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 – True but censored

But now, Facebook is censoring accurate information about the relationship between industrial wind energy development and the increase in whale deaths off the East Coast.

Yesterday, Facebook and Instagram censored my post linking whale deaths to wind energy off the East Coast of the United States. The censorship came in the form of a “FactCheck.org” article from March 31, 2023, which relied entirely on U.S. government sources.

The censorship came on the exact same day that Public and Environmental Progress released a new documentary, “Thrown To The Wind,” which proves that the FactCheck.org article is false.

Michael Shellenberger

Samizdata quote of the day – the fake climate consensus

We are told climate change is a crisis, and that there is an “overwhelming scientific consensus.”

“It’s a manufactured consensus,” says climate scientist Judith Curry in my new video. She says scientists have an incentive to exaggerate risk to pursue “fame and fortune.”

She knows about that because she once spread alarm about climate change.

John Stossel

… which will come as a shock to no one here 😉

Samizdata quote of the day

“One of the few sensible things Noam Chomsky ever said was that if you want to understand the world, read the New York Times backwards; that is, start at the end of the story and read up.”

Steven F Hayward, making this comment in a long and damning critique of “climate crisis” viewpoints and suppressors of dissent.

(Thanks to Instapundit for the pointer.)

N star star star star, not N star star star star star

Either the Independent‘s “Race Correspondent” (who, to add to the comedy, is called Nadine White) has written a report almost designed to be misunderstood, or she is a satirist of genius. I present to you this story:

“Now the royal family is dragged into the n-word race row”

Juicy! Which one of ’em was it? Will Meghan’s Spotify podcast be coming back so she can discuss it? Sorry to disappoint, but the connection to the current royal family is strong as a cobweb: it seems a catalogue of gems and jewels owned by the Royal Collection “contained more than 40 mentions of offensive racial terms”. The aberrant public catalogue concerning a sub-collection of jewels, cameos, and other small items was actually published fifteen years ago in 2008 but remained on the Royal Collection’s website until the intrepid offence archaeologists of the Independent found it last Thursday. Since the cataloguing and study of the whole collection by historians is an ongoing process, those particular entries could have been written decades earlier. Here is the current webpage. Fear not, it has been purged.

And about that “offensive racial term” in the 2008 version… it wasn’t the n-word the Independent wants you to think it was.

In the latest instance, the offensive terms are mostly used to describe people of African ancestry who appear on the jewels. The words are also included in a number of names of items in the collection.

One brooch is described in the following terms: “Head of a n**** in three-quarter profile to the right, with drop-pearl earring. This type of a n****’s head is found on several sixteenth-century cameos.”

Another item depicting a white person is accompanied by this description and slur: “Athough it uses the dark layers of the stone for the profile, the features are not n*****d’.

Count the asterisks. Four, not five. Ergo it was egro, or in the final example, egroid.

UPDATE 16:20 BST: Someone at the Independent read the readers’ comments. The newspaper has now changed n**** to n***o throughout the article.

“Covid censorship proved to be deadly”

“Covid Censorship Proved to Be Deadly”, writes Bret Swanson in the Wall Street Journal, but you could leave the first word off the headline and it would still be true. It is not necessary to agree with or even understand every one of Mr Swanson’s specifically Covid-related points to see the inevitable truth of what he says below:

Legions of doctors stayed quiet after witnessing the demonization of their peers who challenged the Covid orthodoxy. A little censorship leads people to watch what they say. Millions of patients and citizens were deprived of important insights as a result.

The worldwide system of individual doctors reporting and pooling their observations of how diseases progress and treatments work out has been a major factor in the spectacular medical progress of the last two centuries. For it to work, obviously, all must be free to say what they have seen and all must be free to see what others have said. I had thought this understanding was an unshakeable pillar of science, one of those innovations, like literacy and the scientific method itself, whose advantages are so clear that once discovered it is never abandoned.

This turned out not to be the case.

Hoist by our own petard? Thoughts on the de-banking of Nigel Farage

In case you are not aware of this – and there is no way you would if you got all your news from the Sky website – yesterday we learnt that political entrepreneur, Mr Brexit, and all-round inconvenience to the Establishment, Nigel Farage, has had his bank account closed. No explanation has been offered. When he attempted to open an account at other banks (6 or 7 according to him) he was turned down in every case.

Wow! just wow.

It’s nothing new of course. Similar things have happened to Toby Young of the Free Speech Union and to the guys at Triggernometry. It comes at a time when any number of people have been kicked off social media or lost their jobs as a result of expressing the wrong opinion. I believe even The Boss once fell into the former category.

But, Patrick, you are a libertarian. Surely, you believe in producer sovereignty? Surely, you believe that a bank or any other private institution has every right to decide who it trades with and more pertinently who it doesn’t trade with?

