Flusom prison blues

I suppose I’d better write a post, hadn’t I?

First of all, this lockdown doesn’t really bother me, aside from the fact I can’t get to a gym. I’ve spent plenty of time sitting in flats in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk waiting out blizzards, mooching about my apartment in Lagos as the general strike went on outside, or surfing the internet in a flat in Kuwait for the best part of a year because there was absolutely nothing to do outside but loaf around a shopping centre. I’ve also spent 28 days on an offshore platform and 10 days on a Russian ship. I can entertain myself easily enough anywhere with a computer, internet, TV, banjo, and guitar.

I’m also quite happy working from home, and the job has turned out to be quite rewarding. I’m in charge of three projects in support of technologies which have never been done on this scale before, so it’s all quite new and exciting. In hindsight, working in the oil industry is like hanging out with a village blacksmith insofar as exposure to new technology and processes goes. We’re all working remotely now, and given most of us are engineers we don’t mind being deprived of human contact provided we have our computers and spreadsheets.

I honestly have nothing to say about the Corona Virus and the government’s response to it. I have no idea whether this lockdown is a massive overreaction which will destroy the economy or whether it’s necessary to prevent tens of thousands of avoidable deaths which no democracy can tolerate, and anyone who claims to emphatically know one way or another is probably a bullshit artist. The best thing I can do is stay at home and see how things pan out.

However, I have noticed that Plod, true to form, is absolutely relishing their new powers to harass and threaten ordinary members of the public, lying to them about the law in the process. If in a week’s time civil unrest breaks out and the usual suspects start kicking the crap out of policemen, they’re going to wonder – again – why nobody bothered stepping in to help them. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the police are not on the side of the ordinary public, and this COVID-19 lockdown is demonstrating just that.

And I found this amusing:

New Hampshire has banned the use of reusable shopping bags in a bid to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Governor Chris Sununu issued the emergency order on Saturday to temporarily revert to single-use plastic or paper bags in grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and other retail businesses to protect customers and workers.

This comes after several other US states took similar measures. It’s almost as if Chesterton’s fence had a purpose after all, isn’t it?

Stay safe, everyone.


12 thoughts on “Flusom prison blues

  1. “ I suppose I’d better write a post, hadn’t I?”

    Yes you had. Welcome back 🙂

    Yeah you’re right about plod. I’ve never been as cynical as you about them; I think most of them are good people. But they have really overreached these last few days.

    Once the constraints on liberty no longer actually align with virus-fighting, they lose legitimacy and threaten that precious policing-by-consent thing.

    Where I live, there is plenty of green space. It is far more sensible for people in the towns to drive out to the larger areas on the edge of town than cram into the small town-centre greens. But plod are harassing them into remaining in busy areas. Idiots.

  2. I occasionally check in here hoping to see a new post (to satisfy my interest in plastic bags, the critique of polyamory, etc.) and I’m normally disappointed. Today is different. Nice to see you back.

  3. Good to see you back, and pleased your new job is doing so well.

    I share your distaste with plod’s excesses. Mind you, bluebottles do love sh!t, don’t they?

  4. Welcome back Tim. I checked in here just now for the first time in 6 weeks given your new (not-)blogging status, just in case… and here you are! So very glad that things are going well for you.

    You’re spot-on that anyone who pretends to know the right answers is a bullshit artist. We’ll all be experts /after/ the event though, won’t we?!

    And yes, Plod as ever just can’t help themselves, can they? Bloody idiots some of them. I’d love to know what happens in their training. I’m pretty sure that it used to be made clear to them that they police by consent – is that no longer the case I wonder.

    What I am finding interesting – but not surprising – is the contrast between e.g. BBC output (I won’t call it reporting) and something like, say Julia Hartley Brewer’s prog on TalkRadio in the morning. The former churning out a doom-laden perspective and narrative, calling on comment from the usual ‘blob’ suspects. Especially noteable for me was Mark Easton’s TV news report a week or two ago, from the steps of some building overlooking empty streets in a town somewhere in the UK. It reported nothing, but was instead a kind-of semi-poetic dystopian dirge about a country on it’s knees, businesses broken, society possibly forever changed. Really downbeat and imparting nothing but negativity. But with the latter, JHB having interesting guests on daily, where she asks concise questions and gets real facts about about what is going on. Upbeat, positive, realistic – a completely different feel.

    I’m using this all as an opportunity to wean people off the BBC and the like and onto different info sources. Told a few of my friends and family that now is the time to red-pill themselves!

  5. You only came back to get JuliaM’s Post Title of the Month award didn’t you?

    As for what to do about Wuhan Flu? Just do what the Chinese have done: Stop testing for the virus then when no new cases appear declare the crisis over, send everybody back to work and report all deaths as ‘Heart Attack’ or ‘Pneumonia’ etc. etc.

    Oh and jail all journalists who try to report the facts.

    Maybe give it another few weeks but eventually we’ll have to do something like that so we might as well start sooner rather than later.

  6. Pedant Alert IRRC blue bottles live off rotting carrion rather than faeces. You can tell I’m not getting out often can’t you.

  7. “anyone who claims to emphatically know one way or another is probably a bullshit artist”

    This is one area where I have some respect for politicians; with incomplete and uncertain information they have to make a decision and be accountable for it. We can get away with prevaricating, because it is just an opinion. For them it is a decision that needs to be made.

  8. Hi, Tim; long time no see. In the course of transferring the blogroll from my moribund old blog to the new one, I came across your address and checked to see if you are still writing; I’m delighted to see you are. Germane to your subject, have you seen this site?


    It also contains a review of the Imperial College model as developed by Dr. Ferguson. The review finds that the algorithm Ferguson used displays significantly different results even for identical starting seeds and parameters, simply is using a different mode. The example illustrated resulted in a variation of 80,000 deaths after 80 days.


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