A Journal of the Plague Year (63)

 


June 3, 2020

This is no longer a daily rant as the plague situation seems to be reasonably well understood and not much changes.

In Ontario, the emergency situation has been extended again to June 30th. Well, you lucky folks who are out of a job and business people whose businesses are folding, too bad. Perhaps Theresa Tam (Chief Public Health Officer for Canuckistan) and others of her ilk would like to donate some of their fat salaries to help you. Fat chance, I hear you say.

Again, in the media, there is no talk of the costs to people’s lives and livelihoods—the vast majority of the population of 14 million in Ontario.
My confidence in Premier Ford, even though his government’s actions so far have been quite reasonable, is softening.


This pandemic mind set is going from absurd to insane.

At the beginning of this thing, the reactions of Western governments seemed reasonable, given the lies of the communist Chinese government and their toadies in the World Health Organization (of which Dr Tam is an apparatchik). Perhaps death rates of the order of 3–4% were real. Hence the lockdown mindset. But even in the places that took the heaviest hits, New York City and such, the emergency hospitals and the US Navy hospital ships were never even used. The much-feared wave that would overwhelm the hospital system simply did not happen—neither in the US nor the UK.

There was, and is, a vast difference of opinion among the medical experts about the extent of the disease and the effectiveness of the lockdowns in suppressing it. Doctors and scientists from Oxford, Stanford, and many other places do not agree that shutting down the economy is the best thing, or even if it is helping. Watch this video with Dr Sunetra Gupta [see above video]  of Oxford University give a very different assessment from the state-approved narrative…

It is interesting that she says that lockdowns have little effect as the pathogen has, essentially, swept through the population and we are now on the downward slope of the curve. Further, confirmed cases don’t tell us anything of any use as the case numbers are entirely dependent on testing, which affects only a tiny part of the population. The only relatively reliable estimates can be obtained from death data—the number of confirmed deaths.

As a rider to that, looking at the data from Our World in Data, one can see exactly these data from many different countries. Since countries have very different populations, a comparison of countries with the total confirmed deaths per one million of the population seems a credible metric.

So let’s take a look at the data (seven-day rolling average) for the following situation:


Several countries at the same relative socio-economic level;
Total number of confirmed deaths per million of the population since the beginning of the pandemic to June 3rd;
Lockdown or no lockdown. https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/total-covid-deaths-per-million

United Kingdom     579.93 [lockdown]
France                       443.37 [lockdown]
Italy                           554.57 [lockdown]
Spain                         597.59 [lockdown]
Germany                   102.06 [lockdown]
Sweden                     442.41 [no lockdown]

Sweden with no lockdown has almost exactly the same total death rate per capita as France with a massive lockdown! And Sweden is significantly better off than Italy, Spain and the UK.

On the science front, some very interesting developments regarding hydroxychloroquine–a drug that could possibly treat, or manage, the symptoms of covid-19.

Since President Trump mentioned it, the Fake News Media immediately claimed that it must be useless, even dangerous, simply because they hate Trump. They glommed on to that despite the fact that several clinical researchers around the world have claimed success with it.

Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), reports:

 
A study published on 22 May in The Lancet used hospital records procured by a little-known data analytics company called Surgisphere to conclude that coronavirus patients taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine were more likely to show an irregular heart rhythm—a known side effect thought to be rare—and were more likely to die in the hospital.

But,

Today, The Lancet issued an Expression of Concern (EOC) saying “important scientific questions have been raised about data” in the paper and noting that “an independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has been commissioned by the authors not affiliated with Surgisphere and is ongoing, with results expected very shortly.”

Really? That’s interesting. Looks like the Fake News industry bit off more than they could chew. After some digging into the background of this company Surgisphere, Science reports:

Surgisphere’s sparse online presence—the website doesn’t list any of its partner hospitals by name or identify its scientific advisory board, for example—have prompted intense skepticism. Physician and entrepreneur James Todaro of the investment fund Blocktown Capital wondered in a blog post why Surgisphere’s enormous database doesn’t appear to have been used in peer-reviewed research studies until May. Another post, from data scientist Peter Ellis of the management consulting firm Nous Group, questioned how LinkedIn could list only five Surgisphere employees—all but Desai apparently lacking a scientific or medical background—if the company really provides software to hundreds of hospitals to coordinate the collection of sensitive data from electronic health records. (This morning, the number of employees on LinkedIn had dropped to three.)

So why was this highly dubious company touted as providing reliable data on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine? And why didn’t the “investigative journalists” doing any investigating? Agenda, silly! It fit the agenda.

