Archives for category: epidemiology
The Masks Do Not Work; Lockdowns Are “Medieval”

You can stop freaking out now. Watch this video by Ivor Cummins and come to the understanding: THIS WAS ALWAYS KNOWN.

The alarmism was pushed mainly by people who did not know much epidemiology. But there were “scientists” who pushed alarm — including geniuses like Taleb — because they, well, I won’t speculate.

Not being a scientist myself, it took me a while to remember what I had once known. But the shape of those curves: that was known.

So the pandemic panic was perpetrated — pushed onto the population — by people with politics in mind: propagandists. Folks who still pretend we need to change the way civilization works because of this new variant of a virus have embraced error and propound social poison.

Give it up. Those who now understand a bit of the science must resist EVERY political-governmental “lesson” promoted by the alarmists. It is a power grab by the power mad.

No more madness, please. Reason is the answer. A “casetemic” does not a viral pandemic make. But it does make for the madness of crowds, the formation of mobs, and general memetic contagion.

Nevertheless, you can still find “studies” puled in the press purporting that SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 are grave transformative dangers. But what is actually transformative? Ignorance, error, misunderstanding, and lies.


Ivor Cummins considers something I’ve been saying for a few months now, and he considers it a reaonable hypothesis: to the minor extent masks and social distancing have an effect, they may very well be negative. Stay through to the end of the video. 

It’s a bit of a puzzler, though, since one would think masks and other mitigation efforts would alter the curves if effective, and since they did not, how can they alter summertime normal acquisition of immunity?

I’m very curious how this will play out.

But remember: there appears to be scant evidence that mitigation really “flattened the curve.” For we have the data. This doesn’t need to be argued over in white heat. Just look at the data, folks.


And by the way? Cummins calls this latter effect of summertime mitigation in the form of an increased wintertime death toll as “unintended consequences.” I’m iffy about that. I think there are indeed people in government who know this very well and have been pushing it for this reason. They want more deaths in the winter, to call a “second wave” and therefore increase your political demand for mandatory vaccinations, complete with Bill Gates’s nanotechnology to track you.

Normal Americans have lost an important political skepticism, and become bleating ruminants.

Meme overkill: isn’t the truth rather different? This “meme” found on Gab.com suggests untruths.

Vaccination never works 100% of the time, on an individual basis. The more people who get vaccinated, though, the less likely a contagion will spread into an epidemic. The contagion has trouble spreading when most potential hosts block the spread with their own immune system’s antibodies. It is a matter of the modal potential host: if the modal possible victim of a virus is immune, the virus has trouble spreading, unable to quickly multiply in society. That is the idea of herd immunity.

It is the same as people who have encountered the disease in the wild, and develop antibodies from actually getting and fighting off the contagion: a disease even in a pandemic slows down its rate of spread and then wanes the more people develop antibodies. Even in the worst pandemics not everyone gets infected. Because the herd immunity threshold eventually gets reached.

Vaccination is an attempt to spur antibody growth without actual infection and the risks associated with suffering through the disease. As a mass program, vaccination often makes sense.

The actual incentives to the individual run this: I take the vaccine and hope it works, but others being vaccinated provides extra protection, but . . . others being infected and surviving is BETTER YET.

That is, me getting vaccinated and others suffering through the disease is the best egoistic strategy.

Extrapolate this out and vaccination would seem the most rational social action.

IF WE CAN TRUST THE VACCINE.

That is one big IF. And lack of trust of vaccine producers (merited or unmerited) throws a huge monkey wrench into our calculations of advantage.

Regarding the current “pandemic,” the disease is deadly only to a small set of the population — that set of people who suffer from co-morbidities such as diabetes and Vitamin D deficiency. Those who are healthy tend to do very well.

If healthy people were even a teensy altruistic, and not sniveling poltroons, they would valiantly risk the disease and let those in jeopardy cower in sequestration, waiting for a vaccine.

Meme engineers out to change human behavior use many techniques. The technique used in the visual meme at top is a cautionary case. It suggests something not true: that what is relevant is that “work” versus “not work.” There are degrees. The desire for others to be vaccinated is not irrational, contrary to the innuendo of the meme.

But there are even more rational strategies.

The most rational one is honesty. Not because dishonesty doesn’t “work” but because honesty encourages rationality generally. It works better.

Right now, we could use a lot more rationality. We are ruled by people whose strategy is to increase fear-based reaction and mass compliance to authoritarian demands. And we are surrounded by cowards who, so fearful, cannot accept new information or wait to make up their minds when actual contexts become clear.

