How to Listen to the Experts

The point of an expert is to give you some knowledge you don’t have, either because they’ve studied the topic more, or they have some experience you don’t have, or they’re better able to understand something complex, etc. It’s up to you to then decide what to do with that knowledge.

The point of an expert is not to tell you what to do. Listening to an expert does not mean simply doing what they say. Being an expert does not mean dictating motivations, values, interests, and fundamental assumptions about the word–these are things you choose for yourself (if you are free) and then use to interpret and assess the expert’s knowledge, and from this synthesis make a decision.

Are Social Media Owners Motivated by Greed?

The purpose of censorship on social media is sometimes said to be solely for maximising profit. The motivation is purely to keep people engaged so that they’re exposed to more ads, so that there is more ad revenue, and therefore opinions, ideas, and values that would scare away advertisers need to be blocked.

This misses the most valuable aspect of what a mass social medium (like Facebook or Twitter) offers. Especially now, when direct unmediated human interaction is rare, for a significant proportion of people, a significant proportion of their interaction and communication is through online media. Peoples’ understanding of what’s happening in the world, what the world is, what is good, and nearly everything else comes through these online media.

For most people, the biggest influence on what they believe is their peer group, or whatever person or group they hold in high esteem. It’s difficult to overstate the intensity of social instincts in humans–people tend to act from these without thinking, without being conscious of it. And fear of ostracization and isolation can overpower even fear of death, as demonstrated by people who kill themselves when something taboo about themselves is revealed (whether true or not), or when they believe that no one loves them.

The real value in controlling social media and online communication in general is the power that comes from being able to manipulate and fake peoples’ perceptions of what their peer group or esteemed group believes and thereby manipulate and alter their beliefs. If communicating some concept or expressing some value becomes forbidden and impossible then people won’t form beliefs based on them.

But even if it’s not fully suppressed, even labelling and categorising it as somehow not OK is enough to signal to peoples’ social instincts that it should be avoided. While this applies most to those who have respect for the institution that applies the label, even those who don’t will still be influenced, they still understand in a sub-conscious instinctual way that these concepts or values should be avoided. At the scale of these institutions, a large effect isn’t required on the individual level in order for there to be large effects on society.

Belief is the basis for power. Armies of men with guns are very powerful, but only if they believe in the legitimacy of the authority that directs them. If that belief goes, the authority can’t wield the power, and it goes too.

Remember, Twitter was able to censor the American president, who in popular imagination is (or was) considered the most powerful man on the planet.

If the people in control of a social medium were solely motivated by profit, and were somehow ignorant and unaware of the power they held, then they would be greatly undervaluing their asset, and because of this would likely sell it to someone who understands its true value and wants its power.

Without peering into the minds of those who actually control these institutions (whoever they are), we may not know for sure that they aren’t solely motivated by profit, but given what we know about the nature of these institutions (they are means to power), and given what we know about the richest and most powerful people (that they want more riches and power, and wouldn’t be hindered by moral considerations), it seems too unlikely, and a bad assumption to make.

Suffer the Consequences

People sometimes say things like “he had a choice, now he has to face the consequences” in response to people being arrested or fined or fired because they didn’t follow a “public health order”. This morning I was thinking about how that sounds like something a supervillain would say.

Then in the evening I heard a genuine take-over-the-world supervillain, Dr. Doom, say “you refuse? Very well, you shall suffer the consequences!”, sampled in Hero vs. Villain by MF DOOM.

You Should Know Better

One of the most difficult aspects of planet lockdown is how many people whom I previously respected are now either frustratingly mute, or even enthusiastically cheering for the evil system that has now openly revealed itself.

I mean people whose thinking and understanding in some field or in general was admirably sound or deep in some way; friends or family who were worth listening to and speaking with because they seemed to have some real, active thought going on. Real human beings, not just parrots or social mirrors. To see them now so asleep or so willingly duped in the daily presence of absurd interruptions to basic aspects of life, hearing the blatant lies and direct contradictions, going along unquestioningly with extreme and unprecedented measures that are dizzyingly out of proportion with the scale of the threat they purport to address–it’s disappointing and disheartening.

