The Roman Philosopher Lucius Anneaus Seneca (4 BCE-65 CE) was perhaps the first to note the universal trend that growth is slow but ruin is rapid. I call this tendency the "Seneca Effect."

Thursday, May 5, 2022

The lockdown in China: if the powerful are doing something that looks stupid, it is because what they’re doing IS actually stupid

I received several comments on my post "The Shanghai Lockdown: a Memetic Analysis," and I think that some were so interesting to be worth reproducing in a full-fledged post. The first comment comes from an anonymous commenter living in China. It seems to me believable, and also consistent with my interpretation. In practice, the Chinese were (and are) not the only ones conditioned by factors such as avoiding a loss of face. Italians did the same during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021. There seems to be an enormous psychological problem that when you discover that you have been conned, you don't want to admit that. It makes little difference if you are Chinese, Italian, or another nationality. There follows a comment by "Mon Seul Desir" on which I fully agree. So much that I used it in a condensed version for the title of this post. When something looks insane, most likely, it IS insane. (UB)

A comment on "The Shanghai Lockdown: A Memetic Analysis"
by "Anonymous"

I am in Shanghai. I have been living here since 2007. I can read/speak Chinese at a high level of fluency. I also traveled extensively in the country.

There is something that most foreign analysts do not grasp: the Chinese Mind (the "collective subconscious" if you wish.)

-The Chinese Mind likes to be seen in the Struggle doing things to fight in the Struggle (no matter what the Struggle is, whether those actions give tangible results or not, at least they make great photo ops for the media.)
-The Chinese Mind is hive-like, it's blindly obedient, and it lashes out at the "Enemy" (whether real or imaginary)
-The Chinese Mind is a bit childish, it is for sure stubborn, and non-rational/logical (non-Cartesian)
-The Chinese Mind is constantly under ideological propaganda, everywhere, every time, from childhood til death, from home to the workspace...
-The Chinese Mind is never guilty, it always blames the Other (and the object of the blame is constantly shifting)
-The Chinese Mind hates losing face (what face, nobody knows) and hates being criticized (just shut up and put it under the carpet)

Remember the famines? One day, they wake up and decide to kill all the birds (that were eating bugs that were eating crops...)

Same Mindset.

Shanghai has always been seen as the most "civilized" city in China. Shanghai is often called Le Paris de l'Orient, it is an "international" first-tier city... probably the top Chinese city in terms of openness, quality of life, and access to medical care.

Nobody expected to see such levels of insanity in Shanghai... in other areas of the country, yes, but not here. Looking at the conditions in the quarantine centers... Containers without doors in a field, tents set on a highway, toilets flooded with feces... open-air zoo.

They come to take positive cases in big buses and ambulances almost daily. The police are patrolling streets at all times and we are unable to even set foot on the sidewalk. Every building that had a positive case is either: shut down with barriers OR has 1-2 men in a tent monitoring 24/7 (imagine all the manpower required.) Currently, there are 3-4 of those tents in my compound. It's basically Martial Law.

The psychological toll is quite high. The monetary one must be hard for the lower classes. Some neighbors have mental breakdowns. Some people spray alcohol in the air while walking to get tested... You'd think the Plague is upon us.

Some people were getting messages in group chat about "foreign spies" and "foreign media fueling anti-China conspiracies." Good ol' shift the blame tricks.

I have been in lockdown since mid-March, got tested 35 times, and lost about 12 pounds. The local governmental commune gave us a little bit of food, but barely enough to survive.

Luckily, we had some preps and were able to order some food. Now, most delivery guys are not allowed to deliver to our address. We can get a bit of food, but we need to get imaginative to create new recipes (boiled/sweet and sour/spicy/fermented cabbage.)

My take is:

It could be a test for something much bigger (i.e., war, energy crisis) or they are truly afraid of the unrest if lots of old people were to die. Chinese people tend to get emotional, and the last thing the authorities want to deal with is mobs lynching doctors in the streets.

Is the frog slowly boiling in the pot?

I think so.

Except the whole planet is pot, and we're all frogs.


