctor monthly for probably close to a year give or take a few months.
This doctor as all these doctors do required a urinalysis. I usually didn’t take the pills, but I did smoke marijuana which the doctors didn’t have much of a problem with. I would pee in the cup and then take the powder residue from inside an empty pill bottle with my finger and mix the residue with the urine, which would cause the urine to test positive for oxycodone. This is called peppering and it created the illusion I was taking my medication.
A lot of people went to this doctor and among people in this lifestyle (drug sales and drug dependence) when people had issues with one another they would maliciously call people’s doctors. They tell the doctor the patient was using drugs, has someone else’s urine, is peppering and so on and so forth. Allegations that may bring the patient under additional scrutiny and cause him to lose his or her doctor(s). (many people had more than one doctor). I don’t know for sure, but I surmise this may have been the case with this particular doctor because he changed his method of drug testing.
I remember walking into the doctor’s office and seeing people sitting in chairs with what looked like thermometers hanging out of their mouth. The doctor switched to a saliva test. I had no oxycodone in my system. He wrote me my prescription and later in the week I received an email stating I had been discharged for not taking my medication.
Before the next month I had another doctor. After a few months at this doctor I made a mistake. I ingested a hydromorphone which is a morphine pill about 4 days before my appointment. Usually these substances are out of your system in 48 hours but it came up in my urinalysis.
By the time I was due for my next month’s prescription, I had another doctor which I kept until I left the state and changed my lifestyle. I obtained prescriptions from 4 different doctors without furnishing an X-ray, an MRI, or any referral diagnosis from a primary care physician. I was about 26 or 27 when I received my 1st prescription and most of the people I knew who received prescriptions were in their 20s.
The point is, doctors didn’t prescribe OxyContin and oxycodone because the manufacturer caused them to believe it wasn’t a highly addictive and dangerous substance. Doctors prescribed these drugs because of market demand from the public. The demand already existed and the percentage of people in the United States who will develop a dependency is determined by factors unrelated to supply.
There was a greater ease of procurement of these drugs but it was caused by the willingness of doctors to prescribe it FOR PROFIT. If you are a doctor with a private practice you can conservatively see up to 4 patients an hour. That’s $600 an hour which reflects the market rate of the referenced period, based on 4 different doctors who all charged $150 per visit. Working an 8-hour day, 4 patients per hour, at $150 per patient, is nearly $5000 per day in sales. 100,000 a month on a 5-day work week. $1.2 million per year.
When someone comes to see you about pain management and they’re asking for specific medication by telling you it is what they were prescribed and it worked for their pain; are you going to prescribe hydrocodone and muscle relaxers or are you going to give them what they want? If you choose the conservative course of action that patient will never return. There is going to be no referral from that patient and chances are your practice is going to struggle and may fail. Option two. You give the patient what they want. This patient tells everyone they know they found a new doctor and refers people to your practice. Within a month or two you have to stop accepting new patients because your schedule is full, and in a year, you’ve made close to a million dollars or more. What would you do?
The second reason for the shift in the market deals with understanding how drug habits are adopted. Drugs are spread socially. If someone you know does cocaine, at some point a person is going to become interested in trying it, or eventually out of courtesy, the user is going to offer you cocaine. If a highly addictive pill finds them before cocaine, now the person you know who does cocaine isn’t doing cocaine they’re sniffing pills. In both cases there is the risk of spreading substance abuse, the only difference is the substance.
Some may argue that because pills are more socially acceptable there is a greater likelihood that people who may not have become addicts due to the stigma of cocaine or heroin, became addicts due to the socially acceptable medium of a pill. This isn’t a point that can be measured because there is no way to determine if a person would not have developed any dependency had they not exposed themselves to opioids.
Still, the manufacturer can hardly be blamed for social norms. Even the argument that the manufacturer infiltrated the market through a less stigmatized medium (pills) with an addictive substance they minimized the danger of, is of no merit, because it is the doctors who prescribed it. Doctors who prescribe opioids were not ignorant of the effects and neither were the patients. In fact, some doctors who prescribed oxycodone also treated substance abuse with suboxone.
An increase in the overall percentage of the population who has substance abuse issues can be attributed to the recession. People use drugs to cope with stress and the number one cause of stress in the United States is money. People sell drugs because they have limited opportunities to make money and have time doing other things which can in part be attributed to the 2008 recession and near collapse of the banks caused by defaults on mortgage backed securities derivatives.
Addiction has everything to do with your perceived purpose and to what extent drugs interfere with your purposes. I mentioned previously, I went to a doctor and I peppered my urine because I didn’t have the medication in my system, which was true during that time, but I also binged on the substance from time to time and dealt with the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.
My binge was managed, I may crush up and snort a total of 20 to 45mg a day for a week or two weeks. I recognized that use was interfering with the purposes I wanted to serve in life, and I would stop. Sometimes I’d use marijuana as a crutch for the symptoms and play video games to hold my attention and pass the time. Your stomach is in knots, you can’t sleep, your body aches, anxiety is almost palpable, there is the feeling of an agitating vibration all over your body, you get hot and then cold, and you become extremely depressed, but as long as you acknowledge the source of your depression is the withdrawal, you move past it, and eventually get a good night sleep and you’re fine.
Some people work dead-end jobs that barely pay their bills, and with no real prospects for improvement they cope with these circumstances using drugs, and sometimes this use becomes a dependency. Sometimes dependency doesn’t interfere with their lives. Some people’s substance use is maintained responsibly, they go to work, they pay their bills, take care of their kids, and they use drugs on a daily basis. There are a lot of people who go to work high every day.
Purpose is the key to recovery from dependency. This is why 12 step programs which are the most common roads to recovery require belief in a higher power. An individual’s purpose becomes pleasing this higher power who disapproves of their drug use, but who also is more powerful than the drug. The circumstances that caused the dependency to begin with remain unchanged, which is why everyone who was an addict and subscribes to this recovery line of reasoning, doesn’t recover but is always recovering. They assign an addictive personality label to the individual, but their recovery through the program hinges almost entirely on their loyalty to the higher power.
Bear in mind I have no problem with whatever a person does to improve their life or to make their life more of what they want it to be (so long as what they do is unimposing), but I do have a problem with how these programs brainwash people. The substance is more powerful than the user, only through service to a higher power can they avoid the substance, and the existence of the substance coupled with their impotence to manage use is the source of their problems. The problem doesn’t begin with the substance and the user, the problem begins with the circumstances that cause the user to want to use it.
Absent is the acknowledgement of the economic circumstances including a lack of opportunity to be productive, to have purpose, or to be adequately compensated for work performed. Circumstances which likely still exist but may be more manageable due to their new-found purpose of fighting drug addiction, which they are taught develops in a vacuum: due to the power of the drug and the user being powerless over it. Lasting recovery is usually the result of purpose derived from the crusade against drugs, and relapse should be associated with the circumstances that made the user susceptible to dependency to begin with.
The “opioid crisis” is also promoted more than other substance abuse based on the industry that has grown up around it. The recovery industry. On any given day, in nearly any given area, at nearly any given time a person can turn on broadcast TV and see commercials for opioid treatment. Many of these treatment centers are in the same general business as the doctors were, which is long term prescription sales. Some doctors are still in this business having changed their focus from opioid distribution through the pretext of pain management, to opioid addiction recovery. Probably the same rate, same demand, but a different substance and less scrutiny.
