Coronavirus death rate: Data from New York state


In New York state, the Democrat-dominated government’s study of a week or so ago implied a death rate of 0.5%. Note the decimal; that’s half a percent. This had the left in a state of alarm, trying to come up with reasons why the death rate is much higher.

“But there could be a lot of deaths we don’t know about!” they pouted.

Then New York tested another 4,500.

Among the implications of the total number tested in various locales in New York state:

A quarter (24.7%) of New York City’s population has antibodies to the coronavirus! According to the NY Post link above, that translates to 2.1 million people infected. And the number of deaths in NYC so far? 17,303. That makes the death rate 17,303/2,100,000 = 0.8%. That is, markedly less deadly than the figures bandied about earlier, like 4%.

CNBC on the statewide numbers: 2.7 million cases statewide, with 19,453 deaths attributed to the virus. So the implied mortality rate is 0.7%, again less than 1 percent.

As to the politics of all this, it’s working wonderfully in our favor. Trump, in saying he’s going to leave the re-opening decision to the states, destroyed the left’s plan to blame him either way. They are shrieking in outrage over this. They’re saying that Trump is “avoiding responsibility” and “passing the buck,” etc.

Why are they saying this?

Because their plan was to blame Trump for an increase in deaths, if he ended the shutdown and deaths rose, and to blame him for the costs of the shutdown if he kept the shutdown going. They were licking their chops, thinking they had him either way.

Then he said, “Let’s just leave it up to the individual states” – which, hilariously, was exactly what they were demanding that he do a couple of weeks ago, in the name of federalism, saying that he was a dictatorial fascist if he tried to make the call himself.

So he said, “Okay, have it your way,” and gave them an enormous case of political coitus interruptus. If Trump doesn’t make the call, no way to blame Trump! They are absolutely in agony and outrage over this, which is how we know he is doing the right thing politically.

Miscellany Red pill

Blue Pill in Music

Captain Save-A-Ho in popular music:

I’ll quote only the most relevant passages from the lyrics for copyright reasons.

Angel in Blue – The J. Geils Band

A table top dancer
She would smile on cue
Oh those lips of an angel
Angel in blue

She’d been dancin for ages
Through cities of bars
She was kickin’ the habit
Of scoring in cars
She’d been drained of her spirit
All caged up in this zoo
A wild cat angel
Angel in blue

And as she stared out into nowhere
I thought yes I thought she might break down and cry
Oh when I whispered I thought I could love her
She just said, “Baby don’t even bother to try”

And the bees they had stung her
The birds they had flown
There were guys she could number
But none had she known
And she never had dreams
So they never came true
Oh my fade away angel
Angel in blue

The Geils band is somewhat redeemed by the fact that their sax/harmonica player gave himself the excellent stage name “Magic Dick.” You just have to respect that.

Little Red Corvette – Prince

I guess I should of known
By the way you parked your car sideways
That it wouldn’t last
See you’re the kinda person
That believes in makin’ out once
Love ’em and leave ’em fast

I guess I must be dumb
‘Cause you had a pocket full of horses
Trojan and some of them used [FUCKING GROSS]
But it was Saturday night
I guess that makes it all right
And you said what have I got to lose?
And honey I said

Little red Corvette
Baby you’re much too fast
Little red Corvette
You need a love that’s gonna last

I guess I should of closed my eyes
When you drove me to the place
Where your horses run free
‘Cause I felt a little ill
When I saw all the pictures
Of the jockeys that were there before me…

Little red Corvette
Baby you’re much too fast, yes you are
Little red Corvette
You need to find a love that’s gonna last

And the number one “Captain Save-A-Ho” song is…

Roxanne, by The Police, the literal Captain Save-A-Ho song:

You don’t have to put on the red light
Those days are over
You don’t have to sell your body to the night

You don’t have to wear that dress tonight
Walk the streets for money
You don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right

You don’t have to put on the red light

I loved you since I knew ya
I wouldn’t talk down to ya
I have to tell you just how I feel
I won’t share you with another boy [DUDE, YOU ARE SO WRONG ABOUT THAT.]
I know my mind is made up
So put away your make-up
Told you once, I won’t tell you again it’s a bad way

