Future Studies and Pandemics

The Black Death

In the mid-2000s I attended courses in Future Studies at the University of Hawaii. Jim Dator, one of the founders of Future Studies in North America was there, and he had some useful, if soft, methods for going about understanding different futures.

This is relevant to the latest pandemic because it is one of the few ways to get a grip on the possibilities that are unfolding in front of us. The future is, after all, unpredictable by definition. However, one can become sensitive to certain scenarios.

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Ten Million Years

When one wants to understand what the most sigificant digits are regarding courses of action, it is vital to have the appropriate time-scale. What can be done in 1 day is a much more constrained problem than one can be done in 1 year, 10 years, 1,000 years, etc. Ten million years is sufficiently large to rethink pretty much everything. As Peter Brannan writes in The Anthropocene is a Joke:

Unless we fast learn how to endure on this planet, and on a scale far beyond anything we’ve yet proved ourselves capable of, the detritus of civilization will be quickly devoured by the maw of deep time.

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Keto diet

There are several advantages to a ketogenic or keto diet. The main problem is that one is faced with having to battle one's culture to do it.

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Toddler Constipation – Not Pooping!

Our three-year-old wasn't pooping regularly, which caused a lot of concern. Eventually we were going to go to the hospital for a thorough set of tests and what not, after about 4 months of once-per-week pooping. There are many potential causes and this behavior is not uncommon in 2-6 year olds.

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Facemask use for Covid-19

Facemasks in the United States

Taiwan president wearing a facemask

During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the WHO and CDC initially performed a disservice by downplaying the advantages of facemasks. This was due to the critical shortage of these and the need for health and medical personnel to have access to them. In particular, the CDC underscored that surgical masks or N-95 respirators be reserved for healthcare professionals and first responders.

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