Substance abuse treatment is usually covered by insurance, and most people with substance dependency have state insurance. This treatment option which sometimes attaches counseling to it, is primarily an indefinite term treatment where heroin or prescription opiate dependency is substituted for another substance, methadone, suboxone, or zubutol. There are people taking this medication for years. The facilities profit by billing insurance companies for prescribing the substituted substance. Marketing the opioid crisis is central to their business.
This idea that doctors unknowingly prescribed medication because the manufacturer hid the dangers of the medication is an effort to bring something to blame other than the failings of American society. It is the economic, political, and social order that produces circumstances of dissatisfaction that lead to drug dependency. But the American myth must be preserved. The American myth consists of the intents of liberty, justice, and opportunity with which this country was founded on and operates under, inclusive of the idea that the US represents these values in foreign policy. The problems have to be compartmentalized. Drugs are the problem, suppliers of drugs are the problem, Purdue Pharma and the Sackler’s caused an opioid crisis, not the circumstances that created a demand for drugs, and not the doctors who knowingly prescribed the drugs for their own financial gain. Critique of “the American way” is outside the spectrum of the acceptable “limits of controversy”.
People didn’t become drug addicts by taking their prescription as directed in the frequency and in manner it was prescribed: orally not nasally or intravenously, and every 6 hours AS NEEDED for pain. People knew what they were doing and the deceptive efforts by the manufacturer to promote their product had no bearing on the demand or the supply. But someone had to take the blame. America cannot be responsible for the circumstances it produces that cause people to want to use and abuse drugs. Demand for drugs existed before OxyContin, as well as after OxyContin.
Overdose deaths have increased significantly, but the greatest recent catalyst for overdose deaths isn’t abuse of prescription medication but the use of fentanyl to increase the potency of heroin. Fentanyl is as I understand it the strongest pain killer on the market.
Adding Fentanyl to heroin allows for the distributor to step on it (add to it) without diluting the potency of the product. Imagine you have a kilo of heroin. If you add a kilo of filler you have twice as much product but with half the potency. Fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than heroin. Which means you can double up a kilogram and maintain the same potency by adding 10 grams of Fentanyl.
The heroin market is driven by quality. In Milwaukee you used to be able to walk down the street in certain areas and people will ask you if you’re looking for a sample. (Milwaukee is also one of the most segregated cities in the United States. You have large portions of the city’s north side that are near exclusively black. If you’re in some of those areas and you’re white, you’re probably there looking for drugs.) It is a buyers-market, and once an addict finds a person with a quality product, they will buy from that person whenever that person is “good” (has drugs). Even if the bags are smaller and it is more of a hassle to go through said individual, quality is king when it comes to heroin users.
Beyond adding Fentanyl for the purpose of stretching the product, Fentanyl may be added to enhance potency, and I have heard of batches of what users were calling synthetic heroin. Synthetic heroin being basically “dummy bags” (all cut no drugs) mixed with Fentanyl.
When the heroin is cut with a drug that is 100 times more potent, the product isn’t assembled to guarantee an even distribution of heroin, filler, and fentanyl. As a result, some people are going to be distributing weak batches, and others are going to be distributing heavy batches containing more fentanyl per parts than heroin or filler. A person who has a usual dose that gets them high, if they shoot up that usual dose and it is heavy in fentanyl, they die.
The other side of opioid death occurs when users are either released from jail or they relapse. They don’t consider how their tolerance to the drug has decreased and they use a dose of the same quantity they were using when they were getting high on a regular basis, and they die.
I am primarily motivated by bringing to light that the cause of drug abuse does not stem from a single entity or a group. It is not true that in the absence of the manufacture of a single substance, and in the absence of deceptive marketing of that product, that a drug epidemic would have been averted. A drug epidemic exists because of political, economic, and social systems that create the circumstances that produce the demand for drugs.
The opioid crisis was a crisis of demand.
The following is a conversation between Joe Rogan and Bill Corgen, and in the video Corgen describes opioid prescription driven by public demand in Florida which probably operated similarly to how it did in Wisconsin. In fact my second doctor was from Florida.
Joe Rogan and Bill Corgen Why Florida is Crazy (1)
Bill Corgen mentions Florida during the height of oxycontin oxycodone prescribing. He confirms the demand originated from the public driving the distribution from doctors. He explains people with prescriptions in Florida would drive to Georgia to distribute them. He goes on to explain how the trend changed and eventually there were people from other states driving to Florida who were prescribed pills by doctors or purchased them from Floridians to distribute them in their state. Again, this isn’t a misleading marketing campaign causing doctors to overprescribe, it is for profit doctors, responding to a demand for drugs that already existed from the public.
(Format didn’t copy but it’s still readable)
INT. BAR – DAY
JAMES and THE GREETER are sitting in the bar. There are multiple empty glasses in front of them.
In a space of tyranny, right and wrong is determined by the most powerful being in that space. Not only right and wrong, but that being imposes on other beings as he pleases and decides what they can do in that space.
Within the tyrant’s space he is able to manipulate the perception of the consciousnesses within that space. A being’s reality takes shape through what the tyrant projects on their consciousness and that is the reality the consciousness interacts within.
Okay, but how about if the Tyrant likes you?
Hitler for example must be loved by the Tyrant and has a privileged existence?
You would think that. Beings tend to like those who have the same values. But a big part of The Tyrant’s motivation is supremacy. Having power over others. When other beings assert power over others to him it is a challenge to his supremacy. The docile, passive, and religious tyrants typically are given better experiences than the overt tyrants. Favor is gained through submission and praise, but even having the favor of the tyrant is not a good experience.
EXT. FORREST – DUSK
JOHN and THE TYRANT are walking on the trail in the forrest and the sun is beginning to set.
I’ve killed a man. Does this mean I am going to
You didn’t kill anyone, you caused someone to die. Causing someone to die without the intent to kill isn’t an indication of your moral understanding and application. You were negligent, but you didn’t consciously set out to kill someone, believe it was right, or do it because you didn’t care that it was wrong.
Hell doesn’t exist as you conceive it. The space of tyranny is a space where you’re subject to the authority of the being who is supreme in that space. [Pause] Isn’t that what you wanted? Isn’t that what you prayed for as a child? You pray the lord your soul to take no? Everlasting life. The kingdom of heaven is a kingdom is it not? And within a kingdom is there not a king? And those within a kingdom are under the authority of the king.
I prayed to Jesus. Jesus is my lord.
It doesn’t matter if you’re worshiping Jesus, Allah, YWYH, or any other deity, what you are praying to is the supreme tyrant, and I am not bound by the attributes you supply. And if you prefer, “why ye call me Lord, Lord, but you don’t do what I say”?
In your life you were supplied with advantages that allowed you to do much of what you wanted. Relative to people within your own country and especially compared to those in other places on your planet. You selectively chose what portions of your mythology you would follow. Choosing that which allowed you to enjoy your life without any concern for how your consent and participation for what existed prevented others from having a decent quality of life. You blamed others for their inability to overcome circumstances that you knew nothing about. Professionally you worked to secure advantages for the advantaged.
I didn’t know. How can I be held responsible for things I didn’t know? All things done in ignorance should be forgiven. How can these things be any indication of my morality when I didn’t know I was doing anything wrong?
What determines what a person knows? What a person knows is what they like. What they like directs their attention, and where their attention is directed determines what a person knows and what they are ignorant of. What you didn’t know is determined by your values.
A man who is anchored in objectivity can come to understand these things. In fact there is a man in your country alive when you were alive who understands all the things I’m sharing with you. He’s shut out because people do not want to hear things that challenge their beliefs. His life is the evidence that a person can come into an understanding of objective morality.