It was left to the AAAS writers to do the homework, expose another fraud, and bring The Lancet to order. It’s also true that The Lancet has a far-left editor in tune with all the correct fads and dogmas–but that’s another story for later.

Rebel Yell

neanderthals, humans and denisovans

You remember the moment in Blade Runner when Roy Batty dies before the eyes of Deckard? Deckard decides then and there that Nexus Six replicants were human, and that terminating them was murder.

It seems that our ancestors who mated with Denisovans and Neanderthals felt the same way about them, too. A recent study shows that

“Ancient humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans were genetically closer than polar bears and brown bears, and so, like the bears, were able to easily produce healthy, fertile hybrids according to a study, led by the University of Oxford’s School of Archaeology.

“The study, published today [3 June] in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, shows that the genetic distance values between humans and our ancient relatives were smaller than the distance between pairs of species which are known to easily hybridise and have fertile young.”

My genome is  about 2% neanderthal. What about you?

I am not, however, a Nexus 6. I wish I were some days, except for the four year life span.

All people not purely African have Neanderthal genes. Maybe the neanderthal admixture had something to do with the emergence of higher orders of cognition in other humans with whom they bred. Worth thinking about, eh?, in these days of public self-humiliation of whites in the United States and elsewhere.

 

Race Riot News

 

A little change of course from the usual plague hysteria. Now we have race hysteria. As usual, the Fake News media are fanning the flames of stupidity and actually supporting these violent thugs rampaging through the cities of America.

 

I direct you to an excellent post by the ever-spot-on physicist, Lubos Motl at The Reference Frame.

 

The photo above is of an irate business owner saying that the people will end this rioting [here] if the gutless mayor and governor won’t.  Of course, they’re Democrats, the fomenters of mayhem in society. They are starting violent insurrection—that is sedition and should be treated as such.

 

Trump will crush them.

 

Rebel Yell

Making decisions – about riots

I was watching a video of US Marines about to attack a town in Afghanistan. The Captain addressed his battalion. At about 2:20 into the video he said (I paraphrase) : “The plan we have gone over and over – as soon as you land, it will fly out the window. You will be called upon to make a hundred decisions that there is no right answer to. But guess what? you will have to decide; you will have to act.”

I enjoyed the approach, and it ought to be better understood. You will have to act, you will have to decide. I wish it were more broadly understood in society. You have to decide and you have to act. Make a wrong decision? Go ahead and make another. This one may be better. This approach is utterly contrary to the bureaucratic mindset which fears decision-making.

A former boss of mine was a judge. He said: “Make ten decisions. Eight will be right. One will be wrong. One you win or lose on appeal”. But the message was” keep making decisions.

This brings me around to Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s book on the newest generation, and it is not pleasant reading.  The Coddling of the American Mind 

chronicles the increase of neurotic levels of fear among American college students: how good intentions and bad ideas are generating a generation of weak people. As he says: prepare your children for the road not the road for the children.

 

The message Haidt is giving in his YouTube lecture is that we are heading for tribal war. That was in 2019. Look around you. What do you see? Dogmatism, groupthink, a crusader mentality and anti-intellectualism [at 42:40]. The riots and revolt we have been witnessing these last few days have been long prepared by the erosion of cultural and educational standards. The failure of the forces of order to act, because they have been told to lay off by mayors and governors, is yet another signof the scale of  the rot inside our institutions.

 

Someone, possibly Jonathan Kay, said that this could be Trump’s Reichstag Fire moment. I avoid the connotation that Kay would like to put on these riots. These are an excuse for  looting and for anti-fa to break windows. Everyone is seeing far too much disorder to be enthusiastic for kneeling before the black race and beseeching forgiveness, as the Left would have us do. Time for some violence from the state against Antifa and the looters. And yes, Derek Chauvin disgusts me. But so does mass break down of order.

 

 

The failure of the 737 Max – evil software

 

 

 

An interesting read is available about the cumulative failures of the Boeing 737 Max. The author is a pilot and a software developer Gregory Travis.

“So Boeing produced a dynamically unstable airframe, the 737 Max. That is big strike No. 1. Boeing then tried to mask the 737’s dynamic instability with a software system. Big strike No. 2. Finally, the software relied on systems known for their propensity to fail (angle-of-attack indicators) and did not appear to include even rudimentary provisions to cross-check the outputs of the angle-of-attack sensor against other sensors, or even the other angle-of-attack sensor. Big strike No. 3.

