These people worship “the science” but have, shall we say, a selective understanding of it

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

When the time came to lock down, Freddie deBoer locked down:

When they switched from saying it was selfish to wear a mask to saying it was selfish to not wear a mask I started wearing a mask. I maintain “social distance” even though it’s always been a vague concept of dubious value. I got both vaccine shots as soon as I could and will soon get a booster, even though I’m vaccinated, have had Covid, and I’m 40 years old and healthy. I have no problem showing the app at bars and restaurants to get in. I don’t think ivermectin is an effective treatment against Covid-19; I am very encouraged by the new Pfizer therapeutic. I tell adults to get vaccinated all the time, although I confess that I think the vaccination of young children is mostly a matter of security theater. I am compliant, I guess you might say, which is flattering or unflattering depending on what side of whatever wearying culture divide you’re standing on.

And also the effort against Covid is a colossal social exercise in forcing all of us to submit to the whims of unaccountable authorities who have been proven wrong on elementary questions but who we are still told work only in the spirit of total rationality and science, and our submission to them is enforced by a self-appointed cadre of ordinary people no more informed than the rest of us and whose attitudes are dictated by the rawest and most unjustifiable fears, passions, and desire for control.

There is a new variant, apparently. I know because our newsmedia breathlessly and relentlessly reports on bad Covid news. Unfortunately, they simply refuse to report on good Covid news, at least with anything like equal scale; I invite you to investigate the archives of even the most sober of news sources and compare how they cover cases going up compared to cases going down. Meanwhile, the public health authorities react to every twist of the narrative as an excuse for more fear and greater restrictions, insisting that “an abundance of caution” is always the way to proceed. (No word on whether a correct amount of caution would be a good idea.) Meanwhile the virus does discriminate, despite what you’ve heard over and over again, and in fact it discriminates against very particular and easily-identifiable subpopulations, and most people are not among them, and so every turn of this thing that does not result in mass death and disruption for the larger populace makes that populace feel lied to by the endlessly-panicky media and the abundantly cautious public health officials. We are approaching two years of Covid-19 as a crisis and yet no one in a position of authority has seemed to put it together that the public is exquisitely sensitive to those who cry wolf. Maybe Omicron really is “the big one,” but they’ve said that about every last development in this endless story, so how would we ever know?

Meanwhile we live among a Praetorian guard of busybodies who want everyone to know that the rest of us aren’t taking Covid seriously enough. These are people who are existentially similar to the “Karen,” 2020’s favorite archetype, except that they’re used to calling other people Karens. But they are precisely that figure of clueless white deference to authority that self-nominates as the world’s hall monitor. And while they want you to mask up and vaccinate and obey other rules, what’s much more important to them than regulating your behavior is that they let you know that you don’t feel the right way about Covid. You aren’t taking it seriously enough! You aren’t frightened enough! Who told you that you ever get to go back to normal? It’s not enough that you follow the rules and perform these weird rituals that we’re all compelled to. You are damned if you want things to return to normal. To want that is the gravest sin. To prefer the before times is a mark of terrible unseriousness. Covid is not, to these people, a simple public health emergency but some sort of divine test of our character, and what is weighed in that test is not our actions or their outcomes, but our neuroses, our noble anxiety, our sacred attachment to feeling bad and wanting to go on feeling bad.

These people worship “the science” but have, shall we say, a selective understanding of it. We’ve known for a long time that it’s very hard to catch Covid outdoors, and that children face very little risk, and again most adults are vaccinated. And yet if you took your kid trick or treating a month ago there’s a Greek chorus that wants you to know that it was terribly selfish and irresponsible, and some such thing as the science says so, irrespective of what the iterative, provisional, and antagonistic rhetorical processes of epidemiology might have to say. We have created an entirely new epistemology of public health science in the past couple of years, one that is somehow not a branch of medicine or biology but of public relations. Its vectors are not pathogens but perceptions. It tracks not the spread of disease but the spread of blame.

What people of this school demand is not sound public health policy or compliance with common-sense Covid regulations, much less an end to the epidemic. (That would end the fun.) What they want is for the world to stop. They want Covid to matter so much that we all look around and realize that something is fundamentally out of order and thus grind human life to a halt, in much the same way that they said “this is NOT normal!” when Trump was elected, as if that were true, as if the world would care if it was. And thudding around in the background is the palpable sense that they are attached to this condition that they say frightens and disturbs them, that they need it, as they imagine that finally something has come along so extreme and so wrong that it will arrest the world’s progress, stopping the ride so they can get out and cluck their tongue at the ridiculousness and injustice of it all.


