Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Idiot Cascade....

"All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride." -- Socrates, "Antigone"

Socrates was a brilliant thinker, but he forgot the crime that underpins every other, which is Idiot.

I will get to stuff in a moment, but I would first like to extend some gratitude to the good folks at Ace of Spades, to Kim Du Toit at Splendid Isolation, and to my continued loyal followers from Diogenes Middle Finger.

If you're reading this now and haven't visited any of these excellent, sweet-smelling, hand-crafted and civically-vital publications, then there's something seriously wrong with you. Like "we should kill you before you start foaming at the mouth" wrong with you.

Because of you fine people, I have received a lot of attention -- blog-wise -- these past (almost) three months, and I really, really appreciate it. It truly is gratifying and, I think, a wonderful sign that I'm not exactly alone in a world that seems to have gone to the dogs. It is good to know that there are still sane people out there, who have a sense of humor and a functioning inner compass that tells them none of this shit going on around us is right.

Thanks to every last 9,000 or so of you.

Please, tell your friends about this word vomit and follow me on Facebook (@MyPlanetMyRulesBlog) for regular updates and content.

On the subject of The Idiot Cascade.

This is a rather obscure term of art in my business (Information Technology) which used to be in quite common usage, but which is in danger of passing out of the lexicon as the Younger (De-)Generation, raised upon a steady diet of what Kathy Shaidle once called "the Tyranny of Nice" -- we don't call people names, we don't point out other people's deficiencies, we don't tell the fucking truth, because it might destroy someone's pwecious self-esteem and feelz -- will not carry it forward into the future.

What the term refers to is the ultimate cause of a catastrophic failure.

In Data Processing -- in all applications of information technology, and I'm certain it exists in other fields of endeavor, as well -- there is a deadly potential circumstance known as a "Cascade Failure". In such an event, an error has crept into The System and manages to spread everywhere, corrupting everything. A failure in one part of The System has knock-on effects on a second part. The failure of the second part causes another fault in a third. The third causes additional failures in the fourth and fifth section.The failures compound and increase exponentially until The System comes to a screeching halt, or collapses completely under the weight of too many flaws and errors.

This is one of the greatest nightmares in this day and age of Artificial Intelligence and Automation (the second being my specialty). Given the speed and inter-connectivity of modern systems, the failures potentially spread so quickly and so far afield that it is beyond the capability of Man to stop the process before severe damage is done practically everywhere. The System runs faster than the human brain and spits out so much data that it is practically impossible for a person to make sense of what has happened; systems are so interconnected with so many others it is difficult to know what is affected by what. The best you can do at that point is to"pull the plug", try to make sense of what has happened and why, and then start again from scratch.

It is the computer equivalent of COVID-19.

Typically, the ultimate cause of the problem is Human Error. There's bad input, someone pressed the wrong button or entered the wrong command, there was a misunderstanding of instructions or poor understanding of what The System is telling you, someone followed an improper procedure or failed to follow one at all, there's a faulty assumption made and acted upon, and (in my experience) in 9.78629 times out of ten, it was all avoidable except for Stupid.

Hence, "The Idiot Cascade".

The response to COVID-19 is the infectious disease equivalent of an Idiot Cascade.

We begin with the Idiots in China who failed to admit they had a problem that resulted in a pandemic. To do so is an even graver quandary because admission calls into question the abilities and competence of the Chinese government. Communists -- even the ones practicing kleptocracy -- do not like to admit they make mistakes. Mostly because they make them every second of every goddamned day, starting with being communists. They depend upon the belief, backed up by guns, prisons and propaganda, that the collective wisdom of The Party is unassailable, and that "scientific" Socialism is incapable of error.

Failure is not an option for Communists; failure is dangerous to Communists, especially the ones at the top, because they understand that the same violent revolution that brought them to power is the same instrument that can bring them to the guillotine. The systematic terrorization of the population is necessary to ensure that no matter how badly Comrade Dumbfuck screws the pooch, he never has to answer for it, and can go on living like the decadent capitalist he's merely swapped places with on the backs and blood of others.

This is made even worse when you come from a culture which is convinced of it's own innate superiority over all other cultures and races, sees itself as a victim of the outside world (instead of being a victim of it's own internal contradictions and fucktard), and which depends on showing one face to the world while hiding all of it's "Oh Shit!" from the rest of the world, so as to not be embarrassed by exposure of just what a bunch of backwards, illogical, insane, not-very-bright assholes are in charge.

