With Adam Smith‘s publication of Wealth of Nations in 1776 he missed a tiny but in retrospect obvious idea. His idea was that the proof that a business was doing the right thing for its environment was that it was making more money than its competitors. The tiny idea Smith missed took the Darwin family until 1859, some eighty-three years later, to extend the idea to all living things. And, the person they tried to forget, Alfred Russel Wallace, to generalize coherently the process whereby the public now thinks of it is as simply “the survival of the fittest.” Basically, the “fittest” means those individuals who were best able to survive long enough to produce children capable of reproducing themselves within the totality of the environmental situation within which they found themselves living.
There have been innumerable methods the living creatures of our world have used for making this adaptation work more efficiently. They are grouped under the rubric “sexual selection.” That’s where members of a species choose mates that are in some judgment a better fit to the total environment, because of their observable indicator qualities. The functional goal is a better fit for the environment, but sexual selection achieves greater success than simple natural selection by leaving a broader set of genes available for the times when things change for the species.
Smith said, “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production,” but the word consumption might for a species be replaced with the word living. The quote might then be “A vigorous living species is the sole end and purpose of all reproduction.”
I want to suggest a thought that might accelerate the science and wisdom of humanity. Science is the accumulation of the fittest ideas that work in their defined environments. And wisdom is the application of known science to future situations.
We can apply those thoughts to yesterday’s Probaway Covid projection chart. The science is presenting the known data in a comprehensible form and thus seeing the facts clearly presented, and the wisdom consists of projecting those known facts into the not too distant future.
As there is nothing very different happening in the behavior of the Covid viruses or the human responses over the next two months, it is reasonable to project those case lines and death lines as being accurate for half that time, say about one month. This seems fair when looking at the chart which has had nearly a straight line for three months.
The Covid kills 6,607 today and my garden is looking good.
Using that conservative approach the number of Covid cases a month from now on May 23 would be approximately 20,000,000 (twenty million). Yikes!
A slowing factor to that explosion would be that the tourist movements throughout the world are being limited. It was the tourist attractions like those found in Italy that made places thus prone to the earlier outbreaks.
The accelerating factors will be seen as the Covid finds its way into large cities off the main tourist routes, where the growth of cases will be explosive and massive. Those places often have more compressed communities and fewer medical facilities for slowing the spread of this highly infectious disease. And to worsen the outlook,
People are growing annoyed with restrictions on personal behavior and are beginning to flout them.