Body Count

Have you read Matterhorn, by Karl Marlantes? You should. It's not just the best novel I've ever read about the Vietnam War, but it's also one of my irreplaceable sources of inspiration for understanding The Maw - that unlimited gluttony of the violent State to chomp on our bones and suck out our minds ... and the oddly not-so-rare instances of individual human bravery to persevere regardless.

I would bet my life that there are thousands of instances of individual human bravery persevering against The Maw happening right now ... in Wuhan ... in Wenzhou ... in dozens of other quarantined cities throughout China.

And in Xinjiang, too.

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  1. Avatar for Schase Schase says:

    Ben, what I like best is your insight into what is visible in plain sight but unobserved.

    What I like second best is Rusty’s BBQ last summer.

    Is the narrative about the virus “for sale” as currency in the political utility market? Looking forward to hearing what comes out of DC.

    “Conventional journalism could no more reveal this [Vietnam] war than conventional firepower could win it, all it could do was take the most profound event of the American decade and turn it into a communications pudding, taking its most obvious, undeniable history and making it into a secret history. And the very best correspondents knew even more than that.”

    — Dispatches by Michael Herr

  2. Avatar for bully bully says:

    George Carlin" My first rule: i don’t believe anything the government tells me"
    Ben, I believe this is a piece that needs more public readership, how do we go about accomplishing that? ( Short of going on an ET subscription drive of course )

  3. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    Thanks, Don! The best way to spread the word about ET notes to a broader audience is to promote on social media … Twitter is the best for this, but LinkedIn and Facebook work. We’ll be sending out an email on this note tomorrow, so forwarding the emails to anyone you think might listen is fantastic help, too. AND we should all be on an ET subscription drive at all times, of course!! - Ben

  4. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought of putting select articles on Medium?

  5. Excellent work Ben! Confirms my suspicions all along that Chinese health statistics are no different from Chinese economic statistics. They always contain a message, but not necessarily any “truth”. Even 5 minutes of critical thinking about what flaws may exist in the data collection or the logistics of collecting and processing all the necessary data reveals an utter farce. But in the absence of better data, people will cling to the farce. Reflexivity in markets and economies suggests that this strategy can work to a degree with the economy. Mother nature has a way of creating her own narratives though…

  6. Cartoons are relative, like Final fantasy XV (2016) and “Winnie the Pooh”. At all times there will be somebody telling an “objective” view of reality with occasional tendency to flirt with reality itself. Besides, suggestion boxes regarding inflation and employment are wide open for improvement. Asset allocation, electoral coverage and financial journalism are anomaly rather than the norm being available to 4% of the global population. I know I learned a lot from all of them.

  7. Per CNBC this afternoon/evening:
    Feb. 11 - 103 new deaths - 1,011 cumulative
    908 * 1.10 = 91 Uh-oh… fantasy model is already breaking.

  8. Avatar for bully bully says:

    Ben, do I get a free face mask for every subscription sold?
    Just asking…

  9. Interestingly, believing something is quite easy. All one must do is believe, meaning do not resist whatever it is that is the be believed. But disbelief, now that is an entirely different matter, especially when one is disbelieving “officially sanctioned” belief.

    To do this, a rational and logical man or woman must attempt to counter the official belief with facts, figures and so-called truth. One must attempt to displace the previously declared belief with another belief that is truth, or at least more true than the official belief.

    I follow a simple process when attempting to determine if an official belief should actually be believed. Watch what the official behind the promoted belief does and not what they say. What China is doing, locking up hundreds of millions in quarantine on a true exponential basis, speaks so much louder than words.

    China is lying, proven by what it is doing rather than what it is saying. And given similar circumstances, the rest of the world, including the USA, would (attempt to) do the same thing.

  10. Well, with the Apple event in March, guess we will find out how clean the Foxconn facility is when they ship all those AirPods and iPhones via FedEx first week of April. We all know that Chinese citizens are coming forward and raising their hand saying, “I have a fever”. If the numbers are cartoonish, there will be no pretending after that. I know, I know, way out there.

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