These people have succumbed to the meme of servility. Which is worse than SARS-CoV-2 and its co sequent disease, COVID-19. Our civilization can survive even worse plagues, and has. But can we survive mass servility?

twv

Comparing the coronavirus daily mortality curves* of Sweden and these United States, which looks better, in its general shape? Sweden’s. It looks like the Nordic country has achieved her immunity — without lockdowns. If the country could have only better controlled its old-age home/nursing home crisis, the country’s curve would even look better.

Friends Olof and Rocco and Lee and I discussed some of the problems on a recent LocoFoco podcast:

Note that we ended on that key concept, herd immunity.

But what I really wonder about is this: the slope of the curve: we were told at the beginning that the reason for the “mitigation efforts” was to “flatten the curve,” to distribute the worst cases over a longer stretch of time; we were told that we could not really much change the bulk of cases within the curve, for if you flattened it too much, the curve would re-bulge worse next winter. Could the U.S. mitigation efforts have “flattened” the curve too well, now making it, well, concave, with the recent re-emergence of harsh cases?

There are many factors, though. For it looks like one problem with fatalities is that effective protocols for actually fighting ARDS — the worst extreme cases diagnosis of COVID-19 — have not been nationally implemented, because they would make Trump look good, one of the most effective treatments including HCQ, which the president had touted early.

Is it possible that Trump Derangement Syndrome is responsible for tens of thousands of needless deaths?


* Graphs from the European Union Times and worldometer.

You’re on, Costanza!

It seems like a nifty analogy to me. But the big differences between the two situations are several:

  1. if bombed, survival was, shall we say, not likely, but most people who catch the coronavirus weather through just fine;
  2. the more people who survive the virus, the less of an epidemic it is, since we reach the herd immunity threshold — but the more people bombed and survived had no similar salutary effect for the non-bombed;
  3. what if masks are more like venetian blinds at full open, and they would only diminish the risk by a little, thus giving people false confidence so they would be less likely to go into a shelter when the sirens skirl?
  4. while lights-out was good for manned bombing runs, it made no difference with V-2s — so what if SARS-CoV-2 is more like a V-2 than a bomber run?

There are probably many more, but I think this meets Mr. Alexander’s request for debate.

twv

Jean-Paul Sartre defined history as “that long road that led to me.” But, let’s talk “existential threat” — not the solipsism of an existentialist. What specific history led to the current debacle of the lockdowns?

That it is a debacle is becoming all-too-clear. As I’ve explained, here and on the LocoFoco Netcast: “It’s the productivity, stupid!”

But how did we get here?

How did we get to the place that we allow governments to just shut everything down based on a virus scare?

Well, part of it is: accept a real scary prediction and over-react. The prediction was wrong. It came from a serial prophet of doom — one who had to resign from his government post because he twice broke the quarantine/lockdown order he had publicly suggested and defended. This Neal Ferguson character was off by orders of magnitude in past predictions, and this time was hardly any better. Where he had numbered COVID-19 deaths in the millions, what has come to pass, so far, number in the thousands. And, it turns out, so far not even as bad as a normal flu among the healthy population. It’s a nasty killer mainly among the very old and the immune-compromised. Still, this is NOTHING LIKE the Spanish Flu.

But what drives the mania for lockdown overkill? I’ve argued that progressives love it for a rather simple reason: it conforms to their values, it “fits”: the lockdown overkill “feeds their prime conceit, the notion that the freedom of all must be sacrificed for the good of the most vulnerable.”

But why would non-progressives fall for it? Out of a willingness to obey? Merely out of fear? Paul Jacob offers a more sophisticated theory (citing my line, nicely):

Shutting down capitalism almost worldwide may prove to be grandest disaster of all time. Folks on the margin of poverty in poor countries are already starving. Though scads of people seem to think we could ride out a lockdown indefinitely just by cashing government checks, the problem is that if we don’t produce, we cannot buy and consume products.  
It’s not about money, or profits as such. “It’s the productivity, stupid!” 
Elon Musk put it this way: “If you don’t make stuff, there’s no stuff.” 
A “universal basic income” won’t help if the re-distributed money chases few-to-no goods.
So how did we come to believe that we can just shut down most business activity and still survive?
Maybe the idea seems plausible because many people already do not work to survive. As their numbers have increased, our civilization has forgotten that they survive upon the work of others. 
We guffaw at young children who, when their parents say something they want is too expensive, they innocently respond, ‘well, just go to the cash machine!’ But the more people rely upon checks and bank deposits from the government — for any reason — the harder it is to remember that the power to buy stuff doesn’t ultimately come from government. With taxation, redistribution and inflation thrown into the mix, even adults think of government as Cash Machine. 
And the Cash Machine as a model for the economy.
To fight a virus, the world has shut down production — as if we do not survive by producing goods in order to consume them.
Government has reduced capitalism — and us — to absurdity.