I feel embarrassed for them. They’re agreeing to live a thoroughly controlled and micro-managed life, an artificial narrow limitation on the infinite fractaline possibilities of what their life could be, willingly becoming nearly as domesticated as a modern factory farm animal. They’re rejecting their own autonomy and preferring to see themselves as a sack of potatoes to be picked up and placed as directed by insane and evil authorities. They believe they aren’t independent beings, and I don’t want to agree with them.

I’m very thankful for the seemingly few people around me who have the ability to believe what they see, and I’m thankful I’ve always been relatively comfortable with social isolation.

How Manitoba Counts Virus Deaths and What Happened to the Flu?

A death due to COVID-19 is…

A death resulting from a clinically compatible illness, unless there is a clear alternative cause of death that cannot be related to COVID disease (e.g. trauma). There should be no period of complete recovery* from COVID-19 between illness and death.

Provincial Respiratory Surveillance Report – COVID-19 Technical Notes

So any death from a respiratory virus is counted?

There have been 1199 of these deaths since the count (archive) started.

I can’t tell when the count started, because the links for the weekly reports in 2020 just go to the weekly report for 2021. If I click on “Week 33 (August 9 – August 15, 2020)”, I get to the page for Week 33 in 2021.

Not that it matters; these numbers are obviously not taken seriously by anyone.

Mask Compliance Injures the Soul

Someone I know shared one of those “you have a right not to wear a mask, but businesses have a right to not serve you” / “you are free to make a choice, but that means accepting the consequences of your actions” cliches; this was my response.


If someone points a gun at you and says “drop your pants or I’ll shoot”, you have a right to not drop your pants and accept the consequences of your actions.

This is an empty tautological statement (any reaction or response to an action you take is a consequence that you face), and being technically true masks the actual problem, it excuses the guy with the gun and ignores his wrongdoing.

It also equivocates between a single business having some weird rule (putting cloth over your face does NOT stop a virus–you know this!) and the government mandating that all businesses enforce the rule–very big difference!

The biggest problem with mask mandates is how it enforces participation in a big lie. For people who value honesty, who believe truth is real and transcendentally important, the fact that this is required to do most things in the public space–including getting food for one’s family–is not merely a minor inconvenience.

Allowing big lies to stand invites more big lies and contributes to mass psychosis. It’s easy and most convenient to just put on a mask and participate, and for those who believe this life is ultimately meaningless and just about avoiding suffering, grabbing pleasure when there’s an opportunity, and generally passively accepting things as they seem to be, it makes sense to just put on a mask and get on with the ever more limited conception of “life” that we’re being boxed into.

For those who believe that things like truth and beauty are truly real and significant, existing beyond the life and death of any individual or civilization, we can at least recognize that unthnking (anti-thinking) compliance with big lies is wrong.

Even if we fail to muster up the modicum of courage required to stand against social ostracism and verbal abuse to do so in deed, we can at least recognize that we ought to, and by doing so can retain some honesty and goodness in the core of what we are.

Statistics Canada Says Lockdowns Kill More Than the Virus

A report compiled by Statistics Canada, an organisation within the Canadian government, says this:

Of the 15,300 people who died of COVID-19 between March and December 2020, nearly 9 in 10 had at least one other health condition or complication or another cause listed on the death certificate.

Briefing on the Impact of COVID-19 on Seniors

This is nothing new, we’ve already heard this many times since back in April 2020 at least: people dying from this virus were overwhelmingly already ill and diseased. Many places have in fact explicitly said that deaths are counted as caused by this virus not because it was what killed them, but because they recently tested positive (a “case”, in post 2020 lingo). See footnote 7 on this Ontario government site:

Any case marked “Fatal” is included in the deaths data. Deaths are included whether or not COVID-19 was determined to be a contributing or underlying cause of death

How Ontario is responding to COVID-19

The report also says deaths from the virus are mostly old people, which again has been known since the beginning.