I do indeed. But cherchez l’état. Once upon a time there was such a thing as the Ecology Building Society. It took in deposits and lent it out to – as it would see it – eco-friendly projects. It wasn’t very big and was eventually closed down by regulation. More recently, some of you will be aware of the travails of Dave Fishwick. He didn’t think banks in Burnley were much cop so he tried to set up his own. Not an easy thing to do as it turned out. So difficult in fact that – IIRC – only one new bank had been established in the UK in the last 50 years. The bank in question was Metro Bank which I believe has also been involved in a bit of cancellation recently. Fishwick eventually got his way but only by a bit of creative loophole exploitation.

So, essentially, a bank is very much a creature of the state. It is subject to the arbitrary whims of a capricious master. All very medieval. What are the chances that all these banks have been lent on? High, I would say. This wasn’t always the case. A hundred years ago – where I spend a lot of my time – there were any number of banks. Some of them were not particularly well run but it would appear that if you were dissatisfied with the banks on offer you could set up your own.

But hang about, if Farage’s de-banking is all to do with state regulation how come all those people got cancelled on social media which has almost no regulation at all? Er…

Update 1/7/23 It would appear that the Ecology Building Society is very much still with us.

Samizdata quote of the day – Heresy must be suppressed

The cancellation of eminent science writers and statisticians like Dr. Whitehouse and Professor Fenton for ‘wrongthink’ highlights the ever-shrinking boundaries of the discourse around science and medicine and the unwillingness of science’s gatekeepers to challenge groupthink and politically sensitive dogmas. As Dr. Whitehouse says, “science thrives on debate and scrutiny”. Silencing those who challenge prevailing orthodoxies was the approach favoured by the Catholic church in 17th Century Italy and is completely at odds with the scientific method.

Richard Eldred.

I used to read every issue of New Scientist ‘back in the day’ but it has been a bastion of approved high-status groupthink for many years, suitable for cat tray liner only.

“But I think what is happening to me is important.”

I do not know what this woman is accused of. [UPDATE: Commenter John did know, and linked to this Mark Steyn interview and this Mail story from October 2022.] It is always possible that things will look different if ever we get to hear the full story – not that Surrey Police seem inclined to tell us. But if this is half as bad as it looks, Caroline Farrow is right: it is important – and frightening.

To save space, and to keep a sequential record of them in case they disappear, I have written out the rest of the tweets in her thread as bullet points. The following was written by Caroline Farrow, not me:

  • On Monday afternoon my solicitor received a bizarre communication from Surrey police solicitors. He thought it had to do with my civil claim against them.

    After some miscommunication, they sent through a bundle for a court hearing.

    I am due in court tomorrow morning.

  • The police asked that “physical paperwork” relating to the court hearing against me in 2 days, was withheld from me.

    They wanted me to go to a court hearing without access to the accusations and alleged evidence.

  • Surrey police have applied for a stalking protection order as a result of material I have posted on Twitter.

    On page 1 of the bundle repeated misgendering is cited.

    Here are the prohibitions they are seeking tomorrow morning.

  • I will be assigned an “offender manager”.

    I will not be allowed to use any Social Media, Social Networking, Gaming, Dating (lol) site without this person’s written permission and having supplied them with usernames and passwords for all sites within 3 days.

  • In addition the following requirements are added:

    1. Allow Police Officers to enter your registered address(es), between the hours of 8am and 8pm, to conduct a risk assessment, monitor devices, and manage compliance of the order

    2. Provide your Offender Manager with any mobile, digital, or internet enabled devices for examination, review, and monitoring purposes, immediately upon request. You must also your provide your Offender Manager with any access PINs, passwords, or patterns. Examinations may be completed manually on scene, or could entail them seizing your device(s) for examination by agencies contracted by the police for that purpose. Failing to disclose the existence of a device in your possession to your Offender Manager will count as a failure to comply with this condition.

  • 3. Re-register home address every 12 months at a Police Station (within 365 days of last registration).

  • 4. Provide your Offender Manager with list of all mobile, digital, or internet enabled devices that you own or have access to use. The list must be provided within three days of the order being granted or within three days of any changes.

  • The police officer says this:

    I believe that while presenting a significant interference with the respondent’s privacy rights, it is an appropriate course of action in the circumstances.

  • Signed by Surrey Police Superintendent

    “I consider that in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 8 of HRA, an interference by this force as a public authority is in accordance with the law and is necessary.”

  • I left out another condition Surrey police are asking for.

    5. Possessing, owning or using more than one mobile phone and one SIM card, unless with written permission from your Offender Manager in the area that you reside. You must provide the telephone number and unique identifying numbers of all device(s) within three days of this order being granted or within three days of and supplying any changes within 3 days of any such change.

  • Samizdata quote of the day – cataloging a tsunami of Covid scandals

    The mainstream press is 99.9 percent captured.

