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Another Reason for Decreased Fertility Rates in Developed Countries

June 25, 2021 19 comments

As regular readers know, I have written more than a few posts (link 1, link 2 and link 3) about low fertility rates in developed countries. This post highlights another explanation for those rates which works irrespective of culture or race. To be clear, I am not saying that it is the only one- but it is certainly one of the major, if not the most important, reason. As you will see, it is also the least obvious to anyone who grew up in the West within the past century.

To understand what I am getting at, let me ask you a simple question- around what principle have human societies been organized for over 99.9% of our history as a species. Is it money, land or domesticated animals? Or was it around religion, a secular legal code or some sort of ideology? Here is a clue.. most of mankind did not use money regularly as late as a couple hundred years ago and the oldest conventional religion still around is about 2500 years old. Modern human beings, in contrast, have been around for at least 100k years.

To make a long story short, human society has evolved and been primarily organized around long-term (but non-monetary) human relationships. As late as 18th century, most people in the west did not use money to perform most of the exchanges necessary for daily life. But what does any of this have to do with rapidly decreasing fertility among developed countries since the 1970s. To understand that, let me ask you another question- what motivates people to have to raise children? You might think the answer is simple, but it is not.

See, many of you might think that people in past used to have kids because effective birth control was not available. Even that is only partially true, but it brings up an even bigger question which most people ignore. Let me put it this way.. if the lack of birth control caused a large number of births, what motivation did parents have to care for and raise children? Willful or less than willful neglect can easily kill young children, yet even in the poorest and materially deprived populations, that is seldom the case. Some might say that such behavior is instinctual- but if that was the case shouldn’t more people in developed countries having kids? Clearly they don’t lack the resources for raising them.

Some sophists might say that having kids has become very expensive in the West. But is that really the case? In most developed countries outside USA, having kids is no more financially onerous than having a half-decent car. And this brings me to another question- given the chance, why will more people in West buy and maintain a semi-luxury car with extra money than have a child, let alone another one. Are you starting to see what I am driving at? Still confused? Let me ask you the same question even more bluntly- why do people see having children as a net negative drain on their perceived happiness?

To understand why people in West see children as costly inconveniences, we have to first talk about why humans throughout history saw having and raising children as a source of great joy and life-cycle fulfillment. See.. in the era before monetization of everything (past century) the vast majority of people lived a life defined by long-term relationships with others around them. You can now see why having and raising children was a source of joy and fulfillment to people throughout history. Children are the ultimate in new long-term relationships and the only way of leaving a legacy.

So what changed? It started with monetization of society in West. There is a reason why 18th century lords in UK used to have a dozen children while their late-19th century counterparts often had only a few, or sometimes none. But why does monetization of society make it less worthwhile to have children? Well.. because heavily monetized societies are impersonal and atomized. Conversely societies that are not heavily monetized still take joy in having and raising children. This is also why working class people in UK kept having large families into the 1930s. The same applies for societies all over the world- from Ireland and Italy to India and Japan. But is the increasing amount of social atomization the only reason?

As it turns out, there are other related reasons. See.. in pre-industrial or early-industrial societies, the children you had and raised also lived and worked around you for the rest of your life. In other words, you spent a lot of time with your children and vice-versa. However in a society where both parents work 9-to-5 jobs, kids go to schools, then move away for university and jobs- there just isn’t time and space to form strong bonds with them. Most people in the West see their kids for perhaps 2-4 hours a day until they move away for university and jobs- often forever. The socio-economic system in West and other developed countries forces perpetual loneliness on its inhabitants.

Now tell me why would a sane person put in the effort and sacrifice to have and raise kids if they could not even provide them basic human company in their lives. It is therefore my opinion that Western social systems based on the current model of removing all potential to form meaningful human interactions and relationships fully deserve to die. The only hope for a better world comes from the demise of this dystopic status quo- hopefully sooner than later.

What do you think? Comments?

