‘The Law of Unintended Consequences’: a discussion.

Going back to Adam Smith, the idea of actions causing unforeseen effects has been well known. We have all heard kids cry, “But I didn’t mean to …!” Little actions or domestic actions usually won’t ripple out to the whole of society but they may.

Sociologist Robert K. Merton wrote an article in 1936, titled The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action in which he proposed five ways an action might deliver consequences that could be highly destructive and unlooked for, especially when it came to governments and their decision making. According to Merton there are gaps in the knowledge or expertise of decision makers or ‘experts’ that leads to errors or destructive far reaching effects unintended by the decision makers. Another is that there is so much desire to see a change that the decision maker becomes blind to the consequences of their actions, their ‘self-interest’ prevents them from evaluating the ultimate effects of their action. Another is in consideration of the value system of the decision makers so that they cannot or will not see that others who don’t have their value system, might not react in the predicted way, leading to different often highly undesirable outcomes. Lastly is the self-defeating prophecy. Here, Merton specifically stated that a society might predict a nasty potential threat to society and in trying to avoid it, might change society in some critical or far-reaching way that is again destructive and certainly unintended.

As concerns the pandemic we see all of these playing out in fairly clear ways with many yet still to come.

Since early January I have listened to individual opinions, read expert evidence and many learned commentators. I’ve read hundreds of pieces of information about Covid19 (CV19 hereafter) from the medical and scientific through to the conspiratorial and ‘prophetic’ who seem to be reading us the plot of the dystopian novel we are currently living through. I’ve read and heard enough to see that no good crisis goes to waste for government. Peter Hitchen, who I have never heard nor listened to before, remarked that most Western governments seem to be led by teenagers. They don’t know what they are doing so they cast about for something, anything, in order to Have a Plan, which happens to be just what the next guy did. In this case it was the most repressive regime in the world, China. I don’t think those who were faced with the inexorable tide of infections and deaths knew what the effect was going to be. Their decision making was simplistic, like the positive stimulus measures including quantitative easing after the 2008 GFC which ended up with disastrous economic consequences. Endlessly printing money didn’t create jobs then and it won’t now. Shutting down the economy now won’t cure the diseases that will occur later.

There has been no debate about this, parliaments have in fact shut down, implicating the paucity of debate in favour of consensus. There has only been massive pressure for consensus from scientists, medicos and media to push on with an agenda leading to global ruin. We are locked in our homes, locked out of our businesses, our clinics, our way of life has a yellow and lack tape across it.

It seems like lunacy. But oddly, with CV19 whole populations have been screaming for the government to lock us up in our own homes, hotels and institutions. Why haven’t we got our lockdown? Why do we still have our liberty? It’s not fair. Look at those fools in Sweden. They’ll regret it soon enough, they’ll be on their knees pleading for a lockdown.

Meanwhile it seems governments are rubbing their hands in glee at the powers they are giving themselves and we are permitting through acquiescence. Here in Australia, police are now able to enter our homes without a warrant. In the UK any health official under the Coronavirus Act on suspicion of someone’s infection, can order the arrest, detention and forced medical treatment of anyone with the validation of only one medical practitioner.

The pandemic is a MEDICAL issue not a mental health, policing nor a military issue. It is almost certain none will roll their new totalitarian rules back, they won’t and if they say they will, they are lying. This is the new symptom of yet another pernicious plague, surveillance capitalism. But what are we losing after all? What did we have worth saving?

After having this blog for many years and being able to see the countries people reading my blog come from, I am very surprised to find that for the first time ever, that since the end of April seventeen readers have visited my site from China, this has never happened. I don’t know whether to rejoice I have an audience or be terrified the CCP are onto me. Maybe the ability for everyone to have a voice is like a social infestation, a disease borne from our putative democracy.

Virologists are protesting it was the bats, the bats did it! There is a more complex trail to cover though.

Firstly without going into a vast amount of virology, (of which I have the scantest knowledge possible) the clear trail from gain of function research to create the ‘inserts’ in a specific string of RNA in the CV19 (the polybasic furin cleavage site PRRA) to the hand of the US in assisting the Chinese laboratory in Wuhan, the link with Bill Gates, Pirbright Institute and said lab, plus Australia who sent two scientists to the P4lab in Wuhan and also funded the work via Professor Eddie Holmes of Sydney Uni and then specifically the work done in Wuhan, leads me to a position of disgust at the scientists and their incredible hubris. In addition, the clump of virologists who protest too much, holding up their lily white hands screaming pangolins and horseshoe bats is a bit much. What do they have to hide if their research is so crucial to humanity? Just because they CAN do gain of function, just because they CAN splice, cleave, construct reproduce doesn’t mean they SHOULD. These inserts mean the virus has seen human interference, of that there is no doubt. Unforeseen consequences.

