Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

For "a human being, the question 'to be or not to be,' is the question 'to think or not to think.'" Ayn Rand

09 April 2022

Scientific Illiteracy at the CDC and White House

Nancy Pelosi kissed the Pretender in Chief Biden on his cheek before she was known to have Covid-19.  But no worry.  The White House says she was not within 6 feet of him for 15 minutes, so according to the CDC criteria for close contact for Covid-19, she was under the time limit.  No worry.

Most people have enough sense to understand that how close they were matters.  They were not 6 feet apart, they were an inch apart.  Common sense proves here to be vastly superior to the "science" of the CDC and the regulatory sense of the White House.

Let us see if we can explain this to the scientifically illiterate of the CDC and the White House.  A simple model of the dispersion of the virus as it spreads out over distance is that it is diluted as the cubic power of the distance between the people involved.  The density of the virus in the air is approximately proportional to the volume of a sphere centered on the point of emission.  Now the distance between Nancy and Joe was about 1 inch and its cube is 1 cubic inch.  6 feet in inches is 72 inches, whose cube is 373,248 cubic inches.  So the dose rate of virus someone 6 feet away from Nancy is about 1/373,248 times that which Joe experienced.  This number is 2.68 millionths.

The threshold viral dose for close contact is this viral density times the time of exposure.  The CDC critical time is 15 minutes, so the critical time when the dose rate is 373,248 times greater than it is at 6 feet is 15 minutes/373,248 = 0.000040 minutes or 0.0024 seconds.

Nancy must be the fastest kisser ever if she managed to smack the Great Pretender in less than 0.0024 seconds.  Not to mention that she had to have spent some additional time within that 6 foot distance.

Science and good old American common sense agree that the CDC and the White House are wacko!

You know, if Nancy can move so fast that her bussing the Great Pretender on the cheek was really no cause of Covid-19 concern, then her propulsion system is so good, we should send her on the first human mission to Alpha Centauri.  She can traverse that 4 light years distance in no time at all.  Nancy, it is your patriotic duty to take on this mission to Alpha Centauri!  Do it right now.

As for the CDC, that distance within 6 feet matters hugely and cannot be ignored in any scientific criterion for close contact.

04 April 2022

A Milestone in the Objectivist Movement

At last! The philosophy of reality, reasoning independent minds, individual self-interest, and a free market society always had to recognize that its movement had to embrace all of these within itself. Yet the Ayn Rand Institute long refused to do this.  To an apparently significant degree, ARI is now ready to do a better job of doing so and allow a popular movement to blossom without excessive schisms and attempts to control all Objectivist thinkers.

We have always needed more recognition that independent-minded individuals with their many varied interests and experiences would reasonably hold somewhat different principles and apply them to the complexities of life differently. Objectivism as a philosophy by which one can live your own life, has to contain within it the flexibility to handle the salient fact of our individuality. Yes, at a high level we all agree on some central principles, but in our individual lives one has to work out a host of sub-principles that apply to yourself as an individual. One cannot apply to Ayn Rand or to ARI for approval of how you make these judgments, because "No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." 

To be a successful movement, the Objectivist movement needs to believe that there is a free market in Objectivist ideas. That market of rational, independent-minded individuals will sort out the good and the bad ideas. Unfortunately, some Objectivists had too little confidence that there were enough rational, independent-minded individuals for this to work out successfully. Yet only if there are, will Objectivism ever succeed as a major popular movement.

See The Atlas Society comments on the ARI release for the main ways in which the ARI policy will now open up Objectivism to more independent-minded thinkers.  Robert Tracinski has also made interesting observations on this.