Paul Jacob, “Cash Machine Cachet” (Common Sense with Paul Jacob, May 18, 2020).

The theory here is akin to “the money illusion,” where normal people tend to confuse the nominal prices of goods over time with “real prices,” not understanding that money changes value over time. (Or, as Irving Fisher put it, ‘We simply take it for granted that “a dollar is a dollar”—that “a franc is a franc,” that all money is stable, just as centuries ago, before Copernicus, people took it for granted that this earth was stationary, that there was really such a fact as a sunrise or a sunset. We know now that sunrise and sunset are illusions produced by the rotation of the earth around its axis, and yet we still speak of, and even think of, the sun as rising and setting!’) But here the illusion is that since money buys goods, and we get money from the government, government supplies goods!

There are many illusions like this in society. (The most notorious I call the Beneficiary Focus Illusion.) And this one strikes me as close to Karl Marx’s Alienation Theory, but works like this: whereas under barter producers are buyers and buyers are producers, under a money economy the buying is separated from the producing-and-bringing-to-market — by the monetary mechanism itself. Thus human beings do become alienated from their productive activities, so separated are they from their consuming activities. That is, buying and selling become radically different activities. And the Economic Man of a commercial society is not One Who Exchanges, but two different people: One Who Produces and Sells, on the one hand, and One Who Buys, on the other. The more these two are separated, or compartmentalized, Paul Jacob argues, the easier it is to forget that production is key to consumption. What’s key to consumption is money, and the government can give us that.

No need to work. Bob Black’s wet dream!

But this alienation — an “economic contradiction,” in Proudhon’s phrasing — has not led to a communist utopia or to an anarchical mutualism. It has led to masses of people accepting an end to production as a solution to a viral menace, with living off of government checks and direct deposits as “enough” economically to tide us through the downtime.

Yes, this is an absurdity.

But this one isn’t a funny absurdity.

Unless we die laughing?


Tarl Warwick has just come out with a video explaining how idiotic a lockdown society is:

Quotation from Irving Fisher, above, is from The Money Illusion (1927).

Lockdowns in the first world will cause deaths because of untreated disease, and will lead to suicide and madness and violence. Depending on how long this crushing of capitalism goes on, we could see starvation here in America and Britain and the rest of the first world.

But it is leading, quickly, to the death of marginal peoples elsewhere, around the world, people on the edge of poverty who have no stocks of food in their pantries and whose lesser-developed countries have less supply warehoused and in the supply chains.

Millions of people.

Dead.

Starved and suffering.

Brown people, mostly.

The lockdown is now strongly ideologically aligned, with progressives being generally gung ho for shutting down all or most commerce. This will make progressives’ guilt in pushing the debacle of Prohibition seem like a baby fart in a hurricane.

Supporting lockdowns will in the future be seen as akin to genocide.

Consider this a ‘pro tip.’ Repent now and save yourself guilt later.

I was set to post to LocoFoco.us, one of my Facebook pages, a link with a question. But Facebook warned me:

The article was from LewRockwell.com, “Vitamins C and D Finally Adopted as Coronavirus Treatment,” by Joseph Mercola. I have no opinion on the information, misinformation or disinformation in this article. I was going to ask for opinions. But Facebook has an agenda: when you publish too much wrongthink, no matter what the framing, the social media site is going to downgrade your page and hide it from visitors.

Indeed, it has already done so, to the LocoFoco page. I did not post the above article, for fear of an utter take-down, suppression.

No way to run a railroad, Facebook.

For instance, I would love to have seen Facebook’s fact-checkers to provide me INFORMATION or ARGUMENTATION about the article in question. I would not even mind if a ’bot did that.

But the current quasi-censorship method is not acceptable.

So, because of that, I’m going to spread another questionable source:

This man sure doesn’t approve of the medical establishment!

Take that, Facebook, you evil a-holes.

Sad situation, really, that I was too afraid to place this on LocoFoco.us:

David Icke just doesn’t believe the hype about the virus.

Why “afraid”?

Because LocoFoco.us points to a Facebook page, and Facebook has been giving our team page quite a bit of problem for posting “fake news.” Which means their “teams” did not approve of two or three of our sharing of some stories.

The powers that be do not like questions to their “truth.”

I am merely listening to this Bitchute talk, right now, and not through. But Icke’s right about the danger of getting rid of cash. And the Democrats in Congress are trying to push a digital currency as an emergency measure. Without cash, there is no hope for freedom. This is an end-time scenario for liberty.