Documentary about HIV Origins and Similarity to COVID-19 Situation

June 20, 2021 5 comments

Here is an older documentary about how HIV in human beings most likely originated from a campaign of experimental polio vaccination in Africa during the 1950s. I am sure that some of you might have already heard about this theory, since it has been around in the public domain since the early 1990s. To make a long story short, a series of poor decisions made by Hilary Koprowski while developing and testing his live-virus oral vaccine in erstwhile Belgian Congo. While the original article exposing him was retracted by Rolling Stones because the journalist misidentified the species of monkey whose cells were used for propagating the polio virus, later investigation by others have revealed that chimpanzee-derived cells and tissue were almost certainly used in production of that ill-fated vaccine.

So whenever somebody says that hastily developed vaccines (especially if they are based on new technology for that era) will cause no problems down the line, they are taking out of their ass. Let me remind you that even the original inactivated virus Salk polio vaccine had issues before they got the manufacturing process right. And this is not a solitary example as vaccines for many other diseases, which are now extremely safe, had predecessors which were quite problematic. There is a huge difference between well-tested and widely available vaccines such as DPT, MMR etc and something that is experimental- even today. This is why I am more OK with vaccines based on established technology such as protein subunit based (Novavax) and even adenoviral-vector based COVID-19 vaccines than mRNA based ones- especially if you are in the low-risk age groups. Maybe we will find out that mRNA vaccines have an excellent long-term safety profile, but I would prefer to let others take the risk.

What do you think? Comments?

How to Identify Half-Truths, Bullshit and Fraud Pushed as ‘Science’: 1

June 18, 2021 11 comments

Many of you might have recently heard dumb LIEbrals mindlessly repeat bullshit phrases such as “trust the science”, “we follow the science” or something else along those lines. If you have followed my blog for some time, you also know what I think about them. With that in mind, I have decided to write a short series on how to identify half-truths, bullshit and outright fraud as “science”. Some of what I am going to write in this series can be found in my older posts, but a lot of material will be new. So let us begin..

1] Anybody brandishing their supposed “credentials” or “institutional affiliations” as the main or one of the major reasons you should believe or trust them is confabulating, lying or trying to cover up their own lack of knowledge. See.. you do not require special credentials to say that the sky is blue, antibiotics can treat bacterial infections or the composition of fuel affects internal combustion engine performance. Also notice how these facts are not controversial. Similarly I can easily explain to an interested person with a 1st year university education how anti-histamines, anti-cholinergics, anti-depressants and anti-psychotics have similar structural features- and how many of the later three came out of research into anti-histamines.

2] Anybody who pretends that average people are too dumb to understand their theory or worldview is either pushing crap or lying. Any person of average intelligence, with a grade 12 level education and an interest in a given field can learn the basics of that field within a few months to a couple of years. Sure.. some might learn it faster or better, but most people who are interested in something will reliably learn its basics pretty fast. FYI- that is why we have schools, universities, courses and textbooks. If you cannot convey your ideas clearly to an interested 18-year old without brain damage, the problem lies with your own ability to teach.

3] Anybody who claims that they are somehow morally or ethically superior to all those other people should never be trusted as a source of knowledge. Anybody making a supposedly humanistic or moralistic argument for supporting their worldview is almost always lying, to the audience or themselves. The same goes for people who keep dropping acronyms in situations where they should know better. “Credentialed” people whose public image or income stream is heavily dependent on their books, lectures, videos, podcasts etc should also be not trusted. Similarly, membership in a NGOs and similar organisations is an automatic red-flag.

4] Anybody pushing “the science is settled”, “there is scientific consensus”, “science say..” is talking about religion aka scientism not science. Even well-studied areas of science devoted to study of simple systems such as particle physics, organic chemistry, geology, astrophysics etc contain huge gaps and holes in our understanding of some of the most basic concepts and phenomena in those fields. Perhaps I will explain this in a bit more detail in future parts of this series. This problem gets much worse in areas devoted to study of complex systems such as biology, medicine, ecology, climate etc. Anybody claiming definitive knowledge of poorly understood systems is talking out of their ass, trying to make money or both.

