January 31st; Sunday. Impressive club-music mix, partly in tribute to a recently-dead someone or other music producer I'd never heard of but who sounds like he was a much-loved soul.
January 30th; Saturday. Scots Nationalists seem to be scrapping with each other.
January 29th; Friday. 10-minute film, via molecular-biologist friend, explaining how PCR tests have created the illusion of a neverending epidemic.
January 28th; Thursday. Clear summary of the elements that made November's US elections the biggest vote fraud since 1860. Visit my cheerful cardiologist and he seems pleased with my progress.
January 27th; Wednesday. How China could turn off Britain's lights. Might count.
January 26th; Tuesday. Two online radio shows:
strenuously weird versus
Mexico City (Sonora Mulata from 23 mins: 15 secs).
January 25th; Monday. A 2006 disease-control study whose conclusions got ignored, worldwide, all through 2020. Lockdowns & curfews don't work and
shouldn't be used. Bear in mind covid-19 has all the necessary similarities to influenza to make this review of evidence authoritative. Relevant quotes -
(1) 'Large-Scale Quarantine Measures': "There are no historical observations or scientific studies that support the confinement by quarantine of groups of possibly infected people for extended periods in order to slow the spread of influenza. A World Health Organization (WHO) Writing Group, after reviewing the literature and considering contemporary international experience, concluded that 'forced isolation and quarantine are ineffective and impractical.'" and
(2) 'Travel Restrictions': "Travel restrictions, such as closing airports and screening travelers at borders, have historically been ineffective. The World Health Organization Writing Group concluded that 'screening and quarantining entering travelers at international borders did not substantially delay virus introduction in past pandemics . . . and will likely be even less effective in the modern era.'" and
(3) 'Prohibition of Social Gatherings': "During seasonal influenza epidemics, public events with an expected large attendance have sometimes been cancelled or postponed, the rationale being to decrease the number of contacts with those who might be contagious. There are, however, no certain indications that these actions have had any definitive effect on the severity or duration of an epidemic."
(4) 'School Closures': "In previous influenza epidemics, the impact of school closings on illness rates has been mixed. A study from Israel reported a decrease in respiratory infections after a 2-week teacher strike, but the decrease was only evident for a single day. On the other hand, when schools closed for a winter holiday during the 1918 pandemic in Chicago, 'more influenza cases developed among pupils . . . than when schools were in session.'" and finally
(5) 'Use of Masks': "In Asia during the SARS period, many people in the affected communities wore surgical masks when in public. But studies have shown that the ordinary surgical mask does little to prevent inhalation of small droplets bearing influenza virus."
January 24th; Sunday. Wonderfully lucid thoughts from Anthony Daniels / Theodore Dalrymple, article more than a decade old, about utopias and dystopias.
January 23rd; Saturday. Here's an interestingly slanted piece about PCR testing from Reuters. The failure to quote the PCR test's inventor exposes their bias.
January 22nd; Friday. Austrian MP a month ago PCR-tested a freshly-opened Coca Cola for government officials. The fizzy drink tested positive for covid-19.
January 21st; Thursday. Finished a borrowed mid-1960s paperback called The Age of Complexity by Herbert Kohl, actually quite ambitious, better than I expected. Still alive today, it seems, Kohl in this short, accessible book introduces, when he must have been 28, all the main 20th-century philosophical movements to general readers. He alternates chapters of explanation with shorter chapters excerpting passages from some of the philosophers, or even short stories, somehow clarifying the main ideas of that movement. Bold, but surprisingly successful, Kohl (himself an educational campaigner), makes the single overarching point that philosophers of all types since 1900 have emphasised how much we are all implicated in everyday life. Whether Ordinary Language philosophers like J.L. Austin, phenomeonologists like Husserl, German mystics like Heidegger, American pragmatists like Pierce & Dewey, existentialists like Sartre, this is his main point of comparison. Russell, Wittgenstein, or lesser-known thinkers like the psychiatrist Binswanger, even Bergson or Quine, yield to this simple but convincing overview that philosophers of that century tried to stress man's 'embeddedness' in our shared social life. It was, he explains, a century based on removing philosophy from the ivory tower of timeless abstraction. In a more subtle way, the game was also pruning away various thinking habits still hanging over from that timeless abstraction, shaped by the society-wide vision of religious belief common two centuries earlier.