You don’t have to put on the red light

Red pill

Sex and Some Game Theory


Recently at Jim’s blog there was a perceptive comment about approach anxiety and the evolutionary reasons for it. (Surprisingly, this came from the same commenter who made a bizarre comment in my last post, one “Ertz.”) The good comment and Jim’s response are worth quoting at length (some formatting added):


The potential for dating and flirting anxieties/shyness/inhibitions should be evolutionary deeply rooted in men, because it’s a life and death issue:

Successful reproduction is, of course, an existential problem, as the threat of genetic extermination looms large – but men tend to have more than half a century of time to get it done.
I see two immediate threats that must have programmed men’s instincts in the ancestral environment with great caution:

1. Trying to mate with fertile women is guaranteed to arouse the ire of other men – those at the top in hierarchy who claim a monopoly on the women,
and the lower ranked men who are driven by competition/envy.
So, just going publicly for the women and trying to mate with them (just being physically near them may cause aggression – openly or hidden – from other men) is an aggression against the interests of all other men – and met with counter-aggression.
Those guys who just tried to mate openly and publicly and not having inhibitions about it , without having the necessary social status, have probably been driven into extinction directly (killing, injury) or – through the works of envy, social sabotage etc. – indirectly.
Men who fear dating/flirting with women would then not really fear the women or the dating situation, but the revenge of other men.

2. Females’ mate choice copying makes sexually successful men significantly more attractive to women – but the opposite is also true: Sexually unsuccessful men become vastly more unattractive, even sexually disgusting, to women.
(Women’s gossip seems to be a socio-sexual “intelligence agency” that exists to identify sexually successful and loser men by gathering and sharing information about who has had sex with whom, which men failed, who has won and who has lost in competitions etc. – to enable women to mate with the sexually successful men and avoid mating with the losers – and it has to be gossip – sharing of secrets – because sharing this information openly would incite envy and aggression and mate guarding and anti-cuckolding instincts in men.)
If this were not the case, men could just go from woman to woman publicly and ask each one for sex, until one consents. This not happening, it produces a strong emotional inhibition in men – it feels terribly wrong to try it, embarrassing, painful:
Because the sexual attractiveness of a man to all women is diminished with every rejection he suffers that other women learn of (almost guaranteed by the female gossiping instinct), being rejected by just one woman has a terrible cost in fitness for a man with all other women.

All this should result in approach anxiety being programmed into men,
in taking sexual advances very, very seriously, because it is very risky, dangerous, costs-incurring for men to fail.
This might explain why so many men try to spy on their sexual target to learn more about her [Wait, what?], try to engineer an ideal first meeting situation that is somewhat under their control and provides advantage, try to meet the girl not in a public situation but in a one-on-one private one (so others cannot directly observe and spread information about his rejection [if he’s rejected]), to improve the odds for success, try to be slow and indirect about it, delaying a long time before they act.

Jim’s response is worth quoting in full:

The female instinct is to arrange to be socially isolated with her target – preferably in a situation where, in the ancestral environment, he could rape her.

Pulling works, but women want to be pursued. Hitting on a woman demonstrates confidence and high status, and hitting on a woman in public is demonstration of being top alpha. On the other hand women want to be pursued to validate their attractiveness, and being pursued gives her what she wants, and she then loses interest (because in the ancestral environment, if you did not then drag her off to your lair and ravish her, you were obviously not the top alpha.)

Observe cats in operation. The tomcat pulls, by taking a prominent position and yowling, thus demonstrating that no other tomcat can drive him off and he can drive all the other tomcats off. The female then approaches, and then gives the tomcat a hard time This hard time may, and frequently does, escalate to the tomcat violently “raping” her, except that it is not exactly rape type rape, since the female cat clawed her way through the mosquito netting to get to the tomcat, and proceeded to hang out with him.

You have to chase, but you have to get the chick to give you the opportunity to chase, so you have to pull, but you have to pull and chase in a way that does not give her the validation she is hungry for. Don’t give her validation until she does what chicks always want to do, gets on her own with you. Hence “make me a coffee”. You are likely to get more than coffee, but, like the female cat after ripping her way through the mosquito netting, she is going to give you a hard time with the coffee.

If you are worried about other men seeing you approach a chick, you are emitting beta tells. If you are worried about the chick’s rejection, you are not only emitting beta tells, but you are approaching her in a way that gives her validation for free. But, of course, you are rightly worried about these things. If you approach a whole lot of chicks, you are diminishing your status, and handing out a whole lot of free validation.