The Chinese government were more concerned with "saving face" and maintaining control over their own population (lest someone notice they were incompetent shitheels) than they were with the health of their own citizens, and by extension, the entire planet.

The next bunch of Idiots are to be found in the "international" community of alphabet-soup agencies created out of thin air and given some special cachet by association with the United Nations (itself about as useful as a flyswatter against AIDS) or by a consensus of other dinguses associated with governments all over the world (we'll get to them in a minute). In this particular case, it is the "World Health Organization" which is three lies for the price of one, since it is funded by very little of "The World", is more of a political than medical tool, and doesn't seem very organized, at all.

In fact, I doubt the "World Health Organization" could organize it's own sock drawer, let alone an international response to a pandemic. Especially when it's political and financial interests blind it to it's supposed medical mission.

Especially when your members who possess some sort of manufactured clout are all on the Chinese payroll, and have been co-opted to help the Chinese hide their major blatantly lying about it's true nature and implications. In true Cascade Failure tradition, this error was passed on to the next batch of morons.

Who happen to be the bureaucrats who infect every government on Planet Earth.

Contrary to popular belief, governments are not run by Presidents, Prime Ministers, Premiers, or even Dictators, nor are they lorded over by Legislatures and Parliaments --  they are run by bureaucrats. The people "in charge" may change; laws and policies may morph, be implemented or rescinded on a continuous basis, but these changes are always temporary. The Bureaucracy continues, spanning the gaps between all of these variations; Presidents and Senators and the like are all, ultimately, temporary; the Bureaucracy is forever.

And because the Bureaucracy holds such special power and primacy of place -- it is the instrument which implements and enforces law, it collects the taxes and oversees their distribution, it is the repository of the often-obscure "expertise" needed to run a country's business from trade agreements, to the dimensions of a cucumber, the system of weights and measures, the regulations regarding the use of drugs, the standards for education and automobiles, and the like -- the Bureaucrat holds a special (and dangerous) position in everyone's life.

Whatever is to be done, the Bureaucracy decides. Who gets to do it, is, likewise, decided by the Bureaucrat. In what fashion it is to be done is also the domain of the Bureaucrat. And the truth of the matter is, whether it's the annoyingly-slow clerk at the DMV, the drooling cretin who gives you the wrong information at the IRS "Help Line" that costs you a fortune, the non-entity who decides what color, font, and shape a road sign will consist of, most of them only have a job because they managed to pass a test that has often been engineered to allow even the lowest IQ's to (eventually) pass it.

They will be lorded over by a bunch of people whose only claim to leadership roles within the Bureaucracy are typically based upon watered-down, high-falutin' degrees from exclusive colleges, political appointees, the beneficiaries of nepotism, or people who have managed to purchase an ambassadorship or a place on a "Blue-Ribbon Panel" by throwing their own and organizing others' political and monetary assets this way or that.

Always, the chief concern of these Bureaucrats is not "doing the right thing" (it is often questionable as to whether they know what this is when judging results), but in protecting the privileged status of both themselves and the institutions they "work" for. The Bureaucracy does not care if it is running Reagan's America or Stalin's Russia, since questions of ideology, leadership and policy are all temporary; it's main concern is in maintaining the privileges it's special place and function afford it, and above all, to keep the gravy train on the tracks. For the Bureaucracy is never accountable; it has no need to be efficient or careful of expenditures; it often spreads responsibility among many departments and bureaus to protect itself from audit and repercussions and when these shields fail, it has others it can pick up -- the unions to which the bureaucrats belong and which wield influence over politicians, the special laws that protect them they've wheedled out of legislatures, and the ability to reward or punish supporters or enemies.

And in case you've missed this, this bureaucracy sees itself as a special, worldwide class -- because it is the branch of government that comes into contact the most with other governments, and has it's counterparts all over the world, who share the same goals.

So that when coronavirus hits epidemic proportions, and doctors, who have been treating coronaviruses forever, have established standard treatments and have often re-purposed drugs to take advantage of beneficial side-effects try to cure it, there's the Bureaucrat to stop him or her dead in their tracks. A treatment that has been used successfully millions of times worldwide can't be used because it hasn't been "approved" by the 'experts" in the Bureaucracy. Drugs that can -- and have been proven -- to save lives can't be used because the "experts" in government haven't studied them. When you need protective equipment, yesterday, the Bureaucrat steps in to ensure the process is delayed by the enforcement of an obscure and useless regulation that it will not waive because it means someone's cushy and well-paid "job". When your public, government-run hospital fails because it's poorly run, underfunded, and spent all of it's money on Trans Outreach and Fighting Morbid Obesity instead of stocking up on respiratory equipment and facemasks, the people in charge simply shift the sick into nursing homes where they will die just as quickly, but out of sight of the Administrators and cameras.

