Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Lockdowns eventually will be one of the greatest benefits to humanity. Just not in the way you think.

Working from home is not exactly a new or novel concept in The Valley. It's been a thing my whole working career. Back in the day - your company would have a T1 installed in your house depending on how important you were. Generally managers or engineers. 

Working from home had actually become pretty ingrained.... I want to say about five years ago. Maybe a little longer. I thought it was really going to stick hard then. But IBM wanted to fire some of it's older workers and started taking away their work from home privileges. You know, in an effort to get people to quit on their own.

Then you could see the wave in The Valley. Everybody started bringing their people back in. And work from home waned a bit. So when the lockdowns happened I figured we would snap back to normal pretty quickly. Because you can't underestimate managements need to feel important.

A year into this, I'm starting to believe that a substantial change is underfoot. Companies that were resistant to the work from home situation are changing because they have had a full year to see if it works or not on a large scale. Not just select important people.

But this is not technically the reason humanity will benefit. The real benefit for EVERYONE is the reduction in traffic. Before the lockdowns people were spending two hours ~each way~ in traffic. Or MORE. Life in traffic had started to be a surreal situation. It really changed you. Working a full days then having to grind it out in traffic for a couple more hours. Imagine how much better your life is if you don't have to spend all that time just sitting in a car. And this benefits everyone from the white collar engineer to the restaurant worker who lives several cities over. In a way, you get a few hours of your life back every day. And this should not be underestimated.

And none of this would have happened without a forced lockdown sadly. Companies are going to trust some people and not others for working at home. But this made it so they had to take a chance on everyone. This is why I support the ~ability~ to lockdown, but not the lockdowns. I've sort of been going along with the rest because I've seen this cycle before.

Separately, I look at the world through the lens of - the population has doubled in my lifetime, and probably will double again by the time I die. Where are we going to stick all these people? My grandfather used to tell me that the whole Valley was cherry fields. That changed in one generation.

The same transformation that has happened with malls will now happen to corporate buildings. And we need it because we aren't making more land.


  1. My husband and I were discussing it recently. Right or wrong I think the general public is suddenly far to massively germaphobic to tolerate the sort of crowding that was happening in cubicle farms, for AT LEAST a few years. Add in that the Powers That Be still can't decide if the vaccines are actually going to STOP Covid, and how the media and the PTB have continued to whip of fear of it, and yah, I can't see cubicle farms being tolerated to the same degree for a while.

  2. It's worse than that honestly. There aren't any cubicles in those farms now.

    "Add in that the Powers That Be still can't decide if the vaccines are actually going to STOP Covid,"

    It's not that they can't decide - it's that they don't know. The new variants evade antibodies. It's what I've been saying the whole time. You can get it over and over. But usually people are more careful after the first time.

    "and how the media and the PTB have continued to whip of fear of it,"

    I think it depends on your geography right? Here, we all know someone now. There is hardly any descent because all the big mouths got sick and shut up. Like Dr Drew. And all the churchy people. No one at the churches are complaining anymore because their pastors got sick and at least one died. You really find out who has a large family because often there is at least one in the extended family who have gotten it. Or they have lost people.

    There are lots of diseases that I've never known anyone to have, but I still believe they are real and take precautions against.

  3. "The real benefit for EVERYONE is the reduction in traffic."

    The real benefit for the introverts is not having to deal with the people they work with in person, and that's fantastic.

    Couple that with truly flexible hours and Just Getting Stuff Done, and I can see some companies holding on to people who would otherwise be looking for stuff to do on the side.

    One further benefit for the introverts: not only did they not have to go to a bunch of "company events" in person, but also they probably got to keep some of that expense as an extra bonus.

    But I'll tell you that the in-person thing that got ingrained with the Silent Generation and the Boomers was pretty hard to shake, and during the early part of this mess I kept getting involved with physically assisting with things instead of pushing stuff through on the phone and via E-mail.

    It's also been a great personality test.

    Oh, you sent us a long E-mail going through whatever could come up?

    Wonderful. Fewer E-mail messages to reply to. Everything's addressed in one place. Keep doing this.

    These must be INTPs and INTJs mostly. Definitely people to retain rather than retrain or let go.

    Engineers, pretty much 100% of these people. Average their words out across a year and it's like they hardly talk. But when they do, it's somewhat astonishing.

    Despite this, we're going to have trouble keeping some of these engineers.

    That's because even if they aren't aware of it, there's this value proposition that's been entering their heads after a year of this.

    Why continue to work for your company when they generally don't reward your risks and your efforts anywhere close to what a work-at-home business could do?

    Or for people like me, why not just retire?

    Oh, because I'm still trying to get my permis C so it's easier to start a new business, that's why.