You will notice, that, as usual, for everything I advise, I also advise the direct opposite. It is complicated, subtle, and not easily expressed in words. There is a narrow path between one error and the opposite error, and it is hard to tell if you are on the path until after you have fallen off the path to one side or the other. But you also have to stroll briskly and confidently along the path.


Jim’s cat example is a good illustration of the non-conscious nature of much female sexual behavior. Cats don’t even have language, let alone Sex Ed class, so it’s not like the female cat knew what was going to happen (if she’s never been mounted) when she clawed through the mosquito netting to get to the tomcat. She doesn’t even know that there is such a thing as sex. At that point she has no idea that such a thing as a penis even exists, and a few minutes later is startled to find this strange organ the male cat has being shoved into her.

Is the female cat’s behavior intended to get her raped? Yes and no. No, if you mean consciously intended by the female cat. Yes, if you mean “intended” by evolution in an adaptive sense.

Question a la mode: When women in western nations vote for political parties that admit a flood of rapey foreigners, do those women vote that way “in order to get raped”?

On another topic, Jim wrote, “You have to chase, but you have to get the chick to give you the opportunity to chase, so you have to pull, but you have to pull and chase in a way that does not give her the validation she is hungry for. Don’t give her validation until she does what chicks always want to do, gets on her own with you.”

This is, indeed, the entire point of Game in a nutshell. Before you know Game you find – at least I did when I was younger – that the female sex largely divides into two camps, those who want you but whom you don’t want, and those whom you want but whom don’t want you. I had chicks want me and even fall in love with me (pats self on back) but somehow by some strange coincidence it was always girls I wasn’t interested in.

No, it’s not some horrific coincidence: The second group doesn’t want you precisely because you want them. Really, it’s a wonder that the human race managed to propagate itself before Game taught men techniques for pursuing without pursuing. (Partly we managed to survive because female mate choice was limited in ways that rendered this Catch-22 less important.) Mystery’s notion is that you should make her think she could have you, maybe, if she works hard enough. Robert Heinlein, in To Sail Beyond the Sunset, put optimal seduction strategy in the mouth of a female character; I’ll reverse the gender of the quote: “My strategy for seducing a woman is to let her chase me, while running away very slowly.”

Circling back to Jim: “You will notice, that, as usual, for everything I advise, I also advise the direct opposite. It is complicated, subtle, and not easily expressed in words.”

Seduction is game theory played against opponents (women) who are utterly ruthless and not entirely aware of their own motives and desires.

Seduction is both an art and a science. It is not like submitting an answer to a math problem in school. It is like stirring fluid in a pot. Boldly approaching a woman is alpha because it shows you’re not afraid of other men getting aggressive with you about it. But it’s also risky, since being blown out hurts your chances with other women. Yet the most alpha thing you can do is act like that doesn’t bother you. And to an extent you can exhort yourself into not being bothered by it, or being bothered less.

Aidan MacLear has said that if you use Game, “you are ghey.” Well… compared to memorizing a bunch of negs, etc., it would be better to get lots of pussy by being the top warlord of your tribe and letting women see you lop off the heads of several enemy men with a sword in combat. That’s what women are adapted for. But given that the modern world doesn’t work that way – and that the vast majority of men aren’t going to be the top warlord – we’re forced to do things differently.

Leftism Politics

Chesterton’s Fence and Institutions that Protect Reproduction


There’s all truth about politics, which is presumably too large for the human mind to encompass, and then there are the truths we need in our current situation. There’s a lot of that too, but more manageable. One of the big names you need here is Hayek.

Hayek is not as well known as he should be, which is a fierce indictment of so-called “education” in our society. He devoted a lot of attention to, and provided thorough intellectual grounding for, the idea that is often summed up with two words: Chesterton’s Fence. The brief version: A “reformer” comes across a fence in a road and says, “I see no reason for this fence; we should knock it down now!” Chesterton says, “No, you fuckwit, because someone probably put it there for a reason. Fences don’t just spring out of the ground at random.”