How can you say I was indifferent? I’ve made
regular charitable contributions? I gave.
Yes, to serve your own interests to shield
yourself from tax liability, to gain the favor
of people associated with those charities, and
to improve your image to others through those
contributions. This doesn’t change that you
were indifferent to what produced the need
For the existence of charities to begin with.
I’m being punished for my success? [Stated with agression] How about all the fucking jobs created through the legislation that I created support for?
Before you begin citing your think tank propaganda built upon wishful speculation hinging on the word if, we both know that what you created support for benefited advantaged parties. The prioritization of different interests could have produced legislation that would have created more and better opportunities for people.
Your indifference in life is a component of your morality but even absent this indifference your morality was still tyrannical?
How. I’m not a bad person.. I didn’t steal, I didn’t hurt people.
You have done those things and you were also a promoter of deception. In causing people to believe something is true when it is not, or something that is true is not true has profound effects on liberty. People do what they like but what they like has a lot to do with what they believe is true. This promotion of deception causes people to do what they wouldn’t do if they knew what was true.
Yesterday the man who brought the cattle to the campsite returned. We exchanged greetings, he told me the location where he had water collection or storage was one of two places his cattle could get water. I told him I saw them the previous day and when one of them stepped on (or kicked) something metal (probably kicked the basin) they got spooked and went down the hill, (or at least out of sight). He asked how long I planned on staying up there and I told him a couple days. I actually planned on staying up there until next Tuesday.
This morning I left. At first I went east on 159, it begins going higher up and then descends into this strange area with old town like structures that seems to be mostly abandoned or part time property.(1) I drove through the quasi town of at most 40 properties visible from 159, it was interesting. I had a little bit of storage space left on my phone and was able to record some of the drive through. The road becomes dirt and there is a sign that says the road should only be driven by high clearance vehicles and mine is not. So I decided I’d be careful and if there’s no place to turn around and I can’t proceed; then I’ll back out of this bitch a mile, two miles, or whatever the distance is from where I can’t go forward anymore and the last place to turn around. I went just beyond these four puddles and then there was some standing water in a low area and I didn’t feel confident about continuing through it. I thought I’d be alright but the severity of the consequence harmed an anchoring objective which was being able to drive my car out of this forest, and all the other purposes the car presently serves, so the immediate objective of proceeding was of less value than the anchoring objective. I’m not thinking any of this at the time, my reaction is I’m not fucking with that, and that response is a product of that subconscious risk processing.
1: I later discovered on a map that this was an old mining town called Mogollon.
This leads to a more significant explanation of sequencing and comparison.
I went north on what I believe is 180. There was a small town called Alma, otherwise just the gas station was called Alma. I remember the sign outside of the gas station. I remembered the word meant something, my first thought was something spanish. I remembered later the word Alma is Hebrew for young woman. I learned this by reading a rabbi’s reply to a woman’s letter, where the word alma means young woman, a word that has been mistranslated in Christian bibles to say virgin in the old testament, despite the word being accurately translated in other places in the bible. He uses a proverb as an example, where the proverb including the word alma is used to describe things that do not leave a trace, in reference to fornicating with an alma, which would be a bad example of things that do not leave a trace since fornicating with a virgin leaves blood. This verse is in a paragraph with three examples of things that do not leave traces, I think one is the trail of an eagle soaring through the sky. That example I provided isn’t part of the verse verbatim, but is the idea I remember from it.
The word alma cues the objective to complete the sequence? Alama means young woman, and this is motion, it is preserved as a sequence, despite consciously thinking about it as a symbol, or symbols represent motion.
I thought Spanish, and had it been a Spanish word, then Spanish would have been the beginning of the sequence, Spanish, alma, the meaning; the same except it was alma, young woman, Hebrew, recalled in that order. Why would it begin with Spanish if alma was a Spanish word? It would begin Spanish because the words I know in Spanish begin from that point, whereas I don’t know any Hebrew words so the object Hebrew isn’t known to produce any effects, except for the word alma. I don’t think Hebrew first, because Hebrew is not an object known to produce any effects, or I don’t know that I know any Hebrew words. I begin with Alma, then remember the definition, and then remember the word is Hebrew in the context of that definition.
After stopping at this gas station and purchasing some gas, a monster, chips, and sandwich I turned on the something informed, credible, NPR knock off radio station as I drove.
The first item I heard was an interview of Rakim, an old school rapper who said when the crack epidemic hit, overnight the neighborhood changed and it was the beginning of crime and drug dependency more or less.(2) That was about all I heard from it, shutting it off after the interviewer quoted a lyric that read his favorite subject at high school was lunch.
2: This narrative seeks to reinforce conspiracy theory once prevalent among black people especially those involved in hip hop that the government introduced crack into black communities to destroy black communities. As if the poverty, inadequate opportunity, and criminality and drug dependency that results from those circumstances didn’t exist prior to crack; and the government and white people more generally were responsible for destroying black communities with crack. In some sense the government past was responsible for a disproportionate number of black people being poor and existing within those circumstances due to past state sanctioned discrimination, but there was no concerted effort by the government to make those circumstances worse by introducing crack to black neighborhoods. I’m not saying this was Rakim’s motivation for stating what he personally observed, but that is a somewhat popular conspiracy theory many people in hip hop subscribed to.
1st, crime and drug dependency didn’t begin with crack, it began with disadvantaged and trapping circumstances. Drugs are an opportunity for liberation where an individual can have time and money for people who could a: get some money together or some credit with someone to get a large enough quantity to break down and sell. Who could save their money to reinvest to make more money, who had trusted suppliers, security, and enough regular clientele. Drugs are also a means for people to accept, cope, and remain content with trapped circumstances. In an environment where most people do not have money, people making money illegally increases robberies, and increases violence in people’s efforts to project an image that will promote security, which is vital to staying in business.
The illegality of drugs is what creates that opportunity for disadvantaged people, which is why I’ve never been a proponent of legalizing marijuana. It takes opportunities for income from the disadvantaged and gives them to the advantaged. To be in compliance with the regulations requires money that most disadvantaged people do not have, whereas when it is illegal it is a moderately low risk high reward opportunity for disadvantaged people. I wouldn’t want to roll that back anywhere even if it could be, instead I’d rather increase the means and opportunity for disadvantaged people to have time and money legally. But in the absence of better opportunity I support the states who still prohibit marijuanna possession.
The next piece I heard was a neuro cognition researcher from Arizona University who was talking about his study. He created virtual shopping settings that were similar but not the same. The purpose was to measure how people confuse like things for the same thing. He tried to make the research relevant by stating if you’re from a rural area you could mistake some trail for a similar trail if you move. The examples provided generally were mistaking a similar landmark which would cause you to confuse one place with another.
First, I thought this is a great example of pissing away time and money on something that does nothing to advance human interests. To have a study to show people can confuse similar settings as the same setting. I don’t believe it is as acute as the researcher portrays it to be, implying that if there was a Walgreens on a corner that looked similar to a Walgreens in your former town you would become disoriented. Given the similarity of everything around us, if this were a problem you wouldn’t have to create an experiment to measure it, you would have people reporting it and you could study the reports or conduct surveys. More irrelevant research. The experiment itself, where like things are created and presented, probably increases the prevalence of mistaking similar things for the same thing.