5] As a rule of thumb, the majority of articles published in peer-reviewed journals devoted to biomedical research are not reproducible. To make matters more interesting, the percentages of un-reproducible results is often higher for articles published in journals with higher impact factors than those in less prestigious journals. While the percentage of such articles is lower in other areas of science such as physics, chemistry or geology- they are much higher in journals devoted to nutrition, psychology, clinical research to say nothing about journals devoted to definitively non-STEM areas. To make a long story short, most research published in peer-reviewed journals ranges from exaggeration and bullshitting to outright lies and fraud.

6] While poorly quality, deliberately misleading or outright fraudulent research has been a problem since the beginning of science, it has become a far bigger problem in the past four decades- because of the manner in which research is funded and universities are run. I hope to soon write about how neoliberalism, financialism and credentialism have basically destroyed science all over the world. There is a reason why there has basically no large-scale scientific breakthrough in past 30-40 years, and most of what we call progress is either a development on, or improvement of, something discovered or invented before the 1980s.

In the next post of this series, I hope to go into more detail about some of the points raised in this post- with an eye towards what is going on around us right now. Yes.. you know what I am talking about.

What do you think? Comments?

Movies and Television Shows Made Before Mid-2000s Were Relatable

June 12, 2021 16 comments

As readers know, recently, I have been writing posts about how western countries (especially its LIEbrals) are rapidly losing all touch with all physical reality. And this got me thinking.. is there an easier and quicker way to show you that the overall mindset in western countries has moved away from dealing with reality. While there are multiple possibilities, one stands out for its simplicity and ease of confirmation. Some time ago, I had an interesting epiphany about older films and TV shows while watching copies of them on YouTube. The very short version of them is as follows: films and TV shows made before the mid-2000s had characters who looked far more normal, inhabited far more normal environments and had storylines that were much closer to reality than films and shows made after early-to mid-2000s.

Confused? Aren’t films and TV (or cable) shows always supposed to contain an embellished or idealized representation of reality? Well.. yes, of course. However, even the most fictionalized and idealized depictions of reality in older films and TV shows are much closer to reality than the absurd crap that has produced over past 15 years. And yes.. this is not just a Hollywood, TV show or NetFlix thing- since the same problem is obvious in video games. But before you are confused any further, let me take you through a few examples of what I am talking about.

Let us start by talking about what many consider one of the most unrealistic but popular TV shows of the 1990s and early 2000s- “Friends”. Even causally searching for that show on the internet today will lead you to tons of articles about how that show was unrealistic because its characters lived in very large NYC apartments, cast was too white or too good looking etc. However, I disagree with most of these criticisms, and here is why. Other that being able to afford large apartments in NYC on average wages, most of the underlying dynamics of that show was based in reality. Tell me something.. how many middle/ upper-middle class white people have real black or non-white friends, even in 2021.

While the central characters of that show were reasonably good looking actors, they were certainly not super-model grade. More importantly the dilemmas faced by characters, their actions as well as their environment was surprisingly close to reality- especially compared to similar but new TV, cable and Netflix shows being broadcast or streamed today. Even shows such as ‘Beverley Hills 90210’ and ‘Melrose Place’ were inhabited by more far more normal-looking characters than their current equivalents. Yes.. even those shows. Or look the rather ordinary looking decor on shows such as ‘Seinfeld’, ‘Home Improvement’, ‘King of Queens, ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’, ‘3rd Rock from Sun’ or even ‘Frasier’.

My point is that zany storylines notwithstanding, the world inhabited by characters in shows before pre-2003 shows felt real in a way that the shows made in past 15 years do not. Even the environment in 90s fantasy shows such as ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, ‘X-Files’, ‘Twilight Zone’ or ‘Outer Limits’ feel real in a way their modern equivalents do not. Heck.. even the highly exaggerated characters in ‘Married with Children’ feel real in a way which those in ‘Modern family’ do not- because the motivations of the former were based in reality in a way the later was not. And this goes problem goes far beyond a couple of genres. Compare the first 5-6 seasons of ‘NYPD Blue’ or ‘ER’ to their utterly ridiculous modern day equivalents such as all those ‘Law and Order’ spinoffs and knockoffs or ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ or ‘House’.