Did the bat really bite the arm of the lab worker? Did they actually scratch workers and shit on the floor of the lab?

The continued protestation is also ridiculous and the argument runs something like this.

It came from a natural source, namely bats. It then jumped to one of the extremely rare species of pangolins then back to bats then to humans in the space of what, a few months? Doesn’t evolution and mutation take a hugely long time?

OR we might think the following.

It came from bats and was then played with in a lab/labs (one of which was known to have poor safety standards) and gained function through the inserts of two additional virus characteristics. It was then ‘accidentally’ released and Bob’s your uncle…pandemic.

It is an Occam’s Razor scenario; the simplest is the most likely and is actually easier to deal with. Tell the truth, fess up, the light comes in and we can see what we are dealing with.

I was married to a biochemist working in academia. I saw how it runs. The games they play, the one-upmanship, the struggle for funding, the internecine wars, the professional jealousies, each vying for publication in the most prestigious journals, creatively twisting the research titles or tweaking projects to get the funding to run them like a golden river.  I saw the ruthless pursuit of projects because they brought money and status. Much PhD research in all fields is a joke and waste of taxpayer’s money and to be honest, watch that dry up over the new few years, unless you are researching vaccines, coronavirus or global warming there’ll be no money for you. Politicising science? Never!

No-one has yet over decades, found a vaccine for any coronavirus or even HIV for that matter, the latter which seems to be in the CV19 genetic conglomerate according to some. They most likely won’t find a safe effective vaccine for CV19 any time soon, so all this nonsense about ending the lockdowns once they’ve found a vaccine is obfuscation and they know it. The prospect of periodic incarceration IS the new normal but with far worse consequences than the coronavirus.

There are only vaccines for viruses such as influenza, mumps, measles, chickenpox, rubella, human papilloma virus, yellow fever virus, smallpox, polio, Japanese encephalitis, Hep A & B, rabies, rubella, rotavirus and rabies. The vaccine for pneumonia is for 23 different kinds of bacteria now and looking to 72 later as some continents have different strains than others.  Some vaccines have limited or temporary immunity which is why in the case of influenza, a new fluvax comes out every year based, counterintuitively, on the previous year’s viral infection. In the case of rabies I was told it basically didn’t work prophylactically and to have any effect it would have to be administered within 20 mins of the rabid dog bite otherwise it would be useless.

So these experts in their specific field want us to:

  1. trust their research
  2. trust their professionality
  3. trust them to make decisions for billions of us based on a supposed universal consensus about a virus they claim they are perplexed by and have no prior experience of, without the expertise of actual economists, nor having been elected to represent us, nor having a debate of experts in a calm and reasoned way, nor having any clear way out of this mess they’ve put the world into by virtue of computer modelling…sound familiar? Computer modelling…ahhhh yes.

They prophesied disaster with the same reliance on computer modelling that had us believe in catastrophic global warming (the hockey stick), that our kids would never see snow after 2004 and so forth.

The same reliance on computer modelling had us petrified of millions of deaths from CV19. One quarter of the world would get sick. The predictions in Australia of 150-200K deaths from CV19; in fact as of 14/05/2020, we have had 98 deaths. If it was not for the Ruby Princess debacle where sick and infected passengers were allowed to disembark in Australia we would have had over 25% fewer deaths and many more people not infected. 63% of infections were acquired overseas 35% locally acquired or had contact with known travellers or confirmed cases. With the Ro between 2 and 6 as is claimed, the spread is exponential. As it is so far we have had 98 deaths from a total to date of 6,980 cases. 30.5% of these were elderly people over the age of 65+ statistically but it seems most were in the 80s. 44% were between 30 and 60 years old.

The disease has some pathologies which are puzzling but perhaps the consequences of lifestyle choices, epigenetics or genetic inheritance.