A fence is produced by human beings purposefully, but the metaphor of Chesterton’s Fence generalizes to human institutions that arise and are selected through a non-purposeful process of cultural evolution. The phrase “Chesterton’s fence” is more memorable than Hayekian phrases like “spontaneous order,” “cultural evolution,” “dispersed knowledge,” “the results of human action but not human intention,” etc. But you haven’t really understood Chesterton fully until you’ve absorbed a certain measure of Hayek.

Exposition like Hayek’s is necessary to satisfy people who are concerned about careful arguments, as opposed to vivid metaphors. And it is needed when our enemies— totalitarians of all kinds— demand such arguments. (They don’t actually care about arguments, but they often pretend they do for tactical reasons.)

There are irrefutable arguments that are summed up in the phrase Chesterton’s Fence. Some of the social phenomena for which the Fence metaphor is relevant are things we understand in detail, but some we can’t understand in full detail— or at least we don’t yet— and so we must rely on the Fence as a general principle.

Two examples of such phenomena we understand in detail are the ways that market economies work— see Hayek’s essay The Use of Knowledge in Society — and the red-pill Darwinian explanation of traditional institutions to deal with female behavior.

An example of a recent social innovation whose effects are not understood in detail is homosexual “marriage.” This has never existed in the western world and has been a very rare thing indeed in the world in general, if it has existed at all (discussion below). Why? The obvious response is, “Because it’s fucking absurd!” Yes, of course it is. But why should it be harmful? It doesn’t hurt the society, right? No, wrong. At least that must be the presumption. It must be the presumption on Darwinian grounds, because until around 1990, no one on planet Earth had ever seriously proposed the idea.

“Gay marriage” may be harmful because it dilutes the seriousness with which people regard all marriage. (It may be like shampoo commercials that tell you that you have a “right” to glossy, wavy hair: By trivializing the concept of rights, they weaken it.) Or it could just be that no one ever thought of it before now because such a manifestly idiotic idea was unthinkable. (A married couple is a formally recognized mating pair, and obviously this is absurd for two members of the same sex.) But if it has been thought of and tried before, it was obviously lethal to the societies that tried it.

When it comes to such radical innovations we must rely on Chesterton’s Fence or we’ll uproot institutions that are necessary to our society’s survival. Social institutions that facilitate and protect reproduction are vital. A society cannot tamper with them and remain viable.

Some of these institutions may be impossible to replace if we destroy them. We may be dooming our societies to death if we uproot them. Chesterton’s Fence says to social innovators, “All the presumption is against you. And the fact that you don’t see any objections to your social engineering plans is not a point in their favor. Rather the opposite.”

The reason the lack of apparent objections presses against your pet social innovation is this: If there were known objections, you could, possibly, refute them. Chesterton himself allowed for this possibility. But the actual situation is this:

(1) You can see no objection to your pet innovation (“gay marriage” or whatever),
(2) No society has ever had it and survived.

That’s a daunting pair of facts, because (2) means there’s some reason not to have it, and (1) means whatever the reason is, it’s too subtle for you to understand it. In other words, this is above your intellectual pay grade. It may, indeed, be above all human beings’ pay grade.

Furthermore, homosexual marriage is not the kind of change that one could support by arguing that, say, technological change makes it viable now. What technological change? How is that relevant?

Some try to attack Chesterton’s Fence by saying it proves too much; if it were followed seriously it would preclude all innovation. But one, Chesterton himself explicitly disavowed this, and two, the Fence can be used to support practices that are universal or near-universal and to reject ideas that have never been followed.

You can’t use the Fence to oppose languages with loose word order because such languages have actually existed for thousands of years. You can use it to oppose e.g. women in fighting positions in the military, homosexual marriage, open borders, etc., because those things haven’t.

Discussion of the politically correct “History of same-sex unions” article at Wikipedia:

Summary: Hilariously desperate propaganda.

Wikipedia wants to convince you that same-sex marriage is reasonably common, or at least not unheard-of, in human history, but time and again they put forth an example, then are forced to qualify it as being explicitly temporary— i.e. not a marriage— or not actually condoned by religious authorities of the society, or— and this is so hilariously desperate— they just basically cave in and admit that it was just men fucking boys in the ass in ancient Greece, and involved no marriage whatsoever, and they try to finesse the issue by using the weasel word “union.” Or we get, “In late medieval France, it is possible the practice of entering a legal contract of ‘enbrotherment’ (affrèrement) provided a vehicle for civil unions between unrelated male adults…”

“In the southern Chinese province of Fujian, through the Ming dynasty period, females would bind themselves in contracts to younger females in elaborate ceremonies.” This could mean anything, e.g. an apprenticeship, an adoption, a teacher accepting in loco parentis for a student.