None of the above should have passed muster. None of the above should have passed the “OK” pencil of the most junior engineering staff, much less a DER.

That’s not a big strike. That’s a political, social, economic, and technical sin.”

The article makes clear that the failure is essentially regulatory. Boeing’s goal was to make the 737 Max look like it was not a new aircraft but a continuation of the previous design, when it was not. The FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) does not have the engineers to detect the changes and blow the whistle.

“As airplanes became more complex and the gulf between what the FAA could pay and what an aircraft manufacturer could pay grew larger, more and more of those engineers migrated from the public to the private sector. Soon the FAA had no in-house ability to determine if a particular airplane’s design and manufacture were safe. So the FAA said to the airplane manufacturers, “Why don’t you just have your people tell us if your designs are safe?”

The airplane manufacturers said, “Sounds good to us.” The FAA said, “And say hi to Joe, we miss him.”

and further:

“The 737 Max saga teaches us not only about the limits of technology and the risks of complexity, it teaches us about our real priorities. Today, safety doesn’t come first—money comes first, and safety’s only utility in that regard is in helping to keep the money coming. The problem is getting worse because our devices are increasingly dominated by something that’s all too easy to manipulate: software.”

 

 

The Prosecution of Naomi Seibt

Greta Thunberg.jpg

Greta Thunberg

 

The prosecution of Naomi Seibt by the Ministry of Truth in North-Rhine Westphalia indicates just how rough the Left will play in suppressing climate skepticism of the most reasonable kind.

Repeat daily: science is not a doctrine but a process of inquiry into one’s own premisses.

Christopher Monckton reviews the case here in WattsUpWithThat.

Francis Menton, the Manhattan Contrarian, compares and contrasts the treatment of Greta Thunberg and Naomi Seibt here.

A Journal of the Plague Year (62)



May 25, 2020


What’s this? Trump right again!? More liberal heads explode. Back in March, the well-known subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party, the World Health Organization, was touting a 3.4% fatality rate for the coronavirus. At the time, President Trump was ridiculed by the usual suspects for doubting this, saying that it would probably turn out to be less than 1%. [here]

As more has become known about this virus and its effects, particularly the large numbers who suffer no ill effects, the CDC has revised its estimates of the fatality rate to….0.26%, barely different from a nasty flu.
But, now here’s what the CDC is saying about the fatality rate the coronavirus:


• 0-49 years old: .05%
• 50-64 years old: .2%
• 65+ years old: 1.3%
• Overall ages: .4%
According to the CDC’s current best estimate, the case fatality rate of the coronavirus is .4 percent. And that’s just amongst symptomatic cases, which, the CDC estimates, is 65 percent of all cases. This means the CDC estimates that the fatality rate for all infections across all age groups, symptomatic as well as asymptomatic, is approximately .26 percent.

Yoram Lass, the former director of Israel’s Health ministry, was interviewed by Spiked! Online . When asked why he called the general response to coronavirus world-wide, he replied:

It is the first epidemic in history which is accompanied by another epidemic – the virus of the social networks. These new media have brainwashed entire populations. What you get is fear and anxiety, and an inability to look at real data. And therefore you have all the ingredients for monstrous hysteria.
It is what is known in science as positive feedback or a snowball effect. The government is afraid of its constituents. Therefore, it implements draconian measures. The constituents look at the draconian measures and become even more hysterical. They feed each other and the snowball becomes larger and larger until you reach irrational territory. This is nothing more than a flu epidemic if you care to look at the numbers and the data, but people who are in a state of anxiety are blind. If I were making the decisions, I would try to give people the real numbers. And I would never destroy my country.

And Dr Max Pemberton, writing in the UK Daily Mail:

We will never have a guaranteed zero risk of infection — it’s crazy to think that’s a possibility. And what about all the other risks we happily take every day? For example, there were 1,870 road deaths last year, but that hasn’t stopped most people driving.
It’s time to get the country back on its feet, while maintaining social distancing and regular hand-washing — and protecting the most vulnerable.
It’s natural to be afraid, but we cannot let fear control us. We will most likely be living with this virus for a long time, so for all our sakes, let’s get back to some common sense normality.

And for a superb summary of the current zeitgeist from the Burning Platform:

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” – Patrick Henry

“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” – Samuel Adams

 


After observing the reaction of the America people, over the last two months, to a virus that will not kill 99.97% of them, I wondered how could a country created upon the blood and courage of patriot farmers and leaders who knew they would hang if their revolution failed, have degenerated into an infantilized nation of obedient slaves to un-Constitutionalized authoritarianism. It saddens me that a country borne by revolutionary means against an overbearing authoritarian monarchy has turned into a nation of bed-wetters curled up in their basements sucking their thumbs, begging government overlords to protect them from a virus.