At first CV19 was thought to cause death from ARDS/pneumonia but it transpires that death occurs most often in those with co-morbidities such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and the elderly and with singular characteristics. It occurs almost twice as much in men as women and again, 70% of deaths occur in elderly males. Mortality data from 21 hospitals in Wuhan between 21 and 30 January, for example, revealed that 75 per cent of those who died were men. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, for example, around 70 per cent of critically ill patients admitted to intensive care have been male, and a higher proportion of men than women have died. A study of more than 4000 covid-19 patients in New York City hospitals found that 62 per cent were male. Also certain ethnicities seem to be affected more than others; black, Asian, and other ethnic minorities who in the UK make up around 14% of the general population but account for 34% of cases. In the USA it is a similar picture of BAME populations who make up 36% of cases in a population group of 23% but a higher percentage exists amongst black or African American populations, 13% of the population but 30% of the cases.[1]

The disease causes widespread dysfunction in the smallest blood vessels of the lungs and other organs leading to clotting which is why the ventilators don’t particularly work as if the blood can’t move, even though it is oxygenated it can’t fulfil its function oxygenating the cells and membranes. I had wondered why those on ventilators resulted in around a 50% mortality rate, now we know a bit better why. It also explains the strokes, embolisms and heart failure in all age groups but particularly the elderly. The lungs are inflamed and fluid collects in the lungs’ air sacs, or alveoli. This makes it difficult for the lungs to transfer oxygen from the air to the blood. It is a very unpleasant way to go, rather like drowning although anyone intubated isn’t conscious anyway so they wouldn’t know about it.

I saw my sister die like this but from lung cancer and acute pneumonia, it was an awful, upsetting death and mercifully they gave her enough meds to sedate her until she died. Towards the end while she was still conscious and very distressed I helped her to the toilet and she hung on my neck in what was to be our last embrace. I asked her how she was. She said she was panicking, she couldn’t breathe. All I could say to her was to go inside herself, that dying was like giving birth, she had to relax and go inside. She said what I told her helped. I have seen a number of people die and the easiest deaths are like that; giving birth to the spirit released from corporeal form.

Some say the deaths stats are manipulated, that the number of deaths are the normal amount in a day anyway and I have to admit that the constant numbers of 700, 800 even 900 deaths a day keep popping up which seems weird given the huge variation in the numbers of infected. Maybe authorities have a cutoff over which they don’t report or they have delays in recording them or there are spillovers they can’t account for and leave out.

Some like David Icke, Max Igan, Judy Mikovits, Mikki Willis and so on call it a ‘plandemic’; a gigantic scam or false flag incident on a global scale to arrest the world and deliver it into the hands of the globalist cabal. The fact that some hospitals seem empty of patients and in their boredom, staff are playing dancing games, which then leak onto social media is taken as a sign. But there are explanations for this lack of activity and probably if you hadn’t worked in health you wouldn’t understand. There are ebbs and flows, a current of tides and times in hospitals. We know a very large percentage of people are naturally staying away from hospitals and clinics not even attending E.R. due to CV19. Many patients with chronic health problems and treatments are having treatments deferred wherever possible as they are at risk. Telehealth consultations are now taking over in every area of health management in order to keep people apart. Many ‘Nightingale’ pop up CV19 wards were constructed awaiting the surge which in some cases didn’t occur. Crucially, in others it did. People did get sick and they did die, many died with CV19 but many died of it.

In Australia, as in N.Z. the surge didn’t occur and it is intriguing to examine why. I also wonder why Australia is virtually being ignored in the global expert discussions. That is another curious thing among things that are curiouser and curiouser.

Here are the common ideas about why we didn’t get hit so badly.

Australians don’t smoke much. It is extremely expensive around $40AUD (24 euros) a packet, we have also had an effective anti-smoking campaign for decades. Our air is comparatively good compared with Northern Italy, New York, Spain, Germany, the UK, China and India; the latter two consistently topping the charts for dangerous levels of air pollution. So maybe lungs are better here. Yet India which is in the worst case basket for 2.5 particle pollution, hasn’t had the tsunami of cases that was expected. Is that due to a lack of test kits and subsequent diagnosis? Perhaps.

Australia shut down early, closing off international then national then local travel very quickly. Australians are a very conservative obedient people, it comes from our convict heritage, we do what we are told because the consequences are severe otherwise. New Zealanders are similar. Besides that, the abject fear was palpable, it is a great motivator.

We have an excellent national health system, which despite its many faults is well equipped (except for PPE) and staffed. We were ready with drive in testing and widespread testing, 909,025(0.8%), and have produced many of our own accurate test kits.

People were smacked down hard with very large fines if they disobeyed the social distancing laws. Fines of $1600 (954 euros) were issued and widely publicised, shaming some and exonerating others, like the shift worker out at 1 a.m. at a car wash or the girl out with her mother practising driving. People were also very afraid of each other, dancing aside or around to try to keep their distance. There were no scenes of people splayed out in parks or on beaches, here unlike in Spain, Brazil or Portugal no, no. We stayed at home. We are a great obedient flock which works for times like these with firm shepherds and scary wolves.

So how about the U.S.?

