We live in a pandemic of political correctness, which demands the brainless repetition of daily talking points from official experts. But rational actors must see the evidence for themselves, and will automatically disregard the “experts” in order to get at the underlying realities.
Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts… __ Richard Feynman
Evidence may be intentionally concealed, but the honest actor will never stop looking for the pivotal truths. When an iconoclast like Richard Feynman points his audience to the need to overhaul old facts and discover new theories, he is acting as an “anti-expert.”
See for Yourself
Feynman says that to be slavish to a received view or even to a method for discovering the facts means that we can never advance scientifically, for the old ‘facts’ may need to be overhauled in order to discover new ones, and how that may be done is, well, up for grabs. This flexible view breaks with the traditional view of science as a set procedure, methodology, or fact-checking system, and places Feynman alongside many contemporary historians of science.
… Feynman noted from his own experience that science is neither its content nor form. To just copy or imitate the method of the past is indeed to not be doing science. Feynman says we learn from science that you must doubt the experts: “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. When someone says ‘science teaches such and such’, he is using the word incorrectly. Science doesn’t teach it; experience teaches it” (The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, p.187). __ Feynman’s Philosophy of Science
Today’s orthodox alliance of politicians/academics/media hacks hawks the dogma that “people cannot be allowed to go free because they might become ill, spread infections, and die.” In other words, there exists a risk which the politically correct high caste of society believes is intolerable, so people must be imprisoned inside their homes and the economic basis of their existence must be ravaged.
Here is what the “scientific heretic” Freeman Dyson wrote about risk and heresy:
Three hundred and fifty-nine years ago, the poet John Milton wrote a speech . . . arguing for the liberty of unlicensed printing. I am suggesting that there is an analogy between the seventeenth-century fear of moral contagion by soul-corrupting books, and the twenty-first century fear of physical contagion by pathogenic microbes. In both cases the fear was neither groundless nor unreasonable. In 1644, when Milton was writing, England was engaged in a long and bloody civil war, and the Thirty Years War, which devastated Germany, still had four years still to run. These seventeenth-century wars were religious wars, in which differences of doctrine played a great part. In that century books not only corrupted souls, but also mangled bodies. The risks of letting books go free in the world were rightly regarded by the English Parliament as potentially lethal as well as irreversible. Milton argued that the risks must nevertheless be accepted. __ Freeman Dyson The Scientist as Rebel
We live in the world of myriad risks, most of which are unavoidable. When politicians insist upon the forced avoidance of one particular risk, they are probably oblivious to the many other risks which are made greater — and less avoidable — by their insouciant decrees.
The modern world of political correctness insists on the censoring of both books and scientific experiments and ideas. This same world insists that politicians have the right to withhold all rights from citizens on a whim, believing that their own belief in “expert opinion” overrides any prior rights or claims that the citizen may place for himself, his family, or his property.
Experts have a role to play, but they are properly the servants of the people, not the masters. Americans are entitled to competent governance and their Constitutional rights. Rule by experts threatens both. __ AIER
Since the 18th Century Rebellions Humans Have Struggled With This
In the late 1700s, people of the advancing nations began to choose constitutional republics over monarchies. For a brief moment in time large numbers of people chose the freedom of rule of law and property rights, resulting in the massive growth of wealth and expertise across these nations that had committed themselves to a freer kind of law and government.
But over time, children of these newly prosperous societies grew forgetful about the details of the choices their parents had made. It was decided that most humans really wanted both freedom and perfect safety, health, and security — without risk. When faced with the fatal contradictions of their own disparate wishes, the masses turn to the “experts” who claimed the ability to reconcile these and other contradictory wishes of the electorate.
They will give the people what they want, they say, if the people will only allow them the power to do so — no matter what limits the constitution may place on the powers of the high caste politicians/media hacks/academics to limit the freedoms of the citizens. And sure enough, these slimy miscreants are straining for the power to shackle the doors of houses, restaurants, churches, schools, voting places, auditoriums, printing presses, and the internet.
In mainland China — where the high caste rulers are slightly ahead of the west in this game — it is not allowed to question the orthodoxy. In the west, the overlords are trying their best to catch up. For now, you still have something to say about it. But only just.
… the total number of deaths we are seeing, in places as diverse as New York City, parts of England, parts of France and Northern Italy, all seem to level out at a very similar fraction of the total population. “Are they all practising equally good social distancing? I don’t think so.” He disagrees with Sir David Spiegelhalter’s calculations that the totem is around one additional year of excess deaths, while (by adjusting to match the effects seen on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship) he calculates that it is more like one month of excess death that is need before the virus peters out.
More generally, he complains that epidemiologists only seem to be called wrong if they underestimate deaths, and so there is an intrinsic bias towards caution. “They see their role as scaring people into doing something, and I understand that… but in my work, if I say a number is too small and I’m wrong, or too big and I’m wrong, both of those errors are the same.”