My favorite example, though, is this: “Michel de Montaigne, a 16th-century French philosopher and prominent essayist, reports having heard a third-party description of a same-sex wedding occurring some years earlier…” In other words, “This one guy said he heard a rumor of a gay marriage…” When the advocates of a view are forced to resort to a single example which is third-hand hearsay, it’s because the verifiable facts do not support their claim.

The article also states,

“There are records of same-sex marriage dating back to the first century A.D. Nero was the first, though there is no legal provision for this in Roman Law, and it was banned in the Roman Empire in the fourth in a law of 342 A.D., but the text is corrupt, ‘marries a woman’ nubit feminam might be cubit infamen ‘goes to bed in a dishonorable manner with a man’ as a condemnation of homosexual behavior between men.”

This refers to Wikipedia’s claim that the Emperor Nero “married” a slave boy (or two), but provides only that example from Rome, and Nero anyway was insane. (He “married” the slave boy to replace a woman whom he, Nero, had murdered. He had his own mother killed. And he died by suicide by his own hand or by asking one of his courtiers to kill him.) This does not substantiate the claim that homosexual “marriage” was a normal part of that society. And indeed, below that the article just gives up and admits,

Conubium existed only between a civis Romanus and a civis Romana (that is, between a male Roman citizen and a female Roman citizen), so that a marriage between two Roman males (or with a slave) would have no legal standing in Roman law (apart, presumably, from the arbitrary will of the emperor in the two aforementioned cases).”

[I am quoting Wikipedia’s citation for this last passage against the inevitable erasure of it by censorious SJW leftists:
Corbett, The Roman Law of Marriage (Oxford, 1969), pp. 24–28; Treggiari, Roman Marriage (Oxford, 1991), pp. 43–49.; “Marriages where the partners had conubium were marriages valid in Roman law (iusta matrimonia)” [Treggiari, p. 49]. Compare Ulpian (Tituli Ulpiani 5.3–5: “Conubium is the capacity to marry a wife in Roman law. Roman citizens have conubium with Roman citizens, but with Latins and foreigners only if the privilege was granted. There is no conubium with slaves”; compare also Gaius (Institutionum 1:55–56, 67, 76–80).]


Sweet, an opportunity to use my Epistemology tag!

Slate Star Codex:

“I’m increasingly uncertain that confirmation bias can be separated from normal reasoning.

Suppose that one of my friends says she saw a coyote walk by her house I know there are coyotes in the hills outside Berkeley, so I am not too surprised; I believe her.

Now suppose that same friend says she saw a polar bear walk by her house. I assume she is mistaken, lying, or hallucinating.

Is this confirmation bias? It sure sounds like it. When someone says something that confirms my preexisting beliefs (eg ‘coyotes live in this area, but not polar bears’), I believe it. If that same person provides the same evidence for something that challenges my preexisting beliefs, I reject it.”

No, you’re not wrong to do this; you’re using your beliefs for their proper purpose: making judgments about the world. The whole reason you have a belief that polar bears are extremely rare or non-existent in Berkeley is so that if you think you see a polar bear, you’ll look again more carefully, or that if your friend says “Polar bear!” you’ll consider that she might be playing a joke on you, etc.

The point of having beliefs is not just to have them. It’s to use them to guide yourself through the world. You use them to, e.g. make judgments about how likely it is that your friend is lying or playing a joke on you, etc.

Furthermore, it’s a known fact that people sometimes joke, lie, are mistaken, etc. What entitles you to dismiss that fact? If you believe your friend, you’re abandoning your well-founded belief that people sometimes say false things AND your well-founded belief that there are no polar bears in Berkeley. That’s a weird decision to make.

If you disbelieve your friend, you are retaining your well-founded beliefs that people sometimes say false things and that there are no polar bears in Berkeley. That seems sensible, given the monstrously large number of times humans are observed to say false things, and the large number of times you’ve failed to observe any polar bears in Berkeley.

If I said I saw gnomes dancing on my roof, what would you actually do? Slightly raise your probability that there are gnomes, or significantly raise your probability that I’m a jokester?