Or compare late night talk shows from the 1990s and early 2000s (Leno, Letterman, pre-2005 O’Brien, Craig Ferguson etc) to their current equivalents. In spite of being just as formulaic, they appealed to a far broader demographic and had far less irritating gimmicks or politically opinionated bullshit that their current equivalents. They did not pretend to be anything beyond light entertainment to help you sleep, see a celebrity or catch up on some amusing news. Or think about animated shows such as first 9 seasons of ‘The Simpsons’, ‘King of the Hill’, ‘Beavis and Butt-Head’, ‘Daria’ etc had storylines that were understandable or sorta relatable. Even an absurdist cartoon such as ‘Futurama’ was relatable in ways that ‘Family Guy’ or ‘American Dad’ aren’t. This holds for almost all modern adult-oriented cartoon shows.

Moving on to movies. compare the looks and physique look at the average (or median) movie actor in the pre-2005 era to those today. Sure.. many of the chicks probably had eating disorders and a couple of implants and nosejob, but they looked far closer to what you saw in everyday life (especially if you lived in a large city) than the type of people you see in movies today. Don’t believe me? Just go through almost any movie made before 2005, commercially successful or not, and compare them to movies made in past 15 years. You will immediately notice that a lot of movie stars and supporting cast in those older movies look far closer to what you might see in your daily life than the type of people cast in newer movies.

And this extends to the set decor of the movies, whether you are talking about exterior and interior of houses, interior of offices and other non-residential buildings, lighting and ambiance and much more. Even the story-lines of those older movies have far fewer superheros, comic-book fantasy elements, nor were there so many reboots, prequels and sequels. My point is that the world depicted in pre-2005 movies (which are supposed to escapist fantasies anyway) just feel far more realistic, naturally grimy, lived-in and imperfect than the unrealistically clean or dirty, hyper-colorful and semi-cartoonish looking worlds seen in post-2005 movies, even those which are not full of comic book superheros and CGI creatures.

What do you think? Comments?

YT Clips about Medical Bureaucratism and Ivermectin in COVID-19

June 10, 2021 5 comments

Here are a couple of YT clips about how LIEbral “intellectual” authoritarianism and medical bureaucratism is trying to pretend that Ivermectin has no role in early treatment of COVID-19 for high-risk patients. To be clear I am not suggesting that the drug in question is some magic bullet for that disease. However, it is clear that Ivermectin (and a few other repurposed drugs such as Indomethacin, Azithromycin, Doxycycline, low-dose Hydroxychloroquine, low-dose Colchicine, inhaled Fluticasone, inhaled Interferon-alpha etc) did seem to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in high-risk patients, IF given within first 2-3 days of symptoms.

While we do have multiple effective vaccines since the beginning of this year, it worth nothing that the bulk of deaths due to COVID-19 in USA and other western countries occurred before they were widely available. In other words, better and timely use of repurposed drugs could have reduced the hospitalization and death burden due to COVID-19. However a series of decisions made by vested interests and medical bureaucracy in western countries conspired to stop such attempts, as they saw these attempts as a challenge to their power and ability to make money. Consequently, many people who could have recovered uneventfully or survived were hospitalized or are dead.

Clip #1: Censorship of medical information and intellectual authoritarianism

Clip #2: Ivermectin will not be allowed to be an effective treatment

What do you think? Comments?

‘Lab Leak’ Theory for COVID-19 Was Always the Most Realistic One

June 6, 2021 16 comments

Over a year ago, I wrote a post about how COVID-19 was most likely the result of a ‘gain of function’ research. In that post, I referenced an article which made a very good and verifiable case that COVID-19 (also known as SARS-2 at that time) had multiple features which were almost certainly the result of human manipulation. At that time, such talk was considered to be “conspiracy theory” and “disinformation”. Well.. after 500k (maybe 400k?) deaths in USA and Biden’s election to presidency a few months ago, it seems that this theory for COVID-19 origin has suddenly become respectable in “mainstream media”. Very tellingly, over the past year the majority of americans kept believing that COVID-19 was the product of manipulation in a lab rather than direct transmission from some wild animal such as a bat.

