The Future Is Closer

I’ve looked at my checking account and it’s really funny. For the past 16 days it’s all Amazon, Amazon, Amazon, Amazon, Indian takeout, Amazon, Amazon, Starbucks drive-through, Amazon, Amazon, Amazon, Amazon, Amazon.

And it’s not physical stuff I buy. It’s mostly content. Amazon is getting an opportunity to steer us all into a model that will benefit it. Which is not to say that Amazon is somehow to blame for any of this debacle. Amazon lives in the future and would like us to catch up. And this kind of crisis is creating a wrinkle in time that brings the future closer.

In the future, more people work from home, more students of all ages never go to a brick-and-mortar school, most of our purchases are intangible goods, most people rely on UBI and a patchwork of temporary, low-paid online gigs for income, we spend a lot more time on social media, kids are forced to be on devices constantly, the consent is manufactured instantly and no dissent is tolerated, people are more suspicious of each other, and everything feels inexplicably apocalyptic.

12 thoughts on “The Future Is Closer”

  1. We’ve started placing grocery orders online and picking them up at the store so that we don’t have to go in. A month ago I couldn’t have imagined that I would have ever make use of that service.


  2. Some things continue as before with a Muslim Sudanese murdering and wounding in a terrorist attack in France. The quote after the link stood out to me: if he suffered so much from living in a not Muslim country, who forced him to stay?

    In a press release, the Counterterrorism Prosecutor’s office revealed that “handwritten documents with religious overtones in which the author of the lines complained in particular of living in a country of disbelievers” were found duringa search carried out at the suspect’s home.


  3. Have you seen this (link in Russian)? Turns out just before the coronavirus outbreak Russia experienced a huge explosion in one of its most major virus centers. And then a group of people studying the viruses travelled to Wuhan.

    It is probably a coincidence, but still …

    \ Сокурсник Путина Швец: Если спецслужбы РФ занесли коронавирус в Ухань – это шанс для “преемников” убрать Путина, обвинив его в злодействе

    Итак, 16 сентября 2019 года на “Векторе” раздается взрыв.

    19 октября в Ухане открываются Всемирные военные игры, на которых успешно выступает команда военных из РФ. И там однозначно были представители российских спецслужб.


  4. P.S. I believe you more, now, about the numbers.

    I was watching the US death stats on Worldometer today. They reset the ticker at 8:00. It doesn’t happen precisely at 8, but that’s where they divide one day from the next (midnight GMT), and the graphs are usually updated by 8:30. Right up until graphs were updated, the graph number for yesterday was one thousand three hundred something. And the number of deaths for today was about one thousand forty nine. Significantly lower than yesterday.

    But when the graphs updated just now, ~300 of those deaths jumped from yesterday to today without any explanation. Now it says 1045 yesterday and 1331 today. So instead of a spike yesterday and then back down, the graph shows a continual upward trend. But it shouldn’t. Why did 300 people who died yesterday suddenly change their minds and die today?

    Adjustments do happen– a couple of days ago, France’s number shot up so dramatically, that they added a note to explain, on the France page: apparently, France had not been counting people who died outside of hospitals (i.e. at home, or in long-term care facilities), and then they started adding them. I will check back and see if they add a note on the US page for this one. It is weird.


    1. So weird. I started running into this kind of thing the moment I began to pay attention to specific numbers.

      Obviously, I’m not saying that it’s not a terrible disease and people aren’t dying. It is and they are. It’s really terrible. And it’s also true that we are being fed an adjusted narrative.


      1. I ran across something really hopeful today:

        This tweet links to an article that says, in Lombardy, 40 out of 60 blood samples from healthy donors who did not think they had caught coronavirus, were seropositive for COVID-19. This suggests that most people there have already been exposed, and further such testing in other places may support lifting of lockdowns sooner, rather than later.


        1. That’s why I’m saying that “cases” mean nothing. The more you test, the more cases you get. The only way this number means anything is if 100% can get tested.


          1. Yes, I have been ignoring the case numbers. Locally, you can only get a test if you are very sick, or have been in contact with a known case.

            Every working member of my family is “essential personnel” somewhere: my husband works in a retail pharmacy and until lockdown was doing clinicals in the hospital, with respiratory patients (going to school to be an RT)– so we get exposed to EVERYTHING. Since lockdown, we have all been ill (husband was first). Nobody with exactly the same symptoms, but if you add everybody’s symptoms up, you get a case of COVID: sore throat, fever, headache, cough, congestion, chest tightness, diarrhea, fatigue, and “allergies”…

            This makes me happy. My parents just went through similar (dad is a gate guard who comes into contact with hundreds of people every day– all of his coworkers have been similarly ill recently), we all seem to be over it now… so maybe we can stop worrying, go on with life, have the folks over, etc.

            Widespread antibody testing cannot get here fast enough.


            1. I would also be curious to have an antibody test, because we are also wondering if we might have already had it. My husband was really sick around the end of February with a high fever and a cough. He barely got out of bed for three days because of it, though he refused to go to the doctor despite my encouraging him to do so. We assumed it was the flu since there were no COVID-19 cases in our region at the time, but the symptoms line up with a “milder” case of COVID-19. The first confirmed cases showed up here about 10 days after that, so it is possible that it was already here.

              The strangest thing is that we live in a small house and it’s rare that one of us gets something and doesn’t pass it on to the other. If anything, I tend to catch things more easily than my husband does, but I never got sick with whatever he had. Given the high number of asymptomatic carriers, I wonder if I was just one of the lucky people who didn’t get sick from it.


              1. I’ve been having really bad headaches, and I’m the kind of person who never gets headaches. And also really really bad upset stomach that’s gone on for days for absolutely no discernible reason. My husband doesn’t have any of this.

                But I don’t think I had fever. I never tried finding out but I don’t think I did. Until today, I had no idea headaches and diarrhea were COVID symptoms.


  5. A lot of folks are reporting headache, and something like 40% get diarrhea? Loss of taste and smell also pretty common, but that happens to me every time I get a cold, so I don’t read too much into it.


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