Posted by "Mon Seul Desir"

I think that there are far too many attempts to rationalize the conduct and policies of the powerful as being part of some astonishingly clever plan, myself, I use Occam’s razor, if the powerful are doing something that looks incredibly stupid, self-destructive and utterly insane, then it is because whatever they’re doing IS actually incredibly stupid, self-destructive and utterly insane. I don’t buy the myth that those in power are unusually clever, informed or are far-seeing. Here in Canada I’ve been witnessing the follies of our child-rulers for the past few years and the bungling of senile Brandon south of the border and this is governance on the level of Honorius and Arcadius and their corrupt intrigue-filled courts. As for China, I saw a report on Xi’s appearance before the Congress of Peoples Deputies and I wondered. How many of the deputies applauding him are actually plotting against him?

Note added after publication. Latest news from China:

"Our prevention and control strategy is determined by the party's nature and mission, our policies can stand the test of history, our measures are scientific and effective," the seven-member committee said, according to government news agency Xinhua.

"We have won the battle to defend Wuhan, and we will certainly be able to win the battle to defend Shanghai," it said.

They have clearly realized that they made a huge mistake, but they cannot admit that and they cannot back down. The usual disaster. And, by the way, they completely confirm my interpretation that they really believed that the lockdown in Wuhan had been a success in eradicating the virus. 


  1. >There seems to be an enormous psychological problem that when you discover that you have been conned, you don't want to admit that


    Which is how we have "scientists" advocating for deliberate mass murder of innocent people through forced infection with highly pathogenic viruses, and seriously claiming that this is perfectly normal and desirable.

    While doing that they lie shamelessly about the recent (i.e. China) and more distant history of disease control, and are also apparently retreating back to the Middle Ages and spontaneous generation theories about disease (I guess in their minds Pasteur never lived and never debunked that) for that is the only basis on which one can claim that contagion cannot be stopped.

    Please answer the following question:

    There is a high chance that in the coming years we get a SARS3 or a highly transmissible MERS version or some other coronavirus that does not kill 1% of the infected but kills more than 10%. Will you advocate for letting it rip then too?

  2. "If people are doing something that looks incredibly stupid, self destructive and utterly insane, then it is because whatever they’re doing IS actually incredibly stupid, self destructive and utterly insane. "
    Leaders are no different, just louder and/or richer, I'm afraid.

    1. No creo que las élites chinas, también oligárquicas, como en todas partes, no sepan lo que están haciendo. Carecemos, yo el que más, de datos fiables, cierto, pero todo esto parece una generalización de la "medicina" disciplinadora iniciada en todo el mundo con la pandemia. Ahora, además, se están sumando nuevas variables desestabilizadoras que tienen que ver con una gran reorganización geoestratégica en torno, cómo no, al control del suministro de minerales y energía. Si el PC chino ve que la globalización va a retroceder, y no muy tarde, está preparando a sus ciudadanos a renunciar a niveles de consumo que hasta ayer mismo le convenía incentivar. Efectivamente, la disponibilidad y acceso a bienes de consumo va a complicarse mucho, también en occidente. Va a ser, como dice A. Turiel, como cuando nos reducen un poco, pero progresivamente, el sueldo. Las élites, las oligarquías, esperan que, como las ranas en la caldera, nos vayamos acostumbrando.

    2. "The elites hope that, like frogs in the cauldron, we get used to it." That has worked before, indeed. It is working now.

  3. Sales people are told to sell the positive. You don’t say, “If you don’t buy my produce or service something bad will happen to you.” Instead you say, “Buy my product or service and something good will happen to you.” Often these statements are two sides of the same coin, but the different approaches are critical to achieving success.

    By analogy, we see that both the Russian and Chinese leaders have failed to create a positive message.

    If Putin had said, “Let’s form an economic union consisting of sovereign states in Eastern Europe (a Slavic version of the EU)” he could have been successful and have cemented Russian leadership in the area. As it is, by using force, he has created enmity for generations to come.

    If the Chinese leaders had said, “Our lockdown approach has been successful so far, but now we need to adapt and muddle through in the way that western nations have done” they could have been successful and enhanced national pride. However, their current draconian approach has created resentment and distrust, and also messed up their economy, probably for years to come.

    The climate community in general suffers from the same problem of negative selling. They say, “If we don’t then we are doomed.” It’s an approach that just estranges people and achieves nothing good.

    1. You seem to think that there is a legitimacy to the actions that you were describing and I would put it before you that these actions have a different purpose than what is being stated
      they have a different origin then what is being stated
      I would put it to you what we’re seeing in China seeing in Europe seeing in theUnited States
      Is the final grab for the whole ball of wax and everybody thinks they’re gonna win and it’s going to be horrible

  4. I don't think putin is thrilled by the option to have all those eastern europeans earing from russia's table, again. I am Eastern European and i know how it was before 1989. Russia is not the USSR, they are not interested in feeding free loaders. As for the people's sentiment, majority is with putin in this war and they don't like the brown regime in kiev.