If we’re confusing a similar place for a familiar place there are different causes depending on the circumstances and the objective. If we’re talking about a place and landmarks for example, we’re beginning with a navigation objective, where the landmark serves as a cause in a sequence. It may not even be anything as significant as a turn to get to a certain place, it may be preparatory, where the lake is here and then over the hill is the barn and I turn on the next street. If you move to a different area and there is a lake and a hill that reminds you of another setting, you’re not going to become lost thinking you’re in that other setting. Maybe if you have me watch a a video tour of 5 different Walmarts, I’m going to miss key details and mistake one for another, but that isn’t evidence that there is a problem with people confusing similar things for the same things that poses a problem that needs to be studied, to be better understood to find a solution to improve human function.
Based on his title people will think this guy is smart when his attention has been focused on remembering a lot of horse shit like people confuse similar things as the same things, and conducting self fulfilling research to advance his own career interests. Not only failing to serve a human interest, but failing to meaningfully advance the knowledge in his field even on a non practical level.
In ASC we begin with the objective, where motion takes place within a setting. Seeing a familiar object can cause you to believe said object is that object, where if one object say a landmark is believed to be the landmark from a different place, the effects that object produces will be sequenced from that object. Where, for example, you see the familiar lake, it produces the sequence of the hill, and the barn, and you could think you’re in that place. The problem is even if this occurred, when you didn’t see the barn you would recognize the contradiction and know you are not there.
I can understand how this happens in less familiar places, places you’ve seen in passing which brings me to another identified element of ASC. In an effort to complete sequences, memory is colored. If for example you don’t remember what happened you may fill in the gaps according to what you believe took place to create the parts you do remember. I don’t know if this is what the researcher meant by conducting an experiment through the creation of virtual shopping centers, but I imagine it to be something like I mentioned where you would walk through perhaps with a headset, and then be expected to identify and distinguish between which shopping center was which. If this is what it is or something similar, the participant is going to establish sequences that end in the identification of each shopping center. An example would be the entrance is here, the frozen goods are here, the clothing is here, the bathrooms are here, and that is store x. These are not layers, these are a sequence even if not held together in order through memory. If you have two stores with similar layouts, if you cannot remember a point within a store, the missing point may be filled in to complete the sequence, and since the sequence is similar to another sequence it may be filled in by the point in the known sequence, since it is similar. For example let’s say the details are 1 2 3 4 is 5, and 1 2 3 6 is 7, if you remember 1 2 3, if you can’t remember 6, the most likely missing point is 4 which means it’s 5. Or if you see the entrance, frozen goods, sign, and clothes and this is store one, but store two is the entrance, frozen goods, clothes, and check out, if you can’t remember the check out, remembering entrance, frozen goods, and clothes, may cause you to think store one.
Would have been nice if the interviewer was half competent and asked some questions relevant to the study, like what was the experience for the participants, what questions are they asked, how are the different settings presented, how much time passed between the participant experience and when they are asked to distinguish between the stores. Something relevant to know what the experiment actually is instead of just trying to reinforce the points made by the researcher.
I also heard the station reporting on the new strain of coronavirus and what steps the UK was taking in reimplementing indoor mask mandates. It is unbelievable how far this has gone and is going. People are being controlled by the CDC, and keep consuming propaganda designed to ensure the perpetual sale of vaccines and other industrial advantages produced through the hyper concern over a virus that is not a danger to the lives of a great majority (near totality) of the population, in the neighborhood of 99%. Does the public know that covid-19 wasn’t the first version of coronavirus? That roughly each year sometimes more or less frequently there were variations of coronavirus. The difference was they didn’t name them and advertise them to the public prior to covid-19, they numbered them, hence the title covid-19. There will continue to be variants as have been recorded through the previous years, but now they’ll be named and marketed to the sensitive herd.
It reminds me of something I wrote about in the covid-19 media project, where Anthony Fauci said even without a virus like coronavirus in circulation people should never shake hands. People are taking advice from someone whose idea of a risk to health is shaking hands before the scamdemic. His portrayal of the risk of covid has definitely benefited him personally in supporting the narrative that is beneficial to the media in attracting attention to coverage, and politicians and the interests they represent. I was at Walmart in Las Cruces, NM, and as I stated, I was in the store probably 2 to 3 minutes before I saw a person who wasn’t wearing a mask. You go to El Paso 40 miles away other than people working in service no one was wearing a mask. Based on the amount of people in Las Cruces Walmart who were wearing masks you would think people in El Paso would be dropping like flies. Of course that’s not the case. Just surprising to see since I thought that stupid shit was done after the vaccine.
I have one more entry to write that will be more substantial but it’s 11:03 so I think I’m going to write it in the morning. I beat an old Nintendo game called Shingen the Ruler that I’m going to break down into the motion that produced that result, in functions. I probably spent over 24 hours playing the game.
Decision Making Process: Identifying the Subconscious Components of the Decision Making Process.
There are 4 elements of the decision making process: Value, Energy, Consequence, and Morality.
If I give you the option to take a $1 bill, a $5 bill, or a $10 bill, which one would you choose?
A Person will typically choose the $10 bill because it has more value than the 5 dollar bill.
This is the conscious representation of the subconscious process of value.
We perceive our environment through valued opportunity. Subconsciously, value is the anticipated feelings an act will produce. Money is the facilitator of objectives and a person will take the $10 bill because $10 has a greater capacity to produce good feelings than the $5 or the $1.
The first component of the decision making process is the highest valued objective furnished by your immediate setting. You do what feels the best based on the opportunities to feel good in your immediate setting.
The positive feelings produced by the act is weighed against the energy required to complete the act. Is it worth the effort?
For example, you’re driving down the street and you noticed a car has stalled in the middle of an intersection. What determines whether you will stop to help push the car across the intersection? Ideas you have associated with helping the person will supply value to the act. Although there is no expectation for compensation for performing the act, you may pull over and help because you will feel good for having helped this person. The value (good feelings) supplied by the act is greater than the energy required to complete the act.
However, the positive feeling motivating the act may be the avoidance of a negative feeling. Where a person has ideas concerning their responsibility to help that will produce negative feelings if they do not help. They help because the energy required is less than the negative feelings they will experience if they do not help, and the positive feeling motivating the act is the avoidance of a negative feeling.
Altruism or selfless acts do not actually exist. The feeling the act generates is greater than the feeling the individual can achieve through the substance sacrificed. If you give a homeless person $1, the feeling gained through that sacrifice is greater than the feeling the person can experience by applying that $1 to other purposes.
The decision making process begins with the highest valued opportunity furnished by your immediate setting in consideration of the energy required to complete the act. In consideration of the 1st component and the example provided in this component of a stalled motorist, how about if the person who sees the stalled motorist is on their way to work and thinks they don’t have time to stop? Time both is and is not an object of value. In this scenario, a person thinking they don’t have time to stop because they have to get to work is actually expressing a subconscious value determination, which is being to work on time will produce a better feeling than helping the stalled motorist and being late.
Time is a valued object but in general terms that are not represented in the decision making process. I know this seems at odds with itself but the essence of it is anytime you don’t have time for something this represents a value comparison between objectives. It isn’t that you don’t have time for something, it’s that there is something you’d rather do more than the thing you believe you do not have time for.
A visual representation of energy as a component of the decision making process would be to consider there is a $100 bill, a $50 bill, and a $20 bill in your immediate environment. These dollar amounts represent the value of feelings an act will produce. To procure the $100 feeling requires energy that represents $90 of the feeling, and the $50 bill $35 of the feeling, but $20 feeling only requires $1 of the feeling in the energy required to procure it. The highest valued object in consideration of energy required is the $20 feeling.