A failed system. For all their self-glorification their society has failed them. They fight each other, they fight the state, they fight their president. Their health system is appalling weighted for the richest. They have mastered the ‘just-in-time economy’ which is a disaster when supply chains break. Many of their workers are low paid casuals in the service industry who lost jobs. Their infrastructure is falling apart. The inventors of the grand narrative of Hollywood are always looking for simplistic plots, a protagonist and an antagonist- so who to blame for the Coronavirus? Who is the hero? Who is the arch enemy? Is it Trump who ‘sarcastically’ tells people bleach is effective or Fauci who has links with Gates and the vaccine factories? Who are the heroes? Health workers thrown to the wolves by their own negligent governments and systems whom many voted for?

How about the UK?

Again the same Churchillian narrative. Hero vs Villain. War vs Peace. Boris the hero who survived Covid 19 to stand outside Downing Street and applaud the NHS workers that he and other Tories voted to effectively deliver a wage cut not so long ago.

Firstly it seems that the inexperience of the government leadership showed up most clearly in what Merton lists as one of the laws. They didn’t recognize their ignorance and identify the gaps in their knowledge so that they didn’t seek out nor listen to their own experienced medicos. Dan Poulter, a former Health Minister and Tory said, “An early over-reliance on academic modelling also resulted in a lack of experienced frontline NHS clinicians – in other words, the people who really understand the day-to-day challenges our hospitals and health service face – from feeding into the initial Covid-19 action plan,” he said. “This has manifested itself amongst other things in the slowness of providing adequate PPE for frontline NHS staff and in the lack of virus testing for healthcare staff in the earlier part of the outbreak.”

By February sporadic cases were spreading around the country. Mid-March saw Boris Johnson shaking hands with CV19 patients and earlier attending a packed sports stadium, it also saw the government reverse its policy from containment to delay ignoring the advice or slow to react to warnings from experts. Funding had been slashed over years from the NHS leading to a paucity of PPEs for health workers. People were still flying in and out of the country and the Tories were still worshipping at the throne of the god of economics with Dominic Cummings telling them what burnt offerings they could bring to Moloch.

Now they are looking at a deep and long recession and over 33,000 deaths due to inconsistent decision making, lack of clear and firm decision making taking into account the experience and advice of practitioners and a variety of expert advice.

Merton called this approach the ‘relevance paradox’, where leaders and decision makers believe they see the gaps in their knowledge or expertise and think they have filled that gap with the requisite information but crucially ignore or neglect associated areas as they don’t take relevance into account. In this case, PPEs and ventilators, masks for the public, cancellation of large events, especially sporting events where people yell and talk, cough, sneeze, spit and touch in close proximity and perhaps most crucially, closing borders. The mentality of China is too far away from us to affect us, was a huge mistake.

Just as crucial to the rapid spread of the pandemic and imminent economic collapse is that we have relied on decreasingly able leaders in an increasingly complex world. We have built systems like decks of cards, our just in time economies, our agricultural monocultures and massive industrial farms, our  reliance on poorly paid immigrants to harvest and plant our food, the shift away from national self-sufficiency in manufacturing to making a quick buck on volume.

We’ve devalued and marginalized our old people and those who look after them, we’ve clumped and clustered vulnerable indigenous people in perpetual economic and social quarantine. Governments (we) have allowed the concentration of wealth into the hands of the 1% who by nature don’t give a toss whether the 99% live or die so long as they stay away from them and keep working to turn a trick for them. We are relentless consumers, uncaring of our environment until the day when we are denied the opportunity to enjoy its beauty or even its function.

How are we going to get out of this rapidly disintegrating collapse? Do governments think that there is a lever somewhere in the jiggery pokery of economics that they pull and the whole damn thing starts up again with a putter and a sputter like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory? All the little Oompa Loompas come out of lockdown, pop down to the factories and the High Streets and everything starts again?

We are living out the Laws of Unintended Consequences, all of them.

I thought to myself today that what would be worse than having a group plotting world domination? That there isn’t one and we are set afloat on the seas of chance captained and led by a ship of fools. So we end as T.S. Eliot foresaw, ‘not with a bang but a whimper.’

[1] https://www.newscientist.com/article/2241278-an-unequal-society-means-covid-19-is-hitting-ethnic-minorities-harder/

2 thoughts on “‘The Law of Unintended Consequences’: a discussion.

  1. Catherine, this is the most reasoned, meaningful, well-considered and intelligent article on this subject R & I have read to date. We have read viewed and heard much and have been down many a rabbit hole in pursuit of the the truth and some understanding. Your tops all by being so complete.

    Liked by 1 person

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