Editorial – Jan 2022: How much evidence is evidence?

January 2, 2022 | By | Reply More

Hello everyone

Another year. Another covid variant. Sounds like a repeat of last year although probably no better than we have had before. Worse actually, with many governments still slow on the uptake when there is a need to lockdown, putting commerce before possible fatal consequences. How can I write an editorial on anything else and reflect on nothing else being this important. Science Fiction is covered in my article anyway.

Oddly, some citizens, hopefully that includes us, are quicker on the uptake because we recognise the signs with masking in confined spaces, whether its indoors or outdoors. Even so, the consensus is the covid infection and all its variants isn’t going to go away any time soon. Bet that’s never happened in a Science Fiction story, mostly because there’s a need for an end rather than leave it open-ended. It appears everyone likes closure. Short of death, reality rarely works like that.

Omicron is hitting the young more simply because they haven’t all been inoculated. Although not so fatal, it does spread around even faster. The tell-tell signs for this particular covid-variant. The next variant might not be so lucky with us so we shouldn’t let our guard down. Even so, we are still vastly behind in inoculating the world’s population once, let alone three times. If ever there was a need for a new year’s resolution for the affluent nations to do something this has to be at the top of the list, this is it. Like it isn’t as though they haven’t said they weren’t going to pass out their spare stock, it’s more a case of being urged by the public, that’s us common folk, to get it done quickly because it reduces the chances of the variant to mutate even further.

From a geek point of view, it gives us an interesting look at human behaviour, especially despite compelling evidence, anti-vaxxers do not want to be inoculated. OK, there are some people who have to refuse on medical grounds and this isn’t about them. A small minority have a fear of injections which probably goes with a fear of pain. Considering that the anti-vaxxers are amongst the main people being hospitalised and some dying, covid will commit its own attrition. Survival not only of the fittest but those who accept modern medicine is being used to save as many lives as possible. Potentially, we are seeing an example of evolution in action, this time based on those who refuse to be inoculated are going to be lost to society.

Saying that and looking at extremes, its equally possible that a few could have a natural immunity. There’s a certain amount of irony here because they are likely to have been inoculated as well. Logistically, they can be found because they never get the common cold, essentially another covid. I would think it would be interesting to see what makes them immune because something based off their anti-bodies might be useful. Mind you, considering that since I became agoraphobic, I’ve never stopped having colds, looking at the other extreme might give a thought as to whether we are more susceptible or whether it keeps other covid infections out. You can tell the scientist in me looking at this. We need to be looked at as well as getting continual colds means covid is also kept out. We might well have some people with a natural means that could be shared to the rest of the population.

For those who are just afraid of needles, from a Type One diabetic perspective, the upper arm doesn’t have many nerve endings and the needle is so fine, I doubt if you will feel it. If you exhale as you’re jabbed I doubt if you’d even notice it happening. Even so, intense fear alone can be pretty scary but from an agoraphobic point of view, choosing the least of two evils is often the best way to go.

In many respects, the covid-variants should be looked at with a spin of a dice, one of those multi-sided RPG dices, and not knowing what will be the consequences of which side it lands. If it was an enactment, one could only hope for one version that just wants to destroy the other variants but I doubt if we’d be that lucky. The fact that covid is still changing also tends to suggest that it hasn’t found its final form yet and we can only hope that it turns into something resembling a flu or the common cold. After all, its not in a virus’ interest to kill its host as it needs us to survive in.

Finding a cure ourselves is equally problematic. The multiple inoculations prep our antibodies against a few types, but the allegory to blocking all the holes to various keys isn’t that far off. We just haven’t got something to block that many holes yet, although I hope that might be the long term plan. Even so, to be effective still needs everyone to take the same inoculation and that’s a big stumbling block when even many countries having been able to inoculate a fraction of their population from lack of vaccine. Vicious circles are springing up and the world needs to change if we are all to survive. There can be no sides but our own when it comes to covid. We survive as a species or we won’t survive at all. The world or rather mankind needs to change and adapt if we are to survive.

Keeping in the practice of mask self-preservation for all covid variants is more a case of being safe than sorry, when sorry can be fatal.

There are so many subjects that could be covered in an editorial for the new year but I doubt anything can beat saving lives. Make sure you’re amongst that number and if you belong to a country that is slow on the uptake or need import from the countries of the west, make your voices heard.

Although Omicron isn’t quite the killer as Delta was, it should not breed complacency neither. Being careless before the next roll of the covid dice and knowing how deadly it can be will make for a safer world and a new normalcy.

Thank you, take care, good night and, oh yeah, a happy new year.

Geoff Willmetts

editor: www.SFCrowsnest.info

A Zen thought: Life never has any meaning than its better than being dead.

What Qualities Does A Geek Have: Being considered odd in our current world could be seen as our biggest asset.

The Reveal: The name of the new actor to play the next James Bond is Will Return. Quite how he will do that is open to anyone’s guess.

Observation: Has anyone figured out how Ripley climbed into the Powerloader in ‘Aliens’ yet? All right, the foot stirrups (for want of a better name) are about 2 feet off the ground You have to face them to step up, so basically you’re facing the wrong way. You can’t turn around because each stirrup is one foot wide so there’s a lack of foot space.

  OK, that’s out. So you get in from one side and try stepping across, presumably you can do the gymnastically put your inside foot in first. No, that won’t work because your inside foot needs to go to the other stirrup.

  You really do need some steps and reverse at the top to be the right way around to get in. Getting out again is a lot easier. You just jump down and hope you don’t break your ankle.

