We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

The management and communication during the epidemic has been plagued by misleading statistics, the cherry-picking of the worst data, alarmist language, horror-film-style advertising, one-sided media coverage and coercive language and tactics, all of which I wrote about in my new book, A State of Fear.

Bludgeoning people with ‘nudge’ (behavioural psychology), weaponising fear, and tightly controlling the narrative risk undermining the public’s trust in government, public-health messaging and the media. This is the third time I have reported on anti-lockdown protests for spiked, and the third time I have been slack-jawed by the lack of honesty in how the media misrepresents the scale and purpose of these protests. This mistrust can be read clearly in the placards.

Laura Dodsworth

27 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • George Atkisson

    The media don’t care. They have their Narrative and at least half the country believe it. “They wouldn’t put it on the telly unless it was true!” Any counterfactual data is ignored, censored, or mocked as fringe conspiracy theories. Any failure to maintain that Narrative within the media is swiftly punished with loss of employment and personal attacks to destroy that person’s credibility. Any relief will have to come from outside the existing system.

  • APL

    “Spiked”

    Aren’t they that bunch of self confessed ‘reformed’ Marxists?

    As it happens, I quite enjoy some of Brendon O’ Neil’s commentary. But I did listen to one that resulted in my deleting their bookmark, not been back since.

    Scratch a ‘reformed’ Marxist, and guess what? There’s a Marxist just under the surface.

  • Spiked have been consistently excellent over last year when supposed pro-freedom outfits like the IEA chose the wrong side in the greatest threat to liberty since World War II.

  • I was sad (but not blaming – they cover a lot of stuff in a day) to see that instapundit’s link to the NYT report quoted its headline that ‘hundreds protest lockdown in London’. Those who read that instapundit story’s comments got links (including to samizdata) that gave them a better idea of its size, but many in the US will just glance at the headline and think, as one of the first instapundit commenters put it, ‘only hundreds – that’s sad’.

    Still, does that mean the NYT is outperforming the BBC? Orwell was critical of reporting in 1930s Britain, but when he went to 1930s Spain, he was astonished to meet reporting that “did not have even the connection to fact implied in an ordinary lie” – huge battles reported where there had been no fighting and silence where there had been; men who had never fired a shot in anger at the enemy praised as heroes, and men who had fought them denounced as traitors. In Britain in the 2020s, it is demonstrations, not battles, that get the ‘fact reported as fiction and fiction reported as fact’ treatment – as the OP quote remarks.

    (Orwell quote from memory)

  • Paul Marks

    It is not just a matter of false statistics – it is the lack of understanding of statistics.

    For example, Indian English language news talks endlessly of the “devastation” of Covid 19 in India – the Covid death rate in India is 24 per HUNDRED THOUSAND people. Every death is a terrible personal tragedy, but compared to the terrible wars and natural disasters of the past – 24 per 100,000 is not “devastation”. Although, yes, the death rate may be underestimated.

    The worst Covid death rate in the world is Hungary – but even in Hungary the Covid death rate is less than one third of one percent of the population.

    So of every 300 people one person has died of Covid 19 in Hungary – and that is the worst death rate on the planet.

    Again every death is a terrible tragedy – but the corporate media, and governments, are acting as if this is the Spanish Flu of 1918-19. And if they are really so concerned about deaths from Covid 19 – why are they still either ignoring or SMEARING Early Treatment?

    Early Treatment with a combination of well established medications, would save about 80 of the people who die – and it would prevent the hospitals being “overwhelmed” as people would be treated EARLY and so not need to go to hospital.

    It is almost as if the international establishment DO NOT WANT Early Treatment – as if they actually want large numbers of casualties, in order to push a political agenda.

  • Paul Marks

    We do not know if the release of Covid 19 from the lab in Wuhan was accidental or deliberate – but even if it was accidental, the government of the People’s Republic of China is clearly liable for full damages in relation to Covid 19.

    Rather than pushing the “New Normal” of the “Reset” of “Build Back BETTER” (my stress on the word “better”) why are governments and the corporate media not demanding that the government of the People’s Republic of China pay full compensation for the harm its virus is causing.

    Americans sue at the drop of a hat – why is there not a Class Action law suit against the government of the People’s Republic of China. Why is Mr Biden and the American media not, at least, cancelling the “debt” supposedly owned to the People’s Republic of China.

  • Stonyground

    “…every death is a terrible tragedy…”

    I don’t think that this is the case. I think that if you have made it past eighty you are living on borrowed time and have certainly had a decent innings. Speaking only for myself, I will be happy if I survive that long and I certainly don’t want to reach the point where I can’t feed myself or wipe my own arse.