And these bureaucrats, because they are plugged into a more international than national system, take their leads and advice and information from other international organizations, like the WHO, and everyone has pretty much the same agenda....which is not fixing the problem, but hiding their complicity.

Finally, we come to the next cataract of the Idiot Cascade, which is the politician.

The politician, as we've established, does not "run" anything: he or she is not so much an administrator as merely the visible pustule that signifies the presence of the underlying disease. They are the visible face of a largely invisible process. The figureheads, The truth of the matter is that Modern Life, in all respects, is so complex that no one individual can control it, organize it, or pay attention to it all, and so depends upon the "expertise' of the "professional" bureaucrats to tell them what's what. The Politician, especially the American species, is typically dumber than a box of rocks, and only manages to get through his/her day because they have a small army of aides, advisors, speechwriters, press interfaces, pollsters, "strategists" and a long list of other sycophants at their beck and call, to tell them what they should think, what they should say, stick it in the teleprompter for them, keep their hair and makeup done, select their wardrobe for dramatic effect, and decide what position they take on any number of issues the politician knows next to nothing about.

They don't even read their own goddamned bills, for Chrissakes. When Nancy Pelosi infamously said "we have to pass it to find out what's in it" she wasn't being flippant: she actually didn't know. When Barack Obama would put his signature to a bill or face to a policy, and then couldn't explain it in English (or outright lied), it was because he didn't know. He had no need to know: he told the people around him to "do something" and they huddled with the Bureaucrats and figured out how, leaving the politician to choose to support one method or another cobbled together without their involvement. Andrew Cuomo simply repeats whatever someone puts in his mouth without understanding half of it (and I'm being generous).

These are people who are out-of-touch with physical reality, as their version of reality consists largely of wallowing in their own venality, squirming in rapture tot he sounds of their own voices, making television appearances to artfully not answer questions by throwing up repetitive slogans, and generally enjoying the privileges that office provides them.

They know jack about medicine or virology, and even the ones who happen to be actual doctors, are, by virtue of being in Congress or occupying some important office, not practicing medicine. Often for years, and so are "out of the loop", making them lean more-heavily upon "experts" who have proven themselves to be anything but, given their reliance on poor computer models, the delays imposed upon research and emergency measures by bureaucratic imperative, the deliberate misinformation of foreign governments and non-governmental agencies, all of it underpinned by a belief that political and institutional issues must come before common sense and public safety.

The result is a nation in lockdown. Because everyone is afraid to do anything else.

And then, finally, we have the end-users (and victims) of all this Idiot, the poor bastards who have lost their jobs, lost their loved ones, and may at this very moment be contemplating how to kill their spouse and kids and make it look like COVID-19 did it because of forced proximity.

Idiot, like Shit, runs downhill.

The Idiot Cascade has finally collapsed The System, and the time to pull the plug passed some time ago.

The Overlord has, personally, lived through a Coronavirus episode; this was never that big of a deal (unless you were old, had serious health issues, or already had one foot in the grave), medical science has been treating Coronaviruses forever, the only thing "novel" about COVID-19 is a specific mutation that allows it to penetrate cells more-easily (otherwise, it's your standard Coronavirus and causes the same problems the other six known to infect humans do), it was no surprise who was most-likely to die from it, and every hospital in America that wasn't run by the Governor of New York State and the Mayor of New York City could have done a much better job if only the bureaucrats got out of their way, hadn't left land mines for them, or left medical decisions in the hands of medical professionals.

It has even been postulated that last year's "Swine Flu" epidemic was preceded by, or ran concurrently with, a Coronavirus outbreak -- it's just that 'the experts" hadn't told anyone to specifically look for it, and the end result resembles the flu.

Instead, we have confusion, misinformation, fear, consternation, dueling fucktards in Washington, and a population living with reduced toilet paper supplies, being force fed propaganda by people who are just as confused, fearful, and misinformed, all of us denied an opportunity to see for ourselves what the situation on the ground is by ourselves by quarantine.

The flames fanned by a media who seems to be rooting for the virus to kill us all, because Orange Man Bad, who the have the nerve to lecture us about morality and saving lives.

Yes, I understand, 90,000 people have died, and this is a tragedy, but it did not have to be this way, but for the Idiots and the policies they have adopted, solely, it appears, to protect themselves and advance their own agendas.

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