COVID Day 78: The Newton Correlation

For other COVID posts, visit my Quarantine blog.

Science is not based on a single doctrine, in fact many schools of thought abound that each promote their philosophy as more foundational. Two dominating philosophies are Rationalism and Empiricism. Rationalist believe all truth is found though deductive logic (i.e., theorems and equations). Empiricist believe that truth is found through observation and experimentation. In the popular television show the Big Bang Theory, Sheldon is a rationalist (theoretical physicist), while Lenard is an empiricist (experimental physicist).

These two approaches to scientific inquiry are not mutually exclusive. Often a scientist makes an observation, then seeks to derive a theory to model it. Likewise, a theoretical proof is not considered complete until it is validated by an experiment. The British physicist Issac Newton, is best known for observing an apple falling from a tree and developing the governing equations to model that observation. Newton developed multiple laws based on observations, laws foundational to engineering and science.

Newton’s laws also apply in nonscientific realms. Consider his Third Law of Motion, which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. We can apply this to the unrest currently sweeping our nation. While the catalysts for the unrest was an indefensible act and the emotions driving many rioters is deeply steeped in longstanding issues, it does not preclude being able to make observations and from those observations, draw conclusions.

Observation 1: There’s a diverse demographic layout of how states, and cities within states, imposed lockdown measures to thwart the spread of COVID. States and cities who enacted minimal lockdown measures are predominately managed by Republicans, while, states and cities that imposed extreme lockdown measures are predominately controlled by Democrats..

  • Minimal lockdown states include: Texas, Florida, Arizona, Utah, Montana, Indiana, Iowa, etc.
  • Draconian lockdown states include: New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, Illinois, California, Oregon, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, etc.

Observation 2: Protests occurred throughout the country. In fact, major cities in all regions saw large protests; even my small town of 20,000 had a protest.

Observation 3: Some cities had large but peaceful protests, while protests in other cities devolved into looting, vandalism, and violence.

Observation 4: Most of the protests that escalated to violence, vandalism, and looting occurred in states that imposed draconian lockdown measures, while protests that remained mostly peaceful occurred in states with light to no lockdown measures.

Observation 5: Rioters were not wearing face masks even though Mayors in protest cities, and governors in protest states, fine and imprison citizens for noncompliance.

Conclusions: Every action generates an equal and opposite reaction

I hope all of us share a common sense of outrage over what happened in Minneapolis and at the failure of the Minneapolis police department and city government. I hope we all also share a common belief that Americans have a right to vocalize their frustration over what they perceive as a persistent problem being ignored. That being said, the observations above (i.e., actions), are going to generate consequences (i.e., reactions).

  1. The manner in which protests in some cities escalated out of control, demonstrates an underlying level of anger and frustration that goes beyond the initial catalyst. People have pent up anger and frustration toward an uncaring government. That anger will manifest in multiple ways, including but not limited to rioting.
  2. There is a correlation between the most violent riots occurring in cities that imposed the most repressive lockdown measures. However, there is anger seething just below the surface in every city and township across the country. The longer lockdowns persist the more all citizens will be drawn to acts of anger and sedition.
  3. Something is fundamentally deficient in the manner in which lockdown cities and states are managed. Both political parties will pay a price, but one more than the other. Perhaps this is finally the year our nation necessitates a ballot box revolution.
  4. Newton’s Third Law of Motion is validated through the correlation between the imposition of extreme and prolonged lockdown measures (i.e., actions), and the violent riots currently taking place (i.e., reactions). The consequence of prolonged lockdowns will be increased riots of increasing intensity.
  5. Rioters do not wear facemasks but city and state officials don’t care. The mask wearing edicts have been exposed as a charade to increase governmental control. Even the World Health Organization claims the masks do more harm than good. Now that the charade is exposed, citizens will increase their governmental defiance en masse.

The Newton Corollary

If you’re wonder how this all ends, we can again lean on Isaac for insight. Newton’s First Law of Motion states that; something in motion remains in motion until acted upon by an equal and opposite force.