Monday, May 4, 2020

A Journal of the Plague Year, Part the Twenty-Fifth - Simple Math

Okay folks.  Let’s do some math.

Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that 98% of Americans are not idiots.  This may be optimistic.  But for the most part people tend to be fairly reasonable and aware of things, especially where their own survival is concerned.  We’re evolutionarily programmed to be at least that smart.  And most people are just fine.

You will note that 98% covers an awful lot of Americans.  There is no single race, party, creed, gender, orientation, or sports fandom that even approaches that number.  Most of us across the board are simply not idiots.

But that’s “most.”  Not “all.”  There is in point of fact an irreducible percentage of idiots among us and that’s just how it is.  Let’s be charitable about the number and guess low and stick with the 2% figure.

As of today, there are about 330,000,000 Americans, and more coming every day.

Two percent of three hundred thirty million is 6,600,000.

This means that even at the most optimistic estimate, there are more than six and a half million idiots in the United States.

That’s more than the entire population of Denmark.  If every single person in Denmark was a blithering idiot incapable of feeding themselves without inflicting fatal spoon injuries on the cat and burning down half the block, we’d still have more idiots than that.  And fewer cats.

It’s more than the entire population of Finland, Norway, Ireland, New Zealand, or Croatia.  It’s more than all of Jamaica and Uruguay combined.  It’s three times the population of Slovenia and four times the population of Bahrain.  It’s half the population of Belgium.

It’s a LOT of idiots.

The problem with idiots is that their impact is logarithmic.  Below a certain point they’re barely noticeable – they’re a danger to themselves but well within the tolerances that Nature demands for progress.  Somebody has to be at the bottom of the curve, after all.  This is why other countries are generally behaving as responsible adults here in the middle of the pandemic.  Their idiots haven’t crossed the line and reached critical mass yet, so they can be safely shunted aside and squashed down by the non-idiot 98% of the population.  But once the number of idiots does cross that line they become a serious problem and then everyone, idiot or not, is – as the old saying goes – fucked unto the Lord.

There’s an old riddle about algae that double in number every day and take 100 days to completely cover a pond.  How many days does it take to cover half of the pond?

Most people automatically answer 50, but like many popular ideas that is both simplistic and wrong.  Remember, it doubles every day.  Half the pond won’t be covered until the 99th day.  And honestly, until you get to day 93 or so, you won’t even notice it.

Plagues work that way too.

And so do idiots.

The United States is awash in a critical mass of idiots right now, millions of them, all of them loudly protesting for their right to die gasping for air while they drown in their own lungs and waving their pathetic little penis extenders in the air while they do so.  Some of them are also waving the Flag of Southern Treason as if that’s going to earn them the respect of anyone with more than six functioning brain cells, and just because they’re Extra Special Snowflakes there are even a few of them are actually waving around the flag of an enemy nation that the United States and the Allies ground into dust in 1945.  Remember that?  We gave medals to the Americans who did that and we called those Americans the Greatest Generation.  People should remember that.

Folks, the only reason any American should be carrying a Nazi flag is if that American captured it in battle.

Now, if these idiots were the only ones who would suffer I’d be tempted to let them have their wish.  Might raise the general level of intelligence and morality around the place.  Not the most humane thing, granted, but part of being an adult is having the right to make stupid decisions about your own future and this absolutely qualifies.

The problem, of course, is that by their dimwitted, self-centered, immoral, and grotesquely immature actions those idiots are actively harming the rest of us, and that’s where that right to be stupid ends.  They’re threatening the non-idiot 98% of Americans - a figure that includes nurses, doctors, essential workers, children, and anyone smart enough to understand that deadly diseases don’t give a damn about politics, that the economy is made of people and not dollars, and that there is a significant difference between “unconstitutional” and “inconvenienced.”  These idiots have reached critical mass and there are no grownups in the federal government left to swat them down like the misbehaving toddlers they are. 

Hell, the post turtle in the Oval Office is one of them.

Unless and until the idiots are herded back into their protected spaces and given crayons and paper enough to keep them occupied for the next few months, the pandemic will continue to spiral out of control and we will look back on the current projections of half a million dead with longing that we might have gotten away that lightly if only the idiots hadn’t reached critical mass.

Most Americans aren’t idiots.

Almost all of them are not idiots, in fact.

But the simple math says there are enough idiots even so that this may not save us.


LucyInDisguise said...

There is not really that many people dead or dying. Not that many in hospitals, either. The liburals are just making it all up in order to make Donny the Pony look bad. Again. If that many people were really dying the government would do something.

True story! Honest!

I just read it on the intertubes about 20minutes ago.


Is it really possible to sprain your eyes in an eye-roll??? Must be - I just put both of mine and my wife's in slings ...

LucyInDisguise said...

Oh, and this is absolutely precious:


LucyInDisguise said...

(Take the time to read the comments. A significant percentage are from outside the U.S.)


David said...

Ah, glorious satire. Not that the idiots will pick up on it or appreciate it, but it does keep up morale for the rest of us.

The rest of the world is looking at the US with a mixture of horror and pity thanks to the corrupt parody of leadership we have these days. I don't blame them a bit - I feel that way myself.

I've given up eye-rolling and gone straight to more vivid gestures, which feels better even if it is no more effective. Sigh.