A scenario based representation of the illustration in the previous paragraph would be to consider the $100 feeling is going fishing, the $50 feeling is going to an amusement park, and the $20 feeling is watching a movie at home.
You may like fishing more than the other two activities but it requires gathering your equipment, attaching your boat to your truck, getting fuel, maybe going to the bait shop, driving to the lake, launching the boat, then pulling the boat back on the trailer, driving home, unhitching your boat, and putting your equipment back. If you’re thinking about going fishing, you may think about some or all these components and the feelings generated by these ideas may cause you to choose not to go fishing. You’re not consciously thinking it isn’t worth the effort, but you’ll think about the parts that require effort and these thoughts are evidence of this process. This is what I mean by a $100 feeling that requires $90 in energy.
Going to the amusement park consists of similar effort, driving to the amusement park, parking, walking around, waiting in line, and perhaps the temperature that day may increase the amount of perceived effort required to enjoy the rides. Temperature can generally be thought about as an element of energy. Someone may plan on going to the amusement park and when asked by someone who thought they were going why they didn’t go, they may respond, I didn’t feel like walking around all day. This is what I mean by a $50 feeling requiring $35 in energy.
Lastly, the $20 feeling that requires $1 in energy might be watching a movie on the couch.
I was going to go fishing, then I thought about going to the amusement park, but instead I just relaxed and watched a movie.
Cost monetarily, can be viewed through a few different lenses, but sometimes spending money is a comparison between the energy required to get the money one intends to spend versus the feeling derived from what the money is being spent on. Most often it is a value comparison between objects, where a person chooses not to spend money on something because the value (anticipated feeling) of the object is less than some other object they would rather spend the money on.
The value of the act versus the energy required is the second component of the decision making process.
If I asked you to rob a bank with me you would likely say no. Some would say no even if they didn’t believe there was a high probability of being caught and this is a moral objection that is distinct from an objection of consequence.
The answer would probably be “no I don’t want to go to jail”. The consequence is jail but this consequence is only relevant because jail is an obstruction to all other objectives. Long term objectives or those things possessed of great value to an individual and are called anchoring objectives. Anchoring objectives are long term or recurring sources of great pleasure, like family, career, and other recurring and long term goals. The consequence of going to jail is only relevant because it obstructs service to other higher valued objectives, like the individual’s career, providing for one’s family, spending time with one’s family, and other objectives along those lines.
If the probability of the consequence is high, and the consequence severely obstructs the individual’s ability to fulfill anchoring objectives, the act becomes a question of the value of the act versus the value of anchoring objectives.
If you were seriously considering robbing a bank, you would probably have thoughts about how you were going to do it and these thoughts would serve the purposes of establishing the probability of being caught. You would probably have thoughts about being in jail, being away from your family, losing your job among other things. You would also have thoughts about having the money and what you would do with the money. As you imagined these things there would be feelings attached to these ideas. These thoughts represent the consideration of consequence, in the probability of the outcome, the severity of the outcome, and the value of the act versus the value of anchoring objectives.
Picture the consequence portion of the decision making process as standing on one side of a canyon and the act is to cross to the otherside of the canyon. The severity is the depth of the canyon and the probability of the outcome is how wide the canyon is. If the canyon is 1000 feet deep this is a severe consequence should you fail to cross the canyon. However, if the canyon is only 1 foot wide the severity is irrelevant since the probability of failing to cross the canyon is perceived as being 0.
When someone’s partner finds out they’ve been cheated on, their perception of the incident is usually that they believe the person who their partner cheated with is of greater value to their partner than they are. There’s often thoughts and comments that she’s more important to you than me, or more important to you than your family and this usually wasn’t the element of the decision making process that caused the individual to proceed with the act of infidelity. The individual just thought the probability of being caught was too low to have to consider the severity of the consequence. If probability is low we do not give weight to severity.
The decision making process begins with the highest valued objective (Value). Then the energy required for the act versus the value of the act(Energy). If there is a consequence to anchoring objectives, the probability of that consequence is considered. If the probability is high that the consequence will occur then severity is considered. If the probability and the severity are both high, the value of the immediate objective is considered versus the value of anchoring objectives that are likely to be obstructed by the immediate act.
For some of you, if I asked you to rob a bank with me and it was a sure thing that we wouldn’t be caught, despite the value of the money, some of you still would not rob the bank because you believe the act of stealing is wrong. In the decision making process, at the point of intention there is a negative feeling imposed when a person intends to commit a morally wrong act. This feeling is imposed to prevent the person from committing an act that will reduce his or her self worth. If you believe the act is wrong and you commit the act you see yourself as being wrong and you feel bad about it.
This is different from the negative feeling of committing an act where there are consequences to anchoring values. That feeling is fear, the uncertainty of not knowing if your interests will be harmed by the act you are about to commit. If you don’t experience the negative consequences, then there is no negative feeling. Whereas committing an act you believe to be immoral will lead to negative feelings, typically guilt, until 1: you’re able to justify the act to yourself, 2: enough time passes where you no longer associate yourself with that version of you who committed the act, or 3: until you change your morality and no longer see the act as morally wrong.
Simple Decision Example
The decision making process is highest valued objective furnished by your immediate circumstances versus, energy, consequence, and morality. Where there are no consequences or violations of morality, there are no thoughts related to it.
For example, if a person is lying on the couch and they want a glass of orange juice, the decision to complete the act is the value of the orange juice versus the energy of procuring the orange juice. The thought signatures may be imagery of the juice and anticipating the experience with the juice based on past impressions from the juice. This may be followed by images of the process of getting the juice. Getting up, walking to the kitchen, opening the cupboard, retrieving a cup, opening the fridge, retrieving the juice, pouring the juice in the cup, returning the juice, closing the fridge, and then walking back to resume comfort increased by the presence of the juice. The thought isn’t likely to include all those points but some of those points may appear as images in the mind while a person considers the value versus effort. There are no thoughts related to the consequence of getting the juice because there are no consequences of the act that obstruct the procurement of higher value objects.
Unless there isn’t much juice left and the individual is without the immediate means to purchase more juice. A thought of consequence would consist of the value of the juice now, versus the value of the juice at a later time. The thoughts would likely consist of images of the present circumstances and future circumstances, and probably an internal monologue to consciously establish the value of consuming the juice now versus consuming the juice later. Thoughts of drinking the juice now, contrasted with eating breakfast in the morning and imagining how the juice would compliment the flavors of your breakfast.
No morality is considered because the act is not imposing. Unless of course the juice in the fridge belongs to a roommate. Then morality will need to be overcome. The moral signature will be either a thought to contact the roommate to ask if it is okay to drink the juice, or more likely some justification like he or she won’t care, won’t notice, or the taker will replace the juice. Why would a person think these things? Because most people believe that taking something that doesn’t belong to them is morally wrong, so to proceed with the objective the person has to make the wrong act right. Permission is what is required for the act to be morally right, but justifications for small moral infractions typical suffice.
Alcohol changes the normal decision making process by reducing the value of anchoring objectives. By doing so, immediate objectives that would usually have less value than the anchoring objectives and not proceed, proceed because alcohol has reduced the value of anchoring objectives. Nothing new in the observed effect where alcohol is known to reduce inhibitions, but it’s important to understand how this mechanism functions on the subconscious level through SCA.
This function was discovered by regretful decisions I made on a few separate occasions while under the influence of alcohol and considering my thoughts during the time those decisions were made. Only one incident involved something that was morally wrong, whereas the other decisions either subjectively impacted self worth and/or were unproductive.