    The “gatekeepers of the news” have become stenographers of virtually every dubious or false public health narrative. Nobody (who really matters in the Big Picture) is challenging the never-ending lies, manipulated data and false narratives.

    If this lack of skepticism persists, it seems almost a certainty that all the important organizations in the world will continue to be led by people who either aren’t intelligent enough to challenge false narratives or know the narratives are false and simply don’t care.

    Bill Rice

    We are at the point where tolerance is not an option

    For some reason, it turns out that if someone suggests that there is something wrong with a white family having white offspring in front of a gazillion people, you are supposed to enthusiastically nod along and pass on your congratulations. Naively, I failed to comply and recklessly set out on a voyage of light-hearted piss-taking, asking immature questions such as ‘does everything have to be viewed through the prism of race, sexuality and culture?’.

    Turns out the answer is: YES! And what’s more, your skin colour dictates the type of questions you’re allowed to ask.

    – Paul Cox, writing “You’re White – You Can’t Write About This” Local Newspaper Tells Comedian.

    And apropos that, the other day commenter Ferox made this remark:

    My view has always been (and I have argued it here on this site) that if you need to know the color (or demographic trait in general) of the speaker before you know if you are offended or not, then the hate is coming from you – not from the speaker. What you hate is not what was said but the person saying it.

    Ferox, making a not unrelated point.

    Permission to speak not granted: the editor of Science gives his ruling

    This “Threadreader” page shows a now-deleted set of tweets by the Editor-in-Chief of Science magazine, Holden Thorp:

    In light of @Nature’s excellent editorial about why it makes sense to comment on politics (all the way, in their case, to making an endorsement), this is the Pew finding that is most relevant. Following the admonition to stick to science is conceding the idea that scientists can be sidelined in policy decisions. “Stick to science” infantilizes scientists and tells us to sit at the kids table and let the adults decide. We must fight back. Here’s the editorial:

    Should Nature endorse political candidates? Yes — when the occasion demands it

    Political endorsements might not always win hearts and minds, but when candidates threaten a retreat from reason, science must speak out.

    Sure, if you ask if folks in the public if they lose faith in science if journals venture into politics, many will say yes. But they don’t actually want science, they want scientific information they can use as they see fit. 3/n @Magda_Skipper @laurahelmuth @KBibbinsDomingo

    This gives people the permission to say things like “climate change may be real, but I don’t think we should have government regulation to deal with it,” which is unacceptable. We can’t concede that by letting people pick and choose. Good for @Magda_Skipper for speaking out.

    Emphasis added. Found via Stuart Ritchie.

    Broken how, exactly?

    Sweden has made its choice and must live with the consequences. Two years ago almost to the day, after a vote that attracted unprecedented public interest, Sweden introduced a new national flower. It is Campanula rotundifolia, a.k.a. the Harebell or Small Bluebell. No one ever says what happens to the old national flower on these occasions. Does it sit in its bed glowering at its successor, like Ted Heath, or does it try its hand at hosting a TV show like Harold Wilson? Those were the days, when nubile young couples sat up in bed as soon as an ex prime minister came on the telly. But if poor Mr Wilson was confused by that opening sequence, think how a flower would feel.

    The only reason I got onto the subjects of harebells and Harold Wilson and pollination being flower-nookie was so that I could make a joke about how Brett Christophers, professor in the Institute for Housing and Urban Research at Sweden’s Uppsala University, spends most of his Guardian article tiptoeing around the Campanula rotundifolia. Er, that was the joke. Here’s the article.

    “From poster child to worst performing EU economy: how bad housing policy broke Sweden”

    Bad housing policy. The policy is bad. Very bad. The article says that the housing policy is bad.

    This, ultimately, is the nub of the matter. What Sweden is facing up to today is massive, long-term political failure to sort out its housing market.

    On the one hand, Sweden has continued to substantially subsidise home ownership, pouring unnecessary fuel on the fire of the housing bubble. Most notable here is tax relief on mortgage interest. Decades after such relief was jettisoned elsewhere – even the famously homeowner-friendly UK got rid of it in 2000, Gordon Brown rightly describing it as a middle-class perk – it remains in place, absurdly, in Sweden.

    On the other hand, Sweden has a fundamentally broken rental system,


    which for a variety of reasons


    comprehensively fails to make affordable accommodation widely and readily available in the largest cities, especially for those with greatest need and least resources. The effect of this lack of viable rental accommodation has been to further inflate demand for home-ownership, putting additional upwards pressure on house prices and debt burdens.

    Back in 2015, the Guardian was more honest: “Pitfalls of rent restraints: why Stockholm’s model has failed many”

    Half a million are on the waiting list for rent-controlled flats in Stockholm, meaning a two-tier system, bribes and a thriving parallel market