  • Ted Treen

    “…undermining the public’s trust in government, public-health messaging and the media…”

    As a member of the aforementioned public, I must report my trust in those organisations to be pretty much non-existent. It has long been so, and I personally know very few others whose viewpoint differs.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Stonyground
    Speaking only for myself, I will be happy if I survive that long and I certainly don’t want to reach the point where I can’t feed myself or wipe my own arse.

    Speaking for myself, if I have reached that grand old age and accumulated sufficient capital in the process, I fully expect to enjoy some nubile young nurse feeding me peeled grapes and wiping my butt. I always found the wiping to be a real burden and think that those foreigners who squirt water up there have a damn good idea, add some air drying and you might well get bit of that cheap thrill that age has cruelly stolen from you.

    Of course if I’m in my eighties suffering from a degenerative disease which means that my body is still going on but my mind has gone entirely, I’m going to make sure my children know that a an extremely large dose of morphine would by my preferred way to drift off to the other side. If the medical establishment won’t help then Smith an Wesson are a reliable alternative. However, if my mind is still working I’m with Dylan Thomas: I have no intention of going quiet into that dark night.

  • Roué le Jour

    I visited the Soviet Union forty years ago and was heartened to find that the Russians I met all assumed the government was lying about everything. I do find it very depressing how many people today seem to believe the western governments.

  • APL

    Stonyground: “I think that if you have made it past eighty you are living on borrowed time and have certainly had a decent innings.”

    This seems to me to be an eminently reasonable perspective.

    I can’t help thinking that much of the hysteria has been generated by the ‘Boomer’ generation, who have spent the last forty years telling everyone that ’40 is the new 20′, or ‘How to have vigorous sex at sixty’.

    Much of this demographic is in denial.

    Fraser Orr: “I’m going to make sure my children know that a an extremely large dose of morphine would by my preferred way to drift off to the other side.”

    Going to, or already have?

    I’ve considered a mask that feeds nitrogen (cylinders of the stuff are available quite cheap on line ) – shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to do the deed, and strikes me as a fairly painless means to an end.

  • Lee Moore

    I fully expect to enjoy some nubile young nurse feeding me peeled grapes and wiping my butt.

    Make sure she understands you want it done in that order.

  • bobby b

    “I’ve considered a mask that feeds nitrogen (cylinders of the stuff are available quite cheap on line ) – shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to do the deed, and strikes me as a fairly painless means to an end.”

    I’d go for helium. Same oxygen-displacing mechanism, plus you get to entertain your friends with funny voices as you die. (“I see a light!” in an Alvin-chipmunk voice!)

  • Snorri Godhi

    I think that if you have made it past eighty you are living on borrowed time and have certainly had a decent innings.

    It all depends on your diet and your exercise regime. Glenn Reynolds and Nassim Taleb (both born in 1960 i believe) have been getting stronger in the last decade. I am about their age and can say the same; but more important, i have been getting healthier, both in body and in mind.

    A high school friend asked me if i really expect to live past 90. I replied that i expect to do pull-ups past 100.

  • Roué le Jour

    My impression is that when you are younger your body stays in shape more or less by itself, but as you age that stops happening. So, far from being a time to relax, you are obliged to exercise as you get older just to keep the damn thing working.

  • Stonyground

    In my mid fifties I threw myself into doing triathlons, for a while it seemed as though I was reversing the aging process. Now, in my early sixties I am tackling my garden instead. A duff knee and one or two other malfunctions mean that it would be difficult to keep the tris up. Exercise yes, but you do have to wind down gradually too.

  • asiaseen

    @ paul marks
    why is there not a Class Action law suit against the government of the People’s Republic of China

    Only in a commercial action can a sovereign government be sued in Common Law.

  • Snorri Godhi

    In reply to Stonyground, and perhaps also to Roué:
    When I said ‘exercise regime’, i did not mean to imply that it’s only a matter of quantity of exercise.
    Triathlon and stuff like that are for young people. You can still do it as you grow older, but you have to allow more time between sessions to recover from wear+tear to the joints.

    To avoid sarcopenia, you have to lift weights. You can get injuries that way too, for instance i have some pain in my left shoulder from the last session of shoulder presses. But i have less trouble with my shoulders now than i had before starting to shoulder-press.

    And let’s not forget the diet! I abstain from carbs for at least 10 hours (more like 15 to 20) before going to the gym, and for at least 24 hours afterwards i gorge on proteins and fat; still avoiding carbs, even low-carb vegetables. It seems to work for me.

  • APL

    bobby b: ” I see a light!” in an Alvin-chipmunk voice!”