    1. Please tell me more about this "brown regime", genomir. Show me the photos of all the goose-stepping and sieg-heiling. And given the rabid hatred of the historical Nazis for Jews, how is it that these current Ukranian "Nazis" have suffered Zelenksyy to live?

      No doubt there are a few extreme right people in the country. We get a few here in England too. In fact, my friend's father was Ukrainian and fought with the Nazis during World War II, in the Waffen SS Galician division, while his brother fought for Stalin. After all, there weren't many liberals or democrats about at that time and place. So yes, there's a bit of history there. But I grow tired of people repeating Putin's propaganda. At the same time, I am well aware of how the US neo-cons pushed and pushed until Putin lost his patience. Really, I'd just like to see some in-depth videos that show any of these Ukrainian "Nazis" at work over the years. Or any of this shelling and persecution that the Ukrainians are said to have imposed on the Russian speakers of Donbas. Show me the evidence.

    2. The 'far right' is just a narrative. There may be a handful here in the UK but none that are even worth mentioning.

    3. Why not go and find the evidence? There is plenty of it out there but now. All of the testimonials of those civilians in Mariopol, the soldiers caught with Nazi tattoos, propaganda. Not to mention, Ukrainian forces have been hitting the east for 8 years already, hitting civilian targets. If you cant see any of this you're really not trying. Relying on the fact that the leader happens to be Jewish seems like a lazy excuse. These are Neo Nazis who see Russians as the new Jews and who want to cleanse their territory through violent intimidation, torture, all of which are becoming more widely known as the evidence is uncovered.

    4. “54:39 if you take a look at what was going on
      54:40 in nato last year 20 000 nato troops
      54:44 were on ukrainian soil
      54:48 dozens of american fighter aircraft were
      54:50 rotating through hundreds of american
      54:53 military personnel had established a
      54:55 permanent mission
      54:57 we don't want to call it a base because
      54:58 then we'd have to report to congress
      55:00 there was a mission
      55:01 which was a base where we trained the
      55:04 ukrainians on nato tactics using nato
      55:07 equipment
      55:08 uh the navy the ukrainian army dressed
      55:10 like a nato army
      55:12 they were starting to be organized like
      55:14 a nato army
      55:16 and what happens when you look like a
      55:17 duck just
      55:19 it's quack like a duck walk like a duck
      55:21 you're a duck
      55:22 so
      55:23 even though people say well ukraine
      55:24 wasn't a nato member they were they were
      55:26 a de facto member of nato they had an
      55:28 army that was an extension of nato so
      55:30 much so that ukrainian troops were
      55:32 deploying overseas in support of nato
      55:35 missions
      55:37 um when when nato holds an exercise in
      55:39 europe
      55:40 ukrainian troops go and train with the
      55:43 nato forces so the the idea that
      55:46 you know russia had nothing to fear from
      55:48 uh from ukraine is absurd in the extreme
      55:51 uh nate you know ukraine was very much
      55:54 a um
      55:55 a a nato member . . . “

    5. It is interesting how naive are the British or how they lie to themselves..
      In Britain the Fascists are Boris Johnson, Rees-Mogg, Cummings, Farage, Rishi Sunak, Hancock, all the Ministers, all the Conservative party and a great many people in Finances.
      They are supported by the Media Axis: DailyMail+Telegraph+Express+TheTimes+Mirror.
      You voted for the Fascists, you got Fascism.

      Fascism destroys and steals from the Middle and Lower Classes, that is what Sunak and Boris are doing.
      Many people in UK now can not cook potatoes if given to them, because they cannot pay the fuel or electricity.
      They go to the shopping center with a flask with tea and a sandwich and sit all they there, watching the TV.
      Some elderly take the bus and with their free pass ride all day.
      The food banks in UK on which the life of millions depend are starting to go empty.

      I think this is much more important it is happening a short distance from the shore of Europe, A Dangerous Fascist Nuclear power, rather that strange happenings in China or outlawing abortions in Yuma.

    6. Anonymous wrote:

      "Why not go and find the evidence? There is plenty of it out there but now."

      Then why not show me some instead of just giving me opinions?

