Ryan Landay

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Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports

Washington Post notices that sometimes people lie to get life-saving medicine earlier, especially when there’s zero probability they would ever be caught, and frames this as something that is ‘damaging friendships.’ 

I don’t understand why you’re downplaying this issue. I have a friend whose parents are both doctors (I also have one parent who’s a doctor) who signed up to do IT work at one of his parents’ medical practices and then got a vaccine as a “healthcare worker.” His girlfriend did the same thing. Now I have to listen to my friend brag about how great the US is handling COVID (>550k dead, including ~900 additional deaths per day, etc.) since everyone’s able to get a COVID vaccine. He thinks all states should remove all restrictions now that “most high risk people” (i.e. himself) have personally been vacccinated (despite the aforementioned ongoing ~900 deaths per day).

I just saw today that the CDC says you can safely go on vacation if you’ve gotten a COVID vaccine. So if you’ve been working and paying taxes for the last year in the US, but don’t meet any of the high-risk criteria for getting COVID (age, obesity, smoking, etc.), and haven’t been willing to lie to the government, you’re stuck in your basement (or engaging in very limited social outings, or socially-distanced vacations wearing an N95 mask, etc.) while friends/enemies/total strangers who either cheated the system and lied to the government, or don’t give a crap about anyone they might give COVID to, get to go out and party.,

What do you think is going to happen to a society that teaches people that hard work is for idiots and suckers and the only ways to get ahead are either to lie and cheat and steal, or to intentionally harm your own health?

I personally gave up and moved to Taiwan, which was willing to grant me a visa without me having to lie, become obese, or smoke 100 cigarettes, and has a fair system that protects the whole country from getting COVID and allows everyone to live a normal life, instead of merely people who are politically well-connected, engage in self-destructive behavior like smoking cigarettes, or are essentially giant assholes potentially killing people by taking vaccines that were supposed to go to them (I’m not making a judgment about how correct or optimal the US’s allocation rules are, merely that, under the rules we decided, they were supposed to go to someone else first).

Nuclear war is unlikely to cause human extinction

Such a weapon would actually be completely useless for deterrence. Imagine a nuclear attack were launched against your country killing half the population (immediately and through fallout). The survivors are then going to activate their doomsday weapon, ensuring they all die as well, just so they can get revenge? I find that incredibly implausible.

Using conventional nuclear weapons as a deterrent posts many of the same challenges due to the threat of retaliation. For example, say some foreign nation attacks NYC with non-nuclear weapons, or perhaps hits it with a single nuclear weapon, and threatens nuclear destruction of the entire US if the US retaliates in any way. Then what happens?

I think the idea that constructing weapons of mass destruction makes us safer is quite a dangerous one and I’m worried that someone might come away from reading a post like this with the impression that there’s nothing to worry about since we’d only manage to kill perhaps 95% or 99% of the world’s population and not 100%. Building and stockpiling thousands of hydrogen bombs should seem just as abhorrent to people as building a doomsday weapon that serves no functional purpose other than to enable us to kill all life on Earth.