Depending on how much pride an individual has or self worth they have, after a night of drinking there are usually things we said or did that the next day we’re not proud of. Naturally, this is a product of the restoration of our anchoring values and thoughts related to these events are products of the need to perform damage control to restore our self worth. Damage control may be as simple as blaming it on the alcohol, other justifications, apologies, etc. Sometimes these are our first thoughts when we wake up after a night of drinking.
I posted an ad on CL offering $20 to the person who provided the best answers for this portion. Here are the questions I asked and the following page includes the answers and my response to the answers. I was quite surprised how much of this was comprehended, both by the person who I awarded the $20 and by some who answered but did not demonstrate the level of comprehension that the winner demonstrated. It seemed like a good teaching tool to include the questions and the answers in the book.
1: How does the subconscious mind determine the value of an act?
2: A friend calls you and asks if you will help them move. You think about how much stuff they have and how hot it is. (a)What element of the decision making process are these thoughts related to?
You also think about how appreciative your friend would be for your assistance. (b)What element of the decision making process is the previously stated thought?
(c)What will determine whether or not you help your friend move, based on only those two pieces of information?
3: A skateboarder is going to attempt to grind a handrail. The act has a consequence that harms an anchoring value. The consequence is an injury that could prevent him from skateboarding and obviously skateboarding is the anchoring value as an activity that he derives regular pleasure from. Using each component of consequence, explain why the skateboarder will proceed with the attempt. Probability of the outcome, severity of the outcome, and how the value of the immediate act could be greater than the value of the anchoring value.
4: Describe the thoughts you had while making a decision. If you don’t have any reliable memories, you make decisions all day long. After some decision where you can remember what you were thinking and feeling, share those thoughts and explain what element of the decision making process that those thoughts were a product of.
5: Why is time not an element of the decision making process?
NOTE: There are some additions including the few paragraphs concerning the influence of alcohol on value and the explanation of time that were not included in the decision making process outline when I posted the challenge. This is something I mention to so the reader understands why the respondents didn’t simply refer to the outline to answer the question about time.
The subconscious mind determines the value of an act by the anticipated feeling (or the avoidance of a feeling) said act will produce in consideration of the energy required to complete the act. The subconscious mind asks, “Is the value supplied by the act greater than the energy required to complete?”
The act also becomes a question of the value of the act versus the value of anchoring objectives. If there’s a consequence to anchoring objectives, probability of consequence is considered, followed by severity.
Lastly, value is filtered by morality. There will be a negative feeling imposed when a person commits a morally wrong act, reducing self worth. As stated, the decision making process is value versus energy, consequence and morality.
ORION Response: 1: Is correct the anticipated feelings an act produces is what determines the value of an act.
2. A friend calls you and asks if you will help them move. You think about how much stuff they have and how hot it is.
(a)What element of the decision making process are these thoughts related to?
You also think about how appreciative your friend would be for your assistance.
(b)What element of the decision making process is the previously stated thought?
(c)What will determine whether or not you help your friend move, based on only those two pieces of information?
C) Since there is no expectation for compensation for performing the act, I will help because it will make me feel good. Hence, the value supplied by the act is greater than the energy required to complete the act
ORION RESPONSE: 2a: Is correct, considering the items to be moved and temperature of moving the items is conscious acknowledgement of the energy required.
2b: is correct. Thoughts pertaining to how your friend will feel for you helping will cause you to feel good and supply’s value for the act.
2c: Is correct, based on only these two pieces of information, whether the person will help is determined by the height of the value versus depth of the energy required to complete the act.
The skateboarder will proceed with the attempt because the probability of him landing without injury is high since he has many years of practice.
Severity is not considered since the probability of falling is too low.
The value of the immediate act would be the euphoria from landing the difficult trick versus the value of continuing to skateboard without injuries.
When all of this is considered, the skateboarder proceeded with his attempt because he’s highly skilled, has done it before and there’s no point in skateboarding if you’re not going to risk it all to land an awesome trick.
ORION RESPONSE: Using each component of consequence, explain why the skateboarder will proceed with the attempt. Probability of the outcome, severity of the outcome, and how the value of the immediate act could be greater than the value of the anchoring value.
A: Your answer for 3a is not altogether incorrect although you added some information that wasn’t supplied in the question. All I was looking for was the Skateboarder will proceed with the act if he believes the probability of the consequence is low.
B: On B I was looking for an answer in isolation from question A. It is correct that severity is not considered or doesn’t weigh into the decision-making process if the probability of the consequence is low. I’m more appreciative of you demonstrating that understanding than I am of the correct answer. The correct answer, presuming on a fair probability of injury, is the skateboarder will proceed with the trick if he believes the severity of the consequence (in this case injury) is low, or he doesn’t believe the injury he is likely to sustain will be very serious.
C: Is correct. The value of the difficult trick is higher than skateboarding without performing such tricks, and worth the risk even if he sustains an injury that temporarily prevents him from accessing that recurring valued objective (skateboarding).
4.When I had to decide whether to move to the west coast in Las Vegas for a job opportunity or stay in Florida.
The energy required to complete the act was worth the value of the act. I imagined myself making great money and experiencing new adventures. The move was going to be all paid for so I didn’t need money to make it happen. Canceling my current lease, packing and driving across the country seemed tough but the value was worth the effort.
The consequences would be that I fail at this job and then I’m stuck in Las Vegas with no job, friends or family. But the probability of that was low, since I have experience in my line of work. So severity was not taken under consideration since I was extremely optimistic. I would no longer see my family which is an important anchoring objective for me but I knew that if I had the chance of making a lot more money, the value that would bring to my life would outweigh the fact that I wouldn’t see them often.
I felt morally wrong to abandon my family but after a long time contemplating the idea, the value of the act was justified in the long run.
ORION RESPONSE: The explanation of your decision to move to Vegas, the details of that decision and your ability to recognize how these details represent components of the decision-making process is spot on. I do suspect some of the components you mention were included to answer the question thoroughly and were not seriously considered or didn’t carry much weight in your decision to take advantage of the opportunity. For example, I don’t think the energy required to relocate was much of an actual factor in your decision. Sure, you thought about it but I suspect this was more a matter of function, in how you were going to move, and less considering the effort as a negative against the value of the opportunity. More important than the actual weight any these factors carried at the time of your decision, is you demonstrate a thorough understanding of decision-making process, which is very impressive and gives me a reason to be optimistic.
5.Time is not an element of the decision making process because unless you change the way of thinking, consider the consequences or find the effort placed in a particular act to be worthwhile, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to decide. The subconscious does not think in terms of time.
ORION RESPONSE I didn’t expect anyone to answer this question correctly but I did expect more resistance to the premise of the question since we often think we don’t have time to do things. The reason time is not an element of the decision-making process is because the time it takes to complete an objective is only relevant if we have a higher valued objective to complete. It becomes the value of the immediate objective versus the value of whatever scheduled objective the immediate objective interferes with.
1. By anticipating the Value
ORION Response: 1: The subconscious perception of value or the worth of an object or an act is measured in the feelings the act or object produces. What you do is based on the feelings you anticipate an objective will produce. This is based on experience, where sensations you’ve experienced through acts determine the value for the act and objects. Acts where there is no experience to determine how they make us feel are anticipated through similar experiences. The correct answer for the first question is feelings. The subconscious perception of value is the anticipation of feelings and act will produce.
2c. The value supplied by the act would have to be greater than the energy required to complete the act.
ORION RESPONSE: 2a,b, and c, are all correct. I was excited to see these answers.
3a.the skateboarder thought the probability of being hurt was too low to have considered the severity the consequence.