      "All of the testimonials of those civilians in Mariopol, the soldiers caught with Nazi tattoos, propaganda." How many? A few? A whole lot? How do you know?

      "Not to mention, Ukrainian forces have been hitting the east for 8 years already, hitting civilian targets. If you cant see any of this you're really not trying." Any country will try to quell uprisings at first. My country, the UK, did it in Northern Ireland, but The Irish Republic did not attack or declare war on the UK.

      "Relying on the fact that the leader happens to be Jewish seems like a lazy excuse. These are Neo Nazis who see Russians as the new Jews and who want to cleanse their territory through violent intimidation, torture, all of which are becoming more widely known as the evidence is uncovered." But you don't show any such evidence, despite giving the impression that you know a whole lot. You don't back up your opinions and come across as merely repeating Putin's propaganda.

      My problem is that too many commentators take sides and tend to repeat the propaganda of one side or another. In a few years' time, maybe we'll have a pretty definitive knowledge of what went on and who did what.

    7. Thanks for the link, Postkey. I'd glanced at Ritter's stuff but he seemed too pro-Russian. I'll give the whole video and watch and see what I think.

    8. Armando wrote:

      "In Britain the Fascists are Boris Johnson, Rees-Mogg, Cummings, Farage, Rishi Sunak, Hancock, all the Ministers, all the Conservative party and a great many people in Finances. Fascism destroys and steals from the Middle and Lower Classes, that is what Sunak and Boris are doing."

      You'd have to define fascism - not an easy task. I see the UK as neo-Thatcherite. Thatcher's original policies have, long-term, led to ever-increasing gross inequality under capitalism. Fascism did not invent oppression of the lower classes - it's virtually always present to a large or small extent under capitalism. Possibly the POUM in the Spanish civil war were the only true socialists in practice.

      Lots of Hitler's friends and colleagues were lower middle class, as he was himself. He used the system to further his own personal war aims, and in doing so he was destroying free market capitalism and eventually his country. Anti-fascists at the time compared fascism to feudalism, because it was backward and brutal. But there's also a case for saying fascism was just fast-tracked imperialism. And the UK was the top imperialist of the day, back then, of course!

      Boris describes himself as a Brexity Michael Heseltine, i.e. leftish Tory, like Edward Heath. Certainly he loosened the purse strings when the lockdowns came. I doubt Rees-Mogg would have done that, nor instituted a lockdown in the first place. (The lockdowns just caused unemployment, homelessness and bad health, and it broke supply chains). Rees-Mogg believes in hyena capitalism - he's a neo-Thatcherite with attitude. He likes his affected upper-middle airs and graces, despite having had a truck driver as a grandfather. Certainly Boris is a populist. Farage is a neo-Thatcherite populist. I can't really see anyone as consciously fascist in the UK parliament, but the entrenched neo-liberalism and neo-Thatcherism in the UK do enough damage on their own to the lower classes.

      Boris fancies himself as a new Churchill and likes to spout, but I really can't see him wanting to press the nuclear button.

      The only fascist-y thing I noticed here was when the politicians got the public clapping on their doorsteps every Thursday evening for the NHS during the covid thingy. I called these events "the Nuremberg rallies" and didn't join in!

  5. I have suspected that an effect of COVID-19 might be insanity. That or the human race has been crazy since time started.

    I mentioned the Seneca Cliff in my weekly article today, and I linked it here.

  6. The problem with trying to dismiss all the evil events that keeps happening as simply bungeling is that history is filled with thousands of exposed conspiracies. All "they" do is conspire and "they" have all the data, money, power, and an entire global network of willing minions to execute "their" will.

    The why is simple... Demand Destruction. TPTB can not allow unchecked consumption of finite resources by 8 billion people (not to mention that it is physically impossible).

  7. The CCP is burning political capital to lock down Shanghai this way.
    I have not yet seen an answer which even seemed to make sense.
    Is this already a war? Is there a biological attack underway which is not COVID and still a secret?

  8. What kind of "stupid"?
    I have not yet seen a reason for this Shanghai lockdown which appeared rational.
    This is political capital being burned by the CCP, a tremendously high cost, not even to mention the financial cost.
    Is this already WAR?
    Is there another biological agent released by the west, which is unannounced, and they are trying to control and track?