Between March 2020 and the beginning of February 2021, seniors accounted for 7 in 10 excess deaths, and 94% of the deaths were attributed to COVID-19. The majority of Canadians who died from COVID-19 were residents of long-term care homes.

More than half were people 85 and older (greater than life expectancy at birth). The chart that shows this includes both excess deaths and virus deaths.

Excess deaths are much more skewed towards the young, and a second Statistics Canada report spells this out explicitly:

Based on the newly updated provisional dataset released today from the Canadian Vital Statistics Death Database, from the end of March 2020 to the beginning of April 2021, an estimated 62,203 deaths were reported among Canadians aged 0 to 64. This represents 5,535 more deaths than expected were there no pandemic, after accounting for changes in the population such as aging. Over the same period, 1,380 COVID-19 deaths have been attributed to the same age group (those younger than 65), suggesting that the excess mortality is, in large part, related to other factors such as increases in the number deaths attributed to causes associated with substance use and misuse, including unintentional (accidental) poisonings and diseases and conditions related to alcohol consumption.

Provisional death counts and excess mortality, January 2020 to April 2021

This is the Canadian government officially saying that for people under 65, the effects of lockdowns are four times more deadly than the virus.

It shouldn’t have to be said, but in order to justify the extreme, unprecedented measures that we’re enduring, that we’re seeing every day interfering with nearly every aspect of our lives, the scale of the threat that they will with a high certainty avoid would have to be great in proportion to the extremity and degree of disruption they cause. That is, the restrictions would need to be confidently know to save a large multiple of people that would be lost without them.

What we’re seeing–as reported by an official government body whose purpose is exactly statistical analysis of Canadian demographics–is that not only is this not the case, but the reverse is true: the restrictions are resulting in more deaths, not less.

Never Mind Work–Lockdowns Don’t Even Make Sense

The justification given for the lockdowns is to slow the spread of the virus so that hospitals don’t become overwhelmed. But if the problem is that there won’t be enough hospital beds, equipment, and staff to treat patients… why not get more beds, equipment, and train more staff?

Of course, that’s not something that can be done overnight, and it wouldn’t be cheap. In comparison with doing nothing, that’s a big task. But we didn’t do nothing–we shut down schools, restaurants, concerts and cultural events, small businesses, churches and we banned family gatherings, weddings, funerals, and even just having guests visit, imposed other unprecedented restrictions like mandating people wear something to cover their faces, and paid lots of people lots of money to sit around and do nothing.

This is a massive disruption to normal life with a massive cost and loss of productivity, and this is not disputed. To quickly set up a few field hospitals, rush order the needed equipment at a multiple of the normal expense, and train volunteers or cross train existing healthcare staff would have been overall much cheaper, and would have caused much less disruption to normal life. Maybe there are some physical limitations on how quickly new equipment can be made, but then couldn’t we have thrown a few billion at it to make it work, or found some alternative? It’s been more than a year!

When the impending problem is not enough healthcare capacity, it makes much more sense, is cheaper, easier, less disruptive, to try to get more healthcare capacity than to shut down everything else.

And the cherry on top is that when faced with this potential healthcare capacity shortage, we reduced healthcare capacity for other ailments by cancelling treatments and surgeries and denying people health care. The problem is that people won’t get the healthcare they need, and the solution is to deny people healthcare.

And the other cherry on top is that if it really was about saving lives and good health, then there would be some analysis of the overall effects of these lockdowns, and excess deaths they cause would be compared with excess deaths they prevented. The excess deaths that could be prevented by lockdowns is the proportion of people who would die from this virus only if they didn’t get access to healthcare–that’s it. The excess deaths that are caused by lockdown are things like suicides and drug overdoses from isolation, loneliness, and loss of livelihood, cancer and other diseases that could have been caught and treated earlier,

Whether or not we should be making these types of massive interventions based on predictions of possible statistical changes in mortality is another question. Do we want to live such controlled and managed lives? Is longevity of life always more valuable than quality of life? Does the potential for death always trump any potential for human flourishing?