  Of course, you could hold onto one of the arms, but the right leg in and swing over, assuming the arm has been left low enough.

  Logistically, it would make sense to have an existing ledge where you can up into the Power Loader but we don’t see the transition between Ripley on the ground and locking her safety belts but there doesn’t appear to be that or a set of steps. At least, getting out is easier although not necessarily easier. Maybe it would be easier to drop in from above?

 Observation: If you really want to frustrate human beings, put a black monolith down and see how they examine it. They’ll look, touch and look up to the sky, expecting a screech that will necessitate sending a spaceship to Jupiter space.

 Observation: Has anyone thought to check Jupiter’s shrinking red spot for a multitude of black monoliths inside it yet?

 Observation: OK, dig out your ‘Thunderbirds’ boxset and have a look at the ‘Sun Probe’ episode. The tele-radio signal allows people on Earth to see live footage of the Sun Probe spacecraft, so that means it should be able to see Thunderbird 3 as well. Ah, you say, Jeff Tracy would ask for no photography so that presumes tele-radio and certainly TB3 hasn’t got the equivalent of TB1’s camera detector let alone able to neutralise any recordings. With me so far? OK, so how did the media journalist identify TB3 as ‘Thunderbird 3’? Can you really believe the press wouldn’t keep such a recording?

 Observation: Something else to consider, look at the Automobile Stacker in the ‘Thunderbirds’ episode ‘Move – And You’re Dead’. So what happens if they all want to go at the same time or, y’know’, have a fire. Accidents can happen and I doubt if International Rescue could get there in time.

 

Observation: A couple revelations that aren’t exactly SF related but interesting to note. Marlon Brando could actually do comedy if you watch the 1964 film ‘Bedtime Story’ – this film is also the source for ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ but with a different ending. Likewise for Anthony Perkins in ‘The Matchmaker’ – this 1958 film was the source for the 1969 musical ‘Hello Dolly’.

 Feeling Stressed: A smile dispels grumpiness.

Submissions:-

I did think that having a lot of text about submitting material to SFCrowsnest would attract those with a compulsion to read and understand things the geek way. The main problem with the Internet is that it tends to encourage less reading, so time to take a different approach. The original notes will be left on July2009 editorial although the links aren’t likely to work.

With your cover email, tell me something about yourself so I don’t work in a vacuum. The boss in the tower, also called Stephen Hunt, describes me as a ‘Dutch Uncle’ in that I’m good with advice and can explain when I see something that is wrong. Egos should be left at the door as I’m only interested in your talent and how to improve it.

Reviews:-

I always have a clarion call for new reviewers and if you have the yen to learn, you’ll quickly get the ropes if you’re never done it before but you must show me a sample, especially if you can follow my guidelines. We can usually get paper-based books in the UK but if you live abroad, then you might have to stick with ebooks. If you’ve picked a book we haven’t reviewed, then it stands a better chance of being used so use the SFC search engine to see first but I need to see how you would write for us.

The obvious qualification is a desire to read regularly and like to tell others about the book without giving away too many spoilers. The benefit is access to free books for the price of a review.

I want to give you the opportunity to get things right so look up the Review Guidelines link: https://www.sfcrowsnest.info/so-you-want-to-write-reviews-for-sfcrowsnest-what-you-need-to-know-by-geoff-willmetts/

Fiction:-

Although we can’t pay for submissions, what we do make up for is exposure. Only the Sci-Fi Channel gets more hits than us so it’s worthwhile getting us on your writer’s CV. Please avoid samplings from book’s you might be writing or have had in print elsewhere as I do check. New original work is best and whether I accept or reject, you will be told of any problems I see so you look your best and a grammar check that is equal to the pro-world. Even the boss finds me scarily accurate.

Flash or One-Page Fiction:-

Speaks for itself. The shortest fiction possible is also the toughest to write as no word must be wasted.

Link here for details: https://www.sfcrowsnest.info/one-page-stories-or-flash-fiction-submissions-instructions-by-gf-willmetts/

Short Stories:-

The definition of a short story is anything up to 30 pages and then it becomes a novella. Bear in mind you want other people to read it on-line, stay somewhere between 5-20 pages. At least digitally, you don’t have to go double-line as HTML will do that automatically but think about being concise. If you want to send an attachment with these, then ask first and send as a TXT file as it removes most tetchy virus codes.

Look up the Short Stories Link by linking here: https://www.sfcrowsnest.info/so-you-really-want-to-write-an-sf-story-an-update-by-gf-willmetts/

Finally:-

The worse problem I see any samples is poor grammar. Although I don’t want you to think I seek perfection, the less work I have to do, the easier it is to focus on other problems you might have. It will also serve you in good stead if you ever approach paper-based publishers because they will send back any bad grammar samples because it’s not worth their time.

Good grammar is the tool of any writer. Don’t just depend on what you remember doing at school. There are plenty of decent grammar books out there, so remind yourself of the rules. If you think there are far too many to remember, get the major ones right before moving to the next so it becomes second nature.

This link, www.sfcrowsnest.info/the-guide-to-better-grammar-from-the-harrowed-hand-of-gf-willmetts/ will show you the common problems.

To submit, use our email address by joining the spaces as shown here: letters @ SFcrowsnest.info and use the subject matter as to what you’re submitting.

If you have any pastimes that can be used to pass the time in captivity, let me know and we’ll see if it can be turned into an article.

Comments directly to reviews should still work as before.

Good luck

Geoff

Category: Culture


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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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