    🤣

    Snorri Godhi “Glenn Reynolds and Nassim Taleb (both born in 1960 i believe) have been getting stronger in the last decade. “

    But aren’t we talking about averages here? 83 is the mean age of a COVID-19 death. But we know some died at 65 and one or two in their 30s. Nassim and Glenn may just be fortunate winners in the genetic lottery and go on to 110.

    Both my parents got into their early ’80s so, that’s my target, I might do a little better, I might do a little worse.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Lee Moore
    Make sure she understands you want it done in that order.

    LOL. Deserves my vote for joke of the year.

    BTW about the whole death thing it really is an accident of evolution. If technology would allow I’d stay around as long as possible. Death is an utter tragedy when you consider all that is lost with a single person. It is like burning down the Alexandrian Library every week as a million people die every few days. However, of course there is very little appetite for extending life amongst the powers that be because old people, even healthy virile people, cost them a lot of money. Which is reason number 732 that I am opposed to people vesting their future in the government for things like retirement funds are medical care.

  • Fraser Orr
    May 31, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Of course if I’m in my eighties suffering from a degenerative disease which means that my body is still going on but my mind has gone entirely, I’m going to make sure my children know that a an extremely large dose of morphine would by my preferred way to drift off to the other side. If the medical establishment won’t help then Smith an Wesson are a reliable alternative. However, if my mind is still working I’m with Dylan Thomas: I have no intention of going quiet into that dark night.

    No matter what, the Smith and Wesson would prevent going quiet.

  • bobby b

    In a world full of chemicals and gasses, a firearm is the selfish person’s choice. Yuck.

  • Paul Marks

    Roue le Jour – yes indeed one needs to work harder on health as one gets older, a bad diet and lack of exercise are something a young person can “get away with” (at least to some extent) – but if a person is bad as they get older they become an unhealthy fat lump like ME.

    By the way I am also depressed at how many people believe the endless lies that are told in the West.

    Part of the problem may be that there are so many supposedly “independent” sources – which all push the same line (on just about everything).

    Also there is in some countries the fake “opposition”.

    For example, in the United Kingdom incredibly radical policies have been followed over the last year – lockdowns, the spending of hundreds-of-billions-of-Pounds and so on. Yet the “opposition” parties denounce the Conservative Party government for its supposed moderation, and say even more extreme policies should have been followed – and “Conservatives” such as Mr D.C. are trotted on to the media to say the same thing.

    According to D.C. (and the other talking heads on the British media) Mr William “Bill” Gates is a great medical mind – and we should have done whatever he said, no matter how extreme (or plain demented) the instructions of Mr Gates, and the rest of the international establishment, were.

    This is what passes for “Opposition” to the government led by Prime Minister Johnson – “you should have imposed more restrictions than you did” and-so-on.

  • APL

    Fraser Orr: “BTW about the whole death thing it really is an accident of evolution.”

    Evolution and death are inextricably linked, they are the same process. Without death you couldn’t have evolution.

    Fraser Orr: “If technology would allow I’d stay around as long as possible.”

    Just came across an article that puts a theoretical limit of ( everything including the stars aligned ) 150 years for the human lifespan.

    Fraser Orr: “Death is an utter tragedy when you consider all that is lost with a single person.”

    Well, yes. But it doesn’t matter on the evolutionary level, the only important thing from an evolutionary perspective- was your lizard brain sufficiently engaged that you left offspring in your wake. Reproduction being at the lowest level of cognitive activity.

  • Exasperated

    From an American perspective, I think almost all Normies sensed that there was something amiss with the public health response to covid, why else the need to vilify and demean even the most routine questioning of the Narrative. The pathological over reaction of the authorities regarding origin theories and alternative treatments reinforces the suspicion that the governing caste is 1) hiding something, 2) dominated by corruption, hubris or incompetence. I am way past giving them the benefit of the doubt; now I think think that they are sneaky, arrogant, and myopic enough to have funded “gain of function” research in China to circumvent the law, ethics, and professional standards. BTW, who is naive enough to trust the CCP commitment to the necessary rigor required to mange a high risk biolab.
    Where would we be without Tucker and the Weinsteins? It’s almost like the clowns from the Evergreen loony bin were meant to drag the Weinsteins through the crucible of malice and targeted hate that propelled them to their own platform. The Kory-Weinstein discussion of the “Crime of the Century” is an eye opener. I think we can lay the failure of the covid response at the feet of Big Pharma and their captive government agencies. Even though I appreciate the focus on vaccines, they did it at the expense of everything else. As a result they did not get much else right. Of course, you all realize, that acknowledging and approving the effectiveness of alternative treatments undercuts and undermines the “Emergency Use” exemption, put in place to allow the use of vaccines that have nor been subject to the same level of testing as other protocols. See how this works?

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>