If the president is going to compare COVID-19 to the 9/11 attack then I would like to propose that we start counting all mass deaths in units of 2,977. The one good thing about this idiotic metric is that’s since this is how many people died on 9/11 and 9/11 is one thing the American people can all agree was a national tragedy worthy of collective action it seems perfectly safe to assume that any event with a 9/11 sized body count should be taken just as seriously.

So let’s look at some other major tragic loses of life:

TragedyDeathsIn 911’s
Hurricane Maria30571.03
Covid-19 (May 1st 2020)7434724.97

Using this handy chart (I got the numbers from the google knowledge panels) we can see that Afghanistan, Iraq and Hurricane Maria are all in the same order of magnitude as 9/11 while COVID-19 is in the order of a month of Hurricanes or a century of war.

Hurricane Maria isn’t there by mistake. I will loop back to it a the end.

Think of what we were asked to do to prevent another 9/11 and how little we are being asked to do to prevent the deaths of our families and friends now. We were asked to endure security theater at the airports. The USA PATRIOT Act. To rally behind an idiot president and pretend he wasn’t exploiting a tragedy. DHS. The creation of ICE. These are all things we as a nation did. Gladly. We sacrificed blood and treasure. Our sons and daughters lost lives and limbs.

As a nation weren’t asked to do anything on the scale of 9/11 for Katrina or Maria despite tragic deaths on the same scale as 9/11. No national commitment to rebuild and restore. There were no national movements to lessen the harm from future storms. No calls to sacrifice to make us all whole again. Nothing even close to the 9/11 scale at all. And why? Why is it so easy to call on Americans to support destroying another totally unrelated nation and so hard to call on Americans to save lives of fellow Americans right here at home?

Benghazi is dwarfed by the other tragedies, why did it get so much more attention than Katrina did? It’s almost as if the republican party is willing to exploit national security for its partisan policy goals.

After 9/11 we were willing to join together, to act decisively, as we were reminded non stop for years following. What is happing now is nearly a month of 9/11s. We should be treating this far more seriously and the call for action should be far greater. We should not be finding a way to “9-11” the COVID response into a an excuse to exploit national security concerns for partisan policy goals, which is what this administration is doing in comparing COVID to 9/11. We should be looking to treat all tragedies seriously, learn from out mistakes and prevent future tragedies as best we can.

That the republicans are more focused on exploiting tragedy than learning from it should be a bigger story.

Geometry skills are innate, Amazon tribe study suggests

Researchers examined how the Mundurucu think about lines, points and angles, comparing the results with equivalent tests on French and US schoolchildren.

The Mundurucu showed comparable understanding, and even outperformed the students on tasks that asked about forms on spherical surfaces.

The ideas are profoundly ingrained in formal education, but what remains a matter of debate is whether the capacity, or intuition, for geometry is present in all peoples regardless of their language or level of education.

“Mundurucu is a language with only approximative numbers,” Dr Pica told BBC News.

“You don’t have a lot of geometrical terms like square or triangle or anything like that, and no way of saying two lines are parallel… it looks like the language does not have this concept.”

The Mundurucu people’s responses to the questions were roughly as accurate as those of the French and US respondents; they seemed to have an intuition about lines and geometric shapes without formal education or even the relevant words.

From BBC News

Do you not need a concept of math to have mathematical concepts? I’m curious if the test might be performed in a similar way against other cultures with mathematical terms.