January 20th; Wednesday. After a year of not putting Swedes under house arrest, 2020's death rate in Sweden comes out as the same death rate as 2015. Shame about the viscous/vicious typo, but a very important message cutting through the hysteria most others are promoting.
January 19th; Tuesday. Been meaning to get one of these globes for some time.
January 18th; Monday. Life chugs along at Instagram: mysterious novels abound.
January 17th; Sunday. Encouraging developments allow data transfer between DNA computers & electronic computers.
January 16th; Saturday. Some newly-discovered particles appear to be "flat".
January 15th; Friday. A couple of years before he died, Christopher Hitchens wittily and convincingly argued that women aren't really funny (he was mainly talking about stand-up) - even if (as he phrased it) women must have a sense of humour so as to judge men's efforts to make them laugh. Now, watching these two, I'm not so sure he was right. Whitney Cummings:
3rd, and Iliza Schlesinger:
January 14th; Thursday. Claims emerge that the November US vote fraud operation's online side involved Italy.
January 13th; Wednesday. A gentle overview of the confusing physics behind teleological evolution.
January 12th; Tuesday. It seems Switzerland is considering a referendum to strip its government of the power to enforce curfews. This echoes Spiked magazine's attack on lockdowns. Meanwhile, studies keep appearing saying curfews/lockdowns have no health benefits.
Meanwhile I have to wait on the street for fifteen minutes and notice my blood medications, intended to slow my pulse and lower the pressure, have made my hands and feet acutely sensitive to the cold in a way I've never experienced before - now I go through the cold-discomfort women complain about. Out on that chilly day my feet feel as if some kind of acid is coming through the soles of my shoes, and my fingers sting, constantly as if just slammed in a door seconds before. Perhaps I should buy gloves?
January 11th; Monday. Supermarkets here are strangely packed with employees. One day about a week ago I counted 14 people somehow moving about to keep things going for 12 customers. The shop was crowded as a result. Oddest in Hungary (elsewhere in Eastern Europe too probably) are the "security guards". I never once saw these in any shop in Britain. They have black shirts (often with 'SECURITY' on in English in white capitals) and are invariably fat. Not the majestic fatness of older Gypsy musicians, spreading sideways to fill entire shop aisles, looming round corners like fabulous sea monsters, but a smaller, more compact type of fatness. Security men in shops here in Budapest are almost all either of normal height and pot-bellied, or shorter and more simian. The second type are thickset too, but are most noticeable for shoulders sloping broadly down at 45 degrees - far enough out that their paws hang quite widely away from the body at knee level. They lope across the shopfloor more rapidly than the pot-bellied type, swinging their arms primate-style, on their way to be importantly fat in another part of the store. I was watching a typical scene like this and suddenly realised I've got used to this. I hardly notice any more how weird it looks.
One Canadian infectious-disease specialist thinks lockdowns do ten times the damage compared to whatever good they do. "It turned out that the costs of lockdowns are at least 10 times higher than the benefits. That is, lockdowns cause far more harm to population wellbeing than COVID-19 can."
January 10th; Sunday. There are certain moments in daily life when you're reminded that most salaried managers make zero effort to improve anything about the products their employer makes unless they're put under major pressure. They just ride through life, doing the absolute minimum, hoping no-one notices their entire career skillset could be replaced by a pencilled diagram on a napkin. One of those moments that reminds us of this is opening a box of pills.
First, they're not easy to open, and they're not easy to reclose in any neat way. I'm on eight prescribed medications at the moment, and with every one, because they're intended for sick people who have no choice about what to buy, (so sod them, thinks the manufacturer) no changes have been made to the packaging since your mother was at school. You'll get what you're given, and if that means a box you have to struggle to rip open, whereupon it doesn't close again neatly, so be it. No-one cares what you think anyway - after all if you're on this product you're dying, aren't you?