These are very important issues, but we don’t even have to go that far to see that the lockdowns are and were a bad idea, because the justification given for them doesn’t even make sense. The given rationale doesn’t hold up. It’s far from the best way to achieve what it is purported to achieve.

The story that best embodies these absurdities is that of Nancy Russell.

Residents eat meals in their rooms, have activities and social gatherings cancelled, family visits curtailed or eliminated. Sometimes they are in isolation in their small rooms for days. These measures, aimed at saving lives, can sometimes be detrimental enough to the overall health of residents that they find themselves looking into other options.

Russell, described by her family as exceptionally social and spry, was one such person. Her family says she chose a medically-assisted death (MAID) after she declined so sharply during lockdown that she didn’t want to go through more isolation this winter.

Facing another retirement home lockdown, 90-year-old chooses medically assisted death

She needed to be forced to stay in a room by herself because the risk that she would get sick and die was too great, but this experience was so miserable that it made her want to die, and so the same government that was imposing the miserable conditions ostensibly intended to save her life helped her kill herself.

They tortured her to save her life, then helped kill her when it was too awful.

Did no one think to just… let her live her life normally? What’s the worst that could happen, she gets sick and dies? You helped kill her! How did no one realize that they could have just let her live her life with some happiness instead of locking her up or killing her? Not her doctor? Her relatives, or friends?

No one wanted to try just living? Just imprisonment or death, those are your options.

A Misconception about Abolishing Whiteness

Sometimes when it is said that whiteness is a problem or needs to be countered, people misunderstand and think that what is being said is that the white race is a problem or needs to be countered.

That’s an ignorant, uneducated confusion. Whiteness is conceptual, it’s a way of thinking, a set of cultural assumptions. No malice or or resentment is directed towards white people as people, and if you thought that then you’re pretty dumb.

The goal is not to abolish white people, the goal, the unquestionable moral imperative is merely to ensure that no white person is allowed to think something positive about their people, and prevent any of them from basing any aspect of their identity on their group. White people specifically; people from other groups are allowed and encouraged to do these things.

If somehow as a consequence of denying white people a sense of shared identity (whether as a whole or as as a member of the component ethnic groups) and portraying their history and heritage as entirely negative (and uniquely vile), in combination with the demographic changes due to mass immigration into nearly every white homeland… if as a consequence of all this white people become psychologically sick, lose their self-determination, their ability to direct their collective course, are forced to become a minority living under foreign rule, must accept a different peoples’ values and way of living, become disfavoured in the legal and judicial systems of their former homelands, or are subject to resentment and retribution from others… then those are just unintended side effects, and it doesn’t really matter anyway, because all the problems affecting other races need to be solved before we can care about problems affecting white people.

So if you thought there was something sinister about calls to abolish whiteness, or if you thought that it would somehow negatively affect you just because you happen to be white, you can see now how stupid you were. Now that you know that abolishing whiteness is a good thing, you’re smart and good.

Blocking Off the Sky With a Giant Screen

Last night I dreamt that there were brilliant light displays in the night sky that that were similar to meteors burning through the atmosphere, but with more complicated patterns. They became more intricate and enduring, and I became suspicious. Then a large, bright logo for a local sports team appeared in the sky and I remembered that recently large screens had been erected that covered the entire sky, letting natural light through but also adding artificial phenomena. From then on we could no longer trust our celestial observation, we would be unable to know if what we saw was real or fake; it could all be filtered, manipulated, and manufactured.

This dream must have resulted from what I read yesterday:

We have all the data we need for any question. We know more about world than we really want or need to know. What we lack is information and more important, trustworthy sources of information.

Z Blog, The Modern Prison State