I’ve written a lot about Michael Crichton’s “Gell-Mann Amnesia” in the past. It’s the phenomenon of encountering a story in the media on a topic about which you’re knowledgeable, realizing the story has everything completely wrong, then relying on the same media for stories on subjects about which you are not knowledgeable and assuming they’ve got all their facts right.
It’s good to have a name for that phenomenon but it’s annoying to have to spell it out again every time I refer to it. And given the state of our establishment news media at this point, it’s almost entirely redundant. The major American news outlets in particular have proven themselves so dishonest and partisan that trusting them on anything is naive at best.
And it’s not just the media, but the whole global class of elites: our “experts” have spent most of the last ten years shredding whatever credibility they may once have had.
So one can only imagine the pain and betrayal felt by the Danish media last week when they found Denmark being mocked and bullied by all the usual suspects.
Danish corona numbers awaken fear and disbelief abroad—now SSI is getting involved in the debate
Emil Eller, DR.dk, Feb 16
Denmark is being used as a cautionary tale—SSI is fighting against experts
Laura Kongsmark Schuldt, TV2 News, Feb 16
Wonderfully enough, one of the “experts” in question is celebrated idiot Paul Krugman, who tweeted out the following on February 13 (I still refuse to embed tweets, so this is just a screenshot):
Another is “Harvard-educated epidemiologist and corona debater Eric Feigl-Ding:
And there’s American cardiologist Eric Topol (“who is frequently used as a corona expert in American media”):
The story here, as you could probably infer from the headlines, is that these expert takes on Danish circumstances were so obviously out of tune with reality that even Statens Serum Institut (SSI)—which had been routinely misinforming the public until Berlingske called them out in December—began engaging them on Twitter to try and correct their errors.
According to DR:
The Danish figures actually take up so much space that the Statens Serum Institut, SSI, has this past week begun to intervene in the English language discussions to add information and correct what they themselves call “misinformation”.
“On Twitter, we experience that people from other countries have difficulty understanding our numbers,” says SSI’s Press Officer, Flemming Platz.
Platz is further quoted as saying that “They think it’s gone completely wrong in Denmark, so when we see these misunderstandings we go in and try to help with the right data.”
As they should, of course. Of course!
And with our good Danish scientists explaining how things actually are in Denmark, the record will surely be set straight. Right?
But that’s precisely where the Danish media got their shock: it didn’t help!
Can you believe it? Are you literally shaking with disbelief?
Topol merely added the tweet he got from SSI “for added context.”
Other experts doubled down after being corrected by SSI.
Feigl-Ding, according to the TV2 article, “refuses to accept SSI’s counter argument and instead calls their (SSI’s) use of ‘death due to’ and ‘death with’ coronavirus a ‘dangerous rhetoric.’ “
“SSI provides careless ammunition to right-wingers who neglect covid and deny it,” he wrote to TV2.
The chin-stroking idiot Paul Krugman, better known as the Sage of Enron, didn’t even bother acknowledging SSI’s tweets and didn’t reply to Danish media inquiries.
Anyone shocked by the unwillingness of Twitter’s blue-checked wise ones to acknowledge their own errors is obviously out of touch. Twitter isn’t a marketplace of ideas, but a Turkish bazaar of competing religions. The idea that these High Priests of the One True Gospel are going to allow themselves to be corrected by some rinky-dink little country’s primitive little science people is almost adorably naive. As if a Roman Archbishop would tolerate corrections on transubstantiation from some stone-age heathen! These High Priests aren’t interested in getting at the truth: they already know the truth. They are the truth. And they’re infallible. And woe unto you who question them!
This could have been an eye-opening episode for the Danish media.
Thanks to Gell-Mann Amnesia it won’t be.
It obviously caught the Danish media’s attention that the Anglophonic portion of the Twitterverse has a blind spot in terms of interpreting Danish covid data. They considered it newsworthy: Twitter health “experts” are pushing false narratives and refuse to be corrected—stop the press!
Never mind that those “experts” have been stumbling and bumbling all along: the Danish media were happy to pass those stumbles and bumbles along so long as they reinforced their own stumbles and bumbles.
The ne plus ultra of Danish media dogma, however, is the superiority of The Danish Way. For the Twittiots to challenge that was taking things too far.
So last week it was: “How dare those experts misrepresent Denmark!”
And then they’ll get right back to uncritically reporting that January 6 was an insurrection, and the Canadian trucker convoy is about white supremacy, and American cops are shooting unarmed blacks every day of the week, and Joe Biden is busily restoring American norms—like locking down the nation’s capital for a state of the union address.
They’ll say it because that’s what all the American experts are saying on Twitter. (Because that’s all American experts are allowed to say on Twitter.)
And if these blue-checked people are saying it on Twitter, it must be true. It has to be! Some of them write for respected publications like the New York Times, or appear on respected news sources like CNN—some of whose anchors and producers haven’t even been disgraced for conflicts of interest or pedophilia (yet).
The Danish media know that the High Priests are dead wrong on this one thing that they themselves actually know something about—dead wrong and unwilling to acknowledge it even when their errors are oh-so-politely and oh-so-patiently pointed out to them by the people responsible for the data they’re reacting to.
But they’re going to keep treating them as venerable sages anyway.
Do you think it’s because they’re just that stupid, or do you think it’s because they think we’re just that stupid?
And if it’s the latter… do you think they’re right?
I myself believe they’re wrong on both counts.
I don’t think they’re that stupid: I think they’re that partisan.
And I don’t think they believe we’re that stupid: I believe they think we’re that powerless.
They know they’re gaslighting us and they think it’s appropriate because they believe they should. They think their gaslighting is valuable and effective.
It’s a little like Adam Schiff shrieking all over cable that he knew Trump was colluding with the Russians and fervently insisting that he’d seen the evidence with his own googly eyes—but acknowledging behind closed doors, under oath, that he had seen no evidence of any such thing.
It isn’t the truth that matters, it’s what works to move public opinion the way it needs to be moved. And in that respect Adam Schiff was very well served by his big lie. And that’s a good thing, because Adam Schiff sees the big picture in ways you and I cannot, so he has to effectuate his vision by any means necessary.
Paul Krugman and Eric Feigl-Ding and all the other hysterics aren’t lying because they don’t know better: they’re lying because they do know better. They know best. About everything. And if any facts try to get in their way, well, they’re just not very good facts.
I’m not sure it’s a sustainable model, but it’s what we’ve got—and what we’re gonna keep on getting until we stop accepting it.