3b. The severity is the length of the hand rail
3c. The value of completing the act could be greater than the anchoring value
ORION RESPONSE: 3a is correct. Even if the skateboarder believes there is a chance that he could experience a severe injury, if he believes the probability of the outcome is low, he will attempt the trick. 3b The severity of the consequence is based on the extent of the injury that the skateboarder believes could occur in attempting the trick. In your answer you stated the length of the handrail represents severity. While the length of the handrail may be a factor in both the probability (longer you have to go the greater chance you’ll fall off) and severity, it is not the only determinant factor. The correct answer is that the skateboarder will proceed with the trick if he believes the severity of the consequence is low. If he believes the injury he will sustain in attempting the trick won’t be that bad. 3c is correct. I was looking for more of an explanation in how that value of the immediate act is greater than the value of the anchoring act. Where the feelings associated with performing a dangerous and exhilarating trick is greater than the moderate feelings associated with less dangerous tricks skateboarding. Your answer is still conceptually correct.
4.the thoughts I had while making the decision to complete this “20 dollar question” was did I want to waste my time working on word problems because I hate them. The reason for this is I feel like I struggle with comprehension. But I knew that working on this question would allow me to practice to be better. I feel the value of completing this question was greater than the energy I put in and I knew that I would find value in accomplishing regardless if I got it right or wrong.
ORION RESPONSE: There is negative value in putting effort into working on word problems. To give you answer 5 in this answer since you stated you didn’t want to “waste your time”, the act of wasting your time is only relevant if you have something better to do. Time is only relevant if there is something we’d rather be doing with that time. Otherwise, if there are no higher valued objectives, the time it takes to complete an objective isn’t a factor. It’s the value of the immediate act versus the value of other acts when we are concerned with the time something will take.
Next you provided an explanation as to why you hate word problems because you feel you have poor comprehension skills. I would disagree based on your answers because you’ve clearly comprehended most of these concepts very well and you have no frame of reference for anything in this material. This is beyond this lesson but pertains to comprehension. The universe consists of objects in motion measured by time and space. All motion is the effect of a cause. All objects have assignments of cause or effect depending on context. Anything complex is the assembly of basic details in cause-and-effect sequencing. Since all people can understand basic details and assignments of cause and effect, all people can understand all things if they are interested in understanding them. Poor comprehension is a product of not being interested in what it is you’re tasked with comprehending. If you’re interested, the objects (words) that you’re not familiar with you would look up and understand. Then you would assemble the known objects in their appropriate cause and effect sequence and understand the subject. What you cannot comprehend, you choose not to comprehend because you don’t believe there is enough value in the subject to put forth the energy to comprehend it.
One source of value is feelings associated with progress, in this case personal improvement which has value in the feelings it produces. The feelings associated with self-improvement were greater than the anticipated effort required to achieve that improvement. There may have been other motivations influencing the value of the decision but the information you provided and the explanation of the decision-making process based on that information is correct. There shouldn’t be any consequence or moral feelings or thoughts that appear in that decision.
5. It appears to me time does exist. Specifically under consequence. Under the example given being away from our family if we went to jail. I believe we would consider the amount of time we would be away from our family.
ORION RESPONSE: I’ll reiterate what I wrote in 4, where time is a determinant of value, but time itself is not an element. In the example you provided where a crime may be considered based on the amount of time an individual faces represents the severity of consequence. As you mentioned a person may consider the time they’d be away from their family. The severity of the consequence is the amount of time you’d be away from your family. If we return to being at the foot of the canyon, on the other side is your anchoring objective to experience the good feelings that come from being around your family. If it is a year it is like the canyon is 100 feet deep, where if you fall in you are that far away from your family and other objectives that require you to be free. If it is 10 years this is like being 1000 feet deep and being that much further away from your family. In the general context, time is the value of the immediate act versus other acts, since if the value of the immediate act is greater than other objects then you’re not concerned with how much time it takes to complete it.
The media earns money by attracting attention. The media exaggerated the danger of Covid 19 because danger creates concern and concern attracts attention. It’s very provable by quantifying the danger of the virus and comparing that quantification to the risk implied by the content and presentation of media coverage.
Politicians’ perception of issues is based on how they can position themselves to the issue to improve their image. Politicians reinforced the exaggeration of the danger because they perceived the exaggerated danger as politically advantageous.
People who see most subjects as too complex to understand adopted the opinions of people they like, those who reinforce their preferred reality and the popular reinforcement of a lie cements that lie as fact in the minds of the masses.
People’s concern for a virus should be based on the consequences if infected with the virus. We’ve known the consequence of being infected with the virus is sickness and recovery for about 99% of the population since at least February based on data from China and Italy, and US data alone since about March.
In March the CDC released a study showing that 94% of people in the United States who died of Covid-19 had underlying medical conditions. The sample consisted of 7162 people featuring 184 deaths which at the time represented about 10% of all Covid-19 caused deaths in the United States. More importantly, of those who had underlying medical conditions in the sample 93.4% survived.(1) While this is only 1 sample, recently the CDC released data that confirmed this sample represents the characteristics of the virus, as 94% of Covid-19 deaths were coupled with the presence of at least one serious underlying medical condition with an average of 2.6 conditions present per fatality.(2) These findings include all Covid-19 caused deaths from February to September of 2020.(3)
1: CDC Report: Preliminary Estimates of the Prevalence of Selected Underlying Health Conditions Among Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 — United States, February 12–March 28, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 31 March 2020. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6913e2 2692 people in the sample had underlying medical conditions. 173 died, which represents 6.6%, meaning even people who have underlying medical conditions have a 93.4% survival rate.
2: CDC 9/2/2020 “Weekly Updates by Select Demographic and Geographic Characteristics”. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm?fbclid=IwAR3-wrg3tTKK5-9tOHPGAHWFVO3DfslkJ0KsDEPQpWmPbKtp6EsoVV2Qs1Q February 1, 2020 to August 31st “For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death.”
3: Robert Sanders, 4/24/2020 “Study Challenges Reports of Low Fatality Rate for Covid-19”. Berkeley News https://news.berkeley.edu/2020/04/24/study-challenges-reports-of-low-fatality-rate-for-covid-19/ Extrapolating data from Italy Seljak reaches the conclusion that the mortality rate cannot be as low as serology studies suggest. He claims the mortality rate should be at least .5% based on the Italian data. The issue with that conclusion is the general mortality rate reflects not how many people were infected but which people were infected. By his own conclusion “Our observation suggests COVID-19 kills the weakest segments of the population”, and since 99.5% of the population doesn’t qualify as the weakest segments, then the general mortality rate only represents the proportion of healthy people infected compared to the proportion of the “weakest segments.” There’s no reason the proportion of people infected will always be the same, especially since the general health of people in different areas varies and behavior varies which affects how and who the virus infects. Who the virus infects, not how many people the virus infects determines how many people die and the mortality rate. Italy has a median age that is nearly 10 years older than the United States, and age increases risk because it increases the probability that other medical conditions have developed and also through immunosenescence.
People without underlying medical conditions who die of the virus are very advanced in age or are anomalous. Uros Seljak of Berkeley who studied and published an analysis on the Italian data gave a very accurate and succinct conclusion of his findings: “if you want to know your risk of dying if infected with Covid-19, it is the same as your risk of dying in the next 12 months of natural causes”.