I guess it shouldn’t be surprising after decades of government public school indoctrination where U.S. History facts have been usurped by feelings, diversity and gender agendas pushed by less than mediocre teachers. Government controlled education hasn’t taught children to think critically or question authority, but to obey rules and allow emotions to drive their actions. When multiple generations have been programmed to feel, rather than think, using panic and fear to make them do as they are told isn’t a difficult task. This pandemic reaction is a testament to their decades long propaganda and misinformation campaign. Rather than developing herd immunity the country developed a herd mentality.

A-men, brother.

Rebel Yell


The dominance of materialism

The shortest definition of materialism is that it holds that everything in the universe is matter and its motions. Hence for materialists, the “hard problem” is to explain the existence of consciousness. Whereas,for what are called “idealists”, the hard problem is the existence of matter. Does it have existence independently of mind? Then there are those who think that mind and matter both exist, independently of one another.

Here is an anecdote about the philosopher-scientist Rupert Sheldrake:

“The British scientist Rupert Sheldrake told me about a talk he gave to a group of scientists who were working on animal behaviour at a prestigious British University. He was talking about his research on dogs that know when their owners are coming home, and other telepathic phenomena in domestic animals. The talk was received with a kind of polite silence. But in the following tea break all six of the senior scientists who were present at the seminar came to him one by one, and when they were sure that no one else was listening told him they had had experiences of this kind with their own animals, or that they were convinced that telepathy is a real phenomenon, but that they could not talk to their colleagues about this because they were all so straight. When Sheldrake realised that all six had told him much the same thing, he said to them, “Why don’t you guys come out? You’d all have so much more fun!” He says that when he gives a talk at a scientific institution there are nearly always scientists who approach him afterwards telling him they’ve had personal experiences that convince them of the reality of psychic or spiritual phenomena but that they can’t discuss them with their colleagues for fear of being thought weird.”

And here, in a nutshell, is the great Sheldrake explaining why science is so badly constipated by materialist assumptions. Science as a world view has come to constrict the process of open-minded inquiry, which is what science ought to be. Science is a process, not a wholly-owned subsidiary of dogmatic materialism.

For a better explanation of Sheldrake’s views, see his book The Science Delusion.

A Journal of the Plague Year (61)



Data here:  https://wmbriggs.com/public/worldometer13may.csv


May 22, 2020

Yesterday, I alluded to a British politician and Cabinet member, Dr Therese Coffey (PhD Chemistry, UC London), the only real scientist in the higher echelons of the government in the UK, who mentioned that maybe BoJo was getting some “duff advice” from some of the semi-secretive “advisory” committees.

Naturally, the Fake News media unloaded on her. As the task of the media is to spread panic and lies, real objective advice will be ignored and actively suppressed.

Jump to this side of the pond, especially to Professor William Briggs (Statistician to the Stars) for a few comments on lockdowns. Now that we are getting a much better handle on how to deal with things, we need some rigorous analysis of the thinking (or lack of) concerning lockdowns.

The picture above compares countries with and without lockdowns and death rates per million people.

Not looking good for the lockdown crew. And from UK data ….



During none of the previous outbreaks was the entire economy of the country destroyed with all its concomitant deaths (which never seem to be considered by the hysterical media)?

Talking of hysteria, it’s not only the media. Many people in positions of authority, and who should know better, are peddling hysteria. Consider this:

…Consider this scaremonger from the AIDS days:
Back in 1983, one scientist and doctor was sole author of a paper in the prestigious medical journal JAMA which stated that AIDS might be transmissible through “routine close contact, as within a family household.” That turned out not to be true, of course, but in the meantime the media had widely propagated the myth, naturally setting off a wave of hysteria.
Nevertheless, within months the author was promoted to chief of the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, a position he still holds.
Who was that person? His name was… Dr. Anthony Fauci.


But let me finish with some sane words from the American Council on Science and Health[here] (Alex Berezow PhD Microbiology):


In the coming months and years, those with political agendas will use COVID-19 to criticize the politicians they love to hate. But remember that the novel coronavirus caught us all off guard. The biomedical community was always worried about influenza, not coronavirus, which is why most of us (myself included) were dead wrong about the danger posed by SARS-CoV-2. Anyone who says otherwise, namely that they “knew” this pandemic was coming, is engaging in revisionist history.

Rebel Yell