There are so many elephants in the room
. . . it feels like we're on safari
It was my high school chemistry teacher who first got me interested in physics; specifically in quantum mechanics. He said that nobody understood why electrons did what they did. Right, thought I, sod that for a game of soldiers, I’m going to sort that out.
Ah, the beautiful and endless optimism of youth.
Some decades later, all I can say is that I still don’t understand QM, but at least I don’t understand it to a much deeper level now.
Amongst the very many fascinating things about quantum mechanics is the fact that it has several interpretations. There’s the Copenhagen interpretation, the Many Worlds interpretation, the Transactional interpretation, the Bohmian interpretation, and so on. These each represent a very different way of looking at QM. The differences between these interpretations are highly non-trivial - they really are very different from one another.
Arguments rage between physicists about which one of these interpretations is correct. It’s all a lot of fun if you’re a physicist (we have a very strange idea of fun, admittedly).
Yet, if you work within one interpretation of QM and follow it correctly, you will come up with the same predictions as any other interpretation.
There’s no way we know of (yet) to be able to experimentally distinguish between these various interpretations/approaches to QM.
Experimentally distinguish. Such very important words. Two words that contain the essence of the scientific method.
In terms of elephants what we’re doing is trying to find the elephant in the room. The predictions of QM, whichever interpretation you use, have not (yet) failed experimental test. If there’s an elephant in the room we know it’s a bloody small and subtle one - it keeps hiding behind the sofa - and we can’t find the bugger.
The problem I have, with the “official” version of the covid narrative, is that it is not internally self-consistent and there are more elephants in the room than there is space. These are not subtle buggers at all. They’re not hiding behind the sofa - there’s at least 20 of them sitting on the thing, drinking tea and smoking weed, whilst discussing the finer points of Wittgenstein.
If I tried to list all the problems I have with the official version of all things covid I would probably be here until next Christmas.
I had a chat with two of the elephants sitting on my sofa. They’re on their 10th cup of tea and quite animated. Having torn Wittgenstein apart they’re laying into covid now. One of them, Nelly, had had enough and was packing her trunk - she wanted to say goodbye to the covid circus.
What you stupid humans have forgotten, she said, is to follow the scientific method. You just can’t see what’s right there in front of your pitifully small noses.
It works like this, she said. You formulate hypotheses, your best guesses as to what’s happening. You then test those hypotheses against what you observe. If you’d done that with covid, you wouldn’t now be up Loxodonta Creek without a paddle.
If you frame all-things-covid in terms of hypotheses, instead of scientific “fact” it becomes much clearer.
Asymptomatic transmission is a significant driver : hypothesis
Lockdowns significantly slow down transmission and/or save lives : hypothesis
Masks have a significant effect on transmission : hypothesis
Keeping 6ft away from people reduces transmission : hypothesis
The only way out of this is vaccination : hypothesis
Surfaces are a significant source of infection : hypothesis
These are just some of the hypotheses we have been treated to. They are NOT facts. They are “guesses” which need to be checked against observation. Instead, they’ve been adopted like some kind of Holy Writ. In the process we’ve adopted all sorts of bizarre behaviours in pursuit of an illusory “safety”.
None of those hypotheses listed above have successfully passed the test of experiment. Perhaps the most pernicious of all is the asymptomatic transmission hypothesis. It is this, more than any other, that has driven most of the absurdity and tyranny.
Curiously, though, we might have actually made this one come true to some extent. If you have a medical product that doesn’t stop the virus replicating, but does stop your body from producing the usual symptoms of infection, it seems at least plausible that you have a situation where use of this product turns you into a genuine asymptomatic transmitter. But like any other hypothesis, this needs testing too.
This whole “asymptomatic transmission” thing highlights something else that bugs me about this whole covid melodrama. To illustrate what I mean here I’m going to mention a literal bug; salmonella typhi. This was the bug that Typhoid Mary carried, and this unfortunate individual was the first asymptomatic carrier known (of typhoid, in this instance). It is believed she harboured the bacterium without possessing symptoms herself, and was able to infect others.
The problem here is that this story gets used as a kind of “proof” that covid can be asymptomatically transmitted. It happened before - so it’s happening now. QED. These facile arguments overlook the fact that a bacterium is very different to a virus, amongst other things. It can also happen with viruses - HIV probably being the most famous example. But SARS-CoV-2 is not salmonella typhi, nor is it HIV.
Just because it happens with one bacterium or virus does not imply it happens with all bacteria or viruses. Yet this appears to be the (implicit) argument that gets trotted out. We have the same kind of “thinking” with the vaccines. People (essentially) argue that because we have been successfully inoculated against smallpox, the covid vaccines are therefore effective. How many times in a vaccine discussion have you seen this line of argumentation? People list all the vaccines we take for other things - as if this proves that these particular covid vaccines are great.
For me, this seeming lack of ability to follow the scientific method, isn’t an elephant in the room, it’s a freaking ginormous woolly mammoth. It’s definitely the alpha Loxodonta in the room. The literature is awash with contradictory studies on covid. This, at the very least, should indicate that the science is anything but settled (as if science could ever be “settled” anyway).
But, honestly, we don’t need to be scientists, or read scientific papers till our brains liquify and dribble out of our pitifully small noses. That there’s something not right with the whole narrative (actually many things) is becoming evident to many more people now.
Governments have had to keep manufacturing bigger and bigger sofas in a vain attempt to hide those elephants - but many of us are now wondering what the hell that long trunk-like thing is that’s poking over the sofa and stealing all our muffins.