By Seljaks’ conclusion, in a year there are 1.75 million deaths from natural causes.(4) About .5% of the population is at risk of dying if infected by Covid-19. For the remaining 99.5% the risk is varying degrees of sickness and recovery with anomalous(5) deaths in healthy people under the age of 70 who do not have serious health problems. There are two primary implications in this understanding. The first is legal. The constitutional basis for imposing restrictions is the use of police powers to mitigate a threat to public safety.(6) A virus that cannot harm 99.5% of the public does not qualify as a threat to public safety, it qualifies as a threat to public comfort, and each citizen can take whatever measures they feel are appropriate individually to mitigate a risk to their comfort.
4: CDC Deaths and Mortality 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm 1.75 Million includes leading causes of deaths considered as natural causes.
5: By Anomalous death I mean if 1 person out of 30 or 50 thousand dies of a virus this is atypical of the expected results and usually indicates there was something specific in this individual since no one else in the group died. If 50 out of 20 million healthy people who are under the age of 70 die from covid it’s anomalous, and doesn’t represent the expected result of being infected with the virus.
6: Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 1905. (https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/197/11) Justice Harlan writes in the majority opinion “Upon the principle of self-defense, of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.” The epidemic of disease deemed to be a threat to public safety in this case was smallpox. Smallpox has a 30% mortality rate and was randomly deadly in that a healthy person of any age regardless of health could die from the disease. This is in sharp contrast to Covid-19 which is not randomly deadly and is only potentially deadly to a very small segment of the population who already has at least one foot in the grave.
Public safety has always meant a danger that threatens the entire population. Like the case cited in the previous paragraph that created the precedent for a virus to be considered a threat to public safety. The court ruled that the community had a right to protect itself against an infectious disease that threatens the safety of its members. The virus in question was smallpox. Smallpox is a virus that has a 30% mortality rate, is randomly deadly, and leaves survivors scared and sometimes blind. What do I mean by randomly deadly? It means that any member of the population could be infected and die from it. This is the idea that the media and politicians projected about covid-19, that any person could be infected and die from it. The truth is that probably 99% of the population cannot die from it, even if 10 to 20% of the population could experience severe symptoms. That is the difference, smallpox can kill up to 30% of the population but 100% of the population is at risk, and covid can kill about 1% of the population and a few percent of the population is at risk. One is an infectious disease that threatens the safety of the public, whereas the other does not quality.
The consequences to the general public interacting as they normally do and more people being infected is more sickness and recovery. In that sickness and recovery immunity develops which limits the virus’s ability to maintain itself and find new hosts. The consequence of restrictions is ensuring the availability of new hosts which prolongs the duration of the virus. The longer the virus is present the more likely it is that those who are at risk of dying if infected will become infected. The virus’ longevity is caused by healthy people being prohibited from interacting with healthy people may lead to the virus remaining with us in perpetuity as those who have been infected lose immunity over time. The longer the virus remains the more likely it is that the virus will mutate and become something that qualifies as an actual danger.
The virus was initially promoted to the public as being randomly deadly, where even though the chances of a healthy person under the age of 70 dying from the virus were exceedingly slim, it was promoted that anyone who contracted the virus could die if infected. As this idea became increasingly unsustainable the narrative changed to people with underlying medical conditions and the elderly are at risk for complications which requires the general population to take preventative measures to contain the virus to protect these segments of the population. As expressed above, even these ideas incorrectly project risk onto a much broader portion of the population than those who are actually at risk for a severe outcome. The idea implies that anyone over the age of 65 which represents 40 million people or even those who have high blood pressure which represents 70 million people (large cross section of blood pressure and age) are at risk for a severe outcome, when those who are at risk of dying from the virus represents about 2 million people who have already opened deaths’ door and are about to enter the room.
People have gone to great lengths to distinguish Covid-19 from the flu when in fact the comparison is accurate in terms of symptoms as well as who is at risk of dying from the virus. The flu has never killed 200,000 people in the United States but the flu is seasonal. An estimate of 80,000 people died of the flu in the 2017-2018 flu season, the bulk of which occurred during a 12 week period, whereas Covid-19 statistics represent about 30 weeks. There is also a vaccine for the flu and the bulk of recipients are people who are at risk for complications if infected. The vaccine is typically about 60% effective, meaning without the vaccine the flu could potentially kill well over 100,000 people in a flu season. Without a vaccine, if the flu lasted as long as Covid-19 has a bad flu season could produce comparable numbers over that span.
All of this was known in March when restrictions began and probably before that being that the virus had already been in Wuhan for three months.(7)
7: What’s contained in this article is not the first risk assessment I produced. The first risk assessment I produced cited the 94% of people who died had medical conditions and then used the by age chart to calculate risk of death by age for healthy people. I was going to insert it here but the problem is the 94% of people dying due to medical conditions is not accurate across the board. For example, towards the upper end of age ranges there will be more people who die without underlying medical conditions than there are who die in the lower age ranges. 100% of deaths in people ages 18 to 39 probably consist of people with underlying medical conditions whereas among those who are above 80 there is probably a good amount who die without underlying medical conditions. I’ll include this alternate risk assessment as bonus material. What it did was provide people with a better understanding of the risk if infected with covid-19 but still over estimated the risk of death to healthy people. I bring this up because it is another way people could have had a better approximation of the risk.
I’m not the only one who recognizes the contradiction between the actual danger of the virus and the promoted exaggerated danger. Unfortunately even those who take the position that the danger is exaggerated and the restrictions are unnecessary typically do so without the ability to articulate why the danger is exaggerated, why restrictions are unnecessary, and why the restrictions are illegal. Their aversion to the popular misconceptions are a product of either their own material interests being affected, or their subscription to different authorities who have an interest in opposing restrictions. As usual, people on both sides are committed to strong opinions about an issue that neither understands. Instead of the debate being substantive about the risk of being infected, the debate evolves with whatever new item is introduced into the subject. Mask effectiveness, testing accuracy, the extent to which the death toll has been inflated, forced vaccination conspiracy theories, the effectiveness of drug treatment, among other issues that draw attention away from the root controversy which is individual risk if infected.(8)
8:If people understood the basis for why they should be opposed to restrictions they wouldn’t be arguing the effectiveness of masks because it undermines the point that the virus is not a danger. It doesn’t matter if masks are effective because what it is or is not preventing is not a danger either way, and by arguing effectiveness it legitimizes the position that the virus is dangerous. The same as Trump supporters believe and promote the idea that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for Covid 19. In doing so danger is legitimized by implying that finding a treatment is priority. Most substantively, those who have taken issue with the accuracy of testing fail to realize how they are directly arguing against their own position. The case mortality rate was held artificially high because of a lack of testing, where those who were not in groups that were at risk for complications through at least May displaying symptoms of Covid-19 were not tested. The increase in testing since about August with a decrease in hospitalizations and deaths is evidence that the virus is less dangerous than was projected when there were fewer tests. People take positions against information that supports their position. Academics see these controversies as opportunities to obtain funding for research and media opportunities where they can publish papers about the effectiveness of masks, treatment, and test accuracy which adds to the befuddlement of the herd
The risk of being infected for 99.5% of the population is sickness and recovery with the exception of anomalous deaths among the healthy population which is not uncharacteristic of other viruses like the flu that are not considered public safety concerns. I am presenting 7 stories analyzed in the April article Covid-19 media project to demonstrate how risk has been exaggerated by the media where the stories are representative of what was being reported during this time. Criticizing media stories is picking low hanging fruit but these are the stories that mold the minds of the masses. Furthermore, I’m not nitpicking insignificant details for inaccuracies but showing how the implied general ideas being projected are in conflict with reality.