  1. Ezra says:

    Like most people, you believe what you want to believe. Scientists too. Hardly immune.

  2. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Interesting that de Boer makes it plain he knows the Political Class reaction to the CovidScam has been an over-reaction — but nevertheless he fully complies will all the dictates of the ignorant bureaucrats he excoriates.

    And then he talks about the Holocaust!

    Does the thought ever cross his mind that many of the people (Germans, French, etc) who pushed the Jews onto the trains heading to the camps were just the same as him? They knew what they were doing was dumb, possibly evil, but they did it anyway. They complied!

    People are dying because of the Covid mandates — unable to get prompt medical attention for cancer, heart disease, strokes. Human lives are being ruined and permanently twisted by the Covid mandates — businesses destroyed, jobs lost, schooling disrupted. Yet de Boer complies!

  3. Altitude Zero says:

    DeBoer is on a long journey, Gavin. He’ll agree with you in six months.

  4. Wang Wei Lin says:

    Seems that Covidian obedience is highly correlated to hating Trump, hating America, hating Israel, and the usual destructive leftist efforts to turn the country into one large crap hole instead of the isolated islands of agony of urban decay.

  5. VXXC says:

    They don’t worship science; they worship power.

    This isn’t unusual, just America’s first time, and we’re taking the world with us.

  6. Felix says:

    We have been trained by a never-ending stream of apocalyptic movies. “Escape From Wherever” looks like so much fun. And “Children Of Man” is what the world is like already in the minds of many. Ugly. Insane. Impossible. These zombie-esque movies are plot holes without borders. But they have been made the truth by unending retelling.

  7. Slovenian Guest says:

    They are supposed to worship science; that’s the point. To quote from the covid coup: “Davos Man tightened control by using the state’s coercive power more forcefully than in wartime, covering its class by claiming to speak for ‘science’ in a manner that precludes counterargument.”

    It’s the classic appeal to authority fallacy, a form of argument in which the opinion of an authority on a topic is used as evidence to support an argument.

    Speaking for science now precludes argument, and whoever claims to speak for science, whoever stands in front of official science™ basically has some sort of modern papal infallibility. Fauci himself said, “Attacking me is attacking science.”

    Fauci is right by mere standing, like the pope.

  8. Jim says:

    Breaking: self-admitted third-generation professional Marxist, 40, confesses to collaboration with total regime, defames Adolf Hitler.

  9. FaZe says:

    These zombie-esque movies are plot holes without borders. But they have been made the truth by unending retelling.

    Gotta agree with this Felix. The zombie-mania of the past couple of decades has been a mystery to me. I guess the idea is to promote an air of permanent emergency.

  10. Harry Jones says:

    Zombies are a metaphor for something. Not sure what.

    Perhaps zombie horde is as zombie horde does.

  11. Albion says:

    None of this would have been possible twenty odd years ago, simply because the world wasn’t ‘connected’ by social media, dominated by 24/7 news coverage conducted by people without any respect for the essence of journalism which was to find the truth, dogged by mobile phones recording every little twitch in the world (and publishing it with a ROLF) as well as keeping the sheep walking round with heads down, staring at small screens.

    I have begun to think–and yes, here I am using it–that the internet is a good idea gone very bad. It has allowed us to arm the small-minded who can rail against the rest of us without needing to know any sort of background or history or context. The facts don’t matter when you have an instant opinion, when you feel aggrieved others not only dance to a different tune, but those dancers may not want to allow others to monitor and approve their dancing.

    One way and another the smallest pronouncement of authority (and many of them are small in effect if not loud in delivery) are brought hurtling to us at the speed of light. No time to think, just time to feel pressure to adhere and obey, perhaps even despair.

    This connectivity should have been the greatest boon to the world ever, but with online censorship rife, endless regulations, ‘fact-checkers’ and all the rest of the deceptions created, it isn’t. It has been called a digital prison and maybe it is.

    My point is that this covid business would not have had anything like the impact, and the excuse for petty politicians and the shallow mass media to do any of this, without this ‘connectivity.’ Life used to go on, and with it Flu epidemics came and went once without much note, but the supposedly ‘great and good’ aren’t going to let this one go.

    Covid may well be the first man-made perpetual motion event because now there will always be a mutation or a variant to scare the wits out of so many.

  12. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Albion: “… now there will always be a [Covid] mutation or a variant to scare the wits out of so many.”

    That is true — and the Political Class will continue to play it for all it is worth.

