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

Some words, in their modern usages, either invite lies or are themselves implicit lies. One such word, of course, is diversity. Another is inclusion. Just as the Ministry of Love in Nineteen Eighty-Four was responsible for repression and torture, so the word diversity promotes the imposition of uniformity and inclusion promotes exclusion.
[…]
Did the apparatchiks of the Royal Academy lie when they excluded in the name of inclusion and imposed orthodoxy in the name of diversity? Or were they merely too stupid to notice the contradictions? No doubt sheer cowardice has much to do with it, for cowardice is often the midwife of lies.

Theodore Dalrymple, noting the distinction between a lie and stupidity is not one which is always easy to make.

Samizdata quote of the day

Health research is based on trust. Health professionals and journal editors reading the results of a clinical trial assume that the trial happened and that the results were honestly reported. But about 20% of the time, said Ben Mol, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Monash Health, they would be wrong. As I’ve been concerned about research fraud for 40 years, I wasn’t that surprised as many would be by this figure, but it led me to think that the time may have come to stop assuming that research actually happened and is honestly reported, and assume that the research is fraudulent until there is some evidence to support it having happened and been honestly reported. The Cochrane Collaboration, which purveys “trusted information,” has now taken a step in that direction.
[…]
We have now reached a point where those doing systematic reviews must start by assuming that a study is fraudulent until they can have some evidence to the contrary.

Richard Smith

The state is not your friend… example 57,459

The idea, then, that Boris and his Cabinet would have been able to simply sit there, apparently passively, while the virus ‘let rip’, was pretty implausible once the Chinese and Italians had gone into lockdown. The urge to do things would have been overwhelming. And it remains to this day. Letting the immune systems and common sense of the public take care of matters is anathema to our leaders, because it doesn’t involve them taking bold action or, indeed, doing anything much at all. This goes against the grain of their very psyches: in their own minds, they envisage themselves ‘winning’ in the war against Covid through their brilliant decision-making and uber-competence, and being hoisted onto the shoulders of the grateful populace and paraded through the streets accordingly. They don’t want nature to take the credit which they believe is theirs. In fact, it is pretty clear that they don’t really want the virus to reach natural equilibrium at all – they want to defeat it, preferably through some fabulous scheme.

David McGrogan, an Associate Professor of Law at Northumbria Law School

Samizdata quote of the day

Nothing progressive is ever falsifiable.

Bobby B

Samizdata quote of the day

[The scientific establishment has always had a tendency] “to turn into a church, enforcing obedience to the latest dogma and expelling heretics and blasphemers.”

Matt Ridley

Samizdata quote of the day

Democracy is just another way of deciding who gets to control the available means of collective coercion. Democracy has nothing whatsoever to do with civil liberty, albeit the two get conflated all the time. There is nothing particularly uplifting or sacred or morally superior about democracy, it is just better than most of the alternatives when it comes to deciding when a given cunt has outstayed his welcome in the halls of power. As my chum Guy Herbert likes to say “democracy makes a fine brake but a terrible steering wheel.”

What any system needs is some form of constitutionalism, something that places certain things beyond politics (US Bill of Rights is a nice example, to the extent it still works, which it kinda sorta still does in some ways). There needs to be some form of framework that limits what state power is even allowed to do, regardless of which arsehole is in charge this year. That was why Tony Blair was such a profound calamity, as he essentially destroyed British notions of constitutional limits on state power. Everything is now up for grabs.

Perry de Havilland

Samizdata quote of the day

“When something is free, only the well-connected get much of it.”

George Gilder, The Scandal of Money.

Samizdata quote of the day

Then do we give them back their freedom? Not at all. Then we move the goalposts, making freedom conditional on more and more people getting the vaccine. Until we make it to so-called ‘Freedom Day’, a month later than originally planned, and Boris Johnson chooses then to tell young people that their freedom to do the things they enjoy will be dependent on receiving a vaccine.

A vaccine that uses experimental technology and was rushed through trials without waiting for the full safety data (trials which will never now conclude as the control groups have been vaccinated). A vaccine, or rather vaccines, which the authorities now acknowledge increase the risk of dangerous blood clotting and heart conditions, particularly in younger people. Vaccines for which there are now more reports of fatalities in the U.S. than all other vaccines put together for the past 30 years.

– Will Jones writing about The Great Betrayal

Lockdown Sceptics becomes Daily Sceptic

The name of this website is about to change from Lockdown Sceptics to the Daily Sceptic. I intended this change to coincide with the bonfire of the coronavirus restrictions – the long-awaited terminus – but ‘Freedom Day’ has turned out to be a damp squib. Not only have many of the restrictions remained in place, but it’s been made clear by Chris Whitty and others that any freedoms we’ve been granted today will be snatched away as soon as the NHS comes under pressure again.

Toby Young

I have been supporting the excellent & tireless Lockdown Sceptics & will continued to support Daily Sceptic. Samizdata.net’s sidebar link has been duly updated.

Samizdata quote of the day

The path from…

   “All we want is to be free to love”

to…

   “Bake the cake or go to jail, motherfcker!”

is becoming quicker and more direct.

staghounds

Samizdata quote of the day

[Overheard on a train in UK]

Passenger 1: “Have you seen what’s happening in South Africa? The authorities have let order completely break down. It’s getting so bad even BBC is starting to show coverage.”

Passenger 2: “Yeah, it’s terrible, Natal is starting to look like Portland.

Samizdata quote of the day

I didn’t look too closely when in 2015 a Conservative administration proposed changing the law on gender recognition. A few trans people want more easily to get official confirmation for the new gender they have become? Well, I thought, that’s probably OK. No skin off any part of me.

Then the issue appeared to morph into a different kind of conflict. It had clearly somewhere along the line become impermissible for those who thought that there was something ineluctable about biological sex to say so. It wasn’t whether they were correct or mistaken on the subject that was in question, but their right even to express their view.

A recognisably totalitarian declension seemed to be being imposed: if you said biological sex was real then you argued with the ability of someone who felt they should be the other sex to simply assert that uncontested. That meant you were denying their “existence” as the new sex. Which was tantamount to denying their existence as a human being. Which was close to saying you wanted them and everyone like them dead. Which is the kind of thing the Nazis did. So you’re a Nazi. And we can’t let Nazis publish Nazi thoughts in books. Or speak at universities, or sully our public spaces with their terrible prejudice.

Here I drew the line. I saw people I knew being bullied and harassed for having an opinion on biological sex (actually the majority opinion on biological sex), and even if I didn’t know whether I agreed with them, I knew that was wrong. …

David Aaronovitch in the Times (£), writing about this book by Helen Joyce, quoted by and commented upon by Mick Hartley (not £).