    But if all of this has changed traffic for a generation, what pushes its way into the gaps between the cars?

    Something has to follow after delivery services since that's now done, redone, and overdone.

    How many people in how many places figured out that if barber shops were closed that the barbers could come to you?

    I figure that in Wyoming, some wise guy will figure out how to put an entire gun show into a semi trailer and drive it around to every small town in Wyoming.

    Why not? It's not like the roads are clogged, and you can do the instant check paperwork over a mobile hotspot.

    In Texas, they'll just roll up with a semi trailer full of batteries so you can charge your phone when it's 24 below zero, because obviously since I've left the current crop of Texans can't keep the lights on. :-)

  4. "Engineers, pretty much 100% of these people. Average their words out across a year and it's like they hardly talk. But when they do, it's somewhat astonishing."

    So...... that's why you stay.

    I have grown to miss you while you are gone. Plus, you always have some crazy ideas going on. You can't be serious with that class c license. Are you?

  5. Capital of Texas RefugeeMonday, March 01, 2021 11:24:00 AM

    "... that class c license ..."

    *laugh* You used a translation app! :-)

    A permis C is a type of driver's license in France. *honk honk* :-)

    It's a visa class in Switzerland.

    What the permis C lets you do is that you can work anywhere, live anywhere, and work independently in Switzerland. I don't have one, and by the conventional method it would take over four more years to get one.

    How the lower visa class for employment happened was not really intended to go quite that long, and so I need to get my visa status changed to something for an investor or for a new business creator.

    The investor angle could work: why things have been so busy lately is that I've actually made enough to be able to buy back the company if I wanted to.

    Which I don't, because I sold it once, I'd sell it again, and the new people are doing well enough with it.

    I don't want to run old ideas rigorously and remorselessly into the ground. :-)

    One thing complicating matters is the forced vaccine and forced medicine legislation that passed back in September. That's already producing results, but not the results these people thought it would produce, as in the results of there being fewer people seeking rental properties.

    So while in other circumstances it would be interesting to be a property investor, I'm still not even buying a house, and I'm now renting one.

    The Rona also doesn't bother me for a very specific reason, as it turns out, and recently I got a test that says I've been exposed to it.

    Zero symptoms.

    I couldn't figure out where that happened or even how, so of course I did a genetic screening to see what's up.

    I don't want a vaccine for something I appear to be at least partially immune to. I don't get flu shots or any of that stuff because a lot of what goes into the vaccine is actually garbage. I don't go around licking the bottoms of aluminum pans that have lost their protective coating, so why would I want any of that in a shot?

    Also, the primary spread vector has to do with plumbing, and asymptomatic people aren't spreading any of this.

    Checked your P-traps lately to make sure they work?

    Put on some gloves and a real mask and check those, seriously.

    Your local sewer system is more infectious than any of The Unmasked you may run into.

    But there's something a lot more sinister about what's going on in America.

    If Karl Denninger is right about this, the main driver for so many "COVID-19 cases" that were really something else was because of some kind of 30k USD per head compensation to hospitals for "COVID-19 cases".

    Wouldn't be the first time I've seen an American hospital drive cash over cures. One of the best hospitals in the Southeast damn near killed a friend of mine with its incompetence, and it was only because my friend had some kind of medical background he wouldn't talk about that eventually led to getting a more competent doctor who would listen.

    Before The Rona, I used to like going to Singapore for health care, even though I had a "platinum" plan with our American insurer. Even the little clinic next to Changi airport would at the very least try to keep me alive as a paying customer.

    Risking being killed by some American hospital over its profitable neglect is definitely something I don't miss.

    Swiss health care is expensive, but not as expensive as American health care, and it generally produces good results.

    Also, doctors are available to do house calls, so there's that. It worked so well in France, some people started it here.

  6. Capital of Texas RefugeeMonday, March 01, 2021 11:25:00 AM

    But I like this new model of decentralization of services and everything else.

    Maybe doctors really were happier when they could do house calls instead of being holed up in some Dark Satanic Iatrogenic Disease Incubator ... uh, I mean a hospital. :-)

    I like it when these people I work with don't expect me to make regular trips into Z├╝rich.

    Besides, to be honest, I like Geneva better.

    "The new variants evade antibodies ..."

    The new vaccines tend to produce the wrong spike proteins, with the consequence being that B cell and T cell memory gets imprinted on the wrong thing.

    The human immune system operates like an 18th century general: it thinks it's going to fight the same war over and over once exposed to a specific adversary.

    That's not how any of this works, but it's highly profitable to pretend that it is.

    Speaking of healthcare-related sound bites, I heard that the US Supremo Court decided that if you like your fake elections, you can keep your fake elections. :-)