    But there may be another side to this — back to the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Eventually, even the Karens may notice that no-one they know is getting sick, let alone dying, despite the clamor of the news media. Observance of the neo-religious rites of Covid-dom may fade away.

    The cynic in me whispers that is when the Chinese Communist Party will release the real virus to hit up a Western population that has been rendered susceptible by their mRNA treatments. As Sun Tzu said, the real Art of War is to win without fighting.

  13. Jim says:


    You are substantially correct, the only confusion is your surprise. Yes, the Internet enveloped everything and levelled all. That’s what it was designed to do. The “let’s connect everyone for the good of humanity” was just a shtick sold to the true-believing pocket protector people used to bootstrap the Substrate into being. None of them, apparently, ever took the time to ask, “Wait just a minute, connect them to what?“ But it was never a mystery. No one tried to hide it. TPTB said it loud and proud that their intention was to create A GLOBAL VILLAGE®. How did you think that such a thing would be accomplished? By the only means, a Counter-Revolution in the minds of the people:

    “As to the history of the revolution, my ideas may be peculiar perhaps singular. What do we mean by the revolution? The war? That was no part of the revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected from 1760 to 1775, in the course of fifteen years, before a drop of blood was shed at Lexington.” —John Adams. Letter to Thomas Jefferson, August 24, 1815

    Really, you should’ve known that it was all over back in 2007 when your dear old granny came home with an iPhone and logged into LifeLog.

  14. Harry Jones says:

    Are we all blaming connectivity now? That’s the scapegoat for human failings?

    Connectivity began with the domestication of horses. Barbarians have been invading ever since. You can blame the horses, or you can blame the hordes. I blame the hordes.

    If you don’t like how the system is run, don’t blame the system. Try to find a way to take over the system. Because there will always be a system, and there will always be someone in control of it. Why not you?

    You say the system is stacked against you? Of course it is – at the moment. Life’s not fair. Be more clever and ruthless to compensate. People who have been in power too long eventually go soft. That’s a law of nature in your favor. Strength of position vs inner power – asymmetric warfare. Just disassociate from the weak-willed.

    Full disclosure: I am using the Internet to post this. No idea what the rest of you are using.

  15. Sam J. says:

    “I don’t think ivermectin is an effective treatment against Covid-19.”

    What he thinks and the facts are not the same. In what must be the largest medical experiment in the history of planet earth was done on this subject in India. In all of India except for one province, where a pharm executive was in charge of heath care, they gave liberally Ivermectin. This was at a time where the news media was screaming their heads off about the huge rise of corona in India. In every single province EXCEPT for the one where they did not use Ivermectin corona crashed precipitously. Notice the media says not one damn word about India. They are saying they are going to prosecute the pharm executive and possibly execute her. I hope they do. The exact same results happened in Bangladesh where heath care is, not the best, but they threw Ivermectin at corona and I read a few days ago they had zero cases. Zero.

    Many doctors even when threatened with dire punishment have given prescriptions for Ivermectin and have gotten good results or so I have read them say they have.

    They know this. They can’t help but know this. All these people who have died from corona and the vax have been murdered.

    The only conclusion you can reach from this is they want to murder us all.

  16. Albion says:

    Harry Jones: “Are we all blaming connectivity now? That’s the scapegoat for human failings?”

    Not a scapegoat at all, but a refining of what has been useful to those in power. The development of the internet gave people the chance to communicate swiftly, widely and in many cases freely (equipment apart), but it also gave those with an agenda a way in to dictate, not forgetting the bots on so many sites. The ‘net was a communication refinement with instant reach and — given the way people flock to bad news — it became a swift way for some to influence and control the masses negatively.

    I take your point about all connectivity being essential to our ‘story’, except I would begin with spoken language, and not just horses (though cavalry became very powerful and very useful.) Every advance is a double-edged sword, aiding ordinary people and equally assisting those in power with darker motives.

    I too am utterly aware, as I said earlier, that I am using the internet to publish this. It helps me to stay connected, which is good, but that connectivity can be — and maybe too often is — either tainted, influenced or even unplugged. The internet can be controlled centrally, or as good as, and for now we peasants have certain allowances in its use. For now.

  17. Harry Jones says:

    Everything touched by human hands is tainted. No use complaining about it.

    Worldly wisdom is to accept the universal stain as a given and make the best of the world as we find it. The world is a dumpster behind the Demiurge’s kitchen and we are hobos rooting in that dumpster, so no use complaining about the food or being too dainty in our habits. Even the elite are settling for what is least spoiled.

