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Covid-19; we dodged a bullet
(02-13-2021, 09:35 PM)iancampbell Wrote: Good points. IMHO the reason for the difference is that South Korea is far more used to authoritarianism, and far more tolerant of it, than is the UK for example.

How is South Korea more authoritarian than the UK? The SK government is a democratic republic with multiple branches acting as checks against each other, and a national assembly elected by proportional representation. While the assembly is dominated by the largest two political parties (Democratic and United Future) the method of voting is far more democratic than the UK plurality system, and given that voting reform was pretty recent it remains to be seen whether these two parties retain their dominance. In addition the SK head of state is elected by popular vote as opposed to the UK's constitutional monarch, and while the Queen exercises little political power the royal family still have an undue influence in British politics (see the recent revelations that Prince Charles has vetted laws on rent reform to prevent tenants living on land he owns from being legally allowed to purchase their properties).

The widespread track and trace system in SK worked because they were prepared for this sort of event and the government was quick to enforce participation as a social responsibility, I'd hardly call that authoritarianism. Particularly as, in the long run, it lead to a retention of every-day civil liberties as those testing positive could quickly isolate. This prevented the need for mass lockdowns, along with saving thousands of lives. By contrast the UK government consistently offered contracts to companies with little to no proven ability to provide the required services, and there have been a slew of scandals related to contracts going to brand new companies spun off by Tory party donors. Combined with the Dominic Cumming's example that the pandemic was operating on a Rules for Thee, Not for Me principle and it's laughable to suggest that the UK did poorly due to it being anti-authoritarian.

(02-13-2021, 09:35 PM)iancampbell Wrote: It's also much more uniform in ethnicity and culture.

Anytime someone calls out a nation's ethnic uniformity it's often a dog whistle, and an excuse. It's a popular talking point for US right wing pundits when trying to explain why the US couldn't possibly implement social institutions that various European countries have had for decades, mostly pointing at the Nordic countries and attributing their extensive social services and worker rights laws as being somehow due to their whiteness. Really not sure what reasonable point you can make about ethnic diversity being a hindrance to effective diseases management. The fact that there are British people who are white, black, asian etc. in no way contributed to our poor COVID response.

(02-13-2021, 09:35 PM)iancampbell Wrote: Quite simply, if anything like the compulsory mass testing and track-and-trace used in Korea had been tried in the UK a significant proportion of the population would have refused or evaded it in some way.

Agreed there is a weaker culture of social responsibility, exacerbated by people at the top ignoring the rules they implemented. To get back to the point of the thread it really shows that technology was only part of the issue here, and in the UK given that we have nearly the highest deaths per capita of any nation I would say we dodged one bullet to dive into several more.

(02-13-2021, 09:35 PM)iancampbell Wrote: The problem in the US was caused right at the top. America has serious problems, as evidenced by the choice of candidates in the 2016 election. The choice was appalling; between a reality-show host with no grip on most of the issues, and a shrieking harridan who thinks most of the electorate were "a basket of deplorables", to say nothing of her alleged criminality.

I thought at the time that, of the choices, America chose the least bad option. Now, I'm not so sure.

At this point I'd question the critical thinking skills/media bubble of anyone still unsure as to whether or not the Trump regime was the worse option. Studies are already estimating that in excess of two hundred thousand deaths could have been prevented. It begs belief that a centrist regime, regardless of what one thinks of centrists (and I wouldn't class myself as one) would have led to the same number of deaths. "Shrieking Harridan" is another dog whistle to, whether or not you intended it or were simply repeating something you've heard. There are plenty of legitimate criticisms of Hilary Clinton as a politician but hitting her with generic misogyny about being a shrill woman isn't one of them.

(02-13-2021, 09:35 PM)iancampbell Wrote: Regarding the UK, the politicians were of course distracted by Brexit. An issue that should have been done and dusted eighteen months before, and the politicians messed that one up too.

Of course, Brexit was always a delusional pipe dream manufactured to gain votes for a particular election that has caused immeasurable damage. It's hardly the sole reason the UK covid response was so terrible. Again, technology here was largely irrelevant.

I can't see this thread going in any good direction. Is there any specific technology you wanted to discuss? Or is it just an attempt to make a feel-good story out of a situation in which tens of thousands of families in my country alone are grieving needlessly?
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Messages In This Thread
Covid-19; we dodged a bullet - by iancampbell - 02-13-2021, 03:27 PM
RE: Covid-19; we dodged a bullet - by Rynn - 02-13-2021, 08:08 PM
RE: Covid-19; we dodged a bullet - by iancampbell - 02-13-2021, 09:35 PM
RE: Covid-19; we dodged a bullet - by Rynn - 02-13-2021, 10:47 PM
RE: Covid-19; we dodged a bullet - by iancampbell - 02-14-2021, 12:01 AM
RE: Covid-19; we dodged a bullet - by Rynn - 02-14-2021, 12:37 AM
RE: Covid-19; we dodged a bullet - by Drashner1 - 02-14-2021, 12:46 AM
RE: Covid-19; we dodged a bullet - by SeanR - 02-14-2021, 03:26 AM
RE: Covid-19; we dodged a bullet - by Vitto - 02-17-2021, 09:36 AM
RE: Covid-19; we dodged a bullet - by Vitto - 02-17-2021, 09:45 AM
RE: Covid-19; we dodged a bullet - by stevebowers - 02-17-2021, 11:10 PM
RE: Covid-19; we dodged a bullet - by MacGregor - 02-20-2021, 09:27 PM

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