  9. May I suggest considering a refinement? "Han" and "Chinese" are, it seems like, all the time considered having the same meaning. I suggest there may be an advantage to avoid confusion. "All Han are Chinese but not all Chinese are Han." Use Han to narrow things. Han is the ethnicity. Chinese the Nationality. There are Han governed by non-totalitarian communists in Taiwan [and other Chinese that are not Han]. The totalititarians now governing mainland China seem a continuation of pre-modern. They have skipped or missed, I don't know if intentionally or accidentally, the Enlightenment. The essential and fatal, I think, flaw, is lack of true diversity. Greatest strengths are often greatest weaknesses. The West, at its best, is diverse and doesn't do 'lock-step' which is a weakness in certain circumstances like early on in plagues. The CCP-run PRC was 'ahead' in a sense in the plague race until say half-time. The totalitarians created the chance to bridge by being smart about vaxing. But hive-minds are, by definition, unsmart. A measure I use of likelihood of success of a country/culture/state over the long run is are more people trying to get in or out. People vote with their feet when they can. No one is swarming to get into the CPC-run PRC that to me is a telling metric. I lived in China for 10 years working in supposedly "high level" and "high quality" universities. My initial and permanent impression is that they were about like having 4 more years of high school. The behavior of the students and the mental age of the students was 2-4 years younger than similarly aged similarly situated US students. A 20 year-old Chinese college student brought to mind US high-school sophomores. I taught also in a couple of bottom tier institutions calling themselves 'colleges' and 'universities' and, no offense, but they were 'trade schools' not academic at all. I concur with this author's observations regarding the essential brittleness of the CCP-run PRC-educated Han on the Mainland and its inability to problem solve very well. I have no opinion regarding the Han on Taiwan who, I suspect, are less pre-modern. The CCP-run PRC can implement simple things like flood and other disaster responses well-enough [quick we need 100,000 to fill sand bags or shovel out those buried in earthquake landslides and collapsed buildings. But chabuduo thrives see Wangchengpo in Changsha from last week. Permitted for three stories. initially built to six, with two more added on. Pancakes after 10 years or so. These pancaking events will increase since the big building boom is now upwards of 20 years old. NOTE TO "Seneca Effect" proprietor. Yours is a top-five sight for smart insights. thanks.

    1. Thank you, Steve. I think your analysis of the Chinese university system is valid not just for China. I remember that, long ago, one of my teachers told me "The University is slowly becoming a high school" -- and that's what's happening everywhere. BTW, it is consistent with my experience in Japan. Same low general level: students able to solve problems as long as it is question of applying the right formulas, but totally unable to think "out of the box" - and Italy is the same. You may be interested in this recent paper of mine (see page 87):

    2. Hello Steve,
      My experience when I worked in China ten years ago was interesting regarding university recruits. The best engineer was from a 2nd level school in Luoyang. The worst was a PhD from the prestigious Shanghai University. ("Best" in the sense that they got new, working products out into the market, we had a product development department in mechanical engineering.) It was an inverse correlation between degree prestige vs. output.
      I guess that the reason is that the school system is a pyramid-competitive system, where collaboration and cooperation are dis-incentivized. (Which IMHO is not a long-term viable optimization objective for a society. )

      Regarding the mass-psychosis phenomenon, I see very similar patterns in Western Europe, but based on advertisement and the religion of "Growth".
      People seem to repeat the slogans they hear: "Buy stuff", "Spend Money", "Borrow a lot", "Sacrifice family for Work", "Get a Car" etc. etc. People here are willing to sacrifice their health, lives, nature, clean water, clean air etc. in pursuit of the common good "Growth". The wording is different from the Chinese context, but I do not see any significant difference in behavior.

      A small percentage of the population think for themselves, and I suspect that it is just as many in China as in the Western world. At least what I could observe. I don't know how to measure this. Is there some anthropological research that anyone knows of?


    3. "A small percentage of the population think for themselves," true enough. The CCP's system actively discourages "thinking for one's self" and disables or impairs any who might be so inclined by systematically removing opportunities or incentives to think for one's self. So what is 'naturally' a small number/percentage gets reduced further. I'm 70. Grew up in small town Indiana. An impression I had upon arriving in mainland China in 2007 when I began working there [in Changsha, a sort of Chicago] was an optimism, work ethic and attitude similar to that of the US from my late childhood and youth up until about 1970 when pessimism about the future in the US seem to take hold. By the time I left Changsha in 2017 there was a 'hunkerdown things are okay but will not improve" attitude that was, if not predominating, very present. Did you ever notice this phenomenon? Say in a class of 30 you ask a question of the class and then call on students. After the first 2 or 3 answers any student after that will give what they thought was an acceptable to the group answer. And after about a half dozen answers there was "the answer". Conformity pressures are in every culture and setting but the Han cultural predisposition combined with "Party line" made it conformity an individual's goal. Iconoclasts not welcome. cheers.

