How many ideas and institutions will not survive?

Rebel Yell and I were speaking yesterday (he from his castle, I from mine) about what the current plague will mean, does mean, for ideas and institutions that have wandered the landscape these many years that will disappear as snow in spring.

I predict the following will be gravely diminished or are about to be finished:

I think that all social institutions will be gravely hurt – which is bad – and that a lot of activity will have to move on-line if the isolation lasts more than four months:

  • churches
  • masons, fraternities, knights of columbus etc
  • sports leagues
  • schools

How are courts to function? How will witnesses be heard? How will lawyers argue?

Are universities necessary if they do not perform the function of educating students?

There is a part of me that figures this is all a plot of Satan (fill in your favourite force of evil in the spot occupied by Satan, but why not go to the top?) to further isolate people in their cells, to confine them to quarters, to have them willingly surrender their freedoms for a bit of security. We are becoming like the former Soviet Union, where zero trust is the operative condition; where you must have known people from high school before you are able to trust them with political discussion. We are nearly at that stage now in Ottawa. Or maybe we have been in that stage for thirty years and I am finally noticing the political repression.

Here is a piece of music written in equally fraught times by the Catholic composer William Byrd at the time of the English Reformation. Two pieces actually: Ne Irasceris Domine (be not wrathful, O Lord) and Sancta Civitas (Holy City) with its great line “Ieruslaem desolata est”. Jerusalem is indeed desolate this morning. But I am feeling quite well.

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Arran Gold

This is unprecedented – in OUR lifetime. That is about it. Just the other day I read an article about how from now on people will start wearing gloves all the time, a la Michael Jackson. Then I read here about “Are universities necessary if they do not perform the function of educating students?” I am sure you are aware that some English guy was sitting in his yard doing nothing because the universities were shut due to an outbreak when he saw an apple fall. The human race will survive like it always has. Hell, we even survived the Toba catastrophe and the likely associated genetic bottleneck.

What will not endure is the current plethora of obtuse modalities. If it was around over 100-years ago it will be fine and that includes church, sports leagues, universities etc. Anything that is “post-modern” will need to re-examined and that includes everything from just-in-time inventory to China. In case of the latter, all those who used to shill for USSR are now doing the same for China especially now that the “Great Russian Election Heist of 2016” has made Russia a persona non grata.

Arran Gold

Another point to note is the following numbers.

South Korea, where it has already peaked, total deaths: 84
Taiwan, total deaths: 1

Now ask yourself, if I told you that something was going to lead to this many deaths would it be a life altering event? It isn’t the virus but our reaction to the virus that is mind-boggling. Based on what has transpired in South Korea all of this wouldn’t even merit a footnote if it wasn’t for the panic.

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