Hepatitis outbreak shows…

California’s hepatitis A outbreak shows why people need easy access to health care” says the headline.

I don’t think that’s what California’s hepatitis outbreak shows.

This article, San Diego Washing Streets With Bleach To Combat Hepatitis A Outbreak, notes that the hepatitis “has largely infected homeless people in the coastal California city,” and that “part of the issue is an apparent shortage of public restrooms.”

That’s still not quite it, but closer than I expected NPR to go.

UPDATE: I don’t know if this is an accurate description, or if it’s related to anything else, but Mike Hudak says “there is something seriously disturbing about the situation in San Francisco that must not be ignored.”

Still, it’s not all doom and gloom. The Boy Scouts is going to let girls join. At this point with the Boy Scouts, the worse the better. If the organization is going to go under, let it go quickly. Having girls join will hasten its demise, and maybe encourage the development of other organizations for boys.

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What’s a dollar’s worth?

“The truth is that along with real economic progress there has been a parallel big degradation in the lived experience of life in much of America, a part of America largely invisible to and certainly not relatable to on a visceral level by most of those in booming sections of global cities. I’m all in favor of understanding the very real way that technology and other innovations have made our lives better, and fully capturing that in statistics. But we need to be equally as diligent in capturing and measuring the downsides of those trends, an effort I’ve read much less about in the papers.” — How Much Value Do Economists Assign to Having Married Parents Who Aren’t on Drugs?

A pre-1965 silver dollar might be worth roughly ten dollars today, so you could say our money has lost ninety percent of its value. On the other hand, what would a modest 2017 Dell computer have cost in 1965? Six hundred dollars today doubling every eighteen months back to 1965 comes to some figure in scientific notation. On yet another hand, in 1965 my father was married to my mother and lived in the house with us – a common arrangement in those days, somewhat less so today.

Intersectionality or bust

Just scanning along on a quiet Sunday afternoon … blah blah blah … Tolkein … Kalamazoo…

Hmm, some connection there? Scan more slowly…

“…wrote this at a roundtable for Homonationalisms at Kalamazoo last year…”

So I missed it. The roundtable for Homonationalisms has come and gone, without me. And it was in Kalamazoo! I might have taken the train, and heard the conductor cry “Kalamazoo! Winnetka!”

Maybe next year it’ll be in Cucamonga.

Seems apropos somehow

“Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, “Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good–” At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark.” — Heretics, by G.K. Chesterton

Is Jahi McMath Alive? | National Review — Head Noises

Winkfield sued, but after an independent medical examination, the judge ruled that Jahi was deceased and allowed a death certificate to be issued. He also played Solomon, and worked out a settlement whereby Children’s Hospital transferred Jahi to her relatives while still on life support. We now know, she was moved to New Jersey, where she […]

via Is Jahi McMath Alive? | National Review — Head Noises

Gulf

It’s surprising that Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex and Father Dwight Longenecker reach related conclusions: The Catholic Priest in When the Benedict Option Is the Only Option; The practicing psychiatrist Neutral vs. Conservative: The Eternal Struggle.

Or maybe their conclusions aren’t all that similar. Anyway, it’s interesting to read one after the other and consider both.

I think there is a big divide in society between people who use reason and argument to find out what is true, and people who use the trappings of reason to win arguments. These two men are on the same side of that divide.

UPDATE: I took the time to read Stanley Fish’s Why Can’t We All Just Get Along, and Joseph Moore’s blog post about Fish’s article. It was time well spent.

Flying, United and others

The last time we flew on United, one of their employees at the gate was absolutely obnoxious; another was polite and helpful, which is really the least any employee should be. The flight was miserable, largely because the flight attendants seemed to be deliberately acting to make it so. At two o’clock in the morning, nobody wants the lights on, nobody wants coffee, and nobody wants the attendants running up and down the aisle asking if you want anything. The attendants know this, because they were not doing any of that in first class, where the lights were out and everyone asleep. I suspect United has policies to make coach miserable, to incentivize customers to buy an upgrade.

Other airlines we’ve flown on over the last year have been less unpleasant. American was okay; Virgin and Southwest were very nearly good.

The TSA at one end was obnoxious; at the other end they were not obnoxious, which is as close to good as they ever get. There’s little to be done about that.

Often I consider buying from a business that has just sustained a big customer-service black eye, on the theory that they’ll be exerting themselves to do well, and their prices will be a little lower as customers chose their competitors. In the case of United, I won’t be doing that. Their obnoxious employee at the gate, the (I think deliberately bad) service on the last flight, and other incidents like this make me think that this is their business model, and will remain so until they come up with another model — no easy task. Also, the president of United gives the impression of being a lying weasel who can’t figure out what lie to tell. It’s hard to imagine him fixing things. So I won’t be flying United, and their CEO’s apology tour isn’t going to change that.

Arma virumque cano

Now, a reminiscence. In the early eighties I went to an Army recruiting station to enlist. I’d called the recruiter first, and he seemed quite keen for me to come in. When I got to the office, the recruiting sergeant said to a young man who was sitting there being recruited, “Get up and let Mister _____ sit down.” Welcome to the Army, kid. He got up, and I sat down, initially thinking this looked like a pretty sweet deal. On later reflection, I suspected what was done for me today would be done to me tomorrow, and I was right.