    4. Confucius actually encouraged, even urged independent thinking. He got upset on a couple occasions when his students just parroted everything he said and raised no questions. He also refused to bow down to personal threats. I can cite chapter and verse in support of all this for those interested.

      Of course, that was Confucius -- rather a different thing from the godforsaken abomination that is the CCP (read: Callous, Cannibalistic Psychopaths.) Hopefully someday the CCP will go and Confucius will return, but I'm not holding my breath on that...

  10. We can expound and imagine what is happening but the all important thing for me is to prepare for the aftermath:

  11. Just found out you have this blog. I don't know if you still remember me, I'm the one that was doing tweaks on the Limits to Growth model back in the times of ASPO to include more specific energy data into it.

    I find your take on covid upsetting (namely, that lockdowns weren't needed), also your reply to a commenter that his bafflement to your take on covid was because "he couldn't quantify his worldview". Really? I think I can quantify my worldview to some extent. And where, exactly, do you quantify your worldview? Is there some corner on the metaverse that you can quantify your beliefs on various things, bet on them, and then accept that then you have to say certain things? Connected with bitcoin and NFTs, maybe? All justified by the fact that memes are complicated things that our spiritual leaders have studied since forever, and they know how to handle them? I'm just throwing ideas out there that might explain the odd behaviour of... well, lots of people, actually.

    Anyway, my main mental model right now of how things work is pretty simple: people operate in networks, and ideas circulate in those networks. Networks involving living organisms with limited resources tend to evolve in a certain way. Observing a network you can estimate pretty easily at what stage it is. It seems pretty clear to me that our world network is at the fragile state, which tends to be followed by strong simplification. Memes can only have a strong hold on people when the network is at the fragile state, because they can circulate most easily in those circumstances. Once the network simplifies sufficiently, the hold of memes will naturally weaken, because there will be natural barriers to the circulation of memes, and that, combined with more difficult living conditions, should eliminate most of the harmful memes, while leaving in circulation the most useful ones.

    Then, there is the consideration that some people's brains may be quite literally changing in irreversible ways because of everything's that's been going on. So a lot of factors could be playing at the same time. But I don't think the overall picture is all that complicated, just rather ugly. When systems fail, everything tends to fail at the same time.

    So my answer to the covid lockdowns in China is: I don't know anywhere near enough about Chinese politics to make a good guess, but it would not surprise me in the slightest if it was common knowledge among the elites in China that Western civilization is doomed to collapse, and they're just trying to manage the descent the best they can while hoping that China stays afloat as much as possible... which is probably a rather dim hope, anyway.

    1. Hi, Doly. Of course I remember you. And nice to hear from you again. About your points, your notes about networks are very interesting. Unfortunately, I am not sure that the coming simplification will get rid of the "harmful memes" - the opposite could take place. About "quantification," we still have access to real world data in the scientific literature. And for those who can discern the obvious lies, it is still possible to quantify the situation. That's true for the time being. In time, I fully expect the PTB to clamp down on scientific research and allow only the kind of science that agrees with their views. Nothing strange, it is the way the world works

    2. BTW, Doly, do write me at ugo.bardi(thethingything)

  12. Any doubt about we all being frogs in a boiling PlanetPOT ended with the October 2019 event...

    1. Nice image. But what happened in October 2019?

    2. Event 201 when all of this was wargamed?

    3. "Event 201

      On October 18, 2019, the CHS partnered with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to host the tabletop exercise Event 201 in New York City.[30][31] According to the CHS, "the exercise illustrated areas where public/private partnerships will be necessary during the response to a severe pandemic in order to diminish large-scale economic and societal consequences".[30]

      Event 201 simulated the effects of a fictional coronavirus passing to humans via infected pig farms in Brazil with "no possibility of a vaccine being available in the first year".[32] The simulation ended after 18 months with 65 million deaths from the coronavirus.[32] "

    4. What timing right? Anyways i'm sure its just another story ;)

    5. If all of your power is based on the "market" and the market is a fraud, hence your power is a fraud, how far would you go to preserve it?