And the sheets of pills always conform to the latest bright idea in tablet packaging from 1970 - you press the thing out of the foil sheet and either break the pill or rip the sheet because nobody in 1/2 a century thought Oh let's make part of the foil weaker along one edge of each pill bubble, that wouldn't take much thought, would it? So let's not do that.
And the pills should mostly be white because some spoilt greedy toddler once found brightly colour-coded capsules in Mummy's handbag (which the fat little brat shouldn't have been poking around in to start with), porked himself on the lot and died, so let's inconvenience billions of adults for another hundred years by making most medical pills white, cream-coloured, or salmon pink and never changing this. And just as you open that box messily, you're at the end where access to the pills is blocked by the folding leaflet in four languages that some nifty machine wrapped round them and jammed in so when you pull it out you fling foil sheets of vital medicine all over the room. It would be super easy to mark on the outside of the box which end the useless document is (or even insert it in another way), so let's not do that either. Would require at least one manager for one afternoon in his life to not be brain dead at head office. It's the same with those boxes that tubes of toothpaste come in. Nothing has changed since the Korean War. And of course governments force the manufacturers to put thick little wedges of tightly-folded useless documents inside those boxes too, doubtless explaining in a multitude of languages & scripts that rubbing toothpaste into your eyes is unwise. Every one of these steps is hundreds of thousands of managerial decision-makers in scores of countries, every single one of whom just couldn't be bothered - whole towns-worths of lifetimes of not giving a stuff.
January 9th; Saturday. Another interesting look at how suspect the November US vote tally was. Trump totals reducing during some cumulative counts.
January 8th; Friday. Again claims covid-19 was a Chinese bioweapon, perhaps released by accident.
January 7th; Thursday. 2 stand-up comedians: an Australian in a chopper gets flown across Iraq; a South African compares racism country by country.
January 6th; Wednesday. 12th Night of Christmas. As such, a time for deliberate mayhem and choosing a Lord of Misrule. Note the Congress-invader mob mostly stood round taking photos on their phones.
January 5th; Tuesday. Back in the days when he thought he might get a nice ECB sinecure for subverting Brexit, Mark Carney, quisling Governor of the Bank of England, signed off on a Jane Austen banknote. Sadly, the P&P quote didn't quite mean what he thought it meant.
January 4th; Monday. An article proposes towing an asteroid closer to earth as its iron & nickel content is worth 70,000 times the world economy. The journalist forgets to consider the big lump would push the price of iron & nickel down close to zero.
January 3rd; Sunday. Rather sweet article about a mathematician and a geologist getting together to show the world is made of little cubes. At least most of it.
January 2nd; Saturday. Although it was just before Christmas that Cardiologist Akos said I could stop doing my thrice-daily blood-pressure measurements with the small pump-up rubber sleeve device Paul & Marion kindly bought me, I still feel strangely bereft of the ritual. Measuring my blood pressure and pulse three times each day and writing the numbers carefully onto a paper sheet printed with a grid over about 70 days created a soothing rhythm to passing time. It made me feel somehow more involved with the mending of my weary heart. In an odd way it even made the matching rhythm of the twice-daily medications (now up to eight different pills each day) easier. I'm still taking the medications, but Akos said I am improving and did not need to keep measuring. Fascinating how quickly a new thing can become a comforting habit.
January 1st; New Year's Day. Here's an article with commentary on the November paper in Nature finding no long-term covid-19 infectiousness from people without symptoms - meaning the devastating curfews/"lockdowns" and paper masks were pointless all along as well as counterproductive. Meanwhile, statistically shrewd Ivor Cummins, in his Hibernian brogue, shows why covid-19 is vastly less serious than the Spanish Flu of 1918.
Plus a strange fortnight-old piece of news, US military co-operation with the Biden team halted. Separately, James Delingpole explains why Trump should continue to oppose the November vote fraud that switched hundreds of thousands of votes from him to Biden through computer backdoors.
Mark Griffith, site administrator /
markgriffith at yahoo.com