One of the most spiteful and most unhealing properties of scientific models is their capability to strike down truth and take its place.
And often, these models serve as blinkers, by limiting attention to an excessively narrow area. The exaggerated trust in models has contributed much to the affected and ingenuine character of larger parts of current natural research
1. Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information. The consent should, where appropriate, be express and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without disadvantage or prejudice.
2. Scientific research should only be carried out with the prior, free, express and informed consent of the person concerned. The information should be adequate, provided in a comprehensible form and should include modalities for withdrawal of consent. Consent may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without any disadvantage or prejudice. Exceptions to this principle should be made only in accordance with ethical and legal standards adopted by States, consistent with the principles and provisions set out in this Declaration, in particular in Article 27, and international human rights law.
3. In appropriate cases of research carried out on a group of persons or a community, additional agreement of the legal representatives of the group or community concerned may be sought. In no case should a collective community agreement or the consent of a community leader or other authority substitute for an individual’s informed consent.
This is not a book review. I tried doing one and it wasn’t of use to anybody. What follows is very much my own thoughts as a consequence of exposure. Perhaps one could tell that by the introductory definition. Worry not; you should see the relevance soon enough.
Nevertheless, the ISBN is 3752629789; enough to find the book in a library (a what?) or online.
The book “Virus Mania” was originally written by European authors Engelbrecht, Köhnlein and Scoglio; recently joined by Kiwi Doctor Samantha Bailey in the latest edition. That edition has a whole new chapter addressing the current global calamity in the context of the ideas presented earlier in the book.
I “cheated” and first skipped straight to that chapter. At the end, I had the following to say:
The authors explain the nature of infection and what is necessary to establish causal links between a purported pathogen, testing for that pathogen and associating an illness with a suspected pathogen. Readers ought to be surprised to discover that causality has not been established; lacking in all three aspects. Foremost for the individual is that no unique set of symptoms has been associated with the virus in question.
I found the book to be readable; all the big words are explained along the way. Language is engaging and the subject appears to be well researched, referenced to hundreds of sources (over a thousand) identified in the book’s Literature section. You might miss your stop if you’re reading it on the bus.
You could buy the book based on just that chapter.
The recent ban by a bookseller of Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos highlights the propensity to try to shut down ideas that one doesn’t understand or those ideas that challenge one’s position. Using any tragedy as justification, no matter how disconnected. [Do I smell a Reichstag fire?]
By the late 1800s, large cities all around the world were “drowning in horse manure”. In order for these cities to function, they were dependent on thousands of horses for the transport of both people and goods.
… The main concern was the large amount of manure left behind on the streets. On average a horse will produce between 15 and 35 pounds of manure per day, so you can imagine the sheer scale of the problem. …
Each horse also produced around 2 pints of urine per day and to make things worse, the average life expectancy for a working horse was only around 3 years. … The bodies were often left to putrefy so the corpses could be more easily sawn into pieces for removal. …
This problem came to a head when in 1894, The Times newspaper predicted… “In 50 years, every street in London will be buried under nine feet of manure.”
That calamity was averted by the introduction of motorised vehicles; some electric in the cities and others by internal combustion engines.
Mr. Relotius invented a condescending fiction. On the venerated pages of Der Spiegel, a German newsmagazine, Mr. Relotius portrayed Fergus Falls as a backward, racist place whose residents blindly supported President Trump and rarely ventured beyond city limits. He made up details about a young city official. He concocted characters, roadside signs and racially tinged plotlines.
“When the narrative fits, facts become secondary“, wrote Mathias Bröckers, author and editor for various German publications, indicating that Der Spiegel had a history of fake news going back at least as far a 9/11; an attack on the USA by Islamic terrorists.
Update 2018-10-24: Marathon Runners cause limits to be exceeded. Details below.
For those who don’t know, the EU set ambient NOx level limits to 40 µg per cubic metre. The limit have recently been (ab)used by Lawyers Without Reason (DUH) to take legal action against German communities, having them ban certain types of vehicles; notably diesels. DUH threatens to sue cities if they fail to do something to reduce NOx levels.
Germany differs somewhat from other EU countries in that their Feral Environment office positions the metering equipment directly at the side of the road whereas in e.g. Thessaloniki (Greece), air quality measuring equipment is located on top of the 4th floor of a university building.
German Science Skeptical Blog writes about a the German city of Oldenburg (Lower Saxony) which noticed that the permitted limit was exceeded at times when the road was closed to traffic; exceeding 60µg/m³; and adding traffic appears to have initially lowered NOx levels. City authorities have confirmed with the Environment Federal Office that its metering equipment is regularly checked, calibrated and certified to be operating correctly.
So here you have another case of an arbitrary limit set so low that it’s within “natural” variation and has little to nothing to do with the purported “damage”.
The indoor levels for NOx in the EU are allowed to be as high as 960µg/m³ in the workplace and in the home. The vast majority of people arguably spend much more time at work and at home than at the kerbside.
Update 2018-10-24: Marathon Runners cause limits to be exceeded.
That’s right. Same road was closed in the morning for a Marathon and anaverage level of 37 µg/m³ was recorded, just under the 40 µg/m³ permitted. Levels peaked shortly after the event at 54 µg/m³.