      Still just a good story teller? Look at his timeline and tell me where you find fault? I'm curious

    7. Sometimes "Fiat justitia ruat caelum" is the only way

  13. It seems to me that what the author is saying is that any national leadership is in no fashion superior to the average citizen and is actually more subject to fads and trends. The only superiority is access to administrative power to force conformity. The only solution is to learn awareness of the pot in which we stew and break the chains which are revered. That is a crude paraphrase of Voltaire.

    1. Governments are a classic case of "black box" -- we have no idea of what's going on inside the box.

  14. Jesus Ugo ! ...almost choked on my muffin this morning when I spotted your article cross-posted on ZeroHedge of all places.
    I assume it's with permission, but I got to admit I'm still a little shaken.
    Although I visit that "libertarian" tabloid everyday; partly for my daily gauging of the financial shenanigan realm, partly, much like an enthusiastic psychiatrist would find fascinating to monitor an asylum with the strangest of heavy cases(lol); and I reckon this post aligned well with some of their views, I can't help but smile at the thought of a "standard ZeroHedger" landing on your site when the post clearly collides with their version of reality. ;-)

  15. Ugo, I just read these comments after I sent you the piece (clipped from Wikipedia and some of it probably wrong in re the numbers) on the strange NYC reaction to 2 cases of smallpox in 1947. I don't know enough about the worldview of this, but it certainly says the mental problems in re these kinds of events in the US (and the push of publicity for immediate vaccination campaigns) is not new... and gives a context for judging covid hysteria and the health establishment in the US and elsewhere.

    Your "blackbox" comment is apropos...and in re the Chinese, whether this is stupid or cultural or a meme or a specific's clear that they are inscrutable sometimes, wrong sometimes, stupid? dunno. I started Needham's, Science and Civilization in China, this year. Maybe it's Occam's Razor is who is stupid in not being able to see in front of his face what is written down (like the WEF plans, called conspiracy theories even when on the website). Maybe we are not literate enough in Chinese to be able to read the thoughts inside the country as to what's happening. I had a lot of trouble understanding what was happening due to my limitations without Arabic in Egypt. One of the best sources of information on water issues re the Grand Renaissance Dam et al was a Sudanese paper. It stopped English translations and a blackness descended.

  16. I agree with the main argument of this post and the previous post on memes. But,
    I'm not sure I buy this analysis of Covid policy, and I'm also unclear on the points being made. I have to look at the papers that claim lock downs did not prevent the spread of Covid before I completely believe that they did not help. There were clearly a lot of negative impacts of the lock downs that the policy in some/all circumstances may have done more harm than good. However, evidence that lock downs in Shanghai is a bad policy now, does not mean it was a bad policy in Wuhan 2 years ago. The virus and circumstances are now very different. A bad implementation of a policy does not mean the basic idea was wrong or that it wasn't a reasonable decision give the information at the time. Governments do a lot of stupid things, this is not news.

    The evidence is very clear that social distancing, good masks (well fitting N-95), vaccines, and good ventilation save lives. Any claims to the contrary is cherry picking. In the US right now, an unvaccinated person is twenty times more likely to die of Covid than a boosted person. While fears of Covid may be overblown (and also underblown among some) it is significantly worse than the flu.

    1. Who do you see wearing well-fitting (and well-fitted) 'good' masks, outside of a hospital? The evidence is far from clear.

  17. Latest news from China:

    "Our prevention and control strategy is determined by the party's nature and mission, our policies can stand the test of history, our measures are scientific and effective," the seven-member committee said, according to government news agency Xinhua.
    "We have won the battle to defend Wuhan, and we will certainly be able to win the battle to defend Shanghai," it said.

    They have clearly realized that they made a huge mistake, but they cannot admit that and they cannot back down. The usual disaster.

  18. It's such a shame. All these lockdowns could be avoided if the CCP cared about vaccination. In the West vaccines are expiring because of poor central planning. Meanwhile people in China are locked inside their appartemens because the CCP would look weak, if it asked the West for vaccines. Biontec & Pfizer didn't wanted to temportary give up their patents, because of Greed, and it's seem like the Chinese are unwilling to violate Intelectual Property rights on this one. Maybe because China has become rich enough that they fear someone else might steal their ideas in the future. They haven't realized yet that everything is a Remix. Can't BioNTec send some containers to China as well?