To be clear, the main progenitor virus for COVID-19 was almost certainly a bat coronavirus. It’s secondary (and minor) parent was also almost certainly a pangolin coronavirus. However it is very clear, based on a number of features of COVID-19, that the recombinant progeny of these two wild coronaviruses was not the result of a natural event outside the lab. While these features have been mentioned in a number of articles (such as link 1 and link 2). While I could certainly write a longer post detailing the many ways that some of the most relevant features of COVID-19 are far more likely to have arisen as a result of lab manipulation than natural selection, it is best done as a separate post. The very short version is that the combination of features of COVID-19 which underlie its high infectivity in humans are simply too numerous to have arisen naturally in such a short timespan.

Moreover, we still haven’t found a very similar virus in either bats or another animal. Contrast this state of affairs to what happened with SARS in 2003, where they were able to identify the intermediate animal host within 6 months (and original host within a couple of years). Also, the amount of resources spent on that search was a tiny fraction of those devoted to finding their equivalents for COVID-19. To make matters worse, a bunch of FOIA-ed emails from Faucci show that many “experts” who dismissed the lab leak theory actively considered and discussed it at the same time they were issuing denials and writing articles to “debunk” it. We also know that many officials in american medical research bureaucracy wanted to suppress any talk of lab leaks since it would jeopardize their own funding for ‘Gain of Function’ research in viruses. In fact, it is very likely that american collaborations with the Wuhan Institute occurred because regulations in USA made it hard to do such research in this country.

Which brings us to how most of the concrete evidence for an artificial origin for COVID-19 was uncovered by so-called “amateurs” rather that “credentialed experts“. Ever wonder whether these so-called “professional experts” were just incompetent or malicious? I think that it is a combination of the two. While certain “certain experts” such as Peter Daszak, Ralph Baric and Anthony Fauci actively tried to discredit the lab leak theory inspite of clearly understanding (at a very early date) that the virus was most likely the product of ‘Gain of Function’ research, many others were likely too stupid to understand their own incompetence and therefore went along with whatever groupthink was fashionable at that time. And this isn’t surprising, since modern academics selects for submissive, uncreative and borderline incompetent people with strong conformist tendencies. There is a reason why scientific progress in West has largely stagnated for past two to three decades.

So where does all of this lead to? Well.. for starters many “mainstream media” outlets have been trying to stealth-edit all of their previous articles in which they dismissed the ‘lab leak’ theory as “conspiracy” and “disinformation”. Of course, they are getting caught doing so. But this raises an even bigger question- what else they have been promoting over past year has been a lie? After all, these are the same people who tried to convince the american public that Bin Laden had a ‘Dr. Evil’ type headquarters in some mountain in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein had WMDs. Consider this.. Fauci’s emails clearly show that he himself never believed that COVID-19 could be stopped by cloth or surgical face masks. However, as we all know, he kept aggressively promoting such face masks until the past 2-3 weeks. And yes.. there have been multiple studies which show that normal face masks have no worthwhile effect on the transmission of other respiratory viruses.

In my opinion, the much bigger question is how the final public acceptance of COVID-19 being created by ‘Gain of Function’ research will shape their willingness to fund such research, or even anything vaguely similar to it, in the future. Think about how the Three Miles Island and Chernobyl accidents shaped public attitudes towards nuclear power generation. And let us honest about something else.. lab accidents which accidentally released pathogenic microbes resulting in human diseases, deaths and animal epidemics are not unknown. So something like the lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) leak was inevitable. In fact, I am surprised that a massive fuck-up involving generically-engineered pathogens did not happen sooner. Might write another post on this topic based on reader responses and more relevant information in the very near future.

What do you think? Comments?