  18. Jim says:

    Harry Jones,

    No offense but that’s retarded. The Internet was engineered from day one to be an intelligence mechanism. Nothing about it was inevitable, except maybe its purely military function. But the idea that everyone should be “connected” (again, connected to what?) was weird and unusual. You can plausibly see the electrical grid as being inevitable, there was so much demand for it. You can plausibly see the telephonic infrastructure as being inevitable, there was so much demand for it. TV? There was some demand for TV, but mostly it hypnotized people. The Internet? It was literally forced into being. For its first 20 years it made approximately no money at all. Then there was (mysteriously) a massive wave of boom-bust infra investment that in many cases exceeded necessary capacity to this day. Then there was another massive wave of boom-bust dot-com investment from funny money central a.k.a. Wall Street out of which the current tech monopolists (except Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle) were born.

    You’re probably wondering why until the Donald was elected you had the ability to speak freely on the Internet. Most people haven’t figured this out yet, but I’ll clue you in. It’s really very simple: the Internet’s sponsors were still using metrics designed for an analogue world. What? They were measuring the wrong things, like foreign penetration, everyone worldwide under 25 increasingly speaking English natively, utility in color revolutions, etc. They weren’t measuring engagement on Twitter or Facebook that rivaled or exceeded the New York Times, the Economist et al.

    When the Donald got in, it was like a bucket of ice-cold water to the face. They reassessed. Andrew Anglin, notorious Founding Fathers sympathizer, helped to cook his own goose by “leaking” a document explaining his influence over the mass mind, indisputably one of the greatest unforced errors in all of human history. Now knowing that the Internet was a threat to them, they planned to shut it down. They needed the ability to kick anyone off the Internet, so they gamed it out, including social media, payment processors, and domain registrars. Then they needed to test out their capabilities, so they tested them on him. Now he can’t own a domain or have a bank account and everyone knows that they live in an open-air prison surrounded by invisible electrified walls.

    Ask: if American assets hadn’t built out Internet infrastructure, would there be an Internet-like digital network system today? Answer: unlikely.

    You’d still have a landline and a newspaper on your doorstep.

    And yes, Operation Flu Virus would be impossible.

  19. Harry Jones says:

    Nonsense. Before the Internet, there were UUNET and RelayNet. TCP/IP was a logical next step in the evolution.

    (Now IPV6 is arguably a forced march. The rationale for it is at best overstated, and some would say bogus.)

  20. Sam J. says:

    The internet is fantastic. It allows us to not only be lied to but to see the shear mass of lies that have been fed to us all our lives. By making it plain that most of what we have been told is lies and that this continues in great swarths it hones the mind of ALL the populous. Every lie they tell us now becomes less trustworthy. We ALL are less likely to believe. This will over time bring out a synthesis of what the truth is the same way that people in mass can guess the weight of elephants by looking at them.

  21. Sam J. says:

    Harry Jones says,”Everything touched by human hands is tainted.”

    This is a lie. It’s true only for some people or some groups of people. Some people everything they touch or most everything, becomes beautiful, more useful, more true and honest.

    I can give example. I happened to be reading a bit about TeX the typesetting program by this guy. Most everything he has touched has made the world a better place.

    In the other case everything the Jews touch turns to shit. Everything.

  22. Szopen says:

    Sam J., so you think everything von Neumann touched, you know, the guy just recently praised on this very blog, was shit? I wonder how you would react if you found out, hypothetically, you were part Jewish.

  23. Harry Jones says:

    The individuals who drive technological progress — and thereby drive most of societal progress — are a too tiny minority.

    I discovered this to my dismay working in R&D. Even if you try to select for the inclination to create cool things, the bulk of the people you run into are assholes.

    If geniuses weren’t rare, we wouldn’t admire them.

  24. Sam J. says:

    Szopen says, “Sam J., so you think everything von Neumann touched, you know, the guy just recently praised on this very blog, was shit?”

    Is or is not “Jews” plural? If there were no Jews, none at all I would trade that for for a garbage truck driver in Atlanta, Georgia. They have done so much harm, so much destruction and now they are trying to murder everyone with the vax. Do you deny the vax is nothing more than a weapon? We will see. This latest psychopathic trick is really sticking their necks out.

    Why is it that every single place the Jews have gone for thousands of years they get thrown out of? Everywhere in all of history they get thrown out. It’s their hatred and their behavior. Stuff like 9-11. The vax. The predatory way they have used the FED.

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