The Lizardmen Who Drink Bleach

Every now and then I still encounter someone who thinks the Dread Tyrant Trump told people to drink or inject themselves with bleach. That’s a mere annoyance: if people still believe that ridiculousness at this point, I’m obviously not going to be able to talk or write them out of it. But from time to…

Danish Media Surprised to Learn that the Twitterverse is a Hothouse of Stupid

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…

Skepticism Today, Skepticism Tomorrow, Skepticism Forever

Apparently the CDC is now suggesting, or preparing to suggest, that vaccinations be spaced further apart in order to reduce the risk of heart inflammation. You know, the heart inflammation that we’ve been told repeatedly wasn’t any big deal as a side-effect from the vaccinations that are so safe that anyone questioning them is spreading…

Stormy Weather

On Friday night the Danish national men’s team, strong favorites to win the European Championship, got knocked out of the semifinals by losing to Spain after having led for the first 45 minutes. On Saturday morning Herself and I went through the all-too-familiar ritual of queueing up at a test center for the obligatory four-days-after-near-contact…

Human Again

The Omikron variant is running amok in Denmark—there’ve been 30-45 thousand new cases reported every day for the past week or two. It’s utterly unlike the previous waves of the Wuhan virus in that it genuinely seems to be hitting everyone. Colleagues at work disappear for days at a time, the girls have multiple classes…

Denmark’s Healthy 2020

Have a look at this chart (it’s not important if you can’t read the texts): That’s courtesy of Berlingske, where journliast Philip Sune Dam continues to do yeoman’s work in trying to dig to the heart of Denmark’s actual covid numbers, as distinct from those reported by the government. What you’re looking at is a…

Chilling

On January 7, Ekstra Bladet published an editorial in which they apologized for not having done a better job questioning the government on all things covid: We FailedEditorial, EkstraBladet, Jan 7 I only became aware of the editorial today when I stumbled over it on a conservative American website (AceOfSpades). There are two reasons I…

Make Government Irrelevant Again

My core political beliefs can’t be stated any more succinctly than they’re stated in the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That…

On Knowing What We Know We Don’t Know

Writing about temptation, C.S. Lewis observed that “you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down.” Lewis was debunking the stupid but popular notion that good people don’t know…

Another Day, Another Datum

Statens Serum Institut (SSI) works under the authority of the Danish Ministry of Health. Their primary function is, in their own words, “to ensure preparedness against infectious diseases and biological threats as well as control of congenital disorders.” Their importance and visibility have obviously been elevated in Denmark since the start of 2020. As I…

Misleadership

According to DR, Statens Serum Institut (SSI) has promised “more precise numbers” for corona admissions after the New Year. The added precision will come in the form of a distinction between inpatient admissions of patients due to corona and admissions of patients with corona. “More precise,” in this case, appears to mean “correct.” SSI is…

On Counting

I count things. As stupid as it sounds, counting things has been a big part of every job I’ve had since the early 1990s. That’s more than thirty years of counting for a living. (Or at least a big part of my living.) I’ve counted many different things across a lot of very different industries,…

Gell-Mann Amnesia on Pilestræde

I’ve talked about the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect before (here, for example), but allow me to restate Michael Crichton’s elegant observation so we all have it top of mind: The Gell-Mann Amnesia effect describes the phenomenon of reading an article about a subject you know quite well and realizing it’s got everything wrong—then continuing to read…

Boo Who

Berlingske had a big headline on their website today: “Trump hit a sore spot among his supporters—and was met with boos.” It was the only major American story on the front page so it’s presumably the most notable American story of the moment. And maybe it is. It must be. It starts with Trump and…

A Soldier, a Cougar, and Some Numbers

Soldierly Language DR followed up on yesterday’s widely-run wire story about Swedish conscripts being sent home to recover from “rough treatment” with a little more depth later in the day. It doesn’t really add to or change the original story, or affect my initial reaction, but there was a bit more detail in one respect:…

A Comedy of Comity

There was an interesting piece in the Washington Post the other day. Denmark appears to have beaten covid-19 — for now. Here’s how it did it.Michael Bang Petersen & Alexander Bor, Washington Post, Sep. 20 The lede is: “For the most part, Danes avoided blaming and shaming their fellow citizens.” That’s more than a lede:…

DR Strikes Again

It’s been a mantra of the pro-choice movement for as long as I can remember: “My body, my choice.” It’s a good illustration of how our different perceptions of reality make communication so difficult. Someone who believes every fetus is just a “clump of cells,” for example, will of course believe that the person in…

Genies, Camels, and Toothpaste

Toward the end of August, Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke announced that Covid-19 would lose its standing as a public health emergency (in Danish, a “samfundskritisk sygdom”). The Health Ministry’s press release was headlined “The government will not extend the classification of covid-19 as a public health emergency in Denmark.” A TV2 article about the…

Bill de Blasio bars covid-negative New Yorkers from society

There are a lot of questions we ought to be considering with respect to governments coercing their citizens to inject medicine into their bodies. The questions come from every angle: legal, moral, ethical, philosophical, medical, social, spiritual, metaphysical—lots of questions, very few answers. But all those questions are quickly being mooted by facts on the…